Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #117: BECOMING JINN by Lori Goldstein (YA)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is where we get to 'spotlight' books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!!
The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!!
And, quite possibly, to make our shelves look pretty too :) 

What I'm currently waiting for... 

by Lori Goldstein
Expected release date: April 21st, 2015
Published by: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, eBook


Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit. 

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny. 

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn... and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

Why I'm waiting on BECOMING JINN...

First... GENIES!!!

Second... this author has managed to combine two out of my favorite three genres: 
contemporary and fantasy!!!

(You all should know by now what my other favorite genre is! Right??? lol)

And lastly... is there a love-triangle??? 
I love me a good triangle when it isn't squared wrong ;) 

SO, what are you waiting for???

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Release Day (Guest Post and Giveaway): LOVE, LUCY by April Lindner (YA)

by April Lindner
Release date: January 27th, 2015
Published by: Poppy (Little, Brown)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.


While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food... and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. 

After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

GUEST POST from April Lindner

Some Rules of the Road

Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy — 22, and just out of college — but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at reading maps or train schedules. Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo.

Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for the first few days of my trip — in her family home in the Alps. Less luckily, when I reached Malpensa airport, nobody was there to pick me up. Giddy with excitement and jet lag, I wandered around the airport, eavesdropping on Italians as they hugged each other hello and goodbye, and had noisy arguments. I’d never felt more alone in my life. Where would I sleep that night if my ride didn’t show up?

Luckily, my professor’s brother arrived at last to whisk me away to the family home in Domodossola. The extended family welcomed and fed me, gave me tours of their city with its charming medieval center, helped me practice my Italian, and, when the time was right, brought me to the train station where my solo travels began for real. It was time to take off the training wheels.

If I’d felt alone back in the airport, I was even more so on that train to Verona, a city where I didn’t know a soul. In those pre-internet days, I could disappear into thin air and nobody would even notice I was gone. The thought was chilling, but oddly exciting.

By nightfall, I’d made it to Verona. I’d figured out the public transportation, found a youth hostel, and booked myself a bed. Best of all, I had introduced myself to a handful of other backpackers. We hung out together in the hostel’s common area, sharing bread and cheese, exchanging stories, discussing the rules of the road — those bits of practical wisdom our travels were teaching us. Here are a few.

Time passes differently on the road.  Spend a few very intense hours seeing the sites with strangers and by the end of the day, those strangers have become a part of your story. Years later you’ll see their faces in your photo album and still remember stray details of the adventures you shared together, even if you can’t quite recall their names.

Spontaneity is key.  There are few things as magical as showing up at a train station with no idea where you’re headed next, picking a random train, and hopping on.

Janis Joplin said it best: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  When you’re carrying all your possessions on your back in a city where you don’t know a soul, you’re absolutely free. You can go anywhere, do anything. That freedom has its lonely moments — but it can be the doorway to all kinds of adventures.

Embrace misadventure.  As carefully as you plan there will be crazy mistakes: wrong turns, slept-through train stops, multilingual misunderstandings, and all kinds of other blunders — and these will make the best stories. My misadventures are some of my favorite memories. The time I missed curfew and had to climb into my hostel through a second-story window. The morning when, hanging out my recently washed clothes to dry, I dropped my wet underthings out the window, onto a stranger’s head. The night when, with no room to stay in, I slept on Venice’s train station steps with about a hundred other backpackers, the stars above us and the Grand Canal stretched out before us.  
Would I trade that last memory for a safe, comfy night in an actual bed? Not on your life.


- 1 copy of LOVE, LUCY to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository (Int’l)
- 3 JANE posters (signed) – US only
- Ends February 6 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, releasing January 27, 2015. 
She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped
She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than shed care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets — two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. 
A professor of English at Saint Josephs University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

Release Day (Excerpt and Giveaway): A COLD LEGACY (The Madman's Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd (YA)

The Madman's Daughter #3
by Megan Shepherd
Release date: January 27th, 2015
Published by: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Genre: Young Adult 
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook


After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet — along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward — has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation — and her own intended role in it — forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love — even our own humanity.

A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter #3) EXCERPT
(pg. 21 - 24)

Montgomery stopped the horses outside a tavern. He came to the carriage door, opening it just a crack to keep the rain from drenching us. “I’m going to ask directions. We can’t be far now.”

We watched him saunter over the muddy street as though he didn’t even feel the bite of freezing rain. A face appeared in the tavern window. The door opened and he spoke to a woman in a wool dress for a few moments, then stomped back through the mud. “This village is called Quick,” he told us. “The manor’s only five miles from here.”

“Did you hear that?” Lucy murmured to Edward, still stroking his hair. “We’re almost there. Just hold on. Everything will be all right once we arrive.”

Montgomery’s eyes shifted to me. Neither of us wanted to remind Lucy that the prospect of Edward’s fever breaking—and the Beast’s reappearance—was almost more frightening than the fever itself. Delirious, he was less of a threat.

“Let’s go then,” I whispered to Montgomery. “And quickly.”

He closed the door and in another moment we were moving again, passing through the rest of Quick. Then all too soon the village was nothing but fading lights. The storm grew and the road became rougher, and all the while Edward’s eyes rolled back and forth beneath shuttered lids.

Thunder struck close by, and Lucy shrieked. Montgomery whipped the horses harder, pulling us along the uneven road impossibly fast, trying to outrun the storm. I twisted in the seat to look out the back window at the pelting rain. A stone fence ran alongside us.

“We must be getting close,” I said.

“Not soon enough,” Lucy breathed. “We’re going to crash if he keeps driving like this!”

The road widened, straightening, letting us travel even faster. Lightning struck close by, blinding me. The horses bolted. Lucy screamed and covered her eyes, but I couldn’t tear mine away. The lightning had struck an enormous oak tree, twisted from centuries of wind. The oak took flame, blazing despite the rain. A smoking gash ran down the trunk—the lightning’s death mark. I watched until the rain put out most of the flames, but it still smoldered, billowing hot ash into the night.

The horses pawed the earth, and I grabbed the window to steady myself. At this wild speed, just hitting a single rock at the wrong angle would send the carriage shattering to the ground. It was madness to go so fast. Couldn’t Montgomery calm the horses?

Just when I feared the carriage would careen out of control, it stopped short, throwing me against the opposite wall. I tangled in Lucy’s limbs as the chains around Edward’s body clinked. Balthazar grunted, jerking awake at last. We scrambled in the bottom of the carriage until the door flew open.

Montgomery stood in the pelting rain. I feared he’d say we’d broken another strut or the horses had gone lame or we’d have to spend the night in the harsh storm.

But then I saw the lights behind him, and the night took shape into a turreted stone manor with bright lamps blazing and gargoyles on the roof vomiting rain into a stone courtyard.

Montgomery’s eyes met mine beneath the low brim of his hat.

“We’ve arrived,” he said.

JOIN the Madman's Daughter TWITTER CHAT today at 8pm EST!!!


- 1 winner will receive a signed copy of A COLD LEGACY and swag! 
- US Only.
- Ends on February 6th at Midnight EST!

(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Megan Shepherd


I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details

It wasn't until a chance acquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

Teaser Tuesday #4: Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff (YA)

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading...
This is where we get to share a little snippet of what we are reading! 

by Michelle Falkoff
Release date: January 27th, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format reading: ARC from the publisher.


A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend's suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here's what Sam knows: 
There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: 
For Sam — listen and you'll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. 
And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular NowPlaylist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you — and the struggle to redefine yourself. 
But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.


"Back to missing him. I needed to do something to make myself feel better, though. I went to the laundry basket, dug out my old Radiohead T-shirt, and put it on under the suit." ~ page 11 (ARC)

"This led to our first fight about music, the first of many, so many I couldn't count. I wish I'd realized how important those fights would be to me. Maybe I'd have realized how much fun they were.~ pages 115-116 (ARC)

"I hadn't known Hayden thought that; we'd been around each other for such a long time that I'd felt like it would be a betrayal to admit to him how lonely I was, even with him as my friend, and it turned out he'd felt the same way the whole time." ~ page 155 (ARC)

What's your tease this week???

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #81: January 2015 Book Haul and Comic Book Haul #6

Hello bookish friends!

We are expecting some snow this weekend! We are kind of on the edge, so we may not get as much, or if any, as we would like to, lol! But we're all prepared to bunker down and enjoy some much needed snuggling in and read time :) 

Hope you all have some amazing weekend reads to get through!

My book haul...
(Please note, that the majority of my haul is Young Adult. Otherwise, books that aren't will be noted with either (A) for Adult, (NA) for New Adult, (MG) for Middle Grade, and (C) for Childrens books.)

*What I received for review from Macmillan...
- TUCK EVERLASTING 40th Anniversary Edition (HB) by Natalie Babbitt for blog tour.
WITHERWOOD REFORM SCHOOL (ARC) by Obert Skye (MG) for blog tour.
- BECOMING JINN (ARC) by Lori Goldstein (YA) for review.
- SWEET (ARC) by Emmy Laybourne
- JOYRIDE (ARC) by Anna Banks
- REBEL MECHANICS (ARC) by Shanna Swendson 

*What I won in giveaway(s)...
- EXQUISITE CAPTIVE (Dark Caravan Cycle #1) (Signed HB) by Heather Demetrios from Miguel from The Quirky Reader's Exquisite Captive Blogger Relay giveaway!

*What I purchased...
- FROSTFIRE (Kanin Chronicles #1) (PB) by Amanda Hocking
- THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE (HB) by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell
A few Wordsworth Classics Paperback Editions to add to my tiny collection:
- THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
- GRIMM's FAIRY TALES by J.L.C. & W.C. Grimm
- ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES by Hans Christian Andersen

*My comic book haul...

by Marvel: 
- THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #1 by Ryan North, Illustrated by Erica Hendersen
- ANT-MAN #1 by Nick Spencer, Illustrated by Ramon Rosanas 
- AVENGERS: NO MORE BULLYING #1 by Sean Ryan, Jody Houser, Gerry Duggan and Jeff Loveness  
- THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 by Sean Ryan, Illustrated by Brandon Peterson

by DC Comics:
- HARLEY QUINN The New 52! ANNUAL #1: Special Rub 'n Smell Spectacular! by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Timms and Paul Mounts 
- HARLEY QUINN Invades Comic-Con International: San Diego #1 by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti 
- SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED #3 by Josh Elder, Illustrated by Adam Archer

by Boom Studios/Kaboom:
- ABIGAIL AND THE SNOWMAN #1 by Roger Langridge
- BEE AND PUPPY CAT #2 and #6 by Natasha Allegri
- THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL #1 by Frank Gibson and Tyson Hesse
- CAPTURE CREATURES #2 by Frank Gibson, Illustrated by Becky Dreistadt
- FAIRY QUEST: OUTLAWS #1 by Paul Jenkins, Illustrated by Humberto Ramos 

* * * 

A few pics from this past 2 week :)

Our first 'read' of 2015!
Our first snow!
Our first 'camp out' in the living room ;)
ALL the "series" that I need to finish or catch up on! Eeep!!!
I reorganized my bookshelves! ALL of these shelves are strictly for YA now :)

* * * 

Thank you SO much for stopping by today!!!

Don't forget to leave a comment with your link so I can visit you too, please!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): TEAR YOU APART by Sarah Cross (YA)

Beau Rivage #2
by Sarah Cross
Release date: January 27th, 2015
Published by: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.


An edgy fairy tale retelling of "Snow White" set in the world of Kill Me Softly for fans of Once Upon a Time and Grimm.

Faced with a possible loophole to her "Snow White" curse, Viv goes underground, literally, to find the prince who's fated to rescue her. 

But is life safe in the Underworld worth the price of sacrificing the love that might kill her?


POP CULTURE CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF TWISTING FAIRY TALES: ABC's Once Upon a Time and NBC's Grimm continue to pull in high ratings. And with the anticipated Angelina Jolie Maleficent (2014), the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (2014), and Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (2015), Hollywood is infected with fairy tale fever.

CAMEOS FROM FAVORITE CHARACTERS: Viv, who first appeared in Kill Me Softly trailed by her brooding boy-toy Henley, takes center stage in this new Beau Rivage tale. Other familiar characters including Blue and Jewel are back to help her defy her destiny.

TEENS LOVE THIS FAIRY TALE WORLD: Kill Me Soflty was a 2013 YALSA Teens' Top 10.
Readers have been clamoring for a sequel.

A FRESH TAKE ON THE FAMILIAR: Drawing on "Snow White," "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and "Rumpelstiltskin," Tear You Apart is very conscious of the way these stories have pervaded pop culture, twisting known tropes into an exciting new story that can stand on its own. 


"My chipmunks would bite the shit out of you. You might now want to risk it."
~ page 140 (ARC)

"Is there something wrong with my face?" the queen demanded. "Oh! I'd forgotten! This one's the fairest of them all. No wonder she doesn't like what she sees!"
~ page 233 (ARC)

"Yes, Vivian, my lovely queen wasn't fated for the underworld, so the magic has spoiled her mind. But you needn't be concerned that will happen to you. If you go mad, it will be for other reasons."
~ page 234 (ARC)


One of the most believable and amazing retellings! Incarnating popular fairytales into twisted modern classics, TEAR YOU APART is thought-provoking, eerie and fun...

Our modern-day Snow White, Viv, is constantly reminded of what soon awaits for her - her stepmothers wish for her heart to be carved out by the Huntsman. It has been a threat weighing over her for many years now, one that she has learned to accept. Until recently. When her best friend, Henley, turned true love, is cursed with having to live out what is to be Viv's tragic ending. Even with Henley's promise to never hurt her, a curse cannot be removed nor broken. But Henley is determined to to fulfill his promise and protect her as best as he can... Due to these circumstances, there relationship has taken an interesting love/hate turn, but, in the end, Viv puts a lot of trust into Henley and feels that he will follow his heart and not what the curse will force him to do.
In the meantime, it seems that Viv does not know how to be around Henley. She is short tempered and rude. And having been abandoned by her father, because he can't handle the curse that has been laid upon her, and being left with a crazed stepmother - who can blame her for being a spoiled brat with a bitchy attitude. She has every right to be anyway she needs to be in order to keep her sanity.
And by now we know that  for every doomed princess there is a charming prince who is said to be her savior.
Our prince, Jasper, lives in the Underworld. Yes, that place, down below. His family is cursed to be those who somewhat save the Twelve Dancing Princesses. They're the ones that dance and dance with the princesses, endlessly... Jasper is, to say the least, different and crude. And definitely not my favorite. But he was so well put together. I truly didn't expect him to be what he turned out to be.

I do have to admit, the love-triangle thing hardly felt like one. And I do love how things end.

Ooooh, and let's not forget the Rumplestiltskin twisty thing that happened...

There are many hidden fairytale innuendos as well as hilarious moments. I did laugh out loud a few times. Even with that, the story is dark. The characters are very complex and at times hard to swallow. The male characters are all very cruel and possessive at times. I had to keep reminding myself that they are under unbreakable curses, and that took a huge toll on their temperaments and qualities. But does can sinister curses excuse all of their horrible behaviors?

A definite new favorite! I highly recommend this to all who love fairytales, retellings and even those that love contemporary with a magical/paranormal twist! There is diversity and a ton of complex characters... However, it will help you better understand the main plot of the story if you are familiar with the main fairytales mentioned above.

*An ARC was sent to me from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


- 10 winners will receive a signed finished copy of TEAR YOU APART. 
- US/Canada Only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sarah Cross is the author of the fairy tale novels Kill Me Softly and Tear You Apart (coming January 2015), the superhero novel Dull Boy, and the Wolverine comic "The Adamantium Diaries." 

She loves fairy tales, lowbrow art, secret identities and silence.

Week One:
1/19/2015- Two Chicks on BooksStory Post
1/20/2015- Crossroad ReviewsSpotlight Post
1/21/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsStory Post
1/22/2015- Bumbles and Fairy-TalesReview
1/23/2015- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderStory Post                                                                    

Week Two:
1/26/2015- Jump Into BooksReview
1/27/2015- Du LivreStory Post
1/28/2015- Head Stuck In A BookReview
1/29/2015- A Glass of WineStory Post
1/30/2015- A Backwards StoryStory Post and Review of the novella TWIN ROSES

Cover Reveal: NEVER NEVER by Brianna R. Shrum (YA)

by Brianna R. Shrum
Expected release date: September 22nd, 2015
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy - Fairytale Retelling
Format: Unknown


James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child — at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.       
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn't about Peter Pan. 

It’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.


LOVE love love the cover!!!

Do you see all those Hook details???
Look at those clouds! The ship! The typography!!!


I cannot wait to read the BEFORE! 
We finally get to see Hook, when he's a boy! Why he hates Peter Pan SO much!!!

NEED!!! NOW!!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Brianna R. Shrum

Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, two boys, and two big, floppy hound dogs. 

She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #116: VALIANT by Sarah McGuire (MG)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is where we get to 'spotlight' books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!!
The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!!
And, quite possibly, to make our shelves look pretty too :) 

What I'm currently waiting for... 

by Sarah McGuire
Expected release date: June 9th, 2015
Published by: Egmont USA
Genre: Middle Grade Fairytale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, eBook


A debut fairy tale retelling featuring a strong female character and a daring quest just right for fans of Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, and Gail Carson Levine.

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.

Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again. 

Valiant richly reimagines "The Brave Little Tailor," transforming it into a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most.

Why I'm waiting for VALIANT...

Firstly... it is a fairytale retelling of THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR!!!
Who doesn't remember watching Disney's 1938 short film starring Mickey Mouse?! As a child, I used to watch it over and over again :) Luckily for me, my dad and sister enjoyed it as well!
However, the original fairytale is called THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR, a German fairytale written by the Brothers Grimm. Obviously this version is a bit darker than the Mickey one. I am very curious to see what direction the author has decided to go with her version... 

Secondly... that cover!!! 
I'm not a fan of the color purple, but, this works so perfectly for the theme of this book!!!

Lastly... the writing is being compared to some heavy hitters - how can I not give this debut a try!!!

SO, what are you waiting for???

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blog Tour (Interview and Giveaway): THE WICKED AWAKENING OF ANNE MERCHANT by Joanna Wiebe (YA)

The V Trilogy #2
by Joanna Wiebe
Release date: January 20th, 2015
Published by: BenBella Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: Paperback from the publisher.


Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined.

Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves... 
or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben's destruction at the hands of dark leaders. 

Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. 

But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, 
will Anne save others - only to lose herself? 


1. Where do you get your inspiration for the remote island, its natives and the school?

Oooh, well, my inspiration for the island itself comes in part from the year in which I lived in the very remote, very rugged town of Kamikawa-cho, in the middle of Hokkaido, Japan. It’s also informed by my home of Vancouver Island, a glimpse of which is shown here:

As for the people of Wormwood Island, I actually studied post-colonialist literature and cultural theory during undergrad, which perhaps makes me partial to wishing to tell the story of those who’ve been displaced by wealth and power. The Abenaki people of Wormwood Island are forced to do rather unthinkable things in order to provide for themselves after government policy removes what little of their culture they had left; in the case of the First Nations people on Wormwood Island, that is the end of whaling practices. 

And the school Cania Christy is inspired by my sheer love of boarding schools. We have a very well-known and reputable boarding school here on Vancouver Island called Shawnigan. It loosely informed Cania Christy:

2. What can we expect to see in The Wicked Awakening? Any new characters?

Yes! While writing, I was super-stoked by how much room I had in The Wicked Awakening to develop the existing characters – Anne, Ben, Harper, Pilot – and introduce some pretty cool new ones. The joy of writing novels in a series is that, outside of a few situations, you don’t need to spend quite as much time building your world in books two, three and on, so you can spend more time exploring the dimensions of each character.

But back to the new characters! In this book, the shamed Headmaster Villicus is replaced with a decidedly shameless headmaster named Dia Voletto. He’s tattooed, he says the wrong things, he makes Anne feel totally different about herself – and I lovvved writing him.

We also meet the Seven Sinning Sisters. These ladies are fab. They just so happen to be the seven deadly sins personified, which means we get to meet people like Superbia, the underworld goddess of pride, and Invidia, who is envy. Anne’s interactions with these sisters – and what they teach her about herself – was impossibly enjoyable to bring to life on the page. I can’t wait to see more of them in the third book…

3. The V Trilogy, is dark, twisted and suspenseful. How were you able to get into such a mindset to write? Do you have "writing rituals" or things that you need to have in order to help your creativity?

I tend to write in the evenings, alone, with the lights dimmed a little (as bad as that is for my eyes). I put on music that makes me feel a little eerie, like any Modest Mouse album or Air. I also think I simply lean toward darkness for God knows why, so I’m often kinda surprised to read in reviews that people find the books quite dark and creepy because I don’t feel I’m laying it on particularly thick. I’m like, “What’s creepy about a girl raised in a funeral home? Is it that dark to visit an island run by a devil who exchanges life for things like tattooing something awful to one’s forehead?” ;)

4. What is one thing you would have done differently for one of your characters?

Ah, the dreaded question. The regret question. The one thing I would have done differently for one of my characters is show the other sides of Villicus in the first book. Anyone who’s read The Unseemly Education already knows who Villicus really is, so, knowing that, it would have been possible for Villicus to look quite different than he does. He could have looked like a celebrity or someone invisible-ish. But that’s not how I saw him. I saw him as he is on the page, and I think that, unfortunately, maybe that makes him read as a villain produced from the Villain Mold. (Sure, that’s a thing.)

So that’s the one thing I might change: I’d make Villicus perhaps less obviously a bad dude.

5. Can you give us a sneak peek to what we may expect to happen in book 3?

Oh, how I’d love to... What I can say is that the Seven Sinning Sisters will be back, and Harper is going to be, um, rather aligned with them. We’ll get up close and personal with Jeannie Zin, and we’ll see a side of Ben that, I think, some fans have long expected to see. Pilot will do as he does: flip-flop between disappointing us and making us proud. Of course, the tension between Anne and Villicus will come to a head. And Anne will definitely be her most take-charge self yet, though it’s going to come with consequences to be sure.

Someone will die for good. Someone will be heartbroken. And those who had it coming will, at last, get it. At least, that’s where I have the book right now.

THANK YOU so very much for answering my questions, Joanna!
Book 3 sounds amazing! And I am really looking forward to reading it!!!


Oh, God. My name said by his voice. 
This is why people have names. This is why people have voices. 
~ Paperback, page 28


BenBella Books is generously offering up 15 copies of The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant, please enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! 

Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

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The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, Januray 12th - Reading YA Rocks - Guest Post
Tuesday, Janaury 13th - 
Literary Meanderings - Interview
Wednesday, January 14th - 
Such a Novel Idea - Interview
Thursday, Janaury 15th - 
Of Spectacles and Books - Guest Post
Friday, January 16th - 
Feminist Reflections - Guest Post
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Monday, January 19th - 
To Each Their Own Reviews - Guest Post
Tuesday, Janaury 20th - 
Bumbles and Fairy-Tales - Author Interview
Wedneday, January 21st - 
Aphonic Book Reviews - Guest Post
Thursday, Janaury 22nd - 
Her Book Thoughts - Guest Post
Friday, Janaury 23rd - 
Book Lovers Life - Guest Post
- -
Monday, Januray 26th - 
Jump Into Books - Interview
Tuesday, Janaury 27h - 
Bad Bird Reads - Guest Post
Wedneday, January 28th - 
Addicted Readers - Interview
Thursday, Janaury 29th - 
Behind the Pages - Guest Post
Friday, Janaury 30th - 
Curling Up With A Good Book - Interview