Monday, 17 October 2016

Morganville 10th Anniversary Celebration

I've always been a sucker (no pun intended) for vampires; in books, movies etc. I still remember picking up Glass Houses at the local bookstore, the book had been out for a year, but they had it featured on a shelf in the teen section. At the time, I was deep in the vampire obsession hole and needed another book to suck (hah! again, no pun intended) me in. Now here we are, a decade later and these books still have made an impact on the book universe. I still prefer holding a book instead of a remote control any day. Guess it's safe to say that I'm a book nerd. So cheers everyone and happy 10th birthday Glass Houses!

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else?

About the Author

Rachel Caine's rich, diverse bibliography of more than 45 books in print covers many categories and genres. She started out writing horror and fantasy as Roxanne Longstreet (Stormriders, The Undead, Red Angel, Cold Kiss, Slow Burn) before switching to the name Roxanne Conrad and publishing romantic suspense and mystery (Copper Moon, Bridge of Shadows, Exile). By 2003, she began to publish under her current pseudonym, specializing in urban fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal young adult fiction.

She has been writing original fiction since the age of fourteen, and professionally published since 1991. She graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso Texas (where she was a UIL all-state champion in music and journalism) and went on to earn an accounting degree from Texas Tech University. She played professionally as a musician for several years once out of college, but ultimately gave up the music for writing.

She's had a varied "day job" career, including web design, graphic arts, accounting, payroll management, insurance investigation, and (most recently) corporate communications and crisis management. (It all counts as research.)

Rachel loves reading, writing, and mild amounts of arithmetic when required ... but she has a special place in her heart for history, music, and science, and you'll find those themes in many of her works.
Enter for your chance to win a personal Halloween card from Rachel Caine,
TPU sampler booklet
Photo still from Morganville: The Series,
Fall of Night lenticular bookmark! 
4 runners-up will also receive a personal Halloween card from Rachel Caine! Giveaway ends on 10/24/16

Scavenger Hunt: There are 10 blogs participating in the Morganville Vampires 10th Anniversary Bash and each blog has a bold, red, hidden buzz word in the body of the post that entrants must find and submit via the Rafflecopter below. Find all 10 buzz words, enter them in the Scavenger Hunt Rafflecopter on any of our 10 participating blogs, and be entered to win 1 of 3 prizes!
1 Grand Prize winner
Morganville Vampires tote bag
Limited edition UK Daylighters,
Signed paperback copy of Midnight Bites,
TPU sampler booklet,
Fall of Night lenticular bookmark,
Photo still from Morganville: The Series,
Welcome to Morganville postcard,
Ghost Town lenticular bookmark,
Morganville Resident Survival Kit.

2 Runners-up
Morganville Vampires tote bag,
Signed paperback copy of Midnight Bites,
TPU sampler booklet ,
Fall of Night lenticular,
Photo still from Morganville: The Series,
Welcome to Morganville postcard,
Ghost Town lenticular,
Morganville: The Series poster.
Giveaway ends 11/7/16

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Speed of Life Blog Tour - Interview

Author: J.M. Kelly
Pub. Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. It’s not easy, but between their after-school jobs, they’re scraping by.

Crystal’s grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies—and gets in—new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans, and Crystal must make a choice: follow her dreams or stay behind and honor the promise she made to her sister.

First off, I want to thank J.M. for coming to my blog for this fine occasion.

Oh, please, call me Joëlle! Thanks for having me.

1.      I’ve always been intrigued by books that feature twins. There’s a special bond that twins have compared to siblings of any other nature. What was it like writing twins?

I always wanted to be a twin, but it didn't work out that way so I planned to have twins of my own (turns out they're fictional). We have about ten sets of twins in my extended family on my mother's side and my great aunts were triplets! They were so little when they were born, they were each kept in a shoebox. This was nearly ninety years ago and I don't think anyone thought they'd live, but two of them are still alive. I feel like in Speed of Life, the promises Crystal and Amber make to each other are strengthened by them being twins instead of just sisters. It added that extra bit of loyalty that the story needed to really have a backbone. It was great fun to imagine how they were alike (besides looks) and how they were each their own person. I had a friend in high school who was a twin and he said to me once, "It's like we're two individuals, but we're the same person, too." That always stuck with me and I think I even have it somewhere in the book.

2.      Some people turn to contemporary books for a smack in the face or just a calm relax read. When you read a contemporary book, what do you look for?

I'm a big fan of contemporary books, but not so much the really dark ones. I look for the same thing I look for in every book I read, regardless of genre. I want a really good story. And I love family and school stories, and especially books that are what so many people call quiet, but I prefer to think of as powerful. One of my favorites is Aimee Friedman's THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY. And of course, Jandy Nelson is my writing hero. But I grew up on Judy Blume and Norma Klein too and they always told smaller stories, but with huge impacts.

3.      I always ask authors about how music has either impacted their book or if a song could describe someone in the story. So, if you could pick a song to describe one of the twins, or both, what would it be?

It's funny, but almost everything else I've written is full of music. I'm married to the singer/songwriter Victor Anthony, and there's live music in my house nearly every day. But in Speed of Life, I intentionally left music out for the most part. I wanted to get away from writing what I know! One thing that I did include was a bit about the Golden Oldies—songs from the 1950s and 1960s—because those are the songs they always blast over the loudspeaker at car shows. Those songs remind me of Crystal the most. If I had to pick one, I'd say Rock Around the Clock performed by Bill Haley and the Comets – Natalie keeps them up all around the clock!

4.      How much of this story was inspired by either personal experiences or knowing people who had experienced what happens in the story?

Not much! Often I pick bits and pieces from stories I've overheard, read about, or even know firsthand and then twist them until they're unrecognizable and become my own, but with this book it was really important to me to write a novel that wasn't so personal. I think if you stick to writing what you know, you end up writing the same book over and over again and I wanted to challenge myself with this one. I did come from a family of old-car lovers and I myself have an affinity for the gloss and chrome of cars from the fifties, but the idea of twins raising a baby was completely made up. And I don't even have kids, so I had to do a lot of research! I think what I'm most proud of about this book is that it's not based on personal experiences or people I know who went through similar things.

Thanks for having me! These were great questions.

J. M. Kelly (aka Joëlle Anthony) 

About the Author
Joëlle Anthony is a writer and sometimes-actress who currently lives on a tiny island in British Columbia with her musician husband, Victor Anthony, and cat, Marley. Her debut novel, Restoring Harmony, was long listed for the American Library Association’s Best New Young Adult Fiction 2010, and chosen as the Feature Title for Cincinnati’s Teen on the Same Page Festival 2012. Her latest release, The Right & the Real also made ALA’s Best YA Fiction list (2012), both from Putnam.  She enjoys teaches writing workshops to writers of all ages. Visit her on the web at Follow her on Twitter @joellewrites

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Bisexuality + Mental Illness = A Knapsack of Yikes - Guest Post

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Some or most of you guys may know, last week was Bisexual Awareness Week. Where us bisexuals got together and had a big bi party. But alas, that wasn't the case. We celebrate this week to show the world that we're out there and can't be dismissed. Being bisexual has many positive and negative sides. But today, I have author Tristina Wright talking about what it means to be a bisexual, and the impact it has on your mental health.

The In Between. That sometimes peculiar, sometimes liberating, sometimes weird space between boxes. Those alternating slices of shadow and light that fill the alleyways between boxes filled with Just So.

Western Society (well…America) loves their boxes. If they could neatly put everyone in one of those boxes, they’d be pleased as punch. But not everyone wants to be in a box. Not everyone can fit into a box. Some of us wander those alleyways and turn them into community gardens and parks for kids to play in. We build our own homes in those spaces, brightly lit and welcoming no matter how many times people from the boxes on either side smash our porch lamps.

Identifying as Bisexual is a house in one of those alleyways. It’s not worse or shameful. It’s just different. It’s carving out a space in a world that wants us to be in the Homo Box to the left or the Hetero Box to the right. However, almost at the same time, neither box actually wants us.

You’re really straight.
You’re really gay.
You’re lying.
You’re confused.
You’re trying to trick people.
You just want everyone for yourself.
You don’t belong here.

It’s a tired refrain played outside the windows of our little bungalow nestled between two perfect boxes.

The queer community faces discrimination from the outside world on a daily basis. It took until 2015 for the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. And even then, some states still fight it to this day. Cities and entire states are passing laws which legalize businesses discriminating against members of the queer community, prevent transgender people from using the correct bathroom, and a host of other hate-filled actions.

Now imagine discrimination from not just the outside world, but also the very community you’re supposed to be a part of. Bisexual (and really all polysexual people) receive discrimination from the queer community as well. Bisexual people in “straight” relationships are jeered at Pride celebrations. We’re told in casual conversation that we’re not good enough to be dated because we’ll definitely cheat. Bisexual women are shunned by lesbian women because “a penis has been there.” Bisexual men are shunned by gay men because “ew vagina.”

It’s isolating because when it gets right down to it, we have no community of our own. We’re shunned from the straight community. We’re shunned from the queer community.
Members of the queer community already suffer from mental illnesses at an alarmingly higher percentage than straight people because of the ostracizing, hate, and discrimination we face on a daily basis. PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, and Depression are the three most common.

Now imagine being bisexual and having a mental illness. A report done in 2014 by BiNet USA and the Bisexual Resource Center ( showed that bisexuals are six times more likely to hide their orientation than gay or lesbians. Six times.
Bisexual women experience far more sexual violence than straight or lesbian women, according to the report. When a bisexual woman comes out, the stereotypes play into everyone’s response. She’s expected to indulge in threesomes. She’s expected to be easy. She’s asked how many partners of various genders she’s had. She’s subjected to lewd comments, jokes, and even imagery. She’s asked personal and invasive questions which amount to little more than sexual assault. Bisexual women also reported getting little to no help from their HR departments at work simply because they were out and bisexual. The hate crime laws and discrimination policies may state gay and lesbian, but they’re not for bisexuals.

The saddest statistic in the report was the fact that bisexuals are four times as likely to commit suicide than gays or lesbians. Two times as likely than straight people. This is because of fear of being out to anyone in any community. Even health care providers don’t even consider their patients could be bisexual. They’ll ask sexual history for one gender only. They never ask for multiples and you’re left with the decision of whether or not to tell them. Most opt not to tell them, which means they may not get the right treatment for what they have.

When you’re pushed out on both sides, it damns you to exist in loneliness. Many bisexuals, because of this, don’t accept the label until much later in life because they had no community to guide them as they figured things out. You’re either gay or straight – no in between. 
And even when we learn the word bisexual, we’re met with stereotypes and assumptions borne from media and inaccurate representation in books. Many don’t want to or cannot deal with that, so they eschew the label because it’s simply easier. It’s safer.

I’ve been lucky to form an online community of bisexual and pansexual people. Folks who understand the microaggressions and the othering that can occur in any space. But many of us don’t have that community because we’ve been told time and time again we’re too gay to be straight and to straight to be gay.

But we aren’t either. We’re bisexual. 
About the Author

Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She writes YA SFF about queer teens because they deserve the spotlight. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up stories for her two wombfruit, who keep her life unpredictable. Her debut short story, The Siren Son, will be published in Lightspeed Magazine. Her debut novel 27 HOURS (Entangled Teen) will be published Fall 2017.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Personal Motivation

Hey guys,

You've probably been wondering where I've been and what I've been up to. The truth of the matter is I've just had no motivation to do anything. For the longest time, I've just felt stuck. Between not being able to find work, and school being an unknown variable for the longest time; I felt depressed. Now I have been fighting depression for a while now, but I am taking care of it; but I also have a great support system. My girlfriend has been a tremendous help for me despite us living apart.

Now I'm happy to say this post isn't a Debbie Downer, things have been coming into place for me. I'm happy to say I'm back in school finishing up my Business Administration diploma at the local College. I'm financially stable, and can just focus on school at this point; which you can imagine the relief that is for me.

Lastly, on the book front, I'm back to reading on a regular basis. While I wasn't working, which was most of the last year; I was reading. I read a lot but I never felt the desire to share my thoughts on anything; I'm not sure if it was the motivation or just felt like work. getting them to the computer was a struggle. I had a lot of post ideas mentally thought out, but the thought of writing them felt like a chore, so i just didn't write. Now I hope that I'll get to writing them soon, but I won't force myself. I'm currently finishing up The Bone Season, and I'm happy to say that a post about the book should be going up soon. I don't want to give myself a deadline due to school being in the works.

I want to thank you guys for the support this far, and do stick around as this page is about to get a lot more active.

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Friday, 9 September 2016

Labyrinth Lost Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway

Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Pub. Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks 

"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic."-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Welcome my fellow brujas and brujos, I’m here to tell you about a story full of magic, family and love. A journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Bruja Zoraida Córdova wrote this tale and it’s called Labyrinth Lost. Her heroine Alex just wants to be normal, as I’m sure every bruja can relate to every once in a while. But at what cost does it take to achieve this normalcy? Our bruja is preparing for her Deathday Celebration, so as any person who wants to be normal, she goes through any cost to stop the process. Even though it meant trusting a brujo boy she had only just met.

Our dear bruja, Alex comes from a magical family and they’re close to the dead, literally. But she’d rather hang with her friend. But in her defense she has a good reason. When your dead aunt comes and talks to you as a child, knowing you come from a magical family can make you want to shit yourself. I loved Alex, she was real, relatable and most of all loveable. 

Loving a character is crucial for the most optimal reading experience. I felt her struggle and her anxiety about what she’s getting into. I guess what I’m trying to say is that she felt real.
I want to discuss the world building in this book. Now I haven’t read Zoraida’s other books, but damn girl, you good! When we were down in Los Lagos, I felt like I was in a world that was a mix of Jim Henson and Tim Burton. The eeriness, spectacular scenery both dark and light, the creatures and most importantly The Devourer was creepy as f.

What I enjoyed about this story besides the world building is the drive that Alex had throughout the book, even in the beginning she was determined to not accept her gifts during the celebration. Then she carried on after she realised what she had done. Says something about a person if they can do that. What makes the journey different than some other stories is that not only did Alex have Nova, the brujo boy who is helping her, but her best friend Rishi also follows her to save her family. Which shows that family is more than blood.

I always feel giddy whenever there’s an lgbt theme to a story, no matter how it big of an impact it has on the storyline. For this story I was glad to know it was there but it didn’t overpower the rest of the story and the importance of what was happening in the plot.

I’m finishing off my review with one of my favourite lines from the book. I think it’s something we all need to remember.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
8/29/2016- Brittany's Book RamblesInterview
8/30/2016- 125Pages- Review
8/31/2016- Once Upon A TwilightGuest Post
9/1/2016- Owl Always Be ReadingReview
9/2/2016- Me, My Shelf and I-Guest Post

Week Two:
9/5/2016- Emily Reads EverythingReview
9/6/2016- The Book NutGuest Post
9/7/2016- Take Me Away To A Great ReadReview
9/8/2016- Wandering Bark BooksInterview
9/9/2016- Lost in Ever AfterReview

About the Author
Zoraida Córdova is the author of The Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and Labyrinth Lost. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. She is a New Yorker at heart and is currently working on her next novel. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LABYRINTH LOST, US Only.
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