Jan 31, 2016

The New Authors on The Block: Dream Cast for Arrows + Giveaway



Welcome back to the fifth week (and final week of January!) of The New Authors On The Block! Last week we had an 5 little-known about Arrows, this week Melissa put together a dream cast! 


Dream Cast:

I’ve always imagined my book as a movie. I think it would be amazing on screen. When I write, I try to imagine each scene as a scene in a movie. Setting matters more when I do this, including the time of day and weather, especially related to the emotions I am exploring. Characters become real people whose photos are printed and pasted to my bulletin board for each book. A web search helps me find the face in my head, or someone close to it. Lygia Day Peñaflor, fellow debut author of UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD, was sweet enough to cast Arrows for me.


She also tweeted one of my favorite photos: 


Her book releases August 23, 2016.

Karma played by Juliet Doherty




Aaryn played by Graham Phillips


Danny played by Devon Gearhart



About Melissa: 


Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family. Her debut novel ARROWS is being published by Delacorte Press on January 26, 2016. She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson.

Stay Connected with Melissa: 

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Goodreads


About Arrows



Title: Arrows
Author: Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Genre: Mythology, Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 26th 2016
Hardcover, 240 Pages 

Summary:
A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom. People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow. Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind. A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return. This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny–perfect for fans of Katie McGarry’s novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

Buy Arrows: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository / Indie Bound  


What to expect this month: 



Giveaway:


Melissa is giving away a signed Arrows book mark and an Arrows Button! US Only. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is our last post for January! We were thrilled and honored to have worked with Melissa on spreading word about her debut novel Arrows. Make sure to stop by next sunday, we are Featuring These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas & Tarun Shanker! 


Jan 30, 2016

Cover Changes


Lately there have been several covers that have been changed from originals, to something completely new. Recently The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski went through a cover change, and some readers weren't very happy with it. (In my case I actually liked the change) 




I haven't read the series yet, so I'm not sure how closely the covers relate to the actual story lines. I do like the colors! But I know a lot of people seemed unhappy about the change. 




I wasn't happy about this change. Look at the before, the are steamy, colorful and eye catching. The afters are so simple, and though I appreciate each of the characters having their own cover it was disappointing. But here is where it is confusing, Every Last Breathe redo is available in paperback, but the others are kindle copies. The originals for White Hot Kiss and Stone Cold Touch are still available in paperback. 

 

Above are only two of the many covers that have been redone. From asking around changing the covers seems to be a form of promotion and a publishing decision. Which I do get. It makes sense. It's not like the designers are like "I am going to change this cover for fun." But it does suck when this happens because you just want all your books to match and now they don't! 



What are your thoughts on Cover Changes? Do you like them? Dislike them? Which ones have been your favorites or most disliked? Let us know in the comments below! 


Jan 29, 2016

Review: Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud


Title: Pretending to Be Erica
Author: Michelle Painchaud
Publisher: Viking Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 254 Pages
Published July 2015

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

Michelle Painchaud was one of our debut authors that we featured last year, and ever since I heard about Pretending to be Erica, I have been absolutely dying to read it. So when I got a bunch of gift cards to Barnes and Noble for Christmas, naturally I couldn't resist picking this one up.

The entire story intrigues me, because it's super creepy and twisted and I can't believe that someone would actually do what Violet did. As the summary explains, Erica Silverman was abducted and murdered years ago, when she was just a child. She came from a very rich family that was harboring a very, very important painting that every criminal in Vegas was dying to get his hands on. So it just so happens that Violet, years later, is being coaxed into an operation to go undercover and pretend to be the returned Erica Silverman, since her body was never found and it could never be confirmed that she was dead. Her mission? Infiltrate the family and steal the million-dollar painting - while pretending to be Erica. 

This entire story was definitely twisted in the best way. I couldn't believe that Violet's adoptive father was so concerned with pulling off this operation that he spent years training her for this -- since the day he adopted her. She even had surgery to get her bones shaved down until she had the exact same facial features as Erica. She also got her eyelids cut to look like hers, and had her bones surgically broken in the same spots Erica once had. All to make her the most flawless Erica that there could ever be. That part definitely gave me shivers and I couldn't get that out of my head. I felt so bad for her and all that she had to endure to set herself up for the bigget scheme of her life.

I really enjoyed this book. Violet herself was a very smart and witty character, and it was great to watch her try to fit into the roll of Erica and solve the mystery of the code to the safe that she needed to steal the painting. I thought Taylor was a riot too, full of wit and humor, and she was definitely super cunning. James was super adorable and great boyfriend material too, I have to say! 

I found it interesting to see how Violet fell into her new life as Erica. Since she had always been a girl on the run and training for the day she could complete this con, she never had a chance to go to a real high school or have real friends or a real boyfriend. So on top of trying to pull off this operation, she had to also get used to having the normal life of an everyday American teenager as well.

(There are some minor spoilers ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) There were only two things about this book that irked me a little bit and kept me from giving it a five-star rating. The first was that I felt the ending of the book was way too rushed. Everything happened so fast and Violet had a random burst of emotion and then everything went downhill. I just felt really confused and rushed and was a little thrown off with how quickly the climax popped up and went away. That leads me to my second problem - the ending. (Major spoiler ahead!) When Violet ends up in jail and James visits her and plays the guitar and it just ends with her crying. I wanted to know more! I was left with way too many questions - did she get out of jail eventually? What happens between the two of them? What happens with everyone she left behind? Now that Sal is dead, is she going to have a family when she gets out? What now? 

I was just left with a lot of questions. Being left with a few is alright, but that many is too many. If the ending had been wrapped up a little more and not totally and completely rushed, I would have definitely been a more satisfied reader.

However, that doesn't mean that I'm a dissatisfied one! This book overall was super fast-paced and mysterious and entertaining, and I definitely think that anyone looking for a little bit of an entertaining and gripping read should give this book a try.

All in all, Pretending to Be Erica was a riveting read full of horror, mystery, and maybe even a little bit of love. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the ending yet, but I definitely think that everyone interested in a little mystery should give this book a try, because it was super interesting! I'll definitely be reading more work from Michelle Painchaud in the future. :-)











Jan 28, 2016

Review: On The Edge by Allison van Diepen


Title: On The Edge
Author: Allison van Diepen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 304 Pages
Published November 2014

Summary: Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back. But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

This book has been on my TBR for awhile, and when I went to Barnes & Noble with all of my Christmas gift cards recently, I couldn't help but pick up a copy. I've always had some sort of weird fascination with gangs and mafias and all of that secretive stuff, so the idea of a story where the main character starts to fall for a secretive gang leader definitely seemed interesting to me. 

There was a lot that I liked about this book, and a few things that I didn't, but overall I found the book to be very enjoyable. 

I was expecting this story to be about loving someone even though they had a dark past and everything, but that wasn't the case. This book takes you through the everyday lives of people who spend their time surrounded by gangs in bad areas, something that I don't personally have experience with, so it was definitely interesting to see. Maddie Diaz is the classic case of a girl who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and witnessed a horrible act of gang violence. She makes the right decision to tell the police everything she knows, and because of that, the gang that she turned in has placed a huge target on her back. So Maddie's pretty surprised when the leader of a rival gang takes her under his wing and protects her...and then starts to fall with her.

The one thing that I didn't like about this book was the insta-love factor between Maddie and Lobo. I felt that they had just met and then all of a sudden were crazy about each other, and (minor spoilers ahead so skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet), he starts telling her that as soon as everything is over he's going to take all of us money and run away with her to start a new life. And he writes a letter about how much he loves her only a few weeks after really falling for her. I felt that it just progressed a little too fast and that made it seem a bit unrealistic and took a bit away from me as a reader. 

(Major spoiler ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) The part of the book that I was really impressed with was finding out who Lobo was. I actually didn't suspect that he would be Ortiz even in the slightest, and when the whole thing with Dex being calm around him happened and everything, I didn't even pick up on it right away. So when I definitely found it out...I was pretty shocked. Van Diepen definitely has a skill when it comes to plot twists, because I can say with certainty that I hadn't seen that coming. 

I also really just liked Maddie in general. She was a strong character with big dreams and a good heart, and she made the brave decision to give justice to the victim of the gang's crime instead of letting them get away with it for fear of getting hurt. Maddie's bravery definitely made the book worthwhile for me and that's what I personally liked the most.

All in all, On The Edge was an interesting read about gang violence and falling in love and learning to survive and get through the bad things in life that happen to you. I really liked Allison van Diepen's writing style and I tore through this book in about a day so I'd definitely say that it was a good and captivating read. I'd definitely read more of her work in the future!




Jan 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #48: Dreamers Often Lie & The Lost and Found

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Amber's Waiting On:  


Title: Dreamers Often Lie
Author: Jacqueline West 
Genre: Retellings, Contemporary
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Summary: 
Who can you trust when you can't trust yourself? Black Swan meets Romeo and Juliet in this slippery, romantic YA by New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline West - for fans of Holly Black's White Cat, Justine Larbalestier's Liar, and Francesca Zappia's Made You Up. Jaye wakes up from a skiing accident with a fractured skull, a blinding headache, and her grip on reality sliding into delusion. Determined to get back to her starring role in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jaye lies to her sister, her mom, her doctors. She's fine, she says. She's fine. If anyone knew the truth - that hallucinations of Shakespeare and his characters have followed her from her hospital bed to the high school halls - it would all be over. She’s almost managing to pull off the act when Romeo shows up in her anatomy class. And it turns out that he's 100% real. Suddenly Jaye has to choose between lying to everyone else and lying to herself. Troubled by the magnetic new kid, a long-lost friend turned recent love interest, and the darkest parts of her family's past, Jaye’s life tangles with Shakespeare's most famous plays until she can't tell where truth ends and pretending begins. Soon, secret meetings and dizzying first kisses give way to more dangerous things. How much is real, how much is in Jaye's head, and how much does it matter as she flies toward a fate over which she seems to have no control?

Considering it says for fans of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia is mentioned I have to read this book. MYU was one of my favorite books of 2015 (and it still is one of my favorites.) Just read this summary and tell me what there is not to be excited about? 


Jessica's Waiting On:

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Title: The Lost & Found
Author: Katrina Leno
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016

Summary: LOST: Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear. FOUND: They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost. And by the time they finally meet in person, they realize that the things you lose might be things you weren’t meant to have at all, and that you never know what you might find if you just take a chance.
I won a giveaway and recently received an ARC of this book, so I'm definitely excited to get my hands on it and read this interesting little love story, especially about taking chances! I can't wait to see where this story goes. :-)


What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back! 

ARC Review: Almost Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Title: Almost Midnight (The Novella Collection) 
Author: C.C. Hunter
Genre: Paranormal 
Source: Finished Copy sent by St. Martin's Griffin (Prior to Publication date)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016

Summary:
Nestled deep in the woods, Shadow Falls is a secret camp where teens with supernatural powers learn to harness their abilities and live in the normal world. Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang did not believe in vampires...until she became one. Chase Tallman is the newest member of Shadow Falls, but what made him into the sexy, mysterious vampire he is today? And what led him to Della Tsang? And for Miranda Kane, magic has always been something she's struggled with, but when an opportunity to test her powers takes her to Paris, she'll have to prove that she's a witch to be reckoned with and belongs at Shadow Falls.


Turned at Dark (Shadow Falls #.5)


I was always unclear how Della was turned, we knew Chan was involved but not how. Turned at Dark takes you through the first few days of Della's transformation from human to vampire. It was short (28 pages kind of short) and got to the point. We also get to meet Lee, who Della is hung up on all through out the Shadow Falls series. I honestly felt bad for her, because we all know how strict her father was, and they seemed to have a decent enough relationship before all of this happened. I enjoyed this short story, but I felt like it was lacking something. 


Saved at Sunrise (Shadow Falls #4.5) 


I love Steve! I remember bits and pieces of the Shadow Falls series but I think I liked him back then too. Della's dream is to be part of the FRU (The supernatural version of the police/FBI) and when Burnett allows Della on a mission she is ecstatic, only Burnett also stuck Steve (A shapeshifter) on the case as well. Della believes it is to keep an eye on her, and resents to idea. 

Della breaks my heart a little, because she was so in love with Lee and he broke her heart after she was turned into a vampire. But Della is so hung up on him that she spies on him a bit. Now, Lee has a fiancee and looks genuinely happy. But Della is just tormenting herself and won't allow herself the chance to let someone else in. Even Steve. 

Through out the short novella, Della feels herself developing feelings towards Steve and she fights them because of Lee. This novella contains a lot of snark, a few kisses and everything I loved about the Shadow Falls books. I liked the mention of the other characters. Overall I really enjoyed this one. 


Unbreakable (Shadow Falls: After Dark #.5) 


I haven't officially met Chase yet, so reading Unbreakable will be kept in mind when I do. I can't tell you how choked up I got while reading this novella, Chase finally got the girl of his dreams and then he looses her and his family in a plane crash.  I like Hunter's writing, so even though the novella is short it is packed with a mystery, seriousness and a bit of humor. I am looking forward to meeting Chase, and the boy he has become! 



Spellbinder (Shadow Falls Novella) 


I liked this one best so far out of all of them and I think it is more or less because there are more of The Shadow Falls characters in it then the other novels. In this one Miranda is competing to be the high priestess but things keep getting in the way. Perry left her. Other contestants are being murdered. Tabitha has it out for her. Nothing is going her way.  

I loved Miranda is the other books, so getting a novella about her was pretty awesome! This novella was meatier then the others, so a whole let more goes on. Miranda learns something about her life that has to potential to turn everything upside down. I like Hunter's writing. Besides the serious moments there is some fun, and laughs that happen through out. 

Besides Miranda we learn a little bit more about Della and Chase and Steve. As cold hearted as Della tries and attempts to be we know that she isn't. Della is obviously struggling with was Chase has done, and how to deal with it. Overall I liked this novella the best out of them all! 



Fierce (Shadow Falls Novella)


I think Shadow Fall fans naturally hated Fredricka because she was the person who stood between Kylie and Lucas. But this novella gave me a new appreciation for the girl. She tries to be tough, and on the outside she is but on the inside she has her own pain and demons. We learn things about Fredrika that we didn't get to in the previous Shadow Falls books. Her past wasn't easy, but she came out on top of it all.  

I think my only issue with tis novella was Cary, the pervy teacher. Why was their "friendship" allowed in the first place? I just feel like that was something Burnett would have been all over despite the issues that arose between the two. Which brings me to my next point about how much I love Burnett, he reminds me of a kick ass FBI "I am going to bust your teeth in" kind of guy and I just love that. But then he has his sweeter side that has been seen tons of times. 



Overall I liked the whole novella collection and how it is together in one book. Reading it makes me miss Shadow Falls, and now I know I am going to be doing a reread soon!




Jan 26, 2016

Cover Reveal: Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey

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YA Fantasy / Fairytale retelling of The Swan Maiden with a blood feud twist like Romeo & Juliet? Say whaaaat?

Welcome to the cover reveal for...
Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey
presented by Entangled Teen Crave!
Who else is excited for this book???

Cover Reveal:

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LoveMeLoveMeNot_1600

Dating isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a blood feud. Anastasia Vila’s family can turn into swans, but just once she’d like them to turn into responsible adults. After hundreds of years, they still cling to the blood feud with the Renard family. No one remembers how it started in the first place—but foxes and swans just don’t get along. Vilas can only transform into their swan shape after they have fallen in love for the first time, but between balancing schoolwork, family obligations, and the escalating blood feud, Ana’s got no time for love. The only thing keeping her sane is her best friend, Pierce Kent. But when Pierce kisses Ana, everything changes. Is what Pierce feels for her real, or a byproduct of her magic? Can she risk everything for her best friend? And when the family feud spirals out of control, Ana must stop the fight before it takes away everything she loves. Including, maybe...Pierce. This Entangled Teen Crave book contains language, violence, and lots of kissing. Warning: it might induce strong feelings of undeniable attraction for your best friend.
add to goodreads
Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey
Publication Date: February 22, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crave

About-the-Author2
alyxandra-harvey

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream. Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with her husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

Connect with the author: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads


LoveMeLoveMeNotTour



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