Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Princess in the Opal Mask Blog Tour [Guest Post]

The Princess in The Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
Release date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Genre: Light Fantasy
ISBN: 0762451092
ASIN: 0762451092
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound

One Legend Determines the Fate of Two Lives.

In the faraway village of Tulan, sixteen-year-old Elara has spent her entire life as a servant, trying to track down her real name. The name she was given before being orphaned. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Galandria, Princess Wilhamina does not know why her father, the king, makes her wear a mask. Or why she is forbidden to ever show her face.

When a new peace treaty between Galandria and Kyrenica is threatened, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face. Told in alternating perspectives, this intricate fairytale pulls both girls toward secrets that have been locked away behind castle doors, while the fate of two opposing kingdoms rests squarely on their untrained shoulders.

Guest Post:
The Inspiration Behind The Princess in the Opal Mask
The question I get the most often as a writer is, “Where do you get your ideas?” There’s really no one answer to that, because anything can spark an idea for me: something funny my son said to me, something I saw on my walk around my neighborhood, anything. For The Princess in the Opal Mask, my first YA novel, it came to me in bits and pieces over nearly ten years.
In January of 2004 I was sitting on a beach in Kauai thinking/praying about how much I liked to write and how I wished I had a good book idea. And lo and behold: A paragraph immediately began cycling through my brain! I picked up my pen and wrote as fast as I could, trying to keep up with the words I was hearing. I won’t repeat everything I heard that day, but essentially the idea was to write a story about “two girls…and the person you want to be, the person you think you ought to be, and the person you fear you might actually be.”
When the words stopped coming I looked at what I’d written and thought, Well, that sounds great. But that’s not a plot, or a character. At that point in time I’d only written one (very bad) short story. And I was profoundly aware that writing a story about “the person you want to be, the person you think you ought to be, and the person you fear you might actually be,” was well beyond my current abilities. So guess what I did with that bright shiny sort of idea I’d been praying for:
I shelved it. I got pregnant; and life got hard. Shortly after my second son was born I felt like I needed a creative outlet, and decided that NOW was the time to start writing seriously. But it wasn’t a YA story I found myself drawn to, but a middle-grade one, and as soon as I finished it, I got right to work on another middle grade story, the one that would eventually become Seeing Cinderella, my first published novel.
Then in late 2008, as I was nearing completion of the first draft of SC, one night an image just “jumped” into my head: Of a dirty, mistreated teenage girl sitting on a wooden stool. A door opened in front of her and the expression on her face was shock and awe. The writer in me was curious: What could possibly be behind that door to cause such a reaction? So I swung my “mental POV camera” around to see what she was seeing—and what I saw surprised me. I immediately stopped what I was doing, and started writing.
I finished Seeing Cinderella in 2010, obtained an agent and a book deal, and began working on my second MG novel (Plastic Polly). But I never forgot about my YA story. I considered it “My Secret Project” and filled up journals with notes and snippets of scenes. I even went so far as to hang a huge cork board up in my office with scene cards.
In 2011 I decided the story definitely called for the princess to wear a jeweled mask on her face, and gave it the working title, The Princess in the Opal Mask. (And bonus: If she’s wearing a jeweled mask then a masquerade party most definitely needed to be a part of the plot!)As the story took shape, I began to see that—even though this was a fantasy with princesses, princes, assassination attempts, and mistaken identities—this was very much a book about “two girls…and the person you want to be, the person you think you ought to be, and the person you fear you might actually be.” And as the months passed I wondered, now that I was establishing myself as a middle grade writer, would the time ever be right for my YA project to move from being “My Secret Project” to my actual Work-in-Progress?
Then one day, after I had finished revising Plastic Polly, I was whining on the phone to my agent about being blocked in terms of a good middle grade idea, and she asked me if I’d given any thought to writing “that YA princess project you once told me about.”
I don’t know how to explain it except to say that something just…clicked. When she said those words, I realized she was right: now was the time to write that story. So I got out the journals I’d filled up (there were 2 or 3 of them by then) took my dusty scene cards down, and got to work. This time, the idea of writing this book didn’t completely terrify me. I was exhilarated, and couldn’t wait to begin. (Which isn’t to say I didn’t have days where I questioned if I could really do this, I did, but it was more the usual mix of emotions that I experience when starting a new writing project.)
So there you have it, a paragraph I heard on a Hawaiian beach almost ten years ago, an image in my head, and the idea of masks, and jewels and masquerade parties—all of it came together to form The Princess in the Opal Mask.
For those of you who have already read, or plan to read my book, I hope you like my two main characters, Elara and Wilha. Because it certainly took me a long time to figure out their story! 

About Jenny Lundquist:
Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies with a minor in TESOL at Biola University. Lundquist has published two middle-grade books, Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly. She lives in Rancho Cordova, California with her husband and two sons. Visit her online at and Twitter @Jenny_Lundquist.

Giveaway time!
Jenny is giving away 15 copies of THE PRINCESS IN THE OPAL MASK! Enter to win by entering the Rafflecopter below.
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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
Series:  Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
Source: Purchased

When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and . . . a ride from his mom.

The demigods reace to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two new powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown. But that's not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.

Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge yet—the chilling prophecy of the Titan's curse.


I was so excited to start this book but for some reason I had a lot of trouble getting through the beginning of this book. I think my whole issue was one of the characters who was introduced at the end of the last book. I just did not like her that much and that really caused me to struggle with this book. Aside from that I did enjoy the story.
Like the two books before this one, the plot was exciting and full of action. There were awesome trials that the young heroes had to go through as well as action packed fight scenes. The beginning however seemed to be a little slower than the two previous books. Once the quest began I was hurrying through the book trying to find out just what was going on.
It was definitely interesting to see the group dynamic when it wasn't the same three characters going on the quest this time around. Grover and Percy were the two that I really enjoyed since their humor always manages to make me smile and their friendship is just so strong. However, I was not a fan of a certain other character (who will not be named due to spoilers). She really bothered me and I did not really become emotionally attached to her like I did Percy, Grover and Annabeth. This time we are also introduced to The Hunters. These are the young girls who follow Artemis on her hunts and swear off men forever and because of this they can live forever. I was not a fan of Zoe Nightshade at all. She was snotty and just seemed to not work well with the others. However, what happens later on with her story did really pull at my emotions.
The story seems to be picking up in intensity and I have a feeling that things are going to be getting a lot worse for the young heroes. I hope to continue on with the series soon and find out just what will happen to Percy and his friends next.

Friday, October 25, 2013

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments, #2
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 453
Source: Borrowed from my Sister

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? Clary would love to spend more time with her best friend, Simon. But the Shadowhunters won't let her go--especially her handsome, infuriating newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil--and also her father. When the second of the Mortal Instruments os stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor suspects Jace. Could Jace really be willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

This was a fantastic sequel to a wonderful first book. Everything about this book drew me in and had me absorbed in the story. I love how Clary really seems to be growing as a character and standing up for herself as well as setting out to try and save the world. There's just something about Cassandra Clare's writing style that has me hooked.
One of the greatest things about this book is the plot. There is no shortage of action and suspense in this installment and things seem to only be getting crazier. I absolutely loved how we get more Alec and Magnus. Those two didn't get much attention in the first book and we're finally starting to see more of them and I am definitely liking what I'm seeing.
I was really surprised by a lot that happens in this book. I didn't see a lot of the events coming and I found myself shocked many times. This story is one of my favorites due to the fact that it is so engaging and leaves you wanting even more.
If you haven't started this series yet you should really get on that. It's full of action and romance and will have you on the edge of your seat. The relationships and interactions between the characters are so real and their troubles really drag you into the story. I can't wait to continue on with this series.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Destiny Book Blitz + Giveaway

Destiny by P.T. Michelle
(Brightest Kind of Darkness #3)
Publication date: October, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

When destiny is on the line, will love be enough to light the way?

In order to save Ethan, Nara gets pulled deeper into his dark world, where everything she thought she knew about Ethan and herself turns on its head. Ethan and Nara turn up the heat with bone-melting seduction and heart-rending moments, but surprising revelations, lies, treachery, betrayal, and unimaginable evil will challenge their relationship and their future together. As the stakes rise, encompassing more than just her relationship with Ethan, will Nara make the ultimate sacrifice?
P.T. Michelle is the author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. She keeps a spiral notepad with her at all times, even on her nightstand. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature. 

Giveaway Time!
The prize is one e-book copy of Destiny.
I will send you an email announcing that you have won and asking what format you would like and when you should expect your prize.
-No cheating. All entries will be checked. If you are caught cheating, your entries will be removed.
-Must be 13 years or older or have parents permission.
-Winner must respond to my email, asking which format you would like, within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Check your spam folders.
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You can purchase the first book in the series: Brightest Kind of Darkness from any of the following links.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle

Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness, #1)Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Series:  Brightest Kind of Darkness, #1
Publisher: Patrice Michelle
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 357
Source: Free on Amazon

Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

When I saw this as a Kindle freebie and read the description I knew I had to get it. The plot sounded absolutely amazing and that something I would really enjoy. I'm really happy to say that this one did not let me down at all. The fact that the main character dreams her entire day the night before is just really cool and not something I have seen done in YA before.

The thin that really stuck out about Nara is that she really tried not to interfere with her powers except when confronted with the knowledge of a bombing at her school. The way she stood up and took action really set the tone for the way the book was going to go. It was also really interesting that Nara didn't know much about her powers at all even though she had been living with them for a long time.

The thing that I loved most about the book was that it kept me guessing. Whenever I thought I had figured everything out something else developed and I was back at the beginning. I never once had everything all figured out and I love books that take me on a thrill ride like that.

The characters definitely made the book for me. The fact that Nara was a regular girl who wasn't exactly popular really helped me to connect with her. The only difference is she had the power to see the events of the following day the night before. She's a really likeable character who really stands up when she knows someone is going to be injured. When we really got introduced to Ethan I absolutely loved him. For a while I thought something dark was going on with him, with Nara losing her powers and everything, but he really turned out to be a sweetheart. He was caring and sweet and oh so adorable.

If you're looking for a book that will keep you guessing this one is definitely for you. Don't let the fact that it's free stop you from giving it a shot. It is really worth it and the storyline and the characters will have you eagerly moving on to book two.



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Blitz: No Angel by Helen Keeble

No Angel by Helen Keeble
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn’t exactly heaven on Earth.

Raffi’s about to learn that St. Mary’s is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he’s no angel-but it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.

Helen Keeble’s debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it “refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.” No Angel brings you angels and demons like you’ve never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen. She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.
In which Rafael Angelos -- high school student, would-be  Casanova, and unexpected angel – attempts to get to grips with his awesome new powers
     So I was, for want of a better word, an angel, possibly with a holy mission to protect the world from the forces of evil. Obviously there was one thing I had to do as soon as possible.
     The next morning I got up at the crack of dawn, liberated a helmet from the communal bike shed, and set off to learn how to fly.
     A half-hour hike found me a nice wide clearing in the woods, well away from the school buildings. With a last glance around to check for onlookers, I shrugged my wings out. Early morning mist scurried along the ground as I lofted them to full vertical extension, the glowing pinions reaching for the sky like outstretched hands. I crouched, looked up, and took a deep breath.
     “Okay,” I said softly, and swept my wings down.
     It was a good thing I’d worn a helmet.
     “Right,” I muttered to myself, spitting out dirt. “Less sideways, more up.”
     After another ten minutes of running, leaping, and rather un angelic swearing, I was still resolutely earthbound. I brushed the mud off my knees, scowling. Maybe what I needed was motivation. I’d certainly had plenty last night. Unfortunately, I didn’t think Faith would appreciate her own guardian angel pushing her out a window, not even in the interests of science. And I wasn’t quite confident enough in my wings to want to throw myself out of a window, either.
     I crouched down in a sprinter’s stance and squeezed my eyes. Just think of all the things I’d be able to do once I mastered flight. I’d be able to confirm my suspicions about the true threat to the school. I’d be able to save Faith if she fell again. I’d be able to sneak out in the evening and find the nearest pub-
     “Oh my God,” said a voice behind me.
     I leapt into the air in alarm — literally. A short mid-teens girl in a baggy cardigan and unflattering glasses stood frozen in the bracken, staring at up me with her mouth hanging open. “You’re…you’re an angel,” she said.
      As I was hovering six feet above her on glowing, slowly-beating wings, this did not seem like something I could deny. The rising sun highlighted the girl’s tear-tracked face and red eyes. She took a hesitant step forward, holding up a hand to shield herself from my light. “Who are you?” she breathed.
     With my head backlit by my incandescent feathers, she must not have been able to make out my features. If only I could get away quickly, she need never know my identity. “Yes, I am an angel,” I said in the deepest voice I could manage, while frantically trying to work out how to go up. I wobbled dangerously in the air. “Sent from Heaven to, uh…”
      “Smite the wicked?” the girl suggested hopefully. She sniffed, swiping her sleeve across her nose. “Because I can totally give you a list. Starting with that bitch Joanne.”
     “Er, no.” What the hell did angels talk about? Half-remembered bits of the few Christmas services my dad had forced me to attend drifted up out of my memory. “I come bearing Good News! For unto you a child shall be born!”
     The girl stared at me. She did not look like she considered this to be Glad Tidings.
Grand prize giveaway
Prize (open internationally):
 signed copy of No Angel
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: 04/15/2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.
Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.
But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Author Bio:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press,
Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Blitz: Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair

Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
Published by: Simon & Schuster BfYR
Publication date: September 3rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read.

Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?
Jamie Blair spent most of her teen years choreographing moves for her dance team routines, kissing boys on the couch after her mom went to bed, and pondering the mood enhancement qualities of
Lemon Heads when consumed with Diet Coke. Writing under Kelli Maine, she’s the USA Today bestselling author of Taken. Leap of Faith is her debut New Adult novel.

Playlist for the book:
Giveaway Time!
10 winners:
--5 prize packages of a signed hardback, a t-shirt and a guitar pick, 
--5 e-books with an autographed Leap of Faith notecard, a guitar pick and stickers
a Rafflecopter giveaway