Tour & Interview: Battle Not With Monsters

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Welcome to the Battle Not With Monsters Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

21841838Title: Battle Not With Monsters
Author: Overton Scott
Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: March 8, 2014
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Synopsis:

Victim?

Neen Ford is a loner, drifting from town to town, working as a security guard and teaching martial arts. One hot night in Dallas, she witnesses the brutal murder of a Ukranian prostitute and becomes the killer’s next target. Neen’s never backed down from a fight, but she’s never tangled with a human trafficking ring before. Until now.

Hero?

Naïve young women are being trafficked into the United States by Russian criminals. Someone needs to help them. The police are trying, but they’re not moving fast enough for Neen, who is now being stalked by a man who enjoys inflicting pain.

Vigilante?

How far will Neen go to save herself? How far, to save three young women from a life of fear and despair? And what price will she pay for battling the monster? There’s a thin line between hero and vigilante – will she cross it?

Buy Links:
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Interview:
I am SUPER excited introduce all of you to Overton Scott! Overton Scott debuted in March with his stand alone, thriller novel Battle Not With Monsters and is here today to talk about it!

Hey, Overton Scott! Welcome to Between Printed Pages, we’re so happy to have you here today~

Thanks for such a warm welcome! I’m happy to be here, too.

Before we start, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was an attorney and corporate executive before I turned to writing. I like the writing gig much better. I can work in my pajamas and nobody cares. I live in the Midwest, but I’ve spent time on both coasts and a number of years in Dallas, where BNWM is set.

We understand that Overton Scott is a pseudonym. Was there any particular reason you decided to write under a different name?

I’m traditionally published under my own name, in a completely different genre (historical fiction). I wanted to separate the two series I write. I’m beginning to think this pseudonym thing is more trouble than it’s worth, and at some point I may combine my output and lay claim to it under one name.

What inspired the story for Battle Not With Monsters? Also, is there a message in this story you want readers to grasp?

The same thing serves as inspiration for all my books: strong women. I like to write female protagonists who battle societal expectations and their own demons. Neen Ford, my heroine, is an example of that. She’s more comfortable practicing roundhouse kicks with a bunch of guys than having an actual conversation with one of them. Things are changing rapidly, but society still frowns on women who want to do typically masculine things, like fight. I hope the message of BNTM is that each individual has to follow his or her own path, with honor and courage.

What was the publishing process like for this book? Any advice for aspiring writers and others who are trying to get their work published?

BNWM is a self-published work, so the process is simple compared to the traditional publishing route. Let me give you a few examples of how they differ. My last book was delivered to the publisher in December, 2012, and finally hit stores in February, 2014. I finished BNWM and had it uploaded to retailers within a week of its completion. I have no control over cover design on my other books, but I hired my own designer for BNTM. Most importantly, I receive only 15% royalty on my traditionally published books and the price is set by the publisher. For BNTM, I’m getting 70% of the price, and I determine the price. A traditional publisher would never agree to set the price for a book at $2.99. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. I plan to do both.

As for advice, I can only offer the following: write, rewrite and rewrite again. Be persistent and believe in yourself. Care about the process, and not publication. If you are published, realize you’ve been very lucky. Stay humble and keep writing. Then rewrite, etc.

What is your writing process like? Did anything change for this book?

I’m a planner, not a pantser, so the first thing I did was prepare a scene by scene outline for the book. That took a few weeks, as simultaneously I was doing some background reading on human trafficking, the Dallas area, and martial arts. Once I had an outline I started writing. I typically try to do 1,000 words per day. That doesn’t sound like much, but do it every day for three months and you have a novel. Then the hard work begins. I’ll read the novel 6-10 more times, starting with a “big picture” read to be sure there aren’t holes in the plot, to see if characterization is consistent, to determine if scenes should be added or deleted. Then I start drilling down, until finally I’m reading to be sure every word is the right word. I hate this part, particularly because no matter how many times you read the novel, you’ll always miss something.

For all the readers out there, could you name the top three books you think everyone should read?

Just three books? Really? I’m going to cheat. Here are three authors writing thrillers with female protagonists that I think everyone should read: S. J. Bolton, Taylor Stevens and Karin Slaughter.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Would you ever want to set a book there?

The one place I’m dying to go (and probably would end up doing just that if I went now) is Egypt. And absolutely I’d set a novel there.

My final question: What is your favourite word?

Marmoreal – of, relating to, or suggestive of marble or a marble statue, especially in coldness or aloofness.

Thank you so much, Overton Scott, for taking the time to answer our questions! Extremely excited to read your novel!

My pleasure. Thank you for having me. I hope you enjoy the book, and that you’ll check out the first Neen Ford short story, Dead Wasps, available at Amazon, B & N and Smashwords. And anyone who cares to talk to me can reach me at neenford@gmail.com or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/scottneenford).

About the Author:

Overton Scott is the pseudonym of a national bestselling author. Overton is interested in a lot of themes covered in the Neen Ford stories: martial arts, the warrior ethos, personal responsibility, and the concept of justice. Like Neen, Overton doesn’t think that the guilty should escape punishment on this earth. Unlike Neen, Overton prefers to write stories rather than take the law into his own hands. It’s just as morally satisfying, but less dangerous.

As you are reading this, Overton should be working on the next Neen Ford adventure. But he’s probably at the gym, shooting or wasting time looking at funny pictures on the internet. You can contact him at neenford@gmail.com, if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the Neen Ford stories.

Giveaway:

There will be two giveaways. The first is tour-wide and open internationally and there are two signed copies of Battle Not With Monsters !

ENTER HERE !

The second is also open internationally and there is one ebook copy of Battle Not With Monsters !

I’M SORRY!

Okay, I totally lied before. I can’t post for the next month or two. I am super stressed about getting a job for my next co-op term and the end of this term will be the end of me. There’s so much to do. -flails about-

There will be a couple of tour and blast posts in the next few weeks, but that’s all I will be posting, probably, until I have more time to queue things up (and to read).

Sorry everyone. School’s drowning me…

Happy reading everyone!

Day 26: The Longest Book You’ve Read

I think this would depend on the edition I’m reading… It seems, though, that the longest book I’ve read is A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

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This book has a whopping 835 pages. The closest thing I could of think of to this is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I’m planning on reading Les Miserables and War and Peace soon, so this won’t be true for long.

What was the longest book you’ve read? Any recommendation?

Day 25: A Book You Tell People That You’ve Read, But Haven’t (Or Haven’t Actually Finished)

To be honest, I have a number of these types of books, but the one I speak of most often is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

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I was supposed to read this book back in first year, but I never finished. I ended up reading three or four chapters of the book and then just claimed I finished it. Will I ever go back and try to finish it? To be quite honest, yes, but no. I liked the concept of the book and I thought it was an interesting read, however, it was just one of those books that I could feel myself falling asleep to. Which sucks, but I can’t help it… It’s the same feeling I have with Allegiant and so I also haven’t finished that yet. Shame really, for both books…

Day 24: Your “Comfort” Book

I realized that I totally got confused and did the Day 24 from last year’s challenge. So here goes this year’s Day 24:

My “comfort” book would probably be The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong.

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I’ve read this book ten, twenty times at this point and I never get tired of it. I loved Chloe’s story a lot more than I did Maya’s. That’s not to say the second series wasn’t good, but I much rather this one. While this book does get your blood racing, I take a comfort in knowing what’s going to happen and knowing the characters and lines by heart. Definitely one of my favourite books <33

Day 24: A Book That You Wish More People Would’ve Read

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Title: Inkheart [Inkworld #1]
Author: Cornelia Funke
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: September 23, 2003

Synopsis:

12 year-old Meggie lives with her father, Mortimer, a bookbinder. Mo never reads stories aloud to Meggie because he has a special gift: when he reads a book aloud, the characters come out of the book and into the real world.

One night, when Meggie was a small child, Mortimer was reading aloud from a book named Inkheart when an evil villain named Capricorn, his aide Basta, and a fire-eater named Dustfinger escape from the book and into their living room. At the same time, Mo’s wife Resa gets trapped within the book .

Twelve years later, Capricorn is on a hunt to find and destroy all copies of Inkheart and use Mo’s abilities to gain more power for himself in the real world. Meggie discovers her father’s secret and, along with the help of Dustfinger and Meggie’s eccentric aunt Elinor, fights to free her father and destroy Capricorn.

I really loved this book as a child. Unfortunately, now a days, kids are still reading Harry Potter, but when they’re at a book store, their gaze just drifts over this. Also, the movie adoption sucked, so I wish more people had read the book first and would read the book more often now. It’s an amazing high fantasy, where they characters are taken into the world of literature. Inspiring and beautiful, this book is actually one of my favourites.

Great, now I want to read it again just thinking about it -stares at the CN Tower sized to-read pile-

Bloomsbury Spark’s Six Month Sparkiversary‏

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Welcome to the Bloomsbury Spark’s Six Month Sparkiversary Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours !~ Today we’ll be showing off 12 amazing titles and at the end of this point, you’ll get the chance to win them all !

Until We End

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Title: Until We End
Author: Frankie Brown
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Publication Date: December 19, 2013

Synopsis:

It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

The Secret of Isobel Key

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Title: The Secret of Isobel Key [Isobel Key #1]
Author: Jen McConnel
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Mystery
Publication Date: December 2013

Synopsis:

Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

Flashing between seventeenth century Scotland and a contemporary romance, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

Excerpt:

“All right, you folk.  Today we’ll be travellin’ out to Skye, the loveliest island anywhere in Scotland, or the world for that matter.”  The soothing accent of their handsome tour guide carried through the small bus via the microphone, and Lou sat back in bliss, letting the words roll over her.  The accents here in the Scottish Highlands almost made up for the dreary, damp weather, and she loved listening to the locals say just about anything.  Admittedly, she would listen to Brian say anything, even without his accent. The tall, red-haired Scot reminded Lou of the men on the covers of the romance novels she’d sold at the bookstore, and she kept her eyes pinned on him as the bus bounced along.  His khaki cargo pants rested casually on his hips, and he looked like a cross between a fashion model and the boy next door with his navy blue fleece zipped partway up.  The green collared shirt he was wearing underneath the jacket was plain and simple, but Lou kept staring at the neckline, watching for any telltale curls of chest hair.  Did his body hair match his flaming red head?  Lou blushed at the thought and closed her eyes, wondering what it would be like to run her hands across Brian’s broad chest.  Would he feel like sandpaper or satin under her fingertips?

A cymbal-shaking jolt of thunder abruptly pulled Lou out of her fantasy, and she blushed, glancing at Tammy.  Her best friend seemed oblivious to her daydreams; Tammy was reading furiously in her guidebook, probably trying to learn everything about wherever they were headed.  Lou glanced at Brian once more and then turned her attention to the window.  The landscape was a brilliant emerald green, but the sky had begun to resemble heavy slate waiting to crush the unsuspecting earth beneath it.  “It would be really beautiful, if it weren’t always raining,” Lou muttered to herself.  Tammy looked up from her guidebook, her green eyes unfocused.

“What’dya say?  Is it raining again?  Aw, Lou, you remember what Brian said on the first day of the tour; everything’s more dramatic in Scotland!”  Tammy sounded annoyingly perky for someone who would soon be hiking across a muddy landscape toward whatever rustic destination the tour would take them on today.  Not only did she sound perky, Lou considered, but she looked perky: perky and perfect.  Her silken blonde hair looked tousled just enough to be sexy, and her skin seemed to be drinking up the moisture around them; her cheeks were dewy and soft.  Lou wished she looked half as at ease as Tammy, but she knew that her lumpy hat and wild hair made her look more like a hobo than a hot college student on vacation, and she sighed.  Traveling with Tammy wasn’t as much fun as she’d thought it would be.

Shifting in her seat, Lou gazed out the window at the rivulets of water cascading down the bus.  “What would they call it if the sun came out?  Just for a minute.”

“We’d call it a miracle,” a deep voice beside her shoulder answered.  Lou’s heart sped up as she whipped around, red in the face. Brian, the tall, ruddy tour guide, was standing in the bus aisle beside her, smiling.

Her Secret Inheritance

9781619635357Title: Her Secret Inheritance [Isobel Key #2]
Author: Jen McConnel
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Mystery
Publication Date: June 12, 2014

Synopsis:

Five years after the trip to Scotland that changed her life, Lou is back in the misty, magical country. But this time, she’s not on vacation.

When Brian, her old Highland fling, turns up at the scene of some depressing family business, tension mounts between the former lovers. But dealing with Brian is only part of the problem; something wicked is stirring in Scotland. Lou must use all her strength to handle the increasingly desperate situation, but will she be strong enough to battle both a vengeful ghost and her heart?

Lou may have thought that she was finished with the witch Isobel Key, but some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

Pride’s Run

18619434Title: Pride’s Run [A Wolf's Pride #1]
Author: Cat Kalen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Publication Date: December 2013

Synopsis:

Eighteen year old Pride is a tracker with a hunger for blood. Taught to trick and to lure, she is the perfect killing machine.

Kept leashed in the cellar by a master who is as ruthless as he is powerful, Pride dreams of freedom, of living a normal life, but escape from the compound is near impossible and disobedience comes with a price.

When she learns her master intends to breed her she knows she has to run.

Pride soon learns if she is to survive in the wild, she must trust in the boy who promises her freedom, the same boy she was sent to hunt.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

Positively Mine

18619423Title: Positively Mine [Freshman Forty #1]
Author: Christine Duval
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 19, 2013

Synopsis:

It is four weeks into her freshman year of college, and Laurel’s first test was unexpected. Discovering she’s pregnant isn’t exactly what she had planned for her first semester, and while she intends to tell her emotionally-distant father, being away at school makes it all too easy to hide.

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and isolated during what should be the best time of her life, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she confronts teen pregnancy, in secret.

Buy Links:
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Amazon
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Kobo
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Excerpt:

“The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but especially if you’re pregnant or just had a baby. As you leave here tonight and deal with potentially difficult people or situations over the holidays, I want you to focus on acceptance. In other words, don’t try to control the uncontrollable, and don’t try to change a person who can’t be changed. People are who they are. With acceptance comes forgiveness, and with forgiveness comes inner peace, and we can all use some of that.”

Her words strike a nerve, and I can’t help speaking up. “But what if the problem isn’t that you can’t accept them, but they can’t accept you?” I ask.

“In what way?”

“It’s like, with my father, I’m the symbol for everything that has gone bad in his life. So instead of us getting closer, he pushes me further away. And now he’s getting married, and he’s about to start a new life with someone, and I’m afraid I’ll never get the chance to show him that I’m a real person, that I exist.”

The entire group is looking at me, staring actually. Kyle is the first to speak up. “But you aren’t giving him a chance to accept you. You haven’t even told him you’re pregnant and you’re five months into it. You push him away as much as he does you.”

“That’s not true.”

Audrey chimes in. “It is, Laurel. You’re nice and all, but you’ve told, what? Two people you’re pregnant, other than us and a couple of doctors. You drive an hour to a support group when there is probably one right near Milton. How much longer are you going to keep this secret? If you told your dad, maybe he’d see that you’re a real person. Real people screw up.”

“Wow.” I wrap my arms across my chest. I feel invaded.

The Art of Falling

18619662Title: The Art of Falling
Author: Jenny Kaczorowski
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 19, 2013

Synopsis:

For seventeen-year-old Bria Hale, image is everything. She’s a militant vegan with purple hair, Doc Martens and a permanent scowl. Kissing captain of the football team Ben Harris? Definitely not part of that image.

Now with each secret kiss, she’s falling deeper for the boy every girl at Oceanside High is crushing on. Throw in a few forbidden bacon cheeseburgers and she’s facing one major identity crisis.

Ignoring Ben should be easy, but when a flashy display of artistic spirit lands her in close quarters after hours with the boy she’s too cool to like, she can’t keep pretending those kisses meant nothing. With her reputation and her heart on a collision course, Bria must either be true to herself or to the persona she’s spent all of high school creating.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

Excerpt:

Ben sat down on the ramp up to a guard tower. The light over the door traced the perfectly balanced proportions of his profile and shone in his close-cropped hair. He had the kind of strong, chiseled face that made her wish she were a sculptor instead of a painter.

“Sorry my sister is such a pain in the ass,” he said.

“Hey, that’s my best friend you’re talking about.” She settled beside him.

“Yes and I’ve been stuck in the same class as you two since kindergarten.”

“Another nine months and you’ll be free from us.”

He gave her a half laugh. “Don’t remind me.”

Bria shifted, leaning against the handrail. “Have you made a decision yet?”

“Not officially. I don’t sign until February, but I gave Oregon a verbal no last week.”

“Seriously? Abby said you had a full ride.”

He shrugged. “It didn’t feel right.”

“But Oregon is one of the best schools for football, right? Kind of seems like a big deal.”

Ben looked around the beach, still deserted save for a lone seagull, before his eyes settled on her. “I want there to be more to me than football, more than being that guy.”

She stilled, aware of her heart beating in her chest and the air filling her lungs. “Yeah. Yeah, I get that.”

“I don’t know.” He stretched out his long legs, gazing at the ocean. “I guess that’s why I’m out running after spending the entire day in practice. When I run, there’s no expectations, no demands. Just me and the sand and the sky and the surf.”

“I’m not exactly built for running,” she said, eyeing her figure, much too tall and all soft around the edges.

“You’re fine, Bria. Girls like Alyson Kane are the ones who aren’t built for running.”

Bria snorted. She’d give anything to squeeze into Alyson’s tiny cheerleading uniform. Her body just wouldn’t agree.

“So what about you?” Ben said. “Abby told me you visited some fancy art school in New York?”

“Oh. Yeah.” She looked down at her hands, picking at a fleck of paint clinging to her cuticle. “Pratt. I just have to get my application and portfolio in by November first for early decision, but admissions said I’m basically in if I want it.”

“Good for you. Wow. New York.”

“I know.”

He tapped his foot against hers. “Why don’t we do this anymore? Just hang out and talk.”

“Come on, Ben. It’s bad enough that you and Abby ended up in the same grade. You don’t need to feel bad for finding your own friends.”

“Abby says I’m not cool enough to hang out with you guys.”

Bria burst out laughing. Ben – star quarterback, perpetual crush, best smile in school – not cool enough? “The Queen of Cool herself is probably passed out drunk by now.”

“Hey. That’s my sister you’re talking about.”

“Sorry about that.” She bumped her arm against his, lingering a little longer than necessary. When she pulled away, something in his gaze made her hands fidget and her tongue trip over her words. “I mean, I love her, but you know…”

“Yeah. I know.” His laughter faded away, leaving something sweet and tender and totally unfunny in his eyes. He brushed his thumb along her cheekbone, the kind of simple, casual touch that made her insides turn to mush. “I’ve really missed you, Bria.”

My Soon-To-Be Sex Life

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Title: My Soon-To-Be Sex Life
Author: Judith Tewes
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 24, 2014

Synopsis:

Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.

Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginization campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, this aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.

Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to get a date when she has to go pick up his Depends?

Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that is the one, and not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her.

In this hilarious and heartbreaking story of one girl’s detoured road to womanhood, Charlie’s list develops a life of its own – right when she realizes there’s so much more to lose.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Barnes & Noble

The Sound of Us

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Title: The Sound of Us
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 19, 2013

Synopsis:

America’s favorite pop band, Roman Holiday, is done, dead, and so totally last year. For eighteen-year-old rockoholic Junie Baltimore, this is music to her ears. But when she discovers their sexy ex-lead singer hiding out on the boardwalk, her summer vacation becomes the cover story of the year.

She’s willing to keep him a secret, but when a sleazy paparazzo offers her the cash she needs to save the bar her father left behind, could she sell out for the chance to save her future? Who is she kidding? That’s a no-brainer…but she never planned on falling head over heels for the lead singer.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

Excerpt:

Despite my best friend being a Roman Holiday aficionado, I only know three things about Roman Montgomery.

One, he has honey brown hair that’s usually gelled up in a wave.

Two, he doesn’t have any visible tattoos—although there were rumors he had a song quote below the belt.

And three, Roman Montgomery would never, ever be seen shopping at a cruddy old Stop-N-Shop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Apparently, I don’t know anything about Roman Montgomery after all.

The longer he holds my gaze, the more I can’t write him off as a good look-alike—it’s the angle of his nose, the sharpness of his cheekbones, the way one eyebrow is always a little higher than the other. He’s gained a little weight since his last interview with GQ, or maybe it’s more muscle, I don’t know, but it’s definitely him.

Suddenly, I jerk my eyes away from his gaze. Oh, God, I have underwear with his face on them. I am beyond mortified. The blush on my cheeks is so hot, it probably matches my hair. And he seems entertained by it.

“I should be flattered, meeting you here again,” he goes on. “Last night we got off on the wrong foot.”

I quickly turn my back to him. Last night I even touted that I hated his band. See, this is why I shouldn’t talk to strangers. “It’s fine. I don’t care.”

“Let’s try again?”

“Uh—no, no thanks.”

But apparently “no” is not in his vocabulary. He slips around in front of me so smoothly, it could be a dance move. He juts out his tattooed hand. “Hi, it’s nice to meet you.”

Is this a joke?

Road to Somewhere

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Title: Road to Somewhere
Author: Kelley Lynn
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: March 11, 2014

Synopsis:

A road trip. A singing competition. And super-hot cowboys.

What could be better?

For Charlie, a post-high school road trip isn’t just a vacation, it’s life changing. While her parents think she’s helping a friend move, a chance at fame is the real reason to grab her best friends and drive to L.A. But when her super annoying, uber-responsible, younger sister, Lucy, has to tag along, it isn’t quite the summer of fun she imagined.

Add in a detour to her grandparents’ ranch in Texas, and between mucking the stalls, down-home cookin’, and drool worthy ranch hands, this could just turn into the best, and most complicated, summer of their lives.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo

Beyond Our Stars

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Title: Beyond Our Stars
Author Marie Langager
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publication Date: December 19, 2013

Synopsis:

Fleeing a destroyed Earth, seventeen-year-old orphan Hope grew up living in the confines of a spaceship heading to CR-3, a new home planet. She’s been kicking the steel walls for too long and ever since she broke her boyfriend’s heart, touchdown could mean open air and a fresh start. But no one expected the Locals.

Hope’s dreams of freedom turn into nightmares when the Locals trap the humans and mark groups for observation. At any moment she can be called into a holographic observation room for testing. Some days she’s drowning in a strange dark ocean, some days she’s locked up without food, and all with the one boy she can’t seem to forget.

As the Locals study Hope, she studies them. She wants to believe the tall grey creatures could be peaceful, but as the simulations become more dangerous, Hope is about to become the human race’s last chance for survival.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo

The Mapmaker’s Daughter

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Title: The Mapmaker’s Daughter
Author: Caroline Dunford
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: April 17, 2014

Synopsis:

Sharra’s world is a terrifying place. Violent seismic ‘Shifts’ and outbreaks of an all-consuming black fire radically alter landscapes on an increasingly frequent basis. Only the Map Makers can predict where the Shift will fall, and Sharra, daughter to one of the most famous Map Makers, yearns to join their ranks and break a cultural taboo which forbids female cartographers.Sharra’s father, Lord Milton, is one of the few to challenge the current order, but his shadowy past limits his political reach and his second wife, Lady Ivory, is determined to manipulate him to ensure a privileged future for herself and her daughter, Jayne. The main obstacle standing in Ivory’s way is Sharra.

Buy Links:
Bloomsbury
Amazon
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Kobo
iTunes

Deliver Me

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Title: Deliver Me
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Synopsis:

One People. One Union. One Future.

Wynne’s entire life is dictated by the Union: the clothes she wears, the books she reads, even the genes she inherited. And like every other girl in the Union, Wynne dreams of being chosen as a Carrier on her 16th birthday—one of the elite selected to carry the future generation within her womb. Wynne and her best friend Odessa are certain they will both make the cut, but when Odessa is chosen and whisked off to a life of privilege, Wynne is left behind to work as an assistant, delivering perfectly planned babies for the Union.

As Odessa slips deeper and deeper into the role of Carrier, Wynne begins to see the Union for what it really is: a society that criminalizes the notion of love, and forbids words like mother and family.

For the first time in her life, Wynne is faced with a choice: submit to the will of the Union, or find a way to escape and save Odessa before she is lost forever.

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Excerpt:

The Grand Councilman watched as the first of the robes was placed over the girl’s shoulders before he turned back to us with an expression of satisfaction on his face. The look sent a chill through me. He looked back down at the ledger in front of him and called out the next number, “G458-89.”

G458-89.

Of course I recognized the number. It was imprinted in my mind, the digits as clear in my memory as they were tattooed into the soft skin of Odessa’s forearm. The breath of air I’d been holding escaped my lips and I turned to my best friend, pushing her forward to the podium.

Odessa, beautiful Odessa.

I knew she would be called. Maybe she hadn’t been first, but she was close. Pride pushed at the inside of my chest and I suppressed a cheer. If only we were allowed to clap at least, but the selection was a sacred moment and I had to keep my emotions contained. Later tonight I could tell Odessa how proud I was of her.

On the podium, one of the elegant Carrier robes was being placed over Odessa’s shoulders. From somewhere deep inside my head a low humming had begun. My fingers and toes felt strange, tingly. I rubbed my hands together, trying to concentrate on the Grand Councilman’s words.

Six more numbers were called and progressively, as each girl took her place on the stand, I began to see the panic setting in on Odessa’s face. Normally, she would have caught my eye and made a funny face to break the tension, but she hardly looked like herself up there. The color still hadn’t returned to her cheeks and a bit of perspiration had sprouted on her forehead. In her eyes I saw the look of someone desperate, someone hungry. Only one more number left to call. Around me some of the girls were weeping silently, maybe it was because they were overcome with the pressure of it all, or maybe they realized their dreams of being a Carrier were dying out, merely the flicker of a flame remaining.

The last robe hung limply on its form. Beneath the other selection robes the bodies of eight lucky girls fidgeted, waiting to see if one of their friends would be called. I caught Odessa’s eye and tried to smile, but my lips stuck to my teeth, tight and dry. The moments clicked slowly by, an eternity of waiting. What sort of future would I have if I wasn’t a Carrier?

Finally the Grand Councilman spoke, “The ninth and final Carrier is…D456-06.”

Odessa covered her face with her hands, but I couldn’t move; my body was completely numb.

It wasn’t my number. It wasn’t. My number hadn’t been called.

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I’ll Be Back…

Friday. I will be queuing up a bunch of awesome stuff for you guys. I’m sorry I haven’t been around lately. Midterms have been a huge pain, and they don’t seem to want to end.

I will hopefully be able to burn through a number of books in the next few weeks before the end of the term hits and the real stress starts. Until then, I’ll be posting up reviews, and I have a couple of Book Blasts and Book Tours that will be popping up in July, August, and September. I hope to try out another type of giveaway soon too, since it doesn’t seem like any of you are into the style I put up recently.

What kind of giveaways do you guys like? Guessing games? Like/Share/Comment on this post type? And would y’all rather I give away hardcopies or ebooks? Let me know, because that’s REALLY important, for both you and me. I’d hate to run giveaways that you guys just don’t want to enter. Also, what books do you want to see in the giveaways? ‘Cause I can so make that happen too.

I’m sorry, my lovely bookworms, for being so busy these past few weeks! New posts and new giveaways are to come !

On a  side note to all the authors who have contacted me. I am extremely grateful for your requests and for choosing me and this blog to promote your books. I will get back to those I’m interested in as soon as possible. Unfortunately, times have been busy and I haven’t had much time to read. I don’t want to accept your books only to leave them on a shelf, metaphorical or not, to gather dust. I’ve already done that to one poor author, and I don’t want to leave any others behind (shout out to Miranda Bowden for her patience with me).  Thank you all for your patience and understanding!

Day 23: A Book That Has Been On Your “To Read” List The Longest.

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Title: Memoirs of a Geisha
Author: Arthur Golden

Synopsis:

In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. For the protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess.

We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child’s unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old. In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha’s elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimono, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival. Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara. And Memoirs of a Geisha is a triumphant work – suspenseful, and utterly persuasive.

I have been wanting to read this book for the past 7 or so years, and I just never got to it. Life just always seemed to get in the way. Life and the fact that I have yet to actually hold a copy of this book. I heard it’s amazing though!

Update: I’ll have a review up next week (hopefully) and after next week, I’ll probably start posting relatively regularly again! Midterm season sucks…

What books have you been procrastinating on reading?

Day 22: Least favourite plot device.

By all technicalities, the title of this post is “Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books that you enjoyed otherwise”, but it was too long, so there you have it.

There are a lot of them, to be honest (if I’m getting the definition of plot device right, which I don’t think I am but whatever, it’s 1AM in the morning and I’m not sorry ’cause I’ve been wanting to get this rant out since forever): the love triangle, the alpha male saves the world and changes for you concept, the whole insta-love idea, etc, etc. Most of my pet peeve-ish plot devices are centred on the romance aspect of novels. To be honest, it’s not because I have a thing for a good romance (don’t get me wrong, I do, but that’s not the point), it’s because so many YA books are centred around a romance, and if it isn’t there’s still some kind of romance in there, because authors believe that there has to be romance in order to get reads. While this seems like the trend (let’s face it, if there isn’t romance, half of the readers out there won’t touch the book), I find that the most cliché plot devices are utilized and that bothers me beyond reason.

The Love Triangle

I am so done with love triangles. Yes, I get that the whole indecision and internal conflict help the author get some words on the pages, but it has really become a drag since, nowadays, this device is in every other book, and usually drowns out the entire plot. Oh, the world’s ending? Sorry, I can’t hear you over my personal romance issues, call back later -beep beep beep- Like get over yourself and your life, if you’re going to go save the world, the get on it, and make you decision later, because, since we’re reading fiction, there’s a 98% chance you’ll be alive at the end of the war (if there is one).

Alpha Male Saves the World and Changes for You

I’m pretty much done with this concept too. I understand that girls find this immensely attractive – oh, look at my big and strong boyfriend save me from this guy who barely brushed my arm /swoons. – yeah, no, it’s not hot, it’s nauseating. I personally think it creates an unrealistic expectation for guys to be bulky, sex gods, as well as creates an unhealthy sense of what a relationship should be like for girls. If he’s really beating the brains out of a guy for brushing against your arm, you shouldn’t be running towards him, you should be running away. Also, the idea that a girl can change a guy, especially one with violent tendencies, is also unrealistic, and is how many can fall into the cycle of abusive relationships. I just can’t find it in me to support this, at all, even in fiction.

Insta-Love

It’s insta-love, if you don’t hate it, get out (but don’t really, ’cause honestly, I appreciate every one of my readers, bless all your souls).

Honestly though, it’s probably the most overused concept – the girl is destined for the guy, there’s an instant connection when he brushes past her in the hall and glares at her, there’s a heart stopping moment when he walks into the room and the focuses only on her – it’s tiring, and I just want to throw those kind of books out the window (but don’t actually, ’cause I paid for that thing). Worst one is when the two are “destined” for each other. Yay for prophecies… This is probably my lest favourite plot device ever.

Other story lines that I feel are tired are the whole kid-saves-the-world-dystopian style and the second-book-lover-disappears-and-everyone-goes-emo style.

I sincerely hope that this doesn’t offend anyone. I just can’t anymore… That being said, I’m a glutton for punishment and still constantly read these types of books… It’s a bad habit…

Which plot devices are you tired of? Which ones do you wish you could see more?

 

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