Cover Reveal and Giveaway–The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter


Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter’s THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We’re so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? Not quite yet lets take a look a the first two covers in the series!

First there was ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND…

 
 
Then came THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS…
 
 
 
Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!
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Review: Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins

 

 

Contain Spoilers

Review:

Let the Drama Fest begin!  And, sadly, end, in the last book of Karen Ann Hopkins’s series of forbidden love.  Rose and Noah make so many poor decisions, cause so much misery for themselves, but I can’t help but hope that they find a path to happiness.  Both of them have lied, acted in ways that they know is wrong, and I still sympathize with them.  Their families, and Noah’s community, conspire to keep them apart, when all they long for is to be together.  Because both are young and willful, they are determined to find a way to be together, even with so much opposition to their relationship.  After tragedy strikes, Noah realizes that life is too short to allow his community to drive him away from Rose, and he leaves the Amish church.  Will he be happy in the English world?

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Meet Rose from Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins and Giveaway!

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I am so excited to be part of Karen Ann Hopkins’ Forever blog tour! This series has been like crack for me.  I love all of the angst and all of the drama!  Today I’m going to introduce you to Rose, and I’m going to ask her all kinds of questions about Noah and her new life with the Amish.  After, please enter the giveaway for a chance to win some really cool prizes!

[Manga Maniac Café] Good morning, Rose. Can you describe yourself in five words or less.

[Rose] Spunky, tenacious, loyal, persistent, athletic.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you share a typical day in your life?

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Interview with Ingrid Paulson, author of Valkyrie Rising

Ingrid Paulson is the author of Valkyrie Rising, a book I am chomping at the bit to get my hands on.  Ingrid very kindly took some time out of her busy day to answer a few of my questions.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] Science nerd and avid reader turned young adult writer. Former Olympic athlete (not really).

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

[Ingrid Paulson] I’m a huge fan of girl power stories, so I set out to write the kind of book I would want to read. In a nutshell, Valkyrie Rising is about a girl (Ellie) who comes into her own while visiting her grandmother in Norway. Boys start mysteriously disappearing, including her brother, and it’s up to Ellie to save them all and overthrow an ancient power. And along the way learns a few unexpected things about her family history.

But I think the copy on the back of the galley says it best:

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s astonishingly epic coming-of-age.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] A few years ago, I went on a trip Norway with the Paulson women, and I was so inspired by the mountains and fjords that I wanted to write a book based on the setting alone. I knew right away it would include Valkyries—I’ve always loved the idea of strong warrior women.

I was actually working on a different book, but Tuck and Ellie captured my imagination so suddenly and completely that I sat down and started sketching out scenes. The rest of the story came together around those two characters and the setting.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Ingrid Paulson] There are about a million challenges in writing a book–it’s hard to pick just one! But I think I struggled most with the ending and ended up re-writing it several times. I’d set up big stakes in the first three-quarters of the book and it was hard to tie everything back up together in a satisfactory way while keeping the action fast and light. Fortunately, I had an amazing editor who helped me work through those issues.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] This is hard because Ellie changes a lot during the course of the story. But the girl she becomes by the final scene is determined, resilient, and brave.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] Tucker is the type to always travel light. It’s not likely he’d have anything but his cell phone and a credit card or two. But he’d definitely never have another girl’s number, even if he’s likely to be slipped more than a few. He also wouldn’t be caught dead with anything relating to school or homework. Part of his casual confidence thing is never admitting he puts work into anything.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] I love reading and that definitely inspired me to start writing. And this might sound creepy, but I also really enjoy people watching (I’m a shameless and painfully obvious eavesdropper). I think that contributed a lot to creating the other people who reside in my head.  In the case of Valkyrie Rising, travel was also a huge influence—I was fortunate enough to stumble across incredible vistas in Norway that made me itch to describe them on paper.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] I need coffee and silence. When I hit a tricky scene or plot issue, I often work it out on a long run, so I guess I need running shoes too.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] That is a hard question! I think the biggest contributor to my love of reading was a father who would sit and read to me for hours and hours on end. His love of books is infectious. However, I was a huge fan of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein and can still recite embarrassing amounts of their works.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] Lately, I feel like I’m always either writing or secretly thinking about writing while pretending to pay attention to something else. But I live in San Francisco, pretty close to the bay, so I just love being outside and wandering the city with my daughter. I love to travel (who doesn’t) and spending time with my friends.

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

[Ingrid Paulson] My websites is: www.ingridepaulson.com

I’m on twitter @ingridepaulson.com

Facebook:  Valkyrie Rising

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Valkyrie Rising from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below. Available in print and digital.

Update and Sale

I am a bit behind on reviews, and probably won’t be able to catch up until the weekend.  I returned home from vacation to a broken well, and let me tell you, not having water is not pleasant.  All of the little things you take for granted are suddenly no longer possible – flushing the toilet, washing your hands, taking a shower – even cooking and making coffee!  Thankfully we had it repaired in a few days, but now I have piles of laundry and a billion other things I had to put off until it was fixed. 

In the meantime, one of my favorite 2012 releases, Under the Never Sky, is currently discounted to $2.99 for the Kindle.  If you haven’t read this yet, give it a try.  I am counting down the days until the release of Through the Ever Night.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi will be discounted at Amazon until Sept 17, so grab your copy soon!  Click the cover for the Amazon product page.

Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

In her enthralling debut, Veronica Rossi sends readers on an unforgettable adventure set in a world brimming with harshness and beauty.

Review: A Long Way From You by Gwendolyn Heasley

 

Title: A Long Way From You

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley

Publisher:  Harper Teen

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

For too long, Kitsy has had to satisfy her dreams of becoming a real artist by giving her friends makeovers before prom. So when her best friend Corrinne’s family offers to sponsor her for a summer art course in New York City, Kitsy bids a temporary good-bye to Texas to say hello to the West Village.

Between navigating the subway and the New Yorkers—namely, the Art Boy who has a nice trick of getting under her skin—Kitsy knows that this summer is going to be about a lot more than figure drawing.

Review:

When I saw that Gwendolyn Heasley had a follow up to Where I Belong, I was quite excited to read it.  I enjoyed her first book, and found myself overcoming my initial dislike of Corrinne as she matured into a more compassionate human being.  At the start of her story, she is spoiled, over-indulged, and not likable.  Not at all.  But as her family’s financial circumstances deteriorated, she was forced to take a long look at herself and decide whether she wanted to continue being a selfish, immature person.  Unfortunately, the Corrinne that we meet in A Long Way From You is sadly similar to the Corrinne at the beginning of Where I Belong.  Her New York friends, obviously, were not good for her personality, but I digress.

In this outing, Kitsy is the star, and I never had a problem liking her.  Kitsy is bubbly and fun, despite her difficult home life.  Her mother is not an ideal caregiver, and Kitsy is the adult in their house.  She cares for her younger brother,  as well as her mother, cooking, cleaning, and keeping everything running as smoothly as a teenager in charge of a household can.  She is the breadwinner, and her checks from her job at Sonic keep the lights on and food on the table, but just barely.  Kitsy has so many dreams, too, but as shackled as she is to the well-being of her family, it is unlikely that she will ever see them realized. 

When Corrinne’s family volunteers to sponsor her in New York City so she can attend summer art school, it’s a dream come true.  Though she’s excited to attend, the reality of leaving her brother in their mother’s questionable  care is almost enough to keep her home in tiny Broken Spoke, Texas.  There are so many things that can go wrong during her absence, and her mother is so unreliable.  When she is accepted into the summer art program, it’s with a great deal of trepidation that she accepts the plane ticket to NYC, and her summer of adventure.

I was under the mistaken impression that this is a romance.  It’s not, not really.  This is the story about a young woman who is given the chance to discover who she is, away from the stifling expectations of her small town.  Nobody knows Kitsy in NYC, and she loves the freedom that brings.  She can become anyone she wants to be, without her mother’s failures to hinder her.  She isn’t expected to be anyone’s steadfast girlfriend, or the level-headed older sister who has been given far too many responsibilities for far too long.  I loved reading along with Kitsy as she rebels against the perfect girl she is supposed to be.   When she meets a handsome guy who is just as interested in art as she is, she looses her sense of caution and takes risks and chances she would never have done at home.  Finally, in the crush of humanity that is NYC, she is given the freedom to make mistakes, and more importantly, to learn from them as she makes them.

I enjoyed this quiet, feel good read.  Kisty’s New York adventure forces her to reassess  her life and her dreams, and helps her to face her problems at home.  The resolution of her strained relationship with her mother is too easily won, but I found this book a fulfilling read.  I liked the protagonist and her new friends, and found A Long Way From You hard to put down.  I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher

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Character Word Associations with Amelia from Arise

 

Amelia is the protagonist from Tara Hudson’s Arise.  Amelia is a ghost, and her love for Joshua seems doomed to failure.  Amelia took time out of her busy day searching for a way for them to be together forever to answer some word associations.  Check out what she has to say!

[Manga Maniac Café] Hi, Amelia!  Thanks for stopping by.  Can you please play a little word association game with us? What is the first thing that comes to mind for each of these words?

[Amelia] Brass – The old miner’s lamp in Joshua’s bedroom, which I like best when we turn it off…

Violin – The music on Joshua’s iPod.  If only I could touch it, so that I could play DJ for once.

Fireworks – Um…I’m kind of blushing right now.  I can’t say what I’m thinking, but it definitely involves Joshua

Fog – Where I lived for years, and where I never want to return…unless I have to

Safe – Ha!  What’s that word?

Scream – Demons.  Wish I didn’t do that, every time I see one.  Since I seem to be seeing them more often, now….

Mistake – Something I did in New Orleans…something I hope I can undo

Barrier – Seer Dust.  You know, I really hate that stuff

Memory – My father and my mother.  Things I’m starting to remember, but sometimes wish I wouldn’t

Torrent – High Bridge.  May it crumble into dust, amen.

Hunger – Beignets. 

Camel – The thirst I feel, watching Joshua and his family drink chicory coffee in the French Quarter

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


You can purchase Arise from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below.  Available in both print and digital

Thanks to {teen} Book Scene for arranging this interview

Cover Shot! Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton

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?

Courtney Allison Moulton revealed the title and cover for the final installment of her Angelfire series.  All of the covers for the series have been so pretty!  What do you think of this cover for Shadows in the Silence?

In the final battle for Heaven and Earth, Ellie, who has the reincarnated soul of an ancient reaper-slayer, must grapple with her archangel powers to save herself and all of humanity.

In stores January 2013