Blog Tour: True Born by L. E. Sterling

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true bornBook Title: True Born

Author: L.E. Sterling

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy

 

Your fate is in your blood…

 

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic leader, Nolan Storm, and the beautiful but deadly Jared, who tempts her as much as he infuriates her. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114621-true-born

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0O

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-born-le-sterling/1122537957

iBooks Buy Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/true-born/id1046533172

Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/true-born

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0O

Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/True-Born-L-E-Sterling-ebook/dp/B0166SEV0O

Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/true-born/

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About the Author:

LE Sterling

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Author Website: le-sterling.com

Author Twitter: @le_sterling

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LESterling22/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LESterling

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Read below for an excerpt from True Born:

“Isn’t it a little weird that we have to do our tests again? Was there some kind of mistake with the first one?” Margot says it innocently enough, a slight twang to her voice to match the nurse’s rabble-like twang.

“Well, hon, sometimes they get mixed signals, you know? Like when you think a boy likes you but then he goes all hot and cold?” She winks. Margot’s fingers tighten on mine.

“Uh huh.” Margot nods. “So there’s a problem with your machines? Or with the staff?”

The nurse frowns. “Not this staff. They’re five-star amazing. Must have just been a bad sample or something. Try not to worry about it, sweetie.” She pats Margot’s arm just before she shoves the needle in my sister’s vein.

I squirm on my seat. The skin on my arm crawls from the sharp pain originating in my sister’s arm. Relaxed beside me, Margot doesn’t move a muscle. She knows what I’m feeling even if she can’t do anything about it. This is just how it is with us.

“How much are you going to take this time?” My voice shakes as our coltish nurse comes around to me and drives a needle into my arm. It doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as Margot’s did. Our hands stay folded together. There’s a note in our file about letting us. One of the perks of being born us.

“Oh.” For the first time she looks a little dismayed. “I’m sorry, hon. Didn’t they tell you? We gotta go through the whole protocol again. The whole shebang.”

My twin and I did know. We’d been told. Still, it bothers us. A full day’s worth of giving blood, going through tests, having your organs measured and documented. Urine samples, more blood samples, hair samples. We’d already been through this two times in the last two months. We no longer believe they’d gotten “bad” samples—not that we’re going to let on to the nurse.

And funny thing is, each time we come, the Protocols Nurse is new. This is the third we’ve had, each as clueless as the last.

We know better than to ask our parents. The deepening silence and constant rounds of testing and lies must mean the news is the worst. Late at night we lie together, holding hands and whispering under the deep canopy of one or other of our beds. We’ve thought about what it will mean if one of us turns out to be a Laster. We’ve talked until dawn about what we’d want, what we’d do. I tell Margot I’d want to go with her, but she’s against the idea.

“One of us needs to survive,” she said to me, her gray-green eyes as serious as I’ve ever seen them.

“What if it’s not that?” I asked her.

“What do you mean?”

“What if we’re, you know,” the words mere whispers, “True Born?”

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The Giveaway:

$10 Amazon gift card

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https://countdownsbyerin.com/cd/entangled/true/

Blog Tour: The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

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The Girl I Used to Be
by April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary, Suspense
BOOK LINKS:
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25944786-the-girl-i-used-to-be
Amazon paperbackhttp://amzn.to/1SZZH6u
Barnes & Noble (B&N)http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girl-i-used-to-be-april-henry/1122142277?ean=9781627793322
Bookdepositoryhttp://www.bookdepository.com/The-Girl-I-Used-Be-April-Henry/9781627793322?ref=grid-view
iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/es/book/the-girl-i-used-to-be/id1048550692?mt=11
Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/es-es/ebook/the-girl-i-used-to-be

Synopsis:
When Olivia’s mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there’s a killer still at large. It’s up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?

Review
This book caught my eye long before I read it. I was very interested because of the cover, but I was also a little apprehensive about the book because I had not been a fan of Henry’s previous books. So I was really worried this book would be a letdown. I was worried I wouldn’t like the characters or that I’d figure out the culprit before the main character did.

In fact, I found myself absolutely ENAMORED with Olivia Reinhart. I was enamored with her story from start to finish. Shortly after the book begins we learn that her father was more than likely not the one who murdered her mother fourteen years ago because he too, is dead and has probably been dead this entire time. Olivia was once known by a different name, Ariel Benson, but she doesn’t remember life with her parents.

She remembers life with her grandmother though. She lived with her grandmother for the first 4 years after her mother’s death and her father’s disappearance.  So when she returns to her hometown, she finds out that her grandmother’s house is empty and she wants nothing more than to rent it and try to find out once and for all, what happened to her parents. She also wants to keep her identity a secret.

What she wasn’t counting on was Duncan, who knows more about her previous life than she realizes. Nora, who was her grandmother’s best friend. Samantha who was rumored to  be in love with Ariel’s dad. Jason who was in love with Ariel’s mother. Within days, she’s got a running list of who could be responsible in the small town. Was it a jilted lover, or was it a stranger?

I honestly didn’t know who the murderer was until the very end. I had hints here and there, but all of my theories turned out to be wrong. I like it better that way. That way, I’m surprised when the killer is revealed. Looking back, I can’t think of anything that made it obvious who it was.

I was worried about the pacing because in a book this short that’s also a murder mystery, the pacing has to be really quick, to make sure the reader is hooked in for the entire time. There were no pacing issues with this one. It was quick, without being too quick if that makes any sense.

I think the main reason that I didn’t love it was because of the character development. Olivia/Ariel was nicely developed, but the secondary characters weren’t as well developed as I was hoping. This is one of those times were the plot & pacing made up for the shortcomings in the character development department.

4 stars to this short but compelling book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
April
I write mysteries and thrillers. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family.

If you’ve read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.

When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children’s magazine.

My dream of writing went dormant until I was in my 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now I’m very lucky to make a living doing what I love. I have written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. My books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and short-listed for the Oregon Book Award.

I also review YA literature and mysteries and thrillers for the Oregonian, and have written articles for both The Writer and Writers Digest.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: http://www.aprilhenrymysteries.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/88507.April_Henry
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aprilhenrybooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AprilHenry

GIVEAWAY
Prize: Win (1) finished copy of THE GIRL I USED TO BE by April Henry (US/CAN Only)
Direct Link

Tour Schedule: http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2016/04/tour-schedule-girl-i-used-to-be-by.html

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Blog Tour: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

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Thicker Than Water
by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: December 29th 2015
Kensington Books

Summary from Goodreads:
On his own
Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

Add to Goodreads
Buy Links: AmazonBarnes and NobleGoogle Play

Review
I didn’t know much about this book before I sat down to read it. I felt like it had promise and it had so much potential to be awesome. I also tried to avoid other early reviews of this book because I really didn’t want my reading experience to be tainted.

So I dove into this book with an acceptable amount of anticipation and, at first, I was disappointed with it and contemplated DNFing it. I just could not get into it because the pacing was so slow and some of the characters frustrated me. But I wanted this book to be awesome and I could see the potential in the main characters, Charlotte & Tommy.

So I kept reading and it kept getting better. I am SO happy that it improved because it ended up being a captivating read that kept me guessing all the way through.

I know a lot of people had issues with Charlotte and I get why, but I actually really liked her. Yes her family was crazy overprotective and that would have driven me nuts. Given what had happened many years ago to Charlotte’s classmate, I couldn’t totally blame them. She was also very passive and didn’t stand up for herself. That was definitely something that bothered me. But it’s the kind of thing that ALWAYS bothers me about girls (and guys) who are passive & don’t stand up for themselves. Charlotte had a great character arc, so I was able to get over her passivity & pushover-ness.

Tommy’s arc went places I was never expecting it to. I did love the relationship between him and his stepdad and how that unraveled throughout the book. I felt like that was done really well and I was really happy. I was very annoyed with how he was treated initially by the police, investigators etc. That was almost enough to get me to DNF the book, but like I said before, I am really glad I stuck with this book.

I want to talk about more of the book, but I’m not going to spoil things. So all I’ll say, is you need to read this book. It had twists & turns & even some utter mind-fuckery. I am giving this book 4 stars, mostly because of the slow start to this book and the crappy way Tommy was treated by law enforcement.

About the Author
BK
Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.

While writing STORM, it’s ironic to note that Brigid’s personal life was plagued by water problems: her basement flooded three times, her roof leaked, her kitchen faucet broke, causing the cabinet underneath to be destroyed by water, the wall in her son’s room had to be torn down because water had crept into the wall, and her bedroom wall recently developed a minor leak. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries.

Brigid loves hearing from people, and she probably won’t refer to herself in the third person like this if you actually correspond with her. She has a smartphone surgically attached to her person nearby at all times, and email is the best way to reach her. Her email address is brigidmary@gmail.com.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Giveaway
Giveaway Link

Book Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

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Blog Tour: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This Raging Light Blog Tour

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About the Book:
Title: THIS RAGING LIGHT
Author: Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
Pages: 288
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

“A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

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About Estelle:
Estelle
Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway
3 winners will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matched the book cover. US Only.
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Giveaway Link


Tour Schedule:
Week One:
1/4/2016- The Cover Contessa– Interview
1/5/2016- Just Commonly Review
1/6/2016- Fire and Ice– Guest Post
1/7/2016- Adventures in Reading– Spotlight
1/8/2016- Once Upon A Twilight– Review

Week Two:
1/11/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book Interview
1/12/2016- The Candid Cover Review
1/13/2016- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
1/14/2016- Book Briefs– Review
1/15/2016- Such a Novel Idea– Interview

Blog Tour: The Urban Boys by K. N. Smith

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About the Book:
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith
Genre/ Age Group: Young Adult Fiction (Action-Adventure w/ elements of Paranormal), 12+
Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Urban-Boys-Discovery-Five-Senses/dp/0989474755/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-urban-boys-kn-smith/1122739135?ean=9780989474757
Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/urban-boys-discovery-five/id1045819157?mt=11
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26850355-the-urban-boys
Synopsis
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative.

Overview: The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further. Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny? Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!


Ten Things You Didn’t Know About K.N. Smith
1.      She’s an avid home gardener. Remember Sandy’s garden from The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses? Well, that’s all K.N. Smith, who learned gardening from her (late) grandmother and her older sister.

2.     She makes homemade ice cream. Cookies and cream is a household favorite, but grapefruit sorbet, strawberry, and rocky road are close seconds!

3.   She wanted to be an English teacher when she grew up. She never got there, however, communications and writing are pretty closely related.

4.  She owns an award-winning marketing communications firm in addition to being an author.

5.  She has two lovely daughters, both taller than her, and a super-husband who really knows football.

6.  She has only been to a nail shop once, around age 16. She found it too expensive so she’s been doing her own nails forever.

7.  Her favorite part of her post 6:00 a.m. workout is the steam room at the gym.

8.  She’s pretty good at a game of pool!

9.  She’s an Amtrak fan and travels by train instead of plane when possible.

10.  She also has graphic design skills and personally designs The Urban Boys collaterals (except for the book covers).

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About the Author:
K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literary and educational pursuits. An established non-fiction writer, Smith chose the teen fiction genre as a way to enhance her daughters’ (then) high school literary experience, and to engage other youth in literacy development.

Her creative literary flair offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph. As a result, scenes become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. Her stories twist, turn, and grind through elements of science-fiction and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. As an ardent supporter of youth and family literacy programs across the globe, she states, “My hope is that The Urban Boys will spark imagination in a wide variety of readers while elevating global literacy efforts. It’s important that we have diverse families of readers for generations to come.” K.N. Smith has over twenty years experience in writing, communications, and creative design. She lives with her family in California.

Giveaway Link
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Blog Tour: Half in Love With Death by Emily Ross

HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH

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Half in Love with Death
by Emily Ross
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: December 18th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

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Synopsis
It’s the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline’s life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She’s invisible to her parents, who can’t stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish.The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister’s older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline’s desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her.Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess’s disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we’ll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again.Inspired by the disturbing case of Charles Schmid, ‘the Pied Piper of Tucson’, Half in Love with Death is a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.

Review:
I was a little iffy on this book when I first saw it. It didn’t look like something I’d be into, so I passed on it. Later, when I looked at the synopsis, I was very intrigued.

I took a chance with this book because normally historical fiction is not what I reach for when I want to read. However, after a slow start, this book hooked me in and did not let go of me the rest of the book. It was the kind of book you need to be patient with because it was a bit slow in the beginning and I found myself frustrated at both the pacing and the characters.

I think that’s why it took me so long to read a book that’s not even 300 pages.

Caroline was a fascinating character to me. She was maddening, but she also clearly loved her sister, so she was in a near constant state of conflict. Her parents were cold and distant with her. Maybe that was part of the 60’s parenting thing, I have no clue. Caroline also had boy problems. She had Billy, but she also starts falling for Jess’ boyfriend, Tony.

But is Tony innocent?

As the book continues, things get very creepy and questions begin to arise about Tony, about his friends and about whether or not Jess is actually in California like everyone else seems to think she is.

This book was a slow start, but it ended up being very enjoyable and it left me questioning everything and even wanting more after I finished reading it. I am giving it 4 stars because outside of the slow start, it was a VERY enjoyable book and I’m really glad I took a chance on it.

About the Author
EMILYROSS
Emily Ross’s YA mystery/thriller HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH is forthcoming from Merit Press(12/2015). She received a 2014 MCC Artist Fellowship finalist award for fiction, and is a graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program. When not writing she works as a web developer and is the mother of two millennials. Find out more at http://www.emilyrosswrites.com/ or https://twitter.com/emilyross816.

Giveaway Link
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Blog Tour: Clean by Mia Kerick

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Clean by Mia Kerick
Release Date: December 1st 2015
Young Dudes Publishing
Add to Goodreads
Buy Links: Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:
High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks… until the fateful day when it all falls apart.

Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school badboy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival.

Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love.

When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction.
Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?

Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.

Hello! And thank you for welcoming me to visit your blog. Today I am here to promote the release of my new book Clean, a YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romance.

Clean is the story of two teenage boys who, for various reasons, experience a feeling of complete isolation in the world. Unable to face their problems, they search for an escape, and together find release in the world of drugs and alcohol. Trevor and Lanny soon hit rock bottom, partying constantly, and when one boy makes a decision to stop using, the other spirals downward into addiction. This is the edgy YA fiction illustrating how they are saved, by themselves and each other.

I can remember as a teen, sitting on the velvet couch in the living room, trying not to put my feet on my mother’s beautiful coffee table, and listening to my record albums, while staring at the faces on the covers of the musicians who created the music. Music has long had a great impact on me as a person, and it also affects me as a writer.

I have selected five classic songs that deal with alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and recovery to form the playlist for Clean. I will tell you a little bit about each song as I list it.

Play List for Clean by Mia Kerick

Let’s star with Ed Sheeran….

“The A Team” by Ed Sheeran

From Songfacts…

Sheeran explained the song title to Billboard magazine in a video interview “A drug like crack cocaine is called a ‘class A’ drug. That’s in the same category as heroin. Instead of making it clear and just saying what the problem was, I’d say, ‘She’s in the ‘class A’ team.’ It was kind of my way of covering up (a person’s addiction), I guess, making it a bit more subtle.”

  Ed Sheeran’s wrote “The A Team” about meeting a homeless prostitute at the shelter where he was volunteering.

“The song is a true story and was written by Sheeran after meeting a girl called Angel, whilst volunteering at a Crisis homeless shelter…

Sheeran explained the song title to Billboard magazine in a video interview: ‘A drug like crack cocaine is called a ‘class A’ drug. That’s in the same category as heroin. Instead of making it clear and just saying what the problem was, I’d say, ‘She’s in the ‘class A’ team.’ It was kind of my way of covering up (a person’s addiction), I guess, making it a bit more subtle.’” ~Songfacts

“Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

According to Songfacts, “Lead singer Anthony Kiedis wrote this about his days as a heroin addict and the loneliness that went with it. The bridge mentioned in the song is a place where he sometimes went to buy drugs and get high….

This song was originally just a poem that Kiedis wrote. He didn’t write it for the Chili Peppers – it was a very personal poem that he thought he might use somewhere else. Producer Rick Rubin found it in one of his notebooks and told Anthony that it could be a great song. At first, he didn’t want to sing it or share it with anyone, but he eventually came around.”

“Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind

From Songfacts….

“This song describes a drug user’s descent into crystal meth addiction. The line, ‘I want something else…’ contains a reference to crystal meth in the song. Third Eye Blind lead singer Stephan Jenkins explained on the HBO show Reverb that they intentionally put a chipper melody to the dark lyrical content…

Jenkins said, ‘It’s a song about always wanting something. It’s about never being satisfied, and reaching backwards to things that you’ve lost and towards things that you can never get. I think everybody has some identification with that. The story line between the people, the demise of this relationship, is just an extreme example of that condition. I think that’s what makes people really relate to ‘Semi-Charmed Life.'”

How about a couple of classics from The Eagles who know how to live life in the fast lane?

“Hotel California” by The Eagles

Though many fans and critics have interpreted it as a song about heroin addiction, “Hotel California” has been described by the Eagles’ Don Henley as their “interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles”, and “…a song about a journey from innocence to experience.” ~Songfacts

I tend to think that the high life must include some types of substances that get you high, and innocence to experience indicates drug use, as well.

“Desperado” by The Eagles

Here are two perspectives on the Eagles’ song Desperado that deal with a fast, hedonistic life style that is somehow meaningless.

“On the surface, this song is about a cowboy who refuses to fall in love, but it could also be about a young man who discovers guitars, joins a band, pays his dues and suffers for his art. The stress of being a rock star is a recurring theme in Eagles music (e.g. “Life In The Fast Lane”). The overall theme is how you must suffer for your art.” ~ Songfacts

“At first glance, “Desperado,” a song written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, depicts a hardened outlaw who refuses to fall in love. This conclusion, although parallel to a majority of the themes lyrically depicted by The Eagles, is incorrect.  While the depicted individual exhibits traits parallel to that of an outlaw or rock star, the difference is that the confused individual is longing for love rather than rejecting it. The tone and literary devices embedded within the text support the theme that the young man is victim to his confusion, lifestyle and decisions.” Jhalpino9

“In the first couple of lines, the song’s author depicts the young man’s confused state as justified and prolonged by the pleasure the individual presently experiences.  The lines “These things that are pleasin’ you can hurt you somehow” allude to the underlying dangerous nature associated with the pleasurable things in the individual’s life. …“

About the Author
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com.

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Blog Tour: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

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Truest
Genre: YA realistic contemporary
Published on September 1st, 2015
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Purchase Links:AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryBooks a MillionFishpondIndieBoundKoboPowell’sHarperCollins

Synopsis
Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck’s small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He’s curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening– and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister– and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Guest Post
A Modern Parable

Truest was always going to have some religious themes– the narrator, Westlin Beck, is the daughter of the local pastor, after all. But I wanted to write the story in such a way that wasn’t preachy, cheesy, or saccharine– because my personal faith isn’t those things either. It’s messy and beautiful and hard and raw. I wanted Truest to reflect that reality.

But it’s hard, you know? How do you write a novel intended for the secular market that includes a discussion of faith?

Some epiphanies are as quiet as a word crawling into your mind while you try to sleep and making a nest for itself there. The word, for me, was parables. Parables in biblical times were meant for some to see … and some to not. I wondered if I could write about faith in such a way that those who wanted to see those things would and those who didn’t want to wouldn’t have to. What resulted are a handful of scenes in the book that mean different things to different audiences, and frankly, I’m delighted by that. It’s been fascinating to hear a variety of interpretations.

My faith– and the faith of so many of my friends– is a wild thing, often complicated, rarely sentimental, and centered around grace and freedom. But so many people think of faith as a greeting card, an after-school special, and a lot of pretense. It was important to me to show Silas Hart, the love interest and the biggest spiritual influence on West, as a boy who screws up, loses his temper, curses like a sailor, battles his own inner demons– and who loves God. I’m hopeful that– just like me– others are drawn in by authenticity of any stripe.

About the Author:jackie

Jackie Lea Sommers lives and loves and writes in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the Os are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize. She dislikes OCD, horcruxes, and Minnesota winters. She likes book boyfriends, cranky teenagers, and Minnesota springs. Truest is her first novel.

Connect With The Author
www.twitter.com/jackieleawrites
www.jackieleasommers.com
www.facebook.com/jackieleawrites
www.instagram.com/jackieleasommers
www.pinterest.com/jackieleas
www.jackieleasommers.tumblr.com

Giveaway
One signed and annotated hardcover of Truest
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Blog Tour: The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

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About the Book
The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
Published November 17th, 2015
Published by Skyscape
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Book Links: Goodreads,WebsiteAmazon
Find out more about signed copies HERE!

Synopsis
Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.
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After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normalneeds a new definition.As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.

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About the Author
alys
Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittering drag queens of the New Orleans, French Quarter. She cut her teeth on the streets of New York and has worked all around the world since. She either talks too much or not at all. She obsessively documents things. Her hair ranges from eggplant to cotton-candy-colored.

One dreary day in London, while dreaming of running away with the circus, she started writing The Casquette Girls. Her debut novel garnered over one million reads online before being acquired by Skyscape in a two book deal. Rep’d by ICM.

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Twitter: @alysarden
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Blog Tour: Diamonds are Forever (The Secret Diamond Sisters #3) by Michelle Madow

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Title: Diamonds are Forever
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #3
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 368 Pages
ISBN: 9780373211524
Add to your TBR List:  Goodreads
Buy Links:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Books A Million  |  iBooks

Synopsis
It’s cold outside, but the drama is hot!

The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah’s flirt-mance with an international pop star heats up as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is this romance meant to be, or has the right guy been in front of her all along? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend—and future stepbrother—and as their parents’ wedding approaches, the pressure’s on to reveal their relationship.

Peyton’s figuring out a plan for her future, but she still feels guilty about getting her former bodyguard fired and wonders if she can get over him in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison’s ready to tell the huge secret she’s uncovered. And with the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamond sisters more than ever.

Review
I’m just gonna come out and say it, this book was the best book of the trilogy. It was so, so good. To the point that I basically devoured it in less than 24 hours. It was light, fluffy and full of drama. I don’t usually go for light & fluffy, but I needed a light & fluffy read so I grabbed this one.  It had everything I wanted in the final book.

In book two, I was not sold on the romances, but this time around, I loved the romances. Wait, let me rephrase that, I loved the way certain romances ended up. There is one couple in particular that I was rooting hard for. I was worried they wouldn’t be end game, but they were, so YAY!

I really loved Madison in this one. She just kept getting more likable as the series continued. For that, I am grateful. I wanted her to develop a sisterly relationship with Courtney, Peyton & Savannah, but I was worried that the three Diamond girls wouldn’t really welcome her into their family. Given how Madison had treated them at the beginning of the series, I don’t think I would have blamed them.

Things come to a head when all four Diamond girls and some friends of theirs are in Aspen for spring break. Hearts break, loyalties are tested and relationships are put back on track. I would love to talk more about the trip to Aspen, but that contains a ton of spoilers, so I probably shouldn’t.

I still see myself as a mix of Courtney & Peyton, and certain things about Peyton are so similar to me that I still find it disconcerting. Savannah is still the absolute complete opposite of me. I’d say that Madison is most similar to Courtney, but she’s got dashes of Savannah & Peyton in her as well.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was a perfect ending to the trilogy. I am sorry to see these characters go because I think they are interesting and they always leave me wanting to know more about them. I am giving this book 5 stars and I am so glad I kept reading the series because it got better and better as it continued.

About the Author

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Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s latest YA series, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever, will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow).

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

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Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Diamonds are Forever Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed paperback set of The Secret Diamond Sisters, along with a swag pack that includes lipgloss, bookmark, sister postcards, pin! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
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