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Blog Tour: Until You by Bridie Blake (Review)

About the Book 

Until You by Bridie Blake until-you

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Published by Evernight Teen

Release Date: 26th May 2017

Ellie Foster lives and breathes normal. She’s the responsible one, the girl everyone depends on.

Jason Holden doesn’t know the word normal. Star of the hit Planet Gazers films, his every move is watched by millions.

A chance encounter between the pair leads to a deal that will change their lives.

Ellie needs money for her family. Jason needs a girlfriend for the world tour of the final Planet Gazers movie. It’s a match made in Hollywood heaven.

But what happens when the lines between their act and reality become blurred? Can they figure out what is real and what’s fake?

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Review

My rating:

black4

Hey, everyone! I recently finished reading Until You, and I’ve got to say that it was just too cute! When I first heard about it, I thought “this has potential”, since I’ve always liked reading books about the entertainment industry. But I didn’t think I’d like the book this much!

At first, it kind of reminded me of Pretty Woman, especially with the fact that she’s being paid to be a part of his world and pretend to be his girlfriend. Based in the entertainment industry, it focuses on the publicity gained by Jason Holden’s new all-American girlfriend Ellie, a first year college student from USC. They’re actually trying to sell the fact that they’re a couple, which makes for cute moments at times and aggravating moments during others. It was a good balance of tension to say the least! I certainly wasn’t bored. One thing I just kind of wish happened was that someone in the novel got their just desserts, but then I guess it’s more realistic this way…

As for Ellie and Jason’s relationship, while I do admit it developed a bit too quickly near the end, it didn’t stop me from rooting for them, especially in the middle! I liked their development and how they got to know each other. It was unconventional, sure, but would it have been as entertaining otherwise? I think not! Also, I really liked the alternating POVs or else my feelings for these characters would be seriously skewed. I would have probably favoured one character over the other (Ellie obviously 😉 ). In this case, I got to learn about both characters and like them for themselves just as much, if not more, than their pairing.

Overall, I would seriously recommend Until You by Bridie Blake, especially if you’re looking for a light read! I’ll certainly be on the lookout for Bridie Blake’s next book! 😉 If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to ask away in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everybody!

– Sumaya

About the Author

Profile.jpg

Bridie Blake lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companions Poppy and Mac at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews.

Bridie is the author of the YA fantasy novel, THE JEWEL OF KAMARA, and YA contemporary novels A DISTANT VOICE and UNTIL YOU.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook|Instagram

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Blog Tour: All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham (Review)

About the Book

All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham

Published by Entangled Teen

Release Day: June 6, 2017 all-the-stars

Relocating to Arctic Norway would put a freeze on anyone’s social life. For Leda Lindgren, with her crutches and a chip on her shoulder the size of her former Manhattan home, the frozen tundra is just as boring as it sounds. Until she meets her uncle’s gorgeous employee.

Unfortunately, no matter how smoking hot the guy is, Roar comes with secrets as unnerving as his moving tattoos. And Leda doesn’t trust him.

Roar shouldn’t be drawn to the moody human girl with eyes that leave him weak in the knees. But when Leda gets shot by one of his enemies and survives, Roar finally understands why he’s drawn to her: Leda is exactly what he was sent to Earth to find. A weapon of immense power capable of saving his planet.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

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Review

My rating: purple4

(3.75 stars)

Hi, everyone! I recently finished All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham, and I’ve got to say that overall, I liked it! There were some parts that I was kind of iffy about, but, by the end, it was pretty good.

Firstly, I think I liked how action packed the book got at times. During the beginning, the book was a bit slow for my taste. But once something actually happened, I was fully engrossed in the story. And trust me, a lot does happen in this book. Almost to the point where it’s unreal. But I think it manages to jampack everything that could happen while not being too dramatic. Plus, the book would do a nice job of explaining any raised questions that readers might have right away.

As for the characters, for the most part, I really liked the ones that were fully fleshed out, like our protagonists, Leda and Roar. Without thinking about pairings or whatnot, I really admired Leda’s ability to stay strong and sensible, even with everything that’s been going on. Even at times where she’d doubt herself or want nothing more than to follow her desires, she doesn’t, because she knows there is more at stake. Plus, I like the way the author treats her disability in the novel, not something to be overlooked but at the same time, it doesn’t limit Leda’s potential to be a hero at all. The only problem I had with her was her link to Roar. While it was explained away and everything, I still kind of felt like it was too instalovey for me. I have few exceptions for instalove, and this wasn’t one of them… Other than that instalove and the amount of time it would take to get from one POV to the others, I really liked reading about our main characters.

Well, that’s all I have to say about All the Stars Left Behind by Ashley Graham. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind instalove and is in the mood for a good Sci-Fi read! If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below! Thanks for reading, everyone!

About the Author

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Ashley Graham was born in Ontario, Canada, and has since lived in five countries. Before writing her first manuscript in 2015, she worked as a clerical assistant, quality assurance officer, chef, and stay-at-home mom/homeschool teacher. When she isn’t writing or reading every book she gets her hands on, Ashley enjoys online window shopping, Netflix binges, and spends way too much time thinking about space travel. ALL THE STARS LEFT BEHIND is her debut novel.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook

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Blog Tour: Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine (Review)

About the Book

secrets-of-skin

Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine

Published on June 5th, 2017

Published by Entangled Teen

Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.

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Review

My rating:

red3-5

Hi, everyone! It’s time for another review, with this one being on the newly released Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine. The reason I was so interested in this book was the gargoyle aspect. I’ve only read only one series about gargoyles and that was Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Elemental trilogy. I wanted to see what more the world of gargoyles can offer since I’m not too used to it yet.

Speaking of the story’s world building, I hate to say it but wasn’t too excited by it. There were just some things that puzzled me, like the idea of fiends. I wasn’t too sure on what they were, only that they were evil and Watchers had to kill them to rid the world of their evil. Also, I wanted to know more about Watchers and their mythology. For instance, how many were there in the world? Do they have a secret organization themselves? If I dug too deeply, I’d be left with more questions than answers.

The thing that had me going though was the plot. I was invested in what was going on, like the mystery surrounding the town and its inhabitants, especially Piper. I really, really wanted to know why someone would want to target Piper. I also thought that as a whole, the novel developed at a pretty good pace. I didn’t think that anything was too sudden or out of the blue, although there were moments where continuity failed to happen. However, the near-ending still had the power to surprise me! The ending itself wasn’t nearly as good!

As for the characters, I really liked our protagonists, Piper and Gris, the best. They seemed to work really well together romantically, and you can actually buy them being a couple of adorably lovestruck fools! Maybe it was the fact that they weren’t afraid to call each other out on things. Maybe it was their witty banter. Either way, you could tell from the getgo that they were OTP and not in a forced way, too!

Well, that’s all I have to say about Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine. I really enjoyed reading this book on an entertainment level, but still had trouble with it in other ways. If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, please leave them in the Comments Section below. For those of you who are interested, Secret’s of Skin and Stone is out today and you can find it here:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|iBooks|Kobo

Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

About the Author

WendySparrow-1sm-759x1024.jpg

Wendy Laine is the penname of author Wendy Sparrow. Writing is in Wendy’s blood as are equal parts of Mountain Dew and chocolate. Wendy has been telling tales since she was a child with varying amounts of success. Her parents clearly anticipated her forays into the paranormal because she heard “The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ over and over. She lives in Washington State with a wonderful husband and two quirky kids and is active in Autism and OCD support networks. She can usually be found on Twitter where she’ll talk to anyone who talks to her and occasionally just to herself.

Author links: Website|Blog|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook|Newsletter

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Blog Tour: Love and Vandalism (Author Interview)

Hi, everyone! Today’s officially the book birthday of Love and Vandalism by Laurie Boyle Crompton! In honour of its release date, I have a few questions that were answered in an interview by none other than the fabulous author herself! Honestly, I’m really ecstatic that she took the time to answer these questions! 😁

 

Interview 

1. First off, I noticed that you’ve written YA novels, specifically contemporary. Are there any other genres you think about pursuing or is it YA Contemporary all the way? 

LOVE AND VANDALISM is my fourth YA novel (thanks for noticing!) and the next few projects I’m working on are definitely YA, but I do love to stretch myself and have been playing with some other forms of writing. I’ve actually written poetry since high school and have really grown in that area and my newest passion is scriptwriting! I’ve always vacillated between drama and comedy and while it can be tough to incorporate both I’ll never stop trying!

2. Is there any inspiration behind Love and Vandalism?

Besides painting my first car hot pink using 40 cans of spray paint, I did have an actual vandalism experience. I grew up in rural Western Pennsylvania which is hardly what people think of when they hear the word ‘graffiti’ but we had this one bridge near our high school that was covered with a bunch of seniors’ names along with a few bad words. My friend and I were sick of being goody goody girls and since we weren’t about to try drinking or smoking we decided we were going to get our names on that bridge. There were no streetlights and we dressed all in black so we wouldn’t get caught so looking back it wasn’t our brightest moment. Our names stood for a week before someone painted over them but we had a blast doing something that felt so rebellious and wild.

3. Likewise, are there any authors that have inspired you? It could be based on the topics they write about, their writing style or just general admiration. 

Like many writers, Anne Lamott is right up there in my list of favorite authors. Anne is so brilliant and inspiring, particularly when she discusses the writing process. I love all of her non-fiction so hard! And actually, Rory’s dreadlocks are a tribute to Anne Lamott who is just so gifted and generous. Also, I’ve been a lifelong fan of Steven King and was thrilled when ON WRITING came out and he gave us a small peek behind the dark curtain. There is actually a secret backstory between two characters in one of my books that serves as a twisted private homage to my love of Stephen King. I won’t say who or what or which book; only that it’s super dark!

4. If you could describe yourself as one character in all of fiction, who would it be? 

I don’t remember how old I was when I read the book LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott. Probably around ten or eleven, but I do know it was the exact right age because I identified so strongly with Jo March I wanted to be just like her! It’s actually a large part of the reason I became a writer! Thankfully, beyond just wanting to be like Jo, I truly do love to write.

5. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Or both? 

I definitely do a bit of both. I started off as a pantser but then I had to rewrite the second half of Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and decided it might be worth it to take a little time and think things through beforehand. I’m not much of a planner in real life, so it’s easy for me to get off track, but in writing that’s where some of the best plot twists come from. I love unplanned detours both in writing and in daily life.

6. As a writer, are there any scenes that are hard for you to write? Were there a few in Love and Vandalism?

The toughest scenes aren’t always the deep emotional ones that make me reflect on painful parts of my past. In fact, those scenes are often the reason why I’m writing the book in the first place! Those connector scenes are the toughest where I know what needs to happen but I want to let things happen organically. I think the trick to writing any scene is to find an interesting way to get inside it, so even when I already know the outcome I can still let my characters dictate how to get there.

7. What’s the best compliment you have received as a writer? 

Having my agent believe in me and then having multiple editors say “I’d like to publish your book” is really the best feeling! I’ve been lucky to have some enthusiastic readers and really love it any time anyone says they enjoyed one of my books. I’m honestly just thrilled that people are willing to spend time with my characters! The only stories that really matter are the ones that are shared and I’m blessed for the opportunity to share some of mine. Thanks for reading!!

About the Author

laurie-boyle-crompton.jpg

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of ADRENALINE CRUSH (Macmillan/2014, Square Fish/2016), BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and the upcoming LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks/2013, 2014, 2017). Growing up in ‘Pennsyltucky’ in the 1980s, Laurie couldn’t wait to escape rural life. After saving up her tips from waitressing at a local greasy spoon at 18 she packed up her acid wash jeans and moved to NY. Where everyone else had stopped wearing acid wash.

She graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and a minor in Journalism. Since then she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, ‘toy expert’ is an actual profession. Really.

She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never going to Disney.

Laurie occasionally enjoys hanging out in fields of blooming flowers and also refering to herself in the third person.

Author links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Buy links 

Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

Thanks for reading, everyone!

–  Sumaya

Blog Tour: True Born Trilogy by L.E. Sterling (True Born Review)

About the Book

True Born by L.E. Sterling

Published on May 3rd, 2016

Published by Entangled Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary:

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood. 

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Purchase from the publisher’s site

Review

My rating: purple3

Hi again! Hope everyone is having a good week so far! In honour of the latest instalment of the True Born trilogy, True North, I’m here to review the first book itself! I’ve just finished reading True Born by L.E. Sterling, and even though I liked it overall, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It actually took me a while to finish it compared to most books I read, so maybe it had to do with that. However, I think my view of the characters and the way the exposition was handled had a lot to do with me liking the novel as well.

For instance, other than a handful of characters, I don’t think that anyone made a great impression on me throughout the novel. And that even includes our protagonist, Lucy. At times, I barely tolerated her, but there were a few moments where she caught my attention. Other than that, I also had a problem with her speech patterns because it was all over the place. Sometimes, Lucy would go from using prim and proper speech to talking regularly or in slang. And this isn’t just to different people, but in her thoughts as well. If she had stuck to one lane or the other, it would have been okay with me. But the mix in her dialogue and narrative was a bit jarring to read.

As for the exposition, while I know it’s needed for readers to gain context of the story’s world, at times it could be a bit too much, dumping information when readers could have been eased in. It felt odd at times, too, even random at one point. It’s probably why I was so slow reading this book in the beginning, because by the end of the novel, it was more fast-paced and easier to read.

The thing I liked about this book though was its world building. While the exposition surrounding Lucy and her sister Margot’s history wasn’t the greatest, the mythology surrounding the city of Dominion with a mix of science and magic was really cool. I liked seeing how that all fit together. That and learning about the Fox sisters’ puzzling DNA mystery was what made this book easier to read. It kept me going, wanting to know what would happen to them as well as what was happening to them. Overall, the book’s world building slightly redeemed the story, in my eyes.

Well, that’s all I have to say about True Born by L.E. Sterling. While I’ve got to admit that it wasn’t my favourites, it did hold an interesting appeal in terms of the world created between those pages. Hopefully this just sets the stage for book two! 😉 If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below. Thanks for reading, everybody!

–  Sumaya

About the Author

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter

Excerpt

Read the first 6 chapters HERE

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Book Blitz: True North by L.E. Sterling

About the Book:

True Born by L.E. Sterling

Published on May 3rd, 2016

Published by Entangled Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary:

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood. 

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Purchase from the publisher’s site

True North by L.E. Sterling

Published by Entangled Teen

Published April 4th, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary:

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase from the publisher’s site

About the Author:

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Author links: Website|Goodreads|Twitter

Excerpt: 

Read the first 6 chapters HERE

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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