Thursday, September 1, 2016

Book Release: Heartborn by Terry Maggert (+Interview)

Title: Heartborn
Author: Terry Maggert
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction

Goodreads Blurb: 
Her guardian angel was pushed.

Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.

His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.

Until Keiron arrives.

In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.

Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.

Today's the day Heartborn by Terry Maggert releases! 
Happy Book Birthday!

Author Interview
1.       Describe your book in less than 5 words.
One heart. Two people.
2.       What inspired you to write your novel?
A dream. I woke up and immediately started writing the details of a girl with half a heart, and a boy who fell through time and clouds to save her. The fact that he had wings just sort of happened, but that might be due to my enormous coffee intake. I get a little twitchy late at night when I do my best writing.
3.       What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
Meeting readers and talking about books. I love everything about books-- their feel, the smell, the way they make me feel in my mind, and emotionally-- I have relationships with specific books that go back to my childhood. That kind of commitment is serious, and it isn't going to change. Every week I find a new writer who has a book that makes me sit quietly and walk through their imagination. It's an incredibly powerful sensation.
4.       What book are you currently reading? Thoughts?
I'm re-reading "Elevation of the Marked" by March MCCarron because the third book comes out soon. It's excellent-- think of two worlds (East and West) meeting in a place where magic is real but the people seem like we might know them. It's one of those little gems that I found through a writer friend, and it's fantastic.
5.       What is one YA book you recommend (besides yours)?
Keeper: The Book of Aon by K.M. Higginbotham. It's a modern fable with everything I like-- a warrior princess, an unknown evil, and two worlds crossing with one person trying to save them both.
6.       Any words to readers/bloggers/aspiring writers? 
Readers: no advice, but my undying thanks. Bloggers: the very same-- thank you for your passion about books. You make my life better.
Now, to writers: I think that the the biggest surprise of a writer's life is the first time someone tells them they're emotionally invested in a character you've written. It's surreal, and it made me realize that no matter what, I was going to do three things every day:
1. Write. No matter what, even if it's a sentence, I write. It might be good, or bad, or indifferent, but it's there, and in time-- you have a book. Then you have three, and then? Ten.
2. Don't be afraid to admit I'm wrong. It's AWFUL to have to say, "That doesn't work". And yet-- since I began that policy, my books have gotten better and better.
3. Connect. Look, the day I'm too busy to thank someone for reading is the day I failed. I meet wonderful people at every signing, and I'll never forget the reason why I'm there. I love-- and I mean love-- writing. The only thing I enjoy more (other than my family) is reading. I'm thankful for the people like me, and take time each day to let them know.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blog Tour: The Mark of Noba


Title: The Mark of Noba
Author: G.L. Tomas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
Publisher: Rebellious Valkyrie Press

Goodreads Blurb:

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He's been slipping into the background his whole high school career - distracted by his mother's mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He's going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.

But things don't go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing. Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren't what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they're being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that's marked them for destruction.

Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.

If he doesn't, neither will survive.


Buy Links:

     The morning announcements were centered on the kid that went missing from our school. He was a sophomore so I didn't know him, but I still felt horrible. My tablemate Rebel Lee scribbled down an array of unintelligible notes, probably both profound and meaningful. Rebel was someone I knew since junior high, and even though we were pals, he didn't talk much. Which was odd because he seemed to be understood by everyone. Correction. Everyone except for Grey. 
     I witnessed a sea of sorrow amongst my classmates. No one was in the state of mind to be here, and the cheerless announcements added to our already despondent moods. man, I hoped they found this kid. 
     The teachers opened up the floor to talk about it, prolonging any collection of homework assignments that I didn't do. The more others talked about it, the lower our spirits got. It bothered me that we didn't have any more information on what had happened. Was it connected the other boy who disappeared? Did they run away? Were they abducted? Were they going to be all right? Thinking back to what my mom said earlier, I was lucky to be sitting here. I listened, but didn't contribute. i had so much on my mind. 
     My attention drifted across the room until I settled on someone I hadn't noticed at the beginning o class. She wore her hair in a high, messy bun and had on gray sneakers with three blue stripes. She felt familiar. Did I say felt familiar? I meant looked familiar. Looked ... familiar. Because how does someone feel familiar. 
     A Type 5, she had this flawless dark brown skin that made me question how no one else seemed to notice her. If I judged her off her face alone, she was one of the prettier girls at school. she didn't seem interested in the discussion we were having in class, and she, like me, faded into the background. I'd never given it much thought before but ... I always kind of looked for her. There was just something about her that ... Y'know what? Never mind. 

About the Author
Guinevere and Libertad go by many superhero aliases. Wheter you know them by G.L. Tomas, the Twinjas, or the Rebellious Valkyries, their mission is always the same: spreading aware of diversity in books. Oh, and trying to figure out the use of pocketless pants!

They host other allies and champions of diversity in their secret lair in Connecticut.

Author Links:

Blog Tour Organized by:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: P.S. I Like You

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating! 

Title: P.S. I Like You
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Goodreads Blurb:
 What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered – and kind of feels like she’s falling or him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identify of the letter writer – but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart? I

Let me know what books you're excited for! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: This Savage Song

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating! 

Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016

Goodreads Blurb:

There's no such thing as safe in a city at war; a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains - and friends or enemies - with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books. 

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city - a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. all Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father; to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent - but he's one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who's just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returning home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August's secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Ice Like Fire

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating! 

Title: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)
Author: Sara Raasch
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 13, 2015

Goodreads Blurb:
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared – thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mimes for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity – with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses – the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe – even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari – leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom – and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt - Giveaway + Excerpt

By Marie Marquardt
St. Martin’s Griffin
On Sale: September 1, 2015
Hardcover: 978-1-250-07045-6 / $18.99
eBook: 978-1-466-88024-5 / $9.99

A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl and together they face perils in their hostile Georgia town.  Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much -- except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There's too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she's an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one's family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.

Marie Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the author of Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. She is widely published on issues of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. South. Marquardt has also worked as an advocate among immigrants in Atlanta. She is a founder and  co-chair of El Refugio, a hospitality house near the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Dream Things True is Marie's first young adult novel.

“In this YA debut, immigration activist Marquardt knowledgably takes on the plight of undocumented families in the U.S. Readers seeking a star-crossed love story with a twist won’t be disappointed.” —Publishers Weekly

“Various aspects of undocumented immigration are explored: the economic factors influencing the decision to come to the United States, the often harrowing journey, the exploitation upon arrival, and the political factors that influence policy… [A] worthy examination of undocumented immigration in the American South through the lens of young love.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Marquardt provides a critical view of the stigmas and difficulties plaguing undocumented youth in U.S. schools without glossing over the legal realities of deportation and detainment.” School Library Journal

“Marquardt's Dream Things True vividly weaves to life the thrill of falling in love in the South while awakening readers to the struggles of US-Mexican immigration policies. In this touching coming-of-age story, full of hope and possibilities, Marquardt captures the bittersweet world of undocumented teens living in the US and the power of true love.”
—Malin Alegria, author of Estrella’s QuinceaƱera and the Border Town series

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt is a story that must be told and needs to be read.  With sensitivity and care, Marquardt deftly illustrates the struggles and hopes of Alma, an undocumented teenager living in the United States.  Alma's story reflects the lives of millions of young people trapped between countries and cultures, longing for a place to belong.  An important story that's full of heart, it will forever change the way you view those who live their lives in the shadows. —Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice

Blog Tour Excerpt
From Dream Things True (St. Martin's Griffin) by Marie Marquardt

Evan led her onto the dock, where a dozen people she didnt know were climbing into ski boats. She watched as all of these strangers, presumably students at her new school, casually distributed themselves into boats.
Do teenagers own boats? Alma wondered. Evan led her onto his boat, where two other people were already rummaging around under the seats for life jackets. An athletic-looking girl with long brown hair threw her one.
Im Caroline, she said, and thats Logan. She motioned toward a short, muscular guy with a shaved head. He had his back to Alma, and was untying ropes from the boat. Hearing his name, he turned and grinned.
¡Bienvenidos! he said in terrible, Southern-accented Spanish.
Just ignore him when he acts like an idiot, Caroline said. Thats what I do.
Evan got behind the wheel and started the engine. Just as he was backing out, an amazingly beautiful girl came running down the dock.
Evan, hon! Wait for me! she called out.
The girl reached the edge of the dock and, without hesitating, leapt gracefully across the water and toward the boat. She was wearing nothing but a bright-red string bikini. Her sandy-blond hair bounced and shone like a models in a shampoo commercial.
Evan pulled her safely onto the boat, and she collapsed into the passenger seat.
Thanks, sweetheart, she said to Evan.
This is Alma, Evan said, nodding in Almas direction. Shell be starting at Gilberton next week. And this is Mary Catherine, he said, grabbing onto the beautiful girls shoulder and squeezing hard. Shes my perpetually late neighbor.
But he loves me anyway! Mary Catherine proclaimed. Then she smiled, revealing perfect teeth to match her perfect body.
Were they flirting? Alma felt a tightness in her chest, knowing that she was no competition for this girl.
The engine rumbled, and the boat lurched forward from the dock. Evan grasped Almas arm to steady her and then pulled her toward him. Ready to learn how to drive?
Youre mocking me, she called out above the noise of the engine. I dont think you even need a license to drive a boat, Evan said.
Plus, no brakes, so were safe.
Keeping one hand on the steering wheel, he wedged her body in front of his and guided her hand to the throttle. Do you want to go faster?
No. The wind pressed her back against him, and she felt the heat of his chest through the T-shirt.
Are you scared? His lip brushed her ear as he spoke.
Yes, she said. Her body was off balance, as if the floor of the boat were shifting under her.
Get over it, he replied, lifting her hand gently and placing it on the throttle.
Together, their hands guided the throttle forward. She tried looking across the lake, in the direction that he was steering, but all she noticed was his hand on hers. The floor kept shifting. She wondered if this was what it felt like to be drunk.
He slipped out from behind her.
Im gonna dig out the skis. Just keep going straight, Alma. Its easy.
She grasped the wheel hard to avoid falling back. The boat skittered over the water, and the wind fused Evans T-shirt to her practically bare skin. Alma tried hard to ignore the dull ache spreading at the pit of her stomach.
After a few minutes, Evan took the wheel. Caroline and Logan both dived into the water and began to swim fast as Evan tossed a ski rope in their direction.
This should be entertaining, he said as they wrestled with their slalom skis.
“Entertaining? Alma asked. Yeah, theyll both show off.” Are they, uh, a couple?
Most of the time. They fight all the time and break up every couple of months.
Evan shoved the throttle forward and the boat lurched.
Logan gets bored easily, he said. Hes always looking for a rush.Logan and Caroline both popped out of the water, crisscrossing each
other as they leapt and dived over the wake. So they just break up for fun?
Yeah, I think it runs in his blood. Everybody says his dad was the same, back in the day. He stole boats and stuff, just for the hell of it.He shrugged and continued, Which is weird, since hes the sheriff now.The sheriff. Evan said it like it was nothing, like he was describing
the color of Logans dads car, or his heightnot like he knew this man had the power to throw people in jail and keep them there.
Evan gestured toward Logan and Caroline and winced. Thats gotta hurt.
Caroline was spinning in rapid circles as Logan did strange contortions with his arm.
Maybe, Alma thought, they were all so used to being around powerful people that they didnt even notice it anymore. Maybe they never had.
Come back here, Alma! Mary Catherine called from the back of the boat. I cant hear what yall are saying and Im lonely.
Alma glanced at Evan and shrugged. She made her way back and settled into a bucket seat next to Mary Catherine.
Alma wasnt sure how to make conversation with Mary Catherine. She seemed so unapproachablethis girl who wore a bikini confidently, like she was hanging in comfy sweats. But within moments, it became clear that Mary Catherineor M.C., as Evan called herwas not your typical Southern belle.
So, when did you and Evan start hooking up? she asked. For starters, she was excruciatingly blunt.
Uh, were just sort of friends, Alma replied, shrugging.
Alma, honey, she said, Ive known that boy forever, and the way he looks at you, he doesnt wanna be your friend.
M.C. let out a deep, bellowing howl that sounded like it should come from a balding white guy with a beer gut. Alma was so surprised by M.C.s laugh that she forgot to be embarrassed.
OK. Alma shrugged. Maybe were not exactly friends. But were
not hooking up.
Makes sense, Mary Catherine responded, sort of talking to herself. Evan doesnt really hook up. Plus, I would have known.
Confused and desperate to change the subject, Alma asked, So how did you two meet?
Meet? M.C. asked. Weve been neighbors for as long as either of us can remember. I mean, we used to play doctor together! I was the doctor. I always made Evan be the nurse.
Mary Catherine bellowed again.
So when you and Evan do hook up, she said, you can thank me for his gentle, nurturing touch.
Now Alma was blushing.
You mean, you and Evan were, uh . . .
Together? Lord, no. Hes like a baby brother to me, Alma. I think
I went through puberty something like four years before he did.
Alma and Mary Catherine turned to look at Evan, his perfectly toned arms casually gripping the steering wheel, his broad shoulders gleaming in the sun.
My babys all grown up, Mary Catherine continued. Now, hes what my grandmomma calls a tall drink of water.
They both laughed, catching Evans attention.
What are you ladies talking about back there? he asked.
Nothing that concerns you, Ev, sweetheart, Mary Catherine re- plied. You just drive the boat.
Not unless Alma gets back up here to finish her driving lesson,Evan said, reaching his arm out toward her.
Mary Catherine laughed and nudged her out of the seat.
You heard him, she called out. You better get on up there, darlin, because Im sure as hell not driving.
Alma closed her eyes and stood up slowly, her head spinning and her legs quivering.

He took her hand and pulled her body back toward the wheel, and she realized, finally, the meaning of the word swoon.
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