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Review: HELLWORLD

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Title: HELLWORLD
Author: Tom Leveen
Release date: March 21, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulise
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the same cave where her mom and the crew went missing and to find out, once and for all, what happened there.

With the help of the co-host’s son Charlie and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but what the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imagined.

Abby was investigating a possible haunting… she never expected that there could be something worse.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS

NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy has been pre-ordered for my collection.


The Review

HELLWORLD is riveting, action-packed and unexpected. It teases answers to a mystery as the chapters alternate between the present and the past. It builds suspense as readers learn more about what Abby, Charlie, Selby, and Alex uncovered in the cave in their search for Abby’s mom.

From the very first lines the story grabs, talking of darkness and danger and fear, and something that went very, very wrong. It goes beyond the typical dark-things-that-lurk-in-dark-caves brand of scary story. It tells a tale that sparks the imagination, offers food for thought, and will take spelunking off many a bucket list.

Abby could never quite accept the fact that her mom was dead. Without any inkling about what happened or any conclusive proof that her mother was really gone, she and her dad couldn’t move on. Not when there was even the smallest thread of hope that her mom would come back.

So when she stumbled upon some new information that might lead to answers, she decided it was time to conduct her own investigation. Reaching out to Charlie, whose dad was also one of the missing, wasn’t easy. But she didn’t want to explore a potentially dangerous cave alone, and she thought he might want answers, too.

She hoped their search would solve the mystery once and for all. She hoped she would be able to find closure. But she didn’t really expect to find anything. Especially not what they found. She couldn’t have imagined what the aftermath of her quest for answers would be. Certainly not the magnitude of the fallout. And she never dreamed the day would come that she wished she’d never gone looking for her mother in the first place.

Tom Leveen has melded horror with action and mystery, adding in myth and science and religion, to create a gripping, nailbiting, chilling, and thought-provoking story. He takes readers and characters into the dark, lets them imagine the stuff of nightmares, and brings them back into the light only to discover that what they witnessed in the dark is real, it’s worse than they imagined, and that their nightmares are far from over.

HELLWORLD is the perfect title for this surprising and thrilling and amazingly good read. It promises to make you think about what might have been, what could be possible, and about just how much we don’t know. It’s an exciting story. It’s an intelligent story. It’s a scary story and one hell of a (pardon the pun) page-turner.

The Rating

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About Tom Leveen

Tom’s novels include PARTY, MANICPIXIEDREAMGIRL, SICK, RANDOM, and SHACKLED. He is also in the collection VIOLENT ENDS. His novel ZERO was a YALSA Best Book of 2013. His eighth book. HELLWORLD, will be available Fall 2017.

Previously, Tom has been the artistic director of two theatre companies, and enjoys teaching and speaking to students and adults whenever and wherever possible.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

LBDLWL-BTBanner

Just one more week until LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES by Laura Stampler comes out so there’s still time to pre-order a copy. This is a “must read” summer read for anyone who loves light, fun and adorable contemporary fiction and it’s one of my most favorite in the genre.

If you haven’t yet heard of this debut from Laura Stampler be sure to check out the book’s description and information on the author below. If you’d like to know what I think about this positively delightful story, my review is also below.

And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of the book, just enter in the Rafflecopter.

To hear what other bloggers have to say about LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES, and to read a few posts and interviews from the author and her character, Harper Anderson, just follow along with the tour which continues through July 22nd.


About LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES

LBDLWL cover

Add to Goodreads

Title: LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES
Author: Laura Stampler
Release date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City in a wickedly funny debut novel about a girl who lands a dream internship at a magazine in New York City. If only she hadn’t lied about being a dating expert on her resume . .

Harper Anderson has always thought she should have been born somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick’s backyard can one girl take?

Already resigned to working at a Skinny B’s Juice Press for the summer, Harper is shocked when the ultra-prestigious teen magazine, Shift, calls to say they want her to be their teen dating blogger for the summer. All she needs to do is get her butt to New York in two days.

There’s just one teeny, tiny problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn’t have a whole lot of dating experience. So when Shift’s application asked for an “edgy” personal essay, Harper might have misappropriated her best friend’s experiences for her own. But she can just learn on the job…right? Will the house of lies Harper has built around her dream job collapse all around her, or will she be able to fake it until she makes it in the big city?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS

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


The Review

LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES is everything you could want in a summer read and more. It’s clever and sweet and fun. It’s a little bit romantic. It’s totally hilarious. It will make you smile and laugh and cringe and sigh and snort. It’s addictive. It’s all too easy to devour in one sitting. It has an absolutely adorable main character, Harper Anderson, who you will love getting to know and want to both root for and chastise. It is filled with disastrous but laugh-out-loud funny dates, cute pugs, snarky blogs, and, as the title promises, a few white lies. If you are looking for the perfect summer read, this is it.

Harper shouldn’t have lied on her application for the summer internship in New York. But she never really thought she’d hear back from Shift magazine let alone be chosen to work there. Especially as a dating blogger. And while she has the ability to tell a story, when it comes to dating she doesn’t have many – or really any – stories to tell.

If she has any hope of keeping her internship, she’ll have to be more confident, take a few more risks, and tell a few more lies. She’ll need to do whatever is necessary to ensure that her posts are convincing enough and that everyone at Shift remains in the dark about her lack of experience. She is in over her head, but it doesn’t have to mean she’ll drown.

Laura Stampler has taken a familiar and well-loved concept – that of the cute, well-intentioned, and relatable but completely misguided heroine who makes some bad choices, colossal mistakes, and risks losing what’s most important to her – and created a story that is a standout. The writing is smart and sharp and witty. The main character’s escapades are just so much fun that you’ll never want them to end. There are many moments that are distinct and quirky and so very memorable.

For those who love their contemporary stories on the lighter side, LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES promises to be an unputdownable, re-readable, and insanely good read.

The Rating

06

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About Laura Stampler

Laura Stampler Photo

Laura Stampler is a Californian turned New Yorker. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a journalist, interning—and then worked on staff—at various newspapers and magazines. Laura has written about everything from dating to social media stars to social justice issues at Time magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably looking at pug gifs on the Internet.

TWITTER | TUMBLR | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • A hardcover copy of LITTLE BLACK DRESSES, LITTLE WHITE LIES to TWO (2) winners – US only

Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway is US only. Giveaway ends July 26th at 11:59 PM Pacific. Book will be ordered from Amazon. Prizing courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours.

Enter in the Rafflecopter….

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

Week Three


HOW TO DISAPPEAR Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

How-to-Disappear-BT-Banner

Today is the second day of the HOW TO DISAPPEAR Blog Tour and I’m thrilled to be one of the stops and to share my thoughts about and help promote this awesome book. I’m even more excited that HOW TO DISAPPEAR is now available for everyone to read!

Ann Redisch Stampler is an amazing writer. Her characters are always ones I want to take the journey with. And her stories always make me think – HOW TO DISAPPEAR is no exception.

If you’d like to know what I thought, scroll down for my review. If you’d like the chance to win some fab prizes, enter the giveaway. And be sure to follow the tour to learn more about this gripping thriller that’s just full of surprises.


About HOW TO DISAPPEAR

How to Disappear

Add to Goodreads

Title: HOW TO DISAPPEAR
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Release date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound | Simon & Schuster | Goodreads


The Review

Ann Redisch Stampler immediately pulls you into her story with the prologue. It lets you know right from the start that something bad has happened. It just doesn’t reveal all that happened, who might be responsible, or how exactly it relates to the characters. It piques your curiosity, grabs hold, and makes you want to keep reading until you know everything.

HOW TO DISAPPEAR is a gripping page-turner that is full of surprises, suspense, difficult choices with grave repercussions, unexpected romance, and chilling secrets. It introduces two characters who are seemingly ill-equipped to handle the situations they find themselves in, but are more complex and capable than they might appear on first glance.

Being forced to hide their true identities makes their connection all the more intriguing. Not being able to explain their behavior makes for a tension-filled read. Knowing what we know makes things positively nail-biting. And discovering what we don’t will stun.

The story alternates between Nicolette’s and Jack’s point of view, giving just a bit more insight about one than the other, teasing just enough to become invested in each of their outcomes, but not so much that you’ll feel you can completely trust either one. Jack and Nick are both very different, both flawed, both damaged, both volatile, and a rather unlikely and unfortunate but interesting pair. And they are very much worth getting to know.

HOW TO DISAPPEAR does not rush to the payoff at the story’s end. It keeps you in a state of anticipation. It keeps you guessing. But it promises to be well worth the wait. Author Ann Redisch Stampler has penned a story that is exciting, shocking and unsettling. It will make you rethink everything you thought you knew. It will make you root for someone and some things you never thought you’d root for. It will keep you captivated until the very last page.

The Rating

05


About Ann Redisch Stampler

annstampler

Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016), her first young adult thriller, will be released in June. Ann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick.

Find her: Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • ONE (1) winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate for The Book Depository,  Signed HOW TO DISAPPEAR bookmarks + a Nicolette’s disguise inspired Smashbox makeup kit.

***Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL***

Enter in the Rafflecopter…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

June 14th | Book Briefs – Review

June 14th | BookHounds YA – Author Interview

June 15th | Fiktshun – Review

June 15th | Becky on Books – Excerpt

June 16th | Just Commonly – Review

June 16th | Emily Reads Everything – Review

June 17th | Such a Novel Idea – Spotlight

June 17th | Curling Up With A Good Book – Author Interview

June 18th | Here’s to Happy Endings – Spotlight

June 18th | My So-Called Book Reviews – Review + Author Interview

June 19th | A Gingerly Review – Excerpt

June 19th | Book Whales – Excerpt

June 20th | A Dream Within A Dream – Review

June 20th | Jessabella Reads – Character Interview

Week Two

June 21st | Owl Always Be Reading – Review

June 21st | The Cover Contessa – Character Interview

June 22nd | Dani Reviews Things – Author Interview

June 22nd | Fishing for Books – Review

June 23rd | Once Upon a Twilight – Author Interview

June 23rd | Classy Cat Books – Review

June 24th | Star-Crossed Book Blog – Spotlight

June 24th | Lilians Book Stuff – Author Interview

June 25th | Pandora’s Books – Excerpt

June 25th | Reese’s Reviews – Review

June 26th | The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

June 26th | In a Bookish World – Excerpt

June 27th | Movies, Shows & Books – Review

June 27th | Wishful Endings – Character Interview

June 27th | A Bookish Escape – Review


HOW TO DISAPPEAR Pre-Release Blog Tour + Giveaway

HTD_blogtour

HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Ann Redisch Stampler releases in just two weeks on June 14th. Keep reading to learn more about this awesome book and author, to find out how to pre-order a signed copy and receive a swag bag, to enter the pre-release blog tour, or to follow the tour!


About HOW TO DISAPPEAR

htd_large_main

Add to Goodreads

Title: HOW TO DISAPPEAR
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Release date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

To pre-order a signed copy from shoponceuponatime and get a swag bag, visit the author’s website HERE or check out the details below.


The Pre-order Giveaway Details

HTD Preorder

Order a signed copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR before June 14th, 2016 and you’ll receive a swag pack with your book order.

With your signed book, you’ll receive a bookmark; the tiny flashlight from Nicolette’s escape kit; Nicolette Holland and Cat Davis’ (fake!!!) ID’s; and one skeleton key in a pretty tulle bag (there are lots of different kinds of keys) that Nicolette used to unlock the doors at the Bluebonnet.

To receive your swag, order your copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR online at shoponceuponatime.com and in the Order Comments field, enter a name if you would like to have the autograph personalized, or “signature only” if no name is required.

If you pre-order an electronic copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR, forward your receipt or proof of purchase to HowToDisappearBook@gmail.com with the name & address where you’d like your goodies sent.

Offer valid in the only in the United States.


About Ann Redisch Stampler

annstampler

Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of the young adult novels Afterparty and Where It Began as well as half a dozen picture books. Her work has garnered an Aesop accolade, the National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor honors, the Middle East Book Award, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year mentions. How to Disappear (Simon Pulse, 2016), her first young adult thriller, will be released on June 14, 2016. Ann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Rick.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTERESTGOODREADS


The Giveaway

FullSizeRender (17)

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • A SIGNED copy of HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Ann Redisch Stampler + a special swag bag of stuff! (The book & special surprise item are not shown.)

Rules:

US only, giveaway ends June 11, 2016. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited. One set of entries per household. The blogs/author/publisher are not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian’s permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. One winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. If you have any questions, feel free to email readnowsleeplater@gmail.com.

Enter in the Rafflecopter…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

For more about the tour visit the author’s website HERE.


BLACKHEARTS Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Blackhearts

BLACKHEARTS comes out tomorrow and I cannot wait for everyone to read it and meet Anne and Teach. It’s such a gorgeous and romantic and heartbreaking story I just know everyone will fall in love with and will be as hopeful as I am that there will be a sequel.

But until your copy lands in your mailbox, on your eReader, or shows up on the shelves of your local bookstores, you should totally check out the other stops on the tour to read a few interviews with and guest posts by Nicole Castroman to learn more about BLACKHEARTS. There are also a few reviews, including mine which is below, so if you want to see what a few bloggers think about this awesome book before you read it, be sure to take a peek at these stops, too.

And if you want the chance to win a SIGNED copy of BLACKHEARTS, don’t forget to enter in the Rafflecopter a bit further down in the post.


About BLACKHEARTS

Blackhearts_Cover

Add to Goodreads

Title: BLACKHEARTS
Author: Nicole Castroman
Release date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

In this stunningly creative debut, Nicole Castroman reimagines the origins of history’s most infamous pirate—Blackbeard—and tells the story of the girl who captured his heart and then broke it, setting him on a path to destruction.

When Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, returns home from a year at sea, he finds his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, all Teach wants is to return to the vast ocean he calls home. There’s just one problem: he must convince his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following the death of her parents, Anne Barrett is left penniless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne takes a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks and Anne longs to escape the confines of her now mundane life. How will she ever achieve her dream of sailing to Curaçao—her mother’s birthplace—when she’s trapped in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn together by a shared desire for freedom, but kept apart by Teach’s father, their love is as passionate as it is forbidden. Faced with an impossible choice, Teach and Anne must decide whether to chase their dreams and leave England forever—or follow their hearts and stay together.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS

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


The Review

Whether you’ve always been curious to know more about Blackbeard before he became such a notorious pirate or your interest was piqued after reading this book’s description, Nicole Castroman’s BLACKHEARTS promises to more than satisfy. The author’s imagining of Teach’s earlier life with the girl who captured his heart reveals a life that is just as exciting as his life at sea. Deception, betrayal, secrets, lies, and forbidden romance are only a handful of the things that await readers and characters alike in this riveting tale.

Anne Barrett was looking for any way to escape the prison that was the Drummond household. She did not fit in with the other staff and being a maid would never earn her the money she needed to afford passage on a ship headed to the West Indies, a place she thought she might be able to call home.

She had a plan. It was risky. And while she knew there was a real chance it would fall apart, that she’d be captured and forced to stay, she never imagined having a reason she might want to.

Edward Drummond hated the fact that he had to return home to a job he didn’t enjoy and a life he didn’t want. His time at sea didn’t quench his thirst for it, rather it ignited a passion in him to captain a ship, set sail, and leave the land behind.

But with a promise made that his father is dead set on ensuring he keep, a plan for his future that has already been mapped out, and no means of securing a ship on his own, it seems his dream of a life at sea will only ever be that. A dream. And while he wants to honor his commitments, the prospect of living a life on land feels like a fate worse than death. At least until he meets a girl just as alluring as the sea.

Nicole Castroman imagined a story that is stunning and romantic and heartbreaking and spellbinding. It has moments that are funny and heartwarming and others that are nail-biting and suspenseful. Its two main characters, Anne and Teach, are immensely likable. It offers a couple of twists to keep things interesting. And it delivers a conclusion that will leave you desperate for more.

BLACKHEARTS is not a pirate story, but rather a pirate-in-the-making story. And while there are no swashbuckling tales of adventure on the high seas for Anne and Teach, there is definitely some adventure and plenty of romance. It is a beautifully written, remarkably well-researched, gorgeous must-must-must read that weaves together fact with fiction to bring to life many of the missing pieces from one of history’s most famous pirates.

The Rating

05


About Nicole Castroman

Nicole Castroman

Nicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend…she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.

At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.

She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is the country located on the Black Sea. The other is the state of Georgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAMPINTEREST | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • ONE (1) winner will receive a signed finished copy of BLACKHEARTS – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two


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