Friday, July 1, 2016

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan | Blog Tour


Secrets, Lies, & Scandals
by Amanda K. Morgan
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

In the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and How to Get Away with Murder, five teens must overcome their paranoia in order to keep their teacher’s death a secret in this fast-paced suspense thriller.
Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.
Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has a chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.
Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.
Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record—one that doesn’t include murder charges.
Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life…but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.
Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.
With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.


As soon as I saw that this was being pitched as similar to the hit TV series How to Get Away With Murder, I knew that I was going to have to check it out. I've been obsessed with the show and would absolutely love anything similar to it. 

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals follows 5 main characters, which I honestly think is awesome. Each character winds up in the same college psychology course with Dr. Stratford. None of them are the biggest fan of him, especially because of the way that he treats his students. During a psychology test one day, Dr. Stratford ends up dead. Before long, the five of them are on the run to try to figure out a way to cover up what they had done. 

This book was so incredibly suspenseful. I was constantly flipping pages because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Were they going to get caught? Were any of the characters going to enter into a romance? I just wanted to know everything. My heart was beating pretty fast at some parts too, which just added to my enjoyment! I was very immersed in the story.

I really loved that there were five different point of views too. I've always been a huge fan of stories with many characters. The first character that the reader is introduced to is Ivy, who is immediately stuck in a very difficult situation as a vending machine has actually fallen on top of her. It was pushed on her by none other than her best friends. She is saved by her ex boyfriend. In addition, she is basically the most popular girl in school. 

Next is Mattie. He's in town staying with his aunt when all he really wants to do is be back home with his boyfriend who happens to be hanging around his ex boyfriend quite a lot. Kinley is the classic A student who has never had a teacher dislike her. All she wants is for Dr. Stratford to take her seriously because she wants to learn. Tyler, the troublemaker, immediately takes a liking to Kinley and thinks she's super attractive. Lastly is Cade, who wanted to spend the summer with his girlfriend Bekah traveling along Route 66. That all goes awry when his father tells him that he enrolled him in a psychology course instead. Even though there were a handful of characters, each was completely different and I never got confused about whose point of view I was reading through, which was awesome. Every character's point of view was enjoyable to read through too, so I never had to sit through boring parts.

I continued to flip through the pages very quickly until the very end. I can honestly say that if you're a big fan of thrillers and murder stories, then this story is one that you need to add to your to-read list. 




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Follow the Secrets, Lies & Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



Amanda K. Morgan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works as a technical writer when she isn't working on her YA novels.

At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.

Amanda is an avid volleyball player and spends time playing both indoors and out. When Amanda isn't writing, she enjoys being entirely too busy and trying new things. Endeavors as of late include appearances in music videos, TV, and movies, rock climbing, and attending as many concerts and shows as her schedule allows.

Amanda headed up the Do The Write Thing for Nashville Project (with co-organizers/authors Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire), which tapped some of the biggest authors, editors, and agents in the industry for an online auction that raised over $70,000 for Midsouth flood relief.


Rules & Conditions in the Rafflecopter | Open INTERNATIONALLY





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Interview with Katie Kennedy!




About the book:
23018259
Title: Learning to Swear in America
Author: Katie Kennedy
Release Date: July 5, 2016 
Publisher: Bloomsbury 

Brimming with humor and one-of-a-kind characters, this end-of-the world novel will grab hold of Andrew Smith and Rainbow Rowell fans.

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize--if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri's 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.
 


Now let's get on to the interview! Brimming with humor and one-of-a-kind characters, this end-of-the world novel will grab hold of Andrew Smith and Rainbow Rowell fans.

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize--if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri's 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.
 




Now let's get on to the interview!



  1. Why did you aspire to be a writer?
For me it’s about story, and the need to tell stories. I don’t need to wear black turtlenecks and haunt coffee shops, or whatever the popular perception of a writer is. But I do perceive the world in narrative form—stories are how I make sense of the world, and how I communicate. So writing novels is a natural outgrowth of that.


  1. Do you plan to write more books?
Yes! I have a second book set for release in 2017, also from Bloomsbury. It’s called WHAT GOES UP. It has different characters than LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA, but it’s also a contemp/sci fi mash up and is fairly similar in tone.


  1. What was your favorite part of the writing process?
I don’t like starting books, but there’s a sweet spot at about 70-100 pages when you realize you know your characters now, and with any luck you’ve figured out what your book is about. And then the drafting gets easier and maybe faster.


  1. Did you get to help design the book cover?
No, thank goodness! I would be the world’s worst cover artist, both for lack of artistry and lack of sense. My publisher was great about conferring with me, but the artist is entirely responsible for the cover—and did a great job!


  1. What was your favorite snack while writing the book?
I have developed an addiction to Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses. I have a bag hidden in my desk.


  1. Did you base any of the characters off people you know in real life, or off literary characters?
Yes. My MC, Yuri, bears some resemblance to the MC of the first book I wrote, which was an adult thriller. And Dovie’s parents are based on my aunt and uncle. They’re even wackier in real life! Oh, and the high school principal is real.


  1. What’s your favorite book?
That’s an impossible question! The answer to that will change constantly, but today it’s P.D. Eastman’s GO, DOG, GO!


  1. If you could have dinner with three favorite literary characters, who would you have dinner with?
I’d like to have dinner with Rapunzel, because she’s lonely, Oliver Twist, because he’s hungry, and Gandalf, because Gandalf.  


  1. Which character in a novel most resembles you, and why?
Probably Lennon from LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA, because he’s a real smart aleck.


  1. If there was a book about your life, what would it be called and why?

OH, IT’S LATER THAN I THOUGHT!: TALES OF A PROCRASTINATOR. Self-explanatory.


About the author:
Katie Kennedy
Katie Kennedy is a college history instructor. She used to teach in a fire station. When the alarm rang, the entire class jumped up and ran out of the room. She became an LPN in order to write more accurate medical scenes. She has been lost in Moscow, and rousted by the KGB for sitting in Red Square to eat her ice cream. She has been bitten by a fish.

Katie lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with her husband, daughter, and son, in a town with a million bats. LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA comes out July 5, 2016, from Bloomsbury.




GIVEAWAY:
1 fun swag pack, open INT!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Unplugged Blog Tour!


15751616Title: Unplugged
Author: Donna Freitas
Publisher: Harper Children's
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction

The first book in a provocative new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas-Feed for a new generation.
Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World-an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz's family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.

Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.
But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.
In the tradition of M.T. Anderson's Feed and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, Unplugged kicks off a thrilling and timely sci-fi series for teens from an award winning writer. 


There's something about science fiction novels that always get me excited. They're just so otherworldly and interesting to the point where I always get totally immersed in the world. Unplugged was absolutely in this same category!

The story follows a girl named Skye who lives in the App World. It's basically a virtual version of the real world, though everyone is pretty much the same. Skye has no idea what she looks like and hasn't seen her family since she was five years old. That's why she's always been looking forward to leaving for Service, which every child is allowed to do in the App World. It basically means that they are unplugged and are allowed to finally see the real world. However, all of this is thrown astray when the link between the App World and the Real World is broken. '

I think my most favorite part of this story was the world that Freitas created. An App World where basically only the rich live and thrive was extremely intriguing. There are many people there called Singles who are the only people in their family that are in the App World like Skye, too. Basically everyone can just buy apps that do absolutely anything. They could suddenly have longer legs or even have wings to fly. It was just so cool! 

Skye was a very interesting character. I especially liked how the reader learned more about her. Her family basically put her into the world when she was too young to really understand what was going on. They wanted a better life for her and became Keepers, which means that they are in charge of the plugs. I also really liked how Skye evolved as a character as the story went on. 

Unplugged was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I honestly have to say that it did not let me down. I'm even more pumped that the book is the first in the series. I can't wait for book two!




ABOUT DONNA FREITAS:
Donna Freitas is the author of both fiction and nonfiction, and she lectures at universities across the United States on her work about college students, most recently at Colby, Pepperdine, Harvard, and Yale. Over the years, she has written for national newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, and she’s currently a non-resident research associate at the Center for Religion and Society at Notre Dame. Donna has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and also at Hofstra University in their Honors College.

In 2008, Donna published Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses with Oxford University Press, based on her national study about sex on campus. Her latest book is called The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost (Oxford, October 2016), and it is based on her research for a new study about social media and how it is effecting the ways we construct identity and sense of self, how we make meaning in the world, and navigate our relationships during college. In 2014 and 2015, Freitas conducted approximately 200 in-person interviews with college students at thirteen different colleges and universities, and collected nearly1000 online surveys about these subjects. 

Donna is also the author of six novels for children and young adults, including The Survival Kit (FSG, 2011), named an ALA Best Books for Young Adults and the winner of the Bookstar Award in Switzerland, and This Gorgeous Game (FSG, 2010), also named an ALA Best Books for Young Adults, a winner of the CCBC Choice Award, and a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best winner. Her novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood (FSG, 2008), received five starred reviews and many accolades, including: an Indie Next Kids' List Great Read, Society of School Librarians International Book Award Honor Book, VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers, and the Texas Lone Star Reading List. Donna has also published two middle grade companion novels with Scholastic, Gold Medal Summer (about a gymnast) and Gold Medal Winter (about an ice skater), which just won a CCBC Choice Award. In June, Unplugged the first novel in her sci-fi trilogy about two competing worlds, one real, one virtual, will be out in June from HarperTeen. She lives in Brooklyn.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:

Week 2:


Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of UNPLUGGED (US Only)


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