Apollycon 2017 Author Spotlight: Christina Lauren

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I am VERY excited to introduce today’s Apollycon spotlight on Christina Lauren! I have been a reader of CLo for a few years now and can honestly say they are an autobuy for me!! They write some of my favorite romances. They have a huge backlist but they are such quick reads that you will be done before you know it. Below are the first books in their series but they are companion stories so either series can be read in any order if desired!

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An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.


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One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.


UPCOMING…

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About the Authors!

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Yes, there are two of us! Lauren (on the left) and Christina (on the right).

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced thirteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 31 languages, have received starred reviews from Kirkus, been selected as one of NPR’s Top 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances, and won both the Seal of Excellence award and Book of the Year from RT Magazine.

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.

Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. These days you’ll probably find her on tumblr. She is married and absolutely not old enough to be the mom of a 15 year old (right??), thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter. She also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.

You can follow their shenanigans at:

@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter.

On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!

For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @christinalauren.


Giveaway!!!

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The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee (Review + Giveaway!)

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ThousandthFloor hcNew York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….


Let us take a second and stare at this beautiful cover. The building, the font..but at the same time almost simple! Also no faces! I dislike most faces on covers. OK, OK time to get to the actual book. If you are a fan of Gossip Girl in any capacity (book or TV show) than this book is for you. I could easily compare almost every character in this novel to a characters from Gossip Girl. I am not saying this is a bad thing because I loved Gossip Girl! They were 13 year old Katie’s favorite and I loved reading something so similar and yet so different!

The best way to describe this book is Gossip Girl set in the near future. I loved this setting! If society keeps advancing at the rate it currently is, I could see a society like the one in The Thousandth Floor. For the most part, everything the characters used was high-tech. Paper money has been outlawed, you can watch TV using just your contacts and so much more!! There is an underwater train that can get from New York to Paris in 3 hours! I want this to be  thing!! This leans towards science fiction but not what I typically think. It reads closer to a contemporary with science fiction elements, almost sci-fi lite.

I have always been drawn to stories about people you love to hate. I don’t think I particularly liked any of the main characters but I was addicted to reading about them. The story is told in 3rd person and jumps around from character to character (similar to how Gossip Girl was written). At first, I could not remember who was who. I almost put it down because I couldn’t get these characters straight. There are 5 main characters that the POV shifts from each chapter. After about 50 pages totally grasped who was who and had no problem remembering details of each.

I kept with this book because of my hate/love with the characters but I do have to say the plot is very entertaining. There is a lot of social climbing and falling going on, also literal moving up and down in the tower (the rich live on the upper floors, the poor on the lower floors). Just like Gossip Girl, every one has a secret and I mean everyone. At the beginning of the book, not all 5 main characters know each other but by the end their stories are woven together. It was interesting to find out everyone’s secret and how it plays out among the other characters.

Overall I would give The Thousandth Floor 4 stars, while it wasn’t amazing it was highly addictive and a lot of fun!!

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

Katharine McGee credit Chris Bailey Photography-1Katharine McGee is from Houston, Texas. She studied English and French literature at Princeton and has an MBA from Stanford. It was during her years living in a second-floor apartment in New York City that she kept daydreaming about skyscrapers . . . and then she started writing. The Thousandth Floor is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.katharinemcgee.com or on Twitter at @katharinemcgee .

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

8/22: In Wonderland – Review
8/23: YA Bibliophile – Guest Post
8/24: Polished Page-Turners – Review
8/25: Once Upon a Twilight – Q&A
8/26: Here’s to Happy Endings – Review

Week 2:
8/29: Krista’s Dust Jacket – Top 10
8/30: Forever Bookish – Review
8/31: The Irish Banana Review – Fast 5
9/1: Alexa Loves Books – Review
9/2: Swoony Boys Podcast – Character Interview

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR (US Only)

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*Thank you to HarperTeen and Irish Banana Tours for a copy of The Thousandth Floor for review*

Up In The Tree House Blog Tour (Excerpt + Giveaway)

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Up in the Treehouse
by K.K. Allen
Publication date: July 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Add it on Goodreads now!
Synopsis:

I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.

Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.

Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and denies her.

Now it’s too late . . .

Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin’s world’s collide and they find their lives entangling once again. Haunted by the past, they are forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combating an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.

Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?

I posted my review of Up In The Tree House when I read an arc early last month (you can check that out here) so todya during this blog tour I’m just going to share some fun stuff and encourage you to read this book! Preferably before summer is over, because it’s a perfect summer romance ❤

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K.K. Allen was nice enough to provide us bloggers with a choice of excerpts to share, and I chose not only my favorite one, but the one that mentions pizza… because well, pizza. Enough said, read on:

“Chlo? Where’d you go?” He pokes his head around the corner and I smile shyly back at him.

“Just waiting for the pizza to cool off.”

His expression tells me he knows me better, but he doesn’t ask questions. He grabs two plates from the cabinet and grabs us each two pieces before pulling me off the counter. As he does, my body scrapes his, and I’m fully conscious of the sudden change in my breathing.

He tips my chin up with his fingers so I’m looking back at him. He’s staring down at me tenderly. It’s almost as if nothing’s changed, but I know that everything has changed between us. Before, the touching meant friendship. Now, I can’t stop thinking of the night of Comic Mania when we had a chance to explore something more. We’re having one of those moments right now. Aren’t we?

In the short time I’ve been home, the feelings I once had for Gavin have only quadrupled. It doesn’t help that he’s brushing his thumb against my cheek with a heart-melting intensity in his gaze.

“You’re going to miss the part where Louise turns her brother into a dog,” he says playfully.

This does the trick. I let out a laugh and wrap my arms around his waist, my cheek resting against his solid frame. “Damn. What did you do to your body?” I tease, pulling back and rubbing the cloth over his abs. “And your stomach! Carve hills on this bad boy?”

He grins, obviously pleased with the attention. “You like?” He pulls his shirt up to reveal his bare torso. I almost hit the floor. I saw his stomach before at the treehouse, but up close and personal it’s an entirely different story.

“It’s nice,” I say, knowing the flush of my cheeks is giving me away.

“Your turn.” He lifts his brow teasingly. “Show me yours.”

I laugh and shove him away. “Nothing’s changed here.”

He subtly roams the length of my body with his eyes. “I would argue with that.”

My breath is caught somewhere between my throat and my mouth, and I’m certain there’s a damn horse galloping in my chest. “Gavin Rhodes!” I scold, happy to have found my teasing voice despite my intense desire for him in this moment. All the while, I’m trying to remember if this was how we used to banter. I can’t remember Gavin ever being blatantly flirtatious.

He winks and pulls me to him, then rubs my back with the palm of his hand in slow, steady circles. “Chloe.” His voice is raspy, cutting me straight to the core.

Trust me when I say you want to keep reading! So follow me down to the land of book links and I’ll show you where you can get your own copy of Up In The Tree House to continue Chloe and Gavin’s journey.

AmazonBarnes and NobleiTunes

All the platforms are here, just pick your poison! Currently it’s on sale for $1.99, so I would jump on that ASAP!!

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I enjoyed Up In The Tree House so much, as well as Allen’s other books. She is a terrific author and a wonderful human, I’m glad I could be a part of her blog tour and I hope this helps you find a new book to love. Everyone here knows how important indie books are too me, since I have one of my own published. So if you’re already an indie lover, this book is for you, and if you’re looking to get into some indie books, this is a GREAT place to start!! And as promised, there is a giveaway from K.K. Allen for a $25 Amazon gift card! So don’t forget to enter that below!! If/When you read Up In The Tree House, be sure to come back here and let me know if you loved it 🙂

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kkAUTHOR BIO:

K.K. Allen is the author of Contemporary Fantasy and New Adult Romance stories. She loves manatees, learned to swim for the mere purpose of pretending she was a mermaid, and adores the beach so much she promises to one day live on one (in a tent if she has to) in Hawaii and serve shaved ice on the side of the road. K.K.’s Summer Solstice series (The Summer Solstice Enchanted, The Equinox, and The Descendants) are now available for individual sale or as a complete trilogy! Her short story, Soaring, is available for FREE. K.K.’s upcoming New Adult Romance, Up in the Treehouse is set to release on July 19, 2016. See below on how to keep up to date on new releases!
Author links:

 

Game On by Michelle Smith – Review and Excerpt (+ giveaway!)

25970036Game On (Lewis Creek #2) – Michelle Smith
Published August 16th 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark
Source: eARC from Bloomsbury (thank you!)

As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

Last year I read (and loved!) Play On by Michelle Smith. When Bloomsbury asked if I wanted to be apart of the blog tour for Game On, I jumped at the chance! I could not wait to get back into the world of Lewis Creek baseball plus the boy/girl next door trope? SIGN ME UP!

Once again Michelle balances the fine line of fluffy, fun love story and one that tackles tougher, real subjects. Eric is far from perfect and has found himself in trouble with the law, his coach and his parents for the last time. Bri has her own set of “problems” but has a perfect exterior that fools  most people. Bri finds a solution to Eric’s problems that pleases everyone, well expect maybe Eric. The two end up spending a lot more time together than they have in the last few months 🙂

Gahhhh I loved Bri and Eric! I am sure a lot of it has to do with the neighbors/friends to more trope that was going on but also Michelle writes great chemistry. In the beginning of the book, Bri is dating another guy and there was no fizzle there but later scenes in the book (and car rides!) between Bri and Eric had me swooning.

Books like this remind me why I love reading books written in duel POV. I loved being inside both Bri and Eric’s head. Both of them have their own, unique problems but they also had distinctive takes on the same moment. At one point Eric is standing up for Bri and later on Bri makes a point of saying she doesn’t need anyone fighting her battles. I loved how fierce Bri! I was not expecting this from her in the beginning but by the end she had me totally impressed.

I loved that Bri is also an athlete and a soccer player at that! I am always wishing for more soccer players in YA novels. While the plot is very heavy on baseball (it is Lewis Creek after all!), there is enough on the page about Bri being an athlete without it seeming like a random detail. The only thing that bugs me more than a book getting sports details wrong, is when a character is mentioned as an athlete but that has no relevance to the plot. It is a random complaint, that has nothing to do with this book because Game On gets it right!!

Overall I really enjoyed Game On and highly reccomend picking this one up. It is the perfect read to end your summer with and transition into fall.

FYI YOU DO NOT NEED TO READ PLAY ON BEFORE READING GAME ON! Either one can be read first and it won’t affect your enjoyment. If the boy next door is more your think, you may just want to jump straight into this one 😉


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Bloomsbury was kind enough to supply an excerpt today! Read below and then keep scrolling for a GIVEAWAY!!

He’s silent for a moment, until I look up at him. Big mistake. I’ve never been one to go all gah-gah over someone, but that stubble lining his jaw should be a crime. Like, that’s just common human decency. There’s no reason for a dude to look that good when there’s a 99 percent chance he didn’t shower this morning.

And there is really no reason for my heart to be fluttering at the sight of my neighbor’s jawline. Or his eyes. Or those lips, which are curving into the smallest of smiles. But it is.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t used to have a sort-of thing for the boy next door. I mean, he was my first kiss, for crying out loud. But then you hit middle school, and you go the Quiz Bowl route and he’s all baseball, all the time, and then it’s high school and he’s even more baseball and parties while you’re volunteering a dozen hours every week. Before you realize what’s happening, everything’s just different.

You still joke around in the driveway. Still stop by his house for dinner every few weeks when his mom invites you over. Still catch a ride with each other every now and then when someone’s car won’t start (hint: mine). Still say hi in the hallway. Technically, you’re still friends. But your paths never really cross in the same way again.

Until now, that is.

He shakes his head. “You don’t have anything to be sorry for. I get pissed off, too. It happens.” He leans in and adds, “Even if you did make me feel bad for loving bacon. Which is just cruel.”

I shove him playfully, making him laugh as I let out one of my own. “Still. Having a crappy week doesn’t mean I should’ve taken it out on you.” Crappy is the understatement of the century, but we’ll go with it. An ex who won’t stop leaving me voicemails at midnight is more along the lines of shitty.

I swallow hard, forcing away the lump in my throat.

One of the kids screams. My attention snaps back to them, only to spot them laughing as Brantley, an eight-year-old, red-headed firecracker, soars down the field with the ball.

I’m not one to brag, but he had a good teacher.

“That crappy week was partially my fault,” Eric says, and I finally look back to him. “You seem better now, though.”

Because this is my element. The kids, and the people inside, and the feeling of actually being needed? It’s a miracle worker. No matter how many phone calls I get, no matter how many times I have to delete, and delete, and delete voicemails, this is one thing that Matt can’t ruin.

“It’s this place,” I say.

“Why do you do it?”

He holds my gaze, waiting. Genuinely interested in whatever answer I have for him. But what he doesn’t know is that the full answer would keep us here all day. There’s only so much you can describe. When it comes to the thing that makes you thrive, that fills you with so much happiness that you could burst, it’s better to show instead of tell.

But he did ask for an answer, so I tell him, “Because I love people. And I love helping them.”

His lips twitch as he folds his own arms. “You can’t save the world, you know.”

I know that. Trust me, I know that. “If I can help one person, it’s worth it.”

“Your optimism is showing.”

A smile spreads across my face. “Maybe the world needs a little more optimism.” I pause, and add, “I’ll introduce you to them next week. The kids, I mean.”

His eyebrows scrunch together. “Why not today?”

I could tell him about the dozen volunteers I’ve seen come and go over the past year, about the people these kids have gotten to know and then bolted after one session. I could tell him how much it breaks my heart to watch their smiles fall when they realize someone isn’t coming back. And I don’t think Eric would pull something like that, but I can’t risk it. I can’t.

“You can hang out and watch this week,” I tell him. “Make sure it’s something you want to stick with. And we’ll do intros next time.”

“You’re the boss.” He sighs dramatically, tossing an arm across my shoulder. It’s something he’s done dozens of times in the years we’ve known each other, but for some reason, my cheeks flush in response. “Truce, Little Miss Sunshine?” he asks.

My smile grows as I nod once. “Truce.”

He flashes another grin—a genuine Eric Perry grin—before looking back to the kids, and for a split second, it feels like maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance we’re tip-toeing back toward the friend territory that was off-limits for the past few months.

Or maybe we never really left to begin with.


Click below to enter to win an ebook copy of Game On or get it from your favorite ebook seller TODAY!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
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738 Days by Stacey Kade – REVIEW (+ Giveaway!)

738 Days Banner

26114333At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?


There are two ways to read a book when you are loving it: you can either devour it in a single sitting or you can take your sweet time because you don’t want to book to end. I chose the latter when it came to 738 Days. I quickly attached to these characters and their story but wanted the story to last forever so I took my time.

738 Days is intense. Amanda is broken at the start of the story. In swoops Chase who is dreamy and has already “saved” her once. Turns out Amanda doesn’t need the saving Chase thinks, she just needs someone to help push her out of her comfort zone. I found the two of them together to be perfect. They both gave each other the patience and compassion they needed to be themselves.

The topic of 738 Days is not the easiest to tackle but Kade did a wonderful job. The story was never too dark or too light, Kade wrote on the fine line between the two and it worked perfectly. The opening of the book is dark (and possibly triggering for people) but the actual story takes place two years after the events. The book is on the longer side for a NA/romance but the pacing is so spot on that it never dragged or felt long. I actually finished wishing the book was long (because I am selfish and wanted more Chase and Amanda).

738 Days straddles many lines when it comes to genre (in my opinion). Amanda missed a chunk of her teenage years because of the incident and then there’s spent time recovering; because of this Amanda comes off young and naive at times even though she is 20. This book does contain sexual content but I think this would be appropriate for an upper YA reader. This is marketed as a New Adult (which is spot on!) but it also very appealing to adult and romance readers. Honestly, I think there are very few people this couldn’t appeal to!

738 Days is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I highly recommend picking this up if you need some something swoony or are looking for a captivating story (with awesome storytelling).

LINKS: Indiebound Amazon | B&N | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT STACEY KADE:

Stacey KadeAs an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and two retired racing greyhounds, SheWearsThePants (Pansy) and Shutter. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television catching up on her favorite shows (Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Almost Human, The Walking Dead, and Sherlock, among others.)

Stacey is the author of the The Ghost and the Goth trilogy (THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, and BODY & SOUL) and The Project Paper Doll Series (THE RULES and THE HUNT). You can find her (far too often) on Facebook and Twitter as well as http://www.staceykade.com

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr 

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

6/20: Lost In Lit – Review
6/21: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
6/22: Addicted 2 Novels – Review
6/23: What Sarah Read – Guest Post
6/24: Polished Page Turners – Review

Week 2:

6/27: Andi’s ABCs – Q&A
6/28: The Irish Banana Review – Review
6/29: That Artsy Reader Girl – Teen Heartthrobs
6/30: Jenuine Cupcakes – Review
7/1: Bookiemoji – Top 10

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of 738 DAYS (US Only)

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Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs (Review + giveaway!)

FUTURE SHOCK

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Title: FUTURE SHOCK

Author: Elizabeth Briggs

Release Date: April 1, 2016

Publisher: AW Teen

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life.

Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.

Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.


I love all of Elizabeth Briggs’ New Adult books so I was super stoked when I found out she had a YA coming out! Her NA feature realistic characters so I was excited to see her dive into sci-fi. 

This novel is definitely fast paced, which is always a plus for me for sci-fi. My galley formatting was a bit off so it didn’t have the correct chapter breaks but I found myself not wanting to stop (and since I didn’t have the chapter breaks to stop me I kind of just binged most of the novel in a single sitting). Right away we are thrown into the time travel aspect, which I didn’t have a problem with and the science makes sense! Then again if time travel were real and someone tried to explain it to me, I know I wouldn’t understand so I accept any explanation that half way makes sense (don’t worry this one makes total sense!!) My only small compliant here is that none of the characters got any kind of training. Personally if I was about to time travel I would want some kind of training. I wasn’t expecting much but they time traveled almost right after they found out it existed.

One thing I have always loved about Elizabeth’s novels is her characters and they definitely did not disappoint! Our main character is Elena and she is smart, kickass and fierce. She is originally recruited because of her eidetic memory but quickly proves she is also useful for her incredible street smarts and quick thinking on her feet. We have a colorful cast of side characters that each bring their own talents to the table. Right away I expected each character to fit into the mold that they were recruited for but each one proves their skill set useful in more than one situation.

The story kept flowing and was fast paced. Once again I loved Elizabeth’s storytelling. There were a few plot twists here and there that really kept me question HOW WILL THIS END? Overall I really enjoyed this one and highly reccomend to anyone who enjoys a fast paced, action packed story. I cannot wait to read more YA from Elizabeth!!

About Elizabeth:

briggs_elizabethElizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She’s the author of the new adult Chasing The Dream series and the upcoming young adult novel Future Shock. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs. You can connect with her online at:www.elizabethbriggs.net

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of FUTURE SHOCK, US Only

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:
3/21/2016- The Cover Contessa Interview
3/22/2016- U.S. – Brazil Book Review– Review
3/23/2016- A Dream Within A Dream– Guest Post
3/24/2016- Andi’s ABCs– Review
3/25/2016- Two Chicks on Books Interview

Week Two:
3/28/2016- Polished Page-Turners– Review
3/29/2016- Addicted Readers– Guest Post
3/30/2016- 125Pages– Review
3/31/2016- Owl Always Be Reading– Interview
4/1/2016- Rachel’s Book Reviews– Review

Borderline Blog Tour: Guest Post, Plotter or Pantser? (+giveaway!)

Boderline Tour Banner

I am so excited to have Mishell Baker on the blog today to kick off the Borderline Blog Tour (hosted by Hannah of Irish Banana). I asked Mishell if she is a plotter or a pantser!

I think that most writers are actually some combination of plotter and pantser… but I am not most writers.  I am the most die-hard plotter you will ever meet.  I can’t even write the first word of a rough draft until I have the entire book laid out in outline form, chapter by chapter at the very least, and preferably scene by scene.  One might assume it’s because the Arcadia Project books are plotted like mysteries, and so they require careful laying out of red herrings etc.  That’s true, but I also do this for every other book I write, no matter the genre.

I have tried to be more spontaneous, and all it got me was a lot of rambling garbage that had to be tossed out so I could start fresh.  Even an outline that is too vague can cause me to get lost in the weeds and have to start back at square one.  For whatever reason, my writing is like a liquid.  It has to have a vessel, a rigid shape to flow into, or it ends up a useless puddle.  I need to know, as I’m working, “I have 750 words left before I need to wrap up this scene and move on.”

The down side is that an outline that is constructed and paced solidly enough to reliably hold the content of a novel is very hard to write well.  It can take a month or two, easily, depending on the complexity of the plot.  Most writers would probably get frustrated after a couple of weeks and start champing at the bit to write prose — I know by the end of the process I certainly do.  But my persistence means that once the outline is finished, a combination of my impatience and my careful preparation means that I can blast out a surprisingly readable draft in fifty to sixty days.  Readability depends heavily on how well I prepared my outline; sometimes I discover mistakes as I write and correct them along the way without looking back.  But if my outline has done its job, I usually barely need to adjust the first draft before I send it on to beta readers.

Most of the writers I know prefer to stumble their way through a prose draft and then do heavy rewriting on a second pass, but I get too attached to my prose.  I try not to do any wordsmithing until I’m pretty sure I’ll get to keep most of it.

Thank you to Mishell for taking time to tell us a bit about how she plots! Make sure to check out Borderline (spoiler alert: it is awesome!) and enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy!

ABOUT BORDERLINE:

BorderlineA year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she’s sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.

For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she’ll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble’s disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.

No pressure.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository

ABOUT MISHELL BAKER:

Mishell Baker (Vanie Poyey, Headshots LA)Mishell Baker is a 2009 graduate of the Clarion Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop.  Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Redstone Science Fiction, and Electric Velocipede.

Her urban fantasy series The Arcadia Project is being released by Simon & Schuster’s Saga imprint beginning with Borderline in March 2016.  The series is narrated by Millicent Roper, a snarky double-amputee and suicide survivor who works with a ragtag collection of society’s least-wanted, keeping the world safe from the chaotic whims of supernatural beasties.

When Mishell isn’t convention-hopping or going on wild research adventures, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two changelings.  When her offspring are older, she will probably remember what her hobbies are.  In the meantime, she enjoys sending and receiving old-fashioned handwritten paper letters.  You can write her at:

Mishell Baker
PO Box 78760
Los Angeles, CA 90016

If analog isn’t your thing, Mishell also tweets almost incessantly under the handle @mishellbaker.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
2/29: Polished Page Turners – Guest Post
3/1: Don’t Fold the Pages – Review
3/2: ReadWriteLove28 – Top 10
3/3: The Reading Date – Review
3/4: Live to Read – Q&A

Week 2:
3/7: Wandering Bark Books – Review
3/8: BCS Reviews – Q&A
3/9: I Heart Romance & YA – Review
3/10: Fangirl Confessions – Playlist
3/11: Lekeisha the Booknerd – Review

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies (US Only)

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