Blog Tour: Wonder Women by Sam Maggs + Review

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28503941Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
by Sam Maggs and Sophia Foster-Dimino (Illustrator)

Publication: October 4th 2016 by Quirk Books

Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive
bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

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Review:

Prior to reading this book, I’d only heard of a couple of the women mentioned (Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart). I might not have paid attention to lot of my history classes in school but I would have remembered these women if I had been taught about what they’ve done for the world.
The fact that so many of women’s impact on history has been throw aside and disregarded upsets me so much. But thanks to Sam Maggs, we can educate ourselves on some of the women that changed the world. Sam clearly did a ton of research for this book and it shows. It’s extremely well written and fun to read. I’ve learned so much about history because of this book and I can’t recommend it enough.
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A conversation with Sam Maggs, author of Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History

Your first book, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, celebrates women in geek culture. In Wonder Women, you’ve detailed the lives of some of history’s most important yet underappreciated women in STEM and beyond. Where did the idea for Wonder Women originate?

I love funny, hyperbolic Tumblr posts that casually teach you about unknown historical figures. In The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, I originally had little chapter enders that each focused on a cool gal in history that, sadly, got cut for length, but my editor thought they’d make a great book on their own. And Wonder Women was born!

 

Some of the things these women accomplished—from becoming the first American woman to earn a medical degree to writing the first computer program—are truly groundbreaking. Why do you think these women’s stories are still unknown to the general public?

It may not surprise you to learn that, overwhelmingly, history has been both written and taught by a very particular type of person. It has been outrageously difficult for marginalized people to leave their mark for a variety of reasons—white men had a vested interest in promoting the success of other white men; women were simply unable to attend school and therefore their accomplishments were taken less seriously; women were unable to own property and therefore had to file patents under the names of male associates or relatives; and so on, and so on. Circumstances have been such for centuries that it was nearly impossible for women to make these sorts of advancements, let alone be remembered for them. I feel lucky to live in a time when I’m able to bring these stories to the forefront to hopefully inspire another generation of creative and brilliant women.

 

In addition to profiling historic figures, you also include an interview with a present-day “wonder woman” at the end of each chapter. Why did you decide to include these contemporary women?

I wanted to remind readers that these amazing discoveries aren’t just limited to the past—there are women out there breaking barriers and crossing boundaries and shattering ceilings in STEM fields right now. I need ladies to know that this could be them.

 

Based on your research and personal experiences, what advice would you give to young women interested in a career in a traditionally male field?

I think that you have to have confidence in yourself and in your abilities under all circumstances. There are always going to be people who doubt you—sometimes you’ll even doubt yourself. But your belief in your abilities has to be stronger and louder than the voices of those who say you can’t do it, or you shouldn’t do it. Ignore them. You’re awesome. Do whatever you want.

 

You’ve worn a lot of different hats—historical scholar, journalist, author, and now game developer at BioWare. How have these experiences influenced your writing?

I have met so many strong and inspiring women in each one of my careers that it boggles my mind to think that, even half a century ago, people doubted that women could be equal to men in any field. Women like Mary Sherman Morgan or Grace Hopper didn’t live hundreds of years ago; this is the mid-twentieth century we’re talking about. Even today, you see arguments about whether women should be promoted in the workplace if they’re going to have children, or if they should be able to achieve certain ranks in the military. It honestly blows my mind that we’re still having these debates, because I’ve looked up to accomplished, incredible women in each of my jobs.

 

Wonder Women discusses serious subject matter in a fun and accessible way. Why did you decide to use a conversational writing style for this book?

I wanted to write Wonder Women in the same way that I like to be taught history. Dry, boring textbooks make me lose focus and interest quickly (and I say this as someone with a Master’s in Victorian Literature). Instead, I always find myself more engaged with historical texts when the writer or teacher allows me to personally identify with the material, by making it as accessible as possible while still relaying all the important facts. I think it’s really easy to forget, when we look back in time, that all of these dusty-seeming historical figures really were just people; many of the gals featured in Wonder Women were barely out of their teen years when they made their contributions to the historical record. It was important to me to be able to write the book in a way that said, “Look, these women were just like you and me,” because then, I think, you’re more likely to think, “Well, maybe I could do something like that, too!”

 

Since the publication of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’ve had the chance to speak at various conventions and have served as a voice for women in geek culture. How have these experiences affected your identity as a fangirl?

It’s very humbling to be asked to speak out on behalf of women in geek culture. Obviously I can only speak from my own experience, but if putting my voice out there helps make things even a little bit easier for other people, then I am happy to do so. Plus, I’ve met so many amazing fangirls from all walks of life. I’ve cried over letters and fanart from readers, but there’s really nothing like speaking to someone who just intrinsically understands you because of your shared experience in the geek world, regardless of age or other circumstances. It’s this really awesome bonding experience.

Wonder Women Tour

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About Sam Maggs

maggs-sam_wonder-woman_credit-ashley-walkerSam Maggs is an Assistant Writer for BioWare, and the bestselling author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and the upcoming Wonder Women, both published by Quirk Books and distributed by Penguin Random House.

Named “Awesome Geek Feminist of the Year” by Women Write About Comics, Sam has also been an Editor for geek girl culture site The Mary Sue, and has been published across the web and in other books about gaming and genre. She’s been interviewed about women in geek culture by everyone Vulture to The New York Times. Despite her MA in Victorian literature, Sam’s writing mostly focuses on geek culture, and (sometimes) how it intersects with being a lady.

Sam is also an accomplished on-air personality, appearing as the host of the Cineplex pre-show in front of six million Canadians a month; a frequent co-host on Teletoon; and a regular guest on MTV and Space. She’s also appeared as a regular pop culture commentator on CBC’s q, 102.1 The Edge, Newstalk 1010, and more.

Sam has appeared on or moderated nerd culture panels at San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, Emerald City Comicon, Calgary Expo, Fan Expo Canada, C2E2, and others, including speaking with super-rad guests like Ming-Na Wen, Hayley Atwell, and Steven Moffat (who insulted her to her face – she’s made it!). She would totally love to write a thing for you or appear on your thing.

Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope twenty-four times in theatres when it first came out, and used to keep her home from school to marathon the Indiana Jones trilogy, so it’s really not her fault that she turned out the way she did. Sam mostly loves YA lit, Pacific Rim, BioWare games, Carol Danvers, and Jeff Goldblum.

 

 

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Blog Tour: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu + Review

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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

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Publication: October 11th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. 

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Review:

The Young Elites is one of my favorite series’ and I’m so sad that it’s come to an end. However, The Midnight Star is probably my favorite in the series and I can’t wait to reread all the books soon.
I loved the plot of this book. It was pretty different from the other two books but in a good way. I love how much more the series developed in this last final book.
Marie is such an amazing writer. Her writing style, her ideas, the characters she creates, everything is perfection and The Midnight Star showcases all of her talents perfectly.
Honestly, I could ramble on and on about how much I loved this book. It’s the perfect end to an amazing series and I highly recommend this series to everyone.

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20821111.jpgThe Young Elites

Published October 7th 2014

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

 

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23846013.jpgThe Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu

Published October 13th 2015

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra with her sister to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good when her very existence depends on darkness?

Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites.

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Blog Tour : Kingdom of Ash and Briars – IRL Fairytale

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kingdom-of-ash-and-briarsKingdom of Ash and Briars
Published September 16, 2016
by Hannah West

Building on homages to CinderellaSleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm’s nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard Nissera against black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.

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IF HANNAH WEST WERE A  FAIRY TALE CHARACTER

If You Were a Fairy Tale Character
It’s hard to compare your personality to a fairy tale character without sounding full of yourself, but I’m probably most like a combination of Disney’s Belle and Elsa. Every book lover identifies with Belle, I think, but I also identify with her empathy and compassion, and would say that those are probably two of my better personality traits. And humility, of course *winks.*

I relate to Elsa because she’s afraid of the world, mostly because of what it will show her about herself. I struggle with social anxiety (and general anxiety), which sometimes makes me want to hole up in my apartment. But what’s weird is that I don’t fear people or situations as much as I fear punishing myself for them later – losing sleep over something stupid that I said or did. But I think like Elsa, I’ve learned to give myself a break and live my day to day life without those fears cropping up.

In terms of loving animals and talking aloud to them, I’m full-on Cinderella. But regardless of the traits I have in common with these characters, if I could choose to be any fairytale/legend character, it would be A) Disney’s Mulan because she gets to actually go on adventures and have an impact or B) an evil queen because MAGIC. I would simply change my ways and spend the rest of my life righting my wrongs and being okay with coming in as the second most beautiful person in the kingdom. That ain’t a bad life.

 If we’re talking magic powers, though, being the fairy godmother would be pretty dope. Which I guess brings us to this point! Despite countless fairytale retellings, the character of the fairy godmother seemed pretty under-explored when I got the idea for KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS. Making Bristal a shapeshifter and weaving her story around classic fairytales was an exciting way to leave those tales almost untouched while giving the minor character of the fairy godmother a whole new identity and story.

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen Release Day Blitz + Giveaway!

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Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Publication: November 11th 2015 by Full Fathom Five Digital

From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.

It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn’t just anyone—it’s Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.

Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.

But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.

What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all?

After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.

DEAD RINGER CALI-STYLE SWAG BAG GIVEAWAY!

Jessie Rosen’s debut novel DEAD RINGER is here, and so is Laura Rivers, new girl at Englewood High School. In DEAD RINGER, Laura wants to start the school year with a splash and bring some fun to her new life on the East Coast, but is stopped short by the rumors flying around—rumors about how she’s the uncanny doppelgänger of the school’s most famous suicide victim: Sarah Castro-Tanner.

Regardless, Laura is determined to shake off the weird stares and make a stunning first impression. How? Bright colors, cool accessories, fresh beauty favorites, and a killer attitude.

But Laura may be covering up some secrets with all that California sunshine…

In honor of Laura Rivers and DEAD RINGER, Full Fathom Five Digital is giving away a fabulous pack of prizes designed to give you the Cali-girl look you’ve been dreaming of. Three winners will walk away with Laura Rivers-inspired prizes that, altogether, value at over $400!

How do you win, you ask? Just enter using any (or all) of the methods listed in the Rafflecopter below. The more ways you enter, the higher your chances of winning the CALI-STLYE SWAG BAG Grand Prize!

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TWO (2) RUNNER-UP WINNERS will receive:

– One (1) cuff bracelet inscribed with #SWAG from Hearts&Hashtags – in honor of Laura’s mantra during her first day of school at Englewood High (“It’s all about swag.”)

– One (1) set of three girly stockings from Wade & Belle – exactly what Laura wears to the homecoming dance with her vintage Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress

– One (1) Cali Trucker Hat from Billabong – it would totally remind Laura of her sunny Cali days

– One (1) Maybelline lipstick in the shade “Faint for Fuschia” – the same shade Laura wears on her first day at Englewood High

– One (1) “Go Teen” Skin Authority Kit – which Laura would use to maintain her perfect, sunkissed, Cali complexion

– One (1) “FAB Faves” To-Go Kit from First Aid Beauty – perfect for all the on-the-go touchups Laura might sneak in at school

ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive:

– One (1) trendy, vintage-inspired Nasty Gal bag – just like Laura would carry at school or bring on a date with Charlie

– One (1) olive-sapphire bracelet in white-gold, provided by Starling Jewelry – blue to match the bluer of Laura’s different-colored eyes

– all of the beauty- and fashion-related goodies listed above!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends on December 2nd, so don’t hesitate – enter the DEAD RINGER CALI-STYLE SWAG BAG GIVEAWAY today!

Curious about Laura Rivers and her story? Read an excerpt from DEAD RINGER and find out more about author Jessie Rosen on fullfathomfive.com.

A big thanks to the sponsors for providing the prizes: Maybelline New York, Nasty Gal, Billabong, First Aid Beauty, Starling Jewelry, Skin Authority, Wade & Belle, and Hearts & Hashtags!

Release Day Blitz: Light of Dawn by Komali Da Silva

 

AVAILABLE NOW

When Dawn’s soul mate, Angelo, leaves town with another girl, he steals all hope of mending their relationship. However, this allows the bond with her guardian angel, Gabe, to grow. But their love can’t save them from what is to come.

When their greatest fear becomes a terrifying reality, their limits will be pushed and tested. Dawn’s strange abilities are finally revealed, and she begins to realize her full potential. Now she must decide if she will run or fight.

Free with Kindle Unlimited!

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Read the first one now!

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About Komali:

Komali da Silva was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
She started writing as a teenager but never took it seriously because her love for basketball and track and field sports was much stronger.
At the age of seventeen she moved to Switzerland. Komali has a degree in Insurance but is dreaming of one day owning her own book cafe.
She adores reading and some of her favorite authors include Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare, Becca Fitzpatrick, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Cecelia Ahern, J.K. Rowling and Richelle Mead.
She started immortalizing her own words on paper in June 2012.
Komali, her husband and their daughter Amalia now live in Switzerland, where they eat a lot of chocolate and freeze during the winter.
Komali could live on love and happiness if life lets her do so. She laughs a lot and has different smiles for all her moods.

Blog Tour: Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican (Review + Giveaway!)

 

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: June 2nd 2015

Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that’s even worse in Anthony Breznican’s Brutal Youth.
 
With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the stridently religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek signs up. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal —so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.
 
To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their embittered guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive. 

I finished this book almost two weeks ago and I still have no idea what I think about this book.

On one hand, these characters are so confusing and unlikable but they’re so complex, original, and interesting. I hated them but I also had so many feelings of sympathy.
The plot was so strange but I was weirdly hooked. A part of me wanted to quit reading but I also couldn’t put it down.
The writing is so amazing. I can’t compare it to anything because it’s so original.
This book had blown my mind. I don’t know what to think or feel and I love how Brutal Youth has completely stumped me. Even though I finished this book a week ago, it’s still stuck in my head.
If you’re looking for a book that’s completely original and refreshing, Brutal Youth is a perfect fit. I’m still over whelmed by this book and how crazy it is.

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Follow the Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Anthony Breznican was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsurgh in 1998. He has worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and USA Today. He is currently a senior staff writer for Entertainment Weekly.
Brutal Youth is his debut novel. 

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Blog Tour: After Hours by Claire Kennedy (Review + Giveaway)

After Hours by Claire Kennedy

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: June 16th 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 3.5 stars

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it’s about Tips.
 
Tips–the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.
 
Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.
 
Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.
 
Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.
 
Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.
 
From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.
 
The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes…and things are about to get dirty.
 I loved the concept of this book. From the game “Tips” to the idea of all the characters working at a diner, it was just such a fun book. And while I’m not a big fan of multiple perspectives in books, I really didn’t mind the four perspectives of After Hours. I felt like each perspective was relevant to the story. I really enjoyed the restaurant setting of this book. It was really original.
I really liked the pace of the of the story, I wasn’t ever really bored. If I had time, I could have read it in one sitting. I kind of wish I had because this is just one of those books that basically demand to be read all at once.
There was a lot of things really took me by surprise and I had a hard time trying to recover.  It reminded me a lot of Pretty Little Liars in some ways. Maybe some younger readers might not enjoy certain aspects and at times I felt like After Hours was an upper YA book, meant for older readers.

The end was kinda terrible. The story just stopped. Maybe my ARC copy was missing the last few chapters but I’m going to assume it wasn’t so I really didn’t like how the book just ended. I wish there was an epilogue.
Overall, I thought After Hours was a really fast paced read that got me out my almost-reading-slump. It may not be the right book for younger readers but who knows, maybe that’s just me. I can definitely see myself buying a copy of this book and rereading it in a year or two. 
 
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Follow the After Hours by Claire Kennedy Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Claire Kennedy is a pen name for author Amanda K. Morgan. She is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works as a technical writer when she isn’t working on her YA novels.
At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.
Amanda is an avid volleyball player and spends time playing both indoors and out. When Amanda isn’t writing, she enjoys being entirely too busy and trying new things. Endeavors as of late include appearances in music videos, TV, and movies, rock climbing, and attending as many concerts and shows as her schedule allows.
Amanda headed up the Do The Write Thing for Nashville Project (with co-organizers/authors Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire), which tapped some of the biggest authors, editors, and agents in the industry for an online auction that raised over $70,000 for Midsouth flood relief.
For more information on Amanda’s freelance or technical writing, contact her

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GABRIEL Book Blitz!

Gabriel by Nikki Kelly

Series: The Styclar Saga #2

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: October 27th 2015
Pages: 352
Synopsis:
 The handsome Angel from Lailah gets center stage in this continuation of Wattpad sensation Nikki Kelly’s romantic and action-packed series about mortals, vampires, and angels.

Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He’s also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

Once again, Nikki Kelly looks deeply into the heart and soul of good and evil to create a romantic, action-packed reading adventure.

Interview

Will we get a peek at Styclar Plena in the current action of the book or are we doomed to just hear about from Gabriel’s memories only?
Lol doomed you say?! I can tell you exclusively, here in this interview, that in Book3 we get to go to to third dimension, and the first dimension (Styclar-Plena) in the current action of the book ;)

I need a sneak peak! What’s going to happen with Jonah? *waves #TeamJonah flag*
…Now that would be telling ;) You can, however, get a sneak peek through the Gabriel cover reveal blog tour, where I shared 6 excerpts form Book2: http://www.thestyclarsaga.com/blog-tour/

Can you describe this second book in a tweet? (140 characters)
Just when you think you know… you have no idea ;) #TheStyclarSaga #GABRIEL #NoMercy

Best gif that describes Jonah and another for Gabriel?

How much of Jonah will we see in Gabriel?
Plenty, I promise! ;) The second book may be titled GABRIEL, but it is told from Lailah’s POV. The reason the book is called GABRIEL is because there is a focus on what becomes of Gabriel’s ‘soul’ if you will. Take my word for it though, Jonah gets plenty of ‘screen time’ ;)
If you were FORCED (hahahahha) to help Gabriel or Jonah train to be lifeguards, who would you choose?? Obviously they will only be wearing red speedos. ;)
Sadly, I wouldn’t be able to help either train to be a lifeguard as my ability in water is non-existant… That said… *has idea!* I could quite easily throw myself in and begin to drown (because that would require no acting on my part what so ever) and then they would have to jump in and save me… In fact, I think that’s exactly what we should do, that way we also get to see both of the boys in red speedos.. because #HellsYes !
In 10 words or less, what can we expect from Gabriel?
A definite need to *fist pump and plenty of *face palming!
(Okay, I know that was 11, but it was close!)
What’s the ONE thing about the series that you’d like readers to know that they don’t know already? : )
There are elements of my own life weaved through the story telling of the entire series. When I say I gave a part of myself to these novels, I wasn’t joking!

What inspired you to mix vampires and angels together?
I wanted to tell a story about light and dark, good and evil if you will, and how things are never quite what they seem….To do this for the saga, I borrowed a little here and there from my own belief system, and I was able to create new worlds and beings, but utilize existing belief or myth on which to base them. For example, the two worlds the beings emerged from were based on the concept of Heaven and Hell. I then spun that into something else entirely. I took the myths about vampires and angels etc. and tried to demonstrate how, through storytelling and game of telephone, the idea of what they are has become quite different from the truth – the truth of course being the reality of things in my books! If you want to tell a story about light and dark, preconceived notions and perception, what two better candidates than Gabriel and Jonah, an Angel and a Vampire in which to explore those very themes!
What was the most challenging part of writing Gabriel?
Lailah picks her ship! That was not an easy thing to pen! **eep**
Lailah was such a successful start to this series, people seemed to really love it! Did that make you feel additional pressure to ensure the sequel was just as good?
When people express their love for your story it always adds to the pressure of making sure you get it right, not just for your characters, not just for you, but for the reader. But there will always be instances where the reader doesn’t agree with something that happens as the journey progresses, for example which ship makes it out the port! ;) I always keep the readers in mind, but ultimately I have to be true and honest to the characters and their story, even if it means that sometimes people want to throw things at you! So yes, I guess the prospect of twitter bombs being slung my way adds to the pressure!
If you had a chance to re-live your life, what would you have done differently?
Not a single thing. Every shelf I ever stacked, every customer I ever served, every diary I ever organised… in fact, every minute of every day, all the laughs and all the tears led me tohere—and here is the most wonderful place. There is a very fine balance between having ambition and gumption to go out and make your dreams a reality, trying to find the ‘good times’ if you like, and being able to see and know exactly when you are in them! I’m in them now.
If a celebrity was going to play Gabriel, who would it be and why?
Alex Pettyfer for sure because he’s a very talented English actor… yada, yada, yada… Okay people, lets keep it real #LeSwoon .. #NuffSaid
If you had to pick ONE song that either represents you or your books, what song would you pick? (You can totally pick one for you and one for your books if you want!)
For Styclar— Imagine Dragons:Demons For me—Boyzone:Words
Where did Gabriel and jonah come from? Any real life influences?
Gabriel and Jonah both possess qualities form my own bea :) He was a little more like Jonah when I met him (I was 16) and he’s a little more like Gabriel now, but when I ask nicely he will still, from time to time, point his collar up ;)
ALSO, What do you love most about Jonah?
He’s a bit rough around the edges, but give him a polish and he shines likes a diamond :)

And in case you haven’t read Lailah yet. . . .

ABOUT

Title: Lailah
Author: Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Synopsis:

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to Wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.

Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.

These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Wattpad | Youtube

Blog Tour: Velvet by Temple West, Review + Giveaway!

22561320Velvet by Temple  West 

Publication: May 12th 2015 by Swoon Reads

“First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don’t fall in love.

After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.

Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?”

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Review:

When I seen the cover of Velvet, I fell in love with it. It’s so insanely pretty! I didn’t read the synopsis so when I found out Velvet was about vampires, I was a little disappointed. I’m not a fan of vampires with the exception of the Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa. I started Velvet very hesitantly and got one of the big surprises in a long while. I loved Velvet way more then I could have even hoped.

Right from the first few pages, I really got caught up in this book. There was so much snark and humor right away and I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

I was really unsure about the whole “Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend” thing. I’m not a fan of when YA male characters thing it’s their job to “protect” girls. It gets on my nerves like crazy. But, after a few chapters, Temple’s writing was able to turn something that I thought I would hate into something was was more of a humorous aspect of this book. I think  Montana at The Book Belles said it was like a rom-com and that’s a perfect way of putting it.

I spent a good part of this book laughing. I was holed up in my room giggling at all the crazy things that Caitlin and Adrian were doing and the things that happened to them. The most insane thing about this book is that it has more of a contemporary feel to it than a supernatural one. I felt like a was reading a really cute, fun contemporary.

Overall, this book is crazy good. I enjoyed it so much and I had a great time reading it. The writing style is so great and I loved the execution of the plot. If you’re looking for a really fun YA, Velvet is definitely a good you want to check out.

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Trailer:

Giveaway:

 A finished copy of Velvet by Temple West!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

unnamed (2)Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on the Twitter. Armed with a very shiny English degree, she spent four months in Oxford holed up at the Radcliffe Camera amongst the hush of ancient books and the rich musk of academia. Returning to Los Angeles, she acquired a concurrent degree in film, mostly as an excuse to write essays about The Princess Bride and Hook. She can sew (poorly), drive stick (please fasten your seatbelt), and mostly lift her feet off the ground while stuttering into first gear on a very small motorcycle. She currently lives in Seattle and is the proud mother to a one-year-old laptop and a vintage Remington typewriter.

       

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Blog Tour: Love, Lucy by April Linder

love, lucy

love lucy

Published January 27th 2015
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too. In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.
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Review
I always love books that take place outside of the US. It’s a lot of fun to me to read about new places, places that I’ve never been. So when I read the synopsis for Love, Lucy, I knew that I would love this book. And I totally did.
I loved reading about Italy and all the adventures that Lucy, Charlene, and Jesse went on.
Everything was described really well and I could picture everything perfectly.
I thought Lucy was really likable and she was so awesome. I felt like she really made the best out of her situation and didn’t dwell on the bad things. She wasn’t whiny or annoying at all. And even though this is a romance, Lucy didn’t drop everything for a boy. And I felt like the story was still focused on Lucy, not a boy and Lucy.
I felt like Charlene was a bit of a hypocrite and really critical of Lucy. She seemed to try to control Lucy a lot. It was really frustrating as the reader because I just wanted to tell Charlene how mean she was being to Lucy without even realizing it. But I thought the character development was really wonderful and I did end up liking Charlene in the end.
The tone of this book is so wonderful. It’s light and fun, something that I love in contemporary.
The author did a really wonderful job of creating a really lighthearted story.
Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. I was so much fun and I felt like I had been on the trip with Lucy and Charlene. The writing is great and the author did a great job setting the scenes.
This is definitely one of my favorite contemporaries that I’ve read in the last year. I read this as an ebook but I’m going to be picking a print copy soon because I enjoyed it so much.
I highly recommend Love, Lucy to anyone who loves fun, quick reads full of adventure and romance.
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 About the author

love lucy blog tourApril Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

 

Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Bookclub