Tuesday, March 28, 2017

{Blog Tour} MYTHS OF MISH by Katie Hamstead + Giveaway

PRESENTED BY YA BOUND BOOK TOURS
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 Myths of Mish
by Katie Hamstead


Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he's about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.

Wilhelmine Nordon has plenty of experience with Hansel's quirkier side. So when she catches him and Gretel running away in the middle of the night, she follows to keep them from getting killed. The siblings have never left the capital of Mish on their own, so they need a babysitter. Except when she's discovered, Hansel gives her his usual cold shoulder, and Gretel secretly begs her to take them back.

The problem is, Hansel's paranoia turns out to be well founded, and they're all being hunted.

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Age Group/Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon Kindle

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Born and raised in Australia, Katie's early years of day dreaming in the "bush", and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing. After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.






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Monday, March 27, 2017

Spotlight: STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor—Excerpt + Giveaway

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Strange the Dreamer
by Laini Taylor


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real? 

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon • B&NKoboIndieBound

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     Prologue

On the second sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.

Her skin was blue, her blood was red.
She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm. One slick finial anchored her in place. Its point, protruding from her sternum, glittered like a brooch. She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and then her hands relaxed, shedding fistfuls of freshly picked torch ginger buds.
Later, they would say these had been hummingbird hearts and not blossoms at all.
They would say she hadn’t shed blood but wept it. That she was lewd, tonguing her teeth at them, upside down and dying, that she vomited a serpent that turned to smoke when it hit the ground. They would say a flock of moths had come, frantic, and tried to lift her away.
That was true. Only that.
They hadn’t a prayer, though. The moths were no bigger than the startled mouths of children, and even dozens together could only pluck at the strands of her darkening hair until their wings sagged, sodden with her blood. They were purled away with the blossoms as a grit-choked gust came blasting down the street. The earth heaved underfoot. The sky spun on its axis. A queer brilliance lanced through billowing smoke, and the people of Weep had to squint against it. Blowing grit and hot light and the stink of saltpeter. There had been an explosion. They might have died, all and easily, but only this girl had, shaken from some pocket of the sky.
Her feet were bare, her mouth stained damson. Her pockets were all full of plums. She was young and lovely and surprised and dead.
She was also blue.
Blue as opals, pale blue. Blue as cornflowers, or dragonfly wings, or a spring—not summer—sky.
Someone screamed. The scream drew others. The others screamed, too, not because a girl was dead, but because the girl was blue, and this meant something in the city of Weep. Even after the sky stopped reeling, and the earth settled, and the last fume spluttered from the blast site and dispersed, the screams went on, feeding themselves from voice to voice, a virus of the air.
The blue girl’s ghost gathered itself and perched, bereft, upon the spearpoint-tip of the projecting finial, just an inch above her own still chest. Gasping in shock, she tilted back her invisible head and gazed, mournfully, up.
The screams went on and on.
And across the city, atop a monolithic wedge of seamless, mirror-smooth metal, a statue stirred, as though awakened by the tumult, and slowly lifted its great horned head.


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Laini Taylor is the author of five novels including Days of Blood & Starlight, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the National Book Award finalist Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter, Clementine.






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Continue on for the giveaway! ~

Friday, March 24, 2017

{Blog Tour} THE BONE WITCH by Rin Chupeco—Book Playlist + Giveaway

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The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco


The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.


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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • KoboiBooksIndieBound

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Hozier - Work Song
Imagine Dragons – Believer
Ruth B – Lost Boy
Rhye - Open

Character themes

Altaecia “Althy” (Dionne Farris - I Know)
Fox Pahlavi (Matisyahu - Live like a Warrior)
Kalen (Marc Broussard - Gavin Song)
Kance (Walk Off the Earth - Red Hands)
Khalad (James Bay - Let It Go)
Likh (Frou Frou - Let Go)
Mykaela of the Sorrows (Tori Amos - Sleeps with Butterflies)
Polaire (Alan Walker - Faded)
Tea Pahlavi (Hozier - Like Real People Do)
Zoya (Lorde - Green Light)

A bonus, for the people who love Rahim like I do. The song came out only fairly recently, but as soon as it did the Rahim in my head reached out and promptly claimed it for his own.


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CHIBI VERSIONS OF THE BOOK CHARACTERS
(created by Rin!) ^-^ SO CUTE!


Arhenkosho, Daanoris, Kion

 
Istera, Yadosha, Drycht

Tresea, Odalia

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Rin Chupeco wrote obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and did many other terrible things. She now writes about ghosts and fairy tales but is still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. She wrote The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and The Bone Witch, the first book of a new YA Fantasy trilogy. Find her at rinchupeco.com.

WEBSITE • GOODREADS • TWITTER • PINTEREST


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Continue on for giveaway details! ^_^

Friday, March 17, 2017

{Blog Tour} SEVEN DAYS OF YOU by Cecilia Vinesse + Excerpt

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Seven Days of You
by Cecilia Vinesse


Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon • B&NKobo • iBooks • IndieBound



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07:00:00:00
DAYS   HOURS     MINS     SECS 
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SUMMER, I tried to get on top of the whole moving-continents thing by reminding myself I still had time. Days and hours and seconds all piled on top of one another, stretching out in front of me as expansive as a galaxy. And the stuff I couldn’t deal with—packing my room and saying good-bye to my friends and leaving Tokyo—all that hovered at some indistinct point in the indistinct future.
So I ignored it. Every morning, I’d meet Mika and David in Shibuya, and we’d spend our days eating in ramen shops or browsing tiny boutiques that smelled like incense. Or, when it rained, we’d run down umbrella-crowded streets and watch anime I couldn’t understand on Mika’s couch. Some nights, we’d dance in strobe-lit clubs and go to karaoke at four in the morning. Then, the next day, we’d sit at train-station donut shops for hours, drinking milky coffee and watching the sea of commuters come and go and come and go again.
Once, I stayed home and tried dragging boxes up the stairs, but it stressed me out so much, I had to leave. I walked around Yoyogi-Uehara until the sight of the same cramped streets made me dizzy. Until I had to stop and fold myself into an alcove between buildings, trying to memorize the kanji on street signs. Trying to count my breaths.
And then it was August fourteenth. And I only had one week left, and it was hot, and I wasn’t even close to being packed. But the thing was, I should have known how to do this. I’d spent my whole life ping-ponging across the globe, moving to new cities, leaving people and places drifting in my wake.
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this good-bye—to Tokyo, to the first friends I’d ever had, to the only life that felt like it even remotely belonged to me—was the kind that would swallow me whole. That would collapse around me like a star imploding.
And the only thing I knew how to do was to hold on as tightly as possible and count every single second until I reached the last one. The one I dreaded most.
Sudden, violent, final.
The end.

Chapter 1
Sunday: 06:19:04:25
DAYS     HOURS     MINS     SECS
I WAS LYING ON THE LIVING-ROOM floor reading Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries when our air‐conditioning made a sputtering sound and died. Swampy heat spread through the room as I held my hand over the box by the window. Nothing. Not even a gasp of cold air. I pressed a couple of buttons and hoped for the best. Still nothing.
“Mom,” I said. She was sitting in the doorway to the kitchen, wrapping metal pots in sheets of newspaper. “Not to freak you out or anything, but the air-conditioning just broke.”
She dropped some newspaper shreds on the ground, and our cat—Dorothea Brooks—came over to sniff them. “It’s been doing that. Just press the big orange button and hold it.”
“I did. But I think it’s serious this time. I think I felt its spirit passing.”
Mom unhooked a panel from the back of the air‐ conditioning unit and poked around. “Damn. The landlord said this system might go soon. It’s so old, they’ll have to replace it for the next tenant.”
August was always hot in Tokyo, but this summer was approaching unbearable. A grand total of five minutes without air-conditioning and all my bodily fluids were evaporating from my skin. Mom and I opened some windows, plugged in a bunch of fans, and stood in front of the open refrigerator.
“We should call a repairman,” I said, “or it’s possible we’ll die here.”
Mom shook her head, going into full-on Professor Wachowski mode. Even though we’re both short, she looks a lot more intimidating than I do, with her square jaw and serious eyes. She looks like the type of person who won’t lose an argument, who can’t take a joke.
I look like my dad.
“No,” Mom said. “I’m not dealing with this the week before we leave. The movers are coming on Friday.” She turned and leaned into the fridge door. “Why don’t you go out? See your friends. Come back tonight when it’s cooled down.”
I twisted my watch around my wrist. “Nah, that’s okay.”
“You don’t want to?” she asked. “Did something happen with Mika and David?”
“Of course not,” I said. “I just don’t feel like going out. I feel like staying home, and helping, and being the good daughter.”
God, I sounded suspicious, even to myself.
But Mom didn’t notice. She held out a few one-hundred-yen coins. “In that case, go to the konbini and buy some of those towels you put in the freezer and wrap around your neck.”
I contemplated the money in her hand, but the heat made it swim across my vision. Going outside meant walking into the boiling air. It meant walking down the little streets I knew so well, past humming vending machines and stray cats stretched out in apartment-building entrances. Every time I did that, I was reminded of all the little things I loved about this city and how they were about to slip away forever. And today, of all days, I really didn’t need that reminder.
“Or,” I said, trying to sound upbeat, “I could pack.”

 Packing was, of course, a terrible idea.
Even the thought of it was oppressive. Like if I stood in my room too long, the walls would start tightening around me, trash-compacting me in. I stood in the doorway and focused on how familiar it all was. Our house was small and semi-dilapidated, and my room was predictably small to match, with only a twin bed, a desk pushed against the window, and a few red bookshelves running along the walls. But the problem wasn’t the size—it was the stuff. The physics books I’d bought and the ones Dad had sent me cluttering up the shelves, patterned headbands and tangled necklaces hanging from tacks in the wall, towers of unfolded laundry built precariously all over the floor. Even the ceiling was crowded, crisscrossed with string after string of star-shaped twinkly lights.
There was a WET PAIN! sign (it was supposed to say WET PAINT!) propped against my closet that Mika had stolen from outside her apartment building, a Rutgers University flag pinned above my bed, Totoro stuffed toys on my pillow, and boxes and boxes of platinum-blond hair dye everywhere. (Those, I needed to get rid of. I’d stopped dyeing my hair blond since the last touch-up had turned it an attractive shade of Fanta orange.) It was so much—too much—to have to deal with. And I might have stayed there for hours, paralyzed in the doorway, if Alison hadn’t come up behind me.
“Packed already?”
I spun around. My older sister had on the same clothes she’d been wearing all weekend–black T‐shirt, black leggings–and she was holding an empty coffee mug.
I crossed my arms and tried to block her view of the room. “It’s getting there.”
“Clearly.”
“And what have you been doing?” I asked. “Sulking? Scowling? Both at the same time?
She narrowed her eyes but didn’t say anything. Alison was in Tokyo for the summer after her first year at Sarah Lawrence. She’d spent the past three months staying up all night and drinking coffee and barely leaving her bedroom during sunlight hours. The unspoken reason for this was that she’d broken up with her girlfriend at the end of last year. Something no one was allowed to mention.
“You have so much crap,” Alison said, stepping over a pile of thrift‐store dresses and sitting on my unmade bed. She balanced the coffee mug between her knees. “I think you might be a hoarder.”
“I’m not a hoarder,” I said. “This is not hoarding.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Lest you forget, little sister, I’ve been by your side for many a move. I’ve witnessed the hoarder’s struggle.”
It was true. My sister had been by my side for most of our moves, avoiding her packing just as much as I’d been avoiding mine. This year, though, she only had the one suitcase she’d brought with her from the States—no doubt full of sad, sad poetry books and sad, sad scarves.
“You’re one to talk,” I said. “You threw approximately nine thousand tantrums when you were packing last summer.”
“I was going to college.” Alison shrugged. “I knew it would suck.”
“And look at you now,” I said. “You’re a walking endorsement for the college experience.”
The corners of her lips moved like she was deciding whether to laugh or not. But she decided not to. (Of course she decided not to.)
I climbed onto my desk, pushing aside an oversize paper‐ back called Unlocking the MIT Application! and a stuffed koala with a small Australian flag clasped between its paws. Through the window behind me, I could see directly into someone else’s living room. Our house wasn’t just small lit was surrounded on three sides by apartment buildings. Like a way less interesting version of Rear Window.
Alison reached over and grabbed the pile of photos and postcards sitting on my nightstand. “Hey!” I said. “Enough with the stuff-touching.”
But she was already flipping through them, examining each picture one at a time. “Christ,” she said. “I can’t believe you kept these.”
“Of course I kept them,” I said, grabbing my watch. “Dad sent them to me. He sent the same ones to you, in case that important fact slipped your mind.”
She held up a photo of the Eiffel Tower, Dad standing in front of it and looking pretty touristy for someone who actually lived in Paris. “A letter a year does not a father make.”
“You’re so unfair,” I said. “He sends tons of e‐mails. Like, twice a week.”
“Oh my God!” She waved another photo at me, this one of a woman sitting on a wood-framed couch holding twin babies on her lap. “The Wife and Kids? Really? Please don’t tell me you still daydream about going to live with them.”
“Aren’t you late for sitting in your room all day?” I asked.
“Seriously,” she said. “You’re one creepy step away from Photoshopping yourself in here.”
I kept the face of my watch covered with my hand, hoping she wouldn’t start on that as well.
She didn’t. She moved on to another picture: me and Alison in green and yellow raincoats, standing on a balcony messy with cracked clay flowerpots. In the picture, I am clutching a kokeshi—a wooden Japanese doll—and Alison is pointing at the camera. My dad stands next to her, pulling a goofy face.
“God,” she muttered. “That shitty old apartment.”
“It wasn’t shitty. It was—palatial.” Maybe. We’d moved from that apartment when I was five, after my parents split, so honestly, I barely remembered it. Although I did still like the idea of it. Of one country and one place and one family living there. Of home.
Alison threw the pictures back on the nightstand and stood up, all her dark hair spilling over her shoulders.
“Whatever,” she said. “I don’t have the energy to argue with you right now. You have fun with all your”—she gestured around the room—“stuff.”
And then she was gone, and I was hurling a pen at my bed, angry because this just confirmed everything she thought. She was the Adult; I was still the Little Kid.
Dorothea Brooks padded into the room and curled up on a pile of clean laundry in a big gray heap.
“Fine,” I said. “Ignore me. Pretend I’m not even here.”
Her ears didn’t so much as twitch. I reached up to yank open the window, letting the sounds of Tokyo waft in: a train squealing into Yoyogi‐Uehara Station, children shouting as they ran through alleyways, cicadas croaking a tired song like something from a rusted music box.
Since our house was surrounded by apartment buildings, I had to crane my neck to look above them at this bright blue strip of sky. There was an object about the size of a fingernail moving through the clouds, leaving a streak of white in its wake that grew longer and then broke apart.
I watched the plane until there was no trace of it left. Then I held up my hand to blot out the sliver of sky where it had been—but wasn’t anymore.


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PI was born in France but then moved to Japan. And then to the States. And then back to Japan. And then back to the States. When I was 18, I moved to New York where I was homesick for nearly seven years. After that, I got a job in a cold, snowy city in northern Japan and, from there, I headed to Scotland where I got my master's in creative writing and lived off tea, writer tears, and Hobnobs.

I still live in the U.K. and spend most of my time writing, reading, baking, and getting emotional over Tori Amos albums. Hobbies include pretending Buffy the Vampire Slayer is real, collecting a lipstick to match every Skittle flavor, and listening to a thousand podcasts a day.

A pup named Malfi and a Renaissancist named Rachel are my favorite things in the world. That, and books. I should probably mention the books again.




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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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