Blog Tour: Eight Days on Planet Earth

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Title: Eight Days on Planet Earth
Author: Cat Jordan
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Synopsis:

A heart-wrenching romance full of twists that are sure to bring tears to readers’ eyes, from Cat Jordan, author of The Leaving Season.

How long does it take to travel twenty light years to Earth?

How long does it take to fall in love?

To the universe, eight days is a mere blip, but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.

On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for herspaceship to pick her up and return her to her home planet. Of course she is.

Matty has heard a million impossible UFO stories for each of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. When he was a kid, he and his dad searched the skies and studied the constellations. But all of that is behind him. Dad’s gone—but now there’s Priya. She must be crazy…right?

As Matty unravels the mystery of the girl in the field, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined. And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.

Cat Jordan’s Promo Post:

The 5 Things I Ask Myself Before Starting a Writing Project

  1. What’s the opening scene?

In my earliest novels, I would start things off with a bang, often in the middle of action or even dialogue. It can be disorienting to a reader to not know what is going on or who is speaking. Some stories need this but most stories prefer a clever/beautiful/interesting opening line. I want to draw the reader into my world and I don’t want them to start off confused (unless that’s my goal!).

Now when I begin a project, I try to place myself in the new world as if I were my reader. What do I want to see? Is that interesting? Is that character compelling? Is the voice something I want to hear for three hundred pages?

  1. What is the ending?

Again, as a newbie writer, I would imagine my books with a bang of an ending too. With all of these “bangs,” you’d think I was writing thrillers! However, what I discovered – both as a reader and a writer – was that I needed to know what happens after the climax of the story. Back in high school, I learned this was a “denouement” but I didn’t know how to apply it until I became a novelist.

It isn’t enough to simply end a story. I need to imagine how all the storylines connect, or don’t connect; how characters continue with their lives. Even if I don’t write it all out for the reader, I need to know what those things are.

  1. Where does the story take place?

For me, place is a character. Specificity of location is critical. I might plan to fictionalize a town, as I did with Eight Days on Planet Earth, but I need to know what the exact place is that I’m fictionalizing. If I use an actual city, as I did with The Leaving Season, I need to research as much as possible if I don’t know it personally. I need to have a visual image of what the houses look like and the trees and roads. How close is the next town? Is there a body of water? And since this is a work of fiction, what isn’t there that I can fictionalize?

  1. What’s the title?

I have been known to change a title ten or more times before, during and after the process of writing. However, I absolutely must have a decent working title before I even start. The title – a good one – will define the story quickly, giving it a theme without me having to force one on it. It will also stick in my head so I can be thinking and working when I’m not actually in front of a computer writing it.

  1. Is it a book?

This is the most difficult question to answer. Sometimes you have an idea that seems like it’s really cool and fun or eerie or important but it’s just a character or a situation or maybe it’s just a scene or two. A book, especially a YA novel, is over 60K words! Your story idea must be sustained over the course of a lot of pages.

Also, if I haven’t written something in a while or if I’ve started and abandoned ideas for various reasons, I might be anxious to get going on a new book. No matter how excited I am to start, though, I have to live with it for a while. This is actually something I learned from Stephen King’s On Writing.

Only write the story when you can’t let it go, when you can’t stop thinking about the characters, when you can’t get the narrative voice out of your head.

Only write the story when you can’t not write it.

Add to Goodreads

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indie Bound | Harper Collins

About the Author:

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When I was a teenager, the very first book I ever tried to write was pretentious and stilted and set in a future where there was no paper. Obviously, I fancied myself another Ray Bradbury (who I was thrilled to meet not once but twice!). The book had an awesome title and no plot but I had the most fun creating the characters and the world they lived in. That to me is the most enjoyable part of writing a novel: envisioning a world and populating it with all kinds of people and dogs. Gotta have a dog.

The worlds I create now as an adult are based on my travels from coast to coast in the US, to Europe and Mexico and Canada, and on the people I have met and loved and admired and feared. And dogs.

Currently I live in Los Angeles. With my dog.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Giveaway:

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Book Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Review: Doctor Who: Myths and Legends

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Title: Doctor Who: Myths and Legends
Author: Richard Dinnick
Genre: Short Stories, Science Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is an unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters.

Review:

I love Doctor Who, so I was super excited when I was approved for this galley on NetGalley!

This is a collection of myths and legends from the Doctor Who universe. The stories feature some of my favourite creatures, like the Cybermen and Daleks.

I loved how these stories are taken from real ancient myths and legends, using Doctor Who characters, such as “The Mondas Touch” based on The Midas Touch, and “The Vardon Horse” based on the story of the Trojan horse. I love Greek mythology so I appreciated the way that the Doctor Who universe was blended with these ancient stories.

Sometimes there was a grey haired man, who could travel in time, that appeared in the stories. I wish this appearance of the Doctor happened more often because it was funny to see the reactions of the other creatures to this strange man.

At times the stories were quite detailed and spoke about things that were scientific, so I kind of got lost. But otherwise I loved this book! It’s a great collection of Doctor Who stories.

Top Ten Tuesday – Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Unique Book Titles. Here’s my list:

1. Zero Repeat Forever


2. A Game of Thrones


3. The Upside of Unrequited


4. They Both Die At The End


5. I Have No Secrets


6. Crazy Rich Asians


7. Definitions of Indefinable Things


8. We Are All Made of Molecules


9. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda


10. Everything I Never Told You


(All images taken from Goodreads)

Review: Literally Me


Title: Literally Me
Author: Julie Houts
Genre: Humour
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE. Or EXIST. SMIRK. LURK. 

Julie Houts has cultivated a devoted following as “Instagram’s favorite illustrator” (Vogue) by lampooning the conflicting messages and images women consume and share with the world every day.

A collection of darkly comic illustrated essays, Literally Me chronicles the exploits of “slightly antisocial heroines” (Refinery29) in vivid, excruciatingly funny detail, including:

-The beauty routine of a deranged bride who aspires to be “truly without flaws” on her wedding day

-What happens when Kylie Jenner has an existential crisis and can no longer “step out”

-A journey to Coachella by the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse

-The true dating confessions of a fembot

-The terrifying description for Alice Staunch’s book How to Be a Perfect Feminist 

-The diary of Fiddle Ficus, a tree that lives inside a CÉLINE store, and much more

Review:

Well this was an interesting book. Some parts were really funny, but some were just strange. 

I really enjoyed the journey to Coachella. Four girls meet in an Uber Pool. They’re the most unlikely people to see together and they don’t get along. Let’s just say, the car ride ends in pee in the backseat. 

The pictures were very unique. I liked the way they were filled in with water colours. Some of the illustrations told an entire story. There was also an unusual mouse that appeared multiple times. 

This book was original and unconventional. At times I didn’t know what was going on, but some of the stories were very funny. 

Review: Anne of Green Gables (Graphic Novel)


Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: Mariah Marsden
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Schoolyard rivalries. Baking disasters. Puffed sleeves. Explore the violet vales and glorious green of Avonlea in this spirited adaptation.

The magic of L.M. Montgomery’s treasured classic is reimagined in a whimsically-illustrated graphic novel adaptation perfect for newcomers and kindred spirits alike. When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan who can help manage their family farm, they have no idea what delightful trouble awaits them. With flame-red hair and an unstoppable imagination, 11-year-old Anne Shirley takes Green Gables by storm.

Anne’s misadventures bring a little romance to the lives of everyone she meets: her bosom friend, Diana Barry; the town gossip, Mrs. Lynde; and that infuriating tease, Gilbert Blythe. From triumphs and thrills to the depths of despair, Anne turns each everyday moment into something extraordinary.

Review:

It’s been many years since I read Anne of Green Gables. As a Canadian girl, this was part of our “required reading.”

This is a great graphic novel adaptation. Marsden stays faithful to the original story. It is also very brief because a lot is said through the illustrations rather than words.

I loved Anne (with an ‘e’)! She’s funny, sarcastic, and dramatic. She kept me laughing through the whole book.

I liked the bright illustrations in the story. They would be very appealing to young children. Anne reminded me a lot of the girl who plays her on the most recent TV series, so she looks like the contemporary image of Anne.

This graphic novel would be great for fans of the original novel and new readers! I highly recommend it.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Oct. 23)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

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This weekend I finished If Only You Knew. It’s an exciting thriller. My review can be found here.

What I’m currently reading:

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I’m currently reading Unqualified by Anna Faris. 

What I’m reading next:

 

Next I will be reading Eight Days on Planet Earth, for a blog tour.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments!

Blog Tour: If You Only Knew

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Title: If You Only Knew
Author: Cynthia Clark
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Aria
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis:

A wife, a mother, a killer.

One wrong decision, one terrifying night, leaves student Elizabeth with a stark choice – kill or be killed. And the consequences of that choice will shape her whole life.

Now a wife, a mother, and a lawyer, she must find a way to out run her past, protect her family and live with her secret. But is it really possible to live a happy life with such a huge shadow cast by the past? And as it becomes clear that someone else knows her secret and is hunting her down, time is running out for Elizabeth to keep her family safe.

In the bestselling tradition of Clare Mackintosh and Jenny Blackhurst, Cynthia Clark has written a heart-stopping story about the choices we make and how far we’d go to protect our families. Even if it means deceiving the people we love most…

Review:

I enjoyed this book!

I was hooked from the beginning. It opens with Elizabeth’s confession of murder, so I knew it was going to be good. Fairly early on, I learned the circumstances of Elizabeth’s crime, and it’s hard to blame her. I was sympathetic for her. 

I liked that there were two perspectives from Elizabeth, from 1998 and 2014. I could tell that she was the same character but she was more mature in 2014. 

I had figured out what was going on with Claire’s circumstances early in the story, but I was still excited about the story. I was very intrigued to see how it all ended. 

I liked this story. It was an exciting thriller! 

About the Author:

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Cynthia Clark was born and brought up in Malta, where she graduated in Communications and went to work for a daily newspaper. She has since lived in the US, where she worked as a writer in online business journals. She and her husband now live in Philadelphia with their twin daughters.

Follow Cynthia

Website: http://ariafiction.com/author/cynthia-clark
Twitter: @cynthiaNYC

IF YOU ONLY KNEW blog tour (1)

Available on NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2xWIl5R

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fnvZvH
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xz8jeP
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xksqO0
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2wLIV19

Follow Aria
Website: www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

 

Review: Little Secrets


Title: Little Secrets
Author: Anna Snoekstra
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Mira Books
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

What happens when ambition trumps the truth?

A town reeling in the wake of tragedy

An arsonist is on the loose in Colmstock, Australia, most recently burning down the town’s courthouse and killing a young boy who was trapped inside..

An aspiring journalist desperate for a story

The clock is ticking for Rose Blakey. With nothing but rejections from newspapers piling up, her job pulling beers for cops at the local tavern isn’t nearly enough to cover rent. Rose needs a story-a big one.

Little dolls full of secrets

In the weeks after the courthouse fire, precise porcelain replicas of Colmstock’s daughters begin turning up on doorsteps, terrifying parents and testing the limits of the town’s already fractured police force.

Rose may have finally found her story. But as her articles gain traction and the boundaries of her investigation blur, Colmstock is seized by a seething paranoia. Soon, no one is safe from suspicion. And when Rose’s attention turns to the mysterious stranger living in the rooms behind the tavern, neighbor turns on neighbor and the darkest side of self-preservation is revealed.

Review:

I really liked the beginning of this story. It was so creepy when the little girls in the town started to receive dolls that looked exactly like them.

I wish the story of the dolls was more prominent. I liked that idea but it really took a backseat to everything else that was happening.

I didn’t feel a connection with any of the characters. I felt that none of them had anything positive going for them. Things just kept getting worse for everyone. Even when Rose had her articles published, she still wasn’t happy.

I expected this story to be more suspenseful. Perhaps if the setting wasn’t so depressing, it would have made the story a little brighter. Everything seemed so run down, from the town to the characters, so I didn’t have anything positive to look forward to reading.

Blog Tour: Upstairs, Downstairs

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Title: Upstairs, Downstairs
Author: Olivia Hart
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Aria
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Rating: ★★

Synopsis:

Secrets on your doorstep don’t stay secret for long… A romantic comedy perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

When Daniele Bracci – a musician at Rome’s Opera Theatre arrives at his new apartment, he is surprised by the warm welcome he receives from his neighbours. Giovanna however, is more preoccupied with introducing him to her daughter Anita. But what she doesn’t know is that for the last two years, Anita has been secretly seeing someone else.

When Anita is introduced to the new tenant, she has the shock of her life – Daniele was Anita’s first love at high school. Can she come to terms with the terrible way things ended between them?

Anita isn’t the only one with something to hide… and none of these secrets go unnoticed by Pina, the apartment gossip who writes everything down in her secret diary…

Review:

This story is very fast paced. A lot happens in a short period of time. It was also fairly short, so I read it in just a few hours.

I liked the diverse backgrounds in this story. Though most of the characters are Italian, Anita’s boyfriend is Japanese. This brought different ethnic groups into the story. They would also eat at restaurants that had culturally different foods, such as Japanese or Medeterranian restaurants.

One thing that I thought could be improved was the dialogue. Sometimes the characters had a conversation that described something that they already knew. It was unrealistic, since it was only there to give information to the reader.

The voices of the characters sounded the same, so I would get confused about who was speaking in the middle of the dialogue, since they didn’t sound distinct. Also, there was a lot of thinking out loud, which were thoughts in quotation marks, so I would get that mixed up with dialogue.

I would have liked to see more diary entries from Pina. She’s a funny character, because she’s so nosy. It would have been nice to see more from her perspective.

This was an interesting story, but I think it could have been polished to be more successful.

About the Author:

Olivia Hart is a collective group of authors who met five years ago on a writing course and then could no longer do without each other’s company. They decided to write a novel that would bind them forever.

Follow Olivia

Website: http://ariafiction.com/author/olivia-hart

Upstairs, Downstairs The Blog Tour

Available on NetGalley: http://bit.ly/2xtoDNo

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fFQzV7
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xldsqO
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xn3T8n
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2fEKqIL

Follow Aria
Website: www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

 

First Lines Friday #8

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance. Mrs. Baird’s was like a thousand other Highland bed-and-breakfast establishments in 1945; clean and quiet, with fading floral wallpaper, gleaming floors, and a coin-operated hot-water geyser in the lavatory.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

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Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I love this series! I still have a long way to go to finish all the books, because they are so long and are a big commitment, but they’re so good! Have you read it?