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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Blog Tour- THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT By Melissa Grey Book Influences and a Giveaway!


I am so excited to be hosting a spot on THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT Blog Tour! I loved this book! It was a fantasy but it's set in the real world with bird like people and dragons! I fell hard for a certain dragon named Caius (when you read the book you'll see why). I have a post about Melissa's inspirations for the book. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of the book!

Haven't heard of THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT? Check it out!


Title: THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT
Author: Melissa Grey
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

ORDER A SIGNED COPY FROM BOOKS OF WONDER
For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants … and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Praise for THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT:


"Grey’s energetic debut offers a strong protagonist…[and the] well-built world, vivid characters, and perfect blend of action and amour should have readers eagerly seeking the sequel." — Kirkus Reviews, Starred

 "Sparks fly...This first novel will please fans of Cassandra Clare and Game of Thrones watchers with its remarkable world building; richly developed characters...[and] a breathtaking climax that...cannot come soon enough!""—Booklist starred review

"Inventive, gorgeous, and epic—Grey dazzles in her debut." — Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die

“A stunning debut. Equal parts atmosphere and adventure … positively divine.” – Victoria Schwab, author of A Darker Shade of Magic





Now on to the post!


Influences and The Girl at Midnight

Every author is influenced by something: books they've read, plays they've seen, movies they watched. We -- and the books we write -- evolve from the stories we've consumed throughout the years. Here are a few of the works (only 33% literary!) that influenced the world and characters of The Girl at Midnight.

1) NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman

I read this book when it came out ages ago (I was still in high school) and its stayed with me ever since. The idea of a subterranean world, hidden beneath the streets of one of the world's most populous cities, inhabited by creatures both magical and mundane captivated my imagination and the way Gaiman envisioned his world beneath London played a big role in how I approached the Avicen's home, the Nest, beneath the streets of New York.

2) STAR WARS

This one hardly needs an introduction. There's a reason for the enduring nature of its story -- spelled out nicely when you consider Joseph Campbell's THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES -- and I think the notion of a hero rising from unlikely circumstances is one of them. There is an element of fate to Luke Skywalker's story but more importantly, he is defined by the choices he makes. He chooses to do good in the face of overwhelming odds and that's a really powerful message.

3) FINAL FANTASY VII

This game was a life-changer for me. You can read more about how FF7 influenced my approach to storytelling in general but when it comes to The Girl at Midnight, it helped me develop my cast of characters. Having a strong protagonist is vital but it's just as important to have that person surrounded by a strong and diverse crowd. In FF7, Cloud was the central focus of the story but what would he be without Aeris, Tifa, Barrett, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Cid, Vincent, and Selphie? A lot less interesting, that's for sure.



About Melissa:

Melissa Grey was born and raised in New York City. She wrote her first short story at the age of twelve and hasn't stopped writing since. After earning a degree in fine arts at Yale University, she traveled the world, then returned to New York City where she currently works as a freelance journalist. To learn more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com and follow @meligrey on Twitter.












Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed Hardcover of THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT! US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the Tour Schedule!

Week One:
4/20/2015- Novel SoundsGuest Post
4/21/2015- CuddlebuggeryReview
4/22/2015- ParajunkeeInterview
4/23/2015- FiktshunReview
4/24/2015- Dahlia AdlerGuest Post

Week Two:
4/27/2015- Paperback PrincessReview
4/28/2015- Bookish BroadsInterview
4/29/2015- Mundie MomsReview
4/30/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
5/1/2015- Icey BooksReview

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Dying To Read (102)- THE SCORPION RULES by Erin Bow


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!

I just found out about this one over the weekend and had to add it to my TBR it sounds awesome!!!!



Title:THE SCORPION RULES
Author: Erin Bow
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Prefectures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Prefecture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace — even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive. 

Enter Elián Palnik, the Prefecture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Prefecture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages. 

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Release Day Blitz- AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir and a Giveaway!


I am so excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Sabaa herself!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some of those awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


A letter from Sabaa Tahir.


Dear Readers,

Today, my “baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,


Sabaa

Title: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 464
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.



When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.


Check out the book trailer!

About Sabaa:
Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.








Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. US Only.

3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! US Only.

Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, April 24, 2015

Blog Tour- ROOK by Sharon Cameron a Playlist and a Giveaway!


I am so excited to be hosting a spot on the ROOK Blog Tour! I loved this book! It was a dystopian that read like a high fantasy and I loved Rene! He was so swoonworthy!  I have Sharon'sSongs That Will Survive the Apocalypse playlist to share today. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of the book!

Haven't heard of ROOK? Check it out!


Title: ROOK
Author: Sharon Cameron
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 464
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she. 

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.


Check out the trailer!




Now on to the playlist! I added all the videos since Sharon was so nice and send me the embed codes! So just a warning this post is long and full of awesome!!!



Songs That Will Survive the Apocalypse
plus another 900 years or so

In my new novel ROOK, life as we know it has been lost to a shift of the magnetic poles. North is no longer north, and solar radiation has wiped away all digitized information, causing the total destruction of our infrastructure. Without recordings, or the ability to play recordings, and with the odd war or two on our hands, music would be a cultural casualty. But like any apocalypse, even a musical one, there are always survivors, right?

Sharon’s top ten Songs That Will Survive the Apocalypse, a list that probably no one on the planet will agree with, based on:

*vocal melody (since music would get passed on voice to voice)
*lyrics that could still be relatable, even if the world we know doesn’t exist anymore
*Sharon Cameron’s preference, or guilty pleasure, or songs that just plain amuse her.

STWSTA #1
Let It Be, the Beatles




Okay, this isn’t actually my favorite Beatles song. I’m a Strawberry Fields Forever kind of gal. But for sheer catchiness and subterranean hideaway singalongs, not sure you can beat this one.



STWSTA #2
Summertime, George Gershwin, a la Ella Fitzgerald




I refuse to believe the lush, soulful melody of this song could be forgotten, especially as sung by Ella. And the wistful memories of times gone by would be most apocalyptically appropriate, I think.



STWSTA #3
Take on Me, Aha


Because not even the end of the world can prevent an entire room from attempting those high notes.




STWSTA #4
Scarborough Faire, by who knows who. 


This one already has a six or seven hundred year track record, so I rest my case. I prefer this version by the Mediaeval Baebes, but Simon and Garfunkel’s is a classic…



STWSTA #5
Sweet Dreams, the Eurhythmics



Tell me you know someone who doesn’t sing along to this.


STWSTA #6
Fly me to the Moon, sung by Frank Sinatra


Cause, Sinatra!





STWSTA #7
Don’t Stop Believing, Journey


Because I won’t stop believin’ the apocalypse will never kill the power ballad.

STWSTA #8
Siúil a Rúin, Lothlórien


Yay for Celtic classics by New Zealand bands with Middle Earth names! (And yes I know these lyrics are Gaelic. But someone will just make up some others. They’ve been doing it for years…)

STWSTA #9
Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin


Not actually my very favorite Zeppelin (I have lots), but too many budding musicians the world over have learned this riff for it to ever really die.


STWSTA #10

Perfect day, Miriam Stockley


I just really, seriously love this song. Surely someone will remember it. Surely?


Songs that shouldn’t die, but probably will:

          I know. Sue me.

          So sue me twice.

          Sigh.

          Double sigh.



Something There, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

          
Could the world really be the same without this song/scene?



Groove is in the Heart, Dee-Lite

          
Seriously, we may never dance the same again.

“My love! They play McCartney!”
                                -René Hasard, ROOK



About Sharon:
Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.









Giveaway Details:

5 winners will receive a finished copy of ROOK courtesy of Scholastic. US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the Tour Schedule!

Week One:
4/20/2015- Xpresso ReadsInterview
4/21/2015- The Starry-Eyed RevueReview
4/22/2015- The Eater of Books!Guest Post
4/23/2015- Mundie MomsReview
4/24/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

Week Two:
4/27/2015- FiktshunReview
4/28/2015- BookishGuest Post
4/29/2015- Bumbles and Fairy-TalesReview
4/30/2015- Chapter by ChapterInterview
5/1/2015- Winterhaven BooksReview


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blog Tour- NOBODY'S GODDESS by Amy McNulty A Special Excerpt and a Giveaway!


Hey y'all! I have an awesome exclusive excerpt from Amy McNulty the author of the amazing High Fantasy book NOBODY'S GODDESS for you today! Oh and stick around for the giveaway!

Haven't heard of NOBODY'S GODDESS ? Check it out!



Title: NOBODY'S GODDESS
Author: Amy McNulty
Pub. Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 274
Formats: Paperback, eBook

In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.






Now on to the excerpt! 

A NOBODY’S GODDESS Scene from the Lord’s POV

If this did not go well, there would never again be an opportunity to gaze upon her through anything but this veil before my face. I had been a fool during that first meeting all those months prior, and it was only by her kindness and determination to keep her eyes shut that I still breathed.
          I was beginning to think it was a kindness I had imagined.
          We were eating now, and I had removed the veil I usually wrapped around my face, instead relying on a curtain of the same material that separated my end of the table from hers. That kept my face safe from the scorn in her eyes. That kept her beauty swathed in a haze of material through which I could never truly see her.
          She was not eating much. The food ought to have satisfied her. My servants were surely better cooks than her sister had been. I did not taste the stew the woman had offered, but I could tell from scent alone she had a long way to go before she could match the skill of one who had more years to perfect his art than she could imagine living. “Is the venison not to your liking?”
          The clink of her fork on the plate was too loud for it to have been an accident. I waited for her reply. There was none. “Olivière?” I asked instead.
Still, she did not answer. The end of the table at which she sat was far from my own end, and I strained to hear what she might be doing. Damn this veil. I could not see clear enough. My own appetite unsettled, I carefully set my knife and fork on my plate. “Olivière? Are you all right?”
There was no response. By now, that did not astonish me. I was certain my voice carried well enough over the length of the table in the cavernous room. She would not make any of this easy for me.
I motioned for the nearest servant to refill her drink, hoping for some sort of response, even if it just be for her to refuse my hospitality. She did not. Even through the veil, I could see her snatch the goblet out of the servant’s hand as she tossed her head back and downed the entire beverage at once.
Oh. She was choking. She was in danger. My goddess was…
 “Are you all right now?” My hands clutched the edge of the table so tightly, I almost tore the delicate lace. I could not go to help her, even if she were dying. I had to go, but I could not. I wanted to—but I would not. I could not risk it. I had to… “Olivière? Answer me!”
“Yes!” It was the first word she had spoken all evening—all day, since the moment she had arrived in my castle. The sound of her dropping the goblet onto the table was loud enough to make me think the glass had broken.
She was fine. But she had nothing more to say. I picked up the knife and fork again and went back to cutting the meat on my plate. If she refused to enjoy the resplendent meal before her, there was no reason I had to do the same.
Her response was to push her plate away from her.
I had to take a deep breath to calm my beating heart and that cursed notion inside of me to satisfy her every whim. She could not think she ruled over me like all of the rest of the goddesses did over their men in the village. She could not know how hard it was for me to stay calm. “Would you care for another dish for dinner?” I speared the meat on my plate with a little too much vigor, shoving the piece inside of my mouth to force myself to remain focused on the task instead of on that voice inside me that wanted me to worship her. That foolish voice that had almost gotten me killed the moment I had seen her trespass into my castle.
 “I’d like to be excused now.” Olivière pushed her chair back and stood.
Six of my servants moved toward her without my having to order them. Their primary instruction was my safety, even above the quiet forcefulness of obligation they or I might feel toward her as my goddess.
“Sit down,” I said. “Please.”
Her response sounded strained. “I’m not feeling well.”
I would not give in. I could not. If I let her know how easily she could harm me, if I gave her even the slightest indication that I valued her satisfaction over my own life—and damn it, there was a part of me that did just that, that cursed part of me, that cursed woman—she would never see me as her equal, as someone she could love. I attempted to keep eating, to diffuse the anger I knew she was feeling. The anger that seeped into my every pore, that cried out to be assuaged. “You have not eaten enough. Food will improve your temper.”
I could hear her take a deep breath, and I knew, before she even spoke, that the words she would say next would challenge all of my strength to resist her every whim.
“Let. Me. Leave.”
The fork fell from my hand and I held onto the table tightly if only to weigh myself down in my chair. I wanted to let her go. My servants were already complying without thinking, some making way for her to pass by. If she pushed it, she could walk outside the door and I would be powerless to stop her—and she would walk right past where I was seated, my face only protected by the veil that hung between us.
She could not know how much my every bone screamed out to gratify her. I would not have it.
I let go of the table, taking careful measures to draw in my bated breath quietly, so she would not hear the inner struggle. I picked up my napkin. “She means to let her retire from the dining hall for the night. And so shall I.” I dabbed at my face and felt my muscles relaxing. Yes. I could do this. I could interpret her commands in such a way she might be satisfied but might not be tempted to use her power over me so often, so harshly. She wanted to leave, and I would let her. We could end this first dinner together pleasantly. There was hope for me. For us. For this village.
The servants sensed my calm and went back to their work attending to me. One picked up the fork I had let fall from my fingers, while the others formed a line between me and the doorway, keeping me from view should Olivière immediately exit.
She did not.  “No, that’s not the full extent of my wishes,” she said, a strange falseness to her voice. “Let—”
“Do not speak further!” My hands shook. My legs would not support me. I leaned against the table with my fists, forgetting for a moment how I came to be standing, how the veil curtain wafted as if in a breeze. A servant righted my chair behind me. I must have knocked it down trying to stop her from speaking.
My words had been so loud, they continued to echo against the walls.
She would not let that be the end of it. “I don’t think you understand how this works—”
“Silence!”
“No! Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re supposed to mean to me? I don’t even know you. I don’t want to be here, and you’re expecting me to perform the Returning!”
That felt like a rather low blow. When I had so foolishly thought today would be our Returning, that today I would be free of this curse, free of this veil, free of… I was blinded by these feelings I had for her. Feelings I never asked for. I pounded the table with both of my fists. “Was it not you who first sought me out?”
She flung her hands around her wildly. “Not for this! I never asked to be your goddess! I just wanted—” She stopped suddenly.
I knew what she had wanted. “You wished to free your friend so you could steal him from his goddess.” I summoned the nearest servants, and they went to her side, escorting her by the arms. I could not look at her. I could not stop my heart from pounding. It was maddening. She had not asked to be my goddess? I had not asked for it to be her. I was so tired of this. Of hope. Of everything. “How unfortunate that I was unable to help you with such a generous act.”
I would have to show her. There seemed to be no other way to win her love, to get this wretched existence over with. I moved toward the doorway, knowing my servants would step in to protect my face from her if she did not think to stop them. They did, wrapping my veil over my head, pinning it at my shoulder and placing my hat atop it before I appeared around the other side of the curtain.
Now the whole world was veiled to me, but that was the price I had to pay for movement around the eyes of one who would not love me.
I exited the room first, leading the way. “Come with me!” I heard her struggling to escape from my servants’ escort behind me, but I did not hesitate.
“Stop!” she screamed.
I stopped. I had no choice. There was such power and anger in that one word.
“Let me—”
She could kill me, if I let her.
“Silence her!” I ordered, and one of the servants holding her produced a piece of the veil material from his pocket and wrapped it around her mouth. She stared at me as it happened, and it was as if she were studying the veil keeping me from her, keeping her forever in a haze before my eyes, looking for a rip through which she could send me to my death.
The look pained me. My whole body hurt.
I walked forward again. I had stopped when she had asked me to stop, after all. I was under no obligation to stay that way.
My legs throbbed with the effort it took to move forward, knowing as I did, beneath my conscious thought, I was disobeying her desire.
Stop her from speaking, and I will not have to hear of her desire. Let me show her that she is not the only one here with desires. Let me show her that she has a reason to be grateful to me. Let me show her the gift I would have happily bestowed upon her today, if she had been willing to perform the Returning.



About Amy:

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.










Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads







Giveaway Details:


Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty (INT)



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Go to Chapter by Chapter to check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!


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