Tuesday 31 December 2019

BLOG TOUR - A LOVE HATE THING BY WHITNEY D. GRANDISON

Title: A Love Hate Thing
Author: Whitney D. Grandison
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: 7th January 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
A fantastic enemies to lovers romance about an It girl whose world is upended when a boy from the past moves into her house after tragedy strikes. For fans of Ibi Zoboi's Pride, Mary H. K. Choi and Samira Ahmed. Wattpad author Whitney D. Grandison's traditional publishing debut.

When they're stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the total feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a former childhood friend, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.


Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK


EXCERPT
TRICE

Getting shot isn’t the worst part. It’s the aftermath that really fucks you up.
Six months ago, on a dark December night, I was lying in a pool of my own blood on
the living room floor. Six months later, I was sitting in a car on the way to a new town to start
fresh. In some ways, yeah, the wound had healed. In others, it never would. I didn’t care,
though. The last thing I’d cared about got me where I was.
“You’ll like it there, Tyson. The Smiths have prepared a new home for you,” Misty
from social services was saying as she drove the long stretch of highway toward Pacific
Hills. It was only an hour away from where I used to live in Lindenwood, California.
I didn’t respond. Home was a meaningless word to me now.
Misty peeked at me. “Aren’t you going to say anything?”
“I can leave as soon as I turn eighteen, right?” That was all that mattered. Fuck the
rest. Five months, aka one hundred and sixty days, to go. On November twelfth, I’d be free.
Misty sighed. “Look, I know what you’re going through—”
“Word? You’ve been shot too and all’at?” I glanced her way. This lady was going
home to a million-thread-count sheet-and-pillowcase set, resting easy once I was off her
hands.
Fuck outta here.
“Well, no, but—”
“Then shut up.” I faced the road ahead, done talking.
Misty let out a breath, her light tan skin no doubt holding a blush upon her cheeks.
“Do you kiss your—” She caught herself, as if realizing where she was about to go. “I—I’m
sorry. You just shouldn’t speak that way.”
I felt an ache in my chest, but I let it go.
I didn’t care.
Half a beat later Misty was rambling on about food. “Do you wanna stop and get
something to eat, you must be starving.”
“I told you I wasn’t hungry.”
“Oh, well, are you nervous?”
I hadn’t thought about being nervous or the fact that I would never return home again
and lead a normal life. Not like I’d ever led one to begin with.

“No.”
“Well, good. Think of it as going to a sleepover at an old friend’s house.”
One thing was true, the Smiths were old friends, but this setup was for the next five
months.
“It’s been ten years since I last saw them,” I spoke up. “This ain’t no damn sleepover,
and it’s not about to be all kumbaya, neither.”
At least they were black. Moving into the uppity setting of Pacific Hills was sure to be
hell, but at least I would be with a black family. Even if I wouldn’t exactly fit in.
I didn’t look the same. I didn’t act the same. I wasn’t the same. And I didn’t care.
“Tyson—”
“It’s Trice.” I had asked her to call me that from jump street. No one called me Tyson.
I didn’t want to think about that. I didn’t want to think about anything. I didn’t care.
“Trice, please, try? I know it’s been rough these past few months, but you have a
chance at something fresh. The Smiths are good people, and Pacific Hills is a lovely town.
I’m sure soon you’ll be close to your old self.”
Misty had no clue what she was talking about. My old self? She obviously hadn’t
paid attention to my file, or she would’ve been smart enough to leave it at fresh and not
bring up my past.
Tyson Trice was dead.
He died on the f loor in the living room that day, and he was never coming back.
When I didn’t respond, Misty let up, probably getting that I didn’t give a shit either
way.
I didn’t care.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.

AUTHOR LINKS
Instagram: @wheadee
Twitter: @whitney_DG



Sunday 29 December 2019

REVIEW - POSTCARDS FROM THE FUTURE: A TRIPTYCH ON HUMANITY'S END BY WENDY SURU THOMSON, ANDREW CHARLES LARK & DONALD LEVIN

Title: Postcards From The Future: 
            A Tryptych on Humanity's End
Authors: Wendy Suru Thomson, 
                   Andrew Charles Lark, Donald Levin
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Books Go Social
Release Date: 2nd October 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
Three innovative authors imagine the end of humanity. Postcards From the Future is the remarkable result.

Andrew Lark’s “Pollen” is a riveting, multiple point-of-view account of a strange atmospheric phenomenon that destroys humankind’s ability to reproduce, ushering in the extinction of our species.

Donald Levin’s “The Bright and Darkened Lands of the Earth” is a gripping tale set in a desperate, post-apocalyptic future where a heroic woman battles ecological and social collapse in an effort to save her tribe—and humanity—from certain annihilation.

Wendy Sura Thomson’s “Silo Six” is a suspenseful story of love and survival set far into the future, when the sun begins its transformation into a red giant and scorches the earth into a virtually uninhabitable cinder.


Goodreads Link

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK

REVIEW
I enjoy this type of book with multiple authors, for the same reason I gravitate towards anthologies. They are a great way to try different authors without committing to reading a full-length book.
I know the cover features high rise buildings but for some reason it also rally made me think of Stonehenge. The buildings look very stark against a turbulent looking orange flamed burning sky.

The book has three stories in it, Pollen by Andrew Charles Lark, The Bright And Darkened Land by Donald Levin and Silo Six by Wendy Sura Thomson.

First up is Pollen by Andrew Charles Lark. I’ll be totally honest I wasn’t keen on this one at all, it was quite slow pace which I just couldn’t get on with. The “big” disaster is an atmospheric change that destroys the reproductive systems of humans. The book was told from too many points of view for me, it felt like it was jumping about too much. The basic story was okay but it felt really stretched out. The whole “Pollen” happening reminded me of something similar featured in another book series where it was referred to as the “rapture” which reminded me of Rachel Vincent's Menagerie Series and what she called 'The Rapture' within that book.
This story is set out as diary entries, finding it harder going than I thought I would. It jumps about a bit too much to different individual characters stories. Hopefully it will get better I kind of feel it would be better to have all one characters stories or even bigger chunks of their diary entries. I got the whole devastation of this pollen happening, I just felt like I didn’t care enough about the characters, the book didn’t make me attached to them enough. The book tells you what the character of Matthew is doing, rather than the book following what he is doing as he is doing it. I almost ended up giving the whole book a DNF (did not finish) about a third of the way through this first story!

Next is The Bright And Darkened Land by Donald Levin. From the blurb I wasn’t so sure I would get along with this story but I found I really did enjoy it and felt disappointed when it ended. It seriously left me wanting more!
This one had me hooked instantly, I liked the world building and almost immediately grew attached to the characters of Ash, Mae and Odile. In this book the climate has changed forcing the group of women who make up the main characters of the book to live underground. There has also been a purge where the majority of books have been destroyed. At first the way the characters had their own way of speaking irritated me but it quickly grew on me as I became more engrossed in the plot. Ash is a Venger (scavenger), who goes above ground looking for items that would be useful to her tribe. The chief elder of the tribe is Odile, though there is subordination in the ranks and when Odile sends Ash on a mission to find a book that the council said wasn’t worth the risk, she is thrown in a prison pen, but even worse for her she finds out on of her fellow council members has been banished to certain death. I ended up loving the quirks of the women’s language such as, “drag up soon” meaning “die soon”. I also found the idea of the history of the tribe being passed on to the younger generations of the tribe by the “singer”. The men in the book are referred to as “ragged men” and were often badly burnt from their insistence of living and travelling around above ground. The only use these men had to the tribe of women were to breed with, and that was only done as a necessity to keep their tribe going for the future.
As you can probably tell, I really adored the characters of Ash, Chief Elder/Singer Odile and council member Mae. Whilst I enjoyed disliking the trouble making council member Ells who is clearly jealous of Odile, and probably Ash too. I would certainly read more about this society, landscape and world if there were more books as I really enjoyed it a lot.

The final story is Silo Six by Wendy Sura Thomson, this one surprised me as truthfully, I may not have ever given this one a go as I don’t normally like the “outer space” genre that this one kind of falls into. This book is very futuristic again it’s characters cannot venture outside as the radiation that is in the air would kill them. Though other races later in the book can go outdoors with protective clothing and some take special anti-radiation medication. The two main characters that the story follows are Bailey and her husband Ephraim. We meet Bailey first who wakes up and begins her morning routine of checking her information screen, which tells her the amount of food rations, the head count for those in the community, then states if there was a change in this from the day before. It also goes on to tell her the interior air quality, when the next food& medicine stock is due along with the radiation index and sunspot activity. Once the information gets to the end it repeats over and over again. Everything in this world is measured out and controlled. You stand in line and are given your food. You have to do a certain amount of exercise and work to earn your credits for your food. You also have to pass regular medicals too. Bailey & Ephraim decide they want to begin trying to have a child so they have to apply and have to pay a certain amount of credits for the privilege. They are also moved to a different living station were couples staring a family, or those with families live. In fact, it is when they are at the new station that they realise all is not what it seems. At the family station the computers are constantly interrupted so food stations stop working and they end up confined to their pods for longer.
It surprised me that I really enjoyed this story, and wanted it to slow down and not end. I wanted to know more about the world, meet more of the characters. I wanted to learn about those in the higher positions that were making all the decisions. I would certainly love to read more stories in this setting. I think I ended up loving this one the most and found it the easiest of the three stories to read. It flowed so well and had you on the edge of your seat a quite a few times.

To sum up as a whole I would have to say I did enjoy this story collection. I enjoyed the world building and reading about the different societies and how they managed to continue on living despite nature seeming to be set against them at every turn. I have taken a look at the authors different books but they don’t seem to have written anything else set in the same worlds as they have in this collection which is a shame.



Thursday 26 December 2019

REVIEW - THE RAIN BELONGS HERE BY JULIE ROGERS

Title: The Rain Belongs Here
Author: Julie Rogers 
Genre: Sci Fi, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 1st November 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
If she succeeds in finding him, he’ll be charged with murder. If she fails, he won’t likely survive on his own.

It’s 2064. Ana lives in the City, an experimental community that has had little contact with outsiders in decades. When her older brother Finn disappears on her 22nd birthday, a seemingly impossible event given the City’s extensive monitoring, she quits school, moves into her station wagon and embarks on an obsessive manhunt. Unable to find him on her own, she’s forced to partner with Aaron, a detective with his own complicated history and agenda.

Together they comb the dregs of the outside world, encountering both the horrors of lawless survivor communities and the unclaimed beauty of the old world. As Ana comes closer to understanding her brother’s disappearance, she’s forced to confront the truth about herself and her place in the City.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
After looking at the cover and title, I initially thought that this book would about a drought, the lack of rain and how people coped with that. The whole dry, parched looking cracked earth/mud with just patches of green grass starting to come through. Then the authors name being in a bright orange autumnal leaf design. All great things separately but they kind of led me down the wrong path for what I thought the book was going to be about. However, when you start to think about the deeper plot of the book after reading it, I suppose certain aspects of the cover does represent some sections of the book. The grass could represent the fact those inside the walls that cut themselves off from “the outside” and are beginning to reap the rewards of what they have sown? Yet the dry cracked mud/earth could represent the fact that though those on the inside of the wall are doing okay, they could still use resources that are available outside their perimeter wall. After reading the book, I would say I did enjoy it but still feel a tad confused about the actual relevance of the cover and title of The Rain Belongs Here. I think the cover is really good, it just led me to the wrong conclusion about the book, I was expecting something quite different to the book I read. This genres listed for this book are, Sci-fi, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic which I totally agree with though I would also add futuristic to that list as the book is set in the year 2064.

The main character in the book is Ana and her brother has disappeared, which is unusual as he didn’t give Ana any idea that he may be going anywhere. Even worse is the fact the friends he disappeared with have been found dead. Ana has stopped going to school to concentrate on searching for her brother, Finn.
The government are determined to recruit Ana, to team up with one of their own to go “outside the wall” and bring her brother, Finn back to face charges for the murder of his friends. Ana isn’t getting very far on her own, but has to undergo some special training to make sure she is fit enough for the mission. Ana also has to sign a contract that if anything should happen to her outside of the wall perimeter that they are in no way liable and basically owe her nothing. Ana is placed under the care and instruction of two of their operatives Noah, and Aaron. Both Noah and Aaron are considered somewhat disposable, out of favour with the government and this job is to be considered part of their way to make amends for past misdemeanours.
Ana at first kept faith that Finn was just staying at a friend’s house but she is soon forced to face the fact that Finn has intentionally left the apparent safety on the inside of the wall and disappeared into the wilds of the outside.

The book then tells the story of Aaron and Ana going outside the safety of the perimeter walls to search for Finn. Naturally Ana is wanting to find her brother Finn and prove his innocence whereas Aaron is tasked with the job of finding Finn and returning him to inside the perimeter wall and proving his guilt. Noah, Aaron’s and Noah’s daughter’s future depends on Aaron being successful. It soon becomes clear that Aaron and Ana have growing romantic feelings towards each other despite them having totally different reasons for searching for Finn. In fact, it is so clear that they are on opposing sides that at one point in the book Aaron asks Ana if she plans to hit him over the head, leave him for dead, take all the supplies and search for Finn and join him wherever he is staying. Aaron and Ana visit different pockets of communities that have been created, a commune, an Amish settlement, a woman running an orphanage to learn more about Finn, and what has happened. It seems he has met a woman called Miriam and he is somewhere with her. Then rumours abound that a tribe of people calling themselves the “Band” may have him. It soon becomes apparent that Ana will have to use all her arsenal of training and her brain as well as brawn to gain her brothers freedom from the Band.

I did enjoy the plot of the book, Ana searching for her brother and discovering he is not the same person she thought he was. Some of the things she is told about her brother don’t fit with the Finn she knows and loves. Then there’s how Ana handles things on the “outside” and her possibility of a relationship with Aaron, who genuinely seems to care for her. There’s also lots of interaction between Ana and Aaron and those that are creating their own ways of living and getting by how they can.

There were things that I wasn’t totally keen on such as the start of the book was quite slow for my personal reading taste, and in some area’s the plot just felt a little disjointed. The timeline jumped about a little too much for me. I think it would be an easy thing to fix by perhaps labelling the individual Chapters a little more clearly and a few things tightened up a little. At certain intervals whilst I was reading the book I wasn’t overly looking forward to my “reading time” like I usually do. I did enjoy the book in the end and thought it had an interesting plot and some great characters, such as Ana, Arron, Noah and Hooper. I think how the book ended, it could well read as a standalone, most things seemed to be wrapped up, except for Ana getting to really sit down and talk to Finn, so perhaps that suggests there could be more in the future.  

To sum up, the book isn’t the easiest read, and requires you to concentrate on certain details and remember some facts and dates, but is well worth the effort of sticking with it, and reading it until the end. When you remember relevant clues from earlier in the book as you near the end of the book it is quite a satisfying feeling. The whole “Ooo, I wondered if that was the case” or “Ooo, I didn’t see that coming despite that clue”.

**I have since discovered that there is a follow up to The Rain Belongs Here, it is called Hanging City - and yes it will be going on my want to read wish list.**


Tuesday 24 December 2019

REVIEW - BURNING - AFTER THE THAW BY TAMAR SLOAN & HEIDI CATHERINE

I have seen this one described as being perfect for lovers of Divergent, The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner will be blown away by the breathtaking new series 
from USA Today best-selling author Tamar Sloan 
and award-winning author Heidi Catherine.

Title: Burning
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 13th November 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
Only the chosen shall breed.

In a new world isolated by a rising, toxic sea, a single bridge connects Askala to the Outlands. Those who remain will need to pass a Proving to determine if they have the intelligence and heart to champion the future of their broken Earth.

Those who succeed will become Bound, the ones chosen to breed.

Those who fail, are Unbound. Free of responsibility, but robbed of their ability to bear children.

Four young lives are born into this world. Magnus and Callix, two brothers determined to uphold this new order. Two brothers in love with the same girl.

Amity, the one who must make the impossible choice.

And Mercy, the girl who no one sees, but sees it all.

As a new threat to Askala emerges, secrets will be revealed and the fight for survival will become their biggest challenge yet.

Life is fragile. Love will refuse to be denied.

Sacrifice will be inevitable.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I saw the cover first and felt immediately drawn to find out more. Upon reading the blurb I knew I didn’t just “want” to read it, I had to read it! I love the dystopian & post-apocalyptic genres so this series instantaneously had me adding it to my “must read” list!

The cover, is bright and attractive and when reading the book, you learn about the bird and its relevance to the characters and their survival. The title fits the book perfectly. Its significance is revealed in the latter part of the prequel. I love a prequel, especially for dystopian & post-apocalyptic series as you learn the basics of the society and discover the world the characters have to live in. This prequel certainly delivers everything you need to know to make you desperate to read the rest of the series.

The book is set after the world has basically gone under what I would describe as climate change. Maybe a prophetic look into the future is we don’t clean up our acts in the world we live in now.
The sea levels have risen, taken back some of the land that people lived on and it is also has become toxic for anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in it for any length of time. Also, in the sea making it even more dangerous are the animal the Aksala people call “leatherskins.”
All those that live in the Oasis have to go through a testing process that takes seven days and consists of three different tests which is called the “Proving”.  After the testing is finished, they are presented with a chip that is placed into their hand. They then attend the Announcement Ceremony in front of family, friends both Bound and Unbound where it is revealed what they are, where they will be living, and what the future holds for them. They have to move their hand with the chip above a box with two compartments. Only one compartment will open, one side is empty, which means you are unbound, the other contains a ring, meaning you are bound.   

All announcement ceremonies are special to those in them and their families but every twenty years the High Bound retire and hand over their responsibilities to the next generation. Anyone that has become Bound in the last twenty years can take part to see if they are destined to become High Bound.

The “Unbound” live a single life, some would say carefree life on the upper floors of the Oasis. The Unbound seem to live a carefree life, taken care of by the Bound who consider it their duty to look after them.

The “Bound” who are expected to save the earth for the future generations that they must go on to breed. If you are not a “Bound” you are not allowed to have children. Once you are Bound you are expected to pair up with someone and start having children to keep Askala populated. It is the Bound that are in charge of guarding their home perimeter and preventing violent remnants from gaining access to the Oasis.

Then there’s the highest of the society, the “High Bound” who make all the decisions for their people, from how they live, to dealing with banishments and deciding who if anyone from the outside can join their settlement. Those from outside Askala are known as “Remnants” and have to prove themselves before being allowed to join those living in Askala. However, should a remnant manage to sneak their way into Askala and step foot on their land they then have an automatic right to stay.

There’s certainly lots going on in this prequel, remnants needing to be dealt with when they become violent, remnants that throw their child into the toxic see and one bound female cannot fight the urge to attempt to rescue the child despite knowing the risks of entering the toxic ocean. On the romance front there’s one bound female caught in a love triangle between two bound brothers, one brother loves her, but she loves the other brother. Who will she end up settling down with to perform her duty of having children? There is also a couple with a rather large secret, the poor female bound feels her only option is to settle with the male as if not he will reveal her devastating secret. Someone meddles with the only source of food with nutrients with disastrous consequences.
Then we have a banishment of a member of the Askala society, something that is done with a heavy heart for all concerned.

Characters I adored were Kimina, Amity, Magnus and Thea. The character I enjoyed disliking was Ronan! I don’t think he has finished disrupting things yet. Talking of possible future disruptions or problems I am also wary of Callix and Mercy. Could they end up causing problems for the High Bound to sort out.

I knew at around 36% that I was hooked into this book, its different levels of society with its strange rules and expectations was going to be a highly addictive read for me. The traditions and rules of this society have been really well thought out. The “Proving” really fits what the whole testing is about, as it is proving your worth to society, and reveals whether you are considered worthy enough to procreate. I really had to try hard not to whizz through this prequel. I had to make a conscious effort to read it slower. It’s certainly a story worth savouring! I also enjoyed the historic elements with the beached luxury ship called Oasis being in Alaska where the climate should be cold, but had changed beyond all recognition. This luxury ship has now quite literally become the Oasis of those survivors, their chance at survival. I also thought the play on names was brilliant, with the new colony of survivors calling their settlement Askala. I kept looking at the word Askala and thinking why it looked sort of familiar.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this prequel were
Wow! Love the great world building. Adored Magnus, who is so unassuming. He thinks all the responsibility and important roles and work will be given to his elder brother Callix. Callix is simmering when it becomes clear all that he had hoped for is going to his younger brother, even the girl he loves and wanted to have a family with.
When I finished reading the Prequel, I had a few thoughts about what may be ahead, but then saw that there were bonus chapters available to download and read, sort of like an epilogue. These bonus chapters were interesting to read and yet manage to pose more questions for you to contemplate. I liked meeting the High Bound’s children, the next generation and catching up with the relationships that were still fairly new at the end of the prequel.
Though I did finish reading it with loads of questions and thoughts about what could happen next for the different characters. I mean what a cliff hanger at the very end! What has been changed? What was about to happen? When can I read more? Will those with secrets be found out? It also made me wonder how far in advance, or how much time will have elapsed between the end of the Burning bonus chapters and the beginning of the next book in the series.


So, to sum up I loved it! And when can I read more?

Oh and I never thought I would say this but I loved it more than Divergent & Maze Runner too! I also thoroughly enjoyed the bonus chapters and behind the scenes novella's too!

REST OF THE SERIES
So after reading and love, love, loving Burning I wanted/needed to know more about the rest of the series, so I thought I would share what I found with you too, just in case you read Burning and become addicted to wanting to read more of the series as I instantly felt!

Title: Rising
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 3rd January 2020

BLURB from Goodreads
Four tests. Seven days. Nine teens.

Only the chosen shall breed.

Humans now live in a super greenhouse. Seas have risen. Oceans have acidified. And the fight for resources is deadly. To ensure nothing of this magnitude ever happens again, only those with enough intelligence and heart will earn the right to bear children and heal the earth.

Nine teens must face the tests of the Proving to decide who will be Bound to this new order. Four of them will challenge the system in ways even they can’t imagine.

Nova. The gentle soul who has everything to lose.

Kian. The champion of this new world who’s determined to succeed.

Dex. The one who'll learn nothing is as it seems.

Wren. The rebel who wants nothing to do with any of it.

As the fight to breed becomes a fight to survive, rules are broken, and hearts are captured. This Proving won’t just decide the future of this new order, it will decide the future of humankind.



Title: Breaking
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 21st February 2020


BLURB from Goodreads
Only the chosen shall breed.

Four teens must face the fallout of the Proving. Three have made it through. One has not.

Nova. Kian. Dex. Wren.

Four lives defined by the outcome. Four lives who thought the Proving was the most difficult test they would ever have to face.

They all assumed Askala was safe, but a link to the Outlands has been established and a Remnant invasion is now a threat. In a starving, damaged world, Askala has what others want.

Except the fight for survival is far more complicated than right or wrong, or us and them. It's about humanity versus Earth.

As bonds are fractured and new connections are forged, the question becomes - how do you fight for your world, but also your heart?


Goodreads Link

Title: Falling
Series: After The Thaw
Author: Tamar Sloan & Heidi Catherine
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Sequel House
Release Date: 3rd April 2020



BLURB from Goodreads
Only the chosen shall breed.

Nova, Kian, Dex, and Wren.

Four divided hearts. Four teens no longer sure what they’re fighting for.

Their society was meant to mold human evolution. Their future, and that of Earth, was to be decided by the kindest and smartest. Askala was supposed to be a beacon of hope in a flooded, desecrated world.

Except the line between the Bound and Unbound is blurring. The Outlands is no longer some distant, faceless world. And the Remnants have a leader who knows more about them than any Remnant before.

In a world devastated by global warming, the fight for survival has always been deadly. Now, the battle for Askala is about to define the very future of humanity.

But...does the greatest threat lie within?


Goodreads Link







Monday 23 December 2019

BLOG TOUR - GOOD GIRLS LIE BY J.T. ELLISON


J.T. Ellison’s pulse-pounding new novel examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to to protect their secrets.....

Title: Good Girls Lie
Author: J.T. Ellison
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: 30th December 2019

BLURB from Goodreads
Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.


In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules,
no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged
young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.


PURCHASE LINKS


EXCERPT

THE HANGING

The girl’s body dangles from the tall iron gates guarding the school’s entrance. A closer examination shows the ends of a red silk tie peeking out like a cardinal on a winter branch, forcing her neck into a brutal angle. She wears her graduation robe and multicolored stole as if knowing she’ll never see the achievement. It rained overnight and the thin robe clings to her body, dew sparkling on the edges. The last tendrils of dawn’s fog laze about her legs, which are five feet from the ground.
There is no breeze, no birds singing or squirrels industriously gathering for the long winter ahead, no cars passing along the street, only the cool, misty morning air and the gentle metallic creaking of the gates under the weight of the dead girl. She is suspended in midair, her back to the street, her face hidden behind a curtain of dirty, wet hair, dark from the rains.
Because of the damage to her face, it will take them some time to officially identify her. In the beginning, it isn’t even clear she attends the school, despite wearing The Goode School robes.
But she does.
The fingerprints will prove it. Of course, there are a few people who know exactly who is hanging from the school’s gates. Know who, and know why. But they will never tell. As word spreads of the apparent suicide, The Goode School’s all-female student body begin to gather, paying silent, terrified homage to their fallen compatriot. The gates are closed and locked—as they always are overnight—buttressed on either side by an ivy-covered, ten-foot-high, redbrick wall, but it tapers off into a knee-wall near the back entrance to the school parking lot, and so is escapable by foot. The girls of Goode silently filter out from the dorms, around the end of Old West Hall and Old East Hall to Front Street—the main street of Marchburg, the small Virginia town housing the elite prep school—and take up their positions in front of the gate in a wedge of crying, scared, worried young women who glance over shoulders looking for the one who is missing from their ranks. To reassure themselves this isn’t their friend, their sister, their roommate.
Another girl joins them, but no one notices she comes from the opposite direction, from town. She was not behind the redbrick wall.
Whispers rise from the small crowd, nothing loud enough to be overheard but forming a single question.
Who is it? Who?
A solitary siren pierces the morning air, the sound bleeding upward from the bottom of the hill, a rising crescendo. Someone has called the sheriff.
Goode perches like a gargoyle above the city’s small downtown, huddles behind its ivy-covered brick wall. The campus is flanked by two blocks of restaurants, bars, and necessary shops. The school’s buildings are tied together with trolleys—enclosed glass-and-wood bridges that make it easy for the girls to move from building to building in climate-controlled comfort. It is quiet, dignified, isolated. As are the girls who attend the school; serious, studious. Good. Goode girls are always good. They go on to great things.
The headmistress, or dean, as she prefers to call herself, Ford Julianne Westhaven, great-granddaughter several times removed from the founder of The Goode School, arrives in a flurry, her driver, Rumi, braking the family Bentley with a screech one hundred feet away from the gates. The crowd in the street blocks the car and, for a moment, the sight of the dangling girl. No one stops to think about why the dean might be off campus this early in the morning. Not yet, anyway.
Dean Westhaven rushes out of the back of the dove-gray car and runs to the crowd, her face white, lips pressed firmly together, eyes roving. It is a look all the girls at Goode recognize and shrink from.
The dean’s irritability is legendary, outweighed only by her kindness. It is said she alone approves every application to the school, that she chooses the Goode girls by hand for their intelligence, their character. Her say is final. Absolute. But for all her goodness, her compassion, her kindness, Dean Westhaven has a temper.
She begins to gather the girls into groups, small knots of natural blondes and brunettes and redheads, no fantastical dye allowed. Some shiver in oversize school sweatshirts and running shorts, some are still in their pajamas. The dean is looking for the chick missing from her flock. She casts occasional glances over her shoulder at the grim scene behind her. She, too, is unsure of the identity of the body, or so it seems. Perhaps she simply doesn’t want to acknowledge the truth.
The siren grows to an earsplitting shriek and dies midrange, a soprano newly castrated. The deputies from the sheriff’s office have arrived, the sheriff hot on their heels. Within moments, they cordon off the gates, move the students back, away, away. One approaches the body, cataloging; another begins taking discreet photographs, a macabre paparazzi.
They speak to Dean Westhaven, who quietly, breathlessly, admits she hasn’t approached the body and has no idea who it might be.
She is lying, though. She knows. Of course, she knows. It was inevitable.
The sheriff, six sturdy feet of muscle and sinew, approaches the gate and takes a few shots with his iPhone. He reaches for the foot of the dead girl and slowly, slowly turns her around.
The eerie morning silence is broken by the words, soft and gasping, murmurs moving sinuously through the crowd of girls, their feet shuffling in the morning chill, the fog’s tendrils disappearing from around the posts.
They say her name, an unbroken chain of accusation and misery.
Ash.
Ash.
Ash.
THE LIES

There are truths, and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened, which is where you and I will meet. My truth is your lie, and my lie is your truth, and there is a vast expanse between them.
Take, for example, Ash Carlisle.
Six feet tall, glowing skin, a sheaf of blond hair in a ponytail. She wears black jeans with rips in the knees and a loose greenand-white plaid button-down with white Adidas Stan Smiths; casual, efficient travel clothes. A waiter delivers a fresh cup of tea to her nest in the British Airways first-class lounge, and when she smiles her thanks, he nearly drops his tray—so pure and happy is that smile. The smile of an innocent.
Or not so innocent? You’ll have to decide that for yourself. Soon.
She’s perfected that smile, by the way. Practiced it. Stood in the dingy bathroom of the flat on Broad Street and watched herself in the mirror, lips pulling back from her teeth over and over and over again until it becomes natural, until her eyes sparkle and deep dimples appear in her cheeks. It is a full-toothed smile, her teeth straight and blindingly white, and when combined with the china-blue eyes and naturally streaked blond hair, it is devastating.
Isn’t this what a sociopath does? Work on their camouflage? What better disguise is there than an open, thankful, gracious smile? It’s an exceptionally dangerous tool, in the right hands.
And how does a young sociopath end up flying first class, you might ask? You’ll be assuming her family comes from money, naturally, but let me assure you, this isn’t the case. Not at all. Not really. Not anymore.
No, the dean of the school sent the ticket.
Why?
Because Ash Carlisle leads a charmed life, and somehow managed to hoodwink the dean into not only paying her way but paying for her studies this first term, as well. A full scholarship, based on her exemplary intellect, prodigy piano playing, and sudden, extraordinary need. Such a shame she lost her parents so unexpectedly.
Yes, Ash is smart. Smart and beautiful and talented, and capable of murder. Don’t think for a moment she’s not. Don’t let her fool you.
Sipping the tea, she types and thinks, stops to chew on a nail, then reads it again. The essay she is obsessing over gained her access to the prestigious, elite school she is shipping off to. The challenges ahead—transferring to a new school, especially one as impossible to get into as The Goode School—frighten her, excite her, make her more determined than ever to get away from Oxford, from her past.
A new life. A new beginning. A new chapter for Ash.
But can you ever escape your past?
Ash sets down the tea, and I can tell she is worrying again about fitting in. Marchburg, Virginia—population five hundred on a normal summer day, which expands to seven hundred once the students arrive for term—is a long way from Oxford, England. She worries about fitting in with the daughters of the DC elite—daughters of senators and congressmen and ambassadors and reporters and the just plain filthy rich. She can rely on her looks—she knows how pretty she is, isn’t vain about it, exactly, but knows she’s more than acceptable on the looks scale—and on her intelligence, her exceptional smarts. Some would say cunning, but I think this is a disservice to her. She’s both booksmart and street-smart, the rarest of combinations. Despite her concerns, if she sticks to the story, she will fit in with no issues.
The only strike against her, of course, is me, but no one knows about me.
No one can ever know about me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville's premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

AUTHOR LINKS
Twitter: @thrillerchick
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