Review~Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

13 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published by Simon Pulse
May 3, 2016
Amazon

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

 

Review

It’s been a really long time since I’ve been into a brick and mortar bookstore, but yesterday I wandered into a Barnes and Noble to look at the new YA releases, and this one literally jumped off the shelf at me. Who doesn’t love gelato, ice cream cone cover images and a story line set in Italy? I devoured Love and Gelato in less than 24 hours, staying up late into the night to finish. It is  a breath of fresh air to have a teen read free of swearing! Lina’s mom has died of cancer, but that’s not the focus of the mood, so the book remains light even though she hits some spots of mourning and heart ache. Set, in Tuscany with rolling green hills, stunning sunrises and beautiful sculptures, the reader will feel transported to a different time and place where lavish parties are still held in mansions the Medici’s used to roam. There are interspersed journal entries from Lina’s mother’s own time in Italy as she unravels what she is doing in another country with a strange man she’s never met.

I loved everything about this book with the exception of a few rough spots in the beginning where conversations rambled on a bit too long. I would have loved to have gotten to know Thomas a bit more–he was intriguing as a side character. Definitely a great summer pick, especially if you like contemporary YA with a dash of world travel and sweet treats.

Content-highlight to reveal teenage pregnancy with a professor, drinking

about_ the_authorJenna Evans Welch spent her high school years in Florence, Italy, where she drove a scooter, danced in fountains, and ate entirely too much gelato. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and young son. Read her blog, The Green Lemon, at JennaEvansWelch.com.

 

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Sing by Vivi Greene- Preview

12 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sing

by Vivi Greene
Published by Harper Teen on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperTeen
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible beach read—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Zoella's Girl Online—America’s favorite pop goddess flees the spotlight to Maine to recover from her latest breakup. Only to fall head over heels for a down-to-earth local guy and be faced with an impossible decision: him or her music.

After getting her heart shattered for the thousandth time, multiplatinum pop icon Lily Ross is escaping her high-profile, crazy life and heading to an island in middle-of-nowhere Maine with her best friends. She has three months to focus on herself, her music, her new album—anything but guys. This summer is going to be different.

That is . . . until Lily meets sweet and charming Noel Bradley, who is so different from anyone she’s ever dated. Suddenly Lily’s “summer of me” takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself falling deeper and harder than ever before. But even though Lily loves Noel, she loves her music and her fans, too. And come August when it’s time to leave Maine and go back out on tour, she will be forced to choose between them.

Review

Sing is the perfect summer read. Set in a small fishing town with fresh seafood, yoga, local shops and lobster traps, it’s the story of a pop singer finding herself. Lily has just been ditched again ,this time by a fellow rock star celebrity. Her pattern is to move from one romance to the next without breathing, but this time she decides it’s time to get away from the bustling city and slow down. While “dropping off the face of the earth” to a tiny town in Maine, she discovers her muse in the sea, the sand and a floating island where an old couple made their home. She also meets Noel, who turns her ideas of swearing off boys upside down. Noel is down to earth, homegrown and hard working.

Lily is written as a small town girl as well, besides the first and last chapter which seem like bookends that don’t fit. I was also a bit turned away by the cover of this book which doesn’t seem to fit either, but once I dove in, I found I truly enjoyed Sing. Thanks so much to Harper Teen for the sneak peek! I want to visit New England again after finishing with a smile on my face.

Content- highlight to reveal- one “F” word, some swearing, swimming in underwear, drug addiction, LGBT relationship

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The Magnificent World of Spirits Blog Tour

28 Apr, 2016 by in cedar fort, marlene bateman sullivan Leave a comment

 

Not everyone who visits the spirit world stays there. The Magnificent World of Spirits: Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die, gives fascinating glimpses of life beyond the veil by people who visited the spirit world during the early years of the LDS Church.
Filled with stories of insight and inspiration, The Magnificent World of Spirits is a stirring book that combines documented personal experiences with scripture, commentary, and quotes from latter-day prophets and other leaders. This book will bring you peace as you come to understand what awaits on the other side of the veil. After reading this book, you will never think of life—or death—in the same way.

About the Prequel

Gaze Into Heaven: Near-Death Experiences in Early Church History is a carefully compiled collection of more than 50 near-death experiences that occurred during the early years of the Church. These documented accounts give fascinating glimpses into the Spirit World by those who have actually been there. Most of us have wondered exactly what will happen when we die. What does the Spirit World look like? Will we see departed family members and friends? What do people do there? Do spirits there know what is happening on earth? All of these questions and many more are answered in Gaze Into Heaven.

 

About the Author


I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah. After attending Dixie College and Utah State University, I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in English. I married Kelly R. Sullivan and have seven children. My hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.

Writing has always been a great love of mine. I started writing stories in elementary school and was blessed with a teacher in junior high school that encouraged me, so I kept on writing. My dream of writing was put aside for a time when I married and had children, which kept me very busy. I did manage to carve out a little time though, and wrote magazine and newspaper articles. I honed my craft over the years and have been published in quite a number of magazines and newspapers. I opened my own floral shop at my home–renovating my garage, in order to help support my family.

After nine years, a health scare convinced me to sell my shop so I could pursue my dream of writing full time–thanks to a husband who was willing to support us all. I began by writing non-fiction books. I loved doing research and digging for interesting stories. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have concentrated on writing for members of that church. I write clean, inspirational books that testify that God loves us and is always there for us.

 

Purchase The Magnificent World of Spirits and Gaze Into Heaven.

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The Tsar’s Guard Parade Blog Tour and ARC Giveaway

29 Mar, 2016 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

 

About the Book

Title: THE CROWN’S GAME
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

 

About the Author

 Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram

The Giveaway

1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

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By The Stars Blog Tour

25 Mar, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

About the Book

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he’s loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. But the WWII draft calls him to the war in the Pacific, and with his small chance of return, Cal prepares to part from Kate for good. Inspired by a true story, “By the Stars” shows that love, faith, and perseverance can overcome any obstacle.

About the Author

As a Communication graduate from the University of Utah, Lindsay Ferguson worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years before resigning to focus on raising her family. As a contributor to Deseret Digital Media, she has had lifestyle articles published byksl.com, Deseret News, and FamilyShare.com. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel.

Blog Tour Schedule

March 8: My Book a Day | Write Writing Written | New LDS Fiction
March 9: Robyn Echols | Rambling Reviews
March 10: Bookworm Lisa | Totally Obsessed
March 11:
March 12: Novel-ties | Books R Us
March 13: Read Between the Bindings | This Mormon Life
March 14: Marianne Sciucco | Clean Romance Reviews
March 15: LDS & Lovin’ It | Emmy Mom
March 16: I Am a Reader
March 17: Getting Your Read On
March 18: Mel’s Shelves | The Things I Love Most | From Eeka’s Eyes
March 19: Singing Librarian Books | Inklings and Notions
March 20: Ashley Ziegler | Jorie Loves a Story
March 21: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | My Little Sunshines
March 22: Aubrey Zaruba | Making Life a Bliss Complete | The Random Book Blogger
Books Are Sanity | Fire and Ice
March 23: Becky’s Book Reviews | Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 24: My Reading Spot
March 25: September Fawkes
March 26: Wanna Be Balanced Mom
March 27: Compass Book Ratings | Wishful Endings
March 28: Blooming with Books
March 29: Jorie Loves a Story
March 30: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
March 31: The Real Housewives of Riverton

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Painting Rain Blog Tour and $50 Giveaway

11 Mar, 2016 by in annette k larsen, painted rain Leave a comment

 

Painting Rain

Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen
How do you heal your heart after tragedy leaves you broken? When the person you loved didn’t deserve it and they can’t earn your forgiveness because they’re already dead? How do you move on, and heal, and love?
If you’re Princess Lorraina, you paint.
A year ago Lorraina watched Tobias die, and she still doesn’t know how she’s supposed to heal—or forgive. How can she when she’s still running away? In an attempt to reinvent herself, she steps outside her comfortable life as princess and seeks the tutelage of a master painter—a man who is not at all impressed by her pedigree, and demands not just talent, but emotional honesty.
Struggling to learn what’s being taught, she finds herself drawn to someone who not only knows her secrets, but who she once considered far below her notice. Now she is compelled to seek him out despite knowing their relationship would be forbidden if discovered. Staying away from him doesn’t seem possible when discovering him may be the key to healing her heart and rediscovering herself.

 

Amazonadd to goodreads

 

Excerpt

 “Now.” Master Sterrino stepped toward me, grabbing my arm and pulling me forward until I stood in front of the canvas. He jabbed a finger at the blank expanse. “This is your one chance. This is it. So I suggest you take it! If you are so convinced that I should spend my time teaching you instead of a worthier candidate, then prove it!”

My chest rose and fell as I battled my emotions. I fought for poise, for dignity. I fought for the righteous indignation I had felt only moments before.

But his words screamed through my head, over and over until all I could hear were the words Tobias had spoken to me. What’s pathetic is that you have one chance. And this is it. I—am it. I’m your one chance to choose, and you won’t take it!

It had been a long time since I’d felt this kind of burning anger, and I hated it. I hated that Sterrino had found a way to fling me back into the muck that I’d been in throughout my youth, that he could make me feel isolated and unwanted. What did he want? For me to paint something angry and disgusting? To tear open my healing heart and smear my own blood all over the canvas? I had put up with Dante’s provocations—his odd mood swings—all in the hopes of having a chance to work with this man, to show him what I could do. Now as he stood there, mocking, I couldn’t make myself move.

“That’s what I thought,” he said with grating satisfaction. “Brilliance comes from experiencing life, from true love and true loss. I didn’t expect a privileged member of the royal family to be acquainted with either.” He raised one eyebrow as a final challenge.

True loss? He wanted to know what my loss looked like? “Fine.” I stalked over to the paints. “You want me to paint something you’ll understand?” I ignored the brushes and thrust my hand directly into the bowl of deep black, scooping out a handful and slapping it onto the canvas in globs. I grabbed a rag and smeared the paint until it spread in uneven, clumsy strokes across most of the canvas. But I couldn’t leave the black uncontaminated, so I grabbed two more rags, dipping one into the gray and the other into brown, smearing them on top of the black, mixing everything into a muddy mess. If pain and angst was all he wanted to see, then I could certainly give him that. I had spent so much of my life pushing people away—afraid that any close attachments would make me weak, that having fun with my sisters would make me less worthy of my title. I knew what isolation, anger and fear would look like. I threw the rags aside and curled my hands into claws, then dragged my fingernails over the canvas, slashing through the paint, criss-crossing in jagged, broken stripes. I scrubbed my hands on my skirts, forgetting that I had abandoned my apron, and moved on to the bowl of red. The final touch would speak of blood because that had been the ending of my tragic story. The story that I would just as soon have left behind but which Sterrino seemed determined to drag out of me. I grabbed a jar of linseed oil and dumped some into the red, mixing it until it was thin and fluid; then, cupping my hands in the bowl, I filled them with crimson liquid before flinging it at the canvas. It splashed across the surface, dripping down in rivulets. I shook my hands forward, splattering the edges with the excess paint from my hands, then took two steps back, my breathing labored as I took it in. What I had created was angry, torn, and ugly. Exactly what I had wanted. Exactly what I thought Master Sterrino deserved.

I swallowed the lump in my throat, trying to tamp down the burning in my chest caused by the blatant reminder of the pain I used to cling to so desperately. I tore my gaze away, refusing to claim it as my own and spun to face Master Sterrino. He was staring at me, his eyes intent but unemotional.

I flung one paint-caked hand toward my work. “There you have it,” I declared. “Enjoy.” I sank into a mocking curtsey, but as I did, it reminded me too much of the way I used to treat people, of the way that Tobias used to taunt and humiliate, and I hated myself for stooping to such depths. I turned without meeting his eyes and stalked out of the studio.

Blog Tour Sale!!
Grab a copy of Just Ella for 99 cents!

 

Annette LarsenAuthor Annette K. Larsen

I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University, where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children. I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/31/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Spring in Snow Valley Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

04 Mar, 2016 by in blog tour, giveaway Leave a comment

Spring in Snow Valley

Spring in Snow Valley: A Snow Valley Anthology

Operation—Kiss the Girl, Cindy Roland Anderson

Ivy Baker is doomed to marry a man she only pretends to be in love with to save the family ranch. Since she isn’t marrying for love, Ivy secretly creates a kissing wish list composed of scenes from the romance books she loves to read. She hopes to experience at least one kiss from her list before she becomes officially engaged and seals her fate. When she travels to Snow Valley to help her aunt recover from knee surgery, Ivy finds herself falling for Kellen Thomas, an irresistible cowboy she should avoid. By chance Kellen finds Ivy’s list, and decides to make it his mission to help her fulfill her bucket list, turning her world upside down and making Ivy want to choose her heart over duty.

 

Love Coming Late, Jeanette Lewis

Cynthia Eddington never thought she’d return to Snow Valley after a string of bad luck forced the sale of her beloved farm there. But here she is, about to start a new life with her children, Jackson and Anoria. Cynthia plans to focus on her career and her family; she’s not looking for romance and she’s definitely not looking for sexy cowboy, Colby Schroder.

 

Running from the Cowboy, Cami Checketts

Missy Horman escaped an abusive marriage and returns to Snow Valley to help her father deal with her emotionally disturbed mother. Volunteering to teach a youth Sunday school class seems like a good way to get out of her comfort zone—until she ends up kissing Porter Wilson in front of a bunch of teenagers. Embarrassed, and secretly thrilled, by the kiss, she writes Porter off as a playboy. But, Missy wasn’t the only one affected and Porter’s new mission in life is to prove that there’s more to him than flirting and world-tilting kisses. He wants to show her that a true cowboy knows how to treat a lady and, if Missy can’t keep her wits about her, she might just let him.

 

The Bet, Taylor Hart

When Destiny Morningstar gets blackmailed into spending her spring break in Snow Valley, the last thing she’s looking for is a date, especially not with Adam and Chase Moon—two attractive and athletic brothers. But soon she finds herself tangled up in a dating spree that includes a flag football game, swinging around the barn dance, and hiking to Snow Valley’s romantic hot springs with the town’s most eligible bachelors. At every turn she’s within kissing distance of one of the delectable Moon men. When she discovers she’s been part of some bet fueled by sibling rivalry and overactive egos she has to make a decision—forgive them both or miss out on the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

 

Sealed with a Kiss, Kimberley Montpetit

Jessica Mason and Pastor James are struggling to make their long-distance relationship work between Snow Valley and New Orleans where Jessica dances with the local ballet company. When April Murphy, a war widow with a child, shows up in Snow Valley, James reluctantly begins to wonder if he and Jessica are really meant to be. April would make the perfect pastor’s wife and he’d have an instant family and the stability he craves. But he can’t get the spitfire Jessica out of his mind and when she returns to Snow Valley to accept an inheritance, her male ballet partner in tow, the love triangle takes on a new edge. Can Jessica and James figure out how to create a family while living in two different states—or do they allow their hearts to move on and forget the passion they once shared?

 

Romancing a Husband, Lucy McConnell

Natalie Lawson is at a crossroads. Her husband is down on his luck and some days he’s just plain down while Natalie is moving forward, gaining promotions and starting new adventures. In some ways, they’ve grown apart and Natalie can’t help but wonder if her path through life will always include Eli. When tragedy throws them together, Natalie learns a profound lesson that may save her marriage and provide the key to romancing a husband.

 

Amazonadd to goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/17/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Blog Tour and Giveaway ~Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

10 Feb, 2016 by in pimpernel, sheralynn pratt Leave a comment

Pimpernel

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

They seek him here; they seek him there. For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title.

At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but “trying” is the operative word. It’s been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV.

If ever there as an unlikely head of a investment scheme, Claire’s it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop.

So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?

 

Amazon

Excerpt

The high-pitched scream from the other side of her apartment door shattered Claire’s thoughts.

“Daniel?” That shriek had been way too high to come out of a man.

“Help!” Daniel’s voice cried out from the other side of the door.

Claire unlocked the door and pushed it open, finding Daniel cowering on the couch in sailor-themed boxer briefs. Classical music played from his bedroom, indicating Daniel had been sewing before he ended up on the couch. On the ground between them lay the lounge robe Daniel had made in his fashion design class along with his house slippers. They looked like they’d been flung at random.

“Move!” he shrieked at her, stabbing his finger at the ground like a mad man. “Take the high ground and leave the door open. Maybe it will go back to the gates of hell, where it belongs!”

Claire followed the direction of his manic gesturing, freezing when her eyes locked on something the size of her fist with eight hairy legs. “Daniel? Please tell me that is a toy.”

“That. Is. NOT. A. Toy!”

The spider chose that moment to make its move—which happened to be sprinting her way.

Claire shrieked as Daniel motioned for her to join him on the couch. “High ground!”

Was he insane? She would have to leap over the tarantula to get to him. Why in the world would she do that when she could just run away and go to a hotel for the night?

“Voldemort?” a man’s voice said from behind her a split second before Claire backed into a male body blocking her retreat. Not only did Claire scream, but her body was suddenly possessed by an Olympic hurdler as she scampered across the living room and flung herself into Daniel’s arms on the couch.

“You found her!” a flagpole of a man from the doorway said as Claire latched onto Daniel, hiding her face against his shoulder. If she didn’t see the spider, maybe it would cease to exist.

“Found it?” Daniel scoffed. “That thing tried to duel me for my sandwich before I batted him off my kitchen table.”

Claire shuttered, only vaguely realizing that the shoulder she was hiding her face in was bare. I’ve never hugged a guy who was only wearing underwear before, she thought a moment before Daniel pulled her keys out of her hand and flung them at the ground to join his slippers and robe.

“Don’t chase it this way!” Daniel yelled at the other guy.

“Come on, Voldemort,” the spider guy cooed. “Let’s get you back into your habitat—Don’t run!

Wait, it was running? Claire didn’t want to see that, yet something compelled her to turn and look anyway.

People always said that horrible things seemed to happen in slow motion, but Claire could have sworn the giant arachnid was coming at her in fast-forward mode. In a heartbeat, she had climbed up to ride piggyback on Daniel while he responded by flapping his hands in panic as if he could fan the thing away with a light breeze.

Not only did the spider keep running, it was sprinting like an arachnid with a plan—heading straight for the couch. When Daniel backed away, Claire felt her back thump into the wall. Before he could move again, she pushed off his back to stand on the back of the couch, dropping her purse when it threatened her balance. On the way down, it ended up in Daniel’s hands and he wasted no time finding items inside and tossing them at the spider while its owner moved in to act like a human shield.

“No!” the tall guy cried as he tried to corral the beast. “Don’t throw things at her. You might hurt her.”

Just then, Claire’s favorite lip gloss bounced off the hairy spider, stunning it.

That lip gloss was dead to her—not just the tube, the actual brand. She’d never be able to look at it the same again.

 

 

 

SheralynAuthor Sheralyn Pratt

Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who’s been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn’t far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There’s a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another’s shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn:
* She’s a wanderer (geographically)
* She can write a novel, but doesn’t have the attention span for one page in a journal
* She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King’s stance that authors should not watch TV
* She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight

 

The Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/28/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Bluescreen by Dan Wells ~ Blog Tour Interview and Giveaway

08 Feb, 2016 by in bluescreen, dan wells 3 comments

 

Fire and Ice is thrilled to kick off the official Rock Star blog tour for Bluescreen by Dan Wells. Check out our exclusive interview with the author and be sure to enter the giveaway!

Title: BLUESCREEN
Author: Dan Wells
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Pages: 352
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

Author Interview

Tell us what events or conditions in today’s world lead to your future world?

Predicting the future is one of the coolest, and hardest, parts about writing science fiction. Writing a book set in 2050 was especially risky, because most of us are going to still be around in 2050, so we’ll know exactly how wrong I got it :)

The first thing I looked at was the technology: what are the first and most plausible directions our technology is going to take? Most major car manufacturers, for example, claim that we’ll have fully self-driving cars on the mass market by 2020, so I figured that by 2050 they’ll be everywhere–in fact, by 2050, my teen characters have never even seen a car that DOESN’T drive itself. I love the idea that one generation’s wondrous new innovation will eventually become a future generation’s old boring default. When I was kid phones still had rotary dials on them, and I’ve watched the development of push buttons, and then cordless phones, and then cell phones, and then smartphones, and now smartphones are so ubiquitous everyone seems to have one. I saw a homeless guy with a smartphone the other day.

Smartphones were another technology I wanted to advance into the future, so I thought long and hard about what the next step would be. Some kind of wearable, like a smart watch or a Google Glass? That’s the right direction, but it’s not going far enough–we already have those, so 35 years in the future we need to have something one or two generations more advanced. The answer I settled on is called a djinni–a wearable/supercomputer/telephone/gaming console/GPS/everything else that’s so integrated into our lives that we actually have them installed in our brains, with displays that just appear in our vision because they’re connected directly to our optic nerves. Want to call your best friend? Just blink, and you’re instantly connected. Want to find a good restaurant? Your brain’s already connected to the Internet, so just do a quick search, and then follow the arrows that appear in the air to lead you right to it. It sounds invasive to us, and maybe a little creepy, but in the future everyone has them, and can’t imagine life without them.

I played with a lot of other fun technologies, like smart houses and personal drones that do everything for you, but you can read more about those in the book. Right now I want to talk about the politics of my future world, which I promise won’t be boring because I can sum it up in one sentence: corporations run everything. We already kind of live in a world like this: rich businesses, and rich business owners, can get away with all kinds of crazy stuff just by donating to senator’s campaigns: this is actually a fun game that you can play right now. Go look up a politician–the bigger the better–and look for some kind of firm stance that he or she has taken on a major issue. Then go look up their campaign donation records, and nine times out of ten you’ll find a huge chunk of money from a business or lobbyist who’s directly helped by whatever firm stance that politician just took. It’s uncanny. All I did was extrapolate that behavior to it’s worst extreme, imagining a world where governments are essentially just figureheads, with private corporations calling all the shots, and making and enforcing their own laws.

But that’s the depressing stuff, so let’s talk about one more fun bit of futurism before we move on to the next question. You know why I wrote this book? The original seed that made we want to tell a story about a tech-obsessed future? I read an article a couple of years ago that said professional video game players were now eligible for athletic visas. Gamers are considered legally equal to swimmers and sprinters and basketball players, and our concept of “sports” and “athletes” is becoming digital. I love this, and I’m a gamer myself, so I sat down then and there and wrote a quick outline of a story about a group of teenage girls who work as professional League of Legends players. That outline eventually morphed into the Mirador series, of which Bluescreen is the first book.

How important is privacy and why?

I’m a huge fan of privacy, not because I go around doing bad things, or even super secret things, but because I thing privacy is important for its own sake. You should be able to do whatever you want in your own home, with your own things, and as long as you’re not hurting someone nobody has any reason to get up in your business about it. The problem with privacy is that what if you ARE hurting someone? How are we supposed to stop you unless we know what you’re doing? It’s a complicated issue that no society has ever truly solved. My Partials books were, in many ways, directly about the struggle between freedom and security, and in that same sense the Mirador books are about the struggle between privacy and connection. We want to stay private, but we also want to post thirty-seven pictures of this awesome party on Instagram, and those pictures will reveal where we are, who we’re with, what we’re doing, what clothes and food and other products we’re buying, and more. The sheer connected-ness of the Internet makes privacy almost laughable–we seem to have the idea that anything you put on the Internet is fair game for anyone smart enough to find it, which kind of makes sense unless you compare it to literally any other situation in the world. If I leave my window open, it’s still illegal for someone to crawl through it and take all my stuff, but if I don’t set a Facebook post to private, literally anyone is allowed to comb through it for information about me. The company that builds my car isn’t allowed to follow me around to see where I go in it, but the company that builds my email is allowed to to read through it at will.

Perhaps pessimistically, the characters in Bluescreen don’t really think about privacy much because they live in a world where it’s almost impossible. There are cameras everywhere, and computers in your head, and location sensors in every store and building, and you can’t walk down the street without every passing restaurant detecting you, checking your credit card history, and offering you a custom coupon for your favorite appetizer. Worse yet, your presence near that store has now been logged with your credit card company, and with the restaurant’s telecom company, and with yours, and now a whole horde of giant corporations pretty much know where you are and what you’re doing all day, every day, everywhere. One of the characters, named Sahara, straight up lives her life in a 24/7 video feed, like a YouTube vlog that never ends. Of course, if you’re going to commit a crime, you need to find some way to achieve real privacy, so our characters have to get pretty creative….

Where do you predict young adult society will be in 20, 100 years?

Holy cow, you ask hard questions :)

I see two trends in our society that might inform this. First, the period we consider “adolescence” is expanding steadily–you used to have this kind of classic, “Leave it to Beaver” concept of adolescence, where you became a teenager at 14 or 15, acted mildly crazy for a few years, and then buckled down and got a job and a family around 20 or 21. Today adolescence seems to start as early as 10 or 11, and can last into your 30s. On the other hand, modern young adults are gaining not just more autonomy but more opportunities for authority–it’s easier to avoid responsibility than it ever has been before, but it’s also easier now to take on responsibility voluntarily. As our technology continues to improve, and as our lives become increasingly digital, young adults will be able to do more and accomplish more because the standard barriers that prevent them will disappear. Want to go to a movie in Tokyo? Just strap on your VR headset and your there. Want to make your own movie or video game? My 12-year-old nephew already makes those in his house. If, on the other hand, you want to lay around watching movies all day and accomplishing nothing, you can do that to. Young adults will have just as many opportunities to waste their lives as they’ll have to make them amazing, and the cream will rise to the top.

What are your favorite dystopian writers and titles?

My favorite dystopian story is actually a novella by James Clavell, called The Children’s Story, about a classroom full of little kids. Something has happened, though it’s never made clear what it is, and their old teacher is replaced by a new one who teaches them, simply and logically, that the Pledge of Allegiance is meaningless. It’s a short and harrowing story about how easy it is to manipulate our thoughts and loyalties if we don’t take the time to really understand the things we claim to believe in.

Most important moral or message you’ve learned as an author?

The funny thing about being an author is that I’m my own boss, which means that if I work I get paid, and if I don’t I know exactly why I suddenly can’t afford to eat anymore. No one is knocking down my door offering me jobs and contracts, because there are plenty of other authors out there who are eager to get them. My job, and the most valuable skill I have as an artist, is waking up every morning and putting in the effort. No one else is going to do it for me.

about_ the_author

Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don’t Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.

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Giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of BLUESCREEN, US Only.

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Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson $50 Giveaway

01 Feb, 2016 by in Not Always Happenstance, Rachael Anderson Leave a comment

 

Not Always Happenstance

Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson

Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment.

But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar.

As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her.

***This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series that features one recurring character—the match maker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***

 

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RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

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Not Always (1)

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Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/25/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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