Monday, June 30, 2014

"Heart Shaped Rock" by Laura Roppé

Heart Shaped Rock
by Laura Roppé

Heart Shaped Rock is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a character interview and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Sometimes a shattered heart needs to sing to love again ... Sixteen year old singer-songwriter Shaynee Sullivan hasn't so much as touched her guitar since her mom died six months ago. In fact, Shaynee hasn't felt like doing much of anything lately, except maybe playing Whack-a-Mole on her "emotionally intelligent" brother's head. But when she meets a gorgeous and surprising rocker named Dean, her shattered heart begins to mend ... and then burst at the seams. 

Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and sometimes even heart-racing, Heart Shaped Rock will leave you laughing through tears and rooting for love in all its forms.
Hear the original music performed in Heart Shaped Rock on the author's website

Book Trailer

Featured Review
I just finished reading Laura's Heart Shaped Rock novel. Wow, wow, wow! It kept me interested the whole way through. I kept thinking about a movie that should be made from this book ... the star would have to be Jennifer Lawrence!!! I hope she can sing!
The characters were so well defined and kept me reading for more and more in depth descriptions. Laura really knows how to write for the reader to be so excited they don't want to put the book down. It was emotional to say the least, but captivating and deep!
Laura, I hope you are working on your next novel!

Character Interview With Shaynee Sullivan
Shaynee Sullivan joins me one day before the book begins. How old are you, Shaynee?
What are your likes?
Well, if you’d asked me that six and a half months ago, I’d have answered “music.” But I haven’t even touched my guitar since Mom died six months ago. So, nowadays, I guess the answer to that question would have to begin and end with my best friend, Tiffany. I don’t know what I’d do without her - especially these days. Most days, Tiffany’s literally the only person who even speaks to me, let alone looks at me, other than my dad and brother, of course (but they don’t count). Well, and Kellan, her boyfriend, too. But come to think of it, Kellan and Tiffany are so ga ga about each other, they’ve sort of morphed into one person (Kiffany? Tellan?), so Kellan doesn’t really count.
At first, when I returned to school right after mom died, kids who’d never even glanced at me before approached me to say how sorry they were about Mom. But then, after just a few weeks, the condolences and pats on my shoulder faded away and were replaced by . . . silence. I guess they just didn’t know what to say. Nowadays, I’m the Incredible Invisible Girl. I’ve never been much of a talker, anyway, so not chatting about manicures and boy bands and juice cleanses and hashtags suits me just fine. What do I have to talk about with anyone, anyway? About how I’m on the verge of throwing up at any given moment, thanks to the scent of Mom’s perfume still wafting through the house, even after all these months? Or about how rail-thin and frail she became at the bitter end, or how her sunken eyes flickered with such deep apology in that very last moment, I had to turn away?
The whole nobody-talks-to-Shaynee thing is fine with me, really. The thing that’s a little bit disturbing, though, if I’m being totally honest, is that no one even looks at me anymore. Maybe they don’t want me to think they’re staring at me with pitying eyes. Maybe they don’t want me to think they’re analyzing my every sigh and furrowed brow and orphaned expression. And so they simply don’t look at me at all. I don’t mind. Mostly. But sometimes, occasionally, if I’m being totally honest, it sucks ass.
What are your dislikes?
Oh, sorry. I think I kind of already answered that in my “likes.” Oh, wait, I have another one I can add. My annoying little brother, Lennox. I mean, I love him, of course. He’s my brother. And I have to admit his music videos are pretty entertaining. But he’s so “emotionally intelligent” and “good at expressing his feelings,” he sometimes makes me want to play Whack-a-Mole on his head. I just wish he wouldn’t talk about Mom so much is all. That way, maybe I could just . . . keep on pretending she’s still here. That way, maybe I could make it through one goddamned day without crying my eyes out. I’m done with crying. I’m done.
Thanks for stopping by, Shaynee.

About the Author
Laura Roppé is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, audio book narrator, speaker, and former attorney from San Diego, California. In 2011, Billboard Magazine ranked her as Number Three on its chart of the Top 50 "uncharted" artists in the world. In May 2013, Laura began hosting Amazon's weekly podcast, "Kindle Love Stories," for people who love hearing about love stories, romance, and happily ever afters.
Her first book is the non-fiction memoir, Rocking the Pink. Her latest is a YA-teen romance novel entitled Heart Shaped Rock, featuring a soundtrack.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card.


"The Trouble With Flying" by Rachel Morgan

The Trouble With Flying
(Trouble Book 1)
by Rachel Morgan

The Trouble With Flying is the first book in Rachel Morgan's new Trouble series of standalone novels. Coming soon: The Trouble With Flirting, the Trouble With Faking, and The Trouble With Falling.

This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.

When nineteen-year-old introvert Sarah boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, the last thing she expects is Aiden, the guy sitting next to her who’s never flown anywhere before and refuses to shut up. Hours of random conversation later, they part ways. Sarah can’t stop thinking about Aiden, though, and wondering if she made a terrible mistake letting him go.

Should she abandon her safe, predictable life and go in search of him, or would she be chasing a happily ever after that could never exist in real life?

Chapter One
I don’t make friends on aeroplanes. I know there are people who like to strike up a conversation with the complete stranger sitting next to them, but that’s not me. It’s not that I’m an unfriendly person. It’s more the fact that the conversation centre of my brain seems to seize up in the presence of strangers, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what to say. And even if the other person is happy to simply babble on while I pretend to listen and be interested, I’d really rather be doing something else. Like reading. Or watching a movie. Or sleeping. Or trying to figure out how to stop crying.
Yes. Crying. Because if being shy and awkward isn’t enough, today I’m adding red eyes, tears, and suppressed sobs to the embarrassing mix.
I stare out the tiny, oval window at the patches of reflected light on the wet runway and silently ask God to leave the seat next to me empty. I can’t deal with a chatty neighbour right now. I’d rather watch the black sky and incessant rain until we reach cruising altitude. Then I’ll close my eyes and let sleep take the pain away.
Oh, STOP IT. It’s not like someone died.
I wiggle around a bit in my seat and sniff, trying to listen to my inner pep-talk voice. Think of the good things, I tell myself. I’m on my way home. I’m leaving behind the dreary, wet weather for a sunny, summer climate. That, at least, should make me happy. But thinking about home leads to thoughts of who I’m flying towards, and that only makes my stomach twist further.
I hear the sound of a bag being dumped onto the seat at the end of my row. There are only three seats between the window and the aisle—mine and two others—so there’s a fifty-fifty chance this person is about to plonk him or herself down right next to me.
I angle myself more towards the window and swipe my fingers beneath my eyes. I start the furious tear-banishing blinking. Stop crying, stop crying, stop crying. All I need now is for someone to see my blotchy, wet face and start asking me what’s wrong.
I hear someone settling into a seat. I don’t feel movement right beside me, so it must be the aisle seat. Fantastic. I send up a quick thank-you prayer and remind God that it would be spectacularly awesome if He could keep the seat next to me empty.
A tickle inside my left nostril alerts me to the fact that my nose is dribbling. I sniff, but it doesn’t help. Crap, where are my tissues? I lean forward and reach down by my feet for my handbag. Brown strands of hair fall in front of my face and block my vision, but if I can just get the zip open and feel past my purse to the tissues—
No. Too late. Now it’s trickling down my lip and I’m digging around in the bag and I can’t feel the stupid tissues and a drop of tear-snot just landed on my hand and yuck! I haul the ridiculous handbag—I told Jules I didn’t need something so big—onto my lap with one hand while holding the back of my other hand to my nose. And there the tissues are. Right next to my purse. Perfectly easy to find. I rip one from the packet and jam it against my nose to stop the tear-snot flood.
And that’s when I catch a glimpse of the guy sitting in the aisle seat. A quick sideways glimpse, but enough to tell me he’s cute. Excellent cheekbones, a strong jawline, and perfectly messy dark brown hair. Terrific. My nose is dripping snot in front of a cute guy. Not that I should care that he’s cute, or that he’s a guy, because it’s not like I’m going to talk to him, and it’s not like I’m even available—am I? I don’t actually know. And thinking about that makes me want to cry all over again—but STILL. I don’t want to look blotchy and snotty in front of a cute guy.

Featured Review
Sarah's worst nightmare, a cute stranger who wants to talk to her, is about to sit beside her on a long flight from England to South Africa in Rachel Morgan's The Trouble with Flying. Oh my goodness, I loved this book. Sarah is so adorably awkward and shy, and I could easily relate to her. Aiden is hot and weird in his own way. I anxiously awaited to see how these two could possibly meet each other again after their flight. Set against the exotic backdrop of South Africa, this story is an endearing read. I laughed, cringed at Sarah's awkwardness because I totally got it, and teared up at the book's sweetness. I really want to try Zoo Biscuits now too. If you're looking for a clean, new adult romance, then look no further. I was completely engrossed in the story and couldn't get to the next screen page on my Kindle fast enough to know what happened next. The Trouble with Flying by Rachel Morgan is one of my favorite reads this year!

About the Author
Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn't for her - after all, they didn't approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults.

Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.

Plus, everyone can download a FREE copy of Forgiven (A Trouble Novella) by Rachel Morgan (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords).

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"Blackout" by Madeleine Henry

(Darkness Trilogy Book 1)
by Madeleine Henry

Blackout is the first book in Madeleine Henry's new YA dystopian Darkness Trilogy.

One wall divides life from darkness. After the worldwide Blackout, America built a concrete wall - the Frontier - across the middle of the nation to isolate its precious electricity in the top half. Everyone below the Frontier was forsaken, and now only a few survive in the grim region known as the Dark Zone.
Sixteen year old Phoenix Troublefield endures the dark with his girlfriend, Star Windsong. When America announces that it will trade electricity for immigrants, Phoenix and Star sacrifice themselves for the power that might save her younger brother. On the other side of the Frontier, they find America is not what they expected, and instead they are thrown into a shocking and deeply personal contest that threatens to destroy their love. When the chance comes to escape back into the Dark Zone, it may already be too late.

Book Trailer

We don’t have proof of what happened. All we have are the stories that we’ve passed down in the sixty-seven years since the Blackout. Things told and retold in the dark. From everything I’ve heard, this is what I believe.
In 2015, part of the sun erupted and shot a massive solar flare toward Earth. As a kid, listening to the stories, I always imagined the flare as an enormous ball of red flames speeding through outer space toward our planet. We didn’t stand a chance. When the flare hit, it short-circuited all satellites and power grids—everything—and every light in the world went out. All yellow windows turned black at exactly the same time.
My grandmother, Skye Andrews, was six years old when the Blackout struck. It hit in the dead of night. All electronics—televisions, computers, phones—were instantly useless. Then came the terrifying chill. Temperatures plummeted everywhere until the air felt like ice. The next morning, the sun didn’t rise. With quivering hands over their open mouths, Skye’s parents huddled in front of their windows, shivered, and gaped. Jet-black clouds covered an ash sky. The whole world looked gray, and daylight was so dim that Skye felt like a shadow.
All hell was about to break loose.
Panic exploded, and government everywhere was silent. They didn’t say a goddamn word. I don’t care if they were stranded—or scared, or unable to reach anyone out of earshot—they didn’t do anything, and they should have. They should have kept order when people started to steal and fight each other like monsters.
After two months of hell, there was a wall. Out of nowhere, this wall. A giant barrier running from east to west across the middle of the nation, and it still stands here today. Its gray concrete surface towers over fields and cities, marked at every mile by gates no one has ever seen open. The gates look like massive doors: impenetrable, titanium.
My grandfather, Leiter Troublefield, first saw the wall through gaps between the boards on his window. His townhouse in Washington, DC—now my home—is just a hundred yards away from it. That day, for hours, he watched small crowds gather by its base. Everyone looked to everyone else for answers, but no one on this side of the wall—the south side—knew why it was there or how it had come to be. They weren’t told anything. Leiter said some people bowed to the wall, believing it was a miracle sent by God. Others scoured the cracks between concrete blocks with their fingertips, and some ran dead away in fear.
Over time, people on this side of the wall resigned themselves to the new reality. Days would be wretched and dim. The four seasons would be undifferentiated and cold. Filled with too much snow. Most days were devoted to surviving: hunting, making fires, boiling water over open flames, and searching for things to use. After a few years, people on this side stopped considering themselves part of the United States of America and, through word of mouth, gave their territory a different name: the Dark Zone. Virginia became known as Dark Virginia and DC became Dark DC. We got the title DZs. We named the wall the Frontier.
Then—the plagues came. Four years after the Blackout, they hit one right after the other. Leiter was kept inside, but he heard about the outbreaks from his parents. His mom said DZs had started moving further south or west for country air, but the Troublefields wouldn’t budge. “Not us,” she said firmly, and Leiter’s father agreed. They wanted to honor their home and their heritage—and stay.
All along, the Frontier towered indifferently beside the Dark Zone. Leiter and Skye met when they were both thirteen, and for a while, they didn’t know whether life was better on the other side. Then the answer to that question became clear.
They were sitting next to each other on his porch when it happened. They were both my age, about sixteen. The plagues had been gone for a few years, and people no longer avoided touching in the Dark Zone. Holding each other’s hands and resting their feet on the front steps, they both saw a sudden bright glare from beyond the Frontier. Gazing at the light, they were mesmerized. Mystified. They searched the yellow glow in the distance for some sort of clue—a hint, a sign, or anything that would help them understand—until slowly it dawned on them that they were staring at electricity.
Their hearts stopped in their throats and time stood still as they waited for the Dark Zone to light up, too. Any second, they kept thinking, but nothing changed. Darkness remained on their side of the Frontier. That’s when they finally understood what the Frontier was for: to keep them out. To keep everyone in the Dark Zone out. The United States must have found a way to restore power, and there wouldn’t be enough for everyone anymore. Leiter and Skye realized that Americans had built the Frontier to contain electricity in the northern half of the country. And DZs would stay in the dark.
Easies. What Easies. That’s what we call the people on the other side, because their lives are easy. We still don’t know how they live, but they have the electricity, so details don’t matter. Life with power must be better than life with nothing. DZs haven’t fought each other since the day light was restored in America, because that’s when we realized who the real enemy is: the Easies.
Now, more than six decades after the Blackout, we still struggle to survive in the Dark Zone. I’m tough, and I’m smart, and it’s still not easy. Every day, we see hints of lives we can’t have and then fall asleep hungry. Cold. There have been no successful attempts at government, and our world is as grim and gray as ever. We’d use wind power or coal—or anything that worked—but the plagues left us with too few people to fix the transmission lines. Or to come up with a better idea. So we live in small numbers. In ruin. In the dark.
This—yes, this—is my world.

Praise for the Book
"Blackout is an action-packed, romantic dystopian thrill ride that picks you up from the prologue, rips out your heart a few times, and leaves you shocked. Fans of The Hunger Games, The Darkest Minds, and The Bachelor will absolutely adore this book. Readers will be screaming for book two of this new trilogy." ~ Pat Tierney of Get Kids to Read
"I devoured Blackout in one sitting. The characters got under my skin like close friends and the plot captured my imagination. I didn't want it to end!" ~ Jalyn Ely, author of The Photo of Otto Writght
"Blackout is an amazing dystopian novel with a love story that will tug at your heart. It comes highly recommended to any dystopian and romance lovers. It's a love story that will hold onto your attention throughout the pages until the very last word." ~ The Schwartz Reviews
"Once I started, I didn't want to put it down. Each chapter brought a new twist that kept me guessing until then end, and then I wanted more." ~ Rae Z. Ryans, author of Chivalry and Malevolence
"Powerful and engaging. Blackout takes dystopia to a new level and gives the readers a story reminiscent of Kiera Cass's The Selection (but with more blood). This is one new series to watch out for." ~ Julie Rimpula of Books and Insomnia
"Henry has an easy writing style that is not only easy to read and engaging but is truly captivating. Every scene, each character, each dilemma is so full-bodied that the reader can do nothing but live the story." ~ A Book a Day Reviews

About the Author
Madeleine Henry was born and raised in New York. This spring, she graduated from Yale University and began her adult life in New York City. Madeleine majored in psychology and wrote her senior essay on the extreme popularity of the Twilight book series. In college, she also ran a marathon and had a brief but enthusiastic stint as a stand-up comedienne.
Blackout is Madeleine's first book. Parts of the story are drawn from two weeks she spent foraging for food and water in desert Utah while enrolled in a survival skills field course. She has since recovered.