Guest Post: Writing A Pitch by AM Blaushild

Guest post by AM Blaushild (https://amblaushild.wordpress.com), a book reviewer (https://crowdefeatsbooks.wordpress.com), and author of Angel Radio (https://amblaushild.wordpress.com/books)


Many readers are aspiring writers themselves, and it feels like nearly everyone I’ve met has mentioned they one day dream of publishing a book. I’ve been lately surprised by how little anyone seems to know about the publishing industry, even those who want to get in on it, and wanted to share some quick suggestions on writing a good query letter. Or more specifically, the pitching aspect of it.

Queries are pitches, both for you and your book. And they need to be good. Agents and publishers get too many to count, and only have so much room.

For agents, taking on an author is a large commitment, and they often can only handle so many. A small-press publisher can only afford to sign a few books a year. It is a tight, tight race, made suffocatingly so because you’ll never quite know what you’re up against.

Sometimes books aren’t taken because of trends in the market, or coming changes- your great book about dragon warfare in egypt might be given up on because a mediocre dragon warfare in rome book is currently in the pipeline. A dragon book you’ve never heard of which had a lot of money put in it may have recently flopped, and publishers are nervous to take on anything similar. Maybe the dragon genre is dying out, or too niche. Maybe they just signed a book about dragons, and you have bad timing.
It’s rough, but that’s how these things work.
A good pitch:
-Is selling your book, not talking about it
-Highlights what matters, leaves what doesn’t
-Immediately to the point
-Short
-Thoroughly proof-read
One thing to highlight: A query is the whole ordeal, a query letter, while the pitch is specifically the part about the book. Will cover later on.
Here’s the thing. Publishing is a business. Agents are funny little go-betweens in the business, taking advantage of the breathing room. Both are in it to make money. They will not publish something out of goodwill, or because you seem to really care about it. They will publish what they think will sell, or have lasting appeal, or perhaps simply because it’s the kind of thing that wins awards.
So you need to embrace this, a little bit. You need to make your book sound like something that will sell. Consider your book: what makes it unique? What makes it appealing? X meets Y, my eternal enemy, is a popular format for pitches because of this. Romeo & Juliet meets Die HardShadow and Bone meets Battlestar Galactica. I don’t know, I’m making these up as examples. Publishers eat them up because they sell your book in two tiny, recognizable chunks. I have two manuscripts I’d sum up as ‘Fangirl meets Supernatural‘ and ‘Catcher in the Rye meets Shadowhunters‘. Is that really true? Ish. But it’s close enough.
What matters to you doesn’t always matter to publishers, or even readers. I might really like that my egyptian dragon novel (yes, we’re sticking with that example) features an asexual MC, and want to gush about how important that is. Even a line about this would be too long, and honestly, a direct mention too much for a query.
Why? A line about diversity could work, but romance is the biggest genre of fiction by far, asexuality is a rarely discussed sexuality (they might not know what it means!), and you simply don’t have the space for it. If you’re applying to an lgbt press, you would want to mention it- they would know and care (you probably shouldn’t gush, though). If you’re trying to land in the mainstream, don’t mention it. If it comes up in the manuscript, they will learn about it then. Unless the story is directly about being asexual, it’s not a relevant detail.
It’s important to highlight what matters, and leave what doesn’t, but that can be hard to figure out sometimes. My Egypt Dragon Asexual book: let’s say it has a lot going on. A gay subplot! A lost princess! Magical powers! Ten types of dragon! War! Aliens! A big reveal that it takes place in the future, not the past! What the hell do you highlight when the plot is complex?
Well, you have to leave some things out. Even big things. Even if it feels like a lie. You’re selling the story in a very small place, and bending the truth a bit doesn’t hurt. Using hypotheticals makes this hard, so we’ll jump to something real, and almost as insane sounding-
The Ascension is a manuscript of mine, about a girl who goes on a quest to awaken her country’s patron god with her best friend, and later a thief they meet on the way. But at the mountain, the thief runs off to awaken the god himself (fulfilling his own local quest), and the god actually turns out to be a monster. And everyone dies, but they’ve been immortal since setting out (linked to the sky god’s life force), and then the MC is saved by an alien god of another planet, and chosen to become a god herself. And she starts to lose emotion as she gains strength. And the monster is still running around destroying the world, too. And her BFF/her both have a crush on the thief.
Sounds bonkers, right? There is a LOT going on. Here’s my pitch:
A teenage girl is sent on a quest to awaken her patron god in a deadly local tradition, but in doing so catches the eye of someone grander: The sky god, actually an alien, who wishes to turn her into a god. However, before her powers can properly develop, her two friends accidentally awaken an ancient monster bent on destroying the world, and it’s up to the increasingly inhuman Aster to stop it.
I did just throw that together, so it isn’t perfect, but it’s a good example of what I mean. Technically, the sky god doesn’t notice her because of the quest, and the thief is not one of her best friends, nor do both her friends awaken it, nor is the timeline quite true to canon. But the essence is there, and it frames the story in a cleaner, more appealing narrative than it actually is.
Pitching basics should include the genre (fantasy, but with aliens!), the main character (A teenage girl, her two friends), what they want (traditional quest/be a god), what’s in the way (giant monster/’increasingly inhuman’ implies this will be a future conflict), what are they going to do about it (stop it). A few fun details, too: ‘deadly local tradition’ isn’t very exciting in canon, but does sound like it might be interesting. ‘catches the eye of’ could imply some fun romance, even if it doesn’t. Neither are lies, but they make it sound a lot more intriguing, and step one of landing a contract is getting your contact to read your manuscript.
Most pitches are like this. I usually write full book-blurb style pitches and work down from there, and some (often publishers as opposed to agents) prefer this method. There still should be little excess detail.
Hey, here’s another example- the pitch I used for my book, Angel Radio:
Erika is the last human alive. It’s been weeks since the angels- strange creatures of eyes and wings- arrived and brought with them the death of everyone she ever knew. leaving her to wander her desolate hometown. But the angels have something sinister planned for the world they have emptied, and when a strange radio broadcast sends Erika into the world, she’ll need all the strength she can muster just to survive.
Looking back, I’m fairly embarrassed by my query, but it worked. You ever see mainstream books that are startlingly bad? Yeah. Unless you’re on the inside, you never really know what is going on in the book business (but usually, yeah, it’s about the market, and money).
Oh, and a last point: of course, make sure you avoid any and all errors spelling and grammar wise. These people are hoping you’re a competent writer, and if there’s one mistake, a particularly overloaded agent may have no problem passing on the rest of your query.
 
That about covers a really rough guide. Pitches should be about a paragraph in length. Check with agency sites/publishers before, but my rough guide to pitches is
1. Hello hi
2. Here’s my book right off the bat
3. More info, like wordcount, listed genre, whatever. expanded deets.
4. About me
5. thank you very much
It should be short, about a page. Don’t list anything about yourself that isn’t relevant, but if you have nothing relevant, still try to say something. Otherwise it just looks like you forgot. If you’ve been writing for a while, that works. If you’re doing a book about science and are a scientist, bring that up, or maybe if it’s about mental illness, mention your own struggles. Don’t spend too long here, or get too personal. Business, unfortunately, is business.
Publishers will generally take more than agents. I’ve had many that directly want a full summary of the book, a longer bio (smaller ones especially enjoy if you have good social media/means to advertise, as they have lesser budgets/reach). These things are specified.
A good conclusion to this? I’d scroll up and read my short list again. Here’s what not to do, I suppose:
-Have too much detail (often loses focus of what the main ‘plot’ pitch is)
-Have not enough (makes it sound bland)
-Too personally involved (‘this book means everything to me’)
-Too self confident (‘fantastic, amazing’ just about any adjective you put on character stuff, world, pitch. Use more open ones. You might call a world ‘vast’ instead of ‘incredible’)
When you have a lot of unseen competitors, you can’t assume anyone will want to put up with you. In theory, being passionate about your work is fantastic! In practice, you may come off as a dolt. And it helps to remember: there will always be more besides you, hoping for the same thing.
So turn in your best work!

A M Blaushild is a writerreviewer, and enigma.

Discussion: When Do You Post Reviews

Book reviews are the main feature of most book blogs. Book reviews can make or break a book. And everyone has a different system for reviews and ratings.

The discussion today isn’t on what you review or how you review, but when.

 

By this I mean, do you review books as soon as you read them?
Do you wait a bit?
If you review arcs, do you wait until the book is released or review right away.
If it’s an older book, do you review it when the author has a new book coming out or just when ever?
Does it matter when reviews are posted, so long as they are?
My personal preference, you may have noticed, is to schedule arc reviews for release date unless otherwise asked. That way, anyone who decides they want to read the book has the option to buy it immediately.
Older books tend to be reviewed whenever I get the review written, then scheduled to where I think it fits best.
I personally am fine with reviewing books a while after I read them, in fact, unless I have a deadline, I am nearly patently incapable of reviewing a book as soon as I’m done. It’s a pipe dream for me.
But what do you think? Do your reviews have a set day of the week/month? When do you post arc reviews? Why do you do things that way?
Let me know what you think!

Waiting on Wednesday #2 – Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases you’re dying for!


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Summary:

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

 

I read and loved To All The Boys I Loved Before back when i first came out.

And I only recently got my hands on PS I Still Love You, but haven’t gotten to it yet.

I am still psyched for this – YA contemporaries with more than one book are rare and this series is SO GOOD.


So what do you think?
Do you want to read this book?
Have you heard of it?
Let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday: That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Anyone can participate and its a lot of fun, so I highly encourage it!

Let me know if you’re a part too!


April 25:  Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book (topic originally done back in 2013) — tell us all your book turn offs!


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1 – Really bad reviews – 

Especially if they point out particularly problematic themes or are by a reviewer I respect.

2 – Student/Teacher Relationships

Why is this a thing? its cringe-y and weird. Its more a thing in TV, I’ve never seen it in a book but just…no. Just no.

3 – Unnecessary romance/sex – 

Sometimes romance its entirely unnecessary to the book it and feels so forced its unenjoyable. And sex scenes just make me uncomfortable.

4 – TERRIBLE COVERS

Some covers just don’t even merit a second glance to read the synopsis they’re that bad. Like Generic people looking off the distance stock photos etc.

5 – Genre –

I dislike adult romance and horror generally. And I’m particularly picky with mysteries and adult fiction in general.

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6 – Expensive –

Most YA books can be found online somewhere or another for $11-$16, or at the library etc. If I can’t find it anywhere for under standard price of $17, its probably not getting read. Unless its a special case like signed/collector’s edition.

7 – Author Drama –

When they is scandal involving the author – at least in modern day – being rude to fans, homophobic, racist etc. it makes me not want to support their work.

8 – Terrible or Absent Parents –

If terrible parents is a focus of the plot, then go for it! If thats the story you’re telling then tell it. But if its a YA novel, having terrible parents mentioned offhand one or twice and never again is just lazy. Especially so in contemporary!

9 – I Feel Like I’ve Read This Before –

Sometimes when writing in a certain genre, some elements remain similar. I’m alright with that. Certain tropes – many of which I in fact enjoy – come with certain plot lines. But when a book I’m looking at seems nearly identical to another, I’m put of reading it. Example, on netgalley I think i’ve seen three books up for request on the “speech/gestures are now copyrighted” theme and why? They don’t seem to have any differences.

10 – Terrible MC –

I can deal with an awkward or jerk MC if they are meant to be that way. If its a part of the plot. But sometimes MCs act so astoundingly stupid/awkward/terrible I have to put the book down because I cannot cope with such idiocy.

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Release Day Celebration: BLOOD ROAD

BLOOD ROAD by Amanda McCrina is available now!

Check out all the details below!

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate courtesy of Month9Books and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About The Book:

Title: BLOOD ROAD

Author: Amanda McCrina

Pub. Date: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books

Format: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 329

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD


BLOOD ROAD COVER FinalSummary

Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.

Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.

Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.

Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.


About Amanda

Amanda

Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season. 

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Exclusive Excerpt

BLOOD ROAD RDB

He touched her arm. She tensed but did not move away. He took off his glove and traced her cheekbone with two fingers, brushing the tears from her cheek. She drew a shivering breath. He turned her head and held it between his hands and brushed the tears from her eyelashes with his thumbs. She stood very still and silently while he did it, her eyes closed, her lips tight. He bent his head and buried his face in her black hair—and she slipped in suddenly under his arms, looping her arms around his neck, resting her cheek on his chest. Then she twisted against him, tilting her head back to look up in his face. “It’s no good,” she said. “I can’t feel your heart beat.”

“It’s the plums. I think I’ve suffocated.”

She laughed. He felt it echo through her body. He felt her muscles loosen. Her breath was warm on his neck. “If that’s all,” she said.

They sat below the boundary wall. She unbuckled his helmet and cuirass and held the cuirass for him while he shrugged it off. She sat against him with her knees folded up on his lap, her shoulders under the curve of his arm. She unlaced his jerkin and bent her ear to his chest. “Better,” she said. “And this—just to be sure.” She leaned into him and pressed her lips gently to the pulse in his

He kissed her. He sat up from the wall, cupping her head in his hands, and he bent his face to hers and kissed her lips, her eyelids, her forehead; he lifted her chin with his fingers and kissed the hollow at the base of her throat. Her arms were around his neck and her cheek against his and her tears running on his face. He tried to lift her to look at her. She shook her head. Her lips brushed his ear. “Don’t,” she said. Her voice was thick. So he put his arms around her waist and held her, his head and shoulders braced against the sun-warmed stones of the boundary wall, his chin on her shoulder, and he listened with his eyes closed while she cried.

He opened his eyes at the smell of wood smoke. They were smoking the hives over in the bee field. Over Ceno’s shoulder, he watched the smoke trail away southward toward the city. He could see the Hill just visible above the pines in the hazy distance, the Palace and Senate buildings in delicate white-marble miniature—and the moment shattered against it, and there was nothing but Tasso, and the orders in his saddlebag, and the cavalry column mustered and awaiting his command on the parade ground at Vione.


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.

The giveaway will be open until May 9TH at 12:00 a.m. Eastern.

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjU3Mw==/


This blitz was organized by Rockstar Book Tours

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Cover Reveal: From Russia, With Love by Erin Lee

Today is the cover reveal for From Russia, With Love by Erin Lee.

From Russia With Love

From Russia, With Love

By Erin Lee

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age category: New Adult

Length: novella

Publisher: Bella Tulip Publishing (http://bellatulippublishing.com/)

Release Date: 20 May, 2017


From Russia With Love teaser 1

Blurb:

Ahha (Anna) Antipova was four years old the day her strung-out mother left her and her brother on the side of the road. After a year in a Russian orphanage, the siblings were brought to America by English-speaking people who promised a safe, forever family. Learning a new language and culture was nothing to Anna, who grew into an overachiever in a home with strict rules around biological verses adopted children.

The primary caretaker to her adoptive parents’ blood children, Anna spent most of her teen years doing anything she could to please her parents. In fact, she excelled in everything she touched. Abram went the other way, stirring up trouble and expecting his younger sister to clean up his messes. She didn’t mind, it was only another year or two, Anna reasoned. Besides, he’s all I have.

Until one day…

Two weeks before high school graduation, Anna sat in an emergency room surrounded by strangers. With permanent scars at the hands of her adoptive mother, she needed to escape a home that was no longer safe. The problem was, she was only sixteen. A minor with no legal rights to emancipate herself, Anna struggled to find a way out. Counting on the kindness of strangers and her boyfriend, Elliot, Anna found herself desperate to find a way out. But it was not easy. With the system working against her, she could see no escape.

Until another day…That was the day she became fearless.


From Russia With Love teaser 2

You can find From Russia, With Love on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33985060-from-russia-with-love

You can pre-order From Russia, With Love here:

– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZ66XK9/


About the Author:

Erin Lee

Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist chasing a crazy dream one reality at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives (2016). She’s also author of Alters, Host, and Merge of the “Lola, Party of Eight Series,” When I’m Dead, Take Me As I Am, Greener, Something Blue, Once Upon a Vow and 99 Bottles. She also penned Her Name Was Sam, an LGBTQ awareness novella. She is author ofLosing Faith, and co-author of The Morning After with Black Rose Writing. These days, she spends her free time working on the sequels to this novel, Jimmie’s Ice Cream and Thing Fifteen.

Lee is a co-founder of the Escape From Reality Series. She, along with authors Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson, are working with twenty other authors to bring the hopes, dreams, fears and terrors of a tiny fictional town alive. The town and its setting is exactly the type of place a man like Jimmie might escape to as the bodies thawed.

Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special advocate. She cannot write horror with the lights off. However, these days, she’s getting braver and dimming them. She’ll get there . . .

You can find and contact Erin Lee here:

– Website: http://www.authorerinlee.com

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gonecrazytalksoon

– Twitter: https://twitter.com/CrazyLikeMe2015

– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13994843.Erin_Lee

– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Erin-Lee/e/B013Q953LM/


Giveaway

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of From Russia, With Love. One winner will win an e-copy of their choice of one of Erin Lee’s books.

For a chance to win, enter the giveaway below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1226

 


Excerpt:

Anna sits on the emergency room bed on top of thin white blankets. Beside her, Delaney chatters about the class vote for senior superlatives while a tall paramedic named Gage checks on us from time to time. Elliot holds Anna’s hand and lets the two girls talk without interrupting. When he reaches for something or checks his phone, Anna jumps and grabs his hand. I stand in the doorway of the private room, the last one at the end of a long corridor. I’m grateful for the privacy she has here and know there’s no way her parents can get through those doors; we’ve already told social workers what’s going on. For now, she is safe. And Gage is standing guard.

Just back from an x-ray on her neck, Anna is waiting for a woman from the domestic abuse center to come and talk to her about what’s going on at her home. Hoping they will assign her an advocate, I try to keep my mouth shut. I’m not used to feeling helpless in these situations. Finally, unable to take just standing around, I ask the kids if they are hungry.

Ten minutes later, I return with seven types of snacks from the emergency room vending machine. I watch them fight over who gets what and smile. Finally, they look like normal kids. It’s the first time since Anna was assaulted that I’ve seen them laugh like this. I laugh too, telling Anna to throw me the chocolate-covered pretzels.

It’s three more hours before a woman named Cheryl shows up from the local domestic violence shelter. She asks Delaney, Elliot and I to leave the room within minutes. Anna looks at me nervously, asking the woman why we can’t stay.

“They’ve been here with me all day. They are my support system,” she pleads.

“I’m sorry,” Cheryl says, shaking her head. “You are a minor and I don’t have your parents’ consent to talk to anyone. The only person I can talk to is you. You are going to have to do this on your own.”

“Okay,” Anna says, looking down at the bed.

“Anna, it will be okay. Just explain what happened and answer all her questions. She’s here to help you. She does this for a living. It’s going to be okay, I promise,” I say, unsure about Cheryl’s gruff demeanor myself. You better not make me into a liar, lady.

“Okay. I trust you.”

Great.

“It’ll be fine, Anna. You can do this. I’m proud of you,” Elliot says, kissing her forehead.

“Yeah, this is nothing. You’ve got this,” Delaney pitches in. “You’re a soldier.”

I smile at her and mouth “I love you.” She doesn’t see me.


This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.
The cover is designed by Lindsey Jayne.

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Guest Post by B @ Icebreaker694: YA Books Around the World – A List

Hello!

I’m Icebreaker694 and I’m currently hacking on this blog to bring you… YA Books Around the World一a list.

(I’m not really hacking, I don’t even know how. ) I’ve compiled a list of YA books that take place in different countries/continents around the world. If you like any of the books seen today, I hope you go to check them out!

Also give the owner of this site a follow while you’re at it.


USA

It’s a good place to start.

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The Girl at Midnight

Here is a book for all yo u fantasy lovers. A bit of T he Girl at Midnight takes place in New York City, but Echo travels to a few other countries around the world (I can’t remember them at the moment, I don’t have the physical copy with me).

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The Sun Is Also a Star
The Sun Is Also a Star is a favorite of mine. It also takes place in New York City, but you get to wander the city a bit more as Natasha and Daniel adventure together to make most of their only day together.


Russia

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The Crown’s Game
Here is another fantasy book for those who enjoy reading about magic. T he Crown’s Game takes place in Russia around a Victorian time period.

 

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Black Widow: Forever Red
About half of this book takes place in the US (New York City and Philadelphia) but the other half takes place in Russia (I don’t know how many cities Ava visits but I distinctly remember Scandinavia and Moscow. Correct me if I’m wrong.)


England

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Clockwork Angel
I’ve brought in Cassandra Clare’s TID series again! C lockwork Angel and the rest of the trilogy take place in a Victorian period in London. Which is my favorite period of all time to read about.

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Lock & Mori

Lock & Mori take place in a modern day London, but with a modern Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. For those who like contemporary Sherlock stories, this may be a book you might want to check out. The sequel is also available now.

 


Wales

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
This book takes place in 1940 in an island off the coast of Wales. Of course a majority of this book is purely fiction, it’s still a great book to check out.


That’s it for today, I’m sorry I didn’t get to cover many other countries. If you know of any books that I haven’t mentioned you can comment here or on my site: Icebreaker694. Also be sure to follow this site hosted by Sam! And also I’d like to thank her for having me on once again. Bye!

Q & A From Icebreaker694

I asked around for guest posts in February, and one idea I got from lovely blogger Icebreaker694 was to interview each other.

We asked each other 11 questions are are answering them Q&A style.

Here are the 11 she asked me with my answers, and you can check out her’s over at her blog!


What was the earliest book you’ve ever read (childhood books included)?

My dad read me The Princess Bride. If you meant read on my own…I loved the Biscuit the puppy books.

Did your view of reading books change as you got older?

I guess? I didn’t really love the idea of reading when I was 5/6, it felt like school. But I feel in love with reading young, at 7/8 when I read Harry Potter.

What was the earliest Young Adult book you’ve read?

Harry Potter, that counts as YA right? I read Twilight and A Series of Unfortunate Events around that time too, age 8/9.

Are there any books you don’t get tired of rereading?

You could really just look at the above answers. And include Rick Riordan.

When you write, what kind of genre do you tend to write about?

I write YA, since its my demographic, and my only serious idea right now is a Science-fiction book.

Have you ever done a reading challenge?

I do the Goodreads challenge every year!

If so, then what was it?

See above….

What is your favorite adult book you’ve read?

I loved My Sister’s Keeper and The Time Traveller’s Wife. This is Where I Leave You was also pretty good.

What kinds of posts do you enjoy writing the most?

I like discussions, and recommendation lists. I liked writing my study guide posts too. But I don;t write anything I don’t enjoy.

What is your favorite book cover?

This is not a question I am capable of answering.

But Illuminae and Gemina are SUPER GORGEOUS.

Do you have any future plans for your blog?

I want to make new graphics and schedule posts to post on a consistent basis, those are the main ones, though I’m open to any ideas!


 

That was a lot of fun!

If you guys like the Q&A posts, and want to ask me your own questions, feel free! I’d be glad to do another!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things That Make Me Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Anyone can participate and its a lot of fun, so I highly encourage it!

Let me know if you’re a part too!


Today’s Prompt:

April 18Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book – so yeah basically any topic or theme or ANYTHING (ie if X person recommends it) that will make you instantly want to pick up a book.


Here are ten random things that make me want to read a book, in now particular order. There are tons of things besides these that make me want to read a book, but well liked tropes and interesting plots are pretty much a given – I don’t think I need to mention them.


1- Relatable Sounding Characters

This is one basically a given for everyone, but relatable is different for everyone as well. If a character is geeky/nerdy, a reader etc. I want to read the book. If the character is hispanic-american then I want to read the book.

2- Characters With My Name

This one is kind of dumb. But I like seeing how my name is represented in the book world. Sam in Before I Fall is the opposite of my personality. Sam in The Inexplicable Logic of My Life IS ME TO A TEE. I like seeing that.

3 – Asexual Representation

Its a really uncommon representation, and its one that I identify with. I want to read more of them (feel free to give me recs!). I’m dying to read Tash Hearts Tolstoy because of this and number 1).

4 – Great Recommendations

If a friend or a ton of book bloggers rave about a book, it immediately goes on my TBR, whether I was initially interested or not, whether I know a thing about it or not.

5 – The Author

If an author I love writes a book, I’ll probably give it a shot, even if the synopsis doesn’t draw me in at all.

6 – A Pretty Cover

This is a terrible thing to admit. But its also honest. Everyone does it don’t even lie. We’ll all suffer through a mediocre book just to have a gorgeous cover on our shelf.

7 – Expanded Canon

I LOVE expanded canon books, the Doctor Who and Star Trek ones especially. I pick these up a lot from second hand stores. And I want to read the ones that are like the books from the show. Like “The Bro Code” from HIMYM or “Pawnee Greatest Town In America” from Parks and Rec. I love these sorts of books.

8 – Villain Redemption Arc

There are many tropes I’m a sucker for, this is the one I’ve seen the least on. I’m a sucker for a redemption arc, bad-guy-turning-good-because-he-falls-in-love sort of story. Like Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer!

9 – Unique Formatting

Illuminae caught my eye from the unique formatting of documents. Because You’ll Never Meet Me is told in letters. Eliza and Her Monsters and Royce Rolls are to upcoming releases that fit the bill of “its weird and I want it”.

10 – Really Great Title

I’m a fan of weird/long titles, especially ones that sound like a line of poetry.

Like “You Look Different In Real Life”, “The Catastrophic History Of You and Me”, “I’d Tell You I Loved You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You”, “They Both Die At The End”,”One of Us Is Lying” etc.

I could have no idea what the book was about, and a title like that would make me want to read it.


Do you agree with my list?

What do we have in common?

Do you participate in TTT?

Let me know and drop me a link in the comments so I can check it out!

Cover Reveal: Before I Shatter

 

Today is the cover reveal for Before I Shatter by Mandy Peterson.

This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

The cover MSN Art Studio (Maduranga Sampath): https://www.fiverr.com/mnsartstudionew

banner Lolas Blog Tours

This is an exciting rebranding of the original cover as the author prepares to release book 2 in the series.


Before I Shatter (Before I Shatter #1)

By Mandy Peterson

Genre: Science Fiction

Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult

Release Date: July 2016

Before I Shatter


Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Vita is the next step in human evolution.

 

The daughter of two prominent scientists, Vita is content to live in the spotlight. After all, it affords her a lifestyle most only dream of: living in a Lunar Colony, luxurious gifts, and her unique ability to project her consciousness onto different planes without the aid of injections.

Succeeding where others have failed has a price. A growing population of Shells – people whose minds have shattered from the stress of experimentation – shows just how ruthless the Director can be in pursuit of his goal.

 

When Vita makes a startling breakthrough, the ambitious Director takes over her development, and he wants to see just how far she can go. It’s up to Vita’s young Processor, James, to catch her before she breaks.

 

But he’s keeping a dangerous secret.

Someone is playing games with her.

 

A game where the loser ends up shattered.

Vita must make the choice:

Continue risking her life  for a cause she doesn’t believe in

or make an unprecedented escape?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00050]


You can find Before I Shatter on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31142459

You can buy Before I Shatter on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Before-I-Shatter-Mandy-Peterson-ebook/dp/B01IQJM1QW/


About the Author:

Mandy Peterson

Mandy Peterson grew up all over Nebraska and eventually settled down there with a family of her own: husband, daughter, and son.

 

When she isn’t writing about herself in third person, Mandy the high school librarian can be found digging through young adult and new adult lit. An avid reader of all genres (but she secretly told me she loves sci-fi the most), you will usually see her with her nose in a book or face to her Kindle app, iced or blended coffee drink in hand. A former roller girl and roller derby referee, she can also be found watching roller derby online or dragging her family behind her to cheer on teams in person all over their great state.

 

You can find and contact Mandy here:

– Website: http://www.mandypetersonbooks.com

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mandypetersonbooks

– Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mandyrpeterson

– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15491545.Mandy_Peterson

– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mandy-Peterson/e/B01IQJMGCG/

– Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cqy2iT

 


Giveaway

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Before I Shatter. One winner will win a 10$ Amazon Gift Card.

 

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1221/

 

Before I Shatter books graphic


Excerpt:

“Vita!” James is panicked, shaking my shoulders, when my eyes begin to crack open. The bright light violates my pupils, and I slam my eyes shut again. My head is pounding.

“Stop shaking her, boy. We don’t know what damage that could cause.” I relax a bit as my body takes in the grandfatherly voice of wisdom. James’s hands release me. “She’s coming around. Give her a moment.”

I moan, raising an arm to cover my closed eyes. “I’m fine.”

“She could pave a road with those words.” The Old One’s voice gets farther away.

Before I can even wonder what that means, the light mercifully wanes, and I dare to peek out from under my arm. I begin to piece together where I am. The tiny white room. Lying on my monitoring station.

A visibly shaken James is sitting next to me, tears threatening to spill out of his eyes, face ashen.

“Hey,” I coax. “It’s okay. Nothing to be worried about.”

James shakes his head and looks down. A sniffle seems to actually compose him, and he looks up at me. “Vita, I’m so sorry. If I would have known, I would have warned you.”

Still hazy, I recall my experience in the meadow with the solider boy. Before speaking, I resolve to never let myself be that helpless again. Starting right now. Just like James said, I will be the one doing the breaking. Well, maybe not right now. After I recover from whatever this is.

“Warned me about what?”

“The dazers,” he practically whispers, but I still hear the George’s tongue cluck from the computer station. His disapproval is thick. “You passed out on the steps. I couldn’t wake you up. When I brought you here, I thought you were dead.”

“Yes, the drugs caused your heart to race,” the wizard explains, less emotionally. His eyes never leave the tablet in his hands. “Your heart didn’t care for that so it shut down…for a bit.”

“It shut down?” I echo as panic begins to rise from my toes.

“Only for a moment.” His hand waves dismissively. “Everything’s fine.” The Old One smirks, finally looking up at me as he turns my own words around on me.

“I died?”

“For a second.” George holds up two fingers very close together in an attempt to keep us positive.

Whoosh. “I came as soon as I heard.” Long brown hair whirls through the room. Mom busies herself snatching the tablet and replacing James at the side of my bed. She grasps my hand, leans in, and begins examining my eyes. I have no idea what they look like, but her fear and disgust focus across the room. “George, thank the stars you are still here! How could this have happened? I’m not even sure what this means.” She shakes the tablet at him, the data revealing itself to me shortly. “Where was she? Who was with her?”

James makes a move to step forward and the Old One stops him. “She was just doing as I instructed. Taking time off. Meeting new people. Trying out a party. I’m sorry. I didn’t know she would be confronted with…substances.”

Mom visibly calms down. I guess maybe she couldn’t be too angry with the man who had just saved her daughter’s life? She lays the tablet down gently. “What can I do for her?”

“Nothing, I’m afraid. The drugs have to work their way through her system. She won’t be able to start training until they are flushed out. Her new friends just may have bought her enough time to completely restore before the next round.”

My eyelids feel as though they are made of lead. My hand is nestled between stronger ones. I fight to stay awake behind the fading light.

“What will we ever do without you?” My mother’s whisper floats across the room to me.

His firm response slices through the darkness closing in around me. “The director has plans but so do we. Stick to the plan. Thanks to your husband’s—ex-husband’s—news story, she’s about ready to enter a world where everyone knows her and what she can do. She needs you two more than ever.”

I didn’t know then that when I awoke, it would be to a new world. A world without George, without visits from my dad, and without panic attacks. A world where I was a celebrity, a scientific wonder, and no longer alone. Never mind that I put my life at risk each time I pushed one the boundaries of human capability. I lived by the words I was never meant to hear:

“Vita’s never going to be broken. She’s going to be the one doing the breaking. She’s stronger than any of us will ever know.”