28 June 2014

ARC Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages:  368
Synopsis: A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?



Meet The Author: 
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She's made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.





My Review:
I won this ARC of Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater on facebook and this is my honest review.

First lets start off by talking about the surprise I felt when I recieved this book and realized it was basically a continuation of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy (sort of). This book was set in a totally new place and told the story of two characters who we have met before but never got their whole story. It has been forever since I finished the trilogy so there was some fear that Cole & Isabel would be strangers to me, but the story started and I fell right into place.

On to the characters, the way this book was set up made it quite enjoyable. I loved reading a chapter in Coles point of view, and then the next chapter in Isabels point of view. I have to give Stiefvater props she really knows how to build a character. Looking back to the trilogy and seeing Coles character, hes basically a guy that everybody has given up on. He is somebody that does not seem able to change. But after reading this book Cole is a whole new person and I loved every second of watching him grow. Isabel on the other hand pretty much stayed the same in my eyes for a majority of the book. I remember her always being the biggest bitch, and that pretty much didn’t change I spent most of this book wanting to slap her because of how rude and stubborn she is. I mean yes I understand how much stress she's under and whatnot but being rude to the people who love her is not the way. Especially when everyone could see how changed Cole was and how in love with her he is and she has the nerve to say, “I don’t believe in happy endings.” (Stiefvater, 211) I almost threw the book across the room when she said those words.

Another thing I loved was the amazing job Stiefvater did creating a new world for these two characters. Some authors make spin off novels and you still feel like you’re in the same world which I admit sometimes can be comforting but also annoying at the same time. She perfectly balanced the new world and sprinkling on a little bit of the past to comfort us by mentioning Sam & Grace a few times, nothing too overwhelming. One last thing that made the book amazing were the sub characters. The addition of the evil and sadistic Baby, trying to ruin Cole on a day to day basis. And innocent Sophia who was bashed and put down by Isabel constantly were great they really made the world come alive.

Favorite Quotes:
“Give me the everything. Oh. Tweet that. That’s something I would say” (Cole 173)


27 June 2014

Book Blitz: Third Date by Kylie Keene


Third Date by Kylie Keene 
Release Date: June 20, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis: At 23, Morgan is a little behind other women her age when it comes to dating and relationships. More specifically, she’s a virgin. Dating wasn’t a priority in high school and college, but now that Morgan has a job and her own apartment, she’s ready to jump back into the dating scene.
When Morgan’s friends at work inform her that most men expect sex on the third date, she panics. She’s convinced her lack of experience will be a total turn-off for guys and make for a really awkward third date. Her friends tell her to just do it with a random guy to get it over with, but Morgan isn’t sure that’s what she wants.
When she meets a guy she’s certain is her dream man, she’s ready to lose it on their third date. But doing so isn’t as easy as she thought. And then there’s the fact that she can’t get another guy out of her head.
Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, Morgan eventually finds herself at a place she wasn’t expecting, but the place she wanted to be all along.


Buy Link:

Excerpt:
“Okay, here’s the deal. I’m ready to date but I’m kind of lacking in experience.” I wait for their response but they say nothing, so I continue. “What I mean is that I haven’t done the things that you’re claiming men expect on a date.”
“Wait a minute.” Kayla sets her wine glass down. “Are you saying you’re a virgin?”
“Yes.” I sit up straighter, the wine boosting my confidence. “I’m a 23-year-old virgin.”
“Hold on.” Kayla puts her hand up like she’s stopping traffic. “How is that possible? I mean, I know you haven’t dated much but—”
“Don’t listen to her,” Paige says. “I think it’s sweet. And romantic. You’re saving yourself for marriage. A lot of people do that. Good for you, Morgan.” She raises her glass as if we should toast to my virginity.
I ignore her raised glass. “No, I’m not saving myself for anything. In fact I really just want to get the whole sex thing over with, especially now that I know men are expecting it by the third date.” 
“That’s not true for all men,” Paige assures me.
“It’s all men.” Kayla pours herself another glass of wine. “So how could this not happen in college?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t go to many parties and I didn’t live in the dorms. I lived at home with my dad, so it just didn’t happen. Plus, I never made it past the first couple dates with a guy. I wasn’t interested enough in any of them to . . . you know.”
“If you can’t even say the word, you’re not going to be able to do it.” Kayla jumps up and starts pacing the floor. “Okay, we can fix this. I can find you a guy who would be more than happy to take care of this for you.”
“She’s not getting her car fixed here.” Paige shoots a dirty look at Kayla, then turns back to me. “You need to find someone who cares about you. Someone who will make this memorable for you.”
“I don’t know if I want it to be memorable. I think I might just want to forget it after it happens and move on.”
“Yes, that’s exactly what you should do,” Kayla says. “My first time was prom night junior year with this guy I was dating. I made it into this huge deal and then it was over in like a minute. And he dumped me the next week. So trust me, the first time sucks. You just want to get it over with.
“You should really think about this some more.” Paige uses her mom-tone, soft-spoken and concerned. “You’ve waited this long. What’s the rush?”
“I’m not in a rush. And I’m not saying I need to race out and have sex. I just need to start dating. But if this third-date rule is a real thing, or even if it’s four or five dates, then I don’t know what to do. I’m completely inexperienced.”
Kayla takes some cheese from the tray and plops down on the couch. “Just have sex and get it over with. I’ve already got someone in mind for you. I’ll see if he’s free Friday night.”
“Friday night? As in this Friday night? That’s so soon. I don’t think I can do that.”
Kayla gets up, grabbing her purse. “You can do it. I’ve gotta go.”
“Morgan, don’t listen to her. You’re not going to have sex with a guy just to get it over with. And you’re not doing it with some random guy.”
“Paige is right, Kayla. That’s just not me. I at least need to know the guy.”
“That’s why you’ll go to dinner first.” Kayla’s at the door, but she turns back and says, “Show me your underwear drawer.”
“What? Why?” 
She races to my bedroom. I run to catch up with her, Paige following behind.
Kayla opens my top drawer and pulls out one of my bras. She holds it up. “What is this? Polyester? Beige? It doesn’t even have wires in the cups. No wonder you always look so saggy. Where do you even buy something like this?”
“They come in a two-pack,” I mumble. “You can get them anywhere.”
Paige stares at my beige bra, dangling in the air. “Um, maybe you could get one or two new ones. I could go shopping with you if you want.”
I snatch my bra from Kayla. “But these are really comfortable. And I don’t need that much support. I’m not exactly large-chested.”
Kayla takes it back and checks the size. “34C? That’s not small. You need new bras. Just throw this one out.” She tosses it on the floor and reaches in my drawer again. “Paige, look at this. It gets worse.” Kayla holds up a pair of my underwear. Pink cotton high-cut briefs.
“What’s wrong with those?” I try to grab them but she holds them high in the air. “They’re cut high up on the hip. They’re sexy.”
“You tell her.” Kayla says to Paige. “You’re better at saying things nicely.”  
Paige looks at the underwear, then back at me. “Well, I kind of wore ones like that back in middle school. Not that you can’t wear them. I mean, you could work out in them, I guess. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt if you got something a little more, um, appealing to the opposite sex. Maybe something that doesn’t come in a pack of six.”
“What do you wear?” I ask her. “You’re married. You shouldn’t care what your underwear looks like.”
“I’m married, but I still want to look sexy.” She unzips the side of her skirt to reveal her silky black bikinis. “These are my weekday ones. I have better ones for the weekend.”
Kayla keeps snooping in my drawer. “That’s all you have in here? You don’t even have one decent pair of underwear? There isn’t even any variety. They’re all the same style.”
“I stock up every year during the back-to-school sales.” My voice trails off as I realize how pathetic that sounds. I’ve been buying back-to-school underwear! The kind meant for tweens! The kind that’s sold in six packs! “All right. Maybe I could use some new ones.”
Kayla tosses my underwear back in the drawer and closes it up. “I’ve gotta go. But we’ve got some work to do.”

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26 June 2014

Book Blitz: Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh



Love Edy by Shewanda Pugh
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Genre: Romance, Young Adult 
Synopsis: When Edy Phelps falls hard for her best friend, she knows nothing can come from it. Forget actual chemistry, or the fact that she cherishes his mother more than her own; centuries of tradition say that Hassan will grow up, marry the girl his parents pick, and forget his best friend: the dancer with the bursting smile. Except he can’t. In a world erupting with possibilities for the boy with a body of steel and dreams of the NFL, everything seems promised while nothing at all is; when he’s denied the girl he wants most.

Two hearts. Two families devoted through generations of friendship. Could Edy and Hassan really risk all that? And yet … how could they not?

Buy Links:




Meet The Author: 
Shewanda Pugh is a tomboy who credits Stephen King with being the reason she writes romance. In 2012 she debuted with the first novel in a three part contemporary adult romance series, Crimson Footprints. Since then, she's been shortlisted for the AAMBC Reader's Choice Award, the National Black Book Festival's Best New Author Award, and the Rone Award for Contemporary Fiction in 2012 and 2013. She has an MA in Writing from Nova Southeastern University and a BA in Political Science from Alabama A&M University. Though a native of Boston, MA, she now lives in Miami, FL, where she can soak up sun rays without fear of shivering. Her first young adult romance, Love Edy, is scheduled for release on June 24th, 2014.

Author links:






Excerpt:
Friday night. The sky hung heavy, seamless, with heaven’s stars blotted out by overbearing skyscrapers. Shrieks and a cacophony of cheers rang out, hysteria supreme in a microscopic stadium rocking on the edge of Boston’s South End. Thin and buckling bleachers rattled with the stomps of impending mania, shrill whistles and hefty shouts: those were the true sounds of redemption. Fourteen years and not a single touchdown against Madison High; fourteen years, but no more.
It had come at the hands of a freshman running back who couldn’t stop moving, a last-minute, fidgeting substitution. To others, his appearance must have seemed a concession, but Edy Phelps knew better. Edy Phelps knew him better.
He was hunger and discipline, jittery and ravenous, so rattled that nerves kept him shifting and stretching and pacing along the sidelines. Obsession fueled him, and kept him keen on an opportunity unwilling to come. Except that night, chance came to Hassan Pradhan. His chance. Finally.
It happened in a breath. A snap of the ball. A fake pass and Hassan thundered downfield at a speed only fear could sustain. His moment. His only moment. Take it. Take it. Run. Fly.
He could hear her thoughts—no, feel her thoughts. Edy was sure of it. They’d always had a connection. And it was in that way she aided him. Fists pressed to her lips, teeth slammed together, screaming with her soul. Soar. I know you can do it.
Just as the clock whittled to nothing, Hassan vaulted into the end zone.
A collective roar swallowed Edy and the crowd leapt as one. A win. Few would recall the last.
On her left, Hassan’s parents cheered: mother in a starched linen suit and pumps too prim for a game, father in a white button-up, belly pressing the fabric, sleeves rolled to the elbow. His mother, Rani, was without the brilliant red bindi she couldn’t do without, giving her forehead that naked look. On Edy’s opposite end were her parents, their absolute best friends, in the long-sleeved alumni tees reserved for football season, mother free of the skirt suits that dictated her days. Edy abandoned them all for the sidelines, for Hassan. She weaved round patches of shrieking upperclassmen, hopped over rows of empty benches, apologized to the fat man whose cocoa she sloshed, and ignored the slice of a sudden, early winter wind.
He’d done it.
All those nights, all those talks, round and round about the possibility of getting in a game, the two of them in bedroom shadows, careful to keep their voices low. Some nights he thought a chance would never come; others, he insisted it had to. Either way, he always said that if it did, when it did, he would do something worth remembering. And he had.
At the sidelines, Edy’s gaze swept a team clustered so thick, so honeyed together with the sweetness of victory, that she worried she might never find her neighbor, her best friend.  
Ice cut the air, and the glare of stadium lights had her like an ant under a magnifying glass in the noonday sun. She remembered the way the Dyson twins would burn insects and snicker, and she thought no, she’d be hot if she were a tortured ant, not cold. The fog of her breath seconded her motion.
She spotted him.
Edy had come to hug someone already occupied, someone surrounded by sweeping blonde curls, dark curtains of perfect hair, nestled by an endless supply of short skirts. Hassan draped an easy arm around a cheerleader with shimmering flaxen locks, mouth curling into a grin when a brunette of with pouty lips cried foul and claimed him as her own. Soft tans and the curves of certain womanhood donned them both. Edy looked from them to her own angular body and knew what she would find: all edges and sharpness, slender, muscles sculpted from a life of dance. The baggy jeans, football jersey, and sloppy poof of a ponytail she wore didn’t give her much to run with either. That hair used to be the brunt of Hassan’s endless jokes. Big enough to tip you back,” he’d say, before tugging it in absentminded affection. She fingered that hair with the same sort of absent- -mindedness, before looking up to see a blonde plant rosy lips on Hassan’s cheek.
Ugh.
Edy didn’t care about the movies, the books, the popular culture that insisted football player and cheerleader, jock and pretty girl, were a natural sort of fit. It wasn’t. They weren’t. It absolutely couldn’t be.
A girl like that couldn’t understand what made him him. So what if he was . . .  obscenely gorgeous, with sun-licked bronze skin, silken black locks, and eyes an ever-glimmering, gold-flecked green. He had a quiet sort of beauty, made for old Greek sculptures and timeless works of art. Not that he was quiet. He was explosive, with good looks and athleticism. But beyond that were pleasures and disappointments, what he loved and could not bear. Imprinted on Edy’s mind were the crinkles at the corner of Hassan’s eyes when he smiled, the clench of his jaw when irritation set in, the rich and sonorous laugh that had slipped octaves lower in recent years. A girl like that blonde could be nothing to him—could know nothing of him. She knew a moment and a touchdown. That was it.
Edy’s hands made fists.
The blonde moved in to kiss his cheek again, just as a teammate shouted his name. Hassan jerked back, only to be caught at the corner of his mouth by her lips.
A whoop rang out from the guys.
Heat flushed Edy’s veins and her fingernails dug, digging, digging, until tears blurred her vision.
Wait.
He was her best friend, family really, if you considered the way they were brought up. So, she really had no reason to—
The blonde threw her arms around Hassan. The team swarmed and the two disappeared from sight.
They were kissing, weren’t they?
Edy closed her eyes, forcing back the hottest tears and the bitterest taste of sudden envy.
She loved him. Dear God, she loved her best friend.
It fell down on her at once, uncompromising truth and the weight of reality like a cloak too heavy to bear.
The boy that had grown by her side, promised to another in a tradition as old as marriage itself, another girl of his ethnicity, religion, beliefs: that’s the boy she loved. A single line existed between Edy’s family and his, between the Pradhans and Phelps, who otherwise acted as one.
But Edy loved him.
And, of course, there was no recourse for that.

Giveaway:

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24 June 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created and hosted by Should Be Reading where we give our followers teasers of the books we are reading! Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
4. DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS!
5. Share the title and author incase we want to read the book in the future! 


Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater 
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Synopsis: A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Teaser: "I'm not getting married," Isabel said, clicking off the work phone and putting it away. She still wasn't looking at me or at the house or anything. "I don't believe in happy endings." (Page 211)


I am so in love with this book, it doesn't come out until the first of July and I'm so glad I won this ARC because otherwise I probably wouldn't have even known it was coming out! Tell me what you think! :)

21 June 2014

Book Blitz: Storm of Ekkos by Heather Allen

Available from 10 June - Storm of Ekkos is the latest release from Heather Allen!!



Title: Storm of Ekkos
Author: Heather Allen
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Heather Allen



What if Earth isn’t the only planet out there with life as we know it? What if one choice in the history of humans could change the entire course of the world?

Hadley Morrow, a sixteen year old inhabitant of Ekkos makes a choice. She must redeem herself and prove she is really meant for more. Her life has meaning beyond the choices of her parents. But the boy on the mountain changes everything. He is in the wrong place at the wrong time and her actions set into motion a journey to find herself and discover more about her future and the planet she calls home.

Elijah Weston, a sixteen year old member of Earth leaves his house to escape the small existence that he calls his life. He finds that everything is closing in on him and he needs a way out. The girl on the mountain changes everything. He is in the right place at the right time and because of her his life takes on meaning beyond what he can comprehend.

When Elijah meets Hadley everything he believed about his life and the world is turned upside down. Will they be able to overcome the future already set before them and change both worlds or will their choices be for nothing? Has everything already been written?





Heather Allen is the author of The Just Breathe Trilogy, Feeling This, The Sound of Shooting Stars and her recently released New Adult novel, Let Go about an MMA fighter. And now the first book, Storm of Ekkos in her new Paranormal Young Adult Saga. Heather finally realized her dream of becoming an author just over a year ago with her mermaid trilogy. She savors every moment on this journey and the wonderful friends she has met along the way. She has many more books planned. Ideas pop up faster than she has time to write.

Heather currently resides in the sunny state of Florida with her husband and three children. She holds degrees in education from The University of Central Florida and Nova Southeastern University. She is a hopeless romantic who loves to read just about anything. While writing she indulges in coffee and Jelly Belly jellybeans. When she isn’t teaching, writing or reading, Heather can be found at the beach or out on the water boating.




20 June 2014

Cover Reveal/Spotlight: Starlight Saga by Sherry Soule

BOOK COVER REVEAL SPOTLIGHT - #StarlightSaga

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new upper YA series: the “Starlight Saga” (paranormal romance with a Sci-Fi concept) with scorching-hot character chemistry and exciting suspense on June 26, 2014. 
To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this fun guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers. 



VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga
High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.
Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.
They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova. 
Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....
The LOST IN STARLIGHT eBooks can be purchased from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, & iBooks on June 26th. 
The paperback edition from Amazon on June 16th 2014.

Places you can find Sherry Soule:
Twitter @SherrySoule: http://twitter.com/SherrySoule
Please add LOST IN STARLIGHT to your TBR on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20707942-lost-to-starlight 

The awesome book cover was designed by the talented, Kristen Thompson-Oh of KCT Designs at www.kctdesigns.com 

19 June 2014

Book Blitz: Sticks and Stones by Shawn McGuire


Sticks and Stones by Shawn McGuire
Release Date: June 15, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis: Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.
The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.
Her wish is granted and happiness arrives in the form of Lexi, her childhood imaginary friend come to life. Magical wishes have conditions though: Once started, the wish cannot be altered or stopped. And once Mandy is truly content with her life again, Lexi must go back to where she came from. But Lexi loves being alive and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way.










Meet The Author:
Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid: she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, the small town that inspired the setting for Sticks and Stones and the upcoming Break My Bones. After graduating college she moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.



Author Links:
Goodreads


Chapter 1 Excerpt:
Chapter One

Mandy


It had been twelve years since I’d broken a rule. I found that life flowed along more easily if I didn’t rock the boat. Expectations were understood and outcomes predictable. Tonight was going to be different though. Tonight I’d step out of my carefully controlled comfort zone. If I wanted to have any friends at all, it was my only choice.
I’d promised Brooke and Crissy I’d go to the party tonight, even though it wasn’t my kind of thing and they knew it. But I really wanted the three of us to be together and this was what they agreed on. Besides, if I didn’t go I’d spend my sixteenth birthday alone.
Things weren’t going as planned though. Brooke had promised to pick me up at seven-thirty. At ten minutes to eight I’d received a text saying her brother had taken her car and she’d gotten a ride from someone else. So there I was, ready and willing and no way to get to the party.
Well, there was one way. My birthday present from my uncle, an old Ford Escape he’d been fixing up for months, was waiting in the barn for me. There was the minor detail that I didn’t have my license yet, but my road test was scheduled for tomorrow morning and I knew I’d pass. So what the heck, I was already stepping out of my box, what was one more step?
Brooke was supposed to bring me her silver sequined miniskirt so I was back at the I-have-nothing-to-wear stage. The whole time I stood there staring into my closet, an invisible Jiminy Cricket sat on my shoulder reminding me that I was breaking a rule. You know what happens when you break a rule.
“Yeah, yeah,” I said, flicking Jiminy to the floor, “civilizations collapse and planets implode. Alert the media, Mandy Matteo is about to break a rule.” But the room spun a little and my stomach flipped as those words came out of my mouth. I looked down to see if Jiminy was still there. He wasn’t, of course, so I called out, “It’s just one party. Mom won’t be home ’til Sunday. No one will ever know I took the Escape.”
Finally dressed in something other than sweats, I grabbed the “sweet sixteen” key ring from the rack by the front door, ran out to the barn, and hopped in the car. At the end of the driveway I paused, waiting for a sign that planets were in fact imploding. With my luck, the first party I ever went to would get busted. But no space debris fell out of the sky to block my path. My phone didn’t ring with Mama intuitively calling to ask what I was up to. No voice from above told me to turn away from the dark side I was about to cross into. So I pulled onto the county highway and headed for town.

Giveaway:



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18 June 2014

Book Blitz: Mind Static by Jen Naumann


Mind Static by Jen Maumann
Release Date: August 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis: Keyanna Sanders is about to get everything she could ever wish for on her 18th birthday: a hot guy who’s really into her, the sports car she’s always dreamed of owning, and the party of a lifetime that no one will forget any time soon.

But before long, she’ll understand these wishes are more than a coincidence, and that they come at a steep price. Keyanna is more than just an average high school senior, her best friend is more than the innocent boy next door, and her sudden good fortune isn’t just by chance. When her estranged father suddenly re-enters her life, she’ll have to decide who to trust, and whether or not the man she loves has become the enemy.




Meet The Author:
Jen Naumann grew up in southern Minnesota as an addict of such flicks as Indiana Jones and The Goonies until she discovered John Hughes, and spent her high school days locked away writing love stories with a sci-fi twist. Married to a farmer in southern Minnesota, she tries to follow the madness of her four active children while balancing an imagination that never shuts down. As the author of CHEATING DEATH, SHYMERS, AND PARANORMAL KEEPERS, she writes stories with strong female leads who have a good sense of humor and tend to fall in love despite their better judgment.

Author links: 




Q&A:

Did you always want to be an author?

Pretty much, yes. I remember in 3rd grade writing a story about My Little Ponies and declaring I would grow up to be a writer. I stuck to my guns and wrote dozens of novels up until college, when I felt overwhelmed in declaring a major. Then I started a family and the writing thing got lost until recently when someone in my family had a major medical issue, and I realized life was too short not to go after what I love. So I was in my 30s before it finally became a reality.

What drew you to the YA genre?

Growing up in the 80s I was obsessed with John Hughes and Stephen Spielberg films, and wrote a ton of fan fiction based on their movies (I just realized a few years ago what I was doing was actually called “fan fiction”). I tried to write an “adult” book after high school, but was still mesmerized by the magical feeling of the teen movies I loved growing up. Preparing to go off on your own into adulthood is such an exciting time! I often think being an adult is boring, and miss the energy of being young, awaiting new challenges with bright eyes.

Are there any books and stories that have influenced or stuck with you from your childhood or young-adulthood?

I don’t think my parents were aware at the time, but I started reading Stephen King in 5th grade and was pretty much obsessed with his work by high school. I’ve always liked the idea of being scared, and using my imagination to explore what would happen if monsters were real. While I don’t feel I’ve actually dove into the horror genre quite yet, it’s still something I hope to do one day. I'm just not sure I could do it justice.

Do you have any other works published and how do they compare genre/style wise with your current work?

I’ve just completed my 8th book for publication. While all of my YA books deal with some sort of paranormal element, What I’ve Done and Shymers (a dystopian story) are both told by girls who are a bit more gentle, and naive to the world around them. Cheating Death is about a popular girl who makes bad decisions, and deals with some pretty dark subjects. The heroine in Mind Static is confident with a little attitude, giving the story a fun and lighter feel. My favorite YA so far is Paranormal Keepers in which the girl is smart, good humored, and brave. My 8th book, Adam’s List, is my debut as a NA contemporary romance author (for readers 18+) under the pen name Jennifer Ann, and is set to release June 17th.

Do you have any current writing projects? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Although there are at least five other projects I’d rather be working on, I just started the sequel to my most popular book, Shymers. Since I left readers with a big cliffhanger, I’ve felt a tremendous amount of pressure with the second book and kept putting it off. I finally decided I owe it to my fans to finish Olive and Harrison’s story. As with my zombie series, it will most likely become nothing more than a two-part series, although I’ll never rule out more books in the future if I feel like adding to it. It’s just that my ADD won’t allow me to focus on one project for very long. I’m also hoping to get a sequel to my NA romance novel out by the end of the year.


Excerpt:

The smell of burning leaves mixed with the usual stench of the big city drifts through the cooler air when I step outside. Nestled on the edge of residential homes, our school starts just blocks from where chain businesses like tanning salons and women’s boutiques begin. The large oak trees lining the busy street have just begun to turn a bright orange, bringing color to the otherwise dull grassy courtyard. I’ve always loved this time of year, although it may just be because of my birthday.
Nora waits for me in the half-full parking lot, leaning against the BMW with her arms crossed. Although it’s halfway mild for a Minnesota fall, she almost looks ridiculous in a miniskirt short enough to fail the school’s somewhat loose dress code. The skinny jeans and knee-high boots I wear are more my style. I’m thankful for them when a cool wind throws strands of wet hair across my face.
When I’m a few strides away, Nora scowls. “Took you long enough. Didn’t you have to come outside for the fire drill? And why are you wet?”
“It was no drill.” I walk around to open the passenger’s door, wringing out my hair in the process. “It was the real deal. There was an actual fire in my class.”
With her eyes wide, Nora opens her own door and slides in next to me. “What do you mean? Did you have something to do with it? I always knew you had a dark side to you, but pyromania is taking it a bit far.”
I shut my door. “I didn’t start it.” Then I stop a minute and add, “Well, not technically.”
“What in the hell is that supposed to mean?” Nora sighs dramatically when shutting her own door. “Either you started it, or you didn’t.”
“You know that thing that happened in chem earlier? It happened again. I wished the new guy would come over and talk to me—”
Her jaw drops, and she punches my shoulder. Hard. “You totally hooked up with him!”
Rubbing my tender shoulder, I frown. “Right. We did it right in the middle of communications class with everyone watching. It was magical.”
“That’s never stopped me before.” A smug smile crosses her lips, as if she would really do such a thing.
I click on my seatbelt, giving her a sideway sneer. “Yeah well I’m not like you. I have boundaries and a little thing I like to call morals.”
“Yeah, well, you’re just jealous.” She pulls down the visor to check herself out in the mirror. “You should totally try it some time.”
“Are you going to let me finish?” I cross my arms.
Nora waves her hand in a whatever motion before flipping the visor back and starting the car. “Talk fast, because we have a lot to do before the party.”
Just the mention of the party brings butterflies to my stomach. The feeling that this night will get out of control has multiplied throughout the day. “Anyway, Lock came over and—”
Mid-backing out of the stall, Nora slams on the breaks and we both jolt in our seats. “Wait! His name is Lock? What kind of name is that? Lock and Key? Are you jerking my chain?” She begins to giggle manically.
“I think it’s British or something. Seriously, Nor. You’re killing me here.”
She stops giggling and squints, her lips pushed out. “What? I can’t ask any questions?”
“Not until I’m done. Are you going to let me talk now?”
A few cars honk at us. It’s no wonder—we’re sitting at an angle in the middle of the parking lot. Nora rolls down the window to flash them her middle finger before driving forward.
“You’re right. That hand signal was totally called for, ‘cause they’re the idiot,” I mumble.
“I thought you were so eager to talk to me about something,” Nora volleys back.
“I’m trying to tell you that there are way too many strange things happening to me today. Whenever I wish for something, it happens. I don’t know if I’m going crazy, or if maybe there really is some kind of birthday fairy, but something is going on and it’s really starting to freak me out!”
Nora raises her hand. “Can I say something now?”
I huff, waving my hand at her. “Go ahead.”
“This totally sucks. Why hasn’t anyone told us about this magical eighteenth birthday fairy thing before? Is it like some secret adults are sworn to keep or what?” She bursts out in an evil laugh, and slaps my arm. “Really? You think there’s more to this than just dumb luck?”
“You’re saying you don’t believe me?” It suddenly strikes me how completely ludicrous this whole conversation sounds. Birthday fairy? Magic? Yet there has got to be some kind of reasoning behind all of it. “Fine, we’ll test it out some more. See if my ‘wishes’ are really coming true.”
Nora pulls alongside a semi on the highway. After a beat her face lights up, and she claps her hands together with a squeal. “I know!”
“Hands!” I yell, reaching for the steering wheel.
She casually takes the wheel back. “You should totally wish for the Imagine Dragons or some other awesome band to show up for your party! It would be so epic!”
Although the thought of Dan Reynolds showing up to wish me a happy birthday in person is so appealing I could die, somehow I think my “wishes” have all been of coincidence or just “dumb luck” as Nora suggested. “That seems a bit ambitious. Maybe I could wish for the most epic party to end all parties, only we don’t get caught and no one steals anything of value.”
Nora snorts, slapping the wheel as if taking her aggression out on the car instead of me for once. “You are so lame! That’s seriously what you’re going to wish for? What if you only have one more?”
“I haven’t done this before!” I throw my hands up to the roof. “I don’t know how it works! What if I only had a few and I’ve already used them up?”
The whites of Nora’s orbs expand. “You mean like a genie with the three wishes and shit?” She laughs in more of a cackle, taking in gulping breaths until her face turns red. “You’re totally making yourself believe in this crap, aren’t you?”
“Do you have a better explanation for what’s going on?”
“Fine. I won’t laugh at you if you can prove this is really happening. But you have to come up with a really good wish. Something that we can see actual proof of. Something that would never happen to you, like a guy getting down on one knee and asking you out on a date or something.”
I cross my arms. “Remind me again why we’re friends?”
“Because you love me.” Her dark lashes flutter as she flashes a toothy smile.
Grumbling, I tap my fingers on my knees. “Okay, fine. A good, plausible wish...hmmm...”
“Just make sure it’s not dumb. Wish for something really good, like—”
Looking back at her, I yell, “Nor! Shut up!”
The car becomes silent. Nora glances between me and the road with her mouth held in a tight line. I groan loudly, knowing she’s a good one for giving the silent treatment when I piss her off. “I’m sorry!” I say. “You just never let me think.”
She shakes her head wildly, her eyes the size of saucers.
“I said I’m sorry.” I huff deeply. “What’s your problem?”
She continues shaking her head, her expression filled with alarm. Panic, even. For a minute I worry she’s going to either be sick or she’s having an adolescent heart attack.
I grab her arm. “Nor, are you okay?” Just like that, it hits me. I totally made her shut up! I gasp. Even though I’ll admit I get a little fangirlish about Harry Potter, I’m not an idiot. I know magic is not real. But how do you explain this?

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