Cover Reveal Blitz + Giveaway: ANTIPODES by Michele Bacon


Today Michele Bacon and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive excerpt for ANTIPODES, which releases April 3, 2018! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an ARC!

 

On to the reveal! 
 
 
Title: ANTIPODES
Author: Michele Bacon
Pub. Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads
 
When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life days before her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, Erin’s not so sure.
 
Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. A mission used to sound like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?
 
Now Erin balks at NZ’s scratchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories and then another, as she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world to find that when life turns your world upside down and you’re farthest from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.
 

EXCERPT

Alone at lunch, Erin cracked her Italian book and read ahead. The clouds had burned off during her art experiments, but everything was still damp. She juggled her Italian book and lunch until Jade called her name.

“In here!” Jade pulled Erin into a gymnasium.

They sat on the floor, and Jade said, “How are you finding New Zealand?”

“Still jet lagged,” Erin said.

“True kiwi lunch here, want some?” Jade held out a plastic container of brown and grey food.

“Every time someone mentions kiwi, I picture fuzzy green fruit,” Erin said.

“Aye, we’ve got kiwi fruit, too. This is bangers and mash.”

“Funny, isn’t it? Last night, Felicity asked whether I liked—whether I fancied—kumara. An orange vegetable. Not a carrot. Soft in the middle when cooked, but not a squash. Then she served it and it was a sweet potato.”

“Kumara are my favorite in winter.”

“Yeah. My grampa used to make them with brown sugar and cinnamon. I love them, so you see how off-kilter I feel. Same cars, but yours are smaller. And slower. Everything is a little slower. We speak the same language, to an extent. But sometimes? I have no idea what people are saying. And sometimes, words have entirely different meanings. At home, biscuits are small, fluffy, buttery breakfast breads. What you call biscuits, we call cookies.”

“Sounds delicious, either way,” Jade said.

Outside, a circle of guys bunched up over the rugby ball, pushing hard but not moving in any particular direction. “Aren’t words funny?” she said. “I once met a girl at a resort in North Carolina—that’s actually in the southern part of America—and she and I realized when a Chicago native says she skis, she means skiing in snow. But we also go water skiing.

“In the south, though, where it’s warm, skiing means water. And they call the other kind snow skiing.”

“Here, of course, the North Island is the warm part, and we get the cold down here,” Jade said. “One of us is upside down.”

“Yeah. It’s definitely me.”

 

About Michele:

I was born in Trumbull County, the only square county in Ohio, where books were my favorite means of escaping an unhappy childhood. Writing was my transparent attempt to create the things I craved: big happy families, international adventures and unconditional friendship. From a young age, I was drawn to people’s stories, and I still want to know how you met your best friend or fell in love with your partner.
 
In high school, I embraced my inner geek and wrote my first novel. In college, there were short stories and still more novels. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in English, with concentrations in critical theory and creative writing.
 
Full-time work sapped my creative brain for several years, but my professional life was one of reinvention. In state government, business management consulting, and nonprofit fundraising, I adapted easily and absorbed the languages of different professions. My last paying job was as an independent fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations. That was seven years ago.
 
Since then, I have been writing and traveling (and, let’s be honest, chasing down small people who don’t like to wear clothes). I’ve traveled to all 50 states and dozens of other countries, always collecting pieces of characters and ideas for stories. I recently spent a year on sabbatical in Christchurch, New Zealand, where I may have left my heart at Ilam School. Now that we’ve settled back in the States, I’m writing for adults and young adults, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and baking like a fiend. (You’d thinking baking would be the same everywhere, but it’s not. Something is different about kiwi butter.)
 
When an idea strikes, I scrawl sweeping plot outlines, character idiosyncrasies, and ideas for scenes on the nearest blank spot of paper. My current manuscript was born of those torn slips of paper, used envelopes, lollipop wrappers, fuel receipts and–once–that little paper bit that keeps a nursing pad sticky until it’s time to use it. My manuscripts are better than the quality of papers where they began. Promise.
 
Outside of writing, I am a tabletop game enthusiast, passionate skier, and lover of prime numbers. I also am a mentor at the Moving Words Writing Clinic, and a freelance copyeditor.
 

I live in Seattle with my husband and three growing children.


Website
| Twitter | Instagram| Tumblr | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive an ARC of ANTIPODES
(when they are available in January 2018), US Only.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting on Wednesday: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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about the book - hoffman

Title: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand
Publication date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

 

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel


Title: 
Black Bird of the Gallows
Author: Meg Kassel
Publication date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing/ Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Goodreads Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK |
Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo


raving review

When I first saw the cover of this book on Goodreads, I knew I had to read it. Black Bird of the Gallows is a paranormal romance enriched with fierce characters, unique legends, and a creepy antagonist. This intriguing book is a constant page-turner leading up to a finale that is truly frightening but also heart warming. 

One of favorite aspects of the book was the strong chemistry between Angie and Reece. Both characters are quite different in many ways, but their oppositions strengthen the attraction between them. The strong pairing of trust and brutal honesty that they share with each other allows their relationship to mature. I love that even when they have landslides and swarms of bees threatening their lives, they continue to protect each other. 

Overall, I think I enjoyed this book because, although it sticks to many traditional characteristics of young adult novels, Black Bird of the Gallows is littered with new and innovative myths and legends. Those who are considered cursed still believe in redemption, and evil is provided karma-tic relief. I like that the author does not shy away from portraying the characters with their everyday adolescent struggles. Instead, these characters are provided groundwork to discover who they are through actions and reactions. They are challenged by everyday struggles and evildoers, and their hearts and minds are forced into different tug-of-war battles. 

More importantly, the friendships in this novel had me smiling ear-to-ear and swooning. Self-identity, inner strength, and understanding true friendships are common themes that encompass this novel. Every page will have your eyes brimming with tears from laughter, heartache, or the simple acknowledgement that the hardest choices in life can result in the best endings. 

giveaway

Three (3) winners will receive A Black Bird of the Gallows canvas tote bag (11“x14”) which includes a custom made crow pendant and ball chain, bookmark and stickers, $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT):

Giveaway

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about the author

Meg Kassel Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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If It’s Not a Rant, It’s a Rave: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Title: 
The Hazel Wood
By: 
Melissa Albert

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: 
January 30, 2018
Genres: 
Fiction, Fantasy

About The Hazel Wood:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


banner - hazel wood

You guys, The Hazel Wood is one of the most unexpected, creepy, and haunting reads I have read in a long time. Honestly, I have been pondering this review for several days, and I still do not how to put into words how this book shook me in the best possible ways. My brain feels like I am watching The Matrix; my thoughts are constantly turning, piecing together, and figuring out what I just read. I am mind-boggled: how did this book take me from Point A to Point B, and why is my mouth hanging open with bewilderment and awe? This review may be all over the place, but overall, I want you to know that The Hazel Wood will rattle your thoughts and shatter any expectations you may have for young adult literature.

In regards to pacing, The Hazel Wood pieces together events in chronological order but some scenes often reflect back to missing puzzle pieces and past events that have been overshadowed. The book takes place in modern-day society and interweaves in twisted fairy tale stories. And these fairy tale morsels are dark, staggering, and oftentimes disturbing. You thought the Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales were wicked and alarming? HA, just wait until you are introduced to the Tales from the Hinterland.

Yes, The Hazel Wood mainly focuses on a book, specifically a collection of dark fairy tales that are very important to the main character’s (Alice’s) past. Throughout the book, we are weaved through Alice’s teenage life as she begins to understand her family’s history and the  Tales from the Hinterland, which was written by her grandmother. Once some of the tales are told and unraveled to us, the reader is cornered into a left behind world filled with a clockwork of eeriness and dispirited characters.

I do not want to give too much away about Alice (no spoilers here!), but she is a very well-developed character. The author, Melissa Albert, put a lot of history and fearlessness into this character. Alice is an introvert—she’s a listener, she’s a thinker, and her best trait is her determination. Her mother is the most important person in her life, and throughout the novel their relationship often parallels the friendship, love, and protectiveness found between Lorelai and Rory in the Gilmore Girls. But from the very beginning the reader will pick up on the oddness that filters into their lives and the bad luck that is constantly plaguing them. 

Also, on another note, this novel breaks the mold of  tropes often highlighted in young adult literature. I love romantic tropes. I love when friends turn into lovers. I am a sucker for hate-to-love relationships. But you guys, this book steers away from any tropes, and I did not know what to do with this book’s unpredictability. Right when I thought some type of “romantic” relationship was forming…NOPE, insert shocking scene here…Oh, wait! Yay something is going to happen…and then NOPE, CASSIE, YOU’RE WRONG! As I pointed out from the very beginning, The Hazel Wood is going to shake you. This book will have your head spinning, your nails biting into your palms, and your mouth slack-jawed.

The Hazel Wood is a story of dark monsters, family secrets, and unsettling twists. My nightmares would have nightmares about the fairy tales and characters that haunt this book. If you are sucker for mysteries and love teetering on the edge of shocking theories, you NEED to pick this book up. I think every reader will take away something different from this novel. Me, I wanted to focus on potential romances and a happily ever after ending. Instead I had the rug pulled out from under me and left blinking uncontrollably from scene to scene. In the end, The Hazel Wood is a thrill ride of shock, horror, and endless courage.

TREAT YO SHELF on JANUARY 30, 2018


4 star rating

NOTE: Thank you to my friend, Angie, for allowing me to borrow her advanced reader’s copy. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I reviewed this book at my own discretion. All statements and opinions are my own.

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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about the book - hoffman

Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publication date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Magic Realism, Historical, Supernatural

Synopsis

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

 

 

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Holly Freakin’ Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley

Today we have the blog tour for HOLLY FREAKIN’ HUGHES by Kelsey Kingsley! Check it out and grab your copy today!


Title: Holly Freakin’ Hughes
By: 
Kelsey Kingsley
Release Date: 
August 1, 2017
Genres: 
Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance

About Holly Freakin’ Hughes:

31-year-old HOLLY HUGHES is happy with her life. She’s a moderately successful teen advice columnist living in a tiny studio apartment on the Upper East Side with her boyfriend STEPHEN and their cat CAMILLE. She has grand plans of marrying Stephen and having his babies, until Stephen announces that he is in fact gay and in love with someone else, his boss ANTHONY. This twist of fate is the beginning of a slew of life-changing events in poor Holly’s life. Her boss fires her from the magazine for being too old, leaving her unemployed and unable to keep her apartment.

With nowhere else to go, Holly moves back to Long Island to live with her younger sister LIZ and 3-year-old niece ANNA, and takes over as Anna’s babysitter until she can find the confidence to get herself back on her feet.

As a part of her babysitting routine, Holly takes Anna on bi-weekly trips to the local bookstore, where they attend Story Time. On one occasion, Anna just so happens to run face-first into 36-year-old BRANDON DAVIS, a tall, handsome man who just so happens to be an international best-selling author of a fantasy book series. Holly is unaware of this bit of information, and remains oblivious as their friendship and love for each other grows.

When Brandon faces his personal qualms toward his career and confesses who he is to her, Holly is left to face her own issues with inadequacy.

The story deals with acceptance for one’s position in life, forgiveness, and overcoming the feeling of simply not being good enough.

Grab Your Copy Today:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUS


my raving review

Holly Freakin’ Hughes came at just the right time in my  life. I have been going through a reading slump, and you guys, this book won me over. The characters always had me laughing and swooning, and more importantly, the story had me cheering on both of the main characters, Holly and Brandon. I really enjoyed Kelsey Kingsley’s debut novel and it was the perfect story to swoon over. 

Told in dual points of view (i.e. Holly and Brandon), I loved that the author takes us into the thoughts and emotions of each character. Both characters have a “romantic” history that they want to hide and forget, and each has their own reason for being so negative towards romantic relationships. However, I did enjoy that their heartaches are what pushes them to search for something better in their lives.

I did, however, prefer Brandon’s character over Holly, because I think he is more rational and more optimistic throughout the book. Even though Brandon is always holding himself back, Holly is always putting herself down. I do not think that Holly gives herself enough credit, and around the 90% mark of the book, I was so mad with her thoughts and reactions (I won’t give away any spoilers, but I was so frustrated with Holly at this point in the book). I’m just glad I pushed through to the ending, which left me smiling and swooning. 

Overall, Holly Freakin’ Hughes is genuine, funny, and a feel good story that made my heart melt. Even though the story has an “insta-love” feel at the beginning, the characters both have an honest and heartfelt chemistry that builds over months and months of conversations, cute banter, and laughs. If you’re in the mood for a fun and heartwarming story, this book is for you.


About Kelsey Kingsley:

Kelsey Kingsley grew up in the great state of New York, and still lives there with her family and a cat named Ethel. When she isn’t writing her fingers to the bone, she enjoys a good (or bad) book, reruns of Frasier, ruining the lives of her Sims, and singing and dancing in the kitchen. She somehow survives off a diet of tea, doughnuts, and French fries. However, she hates cheese and listening to people chew. You’ve been warned.

Connect with Kelsey:

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Enter Kelsey’s Giveaway:

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Blogs Taking Part in the Blog Tour:

September 4th
For the love of romance

Capital nerd
A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars
Readaholic

September 5th
romance as a first language

Books,Dreams,Life
Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog

September 6th
Katy and Zetti’s Book Ramblings

Musings of Madjy
Southern Bred & Read
Read Your Writes Book Reviews

September 7th
A Southern Girls Bookshelf

KT Book Reviews
Seeing Night Reviews

September 8th
Cuz I’m A Nerd

Quesarasera Book Blog
FMR BookGrind

September 9th
The Book Boyfriend Addict

K.T. Castle
My World of Wonderful Thoughts

September 10th
Southern Belle Book Blog

Read-Love-Blog
Lisa Loves Literature
Chatterbooks book blog

September 11th
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

Reads & Reviews
Once upon a romance blog

September 12th
Captain Reads A Lot

Always a happy ever after
Lattes & Paperbacks
Adventures in Writing

September 13th
TrashyBibloBlog

Brittany’s Book Blog

September 14th
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

Bookishly Yours

September 15th
I’m A Book Shark

September 16th
Reading away the days

What Is That Book About
bad boys and bedtime stories book blog
Textteaser Book Blog

September 17th
Ever After Book Reviews

Jax’s Book Magic
Shelf_Life

September 18th
G & T’s Indie Café

Swoonworthybooks
Susan’s Books I Like
Sweet Reading