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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Blog Tour- THE SKY THRONE by Chris Ledbetter An Interview & Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for THE SKY THRONE by Chris Ledbetter! I have an interview with Chris to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!


Haven't heard of THE SKY THRONE? Check it out!

Title: THE SKY THRONE
Author: Chris Ledbetter
Pub. Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 292
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks
Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.


"Destined to have a sequel or two, young teens will appreciate the story, and teachers will appreciate that it instructs readers about the pantheon of gods."--Kevin Beach, VOYA Magazine



Now on to the interview!


Hey Chris! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! THE SKY THRONE was freaking AWESOME and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

Thanks for having me. J

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about THE SKY THRONE and the characters?

The story obviously centers around Zeus, but it boasts an ensemble cast. All of the teenaged Olympians are present and accounted for. And I loved inhabiting these characters. The Sky Throne is the first installment in an origin series about how all of the deities we know and love came into being.

So since this is a series do you have a title for book 2 yet?

The title for Book II in the series is tentatively named The High Court.

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

None of them were really patterned after particular people in real life. Though, I will say that many of the characters are composites of people I’ve run across in life while still remaining true to canonical characteristics of the deities themselves.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

I actually loved writing Hestia and Hera. I really didn’t have a least favorite. Though, I’m not a huge fan of Atlas. Haha.

What is your favorite passage/scene in THE SKY THRONE?

My favorite scene is when Zeus finally sits on THE Sky Throne. Whoa Nelly! I love that scene.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I have at least fifteen books on Greece and/ or Greek mythology that I’ve devoured. I also spent countless hours researching various aspects and facets online. I even researched things like flowers native to Crete in fall, how the ancient Greeks would lighten their hair, and what type of cosmetics were used in ancient Greece.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend/girlfriend?

I’m not sure that I have a book boyfriend, per se. Though I will concede that Poseidon is probably the hunkiest guy at MO Prep. Now, as for book girlfriend Hera, hands down. Love her!

But I suppose that’s for The Sky Throne. As for a book girlfriend outside of my own stories, I am totally crushing on Cassie Colesworth from Martina Boone’s COMPULSION and also Ryan Sharpe from Tracy Clark’s MIRAGE!

What inspired you to write YA?

After teaching high school for 6 years, I got an idea of how they think and act. And besides, I know there are a lot of reluctant readers out there. I was one. I want to reach them.

Lightening Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Ember In The Ashes and Red Queen are at the top of my TBR pile.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

Hufflepuff

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook

Favorite Superhero?

Iron Man

Favorite TV show?

Game of Thrones

Sweet or Salty?

Salty

Any Phobias?

I have a slight fear of heights and I’m not exactly afraid of spiders, but I do hate them!

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

Bounce Back.

2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?

WONDER WOMAN!!!!!


Thanks so much Chris for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read THE SKY THRONE!



About Chris: 

Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly “walked-on” to the best drum line in the conference without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now.

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He’s worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. He taught high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, and also coached football.

He has walked the streets of Los Angeles and New York City, waded in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and climbed Diamond Head crater on Hawaii and rang in the New Year in Tokyo, Japan. But he dreams of one day visiting Greece and Italy.




Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
4/17/2017- Rockin' Book ReviewsGuest Post
4/17/2017- Reading for the Stars and MoonReview

4/18/2017- LILbooKloversInterview
4/18/2017- Sophie RiggsbyReview

4/19/2017- Don't Judge, ReadInterview
4/19/2017- Book Review BeccaReview

4/20/2017- Month9BooksExcerpt
4/20/2017- Zach's YA ReviewsReview

4/21/2017- YA and WineInterview
4/21/2017- Kim Harnes, AuthorReview

Week 2:
4/24/2017- Jennifer EatonGuest Post
4/25/2018- So Few BooksInterview
4/26/2018- Never Too Many To ReadGuest Post

4/27/2018- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
4/27/2018- I am not a bookworm!Review

4/28/2018- Mundie MomsReview

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Scavenger Hunt- THE LAST MAGICIAN by Lisa Maxwell About the Mageus & Enter The Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting as part of the official street team for Lisa Maxwell's THE LAST MAGICIAN!!! For the rest of April 8 bloggers including myself will be posting quizzes, excerpts, character descriptions, etc. During the  next few weeks there will be clues in some of the posts for you to enter into a rafflecopter for extra entries in the giveaway! 

This week you get to learn about the different kinds of magic/magicians in the book so make sure to go to all the blogs! All sites this week have a HIGHLIGHTED WORD in their post make sure to stop by all the blogs and get all the words for your special entry this week! And don't forget to share on social media using the #TheLastMagician hashtag!


Haven't heard of THE LAST MAGICIAN? Check it out!

Title: THE LAST MAGICIAN
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Pages: 512
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover & eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she's been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta's training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

Join The Devil's Own Street Team!

Are you are a reader or blogger interested in being a part of The Devil's Own, a group of readers who will compete with one another to win exclusive swag and prizes as we spread the word about THE LAST MAGICIAN?

If you're interested in being contacted in April, fill out this FORM!

About the Mageus:

The truth is, there has always been magic in the world, because magic is that substance which binds existence together. Magic exists in the spaces, and over time there were those with an affinity for calling to it, manipulating magic and the very bonds the hold the world together. They are Mageus, and once they were revered. They were shamans and healers, the holy people and sorcerers who guided the well-being of ancient peoples.

Magic has always been genetic, passed from parent to child in unpredictable ways. Like a talent, magic must be nurtured and honed, and over time different and different peoples developed magics that suited them and their situations.

But with the advent of science and the birth of the Enlightenment, magic came under attack. During the Disenchantment, witch hunts and inquisitions searched out the most powerful Mageus and destroyed them. Those who escaped were driven into the shadows, hiding their powers and what they were. Some left, fleeing persecuting and attempting to start new lives in new lands. Some hid their magic, refusing to teach their children, and over time, people forgot what the world had once been.

Many, however, remembered and protected their affinities, keeping who and what they were a secret. Those who left, risked everything, for magic has a way of taking root. Magic is strongly linked to place, and magic is collective. As people move and leave, affinities often become weakened or forgotten, until they were no more than talents. And for many, affinities and magic itself became nothing more than a myth.

Contrary to what many (like those in the Order) believe, magic is not elemental. Because magic is part of the very making of the world, there is no easy or safe way to divide up its existence. Moreover, the affinity of any one Mageus is highly individualized, and it's rare to find any two Mageus who can do the same thing. An affinity might be strong (like a superpower) or weak (like a talent); it might be highly specific or more broad.

Affinities must be honed and developed, like any other born talent. They are as singular as fingerprints, but, in general, they tend to fall along the following lines:

The Living: Mageus with this affinity will have the ability to influence the material components of living things. Whether human, animal, or plant, those with an affinity for the living can call to the magic in living tissue. This type of Mageus might simply be a talented gardner, or they might be able to make flowers bloom on command. They might be attuned to healing the sick, or they might be able to make the blood in a person's veins cease to move.

The Inert: Mageus with this affinity can control material and immaterial objects. They might have a command of fire or light, or they might have an aim that is always true, because they can direct an object's flight.

The Spirit: One of the more rare types of affinity, these Mageus have an ability to manipulate or tap into the very essence of a person, thing, or situation. Often this relates to consciousness, and a Mageus's talent might range from being intuitive about others or might go as far as an ability to readand controlminds.




About Lisa:

Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep, Unhooked, & The Last Magician (Simon Pulse, Spring 2017). When she's not writing books, she's an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.








Giveaway Details:


2 winners will receive a signed/personalized ARC’s of THE LAST MAGICIAN, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Hunt Bloggers: Check these blogs from 4/10-4/30 for scavenger hunt clues & awesome posts!
Novel Novice

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Blog Tour- BLOOD ROAD by Amanda McCrina An Interview & Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for BLOOD ROAD by Amanda McCrina! I have an interview with Amanda to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below for an Owl Crate Box!


Haven't heard of BLOOD ROAD? Check it out!

Title: BLOOD ROAD
Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 329
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.

Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.

Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.

Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.

Now on to the interview!


Hey Amanda! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! BLOOD ROAD was freaking AWESOME and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

Thanks, Jaime!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about BLOOD ROAD and the characters?

BLOOD ROAD is a political fantasy set in a violent, Rome-like world. The main character, Torien, is a young Imperial army officer whose own people were conquered by the Empire not so very long ago, and who has to rethink his own loyalties as he attempts to solve a kidnapping.

Is this a series? And if so do you have a title for book 2 yet?

BLOOD ROAD is the first book of a planned duology. The sequel doesn’t have a release date yet, but the (working) title is WHERE THEY MAKE A DESERT, which I lifted from the famous line in Tacitus’s Agricola about Roman empire-building: “Where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

Not directly, no.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

Alluin, as the snarky voice of reason, was a lot of fun to write. I’m not sure I have a least favorite, though I tend to find villains challenging.

What is your favorite passage/scene in BLOOD ROAD?

No spoilers, but my favorite scene is a tense, pivotal conversation between two opposing characters who meet for the first time toward the end of the book.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I did a lot of reading on desert survival (and venomous snakes), but I think the bulk of my research went into the food and medicine of the ancient Mediterranean world. I had a copy of Apicius, a Roman cookbook, on hand as a reference. Honestly, I think food may be the most important part of worldbuilding. If you know what people are cooking and eating, you’re in a pretty good position to guess at their health, their climate, their agriculture, their economy, and even their social hierarchies.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

Costis from Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, hands down. Part of me hopes we’ll see him again in Thick As Thieves, which comes out in May; part of me is VERY NERVOUS about what might happen if we do.

What inspired you to write YA?

I like reading YA, so that tends to be what comes out when I write. I think there’s a perennial need for stories about figuring out one’s place in the world, and YA usually handles this theme the best.

Lightning Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Most of what I’m reading right now is research material for my next project, so I’ll talk about something from my TBR pileAmong the Red Stars, by Gwen C. Katz. It’s about the Night Witches, the all-female Soviet bomber regiment from WWII, and it comes out in October. I can’t wait to read it.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

I’m in Gryffindor on Pottermore, but usually when I take the sorting quizzes I end up in Hufflepuff.

Twitter or Facebook?

Twitter. Facebook stopped being cool when everybody’s parents got accounts.

Favorite Superhero?

Batman.

Favorite TV show?

The Big Bang Theory.

Sweet or Salty?

Salty.

Any Phobias?

In order: katsaridaphobia (I had to Google it, too, look at your own risk), acrophobia, claustrophobia.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

Don’t Let Me Down, The Chainsmokers.

2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?

I feel like it’s too easy to say The Last Jedi, so I’ll say it’s a toss-up between Alien: Covenant and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

Thanks so much Amanda for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read BLOOD ROAD!



Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
4/24/2017- Rockin' Book ReviewsReview
4/24/2017- Month9BooksExcerpt

4/25/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
4/25/2017- Doodle's Book ReviewsReview

4/26/2017- Don't Judge, ReadInterview
4/26/2017- Book-KeepingReview

4/27/2017- A Backwards StoryReview
4/27/2017- Hazel West's Character PurgatoryExcerpt

4/28/2017- LILbooKloversInterview
4/28/2017- Wishful EndingsReview

Week 2:
5/1/2017- Exploring the Inner UniverseReview
5/1/2017- So Few BooksInterview

5/2/2017- Book Review BeccaReview
5/2/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview

5/3/2017- Reading for the Stars and MoonReview
5/3/2017- I am not a bookworm!Review

5/4/2017- YA and WineGuest Post
5/4/2017- Mundie MomsReview

5/5/2017- Never Too Many To ReadReview


Release Day Celebration- BLOOD ROAD by Amanda McCrina With An Excerpt & Giveaway!



I am so excited that BLOOD ROAD by Amanda McCrina is available now and that I get to share the news!

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

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate courtesy of Month9Books and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.



About The Book:
Title: BLOOD ROAD
Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 329
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.

Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.

Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.

Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.

Exclusive Excerpt

He touched her arm. She tensed but did not move away. He took off his glove and traced her cheekbone with two fingers, brushing the tears from her cheek. She drew a shivering breath. He turned her head and held it between his hands and brushed the tears from her eyelashes with his thumbs. She stood very still and silently while he did it, her eyes closed, her lips tight. He bent his head and buried his face in her black hair—and she slipped in suddenly under his arms, looping her arms around his neck, resting her cheek on his chest. Then she twisted against him, tilting her head back to look up in his face. “It’s no good,” she said. “I can’t feel your heart beat.”

“It’s the plums. I think I’ve suffocated.”

She laughed. He felt it echo through her body. He felt her muscles loosen. Her breath was warm on his neck. “If that’s all,” she said.

They sat below the boundary wall. She unbuckled his helmet and cuirass and held the cuirass for him while he shrugged it off. She sat against him with her knees folded up on his lap, her shoulders under the curve of his arm. She unlaced his jerkin and bent her ear to his chest. “Better,” she said. “And this—just to be sure.” She leaned into him and pressed her lips gently to the pulse in his

He kissed her. He sat up from the wall, cupping her head in his hands, and he bent his face to hers and kissed her lips, her eyelids, her forehead; he lifted her chin with his fingers and kissed the hollow at the base of her throat. Her arms were around his neck and her cheek against his and her tears running on his face. He tried to lift her to look at her. She shook her head. Her lips brushed his ear. “Don’t,” she said. Her voice was thick. So he put his arms around her waist and held her, his head and shoulders braced against the sun-warmed stones of the boundary wall, his chin on her shoulder, and he listened with his eyes closed while she cried.

He opened his eyes at the smell of wood smoke. They were smoking the hives over in the bee field. Over Ceno’s shoulder, he watched the smoke trail away southward toward the city. He could see the Hill just visible above the pines in the hazy distance, the Palace and Senate buildings in delicate white-marble miniature—and the moment shattered against it, and there was nothing but Tasso, and the orders in his saddlebag, and the cavalry column mustered and awaiting his command on the parade ground at Vione.


About Amanda: 

Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.







Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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