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Ann Redisch Stampler

    Top 10 of 2016: Best Contemporaries of 2016 + #Giveaway

    Welcome to Day Three of the Top 10 of 2016

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As mentioned previously…

    I can’t believe that I’ve been co-hosting this event for six years with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books and three years with Nancy of Tales of the Ravenous Reader! And while I’m so sad that Mindy won’t be joining us this year, I’m thrilled that Bridget of Dark Faerie Tales has joined the team, as has Nancy’s blog partner, Christy.

    I haven’t read a ton of books this year, or blogged very much, so I almost decided not to participate. But this event is so much fun that I just couldn’t miss out.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2016 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Yet again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – We’re taking Day One off, Dark Faerie Tales is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, I’m hosting today’s Day Three’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Four’s giveaway, and Tales of the Ravenous Reader is hosting Day Five’s giveaway. So be sure to visit each of our blogs this week to share your post links and enter the giveaways!

    The Best Book _____ of 2016

    And my choice of topics is CONTEMPORARIES… contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, contemporary thrillers, contemporary mysteries.

    These books made me cry, made me laugh, made me guess and guess again, made me desperate for the next installment in the series, made me smile, surprised me, distracted me, made me want to read them again and again and again…and again.


    #1

    TheWayIUsedtoBe
    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE WAY I USED TO BE
    Author: Amber Smith
    Release date: March 22, 2016
    Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

    What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

    Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #2

    Exit Pursued by a Bear_Cover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR
    Author: E.K. Johnston
    Release date: March 15, 2016
    Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 256
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.

    Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

    In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #3

    Symptoms of Being Human Cover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN
    Author: Jeff Garvin
    Release date: February 2, 2016
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s life.

    On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

    From debut author Jeff Garvin comes a powerful and uplifting portrait of a modern teen struggling with high school, relationships, and what it means to be a person.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #4

    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 | GOODREADS


    #5

    A Totally Awkward Love Story

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY
    Authors: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
    Release date: May 3, 2016
    Publisher: Delacorte Press
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    For fans of The DUFF, this hilarious and true-to-teen romance is Broad City meets Judy Blume.

    The summer before college, Hannah swears she’s finally going to find The One. And for five perfect minutes, Hannah does find him. He’s cute and makes her laugh like crazy. She just wishes she’d caught his name, because Toilet Boy Cinderella really lacks sex appeal.

    For Sam, the summer is off to a bad start for a million reasons. But for five minutes his luck changes: in a fancy restroom painted purple like it belongs in a Bond villain hideaway, Sam falls head over heels for some strange and hilarious girl. Of course, he doesn’t know her name. With his luck, he’ll never see her again, and he’ll remain a girlfriendless, moony-eyed virgin. Forever.

    But another chance meeting brings them together, only to have a chance misunderstanding drive them apart . . . and then the cycle starts all over again. Madcap mishaps, raunchy hilarity, and deep romance follow these two wherever they go. For two people so clearly destined for each other, they sure have a hell of a lot of trouble even getting together.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #6

    In_Real_Life_Cover

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    Title: IN REAL LIFE
    Author: Jessica Love
    Release date: March 1, 2016
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
    Pages: 240
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

    There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

    Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

    Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #7

    the-amateurs

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: THE AMATEURS (The Amateurs #1)
    Author: Sara Shepard
    Release date: November 1, 2016
    Publisher: Freeform
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    I need some answers about my sister. Help…

    Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.

    So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

    Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.

    Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #8

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: UNRIVALED (Beautiful Idols #1)
    Author: Alyson Noēl
    Release date: May 10, 2016
    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
    Pages: 432
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Everyone wants to be someone.

    Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

    But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

    She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

    That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

    Unrivaled is #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël’s first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #9

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: WITH MALICE
    Author: Eileen Cook
    Release date: June 7, 2016
    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

    Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

    As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    #10

    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.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    The Honorable Mention

    I haven’t been doing honorable mentions this year because I read so few books in 2016. But I just couldn’t leave THE HATERS out. It was so freaking hilarious…

    Acr297196509774415983

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    Title: THE HATERS
    Author: Jesse Andrews
    Release date: April 5, 2016
    Publisher: Amulet Books
    Pages: 336
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

    Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

    For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

    In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway


    I’m giving away…

    TWO of any of the hosts Top 10 of 2016 book picks to ONE winner – up to $50 USD

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • Giveaway is International to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Books will be sent from Amazon (US) or The Book Depository (Int’l)
    • Winner will be contacted by email and announced in the Rafflecopter
    • Winner has 72 hours after email notification to respond or another winner will be chosen
    • Giveaway ends on January 8th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

    There are no requirements to like or follow, but it is appreciated.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Link up

    Leave a link to your Best _____ in 2016 posts in the Linky List below…



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    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

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    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.

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

    afterparty_blog_tour

    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

    Afterparty_Tote

    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

    Share

    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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    Giveaway: Where It Began SIGNED

    I found myself wandering through my local Barnes & Noble this weekend and as always seems to be the case, I can’t walk past a signed book and not buy it. Even if I already own the book in eBook format. And even though I don’t keep unpersonalized signed books.

    So, I knew as my hand reached out to grab this book – and another signed book – that I would be offering it up for giveaway.

    I haven’t yet read Where It Began, but I’ve heard such amazing things about it and it is on my TBR pile for this summer. If you haven’t yet heard about it, click the photo above which will take you to the book on Goodreads.

    And I haven’t posted the photo of the signature page due to poor picture taking skills, but I’ll be happy to try again and take another photo and send it to the winner.

    Anyway….

    What’s up for grabs:

    A hardcover copy of Where It Began SIGNED by Ann Redisch Stampler.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. There will be ONE winner.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Contest ends at 9:01 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, May 24, 2012.

    6. Winner will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter and announced on May 24th in this post.

    7. Winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow. But if you’d like to spread the word that would be awesome!

    If you are viewing this post via email you will have to click the link to enter the giveaway on the blog as Rafflecopter forms do not work through email.

    To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form:

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All content - except for guest posts and guest reviews - has been written by me and can not be copied or used without permission. All graphics and images used on my site – aside from book covers used for purposes of discussion – have either been given to me by authors, publishers or bloggers for guest posts, blog tours, interviews or promotion, have been sourced, have been designed by me or have been purchased for my exclusive use. Aside from images with a “grab code” beneath, no images can be used or displayed without permission.

FTC

All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.