Friday, June 23, 2017

Devils Unto Dust: Cover Reveal! Excerpt! ARC Giveaway!


Hey guys, today I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for Emma Berquist's debut novel Devils Unto Dust! In addition, there is also a mini interview with Emma as well as an excerpt from the book. But first, the cover . . . 

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Publishers: Greenwillow/HarperCollins Publishers
Expected Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits about you.

The desert is unkind in the best of times. And the decade since the Civil War has been anything but the best of times for Daisy Wilcox—call her Willie—and her family. This tense, heart-pounding alternate history about a young woman fighting to survive the unthinkable will keep fans of Westworld and The Walking Dead reading late into the night.

A horrifying sickness has spread across the West Texas desert. Infected people—shakes—attack the living, and the surviving towns are only as safe as their perimeter walls are strong. The state is all but quarantined from the rest of the country. Glory, Texas, is a near ghost town. Still, seventeen-year-old Willie has managed to keep her siblings safe, even after the sickness took their mother. But then her good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most merciless shake hunters in town, and Willie is left on the hook for his debt. With two young hunters as guides, Willie sets out across the desert to find her father. And the desert holds more dangers than just shakes.

This riveting debut novel blends True Grit with 28 Days Later for an unforgettable journey.


Emma Berquist grew up in Austin, Texas and sunburns easily. She currently lives in northern California and avoids the beach. DEVILS UNTO DUST is her first novel.
Connect with Emma: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

What can your readers expect from Devils Unto Dust

Lots of sand and lots of blood. Rough men with guns and hard girls with everything to lose. I wanted to create a world that was terrifying and inescapable, long before the monsters start to show up.

What was your inspiration for Devils Unto Dust? Did the plot of the story come to you first or the characters?

The setting came to me first. I was out in the desert slathered in sunscreen and I thought “there’s nowhere to hide out here.” And just like that, I had a place for a story. After the desert came Willie, and after that came the rest of it.

What are some of your favorite zombie books, movies, and TV shows?

*Deep breath*

28 Days Later, World War Z (the book), Shaun of the Dead, Walking Dead graphic novels, Night of the Living Dead, old Bernie Wrightson comics, iZombie, and Resident Evil (yes, I’ve seen all of them).

Which of your characters do you identify with the most, and why?

I think I couldn’t help but put a little bit of myself into Willie. I’m definitely stubborn and generally kind of surly like her, though I’m nowhere near as tough. I mostly see myself in the shakes, because there’s no way in hell I would ever survive any kind of disaster.

What's next for you once Devils Unto Dust is out in the world? Is there a sequel in the works or will you be writing something completely new?

I’m not sure yet! I have ideas for a sequel, but I have other stories I want to tell and I’ve never been able to stick to one genre.



Part One: The Town

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Life out here is hard, my mother used to say, so you have to be harder. Even she wasn’t strong enough to fight off the sickness. By the end she was just a shell of herself, her skull showing through the skin on her face, talking nonsense when the delirium took her. Sometimes she didn’t know who I was or what was happening. And then she remembered, and it was even worse.

She lasted longer than most do. It doesn’t really matter, it didn’t make a difference, but I like to think it means something. That she was fighting to stay with us. That her life wasn’t wasted, digging into this patch of nowhere.


I love the desert, love the hidden beauty of it. When the light falls just so and the heat shimmers off the ground, the desert is as graceful and endless as the sky. I love the way the ground cracks open under my feet, the fissures spreading out like veins in a shattered mirror. The air so hot it burns your lungs, the dust collecting in the corners of your eyes, the sand whipping against your skin until it’s raw; this is my home, and it is beautiful. If I could, I would turn my back on this town and start walking, leaving behind the unbearable weight. But I know better than that; the desert may have my heart, but this town will take my bones.


Glory, our town is called, for no other reason than irony. People here are bad at naming things, even my own parents. Daisies don’t grow here, not in this hardscrabble dirt. Not that anyone calls me Daisy, not since I was old enough to know better. The name does not suit me; it is bright and yellow and sweet, and I am none of those things. And Glory is dead as sun-bleached bone and twice as cursed. Maybe it was different when people first settled here, before the sickness started to spread; maybe it wasn’t always a sandy hole of a town, but that’s all I’ve ever known it to be. Those who could afford to got out quickly, leaving the rest of us to whatever fate we deserve. There’s nothing standing between us and the desert shakes but some barbed wire and the men who hunt the sick. It’s only a matter of time before this town crumbles into dust. When the sick finally outnumber the healthy, we’ll all be as dead as my mother. Or worse.


*Important* Note: ARCs have not been printed yet, but as soon as they are availabe, the winner of this giveaway will be one of the very first to receive it!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Hazel Wood & Unearthed


My TBR list is always growing and I thought it would be fun to share my anticipation for those books with all of you. This is not my own original meme; it belongs to Breaking the Spine. It specifically spotlights upcoming releases. As it implies in the title, I'll be posting this meme on Wednesdays. Please feel free to comment and let me know what books you guys are waiting on as well!


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pub. Date:  January 30th, 2018
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
So let me get this straight—fairy tales are literally coming to life?


Everything about this book sounds amazing, and it has a GORGEOUS cover! I was lucky enough to pick this one up at BookExpo and I will be reading it soon ^_^

Melissa is the founding editor of the B&N Teen Blog and an editor at B&N Reads. She reads books, worries about strangers' dogs (they look thirsty), and gets mad at people who block the escalator. 
Connect with Melissa: Twitter


Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pub. Date:  January 9th, 2018
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...

This book has been widely described as Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider and to that I say . . . 



Not going to lie, I totally shipped Indie with Lara as a kid xD and now my dreams might be coming true with this book. 


Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.
Connect with Amie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest


New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. She's the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.
Connect with Meagan: Website | Facebook | Twitter | PinterestTumblr

Are these books on your TBR? Or is this the first time you're hearing about them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Color Project by Sierra Abrams: Q&A!



Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
Pub Date: July 18th, 2017
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn't want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee's summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.


At 7 years old, Sierra Abrams decided that one day she would publish a book. For over a decade, in between exploring other career options, she kept coming back to that very first dream. Now her life consists of writing books of all kinds... Kissing books, angsty books, killing books, whimsical books, and sometimes books that are all of the above. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, traveling, consuming sushi, or daydreaming about Henry Cavill.
Connect with Sierra: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


What's your writing process like? Do you have any fun or unique habits? 

My writing process, for the last year and a half, has been insanely sporadic. I used to write every day - and be able to marathon write thousands of words - but lately I've been only able to write random days during the week, depending on what's on the schedule. And I generally am a very boring writer - no rituals, no system. I do whatever I need to do that day to get the words on paper.


What are your favorite and least favorite types of scenes to write? 

My favorite scenes to write are always kissing scenes. Every time I write one, I feel like I can write anything. It's always a reward to go through all the pre-romance stuff and get to the fun stuff. ;)
And I can't say I have a least favorite, weirdly enough. Maybe transition scenes? But even those aren't too annoying.


Who are some writers you'd love to collaborate with? 

Oh God. Maggie Stiefvater is my favorite writer in the world, so definitely her (even though my brain is screaming that she'd destroy me with her writing prowess within 5 seconds). In the contemporary genre, I'd love to collaborate with Stephanie Perkins, who wrote my favorite contemporary novel of all time - LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR.


Who is a fictional character that you relate to the most, and why? 

I most relate to Lola from LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and Lucy from THE HATING GAME. They both had this wild, unrestricted side to them, a dorky personality, and a lot of passion. And they give 100% to the things they loved most, which is something that I both love and hate about myself.


What inspired you to write this book? 

So many things, honestly, but it started out as a single paragraph that burst from my mind like Athena from Zeus's head. It was a little paragraph describing how I feel about sunsets, and I thought, "Hmm. Maybe one day I'll stop writing fantasy and start writing contemporary." One year later, that paragraph became the opening paragraph of THE COLOR PROJECT. It still is, even in the final draft.


Do you have any favorite fictional couples/OTPs, and what about them makes you love them so much? 

My favorite fictional couples are:
Blue/Gansey (The Raven Cycle) - for their delicious chemistry and natural way of existing around each other.
Feyre/Rhysand (ACOTAR series) - for the way they'd sacrifice everything for each other.
Mac/Barrons (Fever series) - for the slow burn feels, and for the depth of their passion, and how badly I needed to read a romance like theirs.


What are some of your favorite and least favorite tropes in books? 

Favorites: hate-to-love, road trips, lists, and any kind of sacrifice.
Least favorites: I've been contemplating for a long time and....I'm not sure I have any! :O


If you could travel anywhere (all expenses paid) for writing inspiration, where would you go and why?

Oh my GOODNESS. This would be the dream. I'd choose Russia, because I have at least two story ideas and one already written story that are Russian inspired and/or have scenes set in Russia. I've wanted to go to Russia since I was 14 and read Dostoevsky's THE IDIOT.



Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, Sierra! :)


Monday, June 19 
  
Tuesday, June 20 
Excerpt of The Color Project - The YA Book Traveler
Review - The Hermit Librarian   

Wednesday, June 21 
Review - YA and Wine

Thursday, June 22 
Review - Avd Reader
DIY: The Color Project Bookmarks - Lois Reads Books 

Friday, June 23 
Excerpt of The Color Project - The Reader & The Chef
Mini Review & Favorite Quotes - The Life Of A Book Nerd Addict

Saturday, June 24 
Mood Board - Wonderfully Bookish 

Sunday, June 25 
  
Monday, June 26 
Ways To Support Your Favorite Causes - Tales Of The Ravenous Reader 
Review - InkDin

Tuesday, June 27
Interview - Brooke-Reports

Wednesday, June 28
Book Hangover  - Fables and Fae
Guest Post - Tiff the book nerd

Thursday, June 29

Friday, June 30
Creative Post - Lost In Ever After

Saturday, July 1st
Mood Board - Heres To Happy Endings
Interview - A New Look On Books

Friday, June 16, 2017

My Lady Jane by Lady Janies Audiobook Review


My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows (Lady Janies)
Format: Audiobook, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: June 6th, 2017
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
This comical, fantastical, romantical, New York Times bestselling, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey is “an uproarious historical fantasy that’s not to be missed” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind YA fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.


This is one of those books that when you finish it, you automatically want to find any excuse to reread it as soon as possible. My Lady Jane is an absolute ray of sunshine, and I adored every second of it. The characters are absolutely charming, and the story itself reminds me a lot of The Princess Bride (the movie, since I haven't read the book), which makes sense since that's what it's compared to in the synopsis. While listening to this audiobook, I was laughing constantly and smiling to the point where my cheeks began to hurt. This was also my first time reading listening to a book written by three different authors so I initially wasn't sure what to expect but in the end, My Lady Jane ended up being utterly wonderful and perfect. 


Oh, how badly I wish this book was a trilogy! Though we are getting more books by these amazing ladies (and I'm highly anticipating all of them, especially My Plain Jane), I'm going to miss these characters so much. I loved all of them. Do you know how rare this is? The last time I loved all of the main characters of a book was the Six of Crows duology.

Normally while reading, I focus on two characters (in most cases, this ends up being the main ship) or three characters. The rest of the characters are usually just filler for me while waiting for my favorites to appear again, but not in this book! 



So guys, if you were an idiot like me and have been putting off reading this side-splitting book for whatever reason, stop it now and go read it! I especially recommend listening to the audiobook, because it's now one of my all-time favorites.

It's no wonder that Katherine Kellgren has won so many awards. Her British accent in this is perfect, and the way she narrates this story is absolutely hysterical. While I'm sure I would have laughed a lot if I had just been reading the finished copy, Katherine Kellgren had me bursting out in hysterical laughter the entire time (which was fun while I was at work or on the train, let me tell you . . . xD). You better believe I'm going to be listening to every audiobook of hers that I can get my hands on.


1) My Lady Jane has the best dedication—ever.


2) The writing is pure genius. It perfectly illustrates everything that's happening, it brings the characters to life, and most importantly, it will undoubtedly make you very happy while reading. The combination and chemistry of the writing of the three authors is magical, and I can't wait to read all of their future works!



3) Outstanding banter always needs its own positive point on this blog because it's usually what seals my love for a book, and the dialogue in My Lady Jane is GOLD. Every line is a memorable quote or a perfect comeback—simply wonderful. 

4) I love each and every character—with the exception of the bad guys, which is normal, right? The two main ships are hilarious and sweet. There is a small bromance between Edward and Gifford, which is I think is absolutely adorable. Gracie and Jane have this great banter between them. They don't have a lot in common, but they team up when it counts, which is great. I even love the side characters—especially Pet and Mary! Overall, the characters in this book are a real treat. 


5) I really love the idea behind this book. The authors didn't like what really happened to Lady Jane Grey, so they decided to change it, and I think that's really beautiful. In general, I love the way real history was wrapped up in this magical story. It was the perfect balance of history and fantasy, and like all great historical fiction novels, it made me interested in the actual history behind the story. 



We have no more books with these specific characters.




"No horse jokes," he said.

"My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book--unharmed!--I will give you a carrot."

He brandished the book at her. "Was that a horse joke?"

"Neigh."

"Was that a horse joke?
“I know I'm not inspiring much confidence at this point, but there's something else I thought I'd bring up.” She lifted her eyes to him. “I love you more than I love books.”

“On everyone’s lap rested a book. Any book. In case the wedding got boring.”
“Your majesty, please reconsider," Lord Dudley pleaded. "Your position will be much stronger with your husband as king. The people will see it as a sign of strength - "

She took a deep breath. "They need signs of my strength, not my reliance on the men around me”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadowsong & The Empress

My TBR list is always growing and I thought it would be fun to share my anticipation for those books with all of you. This is not my own original meme; it belongs to Breaking the Spine. It specifically spotlights upcoming releases. As it implies in the title, I'll be posting this meme on Wednesdays. Please feel free to comment and let me know what books you guys are waiting on as well!


Shadowsong (Wintersong #2) by S. Jae-Jones
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub. Date:  January 30th, 2018
The conclusion to the gorgeous and lush Wintersong duology.

“A maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in.”—Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

This was me after finishing Wintersong, back when it was still a "standalone" with a companion novel...


And this was me after the sequel was announced...


Needless to say, I need this book—pronto xD

S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.
Connect with JJ: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook 


The Empress (The Diabolic #2) by S.J. Kincaid
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date:  October 31st, 2017
The thrilling sequel to S.J. Kincaid’s New York Times bestselling novel, The Diabolic that TeenVogue.com called “the perfect kind of high-pressure adventure.”

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

I didn't know much about The Diabolic before reading it, and I was totally blown away. This was originally also a standalone, so I am thrilled for a sequel. 



While I do have some reservations about The Empress because I felt that The Diabolic ended perfectly, I still have high hopes that this will be just as fast-paced and exciting as book one :)

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.
Connect with S.J.: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr


Are these books on your TBR? Or is this the first time you're hearing about them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! :)