Monday, April 30, 2018

"The Golden Boy" by Seven Steps and Audrey Rich

The Golden Boy
(St. Mary’s Academy Shorts Book 2)
by Seven Steps and Audrey Rich

The Golden Boy (St. Mary’s Academy Shorts Book 2) by Seven Steps and Audrey Rich

The Golden Boy by Seven Steps and Audrey Rich is the second book in the St. Mary’s Academy Shorts. Also available: The Beginning of Forever.

The Beginning of Forever by Seven Steps

The Golden Boy is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

You can also join the Facebook release party ending today.

Meg has it made. She has money to spare, attends an exclusive private school with the best film production program in the country, and, to top it off, she has a super-hot boyfriend. But when her father’s business goes under, and her boyfriend cheats on her with a ditzy cheerleader, the only way she can maintain her perfect life is to figure out a way to stay in school.
When a fellow student offers to pay her tuition, Meg jumps at the chance. She only has to tell one tiny white lie to someone she’s never met.
How hard could that be, right?
Until she discovers she must deceive Julius 'Hercules' Samson, the school quarterback with a heart of gold. Even worse, he's determined to sweep her off her feet.
Can Meg go through with the plan to save her future, even if it means ruining Julius’s?
Inspired by Megera (Meg) from the story of Hercules, The Golden Boy is a poignant, emotional, young adult contemporary romance about a teen girl's hard choices, loss, and love.
St. Mary's Academy is a young adult contemporary romance series that brings classic fairytale characters to life in a modern day, high school setting. It's filled with angsty heroines, hot heroes, and drama galore. St.Mary's Academy Shorts are shorter stories from within the St. Mary's Academy universe.
Buy this book today because you've never read a fairytale quite like this.

Everyone laughed. The cacophony made my head hurt. I struggled against the hands holding me. I had to get out of here before things got worse.
Suddenly, the shouting died down.
My eyes flew open. My search for the grownup landed on a pair of gorgeous blue eyes...
He pushed the crowd aside.
“Let her go. Right. Now.” His voice boomed against the walls. A couple of the kids covered their ears.
I felt the hands holding me quiver.
“Listen Herc, this girl is the reason you’re no longer quarterback and-”
“I don’t care what you think, right now, Grunski. Let go of her right now.” He closed his fingers into two giant fists and scanned the area as if searching for victims to pummel.
“I’m already leaving this school. I have no problem beating your head in on the way out.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
The Golden Boy is also a marvelous coming of age story that sweeps both Meg and Julius into new adulthood way too swiftly, but seeing how they both adapt and respond is inspirational. The Golden Boy: St. Mary's Academy Shorts, Book 2 is most highly recommended.” ~ Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
“What a great story!” ~ wls
“This is another short story taking place at St. Mary's Academy. Well written, it is an enjoyable read, it is a story about the choices one makes and the consequences and responsibility that are part of those choices.” ~ Stella C.
“A well written, really enjoyable engaging story. It was a great story of dealing with circumstances, consequences of life and the choices you make.” ~ Misty
“It’s a really enjoyable, well written book. I loved the interesting, engaging storyline and the characters chemistry and interaction, they pulled me into their story and I loved reading about them. If you are looking for a great read then you want to read this book. I would recommend reading it.” ~ Karen Galloway

About the Authors
Seven Steps
Seven Steps has been writing for as long as she can remember. One of her mentors (you know who you are) often reminds her of her first foray into the world of literary fiction. It was a lively story about a bee's journey to find a pot of missing honey. He says that she has improved since then. She thinks he's right.
She’s am a working wife and mother, as well as a devoted owner of a beautiful cat named Rosie. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, thrifting, and anything that reminds her of her childhood.
Her favorite genres are Sweet Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian and Historical.

Audrey Rich
Audrey Rich is a New York City transplant living in South Florida, who writes sweet YA and NA Contemporary Romances and is an avid reader of novels where love conquers all.
She’s married to her own happily-ever-after Hero, is an inactive CPA, and a stay-at-home mom homeschooling her teenage daughter, while also missing her son, who is away at college.
Audrey enjoys volunteering with children of all ages at church, especially the enthusiastic teenagers, and teaching the Junior Achievement curriculums at local middle and high schools. She also loves to travel with her family.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Golden Boy by Seven Steps and Audrey Rich.

Book Links

Saturday, April 28, 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 28 April 2018

This Week on Books Direct -
28 April 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 28 April 2018

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

Analysing a handful of the most successful blogs, here are 5 key points that help you guarantee your blogging success from day one.

5 Tips To Get A Head Start On Blogging in 2018 by Ash for Lets Earn It

6 Characteristics Of A Great Fantasy Writer by Jessica Wood for Mythic Scribes

What are the specific characteristics needed by a fantasy writer? What sets a great fantasy writer apart from a good one?

6 Characteristics Of A Great Fantasy Writer by Jessica Wood for Mythic Scribes

A Harry Potter musical:

The most expensive play in Broadway history opened Sunday night. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cost $33.5 million.

Muggles Rejoice: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Is Now On Broadway by Jeff Lunden for NPR

And a Harry Potter game:

In the first step of what could be an endless exploration of the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the Los Angeles mobile games studio Jam City is releasing its Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery game on the App Store and Google Play.

Revealing The 2018 Women’s Prize Shortlist by Women’s Prize for Fiction

We reveal the six books which make up this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist, featuring one previously shortlisted author and three debut novels.

Revealing The 2018 Women’s Prize Shortlist by Women’s Prize for Fiction

George R. R. Martin announced the news Wednesday, while also revealing a release date for his next book, Fire & Blood.

On the day news broke that the primary Golden State Killer suspect was arrested after more than 40 years, EW interviews Patton Oswalt, former husband of Michelle McNamara, the true crime journalist who spent more than a decade doggedly researching the case for her book on the Golden State Killer, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.

Want To Earn More As A Book Author? A Male Name Will Help by Elizabeth Segran for Fast Company

In a groundbreaking study of more than two million books published in North America between 2002 and 2012, scholars found that books by women authors are priced 45% less than those of their male counterparts.

Want To Earn More As A Book Author? A Male Name Will Help by Elizabeth Segran for Fast Company

The initiative has distributed almost 5m books to readers but is to shut following loss of Arts Council England funding and corporate sponsor.

Quick Reads Adult Literacy Scheme To Close Following Funding Cut by Alison Flood for The Guardian

This year’s Eisner Award nominations for comics and graphic novels were announced. The nominees fall under 31 categories. Topping the nominations are My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by debut graphic novelist Emil Ferris, and Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. The winners will be announced on July 20 at Comic-Con in San Diego.

The 2018 Eisner Award Nominations for Comic-Con

For those of us who are publicly avid readers, burning through books can begin to feel a bit like a competitive sport. We pride ourselves on reading like champions. But what happens when we just can't get to the end of a book? Here's how to tackle reading slumps, according to the bookish users of Reddit.

How To Beat A Reading Slump, According To Reddit Users by Maddy Foley for Bustle

Swedish Academy members debate holding back prize for first time since the second world war.

Nobel Prize In Literature May Be Cancelled In 2018 Amid Sexual Abuse Scandal by Richard Orange for The Guardian

Books of gibberish are listed on for thousands of dollars, with one author claiming his name was used to send almost $24,000 to a fraudulent seller.

Fake Books Sold On Amazon Could Be Used For Money Laundering by Alison Flood for The Guardian

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, April 27, 2018

"A Prom to Remember" by Sandy Hall

A Prom to Remember
by Sandy Hall

A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall

A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it. In this heart-warming novel, Swoon Reads star, Sandy Hall, explores a classic high school celebration, capturing every relatable and hilarious teen milestone along the way.
Cora: Dating Perfect Boyfriend Jamie. Has NO IDEA how to break up with him …
Paisley: Anti-prom. Somehow nominated her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king …
Henry: Hates social situations. Invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. SEND HELP!
Otis: Half of one of the cutest couples in his class. Not quite ready for a post-prom hotel room …
Lizzie: Shy. Excited to go to prom. With a boy. Whose name she doesn’t know.
Cameron: Loner. Over high school. Just wants to meet the mysterious girl who’s been leaving him notes …
Jacinta: Unnamed Nerd Girl #3. Determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom …
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, A Prom to Remember, from Sandy Hall (author of A Little Something Different), is a funny and cinematic look at the biggest dance of every high schooler’s life.

Henry walked out of school with his backpack over his shoulder and his baseball glove in hand. He’d turned in the direction of the baseball field when he saw it.
The most terrible thing.
A promposal of epic proportions. This was no little moment in the hall that could be skirted around. This was happening in the front of the school at the end of the day.
He burned with the shame of second hand embarrassment as a girl asked a boy to the prom right there in the middle of the school lawn. In front of God and parents picking up freshmen and students exiting the building and EVERYONE.
He was never sure if what he experienced in these moments was an overload of empathy or an overload of sympathy. Whatever it was, it was nearly crushing him. He couldn’t move as he watched Margie Showalter hold up her hand-lettered and glittered sign that read: STEWART SMITH, WILL YOU GO TO PROM WITH ME?
She was smiling broadly and obviously trying to hold the sign steady in the breeze. Henry could see little flecks of glitter fluttering off into the air and blowing around. He imagined where those pieces of glitter might end up. A bird’s nest, someone’s unsuspecting ice cream cone, the sewer.
And then the worst thing happened. The absolutely worst thing imaginable.
Stewart Smith said no.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Told from the perspectives of a diverse group of seniors, this romance explores first love, break-ups, promposals, and the anxiety and anticipation of an after-prom hotel room stay. Hall adeptly balances seven different voices without using stereotypical teen tropes. ... Twists and turns and the intertwining of stories will keep readers engaged. Highly recommended for all teen collections.” ~ School Library Journal
“The story was refreshing and sweet. There wasn’t the angst and drama of relationships but the very real feelings many have in their senior year about to go off. We got to see the lives of different characters play out and what they thought and felt leading up to prom and after. The characters were ones you just can’t help but love. Their friendships were precious and you can see how those friendships helped them and grounded them as well. Watching them figure themselves out and their feelings was engaging and sucks you in. A truly fun adorable book.” ~ hello-booklover
“Read this book for a light-hearted, fun, low-angst, quasi-drama-filled read that will leave you feeling all gooey and bubbly.” ~ Elley Murray
“This book felt like the prom version of the movie Love Actually. You read from the perspective of different characters and find out how they all intertwine on Prom night. A light, cute, fun read if you enjoy the YA contemporary genre.” ~ Erin C.
A Prom to Remember is a quick read bursting with Hall’s trademark charm and wit, chock full of diverse, three-dimensional characters and solid relationships.” ~ K.A. Cozzo

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
The story is told from the points-of-view of seven different characters who are diverse in background, physical type, and sexuality. We follow Cora, Paisley, Jacinta, Cameron, Henry, Lizzie, and Otis as they navigate the weeks before prom. They deal with the usual teenage issues such as finding a date and the perfect outfit, but they also deal with deeper issues such as sexuality, anxiety, and step-families. Initially, it’s difficult to remember who’s who, and it’s hard to see how all the characters’ stories will intersect or why some of them are even relevant. But it all comes together in the end. And at least it’s told in the third person, so you can’t forget whose story you’re reading.
I love how Jacinta, who considers herself a bit-player in her own life, ends up bringing everyone together but also gets her own happy ending. Ironically, she also has the most mentions in the book, so I would consider her the main character. Strangely, this is the second young adult book in a row that I have read featuring platonic male-female relationships and bisexual teens (and I’ve only read two of the latter).
A light and fluffy feel-good read, perfect for the prom season.
Warnings: mild coarse language, underage drinking (but not drunkenness), LGBTQ themes, M/M sex talk (not explicit).

About the Author
Sandy Hall
Sandy Hall is the author of A Little Something Different, Signs Point to Yes, and Been Here All Along. She has a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers university. After spending several years as a teen librarian, she decided to try writing books instead of just reading them. It worked out pretty well. When she isn't writing, she enjoys Netflix marathons, Broadway shows, taking long scrolls through Tumblr, and living in New Jersey.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall (US/Canada only).