Friday, November 7, 2014

Blog Tour for The Ever Afters by @shelby_bach




We are excited today to have Shelby Bach stopping by to tell us a bit more about Tethanill or as we humans call it Fey Fudge. YUM!  I'm hungry for some right now.  
In fact if you stopped by From The Mixed-Up Files blog stop you saw the recipe for the Fudge.  YUM!

If you aren't familiar with Shelby's books here are the amazing looking cover.  
Personally I think they based the main character on Shelby when she was younger.




Today we have a special guest, some of you may know Lady Aspenwind.  
Today she is here to give us some background information on Tethanill.  
Here we go! (Click the Recipe if you want to see it bigger!)




History of Fey Fudge

We Fey have been drinking chocolate as long as the Mayans, but it was the Aspenwind clan that invented Tethanill, what you call—somewhat demeaningly—“Fey fudge.” In the sixteenth century, soon after the Europeans brought back cocao beans from the Americas, chocolate had grown very popular among wealthy humans. This included, of course, many of the Characters of Ever After School’s European branch.

During this period, our Unseelie patrols routinely captured Characters trespassing through our lands on quests in Atlantis, and more than one tried to buy their freedom from King Nesivar with chocolate. It didn’t work, of course. (King Nesivar is the father of King Navaire, but though he was not as famous or as tyrannical as his son, he was still a very unpleasant individual.)

In any case, upon every offer, King Nesivar merely took the Character’s chocolate and threw the human into the Unseelie dungeons to await rescue or death, whichever came first. On one of these occasions, when the bribe was attempted, King Nesivar told the Character that a chocolate drink was too common to earn his favor. “If you could produce an inhalable vapor or a solid foodstuff for me to enjoy, perhaps then your chocolate might have earned you leniency,” he added before the Character was carted away to the dungeon.

It is very likely that King Nesivar said this merely to taunt the Character, but my great- great-grandmother, Lady Winaila Aspenwind, thought that solid chocolate—something as tasty as the drink but irresistibly smooth and creamy—might be a fine treat. For three months, she labored and experimented with her serving elves until she finally settled upon a recipe that matched her vision. Then she cut a small piece, marched it up to King Nesivar, and offered it as a gift to the Unseelie monarch. Both he and the court’s official tastetester were immediately infatuated with the dessert. King Nesivar even demanded more Tehthanill. Lady Winaila Aspenwind said that she would bring him some just as soon as he freed all the Characters from the Unseelie dungeons.




I wish I could say that my great-great-grandmother was motivated by a fondness for humans as strong as my own, but I’m afraid that her mercy was a clever means of spreading the word about her new recipe. Soon after the prisoners’ release, the entire magical world was talking about the chocolate that could sway kings and unlock dungeons, and Tehthanill was in high demand. The Aspenwind clan gained much wealth by this recipe, and to this day, it is one of the most profitable Fey exports. Though a human Character at an American college developed a vastly inferior, magic-free version almost a century and a half ago, no one outside of the Unseelie Court has seen the original recipe...until now.



If you are awesome *peers at you* YUP you are, 
you should stop by New Leaf Literary for the Giveaway of signed copies of 
The Ever Afters first three books in the series. GO HERE


If you  missed the other parts of the tour you should check it out!


November 3 – Middle Grade Mafioso 
November 4 – From the Mixed-Up Files 
November 5 – Log Cabin Library 
November 6 – Amanda K. Thompson Blog 
November 7 – Novels, News, and Notes (HEY THAT'S US!)
November 8 – Green Bean Teen Queen


Want to know more about the author? 

Shelby Bach was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, but while writing THE EVER AFTERS, she moved almost as many times as her main character. She came up with the idea for the series right before she left New York City, and she finished the first book, OF GIANTS AND ICE, in Montana— the second, OF WITCHES AND WIND, back in Charlotte. Driving up the West Coast to research the settings for the third book, OF SORCERY AND SNOW, Shelby fell in love with Portland, Oregon and settled there. She would love to set up a Door Trek system in her apartment to visit her family and friends around the country, but she makes due with much slower and less fictional transportation. These days, while finishing up the fourth and final book, she also works part time for a real-life afterschool program. It is strangely similar to the one where her stories are set—except the students study math instead of fairy tales.



How to find Shelby online:
Visit Shelby online
Shelby on Facebook
Shelby on Twitter
Shelby on Goodreads

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Sound of Letting Go by @swkehoe Blog Tour



Please excuse our late posting of this fun tour stop, 
as it should have posted on August 4th.

THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Blog Tour: Author Stasia Ward Kehoe chats with SR Johannes about happy hours and exotic animals

I’ve just wrapped up a fabulous week at NOVELNOVICE.COM, during which I discussed what happens FIVE MONTHS AFTER a novel is published, the writing process, my over-expressive eyebrows and other vital topics. Now, I’m thrilled to be taking my THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Summer Blog Tour (click that, you know, ‘cuz there are giveaways) on a virtual summer road trip with some of the most talented, wonderful and hilarious writers I know.

Today, I’m delighted to introduce my Pacific Ocean-adjacent book buddies to a dynamo from that OTHER coast. I first encountered SR Johannes, marketing maniac and powerhouse self-pubbed author, through online writer friends. Years later, I finally met her IN THE FLESH at an SCBW LA conference. Yes, there were cocktails. Yes, she is hilarious. Yes, you should totally invite her to your next happy hour. But, at least you can join us here on the interwebs today. Where exactly, you ask…

SWK: Where have we set up our fantasy beach chairs? 

SHELLI: Navarre Beach in Florida 






SWK: What are we drinking? 
SHELLI: Extra Dirty vodka martinis :) 




















SWK: Bottoms up! And speaking of liquids, what are you doing to drain the joy from your summer? 


SHELLI: Trying to balance promoting new book with job with kids. (The pool and my friend's incessant happy hours aren't helping either :) 


SWK: Other than the aforementioned martinis, what puts joy back into your summer? 


SHELLI: Listening to my kids laugh at the pool and carrying my new Kindle Paperwhite with me wherever I go :) 









Here’s a bit about Shelli’s latest book, UNSTOPPABLE

Out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. When the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a seedy roadside zoo that illegally exhibits endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge.

Only this time, Grace is the prey.

Shelli shares her thoughts on the interwebs at her websiteFacebooktumblr and twitter!


Wondering about Stasia Ward Kehoe and her latest book?

About THE SOUND OF LETTING GO: 


For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 


But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go? 



About Stasia Ward Kehoe:

Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dreaming of becoming a professional ballerina but she didn't grow quite enough (she is 5'4") or have sufficiently good knees (they are peppered with surgery scars) to achieve this goal. Instead, she went to Georgetown University from which she received a semi-unintentional BA in English. After working at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Random House Publishing in New York, City, and receiving her MA in Performance Studies from New York University, she married a dude who looks just like Clark Kent (the hot geek who turns into Superman), had four awesome sons, and moved to the Pacific Northwest where she now lives. She then started writing with a vengeance, publishing her first young adult novel, AUDITION, in 2011. She advises not being too specific in your long-term goals however, if you decide to write a book, sit on your backside and don't get up until you have (a) died of starvation or (b) written the words "the end." THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is her second novel and her short-term plan is to write another so, as you read this bio, she's likely got her fingers glued to a keyboard. Stasia also enjoys artichokes, chocolate (but, come on, who doesn't?), parentheticals (obviously) and turning on her car to an explosion of pop music because the last person to drive it was one of her teenagers--especially if the song is about heartache and healing and has a good dance beat.

Find her online:
Website

Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

Pinterest

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: ARRGH! by Stacey R. Campbell & Giveaway!


arrghbanner
We're so excited to share the cover of ARRGH! by Stacey Campbell, a middle grade fantasy adventure. This book releases September 24th, 2014. 


Description:

Forced to remain silent after being kidnapped by pirates Christopher must find a way to save an innocent merchant ship’s captain and his daughter from the evil grasp of Captain Redblade proving that friendship and family are worth fighting for no matter the costs.
6

About the Author:

Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet
IMG_1648 (1)turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At the age of seven Stacey was told that she would never be the writer she dreamed of being because she is dyslexic. Finally Stacey found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted to be if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can't stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Stacey is the young adult author of Hush, A Lakeview Novel and Whisper, A Lakeview Novel. ARRGH! is Stacey’s first middle grade book.


For more books from this author, visiting information, and author events please visit Stacey at:


You can also learn more about Stacey R. Campbell on


Live in the Seattle area? Meet Stacey Campbell, YA author Martha Brockenbrough and others at the UW bookstore, Mill Creek, on October 9th at 7:00! There will also be a book launch for ARRGH!, Dec. 3rd at 7:00 at the UW Bookstore in the U district. 

Giveaway:
Paperbacks of HUSH & WHISPER (Young Adult)- US only
ebook of ARRGH! (Middle Grade)- INT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Candace Reviews Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley



Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyser-Seeley



Published by Kensington on June 3, 2014 

Genres: Adult, mystery

Pages: 304 

Format: Paperback 

Source: Bought




Meg Reed bluffs her way into writing for 'Northwest Extreme', passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg's idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel's Rest - a 2000-foot peak - to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can't imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate ... and if the climbing doesn't kill her, a murderer just might.

This review was first posted on Candace's Book Blog.

Scene of the Climb is an adult murder mystery but fit’s the ‘New Adult’ category fine since the main character, Meg, is fresh out of college. She has a young voice and still lives the life of a young person. This book is also appropriate for mature YA readers as there’s no adult content.

Meg was a character that was immediately easy to like. At times she felt slightly naive, but I liked her go-get-it attitude where she pushed to get answers and didn’t just sit back. When she knew that someone was murdered she was determined to find out who did it, and she didn’t let anything stand in her way. Maybe not the smartest idea, at least much of the time, but I understood her desperate need for answers.

Meg has a nice group of friends and I liked what we got to know about them. I especially liked her friend Matt and hope that he’s even more present in future books. I loved her Grandmother who is intuitive (or psychic), and I’m anxious to see more of her.
This is near where Meg’s grandmother lives and along a path that Meg walks.
My favorite aspect of the book was actually the location. The book takes place locally and spotlights a variety of places I’ve been. I could follow Meg where she went because I was so familiar with the different locations. When she had an experience driving a particular rode I was right there with her as I’ve driven that road on a dark rainy night and it’s very skinny lanes and rather terrifying. The familiarity to everything enhanced the book for me and had me wanting to get out and visit some of the places I haven’t been to real recently.
View from Vista House, this is near where the murder took place in the book.

Multnomah Falls, one of the places featured in the book.
The mystery worked out well. I didn’t guess who the murderer was until shortly before Meg did (same scene) so that was definitely good. I enjoyed the clues that were dropped and was able to try to do my own detective work. Of course nothing added up because it’s just too much information, so you try to sift through what is important, etc. I had been craving a mystery and I got a good one! This maybe doesn’t quite fit under ‘cozy’ mystery because it’s not a small town but the author makes it feel so with repeat characters and places they visit. I definitely recommend it to fans of mysteries, it’s one you don’t want to miss!

About the Reviewer:

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog athttp://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Candace Reviews The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder


The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
on July 29, 2014 
Pages: 336 
Format: ARC 


Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.


This review was also posted at Candace's Book Blog.
The Bridge from Me to You is a quiet and beautiful story. It was a fast read that was told in half-verse (maybe a bit less than half) and had me enraptured immediately.

Characters~ Lauren is a wonderful character with this beautiful gentleness to her. She has a quiet but strong personality. Because we get alternating perspectives I felt like we get to know her even better. We see her in her head, but we also see her from Colby’s POV which gives us a different view. We see her strengths- believing and caring in people, in the way she interacts with her family and steps in when it comes to helping someone who she doesn’t know who’s been injured severely. She has had to deal with a lot with her mother and some stuff that happened in the past. When she connects with others she gives her all. Lauren’s POV is told in verse except for the few chapters where she’s talking to the counselor. You would think that in such few words we would feel like we didn’t know Lauren at all, but that’s not the case. We get the dept of her emotions and the things going through her head and there’s not all these fillers of her doing this and that, etc. It’s the meat of the story and it works perfectly.

Colby is the town football hero. Everyone knows him and he has a lot of pressure from his dad and the town to do good in football and to get a scholarship. But Colby wants more than football, he has other interests. He’s struggling to find a way to tell his dad and just let everyone know because he doesn’t want to disappoint them. Colby’s POV is not in verse and it works well, fleshing out his sweet and kind personality and showing us more of the interactions between him and Lauren. I felt like with this technique we really get the best of both worlds. We still get the emotion, but we get more of a few of the things happening in less sparse of text. Colby is struggling not only with his want of not wanting to play football, but with the accident his best friend was in and is recovering from. His ability to balance so much and efforts to make everyone happy were astounding, but it was sad to see how much pain he was going through.

Romance~ Initially it seemed that it would be a fast romance but the way it went, that wasn’t really the case. They have a strong immediate attraction but because of some certain predicaments they decide to be friends first. They struggle to keep the line there and not cross into more-than-friends territory, but the attraction between them was strong. I enjoyed watching it play out and kept my fingers crossed that they would both find their way.

Plot~ The book felt clear that it was sort of a love letter to Friday Night Lights. I don’t know if it’s because I know the author adores the show, or if it was that obvious. But it worked. It’s a small town that really loves football. I’m not a sports person, but it didn’t matter for this book. There wasn’t any deep discussions about football or even very many football scenes. We know it’s important and we see that, but there’s nothing lengthy or boring concerning that aspect.

The relationship between Colby and Lauren is a big part of the story, but we also see Lauren’s struggle concerning her family and Colby’s with his family and his situation of wanting to do something other than football. The book felt the perfect mix of issues and never came heavy, at the same time it wasn’t a happy-go-lucky book either. Lisa Schroeder always weaves a lot of strong emotions into her books and it’s very present in this one as well. There were times I teared up (though didn’t outright cry) and times I laughed out loud. It’s not an extremely emotional ride, but it definitely brings your heart into the equation.

Negatives~ Honestly, I’m not sure if I have any. I guess I would say that I wish that there’d maybe been a bit more conclusion regarding Lauren’s mother and her brother. I felt like she has some things to tell her aunt and uncle as well. However, these are minor issues.

This is a beautiful story that only takes a short while to get through. It’s definitely worth the time to pick it up and you’ll quickly get immersed in this small Oregon town full of amazing people!


About the Author:
Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian which means her childhood summers were spent camping, fishing, reading books, and playing in the sun, when it finally came out. These days, Lisa spends her summers, and every other part of the year, sharing all of the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of numerous books for kids and teens, including I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and THE DAY BEFORE (Simon Pulse) and IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES (Aladdin).


About the Reviewer:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Candace Reviews The Body in the Woods by April Henry

The Body in the Woods (A Point Last Seen Mystery #1) by April Henry
Expected Publication: June 17, 2014 by Henry Holt

In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.
Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.
This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations.
This review is also posted at Candace's Book Blog.

I haven't read a ton of young adult mysteries. Any I have read the mystery was just more of an add-on rather than the focus. Once I started reading The Body in the Woods I wasn't immediately sure what I felt about the narration but as the story continued I discovered that I really liked it for this story as it all goes together perfectly. The book was fast paced and impossible to put down. And even though I figured out the killer a few chapters early, it was still a fun ride and I still spent most of the book trying to figure out who it was.

Characters~ The story is focused on three teens; Ruby, Alexis and Nick. They each have their own issues and distinct personalities. Alexis keeps people at arms length because of her home life; Ruby is quirky and has slightly overbearing parents (mostly they're concerned about her preoccupation with death) and Nick has ADHD and misses the dad he never knew. Each of their personalities comes through remarkably well for being told in third person. I didn't particularly like Nick, but he proves himself in the end and he added different elements that brought a lot to the story.

In addition we also get brief view points of the killer which gives us a few additional clues.

Setting~ The book takes place in Portland Oregon, which is where I live (well, I live near Portland) and so it was really cool for the setting to be so close to home. When they talked about Forest Park (Portland's version of Central Park) I could picture it all clearly. At the same time I think it was a bit creepy and I'm afraid I might be looking for dead bodies the next time I visit Forest Park. I'll be sure to stick to trails and places with other people. ;)

Plot~ It's a mystery, as I've already mentioned, and it goes at a perfect pace. The clues are revealed slowly, some true and some false leads. It was fun to try to uncover the killer. At the same time we're getting little bits and pieces of the characters lives and the things they are going through.

Negatives~ I don't really have anything big for negatives. The only thing I can say is that I kind of wish that the clue that gave it away wasn't so obvious and I would have liked to not figure it out quite yet. It's toward the end though and so it's not really such a big deal.

Overall this was a great read! It's the first in a series and I'm hoping the next book has the same characters.



Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes, all opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.



About the Author:
April Henry is that rarest of all creatures: a native Oregonian. She is also the New York Times-bestselling author of 13 mysteries for teens and adults.

When she was in grade school, she sent a short story to Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), who arranged to have it published. Her latest young adult thriller is The Night She Disappeared. Foreign rights have sold in England, Turkey, and Germany, and it has just been optioned for film.

April lives in Portland with her husband and daughter.

New York Times bestselling author. In 2012, look for The Night She Disappeared and Eyes of Justice

Find April on...
Her website
Her Blog
Goodreads
Twitter


Review by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog athttp://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Candace Reviews The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Published by Harper on May 20th, 2014 
Pages: 384 
Format: ARC 
Source: Gift


Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.
And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.
What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?
This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.


The Art of Lainey is a light summery read that still holds some depth within the characters and the situations they have to go through.

Characters~ Lainey is a character that I had to grow to like and I would say that’s probably pretty intentional. She has some growth to go through before she really gets to a place where we can really love her. She has to realize a lot of things and come to terms with how she’s changed. Fortunately she’s a good person and while maybe a bit blind to some things initially, she slowly opens up to different people and new situations. Even though she’s not the most likable person at the start, I never felt that strong feeling of dislike. I just saw that she was a bit naive and not totally seeing things very well. She never really drove me nuts, even when I knew her decisions were not the smartest. Fortunately she has a wonderful friend in Bianca who is there for her the entire way, always speaking up when Lainey is not thinking clearly, or clearly making the wrong choice about something.

Micah is Lainey’s co-worker and the perfect person to be her fake boyfriend since his girlfriend recently broke up with him. So they can trade the favor. Micah is really not Lainey’s type at all. She’s the sporty popular girl and he’s the guy with the mohawk and tattoos. But as they get to know each other they realize they have more in common than they thought. I really liked how Micah was not a bad guy and kind of shows that not every guy with a mohawk and tattoos is out breaking the law. Well, if they are it might just be over something kind of silly.

The secondary characters were done very well. Her parents weren’t real present but the descriptions of them and the little we saw of them made their personalities very bold and easy to remember.

Romance~ I think it’s pretty easy to figure out what is going to happen, but it was such a fun ride watching it unfold. There’s no insta-love as the two spend time together at work as well as on their ‘dates’. They seemed to be tied together even better by the common goal and in the end it benefited them. It was super sweet and I loved this romance!

Plot~ There’s not too much to add here since it’s a pretty simple one. But I liked that there were little issues added in. Lainey realizing that her ex and one of her friends was not all she thought they were. Coming to terms with the fact that she was a bit judgmental of others.

Negatives~ I wish we’d seen a bit more of Lainey’s parents. They were so well crafted, I just wanted to see more of them. I also felt like her friend Bianca was always there for her for everything she went through but somehow she was missing a lot of the time. I think I would have liked to see a bit more of her. All these are pretty small little issues though.

This was a super fast and fun read. The last half of the book was hard for me to put down. I was never bored and eager to find out what would happen next. This is a perfect summer read that is light and fun but adds a bit of depth as well.

Disclosure: I won this book and all opinions are my own.



Review by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog athttp://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Far Dawn by @kcemerson Review

The Far Dawn by Kevin Emerson
Published by Katherine Tegan Books on August 26, 2014
Review copy: e-ARC

If you want to read the reviews in order here are reviews for The Lost Code and The Dark Shore.

After reading first two books in the Atlanteans series I was thrilled to find 'The Far Dawn' on Edelweiss a few weeks back.  And so, with warnings directly from Kevin about how I would hate him afterward, I went to a local cafe and dedicated my entire day to reading it.  I live tweeted while I was reading it in a non spoilery way.  It was fun to hear Kevin's thoughts based on my tweets.

Kevin's books pack a lot of punch and I was left worried about how Lily and Owen would survive once they left Desenna in 'The Dark Shore' .  Opening the book with lyrical verse about three coffins couldn't have scared me any more if he had tried.  Who had died?  Who was thinking about this happening? What a prologue!

Not only is the beginning a surprise but in a shocking move a character we haven't seen since 'The Lost Code' rejoins the story in the part 1.  Yes, I was shocked.  In fact I wrote myself a note about it and tweeted about it as well!

By chapter 4 I began to understand why he thought I would not want to talk to him ever again.  I mean...GEEZ!  Fun trivia, Kevin waited 3 years to reveal the doozy that happened in chapter 7.  I am completely evil for making you read the ENTIRE book to find out what I mean.  When I tweeted updates I had questions and sometimes Kevin would answer.  (Find Kevin on twitter @kcemerson, he tweets about his music and books!)

Once I hit chapter 12, I was sure I had figured out what may happen next, boy was I wrong.  All this time, from pretty early on in 'The Lost Code' you will have a certain idea about Owen but turns out he is not who we all think he is.  Intrigued?  You should be...I can tell you that you will not expect the twists and turns that Owen faces.

When I happened upon chapter 19, I wondered why Owen made the very tough choice that he did.  In fact, I've had discussions with a co-worker about it and I'm still unresolved on it.  This part has stuck with me.  I still wonder about it and I wonder what others will think about it.  Mostly because it seemed strange to me that this plan was Owen's and I wondered how he came up with it.  I'm being secretive but it's important to the storyline so look out!  

Admittedly as I read closer and closer to the end I started wondering if there would be a book 4.  I had no idea how Owen's story would be resolved by the time I arrived at the last page.  In fact the last few pages I almost started yelling because I was so freaked out about what may or may not be happening.  All this is to say  you won't be able to put this book down.

Things that I still wonder about:
1. If Kevin drew up a map of where the Bio-Dome is and all the places that Owen and Lily travel to throughout the trilogy?
2. Because I've read the trilogy spread out a year between 'The Lost Code' and 'The Dark Shore' and then another 6 months until I read 'The Far Dawn', I wonder what the full time line is for the trilogy?


Want to Pre-Order?

About the author: Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. His new novel, EXILE, the first book in the Exile series, came out April 29th.

Kevin is also a musician. His current project is music for the Exile trilogy, where he wrote music that is included in the book and audiobook.  


Find Kevin at: Goodreads and Twitter and of course his website!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Dark Shore by @kcemerson Review



The Dark Shore (Atlanteans #2) by Kevin Emerson
Published by Katherine Tegan Books on May 21, 2013.

A while back, I read and reviewed an amazing book called 'The Lost Code'.  
'The Lost Code' is book 1 in The Atlanteans series and I'm back today to catch everyone up with a review of 'The Dark Shore'.  Are you ready?

When it came time to read 'The Dark Shore', I was excited to finally see and experience life outside the Dome.  Plus I'm all about road trips, okay this is an aeronautical trip, but you get my drift.

This has got to be one of the best series I've found that uses dynamic prologues filled with verse and pieces from future portions of the book.  I find myself going back to re-read them as they relate so well at various points.  There have definitely been books out there where I have barely taken in the bits at the beginning or never understood their relevance.

As per usual, Kevin managed to trip me up with shocking reveals and revelations about characters I thought I had a pretty good handle on in 'The Lost Code'.  No I do not mean Paul is suddenly anyones best friend or savior.  Although that would definitely add to the drama if he did a complete 180 and was suddenly actually caring about someone other then himself and his desires.

For the Prophecy of Three, it was actually in this book that I decided if each of us could choose which we could be that I'd desire to be the Mariner.  Which would you be?  The funny thing is if we were basing this on actual abilities I would be the Aeronaut.  My friends would agree.  I'm always the driver for our outings.

I do admit I'm partial to love triangles IF they are well executed.  Kevin does not disappoint.  The triangle between Owen, Lilly and a new character felt like a perfect fit!  Plus I really enjoyed the tension it created for Owen.  The way he handled the situations felt true to a 15 year old.  When you read that part I dare you to stop and consider how YOU handled situations at that age with those you were attracted to.  It was not pretty.  I cringe just thinking about my high school experience in that area.  OH BOY!  Moving on...

The final scenes in 'The Dark Shore' were probably the most thrilling.  At the same time I was nearly sick over a few key moments.  *shakes head*  There are no words.  Read it and you will see.  I do warn you NOT to eat while you are finishing this book though.  HEED MY WARNING!

Stay tuned for my preview of 'The Far Dawn' which is the final book of the series due out this August!


About the author: Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. His new novel, EXILE, the first book in the Exile series, came out April 29th.

Kevin is also a musician. His current project is music for the Exile trilogy, where he wrote music that is included in the book and audiobook.  


Find Kevin at: Goodreads and Twitter and of course his website!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

So you may be wondering about the music that goes along with Kevin's NEW book "Exile" which I reviewed a few days ago. I am here to give you my thoughts from back when I FIRST heard these amazing songs.
Dangerheart Logo created by Eliza Lane





Since I was sworn to secrecy when I was granted acces to listen to the songs recorded for Exile I listened to them constantly but didn't talk to anyone about them. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have shut up about them. I think you will find yourself, like me, listening to the music by Dangerheart and singing along. There were definitely times I've killed my phone battery because I was listening to them on the bus, at work, at home, umm...did I miss a place?



Yeah I love these songs by Dangerheart that much. They go along with the story beautifully and you would be crazy not to listen to them.So without further ado here are the songs for you to hear along with my thoughts which were jotted down as I heard the songs for the first time. (I did edit out spoilers)



Buy the music:





On My Sleeve (studio version) - Dangerheart
When I was sent these songs, I have to say after listening to all the songs 4 or 5 times this became my favorite.
I lost my breath at one point. I didn't expect to.
I love all the instrumentation.
This is an easy song to sing along to...ad I do...sing to this song all the time even when not listening to the music.
I can totally picture the characters of Exile book singing this song. It's definitely a song I would have sang in high school, if you know, I were part of a band.

Catch Me (studio version) - Caleb with Dangerheart
Second favorite song
I picture myself in a club. Course now I want to GO to a club..RIGHT NOW
It's fun to hear Val's attitude
Raw
Loved the instrumental at the end

Exile, Summer Soho Version (Eli's band demo)
Emotional
Sad
Has a completely different feel to it then the first two songs which makes sense since its Eli's song. I can picture this scene from the book where Caleb sings this and imagine his facial expressions.




Have you pre-ordered the Audio Book of Exile? If so, you will have the amazing luck to listen to the following two songs. So...really you have no excuse now NOT to order the Audio Book because these songs are so special.

On My Sleeve (first Band Practice) - For the Audiobook
Wearing really good headphones keeps the bass and noise in the background really visible in the song so I can imagine being in the practice space the whole time.
I love the external extra bits that were included in this song which lands me smack dab in the practice space with Summer sitting there trying to form words.

Exile: Eli's bathroom demo
I feel bereft when Eli rubs his finger on the string at the end. Am I the only one who notices the rub of strings? It always stands out to me as something special.

Overall: I don't know what I expected the music to sound like but I was definitely surprised. I really enjoy all the songs. It's awesome that I feel as though I am at the locations for two of the songs. The songs are perfect for a high school band who is quite talented. The songs are perfect to accompaniment to Exile. Kevin Emerson really threw down the gauntlet with this entire selection of music to match his book and I can't wait to see what's next.



Check out Kevin Emerson online: Website, Twitter, Facebook, and find ALL of his amazing books on Goodreads!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Exile by @kcemerson Review

Published by Katherine Tegan Books on April 29, 2014
Originally posted on NovelNovice.com

After reading this author's first two 'The Atlanteans' series books, my anticipation and excitement was high for this upcoming contemporary, Exile by Kevin Emerson.


Catherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. Summer knows that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy—he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.
Summer also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .

I admit I totally gave Kevin crap about not getting to read his new upcoming contemporary when I found out it had been read by another author and it had turned up on Edelweiss as an e-ARC. Happily I was able to wrangle a copy and read it four times. Yes...I am addicted to Exile. I have already shared the joy of this book with several friends who were all able to wrangle their own copies of this book pre-release. This is definitely one of those books you will not be able to shut up about. I know this from experience.

It’s hard to begin this review but I want to start by telling you that Exile TOTALLY BLEW MY MIND. In fact I feel you should go to your local Indie bookstores website and order it right now if you haven't already bought a copy. I’ll wait.

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Okay did you order? Great. Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads To-Reads list of course!

So here is the easy link for that:

Goodreads

When I started reading this book I was reading it in Pages (Mac’s version of Word) on my iPad and decided to do something I’ve never done before, namely leave comments to myself as I went. Pages allows you to tap on the place you’d like to add a comment and do so. Then the comment disappears and there is a small area of highlight that shows up for you to go back and tap on later to read the comment.

And so it went that I left comments here and there as I read. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this one, "When a song inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will?"

My other favorite quote is eye opening for those girls who like guys in bands…ready?


“…it’s no big secret what bands talk about when they are clustered together: thirty percent is have-you-heard-this-band, thirty percent concerns the deeply technical features of music gear, and the other forty percent is girls.”

Since this book is about a band, there are song lyrics and even chords included in the story.

[bandcamp width=400 height=241 album=157781771 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=fe7eaf artwork=small]

I am looking forward to seeing what music will be recorded for the next Exile book. Will we get to hear two of the songs that we are searching for? That mystery remains. I do hope so though. I am a huge fan of the music for Exile. In fact I have a post coming up that is ALL about the music!

Lately there has been a lot of talk of parental units in books being completely absent which is not the case in this book. In fact, Summer our main character lives at home with her parents, yes NOT DIVORCED PARENTS. Not only were they involved in her life, but she also has an Aunt who helps Summer out by being her alibi. Spoiler? I even made a note at one point about how happy I was that her parents were around and active in her life.

I admit normally when reading a book I do not always stop and take in the chapter headings. Am I the only one who skips them? However, in Exile I couldn’t skip them. I HAD to read them as they were part of the storyline. In fact, they were tweets of Summer who is the main character. The use of twitter chapter headings was well thought out throughout the entire book. See below for one of the tweets that grabbed my attention:


Formerly Orchid @catherinefornevr 1hr

Senior Year existential sandwich. Me=the tofurkey between slices of whole grain Optimism and Oblivion. Pass the baconnaise! #Iworkedhardforthatmetaphor #stilllame

I don’t know about you but by the time I finished this it took me a good ten minutes to decompress and come to a realization. This book is a Love Song. And that is the perfect way to think of it!

If you can't tell, I'm in love with this book and I look forward to the encore in book two!


About the author: Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. His trilogy, The Atlanteans, will be complete when 'The Far Dawn' releases on in August 26, 2014 with Katherine Tegen Books. His middle grade novel, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, came out in January 2013 with Walden Pond Press.

Kevin is also a musician and wrote the music for Exile.  Check out the music in an upcoming post with thoughts and links to the music!

Find Kevin at: Goodreads and Twitter and of course his website!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Upcoming YA Event in Portland Oregon

There's a wonderful event happening June 4th at 6:30 pm at Manaia Coffee House in downtown Hillsboro Oregon for Paula Stokes, Tara Kelly, Cat Winters and Miriam Forster. This event is put together by Jacobsen's Books, which is next door to the coffee house.  This is going to be a wonderful event that you will not want to miss!  The address is 204 E. Main.  We'll see you there!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy Spring! Giveaways of signed books & more!

Happy Spring my lovely friends!  
Today we have some great giveaways featuring Pacific Northwest Authors.  We have quite a few signed books, some not signed and some amazing pins that were contributed by Sara at Novel Novice
Candace at Candace's Book Blog has some massive giveaways going on as well, so be sure to check that out! 
Here's what you can win (there's a pin to go with each of the prize packages).
Open to US addresses only.
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Fill out the rafflecopter! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Candace Reviews The Taking by @KimberlyDerting



The Taking by Kimberly Derting Series: The Taking #1
Published by Harper on April 29th, 2014 
Genres: sci-fi, young adult
Pages: 368 
Format: ARC 
Source: Amazon Vine
A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.
When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.
Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.
Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.
The Taking delivered something new to the YA genre (to me anyway- I certainly haven’t read everything out there) and was exactly the kind of book I was craving, even if I didn’t know it.

Characters~ Kyra was a normal girl one minute, playing softball, fighting with her dad and then POOF, she wakes up behind a garbage bin at a gas station and when she goes home she discovers she’s been gone for 5 years. Can you imagine? Waking up in the same clothes, with the same bruises on your body, etc? And everyone is saying you’ve been gone 5 years? Her family is different, her boyfriend and best friend have moved on. Her parents are ecstatic to see her, but they are different. Everyone is different. And this is hard for Kyra. I had to keep reminding myself that it was just YESTERDAY that she was experiencing a much different life. So when she threw tantrums (sort of) it was frustrating, but somewhat understandable. I would have been screaming at people because her whole life is different. She in a way has no one. But she does, her boyfriends (ex-boyfriend now) brother is all grown up and is the only one who listens to her and seems to understand her and what she’s going through.

Tyler is such a sweet guy! I loved that he listened to her and never doubted her word. He did all these big gestures and it was so sweet! I felt like I shouldn’t like him so much, but I really did.

Kyra’s dad was actually pretty great and I liked that he went to such lengths to find Kyra and was open minded. Though Kyra wasn’t as open minded as him and totally denied things, I liked that her father was willing to do so much. It’s clear that her father is going to be important in the future. Her mother was a bit frustrating and not as present. She seems to have a harder time with things, but that’s also understandable.

Romance~ Tyler is Kyra’s ex-boyfriends brother and he was young when she had seen him before she disappeared. So it seems like it would be weird for them to have something, Kyra thinks it’s weird and fights it, but Tyler doesn’t. He does all these amazing big gestures for her and listens to her. In the end he’s the most important person to her, at least that knows her situation. Things seem insta-lovey at first, and things do progress fast, but it was okay with me because of the crazy situation. It maybe went fast, but I didn’t mind that too much.

Plot~ I wouldn’t say this has a huge mystery. For me it was clear what had happened to Kyra. I don’t think it was even suppose to really be a mystery. Of course I want to know MORE and hopefully that comes. But for now that’s not important. While I had a good idea of where she went, I didn’t know all the extras. How she’s changed and now can do things. How there’s a bad side effect, etc. Learning all this was fascinating and I’m anxious for more. This is the kind of plot I’ve been wanting to read in a YA and it was so great!

I really enjoyed this book and devoured it in less than a day. Once I started reading I needed to know more. While there were some things I had figured out, there was way more that surprised me. I’m super anxious for more as this one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. It’s a positive note one though, and has me hopeful for many things. So excited for more from this series!

Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes, all opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog athttp://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.


Kimberly Derting is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins), which are as much coming-of-age romance as they are paranormal thrillers, as well as the dystopic-fantasy THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster). She lives in the Pacific Northwest where the gloomy weather is ideal for writing anything dark and creepy. Her three beautiful (and often mouthy) children serve as an endless source of inspiration, and often find the things they say buried in the pages of their mother’s books.

Find Kimberly on...
Her websiteHer blogFacebookGoodreadsTwitter

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Weaving a Story by Katherine Kirkpatrick @ReadKirkpatrick



Weaving a Story

by Katherine Kirkpatrick, 

Author of 'Between Two Worlds' (novel, ages 14 and up)

Between Two Worlds, copyright © 2014 by Sam Weber

Katherine Paterson wrote: “There are magical moments in writing historical fiction when the woof of one’s invention moving through the warp of history suddenly seems to make sense. The pattern begins to merge, filling the writer with surprise and joy” (from the essay “In Search of a Story: The Setting as Source”).


Like Paterson, I love those aha moments when the fact gathering gives way to something larger, when the story takes on a life of its own. This experience happened to me as I was writing my young adult novel Between Two Worlds, set in the Greenland Arctic in 1900-1901. The novel tells of a real-life 16-year-old Inuk woman, Eqariusaq, also known as Billy Bah, on board explorer Robert E. Peary’s ice-locked ship Windward.


Caption: Billy Bah, age 16, by Clarence Wyckoff, 1901. Sam Weber, the jacket artist for Between Two Worlds, used this photo to help him depict the main character’s face. Copyright © Kim Fairley and Silas Hibbard Ayer III

Happily, after amassing pages of unrelated facts about Inuit life, I began to envision my characters in scenes. For example, as I was reading descriptions of how an Inuk woman uses her ulu (curved utility knife) to trim hides before sewing, I pictured a group of women on a ship. They bickered over who would take the largest and best strips of seal furs for her garments. In finding the action, I’d created the start of a scene: the women were not just sewing, they were arguing.


In writing this scene, I imagined sensory details: the luxurious feeling of the furs, their pungent smell, and how tired the women’s jaws must have been after softening hides with their teeth. I asked myself questions to compose my scenes. How did Inuit women resolve who gets what in terms of choice supplies? How did mothers occupy young children when they worked? How long did it take to sew together two pelts? Research involves thinking through logistics, as much as it is about gathering facts.


In some ways researching Between Two Worlds was easy, because I’d already written The Snow Baby, which also features explorer Peary’s family in the Arctic. But this time I chose to tell the story from an Inuk girl’s point of view. For inspiration, I often flipped through the pages of a beautiful book called Boreal Ties: Photographs and Two Diaries of the 1901 Peary Relief Expedition, edited by Kim Fairley Gillis and Silas Hibbard Ayer III. This book features two New York businessmen, Clarence Wyckoff and Louis Bement, who journeyed to the Arctic as what we would call today “adventure tourists.” Unlike the illiterate sailors from poor families who served as crew on Peary’s ships, Wyckoff and Bement traveled with pens, journals, and the latest camera equipment. After their voyage, the men pasted copies of each other’s photographs in their scrapbooks while often not identifying which man took which shot.

To my delight I found most of my characters within this treasure trove of images. Impish eight-year-old Marie Peary, obviously the little darling of the Windward’s crew, prances about on deck, clad in furs from head to toe. One photograph shows her at the ship’s wheel pretending to steer. Another shot depicts a group of Inuit girls and women teaching her to sew. Another image shows Marie and an Inuk who I feel sure is Billy Bah posed in front of a tupik (leather tent), having their photograph taken.

Only one photo is tagged with her name, a stunning portrait, “Billy Bah, girl of 16.” She looks straight at the viewer, half smiling, seemingly pleased. The photo helped many other images in my mind to coalesce with known historical facts. No author can reach into history with 100 percent accuracy. But through fact gathering, questioning, guesswork, and intuitively weaving imaginative scenarios into the rich fabric of actual events, I came to tell a story, my story of Billy Bah. I hope you enjoy Between Two Worlds.



We are so appreciative for Katherine to stop by our blog and tell us more about 'Between Two Worlds'.  Thanks Katherine!  You should totally stop by and check out Katherine's website!  Find her on Twitter.  Don't forget to add 'Between Two World's' to your Goodreads To Read List.