Thursday, July 24, 2014

Blog Tour (Excerpt and Giveaway): BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer (YA)


by Megan Whitmer
Expected release date: July 29th, 2014
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback, eBook


SUMMARY

When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria—a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends—and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot: that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement.

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren't what they seem.

Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever.

Charlie may be in over her head.



EXCERPT

In BETWEEN, Charlie has an unfortunate encounter with a supposedly mythical creature and learns of the Fellowship, a secret society tasked with making sure humans go on thinking that fairies, bigfoot, unicorns, and every other magical creature don’t exist.
In this scene, Seth shows Charlie an example of how the Fellowship does its job after a young girl has a close encounter with a hodag, a terrifying urban legend from Wisconsin.


Seth leads me to a wall covered in mirrors in various shapes and sizes—ovals, rectangles, hand mirrors—all outlined in metallic frames. A couple Apprentices are standing with their Aegises there, too. One Aegis is standing with her nose so close to the mirror it almost touches, and her Apprentice watches over her shoulder. He nods at me, and I smile.

Seth points to the wall. “These mirrors serve as windows throughout the realms. When there is a problem to be addressed, it’s revealed in the reflection. So,” he says, stepping up to a long, skinny mirror trimmed in bronze, “I pick any mirror I want and wait.”

“It doesn't matter which mirror?” I ask.

“No. The mission is specific to the person who sees it. The mirror makes no difference. You get the mission you're supposed to get.”

I stand to the side, watching.

Seth’s rugged features appear in the glass, his mouth closed, his eyes alert. For a few seconds, nothing happens. Then the edges of the mirror begin to quiver, and ripples dance across his reflection. The collar of his black shirt swells upward. His brown hair melts into his skin; dark eyes morph and blend together. The entire image swirls until a new one appears—the enormous head of a black-haired beast crowned with horns. Black curls of smoke drift from its nose, and I barely make out the tips of fangs slipping over its bottom lip.

I shudder. I've never seen anything like it.

I look from Seth to the reflection and back. “Is that you?”

Seth snorts. “Of course. Doesn't it look like me?”

I have no idea if he’s joking. At this point, if he told me he was the Tooth Fairy, I’d believe it.

“No, Charlie,” he keeps his eyes on the mirror, “it’s not me. That’s a hodag, one of our more problematic creatures. They're pretty large and not all that intelligent, so it’s hard to get them to stay on the down-low.”

I gaze at the hodag’s hideous face. “I've never heard of them.”

“They live in the mortal realm, but there are so few of them they're not spotted very often,” he says. 

“We did a pretty good job of discrediting the only photograph that’s ever been taken of one. Made it look like the guy had constructed the thing himself out of cow and ox parts and some wire. No one believed it after that.”

I hold up my hand, palm facing him. “High five! Way to go, Fellowship!”

He chuckles and half-heartedly slaps my hand. “Anyway, looks like somebody spotted a hodag last night.”

Seth runs his forefinger across the surface of the glass and the image distorts, pulling toward the edges of the mirror and splashing back again. A young girl, six or seven years old, tiptoes across the top of a log, her arms straight out from her sides for balance. The hodag appears at the edge of the frame, moving slowly across the grass. As soon as it appears, I press my hand to the base of my neck. My eyes dart from the hodag to the girl and I hold my breath, waiting for her to see it.
Seth groans and mutters, “Right in front of her.”

She freezes and draws her arms inward, keeping her wide eyes on the monstrous creature. The hodag seems completely oblivious and lumbers on, disappearing beneath a growth of bushes on the other side. The girl quietly slides to the ground, putting the log between herself and the hodag. Even though I know it’s coming, I still jump when she screams. The glass heaves, and Seth’s chocolate eyes peer out from the mirror once more.

It’s only then that I realize how close I am to the mirror now. I bob backward and blink. “That’s it?” I ask. “But what happened? Is she okay?”

He steps away from the mirror. “If there were any more to it, we’d see it. So no one else saw the hodag, and the girl must be fine.”

A couple Aegises pass behind us toward another mirror, and I move out of their way. “As long as by ‘fine,’ you mean ‘terrified and scarred for life,’” I say, and Seth smirks. “We’re not going to go talk to her?”

“No. We stay out of it as much as possible. Sightings by children are the easiest to deal with. Her story will be dismissed as just that—a story made up by a scared kid. But we’ll keep an eye on it.” Seth walks to a small table in the corner scattered with cloth-covered books, spiral-bound notebooks, and an assortment of pencils. He pulls his leafkey from his pocket and taps it with his forefinger, logging the info into PRU. I imagine the tree lighting up with each keystroke, twinkling with information. He slips it back into his pocket and looks at me.

I lean against the table’s edge. “Shouldn't we make sure she’s okay? Let her know there’s nothing to be afraid of?”

Even as I say them, I question the words. There’s plenty to be afraid of. I’m learning that more and more by the minute. Chances are, this girl isn’t the target of a homicidal shapeshifter with an inferiority complex, though, so she might actually have a better shot at the whole “Happily Ever After” thing.

He turns and leans against the table, too, his shoulder touching mine. He crosses his arms and addresses the wooden floor when he speaks. “I know it’s hard for you to see it this way, but what happens to her only concerns us in regard to how it affects the safety of the mystical realm.”

I let that simmer for a moment. It’s probably the coldest sentence I've ever heard him say. She’s not mystical, so she’s not worth the Fellowship’s time? “So humans don't matter at all?”

“Our job is to protect the mystical realm. The more involvement we have with humans, the riskier it is for us. Validating what she saw might make her feel better, but it would also put our world in danger.” 

He pulls a worn pencil from beneath a stack of papers and writes something in one of his notebooks.
I think of all the stories I used to trade on the playground about monsters under beds and boogeymen in closets.

I wonder how many were real.


GIVEAWAY
Must be 13 or older to enter. Open only to U.S. mailing addresses. Giveaway ends Friday, August 8, 2014.
(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held liable for any lost, stolen, damaged, etc. prizes)

There are two prizes: 

BETWEEN Prize Pack #1
  • BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer ARC (signed)
  • SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron (signed) 
  • EVER by Jessa Russo (signed)
  • RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory (signed)
  • TRAGIC TALES OF STRANGE GIRLS ebook by Suzy G
  • THE ART OF FALLING ebook by Jenny Kaczorowski
  • OF SCARS AND STARDUST postcard with download code for eARC by Andee Hannah
BETWEEN Prize Pack #2
  • BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer ARC (signed)
  • DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME by Erica Cameron (signed)
  • DIVIDE by Jessa Russo (signed)
  • RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory (signed)
  • Preorder of BLACKFIN SKY by Kat Ellis
  • ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE by Jamie Grey
BOTH prize packs will also include various swag from authors: Jessa Russo, Dahlia Adler, Tonya Kuper, Lynne Matson, and Kat Ellis.



BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

7/21: Riki @ Miss Riki - Excerpt 
7/22: Brandi @ Bran Writes - Interview 
7/23: Heather @ Adventures in Writerland - Interview 
7/24: Margie @ Bumbles & Fairytales - Excerpt 
7/25: Liza @ Who R U - Review 
7/28: Dannie @ Left to Write - Interview 
7/29: Brooke @ The Cover Contessa - Guest Post
7/30: Michelle @ Because Reading - Interview
7/31: Carly @ Lis Les Livres - Excerpt 
8/1: Deitre @ A Leisure Moment - Review 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Megan Whitmer
Megan Whitmer loves all things Southern, and has a soft spot for football, kissing scenes, and things that sparkle. 
Aside from her personal blog and weekly vlog series, she's also a contributing blogger for YA Misfits and All The Write Notes


She lives in Kentucky with her family. 
Also, she writes books and talks a lot. 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #93: GATES OF THREAD AND STONE by Lori M. Lee (YA)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine. 



This is were we get to 'spotlight' books that we are anxiously waiting to be released! The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night and, quite possibly, to make our shelves look all pretty too :)

What I'm waiting for...


by Lori M. Lee
Expected release date: August 5th, 2014
Published by: Skyscape
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Hardback, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook 


SUMMARY

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: 
keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.



Why I'm waiting on GATES OF THREAD AND STONE... 

This book has me on edge just from these key words:
Labyrinth, magic, "manipulate threads of time"!!!

A.G. Howard says it's "inventive, romantic and gripping"!!! 

The covering is stunning, and I am getting such a good vibe from it!
I cannot wait to read this book :)



SO, what are you waiting for this week?!?!

Monday, July 21, 2014

RUN TO YOU Read-along starts TODAY!!! Let's chat, quote favorite lines and enter to win!!!


Starting today!!! 
Join Harlequin Teen, author Clara Kensie, and a whole bunch of bloggers for a RUN TO YOU read-along!!! 
LIKE Clara Kensie's Facebook page to join in!!!


Here's the schedule:




FIRST SIGHT, Part 1, is FREE on Amazon and 
Barnes & Noble right now!!!
NO excuse not to join in ;) 


There will be lots of chatting, questions and more!
A GIVEAWAY too!!!

*TEN winners will receive a set of RUN TO YOU postcards!!!

*10 winners will receive a set of bookmarks and a necklace with a RUN TO YOU quote!!!

*FIVE winners will get to choose a Harlequin Teen book of their choice!!!

*GRAND PRIZE WINNER - will receive a set of signed RUN TO YOU postcards, a custom necklace, a $25 gift card to Amazon AND the ENTIRE RUN TO YOU series!!!

In order to enter the giveaways, you must participate!!!
The more you comment, the higher your chances of winning :) 


Prefer Twitter? We will also post the discussions on Twitter, and you can participate by using the hashtag#readRunToYouFollow @ClaraKensie and @HarlequinTEEN or save the #readRunToYou hashtag as a search for updates.
The following bloggers are helping with the read-along. They are made of awesome, and so are their blogs. Be sure to visit and subscribe!
Christina at Allodoxophobia
Katie at Mundie Moms
Danny at Kismet 
Erica at The Book Cellar
Lauren at The Young Folks 

I hope to see you all at the RUN TO YOU read-along! 

We’re going to have a blast!


*************************************************






ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Clara Kensie

Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she's swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn't changed one bit.


Today Clara is the author of super-romantic psychic thrillers for young adults. RUN TO YOU, the first serialized novel from HarlequinTEEN, begins February 1 2014 with weekly releases. The sequel, also a three-part serial, begins June 1 2014.

Her favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.




Cover Reveal: PLAY ON by Michelle Smith (YA)


by Michelle Smith
Expected release date: April 2015
Published by: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback, eBook


SUMMARY

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius; she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek - he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa’s pain, it forces him to look beyond the fa├žade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn't everything — maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.


MY THOUGHTS

This definitely sounds like me type of contemporary story to devour in one afternoon...
and the cover is absolutely adorable! I love the theme!

Definitely looking forward to this one next year :)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Michelle Smith

 Michelle Smith writes books for teens (and adults who aren't ashamed of their love for YA). She's a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and is a complete sap. 
She advocates for mental health awareness, and is a strong supporter of The Trevor Project, Love is Louder, and To Write Love on Her Arms.




Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: RUN TO YOU Part 5 - FIFTH TOUCH by Clara Kensie (YA)


The continuation of Harlequin Teen's first serial book releases this month!!!
RUN TO YOU Parts 4, 5, and 6 are finally here!!!
Don't miss out on the conclusion to this epic thriller!!!



by Clara Kensie
Release date: July 14th, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal/Thriller/Romance
Format: eBook
Format read: eARC from publisher


SUMMARY

Part Five in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Tessa’s nightmares feel all too real, and the hope of getting her family back together has never seemed so slim. Although a psychic warns her that leaving town may mean her death, Tessa cannot stay when she uncovers a new lead to her brother and sister. Not even if she must go alone and risk losing Tristan forever.

RUN TO YOU is Tessa and Tristan's saga — two books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Each book is told in three parts: a total of six shattering reads that will stay with you long after the last page. Book One is First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm. Book Two is Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.




MY REVIEW

The queen of epic cliffhangers - that is what Clara Kensie is all about! My heart...

When you are willing to do anything, even sacrifice your own life, for those you love, you'll do it; Tessa is unintentionally the most bravest and selfless teen you will ever meet. After losing so much, including, almost losing her own life, she will go through hell and back to find her brother and sister. Even with unresolved premonitions lying ahead, predicting the worst outcomes, Tessa knows that the right thing to do is to find them before the wrong people do. Even if that means betraying and risking her relationship with Tristan.
Tristan, trying to be Tessa's savior, has disappointed me a bit through this point of the story. He is so adamant about being the one to save Tess and her siblings. I wish he could see that even though he does have a psychic power, he is still a human boy that needs to understand that he can't do it all and he cannot continue to try to dictate to Tessa what she can and can't do, even if it is for her own good. But again, I understand the need to be there for someone and to do what you think is best for those you love.

Part five is just filled with heart-wrenching-edge-of-your-seat moments. I seriously don't know how I survived through any of it...

I don't know how to emphasize enough that the RUN TO YOU serial-series is a must read now!!!


An eARC was sent by the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.








ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Clara Kensie

Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she's swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn't changed one bit.


Today Clara is the author of super-romantic psychic thrillers for young adults. RUN TO YOU, the first serialized novel from HarlequinTEEN, begins February 1 2014 with weekly releases. The sequel, also a three-part serial, begins June 1 2014.

Her favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #92: THE FIRE WISH (The Jinni Wars #1) by Amber Lough (YA)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by  Breaking the Spine. 


This is were we get to 'spotlight' books that we are anxiously waiting to be released! The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night and, quite possibly, to make our shelves look all pretty too :)

What I'm waiting for...


The Jinni Wars #1
by Amber Lough
Expected release date: July 22nd, 2014
Published by: Random House
Genre: Young Adult 
Format: Hardcover, eBook


SUMMARY

A jinni. A princess. 
And the wish that changes everything. . . . 

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. 
Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad — which she’ll do anything to avoid. 
So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. 
With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form — as each other. 

A jinni and a human, trading lives.  

Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered — enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.





Why I'm waiting for THE FIRE WISH...

JINNIs!!! 

I've never read a book with a jinni in it!

(Disney's Aladdin doesn't count, lol!)


What are you waiting for???

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 2014 New Release Giveaway Hop!!!



Welcome to the JULY NEW RELEASE GIVEAWAY HOP!!!
Hosted by Giselle @ Bo-ok Nerd


Here are some new young adult releases that I am looking forward to... 


- THE VANISHING SEASON by Jodi Lynn Anderson
- ON THE FENCE by Kasie West 
- CONVERSION by Katherine Howe
- SINNER (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater
- FOUR (A Divergent Collection) by Veronica Roth
- ONE PAST MIDNIGHT by Jessica Shirvington
- LET'S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid
- SILVER SHADOWS (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead


Which one is your most highly anticipated one???


International GIVEAWAY
- Contest starts July 14th, 2014. Ends July 31st, 2014.
- The Book Depository must be able to deliver to you. 
- Bumbles and Fairy-Tales is not affiliated with any other giveaway participants.
- Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost or damaged prizes.



Now start hopping! Good luck :) 



Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: RIDING THE WAVE (A Pacific Blue Novel) by Lorelie Brown (A)


Pacific Blue Novel #1
by Lorelie Brown
Release date: July 1st, 2014
Published by: Signet (Penguin)
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (New Adult)
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: eARC


SUMMARY

The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... 

With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden.

The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree.

Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer…without getting burned?


MY REVIEW

RIDING THE WAVE is a wonderfully written summer story, with good family drama, a hot romance and a handsome main character.  

Tanner Wright is a pro surfer that has come home to win the World Championship, and also face what he's been running away from for the last 10 years. A family secret so hurtful that the burden of keeping it has caused him a lot of distress and to push away his love ones in fear that he might slip and tell. But his father is gone now, and that might make it easier for him to come home and keep it all together to accomplish his win and then leave again. Hoping that when he does, the secret will die with him and no one will ever have to know. 

Until that secret is threatened to be leaked to the media.

Now Tanner has to do what he can to do what is right for everyone in his life. It helps that Avalon is right by his side...
Avalon has always had a crush on Sage's brother. But being much younger, and never having a steady home life with her mom, she's always been able to blend in with the Wright family, Tanner and Sage's mom, Eileen, becoming her second mom. She would never do anything to jeopardize their relationships - it's the only solid thing she's ever had in her life. Now that she has moved back 'home' after finishing school and her boyfriend breaking-up with her, she is even more determined to embrace how lucky she is to have the Wright family to go back to. 
Until the opportunity to bump up her career is handed to her - she is to follow Tanner for the month until the Championship and capture all the pictures that she can for a magazine editorial portraying his career and, hopefully, his win. 
Can Avalon and Tanner keep their relationship strictly business and family orientated... or can they possibly juggle a carefree relationship as well???

I really enjoyed every single character, good and bad, in this story. Tanner was handsome and full of himself, his attitude was typical guy but he has such a huge caring heart, and I instantly fell for him too. Avalon was sweet and carefree, she knew her flaws and did the best she could without needing anything from anyone - I really adored her. 

However, I felt that there wasn't enough. Their romance felt flat to me. I didn't feel the spark between them - don't get me wrong, there was a physical spark that no one can deny, and that was fun. But I didn't feel that genuine spark of their true need for each other. I wish there was more details, more heart into it... as well as the other plot to the story - the secret. I also wish the author would have gone deeper with the revelation, everyone's reaction didn't give the story the climax I was expecting. Even though everyone is described as being down-to-earth and rational, I still feel like this would have had a bigger impact and that even calm people have a right to overreact and show their feelings. Everyone was constantly holding back or being held back. I would have liked more details, I am a very visual person and always strive on more of everything. 

In the end, I truly enjoyed the story, the beach scene and surf, the amazing characters, and highly recommend it for those looking for a quick summer read. 

This is book one to the Pacific Blue series, and I am really curious to see what book two is all about - AHEAD IN THE HEAT is due to be release January 6th, 2015.  


An eARC was given for an honest review. All opinions are my own.



PACIFIC BLUE series


- ONE LESSON (Pacific Blue #0.5)
- AHEAD IN THE HEAT (Pacific Blue #2)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lorelie Brown

After a semi-nomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she’s settled north of Chicago. Because going from California warmth to northern snow seemed like the proper order of events...

Lorelie has three active sons and a tiny shih-tzu who thinks he’s son number three—not four, he’s too important to be the baby. Writing romance helps her escape a house full of testosterone.

In her immense free time (hah!) Lorelie co-writes contemporary erotic romance under the name Katie Porter. 


 
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