United by Heather Young-Nichols

I was thrilled to return to Heather Young-Nichols’ world of Grounded with the second book in the series, United. Picking up where Grounded left off, we jump right into action that leaves you eagerly turning the pages as some jaw-dropping drama unfolds.

I have to say, I loved this book! I just love Alyssum and her spontaneity and snark. I love the relationships she has with others, from her love interest, Jensen to her best friend, Aric, and also newcomer, Sloane. Heather has a way of creating such relatable characters that you can’t help but be engrossed in their lives from start to finish. Without spoiling anything, there’s a particular scene that shocked me, like I was yelling whoa!, and some might hate it, but I love drama and angst and being left with my mouth agape.

The unique premise of a war between Gremalians (gremlins) and Gobel (goblins) is an unexpected treat for those who like paranormal since books about these types of creatures are a rarity. I highly recommend United for those who enjoy sarcastic, witty female leads and a fresh take on paranormal stories.

Links: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo

 

I was fortunate to be able to interview Heather about the Grounded series. I do hope you enjoy the interview!

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1. Would you rather be Gremalian or Gobel? Hmmmm…I think Gremalian but that may be because I’ve spent more time in their world than the Gobel world. But also the Gremalian were more accepting of a human in their world than I think the Gobel would be so, to me, that means they are more open.

2. Jensen or Aric? Gah! What a choice. I’m going to go with Jensen. Possibly because I picture Zac Efron when I wrote both of these stories but also, he’s just my kind of guy. Aric is great but it’s Jensen for me.

3. Who is your favorite Bramble brother? Stone. He made me laugh so much, even in scenes that didn’t end up in the book. For me Stone is that perfect combination of funny and serious where the other brothers are either too serious (Kale) or too laid back (Lake).

4. Describe Alyssum in three words. Stubborn, brave, growing

5. What was your favorite scene to write in United? I have 2. The first is when Alyssum is rescued by Sloane because I had no idea that someone was going to rescue her until I wrote it and I really didn’t know it was going to be a human who would become important. The other is when the group tries to teach Sloane to use a Taser. I’m not sure why that was so fun for me but I giggled when she had a much easier time trying to shoot Jensen with it than she did Aric. I think it told me exactly what was developing between the two.

6. Who do you think would protect you better? Jensen, Aric, or Alyssum? Aric. No question. Jensen focuses on trying to do what’s right which is why he didn’t go with Alyssum at the end of Grounded. He thought she wouldn’t go without him, which of course he was wrong, but that wasn’t protecting her. Alyssum is too spontaneous. She doesn’t think things through and sometimes gets people hurt. But Aric…whether he agrees with you or not he is going to be there to protect you or die trying.

7. What should readers know about the Grounded series? It started as a joke. A friend and I had just read a great book that featured creatures not really represented in books. As a joke I told her I was going to write a book about Gremlins and Goblins. We laughed and laughed then grew quiet. More seriously I said, “I’m going to write a book about Gremlins and Goblins.” By the end of the afternoon Grounded was plotted out as much as I plot anything.

8. Do you write with or without music? Unfortunately without. If I do have music playing it has to be instrumental because otherwise I spend my time singing the songs instead of writing.

9. When do you write? I write whenever I can. I have time set aside to do it but if the opportunity arises at a time I didn’t plan, I just go with it.

10. What’s next on your publishing calendar? It looks like a NA contemporary romance will be next. After the summer romance anthology I’m a part of for charity.

Special thanks to Heather for this interview!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Young-Nichols has been writing since she was little. After a life hiatus from all things fun, she returned in full force and hasn’t stopped since. It’s unusual to find her without her computer, a book or her kindle unless she’s spending time with her family. And the real fun comes out during baseball season. Then, all bets are off. Heather grew up in Saginaw, Michigan and graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a degree in Sociology. Although she’s currently living in the country, she’s always been more of a city girl.

Author links: AmazonWebsiteFacebookTwitter

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Blues Harp Green by Nicole Schubert

All seventeen-year-old Francie Mills wants is to make it to nationals in tennis, because to her, tennis fixes everything. It helps her forget about her alcoholic father and timid mother, and a life where she feels so small. After a knee injury halts her budding tennis career, Francie finds her home life harder to deal with than ever, that is, until musician Chet Jones gives Francie something she didn’t know she needed, a safe person to talk to, one who understands what she’s going through.

In a story about finding friendship in unexpected people and coping with the affects of alcoholism, Blues Harp Green is a stunning debut novel from award-winning screen-writer Nicole Schubert that’ll linger with you long after you close the book.

I was sucked into Francie Mills’, aka FM on the Radio Dial’s, world from the first page, and it kept me up well into the night. I adored Francie and Chet’s friendship, particularly their emails and video chats and how well they connected. The characters came alive in a way that had me reminiscing about my own young adulthood, and the whole story messed me up in a good way. Schubert writes such likeable characters that you can’t even hate them when you want to. Even one particularly annoying character grew on me in the end.

If you love stories that shine light on dark issues, coming of age stories with a focus on new experiences, friendships, and love, and stories that refuse to let you go long after they’re over, then Blues Harp Green is the novel for you. Both young and young-at-heart will enjoy this story.

 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Schubert about Blues Harp Green and her writing life. I had so much fun getting a peek into her mind and how Blues Harp Green came to be. I hope you enjoy! You can get your copy of Blues Harp Green on Amazon.

1. Without spoiling too much, what was your favorite scene to write in Blues Harp Green?

I loved writing the last scene of the book, when Francie discovers a smidgeon of hope and writes about it in her diary (that she hates to write in). It’s bittersweet but personally cathartic as I can relate to Francie’s love and family experiences, so it was like I was finding a glimmer of hope too, which is why it was my favorite. I also loved writing the scene in Austin when Francie meets Chet. It was exciting to discover who Francie and Chet were to each other, the magic spark and why they connected.

2. Describe Francie Mills in three words.

Self-doubting, determined, dreamer.

3. Were there any particular musical inspirations behind Chet Jones and Blues Harp Jones?

Yes! Chet, the band, and their music are a mix of several inspirations. First, I was inspired by this pop band from Sarajevo (Bosnia) called Plavi Orkestar. I met them at a music festival in Sopot, Poland. They had an innocence about them but also the music spoke of love and a deeper emotional connection, a yearning, even though it was simple. They were wildly popular in their country. That combined with brilliant humor and how cute they were, made them easy targets for my imagination and Chet’s songwriting. The way I imagined Chet’s song “Louisa, Hey,” and how it was about a girl he loved, was inspired by Plavi Orkestar’s “Suada,”  “Kaja,” and “Bolje Biti Pijan Nego Star.” I also imagined Chet and the band’s music to have a little punk and ska—punk because Chet has a darker, angry side. And ska because it’s playful, has humor and adds depth to the music. Also, the inspiration for the Jones brother’s Uncle Pete, a music agent in the story, is the late Ian Copeland, who was the agent for The Police, Sting and a bunch of punk bands in the 80s (he was also the brother of Stewart Copeland, drummer of The Police), so I imagined that Chet got some punk and ska inspiration from Uncle Pete. Also, I think Chet is obsessed with studying the greats of guitar because he is so passionate about music, so he listens to Robert Johnson, which I got from reading the autobiographies of Keith Richards and Eric Clapton. Lastly, I have a crush on Jack White and his music so that also influenced how I wrote Chet and the band.

Here’s a video of Plavi Orkestar for your amusemement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zraVg1KU_Ac

4. What character did you most relate to in the novel?

Francie! I can totally relate to Francie. Falling in love with cute, deep boys in bands that I feel magically connected to and who I wish would take me away and save me and make everything fabulous and wildly fun too…right here! Also, I grew up in a family torn apart by alcoholism. Pretty much that’s why I even wrote this book…to get that out there and maybe connect with other people with the same experience and offer a glimmer of hope. Plus, I played tennis. So, yeah, I really relate to Francie!

5. Apart from Francie, who was your favorite character to write?

Stella! I loved writing Stella. She is so opinionated and says what she means and isn’t afraid and goes for what she wants. She’s also slightly weird, in a good way, like she’ll tongue kiss the phone when Facetiming her boyfriend or she’ll design cool weird music video sets, just because. Also, she gets Francie and knows when to give her space and when to push. Ultimately, Stella helps give Francie confidence by example and by being a loving friend.

6. What’s your favorite quote from the novel?

This is difficult! I guess the quote from Francie’s diary entry that is also the epigraph of the book:

 Sometimes you meet someone. And they look at you and it’s a thing. Like, somewhere inside you that is touched. Like your soul. That poetic memory thing. And it’s like you were always connected. You’ve always known each other. Now. And before. And forever in the future. And it’s like you were always traveling together through the galaxy and different universes. And your souls are connected always without time. And you love that person. And they love you. And sometimes they just make you happy for a minute. And then they’re gone. In this now, this life. But that knowing of the connection makes you know everything will be okay. ―FRANCIE MILLS

 7. Where do you find your writing inspiration?

Somewhere between and including my heart and my bellybutton. And whatever comes out of the ether. Also, some writers and books and movies in particular, like Oscar Wilde, John Hughes, JD Salinger, Neil Simon, Franny & Zooey, Loves of a Blonde.

8. When do you write? 

Late morning.

9. If you could tell your readers one thing, what would it be?

It’s hard to pick one thing, but I can get it in one sentence: Go where the love and laughter is, where life flows easily and doors open, and to concerts, and be in the space where your heart does a happy dance several times a day.

10. Which band mate from Blues Harp Jones would you have hung out with as a teen?

Chet! I would’ve been madly in love with Chet! And maybe still holding onto that.

Thanks so much to Nicole Schubert for writing this beautiful novel, making me fall in love with Chet Jones, and for participating in this interview!

 

About the Author

Nicole Schubert is a first-time novelist and award-winning screenwriter with a big soft spot for comedy and romance. She also dabbles in other behind-the-scenes activities, like producing the monthly Improv Diary Show at Santa Monica’s Westside Comedy Theater. She’s produced a music awards TV show and European-wide photo exhibition out of Brussels and enjoyed another side of storytelling working in the editing rooms of numerous Hollywood feature films.

Nicole lives with her family – including The Kid and pirate cat Biddy – in Santa Monica, by way of Brussels and New Orleans, where she was born during a hurricane…for what that’s worth.

You can follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her blog.

 

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The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

img_5351I was so excited to receive an ARC of The Lovely Reckless months before its release, and I devoured it! The novel blew me away! It follows Frankie Devereaux, a teen girl whose boyfriend is brutally beaten to death in front of her, as she gives up her old life of wealth and riches after making a mistake that gets her kicked out of her prep school. Forced to live with her undercover cop father and go to a new school vastly different than her private school, Frankie falls into a world of street racing, fights, and everything that encompasses hot, irresistible bad boy Marco Leone.

thelovelyrecklessBeautifully written, The Lovely Reckless captured the perfect amount of action, love, grief, and self-discovery. It lingered with me for days as I reveled in the love story of Frankie and Marco. It was one of my favorite young adult contemporary romances ever. I just loved the development of Frankie’s character and her growth throughout the novel. I loved how every relationship played a role in who she was and was becoming from her strained relationship between her parents, the forced friendship with her best friends, to the new unexpected relationships in the people she’d have never associated with if she were the same Frankie before the death of her childhood friend and boyfriend.

But the story wasn’t all love and moving forward through grief, it was action-packed and exciting with some mystery. It had all the things I love in a novel. If you enjoy stories about love and loss, are a fan of street racing movies like The Fast and the Furious, like young adult contemporary romance, and novels with diversity, The Lovely Reckless is for you.

Buy links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes.

About the Author

kami-garciaKami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the Bram Stoker Award nominated sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her forthcoming YA contemporary romance THE LOVELY RECKLESS releases on October 4, 2016, followed by THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS, an novel about a teenage Fox Mulder, in January 2017, both from Imprint (Macmillan).

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the series has sold over 5 million copies. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was a finalist for the ALA’s William C. Morris Debut Author Award, a SCIBA Award Finalist, Amazon’s #1 Teen Book of 2009 and #5 on the Editor’s Top 100 List, a YALSA “Teen Top Ten” Pick, and a New York Public Library’s “Books for the Teen Age” selection. The film adaptation Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers.

Kami has an MA in education, and she was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She has never raced a car, but there is still time. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at www.KamiGarcia.com.

Keep up with Kami and her books here: www.kamigarcia.com, Facebook: KamiGarciaYA, Twitter: @kamigarcia, Instagram: @kamigarcia, Tumblr: kamigarcia, & Pinterest: kamigarcia.

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Black Crow by J.L. Weil

51LbvoSEsILThe second installment of the Raven series picks up where White Raven left off as Piper comes to terms with the new, unwanted purpose in her life as she struggles dealing with love, loss, and a whole slew of complicated things.

With more snark than ever, Piper’s character development in Black Crow was perfection. She rose to the occasion and accepted her destiny but not without her humorous, colorful language, which made this novel such fun to read. I really can’t get enough of Piper. With more love than bickering, the relationship between Piper and Zane will melt your heart into a puddle. I just love them together. It’s the perfect amount of romance with hints of mystery while they fight to find out if they have a place together in a world that wants nothing more than to see them apart.

I devoured this book in two nights and look forward to reading the conclusion. If you like soul mate stories, good versus evil, and hot book boyfriends, Black Crow is perfect for you. I highly recommend it.

Links to buy: Amazon, iTunes, and BN.


About the Author

Award-winning and Bestselling author J.L. Weil writes Teen & New Adult Paranormal Romances about spunky, smart mouth girls who always wind up in dire situations. For every sassy girl, there is an equally mouthwatering, overprotective guy. Of course there is lots of kissing. And stuff.JL Weil

Most of her books are for ages 16+. They usually have what she considers the good stuff – sexual content (oh yeah) and swearing. You have been warned 😉

An admitted addict to Love Pink clothes, raspberry mochas from Starbucks, (yum!) and Jensen Ackles (double yum!). She loves gushing about books and Supernatural with her readers.

Where to find the author: Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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White Raven by J.L. Weil

White RavenWhite Raven follows Piper as she’s sent to Raven Hallow to spend the summer away from the only home she’s ever known. Soon after arriving, she discovers that her life will never be the same as she’s thrown into a mystical world full of dangerous secrets.

First of all—this book was amazing. It had the perfect amount of drama and humor to have me turning the pages at lightning speed. I enjoyed how sassy and sarcastic Piper was with her abundance of colorful (swearing) language, especially when it came to bad boy Zane Hunter, who she has a love-hate-love-despise-love-soul mate relationship with. Their interactions were utterly perfect. I couldn’t get enough of them together.

Another thing I enjoyed about White Raven was the mystery behind the island of Raven Hallow and how each character played a part. The mystery took a little longer to unfold than I would have liked, but it didn’t feel dragged out to me because I was wrapped up in the Piper’s interactions with the people around her, and ultimately I still loved the book. I look forward to discovering more of the world and what Piper’s capable of as the series unfolds.

I highly recommend this novel to those who love YA, paranormal romance, mystery, and humorous, bold female protagonists.

Links to purchase: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


About the Author

Award-winning and Bestselling author J.L. Weil writes Teen & New Adult Paranormal Romances about spunky, smart mouth girls who always wind up in dire situations. For every sassy girl, there is an equally mouthwatering, overprotective guy. Of course there is lots of kissing. And stuff. JL Weil

Most of her books are for ages 16+. They usually have what she considers the good stuff – sexual content (oh yeah) and swearing. You have been warned 😉

An admitted addict to Love Pink clothes, raspberry mochas from Starbucks, (yum!) and Jensen Ackles (double yum!). She loves gushing about books and Supernatural with her readers.

Where to find the author: Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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The Day That Saved Us by Mindy Hayes

The Day That Saved Us by Mindy HayesThe Day That Saved Us by Mindy Hayes follows the unforgettable story of Peyton Parker and Brodee Fisher as they spend their last summer together as best friends before going off to college. I had no idea what to expect when I started, but I highly enjoyed it.

This book had been on my TBR list for a while since a friend pointed it out a few months ago. Because I had lived most of my adult life near the beach in San Diego, I’ve recently gravitated more toward summer reads and beachy settings since I’ve moved, and I knew I’d love this book from the start. Mindy Hayes does an exceptional job capturing the essence of summer through Hatteras, a North Carolina summer destination. But that wasn’t what I loved about The Day That Saved Us—it was the beach setting that got my attention, but it was the characters that drew me in and wouldn’t let me go.

The complicated, multifaceted relationship between Peyton and Brodee will have you both smiling and yelling as Mindy takes you on a rollercoaster ride through their lives as they adjust to adulthood. I thought the way the story was split into two parts interesting, with each lead getting a narrative, and while at first I missed Peyton’s perspective, I loved Brodee’s just as much. I almost wish I had gotten both from the beginning straight through to the end. The Day That Saved Us by Mindy Hayes Teaser

I highly recommend this novel to those who love YA/NA contemporary, beachy books, complex characters, and books that give you all the feels.

You can find The Day That Saved Us on Amazon.

 

 

 


About the Author (from Amazon)

MHMindy is the youngest of six children and grew up in San Diego, California. After graduating Brigham Young University-Idaho, she discovered her passion for reading and writing. Mindy and her husband have been married for nine years and live in Summerville, South Carolina.

She is the author of the YA fantasy series, The Faylinn Novels; the adult contemporary romance series, The Willowhaven Series; as well as the coming of age standalone, The Day That Saved Us. Her latest release, Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost was co-written with Michele G. Miller and released on June 6, 2016. Mindy is currently working on Glimmer, Faylinn Novel #4.

You can find Mindy online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her website.

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The Summer of Lost Wishes by Jessa Gabrielle


I’m super stoked to participate in this book blitz featuring Jessa Gabrielle’s debut novel, The Summer of Lost Wishes, because as soon as I discovered it, I knew I had to read it. And just as I expected, it was amazing. I also had the pleasure of interviewing Jessa, so you can find an author interview at the bottom of this post.


The Summer of Lost Wishes
by Jessa Gabrielle
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 13th 2016


Summary:
When sixteen-year-old Piper Davenport’s mom packs up their lives and heads to the coastal Florida town of Coral Sands, Piper doesn’t care much for the view…until she catches a glimpse at Rooks Carter. 

Her mom’s “look but don’t touch” policy regarding the boy next door is all but impossible to maintain, especially since he’s helping his dad restore Piper’s new home, the Calloway Cottage. A gorgeous, shirtless boy makes this boring little town a bit more exciting.
 
But after Piper and Rooks discover a secret in the walls of the cottage, they have a chance to unravel the biggest mystery in Coral Sands history – unless someone unravels them first. 
 
Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboAmazon UK


My thoughts:

What can I say? The Summer of Lost Wishes was the perfect book to kick off my summer. It had everything I love in a YA novel from teen angst to a hot boy next door and some mystery as Piper and her new neighbor Rooks set off to discover what really happened to the five teens who died tragically in their small beach town fifty years ago.

Jessa Gabrielle does a stunning job at weaving the perfect beach setting, with incredible summery descriptions that really let me experience the small town of Coral Sands. The sweet, budding romance between Piper and Rooks had me smiling at nearly every page. There aren’t enough smiley heart-eye emojis in the world to describe how adorable every moment between the two of them was. Their summer love story was really well done.

I also loved how some letters from the past were speckled throughout the novel to give us a glimpse at the teens’ lives from 1965 before the tragedy occurred. It set up the mystery of the story perfectly.

I highly recommend this story for those who like young adult contemporary novels, beach reads, beautiful settings, and an all around cute romance.


Author Interview

1. First of all, I loved everything about this book—the mystery, the sweet love story, the setting—it was perfect. So, what was your favorite scene to write?

Thank you so much! I really loved writing a particular conversation toward the end of the book where a lot of the mystery was revealed. It was a big moment because it’d been in my head for a year, so finally getting the words down was awesome. But since that would be a total spoiler, I’m going to say my other favorite scene, which was the county fair. The flirtation between Piper and Rooks was so much fun. I loved everything about that scene.

That was hands down my favorite scene, too. 🙂

2. Piper Davenport has an interesting taste in room décor. Why faux deer heads? Is there a reason behind them?

When I started plotting this book, I had the big plot twist but nothing else. I wanted Piper to be a little quirky and different, so I hopped over on Pinterest and tried to imagine what her bedroom would be like, to get an idea of her personality. I actually saw the deer heads on there and loved them. (https://www.pinterest.com/jessa_gabrielle/the-summer-of-lost-wishes)

The Summer of Lost Wishes by Jessa Gabrielle quote3. What was your favorite quote from the book?

“This is our fate. We played with the sharks, and now we’re going to get bitten. We tempted the ghosts of the past, and we dug into a treasure chest that was meant to be sealed for eternity. Now we’re going to pay the ultimate price. Seth and Hanna won’t be the legendary couple who died at Shark Island anymore – we will.”

4. I know some people like to have playlists with their books. Any songs capture the essence of The Summer of Lost Wishes for you?

I usually have pretty in depth playlists for my projects, but this book only had a few songs on it – “Teenage Dream”, “The One That Got Away”, and “Thinking of You” by Katy Perry and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon.

5. Will you ever visit Coral Sands again?

I told myself I wouldn’t when I started writing the book, but I have a terrible, terrible habit of going back and revisiting old places and old characters, so it’s possible that Coral Sands will pop back up.

6. Can/Will you share anything about future projects?

My next book will be a YA contemporary romance called Fireflies, Sandcastles, and Other Remnants of Summer.

It doesn’t have an official blurb yet, but it’s a summertime romance between two childhood best friends who have grown apart. It’s set in a summer beach house in the fictional beach town of Cape Gabriel, revolves around their two families, and has pretty summertime things like fireflies and sandcastles in it. (hence the title)

Thanks so much for the interview, Jessa! I had so much fun reading TSOLW!


About the Author

Jessa Gabrielle is a young adult author who lives in the land of salt water, palm trees, and sandy shorelines. She believes that summer love is pure bliss and that she was a mermaid in a past life. The Summer of Lost Wishes is her debut novel.
 
Author Links:
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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red QueenRed Queen follows the life of Mare Barrows, a Red girl from the Stilts in a dystopian world where people have evolved into two classes—the Reds, those who are merely ordinary human, and the Silvers, humans who have evolved with special abilities after the destruction of the old world. From the beginning, the novel drew me into this terrible yet fascinating world where all Mare wanted to do was survive. But as it turns out, surviving the Stilts is the least of her problems when it’s discovered that while she has the blood of the Reds, she has the abilities of the Silvers. This alone is enough to get her killed.

What I loved most about Red Queen was discovering the Silver world through Mare’s eyes. Having her forced into royalty, while not sounding so awful, put her in a fragile position where the king and queen could easily kill her. I loved how I got to learn about the world right alongside Mare all the while hoping that she could overcome the obstacles that forced her away from her family. I thought her relationships with the two princes of her kingdom were really well done, so much so that I was furious at what had come from them at the end of the novel.

Victoria Aveyard did a fantastic job of making me love the two princes who were involved in Mare’s life only to make me kind of despise both of them. While a lot of the beginning of the book was predictable, the climax surprised me and left me reeling.

I’d highly recommend this book to those who love YA dystopian, royal stories, and stories with people with special powers.

Buy the book: Amazon


Victoria AveyardAbout the Author

Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She currently splits her time between the East and West coasts. As an author and screenwriter, she uses her career as an excuse to read too many books and watch too many movies.

Visit her online: website

 

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Always Summer by Nikki Godwin

Always Summer by Nikki GodwinThe Drenaline Surf series is one of those series you can’t put down and will want to read straight through. Always Summer follows Haley in the aftermath of some events that threaten her new beginning in Crescent Cove with Drenaline Surf, and it’s quite the crazy ride full of mystery and mayhem as secrets are revealed to the world and everyone struggles with soiled reputations while trying to stay afloat in the surf world.

I didn’t stay long out of the Drenaline Surf Series and started reading Always Summer a few days after I finished Rough Waters because I couldn’t wait. I just love Haley, her roommates, and the Hooligans so much that I miss them now that I’m through. Always Summer stepped up a notch in the mystery and drama, and I had so many feelings. I was literally angry that someone was trying to mess with my friends/peeps/squad/surf family. Nikki always manages to send me on a rollercoaster ride when it comes to the characters I love. One minute I love a love interest, and then the next, I want to slap some sense into them.

My favorite scenes took place between Haley and Colby, the surfer she originally chased across the country. They’re two outsiders in a world where everyone sticks together, and I loved that about them. I loved that they stuck together when everything was falling apart. The dynamic friendships of the Drenaline Surf Series are what I love most and keeps me reading. Nikki’s Always Summer gives me major friendship goals.

If you love young adult contemporary with mystery and drama, stories of friendship, summer reads, and hot surfers, Always Summer is perfect for you.

Links: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes


Author Interview

1. You always have some great crossover features between your novels. At the end of Always Summer, we get a tiny glance at Caleb, from your novel Breaking Saint Jude. Did you always know he’d be involved in the Drenaline Surf series?

I honestly had no intention of crossing over with Breaking Saint Jude. But it’s sort of fitting. In 2011, I was writing CFD and I took a break during November for NaNoWriMo. Breaking Saint Jude was my project that year (even though I didn’t finish it at that time). When Officer Pittman needed a shady connection, I decided to just use the hacker I already had instead of creating another one. It all worked out because I needed to share a little tidbit about Pittman’s life, and the connection worked well.

2. How would Haley describe Colby Taylor, Topher Brooks, and Vin Brooks each in three words?

Colby – Dreamer. Broken. Inspiring.
Topher – Hyper. Charismatic. Impulsive.
Vin – Serious. Smart. Brooding.

3. What’s your favorite quote from the book?

“He is winter meets warmth, sort of like biting into a gooey chocolate bar but realizing there are shards of glass inside.” Oddly, that line about Officer Pittman was my favorite in the entire book lol.

IMG_2093“It’s that feeling – that last summer, forever-chasing, there’s hope for the world after all feeling,” is a close second.

4. Who’s your favorite Hooligan?

Theo is my favorite. It’s so random to a lot of people, but I love broken characters. His back story in Rough Waters is what sealed the deal for my favoritism. Also, he has a pretty big moment in the final book that stole my heart. He’s just special.

5. I loved the ending of Always Summer. It broke my heart but also pieced it back together as some characters redeemed themselves and roles reversed in Haley’s relationships. Without spoiling too much, what can we expect from the next and final book in the series?

Everything will be answered/revealed in the final book. The who, the why, the everything. I really love this book because it unveils everyone’s mistakes, everyone’s secrets, and everyone’s pasts. You’ll learn a lot of things about a lot of characters that you may not have expected. But in the end, there’s a good solid ending that I think will satisfy readers, even if their ships go down. 😉 (I think we’re 50/50 on Team Vin and Team Topher, so hopefully I won’t receive hate mail! lol!)

I (Ginna) will always be #TeamColby. Halby forever. Though out of the Brooks brothers, #TeamVin, Vinley love over here. You hear me, Nikki? Hahaha 😉

#TEAMCOLBY FOREVER, HALBY FOR ALWAYS. –Ginna

6. Can you share anything about what’s next for future publications?

Let’s see… We have Falling From the Sky’s sequel, Crash Landing, pending. I also have a YA M/M romance that I’m dying to write. And I’m plotting a five-book New Adult surf series (Sienna Bay Series) that’s about five siblings who are all a part of the surf world, which was actually inspired by a family who has two surfers on the world tour and one that will probably qualify for it soon. 🙂


NikkiGodwinAuthor Bio

Nikki Godwin is a YA/NA/LGBT author. She can’t live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, and music by Hawthorne Heights. When not writing, she internet-stalks her favorite bands and keeps tabs on surf competitions. Her favorite surfer is Gabriel Medina. If you ever get her started on surfing or music, she’ll never shut up. You’ve been warned.

Keep up with Nikki online:
Amazon, TwitterFacebookNewsletter, and Website


Thanks so much to Nikki for taking the time to answer a few questions about Always Summer! I hope you enjoyed the insight as much as I did. If you haven’t read any of Nikki’s books yet, do so! Especially if you love young adult contemporary and summer reads!

 

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Unrivaled by Alyson Noël

Following three teens through the glamorous, gritty world of the Hollywood nightlife, where they compete for a spot as a club promoter, Alyson Noël weaves a fast-paced, mysterious tale that was hard to put down.

I loved Unrivaled! Not only did it bring back some fun memories from when I was an eighteen-year-old experiencing the Hollywood clubs for the first time, but it captured the essence of what lurks underneath all the glitz and glam of a world most people see through rose-tinted glasses. The beginning of the novel was a slow burn, as it eased me into what it’s like in Hollywood for three teens trying to accomplish their goals in a world where it’s easy to get lost among the masses.

The characters of Tommy, Layla, and Aster drew me in and refused to let me go. I felt for their fears and hoped they accomplished aspirations—and it’s character driven stories like this one that has me turning the pages at lightning speed. Out of all three characters, I most related to Layla in that she had a hard time fitting in a world she had always been looking through the window on, but I loved Tommy the most, because he spent the time pulling back the layers of the other characters to really learn who they were. As for Aster, I had a love-hate relationship with her the whole time, but by the end, I felt for her. I can’t wait to see where this story goes!

Unrivaled TeaserI highly recommend Unrivaled for people who love young adult contemporary, celebrity novels, mystery, and of course those who like to see a little more grittiness among the glam.

Links to Unrivaled: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Harper Collins.

If you haven’t read any other novels by Alyson, go do it! I loved the Immortals series and Saving Zoë.

 

 


About the Author

www.AlysonNoel.comAlyson Noël is the #1 New York Times best-selling, award-winning, author of 23 novels including: The ImmortalsThe Riley Bloom, and The Soul Seekers series.

With 8 New York Times bestsellers in 2 years, and over 8 million copies in print, her books have been translated into 36 languages, sold in over 200 countries, and have made the New York TimesUSA TodayLA TimesPublishers WeeklyWall Street Journal, NCIBA, and Walmart Bestsellers lists, and have won numerous awards such as: the National Reader’s Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, Reviewer’s Choice 2007 Top Ten, appeared on the CBS Early Show’s “Give the Gift of Reading” segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine’s “Hot List” and Beach Book Club Pick.

Chosen as one of OC Metro magazine’s “20 Women to Watch,” she’s been nominated for the Orange County Business Journal’s “Women in Business Awards” as well as their “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” award. The dramatic rights for The Soul Seekers are optioned to Cheyenne Enterprises and Traziende films; the dramatic rights to Saving Zoë are optioned to actresses/producers Ellen Marano, Vanessa Marano (Switched at Birth), Laura Marano (Austin & Ally), with Jeffrey G. Hunt (Vampire Diaries, Gotham) directing; dramatic rights to The Immortals are optioned to Gil Adler (Valkyrie, Constantine) & Jason Rosenberg.

Born and raised in Orange County, California, she’s lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan and is now settled back in Southern California.

Follow Alyson online: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

 

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