Posts Tagged: Egmont USA

Book Review: Drought by Pam Bachorz

12 Nov, 2010 by in new YA fiction 2 comments

Hardcover, 400 pages
To Be Published January 11th, 2011
by EgmontUSA
ISBN 1606840169
4.5 stars

Ruby Prosser dreams of escaping the Congregation and the early-nineteenth century lifestyle that’s been practiced since the community was first enslaved.

She plots to escape the vicious Darwin West, his cruel Overseers, and the daily struggle to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive and gives Darwin his wealth and power. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient that makes the Water special: her blood.

So she stays.

But when Ruby meets Ford, the new Overseer who seems barely older than herself, her desire for freedom is too strong. He’s sympathetic, irresistible, forbidden—and her only access to the modern world. Escape with Ford would be so simple, but can Ruby risk the terrible price, dooming the only world she’s ever known?

Drought describes a group of congregants led by Sula Prosser, a woman raised by a trapper father and no mother. Soon after Sula falls in love with Darwin West and becomes engaged to him near the year 1820, her father returns home from the woods with a man named Otto following him. Sula’s love for Darwin dies when she meets the new stranger whose blood has the power to heal and prolong life. But Otto disappears, leaving nothing more than a box behind and the child in Sula’s belly.

By now she has a following of people receiving weekly communion. Darwin West turns against Sula and her congregants, forcing six dozen men, women and children leave town and flee for the mountains. Their hope is to begin a new way of life in cabins by the lake. But their peace is short lived as the land they inhabit is owned by West. His revenge over love lost is fierce and soon the followers are enslaved by an evil landowner and his hired men called overseers.

Sula’s community are harvesters of water, spending their days scraping drops with a spoon from living leaves into pewter cups. They remain trapped in time, aging and growth, away from civilization and forced to work each day under drought conditions. If they fail to meet quota for the day they are refused food and beaten.

The story is told from the point of view of Sula’s daughter Ruby. She carries with her the ability to heal with her blood as did her father Otto. But, Ruby is different. She is determined and independent. After all the brutality she has witnessed, Ruby is done waiting for someone to come save the congregants from Darwin’s hand. She’s ready to fight.

A newly hired overseer named Ford shows interest in Ruby, he gives her hope in change. She is forced to make a choice between the life she has always known or the mystery that lies beyond the fence. Ford shows Ruby that she has an alternative. A new beginning is waiting for her. Will she continue to follow her upbringing or something that goes against all she has been taught?

Bachorz’s writing is riveting and deep. The society she portrays is reminiscent of modern day groups we read about but never live amongst. Her characters truly believe in their hearts, that one day they will be saved, all the while living in daily abuse. Drought brought up issues of faith, but it’s not the kind of faith I would consider main stream. It is faith in a human with supernatural abilities, with a cult like feeling. This fictional story had me questioning how many hidden communities exist today held under the hand of brutal leaders amongst religious offshoots and factions. Drought is a dystopian story that will leave an impression.

Readers should check into Pam’s site where she shows photos of the childhood camping spot that inspired Sula’s community and the reasons she chose for naming the main character Ruby.

Drought is fast paced and I finished it quickly. It is suspenseful and the author’s writing is brilliant. Bachorz paints such a living picture of the surroundings, the beliefs, the actions and the personalities of each character you feel you are watching events unravel firsthand. The ending is a shocker. Be prepared for a slew of gut wrenching, nightmarish moments ever present in the story. This is not a book I would recommend for children or tweens as there is vividly described human violence. There are a few minor swear words and inferences to sex. Overall, I think the themes are better suited for those 16 and older.

If you enjoyed Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan you may also enjoy Drought. It’s a book that left me thinking and pondering the conditions some humans have and will endure… wanting to know more.

In My Mailbox #20

11 Nov, 2010 by in secondhand charm 52 comments

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme originally started by The Story Siren. Every week we’ll post about what books we have received that week (via your mailbox/library/store bought). The idea of In My Mailbox is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.

Here’s what I have bought or been sent in the past two weeks. Click on the book title to add it to your own Goodreads TBR list.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- ARC giveaway from Firepetal books liquidation

True Miracles in Genealogy by Anne Bradshaw-received from author for review
Allie Carson Interpreter Extraordinaire by Marilyn Knighton- received from author for review
The Jumper Chronicles- Quest For Merlin’s Map by W.C. Peever received from publisher for review
The Melting Stones by Tamora Pearce-ARC giveaway from Firepetal books liquidation
The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal- From Egmont for Review
Dingo by Anne Bradshaw from author for review
Drought by Pam Bachorz- from Egmont for review
Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry- ARC giveaway from Firepetal books liquidation
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Lowe, Jen Corace- autographed copy, purchased from FirePetal books
Cate of the The Lost Colony by Lisa M. Klein- ARC giveaway from FirePetal Books
Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman ARC giveaway from Firepetal books

I have an extra ARC
of Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry to give away to our blog readers. Simply comment below to be entered. Contest ends December 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday-The Lost Saint

07 Sep, 2010 by in Teaser Tuesday, the lost saint 4 comments

Today’s Teaser Tuesday is from The Lost Saint by Bree Despain.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme
hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading.

This is how it works: Grab a book that you are currently reading. Turn to any page and grab two teaser sentences from that page. Make sure it’s not a spoiler in case anyone wants to read the book. Include the author and name of the book

“I couldn’t help but thinking that this would seem like the perfect night to someone like Talbot: a little dancing, a little dinner, and a little demon slaying for dessert. I thought about his pressed shirt, styled hair, and even a splash of musky cologne I could smell on his neck.”

p. 270, The Lost Saint

Book Review-The Tension of Opposites

09 Jun, 2010 by in ARC tour, the Tension of Opposites 1 comment

published May 25th 2010 by EgmontUSA
details Hardcover, 288 pages
isbn 1606840851
4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads…”It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.”

Tessa is an ordinary teenage in a small town who’s life is devastated when her best friend Noelle is kidnapped one day off of the streets. Her reaction is accurate and gripping as she struggles with PTSD, codependency and her life lines become blurred with the one friend she loves the most. How can she ever trust again?

As Noelle is found and introduced back into Tessa’s life, she is different…a ghost of the person she once was. She begins to deal with media scrutiny, experimentation with drugs to numb the pain, a dead end relationship all the while attending therapy. The social worker in me loved how accurate the trials Elle endures are. The feelings she shares and things she experiences are haunting. It’s a book with adult situations that happen to a teenager in captivity so be prepared for sexually graphic and mature content. Adults may be wise to process this with their teen or read it along with them. Also, teachers and therapists my want to note the story of Salt Lake teen Elizabeth Smart as an example in contrast of how kidnap victims may handle the dynamics of coming back into society and healing. All in all, this reminds me a lot of Halse Anderson’s books Speak and Wintergirls as it handles a real life situation. I do love how McBride adds hope and actual visible change into all of her characters. We actually see them shift as the story progresses. Four out of five stars to a deep and interesting read!

Email us if you are interested in reading and reviewing The Tension of Opposites as part of our ARC tour.

Book Review-Siren by Tricia Rayburn

05 Jun, 2010 by in ARC tour, siren, tricia rayburn 6 comments

published July 13th 2010 by EgmontUSA
details Hardcover, 352 pages
isbn 606840746

Synopsis from Goodreads…”Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.”

What a great way to start off my summer reading! Tricia Rayburn sets up the perfect setting in a quaint little fishing and tourist town in Maine with guava smoothies, sun and surf. From the very first chapter you’ll be pulled in to the romance and intrigue as well as the mystery of what is really going on in Winter Falls. Vanessa and her sister Justine spend their summers vacationing there with childhood friends and locals, Simon and Caleb. Who are definitely an attraction if you ask me…but this summer things are different. Justine and Caleb seem closer than ever, risks are being taken. When Justine dies cliff jumping her sister Vanessa is determined to find out the real story.
Justine will be forced to face so many of her deep seated fears as she spends time alone without her family to track down the source of the mayhem in her peaceful resort. She finds out who she is, and who her sister really was…which is as no one suspects. The characters in Siren are mesmerizing and magical. There are so many layers to each one they feel real. Myth meets reality and you will be entranced by this modern day fairy tale thriller with a pinch of romance. There are so many twists and turns in the plot you will never be bored! 4.5 stars to Siren, well done!

Email us to join the ARC tour which kicks off today at

Teaser Tuesday- Siren by Tricia Rayburn

01 Jun, 2010 by in siren, tricia rayburn 2 comments

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme
hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading.

Here’s how it works:
Grab a book that you are currently reading
Turn to any page and grab two teaser sentences from that page
Make sure it’s not a spoiler in case anyone wants to read the book
Include the author and name of the book

“She was outside my head, calling to me from the crystal chandeliers above, the pictures lining the walls, the rug beneath my feet. You’ve come so far…Please don’t go…”

p 110 Siren by Tricia Rayburn

Email us at if you are interested in reading Siren and reviewing it as a part of the ARC tour kicking off this week.

Trailer Thursday-NEW Shadow Hills

29 Apr, 2010 by in shadow hills, VLC productions 3 comments

Out trailer Thursday is “Shadow Hills,” officially released on YouTube today! I just finished this book last week and it is amazing. Vania and Anastasia are two of my favorite people. I first met Vania of VLC Productions at the “Beautiful Creatures” release party in Salt Lake City. She is one talented lady and a photographer after my own heart! Author Anastasia Hopcus has been SO good to us from the beginning. Enter to win Shadow Hills swag and see our review on the right hand side bar under International Giveways!

Shadow Hills Review and Giveaway

16 Apr, 2010 by in shadow hills 13 comments

“Shadow Hills” by Anastasia Hopcus
to be published July 13th 2010 by Egmont USA
details Hardcover, 400 pages
isbn 1606840835
4.5 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads: ” Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

I have been waiting and waiting to read this book since I first met Anatasia Hopcus after she entered one of our blog giveaways and I found out she is Team Edward. Later she sent us the first chapter and after I read it I was hooked! So when it came in my mailbox this week as part of the ARC tour I was ecstatic!!! I must say it is a book that will keep you captivated from start to finish. Phe lives an ordinary High School life until she starts having mysterious dreams after the death of her sister. Why is she having visions of a graveyard and a boy she’s never met at the same time every night? And who is he?

After enrolling at a prestigious school in Shadow Hills she realizes all is not what it seems. She is drawn by an unseen pull to a boy names Zach and together they unravel the secrets hidden for centuries. You’ll find yourself pulled into a whirlwind of mesmerizing characters, magic and chemistry that can’t be denied. Phe is strong and sassy and Zach is the perfect Yin to her Yang. I am sure hoping Anastasia is is hoping on keeping these characters for a sequel because I am dying for more!
Read our previous posts about Anastasia here…
And, I just happened to have a couple of signed Shadow Hills bookmarks and pins laying around for a giveaway!

To Enter To Win a bookmark and button (there are two winners) :
leave your name and email address below:
additional entries
+2 tell us your favorite band because we know how much Phe and the author love music!
+3 follow us @FireaicePhotos and her @anatastiahopcus
+3 tweet this contest
+3 Visit her blog and tell us what you think (the first Chapter is up!)
+5 add this contest or one of our buttons to your blog
Contest ends May 16, 2010 and is open internationally

Time Slip Thursday with Myra McEntire

01 Apr, 2010 by in myra mcentire 26 comments

Introducing the new time Slip Collection on Etsy, inspired by the novel “Hourglass” by Myra McEntire

Time Slip Necklace

Hourglass Earrings

Myra McEntireIndustry: Publishing
Occupation: YA Author
Location: Nashville : Tennessee
About Me
My debut novel, HOURGLASS, a YA time slip romance, will be published by Egmont USA in 2011. It will also be published by Random House in Germany and Record in Brazil! I am represented by Holly Root at Waxman Literary Agency. You can find me on Twitter as @MyraMcEntire …

Which is more important to you and why: flexibility or expandability?
Flexibility. For obvious reasons.
Interestswriting, reading, laughing, dancing, music, sneakers
Favorite MoviesThe Philadelphia Story, Christmas Vacation, Harry Potters, Twilight (specifically the commentary) and old school John Hughes
Favorite MusicMilesBillie, Muse, Blue October, John Legend, Corrine Bailey, Rae, anything I can dance to…dance breaks are important
Favorite BooksBible, Harry Potter series, Stephanie Plum series, Twilight Series, anything by Jane Austen, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, anything by a Romantic poet (especially ByronShelley or Keats

To Celebrate our new collection, I am giving away this cute little hourglass charm!

To enter to win the charm:+1 Leave a comment below
+3 for each dollar contributed to our Chile relief fund via Paypal to or if you prefer to send supplies, please email me at
+3 Visit her blog at and comment
+3 Follow us on Twitter @FireIcePhotos and her@Myramcentire
+3 Become a fan on our facebook at Fire and Ice
+5 add our button to your blog
+3 add “Hourglass” to your Goodreads to be read list, leave the link
+5 add this contest to your blog, leave the link
+3 Visit our Etsy shop and pick your favorite item

Contest ends May 3rd, 2010 and is International Good Luck!

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

12 Mar, 2010 by in book review 2 comments

To be published March 23rd 2010 by EgmontUSA

details Hardcover, 368 pages

isbn 160684038X

Synopsis from Goodreads: Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

I received the ARC of this book from Egmont USA and could not wait to read it, up to the top of my to be read pile it leapt. What an outstanding first novel by Alex Bracken.! Here’s what I love…it is appropriate for ages 12 and up and captivating enough for all ages. It was absolutely refreshing to find a YA novel with no swearing, no sex and no adult content.
Fans of Shannon Hale will eat up Bracken’s vivid landscapes and character descriptions. Brightly Woven is a captivating journey of one beautiful red haired girl worshipped as a goddess and her rough around the edges wizard. They escape duels, foes seeking power, natural disasters and overcome all in search of true love and the cure for a curse. Sydelle is strong and sweet rolled into one. North is one who will stay with you long after you close the book. Four stars and a congratulations to Alexandra Bracken for a breathtaking debut fairytale fantasy!
See what the author has to say about our Brightly Woven giveaway and visit her blog here:

ARC tour is underway, email me for details!