Tag Archives: teen fiction

L.S. Murphy’s REAPER swag giveaway and review:

The cover:

Reaper

About the book:

There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

Sounds awesome, right?

Now something about the author:

L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a  menagerie of pets.

She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.

http://www.facebook.com/LSMurphyAuthor

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/19

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5046440.L_S_Murphy

https://julieareece.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Want more? Of course you do. Here an excerpt from her book …

Excerpt

A spitball stops in mid-air less than an inch from my nose.
It hangs there. I assume everyone else notices the wet wad of paper too, but when I turn to my bestie Jordan, her mouth is stuck open with her eyes half closed.
She was just laughing. Now she’s … frozen?
The sudden silence is louder than a room full of gossiping teenagers.
Mini-quakes creep up my spine like a centipede hurrying toward my hair.
I’m not entirely sure my heart is beating. I wave my shaking hand in front of Jordan, hoping this will break her free of whatever happened.
No reaction.
Why am I moving?
So many times, I wished Jordan would stop talking. Now is the one time I need her high-pitched voice to pierce my ears.
Quin, relax. It’s okay. No way this is real. I pinch my arm hard, but it doesn’t change anything.
A loud pop makes me spin around in my seat. A man stands in front of the chalkboard in a bluish-white robe staring at me through blizzard white eyes. He holds a staff in front of him that looks like melting glass.
“Hello, Quincy,” he says in a deep velvet voice. “How would you like to see your future?”
I stand and stumble toward the back of the room. “Who are you supposed to be? Gandalf?” I’m unable to keep the tremor out of my voice.
“One person dresses up like me in a movie, and that’s all I hear.” He leans back on Mr. Spragg’s desk. “I’m far more attractive than him and so much more fun.” He winks and lifts his robe, revealing a pair of yellow and red striped Bermuda shorts and orange flip-flops.
My eyes pop wider at the mismatched mess, but I keep my thoughts about his sense of fashion to myself. “Who are you?”
His sigh echoes off the walls. “I’m Destiny.”
“Who?”
Rolling his eyes, he raises the staff high to his left. Like a swordsman, he stabs and swooshes it down in an arch. The air ripples as a dark slit opens. A man in a deep brown pinstripe suit steps through. His cheap sneakers don’t match the formality of the tan fedora and horn-rimmed glasses.
A pony-sized white German shepherd saunters in behind him, and I take an automatic step back. The dog turns his head, black orbs where its eyes should be.
Pinstripe man glances my way before turning toward the person who calls himself Destiny. His features contort and a maroon tint creeps over his face.
“What the f—”
Destiny flips his finger and the new guy shuts up. After a moment, he does another finger move.
“We said when she was eighteen, Des.”
“I’m aware of that, Forsyth.”
“She’s not eighteen.”
“Really? I never would have guessed.” Sarcasm fills each word as Destiny raises his eyebrows like a flag on the Fourth of July.
Forsyth glares. “Then why am I here?”
“I let you pick the date, but I never agreed to honor it.” Destiny pats the dog on the head with sneer and wipes his hands on his robe. “Now is the time. Teach her.”

Book Trailer:

http://lsmurphy.com/2012/09/26/reaper-book-trailer/

My review:

I really loved the premise of this story. Sixteen year old Quincy Amarante is in her sophomore year when she learns she’s to become the next Reaper—Reaper as in sickle and hooded cloak. Yes. That doesn’t sit too well with her self-absorbed, spoiled agenda to rein queen bee (along with her other shallow friends) over her high school body. (No, you won’t like her at first, but you’re not supposed too.)

L. S. Murphy uses the idea of death and responsibility to force her heroine to think about life a little differently, and over time, to make some changes. Like how she relates to her former best friend Ben Moorland. In my opinion, by far the most intriguing part of the entire book and worth the read just to experience him! My biggest issue was being defensive for Ben because he’s so hot and wonderful and sexy, I couldn’t understand what he saw in Quincy. But they were friends a long time ago, before she turned into a snob, and his actions proved he was looking for the girl he once knew, the one buried beneath her designer clothes and make up. He thought she was worth fighting for, worth waiting for, so I gave her another chance. I do whatever Ben tells me to do. He’s that great.

The end of the story is the best part, and the most frustrating. Murphy doesn’t take the easy way out, and I give her big kudos on that score. I loved and hated and moaned and swooned over the way the story winds up. Clear it up any for you? Awesome.

My nitpicks are that I wanted a bit more from the world building. I wanted Quincy’s redemption to come sooner, and I wanted the secondary characters fleshed out a bit more. None of that would keep me from reading this book again. I recommend Reaper to any urban fantasy lover. It’s different, well written, fun, sad, surprising, and despite those few lesser developed points, I really enjoyed it.

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Reaper swag giveaway!!!  Tell me what you think in a comment below for a chance to win a Reaper bookmark and this cool necklace. Winner announced next Wednesday, baby!

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Isn’t it awesome? Good Luck and thanks for stopping by! 🙂


Do you scare easily? Shrapnel guest post with Stephanie Lawton

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the cover:

Shrapnel

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099871-shrapnel

The blurb:

It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.

Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.

None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.

Now that I have your attention, I give you, the lovely, Stephanie Lawton

First, my sincere thanks to Julie for hosting me today on her blog. I was an early fan of Crux, and I know we both love books with paranormal elements, so I’m glad I get to share a bit of my latest, Shrapnel, with you in an excerpt below.

It’s a weird mutt of a novel that also contains soft horror, historical fiction and a great ghost story. The bit below is told from Dylanie’s point of view. She and Jake are at a weekend retreat for teen psychics, but have decided to do a little investigating outside on their own. Both have just experienced some crazy, life-changing events, and here, they get into a little of a philosophical discussion. Jake speaks first.

***

 Excerpt

“So …” He kicks an acorn across the sidewalk. “What do you think happens when we die?”

I go slack and tilt my head. “Really? You’re asking me now? You wanna know the meaning of life, too?”

He stares after the acorn he just assaulted. “I know, it’s just, this weekend has gotten me thinking. I mean, Ashley’s freaking about her brother, and Ethan is dead but he’s still in this house. And the whole church thing she brought up. I don’t have that much experience with actual ghosts, so … it’s a bit much.”

I ignore him and circle the tree a couple times, gazing up into its shadowy branches. A quick movement to my left catches my eye. A shape flies out of the dark and straight at my face.

“Shit!”

Jake doubles over in laughter. “Watch out for those killer squirrels, Dylan. God’s punishing you for ignoring my question.”

I point right at his nose. “And that right there is why I don’t want to talk about it.”

“God’s army of killer squirrels?”

“Ha-ha.”

Jake’s doing that squinty thing people do when they want to ask a serious question but don’t want to be all heavy. “You think he punishes people?”

“I know it.”

“Want to explain?”

“Nope.” I am not having this conversation. The memories start poking their way to the surface.

“C’mon, you can’t leave me hanging like that. Does it have to do with the cross shape branded on your thigh?”

Anger. It whips through me faster than I can think, scorching my nerves and setting my scar on fire. “Just shut up, okay?”

“Easy, Dylan. You want to talk about it? Is it, like, some weird cult initiation or something? You a closet Jesus freak?”

“You think I did this to myself?” I rub my thumb over my thigh. The memory of that day makes me tremble.

Jake’s eyes widen. “You’re terrified. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. I just thought—”

“What? You’d pry into my business? Make the freak talk?”

“Dylan—”

“Fine. You want to know? I was in the bathroom at school. Four girls came in. They dragged me into the handicapped stall, pinned me to the floor and pulled down my pants. One took off her cross necklace and heated it with a lighter. Then she pressed it into my leg while her friends sat on my arms and legs and laughed. Now I have a scar. Happy?”

“God, Dylan.”

“Exactly. God. He and I aren’t on such great terms.”

“They did that because you see spirits?”

“That’s one reason.”

“There’s more?”

He has no idea. And if I can help it, he never will.

About the author:

http://stephanielawton.com/

After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras and can sneeze 18 times in a row.

Thanks for taking over my blog today, Stephanie. Awesome having you here, as always. Your stories rock!

I’ve read this book people, and trust me, you want to, too! So good!


Dude, how cool are the IPPY’s?

Wow!

Wait … breathe …

You all have been so wonderfully supportive, I have to share this with you!!!

Okay, so I get home from work, open my laptop and read an email sent from my editor at J Taylor Publishing.

‘We want to let you know that Crux was selected as our book to submit to the Independent Book Publisher (IPPY) Award for 2013. It’s heading out into the mail now, to represent our company and you and the book itself as a whole for the national award.’

I’m pretty sure my chin dropped in one of those unattractive, slack jawed moves where you’re thankful no one was watching. Yeah.

Then the smiling started.

Now you may be asking yourself, what the heck is an IPPY? It’s okay, I asked that, too. I have no pride about being a newbe. We’ll learn together.

The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. We define “independent” as 1) independently owned and operated; 2) operated by a foundation or university; or 3) long-time independents that became incorporated but operate autonomously and publish fewer than 50 titles a year.

Thank you Google. 🙂 <<< Note: I’m still smiling.

There is no monetary prize, but is recognition at an annual banquet and labels and “gold stars” for the book, cover and press.

How freaking cool is that? How freakin’ cool is it I’m nominated? I am so honored and humbled and excited it’s not even funny!

Here are the IPPY Gold, Silver and Bronze Young Adult Fiction Winners from last year:

In Trouble (Carolrhoda Lab)Anteater-BoyKing of Angels, A Novel About the Genesis of Identity and Belief

Man! Would I ever LOVE to see Crux in the 2013 line up of winners. I have to be honest though, the fact that my publisher nominated my book at all makes me feel like I’ve already won. It’s nice to know they believe in the story so strongly. >>>  🙂  <<<< makes me do a lot of stupid smiling.

If you’re curious you can see all of category winners here: http://astore.amazon.com/independpublis2012-20?node=4&page=4

And check out the contest itself here: www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php

If you haven’t heard of my debut book, here’s the skinny on that, too.

Crux

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/13

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight. Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night. In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her. Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together. Her heritage did. Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

I just want to thank the folks at J Taylor Publishing again for taking a chance on me in the first place, for all their help and support, and for the nomination. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the opportunity. And I’m sending out a HUGE thanks and (((cyber hugs))) to my writing buddies, readers and fans for all of your crazy encouragement and support. You really are the best of the best!


3rd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

3rd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop 

January 18th to 24th

Co-hosted by Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf

Big, big thanks to our hosts! *loud clapping*

For more sites and more books … click here: http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=170704

Now the good stuff … To enter, I’d be really grateful if you’d do at least one of the following:

Follow my blog https://blog.juliereece.com/

Like my facebook author page here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/author.julieareece

Follow me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/JulieAReece

Add Crux to your to-be-read list here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13265572-crux

Don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you if you win. Easy peasy and you have my undying thanks !

Up for grabs:

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices: Manga, #1)

Paperback copy of: Clockwork Angel   The Infernal Devices: Manga #1

A manga-adaption to the prequel of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, The Infernal Devices is the story of Tessa Gray, a sixteen-year-old American girl traveling alone to Victorian London who runs afoul of the city’s sordid supernatural underworld. Rescued by the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, Tessa quickly finds herself caught up in an intrigue that may very well destroy her new friends – including the two enigmatic young men, Jem and Will, who have taken her under their wing…

AND!

A signed Crux bookmark:

Crux-Bookmark-Front-Printable

Thanks for stopping by. If we haven’t met yet, I’m glad to know you! And good luck, you guys. 🙂


Cover Reveal: Fire Country by David Estes

Fire Country

Fire Country by David Estes book one

Isn’t the cover great?

Title: Fire Country (Country Saga #1)

Author: David Estes

Publisher: ShareAread

Release Date: March 1st, 2013

Formats:  E-book

Goodreads TBR: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16160701-fire-country

Cover Artist: Regina Wamba

And here’s the blurb:

In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

Can’t wait to read it? I know, right? Me too!

You can add Fire Country to your Goodreads by clicking the cover art image, and you can find out more about David and his books over at his Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.


Welcome M. Bucheger Middle Grade author of Ginnie West Adventure Books

Here’s the skinny on some great middle grade reads!

THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A Ginnie West Adventure (BOOK 1)

Blurb:

Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Ginnie’s widowed dad plus Tillie’s divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club and come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’.

Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’  Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about.

When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

If you like farms, friends, horses, and secrets, you’ll love: Trouble Blows West: A Ginnie West Adventure.  So saddle up and be ready to ride with Ginnie as she explores the true meaning of friendship.

Debbie Shakespeare Smith, middle-grade author of The House of Chicken

TROUBLE BLOWS WEST: A Ginnie West Adventure (BOOK 2)

Blurb:

Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong.

She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Charlie likes being knocked down by one. When Charlie seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Charlie’s house.

Sadly, Ginnie learns that Charlie has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll with one awful blow to the chest. Realizing he’s a boy in big trouble, Ginnie switches gears and decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

I loved this book! I didn’t know a book without zombies could be good! 15 yr-old Amanda

SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN: A Ginnie West Adventure: (BOOK 3)

BLURB:

Twelve year-old Ginnie and her BFF, Tillie, schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. It worked. But before they could become ‘for real’ sisters, Ginnie stumbled across her dead mom’s journals. Which was totally awesome sauce… until her dad took them away and won’t tell her why. Now all their plans are starting to unravel.

If that’s not bad enough, Ginnie’s favorite uncle drops the mother of all bombshells and leaves her in a maze of uncertainty. While her head is still spinning from that news,  a blast from her late mother’s past shows up and makes Tillie goes nutburgers. Ginnie realizes her best friend has her own agenda and Tillie’s plans to merge their families may not be so innocent.

SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN is a contemporary MG novel that follows Ginnie West as she tries to make sense of one too many curve balls tossed her way in the most pivotal summer of her life. 

 

Want to find out more? I thought you would …

Monique’s blog:http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/,

FB: http://www.facebook.com/monique.bucheger

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoniqueBucheger

Purchase link:

The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure

Author bio:

Monique Bucheger was born in Landstuhl, Germany to active duty Air Force parents. After watching her creative writing teacher’s astronaut son lift off in the Space Shuttle Endeavor, she recalled a promise to her teacher to write the books only she could write. In January of 2011, her first book made it through the first 3 tiers of Amazon’s National BreakThrough Novel Award Contest to the top 5%. In November of 2012 Mrs. Bucheger was offered a 3 book contract for her Ginnie West series. Book one: THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A Ginnie West Adventure was published March 8, 2012. Her second book: TROUBLE BLOWS WEST: A Ginnie West Adventure was published April 14, 2012.

♥ ♥ ♥ Mrs. Bucheger has championed the cause of children as a foster parent to over 120 children and her books embrace and empower people on all sides of the child abuse issue.


Rise of the Fire Tamer by Kailin Gow $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Rise of the Fire Tamer by Kailin Gow

After winning a contest for a popular game called Wordwick Games, five teens Gemma, Sparks, Rio, Kat, and Jack, are invited to stay at Wordwick Games inventor Henry Word’s mysterious castle and play the newest level of Workwick Games. Little do they know, the castle is the doorway to a wondrous world call Anachronia where words can be used as weapons, power, and commodity. There is unrest in Anachronia, and if the five teens can follow the rules of Wordwick Games and prove to be the best player, one of them will be crowned Ruler of Anachronia.

Purchase

Book Trailer


Author Kailin Gow

Kailin Gow is the award-winning, international bestselling author of over 80 distinct books.

Kailin Gow is also the President of a media company, a media personality, and has been writing full-time since she was first published. Holding a Masters in communications management and leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations, she puts her leadership abilities, her experience, and desire to help others into her fiction books. As a result, she has written the forthcoming, Finding the Heroine in You book which is also a national tour. She is a mother and spends whatever spare time she has volunteering at the Red Cross, Battered Women’s Shelters, and other organizations.

Currently her Frost Series is in development for a major international MMO Game, and she has over 14,000 and growing Frosters on her facebook fan page.

Links:
Blog Tour now through January 25th
Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/27/13

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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway