Monday, January 15, 2018

Blast + Giveaway: Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce


Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce

The hilarious and smart start of a series about a girl who loves to build—STEM-powered, creative fun for girls.

Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet?

Illustrated with Ellie’s sketches and plans, and including backmatter with how-tos, this is full of engineering fun!





Praise for ELLIE, ENGINEER

"A charming book featuring an engineer who makes mistakes when navigating the roads of friendship. In addition to spotlighting engineering, the narrative contains strong themes of friendship and working together toward a common goal. VERDICT A solid addition to chapter book collections." ―School Library Journal


"Charming. . . . In addition to spotlighting engineering, the narrative contains strong themes of friendship and working together toward a common goal." ―School Library Journal


"Pearce emphasizes Ellie’s persistence and individuality. . . . Mourning’s notebook-style images help give a sense of how Ellie’s brain works." ―Publishers Weekly


"Explicitly rejects the idea that activities and objects are gendered (e.g., boys and girls can both like engineering and tea parties). The twist ending is not what most readers will expect. A spirited, duplicable depiction of STEM fun." ―Kirkus Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackson Pearce currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. After attending Brookwood High School in Snellville, GA, Jackson attended Georgia College & State University and later transferred to the University of Georgia, where she graduated with a major in English and a minor in Philosophy.

Jackson was an avid reader as a child—she loved the Boxcar Children and Indian in the Cupboard series, but really, she read anything she could get her hands on. This proved problematic when she got her hands on her mother’s paperback romance books from time to time.

It was her love of reading that spurred her to start writing—when Jackson was in her tweens, she was looking for a book that involved a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. When such a book couldn’t be found, Jackson vowed to write it herself. She gave the story up after about ten pages, but the love of writing didn’t die as easily as the story. In her late teens, Jackson began writing for publication. Her first book, AS YOU WISH, sold to Harper Collins when she was twenty-two years old. There are currently four books in her series of retold fairytales—SISTERS RED, SWEETLY, FATHOMLESS, and COLD SPELL. She has also written a contemporary novel called PURITY, a historical fantasy under the pen name J. Nelle Patrick (TSARINA), and has two middle grade series forthcoming—THE DOUBLECROSS (AND OTHER SKILLS I LEARNED AS A SUPERSPY), coming July 2015, and PIP BARTLETT’S GUIDE TO MAGICAL CREATURES, co-written with Maggie Stiefvater, coming May 2015

Photo Content from Jackson Pearce


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tour + Review, Excerpt, and Teasers: Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger

 
The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication: January 8th, 2018


Stand up.

When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.

Be heard.

Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.

Fight back.



Review:
3.5 stars

I absolutely love science fiction novels, and this one did not disappoint me at all. I really enjoyed the writing style of the author, and foud the world-building to be phenomenal - it felt like I was actually there as I was reading this story.

Lark, I found, to be a unique character, and overall likable. Although at times I found her emotions and actions to be contradictory. I thought she was complex, and I really enjoyed her character growth as the novel progressed. I loved her love interest, Kalen, after a while. Initially, I wasn't a huge fan of his personality and attitude. I liked how their relationship, for the most part, developed throughout the story.

All in all, a wonderful sci-fi novel that I would definitely recommend to other sci-fi lovers out there.

About the Author:

My name is Sara Baysinger and I write books. I was born in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where I spent my early life exploring uncharted lands on horseback and raising chickens. I now make my home among the endless cornfields of Indiana with my husband and two children…and I still raise chickens. My dystopian novel BLACK TIGER was self-published in 2016, with books 2 & 3 published in 2017. When not getting lost in a book, I can be found gardening, devouring chocolate, and running off the sugar-high from said chocolate. I’m currently working on an upcoming science fiction romance novel that will release with Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing.

Twitter   


Excerpt from A Vanishing Spark of Dusk

“What have we here. A runaway?” I can’t think. In my panic I can hardly breathe— “Easy there.” His voice is lucid and smooth, not rough and unkind like I imagined it would be. He releases me. “I’m not going to hurt you.” The first scattered thought that crosses my mind when I look at him is, he’s not really too different from Humans. I mean, apart from being exceptionally tall, he really could pass for a Human. His tanned face is clean-shaven, and when he smiles, dimples appear. Dark feathery hair the color of molasses curls around two pointed ears. Amusement flickers in his eyes—and for the first time I notice the strange color of them. They’re not crazy at all, the way Johnson described. They have a purple hue, soft and deep like lilacs. Never look them in the eye. One of Johnson’s many lessons. I avert my gaze. “What are you doing outside the plantation?” His voice is not accusing but slightly curious. “You shouldn’t be out here unless you have a death wish. Correct?” My stomach drops. Yes. He thinks I’m a slave. This could be good. Or really bad. I glance at the sky, think of something to say, but every Tavdorian word I’ve ever learned has decided to take a vacation. “The sunset,” I finally say in his language. “You can get the best view from here.” It’s the weakest excuse ever, but it’ll buy me some time. “The sunset?” He crosses his arms, and I notice how strong he is, his forearms corded in muscle.“You risked your life leaving the plantation…for a sunset?” One swallow. Two blinks. “It’s worth it, don’t you think?” I gesture toward the sky, now turning a deep shade of crimson. He swivels his eyes toward the sunset, then back at me. A confused smile forms on his two perfect lips, and I briefly wonder if all Tavdorians are this good-looking or if I’ve officially lost my mind. “Alno must be lenient. Not many slaves get the privilege of enjoying a sunset.” My heartbeat spikes. Look away. Johnson told me Tavdorians never speak civilly to Humans. It’s all orders and reprimands. So why is this one speaking to me? Why isn’t he reacting in anger at my “privilege”? “But you don’t have to worry about a lashing from me.” The Tavdorian steps closer, and my shoulders stiffen. He’s so tall my head barely reaches his chest. If he thought I was a runaway, he could easily swing me over his shoulder and carry me to the plantation himself. “What do you want with me?” The question comes out in a breathless whisper. I allow myself to peek up at him. He stares back, his eyes sparking with curiosity. “Simple conversation would be enough.” A conversation. With a Tavdorian. There’s nothing simple about that. “You don’t need to tremble so much. I’m not going to harm you.” He waves his hand in the air. “Or tell on you for running away.” “Thank you,” I manage to whisper, realizing after I speak the words that I just confirmed his suspicion. “I would suggest you run with more resources, though. Food. Water.” His eyes drift over my threadbare tunic, and he frowns. “Layers of clothing, perhaps.” “I’m fine, really.” “Do you know how to hunt?” I’m starting to wonder if this is an interrogation. He narrows his eyes and lowers his voice a notch. “Or are you meeting with other runaways? I heard there were two who ran from the plantation. Alno must have a terrible time keeping his fence intact.” I can’t speak. My mouth has been bolted shut, my fear threatening to choke me. He sighs and drags his hand through his hair. “This conversation is seriously getting boring. You can either speak to me like a civil…being. Or you can walk away and leave me hanging, wondering who the mysterious copper-haired runaway was that I met on the riverbank.” My brain screams at me to walk away, but this Tavdorian isn’t the only curious one here. 




The Giveaway: 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Tour + Review, Teaser, and Giveaway: Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross




Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls #2)

by Julie Cross
Publication Date:  December 26, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines.

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner. 

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.






OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES




Goodreads

REVIEW:


3*s

This story was good, and I did enjoy as much as I did the first novel in the series, but like with the first book, it was hard for me to get into - and as with the first book, I found it slower then I enjoyed. One of my biggest things with books is pacing, and I found the pacing not what I would have preferred.

I thought Fletcher and Haley were a great couple, and I liked their relationship in the story - much more than I had enjoyed Tate and Claire's relationship in the first book. Although I did enjoy their relationship with one another, at times their individual characters bothered me, but overall, I was really impressed with the character development and growth.

That being said, it was still an entertaining read. It was definitely nice to get back into Juniper Falls. Again, overall I thought the story was decent, and the plot was well-written. I would definitely recommend this book.





About the Author

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. 

Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.


Giveaway

Signed copies of Off the Ice and Breaking the Ice + a $25 Amazon Gift Card (US)  * INT winners will receive ecopies of the books

Blitz + Giveaway and Excerpt: Sugar Lump by Megan Gaudino

 


Sugar Lump
by Megan Gaudino
Genre: YA Mystery
Published January, 2018
Published by Evernight Teen


Seventeen-year-old travel blogger CC is stuck on a never-ending road trip with her wanderlust-addicted father. When her dad lands the job of his dreams in Sugar Lump—wedding capital of the world—CC finally finds a place to call home. Complete with two quirky best friends and a quixotic guy to crush on, Sugar Lump is more shades of perfect than she can possibly count. But when CC accidentally overhears the mayor complaining that she has to “take out” a rogue employee for not fulfilling the terms of his contract, the idyllic town’s facade crumbles. Devastated by the possibility of having to move yet again, CC discovers everyone has been keeping a massive secret from her—including her own father.


EXCERPT:
He moved a little closer, his jeans gliding easily over the leather, and put his right arm on the back of the seat too. Despite looking like he rolled out of a dumpster, he didn’t smell like it. He smelled like Irish Spring soap. “When did you move to town?”He wasn’t looking at me, or anything in particular for that matter, but I could only assume the question was for me. “Yesterday.” “Will you be at school Monday?” “Yeah.” I wasn’t playing his game. If he wanted to have a conversation with me, he was going to have to look in my eyes and address me like a human being. “Are you a senior?” “Junior.” I flashed him a fake smile he didn’t see. Thorn raked his hands through his thick, gray-tipped hair, then clasped them behind his head. That position only lasted for a few seconds then he lurched forward, resting his elbows on his knees. I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to be near me or if he just couldn’t keep still. I slid away from him either way. “Is she always like this? Really, Henry. I know you haven’t known her long but she can speak in sentences, right?” “Clearly CC has good taste and knows not to even bother talking to you.” Luna’s dislike for him made me think my snap judgement was sound. He was probably some kind of hot, crazy-haired womanizer. The easy balance of our trio had turned into a volatile quartet. I pulled a curl though my fingers to keep my hands busy. “Thorn, don’t. Be nice.” Henry said it in a genial way, but Thorn seemed to take it as law. He sat back, flung his knee up, rested his left elbow on the back of the seat, and unleashed the full force of his wide-set, honey-brown eyes on me. They were so clear and so deep it made me wonder if he hadn’t been looking at me on purpose to save me from how cosmic they were. “CC, it’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry if I scared you or made a bad first impression, but as I’m sure you could sense, my situation was dire. My situation is dire.” His tone changed from confident and clipped to languid and loose, but I couldn’t tell if it was sincere. “I accept your apology.”


About the Author:

Megan Gaudino works in a high school library by day and on her own books by night. She’s made up of a mixture of black clothing, iced coffee, and a desire to go adventuring. Those things sort of come together naturally to form a writer. She lives in Pittsburgh where you can find her reading, writing, and Instagraming.

Giveaway:
$20 Amazon GC; open INT

Blitz + Excerpt and Giveaway: Slumber by Christy Sloat


I am so excited that SLUMBER by Christy Sloat is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Christy Sloat, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book courtesy or Christy. and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Title: SLUMBER (Slumber Duology #1)
Author: Christy Sloat
Pub. Date: January 12, 2018
Publisher: CHBB Publishing 
Pages: 234
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

Not all princesses get their happily ever after...

They tell me I killed my boyfriend Phillip in cold blood. I stabbed him twenty one times. I’m only seventeen years old, and I am serving life in Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

I don’t remember killing him, so it’s really hard to believe I’m capable of murder. In fact I don’t remember anything before I came to Spindle Ridge, not even my boyfriend.

I can only grasp onto my realistic dreams while the madness of the asylum threatens to pull me under. I dream I’m a beautiful princess and there is an evil faerie named Maleficent who is bent on my destruction. The dreams are the closest thing I have to memories of my life, except they aren’t real.

I’m crazy. I’m not a princess.

They’re the mad illusions of an irrational teenage girl, right?

They’ve assigned me a new doctor, and she says I can trust her, and that she’ll help me see the truth of who I really am.

When she arrived she brought a new patient, Sawyer, who is everything Spindle Ridge isn’t: exciting, mysterious and beautiful. He promises he’s here to rescue me. Trusting either of them frightens me.

Could it be possible that my dreams are more than just the imaginings of a delusional girl? Could they be truth?

Excerpt:

I woke in the middle of the night hearing screams fill the air. This was not uncommon at all, but tonight I wasn’t expecting it. Normally when Adele’s meds are changed, she wakes screaming that she can’t sleep. Adele’s room is across from mine. She is roughly in her twenties and I never learned how she ended up here. I try not to talk to the other patients. I don’t know why it is, but I don’t fit in with these people. To them I’m the murderer and they tend to think less of me. That’s fine. I am what they say I am. That’s why I’m here, right?

They told me I stabbed my boyfriend, Phillip, but I don’t remember doing it. I actually don’t remember Phillip at all. No recollection of having been in a relationship either. I must have killed him or else I wouldn’t be in Spindle Ridge.

Dr. Altman says that I have to believe that I did it or we will never get anywhere. I’ll admit it’s hard to believe that these hands could stab a person twenty times. No matter how I imagined it, it is always hard to believe. 

I sat up listening hard for the screams. When they came again I noticed they were not female, they were male. The screams were deeper and reached a longer distance than Adele’s cries ever could. I wondered if the whole building could hear him.

I pulled my covers up over my neck and covered my face. I just wanted to sleep and fall back into the dream I was having. It was beautiful, and if I had my way, I would stay there forever.

Wait!

I sat up fast. Closing my eyes, I tried to remember the dream to the last second. It wasn’t the same dream as the one’s prior. This dream was different! This dream was me and a boy.

I never dreamt of anyone but my parents and the evil woman. The dream’s soft lullaby came back to me as I remembered where I was.

The smell of fresh grass came across my senses.

The sky so blue as I lay on a blanket. I rolled over and saw the face of a boy. He was everything that Spindle Ridge wasn’t; he was beautiful. He had long, shaggy, but not unruly, hair that touched his collar. When he smiled at me, he looked like a boy in love. In love with me.

“Get up you lazy sack!”

I opened my eyes and was pulled back into the now. I was forced to leave the dream behind as I was being pulled out of bed by two nurses.

About Christy: 

I am Southern California native, now living in New Jersey! How did that happen? I am married and have  two beautiful little girls who love to read just like Mommy. I have had a passion for books since I was a little girl and an imagination for just as long. I hope my books can inspire others to read and to write too.







Giveaway Details:
1 winner will win a finished copy of SLUMBER US Only.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tour + Excerpt and Giveaway: Into the Air by A.K. Downing


Into the Air
by A.K. Downing
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy
Release Date: August 2017


When Mia Bryn escapes her underground compound and travels into the air, she never imagines her world will explode. Separated from her father and attacked by creatures she never knew existed, Mia flees into the forest. Within hours, she finds an abandoned girl, discovers a link to her missing mother, and meets beautiful, golden-eyed Archer. But why is an ordinary girl from a compound being hunted? And how can Mia survive in a world she knows nothing about?
Will be FREE on Kindle from January 11-13!


EXCERPT:
As the sun set, it took with it the hope of a meal. Long shadows draped across the ground and my level of anxiety increased. All around us nocturnal life awakened, but I locked my jaw and marched forward, stumbling over ground that so desperately want to slow me down.
And then the woods turned completely dark. Too dark to travel further. I stopped and leaned against a tree. The bark clawed at my shoulder and an owl called from overhead. I wiped sweat from my brow and listened to my stomach growling. No food left. Water was gone. I realized if I allowed myself, if I gave myself permission, I could easily crumble apart like the leaves beneath my feet. I knew I had to hold myself together. I had made a promise to keep Ezra safe. As important a promise as I’d ever made.
We need to stop, Ezra,” I whispered.
How about there?” Ezra pointed to a dense group of bushes.
I was exhausted, goose-bumped, the weight of my pack made me list to one side. I nodded. It was as good a place as any. I ushered Ezra under the branches and followed her into the darkness. The ground was damp. Something rustled a few feet away and I jumped. We sat hunched under the branches together, staring at the leaves. I dug out the last bit of dried ration in my pack and offered it to Ezra. It was only a mouthful, gone in seconds, with no water to wash it down. But I could imagine how it tasted. How it felt to have a morsel filling the hollowness.
Instead, I fed off my worry which sat sour and thick in my stomach. I had never felt so incapable. In the compound, I was self-sufficient. I gathered our rations. I cleaned our clothes. I held a job at the garden and finished my assignments on time. Here…well, there was no control. In fact, I had no idea how to find water, how to gather food. Cowering under this shrub, I felt like a fish stranded on shore – completely out of my element, gasping for air – and I knew if I hadn’t been able to scrounge a morsel to eat today, what would day two look like? Day five?

About the Author

A.K. Downing's young-adult novel, Into the Air, is a 2017 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows the adventure of teenager Mia Bryn as she leaves the safety of her underground compound and tries to survive in a world no one has inhabited for more than a hundred years.

Growing up in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, Aimee spent her summers exploring the fields, woods, and orchards of her grandparents' farm. She was inspired by prepper shows and survivalist websites to create a story that weaves together the best aspects of young adult fiction – adventure, teenage angst, and a hint of romance.

Aimee studied graphic design at Kent State University and currently works as a Creative Director. She enjoys history and camping and feels there is no better way to see the world than from the top of a horse.


GIVEAWAY:
Book Tour Organized by:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blast + Giveaway: Last Thing She Ever Did by Gregg Olsen


Last Thing She Ever Did by Gregg Olsen

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a psychological thriller exploring the things we dare to do when no one is looking . . .

The community along Oregon’s Deschutes River is one of successful careers and perfect families. For years, up-and-comers Liz and Owen have admired their good friends and neighbors, Carole and David. They appear to have it all—security, happiness, and a beautiful young son, Charlie.

Then Charlie vanishes without a trace, and all that seemed safe is shattered by a tragedy that is incomprehensible—except to Liz.

It took one fleeting moment for her to change the lives of everyone she loves—a heartrending accident that can’t be undone. Neither can the second-worst mistake of her life: concealing it. As two marriages crack and buckle in grief and fear, Liz retreats into her own dark place of guilt, escalating paranoia—and betrayals even she can’t imagine. Because there’s another good neighbor who has his own secrets, his own pain, and his own reasons for watching Liz’s every move.

And only he knows that the mystery of the missing boy on the Deschutes River is far from over.


Praise for THE LAST THING SHE EVER DID


“Gregg Olsen pens brilliant, creepy, page-turning, heart-pounding novels of suspense that always keep me up at night. In The Last Thing She Ever Did, he topped himself.” —Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author



“Beguiling, wicked, and taut with suspense and paranoia, The Last Thing She Ever Did delivers scenes as devastating as any I’ve ever read with a startling, pitch-perfect finale. A reminder that evil may reside in one’s actions, but tragedy often spawns from one’s inaction.” —Eric Rickstad, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Girls



“Olsen's latest examines how a terrible, split-second decision has lingering effects, and the past echoes the present. Full of unexpected twists, The Last Thing She Ever Did will keep you guessing to the last line.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Lie To Me



“Master storyteller Gregg Olsen continues to take readers hostage with another spellbinding tale of relentless, pulse-pounding suspense.” —Rick Mofina, international bestselling author of Last Seen


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, nine novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. He has also appeared on Dateline NBC, William Shatner's Aftermath, Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, FOX News, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, CBS 48 Hours, Oxygen's Snapped, Court TV's Crier Live, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, and A&E's Biography.

In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People,Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post.

The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington's Secretary of State for the book's contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival.

Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker spaniel) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).

Photo Content from Gregg Olsen