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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cover Reveal- ENSNARED by AG Howard and an EPIC Giveaway!!!!

FINALLY! The day has come! I am so happy to have AG Howard here to reveal the whole ENSNARED cover!! Ooh she's a tease too! You'll have to work to see it! Make sure you read the whole post and enter the 

I've already made you wait long enough, so without further adieu, here's the cover:


Nice, right? Did you see what's above the title? 
"A Splintered Novel" 

How cool is that? Hehe

Okay, okay.  You're right.

There's more to see. 

Let's get to the real deal. Scroll down...

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WAIT! Let's peek inside the book. 

Just teasing. Go on and skip ahead; just be sure to come back up later and read this for fun + extra rafflecopter points. :)

What I love most about this book? Alyssa definitely comes into her own, embracing both her strength and her madness. And she doesn’t take any time getting around to the business at hand. 

In the very first chapter she’s standing inside the memory train, silently contemplating how her dad will be affected by being reunited with his disturbing past, and her strength and determination shines through in her thoughts:

It’s better Dad face that memory alone. Otherwise, he might try to protect me. And I don’t need it any more than he does. It took me losing my mind to gain my perspective. If that’s what it takes for him, too, so be it.

YEAH. Go go crazy Alyssa!

This book is my favorite of the series because all of the characters, not just Alyssa, come full circle and embrace who they’re meant to be and the roles they’re meant to play to keep Wonderland alive and thriving. Even when it means sacrificing or compromising dreams they once had or things they held dear.  No one walks away unchanged or unscathed. And that’s exactly how a final book should be. 

Also, here are some “Carrollian” elements you can expect to see warped and woven into book three: 

• Red and White Knights 
• Gryphon
• Rock lobsters from "The Lobster Quadrille"
• The lion and the unicorn
• The Caucus Race
• Bill the Lizard
• Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat poem
• The Queen of Hearts

Now, back to our regularly scheduled reveal . . .

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*pauses to lick screen*


Awesome things that I ❤ or tie into the story:
the subtle glow in Jeb's eyes
jeweled elfin markings
 painted heart patch
harlequin effect
vicious vines
heart cards
those LIPS
the colors

It was no small feat coming up with this final result, and it took lots of back and forth this time. Of all the covers of this series, Ensnared was the most difficult to perfect.  

First, we struggled over finding the right model. The designer/artist team (Maria Middleton & Nathalia Suellen) use stock photos for the cover models. The guy we chose originally -- although he was cute -- wasn't quite Jeb, even after we did a lot of tweaking and inserted the image into a fancy vine and bug filled background.

First guy's eyes were too evil/werewolfish. He looked too old. His straight hair too boy-band, and his expression too dangerous. To sum it up, seductive as he was, he wasn't in keeping with Jeb's appearance and character type in the books. My Splintered skater boy has a genuineness and a gentleness of spirit that needed to be captured on his face. Also, the first model was so dark and intense, he looked out of place with the whimsical, subtle madness of the other two covers. 

Continuity is crucial in the covers of a series, especially when it comes to getting bookseller support. That's why, when the original mock-up with this model was accidentally leaked a few weeks ago, I panicked. I'm so grateful to all of you for helping us smother that fire. (And sorry, I'm not allowed to show you the wrong cover for legal reasons). 

SO, the model we finally decided on was this guy: 

Like the other one, he's a stock photo (I bought this pic for myself so I could display it). 

This model was spot on. Dark wavy hair, soulful green eyes, full lips. He already looked like Jebediah -- my young skater boy and an unassuming tortured artist -- without any tweaking at all.

The trick was making his cover magical.

Taking his image, the design team did their photo manipulation hocus-pocus and added some heart cards at my suggestion so we could weave in the Wonderland-ish element of the Queen of Hearts. Then came the elfin knight markings and the heart-shaped spatter of red paint across his eye (which both fit perfectly with other elements of the story).

All that was left were some last minute touches so Jeb would look less like a regular dude and more like a Splintered one. They lightened his skin to a glowing finish so his face wouldn't blend into the background, and would leap out from the vines. The resulting "watercolor" effect mirrored the artistic/eerie/magical feel of the other covers. It also gave Jeb a sexy harlequin vibe which is perfect for reasons I won't disclose. You'll have to read the story to find out why. *chuckles and wrings hands maniacally*

The final result = Stunning. ❤(◕‿-)❤

I adore how the three covers look together:

Not only do the vines and bugs bind them, but each character has something unique about their eyes ... Alyssa's is hidden under strands of hair, Morpheus has a netherling marking, and Jeb has a heart-shaped smudge. Also, their personalities are reflected in their faces and the colors of their covers. 

  • Alyssa, one eye wide-open and surrounded by writhing greenery: naive with an untapped wildness under the surface.

  • Morpheus, debonair, magical with a dreamy glint in his mischievous gaze: controlled chaos. 

  • Jeb, tortured expression and intense eyes: a gentle artist at war with fiery passions and an unrelenting drive to be a better man than his father.

It's so amazing when it all comes together. I couldn't have asked for more beautiful and fitting covers for this series, and I'm so grateful to the incredibly talented team behind them!

Also, I'm grateful to all of you... 

Without such faithful readers, I would never have had the opportunity to write three books in the twisted Carroll-esque world.  

(Side note: I'm not closing the door on the possibility of more Splintered themed books in the future. I love the characters and world too much to leave forever. I'm just taking a short break to work on a couple of other stories whose characters are demanding my attention at the moment.)

Now, to thank you all properly, here's that huge INTL giveaway I promised, which includes an Ensnared ARC (FYI: the ARCs won't be printed until mid to late fall, so whoever wins the grand prize will have a few months to wait). 

Also, one of my FAB writer pals, Lisa Ann O'Kane, threw in a gorgeous signed paperback. Her book, Essence, debuts with Strange Chemistry in June and is a riveting contemp young adult about a girl trapped between cult societies, set in beautiful Yosemite Park. More info can be found here on Amazon.

Other prizes are posted below, as is the rafflecopter. 

Thanks so much for hanging with us the past week and being patient! I hope it was worth the wait, and I look forward to sharing more teasers and excerpts with you in the months leading up to the launch.

Good luck in the giveaways!


Signed Ensnared ARC
Will be mailed mid-late fall

First Prize:
Signed Splintered/Unhinged limited edition flip ARC
Contents: Full Splintered novel + Unhinged Sample chap 

Second Prize (2-bk pack):
1 Signed Splintered Paperback


1 Signed Essence Paperback 
Find out more on Amazon.com

Third Prize:
Death Head Moth Necklace

Fourth Prize:
Splintered Series swag pack:
1 signed bookmark -- Splintered + Unhinged  front, Ensnared back;
1 AiW gift tag; and 1 personalized/signed bookplate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the book that started it all!!!

AG Howard
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books (Abrams)

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Title: UNHINGED (A Splintered Novel #2)
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 400

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

About A.G. Howard
A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Dying to Read (57)- PRINCESS OF THORNS by Stacey Jay

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!

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales???? Yes please sign me up! And I love Stacey so I can't wait to read it!!

Release Date: December 9, 2014
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
ISBN: 978-0385743228
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?
With the help of Tane, a tattooed harpoon boy from the Pacific Islands, Avery plots her escape from her mother and unravels the mysteries of her mother’s and grandmother’s pasts. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected—one she might not be able to make.

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blog Tour- THE LOVELY AND THE LOST by Page Morgan a scene from Nolan and a Giveaway!

Page Morgan is here today and I am stoked! I love her books and today we get a scene from my favorite character in her THE DISPOSSESSED series, Nolan!!!! Check it out and make sure to enter the awesome giveaway below!

Haven't heard of THE LOVELY AND THE LOST? Check it out!

Author: Page Morgan
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Pages: 368

For readers of Lauren Kate's Fallen series comes the sequel to The Beautiful and the Cursed, The Lovely and the Lost finds the Waverly sisters in mortal danger and able to trust no one.
   Ingrid and Gabby Waverly moved to France expecting a quiet reprieve from London gossip, but the truth they face in their new home has a sharper—and deadlier—sting.
   Paris is plagued by an underworld of demons and gargoyles who all seem to want something from the Waverly girls. Saving Ingrid's twin, Grayson, from the fallen angel Axia nearly killed them. And they're still being hunted—only this time, demons aren't their only predators.
   Ingrid's blood is special: it bestows the power to command gargoyles. It's an ability no other human has, and in the wrong hands, it could be used to send her cursed guardian, Luc, and his fellow Dispossessed to extinction. There are those who will do anything to get Ingrid's blood—and they see no value in human life.
   The Alliance has vowed to protect the Waverlys, and a new gargoyle has been assigned to guard their abbey home alongside Luc. But no one can watch over Ingrid, Gabby, and Grayson all the time—which means the three must learn to fight for themselves.
   Because darkness follows the Waverlys. And sometimes darkness comes in the form you trust the most.

Now on to the Nolan's POV!

Nolan had never been one for organized religion. He had his own beliefs, his own devotions. As he led Gabby toward the abbey’s ambulatory he touched the hilt of his sword at his hip. Demon hunting was a religion of a kind, Nolan supposed, and he knew Gabby was far more interested in his religion than in anything this relic of stained glass and stone had once offered to its parishioners.

The stubborn lass had convinced Chelle to train her while Nolan had been in Rome, and yes, he was angry. Nolan wanted Gabby with him—at his side, not someone else’s—when she learned how to fight demons. Now his damned father had tried to dismiss her, but Gabriella Waverly would never walk away from something she wanted. He admired her for that.

They reached the curve in the ambulatory, just underneath the great rose window, and Nolan brought Gabby to a stop. She parted her lips, ready to say something—argue about something, he suspected. He pulled her behind one of the marble columns and covered her mouth with his.

Kissing her felt like breathing again for the first time in a month, ever since he’d left for Rome. He’d hated leaving her in Paris. He’d known she’d be at the abbey, on safe, consecrated ground, recovering from the injuries to her face, but he’d still worried.

“You’re not angry?” she asked when he pulled away to drag in a breath of air. It wasn’t nearly as sweet as her mouth.

“Furious,” he replied, then kissed her again. He wound his arms around her hips and brought her closer. He realized he wanted her as close to him as possible.

“You don’t seem furious.”

Nolan had kept his eyes partly open as he’d kissed her, and now saw relief tugging at the corner of her mouth. With her eyes still closed, she looked like a cat, sunbathing in a window. He laughed.

“All right. I’m jealous. I wanted to be the one to train you.” Honesty was always easy with Gabby.

She opened her eyes, the grin fading. “But you can’t. Your father won’t allow me to join the Alliance.”

Nolan leaned his forehead against hers. His father was a bloody idiot. “My da’s decision is final, so no, lass, you can’t join the Alliance. Not yet.” He brushed the tip of her pert little nose with his. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep learning how to fight. If it’s done between us, in private, there’s no reason anyone else has to know.”

She lifted her lips to his. Nolan took her answer as a resounding yes. He captured her bottom lip. More privacy would be nice. He searched the few alcove chapels behind them, his eyes alighting on an old confessional booth. Its doors were still intact. Perfect.

“Do you have anything you wish to confess?” he whispered in her ear.

He felt her stiffen, then draw back. He kept his eyes on the confessional and she quickly took his meaning. He guided her into the alcove chapel.

“You’re wicked. May I remind you that we are in a house of the Lord?”

Balderdash. He continued toward the confessional. “And how hospitable of him. Look, he’s provided us a room of our very own.”

He enjoyed teasing her, hearing her little huffs of pretend impatience. The confessional door swung open with one push. He was wicked but he didn’t care. He had Gabby back beside him and he intended to use every moment wisely.

She rose onto her toes and kissed him again. “If you’ll remain a gentleman?”

He brought her fully into the confessional, and as he kissed the column of her neck, closed the door partway. He had her right where he wanted her. “Define gentleman.”

Thanks so much Amy for sharing this about the magic in the series!

About Page:
I’m the author of The Beautiful & The Cursed, a young adult novel about two sisters who, on their mission to find their missing brother, discover a veiled world of gargoyles and demons in the city of Paris. I’m currently writing the second and third novels in this series, which saps most of my brainpower. I live in New England with my husband and our three children, along with our ancient dog and arrogant cat, quickly sap the rest of it. I accept virtual gifts of coffee, chocolate, and cupcakes.

Giveaway Details:

1 signed paperback of THE BEAUTIFUL &THE CURSED and a signed hardcover of THE LOVELY & THE LOST plus signed swag (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:
5/12/2014- Dark Faerie TalesGuest Post
5/13/2014- Alice Marvels - Guest Post
5/14/2014- Lili's ReflectionsReview
5/15/2014- Book SwoonReview
5/16/2014- FiktshunInterview Luc

Week Two:
5/19/2014- Bookhounds YAReview
5/20/2014- YaReadsReview
5/21/2014- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
5/22/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post-Nolan
5/23/2014- Refracted Light ReviewsInterview

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