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Saturday, June 29, 2013

*IXEOS Trilogy Blast Featuring Book Two: REBELLION*

Ok, here's the short and sweet of what's going to come up in this post:
  • I'm going to be talking about the IXEOS Trilogy by Jennings Wright, and Jennings herself;
  • I'm going to do my best to feature her second book in the trilogy, REBELLION;
  • I'm going to present you with an absolutely fabulous giveaway (not provided by me, of course--this pack would break my bank)!

Ok, well, let's talk about the first book, Ixeos, first...

The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.

And now, onto the feature of the blast, BOOK TWO: REBELLION!

With rebel leader Darian free at last, the humans and outsiders on Ixeos must find a way to join forces and defeat the Firsts. The problem? All slaves are tracked with GPS, the Firsts are the only ones with power, and roving gangs hate the rebels just as much as they hate the aliens. As Darian and the outsiders from Earth travel the globe through the mysterious tunnels in Paris, they learn that the Firsts are preparing to launch another wave of biological warfare. With a transporter that will allow the aliens to target any city, anywhere on the planet, the rebels know they must stop them at all costs. 

As things get more dangerous on Ixeos, the outsiders find that they’re pushed to their limit. Will they fight for freedom, no matter the price?

Now that you've seen Jennings' work, let's take a moment to get to know her better!

Born and raised in Rockledge, Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of the South and the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of script doctoring, business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit to Uganda.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo, Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She’s written four novels and a screenplay in less than a year, with more ideas on the drawing board. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer, and two children, and travels extensively.

You can find Jennings Wright:

On Twitter @JenningsWright

And you probably saw this coming (even though I didn't mention it), but here are some purchase links ^_^ if you'd like to read book one and/or two of the IXEOS Trilogy

For Book One, Ixeos

For Book Two, Rebellion

**And, last but not least, the Giveaway!**

North Face backpack
Phase 10
GIANT jawbreaker
Paracord bracelet
water bottle
pocket atlas
tiny flashlight
Fruit stripe gum
A deck of cards called “Don’t Die Out There”
The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science: 50 Experiments
To come (not pictured):
IXEOS: Rebellion
IXEOS black long sleeve tee size L

Must be 13+ To Enter
Shipping in the US Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

~~Disneylanders Book Blast with Book Nerd Tours~~

Welcome to the Disneylanders Book Blast!! 

Here's the synopsis of Kate Abbott's work:

In DISNEYLANDERS, 14-year-old Casey Allison, on the brink of starting high school, struggles to find a new identity on her family’s annual summer vacation—but with the help of an outgoing boy she meets while waiting in line, she discovers that Disneyland is the one place where her overprotective parents let her have the freedom to grow up.

Sounds pretty neat, huh?

Annndd, there's a trailer, which you can view HERE

And we want to know more about the author (of course!), so:

Disneylanders is Kate Abbott’s first novel. She received an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside, Palm Desert. Kate lives in Northern California with her husband, son, terrier, and tiny parrots. 

If you'd like to know more, you can find her...

On her Website, on Twitter @Kate_Abbott_, and on Goodreads!

---->You can purchase DISNEYLANDERS here on Amazon!<----

**Onto the giveaway!!**   
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

**Aberrant Blitz and Giveaway**

Be psyched, friends—it’s my first blitz with Xpresso Book Tours! *radiates excitement*

Today I have the honor of presenting Aberrant, a YA dystopian novel by Ruth Silver published on April 28th of this year (paperback).

And, even better, I get to direct you to the grand giveaway…which you can find at the end of this post. Got it memorized? (Sorry, I had to. Carpe diem and all…)

Sounds great, right? Right. Now, let’s find out more about Aberrant!


            In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter, and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and “The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children (as natural means hasn’t existed in generations). Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all abruptly comes to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed: her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world in that she was not born from “The Day of the Chosen.” The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
            With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

Want to know more about the author? Here’s her bio, followed by a brief interview:

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of Aberrant. The Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Dystopian Adventure, Aberrant is the first in a trilogy, released April 17th, 2013. Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA/NA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She also enjoys photography, traveling and of most of all writing.

~Interview time with Ruth Silver~

­­Favorite childhood book?
The Velveteen Rabbit, it's not only a beautiful story but also quite sad. Plus I love rabbits, I used to have one in college (that I snuck into my dorm room).

What is your writing process?
I usually create a very vague outline that gets dramatically changed as the story develops. I also create character pages, so I can keep everyone straight - personalities, physical traits, family lineage.

What do you like to do besides writing?
I love to read, which probably goes without saying. I also enjoy photography, video games, traveling and just hanging out with my friends.

How did you come up with creating Cabal, dystopian society in Aberrant? What inspired you?
The name itself, Cabal, comes from its definition. "A small group of secret plotters," which I felt fitting for a dystopian society. I wanted the name to signify a revolution, because Cabal is not the perfect society that the government wishes and pretends it to be. I wanted Cabal to strive for Utopian but instead of being perfect, it was something else entirely.

The inspiration itself comes from most of us striving towards perfection. I don't think there are many people that want a world without jobs, filled with homeless people that are starving. I think it's easy to see what's going on in society, what's happening now and see a glimpse of the current world in its worst. It made me want to imagine a better world and then I realized how would this perfect world be flawed?

In few words, why should we read your book?
I believe Aberrant will appeal to readers who liked the suspense of The Hunger Games, the thrill-seeking tests of Divergent and the romance and unique abilities of Graceling.

(Me: *Having enjoyed Graceling, The Hunger Games, and Divergent myself, I am excited to enter the world of Aberrant.*)

Check out Aberrant on Goodreads :)…and if you’d like to purchase Aberrant, go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

GIVEAWAY TIME ~! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury

Origin is a YA dark sci-fi novel that features a girl named Pia, the first member of a race of immortal, “perfect” beings.  For the last 16 years of her life, she’s lived in a secret lab hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest with a team of scientists, never once venturing outside the compound—until the night of her 17th birthday, when she discovers a hole in the electric fence and sneaks out into the rainforest. But Pia’s world begins to collapse around her from the moment she crashes into a boy named Eio that same night…because the truth about her immortality--her origin--is being unraveled with each step she takes closer to him, his village, and the legacy of those in the generations before her.  

I’ve found that most people who’ve reviewed Origin are passionate about the novel—they seemingly either ‘absolutely’ love it, or ‘absolutely’ hate it. Because I am just compelled to be different from those around me (I’m only being somewhat facetious about this), I must say that ‘absolutely’ love it…but that there are a few details that I *might* rant about if given the opportunity.  

Semi-facetiousness aside, I found much of Khoury’s work immensely enjoyable; the quality of her prose/dialogue is excellent enough to merit a must-read recommendation on its own, the ingenuity of Pia and Little Cam and Elysia is striking, and the questions raised by the actions of all involved in the dark sci/fi/fantasy thriller (I say thriller because the pacing is so ridiculously well done it’s like reading a thriller) last well beyond the final pages. I highly  recommend Origin for all of these reasons and more.

Read this one line and tell me this isn’t fantastic: “I stare at it as my heart tumbles over itself and my tongue turns into stone,” (87).  

Plus…it’s set in the R-a-i-n-f-o-r-e-s-t people!!!

So, what didn’t I swoon over in Origin?

In a word, Pia. I loved the idea  of Pia. Ok, I still  love the idea of Pia. But I found the specific details about her immortality confusing and even a bit contradictory at times. For example, it confused me when Pia told me that she can’t suffocate, but she was still somewhat afraid of drowning and wasn’t sure if she *could* drown. Maybe this is just a poor reflection on me, but I honestly thought that suffocation and drowning were the same thing…or so close to being the same thing the difference would be moot for Pia.

In another word, the Ai’oans (erm, the villagers). Granted, Origin takes place in a super-fast time frame—like a week—and it would’ve been difficult for Khoury to do a whole lot more fleshing out here, but I think it would’ve been better if the people group was explored  and fleshed out a bit more.

Other than that, Origin is superb. It’s thought-provoking, passionate, and largely unpredictable.
I’d give Origin 5 stars.

If you haven’t read Origin, you should ^_^.

Also, keep an eye out for Vitro, which is a companion novel to Origin that will be out January 14, 2014.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Recommends and Mini-reviews III: novels, blogs, and books on craft


Legend, by Marie Lu

I’d give this novel 2.5-3 stars. Lots of people are raving about this book—it made the NYT Bestseller list—and others in Lu’s Legend series, but I am not one of those people…so take that into consideration as you read this mini-review.

Legend is basically a YA dystopian romance set in the western US (a.k.a. California) in a place called the Republic that tells the story of June, a prodigy in an elite military circle, and Day, the Republic’s most wanted criminal. They meet when June’s older brother Metias is murdered and, you guessed it, Day is the prime suspect. As the story progresses, June and Day discover that the Republic may not be as innocent as it claims to be.

Sounds like a killer story (maybe), right? Well, there were some things that I thought were pretty snazzy. 

Take the format, for instance. Lu told the story from June’s perspective by using black (or very dark blue), and took an atypical route by using gold for Day’s. It was a nice touch. The voices were quite similar, however; they spoke about scenarios and people in much the same way. One of the only differences was punctuation (June tended to use parentheses, Day dashes). The trial that determines June to be a prodigy was also intriguing, and the foreshadowing about certain characters was well done.

Unfortunately, the story was a bit predictable—the Republic is sinister, and obviously up to something dastardly that can be discerned about halfway through the book. Don’t want to spoil, so can’t say much else. I felt the characters were annoying because of their INFATUATION. Insta-love is not, well, LOVE. It ruined the romance for me. 

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

I’d give Divergent 4-4.5 stars. I’ve found that several people feel that Divergent and Legend are of the same mold…and the difference in my rating indicates that I disagree, although I will admit that Divergent and Legend have some over-arching lines in common.

Divergent is a YA dystopian story set in Chicago that features 16-year-old Beatrice making the “one choice” that every 16-year-old must make: which of the 5 factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), or Erudite (the intelligent)—she is going to spend the rest of her life in. 

Once you choose, you cannot go back, and if you choose a different faction than the one you were born into, you must leave your family behind.

I thought that the idea of factions was brilliant, though I’m not sure Roth pulled it off without flaw. I thought that the romantic aspect of Divergent was fairly well done (ok, until about the middle, at which point I was a bit turned off), and the effects of trauma were fairly well displayed.

If this book was a cross-breed of 2 books, I might say it’s a cross between Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games. It reminds me of Ender’s Game because of the initiation process, and it reminds me of The Hunger Games because of Katniss’ character arc and attitude (Beatrice, or Tris, is…erm…temperamental).  


Carol Tice is a freelance writer who makes 6 figures doing what she loves—and she is on a mission to help other writers prosper, too. She has a wealth of practical, compassionate, and gutsy information to offer about practically every area of writing imaginable. Seriously. Check her out on Twitter @TiceWrites

Books on Craft

The Language Construction Kit, by Mark Rosenfelder

I'd give this book 4 stars.

If you are interested in creating a language or language system (basics like naming places on a map, etc.), this book is for you! I was really struggling with creating languages for my novel series…until I found this gem of a book. 

The LCK is packed with information about everything from sound and building a lexicon to grammar and syntax. Some of the book’s examples are confusing at times—I mean, not all of us have studied Mandarin or Swahili, right?—but Rosenfelder does an excellent job of introducing would-be conlangers (language creators) to the world of functional and believable language construction.

You can see a bit of what I'm raving about here