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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Progeny by Tosca Lee


Release Date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Howard Books
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory #1
Pages: 336
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
IndieBound | Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope. 
Imagine waking up with no memory of your life before, knowing that this is a choice you made, even though the reason why has been erased. That’s the choice that Emily Jacobs made. For some reason. But now, a past that she can’t remember is catching up with her and she has no idea who she can trust.

As part of an ancient bloodline that has been hunted for centuries, Emily must navigate underground societies while running from an order determined to exterminate them. By following bread crumbs she left for herself, she starts to unravel some secrets that have been hidden for centuries and others she gave up everything to keep hidden.

Opening the story with Emily not knowing who she is was a clever device for introducing the reader to the world of the Descendants of the House of Bathory. As our heroine discovers this secret society, Tosca Lee is able to avoid clunky exposition while she reveals these strange new worlds. The secretive underground nightlife is full of rich parties and hedonistic characters that are fun places in which to get lost. I would love to attend an all-night secret masquerade ball. Or would have 10 years ago.

The search to unravel her past is full of twists and turns, which I thought were often predictable, but still very fun. When Emily can’t remember anyone she knew before, she has to trust her instinct about who and what is safe, and it doesn’t always serve her well. As her path takes direction and her true friends become clear, Emily finally starts to understand for what she was willing to sacrifice herself.

An exciting romance, chases around the world, secret societies, forgotten pasts, and all night parties: this is a strong start to a new series that will have readers turning pages.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn or An Open Letter to a Beloved Author


Check out this gorgeous paperback cover!!!
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1
Pages: 368
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
IndieBound | Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth. 
Dear Deanna,

How do I love thee? There is not enough room on this blog to count the ways, but that won’t stop me from trying to articulate a few of them here.
  1. You create strong female characters who are very much in their time while being independent and making their own way in the world with cleverness and poise. Veronica Speedwell is a fully realized woman in the vein of Lady Julia Grey and for this, and all your stouthearted and clever heroines, I thank you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Best Frints in the Whole Universe
by Antoinette Portis


Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Age Group: Children's
Source: Publisher
Pages: 40
Buy:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
IndieBound | Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move on?

Award-winning picture book creator Antoinette Portis delivers a new universe of cleverness and imagination in this hilarious, sweet, and otherworldly book about friendship.
 Six months ago, I had no idea what Best Frints in the Whole Universe even was. I couldn't have told you who wrote it, what it was about or even what the cover looked like. Now, I can't stop talking about this wonderful picture book. 

I picked it up on a whim while at ALA Midwinter, and had no idea how much I'd enjoy it. Looking back, it's so appropriate that I read this tale of friendship and its ups and downs with one of  my best friends --Tess! We found ourselves smiling and laughing out loud at Yelfred and Omek's antics, and we were instantly their biggest fans. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Study in Charlotte
by Brittany Cavallaro


Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Charlotte Holmes #1
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Pages: 321
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble /
IndieBound / Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

Picture a world in which Holmes and Watson literally roamed the streets of London solving crimes. Yes, not just in the hearts and minds of enamored readers everywhere. Now, several generations later, what would the legacies of those families have become? Well, I’m glad you asked, because that is what Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are learning for themselves at boarding school as they are thrown together by an unknown villain framing them for murders on campus that recreate Sherlockian crimes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BEA 2016 Recap


A few weeks ago I had the the privilege of attending Book Expo America -- the largest publishing trade show in North America -- which is always an amazing experience!

The best way to describe it is cornucopia of the publishing world, including established and debut authors of all genres, panels on industry trends and, as you'd expect, plenty of books.

Book Expo has historically made it's home in New York City, but this year the show had a change of venue, moving to Chicago and McCormick Place. Of course, the largest convention center in North America would be a fitting place to house the largest publishing trade show on the continent.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Celebrating Audiobooks with
June is Audiobook Month



Summer is right around the corner, and the book world's unofficial kick-off is here!

It's June is Audiobook Month (#JIAM), so prepare to trade chapters for tracks and let's get listening. Whether it's on a road trip or while you're cleaning house, audiobooks are the perfect way to keep reading even when you aren't in a position to pick up a book.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nil On Fire Blog Tour:
Interview with Lynne Matson



Nil On Fire releases today!

Two years ago, I requested a book with an interesting and intense premise that instantly hooked me. That book was Nil. And at the time, I had no idea it would evolve into the pulse-pounding series it has become, but I am so excited to be the Release Day blog tour stop to celebrate the final installment! 

What's even more exciting is that Lynne Matson, author of the Nil series, is here to tell us all about where the Nil series started and how it grew from an idea into a full-blown trilogy. 

A Note from Lynne to Readers:  Finishing a trilogy is both bitter and sweet, and saying goodbye to my characters and the Nil world was HARD. But it’s not over…yet. :) The end begins on May 31, 2016 with the release of Nil On Fire. So, to all the #NILtribe: THANK YOU. For loving the Nil world, for adoring my characters, for staying until the end. Nil On Fire is for you!

On to the interview!

How did you conceive the idea for the Nil series? Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when the idea came to you?

I remember EXACTLY the precise moment the idea for NIL fell into my head...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky


Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Orbit
Series: Olympus Bound #1
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Pages: 447
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble /
IndieBound / Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
MANHATTAN HAS MANY SECRETS.SOME ARE OLDER THAN THE CITY ITSELF.

Manhattan.The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.

Murders.
In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stand in her way.

Gods.
With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who's her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they'll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city's other Immortals.
Selene lives in Manhattan and works as a private investigator protecting women, mostly from abusive boyfriends and spouses. She has been doing this in different iterations for generations because she is, or at least was, the Greek Goddess Artemis. Although the immortals are still around, their power has diminished over time as people lose the memory of and faith in their existence. Then something strange starts to happen. 

Artemis feels her powers coming back. Somehow, someone has resurrected an ancient cult practice that’s restoring immortality and invincibility to the Gods, but is it worth the price? Artemis and her unlikely sidekick, a Classics Professor named Theo, are in a race against time to discover how a ritual that had been lost for thousands of years can be stopped before it claims more human lives. Blending mythology and adventure, this story leads the reader through the complicated world of how the deities of ancient Greece have adjusted to our modern times.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Ask Me How I Got Here
by Christine Heppermann


Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Pages: 240
Buy: Amazon / Barnes & Noble /
IndieBound / Book Depository
Description: Goodreads
Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. 

Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free-verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit. Like Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, Christine Heppermann is a voice to turn to for the truth of difficult subjects. Ask Me How I Got Here is a literary exploration of sexuality, religion, and self-discovery.
Told in beautiful yet sparing verse, Ask Me How I Got Here is the story of a teenage girl with a seemingly idyllic life and a bright future laid out in front of her, who's life is drastically changed with a single choice. 

Addie -- with her caring, compassionate boyfriend, her understanding parents and a shot at a cross-country scholarship to college -- has her life suddenly thrown off kilter when she winds up pregnant. She makes the difficult decision to end the pregnancy in hopes of keeping her life on track, but too much changes in the aftermath and she loses her momentum. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This Is Who I Am Now | The Square Root of Summer Blog Tour


Happy release day to The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood! As part of the blog tour for this exciting new YA release, Macmillan asked me to answer a few questions about myself. Actually, I answered the same questions a few months back and again a few days ago. 

It's all in an effort to see how much life can change in a short time. Some of my answers did, and some of them didn't. So on to the questions...


Release Days Round-Up: May 1-7


New Releases

Friday, April 29, 2016

Reading Hacks: How to Integrate Nonfiction into Your TBR

Yes, I made a vow to read more non-fiction this year. And I was serious about it. So, I thought I would talk a little bit about how I make that happen.

One of the things that can be really daunting about non-fiction is that there are lots of huge tomes out there. There’s also a lot of very dry non-fiction which can read more like a textbook than something informational and fun. Here’s my first piece of advice: if it doesn’t interest you, don’t read it! There’s no need to slough through something that puts you on edge or to sleep. There’s other non-fiction available that can get you excited. Read that.