Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Blog Tour Review—The Elizas by Sara Shepard


Publisher- Atria Books
Published- April 17, 2018
Genre- Mystery
Source- E-ARC
Rating- 3 Stars 


Blurb-
When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
 

Review-
My first thought as I finished The Elizas is “this book was weird as shit”. And it was, but I couldn’t stop reading. The entire novel we’re led down a rabbit hole with an unreliable main character. Eliza is quirky, eccentric, and sees things that may or may not be real. She’d had a brain tumor that affected her in more ways than one. As her debut novel is set to come out, someone is after Eliza and  wants her dead. They won’t stop coming until the score is evened out. 

After a near-drowning sets everything in motion, the readers are sent on an adventure where nothing is as it seems and no one is trustworthy. Not even Eliza—especially not her. So many times I had to put the book because it was slow moving and I kept getting confused. I wanted to know the mystery so still read on. While I liked the book, it wasn’t a favorite of mine from Sheppard. I loved the first 8 books in the Pretty Little Liar series. 

I did love reading excerpts from the novel that Eliza wrote about Dot and Dorothy—fictional characters that looked eerily alike but bad things always happened around them. I wanted so bad to see how that story fit into the actual story I was reading, and while it was predictable, I liked it. The end was a cool twist. Sheppard knows how to keep a reader on their toes until the very end. Overall, if you’re a fan of PLL, fans wont want to miss out on this one. Sheppard does seem to follow similar storylines which I don’t mind. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 




About the Author-
Sara Shepard graduated from NYU and has an MFA from Brooklyn College. She has lived in New York City, Brooklyn, Tucson, Arizona, Philadelphia, and now lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Sara's Pretty Little Liars novels were inspired by her upbringing in Philadelphia's Main Line.






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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blog Tour Excerpt ft. Giveaway—Never Been Good Christi Barth

Today we have the blog tour for Christi Barth’s Never Been Good! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: Never Been Good

Author: Christi Barth

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Never Been Good:

USA Today bestseller Christi Barth returns with another steamy Bad Boys Gone Good novel! Flynn Maguire isn’t really a bad guy. Sure, he worked for the mob, but he ran a legitimate business—on paper anyway—and it paid enough to keep his brother out of the lifestyle. Until they turned on him. Now he’s stuck in Witness Protection, tending bar in Nowheresville Oregon… and pissed the life he knew is gone. The only bright spot? Fantasizing about his quiet, secretive, beautiful coworker. Sierra Williams is a woman on the run. All she wants now is to settle into small town life… and ignore the brooding, sexy bartender who can’t seem to take his eyes off her. Flynn’s bad-boy vibe pushes all her buttons, but Sierra fell for the wrong man once already. She can’t afford to let her guard down again. Except Flynn’s tough exterior is slowly melting away to reveal the sweet man beneath and their attraction is too strong to resist. Sierra and Flynn are falling fast, but they’re both keeping so many secrets. The truth could ruin everything… unless a girl who’s a little bad is perfect for a guy who’s never really been good.

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About Christi Barth:

USA TODAY bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

Excerpt: “Sierra. You are completely special. You’re stronger than those rocks out there. Not giving up no matter how battered life makes you. Sweeter than anyone I’ve ever met. Most of all, you make me feel special.”
That, I’ll cop to.”
Flynn pointed at the Well. “They think it’s a collapsed sea cave. The water only drops down about twenty feet. The tide sends it surging back up, through holes in the cave walls, as waves come over the top of the rocks. See, instead of draining to nowhere? The water’s actually filling up that hole, over and over and over again.”
“You’re saying that you thought you were an empty cave. Except that you’re actually all filled up and just sexy and powerful as all get-out?”
His low chuckle rumbled heat against her ear. “Not the words I would’ve chosen. But yeah. I didn’t know exactly how to explain to you what I went through. Figured that showing you might get the point across better. Getting called sexy and powerful is just a bonus. Go ahead and call me that anytime.”
Feeling reckless—and more than a little sexy and powerful herself—Sierra said, “How about I say it to you when we’re both naked?”
“That’ll work, too.”
She twisted in his embrace to look up at those knife-sharp cheekbones that pointed down to the full lips she found so darn kissable. “All kidding aside, you sound like you were in a very bad place. But you’ve never told me what put you there?”
“That’s a story for later.” Flynn slid his hands along her neck as he leaned his forehead against hers. “For now, know that you’re the ocean to me. You’re what keeps filling me up. I can’t thank you enough. Hopefully, today’s a start.”
“You’ve got to stop. Every time you thank me, I’m compelled to come right back and thank you. For helping me work past my fear to embrace my life here. For showing me how strong you see me, which gives me the courage to feel it, too.”
Flynn stopped her from saying anything more by taking her lips. Right there, in the bright sunlight with a solid row of other sightseers crowded elbow to elbow with them along the railing. He kissed her long and hard and just this side of way too much tongue for a state park.
“That’ll be our punishment. The next one of us to thank the other will get kissed. Relentlessly.”

Connect with Christi:

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Release Blitz feat Giveaway:
Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas!!!


Title: Birthday Girl
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: April 17, 2018


Synopsis:

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.


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About The Author:

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Spotlight ft. Excerpt + Giveaway—Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy


Now a Major Motion Picture
By Cori McCarthy
April 3, 2018; Hardcover, ISBN: 9781492652380
Book Info:
Title: Now a Major Motion Picture
Author: Cori McCarthy
ISBN: 9781492652380
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


Praise for Now a Major Motion Picture

“A war cry and a love letter all at once.”–Kirkus

“This is simultaneously a whimsical teen romance and an emotionally compelling story about family, creativity, and courage.”— School Library Journal

“Joyful and authentic. With a vivid cast of unique characters, the story is engrossing, right down to the sometimes wryly self-referential, on-point chapter titles.” –Booklist


Summary:

Their fantasy is her reality in this bright and uplifting contemporary coming-of-age novel by the acclaimed author of 

Breaking Sky and You Were Here.

Iris Thorne wants to blaze her own path. That’s easier said than done when you’re the granddaughter of M. E. Thorne, famous author of the Elementia series, hailed as the feminist response to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And with a major motion picture adaptation of her grandmother’s books in the works, Iris can say goodbye to her dream of making her own way in the music industry.

So when Iris and her brother get invited to the film set in Ireland, she’s pretty sure the trip will be a nightmare. Except Iris can’t deny the rugged beauty of the Irish countryside. And brushing shoulders with the hot, young cast isn’t awful, especially the infuriatingly charming lead, Eamon O’Brien. Iris even finds the impassioned female director inspiring. But when the filming falls into jeopardy, everything Iris thought she knew about Elementia—and herself—is in question. Will making a film for the big screen help Iris to see the big picture?


Goodreads Link:

Buy Links:






Other Works by Cori McCarthy:


Book Info:
Title: Breaking Sky
Author: Cori McCarthy
ISBN: 9781492601418
Release Date: March, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


Summary:

To save her country, Chase must put everything on the line. Including her pride. And her heart.

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx", isn't one to play it safe. In 2048, America is locked in the second cold war—and the country's best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chose to fly an experimental "Streaker" jet. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trails, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky. Only few know the pain and loneliness of her past.


As the world tilts toward war, Chase discovers a military secret. There's a third Streaker, and it's young pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country, she'll have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Breaking Sky is a gritty coming of age tale with tons of action, a fascinating dystopian society, humor, friendship, romance and heart-stopping, high-stakes flying that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Buy Links for Breaking Sky:







Book Info:
Title: You Were Here
Author: Cori McCarthy
ISBN:  9781492617044
Release Date: March, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire



Summary:

Cori McCarthy delivers an emotionally taut page-turner perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, Jennifer Niven, and Jandy Nelson.

Jaycee is about to accomplish what her older brother Jake couldn't: live past graduation.

Jaycee is dealing with her brother's death the only way she can – by re-creating Jake's daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She's not crazy, okay? She just doesn't have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.


Jaycee doesn't expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she's joined by a group of unlikely friends – all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend, the heartbroken poet, the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome, and... Mik. He doesn't talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable-reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Cori McCarthy's gripping narrative defies expectation, moving seamlessly from prose to graphic novel panels and word art poetry. From the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum to the skeletal remains of the world's largest amusement park, You Were Here takes you on an unforgettable journey of friendship, heartbreak, and inevitable change.


Buy Links for You Were Here:










Excerpt from Now a Major Motion Picture:



I DON’T WANT TO ALARM ANYONE, BUT THERE’S AN ELF AT BAGGAGE CLAIM


The guy was probably a painter. Possibly a drummer.
College age and wearing all black, he’d been the unique focus of my thousand-hour red-eye. My inflight boyfriend. It was a torrid, imaginary romance. We’d gone on at least a dozen dates and told adorable anecdotes to our future children about how their parents met a few miles in the air.
Now we were no longer separated by two Aer Lingus seats. We were shoulder to shoulder, dazedly watching the baggage belt spin. Just say hi. Ask him something.
I hugged the neck of my guitar case. “Do you know the time?”
He checked a large, silver watch. “Half twelve.”
“What?” I blurted. The bags began to emerge, and I was suddenly under new pressure to break the ice before we parted ways. After all, an entire transatlantic daydream depended on it. “Is that six? Eleven thirty? I’m so jet-lagged it could be either.”
“Twelve thirty.” His Irish accent made his words feel like lyrics to a decent song.
“Yeah, that doesn’t make sense. Half of twelve is six.” I smiled.
“Americans,” he muttered with a snicker.
And he continued snickering as he reached for a suitcase, leaving me with the unparalleled awkwardness of being embarrassed by and disappointed in a complete stranger. I’d mentally dumped him four exotic ways—my favorite involving a baseball stadium video screen—by the time my little brother came running back from the bathroom.
“Iris!” Ryder yelled. “I peed for like two whole minutes. I should’ve timed it!”
The baggage claim crowd parted for him—people tend to do that when someone’s yelling about their urine. Now I really felt like a gross American. Thanks, Ireland. We’re off to a great start.
“Eleven days,” I murmured. “Only eleven days.”
Ryder showed no sign of jet lag. He wrestled a foam fantasy axe out of his backpack, spilling weapons everywhere. He then engaged imaginary opponents in fierce battle while the people from our flight continued to back away. My ex-in-flight boyfriend even gave him a dirty look—before giving me a dirtier look.
“I’m not his mom, you know,” I said as I collected Ryder’s weapons off the floor.
A well-meaning Irish granny stepped up. “Is this your first time in Ireland?” she asked Ryder, placing a steadying hand on his shoulder. My brother nodded and squirmed. I checked my desire to tell her that, in America, we don’t touch kids we don’t know, but I didn’t want to call more attention to our swiftly amassing cultural differences. “Are you going to see the Giant’s Causeway? Or the Cliffs of Moher?”
“No,” Ryder said, breaking free from her hold. “We get to meet famous people and help out on set and probably even get bit roles.”
“No bit roles, Ry. You know that,” I said.
McGranny looked to me for an explanation. I zipped up Ryder’s backpack and said it fast. “He means the adaptation for Elementia. They’re filming here for the next two weeks. We’ve been invited to…” What were we supposed to do? “Watch, I guess.”
“Our grandma wrote that book!” Ryder said so loud we now had an even larger audience. Everyone who’d been groggily waiting to claim their luggage had tuned in.
“Excuse me?” My ex-love was back in the picture, not snickering this time. “Did you say your grandmother was the author M. E. Thorne?” The spark in his eyes seemed desperate to rekindle our imaginary flame.
Get out of your own head, Iris.
“Yeah,” I managed.
“Have I got something to show you.” He started to take off his shirt.
“Oh, for the love of…” I whispered, staring down at my red Chucks.
“Look!” Ryder proclaimed. “Iris, look! He’s got the map of Elementia on his ribs!”
I had to peek. It was an awfully big map. Alas, my curiosity was rewarded by a rich paleness smattered in black chest hair.
He put his shirt back down and smiled, but I kept hearing the way he’d grumbled Americans. “So are you excited about the film adaptation?” he asked. “Are you having a hand in its development? How do you feel about them changing the ages of the characters?”
I braided my hair back and said nothing, reminded once again of my life’s golden rule. People usually treated me one of two ways. One: like I was M. E. Thorne’s granddaughter, gifted with an otherworldly glow. Two: no one. I’d give anything for a third option.
“This is all you talk about, isn’t it?” he continued. “You’ve probably been reading your grandma’s books since you were a kid. I discovered them a few years back. Then again, I bet you can’t say anything because of the movies. Top-secret insider information, right?”
I chewed on my response. The gristle of this fantasy talk would not go down. Everyone assumed I’d be over the moon about the adaptation, but it meant the story’s fandom would triple. Quadruple. Soon everyone would revise their interest in me, just like this guy.
“Ryder, see if that’s our bag,” I said, moving us to the other side of the carousel. When I had my back to everyone from our flight, I squeezed my eyes, a little scream coming up from deep inside.
“You okay, Iris?” Ryder put a hand on my shoulder. I opened my eyes. Not his hand—it was his foam dwarf axe. At least his little-kid expression was earnest.
“I’m fine.” I rested my forehead on the top of my guitar case. I knew better than to check out when I was on Ryder duty, but I couldn’t help it. One moment later, my brother was lunging for his luggage, and the next, he was on the carousel, disappearing through the plastic hanging strips and into the bowels of Shannon Airport. “Hey!” I yelled. “Ryder!” Fear slapped me awake, and I almost crawled through the plastic strips after him. “Hey!”
“Need some help, then?”
I turned toward a new Irish voice and almost fell over. “Oh no.”
The boy had elf ears. Honest to God, pointy and flexed into his hairline elf ears.
“Oh no?” he returned, his eyebrows sky-high.
“What’re you… What are you?”
“I’m an elf,” he said as casually as if he were telling me he was an art major. “I’m here to give you a lift.” He held up a printed sign that read Thorne.
“Put that down. These people are already too curious.” I grabbed the paper and balled it. “And if you’re here to help, solve that equation.” I pointed to the baggage exit. “One brother went in. No brothers are coming back out. He’s probably on the runway by now.”
“Ye of little faith,” Elf Ears said, crossing his arms. “He’ll pop back through in a moment.” He leaned over conspiratorially. “It’s a circle, you know.”
I couldn’t believe that a stranger with artificial ears was “ye of little faith”-ing me. “What if security catches him? In the United States, the TSA confiscates firstborns for this kind of thing.”
On cue, Ryder came back through the plastic strips, sitting on my duffel and wearing my sunglasses he’d pillaged from the outer pocket. He knew he was in trouble, and yet he grinned. Then he saw the guy beside me, and his mouth dropped open. Ryder jumped down and ran over, leaving me to fetch both of our bags from the carousel.
By the time I’d returned, Ryder’s face was a full moon of excitement. “Iris. This is Nolan. Nolan.”
Nolan held out his hand as though we hadn’t previously met, i.e., argued. “It’s Eamon. Eamon O’Brien.”
I dropped Ryder’s bag to shake Eamon’s hand. “What a name. Did you spring from the roots of Ireland itself?”
I had to hand it to him—he didn’t flinch.
“And you’re Iris Thorne. Nothing to slag there, right?”
Ryder pulled on my shirt, revealing way too much of my bra, while hissing, “It’s Nolan.”
I grabbed his hand and yanked up my neckline. “Stop it or I’ll snap your dwarf axe over my knee.” I plucked my sunglasses off Ryder’s face and put them on in time to catch quite possibly the dirtiest look an elf has ever given a human. “Oh, come on. I don’t really break his toys. And how come there are three of us, but I’m carrying all the bags?”
“It’s not a toy,” Ryder snipped. “It’s a costume replica.”
Eamon continued to glare, proving his eyes weren’t blue but a crystal color that felt digitally enhanced. No wonder he’d been cast as the famous elf in Grandma Mae’s books. Nolan—Eamon—whatever his name was threw the strap of my huge duffel over his shoulder and tried to take my guitar.
“Don’t even think about it,” Ryder said for me. “She’s married to that thing.”
“Is that legal in America these days? Do you share health care?”
I stuck out my tongue, and Eamon grinned wildly, which encouraged me to put my tongue away and wonder how he’d reduced me to Ryder’s maturity level in a matter of minutes.
We passed under the green banner of Nothing to Declare, and I tried some light conversation. “So, if you’re one of the actors, why are you doing airport pickups?”
“I volunteered. I’m a huge fan.”
Good Lord.
“Hey, I read about you,” Ryder said. “This is your very first movie!”
I couldn’t help myself. “Then how’d you get the role?”
“That’s a fine story. I love Elementia. It’s in my blood. I first read it with my mam when I was, oh, about this high.” He held his hand to Ryder’s head, making my brother beam. “When they announced the movie and open casting, Mam and I decided to dream big. We made an audition video in a wooded bit on Saint Stephen’s Green.”
“Elijah Wood did that to become Frodo,” Ryder said.
“Right, right.” He knocked Ryder’s shoulder, best friends already. “I thought, if it worked for Elijah, why can’t it work with me?”
“Because Elijah Wood had an established film career before he did that,” I muttered.
“What was that?” Eamon asked.
“Nothing.” I knew where this story was going. Without a doubt, it would conclude with “then I met the grandchildren of M. E. Thorne and it was the most magical thing to ever happen to me.”
Eamon continued. “Lo and behold, I’m cast as Nolan. And today I’m getting fit for my ears when Cate Collins, wonder director, needs someone to pick up M. E. Thorne’s grandchildren. I volunteered, quick as light.” Eamon shifted the bag on his shoulder and glanced at me. “This is when I meet a tiny, axe-wielding hero and his mountain troll of a guardian.”
My guitar case slipped out of my hand, banging hollowly on the ground. “What the…”
Ryder’s smile was wider than both of the hands he used to cover it.
“Pardon that.” Eamon winked at me—the sassiest thing I’d ever seen a guy manage. “I’m prone to descriptive exaggeration, me springing outta the roots of Ireland and all.”
I blushed, an odd mixture of offended and ashamed.
“Iris Thorne!” an unfamiliar voice yelled from behind.
I turned, my pulse turning into a drum. Just like there were two ways people treated me, there were two kinds of Elementia fans: the ones who loved the trilogy—and the ones who’d reconstructed their lives for it. The latter group called themselves Thornians. They wrote letters to my family. They knew my birthday.
And one of them tried to abduct Ryder when he was six.
I was sort of relieved to see it was my ex-in-flight boyfriend, the newly redubbed Mr. Nerdy Torso Tattoo, jogging over. “How do you know my name?” I asked, my voice breaking a little as I put out an arm to keep him from getting too close to Ryder.
“Your brother was yelling it. I didn’t even know M. E. Thorne had young grandkids.”
I relaxed slightly. “I’m not that young.”
“I’m crossing my fingers you’re eighteen.” The guy leaned close with flirtatious wickedness, reminding me of what had drawn my attention to him during the flight. Lanky gorgeousness. The glasses. Blue eyes. Dark, tight swirls of hair. He rested a long-fingered hand on the top of my guitar case. Definitely musician’s fingers. Also, it was suddenly quite obvious that I’d been wrong; he waswell beyond college age.
Earth to Iris. Walk away, Iris.
“I’m…seventeen.” I stepped back, oddly relieved to bump into Eamon. “Have to go.”
The guy pulled out his wallet and handed me a business card. “Shoot me a message around your birthday. I’ll take you out, and we can talk about the movie, or the books, if you prefer.”
Neither, thank you. “I live in LA.”
“I’ll make the trip.” He smiled at the person he thought was me. He walked away. And I hated M. E. Thorne more than usual, which, to be honest, was already a lot.
We walked toward the parking lot, and I kept my head down.
“You work fast, Lady Iris,” Eamon said, low enough that Ryder couldn’t hear.
“No way,” I muttered back. “That guy has the hots for my dead grandma.” He glanced at me, concerned. “I’m fine,” I added, hoping I looked annoyed—bold and unflappable—but from the way his expression fell, I think maybe my sad was showing.




About the Author:

CORI MCCARTHY studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at CoriMcCarthy.com.


Social Media Links:

Twitter: @CoriMcCarthy
Instagram: @cori_mccarthy
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