Wednesday, April 26, 2017

{Blog Tour} COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole—Guest Post + Giveaway

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Cold Summer
by Gwen Cole


Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future. Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
 Publisher: Sky Pony Press
 Pub Date: May 02, 2017
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • Books-a-Million • IndieBound

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by Gwen Cole

FAVORITE SCENES FROM COLD SUMMER

Today I’ll be highlighting a few of my favorite scenes, and some pictures to go along that helped with inspiration! I’m a big believer in Pinterest and mood boards to help shape a story and scenes you want to create. Sometimes I’ll even see I picture I love and I scene will come out of it. (pictures are not my own and can be found my Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/gwenmcole/cold-summer/)

Scene #1:

Stiles nudges me in the arm, offering a cigarette. You look like you could use one.”
I take it wordlessly, trying to smile.
A few guys laugh and joke about me finally breaking down a month back while Stiles lights it. They know I tried to hold off smoking at first. And they also know it’s nearly an impossible feat.
Our cigarettes stand out white in this gray and brown world.
My hands are so cold, I can barely hold it to my lips, but it’s already calming me. We’ll be attacking soon, probably less than thirty minutes from now. I need it more than I can admit.

Scene #2:

I head upstairs, trying to ignore the growing ache in my stomach. Trying to steer my thoughts away from leaving.
I need to stay.
I want to stay.
I pause at the bathroom door. The light filtering in from the glass tiles invites me in. The bathtub sits quiet, a constant reminder of the comfort it gave me during the past year. The only thing that makes me feel safe.
I move into the bathroom and run my fingertips across the cold porcelain.
Without thinking—like a hard-to-break habit—I step inside and slowly lower myself down. The cold seeps through my jeans and T-shirt, freezing the back of my neck. This is a different type of cold. Not the cold I feel deep in my bones that calls me away from here. It’s a cold I can touch. Something my body warms. Something to hold onto when there is nothing else. Anchoring me.
Scene #3:

After twenty minutes of driving down roads lined with fields and hidden driveways, I catch sight of the Phillips 66 sign. I pull in and see Kale sitting on the curb near a pay phone covered in graffiti. He’s wearing the same T-shirt from when I cut his hair, and it makes me wonder how long he lasted after I saw him. Hours or only minutes?
I pull up to the curb and Kale gets in. He looks more exhausted than he ever has. Along with his smell of rain and wind, the subtle hint of snow fills the car, something that should never happen in the middle of summer.
He glances at me and says, Thanks for picking me up.”
I nod and pull out of the small parking lot. My stomach won’t settle now that he’s finally sitting next to me. I don’t understand how I was ever able to ride next to him and not be aware of his every move. I unsuccessfully try to focus on the road.
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Gwen Cole writes Young Adult books and her debut novel, COLD SUMMER, will be released in the spring of 2017 with Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.

She grew up in upstate New York, moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college, and worked a various number of jobs including pharmacy technician, meat clerk, ranch hand, and a receiving specialist at Target. She may or may not have written a number of books while working at certain jobs.

At the age of eighteen, Gwen played bass in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She can also play piano, guitar, and wishes she could play the cello. Her favorite place to vacation is Wyoming, where she gets to wear a cowboy hat and pretend she actually is one.

Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.


WEBSITE • GOODREADS • TWITTER • FACEBOOK

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Huge thanks to Gwen for her amazing guest post today!


Readers, continue on for giveaway details~ ^_^


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spotlight: BRAVE NEW GIRL by Rachel Vincent + Giveaway

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Brave New Girl
by Rachel Vincent


In a world where everyone is the same, one girl is the unthinkable: unique. A high-stakes fast-paced series launch from New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent.

We have brown hair. Brown eyes. Fair skin.
We are healthy and strong and smart.
But only one of us has ever had a secret.

Dahlia 16 sees her face in every crowd. She's nothing special—just one of five thousand girls created from a single genome to work for the greater good of the city.

Meeting Trigger 17 changes everything. He thinks she’s interesting. Beautiful. Unique. Which means he must be flawed.

When Dahlia can't stop thinking about him—when she can't resist looking for him, even though that means breaking the rules—she realizes she's flawed, too. But if she’s flawed, then so are all her identicals. And any genome found to be flawed will be recalled. Destroyed.

Getting caught with Trigger would seal not only Dahlia's fate, but that of all five thousand girls who share her face. But what if Trigger is right? What if Dahlia is different?

Suddenly the girl who always follows the rules is breaking them, one by one by one...

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia/Utopia
 Publisher: Delacorte Press
 Pub Date: May 09, 2017
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • KoboIndieBound

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A resident of Oklahoma, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.




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Continue on for the giveaway! ~

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spotlight: NORTH OF HAPPY by Adi Alsaid + Giveaway

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North of Happy
by Adi Alsaid


New from critically acclaimed author of LET'S GET LOST and NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES. In the wake of his brother's untimely death, a teen chef runs away from home to find his true path in life.

Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the US, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family where he attends an elite international school. His friends and peers-fellow rich kids-have plans to attend college somewhere in the US or Europe and someday take over their parents' businesses. Always a rule follower and a parent pleaser, Carlos is more than happy to tread the well-worn path in front of him. He has always loved food and cooking, but his parents see it as just a hobby.

When his older brother, Felix--who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel--is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother's voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father's plan for him. Worrying about his mental health, but knowing the voice is right, Carlos runs away to the US and manages to secure a job with his favorite celebrity chef. As he works to improve his skills in the kitchen and pursue his dream, he begins to fall for his boss's daughter--a fact that could end his career before it begins. Finally living for himself, Carlos must decide what's most important to him and where his true path really lies.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
 Publisher: Harlequin Teen
 Pub Date: April 25, 2017
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • KoboIndieBound

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Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City. He is the author of Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, and the upcoming North of Happy. He really loves the idea of a funny bio, but keeps failing to write one. He now lives and writes in his hometown.






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Continue on for the giveaway! ~

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Blitz: SERENADE by Heather McKenzie—Excerpt + Giveaway

PRESENTED BY XPRESSO BOOK TOURS
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Serenade
by Heather McKenzie


Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.

Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart - until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya's world unravels when she's kidnapped.

Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya's father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor, a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own, is a safer place to be. At least, that's what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run...

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless. .

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Suspense
 Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Purchase: Amazon • B&NKoboiBooks • IndieBound

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As casually as possible, he weaved through the over-perfumed and over-made guests, and then made his way out into the garden. At the end of the path, a small door hidden in the stone wall was his escape. He pushed away the tightly woven vines and pulled on the handle—still locked.
            The click of fast-approaching footsteps made him duck for cover. Someone stopped a few feet from where he was hiding and began to pace back and forth. He dug out the knife he’d stolen from the kitchen and hoped he wouldn’t have to use it.
            It was a woman, and she was alone. He peered at her from behind a huge Mayday tree for a better look. A shiny dress hugged her slim body, and long, dark hair fell past her shoulders to a tiny waist. She seemed upset and her chest heaved slightly as she tried to catch her breath. He caught a glimpse of milky-white shoulders and a hint of her toned thigh peeking through a slit in the dress. She turned toward him, and he thought he’d been caught. He steadied the knife… but when he saw her face, he forgot why he even had it.
            Her features were defined, but the edges were soft. Glowing skin covered high cheekbones, and a hint of pink was noticeable on them even in the silvery moonlight. Her nose was small and dainty, her lips full and berry red, and her wide eyes seemed on the verge of tears which made them sparkle. She was gorgeous. He was captivated.
            The knife fell to the ground.  
            She said something. Did she speak to him? The whole world seemed to come to a grinding halt—he had to meet her even if it meant risking everything. His body moved toward her like it wasn’t his own, and as if in a dream, he found himself sitting next to her, wiping at a tear on her cheek. The heat of her skin under his fingertips and the look in her eyes woke up his heart. Suddenly, he wanted to soothe her, comfort her, and protect her from whatever caused her to run out alone into the night.
            He was absolutely compelled beyond reason to hold her hand, and when he did, the most startling, earth shattering revelation hit him with full force: she was the reason he was here on this earth.

            He didn’t believe in luck. He didn’t believe in fate. He certainly didn’t believe in love at first sight, but there she was, standing in front of him, wearing an emerald dress the same color as her eyes.


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Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.






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Continue on for the giveaway! ~