Friday, January 13, 2017

{Cover Reveal} THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND WOLVES by Alethea Kontis





Today, Alethea Kontis officially revealed the cover of her brand-new book THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND WOLVES, out January 24th!

Meet Kai Xanthopoulos: 
Alethea's newest heroine is Greek, wears a mati, 
and the magical powers she's about to possess will make your head spin!


Are you ready to see the cover of this brand-new novel!?


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Here is your first look at 
THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND WOLVES:



I'm so excited to see something new from Alethea Kontis! As you'll see below, I adore her and have read and reviewed just about everything she's written. Mandy just discovered her a couple of months ago and loves her already!

I'm really excited to meet Kai, and this cover is just so stinking cute, don't you think??

Do you need a summary to whet your appetite?

Of course you do!!!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND WOLVES
Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
SUMMARY:

Like many paranormals of Greek descent, Kai Xanthopoulos will not know her true nature until her young powers fully manifest. Unlike her parents—and much to the dismay of her stray cat best friend—Kai has chosen not to spend the rest of her life at the diner in Nocturne Falls. She takes a job at Delaney’s Delectables instead, a decision that puts her directly in the path of a fugitive werewolf that could change her destiny… 

Finn Kincaid is cursed. Literally. Accused of murdering his pack-brother, beaten and left for dead in the woods, he runs to Nocturne Falls to seek sanctuary with the one cousin who successfully got out of Tennessee: Ivy Merrow, the sheriff’s wife. On his way there, he’s drawn off course by a girl with no idea how much power she possesses, both within herself, and over him. 

Together, Kai and Finn must find a way to break the curse and fight their fate, without destroying each other—and their future—in the process.


Pre-Order the Book!




New to the world of Alethea Kontis?


I've previously reviewed ENCHANTEDHERODEAREST, TRIXTER, and TRIX AND THE FAERIE QUEEN, as well as her novella BLOOD & WATER, and chatted about Snow Whites role in ENCHANTED.

I've most recently reviewed her YA contemporary FISH OUT OF WATER, and Mandy has reviewed her YA horror novel HAVEN, KANSAS and had Alethea over for a guest post on how making horror movies helped give her the foundation to write HAVEN!

Alethea Kontis has also stopped by A Backwards Story several times to talk about her books, fairy tales, mermaids, and more because she's awesome like that! *loves her*

a flash fiction piece entitled "Well Behaved Mermaids Rarely Make Fairy Tales,"
a guest post on "Families in Fiction,"
and a guest post entitled "I Dedicate This Post to You!"

She's also shared two of her famous fairy tale rant videos, one about Rapunzel and one about Cinderella and how it inspired her novel ENCHANTED!

What do you think of the cover? 
Will you be reading this one???
 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

{Guest Post/Giveaway} Meet Daniela from MIDNIGHT SISTERS by Sarah E. Boucher!

Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!
&

FOLLOW THE TOUR!

Jan 9: Rebekah R.K. Grow (Jonas Selkirk feature)
Jan 10: Meagan Blooming with Books (Ariela Spencer feature)
Jan 11: Allison Eclectic Alli (Passionate Geek feature)
Jan 11: Melanie Mel's Shelves (Brisella Spencer feature)
Jan 12: Adrienne Adrienne Quintana (Canela “Cinnamon” Spencer feature)
Jan 12: Bonnie A Backwards Story (Daniela Spencer feature)
Jan 13: Lisa Bookworm Lisa (Estella/Frizella Spencer feature)
Jan 13: Bethany Perfect Beginnings (Estella/Frizella Spencer feature)
Jan 14: Cindy Cindy C. Bennett (Gisella, Hayla, Isella Spencer feature)
Jan 15: Amanda Inkings and Notions (Gisella, Hayla, Isella Spencer feature)
Jan 16: Tressa Wishful Endings (Janela Spencer feature)
Jan 16: Corinne Corinne's Garden (Krisela Spencer feature)
Jan 17: Katie Katie's Clean Book Collection (Larela Spencer feature)
Jan 18: Tarah Literary Timeout (Braden feature)
Jan 19: Paula The Phantom Paragrapher (Lord Bromhurt feature)
Jan 20: Raylynn Let It Be & Celebrate (Special author feature)


 Present:.

 Specialized Character Sketch:
Meet Daniela from MIDNIGHT SISTERS!


Daniela is the brilliant scientist of the bunch! 

 Join the MIDNIGHT SISTERS tour January 9th-20th and meet all twelve sisters, as well as some other key players, from Sarah E. Boucher's new novel inspired by The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Sarah previously wrote BECOMING BEAUTY, aka Beauty and the Beast with a twist. 

 AND if you missed out on the book the first time around? 

Check out my review
and then grab the e-book on sale RIGHT NOW for only 99¢

WHAT A GREAT DEAL!!!
~*~



Sarah E. Boucher is a lover of fairy stories, romance, anything BBC and Marvel, and really, really cute shoes. On weekdays she wears respectable shoes and serves as Miss Boucher, the Queen of Kindergarten. On school holidays she writes stories about romance and adventure. And wears impractical super cute shoes.

Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She lives and works in northern Utah. MIDNIGHT SISTERS is her second novel. 


Visit Sarah at SarahEBoucher.com or connect with her on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterestAmazon, or Goodreads.




Meet Daniela!
by Sarah E. Boucher




            “The recipe says to add more.” Janela turned wide eyes on me. 
             “Don’t worry. It will be fine,” I reassured her. 
            With one dimpled hand, she dropped another handful of powder into the can. “Now mix until well combined,” I directed. 
            Janela inserted the long-handled spoon into the can and began to stir. The ingredients clanked disconcertingly against the sides. Janela stopped and peered into the can. Her eyebrows scrunched together. “Mo’ wata?” 
            I peered into the can. “You’re right, it does need more water.” I dumped a cupful of water into the can. 
            Janela continued to stir, stopping only occasionally to make sure the mixture was coming together. “Weaves?” she asked. 
            “Yes, I’ve prepared the leaves,” I said, motioning to the herbs I’ll filched from the kitchen gardens. “Let’s place it in the pan first.” 
            Janela nodded. She pulled out the tin pan Cook had given us and proceeded to dump the batter into it. The mixture glooped and clunked into the pan. Janela’s nose crinkled up. “Gwoss.” 
            “It just needs to be smoothed out.” I applied the long-handled spoon to the mixture and worked away at it until no lumps remained. “Better?” 
            “Yeth,” Janela lisped. At four-years-old, she still hadn’t mastered s. “Weaves now?” 
            I passed her the leaves. Together we placed them atop the batter in a pleasing pattern. “Now it looks like a proper pie.” 
            “Bake it?” Janela asked. 
            I consulted the directions scrawled on the page. “It says, ‘leave in the sun for four days or until firm.’” 
            Janela nodded again. “Tathte it?” 
            I shook my head, my own nose crinkling up. “We don’t eat mud pies, Jani, no matter now pretty they are.” 
            A mischievous look crossed her round face. “The girlth?” 
            “The triplets?” I thought of the tiny menaces in their matching outfits. From the whining, crying, and screaming issued from nearby, someone was pulling someone’s hair and someone else needed a diaper change. 
            I grinned back at Jani. “I think they’d love a taste.” 
            Jani’s burbling giggle filled the air, so infectious I had to join in.


MIDNIGHT SISTERS is out RIGHT NOW!!!
Pick it up and meet not just Daniela, but her eleven awesome sisters! ^.~

     
~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  MIDNIGHT SISTERS
Author: Sarah E. Boucher
Release Date: Dec. 30, 2016
Publisher: Sarah E. Boucher

SUMMARY:

Do not meddle with the master’s daughters. 

 The words rattle around Jonas’s head. What is the punishment again? Death? Dismemberment? Jonas, the newest addition to the gardening staff, can’t recall the exact penalty for breaking the rule. What does it matter anyway? He would never dream of meddling with the Earl of Bromhurst’s haughty daughters. 

 Until he comes face to face with Lady Ariela, the eldest of the Master’s daughters. 

Her elusive smile and open manner cause him to question his convictions. In no time, he’s drawn into Lady Ariela’s world of mystery and intrigue, a world where she and her sisters will do anything—including leaving twelve empty beds at midnight—to escape their father’s strict rules. 

 Only Jonas can uncover the truth and save them from their father’s wrath and their own folly, if he is willing to risk everything he’s ever worked for.  



Also by Sarah E Boucher:



BECOMING BEAUTY, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, available on AmazonBarnes & Noblebooks & thingsiTunes, and Goodreads


For the duration of the blog tour (January 9-20) Becoming Beauty eBook will be 99 cents!

If you don't already have a copy, download Becoming Beauty for 99 cents on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, etc. 

Clink on the links listed above!
~*~
****Giveaway*****

You could win an Amazon gift card and a SIGNED copy of MIDNIGHT SISTERS!

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

{Giveaway} Celebrating the Release of ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard, a retelling of...PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!


Bonnie and Mandy are so excited that ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard releases today and that we get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author A.G. Howard, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a mask courtesy of A.G. and Rockstar Book Tours. 

So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About The Book:

Title: ROSEBLOOD
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: January 10, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.






About A.G. Howard

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.


Giveaway Details:


1 winner will receive a signed ROSEBLOOD poster and a Mask. US Only.

Ends on January 17th at Midnight EST!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten 2016 Releases We Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!

This week's topic:
Top Ten 2016 Releases We Meant To Read But Didn't Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)

BONNIE: I don't know about you guys, but this year, I actually hit my reading goal for the MOST part. Yes, there were a lot of 2016 titles I didn't get to, but when I sat down to make my Best of 2016 List and looked at the books I still needed to read? I narrowed it down to 11. And read EIGHT. I just read the ninth one this past week. So I'm doing pretty darn well!!! But these are some books I still have on my list that I hope to get to SOON! 


In no particular order...



1) CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo




I only just finished reading SIX OF CROWS this past week, you guys! So this one is my own fault. I really wanted to wait and read the two together. But guess what I am starting TODAY!? So I guess this technically doesn't count, but IT STILL DOES!

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28588345-the-midnight-star

2) LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS by Rae Carson


I love Rae Carson and I re-read WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER this past fall in order to do my Journey Across the USA Through Modern Day YA post in order to celebrate the release of LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS on the book's blog tour. BUT I HAVEN'T HAD TIME TO READ IT. You guys, this really upsets me!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299763-crooked-kingdom

3) A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab 



I'm actually not to bummed that I missed this. As much as I want to know what happens, I KIND OF wanted to binge the whole series once A CONJURING OF LIGHT was out. So even though it was on my Final Books of 2016 List, I was okay if I didn't get to it...and obviously I didn't, so...! ONE MORE MONTH AND I CAN BINGE!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28260587-empire-of-storms

4) SACRIFICE by Cindy Pon


I love love love love love Cindy Pon. I have been waiting YEARS for her to write something new. And then I didn't have time to read SERPENTINE...even though I snagged it at BEA. And then I said, that's okay, I'll wait and read them together because it's a duology. And someone snagged me an ARC at ALA. AND I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO SLIP IT INTO MY READING. AGAIN!!!! I am so mad at myself. BUT my dad just gave me a beautiful hardcover copy of this for Christmas (He gave me the first one for Christmas last year), so I'm hoping this will happen VERY SOON. (Especially since I now have an e-ARC of Pon's upcoming release WANT, and want to read that, too, but will feel bad if I haven't read this series first!)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18054071-like-a-river-glorious


5) VASSA IN THE NIGHT by Sarah Porter


I really loved Sarah Porter's debut trilogy Lost Voices. I've been looking forward to reading something new from her for a long time now, and have known about VASSA for quite some time. I wanted it even more after seeing the cover. I BEGGED for a review copy. I am so disappointed in myself for not getting to this one yet!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584855-heartless



1) OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst


Of Fire and Stars


This one has been on my radar for a while, and I swear I'm going to get it on my read list soon. I'm a sucker for strong princesses who are seemingly helpless against their destiny until they start tearing their own path. The fact that she falls for the sister of the prince she's betrothed to just makes it all the more intriguing.

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28588345-the-midnight-star

2) FROST by M.P. Kozlowsky


Frost

I have this, I bought it, I own it. And once I pick it up I can tell I'm gonna read it in one sitting. Lone girl in a sci fi futuristic dystopian world. She talks to her father's memories, which are housed inside a robot. In order to save her pet, the one living creature in her life, she has to make a lone trek through a decimated and dangerous city. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299763-crooked-kingdom

3) PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken



Passenger (Passenger, #1)

I am so mad that I didn't have this read before the sequel WAYFARER came out. But I am gonna catch up.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28260587-empire-of-storms



4) FURTHURMORE Tahereh Mafi


Furthermore

DO YOU SEE THIS COVER? DO YOU? It's so gorgeous it hurts my heart. I'd heard a lot about this author's teen series, bur when I found this in the middle grade section I knew I needed to read it soon. The main character, Alice, must travel through a dangerous and magical land to find her beloved father. The world is full of magic and color, both of which Alice seemingly lacks.  From what I can tell it's inspired by so many of my favorite childhood fairytales in a vibrant and intriguingly new pattern.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584855-heartless


5) SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sarah Raasch


Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
This is another one that I own and wanted to have read by now. It feels very other worldly, and the characters sound so diverse and intriguing. I can tell it's gonna be action packed and make me want to run laps while reading so I have something to do with all the adrenaline.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414432-rebel-genius



What books were you sad not to get to in 2016!?
 ^_^
 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Reviewing COIN HEIST by Elisa Ludwig--Now ALSO a Netflix Movie!!!!


O P E N I N G   L I N E:


  YOU MAY THINK YOU KNOW the story. 


(pg. 1, US hardcover edition)



Coin Heist launched on Netflix this past Friday as a Netflix Original Movie. 
Check it out!!!


Are you looking for something light and fun to sweep you away that's Ocean's 11 meets The Breakfast Club? Look no further than COIN HEIST by Elisa Ludwig, a YA caper that just became a Netflix original movie!

I watched the movie AND read the book this past weekend, so I can tell you a little bit about both of them!

For one thing, you can both read the book and watch the movie and not be bored. The two are VERY similar to one another, but different enough to keep you guessing as well. I decided to watch the movie first, then read the book--and normally, I do it the other way around!

Both versions of the story center around four teens:



Jason's dad is the headmaster at Haverford Friends...and he's just been arrested for embezzling school funds. The school has had to cancel all clubs except for yearbook and the newspaper, and par down on the upcoming prom. Staff salaries have been cut as well, and school lunches have gone from healthy to from-a-can. The school will close at the end of the year...unless Jason and his classmates can do the impossible.

After a class trip to the Philadelphia Mint, Alice notices a security glitch that could allow her to hack into the system and put a rare coin into circulation, turning a hefty profit. Alice and Jason decide to go ahead with the plan in order to make money to save their school, and are eventually joined in their plans by class It Girl Dakota and in-danger-of-losing-his-future-thanks-to-a-pulled-scholarship-student Benny. The quartet has never really interacted much, being from different social circles, but together, maybe they have enough smarts to pull off a crazy heist and save their school.

One thing I really liked about the movie was the way you can see coins being made, and see the heist in action. It's very visual in a way my brain wouldn't have portrayed on its own. The cast is made up of Sasha Pieterse (of Pretty Little Liars fame), Alex Saxon (The Fosters, Finding Carter), and YouTube vloggers Jay Walker and Alexis G. Zall:


(L to R: Jay Walker as Benny, Alex Saxon as Jason,
Alexis G. Zall as Alice, Sasha Pieterse as Dakota)
The book gets into characters heads a little more. Readers see what they're thinking, and thrill in what they're feeling. There are also a couple of serious issues not brought up in the movie that are raised in the lives of various characters, from their messy home lives to their own disorders and ways of coping in life to diverse issues such as parents living in other countries and attending school on scholarship in order to be the first in the family to get ahead. Dakota's character is probably the most changed in the two versions, and I understand Benny and Jason so much more through the book, but Alice is fierce and awesome no matter what version she's in!

What's really interesting about COIN HEIST is the fact that the movie hails from Adaptive Studios. Last June, when Barnes and Noble stores across the country held its first annual Teen BFest, one of the events was a Writing Workshop I attended that featured various book titles from Adaptive Studios. Everyone got little booklets that talked about how Adaptive Studios took failed screenplays, had writers convert them to books, then worked to make a new screenplay that could eventually lead to a successful movie or TV series. Of all the ideas mentioned at the Workshop, the one that appealed to me most was the look we got at COIN HEIST. 


Here's a really cool, in-depth look at how Adaptive Studios works if you want more details!
Check out the process here!

At first, the title appealed to me because Elisa Ludwig is a local author that I've met before. Plus, the book takes place in Philadelphia, which isn't so far from me, and how cool is that?? 

I really got pulled in hook, line, and sinker by the concept and wanted to know how everything would turn out. COIN HEIST has been on my radar ever since. (Although I'm pretty sure it changed between drafts here, too, because I initially recall teacher involvement? I'd have to get ahold of the workshop booklet and double check! I'd love to see how it evolved even further!)

Seriously, you guys!!

When I found out it was going to be a Netflix original movie and it was going to be available starting January 6th? I watched it on...January 6th! And then immediately started reading the book! (And what's ironic about that is that I'd just FINISHED reading SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo the day before, so all of a sudden I'm in the mood for capers, I guess!)

Granted, COIN HEIST isn't something likely to happen in real life, but the idea of it is a fun, entertaining way to pass the time. I read the book in one sitting! And seriously, I want to take a trip sometime and go visit the Philadelphia Mint now. I always subconsciously knew it was in Philadelphia, because my NJ grandmother used to teach us how to collect quarters and taught us our Ps vs our Ds--and Ds were really hard to get unless our grandparents in Arizona saved some for us, just because we were so close to where the Ps were made. But I guess I really never processed the fact that I lived so close to the place where money is made. For as close as I am to Philadelphia, I've been there so infrequently in my life. New York City is more the city I know like the back of my hand than my own home city is (Which is kind of sad, I know, but true, too!). But after reading and watching COIN HEIST, I need to take a tour of the Mint! I'll probably wait a couple of years until my niece is old enough to take, because there's something extra-special about experiencing something new when a child's wonder opens your own eyes in new ways, but it's going to happen! And I probably would have never thought twice about it if not for how intriguing COIN HEIST made everything out to be!


Check out the movie trailer, and if you have Netflix, add it to your Queue now!


~*~
C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( Kissing. Innuendo about whether or not Dakota is a virgin, and an aside that Benny is not. But nothing sexual happens in the book, only light kissing. Same for the movie! )
Language: PG13 ( Cursing. Mostly standard stuff and name calling, but at least one f-bomb is dropped. 
Violence: --
Other:  PG13 ( Bullying. Eating disorders. Parents cheating and comments about the sexual innuendo they used in front of their teen. Underage drinking. Talk of smoking/acquiring weed by one of the characters. The characters plan a heist to break into the Philadelphia Mint and make their own money to sell for profit later, which includes forged IDs and getaway cars. The headmaster embezzles school funds. Sneaking into school after hours. )
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

On the original cover, I like the way the title is on a slant and the way the N in Coin and the T in Heist come together:



I like that the four main characters are in silhouette. They're stealthy. They could be anybody.

I love the grid in the background, implying both cyberspace/hacking and floor plans for the heist.

I also like how the author's name is the same black as the silhouettes, pulling the cover together.

It's really interesting to look at!


***

Buuuuuuut I also love colors and the illusion of falling coins on the new Netflix-inspired cover!!!

~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  COIN HEIST
Author: Elisa Ludwig
Release Date: June 06, 2014
Publisher: Adaptive Studios
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the U.S. Mint – which prints a million new coins every 30 minutes – an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore. 

 United by dire circumstances, these unlikely allies – the slacker, the nerd, the athlete, and the "perfect" student – band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. The diverse crew is forced to confront their true beliefs about each other and themselves as they do the wrong thing for the right reasons. 

Elisa Ludwig's COIN HEIST is a fun, suspenseful, and compelling thriller, told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that could change all of their lives for the better—if they can pull it off.