Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Memory's Wake Blitz

Book & Author Details:

The Memory’s Wake Trilogy by Selina Fenech 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis book 1 - Memory's Wake:
Lost in a world full of monstrous fairies, a troubled sixteen year old has to find out who she is and why her memories were stolen before she is found by those who want her dead.
She takes the name “Memory” and knows she has just one goal – to find her way home, wherever that is. But this land is strange. No technology to be seen, and iron is banned, thanks to a pact the humans have with the magical creatures who share their pre-industrial era world. In her t-shirt and torn jeans, Memory knows she’s different, even before she performs impossible magic. Haunted by her past, chased by a dragon, wanted by the king and stalked by the strange, handsome savage that seems to know her, everyone is after Memory, and she suspects it’s not just for her eye-catching outfit. Her forgotten past holds dangerous secrets that will challenge everything she believes and risk the lives of everyone she loves.
Memory’s Wake contains over 45 illustrations by the author and artist.


Synopsis book 2 - Hope's Reign:
Everything is slipping away from Memory. The bond of friendship between her, Eloryn, Roen, and Will, that was formed while running for their lives is tearing. In a world that doesn’t feel like home, with a mind filled with nothing but questions, Memory struggles to be true to herself… whoever that is. When her past self starts haunting her, she knows her sanity could be the next thing she will lose.

Synopsis book 3 - Providence Unveiled:
A wicked plot dating back to the very beginning of Avall is coming to its end, and Memory is a vital part. In order to save her friends, Memory will break all the rules. With all worlds put at risk by her actions, she will have to step up and make the greatest sacrifice to repair Avall and make the world something better than before.


Born in 1981 to Australian and Maltese parents, Selina lives in Australia with her husband, her baby girl, an unnamed cat, and a lorikeet who's far too clever. 

During her life Selina has found ancient Roman treasure, survived cancer, had knights joust at her wedding, been mugged for doughnuts, made a living as an artist, eaten every bizarre and wonderful food put in front of her, and now enjoys writing novels.

Author links:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Number Games - Rebecca Rode Cover Reveal


Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode
Publication date: March 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Treena can’t wait for Rating Day. Her high score will mean a life of luxury, showing the world that she’s a valuable member of society, not a pathetic waste of space. It won’t hurt her chances with her top-Rated boyfriend, either. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.
To get her life—and boyfriend—back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone seems to want her dead. And then there’s the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. They must band together if they are to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within Treena’s heart.

By day, I'm a busy mom of four who struggles with housecleaning and cooking. By night...well, I'm still a busy mom of four. But scattered into those rare quiet moments is my life's passion--writing. My first book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU'RE FALLING TO PIECES, was released in March 2013. It's a nonfiction quick-fix book for moms whose lives feel as crazy and out of control as mine does--and from what readers are saying, it's fun and entertaining to read. I also write for Deseret News and on occasion, and some of my articles have also appeared in Schooled Magazine. For a sneak peek at the first two chapters of my book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU'RE FALLING TO PIECES, check it out on Bye now!

Author links:

This cover reveal is hosted by:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sword Blitz Time! - Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway

So I am participating in the Xpresso Book Blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Check out below for information about Amy Bai, her book Sword, an excerpt, interview and 2 giveaways! That's right 2!

Book & Author Details:

Sword by Amy Bai
Publication date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Sword shall guide the hands of men . . .
For over a thousand years the kingdom of Lardan has been at peace: isolated from the world, safe from the wars of its neighbors, slowly forgetting the wild and deadly magic of its origins. Now the deepest truths of the past and the darkest predictions for the future survive only in the verses of nursery rhymes.
For over a thousand years, some of Lardan’s fractious provinces have been biding their time.
Kyali Corwynall is the daughter of the Lord General, a child of one of the royal Houses, and the court’s only sword-wielding girl. She has known for all of her sixteen years what the future holds for her–politics and duty, the management of a House, and protecting her best friend, the princess and presumed heir to the throne. But one day an old nursery rhyme begins to come true, an ancient magic wakes, and the future changes for everyone. In the space of a single night her entire life unravels into violence and chaos. Now Kyali must find a way to master the magic her people have left behind, or watch her world–and her closest friends–fall to a war older than the kingdom itself.


The next branch took her unawares and caught her full in the face. It stung, and she stopped. A hand to her nose came back bloodied. The realization that she was being a fool came to her somehow out of the sight of her own blood. Here she was, running from nothing, in the middle of—
Oh, damn.
In her preoccupation, she had been a very great fool indeed.
The trees parted just in front of her. Two men were gaping at her from where they sat on the ground near a smothered firepit.
Outlaws. And she was completely alone here.
For a brief instant, not even a whisper of wind marred the perfect silence, and then one man gave a wild shout, leaping to his feet. The other lunged at her from where he knelt, a flash of metal in his hands. She felt the shock of whatever it was as it grated off her vest.
Her sword came free of its sheath and cut his feet out from under him. His scream was terrible. The rest seemed to happen as if at some distance—the arc of blood following the sweep of steel, the bewildered agony on the man’s face as she drove her sword through him. It was far too easy.
Her own ragged panting brought her back to herself.
Kyali backed up a step and then another, and moaned in what she first thought was horror and then realized was pain. At her side, her blood leaked out. A great deal of it was already soaking the leather armor.
A very great deal of it.
Not so easy after all, it seemed.
The second man held an old dagger. The pain, when she let fall her sword and tried to release the side buckle of her vest, loosened her knees. She dropped to the ground. The locket around her neck leapt up and swung. She stared fixedly at the Corwynall dragon engraved on it as she worked at the armor’s catches, hissing through clenched teeth, trying to ignore the pain, which was rising rapidly past endurance.
The buckle came undone. Her fingers found the wound at once, and she drew in a ragged gasp and shrieked at the feel of her hand against it. Unable to do anything else, Kyali pressed both hands against the outpouring of blood, rolling onto her back.
The peaceful trees grew shadowed, then faded altogether into a strangely gold-flecked dark.

1) What is your novel about?

Sword is a coming of age high fantasy about a girl pretty much at odds with everything, including and especially herself. It's set in a fictional kingdom called Lardan, one with a long history of magic and war, and a population so complacent they've forgotten that either one ever applied to them. They learn differently when history begins to repeat itself: there's an uprising, the kingdom is thrown into civil war, and the royal family, of which my main character Kyali is a satellite member, is murdered. Kyali, her brother, and the princess are forced into exile with a small army of refugees. Kyali was badly hurt during the uprising, and comes out of that a changed person; unfortunately for her she's now the only person with the training to command what is left of the army, and her friends need her. 

Sword i
s her story, how she learns to deal with what happened to her without shutting out the people she loves, and with the responsibilities she has to shoulder now that the older generation is dead and the kingdom is overrun. It's about loyalty and love, fate and family and politics. It's also violent, occasionally sarcastic, and unabashedly sappy. 

2) What inspired you to write the story?

I had a very sullen young woman with a battered old sword and no patience kicking my frontal lobe. As motivators go, it was a pretty good one.

--Ok, so that's a little dramatic, but really not too far from the truth (except the part about the frontal lobe, of course). Kyali Corwynall started out as a patchwork of some of my favorite characters from books like Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, and Patricia McKillip's Cygnet, going all the way back to Barbara Helen Berger's Gwinna, which I read when I was seven. My brain is like cosmic flypaper: the stuff I like (or hate) sticks, accumulates, eventually acquires a gravitational field, and before I know it light's bending around it and I'm up at 3 am mainlining coffee and my keyboard's broken. Sword was like that. One day I had scattered pieces, and the next I had a character with layers, flaws, goals, scars, and a complicated history. Stories always start that way for me, no matter how cool my premise may be (or how cool I may think it is, anyway) --my characters inspire and drive it, start to finish.

3) Since your novel is medieval-influenced, can you tell us a bit about your researching journey?

Wow. How I'd love to give you a list of planned, organized steps I took. It would make me feel so much smarter!

But no. I stumbled into the research for Sword much like I did the story itself. I think my research began the moment I realized I had no idea how heavy a sword really was, or how hard it might be to wear armor and, you know, walk at the same time. I remember thinking writing fantasy would be easy (yes, feel free to laugh at me). It didn't take long before I realized it was very, very obvious when I didn't know what I was talking about. So I went from looking up Irish baby names online to running to the library after work to find the Focloir Scoile or The Book of the Sword. I eventually learned to restrain myself, because research can be a wonderful excuse for not writing when you're stuck-- but overall, it was great fun.

4) What's your best revision tip?

Remember basic dramatic structure when you're reading your draft(s). It definitely doesn't always apply, and definitely shouldn't always apply, but I've found it can be a great lens: I can look at the whole story, each subplot and character arc, each chapter, and each scene with that structure in mind, and I'll always find something to tweak. Or mangle. Or outright kill.

...Revision is a slightly violent process for me. 


Where to Purchase:
Amazon: Amazon
B&N: B&N

Amy Bai has been, by order of neither chronology nor preference, a barista, a numbers-cruncher, a paper-pusher, and a farmhand. She likes thunderstorms, the enthusiasm of dogs, tall boots and long jackets, cinnamon basil, margaritas, and being surprised by the weirdness of her fellow humans. She lives in New England with her guitar-playing Russian husband and two very goofy sheepdogs.

Author links:

Both giveaways are international so everyone feel free to enter! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Madman's Daughter Review

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Paperback

 "Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's insanity. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood."


Oh my! This was probably my first Gothic YA novel that I have read and it didn't disappoint. *Warning minor spoilers ahead* The very beginning of the book starts off with talking about blood and a medical hospital. That was a brilliant way to draw me into the novel. Juliet, was one of those characters who doesn't feel sorry for herself given her past and is trying to get ahead again. She has no problems dealing with the blood and gore that comes along with having been the daughter of a surgeon and working at the medical college. The rest of the cast was just as memorable, from her father, to Montgomery (I'm rooting for this dude), to Edward and even Balthazar. Each one was unique in their own way and interactions with the others.

The experiments of which her father has been conducting has to be my favorite part of the entire novel. They weren't what I was expecting and the plot twist with one of the experiments I really had no idea that what happened was going to happen. A few scenes were a bit on the graphic side but they are what gave insight into the Madman.

However there is still a love triangle involved and that would be why I said earlier I was rooting for Montgomery. Otherwise I didn't have to many issues with the book. At a couple parts the action died down and it was moving rather slow but not anything to make me stop. The whole scene with the ship I felt could have been shortened by a couple pages, because I found it a bit dull to be on the ship with them and the ship's crew to be rather crude and unmemorable.

The ending of the novel did leave me with a lot of unanswered questions that I look forward to reading in Her Dark Curiosity, book 2 of the Madman's Daughter Series.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars