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Blog Tour: My #review of Remember Me by Amaleen Ison and a #Giveaway (@Amaleenison) #YALit

Remember-Me-Banner

Welcome to my stop on the Remember Me Blog Tour. I’m so excited to finally have a chance to lend my support to one of my favorite authors, as well as having an advanced look at her new release, REMEMBER ME so I could write the review. It’s really one of the best things about reviewing books. All that great literature (you hope) for free. What’s not to like?

I digress…

I fell in love with Ms. Ison’s work with her first solo release, THE TROUBLE WITH NIGHTINGALE. If you haven’t read this one, folks, you really need to get on that right after you finish picking up this latest endeavor.

But, we aren’t talking about that story today. Today is ALL about the newest tale to spawn from Ms. Ison’s fanatically creative mind.

Before we get to my review of the tale, let’s have a closer look at the book beyond its spectacular cover.

Bono_RememberMe_large-682x1024 (1)Remember Me
by Amaleen Ison

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Release Date: June 11th,  2013

ISBN: 978-1-61333-545-1

Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter

Blurb: Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.

A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.

Excerpt:

Father snatches the cover away and yanks my bare arm straight. Angry-looking bruises and red track marks riddle my paper-thin skin from wrist to elbow crease. He flicks a spidery-looking vein. “Dammit. Next.” My sluggish movements prove too slow for his liking, and he grabs my other arm. “We’ll give this one a try.”

I turn to Noah. Although younger than Father and not yet graying, his straggly black beard and tired-looking eyes make him appear older. He wears a worried expression and avoids my gaze. Perhaps he pities me, or my condition embarrasses him. Probably both.

The fog of medication descends in my mind and sends its glacial water surging through my veins. The barn wobbles, and my head lolls back on the pillow, giving me a view of the rafters. When it comes, the prick of the needle doesn’t hurt. Only the beautiful, melancholy song that plays constantly in my mind accompanies the odd sense of draining life.

Minutes, hours, days later—I can’t tell—Father holds up a full vial of blood to a shaft of sunlight streaming through the hole in the roof. “Thank you, my angel.” He kisses my forehead and squeezes my hand at the same time. I smile at the show of relief in his eyes, before my heavy lids close.

“She’s sleeping,” he says.

Footsteps draw near.

“She looks worse.” The disembodied comment comes from somewhere near the foot of the bed.

Father grunts.

“Her blood isn’t working anymore.” Noah’s voice sounds tight.

Silence.

“We ought to let her die peacefully.”

Yes, they ought to let me die peacefully.

“No!” Father’s breath comes in heavy gusts. “I won’t give up on her. We’ll capture the other one.”

“We’ll be damned.”

“Too late.” A loud clunk and something metallic skitters across the floor. “We’re already damned.”

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Buy Links:

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My Review: What a fantastic little story.  I just loved it! Now, I say little, because it is a novella, and only about 50 pages. But, those 50 pages are fictional gold.

The descriptions are so vivid, as if Ms. Ison is painting a portait in your mind. So clear you can just sit back and watch the story unfold. I just love when a story can do that. Make the words disappear and you are left watching a film — a mental movie of the book you’re reading. I really felt IN the story beside Sera throughout her struggles to understand what is happening to her.

The characterizations are just as strong. Each of the characters in the story, from the more prevalent, Sim, Father and Noah, to the less seen, Martha and Angela — each one completely flesh out and three dimensional.

I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, so the excerpt and blurb will have to give you enough clues to go by. I’ll not be adding any. Sorry, folks. You will have to just content yourself with knowing how much I enjoyed the short read, and how highly I recommend it to all the YA fan out there, as well as anyone who just enjoys a great, well written story.

5 Enthusiastic Pirate Skulls for this well woven YA tale.

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Amaleen Ison is offering a giveaway as part of the Blog Tour. You could snag yourself an eCopy of Remember Me as well as a $20 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open to International entrants.

Since I can’t host Rafflecopter on a free wordpress blog, you will have to swing over there to enter. The link is below. Good luck!

Remember Me Rafflecopter Giveaway Link

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EmmaPortrait2-240x300Author Bio: Amaleen Ison is a married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her cats (Oscar and Winston), guinea pig ( LouLou), and gerbils (Blackberry and Pumpkinseed). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres.

As a child, Amaleen lived most of her life in her head. She imagined herself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful. She still spends way too much time daydreaming, but now she writes about her imaginings and weaves them into stories. The fantasy element is always important, but more so the hodgepodge of emotions that arise from her characters first time experiences.

Her Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Website/Blog | Goodreads

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Cover Reveal: Remember Me by Amaleen Ison (@AmaleenIson) #YALit

Welcome and Happy Memorial Day to all of you. I am pleased as punch to be participating in a fantastic cover reveal today for a friend and fellow author, Amaleen Ison. Her newest release, REMEMBER ME is coming soon from Decadent Publishing, and I can tell you after having a chance to beta read some of this story… you are in all for a treat. I LOVED it… and I didn’t even get to read all of it yet.

Here are the details on the release:

Title: Remember Me

Author: Amaleen Ison

Release Date: TBA

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Editor: Lea Finley

Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter

Genre: Young Adult

Format: E-book

Bono_RememberMe_large-682x1024 (1)

Blurb:  Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.

A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.

Remember Me Goodreads Link:

 

EmmaPortrait2-240x300About the Author: Amaleen Ison is a married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her cats (Oscar and Winston), guinea pig ( LouLou), and gerbils (Blackberry and Pumpkinseed). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres.

As a child, Amaleen lived most of her life in her head. She imagined herself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful. She still spends way too much time daydreaming, but now she writes about her imaginings and weaves them into stories. The fantasy element is always important, but more so the hodgepodge of emotions that arise from her characters first time experiences.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website/Blog | Goodreads

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher Book Blast #YALit

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER

A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance, technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we’ve driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future

they need a Cypher.



Book Trailer
Guardians Inc.: The Cypher is FREE on Kindle, Nook & iBooks

Praise

USA Book News 2012 Finalist -Young Adult Fiction

“Rosado-Machain brings a light, humorous touch to themes of teenage love, loss and betrayal wrapped up in a tasty package of magical coming-of-age.”

~Kirkus Reviews

“It’s like Julian Rosado-Machain took everything that I love about middle grade children’s fiction and slammed it into one awesome, well-paced fantasy”

~Emi London Oktopusink.blogspot.com

“The Cypher hooked me from the beginning. And kept my attention right through to the very end.”

– Heidi Roth reviewthebook.com

Get Your Copy for FREE

Author Julian Rosado-Machain

Julian has enjoyed pizza in three continents, holds a degree in graphic design, built armored vehicles and computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears has seen at least one ghost.

He is the Co-owner of Hacienda de Vega Restaurant in San Diego, California and enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.



Book Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/13/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Cover Reveal: The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes #Giveaway @inkspellpublish

The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes (1)Title: The Fallen Stars
Author: Stephanie Keyes
Series: The Star Child
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 12-April-2013

When all is lost, he will have to make the ultimate decision.

Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to a Celtic goddess. Now everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when Calienta, Kellen, and friend, Gabriel Stewart, find themselves on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself stuck in the middle of another prophecy that questions everything about him including where his loyalties lie. Plus, Calienta’s more than a bit different; she’s making choices that he doesn’t understand. And Gabe, his best friend? He’s started doing all sorts of freaky things that make Kellen question who he really is.

Kellen and Calienta will fight to stay together and keep the hidden part of the prophecy from becoming reality.

When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose? 

Sounds good? If you liked Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Need by Carrie Jones, or Fallen by Lauren Kate, you will love this book!

Stephanie KeyesAbout the author:

Stephanie Keyes has been addicted to Fantasy since she discovered T.H. White as a child and started drumming up incredible journeys in her head. Today, she’s still doing the same thing, except now she puts those ideas down on paper.

When she’s not writing Stephanie is also a graphic designer, presenter, teacher, musician, avid reader, and Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible husband of eleven years.

Keyes is the author of The Star Child YA Fantasy series, which currently includes The Star Child and The Fallen Stars. She is currently hard at work on the third book in the trilogy.

Praise for Stephanie Keyes:

“Imaginative and fast-paced. Couldn’t put it down!” – E.G. Foley, New York Times Bestselling author of The Gryphon Chronicles

“This well-written and intriguing fantasy was a delight to read. I can’t wait to read the second novel in this series!” – Linn B. Halton, author Never Alone on The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes

Interested in joining the blog tour from 6-Apr? Click here to register!

Blog Tour Registration Link

GiveawayGiveaway (Open to US, UK and Canada)

1 wired star bookmark, 3 Star Child (Book 1) ebooks and 5 The Fallen Stars eBooks

 Rafflecopter Link 

#Review: The Trouble With Nightingale by Amaleen Ison (@amaleenison) #YALit #Horror

Okay folks…I am going to be honest with you here. I have NO CLUE why when I was working on my blog I came across the post below as a “DRAFT”. I really thought I had posted this a long time ago. Maybe I did and this will be a repost. *shrugs* Who knows.

Anyway, here is a review I did for a fantastic YA horror novella I read written by an author I consider a friend, aside from thinking she is beyond talented. *gush gush* 😛

 

The Trouble With Nightingale
The Trouble With Nightingale by Amaleen Ison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful short story!

I gave this one a read yesterday while on the train to NYC for work and I just LOVED it. It had been on my Nook waiting for me to find some time to read it for months and I am so glad I finally got the chance. The characters were vibrant and realistic, even in the context of a paranormal type tale. A completely unique twist on the dart arts and witchcraft.

Ms Ison has a gift for descriptive tales or the supernatural, and The Trouble with Nightingale is no different. I fell in love with the characters, most especially Fabian. Just too cute for words. I don’t put spoilers in my reviews, so I won’t get into too much detail on him, but I bet if you give it a read, you will agree with me.

I highly recommend this for anyone interested in paranormal tales appropriate to a YA audience and those who enjoy reading stories about the occult or witchcraft.

View all my reviews

Happy Release Day to WANT by Stephanie Lawton #WANT_SLawton #YA

Forbidden fruit can be the sweetest—or the most dangerous.

Back of the Book: Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Early Praise for WANT:
“A heart-rending, romantic, and compulsively readable debut. You will remember Juli and Isaac for a long time to come!” –R.A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and Throat

“A powerful masterpiece, exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes…”– Aubrie Dionne, Author of “Paradise 21”

“This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be” – Lisa Voisin, Author of “The Watcher”

GIVEAWAY

Please visit my webpage to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway, since WordPress won’t allow me to host the widget from here 😦

ENTER HERE

EXCLUSIVE BOOK BIRTHDAY DISCOUNT!
Buy the book now at Inkspell Publishing Store and enjoy a special EXCLUSIVE 30% discount! Offer valid only till 14th June!

Curious about some “behind-the-curtain” scenes? Read Stephanie’s short story “Aftertaste” for free! Just visit the FREE READS page of the Inkspell site to download.

Purchase Links for WANT:

Purchase through InkSpell Publishing
B&N
Book Depository
Page and Palette (Indie Bookstore)
Amazon

Book Review: Crux by Julie Reece (@JulieReece) #YA #urbanfantasy #Crux

Crux
Crux by Julie Reece

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book.

Okay, I should preface what is to come with the disclaimer that I read this as a BETA before it was submitted for publication and loved it then, so I took little risk in reading the final version. I already knew it was a kick-ass read. My opinion has not changed.

Crux is an YA Urban Fantasy (romance) featuring a down, but not out homeless girl, Rebecca Orin–who everyone calls Birdie. She’s got spunk, sarcasm, and street sense. The kind of female lead I just love to get behind. After a very strange day that finds Birdie coming into some cash, and more attention than she could ever want, she learns there may just be something special about her and her bloodline.

I’m not one to put spoilers in a review, so I wont go into the plot line any more than that, but I can say the mission she ends up embarking on is full of history, mystery, monks and Vikings — what a combination!

I mentioned above there was some romance in the tale as well, and the male lead Grey Matthews is just the kind of guy any teenage girl would swoon over. Sexy, rich, and completely head over heels for Birdie. Suffice to say, my 17yr old daughter — who also read Crux (and LOVED IT) is keeping her eyes open for her own “Grey”.

Ms. Reece’s gift for vibrant description and emotionally rich characters makes this story a real winner in my book. A must read for the YA Urban Fantasy fans out there, or anyone looking for a sweet romantic adventure.

View all my reviews

Publisher’s Website

Author’s Website

Cover Reveal: Reaper by L.S. Murphy

Reaper
by L.S. Murphy
Release Date: January 7, 2013
Target Reader: Young Adult
Keywords: Urban Fantasy

Back of the Book:
There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

URL: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/19

WANT by Stephanie Lawton (@steph_Lawton): A Review #AtoZchallenge #blogging #bookreview

I thought for W day, I would post my review of the YA novel I just finished titled, WANT. (appropriate, right?)

Want
Want by Stephanie Lawton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me start by saying this book was absolutely nothing like what I expected when I sat down to read. I have read a fair share of YA books, but WANT is miles above anything I have read from this genre lately.

Stephanie Lawton presents us with a southern world, steeped in tradition and dark secrets. The MC, Julianne is flawed and “real” and I was rooting for her from page one. What a wonderful departure this was from the usual perfect life, beautiful flawless MC’s present in so much of today’s YA fiction.

About halfway through the novel I had worried I wouldn’t be pleased with the ending based on how the story was unfolding, but boy was I wrong. Ms. Lawton drew me into her southern world and had me gnawing my nails as I prayed for Julianne to make the right choices — pick the right man. Don’t even get me going on the hotness of the men — one dark and brooding, one the perfect southern gent (even if he is a Yankee).

While some of the subject matter was deep and emotional, I feel it was well handled and none of the drama read as over the top or gratuitous. All of it lended to the authentic feel to the story.

Really enjoyed this one a great deal and will be looking for more titles by this talented new author.

View all my reviews

Cover Reveal: After Dark by Emi Gayle (@emijgayle) #YA #PNR

The Book Nook has another fantastic cover reveal for you today. This one come is the debut novel for YA author, Emi Gayle.

After Dark
The 19th Year Trilogy – Book 1
by Emi Gayle
Release Date: October 31, 2012
Target Reader: Young Adult
Keywords: Paranormal Romance

Back of the Book
What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists — which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.

Previous books in this series: None. This is the first of three.
URL: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/16

My Thoughts: I like the tone here, love the darkness of it. I am a sucker for that cross–it draws me quite nicely. It leads me to believe the story is about vampires, though, if I were just to use the cover as my basis (yes, I know you can’t judge a book by it :P). Maybe the artist is using that for impulse sales or something (since sparklie vamps are all the rage), but the description mentions changelings, so I think we are safe. I’m definitely curious enough to want to read it, and that is the point, after all.

Bex Cover Rating: 4 of 5 stars.

What do you think?

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