When Dimple Met Rishi: YA Review

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Genre: YA Romance

Publication: May 30th 2017

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Source: Review Copy via NetGalley -Thank you-

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My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The arranged-marriage YA romcom you didn’t know you wanted or needed…

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is a frothy, funny contemporary romance set at a coding convention in San Francisco over one exciting summer. Told from the dual perspectives of two Indian American protagonists, Dimple is fighting her family traditions while Rishi couldn’t be happier to follow in the footsteps of his parents. Could sparks fly between this odd couple, or is this matchmaking attempt doomed to fail?


Oh, what awkward wonderfulness this story was. I’m still recovering from the warm and fuzzy overload.

Dimple is quite stubborn and has an intense desire to be free – free of other people’s expectations.

Rishi feels his purpose in life is to please his parents.

Dimple is super excited to be out on her own attending a six-week coding workshop and has no idea her parents have set her up.

Rishi is super excited that he may be potentially meeting his future wife and will be getting the chance to get to know her during the six-week coding workshop they will be attending.

Cue hilarious meet cute that involves Dimple assaulting Rishi with an iced coffee. Wait… I don’t think I can put the words meet cute and assault together in a sentence. Hmm… was it assault… Nar self-defence, she thought he was crazy at the time.

There are bits of humour sprinkled all through this love story about juggling parental expectations, standing up for yourself, following your dreams and arranged marriages. I actually loved the positive examples of arranged marriage, as on my side of the world they can tend to be portrayed in a negative light.

Dimple and Rishi click with each other early on, but Dimple tries and *spoiler* fails to fight it. Yeah so maybe your parents did know what they were doing, hey Dimple!

My inner teenager found Dimple fairly relatable and immediately fell for Rishi. Rishi he is kind, funny, brave, intelligent and talented – it’s impossible not to fall for him, duh.

All in all, it is a cute and quick read that I’d happily read again.


Menon’s Twitter | Website | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Booktopia | Bookdepository 

New Release Q&A with Lauren James

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication: TODAY
Publisher: Walker Books
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Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

Lauren James – Q&A

  1. Where did the inspiration for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe come from?

Funnily enough, it started with a question from some Physics coursework at university! The question was about special relativity, and went something like this:

An astronaut travels in a spaceship to a new planet. After a few years, a newer faster ship is developed and launched, which overtakes the first ship. How old are the two astronauts when they each arrive on the planet?

I started thinking about what it would be like to be that first astronaut, and dedicate years to travelling alone in space, only for your ship to be overtaken by a faster one before you even arrive! What would that feel like? What kind of relationship would you have with the person on the faster ship? From that, the story of Romy Silvers was born.

I’ve always loved stories of isolation – it’s a great way to really get to know a character. I knew that if I was writing a whole book where there was only really one person, I would need to create a character who would keep the reader’s attention and loyalty. It was a big challenge, but I fell totally in love with Romy while I was writing about her, and I hope everyone reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe does too.

  1. Did you always dream of becoming a writer?

I started writing The Next Together when I was sixteen, and finished the first draft when I was nineteen. I never intended to get the story published – I was writing just for myself, for fun! The first draft was very self-indulgent, and included cameos from some of my professors, and lots of in-jokes. There was no pressure to write something good. I was just writing for myself, telling myself a bedtime story after classes. I never saw it as doing something scary or difficult.

I always loved the idea of being a writer, but I absolutely didn’t think it was possible. I thought people who became authors must have spent their whole life writing, and I was too interested in doing other things for that.

My second novel The Last Beginning, which I wrote after I’d got a book deal, was about twenty times harder because suddenly there was all of this pressure. I had to push past a lot of fear which had never been there before.

Being an author is quite similar to how I imagined it, though – spending a lot of time alone, staying up late at night to write, summoning the devil in exchange for book ideas..….wait, what?

  1. How did you feel when secured your first publishing deal at 21?

It was very exciting and scary, and I still feel very lucky! When The Next Together was finished I left it for a few months, and when I came back to it, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as terrible as I remembered. It even made me laugh a few times. I decided to send it off to some literary agents, just to see if they could give me some useful feedback.

I had absolutely no idea how the publishing industry worked, and I think I read one How To article on query letters before writing one and blithely sending it off into the aether. I found an A to Z list of agents and started emailing with the Z’s, because I thought they’d have the least submissions. In the end, I found an agent on W, after I’d emailed only six agencies. It was a very naive way to apply, but I got very lucky – my agent is incredible, and last year she was shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Agent of the Year award.

We then submitted to publishers after a whole year of revisions (I was still at university so could only really work on it during the holidays) and within two weeks, two publishers had offered. Saying it now, that seems so easy and fast, but at the time it was the most stressful, delirious fortnight of my life. I’ve been through the submission process several times since then, and it does not get any easier.

  1. What is your favourite book?

I love Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Lirael by Garth Nix, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke and Far From You by Tess Sharpe.

  1. What authors have influenced your writing?

Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Sarah Waters, P. G. Wodehouse, Audrey Niffeneger.…..I could go on all day, I think! In particular I’m always making notes when I read books by Douglas Adams – he’s the master of humorous sci fi. I’ve adored his work since I was young.

I read a wide range of genres, and because of that I try to make my books a little bit of every genre – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is a bit fandom, a bit thriller, a bit romance and a bit sci fi.

I think if I didn’t write a variety of different genres, I’d probably get bored. My next books are a mix of different genres again – my latest book, which I’m still writing, is a paranormal supervillain origin story. So something completely different, again!

  1. What book do you wish you had written?

I love The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. She has an incredible way of really making her characters seem like real people, and I learn so much about writing different perspectives from her work. The set up of that series is just absolutely my favourite thing, and I’m forever jealous I didn’t invent the character Gansey.

I also read Laura Ruby’s writing with a huge amount of jealousy. Her latest, YORK, is so so so good.

  1. What issues do you like to explore in your writing?

I always try to include LGBT+ characters in my books. I was so frustrated as a teenager because, as a huge sci fi fan, I could never find diverse characters in the worlds I loved. Recently there’s been some amazing progress in this direction (like The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet) but at the time, it felt a completely barren wasteland. I wanted to write about a character who was gay, but the book wasn’t a coming out story. I wanted them to get to do things, while being gay.

  1. How has your interest in science influenced your writing?

I studied Chemistry and Physics at university, so if I hadn’t become a writer, I would probably be a research scientist focusing on physical chemistry. I would love to go back to science one day – I really miss it!

I always try to make the science in my books as accurate as possible, and I did a lot of research into space travel and the theory of space travel behind NASA’s equipment when writing The Loneliest Girl in the Universe.

The time machine in The Last Beginning is also based on real life research into sub-atomic particles at CERN, like the Large Hadron Collider. Based on the predictions physicists have made about the possibilities of time travel, I thought that was a logical starting point to progress from. I wanted to feel very real and possible – it’s simplified a lot in the book from how these things might actually work, but the grounding of the science is very plausible. I hope! [crosses fingers no physicists immediately call me on my mistakes]

  1. What was it like to see your books translated into another language?

It’s huge. Seeing my words in another language is something I’ve always wanted to have – so it’s incredible that it’s actually happened! I can’t quite believe it still.

I’m especially proud of the Brazilian edition, as I studied in America for a year, and spent most of my time hanging out with Brazilian students who were also studying abroad for a year. So there was a LOT of excitement amongst my friends when the translated edition came out in Brazil. They keep sending me pictures of it, and trying to persuade everyone to buy it!

  1. Would you go into space if you could?

I’m not sure. I think I’m probably not as brave as Romy. I might go after tourism space travel has been running for a few decades and it has been proven its safe, but definitely not yet!

Lauren James was born in 1992, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics.

She started writing during secondary school English classes, because she couldn’t stop thinking about a couple who kept falling in love throughout history. She sold the rights to the novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university.

The Next Together described by The Bookseller as ‘funny, romantic and compulsively readable’ and Kirkus as ‘An ambitious, promising premise . . . James is one to watch’. It was longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, a prize given to recognise an outstanding novel by a first-time writer.

Her other novels include The Last Beginning, the epic conclusion to The Next Together which was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for kids and young adults by the Independent. Two short stories set in the world of The Next Together series, Another Together and Another Beginning, are also available.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was inspired by a Physics calculation she was assigned at university. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and all of her books feature scientists in prominent roles.

Lauren is published in the UK by Walker Books, in the US by HarperCollins and in translation in five other countries around the world. She lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, Tumblr at @laurenjames or her website http://www.laurenejames.co.uk, where you can subscribe to her newsletter to be kept up to date with her new releases and receive bonus content.

Stealing Liberty: Blog Tour

Title: Stealing Liberty

Author: Jennifer Froelich

Genre: Young Adult

A heist so monumental, it may cost them everything… When Reed Paine is sent to a secret detention school for teens whose parents are branded enemies of the state, he doesn’t expect to find friendship – especially after coming face to face with Riley Paca, a girl who has every reason to hate him.

 But when Reed, Riley and a few others start reading the old books they find in tunnels under the school, they begin to question what they are taught about the last days of America and the government that has risen in its place.   Then the government decides to sell the Liberty Bell and Reed and his friends risk everything to steal it – to take back their history and the liberty that has been stolen from them (Stealing Liberty/Clean Reads).

Excerpt
My escort pushes me. “Pick up the pace, kid.” I stumble on a sharp rock and cut my toe. It hurts more than it should and I pull up to face him, fists curled at my side. I’ve grown about a foot since my sixteenth birthday, which means I can stare him down, eye to eye. He just smirks.  How about I smash your nose?  For a minute the urge is so powerful, my pulse pounds against my throat and red spots blur my vision. Don’t do anything stupid, Reed. Pick your battles. The voice in my head is my dad’s, so I listen. We climb aboard a rusty hybrid bus parked in front of the bombed-out terminal. “Welcome,” says the autopilot. It’s one of the retro models, formed like a human, with LED eyes and everything. When magnetic tracks were first installed, citizens didn’t trust computers to maneuver vehicles safely along roadways. At least that’s what my grandmother told me. Humanoid pilots were designed to make them feel safer.  Pretty soon, people had more important things to worry about.  My escort takes a seat behind the pilot, but I keep going. Only one other passenger is on the bus — a girl with long blond hair who sits in the fifth row, pressed against the window. Bruises swell on her left cheekbone and along her jaw. Her lip is crusted with blood and her right eyelid is swollen shut. Nausea washes over me, along with fresh anger.  “Sit!” our escort barks.  The girl flinches. I take a seat across from her and shift toward the window. The door squeaks closed and the bus lurches forward. We travel on an old freeway so desolate, we don’t encounter a single other transport. I wish I was calm enough to sleep — so numb to the government’s strong-arm tactics, they no longer get to me. Instead I stare past the landscape and try not to shake. Try not to relive my nightmare or think about how it felt to wake up with a gun to my head. I imagine a different outcome. Fighting back — or breaking out of the state home before they showed up. If only.


About the Author

Jennifer Froelich published her debut novel, Dream of Me, in late 2011, which reviewers praised as “well-orchestrated with outstanding imagery.” Her second novel, A Place Between Breaths, published in 2014, was called “a roller-coaster ride with enough twists and turns to keep everyone interested” and won an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 23rd Annual Self Published Book competition. Jennifer is a frequent contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul.  A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jennifer worked for many years as a freelance editor and writer before publishing her own work. She lives in beautiful Idaho with her husband, two teenage kids, and a rescue cat named Katniss.

Links Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

Deathly Unloved: Blog Tour

Title: Deathly Unloved

Author: Annee Cooper

Genre: YA LGBT paranormal romance

Being raised as a nephilim has its drawbacks when you’re only quarter angel. Now it’s getting dangerous.

Rune’s always known about the angel blood that runs through her veins. A gift—or a curse—from her halfling mother. She thinks she knows who she is. She’s wrong. After a kiss with a stranger completes a sacred ritual, she’s forced to accept the other side of her heritage. And the lust for souls that comes with it. Now this gorgeous seductress is on a hunt to find others like her and discover the truth about her past. But with her hunger growing insatiable, does she have more to worry about than making friends?

 * *  *   Excerpt   *  * *

“If I leave, will you kiss him? Or any other humans?” the boy asked.

“I didn’t plan on kissing anything that wasn’t human, but if a cute angel comes along I might change my mind.” Rune gave him a cheeky smile.

He made a face and clenched his hands. With a loud sigh and a stomp of his boot, he reached for her hand. Rune glared at him, but her face softened when she saw how pained his expression was. She didn’t back off when he moved closer.

“We don’t even know each other,” he mumbled. His fingers brushed her cheek, then her lips as he searched her eyes. “Say it’s all right.”

Strangely, she wasn’t uncomfortable with the idea. This guy was possibly the first ethereal her age she’d come across. He might be a little curt, but he was also gorgeous, and his touch felt welcome on her skin.

Unable to keep herself from eyeing his mouth, the desire to kiss him turned to an ache.

“Yes.” She inhaled a ragged breath and her hands slithered around his neck, her fingers winding themselves in his hair. “I’m shaking,” she said, still fixated on his lips.

“Me too. It’s because we should have already done this at our age. It’ll be more intense be—”

“Shh.” She finished the sound by pressing her lips into his.

The gentle start became a heated wrestle of hot mouths. Rune drew him deeper and he pulled her tight against his body. Her nerves screamed at her.

More.

Rune lost all sense of being separate. Her spirit welcomed him, opening up to expose her essence. A sweet, icy fire burned through her mouth into her body, igniting her cells and quenching a fierce thirst. It felt like she was inhaling menthol and liquid sugar straight into her veins. The energy between them slowed to a stop and they broke apart, instantly back in reality. Rune fell against the wall, breathless and dazed with shock. Her back felt all tingly, a cold sort of tickle that raced across her skin. The boy didn’t look so harmless now. The whites of his eyes had been completely swallowed by black. All that was left of his irises was a thin ring.

“When they said intense I never thought…” He leaned heavily on the hall table.

“Your eyes,” Rune said in a fragile voice.

“They’ll change back.”

Still trembling, Rune slid down the wall to the floor. That was not what kissing was supposed to be like. She was obviously delirious. Someone must have spiked the vodka. That or this house had a serious hallucinogenic mould problem.

Counting to D: YA Review

18518158Counting to D by Kate Scott
Paperback, 227 pages
First published January 28th 2014 by Elliott Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Thank You Eliott
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A contemporary young adult novel about a bright dyslexic teen struggling to find her place in a literate world. Counting to D is sure to resonate with anyone who has struggled with learning disabilities, young love, or just being a teen!

The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb. That’s what it means to be dyslexic, smart, and illiterate. Sam is sick of it. So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Without her paradox of a reputation, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust. When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect. But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret. The books are stacked against her and so are the lies. Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight—without being able to read.

My Thoughts

 Counting to D is the uplifting tale of dyslexic teen Samantha Wilson. The story follows Sam as she moves interstate, meaning a new school and leaving behind the most important things to her in the whole world, her friends, Arden and Gabby. She makes new friends easily enough, but then battles her self-doubts as to how much of her true self she is willing to show them.

The author Kate Scott was diagnosed with Dyslexia as a young child and it shows in the depth of Sam’s character. She feels real. Her struggles feel real and her coping mechanisms are explained in detail. Sam is easily likeable and you can’t help but root for her.

While the story is rather light and fluffy it touches on a lot of extremely important topics beautifully; friendship, peer pressure, social norms, social acceptance, learning disabilities, self-worth, first times and first loves (just to name a few). It is a heart-warming, fun and fast read. I got to the end of the story and wished there was more. I would have happily kept on reading about Sam’s life.

Counting to D was Kate’s debut Novel, she has since gone on to write a second The Evolution of Emily, which set in the same high school and yes Sam is in it as a supporting character. I’m really looking forward to reading it as well.


Kate Scott: Goodreads | Twitter

Buy Links: Amazon AU | Amazon US | Bookdepository | Booktopia

Guest Post: Mallory McCartney, author of Black Dawn

Thanks for having me! 😊 Becoming a writer has always been a long dream of mine. When I was in public school, literature and reading was always a priority for me. I seriously couldn’t get enough, The Scholastic Book Fairs were always a highlight, I remember previewing the catalogue weeks before and deciding which books I would take home. This was the start of my book buying obsession. Once I reached the end of Grade Eight though, I knew I wanted to become a writer for a career, I even wrote it in my year book! Black Dawn took shape at the end of public school and heading into high school. I feel like this story was always waiting for me to write it, the first manuscript focusing on Emory and Brokk. I wrote it for my cousin’s birthday as a present, and then left it alone for seven years.

The inspiration for Black Dawn came from a collection of moments in my life. The first being with my cousin, and we had a sleep over at my family’s old farmhouse and spent majority of the night talking about our hopes and dreams for the future and the first spark of Black Dawn came into conversation. After writing the first manuscript and I left it alone, and I went to college for the Fine Arts, and then after this I travelled to Australia and New Zealand by myself. This experience was pivotal for me, not only did I learn a lot about myself and grow personally, but seeing the different landscapes of those countries was amazing, and helped me build the world of Kiero.

Once I came back home, it wasn’t until after I met my husband that the idea of becoming a writer came back into my plan. We were talking about Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy (which is a series we both love, go pick it up if you haven’t checked it out!) and the conversation landed back to the manuscript I wrote, and we revisited it. The original title for Black Dawn was Kiero, and we talked late into the night and the world we see in Black Dawn came to life. The next day I started writing. The book grew with me, elements from the original manuscript meshed with the current, the dynamics of the characters developing and growing as I did throughout my life. None of the characters specifically are based on people in my life, but the emotions they experience I pulled from some experiences I went through.

Looking back, I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and friends, all my teachers throughout public school, high school and college. The love of reading sparked my love of writing, and above all not giving up on my dream of becoming an author.

Author: Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

 

About the Book

Title: Black Dawn

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

Author: Mallory McCartney

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Book Tour: Path of a Novice by R.K. Lander

Title: Path of a Novice: The Silvan Book 1

Author: R.K. Lander

Genre: Fantasy

A land at war, a failing king, a light in the forest …

Bel’arán, land of mortals, immortals, and those that dwell in between. The elven forest realm of Ea Uaré is threatened by ruthless Sand Lords seeking water, and the undead Deviants who crave the mindless destruction of elves.

The powerful Alpine lords strive to dominate the leaderless native Silvans through power games, leaving in their wake a bereft king, assailed by grief and a family unable to forgive him.

As the king drifts in endless sorrow, the forest people are loosing their identity. Discriminated and belittled, they are the warriors but the Alpine lords are their commanders – until a child is born to the Deep Woods – an elf with the face of an Alpine and the heart of a Silvan, an orphan whose only dream is to dare become a Silvan captain in a world dominated by Alpines – Fel’annár, Green Sun.

A born warrior, to his friends, Fel’annár becomes Hwind’atór, the Whirling Warrior, and together, they will step upon the path of a novice.

Adventure, hardship and self-discovery will mould the warrior he will become. But destiny will not be ignored, and Fel’annár is confronted with the truth of his own abilities and the mystery of his past, one shrouded in sorrow and intrigue – one that may change the course of history.

From child to novice warrior and beyond, Fel’annár is, The Silvan.

Author Bio:

R.K. Lander was born in the UK. Fantasy was always a central part of her life and soon began reading authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Azimov, Ray Bradbury and J.R.R. Tolkien. Now living and working in Spain, Ruth runs her own business and writes as an independent author.

The Silvan is her first work, a YA epic fantasy trilogy revolving around the figure of a Silvan elf, Fel’annar. The first in the series, Path of a Novice is available now on amazon, and the second, Road of a Warrior, is approaching the editing stage.

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Smoke billowed into the air as thatched roofs were engulfed and the people stumbled out of their homes, choking and crying as they desperately searched for a way out, but the Sand Lords were everywhere, their black cloaks billowing in the winds of battle, like the leathery wings of black bats grappling for prey. They descended upon the Silvans with their jewelled swords and senseless cries of fury, severing limbs and slitting throats, sending a frenzy of terror throughout the disorientated villagers. Some had no time to react as they were ran through, while others ran too slowly and were taken from behind, their heads twisted mercilessly.

Fel’annár saw it all through hazy eyes as he fired, again and again until there were no more arrows and he pulled his long sword in one hand and sabre in the other. He saw them fall, saw the women die such tragic deaths, their panicked children reach even to the enemy for comfort, only to be cruelly slaughtered. He saw it all and he fought – the battle before his eyes and the other in his mind; do not think – do not feel

Screeches and screams mixed with the sound of scraping metal and the thud of arrowheads imbedding in flesh. A roar of victory from the Sand Lords surely meant a warrior had gone down.

With a ruthless flash of metal, Turion slit another Sand Lord’s throat with a curl of his lip and then chanced a glance at Fel’annár who was facing off with two cloaked devils that twirled their scimitars deftly in their hands. The novice simply held his stance and watched them, long sword poised strangely over his head, and although he wanted to watch, Turion had his own foes to face. Moving before his next victim, he bore down on the black demon in utter fury, until a panicked cry escaped the strange being and Turion moved in, thrusting his sword right through his opponent’s chest, the squish of flesh and organs leaving no doubt in the captain’s mind that he was dead.

Fel’annár’s whirled and swivelled, sliced and parried. There was no confusion, no anxiety even though the colours were back. His mind was sharp and in control, all of its skill centred on his body and his senses, in spite of the death and carnage, the suffering of his kin and of the trees. He felt none of this, did not hear the scream of frantic mothers or the desperate wails of injured civilians, he did not feel the weight in his chest or the pain in his throat. Duck, bend, flex; push, cut, slash and stab. Flip backwards, somersault forwards, side twist and parry; kill, kill, kill…

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Lander’s Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Youtube | Amazon US | Amazon AU

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Guest Post: Author Yuri Hamaganov

What is your writing routine?

Practice makes perfect. It is extremely important for a novice writer to realize this simple and reliable wisdom. It doesn’t matter how big your talent is, no matter how good your idea is. Without practice – nothing will happen.

The GROND series will consist of eight novels. Four are ready, now I’m finishing the fifth, more than half of the work has already been done. And I reached this result only when I started working on my idea every day.

I live in a small town, next to a huge city. Every working day I go to Moscow to work by train, and then I return home. Two and a half hours there, two and a half – back. I used to spend this time without much benefit: I read, listened to music, slept, or just looked out the window. But then I started work on the first novel in the GROND series and realized that the usual routine must be radically changed, because I don’t have enough days off for my book. And then I wrapped this aimless loss of time in my favor.

Now I’m working on my book on the train, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can do there. The novel doesn’t write itself, it must be written. And then rewrite, edit, add new fragments, and re-edit. I’m going to Moscow and working on my book, putting on the headphones for a soundtrack to some sci-fi movie, a collection of old pop-music or rock radio. At work, I think about my book, and in the evening, on the way back, everything repeats. The screen of the laptop, text and music in the headphones.

Working on a book doesn’t mean writing a new chapter every day. Often I am engaged in planning – I state my thoughts on the new book in the text, I create notes and carefully explain to myself the logic of what is happening on the pages. I answer the question: why did these or those events occur, why this or that character behaved this way. Readers will never see these drawings, but without them the book would not be possible. You can also read the books of competitors in search of new, interesting ideas and watch the videos you need to work – anything for the benefit of the common work.

This is my writing routine – working on a book every day. Don’t wait for inspiration, there is always something to do. Write the text, read the text, edit the text, plan the text. Learn from others, get the information you need, develop a promoting strategy and again work on the text. The technique is simple, but reliable, I checked it on myself, which is what I wish for you.

All the best,

Yuri Hamaganov


GROND: The Raven High
by Yuri Hamaganov
Genre: YA Scifi
Release Date: April 2017

Summary:

In the year 2086, Earth is exhausted. The seas have been emptied, the bedrock and soil stripped of their resources, and the superheated atmosphere churns with terrible storms. Those who can afford to do so live in the limbo of virtual reality, and the billions who suffer in poverty have no work, no clean water, and no security from the chaos.

The only hope for those trapped on a dying Earth are the Changed—the seven bioengineered post-humans who work in their separate manufacturing facilities orbiting high above the planet. Raised from birth for their work and fully matured at ten years old, their genius provides the nanomaterials that have begun to cleanse Earth of the pollutants that have wiped out almost the entire ecosphere.

But for Olga Voronov, youngest of the Changed, the isolation and endless toil are not the greatest of her challenges. Down on Earth there are those who resent and fear her talents—and would prefer that humanity not be given the second chance that only she could make possible …

Links: GoodreadsAmazon US | Amazon AU

About the Author:
Yuri Hamaganov lives in Moscow. He created the eight-volume GROND series as a present for himself when he was twelve years old. This was the story he had always dreamed of exploring, and when he realized that nobody had written it for him, he set out to do it himself.


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Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Blog Tour: K My Name is Kendra

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kendra2017coverTitle: K My Name is Kendra

Author: Kamichi Jackson

Genre: Young Adult

Fifteen-year-old Kendra James’ life begins to spiral out of control with the return of her long-lost runaway sister Meisha, and the visit of a young celebrity uncle with questionable intentions. Things take a particular turn for the worse when that uncle exploits Kendra’s loneliness and untreated depression and makes a move on her that sends her world into a tailspin from which she’s not sure she’ll ever recover. Will she survive this tragedy…or will she hit rock-bottom before anyone even notices?

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Author Bio

In addition to K My Name Is Kendra, Kamichi Jackson is the author of an eBook entitled Where Present Meets Past (originally available as part of the now-defunct Amazon Shorts Program), the middle reader book You’re Too Much, Reggie Brown, a forthcoming adult novel entitled The Brownstone, two unproduced screenplays, and several short stories. KJ has made numerous appearances in support of her work, among them the Baltimore Book Festival. When not writing, Kamichi is likely off somewhere singing karaoke. The South Norwalk, Connecticut native currently resides in Northern Virginia with family.

* * BOOK EXCERPT * *

I think someone is stalking me.

I say this, not because I’m paranoid, but because I’ve been seeing the same strange car outside my house almost every other day for the past two weeks. I haven’t told anyone but Nita about it. She thinks I should call the police or something, but what are they going to do? Whoever is inside the car hasn’t done or said anything to me, so what would I be reporting?

Of course that could change. I realize that today when I step outside onto the front steps of my school. This could be the afternoon that changes everything.

“What’s wrong?” Nita asks as I stop dead in my tracks, almost tripping this kid walking on my heels.

There it is again. The same black car with the tinted windows. I recognize it right away because it has two small dents in the back door and a bright red ball on the tip of the antenna. I still can’t see who is inside, and I can’t tell if the person is even looking my way, but it’s definitely the same car.

“What’s wrong?” Nita asks again. She looks across the street. “Is that it?” she asks and I nod.

“I need to know,” I say as I step down off the curb. The car starts to move forward and I wave and scream for it to stop. It does, and I keep running towards it, even though I hear Nita yelling behind me that I shouldn’t go. She catches up to me and pulls on my sleeve, yanking me back before I reach the car.

“Even three-year-olds know not to talk to strangers, Kendra!” she warns. “Come on, girl. Let’s go.”

I know she’s right and I sigh, letting her lead me away. There’s a buzzing noise behind us as we’re walking, and I can tell the driver is opening the window now.

“Keep going!” Nita whispers, her grip on me getting tighter.

All of a sudden I hear my name called out from behind me. Nita and I both stop. She looks at me. We turn at the same time and step forward a little bit towards the car. I hear ding ding ding as the door opens, and a lady’s leg—rockin’ the fiercest thigh-high boot I think I’ve ever seen in my life—hits the pavement, and then the rest of the woman slides out from behind the wheel.

“Who are you?” Nita asks her, not letting go of my arm.

“My name is Meisha,” the young woman replies to Nita, but she’s not looking at her. She’s looking straight at me.

“She’s my sister,” I add, my voice so low I can barely hear myself saying the words.

PRAISE FOR KENDRA

“This emotionally powerful novel gets right to the essence of what a young adult novel should be, empathetically exploring the experience of a teenage girl. Kendra is dealing with depression, the social dynamics of the black community, family problems, and abuse, yet holding on to a core of optimism that will help her become a strong and successful adult. Kendra is the first member of her family to reconnect with her missing sister, Meisha, who ran away a decade earlier. Meisha’s return puts a strain on the family when the reason behind her departure is finally revealed. Kendra’s talent and strong desire to be a writer bring the attention of her English teacher, but this also leaves her vulnerable to her famous sports announcer uncle, CJ. Desperate for attention, Kendra ignores the warning signs; CJ gains her confidence and offers her a laptop to use in his apartment. The abuse that follows is not described in detail and is not the only defining point for the character. An excellent read for any girl who feels misunderstood, or for readers that remember what it felt like to be confused and hurt, but hopeful as they moved toward adulthood.”

–Publishers Weekly (as part of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition)

This book is for 15 year olds, parents of 15 year olds, friends of 15 year olds and for those who know a 15 year old. It touches on very real issues that young adults encounter and the conflict that ensues. This book is captivating and meaty yet an easy read. This is not your average, predictable young adult novel but a layered, well executed story that illicit illumination through the heavy darkness felt by depression. Well done!

–S. Jones (Amazon.com Customer Review)

Links: Website | Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon AU