"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."


- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Blog Tour (Excerpt, Book Trailer, Giveaway): SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW by Patty Blount (YA)


It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley's life and two years of hell for Derek. When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, will these siblings be able to salvage their relationship? From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes an unflinching examination of rape culture that delves into a family torn apart by sexual assault.


SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW
by Patty Blount
Release date: August 7th, 2018
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback, eBook
Trigger Warning: Rape


SUMMARY

It's been two years since the night that changed Ashley's life. Two years since she was raped by her brother's teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.

It's been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister's life.

When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again. 

Add to your TBR list:  GOODREADS


Pre-Order:  AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / KOBO / iTUNES



BOOK TRAILER - SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW



EXCERPT

Copyright© 2018 Someone I Used To Know
Patty Blount


Long Island, New York

My sister hates me.
Ashley’s hated me for a couple of years now and it’s okay. I wanted her to hate me and did whatever I could to make it happen. Of course, that was before I knew what hate really meant. Now that I get it, I can’t change it, can’t undo all the shit I did, can’t fix what went wrong. So I suffer.
See, hate is a meaningless word. Everybody tosses the word around like it’s confetti, diluting it, rendering it about as effective as a Band-aid over an amputated limb to describe how they feel about every little thing that annoys them. They hate this song, that food, that person, or this movie. They hate homework, hate their teachers, hate their parents. They hate this team and that game. They hate every damn thing but nobody has even the smallest clue what hate really means unless they’re the object of it. 
The focus of it.
Hating somebody is more than you stop caring about them, and it’s more than not wanting to see that person ever again. It’s this need—an urge you can barely control—to make that person suffer. True hate goes all the way down to your bone marrow. Sometimes, it’s glacier cold and infinitely patient; other times, it’s surface-of-the-sun hot and bullet fast.
Ashley hates me in that glacier cold, slow-moving kind of hate. It leaves me permanently frost-bitten and has this really annoying habit of shadowing me around even when she can’t. Like right now—I’m surrounded by flyers. One was slipped under my dorm room door, another was stuck on the exit door of my building, the third was stuffed into my hand when I ordered some breakfast and this one is folded into one of those little tent cards and placed on top of every single table in the dining hall. I’ve been on campus at Rocky Hill University—several states and hundreds of miles away from my sister—for a few weeks, relieved to be away, to be anonymous, to be on my own. Mom and Dad wanted to come with me, set up my dorm room, have the big sloppy farewell like they did when Justin left for college four years before, but I wanted no part of that. I just wanted to be gone. Free. When Dad got the last of my crap into the car and asked if I’d said my goodbyes to everybody, I’d said yes.
But I hadn’t.
I’d tried to say goodbye to Ashley. She held up a hand and said. “Just go.” It had cut deeply, but I knew I deserved it, so I did.
I’d climbed into the passenger seat. Mom came to the front door and waved as Dad pulled out of the driveway. Ashley stood behind her, freezing me with that same cold, dead stare she’d been saving just for me since the trial. I kicked back, happy to be rid of her for the next four years.
And what happens?
Everywhere I look…reminders of her.
The flyers announce You Can Stop Campus Sex Assault! Blue paper, white text, announcing we’re gonna Take Back The Night.
Great.
There’s a huge rally being planned for Homecoming week—Rock Stock here. Because we’re the Rockets.
Of course, it would be homecoming week, because, like I said, I must suffer.
There will be guest speakers and live music and a candlelight vigil for all the survivors of sexual assault. I flip it over to read my favorite part: Are you a guy against rape? Join GAR today!
GAR. I wonder if people say it with a rolling R, like a pirate. Garrrrrrrr.
Oh, and the coach informed us the entire football team would don special uniforms for that game, showing our support. 
Awesome.
I crumble up the collection of flyers into a single giant ball and shove my breakfast aside, my stomach churning up acid. I was already planning on being hurt, injured, or maybe both that day.
“Hey, Derek.”
I glance up into the smiling face of Brittany Meyers, my girlfriend. We actually met in high school but didn’t hook up until we both arrived here. “Hey, Britt.” I sit up a little straighter, shove thoughts of my sister the hell out of my brain. Brittany’s hot in that girl-next-door way. Her long blond hair’s tied up in a loose knot with strands hanging loose. She’s wearing a tank top, shorts and flip-flops and her toes are painted an electric green and my mouth goes suddenly sand-paper dry. Happens every time.
Quickly, I take a sip of orange juice. A big one.
“What’s this?” She indicates my balled up collection of flyers and I shrug. Understanding dawns a second later. “Oh. The rally.”
“Yeah. That.” I rub the side of my face, scratch at the scar near my temple.
“You’re gonna go, right?” 
Hell, no. I shake my head. “No way. I’m the last person who should be there.”
She slides into the chair opposite mine, covers my hand with hers and my whole body heats up. “Derek, you’re the best person to be at that rally. You get it. A lot of guys claim they get it and have no clue. But you do.”
I look into her big blue eyes for a minute and finally decide she believes her own bullshit. And then I decide she’s right. I do have a clue. In fact, I have the whole mystery solved. And because I do, there’s no way in hell I’m going anywhere near that rally because I don’t need the entire university knowing I’m Derek Lawrence, the guy whose sister is the Bellford High School Rape Victim.
That’s what the media called her.
Ashley was barely fourteen when it happened. A minor. So her identity was protected. But she took her story public, posting a detailed account to her do-it-yourself website. And she included my role in it. Now, everybody from feminist bloggers to Matt Lauer knows our names.
So, yeah. I don’t want my whole school saying, “Oh! You’re that Derek Lawrence.”
Yep. The Derek Lawrence that played a stupid game that got his sister raped and then told a court of law that to go easy on her rapist. The same Derek Lawrence who drove away and left her standing alone in an empty parking lot, putting the whole friggin’ ordeal into motion.
Self-hatred runs another ice cold finger across my bare skin and I shiver, reminding myself I deserve this…deserve every second of it.


GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter for SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW First Look Giveaway!!!

Patty is offering Five (5) lucky winners a special prize pack consisting of:
- a $10 Amazon Gift Card, 
- a paperback copy of Some Boys
- and an advanced e-copy of SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW

To enter for your chance to win one of these exciting prizes, 
please fill out the Rafflecopter link below:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Patty Blount
Patty Blount grew up quiet and somewhat invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice writing smart and strong characters willing to fight for what's right. 
Today, she's the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching contemporary and young adult romance. 

Still a bit introverted, she gets lost often, eats way too much chocolate, and tends to develop mad, passionate crushes on fictional characters... and actors like Gilles Marini... and Sam Heughan. Okay, so Patty's not nearly as cool as her characters, but she is a solid supporter of women's rights and loves delivering school presentations.

Patty is best known for her internet issues novels, including SOME BOYS, a 2015 CLMP Firecracker winner and RWA Rita Finalist, and SEND, a 2012 Junior Library Guild Fall Pick. Her upcoming release, SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW, has already been selected as a 2018 Junior Library Guild Fall Pick. 

Visit her website at pattyblount.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter. 
She blogs at YA Outside the Lines and is also active on Twitter and Facebook.

When she's not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies, live tweeting the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases.

Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases. 

She loves hearing from readers, especially when they tell her she's cool (even though she knows it's not true), and is easily bribed with chocolate. Never underestimate the power of chocolate. 

Connect with Patty: 



Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday: THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD by Rena Rossner (A)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme that used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I've missed posting these on a weekly basis and have decided to start doing them again. 
Waiting On Wednesday is where I/we get to "spotlight" the books that we are most looking forward to reading soon! 

Today's pick is... 

by Rena Rossner
Expected release date: September 2018
Published by: Redhook (Hachette Books)
Genre: Adult Fantasy, Magical Realism
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook


SUMMARY

Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life - even if they've heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.

But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true. She must guard this secret carefully, even from her beloved sister.

Soon a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell - despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And these are not the only dangers lurking in the woods...

The sisters will need each other if they are to become the women they need to be - and save their people from the dark forces that draw closer. 


MY THOUGHTS

It is so rare for me to find a fairytale-ish/magical realism adult lit story... but the summary also reads as if this could be a Young Adult crossover...? 

I want to say that this is a retelling, but I cannot seem to remember which one(s). If you have any idea if it is, please do let me know!

What caught my eye from the summary... 
- "... the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods."
- "... Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan."
- "... a troupe of mysterious men appear in town and Laya falls under their spell..."

And, isn't the cover stunning?!


What are you currently waiting to be released???


Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: THIS STORY IS FOR YOU by Greg Pizzoli (C)


*An Advanced Reader's Copy of THIS STORY IS FOR YOU by Greg Pizzoli was sent to me for free by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. Any problems, concerns, questions, etc. please contact me via email - thebumblegirl@rocketmail.com - Thank you!



Written and Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Release date: April 3rd, 2018
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Children's Picture Books
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC 


SUMMARY

A simple "It's nice to know you" holds so much power in this tender picture book by acclaimed author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli.

Finding value in others as a matter of course, the narrator accepts and appreciate difference as the foundation of a life-long friendship. THIS STORY IS FOR YOU celebrates moments of kindness throughout, from the small to the grand in a heartwarming tale of human connection.

The warm, comforting text shares the tone of a Ruth Krauss classic and is balanced by Greg's energetic color palette and signature visual humor. This book is sure to be a special read for parents, children, and their friends for years to come. 


MY REVIEW

*An Advanced Reader's Copy of THIS STORY IS FOR YOU by Greg Pizzoli was sent to me for free by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own.


THIS STORY IS FOR YOU is such a kind, soothing and heart-warming book! 
A book about friendship and never forgetting those you love...

The narrator gently "speaks" to the child telling them how they're unique by pointing out all the things that make everyone different from each other. How we all see and interpret people and things differently. And no matter where they go, they will know how to recognize them and remember who they are, because they are unique and special to them. 

It's the perfect book to read to the children in our world today. A reminder that no matter what you look like, where you came from and where you are going - you are loved and someone special. 

It's also a great book to give to a child who will be moving away, especially to a different place where they may feel a little out of place at first and may get homesick. 

The illustrations are vibrant, yet simple. They fit the story and mood very well. Lots to look over and engage in conversation pertaining to the story!

This sweet book just oozes love, reassurance, and comfort! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Greg Pizzoli

Greg Pizzoli is the author, illustrator, and printmaker from Philadelphia. 

He is the author of GOODNIGHT OWL, a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor book, TEMPLETON GETS HIS WISH, NUMBER ONE SAM, and THE WATERMELON SEED, which received the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. 



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday: SEA WITCH by Sarah Henning (YA)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme that used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I've missed posting these on a weekly basis and have decided to start doing them again. 
Waiting On Wednesday is where I/we get to "spotlight" the books that we are most looking forward to reading soon! 

Today's pick is... 

by Sarah Henning
Expected release date: July 31st, 2018
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy - Fairytale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, eBook


SUMMARY

Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love's kiss.
But before that young siren's tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, thought the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn't so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes - and hearts - of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can't stay in Havenestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend's humanity, along with her prince's heart - harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

The rise of Hans Christian Andersen's iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits - to become a monster.


MY THOUGHTS

It's a sort of retelling of the Little Mermaid; more like a prequel - Ursula's story before she became an evil witch!!! You all must know by now that I will pretty much read anything fairytale and/or retelling of a fairytale, especially if it's about a villain!

Catchy key phrases from the summary are...
- "She can't stay... on two legs..."
- "... save her friend's humanity, along with her prince's heart..."
- "...harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love..."

Can't. Wait!!!


What are you excited about reading soon??? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday: SPINNING SILVER by Naomi Novik (A)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme that used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I've missed posting these on a weekly basis and have decided to start doing them again. 
Waiting On Wednesday is where I/we get to "spotlight" the books that we are most looking forward to reading soon! 

Today's pick is... 


by Naomi Novik
Expected release date: July 10th, 2018
Published by: Del Rey (Penguin Random House)
Genre: Adult Fairytale Retelling/Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Paperback, Audiobook


SUMMARY

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty - until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed - and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth - especially when her father becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand. 


MY THOUGHTS

It is a RUMPELSTILTSKIN RETELLING!!!

I repeat - it is a RUMPELSTILTSKIN RETELLING!!!

One of my all-time favorites!!!

And UPROOTED was SOOO amazing, that I decided to go ahead and order the Goldsboro limited number signed edition of SPINNING SILVER the moment the pre-order was available! 


Some eye-catching phrases from the summary are...
- "When her grandfather loans her pouch full of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold."
- "... tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood..." 

I cannot wait to read this book!!!


What are you currently waiting for???

Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: THE BACKUP BUNNY by Abigail Rayner and Illustrated by Greg Stones (C)


*A finished hardcover copy of THE BACKUP BUNNY was sent to me for free by the publisher NorthSouth Books via its publicist company, Nicole Banholzer LLC, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. Any problems, concerns, questions, etc. please contact me via email - thebumblegirl@rocketmail.com - Thank you!

Written by Abigail Rayner
Illustrated by Greg Stones
Release date: March 6th, 2018
Published by: NorthSouth Books
Genre: Children's Picture Books
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: Hardcover


SUMMARY

Everybody needs a backup plan, especially when you lose your favorite toy.

When Max loses his favorite toy - Bunny - his clever mom brings out the "backup bunny" - Fluffy - to save the day. Fluffy is thrilled to have the chance to play with Max but is soon rejected by the observant child who notices that his ears are too new and perky.

Can Fluffy find a way into his favorite boy's heart?

THE BACKUP BUNNY will keep you laughing and inspire you to make room for another favorite story.


OUR REVIEW

*A finished hardcover copy of THE BACKUP BUNNY was sent to me for free by the publisher NorthSouth Books via its publicist company, Nicole Banholzer LLC, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. 


This is such a sweet, thoughtful, tender-hearted book! 

THE BACKUP BUNNY is about an adorable stuffed "backup bunny" named Fluffy that secretly lives inside Max's Mom's sock drawer just in case something is to happen to Max's current bunny (named Bunny). Fluffy has been dreaming for the day when Max's favorite stuffed toy goes missing and he can be the one to play and comfort Max... and when that time finally comes, Fluffy is ready! However, Max isn't too happy having a replacement. And now Fluffy has to prove that he's just as good as Bunny ever was, if not more - he's waited long enough and he deserves a chance! But when Max is still upset over losing Bunny, Fluffy only wants what is best for Max and helps him out in the best way... you'll have to read the book to find out how!

We enjoyed Fluffy and Max's story so much! It was completely relatable and reminded us to take special care of our favorite treasures...


 My 4 1/2-year-old has a little-stuffed monkey named Baby and she has been with him since he was just a few months old. And I knew right away that this was going to be his best friend... One night, we misplaced Baby and couldn't find her. I knew then that I waited too long to go back to our local store for a replacement. Luckily, we found her the next day (behind the couch) and I immediately went onto my social media and asked my amazing Instagram followers for help. Within the next few days, we were so lucky to not only have one backup monkey but THREE! And four years later, we have only lost one backup; we still have the original and TWO other backups. Recently, my son discovered the backups and found it extremely funny to have so many. He gifted one to his youngest cousin who is only a few months old, the same age he was when he received his first one!... 

What I'm rambling on about is - I feel that there is a time and place for young children to learn lessons about "love and loss". And as a seasoned mother who has been through this a few times now (my older sons are now 12 and 14 1/2), having to explain this lesson at this tender young age is too hard and devastating! When your little one loses their "stuffy" it is heartbreaking and there is hardly a way to get them to understand that "it was meant to be", or that it is "time to grow up", or that it was "time to let him go" and that "he's gone home", etc. It is a life-changing moment where your child's confidence will be shaken up, his belief, his imagination, etc. are all being questioned and falling apart. They're still too little to be put through such turmoil. Just like they need their parents/loved ones there for them, they are depending on this inanimate object to also be there for them when they need comfort, love, and trust.

When Max has what looks to be a tantrum, Max's mom tries her best to make him feel better, gives him Fluffy (the new replacement) and tries to comfort him. I 100% do not feel that she is rewarding tantrum behavior (I've seen a few reviews mention this), I feel that she is doing what needs to be done to comfort her heartbroken child. He has lost something extremely important to him, losing something that may have been by his side since birth is crushing. How else would he react to all of a sudden not having it by his side? How would you feel, even as an adult, losing your "comfort thing"? 
 
This is the perfect book to give to new parents, as a heads-up for what they may encounter through the toddler years. A helpful hint to prepare themselves in case of a Bunny/Fluffy situation... the book will also help bring the subject up with your/the child in case anything were to happen to their "lovey". It will help them be more responsible in caring for their things. However, if they still lose it, I'm sure that the outcome will still be the same, but the book can help ease the pain when introducing the new "dolly" to the family... and if you find the original, be prepared to probably be naming and playing with both from now on!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Abigail Rayner

Abigail Rayner was born in England where they have lots of history and rain. She spent her childhood visiting castles, picnicking in cars, and getting told off for writing stories during math. When she grew up, she became a reporter and moved to New York City. It was her job to write stories, but not the made-up kind! These days she lives in New Jersey, with her wonderful husband, two brilliant kids, two terrible cats, and an ever-growing collection of stuffed rabbits. She never gets in trouble for writing stories.

LINKS:  GOODREADS 


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR - Greg Stones

Greg Stones was born in Glocester, Rhode Island where a man is a man, a woman is a woman, and babies are sent into the forest at the age of six months to be raised and educated by squirrels. he eventually broke free and went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. While at school, he majored in Studio Art, learned to paint photo-realistically, and was the cartoonist for the school paper. Two years after graduating, he began combining his pretty landscapes with his cartooning skills - adding penguins, zombies, and now bunnies to his work.

He lives and works in Rhode Island.

LINKS: GOODREADS 


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Cover Reveal: KEEPER OF THE BEES (Black Birds of the Gallows #2) by Kassel (YA)


Today, I am very excited to be able to share with you the new incredible cover to the second book in the BLACK BIRDS OF THE GALLOWS series, KEEPER OF THE BEES... 
it is definitely one of my favorites - it has a BEE on it!!! And I am REALLY looking forward to reading this when it is released!.. a big thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for letting me be a part of the reveal :)  


by Meg Kassel
Expected release date: September 4th, 2018
Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Hardcover, eBook


SUMMARY

"Beauty and the Beast like you've never imagined!"
- New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pastas are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can't stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries - since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn't see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden's solitary life and Essie's tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Meg Kassel


Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. 

A graduate of Parson's School of Design, she's been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood.

Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter.

As a fan of '80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. 

She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA finalist for her debut novel, BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS. 

LINKS



http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/


 
Imagination Designs
Images by LabyrinthofDreams