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    ROOK Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


    I am super excited to be a part of the ROOK Blog Tour and to have been able to read this ahhhh-mazing book just a little bit early. I have not read The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I understand this story is somewhat a retelling of, but having read that book’s description I know I would have loved this story more.

    It is epic and awesome and suspenseful – I’m talking of the nail-biting variety – and nerve-wracking and chilling and romantic and heartbreaking and sad and full of all sorts of twists and turns. And if you’d like to know a little bit more about what I thought, my review is below.

    The tour includes a few guest posts, interviews and reviews. So if you want to get to know the author and story a bit more, be sure to check out all the stops.

    This tour also includes an awesome giveaway for a copy of the book to five winners. So if you’d like a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter.

    And if you want to connect with the author online, links to her website and social media outlets are below.

    About ROOK


    Add to Goodreads

    Title: ROOK
    Author: Sharon Cameron
    Release date: April 28, 2015
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Pages: 464
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook


    History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

    Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

    As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.


    The Trailer

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

    The Review

    ROOK is an epic and thrilling and absolutely riveting, action- and suspense-filled story packed with hidden agendas, twists and turns, chilling punishments, lethal foes, romance, betrayal and heartbreak. It’s a story that takes readers into a future that is reminiscent of the past, with ruthless and bloodthirsty rulers, where madness, slaughter, mobs and treachery abound, and where rebellion is the only way to effect change.

    With everything that’s been happening in the Sunken City – the mass executions, the mobs, families and friends turning on one another – Sophia Bellamy can hardly be bothered by the fact that she will have to marry René Hasard, a boy she’s never met, in order to save her family’s land and her father from debtor’s prison. Especially when she’s the one freeing as many of those imprisoned in the Tombs as she can before they have to face the Razor.

    But when the boy she’s to become wed to turns out to be more than just the shallow, simplistic socialite she first thought him to be, she’ll have to make sure to cover her tracks, guard her secrets, keep an eye on him, and find out what his motivations are. Because if he were ever to discover what she’s done, what part her family and friends have played, and who she really is, she would be the next one to face the Ministre of Security’s justice. And those who need a savior cannot afford to lose the Red Rook.

    Author Sharon Cameron has created a story, that while loosely based on another, feels very much an original. It is interesting, exciting and full of the unexpected. It introduces a wide array of characters to like, despise, mistrust, be charmed by, be fearful of, be heartbroken by. It is set in a distant future where little is known about the past, where many are fearful of technology and the harm it may have caused, where artifacts are revered or destroyed, where fate serves as a guide to some, and where many of history’s mistakes seem to be repeating themselves.

    Told from multiple points of view, the author gives peeks at what’s happening with several key characters – sometimes just teasing their thoughts and actions, plans and schemes, building tension and suspense. She gives readers a heroine in Sophia Bellamy who is fierce, loyal, daring, and at times reckless. Sophie is someone who defies convention, who craves excitement, and who has a need to do what’s right, even if it’s dangerous. And she puts her in a number of volatile situations that could either destroy her and everyone she loves or turn her into a leader and savior.

    ROOK is a nerve-wracking and nail-biting and gripping read. It pays homage to the past while envisioning a new and fascinating, if somewhat scary, future. It is imaginative and captivating and dramatic and enthralling. It delivers a touch of romance, along with plenty of action and deception and heartache. It is a must for readers who love to be transported into a story that grabs hold and won’t let go until the very last page.

    The Rating


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

    About Sharon Cameron


    Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.


    The Giveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

    • FIVE (5) winners will receive a finished copy of ROOK courtesy of Scholastic – US ONLY

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Apr. 20th – Xpresso Reads – Interview

    Apr. 21st – The Starry-Eyed Revue – Review

    Apr. 22nd – The Eater of Books – Guest Post

    Apr. 23rd – Mundie Moms – Spotlight

    Apr. 24th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

    Week Two

    Apr. 27th – Fiktshun – Review

    Apr. 28th – Bookish – Guest Post

    Apr. 29th – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review

    Apr. 30th – Chapter by Chapter – Interview

    May 1st – Winterhaven Books – Review



    VENDETTA Dark Valentine’s Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

    Vendetta Banner

    I have an amazing guest post from Author Catherine Doyle to share for my stop on the VENDETTA Dark Valentine’s Blog Tour in which she talks about creating the criminal underworld in VENDETTA. It will make wish you had the book to read right this minute. Fortunately its release date is not too far away – it releases on the 24th – so the wait won’t be too long.

    If you like your stories dark, danger-filled and romantic, then this is definitely a series to check out.

    The tour runs through VENDETTA’s release day and if you’d like to follow along, check out the schedule at the bottom of this post or by clicking the banner above. You can also follow along on social media via the #bloodforblood hashtag.

    There is also an amazing giveaway going on for US residents. Scroll down to the Rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win.

    But first, here’s some information about the book…

    About VENDETTA

    Vendetta cover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: VENDETTA (Blood for Blood #1)
    Author: Catherine Doyle
    Release date: February 24, 2015
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook


    Think Romeo and Juliet meets The Godfather. Oh yeah. #bloodforblood #Vendetta

    Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

    For Sophie, it starts as just another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill. Then a new family moves into the long-abandoned mansion across the street: the Falcone family, with its five mysterious brothers. Unable to resist bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him–and into his world. But just as the dark secrets of the Falcones begin to come to light, the skeletons of her own family, the Gracewells, rise to the surface, too. And soon Sophie is torn between the desires of two warring dynasties: the one she was born into and the one she’s now in love with. But she’ll have to choose between passion and honor. And when she does, blood will spill and hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, loyalty can mean the difference between life and death.



    Even Victoria Scott said this about it: “Fan-freaking-tastic…I honestly can’t say enough good things about it! I would read anything Cat Doyle writes after flying through Vendetta!!”

    Check Out the Video

    The Guest Post

    Creating the Criminal Underworld in VENDETTA

    When I first had the idea for Vendetta it was a simple one. I was trying to fall asleep when an image popped into my head. It was of five boys doused in shadow, standing side-by-side in front of an old, crumbling house. I knew who I wanted them to be, and the kind of story I wanted to write. I wanted to explore the criminal underworld. I wanted to drop them in a land of blood feuds and revenge, and just for good measure, I wanted to throw in an unassuming teenage girl with bucket-loads of sass and sarcasm too. Almost straight away, I had my characters; now I needed my underworld.

    My mother is from Chicago, and she used to take me home to visit it when I was growing up. I have always had a great fondness for the city, and being a long-time enthusiast of crime movies and documentaries, I knew something of its history with organized crime too. The Chicago Outfit is a syndicate that dates back to the 1910s and began a period of crime marked by illegal distribution of banned substances as well as gang wars and family rivalries. The city was also famously home to Al Capone, one of the most notorious American mafia figures in history, and someone who has maintained a high level of popularity in fiction and on the big screen thanks to movies like The Untouchables. I did my research – I watched countless movies (not such a chore, if I’m honest) and documentaries. I read articles on the history of Chicago, of the mob, of the hierarchies in organized crime families, and finally, finally, I was sure about my setting: Chicago. I just had to build Sophie’s insular world, which was, unbeknownst to her, sitting right smack in the middle of an underworld.

    Vendetta takes place in Cedar Hill, a sleepy town perched on the edge of Chicago, where long hot summers seem to stretch into eternity, and there is nothing for the local teenagers to do. Yet everything is not quite what it seems. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that just beneath the surface of Cedar Hill, there is another crueler world in flux. Mysterious people are arriving, old grudges are rising to the surface, and that means the careful façade of Sophie’s stagnant little town is starting to crumble.

    The boys are the first clue that something dark is coming to Cedar Hill, or perhaps that it was always there, bubbling beneath the surface, hiding in plain sight. They arrive in the middle of the night, and when they emerge, they are nebulous, with inky black hair and dark eyes. We see hints of the criminal underworld in Luca, Valentino, Dominico, Giorgino and Nicoli, in their background, in how they speak to one another, in what they wear and carry with them everyday. They hail from a very different place – they have the kind of bloodline that stretches far beyond somewhere as ordinary as Sophie’s little town and she knows that. They’re after something.

    Other clues crop up as Sophie spends more time in the company of the brothers. Cars with blacked out windows, dramatic artwork and a suspect family crest hints at their sinister upbringing, while misplaced weapons, bruised hands, explosive arguments and uncovered newspaper articles reveal the danger about where they come from.

    Slowly, like a snake uncoiling, the criminal underworld emerges. By the time Sophie is surrounded by the darkness, it’s too late. Masks come off and she is faced with members of an old and feared Sicilian underworld. A senior member of the hierarchy informs her that Nic, her love interest, has been her Hades, and now that she has fallen into his underworld, she will find it difficult to escape. High stakes, powerful weapons and warehouse warfare ensues as she desperately tries to claw her way back to her old life. If she can, that is. Because in the criminal underworld, the way is dark, but there is no going back.

    About Catherine Doyle

    Catherine Doyle 2

    Catherine Doyle lives in the west of Ireland. She holds a bachelor’s degrees in psychology and a master’s degree in English from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Vendetta is her first novel.


    The Giveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

    Enter to win one of ten copies of VENDETTA – US residents only

    • You must be 14 years or older to enter
    • Prizes are provided by Scholastic

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Tour Schedule

    Feb. 14th – Two Chicks on Books – Author Interview

    Feb. 15th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

    Feb. 16th – Novel Novice – Review

    Feb. 17th – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post

    Feb. 18th – Fangirlish – Excerpt

    Feb. 19th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Favorite Quotes

    Feb. 20th – Lost In Ever After – Author Interview

    Feb. 21st – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review

    Feb. 22nd – Page Turners Blog – Review

    Feb. 23rd – YA on My Mind – Guest Post

    Feb. 24th – Mundie Moms – Review


    Review: FIRE & FLOOD

    Fire & Flood


    FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott will be released in the U.S. on February 25, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Scholastic Press, the print edition is 320 pages.

    FIRE & FLOOD is the first book in a new series by Author Victoria Scott.

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



    A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother’s life—and her own.

    Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she’s helpless to change anything.

    Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

    The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?



    Victoria Scott’s FIRE & FLOOD is a wonderfully addictive and immensely entertaining first book in a series of the same name. It offers a unique twist on a theme that is hugely popular, making for a story that is both instantly appealing and incredibly exciting.

    The author invites readers into a world filled with deadly threats, unknown enemies and hidden agendas. She builds tension, nail-biting suspense and excitement in this action-packed adventure with a ticking clock, a mystery, uncertain and uneasy alliances and an environment that at times proves to be the biggest challenge of all.

    When Tella Holloway is given the opportunity to save her brother, even if it means putting herself at risk, she leaps at the chance. Being isolated, in the wilderness that is her new home, and powerless to do anything but watch him get sicker, she is more than ready to throw caution to the wind and do whatever she can to help him get better.

    Even if it means following the instructions of the recorded voice on a device her parents clearly didn’t want her to listen to. Even if it means running away from home in the dead of night to meet their deadline. Even if it means entering a competition where everyone is hoping to win the same prize.

    Even if there can be only one winner.

    FIRE & FLOOD invites readers to follow along as Tella enters the competition known as the Brimstone Bleed. A competition that pits Contenders against one another for the smallest chance to save someone they love. A race that challenges them to not only survive the threats from each other, but from the elements and natural predators in each ecosystem they are made to endure. A contest that forces them to put their trust in others who may not be the allies they appear to be.

    A game that puts each participant’s willingness to do whatever it takes to the test again and again for a reason that is undisclosed. Put together by individuals who are unidentified. For a virtually unattainable prize whose effectiveness is unproven.

    Danger, thrills, adventure, secrets, heartbreak and loss, shocks and surprises await readers in this riveting first installment in a series that promises more of the same. It introduces a main character who is compassionate, caring and loyal, albeit a bit naïve, but who has moments of fearlessness and strength, and who continues to grow throughout the story. It delivers an intriguing male protagonist whose agenda and motives are a mystery. And it delights with the enormously likable Pandoras.

    Captivating from beginning to end, FIRE & FLOOD is an utterly enchanting and unputdownable must read.

    Reviewer gives this book…


    On a personal note…

    I heard the buzz about FIRE & FLOOD long before I received a copy for review. I love the author’s writing so I knew that I’d end up reading this first book in her new series, but I wasn’t chomping at the bit to get a copy as I always try to steer clear of hyped books until the frenzy dies down.

    But after I read the description I just knew I’d want to check this out early. Even with all the hype. Because I was curious to see how this particular author would deal with this type of story – a deadly contest, an incredible prize, contenders potentially battling it out to be the winner of said prize.

    It’s a story that’s been done before and is kind of hot right now. So I was curious to see whether or not FIRE & FLOOD would come close to being as good as the story I compare all of these to – King’s The Long Walk.  I wondered if it would feel redundant or unoriginal or boring. I wanted to know if I would be captivated by it in spite of its similar theme.

    And I fell in love with this story and its characters. It was a contest, there were tremendous risks, the Contenders did have to face deadly threats, they were forced to make decisions that put their lives and others’ lives on the line. But the way the author told the story, the main character she created to bring it to life, the elements she added that were all her own made this story riveting, exciting, memorable.

    I probably should have guessed that I’d like this story solely based upon the name of the contest – the Brimstone Bleed. I think it’s one of the coolest titles ever. But I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like Tella, so I reserved judgment.

    Tella wasn’t instantly likable. I don’t think the author meant for her to be. But over the course of the story some of the characteristics that made her likable began to shine through. And as the story progressed she grew as a character. By the story’s end I utterly adored her and am fully prepared to root for her in the sequel.

    Before that connection, there was all sorts of stuff to keep me engaged – the mystery behind this contest, Tella’s fellow Contenders, the Pandoras, Guy Chambers. I fell in love with the Pandoras immediately, maybe even before I started to like Guy.

    I would love to talk about what I found to be the most fascinating about this story, but as that is very much a spoiler, I can’t. Nor can I talk about what made it quite original – the Pandoras. And there’s no way I could talk about who made it swoon-worthy – Guy.

    And while I was left with one question at the end of FIRE & FLOOD that I had hoped would get answered in that first book – I couldn’t figure out what drew Guy to Tella in the first place – reading a short scene from his POV that was outside of the story explained it perfectly.

    FIRE & FLOOD is a super quick and totally addictive read – I devoured it in just a few short hours and immediately wanted the next book in the series to dive into. It’s incredibly exciting, with moments that are absolutely heartbreaking and those that are heart-stopping. It kept my interest from beginning to end and left me desperately wanting to remain in this world with these characters. To me that’s a win.

    Favorite passage…

    Choosing just one – and a semi-non-spoiler-y one at that – was so hard. Of course most of my favorite passages involve Guy Chambers. Though a few involve a certain Pandora.

    And while the one I am revealing is a bit… revealing… I didn’t include the entire passage.

    My eyes find his, but he’s not looking at my eyes. He’s looking at my mouth. Before I can protest, he raises a hand and runs his thumb over my lips. I close my eyes and shiver beneath his touch. I feel him shift beside me, and then his warm palms wrap around my face. I pull in a breath.

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


    FIRE & FLOOD Blog Tour: ‘Top Ten’ Guest Post + Giveaway


    I am so excited to be on the blog tour for FIRE & FLOOD and to be able to help spread the word about this amazing book. So. Freaking. Excited. And I’m just as excited to be able to share this post from Author Victoria Scott on the Top Ten Things Every Brimstone Bleed Contender Should Have.

    Emphasis on the should.

    Because sadly not all contenders have all (or even one) of these ten handy items. And I’m not entirely sure anyone has item #8. I suppose I’ll have to ask the author about why that is. Everyone should have those. Always.

    Anyway… I’m not going to spoil what the ten items are that the contenders should have. You can read about all of that below. And I won’t spoil what happens to Tella – what happens on the Brimstone Bleed stays on the Brimstone Bleed.

    I won’t reveal more about the Pandoras – how awesome they are, how much I adore them. I won’t talk about the very swoon-worthy boy – step aside Dante Walker there’s a new, fierce, and infinitely hotter boy your creator has introduced. I won’t give away any hints about the different ecosystems – certainly not about how deadly they are. I refuse to reveal who seems trustworthy – or if anyone does….

    And I absolutely will not discuss what I think is going on behind the scenes of the Brimstone Bleed. Not that I know anything about THAT… Well, not exactly….

    FIRE & FLOOD releases next week – less than a week to go, oh my gosh! – so the wait is finally almost over. But if you can’t wait until then to get more F&F goodness, be sure to check out all the other stops on this tour. And especially the stop in which a scene from Guy’s POV is revealed. It explains so much. SO MUCH!

    And if you’re in the US and you’d like to try and win a copy, scroll down to the Rafflecopter form toward the bottom of this post and enter for a chance. There are TEN copies up for grabs.

    But now, after that way-too-long introductory ramble, let me turn the blog over to Victoria Scott so she can share the list of Brimstone Bleed should haves. Take note. Because you never know if you’ll be forced to be selected as a Contender.


    Top Ten Things Every Brimstone Bleed Contender Should Have

    by Victoria Scott


    A Pandora – This bugger will keep you alive, so be sure and choose your egg carefully at the Pandora Selection Process.


    Boots – Trekking. Get used to that word because you’ll be doing a lot of it. Jungle, mountains, desert, ocean—regardless of what ecosystem you’re in, you need footwear.


    Good underwear – Other Contenders are going to see you in your skivvies. Make an impression.


    Toothpaste – Your meals will now consist of smoked snake and the occasional beetle. Better come packing to wash that flavor out of your mouth.


    A knife – Hopefully your Pandora will render this tool useless, but you never know.


    Tissues – There might come a time when you hear from your loved one back home, who you are trying to save. Prepare for waterworks.


    A Lie Detector Test – Contenders may not claim to be who they say they are. Better safe than sorry.


    M&Ms – Not sure why on this one. It just sounds like something that might be pleasant when you’re at your wits end.


    A Canteen – Water is your friend in this race. Trust me; you don’t want to rely on others for it.


    Your game face – Because really, this is the Brimstone Bleed.


    About Fire & Flood

    Fire & Flood



    A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother’s life—and her own.

    Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she’s helpless to change anything.

    Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

    The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

    Series: Fire & Flood #1
    Publication date: February 25, 2014
    Publisher: Scholastic Press
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook



    About Victoria Scott


    Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

    Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.



    The Giveaway

    This tour includes an awesome giveaway for 10 finished copies of FIRE & FLOOD – US only.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Feb. 17 – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

    Feb. 17 – Curling Up With A Good Book – Review

    Feb. 18 – No BS Book Reviews – Review

    Feb. 19 – Fiktshun – Guest Post

    Feb. 19 – Ketch’s Book Nook – Review

    Feb. 20 – Step Into Fiction – Review

    Feb. 21 – Bewitched Bookworms – Interview

    Feb. 21 – Seeing Night Reviews – Review

    Week Two

    Feb. 24 – Bookish – Interview

    Feb. 24 – Nerdophiles – Spotlight

    Feb. 25 – The Book Cellar – Review

    Feb. 26 – The Irish Banana Review – Review

    Feb. 26 – Cuddlebuggery – Guest Post

    Feb. 27 – Obsession with Books – Review

    Feb. 28 – Mundie Moms – Interview + Review

    Feb. 28 – Icey Books – Review



    Book Watch: Fire & Flood


    Fire & Flood


    FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott will be released in the U.S. on February 25, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Scholastic Press, the print edition is 320 pages.

    FIRE & FLOOD is the first book in Author Victoria Scott’s new series of the same name. The second book in the series is currently untitled.


    There are a ton of amazing books releasing the week of February 25th, so many of which I’m dying to get on my reading pile. But the book I have read, fell madly in love with, and am most anxiously awaiting the release of, is FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott.

    Ever since I read this book’s description I was dying to get the chance to read it. I love the author’s Dante Walker series and when I heard about this new series I couldn’t wait to see what else the author had to offer. And it was awesome. So awesome that the wait for book two is already killing me.

    While races, or contests, in which a significant prize is the reward and survival isn’t a guarantee isn’t a new idea, this story was intriguing and incredibly exciting with certain elements that made it unique. And the fact that the event has probably one of the coolest names ever – the Brimstone Bleed – is a major win.

    As I don’t want to venture too far beyond what’s revealed in the description in this spotlight post, I will just say that it is an epic race and that it is exciting and suspenseful and there is a swoon-worthy boy and that Tella is pretty awesome.

    Oh and I just have to add that I love the fact that the author didn’t pretty things up. The contestants were sweaty and dirty and banged up. At no time did I feel she went easy on them for the sake of making the visual more appealing.

    And while the description is a bit slim on the details of what transpires, it is so much better to read it unaware, to let the story’s secrets come to light during the read and to find out just who all the players are as you meet them rather than before.

    I’m just so glad that FIRE & FLOOD is releasing in just a couple of weeks. While I have read it I definitely plan on reading it again. And once it has released it will mean that release day for untitled book two is that much closer.

    So… while I’m very excited for the release of all six of the titles I listed below, along with a few of the other books releasing the week of the 25th, I am most excited for FIRE & FLOOD‘s release. I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks about Tella, about her allies, about whether she stands a chance at winning. And I really can’t wait to see what everyone thinks about that ending.

    As this recent read is one I can’t seem to stop thinking about, there was no question that it would be the book to watch this week.

    What about you?

    With so many amazing books releasing the week of February 25th, is FIRE & FLOOD a book you’d put in the spotlight above all others? Have you already discovered just how epic a read it is? Or are you just anticipating its epicness?

    And is FIRE & FLOOD an instant favorite because you love the author’s writing in her Dante Walker series? Or do you love it solely based upon what’s touched upon in the description?

    Or… do you love it purely because of the very awesome name of the race? Not that there is absolutely anything wrong with that.


    Places to Watch

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on FACEBOOK

    The author’s WEBSITE

    The author’s BLOG

    The author on INSTAGRAM

    The author on PINTEREST

    The author on YOUTUBE

    The author on GOODREADS


    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother’s life—and her own.

    Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she’s helpless to change anything.

    Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

    The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?


    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are just six of the other awesome books releasing the week of February 25th:

    THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1) by Michelle Madow

    WHITE HOT KISS (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    GRIM by Christine Johnson, Kimberly Derting et al

    FAKING NORMAL by Courtney C. Stevens

    BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg

    THE SUMMER I FOUND YOU by Jolene Perry


    Manor of Secrets Blog Tour: ‘Top 5 Favorite Scenes’ Guest Post + Giveaway


    I am so thrilled to be able to welcome Author Katherine Longshore to the blog to share a few of her favorite scenes from MANOR OF SECRETS and to be able to kick off the MANOR OF SECRETS Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.

    I know exactly how the author feels when it comes to choosing favorites. If I was tasked with choosing only five, not only would there be at least ten favorites listed, but they’d likely change each day.

    And if I had to choose my favorite of the five scenes she chose… well… I couldn’t do it.

    While I, of course, love the scene that’s rather swoon-y, I can’t help but adore the ones that are telling about both Janie and Charlotte’s personalities. So there’s just no way I could single one out as a top favorite. Can you?

    Anyway… MANOR OF SECRETS releases on Tuesday – that’s just one day away – so if you haven’t had the chance to read it early you’ll be able to grab a copy. And if you’re in the U.S. and you’d like the chance to win a signed copy, be sure to enter in the giveaway that’s included with this tour.

    If you’d like to know more about the book and author, their information is included just a bit further below. But first let me turn the blog over to the author so you can check out the five scenes she has chosen to share and hear just why they’re scenes she enjoyed writing.

    If you’re anything like me you won’t be able to choose a favorite.


    The Guest Post

    Katherine Longshore’s Top 5 Favorite Scenes

    It’s so difficult for me to pick and choose a “favorite” anything. My lists of favorite movies and books changes daily, my favorite foods depend on cravings, and even my chocolate preferences are inconstant (though I generally feel the darker the better). So asking me my favorite scenes in one of my own books seems a choice of Herculean effort.

    That said, here are some scenes from MANOR OF SECRETS that I had the most fun writing—in fact, the characters pretty much wrote themselves.


    Scene #1

    In this early scene, Charlotte and her friend Fran have found Janie, the kitchen maid, wading in the lake—when she’s supposed to be working—and Janie rushes off to avoid getting fired.


    “Why don’t we do that?” Charlotte asked without thinking.


    “Take our stockings off. Wade in the lake.”

    Fran laughed. “You do have a fanciful imagination, Charlotte.”

    Charlotte hesitated. “It looked . . . nice.”

    “It’s mucky. And full of crawly things.”

    Charlotte tried to smile. “Now who has the fanciful imagination?”

    But something about the look on the kitchen maid’s face when she dipped her feet in the water wouldn’t leave her be. The possibility of adventure. Of relief. No matter how small.

    “I think I’ll brave the crawly things,” Charlotte said, surprising herself.

    Fran narrowed her eyes. “You are not a kitchen maid, Charlotte Edmonds.”

    “You’re right,” Charlotte said, her conviction growing stronger. “I’m not. I don’t have a job I need to do.”

    “Oh, yes, you do. Your job is to be hostess. To be at your mother’s side. You may not be making the finger sandwiches and pots of tea, but you have a job to do, just like she does.”

    Charlotte hesitated. But only for an instant. Then she turned and walked down to the water.

    “I can’t lose mine,” she called. Even if I wanted to.


    Scene #2

    For Janie, the most important thing in her world is keeping her job, and the only home she’s ever known. Something her new feelings for Harry, the hall boy, could put in jeopardy. But Harry knows how tenuous life for a servant is at The Manor.


    “This house wouldn’t run without you, Harry Peasgood.”

    Harry hefted a bucket of water onto the table. “I have no illusions of my importance here, Janie. Look at this.” He stuck his hand into the water and then looked up at her. “See my hand?”

    “Of course, I do. It’s in my clean water.”

    Harry didn’t laugh. He watched her as he drew his hand out of the bucket, making sure she saw what he was doing. “See that water? Think it notices my absence? Well, neither will anyone here.”

    It was true the downstairs staff at The Manor changed regularly. Laundresses, kitchen maids, gardeners’ boys. They were invisible. Didn’t even have names — if Lady Charlotte wanted to call Janie Jenny, she’d be Jenny.

    But Harry had been there for years. He’d opened the tradesman’s door to her when she’d arrived — half-starved and silent — returning to a birthplace she’d never seen and a mother she didn’t know. He was one of the reasons The Manor felt like home.

    “I would notice,” Janie blurted.

    Harry grinned. “Only because I wouldn’t be around to make your tea in the morning.”


    Scene #3

    This is one of the top contenders for my favorite scene in the whole book—it gives Charlotte a glimpse of the camaraderie downstairs and the reader insight into each of the characters. The kitchen has received some imported hot chilies, Charlotte has been dared—with the others—to taste one.


    All of them were staring at her. As the person with most precedence, she should eat first. Or perhaps, this was what it felt like to be dared to do something. Charlotte looked down at the pepper in her fingers. The skin was almost waxy, the interior a lighter color, moist and threaded with little creases, speckled by tiny seeds.

    She thought of what Janie had said, that the pepper set the tongue on fire. Her courage left her and she stared helplessly at the kitchen maid, hoping for reprieve.

    “‘Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’” Janie said and dropped the piece of pepper onto her tongue. Janie’s eyes watered, but she raised an eyebrow at Charlotte. A challenge.

    Lawrence laughed and followed suit and Harry close after.

    “Water,” Harry gasped and turned to the sink behind him, placing his entire mouth under the spigot. Janie laughed, her cheeks red and the tears streaming freely down her face.

    Lawrence hiccupped, his lips pressed tightly together, his eyes squeezed shut. He hiccupped again.

    Charlotte knew she’d never be accepted unless she tried this. She’d never be an adventurer — or even a writer — if she didn’t do things that frightened her. She had to prove her mettle if she ever wanted to ask Janie for help.

    Charlotte put the piece of pepper in her mouth and chewed until it seemed the very sun of India burned bright upon her tongue.

    Janie handed her a glass of milk and raised one of her own in a silent toast.

    Charlotte smiled through the fire. “The game’s afoot,” she said.

    She had passed the test.


    Scene #4

    Charlotte continues to visit the servants downstairs—appreciating what she perceives as their freedom. Until one night, the footman, Lawrence, invites her to dance.


    When Lawrence stepped closer, Charlotte expected something extraordinary to happen. She expected thunder to sound. Or her mother to enter the room and scream the house down.

    But all she felt was Lawrence’s confidence — his fingers gentle, but slightly rough at the edges, and the strength of his grasp.

    When she felt his other hand on her waist, she was suddenly — painfully — aware that she hadn’t tightened her corset. That her skirt was merely pinned closed. That she could feel her clothes moving against her skin. She’d danced with boys before, of course. Under the watchful eye of her mother and the entire aristocratic circle of Kent and Sussex. She’d danced with her brothers and the local landowners and her father. She’d danced with Andrew Broadhurst.

    But Andrew held her hand lightly, his fingers barely touching her waist as he methodically led her through the dance.

    Lawrence held her hand firmly, his touch on her lower back sure and present, his fingers pressing her skin through the thin linen of her traveling jacket every time he steered her in another direction. Lawrence danced like he felt the music. He held her like he was sure she wouldn’t break.

    He waltzed her around the table as if they were in an uncrowded ballroom, each turn bringing her another glimpse of the stove, the window, the sink, Janie. She had to move exactly as he wanted, follow his rhythm, his guidance.

    This wasn’t a showy dance with quick turns. It didn’t cover a lot of ground. It wasn’t one where the girl could draw attention to the drape of her skirts or traverse an entire ballroom. It was intimate. Close.



    Scene #5

    Meanwhile, Janie is getting a taste of what it’s like to know her own mind, and a desire not to be treated as a second-class citizen…


    Miss Caldwell stalked into the kitchen.

    “You could show a little deference,” Miss Caldwell said. “Or don’t you think the rules apply to you?”

    “I try my best, Miss Caldwell.” Janie laced her words with submissiveness but seethed inside.

    “Well, you’ll have to try better than that,” Miss Caldwell hissed, looking ready to strike. “A good servant turns away from her betters when seeing them in the hall. A good servant is invisible. She doesn’t wear filthy kitchen clothes upstairs.”

    Miss Caldwell flicked a hand toward Janie’s limp cap and stained apron.

    “A good servant knows her place. She knows what’s wanted before anyone else. You should have had chocolate. Just in case.”

    Janie stared at her silently.

    “A good servant . . .” Miss Caldwell was right up in Janie’s face. “. . . does not raise her eyes to her mistress.”

    Janie knew she should look down at her feet. At her hands clasped before her. She knew she should bow her head.

    But she didn’t. Instead she looked Miss Caldwell directly in the eye.

    “You are not my mistress.”


    About Manor of Secrets

    Manor of Secrets



    The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

    Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

    Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn’t sure she possesses the courage — or the means — to break free and follow her passions.

    Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

    Publication date: January 28, 2014
    Pages: 320
    Publisher: Point
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook



    About Katherine Longshore

    Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever.

    Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.



    The Giveaway

    The tour includes a seriously amazing giveaway for,,,

    FIVE (5) SIGNED copies of MANOR OF SECRETS – US Only.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Jan. 27th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

    Jan. 28th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

    Jan. 29th – Good Books and Good Wine – Review

    Jan. 30th – Hobbitsies – Review

    Jan. 31st – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Interview

    Week Two

    Feb. 3rd – A Glass of Wine – Guest Post

    Feb. 4th – Mundie Moms – Interview & Review

    Feb. 5th – Read My Breath Away – Guest Post

    Feb. 6th – Page Turners – Review

    Feb. 7th – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Guest Post




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