Saturday, 29 September 2012

Author and Book Spotlight Post - The Forever Contract by Avery Sawyer



The Forever Contract (A Dystopian YA Novella)

In the very near future, the country is plunged into drought and unrest. Scare resources and constant heat are making life completely miserable. Casey doesn't think she can stand slugging back another gel pack or working one more shift at the wells. Fortunately, there's a solution: anyone over the age of seventeen can sign the Forever Contract and enter a utopian paradise. While people's minds take a permanent vacation, their bodies get warehoused and hooked up to a complex array of sensors and feeding tubes. As Casey's brother says, "You upload your consciousness to the system and you're free to live as long as you want, however you want. No more pain, no more heat, no more awful dust, no more work. Just pure thought. It's what our species has always been meant for. Suffering is for philosophers. Not for me."

Casey's ready to sign--a permanent vacation is just what she needs. There's only one problem: her boyfriend James doesn't trust it.

Told from his and her perspectives, The Forever Contract is a 17,000 word (60 page) novella suitable for readers in grade 8 and above.

Would you sign the contract?




Interview with the Author 
- Avery Sawyer





Hi Avery! Welcome to the blog!

Thank you!
When did you first start writing?

I first began writing in college, when I was a book reviewer for one of the newspapers on my campus. I got to meet some amazing authors, including Mona Simpson. When I graduated, I got serious about writing for a living and began taking on freelance assignments. After a few years of working on articles and other shorter projects, I began writing fiction. The Teashop Girls (2008) was my first novel. It was about a three year process from conception to publication. I learned a lot during that time, and I think I'm still evolving quite a bit as a writer.


Can you tell us a bit about ‘The Forever Contract’ and your Inspiration for it?

I was inspired by the drought much of the country experienced this summer, as well as my own love of spending time online. I enjoy reading the news, chatting with people on writer's forums, and interacting on Twitter. It's not that much of a leap to ask, What if this online life became our only reality? What would we gain? What would we give up?


What three words would you use to best describe ‘The Forever Contract’?


Exciting, desperate, romantic


Can you tell us a bit about Casey, the main character in ‘The Forever Contract’?’


She's torn. She wants to join her brother in utopia, but she can't imagine life without her true love James, who smells a rat in the terms of the Forever Contract. She's a fighter who is slowly waking up to the reality everyone is facing. She's on the edge between childhood and adulthood, and adulthood is looking quite terrifying. Still, she's strong enough to handle it. She has strong natural empathy for people, which is one of the reasons James loves her.


Is ‘The Forever Contract’ a standalone novel or will this be part of a series?

It's very short. I envision writing several more novellas that take place in this dystopian world, perhaps focusing on different characters' realities there. I want to write more about Casey and James as well. It's a bit risky releasing a work as an episode in a larger whole, but ebooks allow authors to innovate and take chances like this. I love it!


Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

I'm taking a break from fiction writing to recharge a bit. I just got married, so my new husband and I are house-hunting and I'm working to build out my non-fiction Planet Explorers Travel Guides for Kids series. :) I'm eager to back to the world of The Forever Contract, though.


Other than your own, what are your favourite books?

The Hunger Games, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Great Gatsby, The Night Circus

Random Questions –
-          What’s your favourite treat?
Baked mac and cheese


   What’s your Favourite place to read/write?
In my loft in my apartment

-          If you won the lottery what would you most look forward to spending money on?
Travel.

-          If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I'd split my time between Wisconsin (where I live now--I really like it!), and someplace warm in the winter (probably Florida, as I have family there).



Find Avery here:
Links: http://www.amazon.com/Forever-Contract-Dystopian-Novella-ebook/dp/B008R9DDZ0
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhatToReadAfterTheHungerGames
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teashopgirl

Add 'The Forever Contract' to Goodreads!

'The Forever Contract' is free to read with Amazon Prime ☺  


Thanks so much to Avery for stopping by and answering my questions! ☺
I think 'The Forever Contract' sounds great and I am so looking forward to reading it!
What do you think?



The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

The Blessed (The Blessed, #1)Blurb (from goodreads):
Brooklyn teens Lucy, Cecelia and Agnes find themselves in the emergency room at Perpetual Help Hospital at the lowest point in their lives. Lucy, the superficial party girl; Cecelia, a drop out rock chick; and Agnes, a hopeless romantic. All rebels running from their lives and themselves, plagued by broken hearts and broken dreams. Enter Sebastian. Mysterious, compelling, seductive. He seems to bring each of them what they long for...
The Blessed (The Blessed, #1)
But in the battle for his heart, will they lose their
souls?



The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


The Blessed (The Blessed, #1)(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
Three girls are all admitted to A&E the same Saturday night. Agnes who slit her wrists because her boyfriend cheated on her, Cecilia who accidentally drowned herself in a puddle after her band had played because she drank too much, and Lucy who accidentally overdosed whilst at a party.

The three girls have never met each other before, and although they are all admitted at the same time, still do not meet then. Whilst all of them have different problems, they also have some similar ones. Each girl has someone that’s getting to her in some way, and each girl is given or finds a strange bracelet at the hospital – one with cream coloured stones and a small charm.

One night all three girls find themselves drawn to a church called ‘The Church of the Precious Blood’, where they meet a boy called Sebastian - a boy who claims to have given them the bracelets. He claims that the bracelets are ‘Chaplets’, and the charms on each are ‘milagros’, and they are what has drawn the girls to the church.

What the girls don’t know is that Sebastian has just escaped from the psychiatric wing after a 3 year stay, instigated by the priest who used to worship in the very church that Sebastian and the girls are now in.
Why has Sebastian gone to such lengths to get the girls to the church? What secrets are hidden within its walls? What answers will they find there? And why are both the psychiatrist and the priest so desperate to get Sebastian back?


This was an okay read. I found it quite dull and didn’t really see where it was going most of the time. I persevered, and was slightly interested in Sebastian’s background and why he had been sectioned and spent 3 years in a psychiatric hospital, but I found that even that was 100% explained.

I felt like I could most relate to Agnes, with her selfish attention-seeking mother, and uncaring boyfriend. Both Cecilia and Lucy were themselves selfish and attention-seeking though, and I didn’t really like them at all. Both seemed to be only out for what they could get, and although the author tried to show their good sides, neither of them were people that I would want to be friends with.

At 57% the book took quite a gruesome turn, and turned into more of a horror novel which I totally wasn’t expecting! There were actually quite a few gory scenes that I really didn’t appreciate.

There is also quite a lot of religious talk in this book. Obviously it takes place in a church, and there are loads of sayings and stuff from the bible littered about, and quite a bit about different saints and stuff. I can’t say that I was over impressed by all this. I’m not overly religious, and the religious undertones just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t read this book expecting to have to wade through religious mumbo-jumbo.

The one good thing about this book was the fact that the author used the phrase ‘I couldn’t care less’ correctly. So often people say ‘I could care less’ – if you could care less, that means that you care!! Thank you to the author for actually using this phrase correctly!

Overall; I’m sure other people will enjoy this book but I personally was not a fan.
4 out of 10.



Friday, 28 September 2012

Ever (ARC) by Jessa Russo



Ever (Ever, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):

BOOK ONE in The EVER Trilogy

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.





Ever by Jessa Russo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Ever (Ever, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Curiosity Quills Press and Netgalley.)
17- year-old Ever lives with her mom, dad, and deceased best friend/boy-next-door Frankie. Yes, deceased. Frankie is a ghost.
2 years ago Frankie and Ever were in a car accident, Frankie died, and he’s lived with Ever as a ghost ever since. More surprisingly, Ever is not the only person who can see Frankie, her mom, dad, and best friend Jessie see him too (surprisingly though none of them think that this is abnormal!).

Ever has been secretly in love with Frankie for a long time. She never told him, and now nothing can happen between them anyway ‘cause he is a ghost, so she’s never going to say anything about her feelings, and she’s pretty much resigned to life as a spinster, with Frankie in residence.
That all changes when a new family moves into Frankie’s old house next door though, because 22-year-old Toby is tall, dark, and gorgeous, and Ever can’t help herself when he starts to show an interest in her and asks her out.
How can Ever cope with the guilt she feels over dating Toby whilst Frankie is still present though? And what the hell do Toby and his dad argue about in private?
Evers life is about to get a whole lot more complicated, and there’s some massive secrets about to be revealed that will change the way she looks at Toby and Frankie forever.


I really enjoyed this book, I even toyed with giving it 5 stars but there were just a few too many issues to justify it. These issues weren’t necessarily ‘bad’ points, just odd!
For a start, Ever comments about how insane it is to be in love with a ghost, yet the fact that she even sees a ghost isn’t commented on at all! What’s more, Ever isn’t the only one who sees Frankie, her parents and her best friend can see him too! At one point Evers mum is having a conversation with him quite openly, and at another point Ever freaks out when he is in her room at night because she says her parents will go nuts if they catch him! It seems her best friend Jessie sees him too and keeps telling Ever that she needs to get over him.
Does anybody think it’s odd that Ever has a ghost living with her? Not really.
Does Ever think it’s strange that she sees Frankie’s ghost all the time? Not really.
Does Ever see other ghosts? Possibly 1 or 2 other ghosts during the story, but again, not really, and comments are never made about Ever being different in any way, if anything it’s Frankie who is different.
This to me is a little odd. If my best friend had a ghost living with her, I would not classify this as normal. If my friend could see ghosts, any ghosts, I would not think this was normal.

Secondly, Ever comments right at the start of the book that she won’t ever be able to have a boyfriend, to go out on dates, or have sex because of Frankie hanging around, but to be honest he’s not really around all that much, he seems to come and go – nothing is said about where Frankie is when he’s not there either. In fact, the start of this book is very much a contemporary romance, Frankie is just treated like a good friend who Ever kind-of has feelings for, the fact that he’s a ghost is almost a second thought. If it wasn’t mentioned occasionally that Frankie is a ghost, you would never even know.

That being said, I did enjoy this book! I liked Ever, and I liked how she actually thought things through before doing them. I liked the love interest Toby, probably more than Frankie really, but I think this was clouded by the fact that we didn’t actually hear that much from Frankie until quite a way into the book. The actual romance, was pretty hot, and Ever got some serious action in that department! I have to say that the romance part of this book was really good, and even steamy in some places, I can totally see why Ever was torn between the two guys, and even though I dislike love triangles, this one worked!

The way that the whole ‘ghost’ issue was handled was done well. I sometimes find with books with a paranormal element that everything is normal, and then all of a sudden the main character finds out that everyone she knows is either a vampire, a werewolf, or a witch, and that the paranormal element of the story just doesn’t gel well with the more normal elements. That wasn’t a problem in this book at all. Even with the whole paranormal element kicking off, the book never lost sight of reality, the story never felt wrong or surreal, and there were no ‘what?’ moments. Like I said before, this was almost too well done in places, where the fact that Frankie was a ghost was almost ignored, but overall this was done really well, and I loved how ‘normal’ and realistic the story still felt even with the supernatural storyline.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the mystery surrounding Toby was also done well, and while I had an idea of what was going on, it wasn’t obvious which I liked.

The cliff-hanger ending was sort of unnecessary, I thought that there was plenty of material still to be covered in the next book, without the (duh-duh-duhhhhhhh!) big revelation at the end.
Overall; I really enjoyed this book, and I’m excited to find out what happens to Ever in the next instalment!
8 out of 10.




 
The kindle version of this book has been released early! And when I checked it was 
only £2.56 / $4.15! 
Well worth picking up a copy at that price!
You can also order SIGNED print copies on the author's website
(http://jessarussowrites.blogspot.co.uk/p/ever-order-signed-print-copies-here.html)
So tempted!!


Jessa Russo
Image of Jessa Russo 
An unashamed super fan of all things paranormal romance, Jessa Russo reads, writes and breathes paranormal YA, rarely straying from her comfort zone.

(Taken from http://www.amazon.com/Jessa-Russo/e/B009CBJOIM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Find the author here:
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5825760.Jessa_Russo
Website: http://jessarussowrites.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jessarussowrites

Featured Freebie - Marina in a Green Dress

Featured Freebie:
Blurb (from Goodreads):
New to London, Jessica Tye is alarmingly obsessed with MARINA, a lush West End stage musical. With its storyline, its music -- and its sensational boy lead singer, Kennedy Orr, who won a TV talent show to land the role. She's often composed letters to him, in her head. When she finally puts pen to paper, it's for an emotional outpouring only, not for posting......until, surprisingly, her dull boy friend decides to teach her a lesson and mails it.
He's not to know that Jessica's letter will spark off amazing and unsettling events.....because Kennedy Orr has some obsessions of his own.


 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Blaze Release Day! + Blazing Giveaway!

Blaze releases today! Woohoo!
Blurb:
Kira gulped, unable to stop the growing sense that everything in her world was about to change.”

With Aldrich’s note burning a hole in her pocket, Kira is off to England to finally reunite with her birth mother. But what begins as a dream quickly turns to a nightmare and Kira is left questioning everything she has ever known. Can she be the conduit Luke wants her to be? Can she be the rebel Tristan needs her to be? Or is she something else? Something no one, not even Aldrich, ever saw coming…

Blaze is the third book in the thrilling Midnight Fire Series. It is approximately 65,000 words


Check out my reviews of Ignite and Blaze here - 
Ignite (Midnight Fire, #1)   Simmer (Midnight Fire, #2)  


To celebrate the launch of Blaze, the author Kaitlyn Davis is hosting an amazing 'Blazing' giveaway!

What can you win? Check this out:


The Rules:
- One month long giveaway lasting from Sep 27-Oct 27
- Ten winners of e-copies of Ignite and Simmer, One winner of the paranormal package, One winner of the dystopian package, and One winner of the angels, demons & magic package. 
- Winners will be notified on Oct 28th and will have five business days to respond before the prize is forfeit
- International entries are welcome, but if you live outside of Canada/US, you are only eligible to win e-copies of Ignite and Simmer



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks so much to the author Kaitlyn Davis for sharing her special day with us with such an awesome giveaway!
  
 Kaitlyn Davis

Author Links:


 

Ignite Links:

Simmer Links:

 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

So Into You by Cecilia Gray - Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #1: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice) **'So Into You' is book 2 in the 'Jane Austen Academy' series. To see my review of book 1 - 'Fall for you' click here**











So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #2: A Modern Retelling of Sense & Sensibility)Blurb (from Goodreads):
Modern retelling/based on Sense & Sensibility.

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they're about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

Meet sweet and sensible Ellie who hasn’t met a problem her mom’s yoga mantras can’t fix. But when her parents threaten to pull her from the Academy just as her flirtation with the cutest boy in school heats up, will Ellie be able to keep her cool?






So Into You by Cecilia Gray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Series, #2: A Modern Retelling of Sense & Sensibility)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis as part of the ‘So Into You’ blog tour. Thanks to AToMR tours and Cecilia Gray.)
Ellie is Lizzie’s best friend at JASTA, and she has feelings for Edward, but boyfriend troubles are the least of her problems. After the headmistress informs her in front of the entire school that her tuition hasn’t been paid, Ellie finds out from her parents that they’re adopting a baby and opening a new yoga studio… in Guatemala!
Ellie hates the fact that she has to leave JASTA, but what can she do? She can’t force her parnets to pay her tuition can she? But when the headmistress offers her a possible solution, Ellie knows that she has to go for it, even if it means trying to beat everyone else in mathematics exams to win the fall achievement award which covers tuition until thanksgiving.
Can Ellie really do enough to stay at JASTA though? And will Lizzie’s plan to stop the proposed name change really work?

This was a fun, light read. Again, I’ve still not read anything by Jane Austin so I can’t say how close the story is to that of ‘Sense and Sensibility’, but I did enjoy it!
Ellie had some hard choices to make, but I loved how loyal her friends were, and how she thought of others before herself.
I thought that Ellie’s parents and Edward were both unfair to Ellie, but Ellie was strong enough to go on regardless.
I also liked how the storyline from book 1 – ‘Fall for you’ continued on into this book.
Overall; a fun, light, teen read ☺
7 out of 10.

 The Author - Cecilia Gray

 
Cecilia Gray lives in Oakland where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.
Cecilia has been praised for "instilling a warmth and weight into her characters" (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being "well-written, original, realistic and witty" (Quills & Zebras Reviews).
Several of her titles—including A Delightful Arrangement (The Gentlemen Next Door #1) and An Illicit Engagement (The Gentlemen Next Door #2)—have spent, in her view, a shocking amount of time on bestseller lists for romance, historical romance and regency romance in the US, UK, Italy and Spain.
Her latest release, Fall For You, the first in a series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings, received a starred Kirkus review and was praised for being a "unique twist on a classic" and offering "a compelling mix of action, drama and love."
She's rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you'll oblige. 





Find Cecilia here-
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/ceciliagray
Twitter: @ceciliabooks
 


     


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kindle Freebies...Today 26th September 2012

UK:



US:




Love the cover for Emanare! Have heard wonderful things about Savage too :)

Thanks to all the authors who share their work with us for free!

Today I am Reading...Fade by A.K. Morgen


Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.


 
Goodreads

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Cover Reveal - Hollywood Holiday! + Giveaway!




The Blurb:
All she wants for Christmas is for Hollywood to love her again. But once she meets him, her Christmas list changes.
Jen’s only Christmas wish: Hollywood falling back in love with her. Meeting ex-Marine Gunner was a bonus. She likes that he isn’t impressed by celebrities or the movie biz. She likes that he’s funny and sweet … and drop-dead gorgeous. And she loves that he has no idea who her alter-ego is: Jen Fleming, Hollywood bad-girl and paparazzi target number one. Why ruin an amazing affair when he’s leaving after the new year?

But the closer they get, the harder she falls, and the more she wants to tell Gunner everything. Especially once he shares his secret with her.

Her new Christmas wish: Gunner accepts and loves her for who she really is.





Know More about Red Carpet Series Book 1: Hollywood Ever After (Paperback Giveaway)


She wasn’t meant for movie stars, Hollywood, or happy endings.
And then she met him.

Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not in Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises. Her plans for rest and relaxation are forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two… And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair? Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?




About the author:

Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, Hollywood, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books include a little of each. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Giveaway Swag Gift:




Rafflecopter Link: (Open to US,UK and Canada Only)


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