Blog Tour: The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash Book Excerpt

 

It’s our day on the Birdie & Bash blog tour and we are here to introduce you to a bit of the narrative!  Check out the synopsis, a bit about the author, and an exclusive excerpt below!

Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. 

Release Date: July 25, 2017

 

 

 

Candace Ganger is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, and obsesswive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and the world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. Candace – aka – Candyland – has a severe Milky Way latter addiction + eats way too many donuts/doughnuts but all things in excess, amiright? FYI: She’s TOTALLY awkward in person (#sorrynotsorry). She lives in Ohio with her family.

 

 

 

Blog Tour: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi


The Author: 

Roshani Chokshi is a fabulous human.  (Okay I added that part of this bio)

Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

The Book: 

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Release Date: March 28, 2017 

As much as I loved the lush and floral narrative descriptions in The Star-Touched Queen, I’d have to say that I find A Crown of Wishes to be my favorite of the two.  Not only has Chokshi one-upped herself, but she has created two snarky characters that leaped off the page and into my heart. Seriously, the banter in this book is spot on.  I’ve always wanted to be around people who could give me a verbal sparring match much like Vikram and Gauri have.  Plus, who doesn’t love a slow burn romance where the two characters start off with a rocky relationship and end up having feelings for one another? Seriously, that is one of my favorite book tropes and it will never cease to make me happy.

I’d love to pick Chokshi’s brain about all the glorious settings and where she got the idea for the Tournament of Wishes, well, if I’m being honest, the whole story here.  It’s delightfully complex and it unfolds in such an organic way that it keeps the reader on their toes.  Chokshi also does an excellent job of tying Guari’s story to her sister Maya’s without it being too heavy handed.  We are reminded of Maya frequently and how Guari’s sense of self-preservation and determination comes from her relationship with her “lost” sister.  Guari is a fierce female bad ass.  In a culture where women resided in harams and were regarded largely as property or things to be bartered, it is so awesome that Guari has carved her own lot in life and has grown to be a warrior who loves her country fiercely, she grows so much as a character throughout the novel that I’d have to say she’s my absolute favorite aspect of this story.

Be prepared to have a new book boyfriend, everyone, because Vikram is dreamy, witty, a bit of a hopeless romantic, and loves his kingdom as much as Guari loves Bharata. He has a tragic past but has persevered to become a strong person in his own right. Also, his father has a soft spot for injured and damaged animals, which I think is adorable and such a wonderful detail.

I could continue to gush, but let me leave you with some of my favorite quotes:

“A story could break its bones, grow wings, soar out of reach and dive out of sight in the time it took just to draw breath.  It meant we were’t walking a cut path. We carved it into existence with every step.”

“Fear was a key that fit every person’s hollow spaces – those things that kept us cold at night and that place where we retreated when no one was looking – and all it could do was unlock what was already there.”

“You could carry a story inside you and hold it up to the light when you needed it the most. You could peer through it, like a fram, and see how it changed your view when you looked out onto the world.”

4.5 Bards to Roshani Chokshi’s sophomore novel, A Crown of Wishes.

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

 

 

Book Review: The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?

I’m on the fence about what to give this book.  Let’s just get this review started and then I’ll see how I feel by the end.

So there are definitely things that I really enjoyed in this novel.  Julia Day is, like me, a North Carolina native, so it was very easy for me to picture the setting (a small beach town outside of Wilmington) and I can appreciate the frequent name drops for common North Carolina things like the Carolina Panthers and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (although I am an ECU Pirate all the way, baby).

Not only was I able to relate to this aspect of the story, but I was also an over achiever kid in high school who took all honors and advanced placement courses so I understood the stress that can cause.  I was definitely not a valedictorian or a salutatorian though, so kudos to Ash and Eden.  Like Eden, I also worked a part time job while in high school, and had to learn to manage my personal life with work and school.

The synopsis kind of implies that there might be a bit of shared narration, but there isn’t  The whole book is told from Eden’s perspective.  She is seriously jaded by her life growing up in the shadow of her mother who skipped town and her father who can’t hold a job.  Most of the novel is really just Eden dealing with class issues, being the poor trailer park girl with a great GPA competing with rich kids who want a scholarship just for status.  All of her classmates pretty much leave her alone because she gives off some kind of “leave me the F alone” vibes, and she has two people who talk to her–Ash, her academic rival and love interest, and Mundy, the new kid who has zero tolerance for Eden’s isolating lifestyle.

I can appreciate what Day did with the slow development of the relationship between Ash and Eden, but only to the point where they realize their feelings for each other.  The reader is then told, more than shown, that they had some happy days and a wonderful few weeks of a secret relationship.  I really wish that the narrative would have given us more insight into how they feel.  Ash and Eden seem to have very little dialogue with one another for the most part, and some how their relationship just started to move so ridiculously fast that it didn’t feel as organic.

I love, love, love, love the diversity in this novel with an Indian love interest and an autistic character that helps the main character decide what she wants to do in life.  I loved it.  Given the climate in the United States and North Carolina based on Race, I still think this novel could have done a lot more to drive home the inherent racism in the south.  It scratches the surface, but I think that if Day had dived in completely then it would have made for a more powerful conclusion.  Overall, I found the issues of class to be more of a focus in this novel than the race factor, mostly due to the fact that Ash is extremely wealthy and Eden has to let her own parents borrow money from her.

I still think Mundy was the most interesting character of the whole book.  If only because there was just a hint of a possible inappropriate relationship between her and her young stepfather.  I’d read that book, too.

The book was compelling, and I finished it, but I think it left some things unsaid that I wish had been touched upon.  That being said, Day’s writing was clear and concise and minus the parts where she tells instead of shows, the narrative flowed extremely well.

I’d definitely read her next book.

3 Bards.

threebards

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: In Real Life by Jessica Love

Welcome to Midsummer’s stop on the In Real Life blog tour! Below you will find an excerpt from the novel AND the spotify playlist provided by the author.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the book:

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Release Date: March 1, 2016 **Hot off the press**

Check out a short excerpt!

CREDIT: In Real Life by Jessica Love; Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books

 

Did you love the excerpt? Well, be sure to listen to the author’s spotify playlist that was created especially for you.

(My personal favorites from the playlist: Edge of Desire by John Mayer, Ghost Under Rocks by Ra Ra Riot, You and I by Ingrid Michaelson)

 

 

My copy is already on the way, get yours now!

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Book Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.

I’m torn on this novel.  There are a lot of things that I liked but there were also a lot of things that I didn’t care for.

I’ll start with the positive.

Flynn has done an amazing job at establishing a character with a sharp and unique voice, while still making sure that she comes off as vulnerable in regards to her past and family life.  I really appreciate what Flynn is trying to do with this novel.  She has created a character that is (somewhat) open about her sexual life and her urges, someone that seemingly has complete control over her emotions, and also manages to come off as wise beyond her years.

I also really enjoyed the dichotomy between Mercy and her best friend, Angela.  With Mercy, and also Faye, representing those sexually active teens that haven’t made a promise to themselves or to religion to wait for marriage.  Angela, on the other hand, represents all of those things.  I loved that Flynn showed how even those who choose to wait still have sex pushed on them in the media, through their significant others, and even through their friends.  It was a very brave move to include things like this and to show each of their journeys.

The issue that I have with the novel comes from being cheated on in a relationship before.  I find it so hard to understand how a character could justify sleeping with other people’s boyfriends even if they say they are really just trying to make it better for their girlfriends.  It’s just not something that I find sympathetic.

I do understand that Mercy had some awful things happen in her past that led to this behavior, but it’s still hard to sympathize with her.  Sure, everything comes crashing down around her and it’s kind of like “just desserts,” but no one deserves what happened to Mercy in the end. However, I do wish there was some kind of explanation for how Faye accomplished what she did at the end, as the novel wrapped up pretty quickly, but I like that Mercy came full circle as a character.

Overall, I found it an enjoying read even with my reservations about some of the character’s actions.

3.5 Bards

3.5bards

Book Review: The Wild One by Gemma Burgess

Sweet, innocent Coco has always been the good one. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides it’s time to break bad.

Coco swiftly goes from spending all her time baking and reading to working nights in (and dancing on) a bar, falling in and out of love (and lust), stealing education – and along the way discovers that she is stronger than she ever knew… In a time when her best friends are suddenly plunged into break ups, break-downs, big breaks, and on the verging of quitting New York City altogether, it’s up to Coco to keep them together and find herself along the way.

Gemma Burgess’ The Wild One: A Brooklyn Girls Novel is the inspiring story about the turmoil, uncertainty, and heartache that every twenty something faces and survives – with the help of her friends. 

Release Date: November 10, 2015

FINALLY, the third book in the Brooklyn Girls series has arrived!  Don’t go too much further without checking out my reviews of the first two novels (click on the titles to see), Brooklyn Girls and Love and Chaos.

Not going to lie, Coco wasn’t exactly my favorite character in this series up until this novel.  She kind of fades into the background of Pia and Angie’s respective stories with the exception of one or two important details about Coco’s past.  She was basically glazed over as the young, pretty, baking enthusiast roommate that is shy and keeps kind of to herself.

This novel, however, really shows a different side to Coco and breaks down her walls and gives her much more depth than in the previous books.  So shit hits the fan pretty hard for Coco right at the beginning of the novel when she finds her boyfriend cheating on her in a crowded bar.  Not one to confront problems head on, Coco just ignores him and doesn’t bother telling her friends how she has been hurt.  Eventually, of course, she does and some pretty epic embarassment happens for her cheating ex which really was his “just desserts.”

Coco basically reboots her life at 21.  It takes a lot of courage to change paths completely at such a vulnerable time and she definitely has no idea what she is doing, but she does that spectacularly.  In an attempt to reinvent herself, she takes on a casual sex partner, starts to work at a unsuccessful dive bar, and “steals education” by attending classes without being enrolled.  Can I do that?  Where do I sign up for free college?

Burgess’ writing continues to be filled with humor, sexual innuendos, and a realistic view of what life is like in your early twenties while you are trying to find your place in life and while you are making mistake after mistake.  I think that’s why I relate to this series so much, as I am in my twenties and I’ve made some of the mistakes these characters have.

Anyway, I was so pleased by Coco’s story and I really hope she doesn’t fade into the background with any of the other installments (please let there be more!).

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much to St. Martin’s for the opportunity to read and review this great book!

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