2013 YA and MG Time Travel Reading Challenge: June Wrap-Up Post + Review Linky + Giveaway: Plague in the Mirror by Deborah Noyes

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hey, everyone! It's the end of June, which means only one thing... it's monthly wrap-up time for the YA and MG Time Travel Reading Challenge! Today, I have an interview with Deborah Noyes, author of the time travel novel Plague in the Mirror released last June 11. You can click on the link to read my four-star review. I loved it and I hope you do too! Aside from the interview, I also have a giveaway for a copy of Plague in the Mirror! Moreover, for the first time ever, we have two different wrap-up posts! Go to Precious' blog to read an interview with Gina Linko, author of the time travel novel Flutter, and get a chance to win a signed copy! So let's check out Deborah's answers!

How did the idea for Plague in the Mirror come to you?

It started percolating while I was at work on a nonfiction book called Encyclopedia of the End, which had an entry on plague. As I dug into the research, I became fascinated by bubonic plague in general and by the outbreak known as The Black Death in particular. Many of the topics I researched for that earlier book ended up nourishing this one: saintly relics, memento mori, burial rituals...

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

The setting, for sure. I've never been to Florence--or to Italy, even--so immersing myself in books and art about the city was one way of traveling to a place I've always wanted to go. A photographer-friend of mine had just returned from a trip to Tuscany, and her photos were a big inspiration (I used some in the book trailer).

How did you go about the research for the Italian parts of your book?

No matter what I'm researching, I start as simply and organically as possible--usually with children's books (which makes sense since I edit them for a living)--and work my way up to the complex stuff. In this case, I started with Google Translate and asked an Italian-speaking friend to help me refine from there. My editor also reads and speaks Italian, so she was a resource.

Who's your favorite character in the book? Who was the most fun to write? Who was the hardest?

Definitely Cristofana. She kept me guessing. I love the idea of having a twin out there in what she calls “the wilds of time” who’s also your opposite, the yin to your yang. May’s a self-proclaimed good girl used to doing what’s right and expected (which, in a way, made her difficult to know and write about). But she also takes her life for granted. It’s like a part of her is sleeping. And Cristofana is wide awake. She’s selfish and mean but bold and passionate, too, unafraid to go after what she wants, and May has something to learn from that, as Cristofana learns about family and loyalty from May. A lot of dualities — good and evil, light and dark — are extremes, but I think what the universe wants from us, in the end, is balance. May and Cristofana complete each other.

Plague in the Mirror
Title: Plague in the Mirror
Author: Deborah Noyes
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date of Publication: June 11, 2013

In a sensual paranormal romance, a teen girl’s doppelgänger from 1348 Florence lures her into the past in hopes of exacting a deadly trade.

It was meant to be a diversion — a summer in Florence with her best friend, Liam, and his travel-writer mom, doing historical research between breaks for gelato. A chance to forget that back in Vermont, May’s parents, and all semblance of safety, were breaking up. But when May wakes one night sensing someone in her room, only to find her ghostly twin staring back at her, normalcy becomes a distant memory. And when later she follows the menacing Cristofana through a portale to fourteenth-century Florence, May never expects to find safety in the eyes of Marco, a soulful painter who awakens in her a burning desire and makes her feel truly seen. The wily Cristofana wants nothing less of May than to inhabit each other’s lives, but with the Black Death ravaging Old Florence, can May’s longing for Marco’s touch be anything but madness? Lush with atmosphere both passionate and eerie, this evocative tale follows a girl on the brink of womanhood as she dares to transcend the familiar — and discovers her sensual power.

Purchase from Amazon | The Book Depository

About Deborah Noyes

Deb writes for adults and children and is also an editor and photographer. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.


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Review Linky

Spotlight + Giveaway: We Are Made of Stardust by Mimi Strong

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Today, I am spotlighting We Are Made of Stardust (what a cute title!) by Mimi Strong. Thank you to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to join this blitz! I am also giving away two ebook copies of this book so check that out!

We Are Made of Stardust (Peaches Monroe, #1)
Title: We Are Made of Stardust (Peaches Monroe #1)
Author: Mimi Strong
Date of Publication: June 22,2013
Genre: contemporary NA romance

Peaches Monroe, age 22, is the sassy, plus-sized manager of a bookstore in the small town of Beaverdale, Washington.

One Saturday afternoon, she's balancing precariously on a chair, in a bridesmaid dress, when a handsome dark-haired man comes running into the bookstore. He knocks Peaches over, she lands in his muscular arms. They lock gazes, and ...

She recognizes him.

As the sexy vampire heartthrob she watches on TV every week.

Peaches and Dalton Deangelo are completely wrong for each other. He's only in town temporarily, working on an indie movie. She should stay away. He should stay away, too.

But they're drawn to each other. Dalton claims it's because they're made from the same stardust.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

About Mimi Strong

Mimi Strong writes chick-lit, erotic romance, sex comedy, and new adult contemporary romance. Most of her characters have a strong sense of humor.

Here's what she has to say:

I've always had a lot of sides. Sometimes I'm vulnerable, and sometimes I go after what I want without a single doubt.

My favorite person is my husband. If I can crack him up and see his eyes crinkle at the corners, my day is made. In fact, I love making everyone around me laugh.

I've always enjoyed empowering stories about kick-butt women who don't hold back and the awesome men who are smart enough to love them. Now that I'm writing these stories, I couldn't be happier. I hope you enjoy them too!


Giveaway



Stacking the Shelves (26)

Hey! Here's my physical books haul for the month of June! I'm too lazy to include all the egalleys, heh. I miss doing weekly StS posts but then, I will stick with this monthly decision for now.




For Review


Won


Bought


Gifted





Swag

And the star of the show... my KINDLE PAPERWHITE! <3



(And yes, that's Losing It. *hint hint* Vote for Garrick at the #NACrushTourney!)

Infinite thanks to Amanda of Strange Chemistry, Victoria of Hachette Children's Books, Angie of Tor & Forge Books, Olivia of Hot Key Books, Laura of Pan Macmillan Australia, Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours, Faith A. Rice-Mills, Isa of Hachette Philippines, Kai of Amaterasu Reads, Page Morgan, Lyla Payne, Celina of Books and Magazines, Isa of Sassy Reads and Tiffany King!!! Thank you so so so much! And I love my parents for the awesome graduation gift that is my Kindle Paperwhite! Thank you so much! MWAH!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Come share your haul!

Cover Reveal: I Breathe You by Lori L. Clark

Friday, June 28, 2013


Title: I Breathe You
Author: Lori L. Clark
Date of Publication: July 2013
Genre: contemporary NA romance

When a tragic accident leaves Rhane Evans -- lead vocalist for the rock band Fate's Crazy -- permanently unable to speak above a whisper and kills the love of her life, she moves across the state to pick up the pieces. Shattered, Rhane struggles to understand what happened the night of the accident, an accident everyone blames her for, even though she wasn't driving the car.

Enter Ian Callahan. He's the one person who may have a more tumultuous past than Rhane. Though they try hard to deny the sizzling attraction between them, it proves nearly impossible. When Ian's troubled past threatens to tear them apart, they begin to believe happiness isn't in their cards.

Because Fate's Crazy that way...

The cover was designed by the author herself!

About Lori L. Clark

I read, I write, I run 1/2 marathons for fun. Ten things about me:

1. I'm an only child.
2. I love dogs!
3. I was born in Iowa City, Iowa and lived in Iowa my whole life until January 2007.
4. I worked as a professional psychic reader for 2 years.
5. I'm a Pisces Sun, Leo Moon with Aquarius rising.
6. I've written 5 books and am in the process of brainstorming a 6th.
7. I don't look or act my age!
8. I ran my first 1/2 marathon at age 50.
9. I love 80's hair band music.
10. My day job is as a claims payment analyst for one of Fortune 500 Magazine's "Top 100 places in America to work."

Review: Subject to Change by Alessandra Thomas

Subject to Change (Picturing Perfect, #2)
Title: Subject to Change (Picturing Perfect #2)
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Date of Publication: June 25, 2013

Joey made her dad a deathbed promise that she would become a doctor, and dedicate herself to fighting the very cancer that took his life. There’s just one problem -three years into her pre-med classes, she's struggling to stay on top of the curve, let alone prove she's dazzling enough to earn a spot in an Ivy League medical school. In a Hail Mary move, she throws a basic Business 101 class into her semester schedule, banking on a perfect score to boost her GPA.

That is, until she’s paired for a final project with Hawk, the bartending, motorbike-riding, gorgeously bedheaded loser who falls asleep in class and communicates in one-word sentences.

Hawk does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which sets Joey on edge – in every possible way. As they get to know each other, her urge to scream at him is curbed only by her fantasies of tearing his clothes off. Soon those fantasies become reality, and Joey realizes Hawk makes her feel more fully herself than any of the rich boys her mother and sorority sisters approve of.

But the promise to her father hangs over her head, and the harder Joey tries to succeed in her chosen career, the faster everything falls into a hopeless tailspin of bad grades, broken promises and guilt. It doesn't help to have Hawk sitting like a devil on her shoulder, insisting she should be free to live however she wants to live - like he does.

The only thing Joey knows is that her neatly organized life is crushing her - and Hawk's bad attitude might be the only thing that can save her.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Review

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Kelly of InkSlinger PR for the eARC of this novel! As always, only 100% honesty in my reviews!

I was supposed to post this review during release day a few days ago but decided on postponing it. Yes, I gave this book 3 stars but I was honestly going to give it 2 stars for most part of the book until certain scenes saved it for me and after thinking about the rating quite a lot. And I figured I didn't want to rain on Alessandra's release day parade (she's so cool!) so I opted to post this review another day. I still enjoyed the novel but I think I was in a critical mood the day I read it and so I noticed lots of stuff that didn't work for me. So my review format for today would be the likes and dislikes list! I'll list and expound on the elements that worked for me and then on those that did not. So here goes!


Things that I Liked in Subject to Change

1. Academic life. Subject to Change's take on the academic load and woes of college students was too real it kinda singed a bit of my heart. Joey's taking a pre-med course that's killing her because science is not really her forte. Organic chemistry and statistics are killing her and she just can't get that A even with all the hours she's slaving away studying. While my major was also science in nature and while I do love it so much, I can truly relate to Joey. I hate organic chemistry and statistics. Moreover, even people who love their majors still had doubts about it. Should I shift? Should I change my major? But I already put in so much time and effort on this course. Should I just see it through the end? Plus, the characters actually went to class! To the library! To the hospital to intern! Not just holed up in their sorority house or apartment shacking up. I really found everything about school life in Subject to Change lovely and achingly true.

2. Issues it tackled. Like most new adult novels, Subject to Change dealt with its fair share of issues. Sickness and disease, death, money, expectations, rebellion and family problems among others. So if you're wondering if this novel has depth, it has. Additionally, the resolutions to these issues were dealt with nicely.

3. Big ass gesture at the end. So I'm a sucker for big gestures to win over people IN FICTION. In real life, I hate surprises and being embarrassed in front of people but I truly enjoy reading and watching fictional characters blush and wish the ground will swallow them up while the love of their life even embarrasses him/herself more. The big gesture in Subject to Change is SO SWEET, it saved the novel for me. Seriously. Or because the gesture was done while in class.

4. Sisterhood/ Friendship among girls. Aren't you tired of women and girls being depicted as all catty? That girls don't have real friendships with other girls but are all secretly insecure and jealous of one another? I'm so pissed when I read girls fighting just for the sake of fighting or for plot. In here, we have tons of healthy relationships among girls and I just wanna hug Alessandra for writing them. I especially like Joey and Hawk's sisters bond.


Things that Didn't Really Work for Me in Subject to Change

1. Basis/pace of Joey and Hawk's relationship/non-stop sex. Sigh. Get this. This tattooed, eternally-late guy pisses you off and then next, you're kissing? Woah, stop right there. Where did that come from? Then they're all hot and bothered about each other. Then they jump on each other's bones. Sigh. I get it, tattooed bad boy who is an amazing cook and who actually has tons of baggage is hot. But from angry to ovaries exploding, ready to get it on the kitchen counter? Girl, what's that about? I seriously cannot fathom this relationship. For me, all they had was an intense sexual tension, physical attraction and lust for each other. I don't think it's love. Sure, when they got to know each other, they could have gradually started to love each other. But I don't know, I'm not convinced. It didn't help that it was scene after scene of nothing but sex. How would I feel the love from that? I felt like a list was being checked. Sex on the couch? Check. On the counter? Check. On the bed? Check. Where else?

2. Cover. Well, I'm not usually picky with NA covers. But I just think this is too much. I think it's more apt as a cover for an erotica book? But then, I already mentioned how much boning happens here so maybe it's actually apt.

3. Bad boy. I think it might be a case of wrong timing for Subject to Change. I think I got saturated with reading bad boys (who are actually good) that when I got to know Hawk, I didn't fall for him. Sure, I love me some guy who can cook, but that's it. I didn't fall for him and maybe that's another reason why I didn't like this as much as I thought I would. Because I didn't love the hero. A lot of my enjoyment of a romance novel hinges on me liking or loving the two characters and their relationship and romance. And since that didn't happen with Subject to Change, my enjoyment hugely abated.

Still, I would recommend Subject to Change to contemporary NA romance lovers. This is so steamy, by the way. So if you need that fix, go read this! If you're in need of a "bad boy" story, go for this! I still believe lots of you will enjoy this novel. I just think it wasn't for me or that it wasn't for me at the time.


About Alessandra Thomas

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she's not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she's not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.

Spotlight + Giveaway: Ruby's Fire by Catherine Stine

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thank you to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours for the chance to join the Ruby's Fire blitz! I have the cover, the blurb, an excerpt and a giveaway!

Ruby's Fire
Title: Ruby's Fire
Author: Catherine Stine
Date of Publication: June 9, 2013
Genre: YA sci-fi

If everything about you changes, what remains?

Seventeen year-old Ruby, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at The Greening, a boarding school for orphaned teens, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems. Students are rampaging out of control and as she cares for the secret Fireseed crop, she experiences frightening physical changes. She’s ashamed of her attraction to burly, hard-talking Blane, the resident bodyguard, and wonders why she can’t be happy with the gentler Armonk. She’s long considered her great beauty a liability, a thing she’s misused in order to survive. And how is she to stop her dependence on Oblivion to find a real beauty within, using her talent as a maker of salves, when she has nightmares of Stiles without it?

When George Axiom, wealthy mogul of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Ruby is hopeful she might collect the prize to rescue her family and friends from what she now knows is a dangerous cult. But when Stiles comes to reclaim her, and Thorn sickens after creating the most astonishing contest project of all, the world Ruby knows is changed forever. This romantic fantasy set in 2099 on earth has a crafty heroine in Ruby, and a swoonworthy cast, which will surely appeal to the YA and new adult audience.


Excerpt

“I didn’t know you cared,” I tease. “Do you?”

He shrugs. I know Blane can’t answer those kinds of questions. Instead of answering, he places the mask on my head. His fingers, fastening the straps at the back of my head shoot fire through me. His body, so close makes my chest swell with confusion and desire. Why am I so sensitive to his presence?

I press him. “Why do you always stare at me from the window? Why do you ask me questions with your eyes and not your mouth? What do you want with me, huh?”

He stands his ground, his boots planted apart. His silent confidence angers me.

“I asked you what you wanted. Do you want to kiss me? Huh?” I ask with more fury than I intended.

He lowers his head and kicks at the sand. “Why are you such a tease? You’re either too remote or flirting in an angry way. What happened to you at that place, Ruby? What did they do to you?”

“What did they do to me? Hah! What didn’t they do to me?” I barrel on, looking over Blane’s shoulder at one of the dunes. “That man you saw claimed me when I was five. He beat me.” I hold up my bad hand. “He cut off three of my fingers. He would’ve assaulted me if I hadn’t run!” I pause to catch my breath. My knees are ready to cave. As at peace as I was before, the memory of what I went through renders me a furious, quaking catastrophe in seconds. “And you have the nerve to ask me why I’m such a mean tease?” That hurts. Armonk has said as much, about me being seductive. But why should I tell Blane that he’s the second guy to tell me this? “I have a question for you,” I fire back. “Why are you such a brute?”

He flinches. Hurt dims the light in his eyes. Is that what we are to each other? Punching bags? No, I won’t play that game. There’s good in Blane. He dragged Thorn and me in to safety when we passed out in the sun. He saved me from Stiles that night. He defended me against Jan. Blane might be a brute but brute force is sometimes what’s required. And I sense that there are more layers below.

“I had to get strong to survive,” he whispers, so low that I need to move closer to hear him. “I couldn’t protect my brother, Percy. I couldn’t protect my family. I vowed to always be stronger after that.”

“You got too strong, too mean,” I tell him.

“You too, Ruby.”

“You helped me get rid of Stiles,” I admit. “And I never really told you what that meant to me.”

“No, you went off with Armonk.”

“You didn’t give me a chance because you stormed off so fast,” I tell him. I raise my head to Blane’s solid neck, to the honey-brown stubble on his chin and up to his eyes—locking gaze-to-gaze, fire-to-fire. “I do like Armonk, as a friend.” Why am I admitting all of this? Why?

I feel Blane’s heart beating out of his suit. Or is it my heart that’s beating out of my chest? He steps closer. His warm sea apple breath drifts onto my cheeks. I breathe him in. This is dangerous madness. He reaches for me, hungrily, desperately. Our masks bump awkwardly against each other as we kiss.

About Catherine Stine

Catherine Stine writes YA, New Adult and middle grade fiction. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, illustrated by the author won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards. It was also granted a 2013 Bronze Wishing Shelf Book Award and a 2013 Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Middle grade novels include A Girl’s Best Friend.

Fireseed One sequel, Ruby’s Fire is earning advance praise from reviewers and authors:
“Ruby's Fire, returns to the sun-scorched earth of Fireseed One. In this long-awaited sequel, Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by a new and exciting cast of characters. Ruby, Armonk, Thorn and Blane are memorable, and the romance is really well handled. Favorite quote: " It feels wrong to lean on Armonk right now with Blane staring at me, a hungry, lonely look in his eye. It’s as if he’s never been hugged, never been fed, never been loved..." ” -YAs the Word

More and more, Catherine enjoys writing speculative tales where her imagination has wild and free reign. She has taught creative writing workshops at the Philadelphia Writing Conference, Missouri University Summer Abroad, The New School and in her own ongoing NYC writing workshop. She loves her readers, and enjoys blogging.


Giveaway

One winner can win a signed paperback if he or she is US-based or an ebook copy if he or she is a non-US resident. Good luck!



{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: Motocross Me by Cheyanne Young

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today, on my stop at the Motocross Me blog tour, I have a review and the tour-wide giveaway! Not familiar with Motocross Me? Come on over and get to know it!

Motocross Me
Title: Motocross Me
Author: Cheyanne Young
Publisher: 336Love
Date of Publication: June 26, 2013

When Hana Fisher moves to the small town of Mixon, Texas to live with her dad, she dreads having to work at the boring pile of dirt he fondly calls a motocross track. But when she gets there, she finds the rinky-dink dirt bike track from her childhood has grown into the most respected racing track in the state.

Now popular by association, Hana endures the pain and sweat of working in the summer heat in order to fit in with a sport she’s growing to love. She gets a real family, a best friend and not just one, but two of the fastest racers trying to win her heart.

When Hana abuses her status as the track owner’s daughter to help the gorgeous Ryan Russo cheat in the biggest race of the year, she risks more than just losing her job. Every good thing in her life is at stake now- her friends, her dad’s trust, and Ash Carter- the kind-hearted racer who may not be as alluring as Ryan, but is proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

Review

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Shane of Itching for Books Blog Tours and Cheyanne for the eARC! Of course, this in no way affected my opinions about the book and all I'll ever say here are my own honest opinions. So let's rev this review up!


I don't know if I just missed it or my dirty mind working (the title... never mind) or that because it's all I read recently but I thought this was a contemporary NA novel. So I was pretty shocked to know it's actually YA! What a breath of fresh air. And so, I gobbled this up continuously, only stopping to sleep. Sigh, YA is still my haven. So yes, this is a 100% clean YA romance and a cute and breezy one at that!


After a fight with her mom, Hana drives four hours to Mixon, Texas to stay with his father and his new family indefinitely. It is so refreshing to see a teenager with divorced parents who isn't rebelling or angsting over the divorce. Sure, Hana and her mom don't really go along well but it's so nice to see how Hana fits right in with her stepmom Molly and stepbrother Teig. How she has a family where you would expect her not to have one. Even though Hana is the daughter of the owner of the most popular motocross track in Texas, she doesn't have a clue about the sport. That changes as she works in Mixon Motocross Park, learning the ropes of managing races and the game terminology as well. There she meets two of the best racers in Mixon, the confident blonde Ryan Russo and the shy dreadlocked Ash Carter. Both boys like her and she likes them both. What's a girl gotta do? (What's a girl gotta do to be Hana and be surrounded by all these bike-racing guys?)


I enjoyed reading Motocross Me so much. Hana's voice was not overly hilarious but she's funny and witty in her own way. I also like how much of a teen she is. Sure, she's shallow at times and I just want to grab her and turn her around to intercept her bad decisions but hey, you're not a teenager if you don't screw up! Where some YA heroines sound too mature for their age, she's just so real and right. Who doesn't make the extra effort to dress up for a crush? Who doesn't hate waking up early? Even though Hana is privileged and is so clueless about motocross and a lot of stuff, you won't hate her. I do cringe whenever she thinks or does something wrong but it's part of her charm. She did grow in the span of the novel and I appreciate how much she wants to pay for her mistakes.


I love the family Hana has in Mixon. Her Dad is one of the most understanding people ever and is so passionate about motocross. He's also kind-hearted and the same is with her wife, Molly. Molly's a great cook and has been a better mother to Hana than her actual mom who spends most of her time with boyfriends half her age and marries off again and again. Teig, her stepbrother, is also so cute and sweet, even winning a race and giving his trophy to her. Hana never felt like an outsider to her dad's new family and I adore this fact a lot. Having read much of new adult recently where no family seems to work out, I just appreciate their family maybe more than I probably should.


Aside from meeting the two boys, Hana finds a best friend in Shelby, Ash's twin. Shelby is as passionate about motocross as her twin and she schools Hana. She's an admirable listener and she didn't drop Hana in the gutter when she (accidentally) helps Ryan cheat out of the biggest amateur race, the Nationals. And now, let's get to the boys.


Ryan, simply, is a royal jerk. She gives Hana the time of the day when he needs something from her, hence, her ending up helping him cheat at a race. Ash, simply, is a gentleman. He doesn't even dare kiss Hana because he's waiting for the "perfect time". He's also a Christian, a great brother and a great son. Pretty much what you won't expect if you're prejudiced to think that guys in dreadlocks sell drugs. Ryan is smooth but he's insincere. Ash is shy but he's a good person. Needless to say, I'm on Team Ash! I know I swoon a lot about fictional guys in books but hey, I'm a teenager! I'm a girl!


I think motocross in sports-themed YA isn't common so I like how Cheyanne delved into this world even though I'm not sure if there's a large market for it. So for all those doubting whether to read it or not because you don't know a thing about motocross, trust me, you don't need to have a clue! Hana doesn't have a clue and by the end, she's versed in motocross. Like me. I didn't really know much except that racers drive a bike and there are lots of dirt and that's it. But knowing nothing did not reduce my enjoyment of this novel. With an endearing heroine, a shy dreadlocked gentleman of a racer and a clean yet swoony romance, Motocross Me is a cute and breezy contemporary YA read perfect for summer reading. All sports YA fans, check this out! All contemporary YA fans, definitely check this out. I recommend Motocross Me for a fun and light read!

About Cheyanne Young

Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, Xbox and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her daughter, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.


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Spotlight + Giveaway: Subject to Change by Alessandra Thomas

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm participating in Subject to Change's release day launch! There's also a tour-wide giveaway so join that too and let's get right onto Alessandra Thomas' second novel in the Picturing Perfect series!

Subject to Change (Picturing Perfect, #2)
Title: Subject to Change (Picturing Perfect #2)
Author: Alessandra Thomas
Date of Publication: June 25, 2013

Joey made her dad a deathbed promise that she would become a doctor, and dedicate herself to fighting the very cancer that took his life. There’s just one problem -three years into her pre-med classes, she's struggling to stay on top of the curve, let alone prove she's dazzling enough to earn a spot in an Ivy League medical school. In a Hail Mary move, she throws a basic Business 101 class into her semester schedule, banking on a perfect score to boost her GPA.

That is, until she’s paired for a final project with Hawk, the bartending, motorbike-riding, gorgeously bedheaded loser who falls asleep in class and communicates in one-word sentences.

Hawk does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which sets Joey on edge – in every possible way. As they get to know each other, her urge to scream at him is curbed only by her fantasies of tearing his clothes off. Soon those fantasies become reality, and Joey realizes Hawk makes her feel more fully herself than any of the rich boys her mother and sorority sisters approve of.

But the promise to her father hangs over her head, and the harder Joey tries to succeed in her chosen career, the faster everything falls into a hopeless tailspin of bad grades, broken promises and guilt. It doesn't help to have Hawk sitting like a devil on her shoulder, insisting she should be free to live however she wants to live - like he does.

The only thing Joey knows is that her neatly organized life is crushing her - and Hawk's bad attitude might be the only thing that can save her.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N

About Alessandra Thomas

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday. Since she's not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she's not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other.


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{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria Andreu



Today is my stop on The Secret Side of Empty blog tour! This is a different kind of blog tour because the book hasn't even a cover yet. But the author wants to get the word out about her book so I'm here to do just that! Check out the blurb and a note from the author!

COMING NEXT SPRING… The Secret Side of Empty

**Read about the book and scroll below for details on how to enter to WIN a $250 Amazon gift card just by liking the author’s Facebook page!**

Blurb
You've heard the news stories. Now hear the real story.

M.T. is starting her senior year with a lot going for her. She gets great grades, has a best friend she met in kindergarten and a boyfriend who is sweet and into her. But life – at least as she knows it – is about to end.

M.T. is what the news calls “illegal” – she came to the U.S. with her parents as a baby and never got the right papers that allowed her to stay. She lives in fear of her family getting deported, in even more fear that she’ll have to go to the home country she doesn’t even remember, of people finding out her ugly secret and of the increasingly volatile situation at home. When senior year is over, the protected world she’s found in her small parochial school will disappear. Without a social security number, she won’t be able to go to college, get a job or, maybe worst of all, get a driver’s license.

But she’ll worry about all that later. First, she’s got a senior year to take on.

Guest Post

The fulfillment of great dreams feels best when shared, which is why I'm inviting people to Like my Facebook page and come along with me on the fabulous and improbable journey of publishing my first novel. As my thanks, when you like the page by July 31st, you'll be able to enter to win a fan-only sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card!

Why does it feel so unlikely to get to fulfill my dream? Well, like M.T., the main character of my novel, I was once an undocumented immigrant, which means I spent my teenage years in fear of getting deported from the only country I've ever called home. I grew up feeling totally American but knowing that a choice my parents had made for me when I was too young to have a say made me unwanted in my homeland. Although I got my papers through amnesty when I was 18, for years I carried the shame and secrecy of that experience. So going from little girl hiding in a Tijuana shack waiting to cross the border to published author living all my dreams feels incredibly lucky and nearly impossible. But I am living proof that dreams do come true.

The Secret Side of Empty is a novel about a teen girl whose life, as she knows it, is going to end after senior year. It's not just run-of-the-mill, end-of-high-school anxiety... it's really going to end. Her parents brought her to the U.S. undocumented as a baby, so she's what the news calls "illegal," although she's an American teenager through and through. With no social security number, she'll have to watch as her friends go off to college, get after-school jobs and drivers' licenses and travel overseas on the senior trip, while her life goes into the dangerous shadow of the undocumented. No one knows the big secret she's keeping, not her best friend Chelsea and not her super-cool boyfriend, Nate. Things have gotten pretty bad at home too, so she can't turn to anyone there.

What's it like when you have nowhere left to turn and are stuck in circumstances you didn't create and which are beyond your control? The Secret Side of Empty explores the fear, the hope and how the human spirit ultimately prevails.

Be the first to get updates on the cover, new tour stops, and fan-only content (plus enter a sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card) by liking the author's Facebook page.

The book is already getting industry buzz and news coverage, so Like the FB page to get updates on that as well.

About Maria Andreu

Maria Andreu is an author and immigration rights activist. She lives in beautiful Bergen County, New Jersey with her two wonderful middle schoolers. At the age of 12, she wrote in her diary, "Most of all, I want to be a writer." Growing up undocumented and poor, she never imagined that dream might come true one day. Her work has been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Star Ledger and her first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be published by Running Press in Spring, 2014.

Cover Reveal: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Today, I am honored as part of #VMafia to share the cover of Fire & Flood, Victoria Scott's upcoming 2014 novel from Scholastic. If you're not familiar, Victoria Scott's the author of The Collector and the upcoming The Liberator, books in the Dante Walker series. So without further ado, here's the AWESOME POSSUM cover to Fire & Flood!


Title: Fire & Flood
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of Publication: March 2014

In a perilous race across the world, having the best Pandora can be the difference between life and death.

Sixteen-year-old Tella Holloway isn’t happy. Her mother rushed them out of Boston and into a craptastic house nestled in Middle of Nowhere, Montana. To make matters worse, Tella’s brother is sick, and though a dozen doctors can’t determine the cause, her mother is sure Montana’s “fresh air” will help. Now Tella spends her days being homeschooled, and uses her imagination as entertainment.

But when a small blue box appears on her bed, Tella’s world is rocked. Inside the strange package she finds a white ear bud—and after she fits it into place and touches its blinking button—an unknown voice fills her head. Tella is invited to join the Brimstone Bleed, a race across four ecosystems: desert, sea, mountains, jungle. The voice in Tella’s ear explains she has 48 hours to retrieve her Pandora, an animal genetically designed to help her win.

Tella has never been the sporty type; she’s more a cheerleader than an athlete. But despite her mother’s warnings, she’s determined to compete in the race. And she’ll do anything to win, because if Tella is the Brimstone Bleed victor, she'll be granted a specific gift—the cure to save her brother’s life.

FIRE & FLOOD is a teen thriller set in modern day.

About Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe. She's the author of THE COLLECTOR trilogy (Entangled Teen) and the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic). Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

 
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