Week 2: NaNoWriMo 2015

Hi guys!

So it’s the end of Week Two of NaNoWriMo and while I’d love to say that I killed it this week like Bekka did (look at her post here) I didn’t. I lapsed into a bit of a funk with the writing and then, I think it was Tuesday of this past week that I started having severe wrist pain that was keeping me up at night. So I called the family doctor who also happens to be a family friend and he told me I needed to stop writing until I could go 24 hours without pain meds.

Carpal tunnel has been an issue for me over the past few years and since I use a wheelchair fairly frequently, I need for my hands to be in good shape.

I did make it to 20K in week one, so hopefully, I can start writing again next week after giving my wrist a week off.

If you’re doing NaNo, how are you doing?

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

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Title: UNHOOKED
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Pub. Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Hardcover: 352 pages
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Synopsis
From “talented wordsmith” (Publishers Weekly) Lisa Maxwell comes a lush, atmospheric fantasy novel filled with twists and turns about a girl who is kidnapped and brought to an island inhabited by fairies, a roguish ship captain, and bloodthirsty beasts.

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home. Her mother believes they are being hunted by brutal monsters, and those delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. Gwen’s only saving grace is that her best friend, Olivia, is with her for the summer.

But shortly after their arrival, the girls are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and dragged to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey. And Gwen begins to realize that maybe her mother isn’t so crazy after all…

Gwen discovers that this new world she inhabits is called Neverland, but it’s nothing like the Neverland you’ve heard about in stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through your fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and tries to find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the captivating pirate who promises to keep her safe.

Caught in the ultimate battle between good and evil, with time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to finally face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But can she save Neverland without losing herself?

About Lisa
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Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep (Flux, Fall 2015) and Unhooked (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). When she’s not writing books, she’s an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Find Lisa: TwitterFacebookGoodreadsPinterestTumblrInstagramWebsite

Giveaway Details:
As a thank you to the lovely authors who blurbed UNHOOKED Lisa is giving away…

(1) winner will receive Sara Raasch’s books, Snow Like Ashes & Ice Like Fire. Ellen Oh’s books Prophecy & Warrior. Christina Farley’s books Brazen & Silvern. AND an ARC of Unhooked! US Only.
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Book Blitz: Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

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Dead Ringer
by Jessie Rosen
Release Date: November 11th 2015
Full Fathom Five Digital

Summary from Goodreads:
From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.

It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn’t just anyone—it’s Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.

Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.

But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.

What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all?

After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiTunesGoogle PlayFull Fathom Five store

Excerpt

Sasha

It was ten o’clock at night before Sasha finally settled down to her computer and read the words she’d talked herself into believing she would never see—the ones that made her whole body shiver.

The first day back had been typically busy, plus she’d stayed after school to help Mrs. Egenoff finish organizing the computer lab for extra credit. Sasha didn’t need the extra credit. She could probably teach all of the computer classes her school offered, but new Design Suite software had just arrived for the AP engineering class, and Mrs. Egenoff said she could spend an hour playing with it as thanks for the help. It didn’t hurt that hiding out in the lab meant she could avoid walking through the first-day activities fair. The thought of table after table of screaming upperclassmen hawking a dozen different paths to high school glory was the opposite of appealing. Sasha made it her goal to talk to as few people as humanly possible in a given day.

By the time Sasha got home, it was already six o’clock, and then there was dinner to make and a surprising amount of homework to do. She didn’t hold out hope that they might eat as a family in honor of the first day of school. They had never been that kind of unit. Mom would probably labor away at some ridiculous metal sculpture thing in her studio and Dad would hide out at the office until at least eight. Sasha was pretty sure that neither of them even knew school was back in session, but she didn’t mind. The less they paid attention to her, the more time she could spend online.

Sasha very clearly remembered the day she’d first learned what hacking meant. It was the spring of her eighth-grade year, and she was sitting in computer class. Some terrified-looking substitute teacher had been directed to keep the kids quiet by showing a “20/20” special on people who got caught cracking the New York Stock Exchange security systems and wound up serving eight years in a federal prison. It was intended to scare the class away from any curiosity about the hacking world, but it had the opposite effect on Sasha. From that point on, she was hooked. It was exactly what she needed to help with the investigation.

It takes the average baby hacker about a year to develop the skills to crack a basic office security system. After that, things progress quickly to the point of figuring out how to monitor a person’s online life. Sasha tackled all that within her first six months. That’s how she earned the name “Phenom.” You know you’re finally accepted into the community once another hacker gives you a handle, and she received hers from Syke, the leader of the Midnight Kids—one of the top hacking groups online.

Sasha’s skills expanded a thousand-fold once she had the support of Syke and his crew. They helped her develop an interface to track all the communication she was monitoring. Sasha knew everything that went on inside the computers of over three hundred fifty people—emails, chats, downloads, searches, and more. After that, she built an alert system to let her know when relevant information was shared. That is, if relevant information was ever shared.

It had been five hundred twenty-one days since the search terms she’d built her system around popped up in the interface—almost a year and a half since any of the people she was hacking mentioned the words she’d been waiting to hear. Those words were the key to building her case.

Sasha still checked in on the feed twice a day, every day, no matter how useless the act felt. She couldn’t let herself give up yet, if ever. She’d wake up, shower, get dressed, and then sit down at her computer to check the feed. At the end of the day, she’d finish her homework, change into her pajamas, and sit down to check it one more time before bed. Every single day was the same. No new mentions of the search terms.

They had obviously all forgotten about what happened, and she hated them for it. Nobody wanted to remember that kind of tragedy, least of all Sasha. And yet here she was again, as always, sitting before her computer for the end-of-day check. She refused to let a day go by without honoring the promise she’d made herself all those months ago, even if no new clues ever surfaced.

But today, all that patience finally paid off.

Sasha saw the flashing red S on the top right of her screen and a mix of joy and fear rushed through her body.

She clicked on the icon, which opened the master-panel listing of all the computers she followed. Sasha had built the system to collect a huge amount of data—enough to give her the greatest chance possible of finding the one thing she was looking for. But the deluge of information wouldn’t be a problem today. The problem now was where to begin.

You have 942 mentions of the requested search term: Sarah Castro-Tanner.

For a second, Sasha just froze. She didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, jump up and down, or scream. Somehow every emotion available felt right. Instead, she took a deep breath and clicked on the very first name on the list: Andrea Adams. An instant-message screen popped open. She noticed that Andrea Adams had engaged in an online conversation with a Christine Beck at 3:45 p.m., which was almost immediately after school let out for the day. Sasha would typically do a control+F keyboard search to find mentions of the word Sarah, but that wouldn’t be necessary. It was the very first thing Andrea Adams said.

AndieA: Ohmygod how much would it suck to look like that girl Sarah?

Chelsbells: Think the new girl looks that similar?

AndieA: Enough.

Chelsbells: Did anyone tell her?

AndieA: Idk. Would you?

Chelsbells: No thank you. What would you say? “Welcome to Englewood. You look just like the town’s most famous dead girl.”

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About the Author
Jessie Rosen is a writer, producer, and performer. She grew up in New Jersey, attended Boston College in Massachusetts, and began her writing career in New York. Her live storytelling series Sunday Night Sex Talk has received national attention. She was named one of “The 25 Best Bloggers, 2013 Edition” by TIME magazine for her blog 20- Nothings, which was also named in “The 100 Best Websites for Women” and “The Top 10 Best Websites for Millennial Women” in 2013 by Forbes.

Rosen is the oldest of four girls, which gives her a special window into the minds of teenagers. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she’s working on film and television projects, as well as her next novel.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

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Giveaway Link

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Book Blitz organized by YA Bound Book Tours.

Waiting on Wednesday #30

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This feature is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It’s a way to showcase upcoming titles we’re excited about.

My Pick
TFTSD
Goodreads

Synopsis
“Beautiful and passionate . . . [Kletter is] a writer of great distinction and infinite promise.” —Pat Conroy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

“A keep-you-up-all-night heart-wrencher that is both beautiful and raw, painful and uplifting. An incredible read. Be warned though—you will want to read Cassie’s story, start to finish, in one sitting. And then you will want to race to put it in the hands (and hearts) of everyone you know and love.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

Cassie O’Malley has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her mother dumped Cassie in a mental institution against her will for something Cassie claims she didn’t do. Now, at eighteen, Cassie enrolls in college, ready to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But as she struggles to find her way forward, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth? And more important, whose life must she save?

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

My Thoughts
First of all, that cover is utterly stunning. It’s gorgeous and drool-worthy. I need this book for the cover alone. As for the rest of it, I love books that feature mental institutions & mental health issues. I love the “tough stuff,” so this book is totally up my alley and I cannot wait to get a copy of this book.

What book are you most looking forward to?

2016 ARCs I’m most excited about

Hi guys!

I know there hasn’t been much in the way of book reviews lately. I’ve been in a massive reading slump & with NaNoWriMo going on, I haven’t had much time to actually read. I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk, I guess.

So I wanted to talk about some upcoming 2016 books that I have ARCs for and that I’m excited about.

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Passenger has been one of my most anticipated reads since last May. I would say this is very high on my priority list.
Shade Me has also been a book I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Synesthesia has always fascinated me and I’m curious to see how that will be handled in the book.
Firsts sounds really good. Very girl power-ish, which excites me. Very sex positive as well, which also excites me.
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This is Where the World Ends has been high on my list since I first found out that Amy was writing a new book. This sounds like something I am going to LOVE. Considering how much I loved her first book, I cannot wait for this one.
This is Where it Ends sounds like a very emotional read, so I am going to have to be in a specific mood for it. It sounds amazing though.
The Mirror King is my most anticipated sequel. Considering where The Orphan Queen left off, I need to get to it soon. Good thing I’m buddy reading it with Mary & Jessica right now.
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The May Queen Murders just sounds awesome. I’m head over heels in love with that cover. So even if I didn’t get an e-ARC of it, I’d probably buy it when it was released.
The Girl From Everywhere has been all over the book blogging community for months. I am super excited to get to it. I can only hope I’m as enamored with it as everyone else is.
Thicker Than Water looks really captivating. I love the cover in all it’s simplicity. Plus it sounds like there’s a lot of secrets between the characters.
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Other Broken Things is Christa’s third book, and I just adore her books. Yes they are dark. Yes the characters aren’t always likable. She has this insane talent that makes me fall in love with her stories no matter how dark they are.

Have you read any of these ARCs yet? If not, are there any that you’re looking forward to the most? If you have read any of these, did you enjoy them?

Book Blitz: Something in the Air by Marie Landry

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Something in the Air
by Marie Landry
Release Date: November 10th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
Her life hasn’t gone as planned, but she’s about to realize that sometimes the best things happen when you stop expecting life to be a certain way…

When Rose Morgan put off her college plans to help her mother through a difficult time, she thought it would just be a bump in the road of her journey. She got a job to help pay the bills and started picking up the slack at home. But three years later, her bumpy ride hasn’t smoothed out yet, and Rose feels stuck. She’s working at a job she hates and living with a manipulative mother. She’s tired of feeling like her life has stalled, tired of the resentment and anger building inside her with each passing day.

Then Declan Connelly appears in her life, and even though the hot Irishman is seriously tempting, Rose is determined not to let him in. She’s afraid to suck anyone into her bizarre life, especially someone who seems too charming for his own good. She soon learns there’s more to Declan than his sexy accent and charismatic personality, though. He’s a good man, and he wants Rose in his life, baggage and all. He’s got his own, and he isn’t scared away like she originally feared he would be. 


Everything in Rose’s life is changing quickly. It’s finally her time–time to figure out what she wants and what her future holds. Time to get swept off her feet and not fight it. But when her plans might take her away from all the amazing new things in her life, including Declan, Rose has to make a choice. Is she willing to chase her dreams, even if it means letting go of love?
  

Add to Goodreads
Buy Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooksSmashwords

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About the Author
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Marie has the best job in the world—one where she gets to make stuff up for a living and shamelessly eavesdrop on everyone around her. She writes happily ever afters while dreaming about the day she’ll have her own epic love story to tell. Most days you can find her writing, reading, fantasizing about traveling the world, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or having grand adventures with her nephews and niece.

For more on Marie and her books please visit http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca. She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie83 any time!

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

GIVEAWAY:
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Giveaway Link

Book Blitz Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours
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Cover Reveal: Elementals ( Elementals #1) by Michelle Madow

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Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #1
Format: eBook
ISBN: 2940152448849
Pre-order:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iBooks

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Rafflecopter for Cover & Blurb Giveaway:
Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback ARC of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
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About the Author:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

This cover reveal was organized by Barclay Publicity
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Week One: NaNoWriMo 2015

Hi guys!

So I promised you I’d do a more in depth post about NaNo. I struggled with what to talk about because I really don’t want to give away plot points, also known as spoilers. In the event that the book I’m working on, actually becomes a published novel, I don’t want anyone to know about the twists before reading it. So, to my future betas, don’t spoil it.

The frustrating part for me was deciding which of my ideas was I gonna tackle this time. Was it going to be the bisexual boy’s story. Or the female college student who fell for someone she never expected. Or any of the other 4 plot bunnies I had rolling around in my head. Which story idea was I going to tackle this month?

I thought I had it all planned out. I knew the story I was gonna write and I was excited to write it. On Halloween afternoon, I started having second thoughts. So I took to Twitter and polled my followers. I was curious to see what they would vote for, and unsurprisingly the votes went pretty much how I thought they would.

I am learning to trust my gut as a writer. I am learning to see which stories have legitimate potential and which stories will never be good no matter how much revision I put into them.

The story I chose to work on this month has staying power. It has the ability to turn into something amazing. I just cannot wait to see what this story & these characters have in store for me.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this month?

NaNoWriMo Book Tag

Hi guys, so if you follow me on Twitter you probably know that I an doing NaNoWriMo this year. I have a feeling my reading will be stalled, so I wanted to do some posts about NaNoWriMo. Tomorrow, there will be a more in depth blog post about it. For this tag, I was tagged by my favorite person in the entire world, and fellow NaNo’er, Bekka.

1. how many times have you done nano?
I’ve done NaNo three times. This time is the third time.

2. how did you first find out about nanowrimo?
I’m not even sure. It could have been from fellow book bloggers, but I’m totally drawing a blank.

3. what was the name of the first novel you attempted to write during nanowrimo?
The first novel I ever tried to write was called Scattered Ashes.

4. give us a one sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.
Schizophrenic girl sees a sexual assault unfold in front of her, but she’s not sure if it’s real or a delusion.

5. what is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve gotten some great pieces of advice, recently. From Courtney Summers “One word at a time” From Susan Dennard, “Have small manageable goals” From Sarah Ockler “If you have a story in your heart, if your characters haunt you, it’s your sacred duty to get those words on the page. Find a way” And from Ann Stampler “Don’t force yourself. As the story unfolds, it will tell you.”

6. have you ever taken a year off of nanowrimo? why?
Not since I started doing it.

7. what is your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?
I write about what interests me. I write what I would want to read.

8. show us the first sentence from one your novels.
The last thing I remember is taking a razor to my arms because the voices told me to.

9. why do you love writing?
I’ve always been able to express myself best through writing. Writing is what I turn to when I’m upset or angry. Writing is cathartic for me. I feel relaxed and peaceful when I’m writing. I love writing simply because it calms me down and I get the opportunity to revisit my imagination.

If you are doing NaNo, I tag you!

Waiting on Wednesday #29

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This weekly feature is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It’s a way to showcase upcoming titles that we’re excited about.

My Pick
F&T

Book Link: Goodreads

 

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Frannie Little eavesdrops on her parents fighting she discovers that her cousin Truman is gay, and his parents are so upset they are sending him to live with her family for the summer. At least, that’s what she thinks the story is. . . When he arrives, shy Frannie befriends this older boy, who is everything that she’s not–rich, confident, cynical, sophisticated. Together, they embark on a magical summer marked by slowly unraveling secrets.

My Thoughts
I must have this book. It sounds intriguing, fascinating and awesome all at the same time. I don’t even know what to expect with this book, but I do know I have to have it. I love the concept of slowly unraveling secrets. It also sounds like things may not be as they seem, so YAY!

What books are you excited for?