Blog Tour + Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame

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Welcome to The Way to Game the Walk of Shame book tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

GameShameTitle: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review:

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is Jenn P. Nguyen’s debut novel, but you wouldn’t be able to tell. It’s a wonderful story about Taylor Simmons, the class nerd and “ice queen”, finding herself in a bed that’s not hers. To weasel her way out of the labels that often come with a perceived one-night-stand, she sets up a contract (signatures and all) with Evan, the school’s “play boy”, that would be in play until the dust and gossip settles and everyone believes they’re a real couple. But when all is quiet, the two realize that maybe they’re relationship goes beyond the contract.

I grinned like a dufus so much when reading this book. The two of them are so cute together. Though they’re quite different, they fit very well together, challenging one another to always be better. I think my favourite part about this book is that there are so many unique, romantic, and memorable moments that stand out to me. I want to blurt them all out, but that would ruin the fun. The Valentine’s day scene, and the few times he goes over to her house are probably my favourites. Though I read this book about a month ago, these scene still stay vivid in my head (which, to be honest, is pretty rare).

Something else I appreciated about the book was that they didn’t have to get hot and heavy to show their feelings, it was the little things that made a difference. This is actually a “hands-off” book. Maybe a couple kisses here and there, but the romance was purely in their everyday interactions. They didn’t need to go further to figure out that they had feelings for each other, and I really like that about this book.

While there were some areas of the plot that I questioned (particularly the antagonizing teacher, who seemed to have a little too much sway in the whole university acceptance process), as well as some areas that I personally didn’t like (slut-shaming), especially since that was why this whole story came to be in the first place, this book really won me over. While these parts stuck out to me, they didn’t really stay in my mind long, especially  since the rest of the book was quite the opposite (i.e. memorable and sweet), it kind of overpowered all the stuff that didn’t quite gel with me.

The only downside that I can see right now is that I can’t read any other books by her at the moment, because this is her first! Adorkable, sweet, and wonderfully crafted, I’d definitely recommend this book to all contemporary romance lovers out there. You won’t be disappointed!

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.98/5

eARC obtained via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:JPN
Jenn Nguyen fell in love with books in third grade and spent the rest of her school years reading through lunchtime and giving up recess to organize the school library. She has a degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and still lives in the city with her husband. Jenn spends her days reading, dreaming up YA romances, and binge watching Korean dramas all in the name of ‘research’. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is her debut novel.
Author Links:

Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway for a print copy of The Way to Game the Walk of Shame. Open to the US only.

ENTER HERE!~

Mega Paranormal Romance Giveaway!

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Hi, there! Kimberly Loth here to tell you how SUPER excited we are to bring you this MEGA giveaway! First place prize is a $2,000 Amazon Gift Card, but we also have 15 runner up ebook and paperback prizes! Entering will connect you with 21 paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors for more great deals, freebies, and giveaway, so in a way, everyone wins! I myself plan to connect all the entrants with an opportunity to get Kissed FREE.

Before you enter the giveaway, I would love to share more with you about my inclusion in the feature deals associated with this promotion: Kissed.


Kissed by Kimberly Loth

Three boys. Two Kisses. One Devastating Choice.

Kissed-SmallTrapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.

Available on Amazon for $0.99

Want more? Read an Excerpt Below!


Excerpt of Kissed

But I wasn’t quite asleep.

My eyes would not open and my hands would not move. I could hear everything. Footsteps shuffled around me. The agony in my head disappeared and my stomach stilled. Thoughts raced through my brain but no emotion came. Only peace. The swishing of a broom distracted me. If only I could move, but not even my pinky toe would budge. My eyes refused to listen to my commands to open. Hours passed.

Eventually, a finger traced along my jaw and the touch did not burn. It tingled a bit, but didn’t burn. How strange to be touched but not hurt. The skin was rough, like someone who worked with his hands. A gardener perhaps. Someone who shared my love of roses. I shivered and waited. This must be a dream. A strange fantasy that my unconscious mind thought would be a good idea of a sick joke.

A warm cloth gently cleaned my wounds from the rose thorns. The pain disappeared and the gardener left my side. I tried to sigh, but nothing happened. Then a hand picked up one of my feet and slowly washed away the dirt. He worked with such gentleness. I wished I could awaken and see who would take such care of me. No one had done so in the last eight years. And still wasn’t, because this was a dream, right?

Strong arms slid under my legs and neck and picked me up. My head rested against his heart. It beat fast. His muscles rippled underneath my cheek. He moved silently out the door and I instantly missed the smell of roses.

A door creaked open and I heard the whoosh of an air conditioner. We moved with complete silence. He laid me down with care on my bed. At least I hoped it was my bed. He moved me under the blankets and placed my hands across my chest.

Then, he kissed me.

Feather light were his lips, petals of a rose resting on mine. So different from the calloused hands. The kiss lasted only seconds but was soft and deliberate, leaving me longing for more. It tasted sweet, kind of like the honey but with a touch of cinnamon. And I could hear soft music playing, the kind that makes you weep with happiness. It took away all my pain. My body came alive and my fingers tingled. Life took on meaning. This man, whoever he was, woke something raw inside of me. A taste of something I’d never known before. Something exquisite and sweet. But terrifying.


More Books Participating in this Promotion!

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About the Giveaway

Welcome, fans of the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres! This one is just for you! And really, it is! We want true fans of the genre to win this one, so our totally bad ass team of paranormal-romance-writing detectives have devised the perfect plan for vetting winners and making sure these awesome prizes go true fans of the genre–so if that’s you, don’t worry, we won’t let giveaway bots or cheaters steal your prize!

Our only rules for winning: 1 Entry Per Person (plus the additional entries you get for referring friends) and You Must LOVE Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy!

By entering this giveaway, you will be subscribed to the newsletters of our sponsoring authors for opportunities to snag more great deals, giveaways, and freebies, though you can unsubscribe at any time.

Not only will one grand prize winner snag a $2000 Gift Card, we also have a TON of fabulous runner up prizes (6 print books and 9 ebooks)!!

  • The Beast by J.R. Ward (any format)
  • Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning (any format)
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (ebook or paperback)
  • Charlaine Harris, Dead until Dark (ebook or paperback)
  • Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh (ebook)
  • Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep (ebook or paperback)
  • Signed Copy of The Blackburne Legacy by Apryl Baker
  • Magick After Midnight Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Wolf Rampant Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Mythean Arcana Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Cursed by Lucy Leroux (ebook)
  • Flower of Hell by Noree Cosper (ebook)
  • Darkness Rising by Lisa Carlisle (ebook)
  • Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon (ebook)
  • Winner’s Choice on any top 10 PR/UF book on Amazon at the time of the drawing

Good luck, and don’t forget to share this giveaway with your Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy loving friends for extra entries to win!

Enter the Giveaway

Tour + Review: Infinite Dolls

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Welcome to the Infinite Dolls blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

InfiniteDollsTitle: Infinite Dolls
Author: Emalynne Wilder
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Born to be the best.

Head of his class.

No strings attached.

The third year of medical school is supposed to be the hardest, but Callum Trovatto has no idea what he’s about to face when Everly Anne Brighton stands between him and a passing grade, shaking up his world with her secrets, and digging into his dark past.

Hopeless.

Trapped by her father’s rules.

Longing for freedom.

Expected to die before her twenty-first birthday at the hands of a rare medical condition, Everly Brighton begins to defy the carefully crafted routine her father enforces to keep her alive, despite the fact that it could kill her.

INFINITE DOLLS is an emotionally charged love story about finding faith, coping with loss and living in the preciousness of Now.

Buy Links:
Amazon | iBooks | Barnes and Noble

Review:

This book will break you.

There, that’s it. Right there. Done.

Okay, not really, but honestly this book went way beyond any of my expectations.

This is a tale of life and learning to take chances, even when all the odds are stacked against you. This book is about perseverance in the face of adversity. This book is about understanding that life isn’t always fair, but it should never prevent you from doing what you aspire to do.

Callum was doing just fine in school until Everly came around. An enigma to everyone, the only one she was civil with was Callum. Through their chats they learned that neither is what they seem – Everly wants to experience the world, but is afraid of what could happen, while Callum wants to help people, but he’s having trouble accepting that he isn’t a superhero. The story was gripping and beautiful and I want to tell you everything that happened, but if you don’t actually read the book, you’ll miss the beauty of it.

The story was raw and real – but not necessarily realistic. Maybe it’s the fact that Everly had to grow too fast, or that Callum is a smart genius child, but they both seemed eon’s ahead of their time. The dialogue was real and raw, but often more poetic and “confessional” than I’ve ever heard, even from adults. Sometimes it was great, other times it kind of detracted from the novel and made you sit back like, “Wait… they’re only like 20, right?” That being said, this type of dialogue left room for a lot of life lessons that really hit home for me, and it really added to the overall feel of the novel.

One thing that really impacted me was Callum’s obsession with the word “just” and its effect on how a statement comes across. It’s amazing how, when you think about it, one word can change how you respond to a statement. “It was just a million dollars” versus “It was a million dollars” – it’s a big difference in how someone comes across, and my use of the word will be something that I’ll keep in mind in my own life.

All in all, this book was a beautifully written novel. The characters were well crafted with unique and surprising personalities. With a captivating story line, from Callum’s POV, through which we follow him through school, his practicum, and his career, and watching him and Everly navigate every obstacle that comes their way, this story will hit you straight through the heart.

I know I’m making this sound cheesy, but honestly this is a breathtaking novel. Definitely would recommend.

Plot: 5/5
Characters
: 5/5
World Building: 4/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads: 4.49/5

About the Author:biopic

Emalynne Wilder is the voice of the Broken-Hearted. The Forgotten. The Unheard. Painfully shy in person. Unapologetic on paper. She’s the girl listening to your dirt from the corner of the room as she plots how to turn tragedy into triumph.

Author Links:

Tour-wide Giveaway:

Enter to win a paperback copy of Infinite Dolls and a swag pack! Open internationally!

ENTER HERE!~

Book Blitz: Painting Sky

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Welcome to the Painting Sky Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

Painting Sky ebookTitle: Painting Sky
Author: Rita Branches
Publication date: April 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Nobody ever said life was easy…

People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.

But things don’t always go as planned…

Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate – another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend’s older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane’s life becomes more complicated than ever before.

When Keith’s past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants–even if it hurts everyone she loves.

Buy Links:
Amazon

Excerpt:

“I’m sorry about your hand,” I said. He threw his jacket over one of the couches and sat on the other. His eyes dropped to my arm, which I was subconsciously rubbing.

“Did he hurt you?” He wasn’t mad, this time—he was worried.

I tried to hide my smile and shook my head. “Not really. I bruise easily.”

He jumped to get closer. “Bruise?” He pulled my wrist and turned my arm to check the damage. It was red. Maybe I wouldn’t get a bruise, but his face made me smile.

“I’m not dying, Keith. He was just an ass.”

“I told you to go with your brother.” He sat again. “Did you have fun, at least?”

“Not really. I guess I didn’t drink enough.” I shrugged, not feeling drunk anymore.

“You really shouldn’t have told me that.” He jumped from the couch and disappeared into the kitchen. I heard a couple of cabinet doors opening and closing and then glasses clinking.

Keith came back with a bottle under his arm, two glasses in one hand, and a lime cut in two and salt in the other.

I wasn’t experienced, but I knew what that meant. “Tequila? Do you think it’s wise?”

“This night wasn’t supposed to be about being wise. It’s just the two of us: you won’t get in trouble.” He paused for a second, staring at the walls in deep thought. He then placed the ingredients on the coffee table. “We won’t get too drunk. Do you know how to drink this?”

I nodded. I’d never tasted it, but I saw it in the movies. The first one burned, and the second did, too. I stopped, while Keith kept pouring shots for himself.

After the first shot, Keith had turned the TV to a music channel. He had turned it up a couple of times, since. We were laughing at each other’s faces. Of course, he was used to it, but I saw the glimmer in his eyes. We were both drunk. The first time I had ever gotten drunk was with Keith Hale. Who would have guessed?

“You should go to sleep,” he slurred, pushing me to the stairs. “Your brother would kill me if he showed up right now.”

“Really?” I stumbled on almost every step. Keith grabbed my waist every time and released me after I steadied myself, only to stumble again. I repeated the word because it was funny in my tongue. “Really?” He laughed behind me.

“Yeah…” He was also dragging his words. “Thanks.”

“For what?” I had reached my door and turned to say good night.

He struggled for the words. His smile disappeared and he took so long to say anything that I was considering forgetting the question and going to my room. Then he grabbed my face with his hands.

About the Author:Rita

Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/

Author Links:

Giveaway:

Blitz-wide giveaway for 2 eBook copies of Painting Sky!~ Open internationally.

ENTER HERE!~

Book Blitz: Hope

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Welcome to the Hope Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

Hope (1)Title: Hope [Indigo Ballet Series #2]
Author: Grier Cooper
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres
: Contemporary, Young Adult
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.

After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?

Buy Links:

Book 1: Amazon
Book 2: Amazon

Excerpt:

Someone grabs my elbow firmly and I turn to find the new guy leading me to get a spot in line. I scowl at him and then at my elbow. “Um…hi? That’s my elbow.”

“You do not wish to dance?” he says, eyes wide. His accent is silvery, melodic. Also hot.

“Um, no–I mean yes–I mean, you’re grabbing my elbow a little too tightly.”

He drops it like he’s been scalded, holding up both palms in defense. A stray lock of brown hair curls along his temple. “My apologies. Sometimes I forget myself.”

I look at him as I try to appraise whether or not he’s making fun of me, but his face is unreadable. Also I can’t look at it for long or I might get hypnotized. “Riiight,” I say.

We wait in silence, watching the other dancers ahead of us. When we reach the front of the line I see our two reflections–dark and light–in the mirrors that run along the entire front wall of the studio and decide they are complementary. At least it’s nice to have a tall partner for a change; my opportunity to dance with someone my size is limited because I dwarf several of the other boys in the room.

I start to move and feel his hands firmly on my hips. His breath warms the back of my neck and I feel myself flush. Normally I’d take a glimpse in the mirror to make sure my alignment is perfect, but I don’t dare. For reasons I don’t want to admit to myself, I feel nervous and jittery. We face each other and he offers his hand as I come into arabesque. He starts the slow promenade and I chance a quick glimpse at his face. He smiles and I catch my breath. I switch my gaze over to his shoulder and notice that my palm is slick with sweat. I’m so embarrassed I feel heat in the tips of my ears. I pray my face isn’t bright red.

He slides a hand around my waist for the dip and I close my eyes. “Relax,” he says into my ear. “I’ve got you.”

About the Author:AuthorPhotoSm2014 (1)

Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

Her work has been praised as “poignant and honest” with “emotional hooks that penetrate deeply.” She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography.

Author Links:

Book Blitz: Broken Fate

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Welcome to the Broken Fate Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

BFTitle: Broken Fate
Author: Jennifer Derrick
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date
: April 18th 2016
Genres
: Young Adult, Mythology, Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Zeus gave her one simple job: Kill every human. Atropos—daughter of Zeus and the third goddess of Fate from Greek mythology —spends her eternal life snipping human lifelines when their mortal lives are over. As if being a killer doesn’t make life miserable enough, she and her Fate-wielding sisters must live amongst the humans on Earth thanks to a long-running feud between their mother and Zeus. Living on Earth means they must mingle with the mortals, attend the local high school, and attempt to fit in—or at least not stand out too much.

Killing and mingling don’t mix, which is why Atropos’ number-one rule is to avoid all relationships with the humans. Caring for the people she has to kill is a fast track to insanity. However, when Alex Morgan walks into her first-period English class, she knows she’s in for trouble. He’s the worst kind of human for her to like—one with a rapidly approaching expiration date. And he makes Atropos want to break all the rules.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Excerpt:

         I turn off my desk lamp and computer, starting to get up, but then sit back down. My curiosity about Alex has been building all day. I’ve tried to tamp it down, to forget him, but I can’t. Even Chloe’s chatter couldn’t take him out of my thoughts. I boot the computer back up and give in to temptation.

I search for Alex’s record in our database. What I’m doing isn’t forbidden, but I rarely bother to check on the humans once I assign their manner of death. I forget them until I see them again on their date of death. However, tonight, I want to see what kind of fate Lacey devised for him and refresh my memory about how and when he’ll die.

I find his file but just as I’m about to double click and open it, I pull back. Do I really want to know what Lacey has planned for him? He’s already faced grief and loss. What if his fate gets worse than that? Do I want that knowledge?

I think for a few moments and decide it doesn’t really matter either way. He and I aren’t going to become friends. I enjoyed our afternoon together, but that has to be the end of it. If his fate is bad, I can live with it. He is, after all, just another human. Easy come, easy go.

I double click on the file. His entire past and future lies before me. I scroll down to the end of the document, looking for the relevant part, the date of death. I don’t have to scroll far.

May fifteenth of this year.

I read the page again. The date doesn’t change. May fifteenth is a little less than two months from now. I quickly scroll back up, looking for the details on how he will die. I’m furious when I find them.

About the Author:Jennifer

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog.

Author Links:
WebsiteFacebook | TwitterPinterest

Giveaway:
Blitz-wide giveaway, open internationally. Enter to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box!

ENTER HERE!~

Book Blitz: Surviving High School

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Welcome to the Surviving High School Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

SHSTitle: Surviving High School
Author: Lele Pons and Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Vine superstar Lele Pons—“one of the coolest girls on the web” (Teen Vogue)—teams up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost) in this lovable debut novel about the wilds and wonders of high school that’s as laugh-out-loud addictive as Lele’s popular videos.

Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch. Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges—the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity—all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud.

Filled with the zany enthusiasm that has made Lele into Vine’s most viewed star, this charming novel is proof that high school is a trip. From crushing your crushes (what’s up with that hot transfer student Alexei??) to throwing Insta-fake parties with your BFFs and moaning over homework (GAH) with your frenemies, high school is a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs and totally embarrassing lows. Leave it to Lele to reassure us that falling flat on your face is definitely not the end of the world. Fans of Mean Girls will love this fun and heartwarming fish-out-of-water story.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Prologue:

To my lovely and beautiful readers. Before I tell you the story of how I vowed to survive high school, I’d like to talk about something near and dear to my heart.

See, every human being (and most animals, I find) have their own unique essence, an essence comprised of deeply rooted qualities that make them who they are. Ancient Greek philosophers would refer to this as the “soul”—but I am not an ancient Greek philosopher, I am a teenage girl, and so I will call it Lele-ness. Of course, you wouldn’t call it Lele-ness, you would call it Sara-ness or Jason-ness, or whatever your name might be.

My point is: I believe that YOU-ness is something very special, no matter who you are, and it ought to be celebrated. So I shall now tell you how I came to be truly Lele, a person I love for better or for worse.

Of course, part of your essence comes into this world with you at birth, but it’s really what happens next that starts to shape you into you. I was born in Caracas, a major city in Venezuela, but quickly moved to the countryside where I—get this—lived in a barn. I mean, can you even? Picture this: baby Lele running barefoot through cornfields miles and miles away from civilization.

I didn’t have dogs or cats as pets, instead I had baby tigers and monkeys as close friends. My whole childhood I knew nothing of shopping malls or (gasp!) the internet. For entertainment I had only nature—bird-watching and berry picking and, best of all, stargazing.

For as long as I can remember, language has been a struggle for me. Words didn’t come to me as a child, so I used my body to communicate. It felt so much more natural to express my- self that way. I felt comfortable drawing out my thoughts and feelings, instead of verbalizing them, so I’d often draw out storyboards—sometimes eight pages long—to explain to my parents or teachers what it was that I wanted. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses: for me, artwork and movement were strengths, while speaking to others using words was a weakness.

Now take all of that and add immigrating to the United States, and you have a potential disaster on your hands. I knew nothing about American culture, and my differences paralyzed me with anxiety. For comfort and peace of mind, I turned to entertainment. I found I was embraced by my peers for being physically dramatic and, well, funny. I found that I knew how to make people laugh, and so I held on to that as a life raft in the sea of the most confusing and alienating time in my life.

I believe it was my wild upbringing plus my verbal disadvantages that led me to be the performer and one-of-a-kind weirdo with a heart of gold that I am today. It’s not always easy being Lele, but every morning when I wake up I say, “Bring it on,” and that attitude is what has taken me on this incredible journey.

I encourage you to think about the life events and circumstances that have made you truly YOU, and to celebrate every single part of yourself—the strong, the weak, the good, the bad, and the ugly— because each part contributes to making you special and AMAZING. Trust me.

So that is the story of how I developed my Lele essence. What follows is the story of how I survived my first year at Miami High and how I got to share my message with almost ten million followers. I hope you enjoy it!

XO Lele

About the Authors:

Lele Pons was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved with her family to Miami when she was five years old. She got her start when she created a page on the video-sharing app Vine in December 2013. Originally intended as a fun outlet to showcase her creativity, her vines evolved into comedic sketches and pulling practical jokes on family and friends. Her following grew from five thousand local followers to more than ten million by November 2015.

Today she is one of the most recognizable names on social media, and has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Time, and more. Lele has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Streamy Award. In 2015, she was invited to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama to help launch her campaign for disadvantaged kids to go to college. Lele graduated from high school in 2015 and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

MelissaMelissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including the Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, and Descendants series.

 

Giveaway:

Enter to win a print copy of Surviving High School, open to CAN/US residents.

ENTER HERE!~

Book Blitz: In the Hope of Memories

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Welcome to the In the Hope of Memories Book Blitz, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

InTheHopeOfMemories

Title: In the Hope of Memories
Author: Olivia Rivers
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Goodreads

Synopsis:

Hope is dying.

Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.

Hope is dead.

Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:

Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.

Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.

Hope is within reach.

Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooksKoboScribd

Author Interview:

1. Can you tell us a little about your new book?

Absolutely! “In the Hope of Memories” tells the story of Hope, a young, eccentric graffiti artist who’s stuck in the foster system. When Hope gets diagnosed with a terminal heart condition, she realizes that her four best friends are on the brink of ruining their lives, and that they might fall apart once she dies and isn’t there to support them anymore. So Hope uses her graffiti art to create an elaborate scavenger hunt that’s meant to “fix” her friends so she can die in peace and know they’ll be alright without her.

2. Do you have a favorite character?

Asking authors this question is like asking a parent who their favorite child is. So my answer is Aiden, because I am terrible enough to actually pick favorites. Aiden is intensely logical, loyal, and moral. He’s a total sweetheart, and I see him as being everything that’s right with the world. But since he has OCD and an autism spectrum disorder, the world sees him as being “wrong,” just because no one else understands him. As an author, writing Aiden’s character was both a heart-warming and gut-wrenching experience, and he’ll always be a favorite of mine.

3. What genre is “In the Hope of Memories?”

That’s a very good question, and since the book stretches across lots of different YA genres, everyone from my agent to my author friends can’t quite figure out the answer. However, I think my critique partner managed to sum it up pretty well: “It’s like if a Colleen Hoover book had a baby with The Breakfast Club, and that baby was given a huge dose of shitty luck and LSD.

4. Are any of the characters from “In the Hope of Memories” based off yourself?

Nope, definitely not! I’m a very reserved person, so the thought of sticking myself in a book for all the world to see is… horrifying. That being said, my characters ended up with a few of my own quirks. I can’t tell the difference between right and left, just like my character Erik, and this causes all sorts of shenanigans when someone has to give me driving directions. And like my character Sam, I also enjoy wearing The Flash t-shirts when I use my wheelchair, because irony really is the best medicine. Also, my laptop named Vladimir makes a cameo appearance in “In the Hope of Memories.” (R.I.P. Vladimir.) But, aside from tiny quirks like that, none of the characters or events in the book are based on my real life.

5. Is “In the Hope of Memories” connected to any of your other books?

Yes, in some ways, it definitely is! While the plots don’t directly intertwine, if readers look carefully, they’ll find references to my other books within the pages of “In the Hope of Memories.”

Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooksKoboScribd

About the Author:Olivia

Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published novels “Frost Fire” and “In the Hope of Memories,” along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.

Author Links:

Website | Newsletter Sign Up | Facebook | Tumblr | Twitter

Giveaway:

Enter to win one (1) ebook copy of In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers! Open internationally.

Release Day Blitz: The Strength of a Heart

2016 The Strength of a Heart

Title: The Strength of a Heart [The Stolen Wings #2]
Author: Ioana Visan
Release Date: March 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
GoodReads

Synopsis:

One day, a pair of wings will change the world. Alise’s wings are killing her.

Twice condemned to death, Alise is slowly fading away after a poisonous Mermaid’s bite, but Rafe will have none of that. Along with two other Guardians of Balance and Alise’s human friend, they go in search of a cure in The Mists, where Gorem’s Wizard is in hiding.

Their journey will be met with danger and strife along the way. With werewolves, demons, dangerous sea creatures, and Alise’s poisoned-filled wings growing back, their chance of survival is slim.

Will Alise survive another murderous plot?

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Free with Kindle Unlimited

Don’t miss book one in The Stolen Wings series, The Weight of a Wing!

2015 The Weight of a WingTitle: The Weight of a Wing [The Stolen Wings #1]
Author: Ioana Visan
Release Date: April 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
GoodReads

Book Description:

Alise has achieved the impossible. After her wings were chopped off, the fairy survived and now finds herself in the human world, once again hunted like prey by the sadistic Gorem.

Locating him with her help means that the two Guardians of Balance, Rafe and Vale, will not only be able to turn him in and make him pay for maiming her, but make him accountable for the deaths of other fairies as well.

Gorem has plans of his own for the rogue fairy. With the help of a wizard, Fabian, and an army of monsters by his side, Gorem will stop at nothing to recapture Alise.

With already so much on the line, Alise not only has to keep herself safe from harm, but will also have to protect her new human friend, Cassie, in the process.

Who will win the battle of good versus evil? Is capturing Gorem worth risking what remains of Alise’s life?

Buy Link:

Amazon US

Promotional Price: $0.99
Free with Kindle Unlimited

About the Author:Ioana Visan

Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can’t, she writes about it.

After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in “Human Instincts”, she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, and then she designed prosthetics in “Broken People” before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series.

Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a Romanian short story collection “Efectul de nautil” and the Romanian edition of “Human Instincts”.

She received the Encouragement Award from The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.

Author Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | GoodReads

Blog Tour and Guest Post: Nora & Kettle

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Welcome to the Nora and Kettle Book Tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!~

NKTitle: Nora and Kettle
Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Publishing Date: February 29, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
GoodReads

Synopsis:

What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?

Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Guest Post:

The characters impressions of their fairytale counter parts.

Nora’s impressions of Wendy:

She thinks like me, that I can tell. When she stares up at the sky, I just know we’re seeing the same shapes in the clouds. But she dreams to dream, not to escape a nightmare. She has a lot of growing up to do. I understand her resistance to moving from the nursery, but if that is her biggest problem then she’s lucky. In truth, I envy her and I would give up flying, magic and Neverland in a heartbeat if it meant having a safe and loving family to come home to.

Kettle’s impressions of Peter Pan:

The kids got guts for sure. Taking on pirates and living in the wild. I feel like we have a lot in common with our love of adventure and our need to be free but he seems unfettered by responsibility. These Lost Boys of his, how do they feed themselves? In winter, how do they stay warm? That would wind me up. I need a plan. I need to know where my next meal is coming from. An honestly, if I were him I wouldn’t go around taunting the only grown up who could really hurt me just for a laugh.

Frankie’s impressions of Tinker Bell:

Me an her are the same. Brave, can’t talk ‘proplee’ and we got fightin’ spirit. I think I almost could fly if I thought ‘bout it hard enough. All I’d need is a little of that pixie dust. I have a bunch of happy thoughts I could use to get us goin’. Then I would grab Nora’s hand and fly on outta here fore Deddy could catch us. Then I could save her for once, stead of the other way round.

There are other Peter Pan characters sprinkled throughout the book but I don’t want to give it all away. Look out for Mrs. Darling, Nana, Peter Pan’s shadow, Captain Hook, Tiger Lily and of course the Lost Boys.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

About the Author:

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

Author Links:

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway:

Two fun giveaways!

First thing’s first, enter to win a Mystery Box from Clean Teen Publishing!

ENTER HERE!~

Second, give the publisher a shout! Post a pic of you and a copy of Nora and Kettle and email the link to publicity@cleanteenpublishing.com to get a free gift!

Free gift

Tour Schedule:

February 29th
Feed Your Fiction Addiction >> Review
Mythical Books >> Guest post
the bookdragon >> Review
Lisa Loves Literature >> Interview
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
We Do Write >> Interview

March 1st
BooksChatter >> Interview
The Bookkeeper’s Secrets  >> Review
Rhea’s Neon Journal >> Review + Top 10 List
What’s She Reading? >> Review

March 2nd
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile  >> Guest post
Books Direct >> Review + Excerpt
Her Book Thoughts >> Excerpt
calico Gifts blog >> Review

March 3rd
Once Upon A Story  >> Review
Between Printed Pages >> Guest post
Night Owl Reads >> Review
Whatever You Can Still Betray >> Excerpt
Angela’s Library >> Excerpt

March 4th
The Alchemy of Ink >> Review
Reading Among The Stars >> Review
Wonderland’s Reader >> Review
Movies, Shows & Books  >> Review

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