Thursday, May 12, 2016

Excerpt ~ The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitch Hookipa


Excerpt from Ch. 1: Waimoku Falls

            We climbed the backside of the canyon, still winding through the singing forest. A sudden gust blew through the treetops, causing the tall hollow stalks to cry a warning and my heart to beat faster. What danger was Nahoa getting me into this time?
            By midday we reached the tree line, and the terrain became near vertical, with slabs of volcanic rock stacked in a series of small ledges and caves.

            I turned around, looking out over the green bamboo treetops. To my right, the towering snow-capped summit of Mauna Kea dominated the sky. It was the tallest and most sacred spot on the Great Island, and on rare occasions smoke and ash billowed from its peak, rising above the icy white snowdrifts. Fortunately, there had not been a major eruption or lava flow in many generations.

            “I’ll race you to the top,” Nahoa challenged. “I’ll even give you a head start.”

            We had always enjoyed a spirited rivalry, feeding off each other’s competitive nature. I surveyed the cliff, picking my route.
            “You’re on,” I said as I hoisted myself up and grabbed onto a small lava finger hold. Just above me was a long fissure in the rock, sloping upward to my right and then back to the left. While this path would take me on a longer course, it was less demanding, and my best chance to beat Nahoa to the crest.

            He saw my plan. “Good, little brother. That path is safer.”

            I carefully moved forward, while Nahoa soon got stuck above me on the sheer vertical wall of lava, his legs dangling and his feet probing the cliffside.

            “Fingers getting tired?” I asked him as I moved closer to the top. I was going to beat him, for once.

            “I won’t be here long,” he said.

            As I followed the crevice back to the left, Nahoa whipped his body to the right and leapt off the cliff, his foot landing on my shoulder. He pushed off my neck and hoisted himself onto the ledge above me, just below the crest.

            “Thanks, omo,” he said with a wicked laugh.

            As I pulled myself onto the ridgetop I saw Nahoa ahead, following a fast-moving river that disappeared in the distance.
           
            “Move it!” he yelled above the sound of the rushing water.

            I hurried to catch up and we crossed the river along a jagged path of partially submerged boulders smoothed over by the rapids.

            Before us, the river gained strength where it merged with a smaller tributary and formed a swirling vortex that plummeted off the cliff as Waimoku Falls.

            “That’s it,” said Nahoa, pointing at a small hill piled with rubble just in front of where the two rivers joined.

            There we found the remains of a crescent-shaped fortress made from stacked lava rocks. The curved wall was crumbling, with crusty orange lichen growing in the crevices and bright green geckos sunning themselves on top. The ground was littered with shark teeth, razor sharp and bleached by the scorching tropical sun.
            I was disappointed. I’d hoped to find a great temple with cryptic markings or intricate carvings. What lay before us was nothing more than a pile of weather-beaten rocks.

            “Well, this is a waste of time,” said Nahoa. He picked up a stone and hurled it at the remains of the fortress. From beneath the broken wall, a gathering of centipedes scrambled to escape the sunlight.
            An icy wind went through me. It wasn’t like a tropical breeze that cools your sweaty cheek. No, it pierced my flesh like I was no more solid than a palm frond. Disturbing the centipedes was a bad omen—they were minions of the shadows.

            “Did you feel that?” I asked.

            Nahoa stood frozen, the hair on his arms standing on end.

            He swallowed. “Feel what?”

            “I don’t think we should be here,” I said, motioning for us to leave. For once, I hoped he’d agree with me.

            “Do you want me to hold your hand, little brother? We’ll just have a look around, that’s all.”
            Nahoa walked over to where he’d thrown the rock and knelt to examine the rubble. He picked through and uncovered a wooden tiki head. The carving was badly weathered, its left ear missing. Its mouth snarled, and its eyes glared with menace.
            I looked at my brother’s face. He was in a trance, his head tilted down and his eyes looking up. They were cold and lifeless.

            “Nahoa,” I screamed. “Stop playing around. That’s not funny!”

            But he just stood there. I yelled again, “Nahoa! We shouldn’t be here. Let’s go!”
            He blinked, but otherwise remained perfectly still.

            As I stepped toward him, Nahoa pulled his knife and backed me toward the rushing river.

            “It’s you that doesn’t belong here, little brother,” he said in a hushed tone.

            Then he charged at me like a wild boar, knocking me into the water. I stood up, knee- deep in the fast-moving river, and dug my feet into the rocky bottom, bracing myself so the current didn’t pull me downstream. Nahoa leapt again and landed on top of me, sending us both tumbling into the whitewater.

            Since we were old enough to walk, Nahoa and I had been schooled by the masters in lua[4]—wrestling, hand-to-hand combat, and the use of our tribe’s most savage battle weapons. From years as sparring partners, I knew all his offensive moves and counter attacks as though they were my own. But as we raced downstream, bouncing off the rocks and plummeting down the rapids, I felt as though I was fighting a stranger. And I was fighting for my life.

            Up ahead, jagged rocks rose above the waterline. I flipped onto my back with my feet below me, struggling against Nahoa’s hands wrapped around my throat. I kicked free of him, but that only quickened my pace down the rapids. I slammed into a boulder, my feet bracing my impact. I was exhausted, but knew I had to get out of the water before I reached the falls. I managed to clamber partway up a slippery rock, then gathered the strength to hoist myself completely from the rushing current. Upstream, I saw Nahoa dangling from a tree branch, the rapids churning below him.
            My footing slipped and in an instant I was back in the river. The turbulence engulfed me, pulling me into the foaming whitewater. Then I was weightless, freefalling.


[4]Anicent Hawaiian school of martial arts
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Series: Trials of Apollo (Book 1)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (May 3, 2016)


Synopsis (From Amazon):

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor.

But Apollo has many enemies-gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh


I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only!  So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


 Title: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:

“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist 


Excerpt:







About Renée:
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of theScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.












Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only.


Ends on May 3rd at Midnight EST!


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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review ~ Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

Hardcover: 512 pagesPublisher: Random House (April 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400068320
ISBN-13: 978-1400068326
Synopsis (From Amazon):

From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

Praise for Curtis Sittenfeld and Eligible

“If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming.”—Elle

“Sittenfeld is an obvious choice to re-create Jane Austen’s comedy of manners. [She] is a master at dissecting social norms to reveal the truths of human nature underneath.”—The Millions

“A delightful romp for not only Austen devotees but also lovers of romantic comedies and sly satire, as well . . . Bestselling Sittenfeld plus Jane Austen? What more could mainstream fiction readers ask for?”—Booklist (starred review)

“Sittenfeld adeptly updates and channels Austen’s narrative voice—the book is full of smart observations on gender and money. . . . A clever retelling of an old-fashioned favorite.”—Publishers Weekly

“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one.”—The Washington Post

“Sittenfeld is popular but intellectual, accessible but mysterious and, above all—a perspective chameleon with an uncanny ability to enter the minds of callow prep school outcasts and devotedly compromising first ladies alike.”—NPR’s All Things Considered

“[Sittenfeld] is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines’ understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight.”—The Boston Globe

My thoughts prior to reading:
Like many others I am absolutely in love with Pride and Prejudice. So when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.

My thoughts after reading:
I had mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it but felt like there was too many differences from the original novel but at the same time my response to the characters actions were very similar to what you would have reacted to in the book. I didn’t quite like this version of Liz. I liked how some scenes were changed from Pride and Prejudice to give you a feel like you are reading it again for the first time. In this novel both Liz and Jane live in NYC and come down to Cincinnati for their father’s health. It is in Cincinnati where they meet Chip Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

I must admit the relationship between Liz and Wickham irked me. I did not like how they knew each other prior to Liz meeting Darcy. It was clear that Liz liked Wickham and probably had felt this way for a long time.

There was a great twist to Lydia which I must admit I liked. In Pride and Prejudice we all know what happens to her and how our jaw may have dropped when we read/watched it for the first time when she ran off with Wickham. Something happens that has our jaw droppings (I will not say what). This is nice considering how familiar we are with Pride and Prejudice.

Towards the end I found myself laughing more and more. Whenever Liz comes to realize how she feels for Darcy not to mention when she meets Georgie (I love that part)! The author is faithful to each of the characters personality I think it was a very goof modern interpretation of them.

I must admit I loved the way Mrs. Bennet was in the novel. It is a great modern interpretation of her. She will be making you laugh with her nonsense. As for the ending the way the author wrapped up the ending will make you laugh, at least it made me laugh.

I wouldn’t consider this one of the best books based of Pride and Prejudice but it will be enjoyable. Will you be planning on reading it? If you pick up this book please let me know what your thoughts on it are.

My Rating:
★★★ ½

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice Hardcover by Curtis Sittenfeld 


Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Random House (April 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400068320
ISBN-13: 978-1400068326

Synopsis (From Amazon):

From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

Praise for Curtis Sittenfeld and Eligible

“If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming.”—Elle

“Sittenfeld is an obvious choice to re-create Jane Austen’s comedy of manners. [She] is a master at dissecting social norms to reveal the truths of human nature underneath.”—The Millions

“A delightful romp for not only Austen devotees but also lovers of romantic comedies and sly satire, as well . . . Bestselling Sittenfeld plus Jane Austen? What more could mainstream fiction readers ask for?”—Booklist (starred review)

“Sittenfeld adeptly updates and channels Austen’s narrative voice—the book is full of smart observations on gender and money. . . . A clever retelling of an old-fashioned favorite.”—Publishers Weekly

“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one.”—The Washington Post

“Sittenfeld is popular but intellectual, accessible but mysterious and, above all—a perspective chameleon with an uncanny ability to enter the minds of callow prep school outcasts and devotedly compromising first ladies alike.”—NPR’s All Things Considered

“[Sittenfeld] is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines’ understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight.”—The Boston Globe

I love this cover so much better. <3 This book is out today! So if you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice and would like to read it in a new refreshing take this is the book for you. Told from a modern point of view. Even though you think you know Pride and Prejudice Curtis will throw in a few surprises in there for you. Is this on your TBR shelf?


Thursday, April 14, 2016

My latest book signing adventure!

I went to a book signing just like any other day because I am such a dork and I had the best time of my life. I went to see Jodi Meadows and Sherri Thomas. Honestly I went more for Jodi because I was so excited for The Mirror King but Sherri made me laugh so much I knew I had to pick up her book  ASAP.

I do not like to go alone to book signing so I looked for a friend to take. Since everyone else had Friday plans I decided to take my friends daughter, Kamila who is 8 (we have to encourage our young ones to read too!). Anyways as I was saying I took her and she really enjoyed it. Jodi brought a cloak and of course I made Kamila wear it.






She looked just so darn cute in that thing. A lot of girls were fawning over her. By the end of the book signing somehow I struck a conversation with Katie from Mundie Moms and she invited me to have Dinner with Jodie and Sherry. Of course I said yes how can you possibly pass up something like that?! At dinner I got to hear Jodi and Sherri talk about things that wouldn’t normally come up at a book signing and they shared the best stories. Honestly it was so much fun and at the very end we took a picture.

Have you ever had a memorable experience with an amazing author? Please share I would love to hear all about it.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead


I am so excited that THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Richelle Mead, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and a $25 Sephora Gift Card courtesy of Richelle, Penguin Teen, 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: THE GLITTERING COURT
Author: Richelle Mead
Pub. Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook

The Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.

"Brilliant and original, Mead’s new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end."
—School Library Journal

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him. 

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.

Exclusive Excerpt:





About Richelle:

Richelle Mead has written over twenty-five novels for teens and adults. She is the author of the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series and its spinoff series, Bloodlines. Her recent standalone novel, Soundless, draws upon Chinese mythology and history, and her forthcoming series, The Glittering Court, follows the adventures of girls destined for arranged marriages in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America. A lifelong reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses to wear on tour. She is a self-professed coffee addict, works in her pajamas, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is hard at work on her next novel.





Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THE GLITTERING COURT & a $25 Sephora Gift Card. US Only.


Ends on April 15th at Midnight EST!


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