2013 YA and MG Time Travel Reading Challenge: February Wrap-up Post + Review Linky + Giveaway of Clockwise series by Elle Strauss

Thursday, February 28, 2013

For our February Wrap-Up post, we have two character interviews of the protagonists in the Clockwise series by Elle Strauss. Here in my blog, I have Casey Donovan so let's get the interview rolling!

Clockwise (Clockwise, #1)
Title: Clockwise (Clockwise #1)
Author: Elle Strauss
Date of Publication: November 21, 2011
Publisher: ESB Publishing

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this—she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.

Character Interview

What was it like to travel back in time?

It's a normal and expected experience for me, since I've been doing it since I was 9. I don't know any other kind of life.

How is your time travel companion different in the present and in 1860?

You mean Nate? In 1860 he's sweet and caring, really tries to look out for me, though he often puts his foot in his mouth around our hosts. I mean, they don't know we're from the future. And that we're not siblings. In the present Nate's kind of a jerk. I don't think he means to be, but he's got those stuck up friends.

What's your reaction to the handsome, wealthy suitor?

At first he was enduring. Men in the 1860s are so gentlemanly. But first impressions aren't always trustworthy.

If you could bring back an item from the 19th century to the present, what would it be and why?

Hmm, it's hard to say. We have every item now that they had back then only better. 

What is your most unforgettable memory of 1860? Why?

Seeing  Abigail Kelly Foster in the flesh. What an amazing woman. She stood up against slavery in a time when women didn't even have the vote!

Aside from the 19th century, which time and place would you like to go back to?

I met a girl named Adeline who also time traveled. She moved to California and loops back to the 1950s. I think that would be kind of cool.

About Elle Strauss

I write YA time travel and merfolk chic-lit. I'm a married mom of four, and live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for beaches and vineyards. I'm fond of Lindt's sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather.I write mature historical and sci-fi YA under the name LEE Strauss.


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Review Link-up

Review: Heart Waves by Danielle Sibarium

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Heart Waves
Title: Heart Waves (Heart Waves #1)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Publisher: KFR Communications
Date of Publication: June 1, 2012

Jenna Kingsley has a gift. She knows things. With a simple touch she can pick up personal information from jewelry or objects. While at a neighbor’s party, a voice mesmerizes her. Jenna is momentarily frozen as a ring is placed in her hand. White electricity surges through her and a dire prediction is made. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to break my heart.”

From the moment they meet Jenna is enchanted and entranced with Reece Walton. She’s thrilled to learn he’s spending the summer two houses away from hers. Every moment they spend together is magical. But she can’t get the prediction out of her mind. As the summer draws to a close and secrets are revealed, can Jenna get past the fear of being left with a broken heart to live in the moment with Reece or will her fear of being hurt fulfill the prophecy?

Review

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I really hate giving this rating because Danielle is such a kind and lovely person but I just can't rate a book higher than what I really think just because the author's kind. I think all book bloggers have come across this problem and I don't think it gets easy. Still, thank you to Danielle for giving me an electronic review copy and a printed copy is actually on its way to me. I can't thank you enough. I do think I'm just not part of the target audience of this book but I believe a lot of people will actually enjoy this.

So here's my two cents on Heart Waves. Right from the get go, in Chapter 1, I knew I wouldn't enjoy this book because it's one of those instalove stories. Nothing gets on my nerves like instalove so there. Still, I continued reading and actually finished the book because I finish all books I start reading, how much torture they might be for me.

Heart Waves was marketed as a paranormal romance but I would say it is purely a romance novel with a single paranormal factor. The main character, Jenna, has the ability to see visions just by touching objects. Sometimes it's of the past, sometimes it's of the future and sometimes it's not a vision but an aura. That's it. She only used this ability a few times in the book and the novel was just chapter after chapter of her love story with Reece. Yes, they make out or do something sweet every single chapter I was wondering when will the plot come out. And yes, the conflict did come out at the latter part or more like, at the end. I could have enjoyed the book a whole lot more even if the couple got together through instalove if the plot was solid. Sadly, this isn't the case as it was like a slice-of-life novel of their love story. I'm not saying that's bad because I actually like slice-of-life too but it shouldn't be making out every. single. chapter. Then suddenly, boom, there's a semblance of a conflict in the end.

Tyler, Reece's ex-bestfriend was introduced near the end and Reece started changing. His temper, his demeanor, the way he treats Jenna, changed. Being the first book of a trilogy, nothing was revealed and I expect these tidbits to be told in the sequel, Breaking Waves. But there was just too short of a time for the conflict to be absorbed. It felt like I was dumped with a conflict just to make me want to read the next book. Granted, I will read the next book or at least skim it just to see what's the deal with Reece and what's gonna happen. I gotta thank Tyler for that because I love book bad boys. Hahaha! Anyway, Reece's change was really drastic and not convincing for me, which makes me feel like the author wanted to chuck Reece out of the window for Tyler to enter and shine. That's not how you sway the reader to root for the other guy.

Anyway, enough with the bad. There are certainly good things about Heart Waves too. For one, it is not sloppily written and it's also sort of poetic, in that it's full of feelings. Moreover, while the characters are cardboard cut-outs and are not three-dimensional, they are tolerable. Jenna can be SO dense at times but the characters did not irk me in a major way so I'm totes fine with them. Lastly, it really isn't just my genre or my type of book. It's good but just not mah jam~

Still, I recommend this to readers who love Romeo and Juliet-type of stories. 

About Danielle Sibarium

Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for the prince. 

Danielle always loved dialogue and in elementary school began writing plays and short stories. This is when she began to understand she could not only bring her fantastical world to life for herself, but she could enchant others as well. And so she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote.  

Sadly the first piece she ever sent out for publication of any sort was a letter to the editor of The Home News Tribune. It was a piece thanking the first responders for their bravery and selflessness on Sept 11th. It was chosen as letter of the week. 

In 2007 Danielle collaborated with Charlotte Doreen Small to write songs for her CD More. Danielle wrote the lyrics for Take My Hand, and Goodbye, while Charlotte contributed the melody. 

In October 2011 Danielle’s debut novel For Always was released. She has since released Heart Waves and the second book in the Heart Waves series, Breaking Waves. 

Danielle graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with honors, and currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

Cover Reveal: Wait for You by J. Lynn

What do early readers have to say about WAIT FOR YOU?

“J. Lynn creates a wonderful cast of characters that will make you laugh, swoon, and cry. Cam stole my heart.” – Cora Carmack, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of LOSING IT
“For the love of all that is Cameron without a shirt on! Wait for You will have you laughing out loud, fanning yourself and anxiously waiting to know what will happen next.” – Molly McAdams, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FROM ASHES and TAKING CHANCES

I don't think I have ever read a NA Contemporary novel with as much depth as this oneIt really moved me and by the end I was just speechless over how inspirational and uplifting it was as well as being sexy and cute and funny and emotional.” - K Books

Wait For You is uniquely different from anything else J. Lynn's written but it might possibly be her best work yet.” – Jenuine Cupcakes

For all of you in love with Aiden and Daemon, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Your heart will have to expand a little more for Cam.” Total Bookaholic

For the love of all things CAM, this book deserves more than 5 stars.” – Mundie Moms

I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this perfectly crafted contemporary.” – Shortie Says

Excited? Ready to see the cover for WAIT FOR YOU?



Synopsis

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

WAIT FOR YOU is available now!

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following websites:

Character Interview: Jason Evans + Giveaway: Keeper of the Black Stones by P.T. McHugh

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Keeper of the Black Stones
Title: Keeper of the Black Stones (Stone Ends #1)
Author: P.T. McHugh
Date of Publication: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Glass House Press

Awkward in his own skin, shy around girls and worried about anything and everything, Jason Evans is just like a million other teenage boys in high school, with one very large exception: he has been given a gift that allows him to jump through time. A set of stones has fallen into his lap that gives him access to any place - and any time - that he chooses. But along with that gift comes the responsibility of stopping the man who is using those very stones to travel through time and change history for his own purposes. A man who is now holding Jason's grandfather hostage, and threatening the world's very existence. Jumping through time with his best friend and body guard, Jason must enter the world of Medieval England, learn its customs, navigate unimaginable danger, and help Henry VII win the Battle of Bosworth, in the name of finding his grandfather, rescuing a beautiful girl from the clutches of a corrupt church, and destroying the one man who pledges to turn history inside out.

Character Interview

How different was Medieval England from today? What did you feel when you first traveled back?

I'll be honest, I was petrified. Not just about the act of actually going back in time, but the possibility of never returning. It was completely over the top. All I can say is that we take for granted what we have today. Electricity, indoor plumbing, medicine, knowledge … none of that existed back then. It was a crazy, lawless place where the weak usually didn't survive. I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart.

What's your favorite thing about Medieval England?

Honestly I wasn't a fan of the era. The only reason I went was to save my grandfather. The people smelled terrible, the food was horrific, and the accommodations were dreadful.

You met Henry VII. We've only ever read him in books. How was he?

Thin, pale, sickly looking. I never actually spoke to him, because the only time I got into his tent I was under STRICT orders to keep quiet. But I saw him from a distance, and he wasn’t all that much to look at. I also heard him, though, and I can tell you this much – he knew how to order people around. He didn’t look like much, but that was deceiving. He definitely knew what he wanted. I think his looks probably made people think he was weak, but it definitely wasn’t true.

Your grandfather was held hostage during the book. What do you miss the most about him while he was gone?

He's the only family I have. I missed everything about him. Most of all his laugh, I guess. He could make me laugh at the worst of times, and it was tough having to get through all those situations without that.

If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?

First to have my parents back. Second, for the Patriots to win two more Super Bowls before Brady retires, and third, unlimited wishes of course.

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Stacking the Shelves (15)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Got books for blog tours this week. Wee!


For Review


Weee! Finally, Article 5 and Breaking Point came in the mail! I was afraid they're lost forever. And sorry if Black City ain't pictured. I read it asap when I got home to Bulacan and sent it the next day to the next tour participant. I wasn't able to take a picture. But I got a bookmark!

Thank you to Precious of Pinoy Book Tours, Alexis of Tor Teen, Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs and to Elizabeth Richards. <3

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Feel free to link your haul in the comments!

Spotlight + Giveaway: Disconnect by Imran Siddiq

Friday, February 22, 2013

Disconnect (Divided Worlds, #1)
Title: Disconnect (Divided Worlds #1)

Author: Imran Siddiq
Date of Publication: January 26, 2013
Genre: YA sci-fi

Even in space, love has boundaries

If all the Underworld has to offer is dodging junk and digging within filthy sewers then life is fast approaching a worthless state for Zachary, a 16-year old scavenger. Except one day, he discovers the imagery of a girl from Overworld that pulls his desire in wanting to know why she sounds so sad with her lavish lifestyle.

Zachary will seize the chance to meet her, and although hatred builds, with time, friendship and something he’s never felt, even for his parents, will grow.

Though nothing unbelievable can last without harm. The rulers of Overworld have plans for the Research Base that orbits Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and Underworld stands in the way.

Zachary must overcome boundaries and climb from darkness to light, but in doing so, he’ll uncover a twisted secret that may devour his new reason to live; Rosa.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N


Trailer



About Imran Siddiq

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. At a young age, his primary school teacher commented on his creativity and ability to tell stories.  At the age of 29, during a night in the jungle, the bug inside awakened, and for the last 5 years he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to write. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre  is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in every novel.


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{Blog Tour} Review + Playlist + Giveaway: Traced by Megan Squires

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Traced: Part One of The Outlier Chronicles
Title: Traced: Part One of The Outlier Chronicles
Author: Megan Squires
Date of Publication: October 1, 2012

Tessa can’t sleep.

But when your parents are dead and the government directs your path in life, sleep shouldn’t come easily. Lately, Tessa’s fitful nights are growing even more predictable, almost like déjà vu. And she’s beginning to think that something greater is at work—something her society has taken drastic measures to keep hidden.

Caught between self-discovery and government conformity, she’ll have to choose either the boy who can help her reveal this new truth or the one that can provide her with the security of familiarity.

Tessa’s faced with a weighty decision. And she’s going to need more than a good night’s sleep to make it.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Review

My Rating: 4 out of 5

So I love dystopia. Enough said. So it's pretty expected that I gobbled this book up like it's some mashed potato (sorry, craving for it right now). Sorry if this review will be short as I have an exam (!!!!) but just trust me that dystopia lovers will love this book, as well as those new to the genre. It's not your usual dystopia and I personally dig the setting SO MUCH. Plus, Tessa has the ability to trace and you have to read it yourself to figure it out. :P Yeap, not disclosing anything here except that I really enjoyed reading this one.

Plus, the romance, aweee! Anyway, I'll get back to reviewing this in detail after my exam but the takehome message is that READ TRACED, you guys.

Playlist

“Are You Sure?” by Bethany Dillon

and

“Just Friends” by Gavin DeGraw


I’ve been a big fan of Bethany Dillon’s for a while and one night while I was up writing Traced, her song “Are You Sure” came on as I was sitting at the computer. I had literally just finished up a scene between Liam and Tessa, and I had to stop in my tracks when the line “just twelve hours ago I was sitting on a bench with you.” I can’t tell you how many times I rewound to listen to it over and over, just to be sure I’d heard it right. It was literally like the song had been written just for them.

From their first meeting, to the pivotal conversation toward the end of the book, so much of their relationship building takes place on a seemingly insignificant bench at their high school. I loved that the song goes back and forth between emotions and how she’s unsure of not only his feelings, but her own. Throughout the book, Tessa is torn between Liam and Joel, and the uncertainty in this song embodies all of that doubt so well. Even the title, “Are You Sure?” perfectly conveys that.

The passion in Gavin DeGraw’s song “Just Friends” just fits Tessa’s relationship with Joel. Though they’ve known one another for years, something develops between them that surprises them both. But just as they’re growing closer, Liam shows up at East Valley and turns everything on its head. The song could so easily be sung by Joel. From his outside perspective, Tessa claims to be “just friends” with Liam, but deep down he knows better. Even the line, “I’ve had other options, too” is so true for Joel. He’s the most popular guy at school and could have any girl he wants, but all he wants is Tessa. And at times that seems to be what she wants, too. While the entire song depicts their relationship so well, the line “I’ll forgive you for what you’ve done if you say that I’m the one” conveys Joel’s forgiving, honest, and loyal personality completely.

These two songs, though so different in tune, lyric, and message, are an exact match to the differences evident in both boys. And just like Tessa, there’s no way I’d be able to choose a favorite between them because they are so perfectly unalike in their own way. 

About Megan Squires

Megan Squires lives with her husband and two children just outside of Sacramento, California. A graduate from the University of California, Davis, Megan is now a full-time mother, wife, and dreamer – though her characters don’t often give her much opportunity to sleep.


Giveaway


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{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Guest Post + Giveaway: Heart Waves & Breaking Waves by Danielle Sibarium

Monday, February 18, 2013

Heart Waves
Title: Heart Waves (Heart Waves #1)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Publisher: KFR Communications
Date of Publication: June 1, 2012

Jenna Kingsley has a gift. She knows things. With a simple touch she can pick up personal information from jewelry or objects. While at a neighbor’s party, a voice mesmerizes her. Jenna is momentarily frozen as a ring is placed in her hand. White electricity surges through her and a dire prediction is made. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to break my heart.”

From the moment they meet Jenna is enchanted and entranced with Reece Walton. She’s thrilled to learn he’s spending the summer two houses away from hers. Every moment they spend together is magical. But she can’t get the prediction out of her mind. As the summer draws to a close and secrets are revealed, can Jenna get past the fear of being left with a broken heart to live in the moment with Reece or will her fear of being hurt fulfill the prophecy?

Breaking Waves Title: Breaking Waves (Heart Waves #2)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Publisher: KFR Communications
Date of Publication: January 10, 2013


From the moment they met, Jenna knew Reece would break her heart, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. Jenna is left shattered and broken. When life becomes too painful to deal with and she feels completely alone, there’s only one person to help her pick up the pieces and move on. The one person she doesn’t want to turn to. The one person she promised to stay away from. Tyler.

Can Jenna put aside everything she knows about him and let Tyler help heal her broken heart?

Purchase from Amazon | B&N


Guest Post

I asked Danielle how she named her characters and here's her answer!

Names are important. Just like our shadow, they stay with us for our entire life, following us from place to place, setting a first impression. When naming my characters I try to use names that won’t dictate a specific time or place. In the Heart Waves Series, the names of the main characters were particularly important. Because I was using a Romeo and Juliet based instant romance, I wanted the main character’s names to begin with R & J.


I settled on Reece and Jenna early on. The names just worked for me. And then came Rebecca and finally Tyler. It wasn’t until I thought about changing Tyler’s name that I realized how much the Romeo and Juliet theme played into the names. Tyler and Tybalt were both rivals of Reece and Rome. And of course Rebecca and Rosiland, the girls that left our Reece and Romeo broken hearted. While the characters are different, and the Heart Waves Series is not a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, I wanted a tiny thread to keep them connected.

About Danielle Sibarium


Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for the prince. 

Danielle always loved dialogue and in elementary school began writing plays and short stories. This is when she began to understand she could not only bring her fantastical world to life for herself, but she could enchant others as well. And so she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote.  

Sadly the first piece she ever sent out for publication of any sort was a letter to the editor of The Home News Tribune. It was a piece thanking the first responders for their bravery and selflessness on Sept 11th. It was chosen as letter of the week. 

In 2007 Danielle collaborated with Charlotte Doreen Small to write songs for her CD More. Danielle wrote the lyrics for Take My Hand, and Goodbye, while Charlotte contributed the melody. 

In October 2011 Danielle’s debut novel For Always was released. She has since released Heart Waves and the second book in the Heart Waves series, Breaking Waves. 

Danielle graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University with honors, and currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

Website | Twitter | Facebook (Heart Waves)


Giveaway



Follow the Tour!

Go HERE for the tour schedule!

Stacking the Shelves (14)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wee, these books were 50% off at Fully Booked so I bought them!


Bought


Thank you to my parents for my allowance! <3

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Feel free to share your haul!

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: 'Til Death Do Us Part by T. Michelle Nelson

Sunday, February 10, 2013



Title: 'Til Death Do Us Part (Lily Drake #2)
Author: T. Michelle Nelson
Publisher: InkSpell Publishing
Date of Publication: April 2013


With a doting husband and a new job training a vampire military, Lily Drake was living up to the prophecies of being the best.  Her life was seemingly perfect, until tragedy strikes bringing her a loss she's not sure she can endure.


The hard-working super mom / vampire slayer, Lily Drake, has just learned problems still exist even after you become immortal.  


As everyone knows, even if you find your soul mate, you don't always get a happily-ever-after.  Lily may have found temporary happiness being a newlywed, but the honeymoon is over.  When she finds her husband going out for late night bites with another woman, Lily has to fight to try and regain what she wants most, love and a happy family. 

If Lily thought being a single mom was hard, she’ll find being married can be a bloody mess.

About T. Michelle Nelson

T. Michelle Nelson is a native of Benton, Kentucky and a graduate of Murray State University holding a degree in Education.  Currently she resides in picturesque Mount Vernon, Ohio, which is also the setting of her Lily Drake series.  The first book in the series, Life and Death of Lily Drake, is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and your other favorite online book stores in paperback as well as e-reader formats.  The second book, 'Til Death Do Us Part, is being released by Inkspell Publishing in April of 2013 and currently, T. is working hard to finish her third book. 

When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her singing out of key while playing Rock Band with her husband and son, watching B-Horror movies or wrestling with her two ill-behaved fur babies, Buddy Perro and Bunchie.

Giveaway

Open to US, UK and Canada. Paperback, ebooks and Valentines swag! 

Love Middle Grade Actually Promo



WIN A KINDLE FIRE (Value of $159!) WIN A $10 AMAZON GIFTCARD! WIN GREAT MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS!

Download this e-book, find the secret phrase, and enter it into the contest link embedded in the e-book to be entered into the draw to win a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a great middle grade e-book from one of 14 fantastic authors!

Treat yourself and your kids with a special gift this Valentine's Day! This is a sample of 14 exciting middle grade stories that you will love and with the chance to win an e-reader.

Competition opens 7 February 2013 and the winner will be announced on 14 February 2013. This e-book will be available to download for free for 5 days from the 7-11th of February and at 99c for the remaining days of the promotion. The winners will be drawn on 14 February 2013 and announced shortly thereafter.

Whether you like fantasy, adventure, mystery or humor, "Love Middle Grade Actually" gives you a taste of it all!

This sampler includes:

Diary of a Penguin-napper - Sally Harris
3 weeks, 2 boys, 1 little penguin - what could possibly go wrong? Inspired by the urban myth that it is possible to steal a penguin from the zoo on a school visit using just a backpack!

The Golden Scarab - S.W. Lothian
When JJ discovers the secret of time travel at his dad’s museum, he finds himself catapulted back to ancient Egypt with his best friend, smack-bang at the centre of an action-packed race against time and living statues to find the sacred Golden Scarab.

Four Fiends - Nikki Bennett
Join Jinjing, Pietro, Saburo and Kate as they explore exotic lands, defeat evil demons, and discover the true meaning of friendship.


Gasparilla's Treasure - Scott Clements

A fast paced adventure novel following Trip Montgomery on his quest through historic St Augustine, Florida to find the treasure of famed pirate Jose Gaspar.

Lionel’s Grand Adventure: Lionel and the Golden Rule - Paul R. Hewlett
Meet Lionel, a lovable bully-magnet, as he arrives in Larrystown and discovers a magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot.

Escape from the Forbidden Planet - Julie Anne Grasso
Caramel Cinnamon thought the worst day of her life was the day her grandparents, the King and Queen of the Elves of Cardamom went missing. She was wrong!

The Secret Underground - Natalie Bahm
Anxious to forget the bank robbery she witnessed, twelve-year-old Ally joins her brother and the rest of the neighborhood boys (including the cutest boy in her class) in digging a secret tunnel to an abandoned steel mill.


Super Ninja Alien Robot Monsters - Jeff Bilman

Ninja fighting, half-robot, half-monster aliens from Alpha Centauri have come to destroy the Earth. Are two bickering brothers the world's only hope?

The Princelings and the Pirates - Jemima Pett
A simple mission to solve a problem with the winery turns into a nightmare as our guinea pig heroes, Princelings Fred and George, are captured by pirates, rescue a damsel in distress, and get more than they bargained for in the battle of Dimerie.

The Ninja Librarian - Rebecca M Douglass
Skunk Corners is a dusty, tough, unfriendly town until the Ninja Librarian—a mild-mannered librarian who offers his wisdom with a little extra when folks don’t listen—gets off the train and moves into the library.

The Dreamcatcher Adventures: Greedy Jack Wallace - Adam C. Veile
When the ghost of his rowdy Wild West ancestor appears, seventh-grader Blake Monroe joins him in the search for a hidden treasure, but they soon discover a deadly outlaw is in pursuit and they’ll be lucky to escape with their lives!

Knockout: The Hermit's Escape - Krista Michelle Breen
When Phillip Brooks’ new horse leaves him face down in the mud, he soon discovers something very strange is going on inside the old hermit Bert Massey’s house.

The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets - Stanley & Katrina
Cat and Dog. It is a love/hate relationship. Enter the inner psyche of these creatures as they try to peacefully coexist within the same house. Cleverly written. Hilarious antics.

Greenhorn - Anna Olswanger
Greenhorn is a powerful story that gives human dimension to the Holocaust. It poignantly underscores our flawed humanity and speaks to the healing value of friendship.


DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY AND ENTER TO WIN!


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Stacking the Shelves (13)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I still can't believe I've been doing this meme for 13 weeks and I never had to stop because I have nothing to feature. Thank you book gods for showering me with these books. <3

 
For Review


I got Time's Twisted Arrow from Rysa for the 2013 YA and MG Time Travel Reading Challenge and Robin in the Hood from Diane. Thank you so much you lovely authors! <3

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share your haul below!

Cover Reveal: Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Friday, February 8, 2013


Title: Zenn Scarlett
Author: Christian Schoon
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: May 7, 2013

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

Spotlight + Guest Post: The Pirate Kings (TimeRiders #7) by Alex Scarrow

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Pirate Kings (TimeRiders, #7)
Title: The Pirate Kings (TimeRiders #7)
Author: Alex Scarrow
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: February 7, 2013

Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

But all three have been given a second chance—to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history...

Relocated to Victorian London, the TimeRiders joy-ride back to 1666 to witness the Great Fire of London. In the ensuing chaos, Liam and their newest recruit, Rashim, find themselves trapped between the fire and the Thames. They escape onboard a river boat, only to be confronted by an unscrupulous captain with his heart set on treasures of the high seas ...

Back in 1888, Maddy and the rest of the team are frantically trying to track them down. But with limited resources at their new base, can Liam and Rashim survive the bloodthirsty and barbaric age of piracy long enough to be rescued?

Guest Post

Tips on Writing an Alternate History Story
by Alex Scarrow


Imagining a world that could have existed if some key moment in history had gone just a little bit differently, is what historians do for fun. And, good grief, it is fun. It’s a bit like the building of a fantasy or science fiction world in which to set a story. Like running a gigantic simulation in your mind and envisaging the results.

For the purposes of creating a great setting for a story, I think you don’t have to beat yourself up too much in aiming for the MOST plausible alternate world. Quite often the most plausible alternate world ends up drifting toward the world that we know. It’s as if history really does have a “preferred” course it wants to take.

For example, if the Roman Empire had not fallen when it did, it might have collapsed just as easily half a century or a century later as migratory pressures from the east pushed ever-increasing swarms of barbarians up against the weakening thin red line of the Roman Empire’s far-flung borders. Fact is, It was gonna happen sooner or later.

Or if Germany had won the war in 1945, surely the Russians would have become an ungovernable part of the Third Reich eventually, a Vietnam-like drain on resources and men that would ultimately weaken them dangerously, perhaps leading to a later war in which Russian tanks would inevitably have rolled into Berlin. See? Same result in the long run.

For a great story you want a hugely different world, a world that offers you as much of a chance as possible to imagine wonderful new creations, new inventions, architectural marvels; something to truly astound your reader—you have to stretch plausibility sometimes, just a little.

For example, in the fourth TimeRiders book, I imagine a world in which the American Civil War never ended. It just rumbles on and on into the present day, and the ruins of New York look like Stalingrad! A landscape of foxholes and trenches, bunkers and craters, and the skies overhead filled with enormous zeppelin-like aircraft carriers! And all this simply because a certain unemployed young riverboat worker named Abraham Lincoln stepped in the path of a lumbering runaway brewery cart! I make a superficially plausible case that only Lincoln’s strength of character, the determination to hold the northern union together, was what ultimately led the North to victory.

In truth, though, a proper historian would argue that the industrial might of the North, the sheer economic muscle of the northern states versus the weaker agrarian economy of the Confederate States, made the outcome an inevitable victory for the North. A proper historian would also argue that Abraham Lincoln’s boots would probably have been filled with another equally strong-willed Republican president, determined to fight the South and reunite America . . . and we would still have a Civil War that ended around 1865.

But come on, now where’s the fun in that?

About Alex Scarrow


I live in Norwich with my wife, Frances, my son, Jake a very spirited little dog called Max. I spent the first 10 years out of college in the music business chasing record deals and the next 12 years in the computer games business as a graphic artist and eventually a games designer. For those of you who like their computer games, here's some of the titles I've worked on: Waterworld, Evolva, The Thing, Spartan, Gates of Troy, Legion Arena. In 2005 I got my first book deal with Orion, writing adult thrillers. And in 2009 I signed up with Puffin to write the TimeRiders series.

I seem to spend most of my time hunched over my laptop in various cafes and coffee bars sipping lattes, tapping keys and watching the ebb and flow of shoppers outside on the street. As I write this, I'm working on the third book in the TimeRiders series. Ahead of me, lies research work for my next thriller, and also some screenplays I'm looking forward to writing. Although I'm glad to be where I am now, I do occasionally kick myself for not having succumbed to the writing bug much earlier. But then we all just muddle along through life, don't we? There's rarely a plan.


 
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