Sunday, May 1, 2016

April End of Month Wrap Up Post

So I've been good about the Sunday Posts again this month, however not as great with my challenges I think.  But let's do a recap.

http://misclisa.blogspot.com/2016/03/discussion-challenge-2016-sign-up-post.html

I signed up for this challenge last month, and if you click on the image above you can see my sign up post.  My goal was to do about one a month, and so far I'm on top of that with my April post:  It's In The Stars - Or Why I Don't Give Ratings On My Blog.  I even have already come up with a discussion topic for May!  It's fun to talk about these things, and then see what others think, as well as going and reading other blog's discussion posts.

http://misclisa.blogspot.com/2015/12/introducing-its-new-to-me-series_10.html





Of course my next challenge I'm going to talk about is the one that I'm hosting.  If you click on the image above, you can go see my sign up post, and you can still sign up yourself!  Not only that, but those of you who have been participating already, or start in May, can go HERE, and add in links to your reviews for this challenge, and enter another giveaway!  I have surpassed my goal of 4 new series, and have reached to 6 new series. And I don't think I'm done!  Most of these are also authors that are new to me, and I am going to get to meet them in September at the NOLA Story Con.   Here are my posts that meet this challenge from April:


You can see my original sign up post HERE, and see how many I've signed up for again this year. I'm not doing as well with this challenge as others, I need to get caught up on this, maybe this summer.  
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf since last year at this same time!  It was one of them that was on my list in the sign up post though, so that is good.
My feedback ratio is still at 70%, and I've requested a few more unfortunately, but at least I'm keeping at 70% and  not dropping.  I've reached my goal number of 10 feedback for the year, but still working on the ratio.  You can see my original sign up post for this HERE.   
Okay, so we'll go through these one by one, and HERE is the original post of my resolutions.   
  • I'm doing better with the not downloading a ton of e-galleys.  Still making note of them in my blog planner, and only going back and downloading them when it gets closer to time and I know I'm going to read them, unless of course it is one I know I have to read.
  • I posted every single day this past month.  One thing that is nice though, is that I did have some weeks where I was able to post for almost the whole week ahead of time, so I wasn't as stressed about it.  
  • But, because of the end of the school year getting busier, and probably all the posting I was doing, I don't feel like I got as much commenting done as I wanted.  
  • Still doing my monthly wrap up post, as you can see with this post!  
  • I have beat my goal of 2 reviews a week, with doing at least 3 each week!  Yay me!
  • Personal goals:  No money saved, but I borrowed the money I needed from my mom to get my air conditioner fixed, so I'll just be paying her back over the summer, and it will be nice to not have to sweat in my house when the summer temps really get here!  My new walking goal is to walk twice a week, and I've done that so far this month!  This goal will be met in May, hopefully, and then my reward is to maybe upgrade to the new Alta Fitbit.  
You can see my original sign up post for this challenge HERE.   And I'll just say I've not done any this month.  So far I've only done one this year.  I've really got to get a move on this!  I have The Raven King sitting on my shelf to read, I think I'm having trouble picking it up knowing that it will mean the end!

I think I'm going to get some writing done this summer, I may even add a goal for that next month, as a summer type of goal.  I've got another story idea, plus a picture book that I want to finish and submit!  I also have my NaNoWriMo from several years ago that I'm posting on Wattpad that I'd like to get finished this year as well, if you want to check it out so far, go HERE.  I've decided that I kind of need a "me" vacation, where I go away from home, so not a staycation, but I also have no dogs and no family and no big plans.  I used to go to a library conference every year in April, and that was always nice to be at a resort, and have the evenings to myself to write, or just be alone with no stress.  I have a friend who has a cabin in Colorado, and she's offered to let me borrow it. So I just have to plan when I'd like to use it and see about getting it set up with her.  

My April was pretty busy.  How was your April?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

It's New to Me Challenge First Check-in and Giveaway

I'm not doing as great as I wanted to with this challenge with keeping my participants up to date and involved.  If you haven't joined in yet, the basic idea is to try to start those series or authors that you haven't read yet, but you keep saying you're going to read.  For example, since last year I've been saying I'm going to read The Wrath and the Dawn, and I finally got to it just this past week. And now I can count it for this.  Originally I planned this for starting a series, but now I think it can just be a new author, or that you can start with any book in the series, you just have to have not read any part of it yet.  If you want the full break down, other than the changes I just listed, go HERE.  If you haven't signed up yet, it's not too late.  I've added the link up right  here if you want to join in!


I also would like to have a giveaway for those of you who are participating.   So, everyone who participates and shares the link to one or more of their reviews can enter in the Rafflecopter below.  I'll run this contest until June 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, below is the Linky to add your reviews to!

Promo and Giveaway: Armada by Ernest Cline Paperback Release!

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When the game ends, the battle begins
From the bestselling author of Ready Player One
NOW IN PAPERBACK
ARMADA
by Ernest Cline
As I was such a huge fan of this book when I listened to the audiobook, I was so excited to jump in and help promote the paperback release.  The paperback cover of this is a little more explanatory of what the book is about, it's fun!  You gotta love it!


ABOUT ARMADA:
In 2011, writer Ernest Cline penned his wildly original, genre-busting debut novel, Ready Player One. Packed with irresistible ’80s nostalgia, this cinematic novel was immediately embraced by readers, bloggers, geeks, gamers, booksellers, and John Hughes fans everywhere. From the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly to Boing Boing and Wired, the novel received rave reviews across the board, sold over a million copies in the U.S., and has been published in 40 countries. The book is now being made into a film by Warner Brothers and legendary director Steven Spielberg, set to debut in theaters in March of 2018.

Since Ready Player One’s publication, Cline’s fans were anxiously awaiting his next endeavor—and he delivered another inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure with ARMADA (Broadway Books; April 12, 2016), his second New York Times bestseller, which is now in paperback.

ARMADA opens as high-school student Zack Lightman glances out his classroom window and spots a UFO. At first he thinks he’s going crazy. A minute later he’s sure of it, because the ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.

Zack is sure he’s lost his mind. But what he’s seeing is all too real, and his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save Earth from what’s about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can’t help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little too . . . familiar?

Called a “must-read summer blockbuster novel” by Mashable and a “a thrilling coming-of-agestory” byEntertainment Weekly, ARMADA is at once an adrenaline-fueled, surprising thriller, a classic teenage adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with Cline’s trademark pop-culture savvy. The book is already being adapted into a film by Universal Studios, with the author himself writing the screenplay.

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# # # # #
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His two novels, Armada and Ready Player One, were both New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, and Ready Player One is currently being adapted into a film by Warner Brothers and director Steven Spielberg. Ernest lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic videogames. You can find him online at www.ernestcline.com, on Twitter @erniecline, and on Facebook at Ernest Cline.

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 A Conversation with Screenwriter, Novelist, Time Traveler,
and Uber-Geek Ernest Cline
Author of ARMADA: A Novel
(Broadway Books, on sale April 12, 2016)


Q) Let’s get right to the elephant in the room. The news is now out that your debut novel, Ready Player One, will be made into a film by Warner Brothers and legendary director Steven Spielberg (set to debut in theaters March of 2018)! What did you do when you got the news?

A) I pinched myself a few hundred times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming—then I re-watched all of his movies—including the Indiana Jones films, which helped inspire certain elements of RPO’s story, along with E.T. and Close Encounters, two Spielberg films that played a large role in inspiring Armada. His work has influenced me throughout my life and writing career, so it’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to collaborate with him on the film adaptation of a story that his work helped inspire.

Q) What do you think of the casting announcements that have been made already?

A) I think they’re fantastic! I’ve been a fan of Ben Mendelsohn’s acting since the ’80s, and his portrayal of John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises is all the proof I need that he’s perfect for the role of Sorrento. Olivia Cooke is amazing on Bates Motel and in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She’s going to make a great Art3mis! And after seeing Tye Sheridan in films like Mud and Joe, I think he’s one of the most talented young actors working today, and that he’ll do an incredible job playing Wade Watts.

Q) For decades, science-fiction writers have been predicting some of the most incredible futuristic concepts that have become reality, such as debit cards, video conferencing, ear buds, and even accurate details about men landing on the moon. In Ready Player One, the merging of virtual reality technology and social media that you write about is now a reality with the Oculus Rift virtual reality company being bought by Facebook . Are there any similar futuristic technologies in Armada that you think will become reality in the next few years?

A) Yes, but the future is happening so fast now it’s getting more and more difficult to stay ahead of it. Armada’s plotline involves two concepts—quantum data teleportation and 3-D drone printing—that were still science fiction when I started the book, and then became a proven reality before I finished it. I need to write faster.

Q) In the novel, Zack’s Armada pilot call sign is IronBeagle, an homage to the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron album. Did you have fun creating the other various call signs in the novel: RedJive, MaxJenius, Viper, Rostam, Whoadie, AtomicMom, Kushmaster5000?

A) Pilot call signs are always fun to create—like an avatar’s name in Ready Player One; it’s a nickname a person creates for themselves, so it invariably says something about their self-image and their character—like each of the call signs you listed above.

Q) Talk to us about Xavier’s Raid the Arcade mix playlist in the book. How did you choose the songs, which became an essential part of Zack’s Armada gaming ritual? Do you have any rituals of your own when it comes to playing videogames?
A) Many of those are songs from the mix tapes I used to make to listen to on my Walkman at the local arcade. Some of the songs are from movies that played a role inspiring Armada’s story, like the song “Iron Eagle” by King Kobra, from the film of the same name.

Q) In Armada, Zack and his father, Xavier Lightman, your novel’s two main heroes, are both big science-fiction fans. The book is filled with references to sci-fi films, such as The Last Starfighter, E.T., Aliens, the Star Wars franchise. Dare to share your all-time favorite sci-fi flick?

A) My all-time favorite sci-film would have to be Star Wars, aka Episode IV—A New Hope. The movie and its sequels created the entire mythology of my youth, and altered the course of my life and career.

Q) In Armada, Zack soon finds out that the EDA (Earth Defense Alliance), a top-secret global military coalition, is not just a fictional agency featured in the videogames he’s been playing. If the EDA were real (and we’re not saying they aren’t) and invited you to join their ranks, would you? Would Moon Base Alpha be your first station of choice, or would you prefer something closer to home?
A) Of course I would join up! If the EDA existed, I would have to pitch in and use my gamer skills to help save the world. But I would prefer to stay here in Austin and telecommute, so I could fight off the invasion from the comfort of my couch, without changing out of my pajamas.
Q) There is a romantic plotline woven throughout the novel, albeit one that is a bit nontraditional (boy meets girl as Earth is under attack from alien invaders, girl is a kick-ass gamer who helps save boy’s butt during attack, you get the gist). Did you feel it was essential to add this element, or did the relationship between Zack and Lex come about naturally as you were writing the novel?

A) It came about naturally as I was writing. I love stories with strong female characters, who kick just as much ass (if not more) than their male counterparts, so the stories I write usually tend to have a few of them. I also believe that every good adventure story also includes a little romance. And some rock and roll, too.

Q) If you could meet anyone from pop culture—actor, singer, game creator—dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A) Carl Sagan. Because he changed my life by opening my eyes to the nature of the world and the cosmos, and I’d love to be able to thank him in person.

Q) The first arcade game you ever played was Space Invaders. Is there a game that you’ve been playing recently that’s become a new obsession?

A) Finishing this book has been my only obsession for the past few years. But during my research, I did play a lot of space combat and flight simulation games, both old and new. The problem with playing videogames as “research” for a novel is that you never want to stop playing to go off and actually write it.

Q) Many people look back at the ’50s and ’60s as a watershed moment for science-fiction writing, but do you see the ’70s and ’80s as an even richer epoch for inspiration with the confluence of all the new videogames introduced and some of the best science-fiction TV and movies ever made (to my mind!)?

A) The ’70s and ’80s are a rich era for sci-fi inspiration (at least, for me) because that was the dawn of the computer, videogame, and Internet age—the one we still live in now. It was also a golden age for movies and television shows, which may be why every property from that time is being reimagined or rebooted right now.

Q) Armada is dedicated to your brother, Major Eric T. Cline. What is your relationship like and why did you choose to dedicate the book to him?
A) My brother and I are very close, and have been our whole lives. He’s always been a huge inspiration to me. He joined the Marine Corps as a lowly private, and over the past two decades he has worked his way up through the ranks to become a major while he traveled all over the world helping people and risking his life for his country and his comrades. Seeing all the sacrifices he and his family have had to make during his various deployments was part of the inspiration for Armada’s story and characters.

Q) There is a rumor you now own not one but two DeLoreans. How on Earth did that come about?
A) I bought a second DeLorean to give away as the grand prize in the Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt. A few years later, the contest winner decided to sell the car to pay off some unexpected medical bills, so I decided to buy it back from him. Then I gave it to my brother, Eric, so now I’m back down to just one time machine, which is plenty.

Q) Is it true that George R. R. Martin once borrowed your DeLorean to help promote the opening of his new bar (complete with a Back to the Future screening)? There has to be one heck of a story here. Please explain!
A) George and I had met at a convention, where he had sat in my car. So when his theater decided to screen BTTF, he thought of me and asked to borrow my DeLorean. I said yes, of course!

Q) For your Ready Player One book tour you drove your time-traveling DeLorean across the country. Did you take it out again for Armada?

A) No, I think one Time Machine Book Tour is probably enough to last a lifetime. I discovered that it’s not really safe to drive a tricked-out DeLorean on the interstate highway system, because the people around you are often swerving/driving recklessly while they attempt to snap a photo of your car to post on Facebook. There are safer ways to travel.


Q) It’s been a few years since you were last out on a book tour. Were you surprised by the fan response at your events this time around? Did it feel very different from your initial experience with Ready Player One?

A) Yes, the huge turnout for each of my Armada signings really floored me. It’s incredibly flattering and humbling to see hundreds of people cram into a bookstore just to hear me speak, and then to see all of those same fans wait patiently in line—sometimes for an hour or more—to get their books signed. Taking the time to do that is one of the biggest compliments you can pay any artist. I’m incredibly grateful to have my work reach such a wide audience, and to have so many people respond to it with such enthusiasm.

Q) Are there any particular moments or fan interactions that stand out to you from the tour?
A) This was the first tour where I had fans show up at my signings sporting Ready Player One–themed tattoos. It really blew me away. When someone pulls up their sleeve and they have three keys or three gates tattooed on their arm, I’m always awed by that level of enthusiasm. And moved that something I created could mean that much to them.

Q) We have to ask: As a serious Star Wars nerd, what were your feelings about The Force Awakens? How about the choice to pass the baton to Rian Johnson for Episode VIII?
A) I enjoyed the hell out of that movie. I’d been waiting to see Han, Chewie, Luke, and Leia together again on the big screen since 1983, and living up to 30 years of geek anticipation is no small feat. I thought J. J. Abrams knocked it out of the park. And Rian Johnson is one of the smartest and most gifted writer-directors of my generation—the generation that grew up with Star Wars. He’s such an exciting choice. Kathleen Kennedy really knows what she’s doing.

Q) What’s your dream Star Wars spinoff movie? Any character or storyline you’re itching to see explored?
A) Yes! How about a whole movie covering the origin story of Saun Dann, the character portrayed by Art Carney in the Star Wars Holiday Special? He was a secret agent of the Rebel Alliance masquerading as a trader on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk after the Battle of Yavin. You know that dude must’ve seen action during the Clone Wars, too. I’d also pay good money to see a stand-alone Star Wars flick about Willrow Hood."  


 
--> Excerpt:
I didn’t remember unzipping my backpack, or taking out the tire iron, but I must have, because now I had the cold steel rod clenched in my hand, and I was raising it to strike.

All three of my opponents stood frozen for a moment, their eyes wide. The Lennys threw up their hands and started backing away. Knotcher’s eyes flicked over to them, and I saw him registering that his simian pals had bowed out of the fight. He started moving backward too.

I looked at the curb a few feet behind him, had a nasty thought, and followed through on it by lunging at Knotcher with the tire iron. He lurched backward and—just as I’d hoped—caught a heel on the concrete rise and landed flat on his back.
And then I was standing over him, looking down at the tire iron clutched in my hands.
Off to my left, someone screamed. My head snapped around and I saw that an audience had gathered— a handful of students on their way in to first period. Among them one girl, too young and deer-in-the-headlights to be anything but a freshman, slapped a hand over her mouth and flinched backward as I looked her way. As if she was terrified that I—Zack the school psycho—would choose her as my next target.
I glanced back at the Lennys, who were now standing among the students who had gathered to watch the fight. All of the onlookers seemed to be wearing the same expression of horrified anticipation, as if they believed they might be seconds away from witnessing their first homicide.
A wave of cold shame washed over me as the intensity of my rage faded away. I looked down at the tire iron clutched in my hands and let it clatter to the pavement. I heard a chorus of nervous laughter behind me, along with more than one relieved sigh.
I stepped away from Knotcher. He slowly got to his feet. We stared at each other for a moment, and he looked as if he was about to say something when his gaze shot upward, focused on something in the sky behind me.
When I turned around, I saw a strange-looking aircraft approaching from the east, moving at an incredible speed. The closer it got, the more familiar it looked. My brain still refused to accept what my eyes were seeing—until a few seconds later, when the craft braked to a dead stop and hovered directly over us, close enough for me to make out the Earth Defense Alliance crest stenciled on the side of its armored hull.
“No way,” I heard someone whisper. A second later, I realized it was me.
It was an ATS-31 Aerospace Troop Shuttle, one of the ships used by the Earth Defense Alliance in both Armada and Terra Firma. And it was about to land in front of my high school.
I definitely wasn’t hallucinating this time: Dozens of other people were staring up at the shuttle in amazement, too. And I could hear the rumble of the shuttle’s fusion engines and feel the heat from their exhaust buffeting my face. It was really up there.
As the shuttle began to descend, everyone in my vicinity scattered like roaches, heading for the safety of the school.
I just stood there like a statue, unable to look away. The ship was identical to the troop shuttles I’d piloted while playing Armada, right down to the EDA crest and identification bar code stamped on the underside of its hull.
The Earth Defense Alliance can’t be real, Zack, I assured myself. And neither can that shuttle you think you’re looking at right now. You are hallucinating again, only it’s much worse this time. This time, you’re having a full-on psychotic break.

Reprinted from Armada Copyright © 2015 by Dark All Day, Inc. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.
 
Giveaway:

Armada Giveaway blog tour giveaway to include a signed of READY PLAYER ONE poster, a signed ARMADA poster  AND a copy of ARMADA in paperback! 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Armada: A Novel by Ernest Cline

Broadway Books • April 12, 2016 • Price: $16.00 paperback 
384 pages • ISBN 978-0-8041-3727-0
 Also available as an ebook and on audio from Penguin Random House • Visit www.CrownPublishing.com •  www.ErnestCline.com  •
www.ArmadaBook.com  


Friday, April 29, 2016

Cover Characteristic: Circus

The Cover Characteristic meme is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.   Here are the guidelines:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!


This week was really hard!  I could only find three that I consider circus vs. carnival.  So I also have two that I didn't read, but are on my to-read list.

To-read circus books:  




  And the books I've read:




  And my favorite, from the books I have read:


So, those are my circus covers.  Can you think of any you've read that are your favorites?  I do have The  Night Circus on my TBR list, but I figured other people probably would pick it, so I left it off. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

YA Review: The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

I was lucky enough to get this book through the booksfortrade deal with another blogger, although I also originally downloaded it as an e-galley from Edelweiss thanks to Balzer and Bray.  It's one I was really excited for.  I finally got around to reading it a little late though, I got behind on some review books. But when I finally picked it up I really did end up enjoying it.  It's the first book I've read by this author, and I'm also excited that there will be a sequel.  I do enjoy fairy tale retellings and I liked this one that was inspired by Snow White

There are two main characters in this.  First is Lorelai, who should really be the princess, but she had to run away to escape her stepmother, the queen, before she was killed.  Along with her brother Leo, and Gabril, the head of the palace guard before her father was killed by her stepmother Irina, she has been on the run.  Trying to stay safe, but also to come up with a way to get back and take her kingdom back, Lorelai is trying to learn how to use magic in a way she can defeat Irina, and along the way she is trying to help out her subjects, hoping to get them on her side when she needs them.

The other main character is Kol, or you could go by his full name, Kolvanismir Arsenyevnek, I think I'll stick with Kol.  He is a prince in the kingdom of Eldr.  His lands are being overrun by ogres.  When we meet him, Kol has just been kicked out of school for a prank.  He's at home partying with his friends, waiting for his father, mother and older brother to return from the battle front where their army is fighting the ogres.  Now there is something unusual about Kol, you see his people are dragons.  At some times they're human, other times they're dragons.  Their bodies change back and forth.  They have two hearts, one for the dragon and one for the human part of them.  Kol gets bad news, and he must now take over as the king of his land.  He can't seem to think of a way to get rid of the ogres without magic, and so he feels he must go and try to make a deal with Irina, her magic for food that his land can provide for her people.

Kol and his two best friends head into Lorelai's land.  They get into one small village, and their nice clothing sets the villagers after them, being poor, they can only see what they might be able to get from these strangers.  Lorelai and her brother and friend just happen to be in the same village, and they end up saving Kol and his friends from the angry villagers.

When Kol gets to Irina, he finds that instead of wanting his food, alls he wants is him to find Lorelai and bring her heart back.  Now Kol never got Lorelai's name, so it isn't until they attack and cause a major tragedy for Lorelai, that he soon learns who she is, and that he cannot kill her.

But Irina has built in wards for just this type of betrayal situation.  And it will be those things that will cause Lorelai and Kol to fight both for their own lives, as well as each other.

There was a very interesting take on the fairy tale in this story.  The dragon parts actually made me think a bit about the Sleeping Beauty Disney movie.  But other than that, Kol became the perfect huntsman for the Snow White story.  Irina was a perfect wicked stepmother/evil queen.  Lorelai was a Snow White more like Snow in the tv show Once Upon a Time, than like the one in the Disney story, because she was pretty kick-ass.  There are some very sad parts, a bit of a love story, but not too much over the story, I like how the author wove the romance through the story. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  I've picked another sequel this week. This time I've been waiting for longer than this seems, but I was waiting for the final cover reveal to post a WOW.  I was lucky enough to get an ARC for the first one, and I wish I could get an ARC of this sequel to match.  If they are out there, it will probably be on my high needs list for books for trade soon.  Without further ado, here is the blurb from Goodreads:

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.






There's not a lot to that description, but I must know what happens next!  You can read my review of the original, An Ember in the Ashes, HERE.  

So tell me, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

YA Review and Giveaway: Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey


Book Details:
Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25320766-love-lies-spies

Purchase:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250084032
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lies-and-spies-cindy-anstey/1121648596?ean=9781250084033
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/love-lies-and-spies/id1044183086?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/love-lies-and-spies-no-love-allowed-these-vicious-masks

Review:
First, thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  The synopsis above is what drew me in, after the fabulous cover of course!  And I was so excited to get to be a part of the tour with Xpresso Book Tours.   By the time I finished the book, I was definitely sold on the book and loved the whole story.  

When the book first started, we were getting from the viewpoint of one of the main characters, Juliana.  And at first, well, let's just say I wasn't quite sure I'd like it, because she was being really annoying.  For some reason it made me think of those Amelia Bedelia books?  Not sure why.  Fortunately though, once the other main character, Spencer, showed up, her annoying-ness went away, and I totally got into her part.  The book then got into a story that reminded me of the adult romances I used to read, with the women in the bosom-baring bodices on their dresses, with the handsome man. When there was always a chance of someone running off to Gretna Green for a shotgun marriage, kind of like Vegas today.  

I loved Juliana as she had her science interests that she'd inherited from her father, and how she didn't quite give up on that.  Her rebelliousness, tempered with her knowing that she really needed to follow society's customs to get to what her end goal was, really endeared her to me.  The way that she did her best to fit in and help her cousin out, but also to remain herself, so much that her aunt kind of "grounded" her to the house at times, is part of what made the story and the characters so much fun to read.

Spencer was a spy, working for England, but trying to keep an eye on some possible traitors working with the French.  He not only had to fool those around him, such as Juliana and the rest of the gentry, but he had his best friend around that he also had to make sure was kept out of all the intrigue.  I loved all the lengths Spencer went to in order to hide his identity. The disguises were so funny.  And I loved that Juliana really almost saw through them, because of his eyes.  I loved how even though the mothers tried to throw him at their daughter, he still made sure to show that his "interest" was in Juliana no matter what, even it was just a deal between himself and Juliana to further their own goals.  Going out of his way to sit next to her, instead of having Juliana move down so that he could sit next to the other girl as suggested by the mother, it was funny.  

In the end, the people who were the traitors turned out to be a bit of a surprise, one that I didn't suspect right away, all the details laid out perfectly to mislead the reader.  And when we finally met Juliana's father, and were able to get to our happy ending, I just fell in love with the story even more.  A fun, romantic, "swoon-worthy" read!  

AUTHOR BIO:
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.





Author links:
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13795420.Cindy_Anstey
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Anstey/1495828024028504
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyAnstey

Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • A print copy of Love, Lies and Spies
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
 
April 25th
Total Book Geek >> Review
Whatever You Can Still Betray >> Interview
Free-Bird >> Review
the bookdragon >> Review

April 26th
SERIESous Book Reviews >> Review
Brittany’s Book Rambles >> Interview
–Lisa Loves Literature >> Review *You are here!!!*
Quite the Novel Idea >> Review
Crazy for YA >> Review

April 27th
Book briefs >> Review
Book Is Glee >> Review + Interview
That Artsy Reader Girl  >> Excerpt
Dani Reviews Things >> Review

April 28th
In Love With Handmade >> Review
What’s She Reading? >> Review
Princessica of Books >> Guest post
21st Century Once Upon A Times >> Review

April 29th
Always Books >> Review
G. Jacks Writes  >> Excerpt
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
The Bookish Thought >> Review
Reading In The Rain >> Review