Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: Burning Glass (Kathryn Purdie)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at 
and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Burning GlassHardcover, 512 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2016 by HarperCollins

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.
BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go. 

What book are you looking forward to??

FFBC Blog Tours, Interview, & Giveaway: This Ordinary Life (Jennifer Walkup)

This Ordinary Life
by Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Sometimes Hope is the Most Extraordinary Gift of All.
High-school radio host Jasmine Torres's life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around. 
That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future. 
Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her. 
Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health--not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.

 What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Jasmine came to me first – a strong main character who loves working at her school radio station and works hard for her ultimate dream - to be a real radio dj someday. But I knew she’d have struggles – a cheating ex boyfriend, an alcoholic mother, an absent father. Her brother’s epilepsy was central to her character. I wanted at least one character who is struggling with epilepsy. It’s a subject that’s important to me, and something I wanted to represent. When I wrote in Wes, the love interest, also with epilepsy,

I wanted to show how characters are people first, disability second, and way more than the sum of their disabilities. Wes is a really great guy, and they quickly become good friends, and maybe more… Plus,

Wes gives her support, attention, and love she hasn’t had before. But he also gives her the hope she needs to keep following her dreams and caring for her family.

 Who is your favorite character in the book?

I can relate to most of the characters in the novel, in one way or another. Like Jasmine, I take care of someone with epilepsy and understand the unexpected struggles this sometimes bring. Like the Mom character, I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed. And like Ms. Hudson, I know what it’s like to believe in someone so much and be proud of someone else’s accomplishments as if they were my own, doing what I can to help them on their path. Wes also made me laugh consistently when I was writing him, and Danny I just want to give a big hug.

 Which came first, the title or the novel?

It’s funny how difficult titles can be. With my first book, I went through what felt like millions of titles. But with THIS ORDINARY LIFE, the title came to me almost as soon as the book did. Jasmine, the main character has lots of challenges in her life. She often wishes things were easier and simpler, but through the course of her struggles and chasing her dreams, she realizes that sometimes “ordinary” is found where we least expect it. And sometimes ordinary is more than good enough.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

It’s hard, harder than most people expect when starting out. It’s really fun and really wonderful, but it’s a lot of work, and each project has its own challenges. If I’ve learned anything it’s that the hardest and best work happens in revisions and that just when you think you’re done, there’s more work to be do. A lot more.

 What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I think it’s a perfect representation of THIS ORDINARY LIFE. Jasmine, the main character, is an aspiring radio DJ and that dream plays a big role in how she pushes herself despite the challenges in her life and family, so the headphones, record, and NYC skyline are just perfect for this book. When I saw the cover I think I literally squealed. I loved the colors, the design, every last detail, down to the little paper airplanes (those who read the book will get the airplane reference in regards to Wes, the love interest in the book.)

 What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas and The Pragmatist by Stephanie Kuehn

What was your favorite book in 2015?

Oh that’s a tough question. It probably changes on a daily basis. I recently finished SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli and really loved it!

What’s up next for you?

I’m working on a few different projects – all YA contemporary. My favorite at the moment is a summer YA where an unlikely duo teams up and tries to lose their real-life fears and worries in one crazy-fun and insightful summer at the beach.

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Follow the This Ordinary Life Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Award-winning author Jennifer Walkup is most often found writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and young sons. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also works as an editor and creative writing instructor, and is an advocate for Epilepsy awareness. This Ordinary Life is her second novel.
To hear about Jennifer's upcoming books, sign up for her newsletter here:

Win (1) hardcopy of SECOND VERSE by Jennifer Walkup and a swag pack (INT)
Win (1) of (2) swag packs (INT)

Random House Children's Banned Books Blog Tour & Review: Jump Ship To Freedom (James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier)

Today the fundamental freedom to read is facing more challenges than ever. Children’s books, in particular, are constant targets of book-banning efforts in school systems and public libraries.

The year 2015 marks the thirty-fourth year of celebrating Banned Books Week, and Random House Children’s Books is committed to those who stand against censorship. Fifteen of our books have appeared on the American Library Association’s list of the one hundred most frequently challenged books since the Office for Intellectual Freedom began surveying in 1990. Despite these instances of censorship, we continue to publish books that celebrate the freedom of expression. We are proud to support our authors’ right to write and our readers’ right to read.

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit

“[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”—Judy Blume

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”—Supreme Court Justice
William O. Douglas

I am beyond honored to be a part of Random House Children's Banned Books Blog Tour in order to help bring attention to some amazing books that have been listed as "banned." The idea of these books being banned is utterly ridiculous to me because so many of these books are phenomenal, touching, and truly could make a difference in a young person's life after reading them. Please join me in spreading awareness for these and other amazing "banned" books. 

Jump Ship to FreedomPaperback, 208 pages
Published February 1st 1987 by Yearling

Young Daniel Arabus and his mother are slaves in the house of Captain Ivers of Stratford, Connecticut. By law they should be free, since Daniel's father fought in the Revolutionary army and earned enough in soldiers' notes to buy his family's freedom.
But now Daniel's father is dead, and Mrs. Ivers has taken the notes from his mother. When Daniel bravely steals the notes back, a furious Captain Ivers forces him aboard a ship bound for the West Indies--and certain slavery. Even if Daniel can manage to jump ship in New York, will he be able to travel the long and dangerous road to freedom?

 Jump Ship To Freedom is the story of young Daniel Arabus and his journey to earn his and his mother's freedom. Daniel's father earned his freedom with his service during the American Revolution but he passed away shortly after. Daniel and his mother should have been granted their freedom as well but his "owners" secretly sold him to slavery and placed him on a ship to the West Indies. Daniel escapes from the ship and the story revolves around his fight against slavery and to earn his freedom in a new nation. 

Jump Ship To Freedom is a true representation of historical events that occurred in  America's past and would greatly benefit history teachers and students alike. It reflects how the real issues of slavery affected all social classes and truly shaped America's future. 

Random House Children’s Banned Book Week Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, September 27
Good Books & Good Wine – The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Live to Read – Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry

Monday, September 28
All About Romance – The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
BookieMoji – Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Bloom

Tuesday, September 29
Word Spelunking – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Eater of Books – The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar

Wednesday, September 30
The Mod Podge Bookshelf – The Face On the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
Curling Up With A Good Book - Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Thursday, October 1
Ex Libris – Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Alice Marvels - A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

Friday October 2
Words Sweetheart - Taming the Star Runner by S. E. Hinton
Book Chic Club - The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

Saturday, October 3
YA Bibliophile - The Cay by Theodore Taylor
The Irish Banana – How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: We'll Never Be Apart (Emiko Jean)

Author: Emiko Jean
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean. 

Find it: 

Book Trailer: 

Emiko Jean is an elementary school math teacher, whose work with children in foster care inspired her debut novel, We'll Never Be Apart. Aside from reading, writing, and teaching, Emiko is passionate about bugs. She can often be found in the remote forests of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband, hunting giant moths and cataloguing rare insect colonies. -

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads

"Wherever you go, I'll go too."
"Do you promise?" she asked.
"I promise," I said. "We'll never be apart."

We'll Never Be Apart is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page. It's a mystery...a thinker...and full of suspense. From the first time I saw the wickedly amazing cover.. I knew I had to read this book. The cover just grabs you and doesn't let go. 

The story revolves around Alice who is now in a mental facility after surviving a fire that her twin sister, Celia, started in an attempt to kill her and her boyfriend Jason, whom sadly did not survive. Alice is recovering and trying to get answers about her life and the events that led up to the fire. Alice is determined to find her twin sister and get revenge for Jason. 

Alice meets a young man named Chase while in the hospital and I felt like he helped her to heal and to focus on getting better while searching for the answers she needed. 

I enjoyed Emiko Jean's writing style because it drew me in immediately and had me captivated with every turn of the page. There were so many questions to be answered and Emiko Jean gives you just enough to keep you reading to the end. 

There were several reviewers that stated they guessed the ending immediately and they knew what was happening....well I am definitely not one of those reviewers because I had NO idea the twists that were coming and I was literally in SHOCK. 

I am not even sure what category to place this book in. Its a thriller, mystery, and intense psychological thriller all intertwined into one captivating story and I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book to anyone who reads YA and needs a break from the normal.

3 winners will receive a finished copy of WE’LL NEVER BE APART. US Only.

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

9/28/2015- Bookish Lifestyle- Interview

9/29/2015- Curling Up With A Good Book- Review

9/30/2015- Paranormal Book Club- Excerpt

10/1/2015- The Candid Cover-Review

10/2/2015- A Dream Within A Dream- Guest Post

Week 2:

10/5/2015- YA Book Madness- Review

10/6/2015- The Cover Contessa- Interview

10/7/2015- Falling For YA- Review

10/8/2015- Fangirlish- Guest Post

10/9/2015- Literary Meanderings- Review

Cover Reveal: The Infected (Pods #2) by Michelle K Pickett

The Infected (PODs #2)
Release Date: October 12th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

From the author of the award winning Unspeakable, and the best selling PODs, comes the highly anticipated sequel to PODs. A world where death stalks the unsuspecting, and this time even the PODs might not save them. 

A virus nearly wiped out humankind...

Months have passed since a human infection has been reported. Survivors of the deadly pandemic have finally started to build a life in a world left devastated by plague. 

Ironically, for nineteen-year-old Eva, life made more sense when she battled the deadly Infected than it does in the serenity of her new home in Rosewood. Separated from fiancé and former POD-mate, David, after an impossible ultimatum, Eva finds her life a little lonely and a lot confusing. 

But as troubled as Eva’s life is, it's about to take a turn for the worse as untold dangers watch and wait for the right moment to attack…

The virus refuses to die quietly.

Book One
(click on image for link)

About the Author
I can’t write without a hoodie. Yeah, I live it Texas. We all have our quirks.
I majored in accounting in college. I was required to declare a major, but I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I picked accounting because it was the first thing listed in the booklet the counselor gave me. Surprisingly, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Go figure.
Forget coffee. Hand over the Red Bull or Monster Khaos and no one gets hurt. Seriously, just set it down and step away. I will turn into a normal human after I guzzle my can of caffeine.
I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television.
I paint my nails weird colors just to see my husband roll his eyes and make my 9 year-old twin girls giggle. Oh, and mortify my 13 year-old son.
I’m a hopeful romantic and love swoon-worthy endings that keep the butterflies going for days, but I don’t believe a HEA always ends with the boy getting the girl. Sometimes a HEA is an ending we don’t see coming, but is still best for the characters.
I write across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups while eating way too many peanut butter M&Ms (but we’ll keep that second part just between us).
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now live in a suburb of Houston, TX with my very supportive family, a 125lb rescue “puppy” and a 12lb attack cat, also a rescue animal.
And last, (but certainly not least), I love my family with everything in me. Everything I am, is theirs. There are no words in any language known to man to describe my love for them. They are my center.
I’d love to hear from you. So drop me an email! Let’s chat. You tell me what you like in books, what you’d like to see happen in the writing community, what type of books you like to see more of…less of—I want to hear it all! So tell me, please. Because the one thing I wish I could put on my list, but I still haven’t figured out how to do, is mind-reading. But don’t tell my kids. I still have them fooled. :) 

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours