Blog Tour: Last Girls

Blog Tour, Misc.

Last Girls

Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Synopsis:
No one knows how the world will end.
On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.
Prepare for every situation.
But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:
Nowhere is safe.
 
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Guest Post

Flawed Main Characters

Of all the characters I’ve written, and there’s been quite a menagerie over five books (published and unpublished), Honey Juniper is my most flawed. She’s also my most treasured. That’s not to take away from her sisters Birdie and Blue who come with their own flaws (well, Birdie more than Blue. Let’s be honest), but Honey’s flaws hit a special note with me. Here’s why.

A friend once invited me to a full moon circle led by a psychic. Once there, this psychic, who was more astute than I ever imagined she might be, told me with a big breath of certainty and confidence that I was ruled by Responsibility (Big R) and Aggression. At first, I was shocked. Me? I’m a nice person, I thought. I care so much about other people. But then I realized these weren’t necessarily bad things. Responsibility means I get the job done. True. Aggression, in my psyche, is something I turn against myself more than others. It stems from frustration with certain situations for which I feel a lack of control. Honey is the same. A rule-following Aquarius with a sarcastic inner monologue, Big R Responsible might as well be her middle name. A position thrust upon her not just by being the oldest sibling, but from internal past wounds and external expectations. And until you learn why, you don’t understand her obsessions and beliefs. Honey takes responsibility for herself and her sisters at all cost. She is too quick to judge, as evident by her threat assessments. And extremely guarded, to her own detriment, which is why when she finally lets her guard down with Rémy it feels, at least to me, so satisfying. But it’s that balance between her flaws and attributes that made her such a pleasure to write. Honey is guarded, but she’s also an intelligent, unique, caring, and level-headed protector. She can admit when she’s wrong, a characteristic I deeply value in people. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as you experience her character arc. And root for Rémy, too, while you’re at it. Sometimes, it’s another character that teaches us the most about ourselves and that’s certainly true for Honey Juniper.

About the Author:
DEMETRA BRODSKY writes twisty thrillers about dark family secrets. She is an award-winning graphic designer & art director turned full-time. A native of Massachusetts with a B.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Demetra now lives in Southern California where she’s always exploring and researching, looking for clues to things that might feed into her next book. She is a first generation Greek-American and a member of International Thriller Writers. Dive Smack, her debut YA Thriller, is a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection, an (ALAN) Pick (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE), and a Publishers Marketplace Buzz Book for Young Adults for Spring/Summer 2018.
Author Links:

Pre-order Campaign details below!

Giveaway details below!

Prize: Win (1) of (3) copies of LAST GIRLS by Demetra Brodsky (US Only)

Starts: April 29th 2020

Ends: May 13th 2020

Click here to enter.

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Blog Tour: Switchback

Blog Tour
switchback.jpgSwitchback 
By Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 28th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis:

An epic YA adventure story about two friends lost in the Canadian wilderness from Danika Stone, the author of All the Feels.

Vale loves to hike, but kind of hates her classmates. Ash is okay with his classmates, but kind of hates the outdoors. So, needless to say they are both fairly certain that the overnight nature hike with their PE class is going to be a hellish experience. But when they get separated from the group during a storm, they have worse things to worry about than bullies and blisters.

Lost in the Canadian wilderness with limited supplies, caught in dangerous weather conditions, and surrounded by deadly wildlife, it’s going to take every bit of strength, skill, and luck they can muster to survive.

 

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41711283-switchback?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Purchase Links:

 

Guest Post

“Top Ten Best Moments While Writing Switchback”

 

10) I know that some readers will cringe when I say this, but I absolutely LOVED writing the bear scene. (You will know which scene I mean when you read it.) My father was very nearly killed by a grizzly when he was in his early twenties, and his story of that fateful day left a strong impression on me. Writing that scene was a great moment as a writer.

 

9) Another great moment was when I received a bunch of funny emails from my alpha and beta readers as they went through the first draft. (Especially my friend Jill’s comments about the bear scene.) The excitement and panic were palpable. I loved that!

 

8) My editor’s comment about Ashton Hamid: “I love Ash, and that’s saying a lot since he does so many dumb things.” When I read that, I knew I had a character that everyone would enjoy rooting for!

 

7) I loved the moment when I read the book aloud to my three boys and got to the high-tension, dangerous parts. To have all three of them listening, silent and wide-eyed as I read something I’d invented, was absolutely priceless. They loved the book!

 

6) A top moment personally was when I was told that Switchback would be my first hardcover. I was (and am!) overwhelmed by seeing my writing in hardback.

 

5) I was really proud when I received the replies from the two rounds of aro-ace sensitivity readers. While I knew I wanted Vale to be aro-ace, I definitely wanted to make sure that was treated respectfully and correctly portrayed. Receiving both letters from the sensitivity readers was a huge feeling of accomplishment for me. I am so happy with their reactions!

 

4) Another best moment for me was when I hid an easter egg from my Waterton mystery series (Edge of Wild, The Dark Divide, and Fall of Night) into the world of Switchback. Yes! There’s a crossover there!

 

3) A highlight that kept me writing late into the night were the descriptions of nature and of camping. I loved trying to recall all the details of what it felt and sounded like when I was deep in the woods. Rereading those passages left me feeling the same peace I felt when I camped.

 

2) As cheesy as it sounds, another amazing moment was receiving Sarvenaz Tash’s five-star review and her blurb:

Switchback kept me on the edge of my seat and reading well into the night. It’s a harrowing tale of survival, a vivid ode to the beautiful but unforgiving Canadian wilderness, and a gorgeous story of friendship all rolled into one. You’ll want to hunker down with a good, warm blanket as you embark on this thrilling, unputdownable ride.”

 

Sarvenaz Tash, author of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love and Virtually Yours

 

1) Top moment, hands down… hearing the words: “Yes, we’re going to publish Switchback.” Honestly? Nothing else compares.

 

Praise for Danika Stone:

“An enjoyable, fast-paced read.” — School Library Journal on Internet Famous

“The book is a dream. I loved absolutely everything about it. … From the chapter headers to every mention of nerd culture, All the Feels is a blast!” —Seeking Book Boyfriends on All the Feels

 

Danika.jpgAuthor Bio:

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: INTERNET FAMOUS (Macmillan, 2017) and ALL THE FEELS (Macmillan, 2016); and adults THE DARK DIVIDE (Stonehouse, 2018) and EDGE OF WILD (Stonehouse, 2016).

Ms. Stone’s work has received both recognition and literary praise. In 2017, Chapters included EDGE OF WILD in “Our Favourite Canadian Fiction”, and INTERNET FAMOUS was nominated for the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (2018) as well as selected as one of Fierce Reads’ “9 Perfect Summertime Reads” (2017). EDGE OF WILD (previously entitled TATHAGATA) was a quarter-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013), a finalist in the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize (2015), and took second place in the Publish or Perish contest (2015). ALL THE FEELS was selected for Swoon Reads’ fourth list (2015) and was nominated for YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (2016), and for CYBILS’ Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (2016).

Ms. Stone’s books have been reviewed by VOYA, Teen Reads, and School Library Journal. Danika has also featured in the BN Teen Blog, Clash, Quillable, Fierce Reads, Lethbridge Living Magazine, CJSR’s Word, and on CBC’s Daybreak.

When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

Author links:
https://www.danikastone.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6574168.Danika_Stone
https://www.facebook.com/danikastoneauthor/
https://twitter.com/danika_stone
Giveaway info!
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • Print copy of Switchback
  • Link here.

 

Tour schedule here.
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Press Release: You Are The Everything

Press Release

From an award-winning author comes an emotional young adult novel about the romance between two survivors of a plane crash.

 

 You Are the Everything cover.jpg

You Are the Everything

By Karen Rivers

 

When Elyse Schmidt and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. They become superstars in today’s social media-driven world, and they move with their families to the wide open spaces of Wyoming for a chance to live their lives quietly, together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. Elyse’s whole world begins to unravel, culminating in a shocking conclusion that will have readers flipping back through the pages to reread this incredible story.

 

 “This is good choice for those who enjoyed E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars or books with pieces that only fit together after a surprising ending. Fans of unreliable narrators and twist endings will clamor for this story of romance and survival.”

School Library Journal, starred review

“Well written and emotionally resonant, this is an unusual and poignant story.”

Kirkus Reviews

 “A haunting, heartbreaking puzzle box of a book.”

—Elana K. Arnold, author of National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of

Karen Rivers, one of Algonquin Young Readers’ most well reviewed and popular middle-grade authors, has been celebrated for her “star-bright stor[ies] of love, courage, and unflagging spirit” (Booklist) and for writing that “doesn’t shy away from the dark places but explores them with heart, humor, and light” (author Kate Messner). Now Rivers’s brilliant signature voice and narrative style are on full display in her first young adult novel for Algonquin. You Are the Everything (publication date: October 30, 2018; $17.95 hardcover) explores love and loss, dreams realized and unrealized, and how one’s life can change in a single moment—refracted through the unique lens of her inimitable protagonist, the funny, sensitive, artistic heroine Elyse.

 

You Are the Everything effortlessly blends tragedy and hope to create a stunning, urgent page-turner about love and fate that is perfect for readers of We Were Liars, All the Bright Places, and Since You’ve Been Gone. A starred School Library Journal review agrees that “fans of unreliable narrators and twist endings will clamor for this story”. Like her previous work, Rivers’s writing is lyrical and her storytelling is masterful, drawing readers in until the heartbreaking last pages.

 

karen riversKaren Rivers is the author of twenty-one novels for children, teens, and adults, including the highly praised The Girl in the Well Is Me, All That Was, Before We Go Extinct and A Possibility of Whales. She lives in British Columbia, Canada. Find her online at karenrivers.com or on Twitter @karenrivers.

www.karenrivers.com   |  Twitter: @karenrivers |

Instagram: @karenrivers

 

 

You Are the Everything by Karen Rivers

Algonquin Young Readers / Publication Date: October 30, 2018

Price: $17.95; Hardcover; 272 pages; ISBN: 9781616208158

www.algonquinyoungreaders.com | karenrivers.com

Follow Algonquin Young Readers on Twitter @algonquinyr or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/algonquinyoungreaders

Review: Meet the Sky

Book Reviews
*** Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a free, honest review. All opinions are my own. ***

 

“Once upon a time I believe in fairy tales.” – McCall Hoyle, Meet the Sky

meet the sky cover

 

Meet the Sky Review

By: Rae

Follow the story of Sophie, told in first POV, as she experiences a natural disaster that rips apart not only her world, but how she views it too.

Sophie doesn’t believe in fairy tales, not anymore. After an accident that has left her older sister, Mere, a shell of her former self, left her mom working herself to the point of exhaustion, and caused her dad to leave… well needless to say Sophie is struggling to keep her family together. Obsessed with plans and the issue of time, Sophie sticks to what she knows and dreams of a controlled future. Enter Finn, a former friend and ninth grade crush who just so happened to break her heart when he left without a goodbye and stood her up at their first high school dance. The thing is, Finn is back and trying to get her attention. He is acting like nothing has changed. Distracted, worried, Sophie plans to avoid Finn at all costs and later is following her mom and sister out of the area to avoid the hurricane when her beat up truck blows a tire. Stranded, events spiral, as Sophie and Finn are pushed together to ride out the storm. More than one thing changes…

This story hit too close to home on a number of levels for me. Not only could I relate to the area, to an extent from just recently being in NC, but I was also in an accident at the beginning of this month and everything has changed – especially my perspective on life. While I’m recovering, I watched some of my quirks manifest in Sophie on her journey. She felt so real, so naïve, and so stubborn! At times she broke my heart even if I groaned at some of her decisions and thoughts. I lived the storm through her and that for me is one of my favorite parts of reading a novel – the ultimate connection where I’m at the story’s mercy. This of course makes me think of Finn… I loved this boy. From his quirky nature, comedic relief, love of junk food, need for adrenaline – okay I could continue but I’ll refrain. He and Sophie supported each other as character foils excellently. How they grew together and separately was well done. A shout out as well to the side characters that not only had their own personas, but also contributed to the story without taking too much control of it. Ah, which leads me to the pace and overall plot of the story.

Everything just happened so fast! One second I’m thinking Sophie is fine and the next I’m hit back to back with scenery, emotions, and this mega-storm. The confusion worked though even as my heart pounded with adrenaline. Overall it reflected the characters themselves and set the mood. As readers are following along, the scenes themselves are gorgeous – if not terrifying based on the circumstances – and the reoccurring references of life, death, risk, and time blended together spot on.

I don’t really have anything that I feel the need to critique. So, in conclusion *clears throat* I really connected with Meet the Sky and highly recommend it. It is a story of hope, loss, and growth that reflects an inner battle outwardly in the form of a storm and the need to survive.

 

Meet the Sky is out now! *cheers*

 

My rating: 5/5

Echoes Blog Tour

Blog Tour

echoes coverEchoes
by Alice Reeds
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: August 7th 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary:

“Fast-paced and thrilling. ECHOES is a heart-pounding and addictive love story.” —Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait

They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

Something that won’t let them leave alive.

Echoes is a thrilling adventure about confronting the impossible, discovering love in the most unexpected places, and, above all, finding hope in the face of the unknown.

Add to Goodreads

Get yourself a copy HERE!

 

Guest Post

The secrets to writing a successful thriller

I’d love to know them, too.

Despite having written ECHOES, I don’t really feel like I’ve unlocked all the secrets to writing an amazing thriller, but there are a few things I did learn along the way. If you can call them ‘secrets’, I’m not sure, but here they are:

False leads and revealing your cards one by one.

Something I feel like my favorite thriller author, Sebastian Fitzek, does very well in his books is setting up false leads, and adding more of them along the way, even though the true answer is usually hidden in plain sight the entire time. Give your readers a possible suspect or idea they can follow, then change their course by adding another one, something neither they or the reader would expect, and then add another. Make them question who it truly might be, what the idea is, or their true intentions, but keep it all plausible. If you make it over the top, it stops being plausible/realistic, which ruins it, or if you make it something too obvious.

Look at Shutter Island or Gone Girl, Ex Machina or Black Swan, they all lead you in one direction, then another, make you believe different things, have confliction feeling while keeping you rooting for their main characters. It’s a fine line they all work with perfectly, mixing brilliant story telling, having layers upon layers of secrets, intrigue, leads, and characters you want to love or hate. And in the end, they all have you on the edge of your seat and surprise you.

Revealing clues and information bit by bit seems like such an obvious answer, but the crucial thing is which of them you reveal when. If you do it too soon/quickly, you’ll give away the final answer and your story turns predictable, if you do it too late/slowly, your reader might get bored, start skimming, or stop reading all together. Timing is key.

Essentially when writing a thriller you’re building two stories: the one on the page, and the invisible one, both happen at the same time and intersect at just the right moments. If you can make the invisible one interesting and full of twists, layers of plans and options, the one on the page will follow, and, in a best-case scenario, they’ll influence each other.

And, then, at some point, you end up with something that might resemble a thriller that will have your readers eagerly turning the pages and wanting to find out what happens next and how everything ends.

 

About the Author

Alice Reeds was born in a small town in Germany but spent her first eight years in Florida, USA. Later on, she moved back to Europe, where her family moved around a lot. She was raised trilingual and has a basic understanding of Russian, read and spoken. After getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma, Alice is studying English Language and Literature at University. In her free time Alice mostly writes, reads, figure and/or roller skates, or watches countless let’s plays and figure skating videos.

Author Links:

Website . Goodreads . Twitter

Tour schedule here.

Giveaway info below!

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Songs of Seraphina Promo + Guest Post

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Songs of Seraphina.jpgSongs of Seraphina
By Jude Houghton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Tenebris Books, Grimbold Books

Summary from Goodreads:

Some battles bleed so much, and for so long, that the earth never truly forgets their dead. Some battles are born of oppression, and some of greed, and some simply because it was written in the stars.

Three sisters—Charlemagne, Cairo and Pendragon Agonistes—are sent from America to England to live with their eccentric grandparents after their mother disappears and their father falls to pieces. But before the girls have time to find their feet, Charlemagne is married off to a dead man, Penny takes a nap and wakes up as a boy, and Cairo is swept into a dangerous romance with a man who wants her for more than her considerable charm. With the girls wrapped up in a conflict they barely understand, they don’t notice that their grandmother is transforming, or that the two demigod assassins who took their mother are now coming for them—if one of them can get over his crisis of conscience.

In this richly painted tale, at whose heart is the unbreakable bond of family and blood, the world of Seraphina collides with our own as three unique girls are dragged into twilight lives past, fighting for vengeance, retribution, and the survival of their exiled people.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

An Excerpt from Songs of Serpaphina, Sammy’s POV

She ran through the outcrops of forest and brush, through the smallholdings where the trees had been cleared for Calliope farmlands, then on to the border of the wetlands. Here she began to slow. The marshy terrain was treacherous, breaking into pockets of continuous water three or four feet deep. There were well-worn pathways criss-crossing the wetlands. The area was often tapped for irrigation, but in the middle there was a giant causeway of rocks, scrub and caves that created a dry island in the otherwise sodden terrain.
The Stony Marsh almost looked man-made, but it was too vast and had been a feature of the terrain since the Gildas first came to these lands. Song was taught that they were formed by volcanic eruption, but when she actually saw the Marsh, she couldn’t help thinking there was something else at work, a wiser power. The rocks looked sculpted, so smoothly were they hewn, and hidden caves stood like witnesses of some ancient civilization.
SoS Map

As Song trekked along the path, she kept away from the trees. Though this meant occasionally stepping into the water, sometimes up to a foot high, it was safer. The trees of this part of the marsh had snakes in them; the black death serpents hung in tight nests and spiralled down onto their prey. One drop, one bite, one death. They were so sensitive to light and temperature, they existed across just one degree of latitude, but on that latitude they were as plentiful as they were deadly.
The water was at its highest just before the Stony Marsh, and the trails narrowed and became increasingly uneven, limiting her movements. This was where the traps would be. Song wondered what form they would take. Nets triggered by the brush of a tine? Holes harbouring poisonous arachnids? She imagined both would appeal to the Acrapheans.
She looked for silver threads and disturbances in the earth, but saw nothing. Suddenly she became conscious of a strange flapping noise above her head; strange because egrets and other birds tended to be near the ground. Looking up she saw a large piece of parchment tied between two cypress, and next to it another, and then another.
In the still night air they made an eerie susurrus. She stared at them for a moment, trying to see what they were supposed to do or how the trap worked. It made no sense. Craning upwards she moved cautiously forward. Her toe snagged on a mannequin hair, very fine but too strong to snap outright with her weight. In the same instant an arrow, released from a tree to her left, buried deep into her shoulder. She stumbled, looking at it with incredulity. The blood came thick and fast.
How could she have been so stupid?
She felt something spread through her arm—the cloudy progression of poison.

Darkness.

 

About the Author
Jude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realizing an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives. Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.

 

Songs of Seraphina Guest Post By Jude
Angels in literature, discuss.

Central to Songs of Seraphina are the two immortal characters, Hamquist and Crakes. Without giving too much away, they do the bidding of a divine power and are sent to Earth to intervene with the refuges from Seraphina who are living there. They are sometimes profound, sometimes comic, but always compelling in how they see the world. In this extract Hamquist and Crakes are living in a semi-detached house, waiting for their next assignment. Crakes is staring at the wall, and wondering what they are even doing there.
As he stared at the plaster he noticed how dirty it was, how the paint peeled and how the fungus covered extensive patches. It was rank. He could actually see the mould moving and breathing, could feel its existence. He clicked his tongue in disgust. He had never even seen the stuff before coming to this world, to this hole. The mould irritated him. Only yesterday they had been in a golden age of chariots and worship, meting out divine justice to all. Perhaps it wasn’t actually yesterday, but metaphorically yesterday. He couldn’t tell exactly when yesterday was. When you existed forever, time was difficult to judge. There were events that punctuated existence, of course—memorable events like great wars that transcended the day-to-day of mopping up after one god or another—but there had never been anything like this; they were displaced, enslaved, caught up in a mania over which they had no control.
… Hamquist began to fall apart. First he could not sit still, but was up and agitated the whole time, flicking things, pinching things, stroking things, poking things. One day he spent nine hours chopping vegetables into smaller and smaller pieces with his sword. They were practically gluons by the time he had finished. How Crakes got through that period without going crazy himself, he didn’t know. Then, just as it couldn’t get any worse, something unexpected happened: a boon in the night, as unanticipated as it was peculiar.

Their influences in literature are myriad, but the top two:
Milton’s greatest angel in Paradise Lost, Satan. It’s been said many times, but the most attractive character in the novel is not Adam or Eve or God or the host of Seraphim, but Mr Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know himself, the fallen Angel, Satan. It is Satan that says, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.” In a book that was supposed to force us to contemplate the fall of man, and runaway strong character steals the show entirely. He relates far more to man than god or his lofty lieutenants. When Adam leaves hell, the Angel Michael tells him that by making his own choices, “He shalt possess…A paradise within thee, by happier far,” echoing what Satan already knew.

Then there is Neil Gaiman’s portrayal of Remiel and Duma, unwilling angels who are given the keys to hell, to look after that domain once Lucifer walks out. What? I hear you say, you are now talking about the Sandman and Season of Mists one paragraph after Milton. Yep. Gaiman is a genius and Season of Mists the pinnacle of his DC achievements. Anyway, love them both, two confused deities wondering what they did to get this assignment.

 

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