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Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Tour- TALON by Julie Kagawa and a Giveaway!

Hey y'all I'm thrilled to be a host on the TALON blog tour! I adore Julie Kagawa and when I was asked to participate I was honored and said heck yeah! I have an interview with the Main Character, Ember for you today so check it out and get to know her better before you read the book. Oh and make sure to stick around and enter the giveaway! 

Haven't heard of TALON? Check it out!

Title: TALON
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pub. Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, audio
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Now on to the interview!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Sure!  My name is Ember Hill, I have a twin brother named Dante, I like surfing, action movies, volleyball, junk food, and fire.  And flying.  I guess I should also mention that I'm a dragon.  But I'm not really supposed to tell anyone that, so you didn't hear it from me.

2. What's your favorite thing about being a dragon?

Flying, definitely flying.  Nothing else really compares.  Surfing is the closest I can come right now, but if I could be myself without fear, I'd go flying every day.

3. Why do you spend so much time in human form?

It's for our protection.  We have to hide our true forms from the Order of St. George, who are crazy genocidal dragonslayers and who would murder us till we died from it.  Also, if a twenty foot dragon walked into a gas station looking for munchies, there would probably be a panic.

4.  Who is your best friend?

My brother, Dante.  He can be a little...uptight, and doesn't like breaking the rules.  But growing up, it was always us against the world, and I know he'll always be on my side.  Even if he thinks I act crazy sometimes.

5. What are you looking forward to this summer, now that you'll be living among humans?

Just...well, everything, really.  Waking up when I want to.  Not having to be in Human Training classes all the time.  Meeting other people my age.  Finally having some fun.  Yeah, sounds about perfect to me.

Thanks Ember for stopping by!

About Julie:

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon puppy.

Find Julie Online:

“Catch the Dragon Contest”: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, a dragon will appear on a different blog and stay there for 48hrs. Once you have found the dragon, click on it and you will be directed to a Rafflecopter entry form for the Grand Prize Giveaway! To enter, you must answer the daily question found at the tour stop!!!

Where could the dragon appear? On all Book Blogger Tour Hosts and The Harlequin Paranormal Blog, so go now and catch yourself a dragon! Will you find it? And will you be able to keep it?

“Catch the Dragon” - Question: 

Which of Julie's swoon worthy male characters would you most like to meet in real life?

Giveaway Info:
Each tour stop is offering up a finished copy of TALON!

Five lucky grand prize winners will receive one of Julie’s amazing dragon figurines as well as some fun signed swag. To enter for the grand prize, you MUST follow the tour each day, find and catch the dragon, and answer the daily question.

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

Thursday, October 2nd – Harlequin Blog

Monday, October 6th – Jessica at Step into Fiction
Wednesday, October 8th – Katie’s Book Blog
Friday, October 10th – Page Turners

Monday, October 13th – Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, October 15th – Mundie Moms
Friday, October 17th – Fiktshun

Monday, October 20th – Two Chicks on Books
Wednesday, October 22nd – YA Interrobang

Friday, October 24th – Supernatural Snark

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blog Tour- SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch and a Giveaway

Hey y'all I'm so excited to have Sara Raasch here today to talk about the map in SNOW LIKE ASHES!! This book is one of my absolute favorites of 2014 it's an amazing high fantasy with a badass MC and swoonworthy boys! Plus Sara is an awesome writer and I have a feeling I'll be adding this series to my list of top 10 high fantasies of all time! Oh and make sure to stick around and enter the giveaway! 

Haven't heard of SNOW LIKE ASHES? Check it out!

Author: Sara Raasch
Pub. Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Now on to the post!

Today, I would like to share with the lovely readers of Two Chicks on Books a behind-the-scenes trip into one of my favorite parts of SNOW LIKE ASHES:

The map!

The lovely map you see in copies of SLA today was not always so lovely. It, like the book, evolved over many drafts.

The first one came when I was a wee authorling authoring the first draft of SLA. I was INTO IT in an intense, over-the-moon obsessed way. I spent HOURS drawing pictures, sketching maps, constructing castle layouts, etc.

Thus, this first map is DETAILED. And really, really wrong for how the world is laid out now. Like the only thing similar to how Primoria actually is are a few of the kingdoms and the positions of the bodies of water.

The next attempt came once I started rewriting SNOW LIKE ASHES a few years back. I had to rework the map, and as such, a better attempt at a map was born…

And by better, I mean...only slightly. This is what happens when you take someone who thinks they have graphic design skill and give them Microsoft Paint.

LOOK AT MY BLOBBY TREES. I'm sorry, but those are the most realistic blobby trees I've ever seen.

And, for the final map...*drum roll*

Somehow, out of all that craziness, the amazing artist Jordan Saia created this work of gloriousness that made me tear up just as much as my cover.

Okay, okay, his trees are WAY better. Really, his everything is way better. I MEAN LOOK AT IT.

Thanks Sara for the awesome post! I love the backstory for the map the final product is gorgeous!

About Sara:

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

Find Sara Online:

Giveaway Details:

4 Winners will receive SNOW LIKE ASHES swag packs Two post cards, two bookmarks, SLA buttons, and a bag of instant snow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

Week One:
10/6/2014- BookishInterview
10/7/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Review
10/8/2014- Bewitched BookwormsGuest Post
10/9/2014- Fictitious DeliciousReview
10/10/2014- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview

Week Two:
10/13/2014- Fiction FreakReview
10/14/2014- Dark Faerie TalesInterview
10/15/2014- FiktshunGuest Post
10/16/2014- IceyBooksReview
10/17/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dying to Read (75)- THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER by Melinda Salisbury

Hey y’all thanks for stopping by to see my Dying to Read post and of course as always I have to give credit to the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine for the Waiting on Wednesday Meme!

It have seen this around on twitter and some of my friends have already gotten their hands on a copy and they're loving it! So I knew I had to add it to my TBR besides the stunning cover the story sounds really interesting!!1

Melinda Salisbury
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0545810623
A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

16-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

So what do you think? Will you be adding this to your pile? What are you dying to read this week?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday (1)- Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

Hi and welcome to my first Top 10 Tuesday post! I've seen this one around the blogosphere for a while now and I've always wanted to participate. So I finally saw a topic that caught my eye and I thought... "Hey why not?" Thanks to the lovely ladies at The Broke And The Bookish for creating this weekly meme!

Here's this week's topic.

October 14: Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit (whether fictional or real)

1. Sitia and Ixia from Maria V. Snyder's STUDY and GLASS books. This is my favorite high fantasy series of all time and I want to visit these vividly imagined magical lands and of course meet Valek, Janco, Ari, Leif, Yelena, Opal, and all the other characters!

2. Cane from Claire Legrand's WINTERSPELL! This book is one of my favorites of 2014 and the land of Cane is as beautiful as it is dangerous. I would love to visit and maybe party with the fey.

3. The Multiverses from Claudia Gray's A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU! Another favorite of 2014!!!!!! Especially the Russiaverse! It's a rich and opulent version of Russia! I would love to visit the winter palace and also a certain Daca lol. Ooooh the water world would be fun also!

4. Wonderland but not Lewis Carroll's version. I want to go to A.G. Howard's Wonderland from her SPLINTERED Series. Another beautifully written dark and dangerous world. I may get eaten by a plant but hell even though I'm Team Jeb I want to hang out with Morpheus and his fae friends.

5. Beau Rivage from Sarah Cross's BEAU RIVAGE series. A place where fairy tales and curses are real? I love this series and this town and let the fae curse me if it means I'd find my Blue lol.

6. St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. From Robin Bridges KATERINA Series. I have always been fascinated with Russian history and the Romanov Family and add a hint of magic? I'm so there!

7. Sleepy Hollow, NY. I've always wanted to visit this place! I love Washington Irving's story and when I read Jessica Verday's THE HOLLOW series it reminded me that I want to visit. I also love the TV series!

8. Hogwarts from HARRY POTTER. Although I'd rather live there than just go visit.

9. Camelot. From Mary Stewart's ARTHURIAN SAGA. This is one of my all time favorite series and I've always wanted to travel back in time to meet Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, and the knights of the Round Table.

10. Narnia from C. S. Lewis's THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series. I've wanted to go there since I was a kid and as an adult it hasn't changed. 

So this is just a bit of my list there's plenty more but I kept it to 10. What about you? What are some places books have made you want to visit?

And come back next week for The Top New Series I Want To Start!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Blog Tour- THE FALL by Bethany Griffin and a Giveaway!

Hey y'all I'm thrilled to have Bethany Griffin here today she's brought her favorite quotes from her new Poe inspired book, THE FALL! If you read her debut series The Masque of the Red Death you'll know that Poe heavily inspires her writing! I love her books they're beautifully written and dark and haunting! Oh and make sure to stick around and enter the giveaway! 

Haven't heard of THE FALL? Check it out!

Title: THE FALL 
Author: Bethany Griffin
Pub. Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Now on to the post!

Top Ten quotes from The Fall….There actually seem to be 11 here, including one fairly long one. Hahaha that's ok the more the merrier!

Reaching up, my trembling hand gets just a few inches before my fingers touch cool stone. I blink. My lashes spider-touch my cheeks, and then that touch is gone, so my eyes must be open. The dull, compressed darkness is so absolute that I cannot see my shaking hand, even as I bend my elbow and press my fingers against my right eye, and then my left—gently, very gently—to make certain both still rest in their sockets pgs. 1-2.

I throw back my head and scream. Somewhere in the house above, there is one who hears me. The one who buried me alive. Pg 4.

I pad across my room to the heavy wooden door. Through the floor I can hear the house breathing. I position a thick book to keep the door from swinging more than half open.
My candle flickers. I must have the door positioned correctly before it goes out.
Taking two steps back, I survey the room. The half-open door still feels…wrong. I adjust it, nudging the book with my foot. It creaks louder than a door should when moved so slightly.  I rest my hand against the wood—too long because feelings seep into me that are not my own.
The house wants me to open the door. To put the book back on the bureau, to straighten the rug. The house hates closed doors.
But completely open doors are as terrifying as being closed in with…whatever might find its way into my room. There are things, living and dead, creeping through these halls, and I’d rather they ignore me as I sleep… Pgs 5-6.

The stories are part of this place; they flutter around me like moths, dark and bloated, the size of my father’s hand.  Pg 7.

Roderick laughs as the wind blows old autumn leaves down from the overhanging eaves of the house, and they scatter around us like dismal confetti. Pg 43.

I touch the skirt of my dress, where the lace has deteriorated. Something about a hole in lace asks to be touched and expanded. Like a half-healed wound.  Pg 52.

I’m lying in Roderick’s arms.  The knife is on the floor, and I see blood on his white shirt, but I feel nothing. The house wanted this, but I don’t know why.
“The house isn’t haunted,” he says. “But I am.” Pg 137.

I look even closer. Now I see my flower garden, a verdant clearing, and at its center, a lone dandelion. My own garden at the beginning of spring. The picture has changed to encompass the small changes I’ve made.

Hope surges within me. I can change the future if I want to badly enough. Pg 152.

The candles flicker out, one by one, and a loud creaking sounds from all around us, as if the room is rearranging itself. Roderick grasps my shoulder in the sudden darkness. At the same time, Dr. Winston’s hand brushes my side and then falls away.  Pg 262.

The machine is pumping, pumping, pumping. The bellows puff air in and out. Something moves through miles of tubing, slow and sluggardly. It is my blood. I look down at my wrist. It is dripping; one drop after another falls into a wide pan below me, and then funnels into more tubing. It’s all made of sheep’s guts, I know, because I asked Dr. Winston once. Pg 305.

Roderick and I are lying on the floor of the drawing room. We are reflected in the great baroque mirror that covers the interior wall. The top of my head meets the top of his head, and we create a straight line. He has let his hair grow out a little, and our hair, twined together against the black rug, sparkles. It is impossible to tell which is his and which is mine. Pg 337.

Thanks Bethany for the awesome post! I love all of these quotes!

About Bethany:

Bethany Griffin is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She is the author of HANDCUFFS, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, GLITTER AND DOOM, and THE FALL. She lives with her family in Kentucky.

Giveaway Details: 

1 Grand Prize- A Poe Prize Pack with a Raven Scarf, Necklace, Candle, and a signed hardcover of THE FALL and a signed bookmark! US Only

3 Signed Hardcovers of THE FALL and signed bookmarks International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

Week One:
9/29/2014- Bookish- Interview
9/30/2014- A Glass of WineGuest Post
10/1/2014- Stories & SweetiesReview
10/2/2014- Novel NoviceReview
10/3/2014- Burning Impossibly BrightInterview

Week Two:
10/6/2014- Fiction FreakReview
10/7/2014- Once Upon a TwilightGuest Post
10/8/2014- WinterHaven BooksReview
10/9/2014- Fiktshun- Interview
10/10/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

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