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Blog Tour: My #review of Remember Me by Amaleen Ison and a #Giveaway (@Amaleenison) #YALit

Remember-Me-Banner

Welcome to my stop on the Remember Me Blog Tour. I’m so excited to finally have a chance to lend my support to one of my favorite authors, as well as having an advanced look at her new release, REMEMBER ME so I could write the review. It’s really one of the best things about reviewing books. All that great literature (you hope) for free. What’s not to like?

I digress…

I fell in love with Ms. Ison’s work with her first solo release, THE TROUBLE WITH NIGHTINGALE. If you haven’t read this one, folks, you really need to get on that right after you finish picking up this latest endeavor.

But, we aren’t talking about that story today. Today is ALL about the newest tale to spawn from Ms. Ison’s fanatically creative mind.

Before we get to my review of the tale, let’s have a closer look at the book beyond its spectacular cover.

Bono_RememberMe_large-682x1024 (1)Remember Me
by Amaleen Ison

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Release Date: June 11th,  2013

ISBN: 978-1-61333-545-1

Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter

Blurb: Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.

A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.

Excerpt:

Father snatches the cover away and yanks my bare arm straight. Angry-looking bruises and red track marks riddle my paper-thin skin from wrist to elbow crease. He flicks a spidery-looking vein. “Dammit. Next.” My sluggish movements prove too slow for his liking, and he grabs my other arm. “We’ll give this one a try.”

I turn to Noah. Although younger than Father and not yet graying, his straggly black beard and tired-looking eyes make him appear older. He wears a worried expression and avoids my gaze. Perhaps he pities me, or my condition embarrasses him. Probably both.

The fog of medication descends in my mind and sends its glacial water surging through my veins. The barn wobbles, and my head lolls back on the pillow, giving me a view of the rafters. When it comes, the prick of the needle doesn’t hurt. Only the beautiful, melancholy song that plays constantly in my mind accompanies the odd sense of draining life.

Minutes, hours, days later—I can’t tell—Father holds up a full vial of blood to a shaft of sunlight streaming through the hole in the roof. “Thank you, my angel.” He kisses my forehead and squeezes my hand at the same time. I smile at the show of relief in his eyes, before my heavy lids close.

“She’s sleeping,” he says.

Footsteps draw near.

“She looks worse.” The disembodied comment comes from somewhere near the foot of the bed.

Father grunts.

“Her blood isn’t working anymore.” Noah’s voice sounds tight.

Silence.

“We ought to let her die peacefully.”

Yes, they ought to let me die peacefully.

“No!” Father’s breath comes in heavy gusts. “I won’t give up on her. We’ll capture the other one.”

“We’ll be damned.”

“Too late.” A loud clunk and something metallic skitters across the floor. “We’re already damned.”

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Buy Links:

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My Review: What a fantastic little story.  I just loved it! Now, I say little, because it is a novella, and only about 50 pages. But, those 50 pages are fictional gold.

The descriptions are so vivid, as if Ms. Ison is painting a portait in your mind. So clear you can just sit back and watch the story unfold. I just love when a story can do that. Make the words disappear and you are left watching a film — a mental movie of the book you’re reading. I really felt IN the story beside Sera throughout her struggles to understand what is happening to her.

The characterizations are just as strong. Each of the characters in the story, from the more prevalent, Sim, Father and Noah, to the less seen, Martha and Angela — each one completely flesh out and three dimensional.

I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, so the excerpt and blurb will have to give you enough clues to go by. I’ll not be adding any. Sorry, folks. You will have to just content yourself with knowing how much I enjoyed the short read, and how highly I recommend it to all the YA fan out there, as well as anyone who just enjoys a great, well written story.

5 Enthusiastic Pirate Skulls for this well woven YA tale.

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Amaleen Ison is offering a giveaway as part of the Blog Tour. You could snag yourself an eCopy of Remember Me as well as a $20 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open to International entrants.

Since I can’t host Rafflecopter on a free wordpress blog, you will have to swing over there to enter. The link is below. Good luck!

Remember Me Rafflecopter Giveaway Link

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EmmaPortrait2-240x300Author Bio: Amaleen Ison is a married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her cats (Oscar and Winston), guinea pig ( LouLou), and gerbils (Blackberry and Pumpkinseed). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres.

As a child, Amaleen lived most of her life in her head. She imagined herself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful. She still spends way too much time daydreaming, but now she writes about her imaginings and weaves them into stories. The fantasy element is always important, but more so the hodgepodge of emotions that arise from her characters first time experiences.

Her Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Website/Blog | Goodreads

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Trailer Reveal: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin @inkspellpublish #YAlit

Author Lisa Voisin’s THE WATCHER will be releasing exactly one month from today, on March 4th, 2013 and we’re super excited to be able to share with our blog’s readers a short excerpt from the book and to be a part of the book’s awesome trailer reveal!

There is also a giveaway for a pre-order copy of THE WATCHER for US/Canada residents. So be sure to enter below.

THE WATCHER is author Lisa Voisin’s debut novel and is a book Eileen Cook says, “…is sure to keep readers turning the pages late into the night.”

And after having read both the excerpt and the book’s description, we couldn’t agree more! But we’ll let you decide for yourself. They’re both included below.
As is the book’s wicked cool trailer!

With some gothic techno beats, super cool images and a description that is meant to tease, this trailer totally sets the mood for this story. What do you think?

About the Book

Title: THE WATCHER

Author: Lisa Voisin

Publisher: InkSpell Publishing

Publication date: March 4, 2013

Pages: 508

Format: Available to pre-order in Paperback

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Inkspell | Kobo

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

About the Author
A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counter the side effects of drinking too much coffee.

She lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiance and their two cats.

Find her: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

Instead of saying more, he brushed his fingertips along my cheek, and his halo glimmered. I could hear the waves slapping the rocks behind us, the wind driving them in. That same wind whipped against my skin, but the touch of his hand on my face was all I could think about. It sent a current through both of us and filled me with longing for something I wasn’t sure I understood.

“I’m sorry.” He stepped back and shoved his hands into his pockets as the light around him faded. “You don’t know what it’s like. Being near you now, remembering those moments we had…” His hair blew into his eyes, but this time he didn’t move. I wanted to brush it back, but I didn’t know how he’d react. Would touching him be bad?

“You want to know who you were?” he asked. “You may look different, but you’re the same. I look into your eyes and see you.” He took in a deep breath, fixing his attention on the horizon. I’d seen and heard so much now that the logical part of my brain had long since given up arguing with me. I could feel what he was saying was true. All of it.

  • ONE pre-order copy of THE WATCHER by Lisa Voisin open to US/Canada.
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • ONE entry per household.
  • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email.
  • Winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Enter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Please Visit the Link to Enter — as I cannot host Rafflecopter on WordPress 😦  Darnit!

Cover Reveal: Day After by Emi Gayle #YALIT #YA #PNR

As most of you know, I can be quite the cover whore, so I just love having the chance to be part of so many really great cover reveals. This one is certainly no exception.

Today’s cover reveal is for the second book in Emi Gayle’s 19th Year series, DAY AFTER, which will release from J. Taylor Publishing in May 2013.

Day After

Book 2 in The 19th Year Trilogy
by Emi Gayle
Release Date: May 6, 2013
Target Reader: Young Adult
Keywords: Paranormal RomanceRomance

Back of the Book

Demon crypts. Vampire lairs. Glowing angels. Sexy sirens. The stuff of fiction.

Or so Winn Thomas always thought.

Since being accepted into the fold of the supernatural, he knows better. None of what he imagined is true, but everything he feared is, and binding himself to his changeling girlfriend until her nineteenth birthday will give him an education far beyond what he’d get at his human high school.

Luckily, Winn’s not giving up, he won’t back down, and he definitely isn’t going to run away with his tail between his legs. After all, only werewolves have tails. Right?

In this, the second of the 19th Year trilogy, Winn’s facing the challenge of one lifetime. If he doesn’t learn the truth about mythological creatures, his girlfriend Mac Thorne won’t either. That means, in six months, when she chooses her final form, she won’t know what to pick.

Winn, though, has his own ideas about Mac’s final selection—plans she knows nothing of.

He intends to have her pick human.

Whether she can or not.

URL: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/20

Other Books in this series include:
After Dark (Book 1)

My thoughts: I really like this cover. It goes well with the cover of the first novel in the series and definitely peaks my interest in the story. There is a nice darkness to it that fits the blurb nicely, and I really like the shadowed cloaked figure to the right of  who I assume to be the main character, Winn.

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. I love hearing what others think of these covers when they come out.

Author Interview: Julie Reece (@JulieAReece), Author of Crux #YA #urbanfantasy #Crux

You are all in for a big treat today, as I managed to score a slot in the Blog Tour, as well as a little one on one time with the fantastic YA author, Julie Reece, whose debut release, CRUX is one the hot lists for summer releases.

Ms. Reece also happens to be one of my favorite people and an original member of the author group, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pens. (If you are ever curious who my favorite female authors of the day are, you simply need to check out The Sisterhood blog, and they are all there.)

My 17yr. old daughter, Casey and I were lucky beta readers of Ms. Reece’s novel, and we both just loved it. My full review can be found HERE, if you want to check it out. I would highly recommend the read to anyone who enjoys YA Urban Fantasy — or, well, anyone who likes YA in general. It was just THAT good.

Anyway, without gushing all over her pretty shoes, let me get right to it and introduce Julie Reece.

Me: Thanks for coming by, Julie.  I’ve been quite anxious to get you into the interview chair so I could really pick your brain about Crux.

Julie: *cringes* Oh boy…

Me: Don’t worry. I promise to be gentle. *grins* I’ll start slow and easy. What inspired you to write your novel, Crux?

Julie: My daughters. We started reading together and the more we read, the more we talked about story ideas, plots and characters-what we liked and didn’t like. I had so many ideas that were different than what was on the YA shelves, finally my daughters looked at me and said, “Yo, mom, write one yourself. We like the ideas and we think other people will, too.” So that’s what I did. I wrote the book I couldn’t find hoping others would like what’s in my wacky imagination, too! 🙂 It was scary to try, and I didn’t know if I could do it. I would think to myself, Be a quarter as brave as the heroine in your book, Julie. That’s what I tried to do.

Me: Well, I think you did one heck of a job with that – no doubt about it What sort of writer do you consider yourself? What I mean is, are you a pantser (like me) or a plotter?

Julie: Panster all the way, baby! I wish I was a plotter, I really do. I’ve tried, but when my characters whisper about going a different way than I’ve plotted for them, they can be very persistent. They’re a very rebellious lot and they usually end up getting their way 🙂

Me: Do you have any writing rituals or special processes you complete before sitting down to write?

Julie: Not really, the only thing I need is quiet. Library quiet to focus because of my ADD and other learning disabilities. I’m am easily distracted unfortunately. PS, I do like to hear birds singing, a cat’s purr, wind, rain or the sea. Those noises never bug me. Maybe because they are white noises???

Me: If you could only write in one genre for the rest of your career, what genre would you choose? Why?

Julie: Young Adult urban fantasy. Man, it’s hard to explain why I love this genre so much. It has everything! You can go anywhere and do anything with a teenager’s point of view. Everything is brand new and there’s a lot of hope and wonder and acceptance from a sixteen year old who’s experiencing different areas of life for the first time. Teenagers are brave and wise, then they do stupid stuff that they have to get themselves out of! I adore YA books!!!

Me: I have to agree with you there. I have become a big fan of the YA genre, especially after reading books like yours and Stephanie Lawton’s. I think I may already know this answer, but the readers may not, so I will toss it out there anyway. Which of the characters in your current release is your favorite? Why?

Julie: Well dang, that’s really hard. I guess it would have to be my heroine. Bird is the sum total of a person who has every reason to be bitter or give up and quit, but she doesn’t. I liked that about her. She’s a fighter.

Me: For sure. She is my favorite by far. Just love her to bits. I’d bet she’d be a grumpy bear in the mornings. What about you, though, Julie? Morning person or grumpy bear?

Julie: I’m sorry to tell you I am ‘Miss Mary Sunshine’ in the morning. I probably drive the rest of my family nuts being all happy pants in the early am but I turn into a pumpkin around 11:00 when my brain shuts off, so I guess it even out.

Me: Heheh — okay, back to the book questions for a little bit. What is the one thing about the book publishing process that has surprised you the most?

Julie: How much releasing a book into the world feels exactly like watching your five year old walk onto the playground at school. You are proud and nervous and you pray he will fit in and the other kids will like him!

Me: Speaking of other kids liking you… What group were you a part of in High School? Jocks? Nerds? Metal heads?

Julie: Um yeah. This is weird, but I sort of orbited all those groups. I was friends with everybody and didn’t really fit anywhere. School really sort of sucked for me, but I admit some of that was my own doing. I struggled in school and had a chip on my shoulder for a while over that, something I really regret now.

Me: I am amazed by how many writers I meet are sort of the same — fringers at the edge of the groups but not really being part of one of them. I can be an information nerd sometimes — but this isn’t about me 😛 It’s about you. Tell us one thing it would surprise us to know about you?

Julie: I love gardening, and have a phobia of sharks, spiders and clowns. If you dressed a shark up as a clown and gave him a pet tarantula on a leash, you would have the trifecta of my fears.

Me: What is next for you?

Julie: I have am editing a finished, 90k word,  YA historical paranormal romance novel. (This is actually this first book I ever wrote) I’m sending it out to my beta readers to see if they like it or its junk! 🙂 I have three (I know, yes three) other YA urban fantasy novels in various stages of completion I want to finish.

Me: Do you have any unique skills or talents? If so, what?

Julie: I’m a painter and I like to draw. I wish I was better at it and am basically a frustrated wannabe, but I love art! I might have been a wedding planner, decorator, or landscape architect. Anything creative, I guess. 🙂 I’m good with animals, and since I’m fairly good at figuring people out, I might have made a decent criminal profiler, then again, maybe not!

Me: Tell us something about your book we won’t find in the back cover blurb?

Julie: When I wrote it, I wanted to convey the idea of forgiveness and courage and trust and determination but most of all … hope. That no matter how bad your life is, if you wait one more day, something amazing might happen.

Me: Who is your favorite author and why?

Julie: I read Mary Webb’s ‘Precious Bane’ when I was in high school. It ripped my heart out, shredded it and then sewed it back together. I wanted to evoke that kind of feeling in someone else. *sigh* Now I love Cassandra Clare, when the writer inside me grows up, I want to write like her. There is a list of YA writer as long as my arm I feel that way about. I love their story telling and am jealous of their incredible genius.

Me: Coke or Pepsi?

Julie: Coke!

Me: If I were to look in your closet right now, would I find frills and lace or denim and tees?

Julie: Denim and tees … and pumps and bling. 🙂

There you have it folks. Thanks for stopping in Julie, and best of luck with your debut novel, though I don’t think luck with have much to do with its success.

For you readers out there, here is where you can learn more about Julie Reece, and where you can pick up your copy of her debut novel Crux.

From the Back of the Book:

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight.

Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.

In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich, and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her.

Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.

Her heritage did.

Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

Where to Buy:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Learn More about Julie by visiting her website: http://www.juliereece.com

As a thank you for stopping in, I will be sending a signed CRUX bookmark to 3 lucky random commenters. Just make a comment below, ask a question, whatever — just make sure to leave a way for me to contact you should you win, and that’s it — you will be entered in the drawing.