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    Review: DANGEROUS LIES

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    Title: DANGEROUS LIES
    Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
    Release date: November 10, 2015
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

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    Description…

    A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

    Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

    After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

    But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

    As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

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


    The Review

    Becca Fitzpatrick has delivered yet another chilling and suspenseful thriller with DANGEROUS LIES. Her story will keep you on pins and needles as you follow Stella Gordon, formerly Estella Goodwinn, into witness protection as she awaits the chance to testify against her mother’s boyfriend, the head of a powerful drug cartel. Secrets, lies, and unexpected twists will keep the pages turning and the nail-biting build-up to the shocking conclusion will ensure you remain riveted until the very end.

    Estella Goodwinn’s testimony is the only thing that will keep Danny Balando behind bars. But as the leader of one of the biggest drug cartels on the East Coast, he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that he won’t be locked up for the rest of his life. Estella’s only hope of staying alive is to erase her identity, leave everyone she knows behind, disappear into witness protection, and become Stella Gordon.

    Walking away from her name, her home, her friends, her boyfriend, and her entire way of life is bad enough. But having to live in a go-nowhere town in Nebraska called Thunder Basin, under the guardianship of a woman who insists on imposing rules and curfews, and having to lie to everyone she meets, is not something Estella is sure she’ll be able to handle. Even if it’s only for the summer.

    And with one boy hell-bent on digging into her past and making her life miserable, and another whose charm, good looks, and friendship are making her miserable for very different reasons altogether, she’s not sure how long she’ll be able to keep her secrets or stick to her lies. With everything that’s happened, she is certain that no matter how much she tries to remain hidden, trouble is going to find her.

    DANGEROUS LIES is the author’s second foray into this genre and she has proven once again that she knows how to keep readers on edge, make them anxious for what might happen, surprise them, keep them guessing, and make them so invested in the outcome that they won’t be able to put the story down. With a heroine whose life and safety are constantly at risk, whose secrets are forever on the verge of being revealed, whose actions put her in danger, whose lies put her in even graver danger, and whose feelings put her heart on the line, Becca Fitzpatrick has created a gripping, nerve-wracking, exciting, and unpredictable story.

    Murder, mystery, romance, deception, betrayal, distrust, DANGEROUS LIES has it all. It is captivating. It is electrifying. The characters evoke strong emotion. The reveals elicit even stronger reactions and feelings. It is a positively delicious, spine-tingling read that can easily be read in one sitting.

    The Rating

    05


    About Becca Fitzpatrick

    BeccaFitzpatrick

    Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga, including Hush, Hush; Crescendo; Silence; and Finale all debuted as New York Times best-sellers. She graduated with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she’s most likely running, prowling sales racks for shoes, or traveling. She lives in Colorado with her family.

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    In Bookish News: THE SHAW CONFESSIONS by Michelle Hodkin

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    In case you missed it…

    Early this week, in Entertainment Weekly, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers announced that they’ll be publishing The Shaw Confessions, a spin-off of Michelle Hodkin’s bestselling Mara Dyer Trilogy. How awesome is that?

    AND… in case you didn’t guess from the title, it’s going to be told from Noah Shaw’s POV. Woot, woot!

    Be sure to check out the article on the EW site, linked above for all the details. And here’s some news from the publisher.

    From the publisher…

    The Mara Dyer Trilogy was a New York TimesUSA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling series. It was described as “haunting and dreamlike” by Cassandra Clare and “darkly funny, deliciously creepy, and genuinely thoughtful” by Veronica Roth. Lev Grossman called the author “One of the greatest talents in Young Adult fiction.” The novels were praised by Romantic Times, MTV’s Hollywood Crush, and the Los Angeles Times, and books from the series appeared on several state reading lists. Additionally, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, the third book in the trilogy, was selected as one of TIME.com’s Top 10 YA Books of 2014. The entire trilogy is now available in paperback, and as a boxed set.

    What happens after happily ever after? By the end of the Mara Dyer trilogy, Noah Shaw and Mara Dyer discovered their world-changing abilities along with their love for each other. In the first book of The Shaw Confessions, Noah’s father is murdered, and Noah inherits unimaginable riches, terrible knowledge, and the chance to find other people like himself. But as Noah and Mara begin their global search, they’ll discover that they have very different goals: Noah wants peace. Mara wants power. When the girl of your dreams turns the world into a nightmare, what do you choose? The girl or the world?

    “Like many fans of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, I fell in love with Noah Shaw the moment he was introduced in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer,” says Christian Trimmer, executive editor, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. “Michelle tantalized readers with a few chapters in his voice inThe Retribution of Mara Dyer, and I couldn’t be more excited that she is now giving him his own series.” The first book in The Shaw Confessions is scheduled to release in Summer 2017.

    “When I wrote the first words of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I knew that I was writing an antiheroine’s origin story,” says Michelle Hodkin. “What I didn’t know was how many readers would ask for the adventures of that antiheroine and her hero: both powerful, both in love, and almost certain to destroy each other. I always wanted to tell the story of the choices the characters would make and the risks they would take after they discovered who and what they really were, and I’m thrilled to finally have that chance. Readers may think they know Noah Shaw, but there’s so much more to tell.”

    Christian Trimmer, who will edit all three books, acquired world rights to the three books from Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

    Michelle Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan. She is the author of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, which includes The Unbecoming of Mara DyerThe Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer. Visit her online at MichelleHodkin.com.

    ABOUT SIMON & SCHUSTER CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING

    Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, the Dork Diaries series, the Mortal Instruments series, Mike the Knight, and the original Cupcake Diaries and Creepover series. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website atwww.simonandschuster.com.

    Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com

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    Review: RESONANCE

    Resonance

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    Title & Series: RESONANCE (Dissonance #2)
    Author: Erica O’Rourke
    Release date: July 21, 2015
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 448
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an Excerpt

    Description…

    As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance.

    Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him.

    She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon.

    In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice…

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    NOTE: This review is based on a finished copy received from the publicity agency in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Review

    RESONANCE is the absolutely riveting, action-packed, nail-biting, and thought-provoking sequel in Erica O’Rourke’s stunning and inventive Dissonance series. It picks up shortly after the heartbreaking events that left readers anxious but hopeful for what is to come and takes them on an exhilarating and thrilling and emotional ride.

    Reeling from what Simon did to keep her safe and the discoveries she made about her Grandpa Monty, Del is not the same girl she was, she is not ready to pick her life back up and continue on as if nothing had happened, and she’s not even sure she wants to be a Walker. But if she can’t at least pretend, the truth could come out, putting everyone she cares about in danger.

    With Lattimer looking to use her to track down the Free Walkers, and the weapon he thinks they have, and the Free Walkers seeking her help against the Consort, help that could save infinite worlds and lives, she’s going to have to do more than pretend, she’s going to have to choose a side. And she’s going to have to be prepared to live with the consequences of her choice.

    Whether it’s her own life, the lives of her friends and family, the lives of the Echoes, the lives of the Walkers, or the lives of the Free Walkers, there will be a cost. She’ll just need to decide how high a price she’ll be willing to pay.

    Author Erica O’Rourke delivers an epic and amazing follow-up that offers readers much to think about – actions and consequences, right and wrong, differing beliefs, the greater good, the value of a single life, power and control, choices, and sacrifices. She gives them a story that is incredibly well-developed, beautifully told, and utterly captivating.

    The author allowed her character Del to grow, to become more aware of the world and worlds she lives in, to become more understanding of others’ choices, and to become more understanding of who she is and what she’s willing to live with and live without. She made her into a hero, but one whose heroism is believable.

    From its first movement to its last, RESONANCE is brilliant and gorgeous and moving and simply extraordinary. It promises to engage, allure, surprise, electrify. It ratchets up the tension and suspense, ensuring readers will be kept on edge. And it introduces a jaw-dropping twist that they won’t see coming. It is an imaginative and memorable, must-, must-, must-read sequel.

    The Rating

    06

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


    About Erica O’Rourke

    erica-orourke

    Erica O’Rourke is the author of Dissonance and Resonance and of the Torn trilogy, which includes Torn, Tangled, and Bound. She lives near Chicago with her family. Visit her at EricaORourke.com and on Twitter: @Erica_ORourke.

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    Other Books in the Series

    Dissonance

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    Title & Series: DISSONANCE (Dissonance #1)
    Author: Erica O’Rourke
    Release date: July 22, 2014
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 469
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

    Read an Excerpt

    Description…

    Some decisions have unimaginable consequences.

    Every time someone makes a choice, a new parallel world is spun off the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, sneaking out instead of staying in bed—every decision creates an alternate universe in which an Echo self takes the road not travelled. As a Walker who can navigate between these realities, Del is training to help keep the dimensions in harmony.

    When Del secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds, she get tangled up with an Echo of her longtime crush. She knows she shouldn’t keep seeing him. But as Del persists, she uncovers a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide—a secret that threatens the entire multiverse.

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    Harmonic

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    Title & Series: HARMONIC (Dissonance #1.5)
    Author: Erica O’Rourke
    Release date: March 17, 2015
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 119
    Formats: eBook

    Description…

    Del’s older sister can also walk between worlds, but her loyalties are uniquely tested in this original enovella set in the inventive world of Dissonance.

    Addison Sullivan, Del’s older sister, has always been considered a model Walker—but her reputation within the Consort has been tainted by her grandfather’s betrayal and her sister’s recklessness. She is desperate to regain her position within the Consort and equally desperate to keep Del from spiraling out of control after losing the boy she loves.

    The Consort offers Addie a chance to redeem herself: if she can track down the Free Walkers her grandfather knew twenty years ago, they’ll fast-track her apprenticeship and put her in charge of her own team. Addie asks a former classmate and crush, Laurel, a Consort historian, for help. As they work together, Addie’s feelings for Laurel resurface, but she’s too afraid to act. Same-sex relationships aren’t expressly forbidden by the Consort, but she fears that a relationship with Laurel would be viewed as yet another mark against her.

    While she is fighting her feelings for Laurel, troubling details start emerging during their investigation…details that paint Addie’s family in a sinister light. Will she reveal what she’s learned to the Consort, or try to protect her family?

    This enovella is set in the time between Dissonance and Resonance.

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    Review: DEAD OF WINTER

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    Title & Series: DEAD OF WINTER (The Arcana Chronicles #3)
    Author: Kresley Cole
    Release date: January 6, 2015
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

    Heartbreaking decisions
    Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

    Uncertain victory
    Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

    Two heroes returned
    There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

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


    The Review

    Kresley Cole takes readers on a twisted and crazy ride in DEAD OF WINTER, a ride that is non-stop until the moment it goes skyrocketing over the edge of a cliff and head-first into the ground far below. This third installment in the series is the most shocking, the most heartbreaking, with the most jaw-dropping ending yet. It is explosive. It is all-consuming. The tension is combustible. The enemies are disturbing and sinister. The ending is of the shriek out loud variety.

    In order to save Jack from The Lovers, the most macabre of the Arcana yet, Evie must escape Death and leave behind the comfort, safety and protection she had with him. But if she thought Death was going to let her go so easily, she was mistaken.

    With an enemy that is more cunning and vicious than any she has encountered hell-bent on her capture, former allies unwilling or unable to come to her aid, The Fool more cryptic than ever, she’ll need all the help she can get. Even if it means convincing Jack and Death to work together to take them out. And even if it means if they do succeed she’ll have a choice to make and a heart to break when it’s all over.

    DEAD OF WINTER continues only moments after the events in ENDLESS KNIGHT. It drops readers right back into the heart of the action as Evie races to save the boy she can’t stop loving, even if she can no longer trust him. It builds in intensity as time runs out before his captors’ threats to do unspeakable things to him become reality. And it continues to build as the truth about The Lovers comes to light, her history with them is revealed, and her plan to take them out goes into action.

    Author Kresley Cole took a huge risk and pulled out all the stops with this novel. She teases and torments, she shocks and horrifies, she delights and infuriates, she saves and she destroys. Between the bagmen, slavers, the plague, the world without sun, and the twisted machinations of The Lovers, the author paints a darker, more grim and even gorier picture than she has before in this series. But with two very different but incredibly sexy boys – mortal and immortal – vying for Evie’s heart, she manages to make room for some heat.

    Alliances will end. Lives will end. Cards will fall. New Arcana will be named. New paths will be taken. The game will go on.

    DEAD OF WINTER promises devastation, heartache and loss. It drops bombshell after bombshell. It will stun. It will surprise. It will amaze. It will electrify. It will leave every reader begging for the next book. It is truly Kresley Cole at her best.

    The Rating

    06

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

    On a personal note…

    What… what… what?!? OMG what? I thought that one thing would destroy me. But then that other thing happened. OMG. OMG. OMG. What… just… happened?!?

    Okay, I can’t say anything more than that or else I will spoil this entire book.

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    RYAR Review: WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand

    Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks


    ABOUT THE BOOK


    WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand
    Series: Winterspell #1
    Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 30, 2014
    Genres: Fantasy
    Provided by: Publisher
    Rating: 5 stars

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    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

    DESCRIPTION

    The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

    New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

    Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

    Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

    Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.


    REVIEW


    WINTERSPELL is a completely captivating and utterly enchanting story that combines the magic of a fairytale with elements from urban fantasy, high fantasy and steampunk woven in. The story will take readers from a corrupt, crime-ridden, poverty-stricken version of New York City in 1899 where the greedy, wealthy, power hungry who rule only care about keeping what they have and obtaining more to Cane, a war-torn land where its human citizens aren’t any better off.

    Ruled by a half-fairy, half-human queen who is as temperamental as she is vindictive and vengeful, both the humans and the land are at the mercy of her whims. Forced into servitude, addiction or sent to places that are uninhabitable, forced into overcrowded cities policed by fairies who loathe them, monitored by the queen’s mechanized creations, forced to live in constant fear, life in Cane, with its continually shifting landscape, isn’t what it once was for them.

    When Clara Stole’s father is taken on Christmas Eve she will have to make a choice – blindly follow his captor through a magical doorway to an unknown destination for the slim chance she can find him and bring him home or forget about him, leave New York and flee to safety but leave her sister behind with the ruthless Patricia Plum and the sadistic Dr. Victor.

    Both choices would be dangerous. Both choices would require sacrifice. But leaping through the door would require a bravery she wasn’t sure she possessed. Not until she landed in the frozen, deadly land of Cane alongside someone she could hardly believe is real.

    WINTERSPELL is a spellbinding and beautifully written story. It’s a thrilling and epic adventure. It’s a story that will transport readers to a faraway land tainted by dark and twisted fairy magic, filled with hatred, suffering and fear. It’s a story brimming with secrets and betrayal. It’s a story about bravery and strength and sacrifice. It’s a story about love and forgiveness, about empathy and acceptance, about the devastating consequences of anger and revenge.

    It’s a world you won’t want to leave, with characters you won’t want to say goodbye to. It’s a story you won’t be able to put down.

    And whether or not you’re familiar with the Nutcracker story, WINTERSPELL will be a story you can thoroughly enjoy. It’s magical. It’s delightful. It’s beautiful. It’s disturbing. It’s sweet and sad. It’s romantic. Its characters are charming, fascinating, lovable, diabolical, deceitful, fearsome, wicked, redeemable. It’s a journey worth taking, with an ending that is completely satisfying. And it’s an amazing start to a series that looks to be even more so.

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    WINTERSPELL Blog Tour: ‘Five Favorite Quotes & Passages’ Guest Post + Giveaway

    winterspell

    I am so excited to be today’s stop on the WINTERSPELL Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours with an amazing guest post by the author in which she shares five favorite quotes and passages from the book along with why she chose them as favorites. I love all five of the author’s choices, especially five… and four… and three… and… well… okay I love them all. Just for different reasons.

    But I totally agree with the author about that last line in number four. It is such a perfect line. And three, ah that scene, that scene is so swoony and beautiful and magical. Anyway….

    I may not have the clearest memory of the Nutcracker fairy tale and the last time I saw the ballet was when I was a small girl, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know all the details of that story to enjoy this book. WINTERSPELL is incredible. All on its own. And it releases in just a few days.

    So, before I go and reveal way too much about this amazing story, its sweet and mysterious and creepy and maddening and fascinating and scary and lovely characters, I’ll stop rambling and turn this post over to Claire Legrand, so she can share with you those wonderful passages and quotes.

    And if you’d like to know more about the book and author their details follow right after.

    There is also an awesome giveaway, so be sure to scroll down to the Rafflecopter for a chance to win an awesome prize pack. Finally, the tour schedule follows at the end of this post if you just can’t wait to find out more about WINTERSPELL and its oh so talented author, Claire Legrand.

    Now, without any further ado, let me welcome Claire Legrand to the blog.

    Divider

    The Guest Post

    Five Favorite Quotes & Passages

    Hello, everyone! Claire here. I’m so excited to be at Fiktshun today as part of the WINTERSPELL blog tour!

    Today I’m going to share with you five of my favorite passages and quotes from WINTERSPELL. These aren’t my absolute favorite passages—those are riddled with spoilers—but they’re still passages dear to me for various reasons. With each excerpt, I’ve included brief commentary explaining why I chose that particular passage.

    I hope you enjoy this small taste of WINTERSPELL!

    ***

    ONE

    “Come, Godfather.” She made herself sound playful, even though she felt far from it. Indulge him, indulge him. “Hit me.”

    He laughed, eye dancing, and lunged at her.

    Clara met him halfway, throwing up her right arm to block his left jab. He grabbed her wrist and twisted, but he himself had taught Clara not to fight the attack but to move with it and turn it against itself. Become one with the shadows when you sneak, my Clara. Become one with the blow when you fight.

    So she gritted her teeth as he jerked her arm around, pulling her into a tight hold, and then she elbowed him hard in the staomch. Gasping, he staggered back. Clara pulled free and whirled on her heel, smacking him hard on his right ear. Disoriented, furious, he let fly a sloppy left hook.

    Clara dodged it with ease, grinning, enjoying this despite herself, for this—these moments flying about Godfather’s shop, the spiced air hissing past her bare arms, her skin stinging from Godfather’s strikes—was when she felt most unlike her usual self. She felt invincible, unencumbered by both fabric and anxiety. Bold. Brazen. Each blow she gave sent fire shooting up her arms; each blow she received, each stab of pain, stoked a strange pleasure within her. She was not nervous, fearful Clara here; she was shadow, fists and sweat and burning muscle.

    This scene between Clara and Godfather Drosselmeyer was one of the first I envisioned when sitting down to plan WINTERSPELL. Their relationship—both in the original Nutcracker fairy tale and in the ballet—has always fascinated me . . . and disturbed me. Despite Godfather’s unpredictable temper and infuriating quirks, he cares deeply for Clara. It is here, in his toy shop, that Clara is able to slough off the dangers, worries, and grief of her everyday life like an old skin, and become herself again.

    ***

    TWO

    From her hiding spot on the second-floor mezzanine overlooking the ballroom, partially concealed behind a red velvet curtain, Clara dreamed of murder.

    Her nose stung with the echo of Dr. Victor’s medicinal tang; he had hardly left her side all evening. If she had to endure one more moment with him . . . well, she would endure it, and do so without complaint. But she could dream about clawing his face to pieces; no one would ever know. She imagined the viscera of his eyeballs curdling beneath her nails. He would be afraid, the fear on his face reflecting what he must so often see on her own. And Godfather would stand beside her, nodding in approval, directin her how best to slice him to pieces.

    Proper ladies don’t think of such things.

    She moved to a nearby window seat, closed her eyes, and breathed the violence away—as well as the sense of peace that accompanied it. When she opened her eyes once more, the frenzy had left her, and she was herself again—small, uncertain, naked in her many-layered dress.

    From up here, she could see the steady flow of carriages and belled horses outside the mansion, as New York City high society arrived to strut and dance and gossip. The frost-lined streets made an eerie, black-and-white world, as though the cold had sucked out everything but snow and shadow.

    The Christmas party scene in the ballet is pretty iconic, and I had such fun recreating it within the world of WINTERSPELL. I especially like the juxtaposition of ballet Clara, who is giddy and wide-eyed at the sight of her family’s guests, the Christmas tree, the piles of presents—and WINTERSPELL Clara, who looks down upon the glitter of the party with murder in her heart. (And when you meet Dr. Victor, I think you’ll understand why her thoughts are so dark here.)

    ***

    THREE

    He breathed her name: “Clara.”

    She would burst if she didn’t break away from the dark eyes boring into hers, from the fingers caressing her skin—but she could not look away; she would not. “Yes.”

    He smiled crookedly, as if he were remembering how. “I know you.”

    The brokenness of his voice, the age of it, made Clara sudder. She leaned closer without thinking; her wrist brushed against his bare stomach.

    “You do?”

    Nicholas nodded, and beneath the wildness of his brow and the soft amusement in his eyes was something deeper, something hot and knowing. “I don’t remember everything, but I remember you. I’ve seen you so many times. I’ve heard you speak to me. I’ve felt you.”

    “That’s quite enough.” Godfather pulled Nicholas away. “Cover yourself.”

    Even after Nicholas stepped away from her, Clara could feel the ghost of his touch on her skin. She wished she could capture the feeling before it faded—the fullness inside her, the sense of careful celebration. Her mind flooded with memories of countless stolen moments, when she had tiptoed to the statue and pressed her lips to its arm, traced her fingers down the chiseled slopes of its belly. Was it truly him? And if so, had he felt her do those things? Had he been aware of her all this time?

    The look in his eyes, half in shadow as Godfather draped the coat over his body once more, seemed to answer Yes.

    When Clara releases Nicholas from the curse that had kept him imprisoned as a statue for eighteen years, their first flesh-and-blood meeting is pretty breathless. Nicholas has been trapped, immobile, as this towering metal statue in the corner of Drosselmeyer’s shop. From there he has watched Clara grow from child to girl to young woman; in some ways, he knows her better than she knows herself. Clara has grown up in that same shop, visiting her godfather, helping him with his clockwork creations, listening to his strange stories—and, when Drosselmeyer isn’t looking, indulging her fascination with the statue in the corner. It has been a strange seventeen-year friendship, neither having ever directly spoken to one another but both being hyper-aware of each other. Those first moments after Nicholas has become a living, breathing young man once again were therefore such fun to write.

    ***

    FOUR

    The detached realization came to her that she was about to die, and so was Nicholas, and so would her father and Felicity, and untold scores of New Yorkers in the grasp of Concordia, because she had not been there to save them—

    —but then it was as if her clutching hands had tugged on something invisible, and tugging on that something was a trigger to turn the world inside out.

    Winter invaded her blood.

    I basically chose this short passage for the last line—“Winter invaded her blood.” I just love it, plain and simple. It’s a short, cutting sentence that packs a lot of punch—and has a lot of significance a bit later in the book.

    ***

    FIVE

    “No. Don’t be ashamed. They’re just bodies, and they’re ours, and they’re powerful.”

    I can’t provide a lot of context for this quote because I don’t want to spoil anything—but this line comes during one of the most pivotal scenes in the book, and what was probably my favorite scene to write. It was one of those scenes I dangled in front of myself like a carrot as I worked—“The more you write today, the closer you’ll be to writing that scene!” 

    ***

    I hope you enjoyed reading these brief excerpts—and that you’re enjoying the blog tour! Thanks so much for stopping by, and huge thanks to Rachel for hosting today’s stop!

    – Claire


    About Winterspell

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    Title: WINTERSPELL (Winterspell #1)
    Author: Claire Legrand
    Release date: September 30, 2014
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 464
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

    New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

    Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

    Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

    Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS


    About Claire Legrand

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    Claire Legrand is the author of books for children and teens, including The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsThe Year of Shadows, the upcoming Winterspell, and its prequel, Summerfall. She is also one of the four authors of The Cabinet of Curiosities.

    When not writing books, she can be found obsessing over DVD commentaries, going on long walks (or trying to go on long runs), and speaking with a poor English accent to random passersby. She thinks musicians and librarians are the loveliest of folks (having been each of those herself) and, while she loves living in central New Jersey, she dearly misses her big, brash, beautiful home state of Texas.

    Her work is represented by Diana Fox of Fox Literary, LLC.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR | PINTEREST | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    This tour includes a seriously awesome giveaway…

    • 10 Prize Packs to 10 Winners – prize packs include a finished copy of WINTERSPELL, swag (bookmark, bookplate, character postcards), map of Cane, WINTERSPELL-themed jewelry

    ** Giveaway is US ONLY **

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Sept. 22nd – Alice Marvels – Review

    Sept. 23rd – The Midnight Garden – Guest Post

    Sept. 24th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Interview

    Sept. 25th – Cuddlebuggery – Guest Post

    Sept. 26th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

    Week Two

    Sept. 29th – Novel Sounds – Guest Post

    Sept. 30th – Parajunkee – Interview

    Oct. 1st – Mundie Moms – Interview

    Oct. 2nd – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

    Oct. 3rd – Dark Faerie Tales – Spotlight

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    RYAR Review: BLACK ICE by Becca Fitzpatrick

    Previously published on ReadingYA.rocks


    ABOUT THE BOOK


    BLACK ICE by Becca Fitzpatrick
    Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 7, 2014
    Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
    Provided by: Publisher
    Rating: 5 stars

    AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS

    This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

    DESCRIPTION

    Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

    Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

    In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

    But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

    BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…


    REVIEW


    I did not expect a chilling, suspenseful thriller when I picked up Becca Fitzpatrick’s BLACK ICE. But that’s what I got. The very first chapter gave me the heebie jeebies. It was creepy and disturbing and awesome. It made me want to keep reading. And I did. I could not set this one down until I turned the last page.

    This is quite the departure from the author’s Hush, Hush series. It’s much darker and more disturbing. Readers expecting more of what she delivered in that series will be quite surprised. While there is a touch of romance in this book, it’s much more about the tension and suspense, the fear of capture, the fear of death, the fear of not knowing who can be trusted.

    Even if readers are able to correctly guess who is evil and who is not, this story will still be a nail-biter. Because it’s not just the kidnappers and killers that are the enemies, the environment and climate are. Set during a snowstorm, on a freezing mountain, the story’s backdrop adds to the drama, making for an incredibly exciting read.

    The author did a fantastic job with the mystery aspect to the story. She created doubt. She kept me guessing. She made me question certain characters’ motives. And while I may have felt certain I was correct, I couldn’t be sure until much later in the story.

    She also did a great job with the romance, which had to be a challenge. It had to make sense, it had to be believable. And for me it was.

    The tone of the story was set right from the start and it held for the entire read. The intro was shocking, a touch horrifying and the perfect way to begin this wildly entertaining novel.

    Fast-paced and riveting, BLACK ICE is a must for fans of the genre and for readers who love an electrifying and spine-tingling story.

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