Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Queens of Geek
Jen Wilde
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

About Queens of Geek:

Three friends. Two love stories. One convention.

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.Queens of Geek, an empowering young adult novel by Jen Wilde, is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


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There is so much I love about this book, but I’m afraid my fangirling will give too much away. I hate spoilers, so I am going to try to make this review as spoiler-free as I can.

I think one of the best things about life is fandoms and then finding friends that will geek out over the same fandoms with you. Queens of Geek is a story about friendships and the love for fandoms. In a nutshell, it is a story about three friends, who are about to head off to college, so for a friendship vacation they attend a convention very similar to San Diego Comic Con. Their adventure is a page-turner that you will not want to put down. Fangirling ensues. Friendships strengthen. And swooning is guaranteed. 

Queens of Geek focuses on two main points-of-view. First there is Charlie, a well-known vlogger/indie actress, who has her own group of fans. I liked Charlie, because she is a girl that knows what she wants in life. She has a plan and a daring attitude. She is the girl that a lot of us inspire to be. And then there is Taylor, who I mainly related to. Taylor has a heart of gold, and often deals with severe anxiety.  

In Queens of Geek, I love that opposites attract, but it is the similarities between these two characters that bring Charlie and Taylor closer together. Both of the characters are honest, trusting, and so damn likable. Along for the ride, Jamie, Taylor’s best guy friend, geeks out with them at the convention. But in this story, the convention is more than fangirling or freaking out over you favorite vloggers, super heroes, sci-fi characters, or fantasy authors–instead it’s about growing up, stepping out of your comfort zone, and understanding who you are. 

Although Queens of Geek takes place in the span of a few days, a lot occurs. Panic attacks happen, ex-boyfriends get stupidly drunk, and crushes start developing into actual relationships. I really enjoyed that this fast-paced book touches base on issues that a lot of teenagers deal with in their everyday lives. And without giving too much away, I loved the healthy and realistic approach that the author, Jen Wilde, takes in regards to highlighting topics like anxiety, body issues, and bisexuality. If you are in the mood for a book that realistically portrays the love for fandoms, along with real-life issues, definitely give Queens of Geek a read. 

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GIVEAWAY SWIRL

Enter to win a print copy of Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde!

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TOUR SCHEDULE

March 13th
Bibliobibuli YA >> Interview
Fic Central >> Review
Adventures with a Book Nerd >> Review

March 14th
Rattle the Stars >> Guest post
To Be Read >> Review
Girl vs Books >> Review
With Love for Books >> Review
Happily Ever Chapter >> Review
Hopeful Reads >> Review

March 15th
books are love >> Review
Twirling Book Princess  >> Excerpt
Padme’s Library >> Interview
Quartzfeather >> Review
Rolling with the Moments >> Review

March 16th
Books and Ladders >> Review
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
My Tiny Obsessions >> Review
Book Stacks Amber >> Review

March 17th
The Cover Contessa >> Guest post
Kourtni Reads >> Review
Betwixt the Pages >> Review
The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange >> Review
Flavia the Bibliophile >> Review

AUTHOR BIO

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller.When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay. Jen lives in a sunny beachside town in Australia with her husband and their cheeky pug, aptly named Heisenberg.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Excerpt and Quotes from Cashmere by Temple West

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Title: Cashmere
Author: Temple West
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: In Medias Res Publications
Pages: 460
Find it:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Synopsis:

This high-stakes sequel to Velvet proves that when you’re the only human caught in a paranormal war, high school can get a little tricky. With Adrian’s brother trapped in hell, the Praetorian Guard has made Stony Creek their base-of-operations, but Caitlin has a bad feeling they’re more interested in her than in finding Lucian. Caught in a sea of conspiracies and lies, Caitlin and Adrian perform a risky magical procedure in an attempt to protect Caitlin from compulsion.

Relieved that her nightmares have ended, Caitlin is disturbed to find that something even stranger has taken their place.

Determined to get on with her life, even amid a crazy paranormal manhunt, she applies for a competitive summer fashion internship in New York. Searching desperately for answers about what Caitlin might be, how Adrian’s father is involved, and where Lucian has been kidnapped to, Caitlin and Adrian must rely on each other to survive. But when the truth finally comes to light, the consequences are unimaginable.

And the question still haunts them both: even if they survive, how will they deal with the fact that Adrian is immortal and Caitlin is not?

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Excerpt from Cashmere

from Chapter 7: Matchmaker

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You totally want to read this book now, RIGHT?! These characters crack me up! 

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Favorite Quotes

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Giveaway

1 winner will receive signed copies of Velvet and Cashmere, Open International. Temple is supplying the giveaway and her rules are hereGiveaway ends 2/22/17.

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temple-west-author-photoAbout Temple West:
Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on the Twitter. Armed with a very shiny English degree, she spent four months in Oxford holed up at the Radcliffe Camera amongst the hush of ancient books and the rich musk of academia. Returning to Los Angeles, she acquired a concurrent degree in film, mostly as an excuse to write essays about The Princess Bride and Hook. She can sew (poorly), drive stick (please fasten your seatbelt), and mostly lift her feet off the ground while stuttering into first gear on a very small motorcycle. She currently lives in Seattle and is the proud mother to a one-year-old laptop and a vintage Remington typewriter.

Website | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Tour Schedule

February 7 — The Book Hookup — Character Interview
February 8 — Literary Dust — Review
February 9 — DanaSquare — Quirky Q&A
February 10 — BookCatPin — Book Excerpt / Quotes
February 11 —  The Book Academy — Video Interview
February 12 — And Then There Were Books — Review
February 13 — Zara’s Scribblings — Excerpt
February 14 — A Page With a View — Interview
February 15 — Crossroads Reviews — Review
February 16 —  Adventures of a  Book Junkie — Interview
February 17 — Bumblebee Books — Spotlight
February 18 — Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile — Book Excerpt / Quotes
February 19 — A Perfection Called Books — Quirky Q&A
February 20 — A Leisure Moment — Quirky Q&A
February 21 — Living Within Fiction — Interview

The Tsar’s Guard Spotlight Tour: Character-Inspired Teas & Giveaway

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Welcome to the 7th day of The Tsar’s Guard Spotlight Tour hosted by Brittany’s Book Rambles! I am so excited to be part of this tour, which highlights our love for The Crown’s Game and one of our most anticipated 2017’s releases, The Crown’s Fate. Today I will be matching the main characters to teas that reflect their traits and personalities. Do not forget to enter the giveaway below for an ARC of The Crown’s Fate. And be sure to stop by each of the tour spotlights to check how some more great posts about The Crown’s Game series. 

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RED HOT CINNAMON ORGANIC BLACK TEA: As an enchanter, Vika has amazing power over the elements. Although she is a force of nature, Vika is also very loyal. Just like black tea, she is strong and bold. And like cinnamon, she is truly the “lightning girl”: fiery, fierce, and unpredictable. 

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EARL GREY MOONLIGHT TEA: Beyond being an enchanter, Nikolai has impeccable talent in mechanics, tailoring, and dancing. Like any earl grey tea, he is sharp and powerful, with a hint of sweetness. As a friend and competitor, he is very patient, admirable, and kindhearted. 

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EMPEROR’S CLOUDS AND MIST® GREEN TEA: As a master of disguise, and a member of Russian royalty, Pasha has a good soul full of laughter and enthusiasm. Like green tea, he is strong, but wistful, sweet, and carefree. Pasha is loyal and positive, but oftentimes he falls short from being responsible. 

about-the-book

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The Crown’s Fate (The Crown’s Game, #2) by Evelyn Skye
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Hardcover: 432 pages
Expected publication: May 16th, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kepler’s Books

Synopsis:

The gorgeous and darkly compelling sequel to The Crown’s Game—perfect for fans of Red Queen and Shadow and Bone.

Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

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Win an ARC of The Crown’s Fate (Open International)

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tour-schedule


Jan. 9th – Brittany’s Book Rambles: The Crown’s Fate Review
Jan. 10th- Sarcasm & Lemons: Fancast
Jan. 11th- The YA Book Traveler: History of Russian Crowns
Jan. 12th Picnic Reads: Character-Based Book Tag
Jan. 13th Book Nerd Addict: Inspired Tote Design
 
Jan.16th Dazzled by Books: Top 5 Reasons I Love The Crown’s Game
Jan. 17th– Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Characters Matched to Teas
Jan. 18th– The Book Buzz: New Enchanter
Jan. 19th The Aus. Library: Famous Russian Fairytales
Jan. 20th–  My Thoughts Literally: Character Inspired Dessert
 
Jan. 23rd Omg Books and More Books: Books that Characters of TCG Would Enjoy
Jan. 24th– It Starts at Midnight: Virtual Tour of Russia
Jan. 25th Next Page Please!: Character Blog
Jan. 26th– The Book Nut: Playlist
Jan. 27th Arctic BooksMake-up Looks
 
Jan. 30th– Two Chicks on Books: Pinterest Recipe Board
Jan. 31th– Lost in Ever After: Typical Date for Nikolai & Vika
Feb. 1st- Alexa Loves Books: Fashion Book Look
Feb. 2nd- Sophie Reads YA: Russian History In and Out of The Crown’s Game
Feb. 3rd 21st Century Once Upon A Times: Drink Your Way Through The Crown’s Game
 
Feb. 6th- The Eater of Books: 10 Reason I’m Excited for TCF
Feb. 7th- A Thousand Words A Million Books: Top 5 Magical Moves in The Crown’s Game
Feb. 8th- Seeing Double in Neverland: Fanmade Bookmarks & Swag
Feb. 9th- A Page With A View: YA Fantasy Books set in Russia
Feb. 10th- Dana Square: Recipe from The Crown’s Game
 
Feb. 13th-YA Wednesdays: Favorite Quotes from The Crown’s Game
Feb. 14th- Juniper Reads: Sorting Characters into Fandoms
Feb. 15th- Nicole’s Novel Reads: Nail Polish Looks
Feb. 16th- The Queen Reads: What the Characters of TCG would take to a Deserted Island
Feb. 17th- A Perfection Called Books: The Crown’s Fate Review

about-the-author

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Evelyn Skye is the New York Times bestselling author of THE CROWN’S GAME (out now!) and THE CROWN’S FATE (May 16, 2017). She was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When Evelyn isn’t writing, she can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies.

Author LinksTwitter | Goodreads | Tumblr Instagram | Facebook

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

Title: Spells and Sorcery
Author: S. Usher Evans
(Lexie Carrigan Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF SPELLS AND SORCERY

Spells and Sorcery is a modern-day witch story that follows the life of Lexie, a teenager who is thrown into an unknown world of magic and witchcraft. I loved that Lexie is not only focused on self-discovery in this book, but she is also adventurous. Unbeknownst to her, she is tossed into a world where she has to discover her own witch powers, deal with school problems, while also trying to uncover the secrets hidden from her by her family.  

Because there is SO much miscommunication and lack of communication between the characters, Lexie is positioned into a world of chaos. Often times, when Lexie is frustrated with the idea that no one is explaining her powers to her or how to use them, I was also becoming irritated with the mysteries surrounding her family, her past, and her current witch powers. This book requires patience, and at the end, you are crying out for more backstory, more chapters, and more of Lexie’s sassiness. 

In regards to the author’s take on witchcraft, I really enjoyed the background story that connects Lexie’s powers and her family to Salem, Massachusetts. The Salem Witch Trials have always fascinated me, and I love that Evans brings in a new and refreshing backstory to her own book of witches. In Evans’ next book, I am really looking forward to learning more about Lexie’s Salem ancestors and how their magical secrets affect Lexie as a 21st-century witch. 

If you love coming-to-age stories with angsty teenagers, mystical witches, and mystery with a dash of sisterly and strong familial bonds, Spells and Sorcery is the book for you. As each chapter unravels, the magic in Lexie’s world becomes more and more intriguing. 

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Author Bio:

S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Amber Sky by Amy Braun

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Title: Amber Sky (Dark Sky .25)
Author: Amy Braun
Publication date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Steampunk

About Amber Sky (A Dark Sky Novella):

Press-ganged into servitude by a ruthless band of marauders who survived the devastating Storm, Nash has grown tired of his career– the young, undefeated champion of the Stray Dog fighting pits. All he longs for is a place to live where his family is not his enemy.

When his captain gives him an assignment to embed him deeper into the crew, Nash attempts to refuse, until the life of his friend is threatened. Determined to save her, Nash embarks on the mission to subjugate and control a supplier. But the supplier has other clients, one of which could be the son of the most feared pirate captain in all of Westraven.

And if Nash plays his cards right, the key to his deeply desired freedom, if he can live with the consequences of his choice…

Set two years before the events of CRIMSON SKY, this prequel novella tells the story of how Nash and Sawyer crossed paths– and fists. While best enjoyed before reading CRIMSON SKY, this bonus story can be read at any time or enjoyed as a standalone.

LINKSKindle | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble/Nook


My Rants and Raves of Amber Sky

For a novella, Amber Sky is full-blown, action packed. From the very beginning, we are thrown into a bruising and bloody fighting pit that is used to appease the masses with entertainment. As a first-person narrator, Nash, the main character and a strong fighter, sets up a story that is raw and gritty. The details of his life as a fighter are brutal but engaging.

I liked Nash as a character, because his motives are unselfish. He comprehends that his strength is a useful tool to help those around him. He tries to displace himself from his hard past, survive the present, and hope for a better future for himself and the others that he cares about. Throughout the novella, he is always questioning himself and those around him, but in the end I think he makes the best, rational choices. 

Amber Sky is about hope, strength, compassion, and surviving. I often found elements of humor shadowed in the plot line’s dusty path. And as a short read, I liked that this humor is very reminiscent of one of my favorite shows, Firefly. I have not read any of the other Dark Sky books, but this prequel is a great introduction into its dirty, grimy, and ruthless, apocalyptic world. 

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


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Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday Blog Tour!: Skins and Other Stories & Giveaway

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Welcome to Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday Blog Tour hosted by Hannah from Irish Banana and Wunderkind PR. I am so ecstatic that I was invited to review one of my all-time favorite collections of short stories, Skin and Other Stories by Mr. Dahl. 

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By: Roald Dahl
Published by: Puffin Books
Genres: Young Adult, Short Stories, Fiction, Horror, Fantasy

 

About Skin and Other Stories:

How would you get rid of a murder weapon without causing suspicion? Where would you hide a diamond where no one else would think of looking? What if you found out that the tattoo on your back was worth over a million dollars? You will discover that just about anything is possible in a Roald Dahl story, and here are eleven of his very best.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF SKIN AND OTHER STORIES

Roald Dahl is most known for his novels, but what some people do not know is that he has a collection of short stories, Skin and Other Stories, which are equally as intriguing, humorous, and amazing as his most cherished children’s books. Each story in this book is quirky and unique. This is definitely a collection of short stories that I always turn to during Autumn, because it is the perfect combination of dark, witty, and wicked tales to curl up with. 

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The first time I read these stories was in high school, and after recently rereading them, I love this collection even more. These stories are strange, imaginative, and have the most elaborate twists. This collection ranges from a story about a  priceless, all-covering back tattoo to helpless, crying roses to an overly suspicious, wounded WWII-pilot. I like that these stories are entertaining, but there is also some satire behind these stories, which are layered with commentary on the irrationality of human actions and human nature. If you are a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, or Chuck Palahniuk, I highly recommend that you read Skin and Other Short Stories. Dahl’s storytelling is indifferent, frightful, and creepy, which make his stories overwhelmingly memorable. 

Overall, Dahl’s Skin and Other Stories is the perfect book for any young adult and/or adult fan that loves dark humor and mystery. It is hard for me to pick out a favorite story in this collection, but if I had to choose, I would highly recommend reading “Lamb to the Slaughter.” The female protagonist is smart, witty, and so deceiving. I believe this is the most well-known short story written by Dahl, but there is a reason for that notability. This story is brilliant. The major twist in this short story is humorous, dark, and shocking. But mainly, I like this story, because it is so absurd. It would definitely make a good episode for a “getting away with murder”-type of show.

 

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Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication ofJames and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

 

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1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: As I Descended by Robin Talley

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Title: As I Descended
By: Robin Talley
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: September 6, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy, Fiction

ABOUT AS I DESCENDED:

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF AS I DESCENDED

If you are a fan of Shakespeare’s notable Macbeth, like me, then you will want to read this dark, modern-day retelling of the cursed tragedy. As I Descended takes place at a boarding school in the South, which disturbingly has a past polluted with death, murders, and hauntings. Robin Talley’s retelling is attuned to the greed for power portrayed in the original play, but adds a modern touch reminiscent of Mean GirlsPretty Little Liars, and Supernatural.

Similar to the “Scottish play,” Talley incorporates the supernatural and preternatural as means to create a spine-chilling ambiance and foretell the characters’ tragic flaws. Of course, in this novel, something wicked this way comes, bringing with it flickering lights, sinister shadows, vengeful ghosts, and the clashing of thunder. Spirits haunt not only the buildings of the school, but also the students’ nightmares/dreams. These spirits are particularly vengeful, creepy, and whispering menaces. 

As I was reading, I kept interconnecting which of Talley’s characters are associated with Shakespeare’s original cast list. The author does not stray too far from the original characters’ personalities and flaws. The characters believe themselves to be controlled by the eerie unknown, but overall free will and fate are questioned. 

In As I Descended, Robin Talley adds a great spin and dark twists to Macbeth by switching the the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with the closeted couple and roommates, Maria and Lily. Duncan, Shakespeare’s beloved Scottish King, is swapped with the queen of the school, Delilah. And I love that Talley interchanges Banquo’s character with Brandon, Maria’s gay, best friend. But overall, as a personal fan of witches, folklore, and anything that goes bump in the night, I appreciated the twist that Talley creates in regards to Shakespeare’s character Hecate, the queen of the witches, who is interchanged in As I Descended with the scary, Hispanic folklore figure, La Llorono. (I dare you to Google her; she’s super creepy!)

In addition to thoughtfully changing the social constructions of Shakespeare’s characters, Talley’s writing parallels the Bard’s original work on both an emotional and psychological level.  Naturally, when analyzing Macbeth, many critics analyze the gender roles of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; therefore, they try to define the “norms” of masculine and feminine behavior often blurred/inversed between these two characters. Talley steps outside this social division, and explores a f/f retelling of Macbeth. Instead, I found Talley’s words and her characters reflecting a social commentary on the competition and injustices that many current young adults, more importantly the LGBTQIA community, face in a world full of greed, hate, and judgment.

As I Descended is a well crafted retelling of Macbeth. and like Shakespeare, Tally has created characters that test the societal values and beliefs of their own time periods. Similar to the original tragedy, As I Descended is about empathy, ethics, ambition, and moral order. Overall, I enjoyed exploring the connections and differences between the original Tragedy and this modern-day retelling. Each chapter is threaded with intense scenes that left me anxious and too intrigued to turn away from the story.

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Robin Talley (1)

ABOUT ROBIN TALLEY:

I live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby’s sleeping, I’m probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine’s character motivation was sufficiently established in Aladdin.

My website is at http://www.robintalley.com, and I’m on Twitter and Tumblr.

LINKS: Website | Twitter Facebook | Tumblr

Tour Schedule:

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Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of AS I DESCENDED (US Only) 

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