Walk On Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson | Release Day Book Blitz & Giveaway

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Hello bookworms! I’m so happy today to have the chance to share an awesome giveaway and the news that Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson releases today! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new series by Rae Carson, be sure to check out all the details below.

Also, for all of you US peopls out there, this blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the Girl of Fire and Thorns series, in paperback format! So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!


Walk on Earth a StrangerBook Details

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Publication Date:
 September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young-Adult
Series Status: The Gold Seer Trilogy #1
Page Count: 448
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

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Read chapter 1 of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER annotated by Rae Carson HERE!


 About the Authorraecarson

Rae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. Her next book, Walk On Earth A Stranger, will be available September 22, 2015. She lives in Arizona with her husband.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway – 1 US winner will receive a paperback set of the 3 GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (Ends on September 30th at Midnight EST!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Walk on Earth a Stranger sounds amazing! Who else is looking forward to gobbling it up? And has anyone read Girl of Fire and Thorns? How was it? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until the Next Meal 1

Before Vengeance by Louisa Lo | Blog Tour + Giveaway

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BeforeVengeanceCoverSmashwordFinalBook Details

Title: Before Vengeance

Author: Louisa Lo

Series Status: Cosmic Balance #0.5

Publication date: TBA 2015

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

What if everything you’ve ever known, down to what you are, was a lie?

Growing up in the enchanted kingdom of Dualsing, seventeen-year-old Lady Serafina has always known she’s different. Her fae power never manifested itself during puberty, and her parents treated her like a tolerated houseguest rather than family. Even her childhood sweetheart, Crown Prince Eldon, distanced himself the moment he was old enough to know the secret about Serafina that everyone in their world seems to know—except her.

Now her upcoming birthday is being treated as a national holiday by the very people who’d neglected her, Eldon is in for a political battle of his life that she’s somehow being dragged into, and Serafina is developing abilities that feel terrifyingly right, but aren’t fae power at all.

As she starts to investigate her origin, Serafina has no idea she would be setting in motion events that would have far-reaching consequences not just for herself, but for all the planes.

Note: BEFORE VENGEANCE is a prequel of VENGEANCE BE MINE.

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Purchase: Will be found here come release day


Excerpt

Under the fading sun, I hurried past the palace square, keeping my shoulders slumped and my eyes downcast. To the conversing noble in the vicinity, all they saw was a misfit. Someone looking to avoid trouble and attention.

The truth was, I was trying to avoid bringing attention to the trouble I might cause.

“Lady Serafina,” Alston, the royal butler, called from behind me.

I whirled around on the smooth, white marble floor. Alston balanced a jug of honey in each hand. The lower grade honey was intended as payments to the brownies for their housekeeping service.

I tried to concentrate on Alston’s words, and not the fact that the honey had been skimmed off the top by the butler.

Damn my keen sense of right and wrong, so utterly opposed to what everyone else on this plane considered normal.

“M’lady,” the imposing butler seemed disgusted with himself for having to address me. He didn’t even bother with a bow. “I’m to inform you that on the day of the Crossover, you’re to come to the South Tower before dawn.”

I nodded and started walking, hoping that would be all.

“One more thing,” Alston blocked my path, his eyes dropped to my neck with deep disapproval. “May I remind you to wear the Eye of Sebille at all times. I cannot stress enough the importance of it.”

A couple of noble ladies close by snickered at me, their laughter rang across the square like bells. Their pixies, taking cue from their mistresses, zoomed right by my braid rather than keeping a respectable distance.

I swallowed, my fingers brushed against my bare neck of their own accord. The Eye of Sebille was a long necklace with a bejeweled, egg-sized pendant. I hated wearing it. Not just because of its dead weight and sharp surface, but because of the mystery it represented.

In all my seventeen summers, I had never laid eyes on the Sebille family heirloom. Now, I was suddenly expected to wear it all the time. Why? Did it have something to do with my birthday?

When Alston passed by me, one of the honey jugs brushed against my arm. As the glass made contact with my exposed skin, sensations exploded though my system. It was as though in that moment, I could feel the hardship of the brownies, thankless servants little better than slaves. I felt their every yawn, every sore muscle, and every blister.

A brownie would have to work all year long just to get a single jug of cheap honey. To have over a third of it taken away by someone in a position of power…

It wasn’t right.

The injustices they suffered crashed through me like a tidal wave, stealing my breath and making my fists clench. But when the torrent of indignation passed, what was left in its place was a dead calm.

As I watched Alston’s retreating back, a song rose in me like a long-forgotten nursery rhyme:

Honey, they say you never go bad.

Make an exception,

For he who made the brownies sad.

Before Alston reached the corner of the palace square, he doubled over with pain. He dropped the jugs and collapsed on the floor, curling into a fetal position. He groaned, his arrogant and formidable demeanor gone.

The jugs bounced off the marble floor and landed on a small wooden patio table nearby, without a crack to the glass or a single drop of honey spilling.

Somehow, I knew Alston was in for a long night of food poisoning, just like I knew the brownies, to whom the jugs belonged, would find the honey tasted twice as sweet as it normally would. I had no idea how I knew. I just did.


AUTHOR BIO:

“Louisa Lo has an exciting new voice to bring to urban fantasy and a fun and breezy writing style that kept the pages quickly turning well into the night! I need more!” –Michelle Rowen, National Bestselling Author

LouisaLouisa Lo lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, an aristocratic cat, and more cardboard boxes than she cares to unpack. She decided to write about vigilantes, because it seems like a better life choice than trying to become one and landing herself in jail. She just has that kind of luck. Visit www.louisalo.com to learn more about Louisa and her books.

Author links:

INT Giveaway – $50 Amazon Gift Card
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What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi | Blog Tour + Giveaway

What You Left Behind_bookcoverWhat You Left Behind
By Jessica Verdi

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: August 4th 2015

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction

Hardcover ISBN: 9781492614401
$16.99 Hardcover

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781492608745
$9.99 Trade Paperback


Synopsis

Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn’t Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions. Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

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Purchase Links: Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo

Praise for What You Left Behind

 “A powerful indictment of reparative therapy–a sweet love story–and an unforgettable main character!” –Nancy Garden, author of Annie on My Mind

 “Ryden’s story is a moving illustration of how sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to embrace the life you’ve been given. A strong, character-driven story that teen readers will love.”

–Carrie Arcos, National Book Award Finalist for Out of Reach

“His [Ryden’s] candid voice is endearing, and although his present-tense narration at first seems like every other teen novel on the shelf, the granulated iteration of baby details helps to illuminate the crushing burden he feels. Other characters are also well-drawn, and the plot moves along tidily to a satisfying conclusion. Verdi balances her plot elements deftly.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Verdi holds nothing back, shedding a realistic light on Ryden’s situation, his decisions, and their very real consequences. His voice is spot-on and doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh realities that he faces. It isn’t often that a book nails the male teen voice as well as Verdi does in this work. An excellent addition to YA collections.” — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Teens will be hooked by the premise but will stick with Ryden and his friends in this all-too-real portrait of a modern family.” — Booklist

You can find my review here!


Excerpt from What You Left Behind

Chapter 1

If there’s a more brain-piercing sound than a teething baby crying, I can’t tell you what it is.

I fall back on my bed, drop Meg’s journal, and rake my hands through my hair. It’s kinda funny—in an ironic way, not an LOL way—that I even notice how greasy my hair is with the wailing filling my room and ringing in my head. But I do. It’s gross. When was the last time I washed it? Three days ago? Four? I haven’t had time for anything more than a quick soap and rinse in days.

And here I used to purposely go a day or two without washing it. Girls have always liked my chin-length hair that falls in my face when I’m hunched over a test in school and that I have to pull back with a rubber band during soccer practice. But now it’s gone past sexy-straggly and straight into flat-out dirty.

God, I would kill for a long, hot, silent shower. I would lather, rinse, repeat like it was my fucking job.

Tears squeeze between Hope’s closed eyelids and her little chubby feet wiggle every which way. Her pink, gummy mouth is open wide, and you can just begin to see specks of white where her teeth are coming in.

Her crib is littered with evidence of my attempts to get her to please stop crying—a discarded teething ring, a mostly-full bottle, and this freakish, neon green, stuffed monster with huge eyes that my mom swore Hope liked when she first gave it to her, though I have no idea how she could tell that.

I pick up Hope and try massaging her gums with a damp washcloth like they say to do on all the baby websites. I bounce her on my hip and walk her around my room, trying to murmur soothing, shhhh-ing sounds. I even rub her head, as gently as my clunky, goal-blocking hands can manage. But nothing works. The screams work their way inside me, rattling my blood cells.

Yes, I changed her diaper. I even brought her to the doctor last week to make sure nothing’s actually wrong with her, some leftover sickness from Meg or something. There’s not.

Ever since Hope was born six months ago, I’ve been learning on the fly, getting used to the diapers and bottles and sleeping when she sleeps. I spend all of my free time reading mommy-ing websites, finding out which stores have the right kind of wipes, and shopping at the secondhand store for baby clothes, because they’re basically just as good as new and Hope grows out of everything so fast anyway.

Hope’s never fully warmed to me. She always cries more when I hold her than when my mom does—but it’s never been this bad. This teething stuff is no joke. According to the Internet, anyway. It’s not like Hope’s giving me a dissertation on what she’s feeling. Whenever I get anywhere near her, she screams her head off. Which means no matter how hard I try or how many books I read or websites I scour, I’m still doing something wrong. But what else is new?

Lately I’ve had this idea that I can’t seem to shake.

What if I’m missing some crucial dad-gene because I never had one of my own? What if I’m literally incapable of being a father to this baby because I have zero concept of what a father really is? Like beyond a definition or what you see of your friends’ families and on TV.

I have no idea what that relationship’s supposed to be like. I’ve never lived it.

And inevitably that thought leads to this one:

Maybe finding my dad, Michael, is the key to all of this making some sense. Maybe if I tracked him down, I’d finally be clued in to what I’ve been missing. The real stuff. How you’re supposed to talk to each other. What the, I don’t know, energy is like between a father and a son. Not that I’m into cosmic energy bullshit or anything.

If I could be the son in that interaction, even once, for a single conversation, that could jumpstart my being a father. Right? At least I’d have some frame of reference, some experience.

But that would require getting more info about Michael from my mom. And I’ve already thrown enough curveballs her way to last a lifetime.

The music blasting from Mom’s home office shuts off. Five o’clock exactly, like always nowadays. She loves her job making custom, handmade wedding invitations for rich people. Before Hope, Mom would work all hours of the day and night. But it turns out babies costa shitload of money, and despite how well Mom’s business is doing, it’s not enough. So the new arrangement is that during the day Mom gets to turn her music on and her grandma duties off while I take care of Hope. Then Mom takes over when I leave for work at 5:30.

In a few days that schedule’s going to change, and I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do. That’s another topic I haven’t brought up with Mom. She keeps saying we need to talk about our plan for “when school starts up again,” like she’s forgotten that soccer practice starts sooner than that. Like it doesn’t matter anymore or something.

But I can’t not play. Soccer is the one thing I kick ass at. It’s the whole reason I’m going back to school this fall instead of sticking with homeschooling, which I did for the last few months of last year after Hope was born. Fall is soccer season. I need to go to school in order to play on the team. And I need to play on the team because I’m going to UCLA on an athletic scholarship next year. It’s pretty much a done deal. I’ve even spoken to their head coach a few times this summer. He called me on July first, the first day he was allowed to contact me according to NCAA rules. He’s seen my game film, tracked my stats, and is sending a recruiter to watch one of my games in person. He wants me on his team. This is what I’ve been working toward my whole life. So Mom’s delusional if she thinks I’m giving it up.

I wipe the tears from Hope’s face and the drool from around her mouth. Her soft, unruly, dark hair tickles my hand as I set her down in her crib. She’s still crying. She grasps onto my finger, holding on extra tight, like she’s saying, “Do something, man. This shit is painful!”

“I’m trying,” I mumble.

I meet Mom in her office, where she’s sitting on the floor, attempting to organize her materials. Stacks of paper and calligraphy pens are scattered among plastic bags filled with real leaves from the trees in our yard. Three hot glue guns are plugged into the wall, and photos of the Happy Couple glide across Mom’s laptop screen.

“Hippie wedding in California?” I guess, nodding at the leaves. The people who hire Mom to make one-of-a-kind invitations always want a design that relates who they are. Mom and I started this game years ago. She tells me what materials she’s using, and I try to guess what kind of people the Happy Couple are. I’m usually pretty good.

Mom shakes her head. “Hikers in Boulder.”

Or I was pretty good. Now everything is so turned around that I can barely think.

“That was my next guess,” I say.

Mom smiles. She’s been so great about everything. She’s not even pissed about me making her a thirty-five-year-old grandmother. She says that she, better than anyone, gets how these things happen. But this is not your typical “oops, got pregnant in high school, what do we do now?” scenario, like what happened to her. This is the much more rare “oops, I killed the love of my life by getting her pregnant in high school, and ruined my life and the lives of all her family and friends in the process” situation.

And deep down, I know Mom knows that. Mom’s green eyes used to sparkle. They don’t anymore. It’s not because of the baby—she loves that kid to an almost ridiculous level. It’s because of me. She’s sad for me. Even though the name “Meg” is strictly off-limits in our house, I can almost see the M and E and G floating around in my mom’s eyes like alphabet soup, like she’s been bottling up everything she’s wanted to say for the past six months and it is about to overflow. I need to get out of here.

“So, I’m out,” I say quickly, clipping my Whole Foods nametag to my hoodie. “Be home at ten-fifteen.”

Mom sighs. “Okay, Ry. Have fun. Love you.”

“Love you too,” I call back as I head to the front door.

She always says that when I leave to go somewhere. Have fun. She’s been saying it for years. Doesn’t matter if I’m going to school or work or soccer practice or a freaking pediatrician’s appointment with Hope. Have fun. Like having fun is the most important thing you can do. Like you can possibly have fun when you’re such a fucking mess.


About the Author

Jessica VerdiJessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing show tunes at the top of her lungs (much to her husband’s chagrin), watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome non-leather shoes in a size 5. She’s still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use. Follow Jess on Twitter @jessverdi.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway (3 signed copies of What You Left Behind & 3 signed bookmarks, Open 08/04 – 08/18)
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