INTERVIEW: Meradeth Houston, author of TRAVELERS



We're pleased to feature an interview today with Meradeth Houston, the author of Travelers, a thrilling time-travel YA novel! 


By Meradeth Houston
Published on August 2nd 2015
Published by: BookFishBooks
Purchase: Amazon
Sienna Crenshaw knows the rules: 1) no time traveling beyond your natural lifetime, 2) no screwing with death, and 3) no changing the past. Ever. Sienna doesn’t love being stuck in the present, but she’s not the type to to break the rules. That is, she wasn’t the type until her best friend broke every one of those rules to keep Henry, her twin brother and Sienna’s ex-boyfriend, alive.

Suddenly, Sienna is caught in an unfamiliar reality. The upside? Henry is still alive. The downside? Sienna’s old life, including the people in it, has been erased. Now, Sienna and Henry must untangle the giant knot in time, or her parents and all the rest of the Travelers, will be lost forever. One problem: the only way to be successful is for Henry to die...

The last time I tried to write a story about time-travel, I wound up with a whole wall of color-coded post-it notes so I could keep all of the events straight. How did you keep any time-travel aspects of your story organized?

LOL! Oh wow, I can totally relate to this! I have several large pieces of paper that I’d written out all the trips the characters take, and then I created a master sheet, color coded, and with all these little notes. It looked like spaghetti by the time I was done! So…I don’t know if I’m the best person to recommend how to keep organized ;) But I did find it helpful to make notes to myself as I worked, and have a very clear idea of how time travel worked in my world so I didn’t end up doing something that couldn’t technically work. In the end, I tried to keep it simple…but it didn’t happen!

If you can share without spoilers, what is your favorite line or scene from your book?

Hmm, probably the one where Sienna meets Henry in the alternate reality and realizes it’s really him. This doesn’t have any real spoilers, so this is it:

I wasn’t sure if I felt more like Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I sure wasn’t in Kansas anymore, but it felt like I’d fallen down a rabbit hole. 
Another girl outside the stall brushed her hair in the mirror. It took me a second to realize she wore a very prim and proper school uniform, complete with an ugly plaid skirt and pressed shirt. She looked me up and down but said nothing. Though from her head-to-toe inspection of me, she clearly disapproved. 
I scanned the room, trying to figure out what else was different. The mirrors were clean—no random lipstick marks or haze from cosmetic spray. 
A deeper flare of panic kicked my heart into high gear as I realized Joan had ditched me. I checked the other stalls, each as spotless as the one I materialized into, but other than the other chick at the mirror, I remained alone. 
My hands shook as I pushed my hair away from my face. 
A sob hitched in my throat, but I forced it down. I had to keep control of myself until I got my butt back where I belonged. Then I could freak out, preferably in the comfort of my room, under my blankets. I’d make a little fort and bring ice cream. My room—I just had to think about my room. Wait, did I even have a room here, wherever I was? 
The other girl threw me one last carefully bland look and left the room. Something told me she would go report me to the school authorities. For a second, I thought about trying to catch up to her, but my voice caught in my throat. I took a deep breath and realized if I wanted to get back to my school I needed to figure out where I was. Pronto. 
I could Travel from here—I didn’t have to know my starting point—but I’d already managed to get myself in the wrong spot once today. The smartest thing to do would be to stay put until I figured out where I’d landed.   
Taking a deep breath and clutching my textbook to my chest, I pushed the outside door open. 
As I glanced around, goose-bumps rose across my back. The layout of this school looked identical to my own. Lockers lined the hallway across from the bathroom door, and the low murmur of voices resonated from the classrooms surrounding me. Of course, there was one big difference. This place was most certainly not a public high school—and not the one I’d left a minute ago. 
“There you are. What took you so long?” 
I jumped and stifled a scream as someone addressed me. 
“Um, I think you have the wrong person.” I turned and met the boy’s eyes. A rush of blood swirled under my skin. He had the best green eyes. They were also unmistakable.
My heart froze in my chest. 
Joan’s brother, my boyfriend. Dead boyfriend. Alive and kicking—well, currently he laughed and stood a little too close to me. I struggled to breathe.
What inspires you? Are there specific authors, shows, movies, or music that really inspires you -- as a person or in your writing?

So many things inspire me! I think that inspiration can come from a million different places, so long as we’re open to it. Songs are especially potent for me, and I often find lyrics that fit what my characters are feeling/doing and love getting inspired from that. And definitely good books make me want to be a better writer, particularly the work of authors like Madeline L’Engle or Maggie Stiefvater (along with about a hundred others, but I’ll stick to these right now). 

Can you share a little bit about any other upcoming projects/works in progress?

I’m currently shopping a book that I absolutely adore and hope finds a great home. It’s about coincidences and people who are tasked to make them “happen”—kind of like the Adjustment Bureau meets Charlain Harris’ Harper Connolly books (or at least that’s how they’ve been described by my critique people). I’m also writing something new and fun and very different, which I’m describing as Sherlock meets Orphan Black on the set of a Bond film.

Keeping with the theme of our blog name, The Best Books Ever, I've got to ask: what is your absolute favorite book?

It’s always so hard to chose! But A Wrinkle in Time has been my favorite for a very long time and is one that I regularly go back and re-read. It has so much magic in its pages!

Thank you so much for hosting me today!!



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About the author...


I’ve never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me:

>I'm a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use "like" a lot. Since I now live in Montana, sometimes this is a problem.

>I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people's DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love.

>I've been writing since I was 11 years old. It's my hobby, my passion, and I'm so happy to get to share my work!

>My other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology! This is probably a good thing, since my day job requires me to teach at the local university.

>If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I'm terrified of heights.


Connect with the author: www.MeradethHouston.com 

FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblrAmazonGoodreads, and of course her blog!


Jaime Reviews ~ The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

By Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published on August 18, 2015
Published by: Dial Books
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
A surprising, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door—great for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han 

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular NowNick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.




Oh, Huntley! You are SO good...

 Normally, I try to do a reread when it has been a long time between books, but I just didn't have time this go around. It took me all of 2.3 seconds to fall back into this world, and in love with these families, and I STILL want to do a reread. I will never be able to let these characters go.

 If you follow my reviews at all, you know that my normal reads are paranormal, or horror, or fantasy. I don't read a lot of contemporary, mostly because I am a LOT picky about them. They have to strike the right balance, whatever that may be on any given day, and sadly there has been a lot of... unbalance with me and contemps. The saddest part? I LOVE THEM! The happy?! Huntley Fitzpatrick, no matter the story or the characters, strikes the right balance every. single. time. My Life Next Door is one of  the best contemps that I have ever read, and thankfully, she knocked the ball out of the park with The Boy Most Likely To! FANTASTIC READ!

 The relationship between Alice and Tim was perfection. I loved the contention between them, but then we got some super sweet "aww" moments. I was literally smiling from ear to ear! And while I love and adore Alice, and she is very relate-able, I definitely related more to Tim, especially his troubles with certain things. I know very well what that can be like, and it made me latch onto Tim, and definitely made him my favorite. All in all, A & T were an easy couple to root for!

 Huntly Fitzpatrick knows what she is doing, y'all! As evidenced by the reviews she receives, that statement deserves a "duh". But she really does! From bringing out every emotion in her readers, to giving us characters that we carry with us even while we aren't reading, to her beautiful writing itself, this author is kicking booty and taking names in the world of YA. And I am so happy that I am a part of that ride, in any kind of way! Now, please, go read these books!




Jaime Reviews ~ The Witches of BlackBrook by Tish Thawer

By Tish Thawer
Published on June 23, 2015
Published by Amber Leaf Publishing
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.

Three sisters escape the Salem witch trials when the eldest casts a spell that hurtles their souls forward through time. After centuries separated, fate has finally reunited them in the present day.

One the healer, one the teacher and one the deceiver.

Will their reunion return their full powers, or end their souls journeys forever?



Witchy, Witchy....

 Cover art can be truly fantastic, you know?! And this cover is even more proof. I am digging the corset dress, and the hint of red hair. I do wish that we could see her face though... I mean, WHY DO THEY CUT OFF PEOPLES HEADS? IT IS WEIRD.....

 Unfortunately, even though I was super looking forward to this one, it ended up being a DNF at about 20%. I tried y'all, I truly did. For about a month. I would start over every time, thinking that maybe this time it would stick for me. It just... didn't. I think it was definitely a case of "it's me, not you", though. 

 The biggest reason that I had such a hard time with Witches was the dialogue, and the cutesy characters. Mostly, I can handle that, if there is something a little more gritty to the story,. But every page that I read was incredibly cutesy wutesy, and it just didn't work for me. There was one part in the story where the MC, Tess, was thinking about the past and I did enjoy that part. I thought "okay, alright, we might be on to something." Unfortunately, when it switched back to present, it lost me again. 

 I HATE DNF'ing. I really do. And I think that The Witches of Blackbrook might be perfect for some people. Unfortunately, it just wasn't perfect for me. Thanks to Xpresso Tours for giving me the chance to read this book!







SPOTLIGHT + GUEST POST: Clockwork Menagerie by Karen Kincy



Today, we're celebrating the book birthday of Clockwork Menagerie, a new novella in the Shadows of Asphodel fantasy series, by Karen Kincy.  

Keep reading for a guest post from Karen, and a giveaway just for you. And check back here on September 9th for my review of Clockwork Menagerie! 



By Karen Kincy
Published on September 1st 2015
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press

Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads
1914. Konstantin would love to hide in his laboratory and dissect the clockwork dragon captured from Russia, but the Archmages of Vienna have other plans. He finds himself shipped off to St. Petersburg as the scientific attaché to an ambassador. His orders? Look, but don't touch. Of course, he considers this an impossible request with so much enemy technomancy to explore.

To make matters worse, Konstantin has to work with the dashing zeppelin commander Himmel, a man who should also be untouchable. They can't act on the smoldering attraction between them without risking it all. Faced with an illegal relationship and a devious rival technomancer, Konstantin might not return from this mission in Russia without conquering the forbidden.

Happy Birthday!
Karen Kincy

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to—

Oh, wait, I’m sharing my birthday? Right! This September 1st means I get one more year and one
more book. Clockwork Menagerie, a companion novella to my Shadows of Asphodel series, comes out today. The story follows the archmage Konstantin into Russia during the bitter winter of 1914. If you know Konstantin, you won’t be surprised when he gets into trouble with technomancy, clockwork beasts, and a certain handsome airship captain.

Since today happens to be a double birthday, we need cake. Myself, I’m partial to chocolate mint cake with a rich glaze, which my mom bakes upon request. Konstantin, on the other hand, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. He loves the famous sachertorte, chocolate filled with apricot, though he’s secretly the most fond of strawberry torte for his birthday cake.

Who doesn’t love birthday presents? Konstantin daydreams about all the mechanical trinkets and upgrades he could acquire for his laboratory. He hopes that someone will research the latest in technomancy equipment and buy him something cutting edge and dangerous. Though sadly none
of his friends will buy him a gift that might literally blow up in his face.

As for me, I’m pretty bad at guessing about birthday presents. I keep telling people they can always get me more books, but they point to my swaybacked bookshelves and mutter something about me having “too many,” which is obviously impossible. Konstantin would agree with me, though he tends to read more nonfiction than fiction.

When is Konstantin’s birthday? That’s a secret in the books, but I’ll go ahead and tell you it’s February 13. The day before Valentine’s Day, which means blackmail material for more presents. Not that Konstantin would ever do anything so diabolical—he limits his schemes to bigger and better experiments, never mind that they often backfire.

Happy birthday, Clockwork Menagerie, and go party with readers!
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About the author...




Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.

Find Karen Kincy Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



GIVEAWAY:
Dragon Steampunk Necklace (found here on etsy)
Open to US 
Ends Sept. 16th
Prizing is provided by the publisher. Hosts are not responsible. Prize is shipped directly from the etsy seller. If there is an issue a similar item may be used to replace it.

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.



Jaime Reviews ~ The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

By Patrick Ness
Published on October 6, 2015
Published by Walker Books
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.



The Rest of Just Lives Here was...

 The ULTIMATE Non-Hero story, ever! The Rest of Us Just Live Here is the perfect title for this story about a group of friends who are just normal, never the Chosen Ones. They are average kids, with terrible home lives, good home lives, great grades and average grades. But there is nothing special about them.... Or maybe, they are the most special of all...

 One of my favorite aspects of this story is that we basically get two stories in one. At the beginning of each chapter, we get a short snippet of the lives of the Indie Kids. You  know, the special ones that always end up saving the town from the demons, vampires, etc. The Chosen Ones. They have names like Finn and Satchel, and dress in cool hipster clothes. This go around, Satchel is the Hero Indie Kid who has to save the town... again. And Mikey and his friends are just hoping that Indie's don't blow up the high school (again) before graduation (again). These little snippets were really short paragraphs, sometimes two, that were just low-downs of the major happenings in town. I love that you don't know if this is truly going on in town, or maybe it is only happening in someones head?! It is a very interesting and compelling aspect of the story, and I enjoyed them, every time!
 After the Indie snippets, we get back to the lives of Mikey and his sisters and two best friends. Mikey was a teenage boy, unsure of who is or where he is going in life. He is always caught up in his sisters lives, and his best friends lives. He is always trying to be there for them, but he always feels like he is the one that is not needed. That the rest of them could live without him, but he couldn't live without them. He almost lost his oldest sister to anorexia, and they are trying to make sure their baby sister has love and support. He is in love with his sisters best friend, but too scared to tell her. And his best friend Jared is a descendant of a God, and has magical healing powers, and a serious way with cats. A new boy comes into town, an ex-Indie kid, and Mikey starts to feel like his world is falling apart. How will he handle it when in a few short weeks graduation will be here, and he is not sure of his place with his "family" anymore?

 More than anything, this story is a coming of age story. It is about growing pains, learning who you are as a teen, and who you will allow yourself to become. It is about learning to accept yourself AS YOU ARE, and finding your value. It is about growing up, and just how hard it can be. But also just how amazing it can be. Sure there is some cool, silly fantasy thrown in, but the heart of the story is realizing that you are special, whether you are a Chosen One or not. And in the end, everyone is someones Chosen One! Well, this is what the book was for me, at least! And I loved it that way. Every single minute of it.
 Patrick Ness isn't your typical YA writer. He is a unique and intriguing talent, and the more that I read from him the more I want to keep reading from him. I would absolutely recommend this book to you, no matter your age. It is just a good one to read, y'all!

 Thank you once again to Around the World ARC Tours. Y'all rock, as always! 



Jaime Review's ~ Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins

By Jennifer Jenkins
Published on October 6, 2015
Published by Month9Books
Source: Month9Books
Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.

Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.

What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.


Nameless is....

 A FANTASTIC STORY! I am such a huge fan of Month9Books. I think they were created just for me! A wonderful lady told me that Nameless was her favorite, and she thought that I might just like it. Well, she was absolutely right with one minor exception. I LOVED it. 

 Nameless is the story of Zo, a healer for the Wolf clan. She has suffered the loss of her parents, watched as her clan is killed off one by one, and she has finally had enough. She wants to be an active part of the clan, and volunteers to head into enemy territory, disguised as a Nameless healer, so that she might be able to gain information that can help her clan and many others finally defeat the fierce and terrible Ram clan. Zo knows this is a suicide mission, but she is prepared to die. Until she realizes that her little sister Tess has followed her through the Ram gates, and now she must do everything possible to make sure that her sister survives. 

 I adored Zo from the beginning. She is a force to be reckoned with and an easy character to root for. She came into the Ram clan hating them with everything she had, and hating herself enough to want to die. But not without doing everything she could to help her clan in even the smallest of ways. She is constantly thinking of Tess, her sister, and how to protect her and still do the job she came to do. She meets a young boy, Joshua, and he becomes her strongest ally. And Gryphon, her reluctant protector. Somehow, they each form relationships with each other, despite the hatred they have felt since childhood. Joshua is a bundle of energy, and he truly cares for Zo. He watches her back, and defends her. He cares for her, and it is a sweet relationship to watch develop. Gryphon on the other hand mistrusts her, and hates that he has somehow become the one to keep her safe. Slowly, he starts to realize that she is more than a Wolf, his enemy. He realizes how strong and capable she is, how stoic and yet how broken and breakable she is, and the reluctance fades. There is a war inside of him, and he doesn't honestly know which side will win. The honor of being a hero in his Clan? Or will the side that Zo has shown him prevail? 

 From the start of the story until the very last page, Jennifer Jenkins took me on an emotional ride. Through action, and heartbreak, and healing and relationships forming out of hatred and mistrust, she has created a story of hope and faith and choosing how you want to live your life, and the beliefs that you want to hold, regardless of others around you. Of fighting like hell for the people that you love, and risking everything to do whats right.The last few chapters of the story will have you on the edge of your seat, barely breathing. Anger and fear, doubt and hope, and and an ending that will leave you full of questions, Nameless is nothing short of perfection. I hope that every one of you who reads this review will go right now and read it for yourself. As a certain someone told me, I think you might just like it! 







The Lemorian Crest (Cobbogoth #2) by Hannah L. Clark ~ Book Blitz & Giveaway!



The Lemorian Crest (Cobbogoth #2)
Release Date: July 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
After being raised from infancy in Boston, Mass., Noria (a.k.a Norah Lukens) has no idea what to expect upon entering New Cobbogoth, where she never would have guessed that paths of light can make you vanish; doors can lead to realms both near and far; myths and legends are actual history; a mere kiss can seal two souls as one; and, of course, a stone is never “just a stone.” Her Uncle Jack’s stories never could have prepared her for the magical and dangerous place her native realm is turning out to be.

When the Gihara’s promises begin to crumble, her best friend and soul-mate Jamus (a.k.a. James Riley) is in more danger than ever. Then when his father Lylend abandons her to search for an ancient relic called The Lemorian Crest and she is taken captive by the very people she’s risked everything to save, Noria begins to lose faith in the Cobbogothian gods and the mission they sent her home to accomplish.

Only when a series of new friendships and loyalties are forged in the most peculiar of places, does Noria dare hope again. Hope for Jamus’ safety, for their future together, and for the survival of the entire Cobbogothian race.

Book 1: Uncovering Cobbogoth was published in 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing.



First book in the series:
(Cover linked to Goodreads)




About the Author
Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor's degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.

Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark's first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series based on her mythological brain-child, The Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest will be released in Summer 2015.

Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never actually hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if you take into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there. ;-)



Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

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The Lemorian Crest (Cobbogth #2) by hannah L. Clark ~ Tour review by Jaime & Giveaway



By Hannah L. Clark
Published on August 23, 2015
Published by KinStone Publishing, LLC.
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
After being raised from infancy in Boston, Mass., Noria (a.k.a Norah Lukens) has no idea what to expect upon entering New Cobbogoth, where she never would have guessed that paths of light can make you vanish; doors can lead to realms both near and far; myths and legends are actual history; a mere kiss can seal two souls as one; and, of course, a stone is never “just a stone.” Her Uncle Jack’s stories never could have prepared her for the magical and dangerous place her native realm is turning out to be. 

When the Gihara’s promises begin to crumble, her best friend and soul-mate Jamus (a.k.a. James Riley) is in more danger than ever. Then when his father Lylend abandons her to search for an ancient relic called The Lemorian Crest and she is taken captive by the very people she’s risked everything to save, Noria begins to lose faith in the Cobbogothian gods and the mission they sent her home to accomplish.

Only when a series of new friendships and loyalties are forged in the most peculiar of places, does Noria dare hope again. Hope for Jamus’ safety, for their future together, and for the survival of the entire Cobbogothian race.

Book 1: Uncovering Cobbogoth was published in 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing.


Book One: Uncovering Cobbogoth




And the story goes...

 When I read Uncovering Cobbogoth last year, I wasn't at all sure what to expect, and I dang sure didn't expect to love it. But love it, I did, and I (very) impatiently waited for the sequel. And I can say, now that I have read it, it was oh so worth the wait! 

 The mythology of the Cobbogoths that Hannah has created is one that I am very in awe of. The world-building, the culture, everything that she has created for this series blows me away. Her brain works in marvelous ways, and I am so glad that I took a chance on this author and her first novel because it was a great chance to take! 

 In The Lemorian Crest, Norah is thrown for loops, betrayed, her faith and trust in people questioned. James, her love, is in trouble. Even when things weren't great between them in book 1, James and Norah's relationship was one that I rooted for. James is a sweetheart, and so willing to stick his neck out for Norah. And Norah has been exceedingly forgiving of James. Their relationship was something special in this book, even when things weren't going well. Norah was a fierce character in this second book. I loved her in the first one, and even more in book 2. She is strong, capable, and fiercely loyal to the memory of her Uncle Jack. That is an awesome thing. We meet more characters in this book, and each one added another element, even more life, to the story. Whether good, bad or in-between, each one is written distinctly, and individually. Characters are a knock-out, for sure!
 Hannah L. Clark has a wondrous imagination, and serious writing skills to back it up. Cobbogoth, her creation, is one of a kind. I am so glad that I started on this journey, even reluctantly. Now, I am anything but reluctant to continue it. And I cannot wait to see what is next in the world of the Cobbogothians. 

 Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for letting me be a part of the tour! 

About the Author...


Hanna L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always know she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated Utah Valley University with a bachelor's degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.

Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark's first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series based on her mythological brain-child, the Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series will be released in Summer 2015.

Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kinda believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never actually hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if you take into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there. :)

Website  | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


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Jaime

Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson ~ Tour Review by Jaime & Giveaway (NEEDS REVIEW)




By Elizabeth Paulson
Published on August 25,2015
Published by Scholastic Press
Source: Edelweiss
It's a fairy-tale nightmare . . .

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she's given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles -- and if she pricks her finger, she'll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .

A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate's world. She's not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother's house in the woods -- and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can't get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what's happened.

Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention -- even though the girl's stepmother would rather he didn't. It's up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that's far from happy.
Goodreads | B&N | iTunes | Amazon 



I am thinking....

   You can't really go wrong with fairy tale retelling's, and when you have a story that is a big old mixing bowl full of them? Well, chances are pretty good that I am going to like that mixing bowl of a book a lot. Dead Upon a Time is a fantastic...well, mixing bowl. (Mixing bowl? Really, Jaime) 

  I wasn't quite so sure right at the beginning that I was going to be able to get into the story, but then... the adventure starts! Once I started recognizing more fairy tale elements, I really became more involved in the story and had a great time. The best way to describe Dead Upon a Time is that it is one heck of a fun read! Yes, there are some darker moments, but Eliaabeth Paulson is great in bringing out the humor, and lightening things up when they start getting intense. Even as a reader who loves the dark and creepy (have I mentioned that before?!), I love a great sense of humor, and there were moments where I couldn't help but laugh out loud. 

 Kate and Jack are such good, relate-able characters. Jacks sarcasm is wonderful, and I love Kate's determination and her strength. They are both village outcasts, ready to be persecuted, when they are brought before the King, and asked to find his beloved daughter. Surprised, but willing, they set out on a journey that will take them to some interesting places. They meet trouble along the way, as is pretty much the basis of a fairy tale, and learn some terrible truths. I had a great time going on this quest with them!

  Filled with adventure, evil and good, glimpses of some of the best fairy tales out there, Dead Upon a Time was a wonderful read! Elizabeth Paulson has a knack for world-building, and the writing skills to make it even better. While I think the story might be geared towards younger youngin's than myself, even the ye old adults will have a good time. And just look at that cover, would ya?!

About the Author...

Elizabeth Paulson lives on the edge of the woods somewhere in America.




Giveaway...



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule...



Week One:
8/17/2015- Bookhounds ya- Interview
8/18/2015- a GREAT read- Review
8/19/2015- Chapter by Chapter- Guest Post
8/20/2015- Book Briefs- Review
8/21/2015- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post

Week Two:
8/24/2015- Pandora's Books- Interview
8/25/2015- Books à la Mode- Review
8/26/2015- A Backwards Story- Interview
8/27/2015- The Best Books Ever- Review
8/28/2015- Fiktshun- Guest Post






Spotlight: RESIST by Tracy Lawson

We're pleased to spotlight Resist, the second book in Tracy Lawson's dystopian series, Resistance.  Keep reading to check out a Q&A with Tracy!  


By Tracy Lawson
Published on August 25th 2015
Published by: Buddhapuss Ink
Knowledge comes with a price.

Tommy and Careen are no longer naive teenagers who believe the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s miracle antidote can protect them from a terrorist’s chemical weapons. After accidentally discovering the antidote’s real purpose—to control citizens’ thoughts and actions--they join the Resistance to fight back.

They soon realize that being part of the Resistance brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Not everyone working for change proves trustworthy, and plans to spark a revolution go awry, with grave consequences. Tommy and Careen's differing viewpoints threaten to drive a wedge between them, and their budding relationship is tested as their destinies move toward an inevitable confrontation with the forces that terrorize the nation.

Where does love fit in when you’re trying to overthrow the government?


Q&A WITH TRACY!



What was the inspiration behind The Resistance Series?

I was mentoring a friend of my daughter’s when the initial idea for Counteract came about. Chase is a pretty sharp guy and an excellent writer—and when he was in high school I had a lot of fun working with him and editing some of his short stories. We had finished working on a story about baseball, a broken nose, and a broken heart, and were ready to start something new, when he suggested we write scenes in response to the prompt: “What if everyone were on LSD and all thoughts were communal?” It was certainly thought provoking! Chase created the characters Tommy and Eduardo, I created Careen, and right away, we knew we were onto something. Obviously, the story morphed and changed a lot before it became the finished version of Counteract—but that was how it all began.

What do you enjoy about this series that cannot be found in any of your other books?

The Resistance Series is my first published fiction. My other book, Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, is based on a journal kept by my great-great-great grandfather during his family’s 1838 horse and wagon trip from Cincinnati to New York City.

I did a ton of research before writing that book, and amassed two filing cabinet drawers full of information related to the 22-page journal! During the publication process, I nearly went crazy double-checking all my facts and citations, and by the time the book went to print, I never wanted to see another footnote. Fiction? Yes, please!

Now that I’ve had a little break from footnotes, I’m enjoying writing another nonfiction history book. I’m planning to merge my two favorite genres and write some YA historical fiction sometime after I finish the Resistance Series.

The main characters in The Resistance Series are Tommy and Careen. Where did you find your inspiration for them? 

My characters are a little bit of me, and little bits of people around me, but as I spend time with them in the context of the story, they become less like people in the real world; I don’t stop developing them until they are individuals: unique and unlike anyone else.

Chase created Tommy, and at first I wasn’t as close to him as I was Careen. That changed as I wrote more scenes for Tommy—especially the scene when he and Careen meet. His reactions and his choices came from inside me; before long, he was unique and independent of any outside influence.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

First and foremost, I want readers enjoy the story! I hope they relate to Tommy and Careen, and look forward to reading the next installment in the series.

Books for young adults often reflect the reader’s need to question authority and rebel against the rules set down by older generations; the Resistance Series looks at what can happen when people surrender our civil liberties in exchange for the promise of safety and security.

I hope readers understand that protagonists in dystopian books are often branded as outcasts or rebels because they question the restrictive rules of their societies—and that individuals who change the world rarely do so by going along with the herd.

What kind of research did you do for the series?

Please don’t call the police if you see what’s in my browser history! I’ve Googled the effects of various controlled substances, different types of explosives, and interrogation techniques.

I learned to shoot a handgun so that my characters’ first experiences with weapons would be authentic. At first it was scary, but now I enjoy going to the target range. I’m no Annie Oakley yet, but I’m at least as good as Scarlett O’Hara, who once saucily told Rhett Butler, “I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far.” 

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I like to write with pen and paper—preferably outside. I sit quietly until one of the characters starts to speak, and then I write down what they say. Some days I’ll scribble for pages and pages, and when I look at the clock I’ll be surprised how much time has flown by! I usually let those pages sit for at least a few hours, sometimes a few days, before I transcribe them into the computer, and that’s where the scenes really begin to take shape.

As far as writing snacks go, I’m partial to sunflower seeds and Diet Dr Pepper!

Tell us where we can find your book and more information about you. 

My books are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle, and on Barnes & Noble’s online store. If you live near Columbus, Ohio, you can buy signed copies of my books at three independent stores: The Book Loft of German Village, Mary B’s, and Urban Emporium.

You can get the behind-the-scenes scoop on all things Resistance Series, see book trailers, and check out my blog at http://counteractbook.com. You can also find me on Twitter @TracySLawson and on Instagram as TracyLawsonAuthor.
  
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About the author...






Tracy Lawson is an award-winning author of two nonfiction books, and The Resistance Series is her first in the world of young adult novels. Tracy lives in Dallas with her husband, daughter and three spoiled cats.

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