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Blog Tour: THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN by Ellen Hopkins 5 star review & #Giveaway
Jan 25th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer

THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWNCover

by Ellen Hopkins

Published January 24, 2017

Margaret K. McElderry Books

(Simon & Schuster)

About the novel:

How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

 

ABOUT ELLEN HOPKINS:Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of CrankBurnedImpulseGlassIdenticalTricksFalloutPerfectTrianglesTilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.

Like most of you here, books are my life. Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of me. Balance is my greatest challenge, as I love my family, friends, animals and home, but also love traveling to meet my readers. Hope I meet many of you soon!

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Tumblr

 

My 5 star review:

The You I've Never KnownThe You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN is filled with emotional punches, and it’s impossible not to be deeply effected by them in the best way. This story is brilliantly woven into a slow revelation of personal as well as sexual identity. Themes of friendship, love, loyalty, teen pregnancy, and family are key elements. Who am I? Who loves me? What does it mean to be loved? What IS love?

Abuse also comes into play, explored and revealed so that the victim comes to realize what she thought of as love was really anger, control, hate.

——Deep breath. This book. So much emotion. So many powerful messages. So important.

Once again, Ellen Hopkins pens characters who feel so real, it take imagination to believe that they don’t really exist, that you’re reading about them in a novel, not a journal of their life. Ariel is at the center of this story and readers will feel her confusion, her attraction, her sense of loyalty, friendships, love, fear. Her father is a despicable person. I have so many emotions wrapped up with him that I may need to amend this review later as I process my emotions.

From Monica to Zelda to Gabe to Hillary, I love each of these secondary characters for different reasons. Each one has a very special role in Ariel’s lives. They change her profoundly. You need to read this novel to understand each one’s impact.

And then there’s Maya’s story—at first separate, but then it converges into Ariel’s. PAINFUL! POWERFUL! DEEPLY MOVING! Sad. But then again, HOPEFUL.

Ellen Hopkins never shirks away from the tough topics. Be prepared to think. I highly, highly recommend this novel and all of her novels.

View all my reviews

 

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

1/23: Such A Novel Idea – Review

1/24: Megnificent Books – Character Closet

1/25: Who R U Blog – Review

1/26: Wandering Bark Books – Playlist

1/27: Reading Is Better With Cupcakes – Review

Week 2:

1/30: The Irish Banana Review – Fast 5

1/31: Actin’ Up With Books – Review

2/1: Red House Books – Top 10

2/2: The Book Return – Review

2/3: Bookiemoki – Q&A

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: LIFE IN A FISHBOWL by Len Vlahos, Novel Secret & #Giveaway
Jan 10th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer

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Buying Links: IndieBound | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

About LIFE IN A FISHBOWL:25131061

Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.

6549389About Len Vlahos:

I dropped out of NYU film school in the mid 80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies. We were a punk-pop four piece — think R.E.M. meets the Ramones — that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records.

The band broke up in 1987 and I followed my other passion, books. I’ve worked in the book industry ever since. And, of course, I write. And I write, And I write, write, write.

My first novel, The Scar Boys — it’s labeled as Young Adult, but I’ve never really liked labels — published January 2014. It is, not surprisingly, a rock and roll coming of age story. No vampires or dystopian future, just a messed up boy and his guitar. (I have nothing against vampires or dystopian futures. I loved The PassageThe Hunger Games, and The Road.)

Scar Girl, the continuation of The Scar Boys’ story.

I live in Connecticut with my super awesome wife Kristen, and our six year old son Charlie, and three and a half year old son, Luke, and I spend my days working at a small book industry non profit.

Find Len on Goodreads | Twitter | Website

********

Listen to a song from Len’s former band: Woofing Cookies

The Secret of How Books Get Named, and Why this Name Means So Much

One of the things people find most surprising about the process of getting published is that the publisher, not the author, chooses the title of the book. Not to say we authors don’t have titles for our manuscripts; we do. But publishers reject those titles as often as they accept them.

The original title for Life in a Fishbowl was House of Stone. It referred to Jackie’s family and the house in which they lived, the setting for most of the book. It was also a play on words, making the point that the love that held the family together was made of stone. I liked it. I really, really liked it.

“Yeah, okay,” my editor said, “but no.”

“Why not?”

“Because no one will buy a book called House of Stone. Especially teens.”

“What do you mean? They buy The Catcher in the Rye. And Catch-22. Hey wait, maybe I should put catch in the title.”

“Sigh.”

“How about “Catching Stones?”

“Groan.”

You get the idea.

While authors know how to write books, it is the folks who work in the publishing house that know how to sell books. You have to trust their expertise when it comes to things like titles, and I do.

After my plea to give House of Stone one final chance fell on deaf ears, my editor sent me several lists of choices. This was one of them:

TERMINAL REALITY

UNSCRIPTED

LIFE OFF FOCUS

THE TERMINATION SHOCK

LIFE FOR SALE

THE MEMORY EATER

REZZING IN THE HOUSE OF STONE

LIFE IN THE FISHBOWL

THE WEAK-KNEED AND THE WOBBLY

THE STONE COLD TRUTH

My eye immediately zeroed in on Life in the Fishbowl, and not just because it was such a good fit for the book. It also had personal meaning to me.

When I was younger, I played guitar in a punk-pop band called Woofing Cookies. (If you like punk and stories about music, see my first book, The Scar Boys. But I digress.) After putting out two 45 RPM singles, Woofing Cookies was signed to record a full-length LP on a small label out of New York City by the name of Midnight Records.

I forget exactly how it happened, but I think the label rejected the working title for our record. Just like publishers, music labels, or at least this music label, have final say over album titles. To come up with something quick, we thought it would be funny if we each chose one word at random, and Horse Gum Tortilla Shoes, was born. (You can still find copies on eBay.)

What was the working title the label rejected? Have you guessed it? Are you ready?

Of course, it was Life in a Fishbowl.

Eerie coincidence? Fate? Or maybe my editor is a creepy stalker who somehow knew this obscure and arcane piece of knowledge about my life. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I was ecstatic and I was on board. And, of course, any lingering fondness for House of Stone as a title evaporated when I saw the cover for the book. (I really, really love the Life in a Fishbowl cover. Thank you designers Jessie Gang and Donna Mark!)

So let this be a lesson to younger writers. Don’t obsess over the title of your book, because honestly, they’re probably just going to change it anyway. And you know what? That’s okay.

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of LIFE IN A FISHBOWL (US/Canada)

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Mega Barnes & Noble Gift Card #Giveaway – $175 to spend on BOOKS!
Nov 29th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

1480364454454Does your elf love books? Well, guess what! Some of my favorite author-friends have banded together to giveaway a $175 e-gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter.

Would you like to find out more about the authors behind this giveaway? Jingle on over to their websites.

Julie Reece

Jennifer Bardsley

Stephanie Scott

Jennifer DiGiovani

Melanie McFarlane

Suzanne VanRooyen

Dorothy Dreyer

Shaila Patel

Melanie McFarlane

Suzanne VanRooyen

Liza Wiemer

Nicole Conway

Jennifer Anne Davis

Jennifer M. Eaton


bn***Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!***

Fine Print:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
1. Promotion Description: The ‘$175 Barnes & Noble Giftcard’ (“Sweepstakes”) begins on 11/28/2016 at 07:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 12/13/2016 at 08:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the “Promotion Period”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Jennifer Bardsley (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.
2. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of who are or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.
3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes 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. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.
4. Prizes:
– 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [(1) $175 Barnes & Noble e Gift Card ] (approximate retail value or “ARV”: $175 USD)
Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

 

BLOG HOP: The Thanks U Give
Nov 22nd, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

the-thanks-u-give

 

I decided to participate in THE THANKS U GIVE because it’s a beautiful way to add goodness into this world. We need it right now. I’m so grateful to the authors and bloggers who have made a tremendous difference in my life, supporting my journey with HELLO?, and my other endeavors, including a new website, I Hope You Forgive Me, where people have the opportunity to share their stories from their teen years. Here’s the video explaining the project:


29906037To show my appreciation, I will be giving away a copy of Hello? and Aftermath, a new novel by Clara Kensie. Find it on Goodreads

About the book:

Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.

My thoughts: From all the reviews I have read, it’s a book that brings hope out of darkness. Given the state of the world right now, this seems so fitting! I have this book on order, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I can’t wait to read it and I’m thrilled to give a copy to some lucky winner!

About Clara Kensie:7350533

Winner of the 2015 RITA Award for Best First Book!

Latest release: AFTERMATH (November 2016, Merit Press/Simon and Schuster), a story of hope, healing, and triumph over tragedy, for fans of Room and The Lovely Bones.

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 dark fiction for young adults. Her debut, the super-romantic thriller RUN TO YOU Book One: DECEPTION SO DEADLY is the winner of the prestigious RITA Award for Best First Book.

The RUN TO YOU series (Book One: DECEPTION SO DEADLY and Book Two: DECEPTION SO DARK) was named to several Best Books lists, including RT Book Reviews Editors’ Pick for Best Books of 2014.

Her latest release is AFTERMATH, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines contemporary about a girl who returns home four years after being kidnapped, only to find her family has fallen apart in her absence. To fix her broken family–and to prove the existence of her captor’s first victim–the traumatized girl must first heal herself.

Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

Find Clara:

Twitter | Website | Instagram | Goodreads

 

INTERNATIONAL (Wherever Book Depository delivers free) 1 copy of HELLO? and 1 copy of AFTERMATH

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Blog Tour: DIE FOR YOU by Amy Fellner Dominy – Review, Novel Secret & #Giveaway
Nov 16th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

die-for-you-banner

 

ABOUT DIE FOR YOU:die-for-you-coverf

Theirs was the perfect love story.

After Emma Lorde’s parents’ divorce forces her to move halfway across the state of Arizona to live with her father, Emma must face her senior year in a new school knowing absolutely no one.

Then she meets Dillon Hobbs and something just clicks.

Dillon introduces Emma to friends she can call her own. He provides a refuge from the chaos of her past and the security of a commitment that he promises will last forever. And because circumstances of her messy life forced Emma to put aside her dream of pursuing archaeology, Dillon creates a blueprint for a future together.
He saves her, over and over, by loving her more than she thought anyone ever would.

But just when everything seems picture-perfect, Emma is offered an opportunity that will upend the future they’ve planned. Uncertainty grows, and fear spirals into something darker.

Now Dillon is the one who needs saving.

But how much do you sacrifice for the one you love? What if saving Dillon means losing herself?

LINKS: Amazon | B&N 

About Amy Fellner Dominyafd

Amy Fellner Dominy is a former advertising copywriter, MFA playwright and hula-hoop champion. Her novels for teens and tweens include Die For You (11/8/16); A Matter of Heart, Audition & Subtraction; and OyMG, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book.  Amy’s first picture book, Cookiesaurus Rex, will be published by Disney, Fall 2017. Amy lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, various pets and two kids who occasionally stop by for free meals.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Die for YouDie for You by Amy Fellner Dominy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Profound, painful, powerful. DIE FOR YOU is hard to put down.

Readers will get sucked into the lives of Dylan and Emma and watch what appears to be a beautiful relationship spiral out of control. Amy Fellner Dominy creates a story that could be going on at any high school. Yes, with different circumstances, but we’ve seen the headlines—teens so wrapped up in each other that one or both would be willing to die to keep the other or to make sure they stay together. Forever. In death. Not all relationships that are unhealthy take it that far, but here are some chilling statistics: One in three young people will be in an unsafe or unhealthy relationship. WOW!

Though this is a gut-wrenching, important topic, the story is gripping. The way Amy integrated Emma’s family history and Dylan’s family history brought an eye-opening understanding to the intensity of the relationship. Another very cool aspect was Emma’s love for archeology, which plays a central theme in the novel. I loved the story created around Pompeii.

Friendship is also explored. How loyal should a friend be? What constitutes disloyalty? And then there is family betrayal as well as loyalty to one’s family. What lines should or shouldn’t be crossed?

Without a doubt, DIE FOR YOU is the type of novel that will take you on a journey of reflection, and for some a mirror to look into and hopefully recognize before things get too out of hand. This kind of ugly love is not love at all. It needs to be revealed. It needs to be understood.

Brava, Amy! I highly recommend this novel!

Novel Secret by Amy Fellner Dominy

This book started with an innocent question: “How did you and your husband end up together?”

I asked a friend that question about twenty years ago. I’ve always been a romantic and there’s nothing I love as much as a good love story. But what I got instead was a reply that sent shivers up my spine. She told me her husband had said that if she ever left him, he’d kill himself.

And she believed him.

So she married him.

I never forgot that over the years. How could a smart, talented, beautiful woman let herself be manipulated that way? I would never fall for that kind of emotional blackmail…or would I?

What if I loved someone and what if I worried for his life? What if he convinced me his need was love? What if I thought it came down to his life or mine?

What would I be willing to sacrifice?

What should I be willing to sacrifice?

I always say it was the search for answers that led me to write Die for You. But really, it began with a question.

Thanks so much for hosting me!

Amy

GIVEAWAY

(3 copies of DIE FOR YOU – USA only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Blog Tour: DIABOLIC by S.J. KINCAID, 5 Star Review, Novel Secret & #Giveaway
Nov 2nd, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

diabolic-banner

 

ABOUT THE DIABOLIC:diabolic-cover

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

 

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

Review:

The DiabolicThe Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This NOVEL! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! My acrostic poem below. :)

GAH! I loved it. It’s definitely one of my top reads of 2016! Thank you so much to the publisher for providing an ARC

THE DIABOLIC.
Humans, humanoids and
Excesses.

Dive in!
It’ll hold your
Attention,
Blow you away with fascinating characters and
Open up a universe filled with betrayal, murder,
Love, danger, humanity and
Inhumanity.
Cheers, S.J. Kincaid!

 

NOVEL SECRET by S.J. Kincaid

Note from Liza: I LOVE THIS! Yes, you know I read The Diabolic, so I totally get it! I wouldn’t want to imagine this male main character any other way! Read on…

A SECRET OF THE DIABOLIC:

My male main character went through several iterations. In the very first, seen-only-by-me draft, he was unquestionably a bad dude. A bad dude who quite enjoyed the main character, but he did bad stuff. He manipulated, he engineered an innocent person’s death without blinking, and there is a great crime in the book which he originally did.

But I never liked that. Never. And I wanted this to be a full stand-alone story arc and I couldn’t really end it on the note I was ending it on. I knew the ending I really wanted to write, so I decided to scale back the bad dude part, and maybe make him more of a manipulative, ambiguous product of his upbringing. That’s what I did originally, and even then, I scaled it back a bit more after my first reader (my sister) noted that a particular part seemed a bit sociopathic.

Then after the book was acquired, a few other things the character did were questioned as particularly douchey and wrong. I balked at first at the idea of removing these, because I knew as soon as I did, I had to reconceived of this character on a rather fundamental level. it meant seeing him through a new lens in my own mind, and then incorporating that in the text.

But I did it, and I’m really glad I did, because it gave me a new vision of the character that I feel better about… And surprisingly, some people still pick up on a few of those undertones I thought I’d removed.

You will have to read it to see who I am talking about.

(Okay, it’s Tyrus).

S.J. Kincaid

S.J. Kincaid

ABOUT S.J. KINCAID:

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

Giveaway (3 finished copies – US Only)

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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

bjorns-gift-cover-medium

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

Blog Tour: THE LOST AND THE FOUND by Cat Clark – Novel Secret & #Giveaway
Sep 15th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

Blog Tour: THE LOST AND THE FOUNDthe-lost-and-the-found-low-res

by Cat Clark

Novel Secret & #Giveaway

ABOUT THE LOST AND THE FOUND:

LOST.

When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.

FOUND.

Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

ABOUT CAT CLARKE:cat-clarke

Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.

Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter 

NOVEL SECRETS:

The Hungry Writer – by Cat Clarke

Food often works its way into my stories (often when I make the critical error of writing while hungry!) but in The Lost and the Found a particular type of food has an important role. One of my characters is a particularly lovely Frenchman called Michel, who is a sort of step-father to the main character, Faith. Michel is a veterinarian, but on the weekends he likes to make macarons and sell them at the local market. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying one of these delicious morsels, a macaron is a tiny hamburger-shaped sweet treat, made from almond meringue and filled with ganache or jam. They are good. Really, really good.

Mmmmmm macarons.

Mmmmmm macarons.

I didn’t plan on making Michel a master macaron-maker (try saying that three times really fast!) but at the time I’d recently discovered a macaron shop in my hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mademoiselle Macaron makes THE best macarons this side of Paris, and I became ever so slightly obsessed with the salted caramel ones. So when I was trying to come up with something fun for Michel and Faith to do together at weekends, macarons popped into my head.

 

For the UK launch party of The Lost and the Found, Mademoiselle Macaron made the most spectacular macaron tower, which the guests proceeded to demolish in a matter of hours. Here’s a picture of me, sampling the macarons just to make sure they were good enough for the guests. I only had one or two. Honest. Please ignore the tiny cheeses on the table in front of the tower. Cheese appears in lots of my novels, but that’s another story for another day.

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of LOST & FOUND (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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