Title: Gabriel and the Swallows (The Volatile Duology #1)
Author: Esther Dalseno
Publisher: OfTomes Publishing
Publication Date: March, 2016
A lonely farm boy.
A girl with swallow’s wings.
An ancient city buried in a volcano.
A mystery old as blood and bone.
There is more to Gabriel than the life he’s ashamed of – the son of peasant winemakers, bullied relentlessly on account of his disabled mother. For Gabriel has a secret: the elaborate dream world he descends into at night – a grandiose, vivid existence – is becoming more real than his waking life.
Everything changes for Gabriel when he rescues a wounded creature – a miraculous girl with swallow’s wings – from the voracious pursuit of Alfio Gallo, a dangerous old enemy. Aided by the beautiful and mysterious Orlando Khan, Gabriel is conflicted by unanswered questions: who is the Dark One that dwells in the medieval tunnels beneath their city? Is he just a figment of Gabriel’s powerful imagination? And is the foundling really who she says she is?
Wrestling with manhood whilst beckoned by ancient rites and foreign lands, Gabriel is about to make a deadly decision that changes the course of life as he knows it…as long as he can decide which reality he’s in.
About the Author:
Esther Dalseno was born to a Malaysian mother and an Italian father in Australia. After living in both Portland, Oregon and Sydney, New South Wales, she headed off to see the world.
Writing and teaching, she has lived in Laos, Vietnam and South Korea and has traveled the world extensively, from Johannesburg to Bangkok to Barcelona.
She now lives in Berlin with her husband, daughter, and Pekingese dog, all acquired in different countries. She has no plans yet to return to Australia.
Esther loves museums, festivals, live music and can often be seen ambling about the graffiti-strewn streets of Berlin’s inner city.
She began her publishing career with the short Totoro’s Garden in the acclaimed short story collection, We All Need a Witness, published by Macmillan.
Her debut novel Drown was published in 2015. Her second novel, Gabriel and the Swallows will be released in March 2016.
Title: Inked ( Inked #1)
Author: Eric Smith
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication Date: January 20th, 2015
Genre: YA, Fantasy
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.
And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.
But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.
Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.
Eric Smith takes you on a high-octane fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different… only to discover that fate is more than skin deep.
I received a review copy of inked from the author via YA Bound Books in exchange with an honest review.
I usually dive into books knowing so little about the plot, and this was the case with Inked. By only reading the 1st two sentences in the blurb, I was intrigued to know what happens next. I wasn't disappointed !
The author was not only to capture my attention to pick the book, but also to continue reading it. I was hooked from chapter 1.
I loved the way the author described the tattoo given, and how it affects a person's career. Fate is meant to be discovered along the way, and not to be a method of control. Trying to control people's fates , which is the point of being inked, is extremely dangerous ; Eric did a brilliant job of showing it.
I didn't like the character development. I found it to be rushed at times, and no explanation would support how fast a character's state of mind changed.
I really enjoyed Inked, and I am glad to know that there is going to be a sequel published in May 2016.
I give it 4/5 stars.
Enter the Giveaway :
About the Author:
Eric Smith is the author of THE GEEK'S GUIDE TO DATING, out now via Quirk Books, and INKED, a YA novel out with Bloomsbury Spark.
His writing has appeared locally in the Philly Weekly, The Inquirer, and on Philly.com. He's written for the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Boing Boing, and is a regular contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem.
His essays have appeared in the Bygone Bureau and The Apiary, and his first published piece will appear in THE ASTEROID BELT ALMANAC with the Hand & the Hand Press in April 2014.
He's the co-founder of Geekadelphia, a popular hyperlocal geek blog in Philly, and the Philly Geek Awards, a ceremony honoring local geeks in his city.
Eric holds a BA in English from Kean University and an MA in English from Arcadia University. He currently lives in Philly. You can find him on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks and @geekadelphia.
Book Title: The Secret To Letting Go
Author: Katherine Fleet
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
One summer can change everything...
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.
Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.
Goodreads . Amazon . Barnes & Nobel
Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet gave up the cold winters of Eastern Canada for the year round warmth of the Caribbean. The slower pace of island life has given her time to pursue a long-time goal—becoming an author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time baking, chauffeuring her three amazing, talented kids around, and having sun-filled adventures with her husband and wonderful friends in Curaçao. She is also a very thankful breast cancer survivor. In 2007, she joined RWA and has enjoyed the support and camaraderie of the YARWA and OIRWA writing communities. She’s participated in NaNoWriMo since 2012 and is an active supporter of the associated Young Writers Program. She is represented by super-agent Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. The Secret to Letting Go is her debut novel. You can connect with her at www.KatherineFleet.com.
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I'm thrilled to be taking part in Brenda Drake's Release Day Launch (hosted by Jen Halligan PR) for THIEF OF LIES (Library Jumpers #1)! Check out the book and excerpt below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaways!
Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1) by Brenda DrakePublisher: Entangled Teen Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather-clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound. Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed. Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Excerpt from THIEF OF LIES
We stepped into the Children’s Library and stopped in the center of the room. A massive light fixture designed to resemble the solar system dominated the ceiling. The hushed rumble of two male voices came from one of the reading nooks. I crossed the room, paused at the built-in aquarium, and inspected the fish. Afton halted beside me. “This is great,” I whispered, not wanting to disturb whoever was in there with us. “Fish and books. What’s not to love?” Spotting a sign referencing classic books, I searched the shelves for my all-time favorite novel. The male voices stopped and there was movement on the other side of the bookcase. I paused to listen, and when the voices started up again, I continued my hunt. Warmth rushed over me when I found The Secret Garden. With its aged green cover, it was the same edition I remembered reading as a young girl. The illustrations inside were beautiful, and I just had to show them to Afton. Coming around the corner of the case, a little too fast for being in a library, I bumped into a guy dressed in leather biker gear. My book and notebook fell and slapped against the floor. “Oh, I’m so sorry—” I lost all train of thought at the sight of him. He was gorgeous with tousled brown hair and dark eyes. Tall. He flashed me a crooked smile, a hint of dimples forming in his cheeks, before bending over and picking up my forgotten book. He held the book out to me. “Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” He’d quoted a verse from The Secret Garden with a sexy accent that tickled my ears. I stood there like an idiot, my heart pounding hard against my chest, unable to think of a response. The fact that he had read the book and could recite a line from it stunned me. And impressed me. Say something. Anything. “Good read there,” he said when it was obvious I wasn’t going to speak. He winked and nodded to a guy behind him before ambling off. When he reached the end of the row, he paused and glanced back at me, flashing me another killer smile, and then he disappeared around the bookcase. Tingles rose in my stomach. He looked back at me. The guy following his Royal Hotness gave me a final appraisal before departing. His stringy blond hair hung over his large forehead. It looked like he hadn’t washed it in weeks, and there was probably an acne breeding ground under it. He grinned, and I broke eye contact with him, making for the nearest window. Oh God, you’re so lame, Gia. You could have finished the quote or anything less tragic than not speaking at all. The response I would have said played in my head. With silver bells, and cockleshells, and marigolds all in a row. Why? Why hadn’t I said that?Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram
Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up are of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
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Title: Fourth World ( Iamos Trilogy #1 )
Author: Lyssa Chiavari
Publication Date: December 29th, 2015
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Purchase links: Amazon paperbacks , Amazon Ebook
IAMOS, S.C.D. 8378
Nadin’s planet is dying. As its atmosphere drains away, her people are forced to live huddled in domed cities for protection. With only enough resources to support the population for one more year, time is running out. Nadin thinks she’s found a way to save Iamos, but it will mean defying the planet’s rulers, the geroi—and betraying the geroi could cost her everything.When a strange boy from another world appears out of nowhere outside the citidome’s glass walls, Nadin knows for sure that her plan will work. But to build the device that can save her people, Nadin must first find the legendary city of Elytherios. And to do that, she’ll need the help of the mysterious alien boy named Isaak.MARS, 2073 C.E.
All Isaak wanted was to get through his senior year at the Academy in one piece. Everything would have been fine if he hadn’t found that ancient coin among his missing father’s possessions. The coin seems to have a strange connection not only to Isaak’s family, but to Mars’ ancient past.But how is that possible, on a planet that was supposed to be dead until just forty years ago?Now Isaak’s got agents of the Earth’s government on his tail and a deranged factory worker stalking his every move. Everyone is desperate to get their hands on something called the Key. And the only way to escape is to unlock an even bigger secret, one that could change his life—and the fate of Mars—forever.
I had so much fun coming up with these questions, and even more fun while chatting with Lyssa !
Q1) Can you tell us a little bit about Fourth World?
Fourth World, the first book in the Iamos Trilogy, is a young adult sci-fi adventure set on Mars. It follows Isaak Contreras, a high school junior who’s part of the first generation of people born and raised on Mars after its colonization in the mid-21st century. Isaak is struggling to fit in after the disappearance of his dad two years ago, but when he happens to come across a mysterious coin among his dad’s belongings, he gets caught up in a mystery that involves him with government conspiracies, crazed scientists and an ancient door that leads him to another world. There he meets a girl named Nadin, who is looking for a way to save her dying planet. Nadin realizes that Isaak may hold the key to saving her homeworld—and the journey they embark on together just might solve the mysteries Isaak thought he’d left behind on Mars.
Q2) What kind of diversity does this book contain?
The book takes place on a future version of Mars that people from all over the world have had a hand in colonizing. The city that Isaak lives in, Tierra Nueva, is a really diverse urban area somewhat reminiscent of San Francisco. I drew a lot from my experiences growing up near the Bay Area in California, and seeing how much it’s changed over recent years. Even though Tierra Nueva was originally founded as a manufacturing town, in the years leading up to the start of the book, it’s seen an upsurge in wealthier people moving to the area because of growth in the tech industry, so there’s a strong divide between the two “halves” of the city: the wealthy newcomers and the lower-income people who have lived there for years but are now being displaced. Isaak is kind of caught between these two worlds because he lives near the factory district, but he attends the prestigious Academy on scholarship, so he has to exist in both worlds at different times, which can lead to a bit of tension.
Another important part of the book’s diversity is that both my main characters, Isaak and Nadin, fall under the umbrella of asexuality—Nadin is ace and Isaak is demisexual. Even though there’s been a rise (however small) in the number of books available with LGBTQIA characters, asexuality is something that has been incredibly underrepresented, with only a small handful of YA books available with ace characters (and, to my knowledge, only one with an explicitly ace protagonist). As an ace author, changing that is something that’s really important to me!
Q3) Could you explain the difference between Demisexuality and Asexuality in your own words?
Demisexuality is usually considered to fall under the asexual umbrella, but the key difference is that aces don’t experience sexual attraction, whereas demis do experience it, but only rarely and under a specific set of conditions: demisexual people only feel sexual attraction after an emotional bond has been formed. That’s a really basic definition, of course. If you want to learn more, your best sources are going to be demisexuality.org and asexuality.org. Both those sites have more detailed definitions, FAQs and quotes from members of the ace and demi communities that will help you get a better understanding for it!
Q4) Why did you involve two characters with two different sexual attractions?
Part of it is because the characters really demanded it. I found I was having a difficult time writing both Isaak and Nadin until I realized that they were trying to tell me they’d been ace all along. From Isaak’s very specific crush on Tamara to Nadin’s refusal to cooperate with any kind of “standard” YA romance scene, everything made sense after I figured out these basic aspects of their characters.
But another reason is that I wanted to demonstrate that being ace is not any kind of homogeneous experience. Like I said before, asexuality is extremely underrepresented in fiction and especially in YA, and most of the characters that have been portrayed in the past tend to follow a similar pattern. But every person’s experience is different. There are people who are demisexual, people who call themselves “gray-ace”, people who are sex-repulsed and people who are sex-indifferent. And then there’s the differences in romantic attraction, from people who are aromantic and aren’t interested in dating or romantic relationships of any kind, to people who are romantically attracted to one or multiple genders. Yet we tend to keep seeing the same pattern. I wanted people to see that there’s not just one story to be told.
Q5) Sci-fi is almost becoming real life as plans of colonizing Mars are being made; how did this affect/inspire you?
It’s actually what led to the idea for the book in the first place—I came up with the story when I was teaching elementary school science and the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. When I was teaching the kids about it, they asked so many fascinating questions about what life on Mars would be like that it put the whole seed for the book in my head. As I spent the next few years mulling the story over in my mind while doing other things, all sorts of news about Mars kept hitting the headlines: the discovery of liquid water, the rise of the Mars One project, the continuous growth of SpaceX and similar companies like Blue Origin. I did a ton of research before writing the book, and every time a new announcement was made, it spurred me on even more. I followed a timeline that indicates that human exploration of Mars begins in the 2030s, and in all likelihood, it looks like reality might be following that timeline. I’m so excited about that and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Q6) If you can sit down and talk with one of the people who are going to live on Mars, who would it be?
Meeting any of the candidates on Mars One’s shortlist would be a dream, because they all seem like fascinating people. All of them have such interesting reasons for wanting to go on the mission, I think I would be happy to talk to any of them—especially as they get closer to choosing the final crew for the mission!
Q7) Finally, you decided to go Indie for your debut novel. Is this a pathway that you would like to stick with during your publishing journey, or would you switch it up later?
I'm not sure! Each project is different, and that has a lot to do with it. Going into Fourth World, there were so many different variables that I felt really made it a better candidate for indie publishing, which is why I didn’t even attempt to go traditional with this book. But obviously that won’t be the case for every book. I love the freedom you get with indie, but I think I would like to try traditional publishing at some point, so I can get a feel for both industries. I just have to find the right project that would be well-suited for that environment!
Thank you for answering my questions!
You’re welcome, thanks for having me! :-D
Enter the Giveaway !
One signed copy of Fourth World + a bookmark open to US only.
About the Author:
Lyssa Chiavari is an author of speculative fiction for young adults, including Fourth World, the first book in the Iamos trilogy. She’s also the editor of Perchance to Dream, a YA collection of Shakespeare retellings, and the upcoming Circuits & Slippersanthology. When she’s not writing—which isn’t often—you can usually find her exploring the woods near her home in the Pacific Northwest or losing an unreasonable number of life balloons on Donkey Kong. Visit Lyssa on the web at lyssachiavari.com.
Goodreads page for the book