Throne of Glass Read Along

Discuss Chapters 1-28 for 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (Review)

"unlike any book I've read before"

The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts (Review)

"as things normally go, it is in the darkest moments where we see some sort of light."

Accordance by Shelly Crane (Review)

"Accordance was a great second installment to one of my all-time favorite series!"

From Ashes by Molly McAdams (Review)

"The romance was amazing, I became so invested in the characters, and the story held me in its grasp from beginning to end."

The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter (Review)

"white-hot romance, amazing characters"

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday (Review)

"The world was spectacularly built ..."

Blood-Drenched Beard by Daniel Galera (Review)

"a bit too confusing and foreign for me to fully enjoy"

Review + #Giveaway: Polaroid Cube + Accessories

"a chance to win not only the Cube Cam itself, but 5 custom designed accessories that will make using the Cube 10000x more fun"

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver (Review | Playlist | Giveaway)


Genre:
Young Adult, Contemporary, Psychological
Publication.Date  April 28th 2015
Pages:304
Published By:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
AuthorTrisha Leaver

The Secrets We Keep on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:


A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.
(Goodreads)

The dark pieces of her life are hidden in the back of her closet for no one but me to see. She's not who I thought she was, but that doesn't matter. Maddy was my sister, my twin sister, and I'll do anything for her, including losing myself.



     The Secrets We Keep is such a great read. It's not an entirely original concept - twin sisters, identity struggles, loss of a family member and the emotional and psychological damage that follows - we've seen all of this before. And yet, Trisha Leaver managed to put together a fascinating, completely unputdownable story. A story of losing yourself in order to truly find yourself for the first time. A story of lies, secrets, rejection, guilt and grief.

     I devoured this book in just one evening. The pages really flew by and once I stared reading I knew there would be no putting this book down and going to sleep until I have finished. Trisha Leaver's writing style is pretty straight-forward and easy to absorb, and yet it is charged with incredible energy. Her writing really pulls you in and the way she navigates the events, slowly revealing all the dark secrets and the character's complex emotions and motivations, it is just so masterful, you can't resists it, you're drawn to this story like a moth to a flame.

     There is something utterly mesmerizing about the idea of one twin assuming the identity of the other - a deceased one, in this particular case. It shows love, dedication, the pain of losing someone so incredibly close, and yet I think it also shows deeply buried envy, the feelings of guilt and the longing to be someone else entirely. It's both moving and incredibly creepy.

     Maddy was always the popular one - the one who did everything to fit in with the popular crowd. She dressed up, put tons of makeup on, attended all the important social events, dated a popular boy and hung out with the mean girls. Her sister? She is the exact opposite of Maddy. Ella is said to be shy and socially impaired, but in truth she just isn't interested in impressing anyone, she prefers jeans and t-shirts over pretty dresses and high heels. Maddy pretty much shut Ella out of her life. Their relationship was strained. Maddy would only reach out to Ella when she needed her help - a cover story, help with school, a ride back home from a party. But as much as Ella would like to act like she didn't care about all that, she did. Deep inside,she felt hurt and betrayed and used by Maddy.

It was only after Maddy died that Ella began to truly get to know her own sister.. And herself.

     I loved this book. It really pulled on my heartstrings. I felt bad for Maddy from the very beginning, her hurt and pain was so obvious, I can't believe no one else noticed it - not her sister, not her parents, not her friend, sometimes not even herself. She always felt like she wasn't good enough, like she wasn't the one who deserved to survive, like she wasn't the one OTHER PEOPLE wanted to see survive. That resulted in the decision to become her twin sister - a decision that couldn't have been easy. It was emotionally riveting to witness Maddy struggle through all these events and deal with the loss of her sister. 


Playlist:

SAY SOMETHING, A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
https://play.spotify.com/track/6Vc5wAMmXdKIAM7WUoEb7N 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2U0Ivkn2Ds

REMIND ME WHO I AM, Jason Gray 
https://play.spotify.com/track/5eqz8gTDU13s7x2DZKiQA9 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKyY8zfjBMQ

GONE, GONE, GONE, Phillips Phillips 
https://play.spotify.com/track/5L79aNYCTKiZq7vaOElXYj 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oozQ4yV__Vw

FREE TO BE ME, Jessica Battistelli   
 https://play.spotify.com/track/7dIABjgt96YJQxiLHVCqfi 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKSQjSdU8VA

I WILL WAIT, Mumford and Sons  
https://play.spotify.com/track/2JHBMVs8E7bJJBLkXpKgHn 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGKfrgqWcv0

IN THE END, Linkin Park  
https://play.spotify.com/track/60a0Rd6pjrkxjPbaKzXjfq
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVTXPUF4Oz4

LET ME LOVE YOU, Ne-Yo 
https://play.spotify.com/track/1Ejsu5JglwIgrFW7Bt2GuL 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crrOl0egI00 

Ho, Hey, The Lumineers 
https://play.spotify.com/track/0W4Kpfp1w2xkY3PrV714B7 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4

I LIVED, One Republic  
 https://play.spotify.com/track/7D49Iig0avHre9RFSUMkd2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrA3mm7bLxM  

IT’S TIME, Imagine Dragons  
https://play.spotify.com/track/6BtmXhTJMM9sBTHeYYASGz 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sENM2wA_FTg

About the author:
Trisha Leaver live on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. (He is actually half Dalmatian so that could explain a bit of the excitability.) She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, and the YA Scream Queens -- a group of nine female authors who are deathly serious about their horror.
Giveaway:

10 Winners will each get a finished copy of THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Trisha Leaver (US/Canada shipping only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Must be 13 + To Enter. Open to US/Canada only.




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Worth the FIght by Beth Maria {Indie Author Month:Book Review & GIveaway}


http://evie-bookish.blogspot.com/2015/04/welcome-to-indie-girl-april.html



Worth The Fight by Beth Maria
Goodreads | Amazon

E-book 264 pages
Published January 2015

My whole life as I knew it changed when I was just seventeen years old.
The night that I caught him killing a person and showing no sign of remorse.
He promised me that he would never turn into this person, he would help me get out, then we would move far away to start over. He promised me that he would never hurt me, but he did.

My world shattered. I was plunged into the dark pits of hell with no end in sight. I just had to keep going on, living in the motions.

Until four years later when we are forced to be in each other’s lives again. Can we move forward from our past and leave behind the fact that he deceived me, or will it all be too hard to forgive and forget, especially when secrets are revealed that could threaten to ruin everything.

All I know is that I always have, and always will be in love with Phoenix James.





It really is unbelievable how different he is from four years ago when we swore that we would never bow down to our families, that we would go our own way, make our own choices--the right choices. Now look at him. He's in here, doing business with my father, reminding me that he is a million miles away from the guy I knew four years ago. The day that he signed his death wish. 
Look, I know you've come here to warn me not to fight, but I'm still going to do it. This is what I do, Em. This is who I am. I'm a fighter, and that is never going to change. That little boy who you used to know? He's gone, and in his place is a monster who has been dealt a shitty hard life. Just save your breath and go home.  
I'm not asking you to tell me your deepest, darkest secrets. I"m not asking you to tell me everything Em. All I ask is that you try to confide in me. Let me be your light by helping you shed some of that darkness that follows you around. 



This story......Just wow!! It starts out with a bang, quite literally and takes off on an emotional roller coaster from there. Every time I think about Phoenix (the male protagonist) in this story, I get feverish and butterflies. Phoenix is ALL male. He is the epitome of the alpha male. Tough. Roughed. Smooth. Sexy. He is also a typical guy in the fact that he is frustrating, raw, mean, and domineering at times.

Emilia (known as Em) appears strong on the outside but hides so much anger and sadness in her eyes. Em is determined to stay away from Phoenix since he betrayed her four years earlier. She thought he was the only one she could trust, turns out he was the absolute LAST one she could trust. Her heart just doesn't seem to be cooperating with her though. As soon as Phoenix enters her life again, Em knows by instinct, she needs to protect her heart. But how long can she stand being near him and not being with him?

Emilia's father is the head of THE organization. He a ruthless, conniving horrible man. Em wonders how she is related to such a tyrant. All she wants is to get out from under her fathers lethal hand and live her life. That small dream depends on Phoenix though, and when Phoenix breaks his promise, Em feels even more alone in the world.

This book is intense in every sense of the word. There are steamy sex scenes, suspenseful story lines, and sweet poetry like scenes that take your breath away. This book has it all but is definitely highly emotional. SO grab your tissues because this book is a MUST for any romance junky!




GIVEAWAY
Beth is giving away three eBook copies of "Worth the Fight"  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Hi, I'm Beth Maria.

I have a two year old son and we live in the not so sunny country England.
I love reading, so when I read over 300 books, I decided to give writing a go myself. I had an amazing journey writing 'Alive' and can't wait for you all to read it.
When I'm not looking after my son, you can find me in bed, reading, writing or watching a good film, whether it be action, romance or comedy. I like anything :)


Beth  loves interacting with readers, so go ahead and connect:
 
 
 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Author Interview: Valia Lind

http://evie-bookish.blogspot.com/2015/04/welcome-to-indie-girl-april.html
Click the banner to go to the full schedule for Indie Girl April!


Author Interview 


Hi, Valia! Welcome to Bookish! Thank you so much for dropping by!

I’m so excited to be here!


To kick this off, can you tell us a little bit about your books?

Well, I have four books out now, so I’ll do a quick run down. Falling by Design, my debut YA Contemporary, is about a high school senior struggling to follow her dreams of becoming a fashion designer, while dealing with the return of her very hot, but oh so annoying childhood nemesis. Edge of Falling is a companion novel, focusing on two best friends and their journey on figuring out what exactly do they want out of life.

Pieces of Revenge is my first YA Thriller and it focuses on a girl who lost her whole family to a corporation that likes to play God. Anastasia, the main character, has a beyond perfect memory and a particular set of skills (very Liam Neeson like). She sets out on a revenge mission, meeting people along the way and discovering for herself why her family was murdered in the first place. Scarred by Vengeance is book two in the YA Thriller trilogy.



You write a few different genres. Do you have one you prefer to write more than others? Or is one easier to write?

It’s kind of funny when I look back over my books because I wrote Pieces of Revenge way before I wrote Falling by Design. I thought that I was better at action like writing versus romance, but now, I have discovered that it just depends on the mood I am in. When I get an idea, like I did with Falling by Design, I couldn’t write another genre until that book was out of my system. But the moment it was, I needed blood and gore of Pieces. I think for me, both of the genre’s balance each other out and make me a better writer because it takes that much more work. I’m always looking to expand on my writing, so we’ll see what other genre’s I’ll have under my belt soon!


Do you have a favorite character from your books? If so, who is it and why?

I feel like this is one of those questions that people would say, “It’s like picking a favorite child.” I’m not a mother so I wouldn’t know, but I’d think that it may feel something like this. :)

I don’t know if I have an absolute favorite character, because I truly enjoy writing each and every single one. But I think if I were to pick one character that stands out to me, it’ll be Anastasia. I’m just as stubborn as she is, so I think I relate to her the most. Then again, I think all of my characters have pieces of me in them. Logan is also a big favorite, because he’s a bad boy but a good guy all rolled into one. And he drives Anastasia crazy and that’s fun to write.



Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

This is definitely one of those questions that deserve and ‘I don’t know’ answer. Honestly, when I’m slammed with an idea, I don’t even know where it came from. It just takes a hold of my whole body, it seems, and I have to write it out right then and there.

The only book I can truly rememeber having a starting point with was Pieces. I downloaded a song off itunes free song of the day gig, Clarity by Zedd, before they became popular. And the song just spoke to me. I listened to it at least five times on the way to meet my critique partner for a writing session and when I got there I told her, “I heard this song. Listen to it. I want to write the characters that feel that intensly about each other.” She told me to go for it, and Anastasia and Logan were born.



Let’s talk specifically about the Titanium series for a moment. The second book, Scarred by Vengeance released recently. What can people expect when picking up this series?

I think the biggest thing they can expect from Titanium is action. The whole series is written almost like a TV show. There’s not much character development in book one, but there’s plenty of hand to hand combat and car chases. I wanted it to be like that because sometimes you need a book that just takes you for a ride. Book two is a little bit more slow paced, and you get to really discover the characters for yourself, but not by much. You want action? This is the series for you.


Because my curiosity about this never fades, I must ask--how do you choose the names of your characters? Is it something you think about for a while, or do you go with gut feelings and just choose names on the spot? Do any of your character names have any special meaning? Have any of the characters’ names changed throughout writing?

Actually, I have a name choosing ceremony where I invite all kinds of sprits to guide me on the journey. No, I’m kidding. No animals were harmed in the naming of any of my characters. But it is a process for me. I cannot start a book until I have named my babies in the way that speaks to me. I like unique names, but I also like names that can be shortened into nicknames. I will browse every possible website or baby naming book until something speaks to me. Sometimes, it takes a while. But once I settle on a name, it sticks. I don’t think I’ve every changed a name once I start writing the characters.

Anastasia was one name that has a special meaning to me. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, I grew up hearing the stories of the last Romanov’s. I watched their burial on national television when they finally recovered the bones. My Anastasia has a little of that Russian royalty in her.



And again, because I can’t help but ask--how do you title your books? Do you come up with the titles before or after you’ve written the book? Have any titles ever changed throughout the writing process?

Titles are a spawn of the devil and they hate me. Seriously, I have the hardest time ever finding titles for my books. I think it takes me longer to name something, then it does to write the whole book. I have never had a title come to me before the book is done. It’s like I have to know what the book is before I can name it. I’m so bad at titles, it would be laughable if it wasn’t such a nuisance to me. I have a friend who names all her books before she writes them and I wish I could do that!


What is your writing process like? How long does writing a book usually take?

My writing process has really changed with every book I’ve written. I’m not an outliner, not even when I was writing book two in my trilogy. I write all over the place until I find my voice and then I put it in order and go from there. Before I start, I write out the back of the book summary and that’s the outline that guides my writing. I use notecards in Scrivener and regular paper ones to keep track of my ideas as I go along. I also don’t edit as much when I write. I just need to get it all out of me first. It’s trully a mess, until I go into revisions and figure it all out.

It usually takes me a good month to month and half to get the first draft out. Sometimes it takes way longer, but I think I’m finally finding a rhythm.



What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the future?

I’m actually working on quite a few things right now, because apparently, I like to torture myself. Haha. The project I’m working on at the moment is a NA Mystery. Think Nancy Drew/Veronica Mars kind of a story. I’m crazy excited about it because NA is a new genre for me.

I also have book three in Titanium series to finish and book three in my Falling companion series. Hoping to have those last two out this summer!



As a reader, do you prefer to read the same genres you write? Or are your reading tastes different? Who are some of you favorite authors? Some of your favorite books?

Your questions are so hard, Jessica! You keep asking me to pick favorites.

In terms of my reading habits, I’ve been trying to read a variety of genre’s every month. I’ll pick five books or so, raging from adult to young adult to non fiction, and try to get through as many as I can. Sometimes, it’s hard when I’m on a deadline, but I’ve learned that I absolutely cannot stop reading. I try not too read too much in the exact genre I’m writing, but around it. For example, I’m writing a NA Mystery, so I’m reading a lot of adult thrillers in any sub-genre that interests me. When I’m writing YA Contemporaries, I try to read chik lit, historical romance, mystery romance, you get the idea. I need to learn how to craft my books, but I also don’t want to unintentionally write something down that isn’t mine. It’s a process. Haha.

As for favorites, ah! Where to even begin? I’ve read so many fantastic books already this year. The Martian by Andy Weir, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I’m obsessed with the Others series by Anne Bishop. Should I keep going? Because I’ve got lots more recommendations!



And before we have to go, can you tell us something random about yourself? Also, that favorite character you mentioned--something random about them, too?

Hmm, something random about myself.... I like to play board games, I’m trying to collect snow globes from every place I visit, and I can’t fall asleep at night unless I have Criminal Minds on in the background.

As for Anastasia, she has a serious secret love colorful high heels. You won’t find this out till book three, but she’s obsessed. It’s very girly and not at all like Anastasia. As for Logan, he’s an amazing cook. There’s a story there, but I’m not sharing. You’ll have to read the book to find out more about those two.



Thank you so, so much for chatting with me, Valia! You’re awesome and we’ll definitely have to bring you back for another visit sometime :)

Thank you so much for having me! I had a ton of fun answering all the questions! You’re the best!



About Valia

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at www.valialind.wordpress.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.
 



About Pieces of Revenge

A weapon. A broken life. A humanity lost.

That is all Anastasia knows, that is all that she is. As an eleven-year-old, she witnessed her family's brutal murder and she's been on the run ever since. She's spent her life training and planning for the day when she can take her revenge.

Kallos Enterprises is a well respected corporation, set on improving the genetic structure of an individual. Or so they say. Anastasia knows, first hand, what kind of monsters lurk behind the pretty walls of those skyscrapers. Armed with combat skills and a beyond perfect memory, she heads to Chicago to uncover the answers to questions that plagued her for years.

After arriving in the city, she meets Logan, a boy from her past who changes all the rules. She doesn't remember him, but he remembers her. His position at Kallos Enterprises is useful, his presence is unnerving, and he makes her question everything she knows about herself to be true. If her perfect memory can't remember Logan, what else about her past is wrong?

Time is running out. Anastasia has nowhere to turn, but to trust the one person who's a memory she should have, but doesn't. With a madman threatening their every step, Anastasia and Logan must uncover the truths behind Kallos experiments and hope that the answers they find won't destroy the world forever.



More of Valia's Books


Scarred by Vengeance (Titanium, #2)  Simplicity

Falling by Design (Falling, #1)  Edge of Falling (Falling #2)






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