Category: Giveaway (page 1 of 25)

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY + REVIEW: To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY + REVIEW: To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY + REVIEW: To Best the Boys by Mary WeberTo Best the Boys by Mary Weber
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Review:

What do you want?

I want my mum to live.
I want the right to earn an education.
I want to be the first female scientist.
I want to create my own happiness.
I want . . .

Okay this was a really interestingly good book. Like I almost don’t even know how to begin this review???? This is another case of me starting an ARC, being interrupted and reading a million other books, and then finally finishing it. Luckily, I finished the last 52% today all in one sitting so it’s still really resonating with me at this moment.

I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me was the writing. Weber is a new-to-me author so I really had had no idea what to expect. Sometimes though, you can tell right away whether or not you are going to like an author’s writing or not. With this book, I literally was entranced within the first paragraph. I can’t really put my finger on what it is about it but I can tell you right now that it was quality writing. I’m actually really happy I immediately thought of the word entranced to describe it. I think the same can be said about the actual story, too.

Like…..it was just so unique. There were times throughout the book where I found myself very interested in this world that Weber created because it all could feel very foreign at certain points but never in a way that made me feel disconnected. At times the language that was used and customs that were mentioned seemed to be a nod at almost a medieval, old fairy tale kind of place??? They all referred to each other and Miss and Mr and women were expected to just become mothers and wives but then Rhen and her father also worked on vaccines and she experimented on rats and dead bodies and there was a king and also an eccentric old man who no one had ever seen but hosted a game within a labyrinth and all these other things that kind of didn’t make sense together but also weirdly meshed and made sense and the same time. That was an incredibly long and convoluted sentence but that’s also how I felt reading this at times lol. BUT NOT IN A BAD WAY! That’s why it’s so hard to explain!

So basically I’m just going to stop trying so that you can pick this book up for yourself and be sucked into this new world and be entranced yourselves!

I will say this, though. I LOVED the characters. Rhen was so amazing and was a genius (while also having dyslexia and never letting it slow her down). She never tried to be anything other than who she was or tried to pretend like her interests (medicine and science and dead bodies) were any different to impress ANYONE. In fact, I loved that when she was truly happy she seemed to word vomit facts about the human body and it made me laugh and love her a little more every single time. Seleni and Beryll, too, were interesting and well fleshed out and I LOVED how Seleni always supported her cousin to the very end. And Lute. OH LUTE. BBF. Like from the very first time he was mentioned I knew I was going to love him and he never let me or Rhen down. Ugh what a dream boat. 

This, overall, is just purely a tale that warmed my freakin heart. I loved every single bit of Rhen and what she achieved over the course of this book (just all sorts of women empowerment in general). I loved that she didn’t have to sacrifice any bit of her happiness at the end, either. I was worried she might have to for a hot second. I also loved that note from Weber at the end explaining that certain characters were representative of people in her own life (Rhen having dyslexia and Lute’s brother having what seemed like autism to me). So while those things might seem different to other people who have dyslexia or know people with Down syndrome and autism, these specific characters and traits came from the people she knew and loved. I had an uncle with Down syndrome and he lived with my parents and me for the last four years of his life when I was in high school and community college. You don’t know what it’s like to be a caregiver to someone with those special needs unless you actually are one. Even with this challenges and specific quirks, I LOVED having him with us because it meant that I now have a better understanding and love for people with Down syndrome. I loved him more than almost anyone in my entire life so knowing Lute acted as caretaker for his mother and brother like that made me love him so much more than I already did. 

Gotta wrap things up before this gets too crazy long but I also kind of liked that this was a standalone? Or is it??? Seems like it is. I haven’t read a great fantasy standalone in who knows how long but everything was tied up perfectly in my opinion. I very much recommend! 

“You take this world and make it what it should be. And don’t let the beliefs of a backward system define you. You are the one who has to live with the future, baby girl. So you live it. You understand?” 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Giveaway:

✮ Enter to win 1 of 2 finished copies of To Best the Boys by Mary Weber (1 INTERNATIONAL winner & 1 US ONLY winner)

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About Mary Weber:
Hi. I write books. I eat things. I kiss things. I believe in mermaids.
 
I’m also the author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series, and the March 2019 release, To Best the Boys. When not working, I sing 80’s hairband songs to my three muggle children, and ogle my husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. We live in California, which is perfect for stalking aging movie stars while wearing fanny packs and sweatpants.
 
For those who like to know such things (mainly my mom), Storm Siren was featured in the Scholastic Book Fair and my novels have been endorsed by such nice humans as Marissa Meyer, CJ Redwine, Shannon Messenger, and Jonathan Maberry (in fact, Marissa Meyer and I have a fun interview in the paperback of her book, CRESS). Also, Boba tea & sweatpants are life. {We can chat about life (in sweatpants over tea, obviously) in my Newsletter.

Website I Twitter I Instagram I Facebook I Pinterest I Goodreads

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin

I was so happy to join this tour because I adore Paranormal stories! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah LampkinTo Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1)
by Sarah Lampkin
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It's something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret's out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.

Review:

To Dream Is To Die was a story that kept me turning the pages.  It all unfolded so effortlessly and each time we were given a piece of the puzzle, there was still so much I couldn’t wait to learn more about.  There was a few different mysteries along with some twists and turns that kept me guessing. So if you adore paranormal stories, set in college, then definitely check this one out.

Brenna Whit was a dark, snarky college student who ended up dying three years ago. She came back from the dead and her life had been different ever since.  Now, when she was supposed to be dreaming, she wandered the fade instead. Brenna moved into the college dorms for the first time and I loved watching her friendship unfold with Aeria.  They were kindred souls and friendship definitely played a central theme in this story.  And while each character was unique, I wasn’t able to connect with any of them.  I tried my hardest, because the story line was a ton of fun, but sadly I couldn’t ever make that connection.  Regardless, I still enjoyed reading about Brenna and her journey.

As the story unfolded, we learned more and more about the world that Brenna wandered while her body slept.  I was beyond fascinated, especially since some of it seeped into the times when Brenna was awake. It was entertaining watching how it even affected those around her.  So when I reached that final page, I was so happy that some of my questions were answered. Yes there is still so much for us to learn, but we stopped at the perfect waiting spot until the next book in this series releases.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

About Sarah Lampkin:

Sarah Lampkin is a New Adult/Young Adult fiction author from Southern Virginia. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her cat, Fox (who is practically a dog). When she’s not writing, she’s playing video games, rock climbing, or getting ready for hunting season. Sarah began writing over a decade ago with her first novella called Angels: Moon and Sun, which is now being rewritten as Tainted Wings on Wattpad. She draws inspiration from Celtic mythology in her stories and aims to create unique worlds following strong female protagonist. In 2015, Sarah was able to utilize her Dead Dreamer series in her graduate program and graduate with an MA in English.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

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BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Boyfriend Whisperer 2.0 (The Boyfriend Whisperer #2) by Linda Budzinski

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Boyfriend Whisperer 2.0 (The Boyfriend Whisperer #2) by Linda Budzinski

I am excited to be participating in this blog tour, introducing the second book in her Boyfriend Whisperer series, The Boyfriend Whisperer 2.0! If you're looking for a fun and sweet contemporary with lovable characters and hilarious banter, I would definitely give this one a try!

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Boyfriend Whisperer 2.0 (The Boyfriend Whisperer #2) by Linda BudzinskiThe Boyfriend Whisperer 2.0 (The Boyfriend Whisperer #2)
by Linda Budzinski
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Alicea Springer was Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises’ top success story. That is, until her dream date, Ty Walker, dumped her a week before prom. Now it’s senior year, and Alicea has taken over the business and given it an upgrade using an automated matchmaking program designed to help her classmates find their perfect match.

Alicea has no interest in using the program herself. She already knows who her perfect match is … Ty. She doesn’t need an app to tell her that (or worse, match her up with someone else). In a moment of weakness, Alicea allows her friends to convince her to give the program a try. To her horror, it matches her with the last boy on earth she'd ever want to date — Darius Groves, the class deadbeat.

When she and Darius are paired up for a class project, Alicea learns there's more to him than his bad reputation. But the more she spends time with Darius, the more she questions their match. They have so little in common. Why did her program match them?

Can Alicea defy the odds and make a match of her own heart’s desire? Or will the matchmaker remained unmatched?

Review:

Before this book I swear I haven’t read a YA contemporary in what feels like ages. Over the last few years I’ve kind of stopped trying because a) a lot of them lately seem to be pretty morose and dealing with suicide and that’s just not something I really want to get into and b) now that I’m in my late 20s and a mom I feel like I can relate more to the parents of these characters than the actual characters themselves. I don’t want to ruin the book because I’m spending too much time thinking about all of the dumb decisions that the MC is making and wondering why the parents are never around and don’t seem to realize their children always being shady lolol.

ANYWAYSSSS, when Linda approached me asking if I wanted to read and review this early, I said sure, why not! I like staying up to date with all YA genres so I can recommend things better to people at the library and lately, like I said, I’ve been lacking in the contemporary department. This really was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed the writing and it was a simple but sweet story that I flew through in a day. While I found myself getting super annoyed at Alicea’s hangup with Ty for the first half of the book (because why she thought she couldn’t do any better is beyond me–but again, high school), when she finally made the decision to leave that idiot behind for Darius, I was satisfied. I loved Darius’s interactions and relationship with his sister, Jaycee too! I don’t know if this is a trope, per say, but I do enjoy when the love interest has a younger sibling that ends up really liking the girl and they end up having a sweet relationship. Darius was probably actually my favorite character in the whole book. He was always sweet, had some unique interests, and was funny, too. This book does have its share of dramatic teens (well mainly just Alicea, lol) but it’s nothing out of the ordinary that really impacted my thoughts of the book. Overall, if you’re looking for a sweet, quick YA contemporary, give this one a try!

Big thanks to Linda Budzinski and Swoon Romance for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review ♥

 

Additional Purchase Links:

BAM I Indies I B&N 

 

Giveaway:

✮ Enter to win a Starbucks giftcard!

 

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About Linda Budzinski:

Linda Budzinski is the author of four young adult novels, all published by Swoon Romance YA: The Boyfriend Whisperer and The Boyfriend Whisperer 2.0, Em & Em, and The Funeral Singer. When she’s not writing, she works in nonprofit communications and outreach. She lives in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and is active with her church’s youth group. She’s a sucker for romance and reality TV and has been known to turn off her phone’s ringer when watching “The Bachelor.” Her favorite flower is the daisy, her favorite food is chocolate, and her favorite song is “Amazing Grace.”

Website I TwitterFacebook I Instagram I Goodreads

GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: The Ruins (The Union #2) by T.H. Hernandez

The first two books in one of my favorite series are currently free!  So check out what this series is about, go grab two of my favorite books for free and enter a fabulous giveaway!  Enjoy!

The Ruins
T.H. Hernandez
(The Union #2)
Publication date: June 16th 2015
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.

Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.

When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched. Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

Excerpt:

I slide the zipper of my duffel bag closed just as a knock comes on the front door. Eddie answers it, and I see my friends on the porch over his shoulder. Eddie greets them with a nod and pulls the door open to let them in. He met Lisa and Colin years ago in the Eastern Province when he was attempting to connect with his long lost daughter. Recognition replaces the indifference on Eddie’s face, and he smiles, shaking their hands.

“Eddie, you remember Bryce. This is Jack. Jack, this is my…my Eddie. Eddie McIntyre.”

Jack shakes Eddie’s hand with genuine enthusiasm. “It’s nice to meet you, sir. I’m a big fan.”

Eddie’s smile grows wide. This is his world, the one he knows how to live in — the one with adoring fans. “Good to meet you, Jack.”

Great, he can turn it on for a complete stranger, a fan, but his own daughter? I get stony silence.

Bryce reaches out and takes my bag, slinging it over his shoulder. I stand next to Eddie, not sure if I should hug him goodbye. He makes the decision for me, reaching an arm around and giving me an awkward pat on the back.

“Have fun,” he says, closing the door behind us.

We make our way to the express elevators in silence, no one finding it necessary to clue me in. Gliding down one hundred levels without a word spoken only increases the already building tension spiraling inside me, but asking questions when everyone else is quietly clenching their jaw, won’t get me anywhere.

Once on the ground, we take a commuter train the twenty-five miles out to the coast, emerging from the dark station into bright late morning sun. It’s a perfect Western Province day, all blue cloudless skies and yellow sunshine. We walk out to the boardwalk, a cool ocean breeze skating across my skin, fluttering strands of hair. The crashing surf is interspersed with screeching seagulls and children’s laughter. This is the most I’ve felt at home since getting back to the Union. Cleanliness aside, this is as close to being in the Ruins as I’ll get here.

A four-wheel-drive sand cruiser shuttles us to the check-in tent. We step out onto a path of groomed sand lined with solar luminaries that will light up at dusk, creating a glowing walkway. A campground employee leads us to a grouping of three white canvas tents adorned with strands of solar lights. Each tent has two cots, a small table with a vase of fresh honeysuckle and gardenias, and two folding chairs. Lisa and Jack dump their bags in one tent, and I follow Colin into another, setting my bag down. I suppose I could have let Colin and Bryce bunk together, but I don’t want to be alone.

The flap from the tent falls into place, and I spin around. “Colin, what the hell—”

He cuts me off, putting a finger to his lips. I’m trying hard not to freak out, but he’s making it difficult. His eyes roam over my face, his mouth pressed in a tight line. “I’ve got my ticket for the Northwest. I leave in a week.”

“Oh.” I drop into one of the chairs. Over the past couple of days, I haven’t thought much about him leaving. We both lapse back into silence. After a few minutes, I get up and go peek outside, looking for the others. Jack, Bryce, and Lisa head toward us with grave expressions. Turning back to Colin, I realize it’s the same expression he’s had the whole time we’ve been in here. Something really bad is going on.

They file into our tent, and Jack pulls a palm-sized electronic device from his pocket, moving it over the seams of the tent, the cots, the table. After glancing at a display on the front of the device, he motions for me to approach and sweeps it over me from head to toe. His shoulders relax and his jaw loosens for the first time since he arrived at my door this morning.

I raise both eyebrows, waiting for someone to clue me in, not sure if I’m allowed to speak yet.

Jack glances at Bryce before turning to me. “Someone bugged Lisa’s apartment.”

“What do you mean ‘bugged’?”

“I was helping her put up some speakers when I found a tiny Union-issue listening device. I swept her place with this and discovered twelve in total.”

“That’s insane.”

“We checked our place, too, and found another dozen there,” Jack says. “We need to check your dad’s place.”

“Why would anyone do that?

“You were gone a long time and so were we,” Bryce says, hands stuffed in the front pockets of his jeans. “Apparently someone noticed. We checked everyone’s clothing because we don’t know who planted the bugs, what all they had access to, or how long ago. We figured we’d be safest out here.”

A sliver of fear pierces me. “What did we say in Lisa’s apartment?”

Bryce shifts, pulling his hands from his pockets. “I don’t think it was anything specific. What about you at your dad’s?”

I shake my head. “Nothing. What about you guys at Lisa’s place before I got there?”

“Nothing much I can remember,” Jack says, dropping the device into his shirt pocket.

“What’s going on?” I ask, sinking onto my cot, my voice barely above a whisper.

“I don’t know,” Jack says. “But we’ve stumbled onto something even bigger than we realized.”


 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), & Book Depository (click on book #)
The Union by T.H. Hernandez
The Union #1
Reviews:
Jen
the ruins th hernandez
The Ruins #2
Reviews:
Jen
The Uprising (The Union Series #3) by T.H. Hernandez
The Uprising #3
Reviews:
Jen

The Invasion #4
Reviews:
Jen
About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

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GIVEAWAY: Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau Preto

I am so pleased to present a GIVEAWAY for the new highly anticipated Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto! Thanks to Simon Teen for sending me an advanced copy and the opportunity to host a giveaway! I haven't been able to read this one yet, but I cannot wait until I get the chance to pick this one up! It has been one of my most anticipated releases, so I'll be sure to pick it up as soon as possible! See below for entry instructions, information on the book, and a little about the author-good luck! 😀

GIVEAWAY: Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau PretoCrown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1)
by Nicki Pau Preto
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Nicki Pau Preto is a graphic designer and YA author living just outside Toronto, Canada. Her favorite stories have always been the ones that take her somewhere new, with characters she can love and worlds she can get lost in. Like all starving artists, she considers bargain shopping a competitive sport and Froot Loops a suitable meal replacement. 🙂

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Good luck to everyone who enters and let me know what you think of the book! Are you excited?

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