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An All-Time Favorite Halloween-ish YA Novel: THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black
Oct 31st, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

A DO-NOT-MISS YA Novel!

THE COLDEST GIRL INimg_9326 COLDTOWN

by Holly Black

Published by Little Brown

Find it here:

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound | B&N | Audible

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mention blood, and I get woozy. Mention needles, and there is a chance I’ll need to get horizontal before I pass out. But for some glorious reason, I wasn’t bothered one bit from all the blood and gore and even needles mentioned in THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. As a matter of fact, I became completely wrapped up in listening to this audiobook that I decided to take a long afternoon drive to enjoy the fall colors in the country and listen to the novel. After I returned home, I dragged an old CD boom-box in from the garage just to finish listening to it while I cooked dinner, and then folded laundry.

Vampires.

I freakin’ loved a novel about VAMPIRES!

Listening to a novel is most definitely a different experience than reading it. Christine Lakin’s performance took Holly Black’s rich, detailed, vibrant story and brought these characters to life. The key to this book is buying into the fact that vampires are real. (Yes, I know they are not real.) They’re out there and if you’re bitten, then you’ll be infected. Once infected, the only way to not turn into a vampire is isolation for eighty-eight days. There is a near unquenchable thirst for human blood and if the infected give in to that thirst, they’ll turn into vampires.

The story opens with Tana waking up in a bathtub at a farmhouse where she attended a party. Soon, she discovers that almost all of her friends were massacred by bloodthirsty vampires. She finds her ex-boyfriend Aiden still alive, but infected, tied up in a bedroom. Across the room is Gavriel, a vampire in chains. Tana decides to rescue them both.

Tana’s journey with Aiden and Gavriel is absolutely fascinating, dangerous, and unapologetically violent, but not over-the-top scary. THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN will make readers think about the power of TV and the Internet and how some sensationalize and embrace the underworld. Vampires were revered by some in a sick, fascinating, cultish way. YA blogged about them, emulated them, wanted to become them. With this desire, the reality and fantasy were too different worlds and Holly Black did an exceptional job of showing the two.

Tana is a heroine of heroines. She’s imperfect, struggles with her own demons, loves those who may not deserve it and goes to extraordinary lengths to protect the people she cares about. Sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes she doesn’t.

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN was my surprise read of the year. I never expected to love it. I did! I never expected that it would make my “top reads list for 2013.” But it did.

Thank you so much, Holly for writing such an unexpected and gripping vampire novel!! And thank you Christine Lakin for a captivating performance that brought Holly’s characters to life.

View all my reviews

Mega $220 Amazon Gift Card #Giveaway Brought to You by 9 YA Authors!
Oct 10th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

Mega $220 Amazon Gift Card #Giveaway Brought to You by 9 YA Authors!

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Wouldn’t it be wicked to win $220 to spend on books? This October I’ve banded together with nine authors to stir up a giveaway. In the cauldron is a $220 USD e-gift card to spend on Amazon.

Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!

Would you like to find out more about the authors behind this giveaway? Explore their websites…if you dare. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!
Amy Allgyer
Jennifer Bardsley
Jennifer DeGiovani
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Donna Galanti
Shaila Patel
Caroline T. Patti
Meghan Rogers
Liza Wiemer


Fine Print:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Time Period: Begins on 10/10/2016 at 8:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 10/24/2016 at 2:00 PM (Pacific Standard Time (US & Canada)). Eligibility: Open to legal residents of USA and Canada who are Must be 13 years old to enter or older. Winner Selection: The winner of the giveaway will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by 48 hours by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing.

Novel Secret: BJORN’S GIFT by Sandy Brehl & International #Giveaway
Oct 6th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

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BJORN’S GIFT by Sandy Brehl

 

About BJORN’S GIFT:

BJORN’S GIFT is a sequel to Odin’s Promise, which was awarded the 2014 Midwest Book Award for Children’s Fiction. Set in Norway during World War II, Bjorn’s Gift continues the adventures of Mari, a young Norwegian girl who faces growing hardships and dangers in her small village in a western fjord. German occupation troops and local Nazi supporters move closer to her family’s daily life, and her classmate Leif becomes active in the Norwegian Nazi youth party. Mari struggles to live up to her brother Bjorn’s faith in her, as she becomes more involved in risky resistance activities, trusting only her family and a few close friends. Across Norway, oppressive laws are imposed in the months from Fall 1941 to early 1943, with dire local consequences. Difficult decisions force Mari to admit that many things in life are not easily sorted into good or bad, and she begins to wonder if Hitler will ever be defeated and . . . whether the occupation of Norway will ever end.

 

NOVEL SECRETS:

In the earliest pages of the original novel, ODIN’S PROMISE, eleven-year-old Mari became aware that the German occupation/invasion of Norway resulted in countless secrets. Kathleen Spale’s beautiful cover art for BJORN’S GIFT shows Mari using an attic space to put some of those secrets and worries on paper. Revealing more would require a spoiler alert, so instead I’ll share a story of my own about secrets in attic spaces.

I grew up in a three-story Tudor-style home. The staircase to that top level had a landing. There you could turn right and continue up a few steps to my brother’s bedroom, or turn left, facing a door. Behind that door was a storage space, always filled to bursting with the seasonal detritus of a large family. On one wall was a raised half-door we were told never to open or enter.

house-lights006The reason wasn’t as sinister as that sounds. Behind the door was a small crawlspace with a plywood floor and beams only a few feet overhead, stuffed with pink insulation. I vividly remember being warned NOT to go into that space, that fiberglass was dangerous.

For most of the year the heat and prickly sensations that cramped space produced made rule-following easy. But winter weather, with its covered-up clothing, brought an instinct for hibernation. I’d lean against a wall, tug on the string attached to a low-watt bulb, and settle in to read, in private.

No, in secret.

But secrets can be dangerous.

On a weekend after Thanksgiving Mom and Dad took us kids to shop for winter coats. We each had the luxury of choosing our preferred styles, then learned the hard truth: the coats wouldn’t come home with us. Instead Mom had recorded all the details for us to include in our letters to Santa Claus.

One Saturday afternoon between that shopping trip and Christmas Eve I opened that little half-door to read for an hour or two. My tug on the light string showed that my space filled with bags and boxes.

Come on, now, you know what I did.

I looked inside.

Box after box revealed the exact coats we had selected. I stopped then, immediately certain that I didn’t want to see any more.

Christmas morning we found, as usual, that Santa had provided what Mom and Dad couldn’t afford. For the sake of my younger sister I didn’t say anything about my discovery, to her or to my parents. Instead, I scoured the faces of my older brother and sister, certain that they knew the truth, even while we stood in that store. They feigned surprise and excitement. They had written and mailed their own letters to Santa, including coat details. What other secrets were they keeping from me?

The stakes for me were drastically different from Mari’s, and yet I’m convinced that the confusion and distress I felt were similar to her reactions.

Who can you trust? Why so many secrets? What is the truth?

ABOUT SANDY BREHLauthor-brehl

Sandy Brehl grew up in Ohio and has lived in Wisconsin for many years. As a longtime educator. Since retiring a few years ago she reads, writes and conducts literacy workshops for professionals. She’s been writing picture book text, poetry, professional articles, and longer works for years. She credits joining SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) after retiring as a major factor in developing her debut middle grade novel and this trilogy. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys gardening, art, and travel.

LINKS:

Email: sandy@sandybrehl.com

http://www.sandybrehl.com

Twitter: @SandyBrehl and  @PBWorkshop | Facebook | Goodreads

Also blogs about picture books for all ages at

http://UnpackingPictureBookPower.blogspot.com

and shares a blog about middle grade historical books with three other authors:

http://thestoriedpast.org

 

Giveaway – 1 winner will get a  copy of ODIN’S PROMISE & BJORN’S GIFT (International where Book Depository delivers)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour stops:

September 1– Interview with Todd Burleson at http://groggorg.blogspot.com

Launch book giveaway raffle at  

September 7           Review: Stephanie Lowden at golowd

September 11         Guest post Unleashing Readers at http://www.unleashingreaders.com

September 14         Review by Erik at This Kid Reviews Books, https://thiskidreviewsbooks.com

September 19`       Review, Suzanne Warr, at Tales from the Raven: http://suzannewarr.com

September 20        Olivia and Oscar- review of ODIN’S PROMISE at Kid Book Reviewer: http://www.kidbookreviewer.com

September 27         Olivia and Oscar- review of BJORN’S GIFT at Kid Book Reviewer: http://www.kidbookreviewer.com (reminder- giveaway ends Sept. 30.

September 29         Alex Baugh review at Children’s War https://thechildrenswar.blogspot.com

October 3                 Jenni Enzor MMGM with review and interview http://jennienzor.blogspot.com

October 5                 MomReadIt- review https://momreadit.wordpress.com

October 7                 Trisha Perry  Mindjacked   https://momreadit.wordpress.com

October 11               Guest post Rochelle Melander http://writenowcoach.com/blog/

Blog Tour: ILLUSION by Martina Boone – 5 star review & #giveaway
Oct 5th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

illusion-banner

ILLUSION

by Martina Boone

Published by Simon and Schuster

 

ABOUT ILLUSION:illusion

Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

 

ABOUT MARTINA BOONE:martina-boone

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. Her first teacher in the U.S. made fun of her for not pronouncing the “wh” sound right, so she set out to master “all the words”—she’s still working on that! In the meantime she’s writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit.

If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you’ll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

 

Illusion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #3)Illusion by Martina Boone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magic! Swoon-worthy romance between Barrie and Eight. History not found in high school textbooks revealed! Stereotypes SMASHED! This is a series YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS. 🙂
Martina Boone does a phenomenal job bringing The Heirs of Watson Island trilogy to a magical conclusion with a heart pounding end!

Here’s what you need to know…

The romance between Eight and Barrie is SMOKIN’ HOT!

The magic is BREATHTAKING:

And the search for treasure leads to discoveries:

Ghosts are vanquished:

Lives are changed FOREVER & hopefully a…

Get ready for answers to all the questions you have about the yunwi, the Fire Carrier, Obadiah, and the curse. Mythology abounds, this is a series that goes beyond the magic, fantasy, mystery, and romance. Martina’s research into history and folklore from many cultures is done with eye-opening compassion and understanding. Readers learn as Barrie and Eight learn. And oooooh my, those swoon-worthy kisses! Once again, Watson Island comes alive for the reader. You’ll feel the beat of the music, want to dance along with Barrie and Eight, drool over the food, and rock in the Away, Eight’s boat. You’ll cheer for Pru and Seven as they figure out their relationship. Martina’s writing is brilliant. There are so many lines you’ll want to quote. So much wisdom, so much heart. And the ending. Such an ending!

This is a series you’ll want to read from beginning to the very end. I LOVED IT! Don’t miss it!!!!

View all my reviews

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

2 Complete Sets of the Heirs of Watson Island series (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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