Friday, August 26, 2016

Discussion Post: I'm Yes Then I'm No, I'm In Then I'm Out - Or the Beloved Books That I Just Couldn't Seem to Love


As always I didn't get around to my discussion post till the end of the month.  Partly because of how busy it has been with school getting started back up. And partly because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to discuss.  Even now, my title isn't as good as I want it to be, but it was the best I could come up with at the moment, so hopefully it somewhat makes sense.  My discussion today is going to be about the books that either everyone seems to love and I tried, but just can't get into or don't quite get the fuss.   Of course I am going to throw in some GIFs because it is just so much fun to find them!

A reminder that the 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight.  If you want to check out any of my earlier posts you can go to these links:



So, my title refers to the Katy Perry song, Hot n Cold, but of course my favorite use of the song is in the Twilight parody by the Hillywood Show, which was also my first introduction to the YouTube sensation.  But what I'm going for with this post is all the books that everyone else is so "hot" for, and they just left me "cold" or at least "lukewarm". 

 

The first one is a series, and I want to duck here, because I'm afraid a lot of you are going to be throwing things at me through the internets.  I am on the 2nd book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and I am just not feeling it.  


The first book, Cinder, was more interesting to me than this 2nd one, Scarlet, has been so far.  Even then, when I finished Cinder, I was still left a little bit unsure of what all the fuss was about.  It was okay, but nothing that I was now obsessed over.  But, I was able to get a copy of Scarlet for $4 at a Scholastic Warehouse book sale, and then I won the next three books in the series through a couple different giveaways.  I had heard from many people that book 2 was better than book 1, so I assumed by winning all those books that was a sign I was going to go on and be swept away once I started Scarlet.  Umm, no, it's not happening.  I started the book on August 6th, and since then I've read 4 other physical books, and that's not counting the ebooks I've read.  I usually keep a physical book up on my nightstand so that I will read that right before bed instead of staring at a screen, because I feel like it is probably better for my sleep.  But Scarlet has just not kept me reading.  I can't decide whether to push on through, or give up and then maybe just sell/trade all my copies of the books in the series as a big set.  

 

Next is the Heroes of Olympus series and The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan.  Now see, I loved the Percy Jackson series. 


But I had so much trouble keeping the characters straight in The Red Pyramid as each chapter went back and forth between them.  Which sucked, because I love Egyptian mythology and was so excited for that series.  

And then, when I struggled through The Lost Hero, all I could think was how many more words were used than were needed.  I looked at the size of the book, and thought about how if they'd left all those extra things out, it would have been probably the same length as the books in the Percy Jackson series, and still just as good as those.  Because of that I have not made myself read on, dreading the amount of time and extra stuff to skip over as I try to get to the main story.  

 


The last books I'm going to talk about that didn't blow me away are the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. 


 I actually love the Mortal Instruments series.  And I love Magnus Bane!  But I tried picking up and reading the first one in the series, Clockwork Angel, and just couldn't get into it.  I think it was actually one of my very first ever Books for Trade deals too!  So I have the copy sitting at home.  I don't know that I want to give up though.  I feel like maybe now sometime I might go back and try it again.  Just don't know when.   

So, are any of these books one that you loved?  Do you have any books like this that you don't like but everyone else does?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please chime in below!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get Back-to-School Ready with this YA Retellings Blog Blast and Giveaway!

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Get Back-to-School Ready with this YA Retellings Blog Blast!

Recently, we asked several Entangled TEEN authors of YA Retellings the following question, "What book or story would you like to see updated for the young adult market?", and where possible, we've shared their responses below with you! 4

Gaby Triana's Wake the Hollow - YA Retelling of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow":

Forget the ghosts, Mica. It’s real, live people you should fear. Tragedy has brought Micaela Burgos back to her hometown of Sleepy Hollow. It’s been six years since she chose to live with her father in Miami instead of her eccentric mother. And now her mother is dead. This town will suck you in and not let go. Sleepy Hollow may be famous for its fabled headless horseman, but the town is real. So are its prejudices and hatred, targeting Mica’s family as outsiders. But ghostly voices carry on the wind, whispering that her mother’s death was based on hate…not an accident at all. With the help of two very different guys—who pull at her heart in very different ways—Micaela must awaken the hidden secret of Sleepy Hollow…before she meets her mother’s fate. Find the answers. Unless, of course, the answers find you first. Gaby's Answer to What YA Retelling She'd Like to See in 100 Words or Less: As a huge fan of haunted house stories, I’d love to see a retelling of the Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. First published in 1959, this was and still is, one of the finest examples of psychological terror ever known in the horror genre, and because I love stories that scare you with what’s not there rather than what is, I would love to see this interpreted for a teen audience. Are we caught up in Eleanor’s mind, or is a real poltergeist haunting her? “Whatever walked there, walked alone.” Yeah, definitely this one.

Buy Wake the Hollow:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

1

Vivi Barnes, author of Olivia Twisted, which is a YA Retelling of Oliver Twist:

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite―break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv… Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted. Olivia Decoded: This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months. This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger. I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse. Vivi's Answer to What YA Retelling She'd Like to See in 100 Words or Less: I first saw the movie To Kill A Mockingbird when I was a teenager, and I believe it played a large part in opening my eyes to the realities and consequences of racism. Considering the state of the world today, I would love to see the story retold as a young adult novel with a Muslim-American Tom Robinson. I think capturing the attention of young adults through literature is one of the most effective ways we can change the world for the better.

Buy Olivia Twisted (Olivia Twisted, #1):

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

Pre-order Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted, #2):

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

2Cindi Madsen's All the Broken Pieces - YA Retelling of Frankenstein:

What if your life wasn’t your own? Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember. Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is? Cindi's Answer to What YA Retelling She'd Like to See in 100 Words or Less: Hmm. What retelling would I love to see? I’m a big fan of the classics, and twists on them. I’ll read just about any Pride & Prejudice retelling. Beauty and the Beast is also a favorite. But I’d love to see a modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. I think that there could be a lot of possibilities and different ways to go, but I think one with a lot of tension and romance and kissing (my fave), would be amazing! And I just found out Entangled Teen recently acquired a Count of Monte Cristo retelling called STING, by Cindy Wilson! *makes grabby hands*

Buy All The Broken Pieces:

AmazoniBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

3

Jenny Trout's Such Sweet Sorrow - YA Retelling of Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet:

Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo… But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility—a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure and the chance to avenge his father’s death. In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants, and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…

Buy Such Sweet Sorrow:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

5

A.L. Davroe's Nexis - YA Retelling of "Cinderella":

In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner. Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again. A.L.'s Answer to What YA Retelling She'd Like to See in 100 Words or Less: I’m a huge fan of retellings of stories that are a little less well know. Even better? Gender swapped stories! That’s a field rich for the harvest and I don’t know why we’re not all jumping on that boat. Although, I hear Channing Tatum is going to be in a gender-swapped version of Splash. That’s gonna be something to see…

Buy Nexis (Tricksters, #1):

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

6Kendra C. Highley's Finding Perfect - YA Retelling of Pygmalion in reverse:

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swoony situations, adult language, and a perfectly imperfect hero with an eye for calculus and a heart of gold. How far will you go for perfection? For “Perfect Paige” Westfeld, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to find a way to save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames. Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor Paige—if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date. It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient—and utterly imperfect—attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it… Kendra's Answer to What YA Retelling She'd Like to See in 100 Words or Less: I’d love the see Samson and Delilah told as an epic love story between two enemies, in a dystopian where magic is real (think An Ember in the Ashes). Samson, an eighteen-year- old with unusual strength has been helping his country’s army fight off an invasion by Delilah’s countrymen. Delilah, a renowned beauty, is blackmailed into starting a relationship with Samson to spy for her country in exchange from saving her sister from slavers. Against all odds, they fall in love, but Delilah still has to betray Samson. The twist would be that she frees him from his captors in the end, and they escape together.

Buy Finding Perfect (Finding Perfect, #1):

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

7

Alyxandra Harvey's Red - YA Retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood":

Bad girls burn hot… Red is the color of Kia Alcott’s hair. It’s her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble. And it’s the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them. When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It’s an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood. Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries. But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn’t stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family…

Buy Red:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

8

Emily McKay's How Willa Got Her Groove Back - YA Retelling of Pride & Prejudice:

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains an unbelievably hot bad boy, an unbelievably famous actress, and all the drama that comes with adding both to your family. Oh, and a forbidden flirtation with a soon-to-be stepbrother When your life feels like a bad movie, rewrite the script. When Willa Schofer’s father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa’s senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother—the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he’s constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk. Just when Willa’s decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously—how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he’s not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she’s allowed to crush on the guy. Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool. Willa and Finn Book 2 coming November 14, 2016

Buy How Willa Got Her Groove Back (Creative HeArts, #2; Willa and Finn, #1):

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

Enter for a Chance to Win the Entangled YA Retellings Giveaway:

Now It's Your Turn!

What YA Retelling are you dying to read, but - as far as you know - hasn't been written yet? Let us know in the comments section!

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Widower's Aura by AJ Renee

Widowers Banner Tour 
 
Book info:
Title: Widower's Aura
Author: A.J Renee
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2016
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Synopsis
Living in a world full of colors, Sofia Brazier escapes a career gone south as a juvenile probationary officer in New Orleans. After moving to the small town of St. Fleur, Sofia opens a photography business in hopes of ridding her life of all the dark auras surrounding the damaged souls she once tried helping. Her comfortable new life is upended when widower, and ex-security-forces-turned-handyman hunk, Noah Tyler enters the local pub. Noah attempts to avoid the voluptuous beauty who has captivated his every thought. That is, until his daughter vandalizes Sofia’s building and effectively seals their fate. After cutting his daughter a break, Sofia begins tearing down the walls he built after his wife’s death. Just when life finally seems worth living for Noah, Sofia finds herself the victim of a string of crimes. Can he protect Sofia when he failed to protect his own wife?

Order your copy today!

Widowers 1

Excerpt
His eyes locked onto Sofia’s. Noah tried swallowing but failed. His mouth, which had been fine a moment ago, now lacked even a drop of saliva. The woman was phenomenal. Her hair swept away from her made-up face in a twist, left her long neck exposed. The dress hugged her body and made his hands itch to run up and down those glorious curves. Oh man, her breasts… those breasts were magnificent. If the woman looked this good in clothes, he could only imagine what she looked like out of them. Not that he hadn’t imagined that a hundred times by now. Thankfully the jeans and T-shirt were enough to cover up the proof of his growing desire. He forced his eyes to Lindsey, who also looked beautiful and happened to be giving him a laughing smile. Noah cleared his throat. “Ladies, you look wonderful.” “Thank you,” they told Noah in echo. “Okay, picture time!” Sofia said. Sofia accepted the camera from his hands. Their fingers briefly touched, shooting a bolt of pleasure down to his groin. His eyes shot to hers as she took a deep breath. Taking a step back, she lifted the camera to her face. Noah watched her relax, all distractions disappearing on the other side of the lens. He’d never seen her work and witnessing it was a gift as she captured Lexi’s special day.

  Widowers 2

About The Author:
AJ

AJ Renee loves to travel and see family and friends whenever she gets a chance. She has a love of music, movies, and anything that can make her laugh. AJ believes in reading books with humor and mystery that end in a happily ever after to help ease our minds and hearts of life’s daily struggles. She currently resides in Nevada and spends her time with her air force husband, three young daughters, dog, and cat.
 





Giveaway:
 
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  My pick this week is by an author that I've only read one book by so far, but this one sounds like a very unique one!  Here, check out the blurb from Goodreads:  

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.


What do you think, sound interesting?  I've never watched Breaking Bad, and I have no desire to, but the idea in this story sounds fun!  What book are you eagerly awaiting this week?  

And while you're here, make sure you go check out my 7th Blogoversary Giveaway HERE.
 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Audiobook Review: Built (Saints of Denver #1) by Jay Crownover

Book info:
TitleBuilt  
Author:  Jay Crownover
SeriesSaints of Denver #1  
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary Romance
Published:  January 5th, 2016
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from public library

So, last week I shared the book that was supposed to kind of bridge the Marked Men series with this new Saints of Denver series.  At first I was unsure if I would like this series.  I mean, the main character of this book, the guy on the cover, Zeb, was totally not my type of guy from a quick glance at the cover.  I mean, I've gotten more into guys with facial hair, but his beard, man, it's like a mountain man, and not the kind that I've ever found attractive.  To me, that kind of beard makes me think of a couple guys from some older movies/tv shows.  Like on Little House on the Prairie, the family friend, Mr. Edwards.  The other one was in the movie Adventures in Babysitting, the tow truck guy with the one hand that was a hook.  (I know, I'm probably a little weird).  Of course his character totally took care of that for me.  And then, as I looked at his picture more, it was his eyes that totally grabbed me, and made me look past the beard.   

So, as you probably guessed, Zeb is one of the main characters.  We met him back in the Marked Men series, maybe in Nash's book first?  He was hired to build the new tattoo shop, which is called Saints of Denver, hence the title of the series.  The other main character is Sayer, who we met in Rowdy's story, since she is his half-sister.  While Zeb is a big strong, work with his hands, manly man, Sayer is a very put together, high class, lawyer.  The two don't seem like they would mesh at all.  But Zeb is interested in Sayer the first time he sees her sitting at Rome's bar with Rowdy.  And Sayer definitely finds him attractive, she has sex dreams about him. But she doesn't think she would be right for him, as she's always been told that she is frigid, or at least her last boyfriend did.  

Of course both of them have their own issues, Zeb wondering if he's good enough for a woman like Sayer, and if she'd even consider him.  And then there is a huge change that shows up in Zeb's life.  A woman shows up and tells him that he has a son.  A son whose mother just died, and may have to live in foster care if his father can't step in and give him a home.  Of course there are all kinds of issues with this.  The first is Zeb's prison time.  Now, what he did was hurt the man who had been hurting his sister, but this meant he had anger problems. Plus, what he did to the man, it happened in front of his niece, who was very young at the time.  Since then though, his niece is no longer afraid of him, and loves him to death.  Zeb asks Sayer to help him deal with the issue of his son, to help him make sure it is truly his son, and if so, then to help him gain custody.  

I'm sure from that you can get a gist of where the story will go.  And it goes in a good way, some bits maybe predictable, but the rest pretty good.  My main issues had mostly to do with the audio part, the narrators read way too slow for most of the book, although the narrator for Zeb had the perfect voice for what I pictured him having.  But, they said Asa wrong again!!!!  It's not that hard, I don't understand why they keep getting it wrong!  I'm sure the author gets tired of me tweeting her about my frustration, which she says she shares, every time one of the audiobooks does this.   I also hate the reason that Sayer pushed Zeb away. But little Hyde, Zeb's son, totally stole the whole book.  I was surprised that the family issue of Hyde came about so early in the story. From the way the synopsis had been, I figured it would be later on. But because it was so early in the story, I don't feel like it's a big spoiler for me to talk about it in my review.

Once again, I love this author, I  love this series.  I guess I'll need to go on and read all her books, even if I may think that they won't quite be my type, because she'll win me over to the people I'm sure. 

Maegan Abel's The Broken Series Box Set Release Day Celebration and Giveaway



Title: The Broken Series Box Set
Author: Maegan Abel
Publisher: Forever Red Publishing
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781941853375



Sometimes, when you take the broken pieces and combine them, you get something even more beautiful.”



Life will never be the same.

People always say things like that and you never really believe them, but it’s the truth. One day, you think you have your life all figured out and then a single event starts a chain reaction you can’t seem to stop…

Zane Tishler and Lili Cortez fit in perfectly with the party crowd of Sin City locals. They’ve spent two years honing a finely tuned system to bag and tag tourists with no strings attached. Sex is just sex, after all. But when dangerous shadows from the past start to reappear, things get complicated. Best friends and roommates, they never expected to find what they’d both been searching for in each other, but sometimes those who know us best forgive our sins the easiest.

Through shootings, fires, and a multitude of secrets and lies, can they both survive?
Even if they do, can their love?

Add to your TBR List:  Goodreads

 Join Forever Red Publishing and Barclay Publicity in celebrating the release of Maegan Abel’s THE BROKEN SERIES BOX SET today! This sizzling box set includes 3 full-length novels and one novella. Titles included are Perfectly Broken, Unforgivably Broken, Broken Holidays - A Broken Series Novella, and Silently Broken! Grab this wonderful set now for just $9.99!!

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes  

 Excerpt from Unforgivably Broken:


Prologue

Fire
 
 I don’t know how that tiny part of me knew that something was wrong before the text came through.
But I did.
And as I round the corner, the harsh reality hits me with the heat of the flames. I’m running, but I don’t even
remember stopping the car. There’s a crowd nearby, blocking my way. Probably the neighbors, but I don’t really see
them. I don’t even slow as I rush toward the house.
There’s yelling, someone pulling me, grabbing at my arm, but I wrench free, feeling so much heat I can’t
breathe. I cough, barely able to see through the thick, black smoke that surrounds me.
I’m so close.
“You can’t go in there!” a voice yells, sounding hollow through the mask he wears. His arms are across my
body, yanking me backward, away from the front door, away from the house.
“No!” I struggle, putting everything I have into breaking free of his grip, but another set of hands helps him.
“The whole frame is unstable. You can’t go in. It’s coming down any second.” As if on cue, a loud creak sounds,
followed by a shower of sparks and ash as the front section of the roof collapses. I cover my head automatically before
staring, my eyes scanning the front windows wildly. Or, what were once the front windows. Now, there’s nothing
more than gaping holes, every piece of the house burning red, orange, and yellow.
“No!” The word is strangled as I tear free from the numerous hands holding me, scrambling toward the flames.
They’re inside. I can feel it.
“Stop!” They tackle me, more of them this time, as they drag me back from the flames.
“My family is in there!” I thrash harder, running on full adrenaline as I watch the fire engulf my home.
“You need to calm down,” someone says as I realize the heat is getting less intense. They’re pulling me away
from the house. It’s then that I remember the crowd.
How did I not think of this before?
I turn, looking away from the fire, trying to see past the firefighters to the cluster of people. Maybe they got
out.
But the weight in my stomach tells me I’m wrong.


About Maegan Abel:
 

Maegan despises writing about herself in the third person. She also hates touting her accomplishments like she thinks she’s really done all this amazing stuff…

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll tell you what you need to know. I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went to college in my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. I now work full-time in an alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theaters around the area. I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on my list of things to accomplish in my life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, I read eleven books in four weeks. It was during that time that the character of Lili was born and after the show left Tulsa, I sat down and began writing my first published book, Perfectly Broken.


Giveaway:  


Forever Red Publishing is offering one (1) lucky grand prize winner a Kindle loaded with selected Forever Red Publishing Titles! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
http://www.barclaypublicity.com

Monday, August 22, 2016

Blog Tour - Author Interview and Giveaway: There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane


There Once Were Stars
Melanie McFarlane
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?



Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Author Interview:
1.  What does your writing process look like?  Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, note cards, post-it notes, etc.?
 
I totally write like a pantser. I’m trying to teach myself to be a better plotter, and maybe that will come one day when I don’t have so many ideas fighting each other to get out of my head!
 
2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
 
From the world around me. I’m always trying to look for stories in people, places, events, and objects. Once you really start looking, you realize there are so many stories out there!
 
3.  How long have you been writing?
 
I started writing in high school, but then took a long hiatus of fifteen years. I even slowed way down in my reading. Life just got away from me. But I found it again five years ago and have not stopped.
 
4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
 
Never stop learning or writing. Whether it’s one tiny lesson, or an entire book of them, every little bit you absorb will make you a better writer. Join your local writer’s guild, go to conferences, and take a continuing education class at a university. Every step you take helps you improve. Fellow writer’s aren’t your competition (tell me one person who reads only one author). Use the resources out there as a source of support – a good group treated right will return the favour.

Some fun questions:
 
5. If you had to pick one of these dystopian book worlds to live in, which would you pick, and why?  
 
Hunger Games, Divergent, Uglies-(Scott Westerfeld), Legend - Marie Lu, The Giver
 Hunger Games is definitely my favourite, but it’s too messed up to live there. I’m just starting Legend now. I haven’t read Uglies, and The Giver is just too screwed (they kill babies!), so I’ll take Divergent.

 
6.  Favorites:  
Books/authors/genres
Hunger Games/Suzanne Collines/Dystopian Forever!!
 
Movies/TV Shows
Pride & Prejudice/Supernatural
 
Music
Radiohead
 
Food/writing snack
Burgers
 
Social Media Site
Instagram
 
Author Bio:
Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.
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