Monday, April 11, 2016

Dear Nobody Spotlight: Excerpt & Giveaway

Today we have a spotlight for Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose, edited by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeilDear Nobody came out on April 1st. Here's what it's all about:


Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose, edited by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil
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The words and drawings of Mary Rose present a gritty, powerful, no-holds-barred true experience of a teen girl so desperate to be loved, so eager to fit in that she'll go to extremes that could cost her her life.
This is not a story about addiction. Or sexual promiscuity. Or cystic fibrosis. It's the story of a young woman with a powerful will to live, who more than anything wants to be heard...and loved.
This compelling, emotional account ensures her voice will not be forgotten.






Here's our excerpt from Dear Nobody:
Dear Nobody,
Tonight I got arrested. I hate saying that, but it happens. I had a 40 ounce beer in my hand and one in my book bag and I smelled like it. I was walking with my two friends, when this cop pulls up and goes, “Is something wrong?” We all said nothing was wrong, but then the cop pointed to me and said, “Why does she look so sad?” I made up some bullshit about how my boyfriend and I just broke up, but by then he had already seen the 40 ounce I was hiding in my coat. They arrested me, but not my two friends, because they had no alcohol on them. My mom picked me up at the police station— and on the way back home we got into a fight over the time when I was twelve and she had pot in her car. A lot, too. So I just got out of the car and tried to walk my drunken ass home, but it turns out I was walking in the wrong direction. I could’ve walked from Reading to Pottstown; that’s over twenty miles. Shit, I bet I would’ve kept walking, if I hadn’t seen this mall I knew, and was like, “Oh shit, what now?” I turned around and went to a store I saw closing up. It was after ten. Actually, I had been making pretty good time. I’m glad that I’m in fairly good shape right now, because I would never have made it if I was sick. So I had time to think things through. When I got back to Reading, I let this cop car see me, because it was past curfew and I wanted a ride home. Also, I had a feeling I wouldn’t get fined; I figured there was no way, after all this shit— that anything else that fucked up could happen to me. The cop came into my house and talked with my mom and me. He said he wanted me to grow up to be happy and healthy, and that he wanted me to introduce him to my kids some day, and that he wanted to see me live to grow old. First off, I’ll never have kids. And secondly, I’ll never get old. It’s hard to grow old when you’re dead.
If you're intrigued, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter to win one of two copies of Dear Nobody! Open to US & Canada; giveaway ends on April 30th.




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Monday, April 04, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway with Robin Reul (My Kind of Crazy Spotlight)

Today we have Robin Reul here for an excerpt and a giveaway! This post is part of the spotlight tour for My Kind of Crazy.

My Kind of Crazy comes out tomorrow, April 5th! Here's what it's all about:

My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
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Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.




Here's the excerpt from My Kind of Crazy:
So here’s the thing. It’s not like I woke up this morning and said, “Hey, I think I’ll light the 100-year-old Eastern Red Cedar tree in front of Amanda Carlisle’s house on fire today.” Because I don’t know about you, but when I wake up, my mind doesn’t go straight to arson. Honestly, the first thing I focus on is how fast I can get from my room to the bathroom without my dad’s girlfriend, Monica, trying to chat me up while I’m awkwardly standing there in my boxers.
I’d read online that how you ask a girl to Prom can completely make or break a guy’s chances. I wanted to do something special that Amanda would never forget. Apparently it worked, just not the way I intended. ‘Use sparklers to spell out PROM’ the article on the Internet said. There was even a picture with them all lit up on the ground. Totally idiot proof.
I snuck into her yard like a ninja under the cover of darkness and tried to jam the sparklers in her lawn, but the soil was hard and unyielding. I looked around, desperate, and then I spied a nice soft patch of mulch underneath the cedar tree near the side of her yard. It was perfect, and the sparkler slid in easily. A few minutes later, I had them all lined up just like I’d seen in the picture, and once they were lit, yelled, “Amanda!” I actually had to call out twice because she didn’t hear me the first time. Then she came to the window and gazed down as the sparklers fizzled down to the ground and--boom!
Turns out that was fresh pine mulch underneath that cedar. Pine trees produce turpentine, so I might as well have lit those sparklers in a pool of gasoline for how quickly the mulch caught fire.
I didn’t know what to do, so I ran. Which is why I’m now hiding behind a bush across the street in her neighbor’s yard. This is definitely going down in history as the most epic promposal fail ever. And then, as if things couldn’t get more catastrophic, they do.
Baseball is practically a religion where I live in South Coast Massachusetts. People take their Red Sox pretty seriously, and the die-hards decorate their trees with red and blue streamers every season in a show of support. The Carlisles are no exception. And it doesn’t take long for the flames to catch and race the length of those ribbons into the dry branches above.
From where I’m crouched down, I have a perfect view of the Carlisle house. I can see Amanda’s eyes widen and her jaw drop open as she observes the quickly escalating situation in her yard. She pulls away from the window, I’m guessing to call the fire department. We should probably talk about Prom some other time.
With things clearly going south, I do what any sensible person would do: I get the hell out of there. Of course, a sensible person wouldn’t have put sparklers in a pile of fresh mulch directly under a highly flammable tree. Hindsight is 20/20.
So in the most casual way possible, I hook my backpack - which is loaded with empty sparkler boxes - over my shoulders, hop on my bike, and pedal away from the scene at what I hope passes for a normal speed. Cool as a cucumber, that’s me.
I reason for a brief moment that, perhaps, Amanda didn’t actually see me there. Even if she did, she doesn’t know me all that well so she might not recognize me. I am wearing black jeans, and my Batman hoodie conceals my medium-length, stick straight brown hair, so I am sort of camouflaged. Not to mention, those flames were pretty distracting.
The fire station is about five streets away, near the library. I start to worry that the firemen won’t get there fast enough and Amanda’s whole house might burn down. I know I’m a lame-ass chicken shit for hightailing it out of there, but the last thing I need is Dad on my case for something else. As far as he’s concerned, I can’t do much right. I would like to say he’s just being an asshole, but lately I’ve been wondering if he’s onto something.
I consider turning around and heading back to Amanda’s, which would be the right thing to do, but I swear I’m about to piss myself with fear so I pedal faster, listening for the sounds of approaching police sirens. For good measure, I jerk my bike off the main road, cutting through the back alleys toward home.
If you're intrigued, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter to win one of two copies of My Kind of Crazy! Open to US & Canada; giveaway ends on April 30th.




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Monday, March 14, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway with Estelle Maskame (Did I Mention I Need You Blog Tour)

Today we have Estelle Maskame here for an excerpt and a giveaway! This post is part of the spotlight tour for Did I Mention I Need You.

Did I Mention I Need You was released on March 1st. Here's what it's all about:


Did I Mention I Need You by Estelle Maskame
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Love has no rules.

It's been a year since Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother...and secret love. Although they swore to ignore their feelings and put their family first, Eden can't help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

But it's not like anything is going to happen. Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and she knows gorgeous, green-eyed Tyler must have moved on as well. But as they spend the long, hot summer in the city that never sleeps, it becomes obvious that those old feelings are still there...simmering beneath the surface. Will Tyler and Eden be able to resist temptation?

Did I Mention I Need You? is book two in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.

Here's the excerpt from Did I Mention I Need You:
My heart skips a beat as my eyes scan the information signs above me. I should stop and figure out where I’m supposed to go, but there’s no way I can delay this any longer. I just want to see him already, so I sling my backpack over my shoulder and follow the people who have gotten off the same flight as me. But with each step, the more nauseous I feel. The more I realize I shouldn’t have come here. The more I believe this is a bad idea.
Of course it’s a bad idea, I think.
As if I’ll get over him by spending time alone with him. If anything, this is going to make it worse, harder. It’s easy for him. He’s probably long over me, and he’s most likely dating some cute girl with a New York accent. And then there’s me, the idiot who’s spent an entire year still thinking about him. I know that when I see him, everything I felt will come rushing back at once. I can feel it already. I can feel that same nervous feeling in my stomach that I always did whenever he smiled at me, and I can feel my pulse racing at the same speed it always did whenever his eyes met mine.
I wonder if it’s too late to turn around.
The group I’ve been following heads down an escalator, but I hesitate at the top and step to the side, lingering for a moment. Maybe this won’t be so bad. I am excited to see him, even if my nerves are outweighing my excitement, and I’ve been waiting so long for this that it’s stupid to be having second thoughts.
I’m just confused and my head’s a mess, but I’m here now. It’s time to see him for the first time in a year.
My grip tightens around the strap of my backpack as I step onto the escalator, and my heart is quite literally thumping against my rib cage. I wonder if the people around me can hear it. It feels like I’m having a heart attack, like I’ll collapse any moment now from an anxiety overload. My legs feel stiff, but somehow I manage to keep moving, somehow manage to get off the escalator and advance across the arrivals level.
I’m half looking for the baggage carousels and half looking for a pair of green eyes. Around me, I can see people hesitating, looking. People in suits holding signs. Families searching the crowds flowing off the escalator. I know exactly who I’m looking for. For a moment, I think I see him. Black hair, tall. But just as my heart’s about to stop, he draws a woman into his arms and I realize that it isn’t him at all.
My eyes return to roaming the concourse as I make my way toward baggage claim, still forcing my feet to move, however numb my legs feel. I’m stealing glances at the line of placards as I pass, taking in the last names and wondering why all those people are traveling to New York. My thoughts don’t last long though, because suddenly one placard in particular catches my eye. It draws my attention, of course, because I see my name scrawled on it in black Sharpie, each letter slightly out of alignment with the next one.
And that’s when I see him.
Tyler.
He’s slowly lowered the placard to reveal his face, and his grin and his jaw and the color of his eyes and the way one eyebrow slowly arches reminds me of some of the many things I used to adore about him. Perhaps I still do love these things, because now my feet are moving again. And fast. I make my way straight over to him, gaining speed with each step, my eyes locked on him and nothing else. My beeline forces the people around me to move out of my way, and now I’m running. The moment I reach him, I throw myself into his arms.
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Monday, March 07, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway with Cori McCarthy (You Were Here Spotlight)

Today we have Cori McCarthy here for an excerpt and a giveaway! This post is part of the spotlight tour for You Were Here.

You Were Here was released on March 1st. Here's what it's all about:


You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
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On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.






Here's the excerpt from You Were Here:
“What do I see?” I asked, turning back to the halo effect created by Margaret’s splayed hair. “It was a game. She died because she was playing a game.”
“Just like Jake,” Natalie said.
“Right,” I quipped, trying to mask not only my annoyance at Natalie’s psychoanalyst tone but also a flare of grief. My chest grew tight. Why wouldn’t it go away? Why did all this still buckle me to the ground? Tears burned my eyes, and I took my hair out of my ponytail. This never happened when I came here with Mik. Mik didn’t talk or prod. Mik let me be while we walked around Jake’s old haunt, wondering if he was actually haunting it.
“My dad said that OU will raze the TB ward.” Bishop pointed out the window toward the building on the very top of the hill, by far the spookiest and most unkempt in The Ridges compound. “It’s the only fully abandoned building.”
“Raze?” I asked, suddenly angry. “When?”
“End of the summer, I think. My dad said it was going to cost a ton but that leaving the old building there while it was falling in is just asking for lawsuits.”
“Jake loved the TB ward,” I said. “They haven’t stripped it down like this building.”
“TB?” Zach asked.
“Tuberculosis,” Natalie said.
Bishop squinted at his friend. “TB has been one of the leading terminal diseases in society since the dawn of civilization, Zach.”
“But it doesn’t exist anymore,” Zach said. “Like leprosy.”
“It totally exists,” Natalie said. “And so does leprosy. Where do you learn these things?”
“TB is still the leading cause of death for all people with HIV,” Bishop said. “But don’t worry, Zach. You won’t get it.”
I was surprised to find Zach looking at me. “What kind of things are in there?”
I shrugged. “I’ve never been, but I know it’s more dangerous. All the windows and doors are boarded up to keep drunk undergrads out.”
“So there’s no way in?” Bishop asked.
I shook my head. “Didn’t say that. Every building in The Ridges compound is connected by basement tunnels. If we get into the basement, we can get into any building.”
We all shuffled to our feet and stood around the last portrait of Margaret Schilling.
“I’m in,” Bishop said, and I nodded. Bishop was cool; we’d been partners for two semesters straight in woodshop. He said odd, grandiose things sometimes, but I liked him for it. Plus there was a pretty good chance that Mik would show himself with only Bishop around.
“I’ll take you two to the exit,” I told Natalie and Zach.
“Well, hey,” Zach said. “What if I want to come?”
Natalie looked at him, stunned. “You want to go? What about Kolenski’s three kegs?”
“Kolenski gets kegs every couple of weeks.” Zach shoved his hands in his pockets. He had sobered up since they’d entered The Ridges, and now he just looked worn down. Even his hair had flattened. I’d written him off years ago, but the way he’d helped me find Jake’s footprint and waylaid Natalie…maybe he wasn’t such a garden-variety “dude.”
“Who else can say that they did this the night after graduation?” he added with a shrug.
“So Natalie’s the loose end?” I said. “Big surprise.”
“Wait a second. It was my idea to follow you in the first place. And I…I want to see it.”
“Really?” Zach asked her. “Even if it’s dangerous?”
“I’m going to minor in history. It’ll be like walking around inside of history.”
I knew Natalie well enough to know that she was deluding herself, but when I opened my mouth to point it out, I saw something instead. Bishop did too.
“Apple.” He pointed to the ground. “Guys. There’s an apple.”
A shiny, green Granny Smith apple sat in the doorway. I picked it up.
“Where the hell did that come from?” Zach asked, fear trilling his voice. “Is someone else here? That wasn’t there a few minutes ago, right? Right?”
They all looked up and down the hall. Nothing.
“Maybe Jake’s ghost put it there. Or Margaret’s,” I said. A thump of what could only be described as happiness resounded through my chest. It was foreign and weird, and yet welcome.
“You’re smiling,” Natalie said. “Why are you smiling? You never smile.”
I rubbed the apple on my shirt and took a huge crunching bite. Natalie looked like she was going to pass out. I winked. “This way to the basement.”
If you're intrigued, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter to win one of two copies of You Were Here! Open to residents of the US and Canada only; giveaway ends on March 31st.





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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway with Jessica Love (In Real Life Blog Tour)

Today we have Jessica Love here for an excerpt and a giveaway! This post is part of the spotlight tour for In Real Life.

In Real Life was released on March 1st. Here's what it's all about:


In Real Life by Jessica Love
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Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.


Here's the excerpt from In Real Life:
My best friend and I have never met.
We talk every day, on the phone or online, and he knows more about me than anyone. Like, deep into my soul. But we’ve never actually seen each other in real life.
Sometimes, when I’m talking to Nick, I wonder how we man- aged to get ourselves into such a bizarre, complicated friendship. At first glance, our relationship probably doesn’t seem all that odd. Like right now, it’s the Friday afternoon that kicks off the spring break of my senior year. I’m lying out next to my pool with my feet dangling in the chilly water, my back flat on concrete, and I’m talking to him on the phone. This is how I spend pretty much every Friday from 3:30 to 4:25-ish, before he goes off to band practice and I have one of my various school or family obligations. Sounds pretty normal.
But the thing is, Nick lives in a different state, 274 miles away. Yes, I looked it up.
“Ghost,” he says, because he never calls me Hannah, “you know I will do anything for my best friend, and this is no exception. I’ll have this girl killed for you without a second thought. Just give me twenty-four hours.”
I laugh as I swish my feet back and forth in the pool. “There’s no need to resort to murder. It’s just a stupid student government trip. I’ll be over it by the end of the week.”
As tempting as it is to plot Aditi Singh’s violent end, the only reason she applied to go to the national leadership conference when it should have been a given that the senior class president (aka me) was going was because I got into UCLA and she didn’t, so a big ol’ middle finger to her. But she can’t see my middle finger, because she’s in Washington, D.C., for spring break and I’m at home with no plans like a big loser.
“Well, if you change your mind,” Nick says, “just let me know. That’s how much our friendship means to me. The code word is ‘Platypus.’ Just say it, and—poof!—I’ll make her disappear.”
I sit up and pull my feet from the pool, crossing them in front of me. “And how can you do that?”
“Hey, I live in Vegas. I have connections to the mob. Everyone here does.”
“You’re a senior in high school, and you live in a tract home in Henderson. You’re not exactly Al Pacino.”
“You don’t know. Everything I’ve told you for the past four years could be a front. I need to have a cover. No one suspects the quiet, nondescript white boy.”
“You’re right. There is a lot I don’t know about you. I mean, there are any number of huge secrets you could be keeping from me.” I say it just because I’m playing along, but it’s not true at all. I’m pretty sure I know everything there is to know about Nick Cooper.
I know when my sister met his brother at a concert four years ago and they told us we should start talking online, he thought I was one of his brother’s friends playing a joke on him until I e-mailed him a picture. I know in the middle of junior year, he shaved his head when his favorite English teacher started chemo. I know the gravelly scratch of his voice when he wakes up in the middle of the night to answer one of my random “I’m bored, talk to me” phone calls. I know the hole in the sleeve seam of the lucky Rage Against the Machine T-shirt he inherited from his brother, Alex, since I’ve seen so many pictures of it. I know his middle name (Anthony), the date and time he was born (September 24 at 3:58 A.M.), and his favorite color (gray). And he knows more about me than absolutely anyone else, even the über-embarrassing stuff. We’ve IM’d, texted, sent a million pictures, mailed each other packages, video-chatted, and talked on the phone.
We’ve just never been in the same place at the same time.
I don’t think it’s strange to be so close to someone I’ve never met. Yeah, he’s in Nevada and I’m in Southern California, but I talk to him more than to people I’ve been in classes with since kindergarten. I do wish we could go to the movies together or something normal like that, but we watch the same movies at the same time and mock them over video chat, which is pretty much the same thing.
On the other end of the phone, his laugh stops abruptly and his voice changes. “Secrets? What kind of secrets could I have?”
“Who knows!” I try to sound shocked and serious, but I can’t keep a laugh from creeping in. “For all I know, you do have a secret mob life. Do you have some sort of gangster name I’m supposed to call you?”
His voice lightens again when he realizes I’m joking. “Oh yeah. Knuckles Nick. Or, no. Wait. Nick the Click.”
“What does that even mean?”
“I don’t know. It rhymed. Don’t those names always rhyme?”
“I know nothing about mob names, Nick the Click. But rhyming names do make mobsters seem a bit less murder-y.”
There’s a shuffle, a thump, and a squeak on his end of the phone, and I imagine him collapsing backwards onto his twin bed. “I just hate that you’re still bummed over missing out on the trip.”
“It’s not that I’m bummed, it’s just . . . I followed all the rules, Nick. I did exactly what I was supposed to do. Serving four years as class president means I go on that trip, not Aditi Singh. Onetime vice-presidents don’t get to go! It’s supposed to be my year. She broke the rules, but she got picked. How do you break all the rules and get what you want like that? It isn’t fair.”
“Well, you know what they say. . . .” “Life’s not fair?”
“Well, that, too. But I was thinking rules are made to be broken.”
If you're intrigued, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter to win a copy of You Were Here! Open to US residents only; giveaway ends on March 17th.




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