Thursday, May 29, 2014

Release Day Blast: GUARDIAN (Proxy, #2) by @ca_london [Excerpt + Giveaway] @PenguinTeen

GUARDIAN (Proxy, #2) by Alex London
Release Date: May 29, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher: Philomel
Genre: YA / Dystopian / LGBT

The pulse-pounding sequel to Proxy! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger.

People are falling ill—their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure . . . and what he discovers leaves him stunned.

This heart-stopping thriller is packed with action, adventure, and heroics. Guardian will leave you breathless until the final page.

A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship—just as moving as it is exhilarating. Fans of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, James Dashner's Maze Runner, Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series, and Marie Lu's Legend trilogy will be swept away by this story.

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Goodreads

Chapter One – GUARDIAN by Alex London

At night, they disposed of the bodies. There was no ceremony, no ritual, no remembrance.

“They’re human,” some argued.

“They were human,” said others. “Now they’re meat.”

“We have to study the infection,” said the doctor.

“We have to contain it,” said the counselor and gave her orders. “Burn the bodies.”

A work detail was tasked with the burning. One by one, in the dead of night, green uniforms with white masks hauled corpses to the pile. The corpses were webbed with black veins, their entire network of blood vessels visible through the pale skin. Dried blood obscured their faces and each had a single hole in the temple by the eyes, where the killing bolt went in. They were put down like livestock, burned like sacrifices.

As the bodies crackled, the doctor watched the flames, her face half in shadow, half dancing in firelight. “I believe there is a cure for this,” she said.

The counselor, standing beside her, nodded, but did not turn to look her way. “Your cure is worse than the disease.”

“You believe that?”

“It’s the truth. Your way is treason.”

“You’re in denial,” the doctor said. “This is going to get worse if we don’t stop it.”

“It’s a new world, Doctor,” the counselor replied. “We can’t turn back the clock.”

“Even to save people’s lives?”

“These”—the counselor gestured at the bodies—“are not people.”

“If it spreads?”

“Is it spreading?”

The doctor watched the young members of the work detail tossing the bodies on the pyre. They moved with the assurance of youth, the kind of attitude that allowed them to stare infection and death in the face and believe it would never touch them. “I don’t know.”

“It is your job to know.”

“I can hardly understand it. The blood turns against the body. Itching, burning. Then, expulsion. Half of them bleed out.”

“And the other half?”

The doctor clenched her jaw. “They haven’t bled out yet.”

“They are in pain?”

“They can’t communicate, but we have to restrain them to keep them from scratching their skin off with their fingernails.” The doctor sighed. “So, yes, they are in pain.”

“Put them out of their misery,” the counselor ordered.

“But, we can still learn—”

“Those are the orders.” The counselor walked away, two green uniforms trailing her into the jungle. The doctor took off her white smock, pulled the blue gloves from her hands with a loud synthetic snap, and stood before the flames. She watched her latest failed experiments turn to smoke and ash in the bonfire, every bit of blood boiled away, with all the information it might have contained.

She had ideas, dangerous to share; but if she didn’t find a way, she feared, this sickness would go further than any of them could imagine. She would record a message in case she failed. She hoped that someone would still be alive to receive it.

Read the Exclusive 3 Chapters from London’s new release, GUARDIAN here: 
You can read the short story PUNISHMENT, the PROXY prequel on Wattpad for free right now! Meet Syd, Knox, and Liam (from Guardian) at 15...

C. Alexander London grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He's an author of nonfiction for grown-ups (under a slightly different not very secret name), books for teens (as Alex London...see above), and, younger readers. He once won a 12-gauge skeet-shooting tournament because no one else had signed up in his age group. He's a Master SCUBA diver who hasn't been diving in way too long, and, most excitingly, a fully licensed librarian. He used to know the Dewey Decimal System from memory.

He doesn't anymore.
While traveling as a journalist, he watched television in 23 countries (Burmese soap operas were the most confusing; Cuban news reports were the most dull), survived an erupting volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hurricane on small island in the Caribbean, 4 civil wars (one of them was over by the time he got there, thankfully), and a mysterious bite on his little toe in the jungles of Thailand. The bite got infected and swollen and gross and gave him a deep mistrust of lizards, even though it probably wasn't a lizard that bit him.
Although he has had many adventures, he really does prefer curling up on the couch and watching some good television or reading a book. He enjoys danger and intrigue far more when it's happening to somebody else.
He lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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Friday, May 16, 2014

Blog Tour: BOYS LIKE YOU by @Juliana_Stone [Playlist + Giveaway] @SourcebooksFire @Sourcebooks

Today I am participating in a blog tour for the wonderful Juliana Stone. I have the awesome book, BOYS LIKE YOU touring on my blog, Lady Reader’s Bookstuff. 
Juliana Stone and her new release, "BOYS LIKE YOU" (May 6th) is touring with Sourcebooks. 

Check out the stellar Playlist and Juliana's reasoning for creating a playlist for her novels and why they are so important to her. And as always, I really hope you totally dig it!

One mistake.

And everything changes.

For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that… 

Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that… 

Captivating and hopeful, this achingly poignant novel brings together two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt – looking for acceptance, so they can find forgiveness.

BOYS LIKE YOU by: Juliana Stone
Hardcover, $16.99
ISBN: 978-1626362086
Young Adult - 288pages
May 6, 2014

Juliana Stone’s love of the written word and 80s rock; have inspired her in more ways than one.

She writes contemporary romance, paranormal romance and will debut a young adult novel in 2014.

She spends her days navigating a busy life that includes, a husband, kids, a dog and a cat.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads  


All of these songs evoke certain emotions in me and are so relatable to this book. A song like, WISH YOU WERE HERE by Pink Floyd, that totally resonates with Monroe and what she's going through. 
YOU FOUND ME by The Fray? That's like Nathan and Monroe's theme song.   
Music has always been a big part of my life and pretty much lives in everything I do and say and write. Incidentally, the band RAVYN'S FALL features my son, Jake.
Hope you enjoy!

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blog Tour: THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT by Emil Ostrovski [Schedule, Excerpt + Giveaway]

Release Date: September 24, 2013
Hardcover, 260 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Contemporary / Realistic Fiction / Tough Issues / Suicide
What happens when you put a suicidal eighteen-year-old philosophy student, his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his newborn baby in a truck and send them to Grandma's house? 

This debut novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Jay Asher.

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, philosophy student and high school senior Jack Polovsky is somewhat seriously thinking of suicide when his cell phone rings. Jack's ex-girlfriend, Jess, has given birth, and Jack is the father. Jack hasn't spoken with Jess in about nine months—and she wants him to see the baby before he is adopted. The new teenage father kidnaps the baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Wal-Mart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and the ex-girlfriend. As they head to Grandma's house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates about Homer, Troy, Aristotle, the real Socrates, and the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. 

Even this one.

 Funny, heart-wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fate, fatherhood, and myth.
Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Goodreads

My phone rings, but I don't get up.

In my dream, the teacher hands out frogs, living frogs, and lectures: “Frogs produce smaller air bubbles than humans, who in turn produce smaller air bubbles than llamas. We find this out by drowning the species in question, of course.  Please drown your frog and make sure to measure the diameter of its air bubbles, rounding to the nearest significant digit.  Tomorrow we’ll measure the bubbles produced by our lab partners, and the day after that, the students that are left will move on to the llamas.”  It makes no sense at all, but so it goes with my dreams.  Some people dream of epic heroes’ quests, of saving the universe from a great evil, and I get dreams about the differentiation of air bubbles across species.

Around nine I roll myself into a sitting position, finger the gunk out of my eyes, examine it for a moment, and then launch it across the room to where I don’t have to immediately deal with it.  My roommate’s snores filter down from the top bunk.

My cell is on my desk. The blinking red light of a missed call flashes across the room. Damn. I missed Bob. I try calling her back, but she doesn’t answer. She’s always losing her phone, misplacing it; broke it a few times from chucking it, because she couldn’t get the idiotskaya electronica to work.

I call my grandma “Bob” because I’m too lazy to bother with the alternatives; namely, “Babushka,”“Baba,” and “starypur,” the Russian version of old fart. Bob has Alzheimer’s, and it’s my birthday, so her call means today’s one of those days, or maybe just one of those moments, a flash, when she remembers me.

Partly to distract myself from the guilt, but mostly out of habit, I turn on my computer and wait for Windows to load.  I don’t capitalize “god” but I always capitalize “Windows.”  I spend much of my life in front of a screen, plugged into the matrix, looking through a Window into my virtual life.  Still waiting on a black dude with a name that sounds like a drug to show up and teach me kung fu, though.

I log in to Facebook and I’m so depressed I want to laugh. Fifteen Facebook friends have wished me a happy birthday so far. I’ve never really cared about birthdays, honestly—I mean, it’s just another day—but to see all these people, most of whom I don’t know or in a few years won’t remember, wishing me a happy birthday makes me feel like I should care. Like it should be a special day, like it should mean something.

I think I hate Facebook.

I lean back in my chair and stare out the window. When I’m thirty years old, will I still get a bunch of people I don’t know wishing me a happy birthday? Will that number dwindle over the years? Will, year by year, some people who’ve forgotten me remember and some people who’ve remembered me forget? What’s the point of it all, for any of us, if that’s the way it goes—if the way it ends is with me logging into Facebook at ninety years old, bald and fat and wearing a diaper and not remembering how to get to the toilet, which is why I’m wearing a diaper in the first place, and seeing, what? Fifteen people I don’t know wishing me a happy birthday? And each of my fifteen with fifteen of their own, on and on, a miserable network of Happy Birthday Facebook wishes connecting the entire world, the entire human race, until one day we nuke ourselves and it all goes black and there are no more happy birthdays for anyone.

Sometimes I get like this, depressed I mean, but I’m not one of those crazies, you know, a danger to themselves and others, nothing like that. Never even contemplated suicide, though in a few seconds I will be contemplating jumping out a window. It’s hot—eighty, maybe more; my T-shirt’s wet on my body, and it feels more miserable than it has any right to for a May morning in our great moose- infested state of Maine. I wheel over to open the window, slide it all the way up. I have to stand so I can reach the screen, to slide it down into place. Instead I stick my hand out.

What if I jump? What if I jump, now? I don’t want to die, but getting hurt would be kind of nice, you know? Like two years ago, when I got my appendix out. Everyone from class sent Get Well cards and Tommy skipped school to spend a day with me playing video games in the hospital. Yeah, that’s selfish, but remembering your friend because he almost kicked it is just as selfish.

I turn away from the window. The attention would last a couple weeks, max. Then everyone would go back to their own lives and everything would be the same.  But unlike when I got my appendix out, I might be crippled for life.

I walk on over to my desk, pull open a drawer, shuffle through video game boxes and CDs and pencils and pens and a worn pink eraser I never use but bring to school every quarter anyway.   I grab the bottle of pills, sit back down on my chair, and stare at the bottle.  Painkillers.  From a few months back, when I got into a fight with a fence over the arbitrary authority by which it goes about the supremely arrogant task of delineating space.  The fence won the tiff, but, fractured ankle aside, I like to think I’ll win the war.  I set the painkillers on the desk, and check under my bed. That’s where I keep my water, but there isn’t any left, so I stuff the pills in my pocket.

“Hey,” comes my roommate Alan’s I’m-still-three-quarters-sleeping voice.

I spin round.  “Hey,” I say, too loud.

He frowns at me, head about three inches off the pillow, and says, “Feel like I wanted to say something to you.  But I forget. I’ll remember.”

“That’s all right.”

“Jack,” he says, suddenly concerned.  “It is a Saturday, right?”

“Yeah,” I say. “No worries.”

“Phew,” he says.  His head drops back down. Almost every Saturday Alan groggily asks me if it’s really the weekend—like he can’t quite believe it himself.  He’s a nice guy, Alan, as nice a roommate as you could hope for, but we don’t really do anything together aside from, well, sleeping together. .It’s just that kind of a relationship.

I have my hand on our doorknob when--voices in the hall.  When they’re gone I nudge the door open and head for the bathroom. A guy’s in the shower, singing something about how we’re meant to be together in a voice that he really should keep a firm leash and a choke collar on if he insists on taking it out in public.

I set the bottle of pills on the shelf below the mirror. My reflection has a zit coming up on his forehead. It hurts to touch. He squeezes anyway, and bites at the inside of his lip. It explodes; a bit of yellow-white pus hits him in the eye and slides down, down, like a tear.

How many pills will kill me and how many will almost kill me? That is the question. It’s a fine line, probably. I open the bottle, look inside, and frown. Pull the cotton ball out.

I turn on the faucet. And hold my hands under the warm water.  Close my eyes.  Breathe.  Breathe.  I’m about to down my first pill when my cell rings. Once, twice, three times. The guy in the shower stops singing.

My breath catches when I see the number.

May 12th Unconventional Librarian – Interview

May 12th The Compulsive Reader – Review

May 13th The Bookish Confections – Review/Excerpt

May 13th Bibliophilia, Please – Interview/ Excerpt

May 14th The Happy Booker – Spotlight

May 15th Alice Marvels – Review

May 15th Scott Reads It! – Review/Interview

May 15th Oops! I Read A Book Again – Review

May 16th LRB Guest Post – Review

May 16th DanaSquare – Review

May 16th Paranormal Book Club – Playlist

May 16th Books Complete Me – Review

May 16th The-Society.Net – Review

May 16th Book Loving Mom – Review

May 19th Books With Bite – Spotlight

May 19th What A Nerd Girl Says  – Review

May 16th Live To Read - Krystal – Review

May 19th Kaidans Seduction – Review

May 19th Buried In Books – Review

“I'm twenty-three.

Rather than give you a witty, self-deprecating account of the trials and tribulations of my twenty-three year old, suburban, upper-middle class, went-to-a-girl's-liberal-arts-college life, I'll admit that I haven't really done anything much worth reading about.

So in lieu of providing you with my biography, I will recommend that you read Desmond Tutu's.  Here.  

Why Desmond Tutu?

Well, I've always liked his name.”


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