Browsing Tag:

Bloomsbury USA Childrens


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    Author: Brigid Kemmerer
    Release date: April 4, 2017
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook


    Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

    Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

    When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.


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

    The Review

    LETTERS TO THE LOST is an incredibly moving, beautifully written, and intensely emotional story that promises to put every reader’s heart through the wringer. It is a story of grief, anger, love, loss, and loneliness that is both extremely fragile and immensely powerful. It is poignant. It is tragic. It is devastatingly heartbreaking. It is the must read book of 2017.

    Juliet was not ready to say goodbye to her mother, even though it seemed everyone thought it was time she did. She idolized her mom. She missed her terribly. And she blamed herself for her mother’s death.

    She couldn’t be the friend she used to be. She couldn’t do the things she used to. All she had was her pain and the connection she had with her mom through the letters she wrote and left at her gravesite.

    Declan was angry all the time. He couldn’t stand the fact that his mother remarried and he despised the man she was married to. He hated being judged by people that didn’t even know him. And he detested his court-ordered community service.

    His dad may be the one in prison, but he was just as responsible for what happened to his sister and he was being tormented by the guilt. His best friend couldn’t understand what he was going through and his mother didn’t seem to care. But when he reads a letter that had been left on a grave, he thinks he might have found someone who does.

    Brigid Kemmerer has done an exceptional job of creating empathetic and relatable characters whose anguish can be felt and understood. Juliet and Declan are both so very lost and can’t find a way through their pain. They both blame themselves for their losses and are riddled with guilt. They are barely coping. They can’t accept their new realities. And alone they aren’t strong enough to fix what’s broken in themselves. But together, through their letters, they might be.

    LETTERS TO THE LOST is a love story. But first and foremost it’s a story about letting go, about trust, about asking for help, about being brave enough to find and face the truth, and about having the courage to go on living.

    It is tough and messy and one heck of an emotional rollercoaster. It is heartrending and courageous and brilliantly executed. It’s an exquisite and riveting and deeply affecting read that will be instantly likable and unputdownable.

    The Rating

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

    About Brigid Kemmerer

    BRIGID KEMMERER is the author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance;  THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.



    QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas Release Day Blitz + #Giveaway


    Today is Release Day for QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas!

    I have been anxiously awaiting this next installment in the series so I can get caught up on what’s been going on with Celaena. It’s been an epic series so far and I cannot wait for it to continue. As I’m sure you can’t!

    If you don’t want to wait until your copy lands on your doorstep or you get the chance to head to the bookstore, you can read an excerpt of the first five chapters online. Just click the link to read in the “About” section below.

    In celebration of the release, Rockstar Book Tours is hosting this blitz with an awesome giveaway for a paperback set of the first three novels in the series. Even if you already have a set of these books, you can always enter to win one for a book lover you know so that they can get caught up on this series and wait just as eagerly as you do for the next installment.

    Of course if you’re new to the series, there’s some information on the novellas and each of the other books in the series a bit further down in this post.

    But for all the fans of this series, I’m sure you’re just as excited as I am to wish Sarah J. Maas and QUEEN OF SHADOWS a…

    Happy Book Birthday!


    Queen of Shadows

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    Title & Series: QUEEN OF SHADOWS (Throne of Glass #4)
    Author: Sarah J. Maas
    Release date: September 1, 2015
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
    Pages: 656
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Read CHAPTERS 1-5.


    Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

    Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

    She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

    Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


    About Sarah J. Maas


    Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series–Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade–as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

    A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.


    Other Books in the Series

    THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5)Amazon | B&N | iTunes | The Book Depository | IndieBoundGoodreads

    Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

    Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…

    Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.

    THRONE OF GLASS (Throne of Glass #1)Amazon | B&N | iTunes | The Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads

    In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

    The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

    CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (Throne of Glass #2) – Amazon | B&N | iTunes | The Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads

    “A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached. It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

    From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

    Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

    Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

    HEIR OF FIRE (Throne of Glass #3) – Amazon | B&N | iTunes | The Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads

    She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

    Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

    Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

    The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight.

    The Giveaway

    There is a release day blast giveaway for…

    • ONE (1) winner will receive paperback copies of the 1st three books in the THRONE OF GLASS Series

    Giveaway is US Only. Ends Sept. 11th at Midnight Eastern.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Interview with CHASING POWER Author Sarah Beth Durst + Giveaway


    I am so excited to welcome Author Sarah Beth Durst back to the blog on CHASING POWER‘s release date, with a Q&A in which I ask her a number of questions about her new (and awesome) book. I absolutely loved CHASING POWER – its characters, the story, the writing – and I am thrilled that it is releasing today and that everyone will get the chance to read it and meet Kayla, Daniel and Selena and embark upon an exciting quest.

    If you’d like to take a peek inside, the author has an excerpt on her website. The link is included just below the book’s description.

    And, if you’d like the chance to win a copy of CHASING POWER, I am offering up a copy for giveaway. The Rafflecopter follows at the end of the post.

    I can’t thank Sarah Beth Durst enough for allowing me to ask so many questions and for answering them all. If you’d like to hear about CHASING POWER’s characters and their abilities, why quests are so appealing to write about, and more, be sure to check out the interview which follows below the book’s description.

    About Chasing Power


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    Author: Sarah Beth Durst
    Release date: October 14, 2014
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
    Pages: 376
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook


    Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind-things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers-and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

    When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel-a boy with the ability to teleport-he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.

    To read an EXCERPT on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.


    The Interview

    Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

    Q. The main characters in CHASING POWER have two very interesting abilities – telekinesis and teleportation. What are some of the benefits and drawbacks for Kayla and Daniel in having these powers? Have they been more harmful or helpful to them?

    Benefits: the awesomeness. Move things with your mind? Travel anywhere in the world in mere seconds without any airline fees? Yes, and yes.

    Drawbacks: the danger. Any time anyone has an unusual power, it opens them up to being exploited by others. Remember “Escape to Witch Mountain”? (And if you don’t, go watch. Just try not to be too critical of the special effects.)

    Q. Are there any other characters with abilities in the story? And if so, could you give us a tease as to what we might expect?

    Yes. Kayla’s mother Moonbeam projects a very flighty kind of image. But all the cheesy amulets and charms are the perfect disguise for the bits of magic that really work. She’s cultivated this image quite deliberately, to hide from Kayla’s father.

    Q. Your characters in CHASING POWER embark upon a quest. This is not the first story you’ve written in which you send your characters on a mission. What is it about a quest that holds an appeal for you as a writer?

    I love quests! Always have. For me, reading a book always feels like going on a journey, and a quest deliberately mirrors that. Plus quests are fun. And I think books should be fun.*

    (* Not all books, of course. People read for lots of different reasons, and books exist to fill lots of different needs. But I think one of those reasons and one of those needs is to have fun and to escape whatever in life is hurting you, at least for a little while.)

    Q. The description for CHASING POWER reveals three things that define Kayla’s life – “lies, secrets, and magic.” Can you give us a hint as to what some of those are or how and why they do?

    Kayla’s life is built on all three things. She’s living with her mother under false identities, hiding from her father. They fled from him after he killed Kayla’s older sister. Lies, secrets, and magic are what keeps her safe — and what puts her in danger.

    I know, I know, I’m being cryptic, but I don’t want to give away spoilers. 🙂

    Q. For those who have not yet met Kayla and Daniel, could you tell us a little bit more about each of them?

    Kayla has telekinesis (the ability to move things with her mind) and a very loose grasp on the concept of personal property. In other words, she’s a thief and very good at it.

    Daniel can travel instantly anywhere in the world that he’s seen. He keeps photos all over the wall of his bedroom of all the places he’s been and all the places he wants to go. We meet him when he tries to blackmail Kayla into helping him save his kidnapped mother. (He doesn’t trust that she’ll help him out of the goodness of her heart.)

    Q. What was your most challenging scene to write in CHASING POWER and what about it presented a challenge?

    The most challenging scene was the climax because I wanted it to feel just right. Revising it required spreading the pages out over the carpet and drawing huge arrows over all the pages…

    Q. The worlds you create in your stories are rich with detail and incredibly imaginative, and CHASING POWER is no different. How did you develop it? Was it something that you added to as you wrote or did you have it built from the outset?

    Thanks! I try to imagine my worlds before I begin writing, but it’s through the act of writing that I really discover them. I tend to write a lot of drafts, and in each draft, I develop more details.

    I think of it as looking into a room — first, you’re looking through a peephole. Next, you’re looking through a window. Then the door is open, and you’re peering inside. And then, in the final draft, you’re in the room and part of the story, inside the world.

    Q. I imagine there was a bit of research involved in writing this story. What was the most interesting thing you learned from your research? And were there any challenges that came up due to limitations of the characters’ abilities?

    I love research! Great excuse to read more about catacombs beneath European churches and the tombs of the Chachapoyas in Peru — I’d been wanting to use those tombs for a while now, ever since I ran across a National Geographic article about the People of the Clouds and saw pictures of tombs carved impossibly high into cliffs.

    As far as challenges… I tried to be very, very clear and careful to lay out limitations to Kayla and Daniel’s powers. Kayla can only lift very light objects, and Daniel can only travel to places he’s seen before or can see in the distance. I’ve found that setting limitations on magic can paradoxically be tremendously freeing, because it’s the limitations that give rise to possibilities for the plot.

    Q. If you could have either Kayla or Daniel’s ability, which one would you like to have, and why?

    Practically speaking, I should choose Daniel’s ability, if only to save on airfare, but Kayla’s power is so very fun…

    Q. What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

    Writing. Seriously, writing makes me happy. It’s fun. Usually. Sometimes. Okay, maybe not always “fun,” but it’s GOOD. It feels right. Even when it’s going poorly (which happens), it makes the world feel more balanced. It’s both how I define and understand myself and the world.

    Other benefits: it’s a great excuse for people-watching, researching anything, and reading everything. And if you write at home, there’s easy access to the refrigerator.

    Thanks so much for interviewing me!

    About Sarah Beth Durst


    Sarah Beth Durst is the author of eight fantasy novels for teens and adults. Her YA titles include ConjuredVesselDrink Slay LoveEnchanted IvyIceOut of the Wild, and Into the Wild. Her first book for adults, The Lost, came out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira, and her next book for teens, Chasing Power, comes out in October 2014 from Bloomsbury. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

    Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and two children.


    The Giveaway

    A hardcover copy of CHASING POWER to ONE WINNER

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway is international to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Giveaway ends October 21 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner as 72 hours to respond or another winner will be selected

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    RYAR Review: CHASING POWER by Sarah Beth Durst

    Previously published on


    CHASING POWER by Sarah Beth Durst
    Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on October 14, 2014
    Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
    Provided by: Author, NetGalley
    Rating: 4 stars


    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.


    Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind—things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers—and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

    When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel—a boy with the ability to teleport—he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.


    Sarah Beth Durst’s CHASING POWER is a fun, exciting and fast-paced read. It takes readers and its characters on a wonderful adventure across the country and the globe in pursuit of hidden artifacts. It delivers danger, thrills, magic and a bit of romance in its action-packed pages. It has characters who are likable, interesting and quirky, others who are untrustworthy and mysterious, and still others who are detestable and deadly. It’s a story that will keep readers entertained from start to finish.

    Kayla and her mom have been on the run since she was a young child, living in fear, ready to leave at a moment’s notice, hiding from a father she hardly remembers, but whose very existence is a threat to her own. In order to remain undetected she must stay under the radar, avoid attention, and keep her ability a secret.

    But resisting the urge to use her powers to take what she and her mom need in order to stay safe is not something Kayla is capable of. Which is why, no matter how careful she thinks she’s been, she is caught using her telekinetic abilities to steal by a boy who threatens to expose her unless she helps him.

    Kayla and Daniel’s journey is exhilarating and danger-filled. From cave-ins to poisonous snakes to voodoo queens to power hungry pursuers, CHASING POWER doesn’t let up. With a clever best friend who assists from afar, a panicked mother whose spells not only protect but prevent, an unusually helpful voodoo queen whose motives are unknown, and a boy desperate to find his mother no matter how great a risk, there is no shortage of fascinating characters to keep Kayla on her toes.

    Add in a mystery, a number of twists and turns, and an ending that delivers a couple of surprises, CHASING POWER is a captivating and delightful story with a female protagonist who is spunky and clever and caring and adventurous that will appeal to readers of any age.



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