Cover Reveal and Giveaway! All My Life by Rucy Ban

Rucy Ban invited me to take part in the cover reveal for her book All My Life.   To celebrate, Rucy is giving away an ARC(epub/mobi) of ALL MY LIFE and $35 as Paypal credit (INTL). The giveaway starts on 22nd and ends on 6th May, 2013, so make sure to you fill out the widget to enter for your chance to win!

Here’s some info about All My Life:

Seventeen-year-old Kari meets Neil Mars. “Neil as in Armstrong and Mars…as in Bruno.” A boy who beats every vampire, werewolf, highlander fantasy Kari has ever had. But she knows can’t get close to him. Not ever. Because that would mean telling him everything. Coming clean. And Kari can’t bear the idea of changing the way Neil looks at her. Like she’s the only girl in the world. His reverence is something too precious to lose. Perhaps even at the cost of losing him. 

But Kari doesn’t know why Neil calls her his ‘Angel’ and when she finds out, she realizes what love is all about. Boundless joy, unending longing and a fuckload of heartache.

And here’s the cover! This is a full length New Adult Contemporary Romance.  Rucy sent over some excerpts so you can enjoy a small sample from the book, too!

 

 

EXCERPTS from All My Life:

“I can take care of myself,” I tell him.

His lips twitch in response. “Oh, I’m sure you can, little shrub.”

“You are warned!” I take my voice down a notch and point my ring at him, “I’ll tunnel your leathery knighthood right out of this galaxy!”

Neil suddenly halts in his tracks and pins me down with eyes. “Batman vs. Green Lantern? Batman wins. Every. Single. Time.”

“Ohmygod! So not true. In the…”

He cuts me. “One word…yellow.” I stare at him with my mouth half-open.

“‘Nuff said,” he says smugly and then tugs on my hand.

******

Maybe I’ll forget this feeling someday. Maybe it’ll just be reduced to a memory made up of a flickering gas heater, the salty dew of his skin and the love in his dark, inky eyes. This feeling of pure unadulterated joy. Of reaching a high so potent that your spirit feels like it’s soaring across the universe…and falling from that glorious peak only to find yourself enveloped in someone’s warm caring hands. When you feel like you’ve just died or been born, right at the same time.

It could be that I’ll forget this feeling someday. But I’m sure it won’t be anytime soon. Maybe when I’m a hundred and looking forward to my lunch of mashed bread. Not one single day before.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Rucy Ban was born in 1978 and still continues to thrive. Ever since she first met Francine (the protagonist of her favorite novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn), Rucy fell in love with the written word. Rucy has a B-school degree in Marketing which she now puts to good use teaching lovable rowdy rogues and negotiating with her equally belligerent adolescent. In her previous avatar, she handled corporate communications for companies. At present, Rucy lives in Sao Paulo, travels often, speaks decent, if not quite fluent, Portuguese and really hates talking about herself in third person.

You can find Rucy here:

GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7054725.Rucy_Ban

FACEBOOK

http://www.facebook.com/rucy.ban

TWITTER

https://twitter.com/rucyban

BLOG

http://jiltedgenius.wordpress.com/

Assassin’s Hockey Hop! Win Free Books from Random House!!

 

Random House is  hosting The Assassins Hockey Hop!  Just fill out the widget to win free books!!  You can win:

 

  • 5 sets of the series to etailer of choice;
  • 10 net galley preview copy giveaway sets;
  • $20 EGC Starbucks, the drink of hockey fans everywhere!
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

    Hop to theses blogs for more chances to win!

     

    About The Assassins Series by Toni Aleo:

    Taking Shots:

    In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.

    No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

    A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.
    Trying to Score:
    In a captivating novel of hockey and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.

    Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually to start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

    On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

    Empty Net:

    The chiseled men of the Nashville Assassins can make anything happen when they go all-out for the women they want—even turn a one-night stand into a happily ever after.

    Audrey Parker is up against the boards. She’s stuck in a job she hates and pining for a total jerk. Meanwhile, her sister Fallon is moving out and getting married to hockey star Lucas Brooks. Where is Audrey’s Prince Charming? Nothing she does has ever seemed to be good enough for any of the men in her life. Audrey’s about to hit rock bottom . . . until she wakes up next to Tate Odder.

    The thrill of moving up from the minors to the Nashville Assassins was a welcome distraction. But not even becoming the first rookie goalie to tally three shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals alleviates the pain. With the loss of his parents and sister weighing as heavily on his soul as ever, Tate Odder can’t keep pretending he’s okay. That’s when he meets smart, sexy Audrey. Her gentle warmth and quirky sense of humor make him feel whole for the first time in too long. But to stay that way forever, Tate must find a way to accept his past and learn to live for love.

    And, look for FALLING FOR THE BACKUP Novella & BLUE LINES in August!

    BLUE LINES:

    Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

    The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

    Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

    About the author:

    Toni Aleo a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic is the author of the fabulous Assassins Hockey Series — Join us for the celebration of the re-release of The Assassins Hockey Series including: Taking Shots; Trying to Score and Empty Net – on sale 4/23/13:

Interview with Ainslie Paton, Author of Getting Real

Please give a warm welcome to Ainslie Paton, who is visiting the virtual offices to chat about her rock n’ roll romance, Getting Real.

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

[Ainslie Paton] Oh Mom, do I have to? Okay. I like to watch. That’s it, that’s the key plot point. That tells you both too little and too much. And has the side benefit of making me sound way more interesting than I actually am.

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

[Ainslie Paton] This is not your classic rock star romance.

In the classic rock star romance the hero is the musician and the leading lady is in some ways subservient or dependent on him as either a groupie, a fan, a journalist or an ex-girlfriend from his pre-fame days. Oh sure, the heroine eventually puts the dude on his knees, but I wondered what would happen when it was the other way around.

I wanted my heroine on top and in control. I wanted her powerful and independent. And then I wanted to screw with her and put all the things she’d rejected in her life in a different perspective, particularly men.

Getting Real is a story about how tragedy shapes people and how forgiveness is the only way forward. It’s also about fear, both rational and irrational, change and learning to be true.

It’s the story of a badass rock chick and a boy next door roadie and what happens when they challenge each other.

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

[Ainslie Paton] You do not want to be in my dreams. I had a waking vision where I saw a singer suspended above her raging, screaming audience. She was performing her heart out, fearless and fabulous. But with her was a man who was terrified – meltdown point terrified. He was holding on to her as if she was the only thing that would keep him from falling.

Of course I had to find a story to go with that.

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

[Ainslie Paton] Hard shell, soft interior, brave. Have I mentioned I do words not numbers?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jake had a theme song, what would it be?

[Ainslie Paton] Old AC/DC. “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Rielle is never without.

[Ainslie Paton] Her tough girl rock chick disguise.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jake’s bedroom?

[Ainslie Paton] Primarily Jake! As a professional touring roadie he’s rarely at home. Also clean sheets and stray women. He’s a nice boy!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Rielle’s greatest regret?

[Ainslie Paton] Ah – now that would be a huge spoiler. HUGE. I reserve the right to totally fudge this question. It’s not the tattoos, or the scar.

But ok if you read the free prequel you’ll get the picture: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/gettingrealprequel

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

[Ainslie Paton] Okay, you’re going to think I’m a lunatic and oh, oh so, so boring. There are two key ones: Butt in seat—meaning I have to sweat it and sleep—meaning stuff comes to me in dreams and waking moments. And then there’s brilliant TV, other clever writers and what happens inside my brain at the gym when I’m on the deadly boring elliptical and simply trying to breath. Oh and sometimes migraine medication is a blast! But maybe don’t tell anyone that.

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

[Ainslie Paton] I can write in my head and frequently do. But I do need to scratch it down eventually. So keyboard and screen, pen and pad, pencil and scrap paper, finger and steamed up mirror. They all work. But they work way better with coffee!

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

[Ainslie Paton] Gone Girl. I squealed! And I’m not a squealer. I like to watch remember. Squealing would just give me away! If you’re a watcher you have to be quiet.

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

[Ainslie Paton] Not a book, a person. My grandfather. He used to tell stories. They always had chocolate cake and fire engines in them. A storybook was the next best thing to a grandfather story.

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

[Ainslie Paton] Oh gawd I’m so boring. Read!

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

[Ainslie Paton] They can read my blog – although I wouldn’t read my blog. It’s random! I have a facebook page I occasionally remember to feed and I twitter when I should be doing something more valuable.

Here’s the dets:

www.ainsliepaton.com.au

@Ainslie Paton

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ainslie-Paton/414235425292333

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Getting Real from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below

About the book:

From the bestselling author of Grease Monkey Jive comes a rollercoaster rock-and-roll ride of confronting fears, making music, and learning to be true.
Rielle Mainline is a rock star with a hardcore image, a troubled heart, and a twenty-five-city tour to front with her band, Ice Queen. She should be ecstatic. But the tour includes Sydney and Rielle has spent years running away from that city.
Jake Reed knows Rielle’s reputation as a prize bitch will make being Ice Queen’s tour manager a challenge, but Jake’s confident he can handle her — until he meets her. Then he’s off-balance, not sure if he wants to run as fast as he can towards or away from her. Sparks fly, tempers flare, and two loners are about to discover that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.

See Escape Publishing for free 3000 word prequel:  Ice Queen Origins.

About the author

Ainslie Paton is a corporate storyteller working in marketing, public relations and advertising. She’s written about everything from the African refugee crisis and Toxic Shock Syndrome, to high?speed data networks and hamburgers.

She writes cracking, hyper?real romances about strong women and the exciting men who love them. She’s the author of Grease Monkey Jive and other stories. And she dances when no one is looking.

Cover Reveal! Blue Lines by Toni Aleo!

I’m excited to help with the cover reveal for Toni Aleo’s Blue Lines.  This is book 4 in Toni’s Assassins series.   What do you think?  While I love the guy’s back, I don’t think I’m over the moon about his jeans.  Would I like it better without them? Ummmm…yeah.  What do you think?

 

About the book:

Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lie behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.
Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, and Empty Net.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Lines-Assassins-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B00BH0VTUW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1366653309&sr=1-1&keywords=Blue+Lines%3A+The+Assassins+Series+Toni+Aleo

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-lines-toni-aleo/1114852590?ean=9780345547330&itm=1&usri=9780345547330

iBookstore: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-lines-toni-aleo/1114852590?ean=9780345547330&itm=1&usri=9780345547330

Random House and other retailers: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/227840/blue-lines-the-assassins-series-by-toni-aleo

Interview with Eva Scott, Author of The Last Gladiatrix

Please give a warm welcome to Eva Scott! Eva’s here to chat about her recent release, The Last Gladiatrix.

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

[Eva Scott] I love the sunshine and hate the cold. I have a passion for disco.  I secretly collect aprons.  I love to cook and will never ever be persuaded to give up red wine or coffee.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Last Gladiatrix?

[Eva Scott] Xanthe is a Sarmatian warrior woman (they were thought to be the people behind the Amazon legend).  She finds herself captured by Huns and given in "tribute" to an awful Roman General.  He decides to use her as a gladiatrix in the Colesseum and she’s given to Centurion Titus Valens for training.  Naturally the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly….

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

[Eva Scott] A friend suggested I answer a call out for a short story anthology and the theme was Ancient Rome.  I liked the characters so much I kept the story, lengthened it and submitted it elsewhere as a novel.  I’ve always liked dark, brooding heroes (has anyone been watching Hell On Wheels!!!) and I like strong, feisty heroines who can take care of themselves.  The surrender is always sweeter that way.

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

[Eva Scott] Spirited, feisty, loyal.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Titus had a theme song, what would it be?

[Eva Scott] This was a tough one.  My husband suggested Born To Raise Hell by Motorhead.  It’s probably a pretty good fit for a renegade Centurion-come-gladiator.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Xanthe is never without.

[Eva Scott] Her blue swirling tattoos.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Titus’s pockets?

[Eva Scott] Titus would never carry gum, a hanky or spare change.  (Okay, I know most of these things didn’t exist in Ancient Rome but then Centurions didn’t have pockets either).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Xanthe’s greatest regret?

[Eva Scott] Her impulsive decision to ride off in search of her brother without telling her parents what she was doing.  Xanthe’s rash actions led to her own capture, which led eventually to her enslavement.  Thinking she may have robbed her parents of both their children and the knowledge of what happened to them makes her sick to her stomach.

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

[Eva Scott] Three influences that set me on the path to be a writer all came together in my childhood.  The Wizard of Oz had me making up stories about magical possibilities from the day I saw it with my Great Aunt Silve.  Then there was my first grade teacher, Miss White, who told my parents I had the potential to be a writer – a statement I totally endorsed and have trying to live up to ever since.  And finally, strangely some might say, Fred Astaire.  I really don’t know why except perhaps he represented the consummate artiste to me in the days I’d hang out with my grandpa and watch old black and white movies on the telly. 

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

[Eva Scott] My lap top, some bench space and some coffee.

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

[Eva Scott] When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman – this book teared me up but it also made me laugh out loud.  I’d read bits out to my husband (a confirmed non-fiction only reader) and now he’s reading it!  Truly a unique read.

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

[Eva Scott] I can’t remember ever not reading so it’s hard to pinpoint one book that threw the switch.  Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree and Ruby Ferguson’s "Jill" series really captured my young imagination.  My friends and I would save up and go to the book shop as often as possible.  We’d play libraries with our personal book collections and our school librarian would let us help her cover the new books from time to time.  I am never without a book! 

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

[Eva Scott] I have a two year old son and we like to read together a lot.  Fifteen books in one day (no double reads!) is our personal best.  We live in sunny Queensland so lots of time at the beach doing beachy things.

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

[Eva Scott] Readers can find me at the following:

http://www.evascottromance.com/

http://www.facebook.com/eva.scottromancewriter

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Romancing-The-Romans/476218929112324?ref=hl#!/pages/Romancing-The-Romans/476218929112324

http://www.twitter.com/EvaScottWriter

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase The Last Gladiatrix from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below

 

About the book:

In the dust and death of the Collosseum, a slave fights for freedom, a soldier fights for his life, and they both fight for the love that has been forbidden.

Captured and enslaved by a Roman legion, Xanthe never expects to end up training for the Colosseum floor, but every night after the day’s march, she is put through her paces by a Roman solider who challenges her, tests her, and excites her.

Titus is drawn to Xanthe, her fire and her spirit, so he breaks one of his rules and brings notice on himself, offering to train her as a gladiatrix to spare her a courtesan’s role. But training her, working with her, soon becomes too much. Titus knows the penalty for taking property that does not belong to him, but how long can he resist?

Eva Scott

Eva Scott lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with her family and three dogs. When she’s not writing, you can find her out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land, it’s all about the shoes and the coffee.

Shower of Books Giveaway Hop! Win Vampire Empire: The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith

 

Welcome to my Showers of Books Giveaway Hop.  This hop runs April 24 to April 30  and is hosted by  I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Books à la Mode.  You can win lots of new reads, so click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away an ARC of Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith’s Vampire Empire Book Three: The Kingmakers. This is the third and final book of the Vampire Empire series. 

About the book:

The epic Vampire Empire trilogy rushes to a heart-wrenching conclusion of honor and love, hatred and vengeance, sacrifice and loss. A war to the death. Empress Adele has launched a grand crusade against the vampire clans of the north. Prince Gareth, the vampire lord of Scotland, serves the Equatorian cause, fighting in the bloody trenches of France in his guise as the dashing Greyfriar. But the human armies are pinned down, battered by harsh weather and merciless attacks from vampire packs. To even the odds, Adele unleashes the power of her geomancy, a fearsome weapon capable of slaughtering vampires in vast numbers. However, the power she expends threatens her own life even as she questions the morality of such a weapon. As the war turns ever bloodier and Adele is threatened by betrayal, Gareth faces a terrible choice. Their only hope is a desperate strike against the lord of the vampire clans-Gareth’s brother, Cesare. It is a gamble that could win the war or signal the final days of the Greyfriar.

Just will out the widget below to enter. Earn extra entries for following. US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Shot! The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I love this cover!  I love the visuals, and all of the detail.  The lanterns are cool, the moon gives off a soft glow, and the statues rocks. The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich will be in stores September 2013

 

 

It’s Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.

     Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure–complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western–is at hand.

Review: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

 

Title:  Maggot Moon

Author:  Sally Gardner

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing. What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big…One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting.


Review:

Wow!  I was stunned and breathless when I reached the last page of Maggot Moon. I should have picked up from the book’s title that things are not happy in Standish’s world, but whoa, I wasn’t expecting something quite it dark.  Standish’s voice is compelling and haunting; here is one young boy who has seen too many things that he shouldn’t have.  Poverty, repression, violence against himself, his family , and others.  Standish’s world is dark and disturbing, and not a place that I ever want to witness first hand.

Standish is dyslexic, which on it’s own is enough to make him a social outcast.  To make his life even more difficult, he has different colored eyes as well.  In his oppressive society, he should have been sent away, to a school for those with impurities, or worse, to be maggot meat.  Instead, his parents enroll him in the school where they work.  Because he is different, he is mercilessly bullied, which only gets worse after his parents are vanish.  Alone with his grandfather, Standish just tries to keep his head down and not draw any more unwanted attention to himself.  Being at the bottom of the social ladder, that’s not really too tough.  It’s only after Hector and his family move in next door that Standish’s world is tilted on its axis.

I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, so I’m trying to keep the spoilers to a minimum.   This is a fast-paced read, with explosive bursts of violence and action.  Standish is passive and takes his beatings without much of a fuss, until after Hector and his family are also taken away.  Then he’s had enough and all he wants to do is save his best friend.  When he learns that the government is pulling the biggest history in the history of hoaxes, and that if they succeed they will be an indisputable world power, he is determined to do something about it.  I loved this about Standish.  He realizes that he is David to a powerful, corrupt, and deadly Goliath, but he doesn’t care anymore.  He is going to find way to throw his stone and topple the monster that threatens the entire world.

A word of caution; while I loved this book, it might be too intense for younger readers.  Maggot Moon is a bleak story, with a bleak ending. Despite the affection and support from his Gramps, Standish’s life hadn’t exactly been a happy one.  Everyone he knows and cares about has either been taken away by the government or is in immediate, mortal danger.  It’s scary.  It’s overwhelming.  And at times, it will leave you just as numb as Standish has become to all of the brutality around him.   I wondered where Standish kept finding the courage to keep going on. This book was impossible to put down, and  I gobbled it up on a Sunday afternoon.  Standish’s voice will be with me for a long time to come.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher