BLOG TOUR: The Family by Marissa Kennerson- Review & Giveaway





The Family by Marissa Kennerson
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Release Date: October 8th 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Cult
Rate: 4 STARS
Synopsis: Just like any average seventeen year old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers are sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity…

All one hundred and eighty three of them.

Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The Family members coexist with the values of complete openness and honesty, and a shared fear of contagious infection in the outside world.

So when Adam, their Father, prophet, and savior, announces that Twig will be his new bride, she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the grounds, Twig finds that the world outside is not necessarily as toxic as she was made to believe. When she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, she begins to question everything about her life within the Family, and the cult to which she belongs.

But when it comes to your Family, you don’t always get a choice.
Books about cults – or alternate living methods – have always fascinated me, simply because of the fact that there are these groups of people that believe different things, in general, from the rest of the world that doesn’t live with them, and the Family was no exception.

So, how do you judge a good ‘alternate living method’ book? After reading Astray and a few others, the top on my list of my criteria is this – is it all believable? And while I couldn’t say yes entirely to The Family, it was still a pretty good book.  

The entire idea based on which the Family lived wasn’t actually rock solid – I mean which self-respecting adult would believe that there was an actual literal disease strain out there that affected you with corruption and other diseases – especially after having lived out there in the ‘infected’ world. I suppose one might consider it morally transmittable, but that isn’t the case. Twig, our protagonist, thinks that all these things that are amoral about the world we live in, can be caught through an actual viral strain like the common cold – and that sort of brought down the illusion of the Family she lived in for me.

 Other than that, Kennerson portrayed the whole aspect of living in a Family quite brilliantly. Since the concept was simply living together in harmony, without influences from the outside world, or technology for that matter, I definitely felt like that. I felt the disgust and horror that Kennerson wanted the reader to feel as Twig got chosen to become the bride to a man who could have been her father – that she even called father. I felt it all as she ventured out there for the first time, and even realized that there was more to living than what she was doing! And Leo! Oh, sweet, caring not-nosey Leo – what a fun book.

Don’t get me wrong, The Family isn’t a perfect book – there were a few more flaws other than just the questionable teachings, like Twig’s mother, but it’s still one I would recommend!  

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Follow the The Family by Marissa Kennerson Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.





Marissa Kennerson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her master’s degree in psychology and art therapy, she worked for Wired and Glamour. She lives in California with her family. The Family is her first novel (Full Fathom Five Digital) and will be coming out October 2014.













REVIEW: Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Jessie Rosen
Publisher: Full Fathom Five
Publication Date: November 11th 2015
Part of A Series?: Yes 
I Got A Copy Through: The Publisher via Netgalley 

Blurb Description: From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.

It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn't just anyone—it's Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.

Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.

But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.

What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all?

After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.

**MY REVIEW**

Being the new girl is bad enough. But for Laura Rivers, being the new girl is the least of her problems. 

Almost all of Englewood High sees just one thing when they look at their newest California girl- the face of the their saddest story. The face of Sarah Castro- Tanner, the only girl in this small sleepy town who committed suicide. Terrible, right? Especially for the new girl. And things only get harder when she falls for Englewood's golden boy and star quarterback- Charlie Sanders.

But the girl with the dead girls face is in for a few surprises- for Englewood's star boy has a closet full of dark, incriminating secrets, and a few revolving around the girl who's face she shares...

I thought Dead Ringer had an absolutely brilliant story line- but it didn't live up to what I thought it would be. The story itself was great, but the writing was a bit stiff and I could see the inexperience of the author. The dialogue was awkward, and the descriptions mediocre. The chemistry was nonexistent. And the worst part? All the twists came at the most inopportune moments- they could have had such a great impact, because as I said the idea of the story was gorgeous, but the actual execution could have been so much better!

On the whole, there's not much more I can say- reviewing Dead Ringer makes me feel like I have to be as blunt as I can be! I am a little sad, because that story could have been so much more, and also, it could have been finished in just one book- but then again, that's up to the author!

All in all, I just wish it was a better executed story!

BOOK BLITZ: The Truth Spell (Werewolf High #1) by Anita Oh


The Truth Spell (Werewolf High #1) by Anita Oh
Release Date: November 2015
Summary from Goodreads: As soon as I stepped onto the grounds of Amaris High, I knew I'd made a big mistake. I could never fit in at such a snobbish school – I was more IT girl than "it girl". But then I saw him.

Sam Spencer. My childhood best friend. But it couldn't be. Sam Spencer had died three years ago, on the night that changed everything. I need to know what happened, why he's suddenly not dead and is hanging out with a bunch of rich kids.

When the school is hit by a truth spell, it seems like the perfect chance to find out what Sam and his creepy new friends are hiding, but the weirder things get, the less I'm sure I want to know. Even for Sam, even for the free food, Amaris High might be more trouble than it's worth.




Buy Links: Amazon


About the Author

After several years in the warm, comforting cocoon of fandom, Anita has decided to see what's up with this real world she's heard about.  Judgment is reserved until more information can be gathered.

Anita likes dogs, naps, food, and Japanese idol group Arashi.  Everything else can be improved when combined with these four things.

Anita lives with a grumpy beagle who bosses her around terribly, and won't even snuggle.

Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:

REVIEW: Drowning is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley

Title: Drowning is Inevitable
Author: Shalanda Stanley
Publisher: Random House Children's
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
Part of A Series?: No, Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: The Publisher via NetGalley

Blurb Description: Olivia has spent her whole life struggling to escape her dead mother’s shadow. But when her father can’t even look at her because Olivia reminds him of her mother, and her grandmother mistakenly calls her “Lillian,”  shaking a reputation she didn’t ask for is next to impossible. Olivia is used to leaning on her best friend, Jamie; her handsome but hot-tempered boyfriend, Max; and their wild-child friend, Maggie, for the reality check that her small Louisiana town can’t provide. But when a terrible fight between Jamie and his father turns deadly, all Olivia can think to do is grab her friends and run. 

In a flash, Olivia, Jamie, Max, and Maggie become fugitives on the back roads of Louisiana. They’re headed to New Orleans, where they hope to find a solution to an unfixable problem. But with their faces displayed on all the news stations, their journey becomes a harrowing game of hide-and-seek from the police—and so-called allies, who just might be the real enemy.

Shalanda Stanley’s breathtaking debut novel explores the deep ties between legacy, loyalty, and love, even as it asks the question: How far would you go to save a friend?

**MY REVIEW**

“She was the ghost I was always looking for.”

I still remember the day I flipped Drowning is Inevitable open…

I was sitting in the car, and my parents and I were returning from somewhere a solid hour away, and the music playing on the radio was a little too mellow for my taste and so, to deal with the boredom, I switched on my Kindle app, and the cover of Drowning is Inevitable caught my attention.

Now now, before I go any further, I understand that it is morally (for a literature lover) to judge a book by its cover, but come on – everybody does it. My own little flaw. Well, suffice to say, the cover is gorgeous - and so is that title!

But, that’s not the point. The point was that within the first minute of properly starting the book (I spent two whole ones staring at that ARC sticker on the cover, thinking for the millionth time how cool it was that I get to read Advanced Copies!) I was HOOKED. There’s just something about powerful openings that get to me – and Drowning is Inevitable definitely had that.

I’m not going to go into the actual story line of the book- because who wants to ruin all of that fun of reading something with no spoilers – but I will tell you what I loved about the book, and why I think you should definitely read it:

First of all, THIS:

“I’m sorry. I wanted to jump off a cliff, and I didn’t want to do it with anyone but you.” (EEEK)

And getting more serious now- I absolutely ADORED how Shalanda Stanley created these characters that have spent their entire lives twirled around each other, and yet somehow, are only now truly realising it – when they’re willing to put all they’ve worked for all these years at risk, just for each other. I LOVED how there was this situation that occurs so frequently and yet so covered up in the world we live in today – one that always disgusts me – but for the first time, the abuse victim wasn’t all alone, and he had this support system, that was willing to go to ends of the earth with him. I loved Jamie and Olivia – and that for the first time ever, the best friend relationship was portrayed in this unquestionable, steadfast manner that left no room for interpretation or anybody else to get in the way off!


All in all, even though the paragraph above that I spent ranting probably makes no sense, I can’t recommend Drowning is Inevitable more!

BOOK BLITZ: The Wynning Way by Maisha S. Wynn + GIVEAWAY

The Wynning Way by Maisha S. Wynn
Release Day Celebration November 18, 2015



THE WYNNING WAY: A GUIDE TO CREATING SUCCESS YOUR WAY
Author: Maisha S. Wynn

Release Date: November 18th, 2015
Publisher: 
Live To Wynn Publishing
Genre: Non-Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The Wynning Way: A Guide to Creating Success Your Way is the ultimate go-to guide for personal and professional development! 

This powerful book will show you how to develop your own winning lifestyle through exercises that inspire self-reflection and strategies for creating the mindset of a true winner. Throughout the book, Wynn shares her personal journey from tragedy to triumph and offers inspirational nuggets on the power of prayer, the effect of positive thinking plus affirmations to assist you in living a more abundant life!

Get ready to transform your existence because your time for "WYNNING" is now!

BOOK LINKS
Live To Wynn website purchase page - http://www.livetowynn.com/about-the-book-1.html

Book promo to visually get a feel for the book - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVAhU-Z0K2Y&feature=youtu.be

PRAISE FOR THE WYNNING WAY

“This insightful book shares the author's infectious enthusiasm to surrender to God's will and accept themselves as they are and develop a life the way they have imagined. Reading this book will definitely help readers bring positive energy into their lives and make the required changes they are looking for to achieve peaceful and happy lives.”
-MAMTA MADHAVAN, BOOK REVIEWER, READERS’ FAVORITE

“It is no coincidence that Maisha's last name is Wynn. Not only is she winning, she is gracious enough to share her strategies to help others on their journey. Her book is Touching, Timely, and REAL! What I love most about the book is her ability to connect with the reader by holding them accountable for their own existence in this world.” 
-ANITA KOPACZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HEART & SOUL MAGAZINE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lifestyle specialist, Maisha Wynn, gives credence to the mantra "a changed mind is a made-up mind." She heads up Live To Wynn, a company that provides aspirational and practical guidance for women and men who desire to live their lives more abundantly. As a former size 20 who now maintains a size 4 through exercise and healthy eating, Wynn knows firsthand how difficult and rewarding it can be to transform your life. She speaks around the nation and provides uplifting editorial content to various media outlets. For more information about Wynn, visit www.livetowynn.com
Website: www.livetowynn.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/LiveToWynn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LiveToWynn1
Instagram: https://instagram.com/livetowynn/
Who is Maisha Wynn?
https://www.facebook.com/LiveToWynn
Live To Wynn Lifestyle Series:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GwPNTC2v6I


GIVEAWAY
One Winner will get a $10.00 American Express (AMEX) Gift Card
Open Internationally where Amex gift cards can be used| Must be 13+ To Enter
Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are ineligible. See Terms & Conditions for more info


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REVIEW: Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Six Of Crows, #1)

Title: Six Of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Indigo Publishing
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Part of A Series?: Yes - First in a trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: ARC- Guardian Children's Books

Blurb Description: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first

**MY REVIEW**

Do you know what it feels like to go back into a fictional world, and be able to call it home- to feel like you’ve finally found a part of you didn’t even know was missing? Well, that is exactly what Six Of Crows is to me. A return to the world of Alina and Mal and Nikolai and The Fold and The Darkling and everybody else that I had no idea I missed that much…

I’d heard about Leigh’s new book, of course, but through all my research (I did that extensively, believe me) there was a lot of anonymity about the book, leaving me little to no storyline expectations from the book- except for the hope of a great new story and the hesitation to get into a new trilogy, for fear of emotional strain. And will the billions of other books releasing this fall, this wasn’t exactly on the top of my to-buy pile- but now, I see how COMPLETELY wrong I was.

If you’re considering this book, let me tell you- it is BRILLIANT, Leigh Bardugo is a genius, and you will be transported in a matter of a few sentences, back to the world of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, except from a completely different point of view. In Six of Crows, the Ravkan Civil War is over, and the Grisha (yes, the GRISHA!) are still reeling from it, but we see it all not from the royalty’s perspective, but from thieves and low-lives and we see the whole world in a completely different perspective.

Kaz Brekker is a criminal prodigy. Kaz Brekker is calculating, cold and ruthless. Kaz Brekker has been offered all the money he could ever hope for, in exchange for a prisoner. Simple, right? The prisoner is a notorious doctor who has created a drug that in the wrong hands, could be deadly. So what, isn’t this normal? Except this drug- Jurda Parem- is designed especially for Grisha. And it makes them unstoppable. It can make Healers convince bend rooms full of people to their will. It can make Heartrenders stop unlimited hearts at whatever distance. If it falls into the wrong hands, the drug can mean the end of Grisha freedom as we know it.

To free the scientist, and ultimately hand him over to the merchant lords of Ketterdam (you know, where Alina and Mal ran off to in the end of Shadow and Bone) Kaz Brekker needs a team- a team as deadly, as cunning and as ruthless as he is. He needs a team of criminals that have nothing to lost and everything to gain, to break into the most impenetrable fortress known to their world. If captured, death will be a blessing to them. If they succeed, they earn their freedom- and money, of course!

I absolutely LOVED Six of Crows. Reading it was like getting sucked into this whirlpool of emotions and that feeling of falling hopelessly in love with a whole new host of characters, however unredeemable they might be- and loving every second of it! It was a perfect novel- as perfect as young adult gets- with Leigh Bargudo producing her best work to date.


If you’re hesitant- like me- or simply haven’t hear of this book- I can only say READ IT! It will blow your mind!   

BLOG TOUR: Of Delicate Pieces by A. Lynden Rolland- Guest Post + Giveaway

 Of Delicate Pieces (Of Breakable Things #2)
Author: A. Lynden Rolland
Publication Date:  November 10, 2015
Publisher:  Month9books

Blurb Description: Settling into her second year of death, Alex is ready to explore her limitless mind in an afterworld that changes each day, but she still isn’t resting in peace.
The ‘gifted’ are humans who see spirits and have the same extraordinary mental powers, though they aren’t considered equals. Centuries ago, Alex’s family led the movement to keep the living and dead separated, but the gifted believe Alex is a reincarnation of their slain civil leader. When they begin to break down the barriers that protect the city, the afterworld becomes dangerous and vulnerable to exposure. The living and dead both want to use Alex for their own gain, but what they don’t realize is that neither side will want her when they find out who she really is.
In the afterworld, nothing stays buried for long.


OF DELICATE PIECES is the follow-up to A. Lynden Rolland's OF BREAKABLE THINGS.


ABOUT A. LYNDEN ROLLAND:

A. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in a picturesque town obsessed with boats and blue crabs. She has always been intrigued by the dramatic and the broken, compiling her eccentric tales of tragic characters in a weathered notebook she began to carry in grade school. She is a sports fanatic, a coffee addict, and a lover of Sauvignon Blanc and thunderstorms. When she isn’t hunched behind a laptop at her local bookstore, she can be found chasing her two vivacious children. She resides in Maryland with her husband and young sons.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

 **GIVEAWAY** 
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                                        **GUEST POST**
Advice to aspiring writers

1.       My number one piece of advice is to take every opportunity you can to learn. About writing. About outlining. About world building. About characterization. Every writer (aspiring, recreational, or published) can teach you something you didn’t know. I’ve learned so much from meeting other writers during conventions, events, and signings, but I feel like I learn just as much when I go into classrooms and talk to students.

2.       Grow thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your writing (notice I said writing and not book.) We are all different. We like different things and different sorts of stories, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but rejection still stings. Use it as constructive criticism if the reader has something useful to say. Don’t dwell on it.

3.       Do some writing work every day. You don’t necessary have to write several chapters to have a successful ‘work’ day. Some of my favorite days are when I’m sitting with a notebook and brainstorming. I might write a few scenes by hand while taking the notes but mainly I’m just generating ideas.


4.       Writer’s block is an opportunity to work on other things within the same story. Make a play list. Go to Pinterest and find pictures that go along with your story. Usually if I’m stuck while writing a scene, I can go find songs and pictures that depict the mood or tone of the scene and I can write myself out of the block. If not, spend some time with your characters. Make webs. Print headshots. Write scenes from other characters’ perspectives.

5.       Have fun. If you aren’t having fun while writing the story, people aren’t going to enjoy reading it. You should be writing because it makes you happy. I feel like I’ve said this to so many writer friends because there are endless ups and downs during publishing. You should write because it’s a part of you, because you have to write to be you. If I had a billion dollars, I would still write. That’s how it should be. I’ve written novels that didn’t sell because they ‘weren’t marketable’ but I don’t regret writing them even if no one else ever gets to read them.



Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog!! Let me know if you need anything else!! – Amy J 

BLITZ: Mystique by Shari Arnold + GIVEAWAY

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I'm super excited to be sharing MYSTIQUE by Shari Arnold with you on it's release day! Celebrate with us by checking out the book about the town where people go to die…and be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a signed copy of your very own + a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card!
About The Book
MYSTIQUEAuthor: Shari Arnold
Release Date: Novemeber 17th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. But staying dead is another thing entirely. When he wakes up at his own funeral, the town of Mystique calls it a miracle, until it happens again. Something is bringing the residents of Mystique back to life, but what? Presley Caine finds herself caught up in the mystery when Bauer asks her to visit him. Presley can’t figure out why the most popular guy in school is so drawn to her. And when Bauer is kidnapped soon after, she looks to Bauer’s brooding best friend Sam, whose dad works for the powerful Mystique military base, for answers. In her quest to discover the truth, Presley’s relationship with Sam deepens, her feelings for Bauer are tested, and it becomes clear that her own mysterious past is somehow connected to these strange events. But is she strong enough to handle the truth when it is finally revealed?
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About The Author
Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

 
 
Giveaway
One winner will get a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card + a Signed Copy of MYSTIQUE
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only
Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are not eligible to participate. Please see Terms & Conditions for more info.





BLITZ: Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker + GIVEAWAY

GChasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker

I'm THRILLED to be participating in Courtney King Walker's CHASING MIDNIGHT book blitz! Check out the book below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway.
Chasing Midnight by Courtney King WalkerChasing Midnight
by Courtney King Walker
Publication Date: January 12, 2015
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing


WISH LIST
  1. The biggest, fanciest house on Sea View Drive.
  2. Nike Flyknits.
  3. A ski-jump nose.
  4. My own car. A new BMW.
  5. Be a total pro at the piano.
  6. James Odera to like me. Be James Odera’s girlfriend.
  7. Get Spencer’s lungs fixed.
Mackenzie Love dreams of being a “lucky one”—someone who has the perfect life. Someone who doesn’t have to worry about money, a sick brother, or her high school status. So when a mysterious visitor offers to make all her wishes come true, Mackenzie jumps at the chance. But the royal lifestyle may cost more than Mackenzie is willing to pay in this modern twist on the classic Cinderella story.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker
“Be careful what you wish for. . . . A modern Cinderella story that will charm its way into your heart and make you second-guess the grass you think is greener.”
— Jennifer Murgia, author of Forest of Whispers
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On Sale!

Looking for a romantic read? Grab Courtney King Walker's debut young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, for just 0.99 cents! It's a YA ghost story, where your first embrace could be your last…
Grab your copy for just 0.99 cents on Amazon, today!

About the Author


Courtney King Walker
Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. She is the author of the young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, and middle grade novel MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN. Her next YA novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2015 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.

Giveaway

Winner will receive a signed physical copy of CHASING MIDNIGHT and $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
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