8.23.2016

Blog Tour: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall


Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
Publication date: August 30, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.
Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…

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Been Here All Along

(P. 12, Kyle’s POV)

When I get outside, Gideon’s leaning on my car, checking his watch like it holds the secrets of the universe.

I’m about to apologize when he starts talking.

“Do you like pep rallies?” he asks.

“I can’t stand them,” I tell him honestly, shuddering a little at the very thought.

“Awesome,” he says, climbing into the passenger side.

“You have lipstick on your forehead.”

“Damn it,” Gideon says, pulling down the visor and checking himself in the mirror.

“Should be a napkin in the glove compartment,” I say.

He roots around in there while I pull out of the driveway and head in the direction of the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through.

“So what’s up?” he asks.

“Nothing.”

“Why were you running late?”

I shrug.

“No, really, you seem weird,” he says, side-eyeing me. “You’re all twitchy.”

“Um, well, I think I’m going to come out to Ruby.”

“What? Seriously? Why?”

“Well, um . . .” I can’t find my train of thought, and I have no idea why I’m so nervous.

“I mean, like, why now? What changed?”

“It kind of feels like I’m lying to her.”

          About Sandy
I’m a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I’m not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.


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8.17.2016

Waiting On [168]: Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Waiting on Wednesday [Wow] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 
Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser 
Expected Publication: March 28, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis
Violet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.

Caitlin and Finn have been best friends since way back when, but when Finn shows up on Caitlin’s doorstep with the son he’s wanted for kidnapping, demands that she hide them from the authorities, and threatens to reveal a secret that could destroy her own family if she doesn’t, Caitlin faces an impossible choice.

Told through alternating viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin, Almost Missed You is a powerful story of a mother’s love, a husband’s betrayal, connections that maybe should have been missed, secrets that perhaps shouldn’t have been kept, and spaces between what’s meant to be and what might have been.

Why I Can’t Wait
All I can say is this one sounds so good! I like how it is filled with mystery and secrets which in my opinion have all the makings of a great read! This one is at the top of my must reads for next year.

8.16.2016

Limited Special: The Complete Heart Series by Claire Contreras

I’m so happy to spread the word on one of my favorite authors and series!
Claire Contreras’s wonderful Heart series is finally available as a box set. It will ONLY be on sale for .99 for 48 hours, so tell your friends, your family, your teachers, and whoever else you think may want to read this series! 
I highly recommend this series so do yourself a favor and give it a read!

Buy NOW!
iBooks and Kobo are coming soon.

Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Published: May 12, 2015 [paperback]
Publisher: Penguin
Format: via publisher
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, drama, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

My Thoughts
Everything I Never Told You had me from the very start. It all starts with the missing Lydia and that sets off a string of events that shows us how fractured this family really is. We see how her parents met and how each one of them was looking to escape their own families. We then see how in the Lee family each child is seen to their parents and what is expected of them.

The eldest son just wants out and can’t wait to leave his family behind. All he wants is to get into college and impress his father. The youngest daughter is practically invisible to both her parents. It’s Lydia who is the one who has the most pressure upon her. Her father wants her to be popular and excepted by the kids at school, while her mother wants her to be a doctor something she never finished before becoming a wife and mother. So what is Lydia to do? She lies and just wants to please her parents so she lives a lie becoming the popular and stellar student her parents want. So when she isn’t found one morning everything her parents thought she was comes to light and when she is found dead they realize they didn’t know their daughter at all.

While I loved this beautifully written novel what I thought was a suspense novel really wasn’t. I thought it was going to be more of a who done it when in actuality it was a novel of a family on the brink of destruction. The pressures that the parents put on Lydia were so much but were it enough to make her break or was there something more? I enjoyed the unpeeling of layers that this story provided and it showed us why each parent acted the way they did. This is one novel that is a page turner and a treasure of a read.

8.15.2016

Mini Review: Mixtapes & Rollerskates by Tracy Krimmer

Mixtapes & Rollerskates by Tracy Krimmer
Published: September 25, 2015
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Angie was a 90s girl with it all figured out, but after a disastrous marriage, she's not sure she knows how--or where--to find the right guy. A crash while roller skating lands her in the arms of Owen, a sweet and handsome forty-something widower. As the soundtrack of her high school years plays in the background, flirtation leads to what feels like a real connection. Can Angie trust her heart enough to move on and make a new soundtrack to her life?

My Thoughts
This is a VERY short read about 30 pages or so but it's super cute and lots and fun. Angie is getting over a divorce and one night while roller skating she bumps into Owen who is a widower and with that a whole night of talking might just lead into something that both weren’t looking for but might be what they both need. I loved the cute and flirty interaction between both of them and the chemistry was off the charts. This is definitely one quick read that has the feel of a full-fledged novel.

8.11.2016

Book Blitz: Under A Million Stars by Rita Branches



Click Here to enter to win a $15 Amazon GC

Under A Million Stars by Rita Branches
Published: August 8, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?
EXCERPT:
Jacob
These two weeks had been hell for me.
I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off for the eight months I still had left in this hell of a town. My parents didn’t get me, and she was around all the time, suffocating me. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard her voice, and it doubled in speed when she was near me. I wouldn’t be able to stay away, I knew it. She was breaking my heart all over again.
I heard her at night, when she thought everyone was sleeping. I just sat on the floor, resting my head against the wall, and listen to her cry and throw up every other night.
I stayed there like a jerk, as if I didn’t give a crap about her or her feelings, but I cried. I missed her. I wanted to hold her at night and tell her that everything would be alright, but I couldn’t. I promised I would stay away—I couldn’t hurt her, anymore. I pushed my knees to my chest to hold myself together and to keep me from crumbling. Sometimes, I had to place my closed fist against my mouth, so she wouldn’t hear me sob. I wished she would have, though. I wished she would have opened the door and saw me sitting there, caring about her, suffering like she did.
My mom was getting suspicious about me. She knew about her, or at least that something wasn’t right. My face, the permanent dark circles under my eyes, and my lack of appetite wasn’t normal, though. I was okay, before her parents’ accident—I had started to pull myself together.
***
This night was especially bad. She stayed in the bathroom for hours. I had been on the other side, hearing her cry and wishing I could take it all away.
I was starting to get really scared for her. I left before my parents woke up, unable to face them and those disapproving looks, anymore, like I wasn’t doing anything right with my life. They wanted a perfect son and they didn’t have one.
I was in no condition to go to college—I couldn’t even imagine myself being closed behind four walls for another four or five years. I needed something to take my thoughts away—something that would fuel me with adrenaline. They wouldn’t approve of the plans I’d been making. They’d hate them, in fact, but I didn’t care, anymore, I just needed to get away.


Author Bio:
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/




 Under a Million Stars

Playlist

Twentytwofourteen - The Album Leaf
Bring me to life - Evanescence
Untitled - Simple Plan
Fire and Rain - Birdy
Shelter - The XX
Wings - Birdy
Grow Old with Me - Tom Odell
The power of Love - Gabrielle Aplin
Home - Gabrielle Aplin


Interview

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I always loved to read and build up stories in my mind, but I started writing in high school.
What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?
My mother always read to me, since I can remember, I suppose I started reading those children’s books as soon as I was able to. In English (my first language isn’t English, for those of you who don’t know), it was Harry Potter. I couldn’t wait for the next book to be available in Portuguese, so I bought it in English and realized it was easy to understand, so I started reading more and more in English.
What genre of books do you enjoy reading?
Right now, it’s New Adult and Young Adult (which is what I write) but I read almost anything.
What is your favorite book?
It’s difficult to say. I went to my goodreads’ favorite’s bookshelf for this question and I have 67 books there and I try to be selective with the books I put there. The firsts that come to my mind are: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (really depressing but beautiful), The Host by Stephenie Meyer (like the whole concept of that world), A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (it’s Nicholas Sparks, I don’t need to mention it’s depressing). Harry Potter, of course.
But the most well built and that I felt was not understood, was Hunger Games, I think it’s much deeper than people think, I watched the last movie (I read the books long ago) and kept linking the story to what’s happening now in the world, with the refugees, with the world leaders… and I think the public didn’t understand what was under the romance (which is next to nothing and very well done, realistically speaking).
You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?
It’s the same with favorite books, it’s hard to say. I think J. K. Rowling is brilliant, and for the reasons I stated above, Suzanne Collins is as well.
If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?
Have you watch documentaries on the health problems? The lack of hygiene? I’m kidding - but not really. I like to visit historic places and imagine what it would be like to live there in the past, but I can’t say I would like to live in the past - I’m more curious about the future.
When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?
It depends on the day, there are days I can’t write a sentence that sounds right. When I finished Under a Million Stars, I wrote 10k words in one day and it came out perfectly (even though I went to bed with sore eyes).
Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?
Two amazing dogs, both rescued from the street.
What is your "to die for", favorite food/foods to eat?
I love sushi and pasta.
Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?
Write, write, write, the more you write, even if it isn’t a story you wish to publish, writing, like with everything in life needs practice. You’ll get better with each paragraph. Then take a chance and publish it. Don’t get stuck on the idea that no one wants to read your stories.

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