Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI
By: Sandhya Menon
Published By: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.




Why it's Wanted:

How cute is this cover? I've heard really good things about this one, and it sounds like a good story. Plus, I love learning about other cultures and reading books in dual perspectives.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Sketch: Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley


OUR OWN PRIVATE UNIVERSE
By: Robin Talley
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: Jan. 31, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex.

No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.




First Thought After Finishing: This is a book for teens, and I'm glad it exists for the teens who need it.

I'm always drawn to books with foreign settings, perhaps because I'm too poor right now to travel everywhere that I want to go. I also liked the idea of this book addressing a teenager exploring her sexuality on a church mission trip. Because this can be a contentious issue, especially the intersection of religion and LBGTQIA+ rights, I was curious to see how Robin Talley addressed it.

Aki is only fifteen, but she is ready for her life to begin. On her mission trip, she and her best friend make a pact to have a hookup before they go home. Enter Christa, a girl from another church who Aki finds fascinating. once they start talking, Aki is convinced that she wants her summer fling to be with Christa. Only that means keeping some secrets. And then a few more secrets. And Aki isn't the only one. Even with her family and her best friend Lori, it seems like what happens in Mexico might not stay in Mexico.

Confession time: This is the first YA book with a bisexual female that I've read. I wasn't positive what to expect, but I thought the author handled the subject matter well. Aki was ready to dive into new experiences headfirst, and her youthful enthusiasm shine through here. She and Christa were both sweet together and also a good reminder of what that first "real" crush can feel like. The thing I was most surprised about here was the discussion on safe sex for females--and it is part of why this book can be so important for teens. Sex is going to happen, but protection is important.

But this book isn't just about romance and sex. Aki and her friends discuss major issues in the world, exploring whether or not these issues should be supported. Aki also has to deal with secrets, keeping some for others and some of her own. Honestly, this book made me glad that I'm not a teenager anymore, where every action and word can be so easily documented. The drama these teens created for themselves, the challenges to lifelong friendship, and the mind games are all so accurate to what teens face and so saddening to me as an adult. I wanted to hug some and shake some sense into some others. But ultimately everyone found support somewhere, which is so essential for the issues they were dealing with.

Most Memorable Aspect: This book has real talk about a lot of issues, from sex to gay marriage to international war. But no matter who you're choosing to be, somewhere there will be a friend or family member who will be there for the ride.




Friday, May 5, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Air and Ash by Alex Liddell



I am so excited that AIR AND ASH by Alex Lidell is available now and that I get to share the news! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Alex Lidell, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of AIR AND ASH & a copy of A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J. Maas, International, courtesy of Alex and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


AIR AND ASH
By: Alex Liddell
Published By: Danger Bearing Press
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Series: Tides #1
Pages: 284
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Master and Commander meets Tamora Pierce in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.

After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

AIR AND ASH is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and Naomi Novik.




~ EXCERPT ~

My breaths come quick, my side vision a blur of sand. The horses rear, showing their bellies and hooves. When Red turns to the beasts, I crash into him. The impact ricochets through me. I drop my rock.

Red staggers but remains standing.

I wrap my arms around Red and draw the other pistol from his waistline even as he throws me to the ground. I land in a heap and breathless, but my hands still clutch the gun.

Inconveniently, the bloody weapon is as much a danger to me as to the men. It bucks in my hand, yielding to the natural pulse of Clay’s uncontrolled magic. Rising to one knee, I move the barrel between Bald and Red. “Stop,” I command. “All of you.”

Three sets of eyes grip me. None give a sign of recognition. I little blame them—having spent most of my life aboard an Ashing ship, the only people who’d reliably recognize me are those I’ve served with. This Felielle trio is unlikely to recognize even Thad outside the throne room, or think twice if they heard my name absent salutation.

My palms are moist, but I know better than to let the fear slip into my voice. “I believe the man has understood your message,” I say.

Clay’s dog chooses that moment to run up beside me and bare its teeth. Its low growl leadens the air between us. One heartbeat stretches after another, punctuated by the break of waves and the horses’ snorts. My breaths come quick and shallow. I’m unlikely to miss at this range, but the pistol is good for one shot only.

Bald squints. “What’s your stake in this?”

“A broken law and a bound man.” I shake my head. The constant foreign presence in Ashing is a necessary burden for now, but I hope to see it end after the war. “One pistol has fired already, gentlemen. I expect the Ashing patrols are en route to investigate.”

Red scowls at me, likely calculating whether he might knock me to the ground before I squeeze off the trigger or the horses scamper. He probably can.

I scowl back, hoping the thugs’ employer paid them too little to risk their hides so greatly. “I would wager you will pay with your horses and backs if the patrols come upon us now.”

Bald snorts and makes a decision. “Is the lady correct, Domenic? Has the message penetrated?” He lands a vicious knee in the man’s abdomen.

Domenic’s jaw tightens, and he has to draw a breath before he can speak. “I have a debt.” His voice is steadier than I had expected. “I will pay it.”

“Why, that is all we wished to hear in the first place.” Bald pats Domenic’s shoulder and turns away, then twists back and punches Domenic’s jaw as an afterthought. “A pinch of a memory aid.” He chuckles at his joke and, accepting the reins from Red, swings into the saddle. The horses neigh and pick up a gallop, eager to be away, and I raise my free arm to shield my eyes from the flying sand.



~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~


Alex Lidell is an avid horseback rider, paramedic and ice cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s lifelong love for YA fantasy books. Alex’s debut novel, THE CADET OF TILDOR, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards finalist. Her second book AIR AND ASH releases in May 2017.

Find Her Online:
Website | Twitter | Instagram




DON'T MISS THIS GIVEAWAY!

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cover Reveal: The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova


Today Elise Kova and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE DRAGONS OF NOVA, which releases July 11, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win assigned ARC of the book! And now, without further ado, I present THE DRAGONS OF NOVA by Elise Kova!



Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons. Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.



~ EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ~


“They’re coming from the front!” Nora screamed over the crescendo of the engine gaining speed. On cue, the train lurched as an endwig was splattered to a bloody mess on the point of the engine’s pilot.

“Bloody cogs,” Florence cursed. The Vicar Alchemist had sent her to protect the mission as the Revolver, but one of her wasn’t going to be enough. “I’m going to the engine.”

“What are we going to do?” The usually self-sure Nora had the face of a cornered hare.

“You’re going to fight.” Florence passed her a weapon.

“I’ve never shot a gun before.”

“Now is a great time to learn.”

“I’m an Alchemist!”

Seriously, Florence was a breath away from shooting the woman herself. “You’re dead if you don’t adapt! There’s three more bombs exactly like the ones you just used, right there. Just fend them off until the train gets up to speed. But don’t use any other disks.”

Florence had no more time to waste as the train lurched again. They just had to survive until the train reached full speed. For all the endwig were, they certainly couldn’t keep up with a locomotive.

She hoped.

The wind whipped her hair around her face as she stuck her head from the train car. Florence reached out for the ladder to the right of the door, scaling up before another endwig could emerge. She swung up just in time as an explosion nearly blew her foot clean off.

“By the five guilds, you two only had three bombs!” she screamed over the wind, not knowing if they could hear. “Ration them a bit!”

Standing, Florence looked in horror at the tracks ahead. Dozens of endwig lined the path, running eagerly to meet the train. She loaded six canisters at once.

Jumping to the tender, Florence lost her footing atop the moving train car. A nail snapped clean off as she sought a grip that would prevent her from being thrown to certain death. If she fell now, she would never get back on the vessel. She’d be torn limb from limb.

Gritting her teeth, Florence rose to her knees, shooting two endwig in the process. She wedged herself between two grooves on the top of the tender. Blood pooled around her shins as she dug them into the metal for a grip where there was none, but she was stable enough to take aim, and that meant she could open fire.

Five shots down, and Florence reloaded her gun. Endwig came relentlessly like a never-ending nightmare. But the train didn’t gain any more speed. She repeated the process, waiting for the vessel to be like her bullets, whizzing through the night at deadly speeds.

“Anders, now would be a great time to open her up!” she screamed.

There was no reply.

“Anders, Rotus, we need speed, get us out of here faster!”

Five long claws curled around the door of the engine in answer. Florence watched in horror as the white silhouette of an endwig, dotted in the black blood of a Chimera, pulled itself from the engine room. Florence swallowed hard. They were without Rivet and Raven, stumbling through the darkness, enemies at all sides. She raised her gun slowly, looking fearlessly at the face of death itself. Her revolver was steady over the rocking of the train. “You think I’m not used to this?” Her mouth curled into a mad grin. “I’ve been fighting my way out of the darkness my whole life. And you’re not going to stop me now.”

Gunshots echoed through the forest.


~ ABOUT ELISA KOVA ~

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Find Elise Online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



~ GIVEAWAY ~


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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


DEAR READER
By: Mary O'Connell
Published By: Flatiron Books
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Gilmore Girls with magical realism! Dear Reader is an original, poignant modern-day take on Wuthering Heights, as a high school senior searches for her teacher and meets a boy who may just be Heathcliff come to life.

For seventeen-year-old Flannery Fields, the only respite from the plaid-skirted mean girls at Sacred Heart High School at is her beloved teacher Miss Sweeney’s AP English class. But when Miss Sweeney doesn't show up to teach Flannery's favorite book, Wuthering Heights, leaving behind her purse, Flannery knows something is wrong.

The police are called, and Flannery gives them everything—except Miss Sweeney's copy of Wuthering Heights. This she holds onto. And good thing she does, because when she opens it, it has somehow transformed into Miss Sweeney's real-time diary. It seems Miss Sweeney is in New York City—and she's in trouble.

So Flannery does something very unFlannery-like: she skips school and sets out for Manhattan, with the book as her guide. But as soon as she arrives, she meets a boy named Heath. Heath is British, on a gap year, incredibly smart—yet he's never heard of Albert Einstein or Anne Frank. In fact, Flannery can't help thinking that he seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë's novel. Could it be?

With inimitable wit and heart, Mary O'Connell has crafted a love letter to reading, to the books that make us who we are. Dear Reader, charming and heartbreaking, is a novel about finding your people, on the page in the world.




Why it's Wanted:

Gilmore Girls and magical realism? Yes please! Add in Wuthering Heights, and this book sounds like it has the potential to be a new favorite. I'm definitely excited for this one!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


RAMONA BLUE
By: Julie Murphy
Published By: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.




Why it's Wanted:

This book sounds like it tackles some tough issues in a new way. I love a good emotional read, and this will probably be one I enjoy delving into.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Book Sketch: The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt


THE RADIUS OF US
By: Marie Marquardt
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: Jan. 17, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear?

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just daily routine, but who you are as a person. Gretchen Asher knows this, because that’s how long a stranger held her body to the ground. When a car sped toward them and Gretchen’s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes. And now she doesn’t even recognize herself.

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just the place you live, but the person others think you are. Phoenix Flores-Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S. / Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention. But Phoenix didn’t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta. He became that person — the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.

Ninety seconds can change a life — so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt's The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.




First Thought After Finishing: This book tackles a lot of issues, but it does so with sensitivity and reason and as part of the overall story.

Gretchen is recovering from the ninety seconds that changed her life and destroyed the illusion of safety. She rarely goes out other than to babysit for her cousins. One day, she thinks she sees her attacker again, only it's not him. It's Phoenix, an asylum seeker from El Salvador. He knows better than to get involved with Gretchen--or anyone--he needs to free and care for his brother and figure out the future. Only the universe has other plans for them. As the radius between them shrinks, both realize that secrets can only stay hidden for so long, and in order to move forward, they have to confront their past.

I thought the premise of this book sounded interesting, but I did not expect to love it as much as I did. Gretchen and Phoenix both have their own backgrounds and experiences. Phoenix's story in particular broke my heart, especially when considering for how many people that life must be a reality. Phoenix had incredible strength and integrity, and I just wanted to reach through the pages and give him a hug. He wasn't always perfect, but he is definitely a good guy who deserved some good in his life.

Then there is Gretchen. I enjoyed reading her journey of coming back to life. What I loved most is that although Phoenix helped her and gave her incentive to take back control, she did not drastically change just because of a boy. She had good friends, a supportive family, and she was willing to accept help. She was adrift just as much as Phoenix, and that is what made them work so well together.

"When he's with me, we are both here. Right here."

Beyond the couple, I loved the dual POVs in this book as well as the occasional flashbacks. There were moments of fun and general kindness in the midst of all the heavy issues, and those moments also carried emotional power. If I had one complaint, it would only be the ending, because I wanted to see ore from the characters. Still, although their tumultuous journeys found some resolutions, I find myself thinking about Gretchen and Phoenix and hoping that they would have happiness in their fictional future.

Most Memorable Aspect: Gretchen and Phoenix were so perfectly matched. Circumstances brought them together, but they make sense as a couple. I loved that they needed each other and that their relationship had balance.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED
By: Becky Albertalli
Published By: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?




Why it's Wanted:

I enjoy reading books about sibling relationships, probably because as an only child I want to live vicariously through the stories. This sounds like it has the potential to be a really cute story!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant and Perfect by Cecelia Ahern



As a math teacher, I love the title of this book! Plus (see what I did there?) I love the idea of a girl who loves math and is a synesthete of sorts. I can't wait to read this one!



ZENN DIAGRAM
By: Wendy Brant
Published By: Kids Can Press
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 328
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues.

Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart.




~ ~ ~ EXCERPT ~ ~ ~

While he waits for his coffee, I snuggle deeper into the couch, hoping he won’t notice me. The only thing worse than filling out college applications the night of the homecoming dance is your crush seeing you fill out college applications the night of the homecoming dance. I guess it should make me feel better that he’s not at the dance, either, but it doesn’t. When guys don’t go to homecoming it seems like a conscious choice. When girls don’t go, it just seems like they didn’t get asked.

“Tall black drip!” the barista calls out, like she’s calling out his name and not the drink. Zenn is tall and dark, but there is nothing drippy about him. He is most definitely non-drippy, whatever that means. He takes his coffee and I think I am home free until he steps away from the counter.

Crap. He sees me. I am equal parts mortified and thrilled.

He raises his cup in a silent greeting and comes a few steps closer. He opens the lid and I try not to stare at his mouth as he blows on his coffee to cool it.

“Hey, Zenn.” My voice sounds goofy in my own ears. Too loud in this small, cozy space.

He takes a tentative sip from his cup. Straight black coffee, no cream, no sugar, no chocolate syrup. What a badass.

“No homecoming for you either?” he asks.

I close my laptop and press my hands against the warm surface. I shrug. “I’m not much of a dancer.” Zenn nods in agreement. “Yeah. Me neither.”

He comes even closer and sits down on the arm of the sofa across from me. His knees are spread wide, his forearms resting on his inner thighs, his hypnotizing hands holding his coffee in the triangle between his legs. He looks so comfortable, so at ease in his own skin. How does one get that way? You wouldn’t think it would be hard – I mean, we’re born in our skin. It should be pretty comfortable by the time you hit seventeen, eighteen. But for me...not so much.


~ ~ ~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ ~ ~

So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I've been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person's life. I've got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with "anyway", and I wish I were funnier. I would love to be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It's one of my great sadnesses in life.

​I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the whole journalism thing. Didn't take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing desire reared its non-practical head and I've been writing ever since. 

Anyway, I'm probably just like you. We'd probably be friends if we met in real life. (Well, let's be honest. It's likely that only my friends are actually reading this blog, so we probably ARE friends in real life.) But whether we are friends in real life, or just virtual friends through cyberspace, I hope you will enjoy your time here.

Check out my debut YA novel, ZENN DIAGRAM (KCP Loft 4/4/17), available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Target!

Find Her Online: Website | Twitter | Instagram


~ DON'T MISS THIS GIVEAWAY!~

(1) Winner will receive an annotated copy of Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher (US only) Follow these rules to enter!

3 winners will receive a hardcover of ZENN DIAGRAM, US Only. The giveaway will be open until April 11th at 12:00 a.m. Eastern.

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Cecelia Ahern's first book, Flawed, was so popular, and now the next installment is here! Are you eager to see what happens next? It's bound to be good!



PERFECT
By: Cecelia Ahern
Published By: Feiwell & Friends
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Series: Flawed
Pages: 352
Genre: Dystopian
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine's life has completely fractured--all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick--the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret--one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or to risk her life to save all Flawed people.

And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed?





~ ~ ~ EXCERPT ~ ~ ~

They stay there for three hours. My muscles burn, my feet ache, but I’m afraid to move.

When the fire has reduced to a smolder, Granddad and Dahy are ordered to place the bundles of food onto the coals. The farmworkers watch from their orderly line, their F brand armbands all visible on their right arms, just above their elbow.

This was supposed to be a celebration, a coming together to show that the Guild couldn’t beat them down. Now the Whistleblowers themselves are here. Hiding behind the tree, huddled on the ground, hugging my legs, shivering from the damp forest, I can’t say that I feel empowered. This feels like a defeat.

Granddad and Dahy cover the food with the soil so it will cook under the ground in the heat. Granddad looks at the ground, his work finished, as though he’s buried me alive. Again I want to call out to him that I’m okay, I made it out, but I can’t.

A phone rings and the female Whistleblower takes it. She steps aside, walks away from the others, so she can talk in private. She moves closer to me in the woods. I tense up again.

“Judge Crevan, hello. It’s Kate. No, Judge, Celestine isn’t here. We’ve checked everywhere.”

Silence as she listens and I hear Crevan’s voice from where I stand. Kate walks farther and stops by my tree.

I press my back to the tree, squeeze my eyes shut, and hold my breath.

“With all due respect, Judge, this is the Guild’s sixth visit to the property and I believe Mary May was meticulous in her search. We’ve checked everywhere you can imagine. I don’t believe she’s here. I think the grandfather is telling the truth.”

I can hear the frustration in her voice. They’re all under pressure to find me, pressure placed on them by Judge Crevan. Kate takes a few more steps, right into my eyeline.

She slowly scans the forest, her eyes searching the distance.

Then she looks right at me.


~ ~ ~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ ~ ~


At twenty-one, Cecelia wrote her first novel PS, I Love You, which was sold to forty-seven countries. The film of the same title, directed by Richard LaGravenese and produced by Wendy Finerman productions, starred Hilary Swank, Lisa Kudrow, Kathy Bates, Gerry Butler, Harry Connick Jr, Gina Gershon and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. PS, I Love You was one of the biggest-selling debut novels of 2004, reaching number 1 in Ireland and in the UK Sunday Times bestseller list. It was also a bestseller throughout Europe and the USA, staying on the best-seller list in Germany for 52 weeks.

That same year, in November 2004, her second book Where Rainbows End (as Rosie Dunne hardback in the US, Love, Rosie paperback in US) also reached no.1 in Ireland and the UK, remaining at the top of the Irish bestsellers list for 12 weeks and again was a bestseller internationally.  Where Rainbows End was adapted for film titled Love, Rosie and will be released in Oct 2014, starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.

Her third book If You Could See Me Now was published in November 2005 and also became an international bestseller. It has been optioned by producer Simon Brooks, producer of Love, Rosie.

Cecelia’s fourth novel A Place Called Here (published under the title There’s No Place Like Here in the US) also became an international number one bestseller.

Thanks For The Memories her fifth novel was also a huge bestseller and is now being adapted for a TV Drama Series by Gate Productions.

The Gift was published in October 2008 and became an International bestseller. It is optioned by Oscar winning producer Andreas Bareiss, and it is going into production later this year.

Her seventh novel The Book Of Tomorrow was released in October 2009 and eOne Television are developing it for a TV series in the US.

In March of 2011 her two short stories, Girl in the Mirror were published.

In November by Cecelia’s eighth novel The Time Of My Life was published and also became a bestseller.

Her ninth novel One Hundred Names was published in October 2012 and became a number one bestseller.

Her tenth novel How To Fall In Love was published last November and also became another bestseller.

To date Cecelia has sold over 22 million copies of her books worldwide.

Find Her Online: Website | Twitter | Instagram


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