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BLOOD ROSE REBELLION Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to today’s stop on the BLOOD ROSE REBELLION Blog Tour where I share my thoughts about this amazing book and a giveaway.

If you’re looking for a story that is epic, that blends fantasy with history, and that immerses you into the world so completely you’ll forget where and when you are, you will not want to miss this book and series. And if you’d like to know what else I thought, scroll down for my review.

To read an excerpt from BLOOD ROSE REBELLION be sure to check out the bookish details below which includes a link out to a peek as well as places where you can find it online.

And if you’d like to visit the other stops on the tour to read a few interviews, reviews, and a guest post, scroll down to the tour schedule at the bottom of the post.

And…

If you’re in the U.S. and you would like the chance to win a signed copy of the book, enter in the Rafflecopter.


About BLOOD ROSE REBELLION

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Title & Series: BLOOD ROSE REBELLION (Blood Rose Rebellion #1)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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Note: This review is based on an eARC received from the tour hosts via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION is gorgeously written, imaginative, and rich with detail. It acquaints readers with a part of history and a people not often written about in young adult literature. It seamlessly weaves in a powerful and influential magical society. And it introduces characters who are interesting and different and brave and likable and those who are vile, underhanded, dangerous, and untrustworthy. It is an absorbing and fascinating and positively exhilarating read and the start to a series that looks to be amazing.

Anna Arden didn’t mean to be such a destructive influence or such a disappointment to her family. She wanted to be good, to fit into Luminate society, to cast spells and wield magic, to debut, to have a future. But she didn’t have the ability to control magic and she just couldn’t seem to follow the rules, do as she was told, accept her fate.

Not staying under the radar cost her everything – the man she thought she loved, a place in England with her family, and any hope of marrying into Luminate society. Attracting the attention of the elite Circle wouldn’t have been a bad thing had she had magical abilities. But her negative effect on magic drew their suspicion.

Forced to escape with her grandmother to Hungary, a place she was unfamiliar with, to live with relatives she didn’t know and who spoke a language she couldn’t understand, seemed like the end of the world. But a Romani secret, a handsome boy named Gábor, a growing resistance to the status quo, and the potential to make a difference, gave Anna hope that maybe this wasn’t the end, but rather a beginning.

Rosalyn Eves did a masterful job of fitting her story, her characters, her society into a real-world historical setting. She captured the revolutionary spirit of the time in Hungary and the discontent with the ruling Hapsburgs and used both to help ignite her rebellion, give purpose to her characters, and to make her story that much more intriguing.

The author gave Anna a unique ability, kept it a secret from both her characters and her readers, and teased its possibilities until nearer the story’s end, ensuring a captivating read. She laid the foundation for a sequel with even more dangers, even more unrest, even more battles, and the potential for more romance. And she gave readers an epilogue that is certain to pique their curiosity.

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION is an extraordinary and spellbinding read. If you’re looking for a story that is epic, that blends fantasy with history, and that immerses you into the world Rosalyn Eves imagined so completely you’ll forget where and when you are, you will not want to miss this book and series.

The Rating


About Rosalyn Eves

Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.

She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.

Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.

Her first novel, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, first in a YA historical fantasy trilogy, debuts Spring 2017 from Knopf/Random House.

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The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • Three (3) winners will receive a signed finished copy of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two


10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE Blog Tour: ‘Most Challenging Scene’ Guest Post by Carrie Mac

I am super excited to be a part of the tour for Carrie Mac’s 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE. When I first learned about this book I knew I would have to read it – and not just because of its gorgeous cover.

As someone who worries a bit more than I should about things I had a feeling Maeve would be a relatable character. And she was. I found myself Googling the stats that were cycling through her head – though I wish I hadn’t looked up the Greyhound Bus story…yikes! I also found myself getting very anxious along with Maeve so I had to take a couple of panic breaks during the read. I’m just so thankful Ms. Mac added in humor to ease some of the tension.

If you’d like to know why I loved 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE – feel free to check out my review.

And if you’d like to know which scene was Carrie Mac’s most challenging scene to write, scroll down for her guest post. It is a bit spoiler-y so if you haven’t yet read 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE and you don’t like any plot points revealed, you might want to come back after you’ve read it.

But let me just say it was one of my favorite – if most heartbreaking – scenes in the book. It might have been a challenging scene for the author to write but the end result was amazing, devastating, and very real.

So if you just can’t wait to see what that scene was – and get a teeny glimpse/teaser of another important moment in Maeve’s life – scroll down past the bookish details to find out.


About 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE

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Title: 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE
Author: Carrie Mac
Release date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
 
Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. When Maeve is sent to Vancouver to live with her dad, her very pregnant stepmom, and her twin six-year-old half brothers, she struggles to rise to the challenge.

Vancouver brings a wide array of new worries, but Maeve finds brief respites—as well as even more worries—in Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Though the summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could ever have foreseen, she is able to reach inside herself to find the courage to be there for the ones she loves.

With an exciting love story, and a raw, emotional core, 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE is a poingant and uplifting novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Sophie Kinsella.

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Praise

“With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who’s heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere.”—Kirkus, Starred review

“This is a good companion book for other anxiety-riddled stories, such as The Shattering by Karen Healey, and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.”—Booklist

“Mac is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works… [An] affecting story.”—Publishers Weekly


The Guest Post

Most Challenging Scene to Write

by Carrie Mac

Of course, spoiler alert. If you go ahead and read about my most challenging scene to write, you are going to get insider info about the story that you might not want to know. So, now that you’ve been warned, let’s chat.

I glanced at this question and figured I’d come back to it because it would be easy to answer when I had a few spare moments. But then I came back to it, and I realize that it’s not easy to answer. It’s a really good question, and it’s a tricky answer.

Most challenging scene? Of the whole book?

It took me a while, but I did come to a decision.

The most challenging scene to write is when Maeve finds her neighbor – and friend – dead next door.

Not many people have come across a body of a person who died suddenly. I have. Dozens of times when I was a paramedic. I got called to that very scene in its unfictionalized state. So, as much as I love Maeve and wanted to stay with her during this upsetting scene, I jumped in with my old paramedic uniform on and went at it from the EMT angle.

That was the first draft.

Uh, no.

I wrote myself out of the scene very quickly, by the second draft, if not sooner.

But a lot of the paramedic – and medical – stuff remained, so I had to write that out too. Then I took Maeve’s hand and properly wrote her in. But I had to be mindful of her sensitive nature, and let her feel all the fear and shock and panic, but let her find enough strength within to keep the story going, even when she comes to the realization that she actually killed Mrs. Patel (read the novel to find out if that’s true or not).

Then I had to bring back the paramedics and the police and make sure they didn’t take over the scene (as EMTs and cops tend to do), and then I had to return Maeve to her family and have her day continue, as crippled as she was.

That scene got the most rewrites of all, I think. Followed shortly by the birth-in-the-parking-lot scene, which I had to rewrite several times for exactly the same reasons, except that is a joyful scene. Because Mrs. Patel’s death is tragic, the atmosphere was dark, and harder to portray without dragging the story down too much, and so that’s why it was the most challenging scene to write.

All told, I did a mighty fine job, thank you very much. And by all told I mean, about ten rewrites, at least.


About Carrie Mac

Award-winning author Carrie Mac is well-known for her adeptness at captivating young adult audiences; she has written ten books for young adults, and won the 2010 Sheila A. Egoff Book Prize for her previous work, The Gryphon Project. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five


Review: 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE

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Title: 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE
Author: Carrie Mac
Release date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 322
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
 
Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS

Note: This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE is a moving, sweet, heartwarming, funny and somewhat anxious-making read. It introduces a girl whose anxiety disorder has majorly impacted her life, who is trying to cope with some pretty serious stuff, and puts her in a sink or swim situation. It allows readers to experience her apprehension, her tension, her fear. And asks them to sympathize with her even when it’s not so easy to do so.

Maeve can’t stop worrying about every little thing. When she gets anxious – which is practically all the time – she can’t stop her brain from going to dark places, from reciting depressing statistics, from imagining the worst possible outcomes.

At home, with her mother, she’s been trying to gain some control over her disorder. But with her mom leaving for Haiti she’s forced to make some big, unsettling changes – say goodbye to Port Townsend, move in with her less than reliable dad, start a new school, make new friends. All these things are hard enough for anyone to deal with, but for someone whose fears dominate their thoughts, it’s almost impossible.

Add in a tragedy, a huge disappointment, a new romance, and an early arrival, and you have the all the ingredients for an epic disaster.

Author Carrie Mac didn’t take the easy road when creating her character. She gave readers someone very real, who is not always particularly likable. And while Maeve may be relatable to some, her disorder could make it difficult for others to understand and connect with her.

The author also didn’t let her character take the easy road. Maeve has all kinds of challenges thrown at her – ones that should give her some hope if she can manage to face and overcome them.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Maeve might want you to believe. 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE offers up a lovely romance, two charming siblings, a few interesting neighbors, a kingdom of warring gnomes, and possibly more than you’d ever want to know about home births and parents’ significant others. It is an engaging and insightful, at times maddening, at times hilariously cringe-worthy read.

The Rating


About Carrie Mac

Award-winning author Carrie Mac is well-known for her adeptness at captivating young adult audiences; she has written ten books for young adults, and won the 2010 Sheila A. Egoff Book Prize for her previous work, The Gryphon Project. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.

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Review: YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE


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Title: YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE
Author: Whitney Gardner
Release date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

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Note: This review is based on an eARC received by the publicity agency via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


The Review

First and foremost, YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE is an instantly captivating and immensely entertaining story. It offers a quick pace, fantastic writing, amazing illustrations. It also incorporates diversity, creativity, and originality. It is one of those reads that will pull you in, make you promise yourself “just one more chapter, ” but won’t let you put it down until you’ve reached the end.

The main character, Julia, is interesting and relatable. She is also creative and different and moody and impulsive. Some readers may find her immediately likable, others may have to warm up to her. She is sympathetic but not pitiable. She is daring but also distrusting. She is deaf but is not handicapped by it. She’s an artist whose brand of art has gotten her into a lot of trouble.

There aren’t many, if any, stories about a female graffiti artist. Certainly not many that share illustrations of each tag, sketch, mural the character has done. Author Whitney Gardner has not only managed to successfully weave in these visuals but also paint a picture with her words that allows readers to imagine what being deaf is like for Julia.

The author lets readers see just how frustrating it can be to communicate even the simplest of things, how challenging it can be to understand someone talking quickly, how ignorant and ridiculous people can be when speaking with someone who’s deaf, and how peaceful it can be to not have to hear anything at all.

But YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE is not a story about overcoming the adversity of diversity. It is not a love story. It is a story about friendship, about learning to trust, about forgiveness, about growing up.

It’s about a girl who loves her art more than her schoolwork, who thinks that being alone is better than risking letting anyone in, who loves her moms even if they don’t understand her, who takes no small amount of pleasure in aggravating her interpreter, who is ready to do battle in secret to defend her art, who does not ever want to be called a toy, who has no time or patience for idiots, and who is reluctant to admit when she’s wrong.

Refreshingly different and informative, YOU’RE WELCOME UNIVERSE is a compelling, fun, and incredibly satisfying read.

The Rating


About Whitney Gardner

Whitney Gardner is an author, illustrator, and coffee addict. Originally from New York, she studied design and worked as an art teacher and school librarian before moving to Portland, Oregon, where she lives by a bridge with her husband and two pugs. In the rare moment Whitney isn’t writing or drawing, she’s likely to be reading comics, knitting, and tending her garden or apiary. You’re Welcome, Universe is her debut novel.

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Review: WHILE YOU WERE GONE

While You Were Gone

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Title & Series: WHILE YOU WERE GONE (Duplexity #2)
Author: Amy K. Nichols
Release date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

An artist without a cause meets a rebel without a clue.

Eevee is a promising young artist and the governor’s daughter in a city where censorship is everywhere and security is everything. When a fire devastates her exhibition—years in the making—her dreams of attending an elite art institute are dashed. She’s struggling to find inspiration when she meets Danny, a boy from a different world. Literally.

Raised in a foster home, Danny has led a life full of hurt and hardship until a glitch in the universe changes everything. Suddenly Danny is living in a home he’s never seen, with parents who miraculously survived the car crash that should have killed them. It’s like he’s a new Danny. But this alternate self has secrets—ties to an underground anarchist group that have already landed him in hot water. When he starts to develop feelings for Eevee, he’s even more disturbed to learn that he might have started the fire that ruined her work.

As Danny sifts through clues from his past and Eevee attempts to piece together her future, they uncover a secret that’s bigger than both of them. . . . And together, they must correct the breach between the worlds before it’s too late.

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NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

An exciting, fast-paced and gripping read, WHILE YOU WERE GONE is the much anticipated follow-up in Amy K. Nichols’ Duplexity series that tells the story of the “other” Eevee and Danny. From their alternating points of view, a world is revealed that is quite different from the one we know and distinctive characters, who have only the vaguest of similarities to the ones we’ve previously met, are introduced. It is fascinating and suspenseful and an absolute must-read sequel.

Set in a parallel universe where Phoenix is a coastal city, where the government is excessively restrictive, and where cameras monitor one’s every move, readers will learn just what happened after the blast to the Danny who was transported to a world where his parents are still alive, where the dark-haired girl he barely knew from school is someone who seems to know him, and where his counterpart is involved in anti-government activities that could land him in jail or worse.

The story takes place along the same timeline as the first book, elaborating on what was only shown in the briefest of glimpses. It allows readers to get to know an Eevee who is privileged and artistic and who wants her freedom and a Danny who was a loner and who now has the chance to know what his life would have been like with family who loves him. It explores this radically different world and uncovers its dangers and its secrets. And it answers many, if not all, of those lingering questions.

Author Amy Nichols delivers a flip side story that is every bit as captivating as the first and promises to be even more action-filled, thrilling, nerve-wracking, with its dystopian setting, two protagonists who aren’t scientifically inclined, and greater threats to Danny’s safety. And with an outcome that is already somewhat known, this sequel is guaranteed to have readers racing through its pages.

As with Duplexity Part I, WHILE YOU WERE GONE focuses on story over love story. While there is a touch of romance, it is not its focal point. It’s not what makes this story the enthralling, riveting, page-turner it is. It’s the underground group threatening to subvert the government, the government’s plan to track every one of Phoenix’s residents, the fear that Danny’s lack of knowledge of this world will get him caught, the idea that Danny could get transported back to his Phoenix at any time, that makes this sequel so awesome.

The Rating

05


About Amy K. Nichols

AmyNicholsBWsquare-300x300

Amy K. Nichols has been crafting stories for as long as she can remember. She is the author of YA science fiction novel Now That You’re Here, to be published by Knopf December 9, 2014. The follow-up, While You Were Gone, will be published in 2015. She is mentored by award-winning crime novelist James Sallis and lives on the edge of the Sonoran desert with her husband and children. Amy is a member of SCBWI and SFWA, as well as the Class of 2K14 debut authors. Visit her online at http://www.amyknichols.com.

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Other Books in the Series

NowThatYoureHere_AmyKNichols

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE (Duplexity #1)
Author: Amy K. Nichols
Release date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Description…

In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.

One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body – his own, but different. Somehow, he’s crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee – a girl who’d rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom–may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she’s only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there’s something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension… a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

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