Thursday, 5 March 2015

Release Week Blitz: Just Pru by Anne Pfeffer - Excerpt + Giveaway




Just Pru by Anne Pfeffer
Contemporary Women's Fiction
Published: 2nd March 2015

When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends …  or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped.

What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru's favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes up to live with playwright Ellen, Pru sets aside her fears and goes for it.

Thus begin the adventures a girl who's never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen's whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director's assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam.

Only one thing can derail Pru's exhilarating journey. Well, actually, it's two things—and they're in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?


Book Links



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Early Praise for Just Pru

"Just Pru is a laugh out loud, heartwarming story ….Pfeffer does an amazing job with Pru’s character…. The supporting cast is … easy to fall in love with and to cheer for...."
-5 Stars - The Self-Publishing Review

"A five star read all the way.... a happy, funny tragicomedy of errors with a cast of delightful neurotics."
-Literary homebody.com

"Pru is hilarious..... Totally a perfect story, IMO. How often does that happen? Like never."
-5 stars- Candacesbookblog.com



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Excerpt


Chapter One

From Pru’s Journal:

How can you know if you’re normal when you’re always alone? You have no one to compare yourself to. I mean, I have my mom and dad, and I’m pretty normal compared to them. But then… a lot of people are normal compared to them.


**

As the rich CaraMellow ice cream slipped along my tongue, I popped a few potato chips in my mouth for contrast. Ah, the soothing combination of sweet, salt, cream, and crunch.

No good. Its magic wasn’t working.

Shifting my size 16 tush around on the sofa, I focused on the TV. It played an old episode from Model Cop, my favorite show ever on the Wholesome Family Channel.

Today, the show’s awesome heroine, Pepper Hathaway, was tracking down a serial killer in between fittings for a runway show at Fashion Week. It was hard to juggle her two jobs as a police detective and supermodel, but she excelled at both. Pepper ended every episode with a wink to the camera and her life motto: Remember, folks. Do Good, Look Good!

She was amazing.

I sighed. I bet Pepper didn’t get job rejections like the one I’d had today. Dear Loser, the letter said. We are relieved to say we cannot offer you the position of Low-Level Proofreading Gnome at our crummy little start-up online encyclopedia. No matter how unknown and undesirable our company is, you are more so.

Sincerely,

Executive Drone

Okay, so they didn’t use those exact words, but it’s what they meant. As I lifted my spoon, caramel dribbled down the front of my flannel nightgown. I scraped it off with a potato chip and ate it.

Mmraow. My cat emerged from one of his many hiding places. I suspected he hid on purpose, just to annoy me. “Hey, Chuck-Chuck.” I scratched his orange-and-white striped back. It lasted only a few seconds. Done with human contact, Chuck strolled away, tail in the air.

On the TV, Pepper was returning home to her elegant apartment in the Big City. Hey, girlfriend, she called out to her funny, devoted homosexual roommate Tad. They sat down and sipped Chardonnay. She was so cool.

I bet Pepper could pay her rent. I bet she didn’t run out of money just two months after moving into her place. I could justify having bought a used car, but perhaps the fifty-inch flat-screen TV had been excessive. Then there were those unfortunate yard sale purchases, but I had needed furniture, after all. I needed that Victorian-style vanity and the faux-leather recliner.

I could still hear my father’s voice, cool and cutting. You won’t last a month in Los Angeles. Mark my words, you’ll be back in Oregon before you know it.

Well, ha ha on him, I’d lasted two months now.

And ha ha on me, because I didn’t know if I could last a third.

Tears prickled the backs of my eyes. I wished I could talk to Dr. Abbot, my wonderful therapist back in my hometown of Clayton. He had died unexpectedly last week. I’d hardly left my apartment since I’d gotten the news.

On the TV, Pepper was modeling her latest fashion purchases for Tad. I scraped the bowl with my spoon while contemplating her minuscule waistline. Was that real or digitally enhanced? Could a person’s body organs really fit into such a tiny space?

Not mine—I was sure about that. My body organs undoubtedly filled giant caverns, which was why I’d been blessed with my five foot ten inch, big-boned body.

A ringing began—yet another fire alarm. Great. We’d had two go off already this month, I thought grumpily, and they’d turned out to be cases of burned toast—a total waste of time.

I struggled up from horizontal, made my way to the living room window, and peered out. It was 8:00 on a June evening. It had just turned dark. Below loomed the building’s quiet, empty courtyard.

Just as I thought—no flames, no people fleeing for their lives.

The sofa called to me, yet the alarm blared on.

I should probably investigate, even though it meant I might have to talk to someone. And for what was probably a false alarm. I stumbled to my bedroom dresser and wrestled a pair of plain white panties up under my nightie. Where had I thrown my bra? When you’re a size 36D, you do not venture forth into public without one.

My eyes swept my twin-sized bed, the flowered rug, the vanity whose drawers I used to store cat toys. No bra to be seen.

Feet thudded down my hallway.

WHOMP! A fist hit my front door.  “Vacate the building now! Everyone out!” The man’s voice resounded through my door, then grew fainter as he moved away from me.

In an instant, sweat beaded my forehead. Vacate the building?

A siren, then others, wailed from the street. A megaphone-amplified voice blared from outside. “Immediate evacuation is required.”

Chuck!” I shrieked. That ingrate. He’d probably hidden from me again. I dropped to my belly and crawled commando-style around the bedroom, checking under the bed and dresser. No sign of his malevolent green-eyed gaze. I checked the open laundry hamper. He wasn’t there either.

Outside, shouts and cries came to me from a distance, sirens grew louder, and banging noises intensified. I rushed again to the open living room window. Spotlights now lit the courtyard below, which had transformed into a disaster scene. Groups of people milled behind barricades. Firefighters twice the size of ordinary humans unfurled hoses and set ladders up against walls, while smoke drifted from some windows on the fourth floor, where I was.

Holy moley! Were we really on fire?



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Author Links
Website - Twitter



Giveaway

$125 Amazon Gift Card

-International
-Ends 8th March 2015



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Cover Reveal: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel + Giveaway


The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) by Amy Engel
Expected Publication: 3rd November 2015 by Entangled Teen

**Spoilers if you haven't read book one!**

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.

Book Links



The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1)
The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel
NA Romance
Expected Publication: 11th November 2014

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…


Book Links



Author Bio - Amy Engel

Amy EngelAmy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net/ or @aengelwrites.

Author Links



Giveaway

3x print copies of The Book of Ivy

-US Only
-Ends 20th March 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Cover Reveal Organized by:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

#IWasHere Aussie Blog Hop - Interview with Gayle Forman

Simon & Schuster Australia recently gave members of the Aussie YA Bloggers & Readers Group the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of I Was Here by Gayle Forman. As if that wasn't enough of a treat, Simon & Schuster then offered a few lucky readers the chance to interview Gayle Forman, and I was fortunate enough to be one of them! My review can be found here.


Follow the #IWasHere Aussie Interview Blog Hop and stop by the Aussie YA Bloggers Blog from the 8th to see the full interview! For now, you can check out my interview question below, but don't forget to 'hop' by the rest!


Schedule

Monday 2nd: Eugenia @ Genie in a Book

Tuesday 3rd: Kelly @ Diva Booknerd 

Wednesday 4th: Nara @ Looking for the Panacea,

Thursday 5th: Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

Friday 6th: Joy @ Thoughts By J

Saturday 7th: Kiah @ Forever Kiah,
Faith @ Fangirl World

Sunday 8th: FULL INTERVIEW @ Aussie YA Bloggers



My Question

Where do you get the ideas for some of the 'darker' themes in your book?
I write about the things that are on my mind now. And these are things like love, family, identity, resilience. I think it’s misleading to say that because a book deals with sad subject matter—notably, death, which is an unfortunate byproduct of life—that it’s dark. If you live long enough, you will experience loss—whether it by losing a loved one to death or by losing a sense of your own identity or your innocence. But it’s how you experience it, what you gain from it, how you grow from it…that’s what interests me. I find such stories profoundly hopeful. As for where I get the ideas from: all around, personal experience, people I have known, dreams, my imagination, a mixture of the lot.





Thank you so much to Gayle Forman for answering all our questions! A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for organising the book blitz and interview. Make sure you join Aussie YA Bloggers & Readers for more fun events, interviews and features.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday [40]

Top Ten All-Time-Favourite Books From the Past Three Years!

 

In no particular order...

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)   What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

1. Pushing the Limits Series by Katie McGarry
2. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang


Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)   A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)

3. Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead
4. The Staff and the Sword Series by Patrick W. Carr


My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1)   Disruption (Disruption, #1)
6. Disruption Series by Jessica Shirvington


Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)   Fraction of Stone

7. Shattered Veil/Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
8. Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn


Blog This   The Recluse Storyteller

9. Blog This by Cami Checketts
10. The Recluse Storyteller by Mark W. Sasse

Book Blitz: Deviate by Tracy Clark - Excerpt + Giveaway



Deviate (The Light Key Trilogy #2) by Tracy Clark
Published: 3rd March 2015 by Entangled Teen

Tormented after a daring escape, Cora Sandoval must find a way to stop the Arrazi from murdering innocent people and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers. She must also accept one bitter betrayal: Finn Doyle—the Irish boy who has both a piece of Cora's heart and soul—is Arrazi...

On the verge of extinction and sought by those who would either consume or destroy them,  Cora and the remaining Scintilla survivors must solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.

No longer will she hide.

No longer will her loved ones be hunted.

And she will have her vengeance...even if she shatters her heart in the process.




Excerpt

I walked barefoot through the garden, stopping to notice a spiral design someone had made on the ground from river rocks. I bent to peer at it, and when I stood, Giovanni’s hand was pressed to my back over the knife marking. My silk robe had slid down, exposing my marking. His voice burned with soft intensity. “So, you got this from the knife that night?”

I didn’t turn around. “Yes.”

His hand radiated a sweeping current over the spot where I’d been marked.

“I hate that the memory is written on my body.”

He leaned in. “I’m sorry this happens to you. Il tuo dolore √® il mio dolore...” he whispered in Italian. “Your pain is my pain.”

Suddenly, I felt the soft brush of his curls on the nape of my neck. My breath caught and bumps flared on my arms as he bent and tenderly kissed the marking of the gruesome knife in the middle of my back. Unbidden fissures of pleasure spread from my back and radiated out, but still I didn’t turn around. I couldn’t. Doing so would have been a betrayal to my still-grieving heart, because it wanted nothing more than to turn and see Finn standing there.

That could never be. That could never be.

My body remembered what it was like to kiss Giovanni, to feel the weight of him on top of me and the electric pulse of our energy together. I pushed that memory away. My head needed to have supreme rule over the rest of me.

The pressure of Giovanni’s lips on my skin lightened and I felt his energy recede. When I looked over my shoulder, I knew he’d be walking away from me. Sure enough, a trail of silver wound through the trees behind him. Surprising though, was the dark, tarnished-silver color of pain in the middle of his aura at his back.

He’d been sincere. My pain was his pain.



Other Books in the Series



Book Links
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iBooks
Goodreads



Author Bio - Tracy Clark

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.

She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.

Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.

Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

Author Links
Website - Goodreads - Twitter - Facebook



Giveaway

Signed copy of Scintillate, a key necklace, candy relating to the book, + swag (US Only) (INT winner receives $15 GC instead)

-International
-Ends 1st April 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Book Blitz Organized by:

Monday, 2 March 2015

Book Blast: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes + Giveaway



Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Expected Publication: 24th March 2015 by Harper Teen

For fans of Gone GirlI Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.

Book Links



Author Bio - Paula Stokes

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.



Author Links



Giveaway



2x signed copies of Liars, Inc.
2x mini swag packs (incl. 2x signed bookmarks, a magnet, + a signed bookplate)

-International
-Must be 13+ to enter
-Ends 15th March 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Cover Reveal: Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis


Cage of Deceit (Reign of Secrets #1) by Jennifer Anne Davis
YA Fantasy
Expected Publication: 25th August 2015 by Clean Teen Publishing

Jennifer Anne Davis’ best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.

Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she's beautiful, elegant, and refined. She is the darling of the kingdom and, one day, will be the most powerful ruler in the world. But for her, life at court is like a suffocating cage. During the day, she manages to keep a smile on her face and play the part of the perfect princess. But at night, she sneaks out of the castle and roams the streets with a commoner who doesn't know her true identity. She keeps tabs on the shady under dealings of the city and seeks out ways to help her people firsthand.

When a royal messenger arrives half dead, carrying news that an army from the northern front is amassing to destroy Emperion, Allyssa is forced to entertain an alliance with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom. She needs to marry him in order to secure his country's help to fight their mutual enemy. Prince Odar turns out to be rather charming, well spoken, and cultivated. In other words, he represents everything she despises about court life. To make matters worse, the prince insists that Jarvik— his nosy squire—watch Allyssa's every move, suffocating her even more. Jarvik is infuriating, bossy, and constantly looks down upon her.

When she sneaks out of the castle in disguise one evening, Allyssa comes face-to-face with an assassin who isn't from this part of the world, an assassin who was sent to murder the royal family. Stuck in an impossible bind, she allows Jarvik to help her. Together, the unlikely pair confronts the man sent to kill her so she can discover who's behind the lethal plot. Only, the more she learns, the more she understands that the invading army and the assassin are connected to an enemy she thought was long gone—an enemy with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. The cage she so longs to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she has to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.

Original series information: The first book in the True Reign Series is free! Read The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis today! 

Book Links



Author Bio - Jennifer Anne Davis


Jennifer Anne Davis

Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids' creativity.



Author Links