Blog Tour: The Supervillain and Me

The Supervillain and Me
Danielle Banas
(Morriston Superheroes #1)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 10th 2018
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Superheroes, Young Adult

As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well… super.

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees―they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.

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Author Bio:

Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters instead of paying attention in class, Danielle joined the storytelling platform Wattpad, where her work has received millions of views online. When she isn’t writing, she can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Walt Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is her debut novel.

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @daniellebanas

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What inspired you to write The Supervillian and Me?

My deep, passionate, (sometimes embarrassing) love for Spider-Man definitely had a lot to do with it. The Spider-Man films are what got me hooked on superheroes, and then when I was in college I came up with my initial idea for the book. The first little piece that I thought of was just a conversation between a brother and a sister where she was making fun of his dorky spandex super suit while they were sitting at their kitchen table. I loved how goofy but also how normal it was, and I think I kept it in the back of my head for about a year before I finally did anything with it. My only goal at the time was just to write the story that I desperately wanted to read. After I fleshed out the characters and the plot, I wrote the first draft in a little under six months. That was about four years ago. Oh and fun fact: My original super suit kitchen table conversation actually ended up making it into the final draft of the book, so that makes me pretty excited.

 

How do you decide on character names?

When I was trying to figure out superhero names, I literally Googled “superhero name generator.” Most of the names it spits out are absolutely awful, but they’re a good jumping-off point. I have one character whose name is intentionally bad, but I’m confident that the others are much better and more normal – or at least as normal as superheroes can be. As for my characters’ “regular” names, I check out baby name websites and look for things that match each character’s personality. If I come across something that I like enough to use as name for a future child of mine, then I’ll put it on the short list for a character. My characters are basically my book children anyway.

 

What are you planning on writing next?

I’m actually in the midst of figuring that out at the moment. Whatever it is, I can guarantee it will have quirky characters and a healthy dose of sarcasm. My favorite part of writing is making people laugh, so I always try to pack as much humor into my stories as I can!

 

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Three things:

  1. Read a lot! Obviously you want to write a lot too, but reading is just as important. Whenever I’m in a bit of a writing slump, I turn to reading to help me feel inspired again.
  2. Don’t be afraid to suck. Seriously. If you’re stumbling through a first draft and you feel like you’re just going through the motions, that’s totally fine. Just get the words on paper. You can always make them better later.
  3. Don’t worry about writing things that are considered “trendy” or things that you think might be trendy in the future. Write what inspires you and write what you love. I promise there are people out there who will love it as much as you do.

 

What books/authors inspired you?

Two words: Harry. Potter. Those are the books that made me fall in love with reading, which eventually led to me falling in love with writing. When I was in elementary school, I would spend every summer vacation reading and rereading Harry Potter. I’ve read each one ten times because I was determined not to read one of them more than the others. I still remember my mom yelling at me because I wouldn’t go outside and play; I’d just sit on the couch with a Harry Potter book.

 

Did you always want to be an author?

No, I always wanted to be an actress. I still sometimes do, to be honest. I’m that person that will reenact entire scenes from movies repeatedly, even though I can tell people are getting sick of me. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I decided I wanted to be an author. I took a creative writing class for an elective and then I just couldn’t stop.

 

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

I’m weird because I can’t concentrate if I write with music on. I’ll just start singing along and absolutely no writing will get done, so I’ll go back afterward and make a playlist. The playlist for The Supervillain and Me has the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Queen, half of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, and a bunch of Disney songs. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story is my personal favorite.

 

Current favorite TV show?

Probably Riverdale, followed by Property Brothers and The Flash. I’ll never say no to a Seinfeld rerun either.

 

What’s your Hogwarts house?

Oh gosh. Every quiz I take tells me something different – and yes, I’ve taken a lot of quizzes. If I could choose, I’d want to be in Gryffindor, but really I think I’m more of a Hufflepuff.

 

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

At the moment, I’m really gravitating toward rom-coms and geeky stories. I just read Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley and I’m obsessed! I read the first draft of it over three years ago, and I loved it then and I love it even more now that it’s finally been published. I also finished Geekerella by Ashley Poston recently, and I loved that one as well. I mean, it has sci-fi, fandoms, and cons – like sign me the heck up!

 

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Blog Tour: The Boyfriend Bracket

The Boyfriend Bracket
Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!

Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

The Boyfriend Bracket puts a new spin on a classic genre in a fun, unforgettable way.

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Author Bio:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines. To learn more about Kate, please visit her website at http://www.kateevangelista.com or follow her on Twitter @KateEvangelista

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What inspired you to write The Boyfriend Bracket?

My editor and I were talking story ideas over the phone for my next book. When my editor suggested the brother’s best friend trope, it was like lightning hit me. The story formed in my head right away. That night I couldn’t wait to write the story that would eventually become The Boyfriend Bracket.

How do you decide on character names?

Early on in my writing career, character names needed to have meanings related to the character and the story. As I matured, I learned to wait until the character introduces himself or herself. Once I know their names, I usually start to know what their story is and how they fit into the world I’m building.

What are you planning on writing next?

I already have an idea for what the next book will be and am doing my research, but I’m keeping what it is to myself for now. I’ve also come to learn not to talk to much about what I’m working on next because the initial draft is never what the final story will be.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn to love editing more than the writing. Editing is the lifeblood of a novel. Just think about the book you are currently reading and how many drafts it took for the final product to reach your hands. The editing process is usually the longest part of the process, which is why learning how to love it will help keep up your motivation when you no longer what anything to do with the story.

What books/authors inspired you?

Lisa Kleypas. Reading her work always inspires me to write. That’s why every book has an element of romance. My characters are falling in love no matter what. I can’t help myself. I love love and Kleypas delivers lots of it. She’s also awesome at creating interesting characters.

Did you always want to be an author?

No. I never thought about writing as a career. I was supposed to be a doctor. Then I because a teacher. Then an essay consultant. Only when I realized that writing was always there despite whatever job I was in. I was always happiest when writing. It took me a few years, but when I finally committed, I never looked back.

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

Interesting fact, for this one, I didn’t listen to anything. I actually wrote The Boyfriend Bracket at night, when all was quiet. I turned down the lights and in the cocoon of darkness and silence the words flowed.

Current favorite tv show?

RuPaul’s Drag Race. I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this awesome show? I’m currently binging season 7. The queens get prettier and cattier with each new season. I totally recommend this show. I’ll even confess that I have a crush on RuPaul when he’s in drag. So gorgeous.

What’s your hogwarts house?

Gryffindor. Is it wrong that I want to be in another house? Ravenclaws are so interesting. Hufflepuffs are fun to hang out with. And Slytherins are darkly funny. Gryffindors are great too, but my heart is in another house.   

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

I’m currently reading Let’s Talk About Love by my Swoon sister Clair Kann. It’s definitely a recommend for me. I want to be friends with Alice and Takumi. Hanging out with them for an afternoon would be so fun. I suggest picking up this book when you grab a copy of The Boyfriend Bracket.

Book Blitz: Superhero High

Superhero High
T.H. Hernandez
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 5th 2018
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=5c9f152ab4&view=fimg&th=164391b5525e3ff0&attid=0.7&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ9RL8uPeWLs4DPl4f6a4cS1hD5GKAmjlIuTjOMLFDh-6aKUqH0CrL6GPcq7oIO6luHwHm8ywJSBMleZvmlkRhGW9FnZ9EAbYim-SxURX-aF847DQmH2lV4nV_o&ats=1529973571718&rm=164391b5525e3ff0&zw&sz=w4248-h2418

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EXCERPT:

Smith slides in beside me and drapes his arm around me, kissing the side of my head.

Ryan glances over his shoulder before backing up. “You guys are coming tonight, right?”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Smith answers for both of us.

The drive to my house is less than five minutes. On the way Smith leans in and whispers in my ear, “Anyone going to be home?”

I shake my head then wonder if I should have lied. Smith’s been hinting more frequently that he wants to have sex. We’ve been dating for three months, but unlike Smith, I’m not ready. Call me old-fashioned, but I want my first time to be special. I like Smith, he’s cute, popular, and funny, but I’m not in love with him. Plus, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t keep secrets from the person you share the most intimate part of yourself with, and I’m keeping a huge secret from Smith.

We pull up in front of my house, and Smith and I hop out, grabbing our stuff from the back.

“I’ll call you later,” Ronny yells as Ryan roars off.

I wave as they turn the corner and disappear, nerves twisting in my belly as Smith takes my hand. I glance at him, my gaze drawn to his crystal blue eyes beneath messy-wild blond hair. Smith moved here last summer and rapidly became one of the most popular guys in our class. He’s always tan and his body is cut, a result of time spent in the pool or surfing in his native Florida. Every single girl in our school, and possibly even a few with boyfriends, would be thrilled to have my problem. I need to figure this out soon before he decides he’s tired of waiting.

Smith guides me up the walkway toward the porch, and I wonder how far I can let him go this time before I put on the brakes.

Our front door opens and two men dressed in black suits, white button-ups, black ties, and sunglasses exit our house. The taller of the two seems to size me up behind his dark lenses before he nods and passes. I turn and watch them get into a black Escalade parked across the street.

My brother, Noah, cruises up and parks his vintage blue Mustang convertible in the driveway. He climbs out, his eyes glued to the SUV as it pulls away from the curb.

Smith snorts. “What are the Blues Brothers doing here?”

I don’t share his humor and instead turn toward my brother, eyebrows raised in silent question.

Noah shakes his head, and inside my own head, I hear, “I don’t know, they were blocking me.”

A chill runs through me starting in the pit of my stomach. It’s not unusual to get a visit from the Men in Black, but my parents should be at work, and Noah should still be at his school for another couple of hours. Something is wrong.

Don’t panic, AR,” Noah says in my head.

I turn to Smith, “Um, I’ll call you later, okay? Pick me up at eight?”

He leans in and kisses my cheek. “Sure. Wear something sexy.” He smiles and waggles his eyebrows.

Douchebag,” Noah says only to me before heading inside.

 

Author Bio:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

You can find her online at http://thhernandez.com

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Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez Playlist

  • Luck by American Authors
  • Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse
  • Catch Me Now I’m Falling by The Kinks
  • Something Just Like This by Chainsmokers and ColdPlay
  • Hate Me by Blue October
  • So Alive by the Goo Goo Dolls
  • Waiting for Superman by Daughtry
  • Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
  • The Underdog by Spoon
  • Superhero by The Script
  • Hey Girl by Ingram Hill
  • Just Breathe by Eddie Vedder
  • Hero by Chad Kroeger

Excerpts

Excerpt #1

Smith slides in beside me and drapes his arm around me, kissing the side of my head.

Ryan glances over his shoulder before backing up. “You guys are coming tonight, right?”

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Smith answers for both of us.

The drive to my house is less than five minutes. On the way Smith leans in and whispers in my ear, “Anyone going to be home?”

I shake my head then wonder if I should have lied. Smith’s been hinting more frequently that he wants to have sex. We’ve been dating for three months, but unlike Smith, I’m not ready. Call me old-fashioned, but I want my first time to be special. I like Smith, he’s cute, popular, and funny, but I’m not in love with him. Plus, I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t keep secrets from the person you share the most intimate part of yourself with, and I’m keeping a huge secret from Smith.

We pull up in front of my house, and Smith and I hop out, grabbing our stuff from the back.

“I’ll call you later,” Ronny yells as Ryan roars off.

I wave as they turn the corner and disappear, nerves twisting in my belly as Smith takes my hand. I glance at him, my gaze drawn to his crystal blue eyes beneath messy-wild blond hair. Smith moved here last summer and rapidly became one of the most popular guys in our class. He’s always tan and his body is cut, a result of time spent in the pool or surfing in his native Florida. Every single girl in our school, and possibly even a few with boyfriends, would be thrilled to have my problem. I need to figure this out soon before he decides he’s tired of waiting.

Smith guides me up the walkway toward the porch, and I wonder how far I can let him go this time before I put on the brakes.

Our front door opens and two men dressed in black suits, white button-ups, black ties, and sunglasses exit our house. The taller of the two seems to size me up behind his dark lenses before he nods and passes. I turn and watch them get into a black Escalade parked across the street.

My brother, Noah, cruises up and parks his vintage blue Mustang convertible in the driveway. He climbs out, his eyes glued to the SUV as it pulls away from the curb.

Smith snorts. “What are the Blues Brothers doing here?”

I don’t share his humor and instead turn toward my brother, eyebrows raised in silent question.

Noah shakes his head, and inside my own head, I hear, “I don’t know, they were blocking me.”

A chill runs through me starting in the pit of my stomach. It’s not unusual to get a visit from the Men in Black, but my parents should be at work, and Noah should still be at his school for another couple of hours. Something is wrong.

“Don’t panic, AR,” Noah says in my head.

I turn to Smith, “Um, I’ll call you later, okay? Pick me up at eight?”

He leans in and kisses my cheek. “Sure. Wear something sexy.” He smiles and waggles his eyebrows.

“Douchebag,” Noah says only to me before heading inside.

Excerpt #2

“No running!” I yell at the boy who’s on his latest attempt to make cannonball history.

He slows his approach slightly before picking up speed again just before launching himself into the pool with a spectacular spray. Two girls in the splash zone scream and put their hands up to fend off the water, which is pointless considering they’re already drenched.

The kid pops up, shaking his head, water flying off the tips of his hair, further dousing the girls.

I blow my whistle and point at him, crooking my finger to let him know we need to talk.

He heads over to my chair and looks up at me with a sheepish grin that no doubt drives tween girls to fits of giggles. Not going to work on me.

“You need to sit out for ten minutes.”

“What? No!”

“Yes. I told you three times not to run.”

“But I can’t slip and fall,” he whines. “If I start to lose traction, I can levitate myself before I eat pavement.”

I roll my eyes. The Red Cross did not prepare me for lifeguarding superheroes. “There are other kids around here without that ability. If you run, they’ll think they can, too.”

He crosses his arms and mumbles a “fine” before slinking off and plunking himself down on one of the chairs.

“You should wear red more often,” says a low, sexy voice. I twist around and stare down into a pair of blue-green eyes. He’s grinning up at me, making him somehow even more attractive. “It’s definitely your color.”

Don’t smile, don’t smile, don’t smile. Oh hell, I’m smiling. “Your girlfriend doesn’t like you talking to me, you know.”

He leans his shoulder against the frame of my chair. “Here’s a little secret not too many people know—I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“I’m pretty sure the blonde I saw you with last week thinks you do.”

His grin only broadens. “She used to be my girlfriend, but she’s not anymore.”

“Interesting,” I say, because I don’t know what else to say. Is he being honest with me? It’s hard to tell. I study his face, trying to figure out if he’s only saying what he thinks I want to hear. I mean, she might’ve been a bitch to me, but she’s gorgeous. And why wouldn’t she be staking her claim on him? If he was my boyfriend, I’d be doing the same thing.

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”

“What?” I forgot what the hell we were talking about.

“Why is that interesting?”

Oh shit. “Umm . . . I . . . uh, it was just something to say. It’s not interesting, or boring, it’s nothing.” I shrug in a way that I hope conveys how completely uninterested I am.

“Hey, Ren, quit wasting time with that zero and get over here,” says the dark-haired muscular boy that was with him the other day.

I glare at the boy, unsure how he knows who I am and whether or not I’m enhanced. A fight in the pool catches my attention and I blow my whistle, yelling at the group of boys to knock it off. When I turn back, Ren has joined his sister and the boy, although Lexie isn’t with them. Perhaps he was telling the truth.

Not that it matters anymore. Now that I’ve been outed as a zero, Ren Gonzalez won’t be wasting any more of his time on me.

Excerpt #3

Ren hands me the syllabus and we go through them together, with me highlighting some he should read and letting him choose some others. When I’m done, I hand the paper back to him and catch him staring at me, or more accurately, staring at my mouth.

Oh my God, is he . . .? No, he wouldn’t. My throat goes dry and I swallow hard. I should get up, but the thought of Ren’s lips pressed to mine keeps me from moving. My breathing escalates to the point that he must notice, and my hands curl and relax at my sides.

His gaze lifts to mine, and the vulnerability in his eyes steals my breath. I’ve never seen this side of him. Not really. He’s been unsure, or nervous, but not this. Ren searches my face for something, and I’m pretty sure all he’s going to see is pure fear. Because if I kiss this boy, nothing between us will be the same.

My tongue darts out and moistens my lips before I can acknowledge that probably wasn’t the best idea. His pupils dilate before his eyelids drift closed. He leans closer, tilting his head.

Holy crap, this is happening, and I’m not doing anything to stop it. Which means I must want this. My breath catches as my eyes close, and I wait for the soft brush of his lips. The mattress dips next to me, and the heat from his body’s proximity radiates to my arm and chest.

His warm breath, minty and clean, dances close to my lips. I part mine slightly as he gets closer, waiting, wondering for a brief second if he’s about to tell me this is all a big joke or make fun of me. The scent of sandalwood and soap fills my senses, and rough whiskers rasp against my chin. I take in a sharp breath and . . .

“Ren, I need—oh, oh, I’m so sorry. Mom said you were studying, and . . .”

Ren pulls back from me so fast, he creates a breeze that ruffles my hair. When I open my eyes, he’s standing beside the bed, his hand on top of his head. “Hey, M, what’s up?”

Mattea’s eyes dart between us. She’s clearly agitated about something, whether from what she walked in on or something else isn’t apparent. “It’s Ian. He’s missing.”

Okay, something else. Good.

“What do you mean he’s missing?” Ren asks.

“I mean he was supposed to meet me an hour ago, but he never showed. No text, no call, nothing. That’s never happened. I called his mom and she hasn’t heard from him, either. She says he’s not at home and his phone’s offline.”

Ren glances at me, then back to his sister. “I’m sure it’s nothing, Mattea. His battery’s probably dead.”

“He’s never disappeared like this without calling. Something’s wrong. I know it.”

“Okay, I get it. What do you want me to do?”

I stand and grab my bag off the floor. “I should go.”

“Wait . . .” Ren’s lips part, as if he’s going to say something more, but he doesn’t.

“I’ll see you on Thursday.” Before I can say or do something stupid, I rush from the room. “Bye, Mrs. Gonzalez,” I call as I fly out the front door, not waiting for her response.

A Prom to Remember Blog Tour – Interview with Sandy Hall

A Prom to Remember
Sandy Hall
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it. In this heart-warming novel, Swoon Reads star, Sandy Hall, explores a classic high school celebration, capturing every relatable and hilarious teen milestone along the way.

Cora: Dating Perfect Boyfriend Jamie. Has NO IDEA how to break up with him…

Paisley: Anti-prom. Somehow nominated her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king…

Henry: Hates social situations. Invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. SEND HELP!

Otis: Half of one of the cutest couples in his class. Not quite ready for a post-prom hotel room…

Lizzie: Shy. Excited to go to prom. With a boy. Whose name she doesn’t know.

Cameron: Loner. Over high school. Just wants to meet the mysterious girl who’s been leaving him notes…

Jacinta: Unnamed Nerd Girl #3. Determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom…

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, A Prom to Remember, from Sandy Hall (author of A Little Something Different), is a funny and cinematic look at the biggest dance of every high schooler’s life.

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Author Bio:

I’m a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I’m not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.

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Interview with Sandy Hall

What inspired you to write A Prom to Remember?

My editor actually gave me the idea to write a book that was like Love Actually plus the Prom. I thought it was a great idea, so I ran with it!

Which of your books was the hardest/easiest to write?

Everyone always says the second book is the hardest to write and they’re not wrong. Signs Point to Yes was SUCH a struggle. I just couldn’t get it right, no matter how many drafts we went through. My first book, A Little Something Different, was definitely the easiest since there were no expectations for it and back then I was just writing for myself. 

Which of your characters is most like you?

I like to think there’s a little bit of me, or at least my experiences, in every character, but sometimes bigger stuff trickles in. For example, in PROM, Henry and Paisley are best friends. As I was reading it over for the millionth time, I realized that I had based their banter on the relationship I have with my friend Ryan. While neither of us is like Paisley or Henry, there’s definitely a vibe to the way they talk to each other that I lifted directly from my real life friendship. 

How do you decide on character names?

I use nameberry.com pretty much exclusively. Rather than just alphabetical lists of names, it has a variety of lists of names grouped together like “Vintage names” or “Flower names” or “No nickname names.” It really helps when I know the vibe of the name I want but can’t come up with the right one. 

What are you planning on writing next?

I have a book in with my editor that I can’t say too much about yet, but hopefully, if all goes well, it will be announced soon.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Finish what you start! Don’t go back and edit until you get to the end. 

What books/authors inspired you?

Too many to count! The first book that really made me want to be a writer, and believe that I could be a writer, was Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Up until that point my book ideas hadn’t panned out, but that book really inspired me to try harder. Most recently it’s been The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I’ve read it at least a dozen times. There’s something about the enemies to lovers trope that just gets me every time. 

Did you always want to be an author?

Nope! As a kid I wanted to be everything from a teacher to an ophthalmologist to a pediatrician. In college, I wanted to be a speech therapist, but ended up getting a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, so I worked as a childrens and teen librarian for a long time. It was only a few years ago that I decided to give writing a try. 

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

I can’t listen to anything with words while I’m writing, so usually it’s classical or even just white noise for me. Though lately, I’ve needed complete silence to get anything done. 

Current favorite tv show?

Brooklyn 99 or This Is Us. Depends on whether I want to laugh or cry. 

What’s your Hogwarts house?

Hufflepuff! 

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

Most recently I read Let’s Talk About Love by my fellow Swoon Reads author Claire Kann. It was fantastic! Adorable and a little bit heartbreaking, pretty much everything you want from YA romance. Other favorites are definitely Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett and The Only Thing Worst Than You is Me by Lily Anderson. Both of which feature my favorite enemies to lovers trope. 


April 23rd
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Excerpt
Belle’s Book Blog >> Review
Sunny Buzzy Books >> Review
Smooches and Seitn >> Review
Dani Reviews Things >> Interview

April 24th
The Candid Cover >> Guest post
books are love >> Review
My Lovely Secret >> Review

April 25th
The Book Dutchesses >> Review
Buried Under Books >> Review
Living a Hundred Lives >> Review
Reading With Wrin >> Review
The Book Maiden >> Review

April 26th
Actin’ Up with Books >> Review
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
Sincerely Karen Jo >> Review
The Avid Reader >> Guest post
Lisa Loves Literature >> Review

April 27th
Smada’s Book Smack >> Review
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review
RiverMoose-Reads >> Interview
Books Direct >> Review
Elley the Book Otter >> Review

Book Blitz: The Dylan Dilemma

The Dylan Dilemma
Patricia B. Tighe
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

High school senior Kenzie Harper-Shea has no time for dating, especially after the arrival of the basketball coach from hell. Now Kenzie has lost her confidence, is in a slump, and in danger of losing out on a scholarship to play college ball. The last thing she needs is her “vacation boyfriend,” Dylan McCoy, distracting her with warm smiles, inside jokes, and swoony kisses.

Dylan, however, is totally ready to date. He finally lives in the same town as Kenzie and is not about to lose the chance to let their relationship grow into something more. But for now, he’ll stay in the friend zone because he’s determined to find out what has her running scared. It can’t be just about basketball.

As Kenzie spends more time around Dylan, her feelings become a jumbled-up mess. It’s obvious they’re into each other. So, why does she panic whenever she thinks about dating him? Is it connected to basketball or to something deeper? She’s not sure. Does she have the courage to examine her heart, even if it means breaking Dylan’s?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio:

The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and dog. She eats way too much pizza, drinks way too much coffee, and watches way too much NFL football. On the bright side, she also reads and writes teen fiction. She promises to include as much romance, angst, and adventure as possible in her books.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Excerpts:

Dinner with Dylan

Kenzie

On Friday night we sat around the dining room table using our company manners. I couldn’t do much else. The churning in my stomach at what I had to say to Dylan had become a cold dread settling in my chest and making it hard to breathe.

“Pass the rolls, please,” my mom said without looking at me. She was too busy enjoying the interaction between Dylan and Piper, who had been giggling all during dinner. Piper that is. Dylan just smiled a lot.

I passed the basket of bread to my mom, and refocused on my stew. Better that than staring across the candlelit table at Dylan, who looked completely edible. He wore a blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and his tortoise-shell glasses. Those glasses had always gotten to me. They made me want to get close enough to pull them off, slide my fingers into his thick honey-blond hair, and explore his mouth.

Sudden warmth rose in my chest, replacing the dread. I needed to stop this. Relationships had to be based on more than just physical attraction. Dylan and I had always excelled at the physical part—or at least flirting around it. But we’d never had the chance to experience the day to day give and take of being with somebody. And now he wanted that. I wanted to tell him yes, but I knew I couldn’t. I needed my head in my game, not longing for him. …

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Piper asked, gazing up at Dylan, her cheeks glowing pink.

He wiped his mouth with his napkin before answering. “I have an older brother. He’s in medical school in Boston.”

“Is he gonna be a doctor?”

“Yeah. Unless he changes his mind and runs away with the circus.”

Piper giggled. “He won’t do that.”

Dylan grinned. “No, he probably won’t.”

“How much older is he than you?”

“Seven years.”

Piper’s whole face lit up like Christmas. “We’re almost the same! Mackie is ten years older than me. That’s so old.”

Ugh. That nickname. Piper was the only one allowed to use it—mainly because she’d invented it. Mackenzie had been too much of a mouthful for a toddler. But using the name in front of Dylan? Not such a great idea. He looked at me, humor dancing in his green eyes. Yup. I’d be hearing that name again. “Yeah, really old,” he said, not breaking our gaze.


Prelude to a Kiss

Dylan

 

Satisfaction settled over me. “That’s not true.” Oh, Kenzie was jealous all right. Now to get her to admit it.

“I don’t believe this. You’re usually so good at reading people and you’ve totally messed up where she’s concerned. That girl likes you. As more than just a friend.”

I shook my head. “We’ve always joked around. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“She kept touching you.”

I gave her my best “you’re being ridiculous” face. “Kenzie—”

“No.” She strode over to me. “She slid her hand down your arm like this.” Kenzie trailed her fingers along my forearm.

I forced myself to ignore the tickling sensation. “So?”

“She played with your hair.”

“What? She did not.”

“She reached up and stuck her hand in your hair.” Kenzie lifted a hand but paused, leaving it waiting in the air.

“You mean when she was pulling that leaf out of my hair?”

“Oh, good grief, Dylan. You did nothave a leaf in your hair! She just wanted to touch you. Why can’t you admit it?”

I turned away like I was tired of the conversation. “You’re overreacting.”

She grabbed my shoulder, twisting me back around. “I know what I saw.”

We stood really close now, her hazel eyes glaring. They were tinged with blue, almost a light aquamarine color, and their intensity made me freeze in place. I wanted to pull her against me, to feel her arms tighten around me, but something was about to happen. Good or bad. I knew it. So I waited, not sure if it was right or not, breathing in the clean soapy scent of her T-shirt and wondering why she didn’t stink of sweat after tennis.

Kenzie slid her hand down my forearm. “Lissa did this,” she whispered. She ran the other hand into my hair, holding my head. “And this. And she wanted to kiss you, but I don’t know if she did or not.” Her lips were seriously close. “Did she?”

I swallowed. “No,” I said through a breath.


Basketball Practice

Kenzie

At the school gym on Monday, I wiped sweat from under my eye with the collar of my T-shirt. Jana thumped me on the back before jogging back to her place in line.

“Keep moving,” she said under her breath.

Right. I threw the basketball to Carly, who jerked when she caught it and then passed it to the next girl. Tension filled the air like when you step outside and a thunder storm is about to hit. Coach Dunbar, gray hair flattened like a steel helmet, prowled among us, her whistle at the ready. We were all freaked about the changes. You could see it in the way my usually confident teammates stumbled over their feet or missed shots or flubbed passes.

This passing drill, normally something I could do in my sleep, was making me crazy. I’d already jammed my index finger on one catch, but after a scowl from Coach, I shook my hand and kept going. No one wanted to get on her bad side, which made us so nervous that we looked like amateurs.

Sneakers squeaked on the gym floor, exclamations rang out, and the girls beside me breathed so hard I could hear it. Holy crap.When would we all settle down? Things just didn’t feel right and last Friday hadn’t been any better. Halfway through, Coach sat us down and gave us a lecture on teamwork because she said she wasn’t happy about what she saw.

Well, neither was I. I missed Coach Shultz. I missed how her happiness gave all of us a lift—even when we were working hard.

“Kenzie!” Carly shouted.

I turned and a basketball hit me in the stomach. But miracle of miracles, I caught it. Coach blew her whistle in one long shrill sound.

“All right, girls!” she called. “This is pathetic. Time for laps.”

Laps? That wasn’t how practice was supposed to go. “But we never run until—”

Jana, who I hadn’t realized was beside me, squeezed my elbow, cutting off my words. What the heck was I doing? I should know by now the woman didn’t appreciate my helpful hints.

Coach Dunbar walked toward me through the crowd of my frozen teammates, favoring her right leg. Maybe Jana had been right and there was something wrong with the woman. “Mackenzie,” she said, her voice hard. “If you have a suggestion, you can raise your hand. Otherwise, if you don’t like the way I conduct practice, you can leave. There’s nothing stopping you.”


Meeting Lissa

Kenzie

A girl with short brown curls walked toward us, a welcoming smile on her face. She looked like a woodland pixie who was cosplaying as a tennis player. She had it down perfectly—a red X-back top, a tiny white tennis skirt, and bright white sneakers that looked brand new. A light spray of freckles decorated her nose on top of her tan. Her arms and legs, though slim, were toned and muscular. She was, in a word, adorable.

I decided I hated her.

“Dylan!” she said, her eyes gleaming at him.

“Hey, Lissa, here we are,” he said stupidly. For a second it looked like he was about to hug her, but then stopped himself.

Her lips twitched, and she turned to the rest of us. “Hi, I’m Lissa.”

Dylan shook himself like he’d forgotten how to introduce people, which was so completely out of character that I frowned. Normally he was Mr. Politician, all friendly handshakes and banter. But here he seemed momentarily frozen. Was it because he really wasdating this girl?

“So guys,” he said. “This is Lissa Brooks. We were doubles tennis partners back in high school. She graduated a year before me and we reconnected at UT.”

A slow, icy sensation slid all the way to my toes. He had a past with this girl. A girl I’d never heard of before.

Dylan continued the introductions and when he was done, Lissa rubbed her hands together. “Okay. Ready to get started?”

“Sure,” Noah said, while Gabby and I nodded.

What the heck was I nodding for? I didn’t want to get started. I didn’t even want to be here. This was exactly one of the things I’d been worried about with Dylan. I knew he’d meet someone at college—someone interesting, someone prettier.

Lissa spun around and her skirt did a flirty flip. “This way.”

I switched my tote bag to my shoulder and followed behind the others. Dylan was in front walking beside Lissa who was laughing at something he said. Maybe I could just walk slower and slower until they were way ahead. Then I could say I got lost and hide out in the locker room.

Ha. Right. There was no way that would work, because even if no one else did, Gabby was sure to look for me. No. I needed to shrug this off. It didn’t matter that Dylan might be dating somebody else. That’s what I wanted for him, right? To be happy? I really didn’t have any right to be jealous.


Blog Tour: The Big Bad Wolf – Review

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About The Big Bad Wolf:

Kensey Deaton comes from an elite werewolf lineage, but just because her family is royalty, doesn’t mean she’ll fall in line like some perfect little princess. She has plans and they don’t include an arranged marriage!

Slade McAlister has his own family drama. His Alpha father happens to be the most reviled wolf on the eastern seaboard, and it’s a stigma he can’t escape. So when his neighbor Kensey–the girl of his dreams and his nightmares–proposes a solution to solve *both* of their problems, he sees an opportunity he can’t ignore.

Kensey and Slade aren’t only from opposite sides of the tracks, they’re from opposite sides of the war. But if they can sell their ‘relationship’, they might just make it out of this with their freedom.

You know, as long as all that fake PDA doesn’t turn into more…

Buylinks: https://entangledpublishing.com/the-big-bad-wolf.html


TheBigBadWolf-Teaser4

About Jus Accardo:

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and twelve angry chickens.


TheBigBadWolf-Teaser1

Author Links:

Author Website: http://www.jusaccardo.com

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/JusAccardo

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJusAccardo/

Author Personal FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/JusAccardo

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jusaccardo/

Author Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jusaccardo/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4996736.Jus_Accardo


Blog Tour Giveaway Widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review:

Star Rating: 3.5

I like Jus Accardo’s writing, and so I joined this blog tour. I’m also a sucker for enemies-to-lovers and fake dating tropes.

This book feels a little like a fan fiction or Lifetime movie – its a short, cheesy guilty pleasure sort of read.

There are parts that feel like an adult trying too hard to sound like a teenager, and it was a little strong on the stereotypes but not necessarily in a bad way.

I overall thought it was a cute, fast read. If you like cheesy romance or paranormal romance you’ll probably like this.


 

TheBigBadWolf-Teaser2

Excerpt from The Big Bad Wolf:

He took a sip of water and nodded. He eyed the new plate as the girl set it down in front of him. “Raw fish? You’re buying me a burger as soon as we’re done here.”
“It’s Japanese,” I whispered. “Odori don. When you pour—”

The maid leaned across him and poured soy sauce over his plate. The squid in the center twitched once, then started to squirm with spastic enthusiasm.

“What the—” Slade flinched and jumped back, falling out of his chair and taking the maid—and the soy sauce—with him. She let out a squeak as the gravy bowl flew from her hands and hit the wall behind us. The ceramic shattered, splintering into a thousand tiny pieces as salty brown liquid splattered in all directions.

I managed to extract myself from my chair as Slade was helping the maid to her feet. Once she was up, she scurried into the kitchen, mumbling something about towels, and he turned back to the table. “My apologies,” he said with a bow toward our out of town guests. “I wasn’t expecting my dinner to dance.”

My father stood, the look on his face anything but forgiving, but I didn’t stick around. I grabbed Slade by the wrist and led him up the stairs to my bathroom to clean up.

“Haven’t been in here in years,” he said as we passed through my room. “Your décor hasn’t gotten any better.”

I rolled my eyes and shoved him through the bathroom door. Once inside, I clasped his shoulder and pushed him on to the edge of the tub. “Neither have your manners.”

“How was I supposed to know the damn thing was still alive?”

“It wasn’t.” I ran a towel under the water, then rang it out. “It was dead.”

“Beg to differ. It moved. It fucking started moshing on my plate.”

I knelt in front of him then paused. This wasn’t going to work while he was still wearing the shirt. “It was the salt in the soy sauce. The muscles in the squid were reacting to it. Take your shirt off.”

He waggled his brows. “Finally.”

I sighed and grabbed the back of his collar then gave a hard yank. The material caught on his chin for a second before coming over his head. “Says the guy who insisted I was a horrible kisser.”

He snorted. “That was years ago.Like I said, you’ve gotten a little bit better.”

He leaned back and I didn’t miss the way he flexed, the hard planes of his chest moving in an almost mesmerizing way. I also didn’t—couldn’t—miss the scattered assortment of marks and scars.

“They’re not pretty, are they?” His voice was low calm, but the look in his eyes was anything but.

“Gavin?” The scars were a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and left very little skin unmarred.

“For the most part.” He shifted, almost like he was uncomfortable with my scrutiny.

I cleared my throat and turned away. “Ya know, scars are a sign of honor in the wolf community.”

“Yeah?” There was a twinge of amusement in his voice and I was glad. “Then pick one. I’ll let you honor it with a kiss.”


Monday, March 5th: 

@crossroadreview – Review
Crossroad Reviews – Review
 
Wednesday, March 7th:
Rachel’s Book Reviews – Review
Dizneeee’s World of Books – Review
Chapters through life – Review
Smada’s Book Smack – Review
 
Thursday, March 8th
Jessabella Reads – Review
definitely, possibly, maybe – Review
We All Make Mistakes in Books – Review
 
Friday, March 9th
@msrandomcreation
MsRandomCreation Booktuber – Review 
MsRandomCreation Tumblr – Review
Nightly Reading – Review
Bout-a-Book blog – Review
fortheluvofbooks – Review
Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews Book Blog – Review 
 
Monday, March 12th:
Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
The Young Girl Who Loved Books – Review
Ashleys Got Bookcitement – Review
@gotbookcitement Instagram Feature – Review
Read. Eat. Love. – Review
Charlotte Foster – Review
 
Tuesday, March 13th:
Jennifer M Eaton – Review
Happy Tails and Tales blog – Review
Whats Beyond Forks? – Review
 
Wednesday, March 14th:
Books and Blends – Review
Denise Van Plew – Review
Laurens Crammed Bookshelf – Review
 
Thursday, March 15th:
A Dream Within A Dream – Review
Book-Keeping – Review
Becky on Books – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
Dark Faerie Tales – Review
Words That Fly – Review
More Books Than Livros – Review
 
Friday, March 16th
…always time for a nice cup of tea and a good book! – Review
Carrie Reads A Lot – Review
RiverMoose-Reads – Review
Moriah’s Musings – Review
@moriahreads Instagram Feature – Review
@kaitlynsbookshelf Instagram Feature – Review
Kaitlyns Bookshelf – Review
books are love – Review
@viewsfromthe_desktop – Review
Motif by Tanya – Review
Ali’s Bookshelf – Review
By Valia Lind – Review
Lovely Loveday – Review
Evil Queen Books – Review
Book Bite Reviews – Review
Girl Who Reads – Review
Reese’s Reviews – Review

Alpha Cover Reveal

Let us know what you think of the cover for Alpha (The Infinity Division, #3) by Jus Accardo, which releases July 3, 2018!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.

About Alpha:

“A fun YA sci-fi story with a compelling cast of characters.” —Kirkus Reviews on Infinity

Sera is the obsession of a killer chasing a ghost. G is a soldier with too much blood on his hands.

Dylan lost the only person he ever loved—and will stop at nothing to get her back.

In a whirlwind chase that takes them back to where it all started, Sera, G, and Dylan will have to confront their demons—both physical and mental—and each other, in order to win their freedom.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Alpha (The Infinity Division, #3) by Jus Accardo today!

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Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

About Jus Accardo:

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and twelve angry chickens.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | Entangled Publishing

 

Blog Tour: The Eldritch Heart – Promo

The Eldritch Heart
Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.

Oh, did I mention assassins?

Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.

Her servant girl, Kitlyn.

Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.

Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


Top Ten Inspiring Books:

Books that inspired The Eldritch Heart

1 Sprawl trilogy: Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

2  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

3   Ghost in the Shell (manga)

4    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5    The Martian by Andy Weir

6    The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

7    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

9    A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

10    The Running Man by Stephen King as Richard Bachman


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


July 31st
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Full Moon Bites >>Guest post
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Excerpt
Amie’s Book Reviews >> Review
Hike2Forty and beyond >> Spotlight

August 1st
SolaFide Book Club >> Guest post
Treestand Book Reviews >> Review
With Love for Books >> Review
Bookish Revelations >> Top 10 List

August 2nd
Girls With Books >> Excerpt
The Mortal Jessica >> Review
Brooke Blogs >> Excerpt
Celticlady’s Reviews >> Spotlight

August 3rd
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Bibliobakes >> Review
Urban Fantasy Investigations >> Excerpt
So Few Books >> Interview

August 4th
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt
Shomeret: Masked Reviewer >> Review
Casia’s Corner >> Review
Abooktropolis >> Review
The Avid Reader >> Review

August 7th
BookWorm8619 😉 >> Excerpt
Everything Alyce >> Review
Literature Love >> Review

August 8th
RiverMoose-Reads >> Top 10 List
QueenBeeBooks >> Excerpt
50 Book Challenge >> Excerpt

August 9th
Shh, I am Reading >> Excerpt
Style Reader >> Guest post
The Cover Contessa >> Interview
Book Huntress’ World >> Review
Hot Off the Shelves >> Review

August 10th
All Things Dark & Dirty >> Excerpt
Hauntedbybooks13 >> Review
Reviews in the City >> Interview
Adventures Thru Wonderland >> Review

August 11th
Ms. J Mentions… >> Review
Second Run Reviews >> Top 10 List
Bookgasms Book Blog >> Review
Two Ends of the Pen >> Interview

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Blog Tour: The Last Gambit – Promo

The Last Gambit tour banner

The Last Gambi
by Om Swami
Genre: YA Coming of Age
Release Date: February 2017
Harper Element (Harper Collins)

the last gambit cover

Summary:

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.

Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side?

Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.

Add to Goodreads


About the Author 

Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and led a profitable software company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India.

Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life. He is the bestselling author of Kundalini: An Untold Story, A Fistful of Love and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir.

His blog omswami.com is read by millions all over the world.

Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours


3 Excerpts of 250 Words Each


Excerpt 1

‘You are a genius, Vasu,’ he said. ‘I’m investing all my time in you because I know some day you’ll surprise everyone, including yourself.’ My chest swelled with pride. ‘And that day is not far,’ he added. I felt as if I had won the world championship. He thinks I’m a genius! I couldn’t contain my smile and adjusted myself in my couch. ‘But,’ he said, gently bringing me down a notch, ‘you are not consistent. You do play some brilliant moves, but they don’t add up.’ As always, he had a nugget of wisdom. ‘Every move, Vasu, every move must put greater pressure on your opponent. To win, you must play good moves and do so consistently.’ ‘The same goes in life too,’ he continued. ‘A consistent and persistent man of average intelligence is more likely to succeed than an erratic and lazy genius. A hundred well played draws, or a hundred lost but well-fought games are better than one victory by fluke. Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance.’

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance – this got etched in my mind. This was it. The missing link. I had been playing in the hope that success would come, that it would just happen. It dawned on me that success was a sculpture that I had to carve and chisel at patiently. I had to design my success.


Excerpt 2

‘Do you know who the finest teacher is?’ he asked. ‘You!’

Ignoring my answer, he continued, ‘Experience is the greatest teacher, Vasu. Always replay your own games to see where you went wrong and what made you play the way you did. People don’t lose because they make mistakes, they do so because they repeat their mistakes. The first time, it’s not a loss but a learning.’

‘So, how do I avoid making mistakes?’

‘Just don’t repeat them,’ he said after coughing and clearing his throat. ‘Be it life or chess, that’s the only difference between a grandmaster and an amateur. An amateur expects to reach a different destination by walking the same path. He hopes for miracles or serendipities. A grandmaster, on the other hand, relies on his own effort and intelligence. He does not commit the same error twice.’

‘But Master,’ I said, curious, ‘I do try my best to not repeat my mistakes. Why do I still lose?’ ‘Because you nourish the body and starve the soul.’ I gave him a blank look because I didn’t have a clue about what he just said. ‘Do you know the soul of chess, Vasu?’


Excerpt 3

Saving a few times, like when he was sleeping, living with Andrei was a continuous challenge. He was just not designed with any sense of living in a world sans chess. He couldn’t even pour tea without spilling it in the saucer. He would never remember to turn the gas off after cooking. And the only thing he knew how to cook was an omelette. It was scary to be in the same car with him because he would just stop anywhere and start making notes on some game.

He would forget his wallet in the restaurant and keys in his car. It’s hard to imagine that the genius Andrei, immaculate on the chessboard, would be so clumsy in real life. The man who could think through lengthy lines of variations in his head could not string together two words to hold a conversation. He never spoke to my parents. He would say he didn’t have any conversational skills. Surely, he could have learnt these skills, if only he had made an effort.

I kept my hopes up for six long years and then one day I realized that ‘if only’ doesn’t work with people like Andrei. If it could, he wouldn’t be Andrei then.


Blog Tour Schedule –

July 24th

Adventures thru Wonderland    http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/   Review

The Cover Contessa      http://www.thecovercontessa.com       Promo Post

Huntley’s book Reviews      http://huntleyandbooks.blogspot.co.uk   Promo Post

Mythical Books http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/      Promo Post

Loves Great Reads          https://lovesgreatreadsblog.wordpress.com/    Promo Post

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,&,Sissy, Too!   http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com    Promo Post

July 25th

CBY Book Club   http://cbybookclub.blogspot.com/     Promo Post

The Bookworm Chronicles      http://muretbookworm.wordpress.com    Promo Post

YA Book Divas    http://www.yabookdivas.com Promo Post

The Bengali Nomad; Daydreaming Bookworm    http://bengalinomad1102.blogspot.com   Review

SolaFide Book Club  http://solafidepublishing.net/solafide-self-publishing-and-book-blog/ Promo Post

July 26th

The Layaway Dragon    https://thelayawaydragon.com/    Review

What Is That Book About   www.whatisthatbookabout.com    Promo Post

Nerds with Words    http://themindofawordnerd.wordpress.com   Review

Just Us Book Blog    http://justusbookblog.blogspot.com/    Promo Post

July 27th

A New Look On Books   http://anewlookonbooks.wordpress.com   Promo Post

The Book Lounge    http://gbshortcake.com/      Promo Post

deal sharing aunt     http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/ Promo Post

RiverMoose-Reads     https://rivermoosebooks.wordpress.com     Promo Post

BethLee’s Book Blog    Www.bethleesbookblog.blogspot.com      Review

July 28th

The Adventures of SacaKat     https://sarahfairbairn.com/   Review

Hike2Forty and beyond http://hike2forty.blogspot.com/     Promo Post

A Night’s Dream of Books    http://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/  Promo Post

Lisa Loves Literature    http://misclisa.blogspot.com/    Promo Post

Bibliobibuli YA    http://bibliobibuliya.com/    Promo Post

Blog Tour: Dream Me – Top Ten List

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Dream Me
Kathryn Berla
Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: RomanceTime-TravelYoung Adult

Goodreads B&N Amazon


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Summary:

Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…

Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.

But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?

Can a dream become a reality?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Top Ten List:

If You Like These Ten Books, You’ll Like Dream Me!

Dreamology (Lucy Keating)

12 Hours in Paradise (Kathryn Berla)

Girl Against the Universe (Paula Stokes)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Patrick Ness)

At the Edge of the Universe (Shaun David Hutchinson)

Second Chance Summer (Morgan Matson)

Walking in Time (Angie Stanton)

Traveler (L.E. DeLano)

No Love Allowed (Kate Evangelista)

Saint Anything (Sarah Dessen)


Schedule:

July 17th
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Hot Off the Shelves  >> Excerpt
Full Moon Bites >> Interview

July 18th
Hauntedbybooks13 >> Guest post
Books of a Shy Girl >> Review
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Top 10 List

July 19th
Lisa Loves Literature >> Excerpt
Padme’s Library  >> Interview
The Unrated Bookshelf >> Review

July 20th
Book Randomness >> Excerpt
Dreams ‘N Books >> Review
Loves Great Reads >> Guest post

July 21st
Another Book Hangover >> Excerpt
RiverMoose-Reads >> Top 10 List
Mes Livres  >> Review
Creating Serenity >> Review

July 24th
Only True Magic >> Review
Fabulous and Brunette >> Top 10 List
The Cover Contessa >> Interview

July 25th
Lovely Paranormal Books >> Excerpt
A Very Bookish Girl >> Review
Haddie’s Haven >> Review

July 26th
Brooke Blogs >> Excerpt
Hooked To Books >> Interview
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt

July 27th
Bibliobibuli YA >> Guest post
Adventures in Writing >> Review
Celticlady’s Reviews >> Excerpt

July 28th
The Avid Reader  >> Review
Fanatical Paranormal Romantical >> Review
So Few Books >> Interview