7/28/2014

Scintillate Newly Edited Trailer + Exclusive to PTB Giveaway

One of my favorite debut authors, Tracy Clark, has released a newly edited book trailer for Scintillate and we get to share it with you along with an exclusive giveaway!

But first, a little about the story itself:
A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

If you didn't see my 5-star review of it, here are my summarized thoughts (link to full review): "Pick up Scintillate and toss it into your beach bag this summer. The characters, setting and most of all the unexpected twist make it a perfect beach read -- a satisfying, page-turner of a story."

And now, let's take a look at the book trailer, which features one of the most haunting songs I've heard in a long time.


G I V E A W A Y      T I M E
- Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win ONE Scinitllate inspired Light Key necklace. 
- All standard PTB giveaway rules apply. 
- U.S. mailing addresses only, please. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks to Tracy for allowing us to feature her book trailer and awesome giveaway! What did you guys think of the trailer? 

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.

She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.

Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.

Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

 WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

The Sound of Letting Go Blog Tour & Giveaway


Title: The Sound of Letting Go
Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe
Published: February 2014 from Viking Childrens
Synopsis:
For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?


Four our blog tour stop today, we have Author Stasia Ward Kehoe chatting with Laurie Thompson about Sangria and introversion (also, her puppy)

I’ve just wrapped up a fabulous week at NOVELNOVICE.COM, during which I discussed what happens FIVE MONTHS AFTER a novel is published, the writing process, my over-expressive eyebrows and other vital topics. Now, I’m thrilled to be taking my THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Summer Blog Tour (click that, you know, ‘cuz there are giveaways) on a virtual summer road trip with some of the most talented, wonderful and hilarious writers I know.

I’m thrilled to be “cyber-vacationing” here at PAGE TURNERS with the amazing LAURIE THOMPSON. Laurie is a quiet, powerful force in the Western Washington KidLit world, from her work as a past Co-Regional Advisor of America’s best (IMO) SCBWI chapter to her enthusiasm and support for so many other writers in our community.

SWK: So, Laurie, where have we set up our fantasy beach chairs?

LAURIE: Well, I hope you're not too disappointed, but I'm not much of a beach girl. I prefer mountains and
trees! So, my fantasy beach chairs are set up on the shore of a secluded alpine lake with gorgeous views of mountains all around. Something like this, perhaps...

SWK: I swoon for rainbows. That looks gorgeous! And, uh, what are we drinking?

Knowing me, we're probably drinking something warm like coffee or hot chocolate, but to makes things feel a little more beachy (and since the weather has been so nice here lately), how about we go for a nice sangria instead?

3. What is writer-you doing to drain the joy from your summer (Stressing about new wip? Trying to do outreach for upcoming pub date? Something more existential?)?

It's not so much of a drain, really, since it's super exciting, but there's definitely stress involved in preparing for the launch of my debut title, Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters, coming up in September! I'm a serious introvert, so thinking about all of the parties, speaking engagements, interviews, etc. can get a little overwhelming sometimes. I know I'll be fine as long as I space things out and take time to recharge, though, so I'm trying to just take things one day at a time.

4. What puts joy back into your summer (anything and it can be crazy!)?

Spending time with my family always puts things back into perspective and makes me feel grateful and joyful
. Making time to hang out with friends--especially writer friends--is a must. Cuddling with my little dog, Prim, always brings down the stress level and makes me smile. And losing myself in a good book (whether reading one or writing one!) is always a welcome escape.

Catch up with Laurie online at LaurieThompson.com, Twitter: lauriethompson, Facebook: lauriethompsonauthor

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters, Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, September 2014
Emmanuel's Dream, Schwartz & Wade/Random House, January 2015
My Dog Is the Best, Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan, May 2015

About Stasia Ward Kehoe:
Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dreaming of becoming a professional ballerina but she didn't grow quite enough (she is 5'4") or have sufficiently good knees (they are peppered with surgery scars) to achieve this goal. Instead, she went to Georgetown University from which she received a semi-unintentional BA in English. After working at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Random House Publishing in New York, City, and receiving her MA in Performance Studies from New York University, she married a dude who looks just like Clark Kent (the hot geek who turns into Superman), had four awesome sons, and moved to the Pacific Northwest where she now lives. She then started writing with a vengeance, publishing her first young adult novel, AUDITION, in 2011. She advises not being too specific in your long-term goals however, if you decide to write a book, sit on your backside and don't get up until you have (a) died of starvation or (b) written the words "the end." THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is her second novel and her short-term plan is to write another so, as you read this bio, she's likely got her fingers glued to a keyboard. Stasia also enjoys artichokes, chocolate (but, come on, who doesn't?), parentheticals (obviously) and turning on her car to an explosion of pop music because the last person to drive it was one of her teenagers--especially if the song is about heartache and healing and has a good dance beat.

Website: http://www.stasiawardkehoe.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.StasiaWardKehoe
Twitter: https://twitter.com/swkehoe
Tumblr: http://stasiakehoe.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stasiakehoe/

GIVEAWAY TIME!

The Blog Tour is giving away a Sound of Letting Go Super Summer Prize Pack! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. This giveaway is not being hosted of sponsored by PTB, please follow the rules and conditions on the widget. 

7/27/2014

The Stories of Ibis Review

Title: The Stories of Ibis
Author: Hiroshi Yamamoto
Release: April 20, 2010
Synopsis:
In a world where humans a minority and androids have created their own civilization, a wandering storyteller meets the beautiful android Ibis. She tells him seven stories of human/android interaction in order to reveal the secret behind humanity's fall.

The tales Ibis tells are science fiction stories about the events surrounding the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At a glance, these stories do not appear to have any sort of connection, but what is the true meaning behind them? What are Ibis's real intentions?

This book shares an inspiration with Ray Bradbury's "Illustrated Man", being a collection of loosely related short stories with an interwoven connection between them. The ostensible viewpoint character is the storyteller, who, through an embarrassing injury, listens to stories that his opponent/rescuer tells him while he recuperates.

Each of the stories sharing the theme of humans interacting with technology or artificial intelligences. The first several stories deal with the utilization of more advanced technology with regard to how we communicate. 'The Universe on my hands' takes place partially through posts on a message board, while 'A Romance in Virtual Space' is set within a 3D, avatar based chat program. Both of these stories focus on human interaction, but underscore that it is because of technology that these interactions take place.

The next several stories detail human-AI interactions; "Mirror Girl" was particular moving as it follows a young girl growing up with an electronic toy that simulates another girl, how the girl grows up and her life experiences as she eventually stops playing with the toy as much, but how she reconnects with it again later in life after she is married and has a child of her own. "The Day Shion Came" is a human dealing with a more advanced AI, one that is designed to help in assisted living communities. This time the theme is how technology can teach us, reflecting our better qualities, while learning from our bad.

The final story is Ibis's own, how she and many of her fellow androids started as battle programs for their owners, but eventually there is a call to provide rights to AIs after an incident of cruelty is perpetrated against AIs. Ibis explains that humanity began to die out because birth rates declined, and that the rise of AIs was not a violent overthrow, but a gradual progression, putting her story at odds with everything he had been taught about machines previously.

All of the short stories were entertaining and stood well on their own, although sharing an overarching idea, the tone of each was unique and poignant with a well made point. Some of the stories were stronger than others, either the characters or subject lent themselves to a more fully realized narrative. "A Romance in Virtual Space" and "The Day Shion Came" being the best written in terms of subject and characterization. "AI's story" being the final and personal tale of Ibis, is the most comprehensive in terms of tying all the various ideas presented together while presenting Ibis and her master as fully realized characters you can imagine quite easily.

Overall, the book takes several common tropes regarding AIs and questions the assumptions behind them or dissects them and why we popularize such ideas. The human desire to anthropomorphize objects like machines is both embraced (Mirror Girl) and rejected (The Day Shion Came), the latter story showing that when dealing with something so vastly different in terms of needs and thoughts, like a thinking machine. Attempting to make androids"human" is counterproductive, as is the fear of robot uprisings due to us projecting our own emotions onto something that neither shares similar biological constraints or social needs. Although paradoxical, "The Stories of Ibis" continues a literary vein where dealing with a nonhuman subject is the method in which we see and embrace its and our own humanity.

Overall rating : 5, thoughtful, entertaining and melancholy with a sense of irrepressible hope

7/24/2014

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Review

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publish Date: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 10/2012
Synopsis:
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong. 


After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.

Mara has so much going on in her life and it takes most of the novel to sort through her initial conflict. You know she is a survivor of a terrible accident and her emotions are strung tight. She can’t remember what happened, so her mental state is in question through most of the book. She is sure she is seeing her friends who died every time she looks in the mirror, but she is forced to push it all aside and try to deal with her first day at a new school.

Her family moves to Florida and she is enrolled in a private school with her brother. He has no problem fitting in, but Mara just wants to blend in and go unnoticed. She isn’t able to though because she is the new girl and everyone has an eye on her for one reason or another. She meets a few interesting people, but none so interesting as Noah. He scares her and intrigues her at the same time, but he is the school playboy and she wants nothing to do with that. At the same time, Mara slowly begins to realize she has some wicked powers, but has no idea how to control them.

Noah is charming and pulls her in, becomes her protector, and gives her support to figure out what is happening in her mind. Noah has his own secrets, but he has to convince Mara to let him help her before it is too late. Mara pushes him away and has some tough decisions to make on her own, but will she make the right ones? Who will suffer as a result of her decisions? Her family? Her new friends? Noah? Great suspense and interesting twists leading to the cliffhanger ending.

There is a lot going on in this book. Several side stories seemed to be unnecessary in my mind, but didn’t detract from the story. Her father is the main lawyer on a defense team for a murder trial. As a result, there is another storyline used as an undercurrent in the book. It was intriguing, but not necessary to keep the story going. I wanted one of the side stories to keep going, but instead was left hanging in terms of what happened to her quirky friend who was expelled from school.

Despite that small issue, I fell in love with the book! I read it in one day- could NOT put it down. Lots of great tension, a fantastic book boyfriend in Noah, a wonderful brother in Daniel, and great plot twists. The descriptions of the settings, the dialogue, and conflicts all work together to weave a beautifully written tale. It's a toss up as to whether it is a paranormal or psychological thriller. I think it is a nice blend of both. This is the first book in a trilogy and I can’t wait to get the next book.

MY OVERALL RATING:


7/23/2014

Little Infinities Edition of #TheFaultinourStars DVD/Blu-ray


Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced that along with the DVD/Blu-ray release of the standard edition of The Fault in our Stars on September 16th, there will also be an awesome
super fan edition. the Little Infinities Edition will include an extended cut of the movie and audio commentary of the longer movie.

Other fun bit of info, you, the fan, helped pick the cover of this super-fan edition of TFIOS!




Details from Fox:

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Little Infinities Edition Blu-ray™ SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Extended Version
  •  Extended Cut Audio Commentary by Josh Boone and John Green
  • 6 Deleted Scenes (Including Commentary)
  • The Stars Align: Book to Screen
  • Plus all of the features on the DVD!
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS comes to Blu-ray™ and DVD with an extended version that will keep Augustus and Hazel’s beautiful infinity going even longer and have the millions of lovers of the film and book holding on to every last second. Die-hard fans of the film must get their hands on the Blu-ray™, which is the only place to find a behind-the-scenes look at how the two lover’s paths aligned in bringing the book to the screen and six deleted scenes to complete the inspirational tale.

Okay? Okay.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Blu-ray™ SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Audio Commentary by Josh Boone and John Green
  • 6 Deleted Scenes (Including Commentary)
  • The Stars Align: Book to Screen
  • Plus all of the features on the DVD!

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Theatrical Cut Audio Commentary by Josh Boone and John Green
  • Promotional Featurettes: The Cast, The Making of The Fault in Our Stars, The Transformation, Literature to Life, Our Little Infinity, The Music Behind Our Stars
  • Gallery


#Divergent debuts iPad App


Divergent is now out on Digital HD for your movie streaming pleasure. To celebrate the release, Lionsgate/Summit has launched a Divergent iPad app packed full of awesome Divergent extras!

Divergent will be out on DVD & Blu-ray on August 5th.  Check out all the extra content offerings and links to pre-order HERE.


About the Divergent iPad app from Lionsgate:
  • Divergent, the electrifying first installment of the blockbuster action adventure franchise, on Digital HD Tuesday (July 22), draws fans deeper into the world of Tris and Four with Lionsgate’s official Divergent app, an innovative experience bringing fans even closer to the action.
  • With over 150 minutes of state-of-the-art bonus features and immersive interactive content, the Lionsgate-designed iOS app is available free to all Divergent fans via the iTunes App Store and includes:
    • Making Divergent – See key scenes from the movie come together as if you were on the Chicago set, as cameras unveil the action from multiple angles while the film’s cast and crew narrate the action.
    • All-Access Movie Premiere Pass – Walk the “black” carpet with Divergent’s cast and crew, as 360-degree cameras allow fans to rub virtual elbows with Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet and more at the film’s Los Angeles premiere.
    • Factions in the Real World – Experience the world of Divergent in real life as experts show what it takes to belong in Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Candor and Amity in our modern day world.
    • Marketing Archives – A comprehensive gallery of video and still imagery from the set and the film’s marketing campaign.
  • Combined, the Divergent app’s free features and Xfinity premium experience comes to over seven hours of interactive content.
  • The app will continue offering fans first-looks and exclusives for the entire trajectory of the franchise. Beginning with the next series installment, Insurgent, opening worldwide on March 20, 2015, the app will debut content from the theatrical release through the home entertainment window, offering fans a one-stop destination for Divergent news and content.




And there's an added bonus to this app, Xfinity customers have the chance to access 3 bonus exclusives!

From Lionsgate:

  • For Xfinity customers who buy the movie on Digital HD via Xfinity On Demand, the Divergent app
    unlocks a premium experience with over 250 minutes of additional content, including super-sized versions of the app’s free features as well as:
    • Dauntless Fear Simulator – Like Tris and Four, fans can conquer their fears head-on with this virtual reality, surround sound adventure. Created with actual post-production audio effects from Divergent and DTS “Headphone: X” technology, fans can use any brand or type of headphones for this unique audial experience. 
    • Interactive Fashion Look Book – Delve into the style of Divergent via a carousel of featured costumes, along with original online photo albums and videos created specifically for the app.
    • Bringing Divergent to Life – View the in-depth story of the making of the film with cast and crew in this seven-part documentary.

7/20/2014

Quarantine Blog Tour & Giveaway

The final book in the Quarantine Trilogy is out on Tuesday, July 22nd! The first book, The Loners (read my review HERE), left me reeling for months and its ending haunted me and has stuck with me for the last two years. These book are so visual that they'll draw you completely into the world.

We are excited to be part of the blog tour to celebrate the end the end of this epic trilogy.  We have 2 awesome quest posts and a giveaway of the The Burnouts. Be sure to follow the whole blog tour for more chances to win.


Title: Quarantine: The Burnouts - Quarantine Trilogy
Author: Lex Thomas
Published Date: July, 2014
Synopsis:
Lord of the Flies in a 21st-century high school setting.Welcome to Quarantine 3: The Burnouts , where readers of The Maze Runner, Gone, and Divergent go when they're hungry for more dark, compelling survival stories.

When an explosion rocks David and Will's suburban high school one morning, a deadly virus is unleashed on the school. After a year of quarantine, with no adults around, the students have created their own society. All of the social cliques have developed into gangs-The Nerds, The Geeks, The Freaks, The Sluts, The Skaters, The Burnouts, The Pretty Ones, and The Varsity-and each gang provides a service with which they can barter for provisions. Without a gang, it's almost impossible to secure food, water, territory, or supplies. In the final installment in the Quarantine trilogy, the brothers are reunited on the Outside and it appears as if, for once everything is going right. But inside the school, Lucy is alone with no gang and no hope, until the Burnouts welcome her into their filthy arms.


Lex Hirabe talks about their writing relationship and style and how it's evolved over the three books. 
In 2012, my writing partner and I sold the Quarantine Trilogy as a proposal. It included seven sample chapters, an outline for the rest of Book 1, and in-depth synopses for the following two books. We’d never written a novel before, only screenplays. But writing screenplays had given us a rhythm and style as collaborators. All of our years breaking stories together paid off in a major way when we were given just two months to write a first (presentable) draft of The Loners. With little time to veer from our outline, we were lucky to have so much mapped out, plot-wise. We’d done a lot of thinking about the world in preparing the proposal, and that was a terrific aid to us when we came across story problems. Much of the success of that first book was thanks to how much we had planned ahead. However, we felt a strong, growing tension between what the characters had become after being fully fleshed out and the story beats we had planned for them.

We began the second book by throwing out our initial proposal for what would happen in Book 2. As dangerous as that felt, the characters had grown beyond our best guesses of who they were earlier. We proceeded with a new tactic. We composed a beat sheet of what we thought would happen over the course of the new story, but we didn’t have the detailed outline we had during Book 1. As co-authors, we got on the same page by mapping out the first act, then started writing a rough draft. When we reached the turning point into Act 2, we evaluated the journey so far and re-evaluated where we were headed. While it definitely upped our sense of panic as the clock ticked on our deadline, we could feel that we were making better character decisions that were more organic to the story.

Was it nerve-wracking writing in the dark? Absolutely, but we knew there was a massive benefit to that: if we didn’t know what was coming next, the reader definitely wouldn’t know what to expect. And that white-knuckle ride was what we’d always wanted the Quarantine trilogy to be.

By the time we started Book 3, The Burnouts, we’d become confident in our approach, and of the three books, it’s the most streamlined, while also being the most tumultuous. It’s a whip crack of story.

After writing three books together, Thomas and I are working on separate books before we tackle our next co-authored novel. In spite of working on different projects, we still help each other by brainstorming problems and posing possible solutions. And I’ve noticed that, after working so closely for so long, we’re both using the same method we refined over the course of writing Quarantine.

Thomas Voorhies talks about the visual writing style that totally draws me into these books.
Stacey asked us if the visual writing style in our books was on purpose or if it just came out that way. It was definitely intentional. When I'm reading, I really like to know where I am and what's going on. It bugs me if I feel lost and don't know where I am, or I'm flipping back and re-reading sections because it seems like we're in a new place and situation and I didn't notice when it happened. So I remember, especially in the first book of the series, wanting to make sure it was always crystal clear to the reader where they were, what was around them, and what it looked like.

On top of that, setting and description is one of the strongest tools you have as a writer to evoke a tone or an emotional mood for the scene. I often have images of a scene pop in my head as I'm writing or brainstorming. I went to art school, have a background in painting, and have always been very visual, so I love crafting a clear, simple, evocative image to express the feeling of the story, the specific moment, or the character's mood.

The simple pleasure of drawing or painting for me has always been that I put down a handful of lines, or paint strokes and suddenly those marks become a face, or a house or whatever else. The fact that pencil marks can be arranged in such a way that you see a solid three dimensional head, with eyes that look back at you and almost seem alive, that little feeling of magic is what it's all about. In writing visuals my hope is for that same bit of magic to happen when the sequence of words I've arranged form an image that is bright, sharp, and vivid in the reader's mind.


GIVEAWAY TIME!

Thanks to Egmont, we have a copy of The Burnouts to giveaway.  This giveaway is US and Canada only and please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.