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
Title: Until We End
Author: Frankie Brown
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Publication Date: December 19, 2013
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…
The Secret of Isobel Key
Title: The Secret of Isobel Key [Isobel Key #1]
Author: Jen McConnel
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Mystery
Publication Date: December 2013
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.”
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
Title: My Soon-To-Be Sex Life
Author: Judith Tewes
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
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.
The Sound of Us
Title: The Sound of Us
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: December 19, 2013
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.
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
Title: Road to Somewhere
Author: Kelley Lynn
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
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.
Beyond Our Stars
Title: Beyond Our Stars
Author Marie Langager
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publication Date: December 19, 2013
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.
The Mapmaker’s Daughter
Title: The Mapmaker’s Daughter
Author: Caroline Dunford
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: April 17, 2014
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.
Title: Deliver Me
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
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.
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.”
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.
Open Internationally !
Enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with all of these titles (also please use image attached with all the covers included):
1) The Sound of Us by Ashley Poston
2) The Art of Falling by Jenny Kaczorowski
3) The Secret of Isobel Key by Jen McConnel PLUS its sequel
4) Her Secret Inheritance
5) Positively Mine by Christine Duval
6) Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch
7) Pride’s Run by Cat Kalen
8) Road to Somewhere by Jenny S. Morris and Kelley Lynn
9) Beyond Our Stars by Marie Langager
10) The Mapmaker’s Daughter by Caroline Dunford
11) Until We End by Frankie Brown
12) An ARC of My Soon-To-Be Sex Life by Judith Tewes