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Join the BEA #YAParty, May 28, 2015 – 8-11 PM, EST – 27 AWESOME PRIZE PACKAGES
May 21st, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

WE’RE BRINGING BEA to YOU!

YOU ARE

CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO ATTEND

THE BEA 

#YAPARTY

WHERE:  Your couch, BEA, the mall, your bed … anywhere you can access Twitter means you’re at the party!

WHEN:  May 28, 2015, 8-11 PM EST

Please tweet during those hours! 

Please tweet during those hours!

But . . . 

If you won’t be around

during that time,

we recommend

scheduling

tweets using TweetDeck.

(ONLY entries during that time will count!)

A HUGE THANK YOU to the publishers, authors, and bloggers who provided the prize packages! See each one below.

(You must be 13 years old or older. This post and the prize packages are accurate as of 5-21-15, but are subject to change until the 11:00 PM EST on May 28, 2015. Notification will be done through Twitter. Prizes are not exchangeable. Winners will be notified by June 15, 2015 or sooner. Shipping will be done through the prize donors. You must contact the donor within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.)

What do you need to do?

 

It’s simple:

You must . . .

1. Follow @irish_banana @ReadingTeen @LizaWiemer  on Twitter.

2. Follow the PUBLISHER or AUTHOR or BLOGGER and tweet (information listed below for each prize)! Subject to change up until the day of the #YAParty! And check in frequently. We may add more prizes up until the event!

3. Just copy and paste the tweets!

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PRIZE #1-5: (USA Only)

BEA STUFFED TO THE BRIM Fierce Reads Tote Bag! You’ll get at least 10 new HOT New Novels and swag!

3 YA Prize Packages

1 MG Prize Package

1 NA/Adult Prize Package

TweetI joined the  and follow the hosts. I hope to win one of 3 YA prize packages. 

 

 Tweet: I joined the  and follow the hosts. I hope to win the MG prize package. 

 

 Tweet: I joined the  and follow the hosts. I hope to win the NA/Adult prize package. 

 

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PRIZE #6-7: (USA Only) 

 

ACOTAR Giveaway

From Bloomsbury:

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES Prize Pack:  

A copy of the finished book, an ACOTAR bookmark, temporary tattoo, and a mask! 

Tweet: I joined the  and follow @BloomsburyKids & the hosts. I hope to win the ACOTAR prize package. 

BOLDLY BOOKISH Prize Package:

Finished copies of the Boldly Bookish books:

HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH by Tiffany Schmidt

THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord

LION HEART by A.C. Gaughen

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller

Plus Boldly Bookish Swag!

 

Tweet: I joined the  and follow @BloomsburyKids & the hosts. I hope to win the BOLDLY BOOKISH prize package. 

 

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 PRIZE #8: (USA Only)

 

From Little Brown @TheNovlNOVLbox

#NovlBox YA Package including awesome swag and . . .

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (signed!)

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Drift And Dagger by Kendall Kulper

Not If I See You First by Eric Linstrom

I Crawl Through It by AS King

Tweet: I joined the  & follow @TheNovl & the hosts. I hope to win a Little Brown mystery YA package! Info: 

 

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PRIZE #9: (INTERNATIONAL)

 

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From Paper Lantern Lit: An e-copy of each title from The Studio OR an editorial review of 50 pages of a manuscript OR an editorial review of 15 pages of a plot outline.

Tweet: I joined the  and follow  & the hosts. I hope to win a 50 page manuscript review. 

Or

I joined the  & follow  & the hosts. Hope to win a 15 page plot outline editorial review. 

Or

I joined the  & follow  & the hosts. Hope to win an e-copy of each title from The Studio. 

 

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PRIZE #10: (USA Only)

 

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From Spencer Hill Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary

SIX (6) NEW TITLES!

Tweet: I joined the  & follow @SHContemp & the hosts. I hope to win a six-book package! 

 

 

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PRIZE #11-12: (USA Only)

 

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From Books of Wonder:

Two lucky winners will win a signed copy of your choice of any book. Value not to exceed $20.00

Tweet: I joined the  & follow @BooksofWonder & the hosts. I hope to win a signed book of my choice! 

 

 

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PRIZE #13-14 (INTERNATIONAL)

 

From the hosts:a_generic_white_10_us_noto_email_us-maintransparent-pixel._V192551059_-2

$10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Tweet: I joined the  & follow the hosts. I hope to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card! 

 

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PRIZE #15: (USA/Canada Only)

 

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From Alloy Entertainment:

FIVE (5) Fabulous Books:

REBEL WING by Tracy Banghart

IMITATION by Heather Hildenbrand

VICIOUS by Sara Shepard (signed copy)

THE HEIRESSES by Sara Shepard (signed copy)

THE BLONDE by Anna Godbersen (signed copy)

 

Tweet: I joined the  & follow @alloyent & the hosts. I hope to win 5 fabulous novels! 

 

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PRIZE #16 (USA Only)

 

From author Martina Boone:IMG_6745

COMPULSION Prize Package: Compulsion for Reading T-shirt, signed hardcover, silver plated key necklace, & Compulsion & Persuasion trinket bookmarks 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @MartinaABoone & the hosts to win a COMPULSION prize package! http://www.whorublog.com

 

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 PRIZE #17 (USA Only)

 

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From author M.G. Buehrlen:

A signed copy of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE, a “Talk Nerdy to Me” sticker, bookmark, and a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses.

 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @mgbuehrlen & the hosts to win the #AlexWayfare prize packhttp://www.whorublog.com

 

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PRIZE #18 (USA Only)

 

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From Fiction Fare Bloggers Jaime & Erin Arkin: IMG_5048

A set of The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo with signed bookplates & lots of awesome swag, including a HUNGER GAMES T-shirt.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @fictionfare & the hosts to win signed Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Series & swag! 

 

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PRIZE #19 (USA/Canada Only)

 

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From Macmillan: 

Graphic Novel Prize Package:

THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

LAST MAN 1 & 2 by Bastien VivèsMichaël SanlavilleBalak

EXQUISITE CORPSE by Penelope Bageu

THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud

PRINCESS DECOMPOSIA AND COUNT SPATULA by Andi Watson

 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @MacKidsBooks & the hosts to win a Graphic Novel Prize Package & swag! 

 

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PRIZE #20 (USA Only)

 

Bracelet

From Swoony Boys Podcast Bloggers Meg Caristi & Kassiah Faul: 

Custom designed bracelet with book charms – covers your choice!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SwoonyBoys & the hosts to win a custom book bracelet.  

 

 

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PRIZE #21-22 (USA Only)

 

From SimonTeen: IMG_3366

Mega prize package – 8 new YA titles and awesome swag!

  • A PulseIt tote bag

  • Zeroesstainless steel tumbler

  • The following galleys:

o   Carolyn Lee Adams, Ruthless

o   Erin Bow, The Scorpion Rules

o   Ellen Hopkins, Traffick

o   Shaun David Hutchinson (editor), Violent Ends

o   Daniel Krauss, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch

o   Heather W. Petty, Lock & Mori

o   Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti, Zeroes

o   Suzanne Young, Hotel Ruby

 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SimonTeen & the hosts to win 8 new YA titles & swag! 

Simon Teen Prize Pack #2IMG_4102

Jenny Han Novels:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (hardback)

P.S. I Still Love You  (hardback)

Paperback box set of Jenny’s Summer trilogy

“To All the Boys” spiral notebook

 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SimonTeen & the hosts to win the Jenny Han prize package! 

 

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PRIZE #23 (USA & Canada Only)

 

Prizes5

From author Gayle Rosengren:

A signed copy of WHAT THE MOON SAID; a Tee shirt; a bookmark; a refrigerator magnet; and a key chain or luggage tag; PLUS a signed advanced reader copy of COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET.

 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @GayleRosengren & the hosts to win her fabulous MG prize package.

 

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PRIZE #24-25 (USA & Canada Only)

 

From PenguinRandomHouse:

2 mystery prize packages including some of the hottest YA titles!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @PenguinTeen & the hosts to win 1 of 2 YA novel packages.  

 

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PRIZE #26 (USA Only)

 

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From author Liza Wiemer:

22663633-1Signed ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Signed Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen and “Unlock your hear and the rest is easy necklace.”

Signed ARC of Hello? by Liza Wiemer and swag!

 

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @LizaWiemer & the hosts to win signed copies of ACOTAR, Saint Anything, & Hello?.  

 

PRIZE #27 (USA Only)

From YA Books Central:

Rare Divergent swag and 3 new YA novels! Value: $75

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @YABookCentral & the hosts to win rare Divergent swag & 3 new YA novels.  

Blog Tour: JOYRIDE by Anna Banks, Review, Q & A & Giveaway!
May 13th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

Joyride BlogTourBanner

 Buy it here:

IndieBoundAmazon | B&N | Book Depository 22718685

My review:

JoyrideJoyride by Anna Banks

Cover: Love it. Pickup trucks are driven by a lot of people in this novel. Nighttime scene is perfect, since MCs are night owls.

Deeply moving, revealing, touching, painful, romantic, and heartfelt. I highly recommend this novel for all YA contemporary fans.

Even though I personally don’t know of anyone who has experienced a family member who has been deported for being in this country illegally, Anna Banks brought this issue and these characters to life! I fell in love with Carly and Arden. Carly has such incredible strength and fortitude. Arden becomes a better person because of this beautiful Latina. Family, friendship, love, betrayal, racism, suicide, depression are some of the themes of this novel.

What I love about this novel:
1. Carly is a really strong person, and she stands up for others. She carries a burden that no teen should ever have—supporting her family. She’s had to grow up way too fast, and I love that Arden brings out that “fun” part of her.
2. Anna Banks shows racism for exactly what it is – UGLY, disgusting, filthy!
3. The fun, practical jokes!
4. Carly’s relationship with her older brother. It’s complicated, but it makes Carly grow as a person and forces her to gain her independence.
5. Arden – G-d bless that boy! He sticks up for Carly when most would bury themselves in a hole because they wouldn’t defy a parent.
6. The portrayal of Arden’s parents and the fact that he found a way not to sink with them!
7. What a sweet romance between Arden and Carly!
8. Arden’s uncle! What a fascinating character!!!
9. Possibly one of the best kisses in a novel! Swoon!

I found JOYRIDE deeply moving, heartbreaking, inspiring, and swoon-worthy! Add this to your to-read list!

Thank you so much to the publisher for the review copy.

View all my reviews

 

Author Links/Info:AUTHOR PIC1

Q: Living in Wisconsin, a vastly different environment from where JOYRIDE’s Florida setting, illegal  immigration issues are rarely discussed in the local news. What is the biggest misconception about illegal immigrants you hear and what would you like people to understand?

A: In this area, the biggest complaint is that Mexican immigrants are “stealing” all of the jobs—because they’re willing to work for less money than most people to do the same job. I hate this logic. The thing is, Mexican immigrants are the hardest working people I know, and most employers know this too. It’s just natural to want to hire the best employee you can find—no reason to bring race into it at all.

Q: In JOYRIDE, Carly and her brother Julio work nearly around the clock to pay to illegally bring their parents and their twin siblings back to the US for a whopping $60,000 with no guarantee that they’ll arrive safely!!! What kind of research did you do to find out about the illegal operations?

A: From the time I started waitressing as a teen, I worked with some undocumented immigrants, and they told me their stories. Many left families behind to come here and provide a better life for them back home. Some brought their families with them—a dangerous risk to be sure. They would pay people who they called coyotes to get them across the border. Sometimes the coyotes would only get them as far as the desert, and they had to walk for days in those conditions with the little food and water they could bring with them. They were devastatingly unprepared for their journey.

 Unfortunately, their stories are just a few of the many which are just a Google search away. Responsible journalism paints a truly horrific picture of what these people go through to improve their circumstances—it’s heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time.

Q: Arden’s father, the town sheriff is a raving bigot and racist jerk. Arden not only sticks up for Carly, but defies his father. What do you think is the most important lesson teens can take away from this, especially since going against their parents can be so hard!

A: In general, I don’t advise teens to go against their parents. But if we’re being honest here, teens know the difference between right and wrong. It’s as simple as that. I didn’t write JOYRIDE to be a teachy preachy book. What I want to get across is that you HAVE to find your own identity, separate from your parents, and I think the teen years are the beginning of that process.

Q: Arden finds not only a partner in mischief with Carly, but a true and loving friend. Still, both Arden and Carly have issues that cut them to the soul. What qualities did they possess for each other that helped to heal their internal wounds?

A: For Arden, Carly offers stability and consistency and unmoving strength. For Carly, Arden offers a sense of humor, and relief from how overwhelming life can be.

Q: What was your favorite scene to write and why?

A: The poopy purse scene! Mainly because I’ve done it before and it’s freaking hilarious in real life and, I hope, just as entertaining in the book.

Q: In JOYRIDE, Arden and Carly pull some pranks. They were all in fun. When does fun cross the line and become a problem?

A: It crosses the line when someone could get hurt, or if someone feels bullied. For instance, scaring old people is not recommended.

Q: You address the mental illness of schizophrenia in Joyride. The illness has painful consequence to Arden and his family. Share one or two things that you want readers to know about this illness.

 A: I think I want to share something about mental illness in general:

  • It’s not your fault. Don’t feel guilty if you suffer from a mental illness, and don’t give anyone the power to make you feel ashamed about it.
  • For those who don’t have a mental illness, don’t assume you can look it up on Wikipedia and understand what a person with the illness goes through. You can’t.
  • If you’re suffering from a mental illness, speak up. There is support for you out there. Reach out, grab it, and don’t let go. You deserve happiness just like everyone else.

 

BONUS ROUND:

 

Tea, coffee, milk, or hot chocolate? Yes.

Onion rings, french fries, or sweet potato fries? Yes.

Romance, comedy, horror, suspense thriller, documentary, or action film? Romantic documentary.

Snakes, rats, spiders, or bats? Which one would make you squeal/squirm/freak out the most? Snakes scare the bejesus out of me. There. I said it.

Ski vacation in Aspen, Caribbean beach vacation, shopping excursion to Paris, or safari in Africa? I would be deadly in skis, I already live near one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and my huge meaty butt would be entirely too appetizing for a lion to resist—so shopping in Paris seems like the logical choice. 

GIVEAWAY (US/CANADA only)

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Blog Tour: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger, Review and Giveaway! (US/Canada)
May 11th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

5to1-Holly-Bodger-Blog-Tour

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Published by Random House Children’s Books

ABOUT 5 TO 15 to 1 High Resolution

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable–and caged. Kiran’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, each thwarts the other until they slowly realize that they might want the same thing.

 

MY REVIEW:

5 to 15 to 1 by Holly Bodger

Cover: Beautiful. One of the prettiest I’ve seen!

Chapters alternate between narration and free verse poetry. I love that!

Sexism, politics, marriage, choices, freedom, futuristic societal rules, and defiance are all themes in this short novel that takes place in a land called Koyanagar. This novel highlights gender selection (with the use of abortions) for the sake of following a law that is first about reducing the population, forcing everyone to only have one child. Boys bring honor, so they choose only boys. (Mostly.) But then . . . it switches. It becomes about the girls. Boys are in excess, 5 to 1.  They become a tool to impregnate their wives and give them more girls. Marriage becomes a selection.

Sudasa, meaning obedient, is a girl who much choose a boy to marry through a series of tests that will decide who will be her husband. In a land where there are too many boys, because they were highly valued over girls for centuries, it’s now the girls who are the most valued and cherished. The boys who lose in the testing, the ones not chosen for marriage, will most certainly find an early end, especially those who are sent to the wall that keeps the land closed off from the rest of the world.

As Sudasa greets the five boys testing to become her husband, she discovers things that make her very unhappy. She is faced with some very difficult choices. The test itself forces her to grow up. Forces her to puzzle through her life, and decide her fate. She listens to her sister, her best friend, her family members. She must weigh all of it out.

Through the tests, boys are eliminated. Some because they are lame, some because they’re not tough enough. There’s physical and mental tests that help to weed and whittle the field down.

Overall, this is a novel that will make you think. It’s a book that will have you question societal rules and what you might do for personal freedom. It shows that NOTHING IS EVER FAIR, even when people say it’s fair. It’s just a word. And because life isn’t fair, you need to choose your own path, your own freedom, even if it could lead to your death. At least, it’s your choice. You won’t be a slave to unfair societal laws.

Translate this to the world today, and we have China, with their limits on population growth. There is ISIS and murder for the sake of their religion and beliefs. And here, in the magnificent USA, we still have racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, poverty etc. So, even in the land of the free, if you can think outside the box, this novel will make you think about our own country’s challenges and difficulties and how lucky we are to have the opportunity to reject the bad and choose a life we want, hopefully with kindness, compassion. We also have the right to change our own lives, for better or for worse. It’s still a choice.

An engaging, fascinating, fast read! It will make you think, question, and appreciate freedom!

Thank you so much to Random House for providing the NetGalley ARC for review.

View all my reviews

 

ABOUT HOLLY BODGER

Author Holly Bodger

Author Holly Bodger

 

Connect with Holly here: Goodreads | Twitter

HOLLY BODGER has a BA in English Literature and has spent her entire career in publishing. She is an active member of RWA and is a 2013 Golden Heart finalist in the Young Adult category. She lives in Ottawa, Canada.

Giveaway (US/Canada)

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THE FEARLESS BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

REVIEW TOUR & GIVEAWAY:

Week 1:

5/4 – Addicted 2 Novels

5/5 – YA Bibliophile

5/6 – Good Books & Good Wine

5/7 – Fiction Fare

5/8 – The Quiet Concert

 

Week 2:

5/11 – WhoRUBlog

5/12 – The Book Cellar

5/13 – Swoony Boys Podcast

5/14 – Resch Reads & Reviews

5/15 – Chapter by Chapter

 

POSTING TOUR:

5/4 – Bookiemoji – Guest Post

5/5 – The Book Swarm – Character Dossier

5/6 – Alice Marvels – Q&A

5/7 – Two Chicks on Books – GP

5/8 – Reading W/ABC – Q&A

 

Week 2:

5/11 – Pivot Book Reviews – GP

5/12 – The Irish Banana Review – Author and Cover Designer Interview

5/13 – No BS Book Reviews – Q&A

5/14 – My Friends Are Fiction – GP

5/15 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Q&A

Flashback Friday: SOME GIRLS ARE by Courtney Summers
May 8th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

This is a meme from Swoony Boys Podcast & Fiction Fare!

From Goodreads:

Some Girls Are

Buy here: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible

Connect with Courtney: Twitter

by Courtney Summers (Goodreads Author)

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around.  Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be(less)

Paperback, 246 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin
original title
Some Girls Are
ISBN
0312573804 (ISBN13: 9780312573805)
edition language
English
literary awards

My review:

Some Girls AreSome Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Some Girls Are is a YA novel you will not forget quickly. The characters stay with you, raw, painful, edgy – the ultimate in girls who bully, and unfortunately totally plausible in today’s society. It’s hard to like the characters who booze it up, down pills, are vicious to the ultimate of bullying just for the sake of being mean, horrid people – POWER over others and using this power to humiliate and hurt. Rumors, lies – those things matter – not the truth. Regina, the MC, goes from being a bully to being bullied by her former best friends. The mentality from all those she tortured is, for the most part, you get what you deserve. A few struggle because they relish in Regina’s downfall, but because they have hearts they also feel sorry for the pain she is going through. Michael is one of these individuals. He is suffering through his own pain because of his mother’s death. His mother’s fine character is an inspiration and he ultimately gives Regina a chance because he knows his mother would have done so. Regina makes some changes in her life, which redeem her character. I like the fact that she still has a long way to go – more work to do – before she becomes a “likable and trustworthy” person. She is on her way.
I highly recommend this YA novel.

View all my reviews

Get ready for Summer: Mary Kay Andrews Massive Giveaway! & review of SAVE THE DATE!
May 7th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

MKAPrizePack

 

Mary Kay Andrews has another perfect summer beach read coming out soon!

Look for BEACH TOWN on May 19th!23245594

In the meantime, catch up with these great reads:

SAVE THE DATE and SUMMER RENTAL

 

Here’s a list of what all will be in the fabulous goody bag:

  • Copy of SAVE THE DATE in trade paperback

  • Copy of SUMMER RENTAL in mass market paperback

  • Two different Mary Kay Andrews bookmarks

  • Set of 3 SAVE THE DATE recipe cards

  • SAVE THE DATE magnet

  • MKA Summer Rental sticker

  • BEACH TOWN lip balm with SPF 15

About Mary Kay Andrews:mka-author

From her website:

Mary Kay Andrews is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Fixer UpperSavannah Breeze and Blue Christmas, as well as Deep Dish,Hissy FitLittle Bitty Lies and Savannah Blues.She also wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Her mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Awards.A native of St. Petersburg, Florida (and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), Trocheck earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1976 (Go Dawgs!). She started her professional journalism career in Savannah, Georgia, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis ofMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. She left journalism after a ten-year stint as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.She is a frequent lecturer and writing teacher at workshops including Emory University, The University of Georgia’s Harriette Austin Writer’s Workshop, the Tennessee Mountain Writer’s Workshop, and the Antioch Writer’s Workshop.As a lifelong “junker” the author claims to know the location of every promising thrift store, flea market and junkpile in the southeastern United States, plus many parts of Ohio.Married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown children and a proud grandmother. After a brief hiatus in Raleigh, NC, she and her husband moved back to their old neighborhood in Atlanta, where they live in a restored 1926 Craftsman bungalow. She divides her time between Atlanta and her restored beach cottage on Tybee Island, GA.The New York Timesbestselling author is back with another page-turning beach read about a woman whose life is turned upside down when she discovers her husband cheating on her….

Find Mary Kay Andrews here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

GIVEAWAY (US ONLY!)

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MY REVIEW of SAVE THE DATE!

Save the Date was pure delight. If you love weddings and novels that revolve around them, then this is THE novel for you. Savannah florist Cara Kryzik is struggling to keep her floral shop afloat and pay back her father the money she borrowed to help her business. Life hasn’t been easy. Her husband cheated on her, she faces some extremely demanding brides and mothers of the bride, and even a step-mom that will make you want to rip your hair out.

As Cara struggles with her business, she experiences many challenges, including a competitive florist who is out for revenge when he loses a big wedding and Jack, a good looking, dog-nabbing guy who keeps bumping into Cara at weddings. Their chemistry is palatable and delicious. But they have plenty of challenges. One of the things I love about Jack is his profession. He remodels and renovates old buildings, and I love how Mary Kay integrated this into the novel.

Save the Date is filled with plenty of Southern charm. I had no problem imagining the lovely estates and the area where Cara’s shop is set. The description of her garden was easy to see in my mind, so much so that I could almost smell the flowers. Without a doubt, readers will cheer for and relish in the relationship between Jack and Cara. There are lots of fantastic secondary characters, many are brides, grooms, and others connected to wedding parties. Some are easy to deal with, others are nightmares, including Cullen Kane, Cara’s biggest competitor. It takes a special breed to deal with the kind of pressure that comes with putting together a wedding that makes all parties happy.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention Cara’s dog Poppy, a Goldendoodle, and Jack’s dog, Shaz, who also is a Goldendoodle. The fact that they both have the same time of dog leads to some pretty funny moments.

Definitely save some time to read Save the Date. It’s the next best thing to attending a wedding for someone you love. :D It’s a satisfying, enjoyable, quick read with likable characters!

Thank you so much St. Martin’s Press for the ARC copy for review.

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA Series by Kathryn Lasky, Q & A & MASSIVE GIVEAWAY!
May 6th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

alldaughtersCelebrate the fourth

and final book in the

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA Series!

Plus a MASSIVE GIVEAWAY of all 4 books! (The Crossing is an ebook.)

by Kathryn Lasky

Publisher: Scholastic

About the series:

The Crossing - Fourth novel in the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA Series!

The Crossing – Fourth novel in the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA Series!

Three sisters bound by something more powerful than blood—a secret as deep as the ocean.

Once a maid, Hannah is now engaged to a talented painter. But although both were born mer, Stannish has severed ties to the sea and insists that Hannah do the same. Torn between love and the Laws of Salt, Hannah must make a choice that can only lead to heartbreak. 

Lucy grew up longing to swim, but her mother believed that girls belonged in the drawing room, not the ocean, and took drastic measures to keep Lucy’s identity a secret. Now it’s up to Lucy’s sisters to save her, before she succumbs to landsickness . . . or the executioner’s noose. 

After a lonely childhood, May suddenly found everything she’d ever wanted. But now with Hannah pulling away and Lucy sentenced to die, May’s world is falling apart. Is she destined to lose her sisters all over again?  

This conclusion is as beautiful and dangerous as the sea itself. Fans of Downton Abbey will delight in the Edwardian splendor, and all readers will be swept away by a tide of magic and romance.

Goodreads

To learn more about Kathryn Lasky:

Website | Twitter |Facebook

 

ESCAPE INTO FANTASY: Q & A with Kathryn Lasky

1) Why do you so prefer to write fantasy?

 George Steiner a literary critic once said that, “To Read well is to take great risks, to make vulnerable our identity, our self possession”. This is a quote by George Steiner. He goes on to say that the task of the literary critic is to help us read as total human beings. I feel the same might hold true for writers. To write well often means to take great risks and make vulnerable our identities. Sometimes we must lose our self-possession in order to write as total human beings. We must in short slip out from the comfort of our own skin and inhabit others. It is somewhat ironic that in the past few years to write as a total human being I have had to slip out of my own human skin and into the feathers or pelts of animals for my fantasy series about owls The Guardians of Ga’Hoole and then The Wolves of The Beyond, and the Horses of The Dawn and now Daughters of the Sea, a series about three girls who are not quite human, but part Mer as in mermaid.

 2) Is there any theme that is common to your fantasy books as well as your non-fantasy or historical fiction books?

Absolutely! But I only recently realized this theme in the concluding book of my Daughters of The Sea series, The Crossing and that theme is secret lives—yes, we all have them. Of course in the Daughters of the Sea the three main characters Hannah, May and Lucy are the bearers of the most dramatic and desperate secret of all—their mer-ness. On land they appear completely normal. But once in the sea their legs fuse and they become incredibly powerful. But the character who expresses this the best is Ettie Hawley, a girl who knows the secret of Hannah, May and Lucy. Ettie who is not mer, but a wealthy little girl just eleven years old, says at one point in the book to the three girls. “You have just one secret self. You have no idea how many I have.” When I wrote those two sentences it was a real ‘A-ha’ moment. So that is what I have been writing about all these years!

 3) Why did you set the Daughters of the Sea in the late 19th century?”

I mentioned how powerful these girls became in the sea as opposed to when they were on land. That was part of the attraction—powerful females and the challenge of setting the series in the late 19th century. Women, girls had virtually no power then. It is hard for us in this day and age to imagine how stratified society was in the late 19th century. It wasn’t just an economic divide. There was a gender one as well. Education for women was frowned upon. One had to dress and act a certain way. The late 19th century, particularly in the upper classes, was a time of insufferable repression of women. But in my mind, the world beneath the sea was completely different. It was free, no rigid systems for conduct. It was a kind of utopia, especially when compared to the social dystopia of land.

4) What is the difference between fantasy literature and paranormal?

In my mind the paranormal is associated with supernatural occurrences in the real world—ghosts, levitating bodies, that kind of stuff. Fantasy is generally set in Other Worlds, ‘Elsewheres’ like Oz, Narnia and Wonderland where anything can happen because the laws of nature no longer apply. In my Daughters of the Sea series I feel as it is in a sense a hybrid. It is set very much in the real world of 19th century New England—Boston and Maine, and New York. But that real world comes up against the somewhat but not completely fantastical world of the sea. It is dystopia brushing up against utopia.

5) Do think it’s possible mermaids exist?

No. Not all all. If I did believe in them, I would not have been able to write this series. It wouldn’t have been fantasy. I would have been trying too hard to prove a point and not reveal a world that does not exist.

 6) So how do you go about researching something that simply does not exist –like mermaids?

Well you begin by reading a lot about supposedly real mermaid sightings by –to be kind– total crackpots who have reported seeing mermaids. It seems that the aquatic creature that is frequently reported as being mistaken for a mermaid is a manatee—a kind of swimming hippo. Yes, quite chubby and not exactly like our popular notion of a mermaid. Pretty soon you realize that there is no such evidence in the scientific sense for the existence of mermaids. This leads to the next question why have mermaids persisted in our literature, in our folklore and mythology? So I began by reading all the literature I could to try and discover people’s fascination. What is it that people yearn for that makes them want to believe in mermaids? This might strike some as an odd route to take since mermaids are mythical but by studying myth we begin to understand a lot about human nature and human psychology. By trying to understand this I can begin to build my own fictional characters—their motivations, their longings, their fears.

MEGA GIVEAWAY: (US/CANADA ONLY) All 4 DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA NOVELS (Last novel is an e-book)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Best Tips for Attending #BEA15
May 5th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

beatitle

Tips for BEA (Especially if you’ve never attended before!)

Attending BEA is one of the biggest highlights of my year. I’ve gone as an author to sign my books and as a book loving blogger. Each experience has been fantastic. I love meeting new bloggers and authors, seeing old friends, reconnecting with publicists at the publishers’ booths, and discovering some of the hottest new titles for the upcoming year. But if you’ve never attended BEA before, the experience can be a little intimidating.

Here’s my best advice:

1. Pick up your badge the day before – on Tuesday– so that you’re not waiting in a long line to receive it on Wednesday. Map out ahead of time the authors you really want to meet and what booths you want to go to to get your favorite authors’ books.

2. Get in line early and have fun meeting the people around you. Be patient, especially with book drops. I cringe saying this, but every year people do some pushing and shoving. This is so not necessary!

3. If you’re shy, use this opportunity to break out of your comfort zone. You’re meeting fellow book lovers so you have a lot in common. Be friendly and people will most likely be friendly back. (It’s definitely worked for me. And though most people would say, “Liza, shy??” I can be. Last year, there were several people I wish I had approached to say hello. In line, it’s easier. But walking around and spotting someone? It’s not so easy! I’m going to give it a try this year.) Introduce yourself to people in line. (I can’t say this enough!) If you’re a blogger, make sure you introduce yourself to the publicists. You may ask them for their business card too.

4. Be cognizant of the people waiting behind you. Meeting authors is extremely exciting. Give me an author over an actor any day. They’re my superstars! But remember that lines are long, so be respectful of time. Many authors will allow a quick photo (best to ask) but do it quickly, usually as they’re signing your book is best.

5. SHIPPING BOOKS. I use the shipping at BEA. Make sure to find the shipping area right away, so you’re not looking for it with your arms FULL! Unload your books so that you’re not hauling a ton of books and hurting your arms, shoulders, and back! It’s a drag, literally. Also, get a box, label it, and if you can, find a spot close to the front near the checkout area. That way, it’s easier to catch the attention of someone who can carry it for you when you’re ready to ship. In the end, I always have two boxes. It’s easy to keep them together. I’ve never had anyone take anything from me. When packing up your books, use tote bags to cushion them. That will help during the shipping process!!! It is possible the boxes will get beaten up, especially if they’re really heavy!

6. Okay, this one might open a can of worms. Many people get pretty upset when others hold spots – unless you occupied it and had to go to the bathroom. But collecting books from one place and skipping the line has been known to get a few grumbles. BE AWARE, be respectful.

7. Share your business cards with other bloggers or follow them on Twitter immediately if you want. This will go along way to developing wonderful relationships for years to come.

8.  Every year people get upset they didn’t get a particular ARC. It’s going to happen!!! Expect it!!!

9. If you normally carry a purse, consider a clutch – one that can hold a charger! So much easier!!! (See #10!)

10. Perhaps the MOST VALUABLE ADVICE? It’s nearly impossible to find an electrical outlet at BEA, so make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can tweet #BEA15 and take pictures. I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND purchasing a portable recharging device. They’re worth every penny!!!!

BONUS: Finally, come and see me!!!!! I’ll be signing ARCs of HELLO?, my debut YA novel from Spencer Hill Contemporary on Friday, May 29th in the morning! As soon as I have the time, I’ll announce it. My signing will be in the Midpoint booth.

Do you have other tips or did you post them on your blog? Add your link or thoughts in the comments below!

 

Flashback Friday: STOLEN by Lucy Christopher
Apr 24th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

Flashback Friday is a meme hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare. For more information check out this post!

 

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher

Publisher: 6408862Chicken House Ltd

Pub. Date: May 4, 2009

Buy here: IndieBound |Amazon | Audible | B&N | Book Depository

Connect with Lucy: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

 

From Goodreads: 

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost

My Review:

Stolen: A Letter to My CaptorStolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

I started this YA novel late last night with one of the worst blizzards to hit Milwaukee in a decade. A perfect setting I may add and a complete contrast to the blistering heat described in this masterful novel about a sixteen-year-old girl named Gemma who was kidnapped from a Bangkok airport and taken to the Outback in Australia. This is a bloody brilliant read that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s probably the most vivid novel I have ever read describing the horror and beauty of the characters and landscape. From reading other reviews I realized there were contrasting perspectives. In my opinion, STOLEN is a extraordinary piece of art. True works of art – masterpieces – I believe evoke strong emotions, not indifference. A masterpiece stirs the soul, gets you thinking, attacks the senses. I loved this book in the way I would appreciate a work of a master artist who painted haunting images or a movie like Schindler’s List directed by Steven Spielberg – no comparison here to the Holocaust, only the mastery of an art form.
I hope people will read STOLEN. Read it with the eyes of an artist and appreciate the brilliance in each and every word.

View all my reviews

Release Day Blitz: PLAY ON by Michelle Smith Q & A and Giveaway!
Apr 21st, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

Release Day Blitz: PLAY ONPlay On Cover

by Michelle Smith Q & A and Giveaway!

Buy it here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound 

To learn more, check out:

Goodreads

 

  1. Play On touches on several sensitive topics. What do you hope your readers will take away from reading it?

I hope they come away knowing that illnesses do not define us. That setbacks, mistakes, scars, whatever we’ve done in the past—none of that defines who we are. That yes, you can fall to rock bottom, and you can still thrive after that fall. There’s laughter, and happiness, and hope, and love waiting for you—there’s so much love. And I hope they know that they’re worthy of that love.

It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to reach out. It’s okay to admit that you need help with this crazy life-thing. Because none of us have all the answers—we’re just doing the best we can. And we’re all in it together. J

  1. What scene do you most regret having to cut?

Not really a scene itself, but one of the lines. In the original draft, Austin had an ex-girlfriend that was, in a word, vengeful. One night, Austin told her to leave, and she came back to slash his truck’s tires. After discovering what happened the next morning, his mom said, “Your breakup really brought out the redneck in that girl.” That line always made me giggle.

(There’s no ex-girlfriend in the final version, by the way. She got the cut in my first round of edits.)

  1. On the flip side, what was your favorite scene that got added during edits?

My favorite scene in the entire book was added during edits! It takes place toward the end and involves stars, hand-holding, and Austin and Marisa talking about what’s to come, rather than the past. It’s a sweet moment that makes me grin like an idiot.

  1. Biggest writing quirk?

I have to have something on my feet, whether it’s socks or shoes. Like, I absolutely cannot write with cold feet.

  1. Are you working on any new projects?

I am! I can’t say too much at the moment, but I will say that we haven’t seen the last of Lewis Creek. ;)

 

Play On Promo Teaser

 

About Michelle:Michelle Smith Author Photo

Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Giveaway:

Prize One: Finished copy of Play On
Prize Two: $10 Amazon/bookstore gift card
Prize Three: Bookmarks

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