Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop–Win 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues!

Welcome to my  Last Days of Freedom Giveaway,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Elliott Review.  This hop runs from August 17 –  August 22, and you can win lots of new reads.  Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away an ARC of 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues.  I enjoyed this book so much, and I want to share it with one of you! 


Description (from Goodreads):

A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.  There was something about Ellie…Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance—and kept watch.

     Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are thirty-four clues she left behind. Thirty-four strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. Thirty-four secrets of a brief and painful life.

     Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they confront the past, they will discover not only the darkest truths about themselves, but also what Ellie herself had been hiding all along…

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Just fill in the widget below for your chance to win.  Earn extra entries by following.  US shipping addresses only, please.

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Feed Your Reader with Cheap Reads!

It’s hard to resist some of these eBook deals, so I thought I would share the temptation. Check out these cheap YA reads!


 Scarlet by A C Gaughen (Just 2.99!)

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Royal Rebel by Dana Taylor (Another Robin Hood retelling – $1.99)

Courageous, captivating, cunning—the Royal Rebel leads her band of freedom fighters against the tyranny of Prince John. Inspired by the legend of Robin Hood, “Royal Rebel” twists a familiar tale into a fresh, romantic adventure.
Robin, the secret daughter of King Richard, fights injustice as she awaits her father’s return from the Crusades. Joining forces with arrogant knight extraordinaire, Sir Simon of Loxley, the two undertake a mission to save the kingdom. Filled with humor, whimsical imagination, and romance—“Royal Rebel” will capture your heart.

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber ($1.59)

I was obsessed.
It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen–everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable…utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.
There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.
I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting, and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked–bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.



Pillage by Obert Skye  ($1.99)

When fifteen-year-old Beck Phillips travels by train to the secluded village of Kingsplot to live with his wealthy but estranged uncle, Beck discovers some dark family secrets. A buried basement, a forbidden wall, an old book of family history with odd references to. . . dragons? Beck’s life is about to be changed forever in this suspenseful tale about the destructive nature of greed and the courage to make things right. Pillage is filled with Mr. Skye’s signature humor as well as some very intense moments, including a surprise ending, that will keep readers young and old engrossed and entertained.

The Weepers: The Other Life  by Susanne Winnacker ($1.99)

Sherry has lived with her family in a bunker for more than three years. Her grandfather’s body has been in the freezer for the last six months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago, they ran out of food. Sherry and her father must leave the safety of the bunker. What they find is an empty Los Angeles, destroyed by bombs and haunted by Weepers – savage humans infected with a rabies virus. While searching for food, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a vineyard where a handful of survivors are picking up the pieces of their other lives, before the virus changed everything. Sherry must find a way to help her family, stay alive, and decide whether Joshua is their savior or greatest danger as his desire for vengeance threatens them all. This debut novel is a page-turner that is not easy to forget.

Living Violet: The Cambion Chronicles#1 by Jaime Reed ($2.99)


Book 1 of The Cambion Chronicles

He’s persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most–and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb’s secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Please Note: All prices were accurate when posted

Interview with Gwenda Bond, Author of Blackwood

Gwenda Bond is the author of Blackwood, a launch title for Strange Chemistry, a new imprint of Angry Robot Books.  I am so excited to have Gwenda at the Cafe today!  Read on to learn about both Gwenda and her new book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Gwenda Bond] A wise-cracking southern dame who likes champagne, old movies, and good books—and who is clearly terrible at writing short bios like this.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Blackwood?

[Gwenda Bond] Blackwood is a fantasy set on a fictionalized version of present-day Roanoke Island, but very much influenced by the real island and its history. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the story, in 1587 John White left more than a hundred men, women, and children who were forming the first permanent English colony in the Americas on the island while he went on a supply trip to England; when he returned three years later he could find no trace of them except for the word CROATOAN carved into a tree. Blackwood follows two teens, Miranda Blackwood and Phillips Rawling, as they are drawn into a disappearance of the same number of people—114—now, and discover they both have ties to the original colonists’ disappearance. There’s law enforcement intrigue, a mysterious weapon, and a little (nerdy) romance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Gwenda Bond] The concept came first with this one, on a road trip to visit friends in North Carolina. It was very late at night, and one of the things I love about that drive are all the unusual place names you get on road signs, so I pay close attention to them. At some point, there was a sign marking the way to the not-unusually named Roanoke. It was to Roanoke, Virginia, of course, but for some reason it made me think immediately of the Lost Colony. I asked my husband Christopher, who was driving, “Hey, have you ever read a Lost Colony book set now? What if there was a disappearance of the same number of people on current Roanoke Island?” But developing that concept, aka figuring out what the solution to the centuries-old mystery was, took several more years of having the idea and a beginning rattling around in the back of my subconscious. Miranda and Phillips were there from the time I sat down to start writing, though of course they changed as I got to know them better. But I always knew I wanted this book to be, among other things, an unconventional romance. So the characters had to be not just right, but right for each other, at least at this stage in their lives.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Miranda?

[Gwenda Bond] Brave, funny, and trapped.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Phillips would never have in his pocket?

[Gwenda Bond] Oh, this is a tough one! It would probably be easier to come up with odd things he would have in his pocket. But, let’s see… Cigarettes, a fan club membership card for The Vampire Diaries, or incriminating evidence.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Miranda’s single most prized possession?

[Gwenda Bond] I’d have to say her mother’s sewing machine.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Gwenda Bond] I’m a cultural omnivore, which is a fancy way of saying I read and watch and listen to a lot of different things. I very much feel like all fiction (all art, really) is part of an ever-expanding conversation. So one day I’ll read a category romance novel and listen to Metric, the next day I might be watching episode after episode of Revenge (which I just discovered), followed by a bunch of screwball comedies from the ‘30s and ‘40s with a fantasy novel on the side. The work of other people—dead and alive, now and then—is a huge influence, basically. Being part of that cultural give and take inspires me.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Gwenda Bond] I’m about as unfussy in terms of rituals and requirements for writing as it’s possible to be. I actually finished the first draft of Blackwood in a car on the way to the World Fantasy Convention, typing on something called an Alphasmart Neo that’s basically a smart keyboard with no internet access and a screen that only shows four lines. So I’d say: a story I want to tell, a little space of time (better if it’s at least a half-hour), and some idea what happens next.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Gwenda Bond] Recommending reading material is my favorite sport, so I don’t have to name just one, do I? (I would cry.) Some recent favorites are G. Willow Wilson’s Alif the Unseen, Robin Wasserman’s The Book of Blood and Shadow (bonus: Team Alchemy!), and Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Gwenda Bond] The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. It’s the first book I remember memorizing the words to because it was read to me so many times. I related to Peter. (Phillips would also relate to Peter, I think.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Gwenda Bond] I’m a hardcore reader, but I also watch quite a bit of television. Mostly my downtime is spent hanging with my husband and/or our friends and family. We can often be found walking our two incorrigible dogs, Puck and Emma, around the neighborhood or pacifying our cat, Hemingway, a polydactyl with many demands. Oh, and tweeting, if I’m being honest. I’m really lucky to have friends all over and so twitter has become a great way to stay in touch (alongside email, facebook, etc.).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Gwenda Bond] The easiest ways are probably via my website (, by using the Ask function at Tumblr (http://, or by @ing me on Twitter (@gwenda). I’d love to hear from them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can pre-order Blackwood from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.