Waiting on Wednesday: Frost Like Night

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

 

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)

 

I have finally read the first two books in this series and now very curious to know how the series end. What about you? Have you read these books?

 

sara-signature1

Rockstar Book Tours: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

SOMETIMES WE TELL THE TRUTH

 

 

 

Sometimes We Tell The Truth Cover

Title: SOMETIMES WE TELL THE TRUTH

Author: Kim Zarins

Pub. Date: September 6, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 448

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads

 

In this contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales, a group of teens on a bus ride to Washington, DC, each tell a story—some fantastical, some realistic, some downright scandalous—in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a perfect score.

Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:

-Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

-He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.

-He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.

-And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC.

But Mr. Bailey has an idea to keep everyone in line: each person on the bus is going to have the chance to tell a story. It can be fact or fiction, realistic or fantastical, dark or funny or sad. It doesn’t matter. Each person gets a story, and whoever tells the best one will get an automatic A in the class.

But in the middle of all the storytelling, with secrets and confessions coming out, Jeff only has one thing on his mind—can he live up to the super successful story published in the school newspaper weeks ago that convinced everyone that he was someone smart, someone special, and someone with something to say.

In her debut novel, Kim Zarins breathes new life into Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in a fresh and contemporary retelling that explores the dark realities of high school, and the subtle moments that bring us all together.

 

 About Kim:

KimHoldingRiverside

Kim Zarins has a PhD in English from Cornell University and teaches medieval literature and children’s literature at Sacramento State University.  Her debut novel, Sometimes We Tell the Truth, retells Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with modern teens, and she wrote it with a gigantic smile on her face (there are funny bits).  She also published two picture books for very young children.  When she isn’t reading or writing or teaching, she is feeding peanuts to a very hungry scrub jay named Joe.

Website | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

10 winners will receive a finished copy of SOMETIMES WE TELL THE TRUTH & stickers, US Only.

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjQ4MA==/?

 

ZARINSpreorder2

Pre-order giveaway: if you pre-order the book by its release date, September 6th, drop Kim a message on her website or Twitter and she’ll send you a sticker featuring spot art from the book (if there is a character who intrigues you, let Kim know, and she’ll give you that sticker), along with a bookmark and signed bookplate!

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/29/2016- Novel Novice– Guest Post

8/30/2016- A Gingerly Review– Review

8/31/2016- Twinning for Books– Guest Post

9/1/2016- The Petite Book Blogger– Review

9/2/2016- BookCatPin– Guest Post

 

Week Two:

9/5/2016- Just Commonly– Review

9/6/2016- Wandering Bark Books– Guest Post

9/7/2016- The Reading Nook Reviews– Review

9/8/2016- Literary Meanderings– Guest Post

9/9/2016- Eli to the nth– Review

 

Review

I am so excited to be a part of this blog tour because I was so curious about this book! I havne’t ever read a retelling of the Canterbury tales, but this was hilarious, creative, thoughtful, and perfect for today’s readers.

This is the story of six teens aboard a bus for a school trip to Washington, D.C. Sounds pretty lame, right? You would be WRONG. The student’s teacher, Mr. Bailey, has something up his sleeve. All of the students must tell the rest of the bus a story, even the bus driver has to weave a tale. This story can be real, it can be fake, it can be a mixture of both, it can be whatever the teller wants. It doesn’t matter as long as it is a story. The tales told are so imaginative that you never know what is going to be said next.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I believe it stands tall on its own and it felt like an effortless read. There are so many topics covered but it didn’t feel like it was trying to be bigger than what it was. Various topics included adoption, parent struggling with depression, sibling suffering from PTSD, and more. I never ever felt like this book was hitting so many topics in order to check boxes off of a “Must Cover” list. I felt it flowed beautifully.

All of the characters were so well developed and that was refreshing. I felt they all had their own strong personalities that worked well to bring the reader into the story and keep them there. Several characters stood out to me, one being Alison. Her story threw me for a loop! Throughout the entire book, the main focus stays on the character of Jeff. Jeff is at ends with her ex best friend, Pard. As the story progresses, the reader is given snipets and back stories that leads up to what transpired between them over the past couple of years. I won’t give anything away in this review, but I can say that it all comes out in the wash. There is a sub story line with Pard and Mace, but I felt that could have been developed a little more. I would have liked to know more of the history between those two.

By the end of this book, honestly not much changed amongst these teens but it all gave Jeff the courage to look at himself and accept who he is. That is a great theme that we all should do – learn to accept who we are and embrace ourselves. I really enjoyed this book and really hope everyone else gives it a chance! It is such a fun read that I couldn’t put the book down.

 

sara-signature1

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be on My Shelf if I Were a Teacher

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing my…

 

Ten Books That Would Be on My Shelf if I Were a Teacher

 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting

 

 

Exit, Pursued By A Bear by E. K. Johnston

Exit, Pursued by a Bear

 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King

 

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland

 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)

 

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Devoted

 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

 

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

 

If you were a teacher, what books would you have on your shelves?

 

sara-signature1

ARC Review: Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces

 

I thought I was ready for this book but I wasn’t. It was such a raw and powerful book. This is a very important book.

This is the story of 17-year old Charlie and her road to recovery from being a cutter. That sounds pretty bleak and straight forward, I know, but it is so much more complicated than you may think. She was removed from a very horrific period in her life to a rehab center. Before rehab, she was being forced to work as a prostitute and felt there was no way out. She loves being in rehab because it means that none of the bad people from her past can get to her. Rehab was not all peaches and cream so she was checked out of there and did her best to find her way on her own. She found a job, a place to stay, and even makes friends. These are all huge steps for Charlie but every day she fights her demons. She struggles to make the right choices but the old ones seem so much easier.Will Charlie be able to overcome the past that haunts her? Will she be able to put herself back together?

The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the writing. Glasgow’s writing style really is full of raw, thick emotion. It is a different writing style than I am used to, but it really is an added element to this story. Simply beautiful.  The way Glasgow weaved a mesmerizing atmosphere blew me away. This story took no time sinking its claws in to me. My heart ached at Charlie’s constant struggle with her sense of self, her ongoing pain, and her self doubt. As the story continues, the secrets of Charlie’s past come to light. That is when the reader learns who has hurt Charlie and how. I must warn you that there is so much hurt and ache in the story that it will stay with you long after you finish the story.

This was a very difficult story to get through. There are talks of physical acts of cutting and how that affects the person afterwards, both emotionally and physically. Charlie has a lot of scars she must carry – both internal and external. She starts out being ashamed of her physical scars but over time learns that they are part of her past and make her who she is. She can still be loveable with these scars. Cutting is not the only illness/disease covered in this story. Drug addiction and other forms of self harm are discussed. Glasgow does not shy away from covering some very, very tough topics.

With all of that said, this story is not one simply of various forms if mental illnesses, it is about survival. It is about both physical and emotional survival. Charlie had to learn and come to the realization that she is a surviver. She survived being homeless with no food or shelter, no one to rely on, being addicted to drugs, being sold for sex, cutting to releave the pain she has built up inside, and abandonment and abuse on nearly every level. It is also about finding your voice in this world and embracing it. Whatever it takes to help you feel whole and like you have a place.

This was such an intense and beautifully written book that I hope everyone reads. Yes, it is difficult and at times you will want (or need) to put the book down and walk away for a bit, but it is a necessary story. I am so very grateful I was able to read it because Charlie is the type of protagonist that everyone shoud know. This was a true 5 star read and I hope everyone will give it a chance.

 

sara-signature1

Books Left Unread #40

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

 

The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks

The Lifeboat Clique

 

I have heard good things about it but just haven’t pulled it off of my shelf yet. Have you read this one?

 

sara-signature1

Review: Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things

 

My heart.. this book is so sweet and adorable that it made my heart lighter.

Tell Me Three Things is Buxbaum’s debut novel but you would never know it. This novel reads like a seasoned writer is behind the words. This is the story of Jessie and Somebody Nobody. Jessie’s life is uprooted and turned upside down after her mother’s death. Her Dad meets and suddenly marries a woman he met in a bereavement support group. Jessie has to start all over when she is moved from Chicago to LA. She starts in a super uppity fancy school in California without her friends or knowing anyone. Jessie sticks out like a sore thumb and some of the classmates there like to remind her of that. On the Jessie’s first day, she receives a mysterious email from “Somebody Nobody” who claims he wants to be Jessie’s friend and help her navigate her new school. Just who is this mystery SN? Is this a cruel joke or is this just the person Jessie needs in her life?

The constant ongoing mystery behind Somebody Nobody is so precious. I don’t mean that in an adorable baby kind of precious, more of the “my heart is so full of hope” precious. The author did a wonderful job of keeping the identity of SN a secret. I was going back and forth wondering if it was Liam, the lead singer of OVille, or Caleb, Liam’s friend, or Ethan, Jessie’s English partner. I know who I wanted it to be, but that doesn’t mean it is who SN turned out to be. SPOILER FREE REVIEW so you won’t get outta me who SN really is. *evil laugh*

There are just so many parts of this story that stood out to me, one of them being the friendship with her father. It was so refreshing to read a story where the MC’s father actually wants to be that involved with his dauther’s life. He had his moments where I couldn’t stand him for being selfish, but he really had his heart in the right place. To read how open he was with Jessie was so amazing. Towards the end of the story, all of the hurt and anger Jessie had towards her father changed. She finally realized that he is human and he is grieving the loss of his wife the best he can. He openly admits that if Jessie isn’t happy, they will move out of LA, back to Chicago, and do whatever it takes to make her happy. That tugged at my heartstrings. That was such a beautiful moment.

The cast of characters, outside of Jessie and SN, really make this story. I felt for the friend Jessie left behind in Chicago – Scarlet. I understood her anger and applaud her for speaking her feelings the way she did. It took me a while to warm up to Theo, the stepbrother. I wasn’t sure if he was just a jerk or if he was hiding something deeper, as if he was putting on a front. I still don’t like the stepmom, Rachel, even though she is still trying to figure things out after the loss of her husband. That still didn’t give her the right to behave the way she did. Jessie’s new friends from school were so great: Dri and Agnes. I appreciated their openness and honesty with Jessie. They were true friends and so happy Jessie had them in her corner.

Now let’s talk about Jessie’s character. There were times I felt her voice sounded a little immature for a sixteen year old, and other times she was wise beyond her years. I think it was the texting/emailing/chatting with SN that made her sound immature at times. Maybe it was her being nervous and flirting with a boy that brought it out of her? Either way, I liked her. I like how she developed and grew into her skin. She had been through so much more than other girls her age and handled it the best way she could. She did her best to make the most of a bad situtation.

Oh, SN. How dreamy and swoonworthy are you. I loved the idea of this character. The idea of writing a boy as the one who is shy and hesitant to approach the new girl, yet gave him the platform via technology to be himself. I adored his character.

I felt this was an outstanding debut novel for Buxbaum. It was well written and wasn’t afraid to breach the usually taboo topic of teens and sex. It was mentioned throughout the book, but not in such a way that it was negative. Rather, it was talked about in a mature way. I applaud the author for being able to do that. I also really enjoyed how the topic of death and grief were always present. How it showed a teenager’s point of view on losing an a parent and how difficult that could be. Mourning and being able to grieve was so important to this story, right along with building the relationship with new friends, and strengthing the bond between her and her dad. I hope Buxbaum continues to knock it out of the park and writes more novels like this.

 

 

sara-signature1

Rockstar Book Tours Cover Reveal: Faithful by Michelle Hauck

 

Today Michelle Hauck and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for FAITHFUL, book two in the Birth of Saints series which releases November 15, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a SIGNED copy of book 1 GRUDGING!

On to the reveal! 





Title: FAITHFUL (Birth of Saints #2)

Author: Michelle Hauck

Pub. Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse

Formats: eBook

ISBN: 9780062447173

Find it: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads



Following Grudging–and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall–religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck’s Birth of Saints series!

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.

Exclusive Excerpt!
 
Not for the first time, Claire reconsidered her decision to stay when Ramiro had asked her. She’d lingered out of curiosity—and truthfully because it felt good to be needed—but they didn’t need her now with the Northern army defeated. She could return to the swamp and away from so many people. Despite her hopes of friends and community, she felt awkward here. Reason said she’d get used to their ways, but being around so many folk made her want to hide. Everything pressed down. The walls of the tent shrunk, pinning her in, and smothering her. It became hard to breathe.
She reached for a fresh strip of cloth, only to have her hand shake. She snatched the material and began to roll it, trying to shut out everything else, including her own doubts.
Before she could find a semblance of peace, though, someone shouted. Ladies screamed. Claire looked over her shoulder at the noise. A brown-bearded man in a poncho and a floppy hat ran in her direction. “My family is dead, because of the evacuations. Because of you.”
Claire gasped. He seemed to be talking to Beatriz, then his gaze found Claire.
“Witch!” His outstretched hand suddenly held a long butcher knife. “Witch! Stay away from us! Murderer! Abomination! Die!”
Fronilde dropped to the ground, but Claire couldn’t move. Surprise robbed her brain of a Song to stop him. Even the words of the Hornet Tune, which she knew as well as her name, deserted her. The man closed as everyone scrambled out of his way. Then Beatriz sprang from her chair to stand over Claire, holding up her hand. The tall, black-lace mantilla atop her head waved like a flag. “Stop.”
Something about the authority in the First Wife’s voice—or maybe her simple resistance instead of cringing or scrambling away—brought the man up short, making him pause for a moment. Just the moment the bodyguard needed to crush the lunatic to the floor and overpower him, wrestling free the knife. More guards came running from outside.
Breath rushed back in Claire’s lungs. Beatriz sniffed and touched a spot on her chest over her heart and then her forehead and stomach areas. “Imbecile. He didn’t know who he was dealing with.”
About Michelle: 

 

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling
metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons
help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children
by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A
book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for
any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.
She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.Her epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir
Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The
Elephant’s Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer’s Double Edge.
She’s repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

Website | Twitter | Facebook page | Tumblr | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a signed  of GRUDGING, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

sara-signature1