Where reading is a way of life

Sunday, December 7, 2014

What Are You Reading Monday 12/8


Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a meme done by Book Journey.  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

What I've Read the Last 2 Weeks












Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier--4 stars
After the End by Amy Plum--3.5 stars
In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken-- 5 stars
Fractured by Sarah Fine--4 stars
Timestorm by Julie Cross--4 stars
The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder--3 stars
Four by Veronica Roth--4 stars
The Cabinet of Curiosities--4 stars
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins--4.5 stars
This Night so Dark by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner--5 stars
Captive by Leigh Talbert Moore--4 stars
Learning to Spy by Leigh Talbert Moore--4 stars

What I Am Reading Next Week



I have a huge December TBR pile I'm working on at the moment!

Currently Reading



 Have a great week everyone!







Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Grip by David Estes + Giveaway!

slip banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Slip (Slip #1) and Grip (Slip #2) by David Estes. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 5 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.


Grip

By David Estes                              
Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014


Blurb:
In a tumultuous world of population control, one illegal child has slipped through the cracks. Now, as a teenager, Benson Kelly has escaped certain deaths at the hands of the Department of Population Control, only to find himself the symbol of a rebellion, something he never intended.

While trying to survive one day at a time, Benson seeks to unravel the tangled knot of secrets left behind when his father died, the key to which has something to do with his mother, Janice Kelly, recently escaped from the insane asylum.

As the rebel group known as the Lifers continue to use brute force to send a message to the government, Benson's twin, Harrison Kelly, seeks to exploit a loophole that could be the key to freedom for his brother. All that's required is a simple act of murder.

Meanwhile, Population Control's attack dog, a sadistic cyborg known as The Destroyer, closes in on Benson and his family. His directive: Kill them all.

Faith, family and love will be pushed to the limits in the GRIPping sequel to Slip.

You can find Grip on Goodreads

You can buy Grip here:
- Amazon


________________________________________

My Rating:  5 EPIC stars!
My Review:
Holy Guacamole Batman! 

Grip is the gripping (pardon the pun) sequel to Slip, my former favorite book by David Estes. Grip has now taken that honor! This book just STUNNED me! Sequels in general have a top job living up to their predecessors, but Grip achieved this with flying colors!

**I should mention at this point that there will be spoilers for Slip in this review, but none for Grip.**

I was so looking forward to this book! I actually read Slip for the first time as an ARC last June, so I couldn't wait to see Benson and Harrison together in action! What I love so much about this book is it didn't play out like I thought it would have at all. Grip, if possible, is even darker than Slip, with higher stakes and even more twists! It completely exceeded my expectations!

Things I loved about Grip:

Harrison In Slip, Harrison really came across as a brat to me, but in this one, he really steps up to the plate. I didn't agree with all his decisions and choices, but I am loving his evolution. He does remind me a lot of his father, Michael Kelly, but so much smarter in so many ways.

A Family Back Together I really loved seeing Harrison and Benson together for the first time. I myself have identical twin boys that are teens, and the bond between them is so strong. Even though Harrison and Benson have been apart their whole lives, they still have this bond. The scenes with them together were my favorites! Then there's Janice--she has her boys back again. She actually shines in parts of this book, and the scenes with this broken family were done so very well. It was easy to relate to Janice in these! I really got the mom factor here. And her craziness is starting to make more and more sense to me. 

Destiny We get a new character in this one, a Slip the same age as our heroes who is also a Slip herself. Destiny takes the cake for creativity and survival technique. One of my favorite characters ever!

The Ads and Articles Throughout the Book As in Slip, Grip is filled with these, and they really help the reader gauge the reaction of the public. There's a lot of brainwashing going on here, and its interesting to me to see the people who get sucked in, and then the ones who don't, whose comments have been deleted. This was my favorite example in this book:

"Do you love dogs but not all the responsibility?
BotPetsTM new line of BotDogs 6.0 is more advanced than ever!
Programmed to perform more than thirty tricks, your pet will keep you
entertained for hours, without ever requiring feeding or exercise.
And like all of our species of BotDogs, there‟s no waste pickup required!
BotPets, we take the poo out of poodle.
Important Disclosures: BotDogs 6.0 were modified from the original design of AttackDogs 6.0
used by Crows in law enforcement endeavors. The “bite” and “attack” commands have been
removed, however, in less than one percent of cases, larger models have been found to be defective. It’s advised that children be supervised around BotDogs 6.0 at all times. BotPets is not
liable for any injury or death resulting from defective products."


The World Building Its again excellent in this book, and we get a much broader scope as well. We learn more about the government, the resistance, and the general public.

The Writing Itself Again, beautiful writing done here! I love seeing a writer grow. One of my favorite quotes:

"Happy moments are like stars. They seem so close you think you can
touch them, but really they’re fleeting and a million miles away. Enjoy them from afar and don’t come to expect them. In your life there will be more cloudy nights than clear ones."


The Twists In Slip, there was one big twist at the end that was MIND BLOWING. In Grip, there are several twists that will blow your mind to a far off galaxy on the other side of the universe! 

The Feels Of course. And the best thing about a David Estes book! You will feel EVERYTHING. The anger, the sadness, the despair, the love, the fear, the hope...everything.

Final verdict for this book: 5 very EPIC stars! This sequel is a stunner. If you're going to take the ride that is this series, make sure you hold on tight, don't lose your grip! (I'm sorry, couldn't help it)

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review**


Author Photo - David EstesAbout the Author:
Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.

Join 2,400+ David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite in David Estes' official fan group at:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70863-david-estes-fans-and-ya-book-lovers-unite

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

You can find and contact David here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Slip. These are the prizes you can win:
- Winners choice of book to the value of $15.00 U.S. from The Book Depository
- A signed copy of SLIP plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- A signed copy of BREW plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- 3 ebook packs with three David Estes ebooks of your choice
- 4 signed packs of bookmarks

You can enter the blitz wide giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Back and Paying It Forward-- Guest Post by David Estes

slip banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Slip (Slip #1) and Grip (Slip #2) by David Estes. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 5 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Slip coverSlip (Slip #1)
By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014

Blurb:
Someone must die before another can be born...

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.

You can find Slip on Goodreads

You can buy Slip here:
- Amazon


Grip coverGrip (Slip #2)
By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014

Blurb:
In a tumultuous world of population control, one illegal child has slipped through the cracks. Now, as a teenager, Benson Kelly has escaped certain deaths at the hands of the Department of Population Control, only to find himself the symbol of a rebellion, something he never intended.

While trying to survive one day at a time, Benson seeks to unravel the tangled knot of secrets left behind when his father died, the key to which has something to do with his mother, Janice Kelly, recently escaped from the insane asylum.

As the rebel group known as the Lifers continue to use brute force to send a message to the government, Benson's twin, Harrison Kelly, seeks to exploit a loophole that could be the key to freedom for his brother. All that's required is a simple act of murder.

Meanwhile, Population Control's attack dog, a sadistic cyborg known as The Destroyer, closes in on Benson and his family. His directive: Kill them all.

Faith, family and love will be pushed to the limits in the GRIPping sequel to Slip.

You can find Grip on Goodreads

You can buy Grip here:
- Amazon

_________________________________________________

Giving Back and Paying it Forward by David Estes

Thanks so much for having me on your awesome blog, Jenny! And thanks for this extremely important topic for my guest post. Giving back is something that’s near and dear to my heart, as is paying it forward. I know that many of my readers feel the exact same way.
As an author with a growing platform that allows me to reach thousands of readers, I feel a powerful responsibility to give back, both to my readers and to those in need. I’ve noticed many other authors donating a portion of their royalties to charities, as well as publicly supporting causes they feel are important. Those authors inspire me to do more, too.

One thing I want to point out for anyone who’s hesitant to get involved with local charities because of how much time it might take, is that it’s usually a lot less time than you think. For example, I recently participated as a Shavee for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for kids’ cancer research. At first, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to squeeze this responsibility in with all my professional deadlines, but I quickly realized I was able to do it. Now that everything’s online, I could raise money via the internet quickly and easily. And the actual head-shaving part of it? All I had to do was show up and they shaved my head for me, that easy! I’m not saying you’ve got to shave your head, but pick a charitable event that fits your style

Another thing I want to share is how much you’ll get out of whatever event you choose. This is something I didn’t expect at all. I was thinking I would feel good about myself because I raised money for a good cause, and I did, but it was SO MUCH MORE than that. The event included people who were getting their heads shaved while holding up pictures of kids with cancer that they had some sort of connection with. The kids were laughing and enjoying their lives, like kids should. A band was playing music in the background, creating the perfect atmosphere of hope for the event. I felt like together we could change the world. That’s what giving back is all about: making this world a better place, one act and person at a time.

The second topic I wanted to focus on is paying it forward. Ever since I became an author, this is something I’ve really begun to embrace. Everyone needs help sometimes, right? Of course. We’re not invincible, we don’t have super powers, we’re not perfect. We need help, support, and advice. I know I’ve needed plenty of all of that over the last four years as I’ve gone from being an accountant to writing full time. I’ve been lucky. Blessed even. The right people have come into my life at the exact right times, almost like they were meant to be. Like fate. They’ve helped me in ways I can never fully pay back. Nor would they expect me to. People supported me because they wanted to, because they’re good people, because they were paying forward the same support that they’d received. So I vowed to do the exact same thing. That’s why when I get a question from an aspiring author, I never ignore it. I answer it to the best of my ability and I try to help them. I’ve had plenty of authors far more capable than me answer my questions and give me a few minutes of their scarce time. The least I can do is pay a little of that time forward to someone else in need.

I feel we can all do more of this. Paying it forward can come in so many forms, from something as simple as giving someone who’s had a hard day a smile (remember that smile someone gave you when you needed it most?), to something more complex, like helping someone repair their broken-down vehicle when they’re desperate on the highway. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. It’s almost like Jim Carrey in Yes Man although probably not quite that extreme. Just say yes more, and to people you know deserve a break. You’ll make someone’s day and it won’t cost you a thing, except your time.

Thanks so much for listening, everyone, and a special thanks to Jenny for having me on her blog and suggesting this incredibly important topic! I hope you all enjoy my latest YA dystopian novel, SLIP! Happy reading!

David Estes



Author Photo - David EstesAbout the Author:
Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.

Join 2,400+ David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite in David Estes' official fan group at:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70863-david-estes-fans-and-ya-book-lovers-unite

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

You can find and contact David here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Slip. These are the prizes you can win:
- Winners choice of book to the value of $15.00 U.S. from The Book Depository
- A signed copy of SLIP plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- A signed copy of BREW plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- 3 ebook packs with three David Estes ebooks of your choice
- 4 signed packs of bookmarks

You can enter the blitz wide giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 1, 2014

Slip by David Estes Blog Tour + Giveaway!

slip banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Slip (Slip #1) and Grip (Slip #2) by David Estes. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 5 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Slip coverSlip (Slip #1)
By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014

Blurb:
Someone must die before another can be born...

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.
____________________________________________________________

My Rating: 5 EPIC stars!
My Review: 

What happens  when the government has the authority to choose who can have children? What happens to the value of human life?

Welcome to the future United States of America, now called RUSA (Reorganized United States of America). Rising sea levels have shrunk down our land mass, and there is now a finite number of resources for its citizens. The government solves this problem by controlling the population. To get pregnant (legally), each couple receives what's called a "Death Match", and when that aging or sick person dies, they are allowed to procreate. 

To enforce this law, a new government agency called Population Control (Pop Con) was created to round up any UnBees (unregistered children under the age of 2) and Slips (unregistered children over the age of 2)and their parents and terminate them.

While this book is about a futuristic society that values population and government control as its priority, its also mainly a story about a torn apart family.

Michael Kelly is the head of Pop Con. He and his wife have a secret: their son, Benson is actually a Slip. He's been raised separate from his legal brother, Harrison, and neither boy knows about the other. Michael does everything he can to protect Benson, but he knows time is running out. Before long, he must send Benson out on his own or risk him getting caught and killed.

The first part of the book is mainly told from 5 to 8 year old Benson's POV. It does jump around a little to include two other children's POV who become very important to the story: Harrison and Domino Destovan. This part of the book leaves you more questions than answers, but it also provides a much needed understanding of Michael Kelly. I also love how well we get into Benson's head. His descriptions are right in line with a little boy who doesn't understand his world, but trying so hard to make sense of things. Then we jump ahead eight years later, and the story really takes off! 

This story was an amazing read! I read it straight through in one day. I was totally sucked in from beginning to end! 

Things I loved about Slip:

--Benson and Lucy. The main love interests in this story are so cute together, but also very real and relatable, too. I can't wait to read more about their budding relationship in the next book!

--Check, Rod, and Gonzo. Benson's best friends and gang for survival, along with Lucy and her younger brother. These three characters were loyal friends, but also a much needed comic relief at times.

--Janice. What can I say about Benson and Harrison's eccentric (okay, crazy) mother? I loved her! She provided quite a bit of comic relief, but at the same time, it was a kind of sad feeling, watching her struggle through their family's situation. It really brought to life some of the horrors of this kind of society.

--The Ads and new articles that ended each chapter. These usually related directly to what was currently going on in the story, and were filled with irony and sarcastic dark humor. Some examples:

Ready to start a family? Apply for an instant Death Match today! 
Simply speak “Yeah Baby” into your holo-screen to get started. Do pregnancy the right way, the legal way. 

Now available, reserve a Death Match up to ten years in advance! Simply speak „early Death Match‟ into your holo-screen, and prepare for your future.

This advertisement paid for by U-Bank, where it’s YOU that matters. 

--The World Building. The futuristic technology is awesome, and completely believable. This whole future is easy to believe as being our own. Chilling.

--The Writing Itself. Really beautiful writing. It paints a picture and makes the story come alive. One quote I especially loved:

"...her lips like an artist's brush on canvas as they caress his own."

--The Terminology The words "Life" and "Death" are used quite a bit. "Death Match" is the legal procedure for procreating, while "Lifecard" is what you use to pay with (like a debit card). All the terminology made sense, while poking fun at itself at the same time.

--Well fleshed out characters. With so many characters, this was pulled off really well. Mostly. I'll explain more below.

--The Pacing. This was a very INTENSE read. There was always something going on, with not much time to breathe. A real page-turner!

--The Twist. Totally did not see it coming. I'm betting you won't either! 

--The Feels. This book was constantly bringing out some kind of reaction in me, whether it was heart pounding suspense, laughter, chills, and tears. A very emotional read, something that's hard to pull off in a sci-fi dystopian!

The only thing that I found lacking was the character development of two very important characters: Michael Kelly and Harrison Kelly. It was really hard to like Harrison, although I wanted to! Its easier to like Benson in the story, because he's the one who got shafted, and at times you almost feel like telling Harrison, "Oh, grow up!" But that isn't fair, as he's almost completely in the dark to what's really going on. Michael Kelly was just plain elusive at times. I was glad we get a view of him from Benson in the beginning of the book, which really helped that along. I'm hoping we get more in the sequel.

This did not affect the enjoyment of the read at all for me, though. And I can understand the choices the author made, as too much character development on such complex characters may have bogged things down and slowed down the pacing quite a bit. And I really like the pacing the way it is!

Slip is a complete full novel, but there is plenty of story left for its sequel. I can't wait to read it! The very last scene in this book gave me major goosebumps and chills! This was a 5 star read for me, and anyone who is into dystopians and sci-fi thrillers will love this one!

One last quote to leave you with:

“This life is too hard,” he (Benson) says.

Harrison would normally laugh at a comment like that, but he can't manage it because of everything they've been through in the last day and a half. “And made harder because of all the damn idiots running around with guns,” he says. 


You can find Slip on Goodreads

You can buy Slip here:
- Amazon


Grip coverGrip (Slip #2)
By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014

Blurb:
In a tumultuous world of population control, one illegal child has slipped through the cracks. Now, as a teenager, Benson Kelly has escaped certain deaths at the hands of the Department of Population Control, only to find himself the symbol of a rebellion, something he never intended.

While trying to survive one day at a time, Benson seeks to unravel the tangled knot of secrets left behind when his father died, the key to which has something to do with his mother, Janice Kelly, recently escaped from the insane asylum.

As the rebel group known as the Lifers continue to use brute force to send a message to the government, Benson's twin, Harrison Kelly, seeks to exploit a loophole that could be the key to freedom for his brother. All that's required is a simple act of murder.

Meanwhile, Population Control's attack dog, a sadistic cyborg known as The Destroyer, closes in on Benson and his family. His directive: Kill them all.

Faith, family and love will be pushed to the limits in the GRIPping sequel to Slip.

You can find Grip on Goodreads

You can buy Grip here:
- Amazon

Author Photo - David EstesAbout the Author:
Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.

Join 2,400+ David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite in David Estes' official fan group at:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70863-david-estes-fans-and-ya-book-lovers-unite

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

You can find and contact David here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Slip. These are the prizes you can win:
- Winners choice of book to the value of $15.00 U.S. from The Book Depository
- A signed copy of SLIP plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- A signed copy of BREW plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- 3 ebook packs with three David Estes ebooks of your choice
- 4 signed packs of bookmarks

You can enter the blitz wide giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 24, 2014

Captive by Leigh Talbert Moore

Goodreads
YA  Fantasy
Behind the Stars #1
My Rating: 4 stars

Right now you can download this for FREE on Amazon HERE

Synopsis

Prentiss Puckett is certain of three things:
-Graduation is two weeks away.
-Summer only gets hotter in south Mississippi.
-She’s getting a job with air-conditioning.

She did not expect to be kidnapped walking to work. 
And she never expected to become a hero.




My 2 Cents

Captive is the first installment of a serial, Behind the Stars. I didn't know too much about it going in, which was probably a good thing, because that's really helped the suspense!

In this first part, Captive, Prentiss is a fairly ordinary hick type girl. She has a boyfriend, Jackson, knows all about farming (Jackson's supposed to inherit his Dad's farm eventually, so all their plans include that) and also works part time with the town vet. Its these skills that become very important later on.

On a normal routine day, Prentiss is kidnapped and wakes up to a "farming concentration camp" is the best way to describe it. Its full of kids from her town, including her brother and some other friends, but Jackson is not there. No one knows what's going on, but they are assigned work shifts in the dairy barn, potato fields, and corn fields. They also appear to have been drugged as most kids seem almost zombie like.

Prentiss is not one of these kids. She spends most of this installment trying to figure out how to bust out of the camp. But what she learns just creates more questions...


So far I'm liking this story. The mystery element really has me hooked, and I really like Prentiss as a character. We also get flashbacks of her and Jackson, whom I like as well. I have a few theories as to what's going to happen next, but nothing concrete. I can't wait to find out!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

4 year Blogoversary Celebration--All Our Yesterdays Spotlight and Giveaway!

Don't forget to enter the other giveaways going on!
Day 1              Day 2                 Day 3             Day 4         Day 5       Day 6

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite books of 2013. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. Why you may ask? Because I've recently joined Cristin's Street Team, and have nothing but love to share about this book! Seriously, if you want me to recommend you a original amazing YA book, this one is it! 

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it... at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Sounds amazing, right? It really is! 

One of the best reviews I've ever read was about this book, and no, it wasn't mine! My good friend, Jen @ Today In Jen's Library wrote the most amazing review, and I am going to share it now! By the way, make sure you click on her name to check out her BookTube Channel!

Jen's Review:

Time travel done right. Finally! Thank you, Cristin Terrill! The cover flap of this book says ""All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice." Having just closed the cover, I couldn't agree more.

Time travel inevitably involves a complicated story that is difficult to follow. That is, unless an author sets simple rules and sticks to them. In this story, Terrill has done it expertly. One of her laws - the idea that time has a sentient quality - fixes many of the mistakes made by many storytellers. I also loved the idea that time is not linear as we understand it. What if it's really not? The way she explains paradoxes is brilliant. The bottom line is simply this: when we as readers know the rules the author has created and she doesn't break those rules, we can finally enjoy a great story that makes sense.

The tale is told from the viewpoints of Em and Marina. By alternating perspectives with each chapter, it is far more easy to keep track of what is present and what is past. Even when it starts to get really complicated - and it does near the end - it is not difficult to understand. 

The plot is fairly straightforward. Isn't every time travel story about going back to fix things in the past? The thing that's unique about this particular story is that it's been done 14 times previously by the protagonist. Will she get it right this time? Well, that's the story. 

Em is a gritty main character. She's been through torture, she's been on the run from authorities, she's been part of a rebel/terrorist organization and she's both escaped and been caught. She's been betrayed. She is determined and focused, and yet never seems to have lost her true heart or humanity. She is fiercely protective of Marina. She is somewhat of a study in contradiction, and that's what I liked about her. Every time I thought she was tough and heartless, she was overcome by her love and compassion.

Marina, on the other hand, is a spoiled rich girl who is shallow and a bit silly. These negative qualities can be attributed to her insecurity, though. She is at the same time loyal and loving, devoted to James. Mostly she is simply immature. But even at that, she is not unlikable. So much of today's society is full of teenagers just like her. On a list of the best of them, I'd at least put her at the top.

James is a brilliant character, both in his personality and in the way he is written. Finn is charming and funny, practical and humble. The lesser characters (Richter, Nate, the Shaw family, Marina's parents and Finn's mother) are really just highlights. They serve the plot and are each distinct without drawing attention from the main points we really care about.

The action doesn't stop for a minute. The suspense kept me riveted enough to read the book in one sitting. The climax of the story is terrifying, shocking and complicated at the same time. I found myself shaking my head at the end, wondering exactly what happened, having to think it all through again to make sense of the paradoxical aspect of the events. 

This book is smart, and I like that. It's also not pretentious. It is heart-wrenching, scary and romantic. It may even be possible, and I think that is what may be, for me, its most attractive quality. I do love a story that just might happen. This isn't just a great story for time-travel lovers. Fans of dystopia and apocalypse will also enjoy those elements that it offers. 

And the ultimate irony here is that virtually every novelist goes back and rewrites their book. Isn't that some version of time travel, rewriting the past? Well done, Cristin Terrill. Could you do it again please?

And NOW, let's give this puppy away!

One winner will win a ebook of All Our Yesterdays from Amazon. 5 runner up winners will win some awesome All Our Yesterdays swag! This giveaway is international. Good Luck!



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Friday, November 21, 2014

4 year Blogoversary Celebration--Interview with Leigh Talbert Moore + Giveaway!


Don't forget to enter the other giveaways going on!
Day 1              Day 2                 Day 3             Day 4         Day 5

Today on the blog I have one of my favorite Indie writers, Leigh Talbert Moore! Leigh is the author of one of my favorite contemporary series, Dragonfly!

Welcome to the blog Leigh! So happy you are here! To start off, why don't you tell us about your latest project.

Hey, girl! Thanks for having me here! My current project is BEHIND THE STARS. It’s an action-adventure/paranormal romance set in the woods of south Mississippi. I’m saying it’s like “Red Dawn” meets “LOST” because of how it’s set up and what happens… or what the characters think is happening. I finished it in 2011, and it went to my literary agent at that time. After I became an indie author in 2012, I took it back, but I was in the middle of putting out the Dragonfly series. So I held it until MOSAIC, the last book in that series, was released in June. Now BEHIND THE STARS is ready to shine!

Release date for the novel is Dec. 31. I serialized it, so readers can start reading it now if they want. The complete novel and all episodes are currently available for pre-order, and “Captive,” (episode #1) is FREE! So you can get a little taste and see if you like it. Yay!

There's been a lot of discussion in the book community the last few weeks about negative reviews and how authors handle them. What are your thoughts on this?

Negative reviews are part of the process, even when authors think they’re unfair or unfounded. When it happens to me, I vent to a trusted friend and then go read the 1-star reviews on Harry Potter or one of my most favorite books of all time. You can’t please everybody!

What's a typical day look like for you?

Get up, get kids to school, sit down, check email, check Facebook, try not to waste too much time on either. Write. Get kids, finish day, write some more, sleep. Repeat.

What made you decide to become a writer?

Well, I’ve been a published writer since I was in my 20s. I started out as a journalist. Then in 2009, I decided to try my hand at books, and I wrote the Dragonfly series. The rest is history!

What books have you read in the past that were inspiring to you? Especially when you were a kid?

I read inspiring books all the time, honestly. Some of my favorite books as a kid were the Judy Blume books. When I was in college, I was a huge Barbara Kingsolver fan. When I started writing books, I really fell in love with Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti. Now that I’m Indie, I get amazing books from FAB indie authors all the time. Too many to name!

I just love all your book covers, especially your latest! How involved are you on the creation of your book covers?

Hey, thanks so much! When I first started out, my super-talented author-friend Jolene Perry did all my covers. She and I would chat and look at stock art and put something together—usually she had read the book as a beta reader, so that helped. Steven Novak did the cover for BEHIND THE STARS, and honestly, the process was very similar, except he hasn’t read the book. I described what the story was about, and he came back with that amazing design. Steven’s really great. (www.novakillustration.com).

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Hmmm…. I don’t think so! LOL!

What book have your read do you think should get more hype and recognition than it does?

So many great books sort of cruise by until they find the right audience. I’m currently beta-reading the second season of the Debt Collector series by Susan Kaye Quinn. It’s an amazing Urban Fantasy series that everyone should read. Susan has the greatest imagination, and she’s a fantastic writer.

What is your favorite “fan” moment?

I met the Monkees once! It was very anti-climactic… >.<

What is one tip you could pass along to beginning writers?

Just keep writing. I used to say “just keep swimming,” which is basically the same thing. Writing is an extraordinarily difficult career path, but if you’re in it because you love to tell stories and can’t imagine doing anything else, keep that goal in the front of your mind.

What is the most important thing you've learned so far on your own journey?

Things never happen in the time or in the way you think they should. Just keep swimming. (LOL!)

 Thanks so much for visiting us today Leigh! To wrap things up, share one random fact about yourself.

Hey, you’re welcome! Random fact… I can cross my little toes without touching them. Tah daah!!!!

Leigh Talbert Moore wrote her first graphic novel at the age of nine--about a lady scientist burned by acid. Sadly, the text of "Fury Woman" was lost, and Leigh's novelist aspirations went on hiatus. 

After working more than a decade in journalism, editing, marketing, and public relations, she began writing books again, and in 2009 completed Dragonfly. Today, Leigh is the author of several popular young adult and new adult novels, all with a strong romantic slant. 

She lives with her husband and two young children in the middle of the country, where she conjures new worlds, characters, and situations while playing chauffeur, chaperone, group activity leader, and referee. 

And she's still trying to remember the plot of "Fury Woman"...

And NOW, for the Giveaway!!

One lucky winner will win a signed collector's copy of "Captive" the first serial in Behind the Stars! (US only)



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