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    AFTERPARTY Blog Tour: Interviews, Guest Post, Deleted Scene + Giveaway

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    I am so excited to be a part of the AFTERPARTY Blog Tour and to be able to share a short Q&A with Author Ann Redisch Stampler and one with Emma, AFTERPARTY’s main character. I also have a fantastic Guest Post from Ann talking about the various settings in AFTERPARTY, as well as a Deleted Scene.

    The post also includes some information about the book and author, an excerpt, the tour schedule and an amazing tour-wide giveaway.

    As there are quite a few parts to this post, I thought I’d link to each, so that you won’t have to scroll down… and down… and down… to read the parts you are most curious about. Just click on the section title or titles you want to visit and you’ll be automatically taken there.

    And be sure to visit all the stops on tour to read reviews, interviews, guest posts and to check out more deleted scenes. Some of the stops will have additional giveaways that you definitely won’t want to miss!

    AFTERPARTY is a fascinating and beautifully written story filled with moments that are funny, sweet, sad and shocking. The settings are ones I am somewhat familiar with, and the author did an amazing job depicting them in her book. Everything leads up to the shocking/surprising/jaw-dropping/horrifying events that take place at the Afterparty and although I read this book prior to its release last year it’s an ending that is still utterly unforgettable.

    If you haven’t yet had the chance to read AFTERPARTY, what are you waiting for? It’s an engaging story that is not to be missed.

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    About Afterparty

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    Add to Goodreads

    Title: AFTERPARTY
    Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
    Release date: December 31, 2013
    Publisher: Simon Pulse
    Pages: 416
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook, paperback (coming January 6, 2015)

    Description…

    Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother – whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her… and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma is not.

    And it may be more than Emma can handle.

    Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop…

    This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler’s spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    About Ann Redisch Stampler

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    Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of young adult novels Where It Began and Afterparty, as well as several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTERESTGOOGLE+GOODREADS


    The Interviews

    Interview with Ann Redisch Stampler

    Q. Who was your favorite character to write in AFTERPARTY? And why?

    My favorite character to write was Siobhan. Because Emma’s feelings about Siobhan swung so far back and forth throughout the book, I got to write about Siobhan through a lot of different lenses: love, pity, appreciation, rage, and terror. Also, while Siobhan had to be wild, intelligent, and funny – leading to some really fun-to-write dialogue and wild texting – there were flashes of craziness had to be evident early on, and then to increase as Siobhan began to fall apart.

    Q. What was your most challenging scene to write and why?

    The most challenging scene to write was the Afterparty itself.

    First, there was the question of setting and atmosphere. I knew I had to nail the Camden Hotel, a previously grand hotel, now in shambles, with only hints of its former glamour. The Camden had to be decadent and slightly creepy.

    And then, of course, there were Emma and Dylan at the party, battling out what seemed like the end of their relationship around the central action of Siobhan pitching over the edge, metaphorically and literally. So Emma and Dylan’s interaction had to be woven through Emma’s quest to save Siobhan. Which occurred as Emma – after her avoidance and extremely moderate intake of controlled substances throughout most of her junior year – finally succumbs and gets increasingly impaired as the night of the Afterparty goes on, as conveyed in part by changes in her language, and the way she narrates the story.

    Finally, the actual scene on the roof. I don’t want this answer to be an enormous spoiler, but spinning together the physical and emotional aspects of that scene to ramp up the physical and emotional tension in a complementary way, without resorting to melodrama, was a challenge.

    Q. Emma and Siobhan had what might be called a toxic friendship, but it also seems as if there was a positive side for both of them. Do you think there was more good than bad to them being friends? And who do you think benefitted more from the friendship – Emma or Siobhan?

    I think that both Emma and Siobhan got a lot out of their friendship, because of what each girl offered the other, and because of each girl’s own particular (and sometimes screwed-up) needs. If toxicity had been the primary feature, I don’t think the relationship would have been plausible. (Even though, at a couple of points, even as I wrote what was going on, I was silently screaming, “Get out! Get out!”)

    Emma needed someone who would have her back at Latimer School, where the social scene wasn’t exactly welcoming. She needed someone who would accept her as who she was, including her dark secrets. She thought that she needed someone who would help her change – which she did, just not in the direction Siobhan pulled her. And even though she didn’t know it, she needed someone who would help her stand up to her father.

    On the truly messed-up side, she needed to save – or at least try to save – someone who had a lot in common with her mother. Who, tragically, wasn’t saved.

    Siobhan needed someone who cared about her and, unlike her mother and her steady stream of stepfathers, was physically there and available for her. Unfortunately, on the messed-up side, she needed that person to be always available to her and only to her. And to insure that this would happen, she needed a great deal of control over the other person.

    And of course, each girl needed someone to hang out with who liked her. Their need to be liked and appreciated was met by this friendship…although, less and less so as the relationship deteriorated and finally went up in flames.

    Interview with Emma

    Q. Do you think things would have been different if Dylan wasn’t in the picture?

    My life in L.A., the part of my life that had people other than my father in it, started my first day at Latimer. And Dylan was there that first day.

    All right, he was kind of laughing at me, maybe, but it wasn’t the bad kind of laughing at someone. What am I even saying? All right, he wasn’t exactly laughing at me, he was laughing at the situation I was in, in that horrible French class when nobody would volunteer to show Siobhan and me around school so Siobhan – who didn’t respond well to being dissed – did her thing. And by her thing, I mean she opened her mouth and decimated la classe.

    Which Dylan thought was hilarious. Me standing there turning white, wishing I’d said that, wishing I hadn’t, wishing a sink hole would open up in the floor of la classe.

    My point being that Dylan was always there, more or less. Without Dylan, there would be an entirely different picture.

    In terms of whether things would have been different with me and Siobhan without Dylan: probably. My father tortures me by forcing me talk about it, trying to get me to figure out Siobhan was bad news by slamming me with everything she ever did to me. And he doesn’t even know most of what she did to me. Not to mention, what she did with me. I mean, I’m being strictly honest about the main things. But I’m not going to torture him back with stuff he doesn’t have to know to get the general idea of what an idiot I was.

    ***Highlight below to read spoiler-y continuation of Emma’s answer.***

    Anyway, Dylan is still in the picture. She’s been gone for months, but he’s still here.

    Q. The way things went down was pretty intense. If you knew when you first met Siobhan that things would end up as they did, would you have kept your distance? Would you have changed anything? Or did the good outweigh the bad and you wouldn’t change a thing?

    I go over this in my head all the time, what if this and what if that. But you know what, I did what I did and I can’t undo it. I’m sorry for a lot of it, truly sorry, the look on my dad’s face when I told him: not my finest moment. But who knows what would have happened if I’d stayed away from Sib? I was pretty determined to leave Good Emma in the dust. It’s not like that was her idea. I mean, the Afterparty list was her idea, but I probably would have figured out what less-good girls do in their spare time and tried it out with or without her. Some of it. Maybe.

    About my impact on Siobhan, my father keeps insisting I was good for her, I was a stabilizing influence, I was Snow White and she was, well, definitely not Snow White. (He thinks I’m so much better than I am. Even after everything I did.) So the question is: Would the things that happened to Siobhan have happened if not for me? Would she be hanging around Latimer, slogging though senior year, filling out college applications? Borrowing Nancy’s tiny dresses and hooking up with anyone she wanted? Would she be totally fine? I don’t know. Yes? No? Maybe? It’s not like I can ask her.


    The Guest Post

    On Creating the Settings for AFTERPARTY

    (Visit Ann’s AFTERPARTY Pinterest Board for Pics)

    I tend to visualize as I write fiction, looking out through the eyes of the character who’s narrating. This isn’t the result of a particular philosophy of writing; it’s just what happens. So even when characters are texting, or the scene consists primarily of dialogue, the events are still rooted in a specific, visualized setting. I know the color chair my immobile character is sitting in.

    In Afterparty, the overall macro setting is the Westside of Los Angeles, primarily West Hollywood. (Apologies, WeHo. I know you’re your own city, but I live across the street and I see WeHo as part of a Los Angeles whole.) There’s a look and an atmosphere – particularly as perceived by a young outsider moving in – that I wanted to have pervade the book.

    It was important for the story that Emma live just above the urban heart of the city, in the hills, looking down and feeling a seductive glamour from which she is barely yet completely separated.

    The first significant micro setting was Emma’s house, a very romantic white Spanish house, probably from the ‘thirties, with a courtyard, a fountain, a vine-covered wall – a house that was beautiful, well-furnished, freshly painted, permeated by the scent of baking, but increasingly suffocating.

    The view from Emma’s backyard is the (less foliage-blocked) view from the room where I write. In fact, I use a lot of very specific real places, borrow bits and pieces from others, move a few, and make up some that don’t exist.

    For example, when Emma and her father are driven to the beach club their first day in L.A., the limo drives along a route I’ve travelled many times. But their beach club destination combines aspects of a couple of different beach clubs, and I threw in the lagoon and the tiki lights (among other things) to give this club its own character.

    Latimer School is another made-up place. I already stole some of my favorite aspects of the old Harvard-Westlake Middle School (which has since been reconstructed) for Winston School in Where It Began. And I wanted to give Latimer a sense of tasteless grandeur, using the aspect of L.A. architecture that feels more like set-construction. I especially like the pseudo-Greek temple in which Emma and Siobhan take French. As for the stables and the riding trail off Mulholland Drive in Upper Bel-Air: non-existent.

    An example of a real place: The Griddle, a restaurant on Sunset near Fairfax with the best red velvet pancakes and sidewalk tables. The perfect spot for a first kiss (and for the last kiss in the book as well).

    The Camden Hotel, where the Afterparty itself unfolds, combines features of a number of different hotels and party venues. I’ve imagined myself walking the upstairs halls of the Camden (faded maroon, gold and green patterned carpeting; art nouveau sconces, many broken or missing altogether; brass room numbers nailed on dark oak doors), felt the mist in the ballroom; listened to the terrible cover band; and smelled the bar off to one side with the coffins set in loam beyond the musty velvet curtain, many many times. As for the roof, I know its different levels, where the Spanish tiles stop and the tar paper starts, and the trajectory of the drainpipe. With the Camden, I almost had to know the place before I could write the party, because so much of the action turns on the physical attributes of the hotel, and it would have felt off to make up bits of the hotel as I went along to suit the action.

    I also use settings, at times, to heighten irony or support characterization.

    Dylan, who despises all things Los Angeles and can’t wait to leave, kind of had to live in an iconic L.A. neighborhood, in the flats of Beverly Hills, in a giant fake-Tudor house from which he’s exiled to a pseudo-rustic cottage of a guesthouse off the driveway. I actually know which block he lives on (not telling) but I took a lot of liberties with the house itself. And Arif, who is in fact quite traditional but very comfortable with modern life, had to live in a breathtaking ultra-modern house.

    Most of the details of my settings don’t make it onto the page explicitly. But I hope that the characters’ experiences in the spaces they inhabit, and the language used in association with those places, gives the reader a feel for their atmosphere.


    The Deleted Scene

    In Afterparty, Emma and Siobhan make a series of increasingly risky pacts. I tried out all sorts of different pacts before I arrived at the ones used in the book. This deleted chapter is the set up for a pact in which Siobhan recruits a reluctant Emma to get even with a teacher who’s accused her of cheating.

    During break, Siobhan pulls me to the side of the library with the stone benches. She looks as if she’s going to go stomp on someone.

    I say, “What?” It’s obvious that we’re not rushing to get to class on time.

    “Mr. Murdoch thinks I cheated,” Siobhan says.

    “No way.”

    “Yes way. He’s completely convinced that if you don’t do his precious worksheets, you can’t pass the test, and if you follow his logic then either I secretly did the worksheets in the dark of the night or I cheated off Hannah Dell. What an a-hole. I told him, I can’t help it if I sit by Hannah, just give me another test right now and I’ll get 96 again, but nooooo, he wants to take me to honor board.”

    “You got 96?” I am, in fact, considering asking my dad to hire a tutor to help me with the worksheets because that’s how hard they are.

    “I’m good at math,” she says. “Too bad I hate it. I should just stop going to class if he despises me so much.”

    “I can’t even listen to this. If you go to honor board and you get kicked out of school, I will seriously die.” It just comes out, I don’t even think about it, but even though it would leave Dylan behind, I can’t face Latimer without her. “You have to fix this!”

    “Why would I get kicked out of school? I’m the one who got the 96 and he’s the one making up lies about me and slandering me and defaming me. Can’t I sue him for that?”

    “This isn’t funny.”

    “Stop hyperventilating. I told him I’d take a test in front of honor board and I’d still get 96 and he’d come off looking stupid and he said he was going to take me to Mr. Hayes and I said, fine, take me to Mr. Hayes, I’ll take a test in front of Mr. Hayes and you’ll still come off looking stupid.”

    “Sib!”

    “Calm down. I didn’t say stupid. I wasn’t going to get kicked out of school for calling a stupid person stupid. That would be stupid.”

    This is good news, but not good enough. I’m pretty sure that if Siobhan gets dragged in front of honor board, someone like Chelsea will say she kind of sort of might have seen her cheating off Hannah and five minutes later she’ll be enrolled at Foxcroft wearing a pearl-buttoned blouse or whatever girl preppies wear in the deep south, and texting me at 4 a.m. because she forgot it was three hours later in Virginia. And who would I even talk to at school, Kimmy?

    “Siobhan: boarding school. You don’t want to go back to boarding school, do you? You can copy my worksheet and just give him the damn thing.”

    “You’re missing the point,” Siobhan says, pacing back and forth in front of the bench and talking too loud. “There aren’t going to be any worksheets. Pact, all right?”

    “What pact?”


    The Excerpt

    Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler (Excerpt) by Simon and Schuster


    The Giveaway

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    This tour comes with a seriously amazing GRAND PRIZE giveaway for..

    • A hardcover copy of Afterparty
    • Emma’s contraband Sephora makeup
    • Emma’s Kate Spade makeup bag
    • Emma’s Bob Marley T-shirt
    • Emma’s vintage mother-of-pearl barrette
    • Emma’s cat eye sunglasses
    • Emma’s ice blue nail polish
    • The sparkly hair pins Dylan pulls out of Emma’s hair
    • Dylan’s Kurt Cobain T-shirt
    • Siobhan’s gold nail polish
    • Mara’s Bakelite-style orange bracelet (+ two more)
    • Mara’s (tiny) Felix the Cat ring
    • An Afterparty tote bag

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    Giveaway is US ONLY and ends on November 14th.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Oct. 6th – Read Now Sleep Later
    Oct. 7th – What a Nerd Girl Says
    Oct. 8th – Fiktshun
    Oct. 9th – Adventures of a Book Junkie
    Oct. 10th – Recently Acquired Obsessions

    Week Two

    Oct. 13th – Nite Lite Book Reviews
    Oct. 14th – The Windy Pages
    Oct. 16th – A Bookish Escape
    Oct. 17th – Movies, Shows & Books and Once Upon a Twilight

    Week Three

    Oct. 20th – She Reads She Blogs
    Oct. 21st – Books Unbound
    Oct. 22nd – The Consummate Reader
    Oct. 23rd – Kid Lit Frenzy
    Oct. 24th – The O.W.L.

    Week Four

    Oct. 27th – The Thousand Lives
    Oct. 28th – Books Turn Brains
    Oct. 29th – FangirlFeeels
    Oct. 30th – The Romance Bookie
    Oct. 31st – The Reader’s Antidote

    Week Five

    Nov. 3rd – Proud Book Nerd
    Nov. 7th – Girls with Books

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #157

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    Below are the YA books releasing this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of December 31st-January 6th that I have pre-ordered.

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    Afterparty

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    AFTERPARTY by Ann Redisch Stampler will be released in the U.S. on December 31, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 416 pages.

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    I am so excited for the release of AFTERPARTY this week. I got the chance to read it just a bit early and I loved it and can’t wait for my pre-order copy to download on Monday Midnight.

    Ann Redisch Stampler is an amazing writer. I loved the way this story was written, I was instantly drawn in by the author’s voice. A couple of the characters drove me crazy – Siobhan and Chelsea. I think I was rooting for Emma to do something wicked to them both. Most of the characters I loved – Emma and Dylan and Megan and Arif. And I was totally surprised by one character.

    While it may be a familiar story with complicated relationships, mean girls, wild parties and complex and moody boys, the writing made this story stand out to me. And I am really looking forward to re-reading it in its finished form really, really soon. This is one book I’m definitely thrilled to add to my collection.

    Description…

    Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother — whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her…and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma is not.

    And it may be more than Emma can handle.

    Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop…

    This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler’s spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

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    The Promise of Amazing

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    THE PROMISE OF AMAZING by Robin Constantine will be released in the U.S. on December 31, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, the print edition is 384 pages.

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    I can’t believe the year is ending and THE PROMISE OF AMAZING is releasing this week. I think I added this book to my pre-orders the instant I first learned about it this past spring or summer. And I’m totally stoked that the wait is finally almost over.

    As I have THE PROMISE OF AMAZING on my reading pile this week and I recently spotlighted it for my Book Watch post, I really don’t want to ramble on and on yet again about just why I am so excited for it to be added to my collection. Especially since I just started reading it and so far I am loving it and want to be reading it instead of writing about it in this post.

    If all goes well I am hopeful I’ll be able to finish reading it tonight, but at the very latest I’ll be marking it read before it downloads on Tuesday. And I’m even more hopeful that it will be every bit as amazing as I have been anticipating.

    Description…

    Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

    Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

    One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

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    The Offering

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    THE OFFERING by Kimberly Derting will be released in the U.S. on December 31, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Margaret K. McElderry, the print edition is 304 pages.

    THE OFFERING is the third and final book in Kimberly Derting’s The Pledge series.

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    I can’t believe that THE OFFERING releases on Tuesday and that it is the final book in the trilogy. When it downloads on Monday Midnight I will have the entire trilogy in my eBook collection, but won’t have started reading the series yet.

    I have heard such amazing things about the first book in the series, but I’ve tried to stay away from any of the buzz about the series since then as I haven’t wanted to risk spoilers. So I don’t know anything beyond what I’ve heard about THE PLEDGE except that I know this author is a fantastic writer and I expect to be amazed by this series.

    Since all three books in this dystopian series will be available for me to devour come Tuesday, I am really hoping that I’ll be able to read the entire trilogy this winter.

    Description…

    True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.
    Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

    When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

    But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

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    Other Books of Note

     

    WarriorWARRIOR (The Dragon King Chronicles #2) by Ellen Oh

    Pub. Date: December 31, 2013

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    First an outcast, now a hero.

    But her fight rages on.

    Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom—and the crown prince—has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.

    But it wasn’t enough.

    Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others…

    Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?

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    Ali's Pretty Little LiesALI’S PRETTY LITTLE LIES (Pretty Little Liars #0.5) by Sara Shepard

    Pub. Date: December 31, 2013

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Before there was A, there was Alison DiLaurentis. Boys wanted to date her, girls wanted to be her, and somebody wanted her dead. . . .

    It’s the end of seventh grade, and Alison DiLaurentis and her friends are the girls of Rosewood Day. Ali runs her clique with an iron fist, and she’s got enough dirt on Hanna, Emily, Aria, and Spencer to keep them in line. But Ali’s hiding a dark secret of her own, something so huge it would destroy everything if it ever got out. She’s desperate to keep the perfect life she’s worked so hard to build, but in Rosewood deadly secrets have deadly consequences. . . .

    Set in the weeks leading up to Ali’s murder, this special Pretty Little Liars tale is told by the prettiest little liar of all: Ali herself. For the first time ever, we see how the mystery began . . . and how Alison DiLaurentis’s life ended.

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    The Book of LoveTHE BOOK OF LOVE (The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers #2) by Lynn Weingarten

    Pub. Date: December 31, 2013

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers has given Lucy everything she thought she wanted. Gone is the poor, innocent girl pining away for a guy who didn’t deserve her and in her place is a fierce, fabulous Heartbreaker with glamorous sisters, an unbreakable heart, and access to magic.

    The only problem is this: Lucy’s floppy-haired, blues-playing best friend Tristan is in pain. And she’s powerless to help him.

    Or is she?

    It’s time for the annual Heartbreaker competition — a chance for Lucy and her sisters to win The Book of Love, an ancient tome containing centuries’ worth of Heartbreaker wisdom, and maybe, just maybe, enough magic to fix Tristan’s heart for good.

    Lucy will do whatever it takes; if it helps her fix her friend, she knows it’s worth it. At least she thinks she knows.

    As Lucy goes deeper into the world of the sisterhood, she learns that even those closest to her have unimaginable secrets, and when it comes to magic, nothing comes without a price . . .

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    OthersphereOTHERSPHERE (Otherkin #3) by Nina Berry

    Pub. Date: December 31, 2013

    Publisher: K-Teen

    Find It: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    He makes the rules . . .
    Mafiya enforcer Aleksandr “The Siberian” Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss is unwavering, until he meets the boss’s long-lost daughter, a curvy, tantalizing redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Sevastyan will do anything to possess her as well—on his own wicked terms.

    Rules are made to be broken . . .
    PhD student Natalie Porter had barely recovered from her first sight of the breathtakingly gorgeous Sevastyan before the professional hit man whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures. With every day she spends under his protection, she falls deeper under his masterful spell.

    Are you ready to play?
    Yet all is not as it seems. To remove Natalie from an enemy’s reach, Sevastyan spirits her into hiding. From an opulent palace in Russia to the decadent playgrounds of the mega-wealthy in Paris, the two lovers will discover that even their darkest—and most forbidden—fantasies can come true…

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    Other Releases

    VAMPIRE ACADEMY: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Richelle Mead and Brandon T. Snider

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    I only have three books pre-ordered this week. At least I think that’s the case. It’s very possible that I have WARRIOR on order and/or a few eBook novellas that I didn’t notice were releasing when creating this post. But I guess I’ll find out if that’s true on Tuesday.

    I know for a fact that next week is going to be insane, so I’m glad that this week is just a little bit quieter for releases. And I’m stoked that by December 31st I’ll have read two of the three books I have ordered. Which means there will be just the one book added to the TBR pile this week.

    I don’t think I missed any new releases in last week’s post, but I haven’t had much time to check my Kindle for downloads since I had out-of-town visitors stopping by. But if for some reason I discover an awesome title on my Kindle that I wasn’t aware of that downloaded last week I’ll be sure to mention it in next week’s post.

    Anyway… I hope you have a book or two on your must reads list that releases this week and I hope that you’re just as excited as I am that this week isn’t too crazy given next week’s release schedule.

    And, in case I forget to mention it on Tuesday or Wednesday, I hope that your New Year’s Eve and Day are all sorts of awesome, that you reach your 2013 reading goals, and that you get a few hours to read some amazing books!

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    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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    My Reading Pile #140

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    This weekend turned out to be even more hectic than I imagined it would be so I am posting this quite a bit later than planned.  But as I haven’t even begun to start reading this week’s reading pile, this post isn’t too out-of-date.

    And as I didn’t get the chance to check the mailbox until Sunday, I wouldn’t have the lovely photo below to include. So late isn’t always a bad thing…

    MRP 140

    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    I didn’t get any physical books in the mail for review this week, but I did get a couple signed copies of FROZEN by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston thanks to the always amazing Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. She went to a signing a few weeks ago and offered to get me a couple copies. One is signed personally to me and one I have for giveaway, which I hope to post later this week.

    The Winner's Curse

    I did receive one book for review, which I am so unbelievably excited about. I was invited to review an eARC of THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski courtesy of the awesome publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR. I immediately clicked to download it to my Kindle via NetGalley as I’ve been dying to read it ever since I first saw it in the publisher’s catalog.

    The cover is gorgeous but the book sounds even more amazing. If you click on the book cover it will take you to Goodreads so you can check out the description. I have been anxiously awaiting this book’s release and am so tempted to try and sneak this one in later this week.

    But since I am behind and I already have a couple books planned…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (November 17, 2013 – November 23, 2013)

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    While You're Away Part VI

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    First up on the pile is WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART VI: When I Heard the Truth by Jessa Holbrook. I am so excited to finally get to read the final part of this book. But I am also incredibly nervous about what is going to happen.

    There was the potential for misunderstanding and mistakes to be made because of that… or everything could have been true. I keep changing my mind about what I believe is true, so I can’t wait to know for sure. Based on this part’s title the truth will be revealed but I have a bad, bad feeling that whatever that truth is, there will be tears.

    As I don’t want to reveal too much more about what I think is going to happen in this last part of the story and plan to read it tonight and review it tomorrow, I’ll just stop my rambling. But this has been such a fun way to read this book and get to keep these characters in my life for just a little bit longer than they normally would be.

    I also just have to add that I’m really, really hoping for a happy ending.

    The Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

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    Afterparty
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    Next up on the pile is AFTERPARTY by Ann Redisch Stampler. I received an ARC and an eARC for review from Simon Pulse awhile back and I have been dying to read this ever since. I actually keep opening it up on my Kindle and start reading and then guiltily set it aside for later.

    Well, I’m done with waiting. I want to meet Siobhan and Emma and Dylan and find out just what happens at this “infamous” Afterparty. I want to know how things lead up to the confrontation between them and what happens after. And I want to see if this book is every bit as exciting as I think it will be.

    If things don’t get too crazy for me, I hope to be able to start…continue… reading this on Thursday. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    The Description…

    Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother — whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her…and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma is not.

    And it may be more than Emma can handle.

    Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop…

    This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler’s spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads

    I wish I could read the book I received this week, THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski. It looks so amazing.

    I may have been lured in by the cover and title, but it was the last line of the description that makes this book a wishful thinking read this week. It says that THE WINNER’S CURSE is “…a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.” Awesome, right?

    But as this is still NaNoWriMo and I am still overwhelmed by the information I’m being asked to know in my Coastal Navigation course, reading this book can only be a wish, not a reality.

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    Those Left Behind

    Like last week I was able to read the current installment of Jessa Holbrook’s WHILE YOU’RE AWAY. I also posted my short review. And I did end up finishing my re-read of AFTERGLOW by Karsten Knight, too. Which was even better the second time around, but no less easy to say goodbye to.

    I was not able to get PAWN onto the pile but I am planning on reading it tomorrow and hope to have it completed by Thursday when I’ll pick up AFTERPARTY.

    I was also not able to post any of the reviews I had planned – A LITTLE TOO FAR, A LITTLE TOO MUCH, AFTERGLOW, CRASH INTO YOU. I had very little time during the week to work on blog-related items and the two nights I had free I ended up spending them writing.

    This weekend was a total bust as I ended up having to spend Saturday night doing homework, which took me until just after 5 a.m. on Sunday to finish. By the time I got home from class, I was completely wiped out. Too wiped to write reviews or finish the final few words I needed for my WIP.

    The next two weeks are going to be a little bit more insane, so I’m not sure how on schedule I’ll be. I think if I am around next November, I’m going to try and schedule a few less things to do. Or plan ahead with pre-written blog posts.

    We shall see…

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

    I didn’t even look on NetGalley until just this very moment. It was such a crazy week and weekend that I didn’t spend much time online. And while there weren’t many new titles on NetGalley this past week, there were a couple and a sneak peek at a book I’m dying to read.

    THE KILLING WOODS by Lucy Christopher (Scholastic, Jan 7 2014)

    THE FIERY HEART (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead (Penguin Books Australia, Nov 19 2013) ***Australian reviewers ONLY***

    CRESS (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Feb 4 2014) ***Chapter One Sample ONLY***

    THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY by Jaleigh Johnson (Random House Children’s, Mar 25 2014) ***Middle Grade***

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    I had every intention of writing this post on Saturday. I was even more hopeful when I came back from sailing earlier than anticipated as I would have had more time. But it was an incredibly stressful day on the water and by the time I felt relaxed enough to post I had to start my homework for the next day’s class.

    As I have another sail planned for Saturday – this time with a group and an instructor versus The Dude – and class again on Sunday, I’m not entirely sure how focused on blogging I’ll be. Reading on the other hand has been a lovely distraction. So, hopefully I won’t get too sidetracked with writing… rather, re-writing… this week so I can get lost in a few of these amazing books I have.

    I’m sure by now you’ve already posted your book hauls and have gotten started on your reading for this week. But if you’d still like to share what you’ve received and what you are reading, I would love to know.

    Happy reading!

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    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your reading pile this week?

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