Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review + Giveaway: The Jewel by Amy Ewing


The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
by Amy Ewing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Rate: 3 "I-need-to-have-the-2nd-book" quils
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

The Jewel was actually an okay book.

I fell in love the first time I saw its book cover and the summary on GR looks interesting so it’s not very hard for me to decide that I really need to read this book ASAP. I was fascinated with how Amy Ewing created the world in Jewel. If any of you have watched Attack on Titans the setting that I envisioned in Jewel is like this where there is a division of city in a circle. I love how it was thoroughly explained in the whole book that you’ll feel like you’re in there.

Violet, born and raised in Marsh has been trained to be a surrogate for the royalty. As she was purchased in a surrogacy auction with the other girls, all of which were ranked in numbers and their abilities and Violet as #197 was chosen by Duchess of the Lake. Violet relationship with the Duchess was something that would be like an animal in a leash. She needs to do this and that, but what I love about her is despite of this she’ll try to contradict the Duchess in some way. Other characters that I liked in this book is also Raven, she was such a strong girl that drives Violet to not give up and Lucien who helps Violet in his best way.

The other thing that made me want to read this book was the forbidden romance said in the summary and I was waiting for it and waiting and waiting until it was already 60% of the book that I want to give up. Then Ash came (finally)! And..and..and I don’t know what happened but it went all downhill from there. A few meetings there and Violet was already in love and then she did what she shouldn't be doing especially that she knows the consequences but because Violet loved Ash she did it! Grrr -_- girl(I know I’m talking cryptic here because I don’t want to spill anything but ugh).  

I liked this book although I had a few issues with some things like I said before the underdeveloped chemistry between Ash and Violet. The second one would be the ending. Yes it was really a cliffhanger which after reading I stopped for a few seconds because I didn't expect it.  But I think it was also rushed and raised more questions than it did answers. I understand that it’s the first book in the series, but I felt like there should have been more. 

To sum it up, I enjoyed reading Jewel and would wait for the second book.


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Follow the FFBC The Jewel Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.

She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.
Follow her on these sites:

Win (1) of (3) copies of The Jewel (Us Only)

Friday, August 29, 2014

MINTY Blog Tour: Guest Post by Christina Bach + Giveaway!

Mystery fans! Today I have the great chance to be a part of the blog tour for Minty by Christina Banach hosted by Jean of  Jean BookNerd. Check out this guest post by Christina on her inspiration and approach for writing her debut mystery novel.

by Christina Banach

When I was a little kid my dad worked as a baker-confectioner. He was the guy who made all the wedding and birthday cakes, and when he came home at the end of his shift his overalls smelled of a combination of flour and sugar. Some years later he swopped his overalls for a suit but I never forgot the sweet, comforting aroma that was so distinctly Dad.

So you can imagine my reaction when I sensed that same scent around my house, a month after he died. On that occasion, I put it down to my imagination - wishful thinking if you like. Until it happened again and again. And again. It was unnerving, perplexing, yet strangely consoling. Then, in the middle of one June night, the scent reappeared. 
By this time several months had passed since I’d first detected it and I really couldn’t get my head around what was happening to me. So, unable to get back to sleep, I sat in the sunroom for an hour or so trying to work out what was going on. 

 By now the sun was rising, diffusing the room with golden light, so I sat back, closed my eyes, and tried to empty my mind - to relax awhile. And then I heard it, the familiar sound of my dog, Bonnie, panting at my feet. I put out a hand to stroke her. Until I remembered - she had died the month before. Then, in an instant, Minty's story came to me: a tale of identical teenaged twins. A story of love and loss, hope and redemption. Something that would explore my unanswered questions about the afterlife. 

Since I was working on another novel at the time, I let the concept ferment. Then, two years later, it was Minty’s turn, and work on the book commenced. I jotted down ideas for scenes, spent time on researching the link between identical twins and ESP. Looked into ancient Roman customs (the twins are obsessed with ancient Rome). Researched and listened to jazz (Minty and Jess are jazz freaks), particularly saxophone music. I also read up on the various stages of grief, even although I’d had first-hand experience of bereavement myself. 

Once I’d arranged my thoughts into a rough plot, I discovered my cast of characters – or they found me. Even my pets wormed their way into the story: my rescue dogs Bonnie and Clyde metamorphosed into Romulus and Remus, the twins’ golden retrievers; and our ginger tom, Mr Bo (short for Mr Bojangles) popped up as Octavius, Jess and Minty’s cat. 

 Then the actual writing began and man did that story flow! It poured out of me so quickly that the first draft was completed in a matter of weeks. Nevertheless, it took another seven revisions before the manuscript was ready for submitting to agents. Through each of these edits I worked on things like reworking and deepening the plot, planting clues, checking for consistency, playing about with the structure and ensuring a satisfactory character arc for Minty and the rest of the cast. It wasn’t always easy. There were times when I thought I’d never get the darned thing to hang together the way I wanted it to. I even thought of giving up on it. But I couldn’t. For you see, this was a book I had to write…I wrote Minty for me. Yes, of course I wanted it to get published one day – what writer wouldn’t? But being honest with you, I wrote the type of book that I wanted to read. One that would move me, that would make me laugh; a book that would linger in my memory the way the smell of flour and sugar had lingered on my dad’s overalls all those years ago. Did I succeed in my task? I believe I did, and, if you read Minty, I hope you do too. 

by Christina Banach
Paperback: 388 pages
Publisher: Three Hares Publishing
Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Fourteen-year old twins Minty and Jess are inseparable. Maybe they bicker now and then, even crave a bit of space once in a while. But they have a connection. Unbreakable. Steadfast. Nothing can tear them apart. Until a family trip to the coast puts their bond in jeopardy. As Minty tries to rescue her dog from drowning she ends up fighting for her life. Will Minty survive? If she doesn't, how will Jess cope without her? Only the stormy sea has the answer.

You can purchase Minty at the following Retailers:

About the Author 
Christina Banach is a former head teacher who lives in Scotland with her husband and their two rescue dogs. She loves walking; delicious food and wine; evenings at the theatre; exploring new places; surfing the Net; listening to music; and anything that makes her laugh. Plus she has a bit of a thing about shoes and handbags. She is mad on reading, and is especially keen on young adult and children's fiction (all those years buying for school libraries!).

She is currently working on her next novel, a contemporary ghost story-come-thriller.

Follow her on these sites

One winner will receive a Paperback Copy of Minty by Christina Banach.
One winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you guys read mystery books? What do you think of Christina's guest post and Minty based on the summary? Thank you for stopping by and I hope you'll have a great and stress-free weekend! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Vision by Lisa Amowitz

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

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by Lisa Amowitz
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: September 9, 2014
The light is darker than you think… 

High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.

When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.

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WMy young adult novel BREAKING GLASS is available now 

AmazonBNOblong Books 

"The light is darker than you think."

Her other book:

Breaking Glass on GOODREADS 

Lisa Amowtiz photo 1388907529569_zpsb9ffddce.jpegAbout the Author 
Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. 
A lot.

Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at  Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.
Follow her on these sites

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