11 August 2017

Friday Reads: August 11, 2017





 


ITS FRIDAY! What are you guys reading this weekend? Let me know down below because I'm always looking for new books to check out! Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely weekend!

My Friday Read:
The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

07 August 2017

Blog Tour: League of American Traitors by Matthew Landis


League of American Traitors by Matthew Landis
Publisher: Sky Pony
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Synopsis: Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. . . . 

When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral
of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate
of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to
America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.

First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper
is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.

His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time
of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.

Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.

Like a mash-up of National Treasure and Hamilton, Matthew Landis’s debut spins the what-ifs of American history into a heart-pounding thriller steeped in conspiracy, clue hunting, and danger. 


Book Links:

Meet Matthew,
I love history, but not in the old, awful, kill-me-now-please kind
of way. My passion is convincing my students that the past is actually hilarious, shocking, tragic, disturbing, and altogether
UN-boring. While getting my graduate degree in History at Villanova, I realized that there was yet one more way to do this: write contemporary young adult books laced with history to convince my students that past isn't as awful as they think. That’s a huge reason why I wrote The Judas Society.
 

Some other stuff: I love poetry but don’t understand it; I want Gordon Ramsay to give me a fatherly hug at some point; I tend toward the unapologetically dramatic; and (to my great shame) I didn’t read the Harry Potter series until last year. I’m also really good at covering up patent insecurities with self-deprecating humor (like this joke).


Author Links:



 
Interview:
1.What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love creating worlds and then letting people into them;
it’s sort of like letting people get to know me, indirectly. When my friends read my books, they’re often like “Dude I could totally hear you say that” which is awesome, because it means I’m coming through authentically.

2.What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Two things.
1) Don’t stop. Ever. You won’t finish that novel unless you actually finish it, so go do it.
2) Don’t let writing consume you, because it can’t make you happy. Affirmation from getting published is great, but like everything in life, it fades. Pursue your dream of writing a book and getting it into stores, but don’t base your feelings of value on it, because it will let you down.

3.What do you do when you have writers block?
Depends on the block. If it’s straight up “I have no idea where this scene is going or its purpose” I stop and consult my story map to figure out where the heck I am and what I should
be communicating. If the writer’s block is “I have zero good ideas” I stop writing altogether and watch movies and listen to all sorts of music to get the feels. 

4.What is your least favorite thing about being a writer?
I hate how books (like many cool things) can easily become a
ll-consuming pursuits. I try really hard to set up concrete boundaries—teacher, husband, dad, neighbor, writer—but that’s harder when it comes to mental space. Books suck you in and you can get lost in them, forgetting that they are actually made up things that matter far less than you are making them currently. It’s not that they are unimportant; it’s that there are many things that are far more important. A convicting question for me is: Am I as invested in the lives and burdens
of my coworkers and neighbors as I am my made up story? That answer crushes me constantly, and I am always fighting against the siren call of my manuscript. 

5.Do you have an email subscription or Facebook group that my followers and I can follow to keep up to date on you and your writing?
 

My author Facebook page is Matthew Landis, where I post updates on books and other items. I write some blog posts as well on my website, usually about nerdy stuff –
http://www.matthew-landis.com/new-blog/  



 

05 August 2017

Review: All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Book Format: Paperback
# of Pages: 384
Synopsis: 
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.


My Review:  
  
I bought this with my own money and this is my honest review.

I started reading Megan Miranda with her first few young adult novels and from there I fell in love. All The Missing Girls is her first fiction novel telling the story of a women returning back to her hometown to help her brother take care of their father when their past comes back to haunt them.

This book is written backwards; the first few chapters were the present while the rest of the book was told backwards from that point. It blew my mind really to be watching a story unfold backwards but it made me that much more invested into the story of the missing girls and I found myself not being able to put the book down. There were two missing girls cases intertwined within this story which made it that much more gripping. If you weren’t trying to figure out what happened to the first missing girl you were collecting clues about the second and trying to go from there. It was a non stop thriller.

Another plot point that I really enjoyed was the family aspect. I have a really close relationship with my brother and to see the strained relationship between Nic and Daniel was extremely gripping. Half the time when I should have been more interested in the disappearances of the two girls I was more interested in trying to understand what was going on between brother and sister.

I also found myself shipping Nic and Tyler more than her own fiance which probably wasn’t very good, but I couldn’t help it considering how the book was written.

It’s hard to say much else without giving away clues so all I will say is the plot was fantastic as were the characters and I recommend this 100 percent



 

12 July 2017

Review: The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Book Format: Paperback
# of Pages: 370
Synopsis: Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…




Review: 
I bought this book with my own money and this is my honest review.

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West follows Sophie, a teenage girl looking for answers regarding her sisters odd life and untimely death. Her mother is dealing with her loss by drinking her life away and her father was never really in the picture. Sophie is on her own trying to figure out what it was her sister was hearing before she was committed to the nuthouse for some closure and because she thinks she may be hearing things too. Along the way Sophie meets a boy who may have just the knowledge she needs to figure this thing out.

Sophie was an interesting character. I really felt like I was a fly on the wall in her life. I knew her thoughts about Evan, her sister and even her mother. I felt her fear each time the murmurs started and she felt she was in danger. All the characters in this book were realistic but I wouldn’t have minded a little more insight into Sophie's mom. I knew a lot about Sophie and a lot about Evan but other than her being an alcoholic and it partially being because of the death of her daughter we don’t really get much intell into her life.

The problem I did have was more with the writing than the characters. The book describes itself as chilling and me being a horror freak, I was expecting more from this. I do understand that this is classified as a teen book but I have read teen books that were much scarier than this one. Also, if a book is going to have a freaky premise and a chilling cover it needs to be scary. Don’t get me wrong the few scenes in the book that were supposed to be scary gave me the chills but I wanted more than what was given. There were only three or four really chilling moments within an almost 400 page book which dropped the rating a star for me.

 

30 June 2017

Blog Tour: The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

The Bakersville Dozen

by Kristina McBride
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
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Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “ Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “ Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note inher locker on the last dayof school inviting heron a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.



1) What made you want to be a writer?
I lived across the street from a library when I was a child. I spent so much time there, surrounded by books, which felt so magical to me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dream of seeing my name on the front cover of a novel. 

2)What is your least favorite aspect of being a writer?
The rejection. It’s so hard when you pour your heart and soul into a novel and others (readers, editors, etc.) don’t feel the same love that you feel for your story and characters. But it’s part of the business, and I totally understand that there’s no way to write something for everyone, so I ultimately write for me– the younger version of me–and take the approach that if I’m happy with the final product, that’s what matters most. I feel that the best way to write something that will connect with readers is to write something that I connect with on an emotional level. 

3) What do you do when you get writers block?
I have to write myself through it. It’s the only way to the other side. It can be painful and slow, but it always works. 

4)Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read as much as you can, within the genre you aspire to be part of, and without. Study what you like and what you don’t, what works and what doesn’t, and be aware of the trends, but don’t write to them. Write books that make you feel something deeply.

5) Do you have an email newsletter or a facebook page for my followers and I to join to keep up to date on you and your writing?

Readers can learn more on my website at http://kristinamcbride.com where I blog about any recent book news. Readers can also connect with me on Twitter @mcbridekristina.



Kristina McBride has published three novels for young adults - THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES, ONE MOMENT, and A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT. Her fourth novel, THE BAKERSVILLE DOZEN, willbe released July 2017.

Kristina is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, aswellasan adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. Kristina has a thing for music, trees, purses, and chocolate. You might be surprised to learn that Kristina was almost kidnapped when she was a child. She also bookstalks people on a regular basis. Kristina lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children. You can learn more atwww.kristinamcbride.com.


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