Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest Post + Giveaway: The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott


Hey everyone! I'm highlighting a great new upcoming release from NAL Trade today with a guest post by the author and a giveaway! Read on for more info on the book and be sure to stop back soon for my review!


The Accidental Book Club
Author: Jennifer Scott
Genre: Contemporary/Women's Fiction
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: NAL Trade

Description:

Writing a new future takes a little time—and a lot of love.

Jean Vison never expected to run a book club, until her life took an unexpected turn. Now, with Jean’s husband gone, what began as an off-the-cuff idea has grown into a group of six women who meet the second Tuesday of every month for a potluck supper, for wine and laughter—and for books.

There’s Loretta, who deals with the lack of intimacy in her marriage by diving into erotic novels. Dorothy, whose ruffian sons are a never-ending source of stress. May entertains the group with her outrageous dating stories, while Mitzi finds something political to rant about in every book—including Loretta’s trashy romances. Even Janet, with her mousy shyness and constant blush, has helped Jean rediscover the joy in life.

So when Jean’s family starts unraveling again—her daughter forced into rehab and her troubled teen granddaughter, Bailey, coming to live with her in the interim—she turns to the book club for comfort and support. And, together, they all, even Bailey, discover that family is what you make of it, especially the family you choose…
 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18667846-the-accidental-book-club?ac=1
It Gets Personal, Each and Every Time 

I write character-driven novels. Not that I don’t enjoy a good plot-twisting-heart-pounding-page-turner. Absolutely, I do! But for some reason, when I sit down to write, I focus on the character. What’s going on in her head? In her family? In her heart?
My first step in writing is always a character sketch. I write down everything I could ever want to know about each of my most important characters, from physical characteristics to personality traits to foods they enjoy and clubs they belong to. I want to know which stereotypes they fit, and which they break. I want to know who they hang out with, by force, by necessity, and by choice. I want to know what their house looks like and who their grandparents were. I want to know their birthdays. Do they feel anxious about their weight, their nose, their career, their health? I want to know that, too. Only after I have all of my questions about my characters answered, do I sit down to write their story.
I do this for two reasons.
One, I was a psychology major in college, so it’s really no big surprise that I enjoy diving and digging into the hearts and minds of my characters. Clearly, I enjoy knowing, and trying to understand, people. Events are given meaning by how we act and react. Thoughts are given voice, and the voice those thoughts are given depends on who’s speaking. So, in terms of my books, I’d better know exactly who’s got their mouths open, and what’s coming out.
Two, I like to think of novels as “unique days” in my characters’ lives. And, to me, it’s impossible to know how someone would react to a “unique day” if you don’t know how they act in a normal one. Knowing my characters as individuals helps me be able to predict them, just as knowing my husband, my kids, or my mother helps me predict them.
Before writing The Accidental Book Club, I created character sketches for each book club member. These were the people who would be doing the acting and the talking in my story. They needed voices that were as clear and unique as the voices of any six real people in the real world. And I needed to be able to hear them.
How could I know if Jean was going to react with kindness or coldness upon hearing about Bailey’s troubles? How could I be sure how Janet would respond to her boss? How could I possibly guess what Loretta would say to R. Sebastian Thackeray, III when he visits Jean’s house? How would I be able to see the weariness in the lines around Dorothy’s eyes? By the only way I know how: by making my characters as real as possible before I ever get to the point of writing those things.
It’s sort of like sitting down to coffee with new friends. I ask questions; I mentally log answers. I notice quirks and habits. I notice subtleties that allow me to infer some things about their personalities. Sometimes, we toss back squat cups of coffee, and others we linger over entire pots. Once I wrote a 38-page character sketch for a character who never ended up in a novel. But, man, I’d enjoyed getting to know her just as I would have had she shown up at my son’s football game and sat in the lawn chair next to me. And if I’d ever needed to put that character into a “unique day,” I think I just might have been able to do so.
Jennifer Scott is an award-winning author, whose young adult novel The Hate List (written under the name Jennifer Brown) has received wide acclaim, including being named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.  THE ACCIDENTAL BOOK CLUB is her second novel for adults, after The Sister Season.

Giveaway: The wonderful people at NAL are offering (1) copy of The Accidental Book Club to one lucky winner! US Only!


 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Awaken by Skye Malone


Awaken (Awakened Fate #1)
Author: Skye Malone
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wildflower Isle 
Expected Publication: June 3, 2014
Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter


Description:
Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.

But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn’t even begin to apply.

Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.

It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more.

[If you're interested in being part of the blog tour for Awaken, click the banner above to learn more!]
Skye Malone is the creative mind behind the Awakened Fate series.
She also technically does not exist.

Skye was born on May 17th, 2013 as the pen name of author Megan Joel Peterson, to give Megan an outlet for all the stories running around in her head. She writes paranormal romance and adventure, loves wolves and the ocean, and might just take over Megan’s life someday.





Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths Blog Tour: Review

http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/collectorofdyingbreathstour/

Welcome to my stop on the Collector of Dying Breaths book tour! Today I'm sharing my review of the book - so read on for the book's details and my thoughts. To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

The Collector of Dying Breaths

Author: M.J. Rose
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 1451621531

Description:

From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.

In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years RenĂ© le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.

But it’s RenĂ©’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.

Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.

Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

Praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths:

“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.” – B.A.Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger

“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” – Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18144112-the-collector-of-dying-breaths


The Collector of Dying Breaths is an imaginative and richly detailed novel that spans centuries, continents, and generations with intrigue and passion. The story revolves around the L'Etoile family - one of the most prominent and respected perfumers of France. The reader learns of Rene La Florentine - a monk in the 16th century who was Catherine de Medici's personal perfumer and secret poison maker. Rene is incredibly talented when it comes to creating the perfect scent, but his real objective is to finish the work his mentor started - to collect a person's final breath and put it into another's body to bring the deceased back to life. 

The story turns to the 21st century where Jac L'Etoile has inherited the ancient family business and craft of perfume making after the untimely death of her younger brother. Jac finds Rene's notes and obsession of returning people from the dead and she tries to finish the work that he started so long ago. In  her quest, Jac encounters an old love, an eccentric heiress, and several other fascinating characters. The journey she takes spans not only countries but centuries as well, which puts Jac's unique gift of recalling past lives to great use.

The novel was full of vivid details, which immediately drew me into the story. The settings, characters, and different scenes throughout the book are described with extreme care and rich imagery, to the point where I could practically smell the oils and perfumes and I felt as if I was in 16th century France. The author takes the world inside the pages of the novel and immerses the reader so deeply - to the point of total enchantment. The characters were all very well rounded with distinctive personalities - showing both their strengths and their flaws, their hopes and fears, and their thoughts and emotions. I felt like I knew Jac personally before the novel was finished and I loved meeting each character we encounter throughout the book. The plot is full of mystery, passion, and history. Being told from two varying viewpoints, from two different time periods, was a fantastic choice for telling the story. It connects the present day characters and happenings back to where they all began and what happened during that time. I found the idea of reanimating people with their dying breath to be compelling and exciting, so the mystery and the passion that occurs around the search for this ability had me eagerly reading each page to see what was going to happen next. In conclusion, this is by far one of the best books I've read so far this year. It's beautifully written with an unique story and unforgettable characters. Very highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, mystery, and general/literary fiction.

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Buy the Book:

Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes & Noble



 

Matchmaking Blitz + Giveaway: Searching for Perfect by Jennifer Probst

SearchingforPerfect 

SEARCHING FOR PERFECT (Searching For #2)

Author: Jennifer Probst

Release Date: Tuesday, April 29th

Book Summary:

The up-and-coming matchmaking agency Kinnections is the hottest thing to hit Verily, New York—just like Kennedy Ashe, social director for the service she owns with her two best girlfriends. A coach, consultant, and cheerleader rolled into one super-sizzling package, Kennedy creates dream dates, encourages singles to shine, and never refuses a challenge—not even Nate Ellison Raymond Dunkle, rocket scientist, nerd extraordinaire, and Kennedy’s newest client. Kennedy vows to work her magic and transform this hot mess in a lab coat with a disastrous relationship track record into the most wanted man on the Verily dating scene. If only she could turn the wand on herself . . . Though she radiates confidence and sex appeal, Kennedy harbors deep-seated insecurities from a tormented past and lifelong struggle with weight issues. When she realizes she and Nate are cut from the same cloth and might be perfect together, can Kennedy learn to let her heart lead the way? Or will her fears sentence her to the sidelines as Nate finds love—with someone else?

 -------------------------- 
Jennifer ProbstJennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again. She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.  

AUTHOR LINKS: 
Website: www.jenniferprobst.com 
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferprobst.authorpage 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenniferprobst 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2965489.Jennifer_Probst    
 
Today is the "Matchmaking Blitz" for Searching for Perfect by Jennifer Probst! In order to join the fun, just leave a comment on this post telling us who your perfect match would be. It can be a celebrity or book character. Give as much detail as you'd like. Once you have commented, fill out the Rafflecopter to be entered to win a "Searching for Perfect" necklace and (2) signed sets of Searching for Someday (Book #1) and Searching for Perfect.

SFP_Matchmaking    
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Finding Haven by T.A. Foster

FindingHaven Amazon Smashwords Goodreads-1FINDING HAVEN

Author: T.A. Foster

Expected Release Date: May 15, 2014

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Power. Money. Control. Love.

He has all but one.

When movie star, Evan Carlson, discovers his girlfriend’s picture with another man splashed on the cover of gossip magazines, he decides he’s had enough of his fishbowl life and attempts to outrun the media frenzy his relationships have become. Driving until the road stops, he ends up on the remote and quaint Perry Island, where a heartthrob can blend in like the locals and be a beach bum as long as he wants. All that changes when Evan meets Haven Owen, aspiring songwriter and the girl he just can’t get enough of. A summer romance turns into something much deeper and Evan gets tangled in his own web of lies to keep Haven in his life. But when his ex tracks him down, Evan learns there are some things you just can’t outrun.

   FH_Teaser2

 Is the cost of love, losing all control?
headshotT.A. Foster once spent a monthlong spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos. T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.  

Author Links: 
Blog: http://www.tafosterauthor.com/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tafosterwriter 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAFosterauthor 
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster

FH_Teaser3




What do you think of the cover? Leave a comment!

 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fragile Line Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/2014/03/blog-tour-sign-up-fragile-line-by.html

Welcome to my stop on the Fragile Line blog tour! Today I have my review of the book to share and don't forget to enter the tour wide giveaway at the bottom of the post! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.


Fragile Line
Author: Brooklyn Skye
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Description:

It can happen in a flash. One minute she’s kissing her boyfriend, the next she’s lost in the woods. Sixteen-year-old Ellie Cox is losing time. It started out small…forgetting a drive home or a conversation with a friend. But her blackouts are getting worse, more difficult to disguise as forgetfulness. When Ellie goes missing for three days, waking up in the apartment of a mysterious guy—a guy who is definitely not her boyfriend, her life starts to spiral out of control.

Perched on the edge of insanity, with horrific memories of her childhood leaking in, Ellie struggles to put together the pieces of what she’s lost—starting with the name haunting her, Gwen. Heartbreakingly beautiful, this poignant story follows one girl’s harrowing journey to finding out who she really is.
 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18516005-fragile-line?ac=1
Fragile Line is a unique and compelling young adult novel that blends an intense mystery alongside realistic fiction dealing with mental health issues. The book follows our heroine, Elizabeth "Ellie" Cox, who has been experiencing blackouts - chunks of missing time and memories - for the majority of her life. Normally they were small things like going to bed at night or doing a project at school. Now the blackouts are coming on stronger and closer together. Ellie's starting to lose critical time periods - hours and eventually even days - and she has no idea what has happened. She wakes one morning to find that she got a tattoo sometime the previous day, but she has no memory of it at all. Worse yet, she disappears for three days straight and wakes up in a random guy's apartment with absolutely no idea of how she got there or what had happened while she was gone. With her blackouts causing serious problems in her life, along with fragments of memories from her childhood and evidence of her doing things she never would do, Ellie must decide whether to keep hiding from her secrets and her past - or she must confront them head on and learn the heartbreaking truth of what happened to her when she was young as well as what the blackouts really are.

I found this novel to be a fantastic blend of realistic contemporary fiction and a powerful mystery. All aspects of the story line had me completely engrossed in the book and I couldn't stop reading until I found out what was really happening to Ellie and why. The way that the author wrote about Ellie's problems and eventually her disorder was great - it was woven into the mystery and the plot of the story - giving the reader a better understanding of a serious mental illness without sounding boring or clinical. Adding in the mystery behind the blackouts and Ellie's determination to discover the truth really brought the plot to a deeper level, and I felt that everything flowed together in a seamless way to create a riveting novel. The characters were well written, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, flaws and problems - which I thought made them easy to identify with as a reader. Ellie was a wonderful main character for the story. She's smart, determined, a devoted daughter, sister and friend, but she's also broken, scared, and scarred by her past. I found it very interesting that the story was divided into different parts told from either Ellie's or Gwen's point of view. I think it gives the reader an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes for the characters and helps to know each one on a more personal level. The plot was perfectly crafted with the mystery weaving into the mental health issues and to deeper topics such as family, love, truth, and facing your fears. I found the mystery aspect to be fantastic and I was completely at a loss for the first portion of the book as to what was happening. After I realized the truth, the strange occurrences and issues that Ellie dealt with and tried to understand made complete sense and I enjoyed learning the complete truth about it all right alongside her. Overall, this is a magnificent book that mixes genres to create an original novel of realistic fiction and mystery. Highly recommended for fans of YA contemporary fiction and those who enjoy mysteries.

Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she's just your average awkward girl who's obsessed with words. She writes young adult and new adult fiction. You can follow her on Twitter as @brooklyn__skye or visit her web site for updates, teasers, giveaways, and more. www.brooklyn-skye.com 

Author Links:
Website: http://brooklynskye.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brooklyn-Skye/527916810618631
Twitter: twitter.com/@brooklyn__skye (two underscores) 

Book Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fragile-Line-Entangled-Teen-Brooklyn-ebook/dp/B00JCY64S2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397859497&sr=8-1&keywords=fragile+line+brooklyn+skye 
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fragile-line-brooklyn-skye/1119054793?ean=9781622665297
Entangled Website: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/fragile-line/ 

Entangled Teen Links: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Entangled-Teen/327149817363761 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EntangledTeen
Giveaway: $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card - Winner's Choice!





 

Book Blast + Giveaway: Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

http://www.booknerdtours.com/2014/nerd-blast-summer-on-the-short-bus.html



Summer on the Short Bus
Author: Bethany Crandell
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids

Description:

Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, she is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this is actually a camp for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.

Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance–and losing her sanity.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13635790-summer-on-the-short-bus?ac=1
  
Praise For SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS:

“Crandell creates a wonderful and relatable protagonist with Cricket but even better than that, she surrounds her with equally relatable, flawed, and real characters…This book is an absolute winner!” – Feathered Quill Book Reviews

“A novel oozing with heart and humanity.” – Ken Baker, E! News correspondent and author of Fangirl and How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love

“A hilarious and heartwarming ride.” – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, author of How My Summer Went Up in Flames and Famous Last Words
Bethany lives in San Diego with her husband, two kiddos (one of whom is differently-abled), and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. She believes that prayer solves problems and that Jake Ryan is going to show up at her door any minute now…. She is represented by Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Services.


Buy Links: AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


One Winner will get: a Signed Copy of SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS   
One Winner will get a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N – winners choice!

Open Internationally for the Gift Card. Book Ships in US only. Must be 13 + To enter