Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obscura Burning BOOK BLITZ+GIVEAWAY(Int)

Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen  
Date Pub:December 7th 2012 
Publisher: Etopia Press

The world's going to end in fire…and it's all Kyle's fault.

Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore.

Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...

Author Interview

1. Do you judge a book by its cover?

All the time. That’s not to say that all my judgements are accurate but a book cover is really important. If I’m standing in a store torn between two books of equal price with equally interesting blurbs, I’ll certainly take the one with the nicer cover - that’s just the way it is.

2. Is there a series you'll read over and over again and never get tired of?

Series? No. I’m not really into series. I find myself often reading the first book and never further. I may make exceptions for trilogies and I’ll have to see how it goes with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater before changing my mind on book series.

3. What are two of your favorite fictional worlds that you'd like to see together?

Wow - that’s tough. Merging two worlds. Hm... I think Capt. Jack Harkness from Dr Who and Torchwood could just about take on anything and anyone so I’d like to see him take on some comic book heroes. I reckon Capt. Jack should make a guest appearance in The Avengers or X-Men - get Torchwood on the hunt for Magneto or Loki. That could be fun!

4. If you could meet a fictional character, who would it be and why?

It’s a tie between Capt. Jack Harkness and Morpheus, the Sandman and King of Dreams. Capt. Jack because he is awesome and has seen the future and would be infinitely interesting to talk to and Morpheus because he lives inside people’s dreams - I think he’d have a unique perspective on the human condition.

5. How do you feel about book to movies or book to TV shows?

Love them when they’re done well, which isn’t all that often. I’m a bit of purist tending to prefer the book to adaptation but I’m the first to admit that movies like Stardust and Coraline are fantastic and actually improve upon the original books. I think all the Nicholas Sparks movies have been an improvement on the books but the one that wins hands down is The Vampire Diaries. I could never get into the books despite trying more than once. The TV series however? Yeah I’m a total Damon Salvatore fangirl.

6. How many unread books do you have? On your TBR list?

Hundreds. I add more than I can ever hope to read but at least it gives me options. I love the sample function on Amazon - makes life easier being able to scroll through samples on my Kindle and get a taste for the book before purchasing it.

7. What's your favorite book this year?

I read this in November last year but it remains a favorite: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. A totally unexpected and brilliant book about zombies. I hope the film adaptation will do it justice!

8. Ebooks or physical books? Which do you prefer?

Ebooks - more practical, lighter, easier to travel with and they save a hell of a lot of shelf space.


Buy Now

Author Bio:

Suzanne van Rooyen:

Suzanne is a freelance writer and author from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. 

Niteblade nominated her short story Where dreams are grown for the Pushcart Prize. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance to ninth graders or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.

Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

Giveaway(Grand Prize)

Open internationally and ending January 31st.

(Blog Tour) Review: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann + Giveaway!

The Peculiar (The Peculiar, #1)
Genre: MG Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Paperback: 357 pages
Release Date: September 18th, 2012 
Buy Now
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged. 

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them. 

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed. 

First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong. 

Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.

My apologies for sounding clichĂ© but this is a brilliantly written book. The Peculiar is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The distinctive combination of mystery, gothic fantasy and steampunk adventure is intriguing and exhilarating at times; the world-building very well-crafted and furnished with rich atmosphere. Its unrelenting efforts to find its own identity amid the myriad of stories are not wasted.

The Peculiar is set in Victorian-era England where humans coexist with faeries. It tells the story of Bartholomew Kettle, a Changeling/Peculiar–half human, half faery– boy and Arthur Jelliby, a young gentleman and member of British Parliament. Bartholomew and his family live in the slums of Bath, a place dwelled by other faeries where they toil at the side of poor humans. The fact that Changelings are considered aberrations by both humans and fey brings fear to their home. As a result, they abide by the rule:
 Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.

The plot and characters in this book scream mysterious and dark –from the woman in plum-colored skirts to Mr. Lickerish, Jack Box and the rest of  the fey folk. The faeries are categorically diverse and have a sinister atmosphere, which is a nice respite from all the otherworldly beautiful ones I often encounter in YA.

It may fall into Middle Grade spectrum but in all honesty, I don’t think I would have completely grasped (let alone enjoy) the story if I read it when I was twelve. For that, I am glad to have had the opportunity to delve into this now because the gorgeous writing, with all the vivid descriptions and macabre bits of images blew me away.

With that being said, I understand how some people enjoyed it less than I did. The pacing could be slow especially at the beginning, and there are a few times when it took me seconds to absorb the author’s thought process. These are quibbles I am willing to overlook because overall, I really liked how Stefan wrote this imaginative and stunning debut novel.

Author Bio
Stefan Bachmann is a writer and musician. He was born in Colorado and now lives with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, where he attends the Zurich Conservatory. He began writing The Peculiar in 2010, when he was sixteen years old.
Follow her on these sites: Website││Twitter|| Goodreads


HarperCollins International, National Book Store and Pinoy Book Tours have prepared awesome giveaways for Filipino  and International readers! Here are three chances to win a copy of The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann.

2 winners will win a copy of The Peculiar courtesy of PBT
Open to PH residents only

 For the tour-wide giveaway, Five winners (one can be won by a PH resident) will win signed hardcovers of The Peculiar! There will also be a grand prize of a signed hardcover of The Peculiar + a Skype chat with Stefan Bachmann!

Here's a video of Stefan Bachmann inviting everyone for the Philippine blog tour and speaking a few Filipino words!

There will be a Twitter party at the end of the tour on February 2nd. Further details will be announced soon so keep an eye out for that! 

Waiting on Wednesday: Quintana of Charyn and Ink

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

Here are my WoW picks this week (click title for the Goodreads page):

Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)
Publisher: Candlewick
Pre-Order: Amazon | Book Depository
The climactic conclusion of Printz Award winner Melina Marchetta’s epic fantasy trilogy! 

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.
 I cannot believe I forgot to add this on my most anticipated list when it should have been tied with Clockwork Princess and Out of Breath at the top. Quintana of Charyn is the third book and final book of one of my all-time favorite series, Lumatere Chronicles. Froi of the Exile's ending killed me and I wanted so badly to fly to Australia when the book came out there last year. Everyone who have read Froi probably get how much I'm dying to read this book.

Ink (The Paper Gods, #1)
Release date: June 25th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pre-Order: Amazon | Book Depository
"I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look. 

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench. 

 A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness. 

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine. "

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building. 

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets. 

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Look at that cover.. so gorgeous. Based on that tidbit of Amanda's writing in the summary, I'm going to have a great time reading this. 
And a book set in Japan? Count me in!

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