Monday, 30 September 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Shrapnel by Stephanie Lawton

Shrapnel by Stephanie Lawton is my feature today. This is a cool concept for a book - a reality show about teenagers who have psychic abilities and are thrown together in a haunted house for the weekend. Stephanie writes with a fresh, funny voice that had me laughing. Her characters are complex and interesting, and the story is original.

While the story seems to be mostly about Dylan, the book is written in the first person alternating between Dylan, Jake, and Ashley. For me personally, I found that a bit difficult to follow, though Stephanie did a great job of giving each character their own unique voice, and the story was so good that it didn't really slow me down much. This is definitely a book that you'll enjoy!

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.
14+ for brief violence and sexuality

Buy Links:  Evernight Teen        Amazon

Monday, 23 September 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Unraveled by S.X. Bradley

I can't say enough about Unraveled by S.X. Bradley! The book opens with our main character Autumn, finding her sister murdered in their home. Absolutely heart breaking. I think I started bawling before I finished reading the first page, and didn't really stop throughout much of the book. But that's not a bad thing! it's a mark of a great writer that she can move her readers to tears. Bradley writes emotion extremely well and the the book is as much about Autumn's journey of emotional healing as it is about her desperate search for her sister's killer.

This book is a fabulous mystery that will keep you guessing to the end, and Autumn's abilities as a sleuth are admirable. Throw in a touch of romance, and the whole thing is a winner. This is one you won't want to miss!

Sixteen year old math whiz, Autumn, spends her days reading about serial killers and dreaming of becoming an FBI Profiler. She never dreams her first case will be so personal. Her world is shattered when she comes home from school and discovers her murdered sister’s body on the living room floor. When the initial evidence points to a burglary gone wrong, Autumn challenges the police’s theory because of the personal nature of the crime. Thinking that finding the killer will bring her family back together, she conducts her own investigation using her affinity for math and forensics, but her plan backfires and her obsession with the case further splinters her family.

When her investigation reveals the killer is someone she knows, Autumn offers herself up as bait and sets a dangerous trap to unmask his true nature and to obtain a confession for her sister’s murder.
14+ for brief violence

Buy links:  Evernight Teen     Amazon

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Going on a Blog Tour!

The lovely folks at Sizzling PR have coordinated a blog tour for me from September 23 - September 30. At each stop you'll find information about my book, plus interviews, guest posts, reviews and more!

And to bribe you to check it out, I'm offering a prize! One lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of X5, AND $25 to spend at Amazon, where you could pick up some of the other great offerings from Evernight Teen. They've got a slew of new titles just released or coming soon. 

Below is the schedule. I hope you can stop by! Each of these bloggers has a host of other treats on their blogs that you won't want to miss. Plus, I've got the Rafflecopter below for my awesome giveaway!

23 – Guest Post @ Laura Diamond
23 – Guest Post @ Jessica Tornese
24 – Spotlight @ Indie Author Books and More
24 — Interview @ Self Publish or Die
25 – Spotlight @ The Seraphine Muse
25 — Interview @ Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
26 – Spotlight @ New Age Mama
27 – Interview and Review @ Sizzling Hot YA Books
28 — Top ten list @ Kayla’s Place
30 — Spotlight @ Le’ Book Squirrel
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 16 September 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Blood Hex by Erin Butler

Today's feature is Blood Hex by Erin Butler. This book is about a girl named Sarah who discovers her dead father's journal and learns of an aunt she hadn't known about. Annoyed with her mother for keeping this a secret, Sarah takes off to find the aunt and learn more about her dad. But the town she ends up in is full of strange secrets, and Sarah feels as though she's caught up in something much bigger than herself.

Sarah's story is interspersed with the tale of Isabella from centuries earlier, and her fight for the boy she loves amid a town obsessed with witch hunts.

Although the alternating story lines confused me a little at first (and let's face it, I confuse easily!), once I got my head around it, I was drawn in and had to keep going to figure out how Isabella's story and Sarah's connected. In the beginning, it doesn't seem as if they do, but little by little, Erin tosses out crumbs to keep you searching for the truth. It's very well written, and the author does a great job of stringing the reader along on this intricate and well-planned story. The ending is a bit surprising, but makes complete sense when you arrive there. Definitely check out this amazing book from Evernight Teen!


Two girls. Four centuries. One curse. 

Isabella started it—all because a boy fell in love with her—but it ends with Sarah. 

Isabella and Thomas meet in secret during the witching hours while the rest of the villagers hide behind locked doors. And even though Isabella's scared, she wants Thomas more. He'll protect her from the night, from his father who'll decide her future, and from the paranoia-fueled hunting parties taking away innocents. 

Centuries later, seventeen-year old Sarah runs away to an aunt she never knew she had. Her dad? Dead. Her mother? A liar. She wants the memories of a father she never got, but instead, discovers her father's death wasn’t innocent. Everyone—the Wiccans, the townies, even her quasi-boyfriend—is hiding something. The history-rich town has a secret they will kill to keep, entangling Sarah into a centuries old witch curse.
14+ due to violence and adult situations

Buy Links:   Evernight Teen     Amazon

Monday, 9 September 2013

Evernight Teen Double Feature: Phoenix: The Rising by Bette Maybee & Elysium by Sylah Sloan

Phoenix: The Rising is Evernight Teen's first book, and they certainly picked a great one to get started with. The story revolves around Julie, a seventeen year old girl who is struggling with illness, family issues, and being accepted at her new school. Then she meets Eli, and suddenly her whole world changes, because now she's trying to escape from the Nephilim, fallen angels who've gone on a killing spree in search of the Phoenix.

Once I started this book, I only put it down because I literally could not keep my eyes open. It's fast paced and gripping. I love the way Bette's taken actual mythology and created her own modern take on it. The writing is excellent and will keep you hooked throughout. And though the story is complete in itself, its ending hints at a sequel and I'm looking forward to reading that as well!

Every 300 years, the immortal Phoenix returns to Mono Lake to be reborn—but this time it didn't return alone.  The Nephilim are back in force, trying to keep it from being reborn so one of them can claim its immortality. But first they have to figure out who the Phoenix is—and any red-haired, green-eyed, seventeen-year-old in the area is fair game. And so, the killing begins...
Julie Mason doesn't believe all this legend crap until she falls for Eli Sullivan, whose hallucination-inducing kiss not only saves her, but makes her the Nephilim’s prime target. But, it's worth the risk. Her death is inevitable...not even Eli can prevent it.  All she has to do is keep the Nephilim off Eli’s trail until The Rising. Once Eli is reborn and forgets his past life, Julie’s life is over, whether she’s dead or not. At least that's what she thinks...
14+ for brief violence and sexuality
Buy links:  Evernight Teen     Amazon

Elysium is not to be confused with the recent movie. It's the story of a girl who suddenly finds out that her life is not what she once thought it was. She's taken to a new school for paranormal people such as herself, and discovers that she is a pawn in a new power play.
I really enjoyed Sylah's book. It was the first of the Evernight Teen books that I read, even before I had considered submitting my own work to them, and it got me interested. Yes it's paranormal, yes there are vampires, but Sylah has given us a unique take on the existence of the paranormal in our own normal world. Her descriptions are brilliant, and the tension between Meadow and Caedon leaps off the page. Sure he's a couple hundred years older than she is, but when you hit the triple digits, it's hard to find someone your own age. The author makes the romance work. I'd love to read more from Sylah, though she's terribly busy at the moment, both personally and professionally. This book is one of my top picks!

Meadow Caldwell is about to learn a very dark secret about herself. 
When she is taken away from the only family she has ever known and thrust into the world of the paranormal, she learns not everything or everyone is what it seems. 
Arcane Manor, a school for creatures of myth and lore, is all Meadow knows now. The only person she can rely on is herself in this strange, new world, especially with the secret of her true identity. 
When Dr. Cadeon Frost, an enigmatic vampire, helps her unravel her past, Meadow finds herself falling for the quiet, intelligent doctor. 
When she is thrust out of reality and into the arms of a mysterious man, she is trapped between the world she knows and one that nightmares are made of. It is up to her to stop not only an evil that threatens her, but everyone she cares for.
14+ for brief sexuality
Buy links:  Evernight Teen      Amazon

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Back to School Madness

Well folks, today was the first day of school and things have been crazy!

First off, I work in a brand-new school. We weren't able to actually get into the building until last Friday meaning I spent a good portion of the weekend getting stuff organized. It's a beautiful place and I love it, but parts of it are still under construction. Ack! It'll be an interesting few weeks until that's all finished and I can actually find all my resources. Many of them are on the stage, but there are no steps to get to the stage and all access points are blocked off because they're still under construction. It would be great if I could find some reliable transporter technology to zap it all up to my room, but I think I'm stuck waiting until we can get on the old-fashioned way.

Second, we had a houseguest all last week and that always throws everyone out of routine, especially because we made a few day trips, one of them to Fort George in Niagara on the Lake. Check out these pics!

The music teacher in me loved this! On the right is an old-school bassoon. I mean REALLY old-school, from around 1812. The weird instrument on the left is called a Serpent. Fitting really. It's sort of a precursor to the modern tuba. It was neat to hear an ensemble of musicians playing on replica instruments.

I know it's kind of hard to see, but the dude in this pic is firing a musket which was heavily used during the War of 1812. He didn't fire actual shots, just blanks, but it still created a lot of smoke!

And on top of that, I had to get my own kids ready for school, and couldn't find half their school supplies because I bought some stuff weeks ago and put it aside for safe keeping. It's very safe because no one can find it.

So of course, I forgot to get my Evernight Teen feature done on Monday, so to make up for it, next Monday will be a double feature! Stay tuned!

I hope all of you had a relaxing Labour Day weekend and are getting back into your own school routines.