Friday, June 15, 2018

Blog Tour Review—Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering



TELL ME LIES by Carola Lovering
Atria Books | ISBN: 9781501169649 | On sale: June 12, 2018 | 384 pages | $26.00
eBook: Atria | ISBN: 9781501169663 | On sale: June 12, 2018 | 384 pages | $13.99
Summary 
Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.

Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, TELL ME LIES follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go—even when you know you should.


Advance Praise for Tell Me Lies

“Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut… a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine, and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension… There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.”
Kirkus Reviews

Tell Me Lies is as dark and daring as it is absorbing. I found myself immediately drawn into the desperation and misguided obsession of young love. Who hasn't, at one point, fallen this hard and gotten this lost?  Carola Lovering has created something unexpected and original, yet deeply familiar.”
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“Riveting. With Tell Me Lies, Carola Lovering has given us a keenly observed, no-holds-barred examination of the 

mistakes we make under the guise of love. If you've ever fallen for the wrong personand let's be honest, you probably havethis book is for you.”
—Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding

Tell Me Lies is a daring coming of age tale from a fresh new voice. This unvarnished look at both sides of a toxic romance is as resonant as it is harrowing, with characters so finely drawn they’ll linger in the imaginations of readers long after the final page. This book is unflinching, unforgettable, and unputdownable.”
—Andrea Dunlop, author of She Regrets Nothing

“Ever wondered what that bad boyfriend was really thinking? You’ll find out in Carola Lovering’s addictive debut. For fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes, Tell Me Lies is a devastatingly accurate portrayal of a toxic relationship. Once its hooks are in, you'll have no choice but to tear through every page.”
—Georgia Clark, author of The Regulars

Review-
Right off the bat, I knew I would have trouble liking the main heroine. She was way too vain and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to like her. It seemed to me that the characters took a lot of pride in how thin a person was—that being skinny just meant you looked better automatically. As if beauty equates how thin you are. 

“Bree’s prettiness was mostly accentuated by her thin figure. Skinny people just look better, I realized then.”

Um, okay. That statement is disgusting. But whatever, at this point I just want to get to the actual story and stop reading about assholes who only care about looks. Okay, I lied. 

“Lucy is beautiful in the way that makes it hard to stop staring, in the way that the attractiveness becomes something you have to figure out. The best part is, she has no idea.”

Upon meeting our hero, that’s what he says about Lucy. Seeing as how vain Lucy is; I highly doubt she has no idea how “beautiful” she is. I think maybe if I wasn’t already annoyed at the shit Lucy has said, I wouldn’t be so pissed off at everything pertaining to looks. Again. I drudged on. 

After reading about all of that, I was a bit more prepared. Now we have bigger problems. Wowza. The back and forth between Stephen and Lucy gave me emotional whiplash. I feel like a need a nice stiff drink and possibly a rom com with no angst whatsoever ever. 

Bottom line is this; leave you ex where he belongs...in the past. You’ll never be able to break free unless you cut ties completely. I think a lot of us can relate to Lucy in that aspect. Having a crazy ex you know if all wrong for you, yet letting go is hard. Overall, I hated the characters and at times really hated the story. It was well written and definitely made me feel emotions—not good ones, but still made me feel all the same. 


*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
Carola Lovering attended Colorado College, and her work has appeared in W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. Tell Me Lies is her first novel. She currently lives in Brooklyn.  

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Blog Tour Spotlight ft Giveaway—Triplet’s Curse by Marsha Black



Excerpt Book 1- 
I wake to my alarm going off, my mind flashing through yesterday’s events. The vision, the kiss, going to the movies with my sisters and then the dreaded shopping. I’m not much for shopping, but it felt nice to spend time with my sisters; however, Destiny’s attitude made it even worse than usual.
She complained the WHOLE time we were at the mall. I don’t even do that! She wanted to sit and rest her feet, she wanted to stop and get something to munch on, and constantly asking when we were going to be done so we could get home. Those were just a few things she griped about. Faith had to hold me back a few times, from how badly I wanted to injure my own flesh and blood.
At one-point Faith and I walk into a store, while Destiny sat on one of the benches. I grabbed Faith’s arm and dragged her towards the back of the store, so we couldn’t be overheard.
“Why hasn’t Destiny snapped out of what crawled up her butt?” I asked.
“I have no ideaAt times she’s her normal self, and at others, she’s like she is now.” Faith sounds just as confused as I feel. “The weirdest thing other than her split personality is she’s been listening to weird music, and actually playing musical instruments.”
My eyes widened in shock. “Are you sure? Destiny has no rhythm or beat to save her life.” I practically whispered, as surprised as I was.
I know, right!?” Faith was only a little less wide-eyed than I.
I’m sorry I haven’t been around more to help with whatever is going on with her,” I said guiltily.
“No worries, sis. She’s acting strange, which could just be something she is going through,” Faith said, trying to make me feel better.
“Hmm, yea. Maybe,” I responded as my mind went over the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this might be part of Destiny’s part in the curse.
I’m brought out of my musings as my alarm goes off again, letting me know that five minutes have passed. Remembering that I have school today, I quickly gather my clothes for school and rush out of my room, heading straight for the bathroom.
Locked. I lean my head against the door and hear the shower running. Drat!
“Faith got in there just a few minutes ago, so you’ll be waiting for a while,” Destiny says as she walks by me, 


heading downstairs.

“Wait,” I say as I walk towards her and pull her into a hug. “I love you, sis.”
I pull back and look into her shocked eyes. I laugh inwardly; guess I surprised her pretty good. I leave her standing there as I walk back into my room, making sure I have everything I need for school packed up and ready to go.
By the time I have double and triple checked my backpack, I still have not heard the bathroom door open. Slinging the bag over my shoulder, I walk up to the bathroom door, knock on it a couple times before hollering, “Faith! I gotta shower before school, too. Get your butt out of there!”
Hearing a muffled response from the other side of the door, I grin, knowing she will be getting out soon. In the meantime, I head downstairs, drop my school items off by the front door and head into the kitchen to grab a pop tart for breakfast.
By the time I finished eating the first one, I hear a door opening up and shortly thereafter, another door shutting. I hop up from my seat and fast walk up the stairs. Heading to my room first to grab my clothes off the bed, I head towards the bathroom, mumbling under my breath, “I really hope you left me some hot water, or we're gonna have an issue.”
I speed through my shower, and just as I am about to shut it off it goes cold on me. I breathe a sigh of relief as I really did not want to deal with the chill of the water, now that I’ve gotten control of my own cold ability.
As I dress, I think over the idea of giving myself a nickname, like superheroes have. Hmm, Ice Princess, Cold-Tipped, Icy Breath, Cool Breeze. I can’t help but laugh at some of the ridiculous names I come up with. Maybe I’ll just leave it be and pretend I’m normal.
Checking the time, I realize I only have about five minutes left to get ready to head out and get to school on time. I quickly brush my teeth, throw my dirty clothes in the hamper, grab my phone and run out the bathroom and down the stairs.
Sliding my phone into my back pocket, I slide my shoes on, grab my bag and head out of the house, slinging my bag over my shoulder to rest comfortably.
Sadly, mom’s car is in the shop, so she is using ours. Which means...we have to ride the dreaded bus today.
As the bus pulls up to the stop, I can’t help but cringe inwardly. Ugh, I hope that mom’s car gets fixed soon. I square my shoulders, hold my head high and climb onto the bus.
I feel all eyes staring at me as I look ahead, as I continue my act of indifference. Of course, I’m squirming uncomfortably on the inside, but hey, I’m the only one who needs to know that. As I go to sit in my usual spot on the bus my phone goes off.
A squeak escapes me, as I feel the vibration on my butt, forgetting that I had placed my phone in my back pocket earlier. I quickly pull it out of my pocket and see Bryce’s name flash across the screen. I grin as my stomach does a little flip.
I clear my throat as I answer the call, “Hey Bryce.”
“Good morning, Hope. How are you doing this amazing day?” he asks.
“Ok, I guess. How are you?” I ask in a confused tone.
“I’m about to head out to school and am just excited to get to see you,” he says, continuing in a happy tone.
I pull my phone away from my ear and look at it like it’s a bug or something equally disgusting. Shaking my head, I cautiously bring the phone back to my ear. Bryce still talking as I do so.
“So, Shawn and his dad have arrived, now. Once they get settled in, we can go over everything. Yes, including answering your questions,” he says in a teasing tone. “We think it would be best to have everyone together, so we don’t have to go over it all again.”
Nodding my head in agreement, I remember that I’m on the phone and he can’t see me. Facepalm moment, I think as I slap myself on the forehead. “I agree, and yous guys better answer my questions. I’m at a complete loss and you all are supposed to know what you are doing, after all.”
“We will,” Bryce says. “I’m getting in the car now so see you in a bit.”
“Bye,” I say, just before I end the call. Grinning, I slide my phone back into my back pocket. I finally notice how silent it is on the bus. I lift my head and all eyes are on me.
Faith is grinning goofily at me and Destiny rolls her eyes, as I turn beet red. My face is so hot in embarrassment that I feel the need to wave a book or something to try to cool it off. I reach into my book bag and grab the first book I find to hide behind.
I hear laughter throughout the bus and as I focus on the back of the book I grabbed, I realize that it just HAD to be the book assigned to us during our session of Sex Ed, in P.E.
Ugh, will this day just end already? I toss the book back into my back pack, cross my arms across my chest and slump against the seat. I sit like that the whole ride to school, so as to not further embarrass myself.
Hearing the brakes squeal as the bus pulls up to the curb in front of the school, I quickly zip up my bag and rush to the front, before the doors are even open. I don’t care if the driver yells at me, I just want off the stupid bus and away from the kids on it.
Slower than a snail, the driver pulls to a complete stop and opens the door. I’m in such a rush, I almost miss a step and would’ve landed flat on my face, if Faith hadn’t reached out a hand to place on my shoulder.
Once safely off the bus, I turn to Faith and say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you! You saved me from further embarrassment.”
Faith laughs as I gush out my thanks. “Geez Hope, chill out. No need to thank me. Besides, you need to grow some thicker skin. Kids can be brutal. Especially teenagers.”
I sigh. “I know. I just hate being the center of attention. By the way, when did you become the sensible sister?” I tease.
“You have no idea…” Faith says under her breath as she walks away. Not sure if I heard her correctly, I let it go.
Since Faith and Destiny are already on the way into the school, I hang out by the steps to wait for Bryce to arrive. I open my back pack and pull out my book, making sure it’s not the Sex Ed one this time.
Sitting on a step I open to where I last left off and drift into the book’s world. I lose track of time as I’m pulled into a climactic scene until I’m grabbed by the shoulder and shaken back into reality.
Irritated by the interruption I glare up at the person who dared to extract me from such an intense scene. As I realize who it is, my glare falters…







Excerpt Book 2
For once I’m glad it’s Monday. I got my butt chewed for not having said anything sooner about what I had seen with Destiny. What’d they expect me to do after no one would let me in the house after Destiny had locked me out?
      If I had walked through the front doors instead of walking around the neighborhood, I would’ve punched Bryce’s front teeth out. Straight up, the douche would’ve deserved it.
      I did feel a little bad that I didn’t think of smoke coming off of her, as possibly being a part of her ability.
      I mean sure, Hope’s ability didn’t come out until she started training and her anger and irritation at Bryce triggered it…
      Ohhh, duh! With everything Destiny has been through, it makes sense that her ability is already showing. But which part of the prophecy does she fall into?
      Bryce and I are supposed to see if the sisters can come over today, so we can all talk and get on the same page, since the dad’s decided that the girls shouldn’t be left out of the loop as this whole thing is about them.
      Personally, I think they should be on a need to know basis, and they only need to know enough to fight the evil and then go back to living their life, so we can do the same.
      I kept to myself for the rest of the weekend, as I didn’t feel like socializing and listening to Bryce and our dads go round and round trying to make heads or tails out of everything.
      Haven’t they figured out by now, with everything that has gone on with Hope, that we are way off the play book of everything we were ever taught. Our education is sorely lacking at the moment, and we are sorely unequipped.
      Bryce and I ride in silence to school, and I hop out before Bryce even has his car parked. I take my time walking towards the entrance of the school, which allows Bryce time to catch up to me and we walk through together.
      As though pulled by a magnet, my gaze scans the hallway and zeroes in on Destiny, who is standing in the corner of the hall with her sisters. A frown mars my brow as I try to figure out why they would be standing in the corner of the hallway.
      As Bryce and I head in their direction, Destiny walks past her sisters and walks away. I call after her, but instead of turning back towards me, she increases her pace, reaching the front office before I can get to her.
      Geez, I know I’m not the nicest guy in the world, but I’m trying to make up for the major faux pas I did when I tackled her.
      I decide to wait her out, but as the first bell rings, it interrupts my plans, so I hurry to my locker to drop off my backpack and grab my books for my classes that I have before lunch. With barely a minute to spare, I notice Destiny at her locker, which happens to be just a few down from mine.
      As I get closer to her, I notice how tense her body looks, and that she hasn’t glanced in my direction or turned and ran yet. Something’s wrong I determine as my stomach tightens and bile rises in my throat. My reactions almost cause me concern; however, it’s overshadowed by the lack of…well anything…coming from Destiny.        
      I walk around her locker and stand directly behind her. Almost but not quite close enough to cause the spark to occur. I look first at the inside of her locker door, and all rational thought flees my mind, as disregarding my need to 
prevent the spark from being seen by Bryce or the sisters, I turn Destiny to face me, and pull her tightly into my arms. Trying to soothe her as I remove the horrible sight from her vision.
      Destiny begins to shake in my arms and knowing I’m at a loss as to what to do; I pull out my phone and shoot Bryce a text.

I try to soothe Destiny as best I can but feel so awkward. How do guys handle girls when they get in these types of moods? I continue to hold onto her as I turn my back to the lockers and slide us down until I’m sitting on the floor and she’s resting on my lap.
I steal a quick moment to breathe in the scent of her shampoo and to appreciate the feel of her in my arms, knowing that if I have my way, this will be the last time she’s there.
I hear footsteps running in our direction, so I glance up and see Bryce, Hope and Faith all running in our direction, each one carrying a hall pass. If the situation wasn’t so serious I would’ve laughed, considering the hall pass that Bryce is carrying is shaped like a toilet roll.
Except for Faith, Bryce and Hope arrive barely out of breath. Worry shining brightly out of the sister’s eyes; they reach for Destiny, pulling her out of my arms.
“Can you girls keep her facing away from her locker for the time being, please?” I ask.
They agree and turn her away from the locker, yet they stay facing me. I open the locker door wider, allowing them to see what Destiny and I had already seen.
Hanging on the inside of the locker door, is a picture of the sister’s. Destiny’s face was scratched, almost unrecognizably. Hope’s chest had a dagger shoved into where her heart would be, and Faith had her eyes ripped out and mouth sewn shut.
Inside the locker were some dead mice, dried blood and what appears to be human teeth.
The girls gasp in shock and Bryce reaches for Hope, grabbing her hand.
“Baby, Blake and I will get the locker cleaned out. You girls either take her to the nurse’s office or see about taking her home. I’ll text you later to make plans for after school.” Bryce tells Hope.
“Ok. Please make sure to get the locker as clean as possible. I can’t believe we forgot to check her locker, just like we didn’t think to check her room. We’re horrible sisters!” Hope replies eyes watery and voice wavering.
“Like Bryce said, you girls go do what you gotta do. We’ll take care of this, and by this time tomorrow, any proof of what this locker contained will be removed.” I speak up.
“Thanks guys,” Faith says, as she and Hope lead Destiny towards the nurse’s office.
“Dude, can you run to my car and grab a trash bag and cleaning stuff I have in there, so we can get this done without bringing attention to it from the school and other students?” Blake asks me, once the girls are out of earshot.
“You got it!” I say as I head out towards the car to get the supplies needed to clear this piece of horror out of Destiny’s life.




Marsha Black Links

Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1383910198369973/ - Triplet’s Curse related only



We will choose two lucky winners from all readers. Please check conditions below. It will be a lucky draw.

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of Hope's Story and a 10 CAD Amazon Gift Card! <3 (Reader's Giveaway)

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Blog Tour Review—Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin





Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary



Synopsis:

A riveting novel about secrecy, complicated friendships, and heartbreak, set against the iconic backdrop of the late 1980s.

Lizzy Swift is a senior in high school, emerging from her nerd chrysalis to become a social butterfly. She starts dating popular Matt Ashley, whom she’s been pining for since freshman year. She’s delighted when rebellious new girl Claire Reynolds introduces her to Center City Philadelphia—clubs, street life, and the eye-opening art scene. As Lizzy begins to question her own long-held dreams, the changes in her life mirror the upheaval of a decade marked by a drug epidemic and the AIDS crisis. She’s no longer sure of her Ivy League ambition. While she has a special connection with Matt, something’s missing. And Claire carries around a mysterious sadness and talks about a breakup so bad she changed schools—but she won’t tell the whole story. Lizzy wants Claire to confide in her, even as she keeps her own embarrassing secrets.  

Before too long, the heady thrill of her new life starts to crumble under insecurities and deceptions.  When the truth emerges from the wreckage, will it be too late for Lizzy, Claire, and Matt to save their love and friendships?

Review-
This is a poignant story about acceptance, love, and growing up. Bonus that it’s a book set in the 80s—I unfortunately didn’t grow up in the 80s, though I wish I did. Lizzy’s character is easy to indenting with, as was Matt and Claire. 

In this unique and fun-filled book, we follow Lizzy as she navigates her senior year. The book deals with some topics that are have the characters scrambling to survive. The story started off a little bit slow, but once you get the ball moving, it starts getting interesting. 

Tell Me No Lies is a realistic look that had me more than a little engrossed in Lizzy’s life. I enjoyed watching her grow as a character, even if some of her actions were a bit problematic. Readers who enjoy deep and meaningful books, that also have a light undertone, will love this novel. 

*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:
Adele Griffin is the highly acclaimed author of almost thirty books for Young Adult and middle grade readers.

Her works include the National Book Award Finalists Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, as well as the popular Oodlethunks series for younger readers. The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a YALSA Best Book of 2015, an Amazon Best YA Book of the Year, a Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Romantic Times Finalist for Book of the Year, and a School Library Journal Top Fiction pick. Her latest novel Tell Me No Lies is publishing in June 2018 with Algonquin Books.

Adele serves on the Board of Directors of the MacDowell Colony, and is on the advisory board of 826NYC. She lives with her husband, Erich, their two young children, and their dog, Edith, in Brooklyn, New York.


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