Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday:The Night We Said Yes and What You Left Behind

"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 on the title for the Goodreads page):

by Lauren Gibaldi
Release date: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life. 

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future. 

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave. 
Been wanting to read this book since I've seen this last year I think. I want to know why Matt left, what would Ella do. And now that I have an e-arc of this (Thanks Harpercollins!*hugs &kisses*) I really hope that I like this book, but I have a good feeling  about this because I read its reviews hehe ;)

What You Left Behind
by Jessica Verdi
Release date: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks
It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?
Browsing GoodReads and voila! Found this book which I really think will release the emotional Mary Ann that's been hiding for months, I want to see her (ME) again. Will count the dates to its release date that's for sure.

What are you waiting on this week? Leave a comment with your WoW link and I'll make sure to stop by your blog! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blog Tour: 10 Favorite Authors of Kristen Simmons+Giveaway

Hi there! Oh, I am so lucky to know such seriously amazing authors – people who write great books AND are lovely, supportive people. Here are a few I’ve read this year. If you haven’t checked them out, please do. They’re so talented.

1. The Festival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley (such an incredible contemporary YA. Plus, Nirvana!!)
2. So hooked on the Raven Boys Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
3. Anything by Katie McGarry. Just do it.

4. Kendra Blake's new Antigoddess series is awesome.
5. Wild by Alex Mallory was great - a retelling of Tarzan. Loved it.
6. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasach. OMG such a fantastic story.

7. Jay Kristoff eneded his Stormdancer series this year. Japanese steampunk. Can't go wrong.
8. The Mindee/y's - Mindee Arnett has both the Nightmare series, and her new exciting spaceship release, Polaris, and
9. Mindy McGinnis (Not A Drop To Drink) about a world where water is scarce. Yikes!

10. Jenna Black, who is a great writer and just really lovely friend.

Happy reading!

 Have to agree with Katie McGarry and Maggie Stiefvater books, they will hooked you 'til the end of the story. Can't wait to read the books of Jay Kristoff and Sara Raasch, heard a lot of good things about it. This is definitely an awesome list of authors Kristen! :)--Mary Ann

The Glass Arrow

by Kristen Simmons
Publisher: TorBooks
Release Date: March 1st 2015
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning. 

You can purchase The Glass Arrow at the following Retailers:

About the Author 
Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series and THE GLASS ARROW (Tor Teen). She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Follow her on these sites:

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Blog Tour: The “True” Story of Sleeping Beauty by Rhiannon Thomas+Giveaway

A Wicked Thing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Read an excerpt
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. 

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

“I never thought what happens after Sleeping Beauty wakes up would keep me at the edge of my seat, breathlessly turning pages. But Rhiannon Thomas has taken the familiar and the cliched and turned it into a tense, fast-paced read full of plot twists and revelations, set in a world at once intriguing and perilous.” - Sherry Thomas, author of The Burning Sky

“The book is welcome twist on the classic helpless-princess-saved-by-dashing-prince one expects from a fairy tale…. Fairy tale and fantasy fans alike will breeze through this retelling and eagerly await her next chapter.” - School Library Journal

“One of the best fairytale retellings I’ve ever read. Thomas uses the well-known back story of Sleeping Beauty to craft an entirely new future for Aurora that is anything but happily-ever-after. Starting the story after the moment that usually signals the end of the fairytale gave this book an original spin and makes it stand out among of sea of simple retellings. Don’t miss this great debut!” - Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The “True” Story of Sleeping Beauty

When people think of “original” fairy tales, most think of the Brothers Grimm and their creepy German stories. But the Brothers Grimm were just collectors, not writers, and they didn’t simply record the story as everyone knew it: they picked and chose how to tell them, based on their own (kinda sexist, kinda gross) agenda.

Sleeping Beauty was no exception. There are at least four versions of the story written down before the Brothers Grimm came along, and all of them are dark and creepy in their own way. Shield maidens! Murder! Ogres! Babies cooked into pies!

And, like in A Wicked Thing, almost all of them are concerned with what happens after Sleeping Beauty awakens from her sleep. The curse and the kiss are only half of the story.

Brynhildr (Viking mythology) aka “Sleeping Beauty is a Murderer”

Brynhildr was a shield maiden/Valkyrie who really pissed off Odin. To punish her, Odin imprisoned her in a castle behind a wall of shields, and made her sleep in a ring of flame until a man could rescue and marry her.

A dragon-slaying hero called Siguror Sigmundson fought his way into the castle and awoke her by removing her enchanted helmet. The two of them fell in love, but a sorceress called Grimhild wanted Siguror to marry her own daughter, so she fed Siguror a potion that made him forget all about Brynhildr. Things got kind of messy after that. Brynhildr convinced Grimhild’s son Gunnan to kill Siguror, and then killed Siguror’s three year old son herself, before throwing herself on Siguror’s funeral pyre so they could be together in death. I’m sure he was happy to see her.

Perceforest (14th century France) aka “Your True Love is a Creeper”

This one was kind of an Arthurian saga about a bold king named Perceforest, with one of the earliest Sleeping Beauty stories. Perceforest’s gorgeous daughter Zellandine fell in love with a dude named Troylus, but her father was not convinced, so he sent Troylus off to perform a bunch of heroic tasks. While he was gone, Zellandine fell into an enchanted sleep.

Troylus returned triumphant, found her asleep, raped her, and she got pregnant. Dude then left a ring as a token of his affection and took off again. When the baby was born, it sucked on her finger, removing the flax that made her sleep, and she woke up and found1) a baby, and 2) a random ring.

She recognized that the ring belongs to Troylus, and of course swooned with joy, waited for him to return, and married him.

Sun, Moon and Talia (17th century Italy) or “The One with the Baby Eating”

Instead of evil witches here, we had wise men. When a girl named Talia was born, these wise men said that she would be in danger from a splinter of flax. So when she got flax stuck in her finger and fell asleep, her father thought she was dead.

In a moment of total morbidity, her father propped her up on a velvet throne, closed the door, and abandoned the house where they lived forever.

One day, a totally noble king stopped at the house. When no one answered the door, he came inside to find Talia unconscious. After trying to wake her, he decided “oh well,” carried her to bed, and raped her. Then he left her there and went home.

The princess had twins this time, and one of them sucked the flax out of her finger. She woke up, and thought “what the hell happened???”

Luckily, our noble king missed his unconscious love, so he came back. When he found Talia awake, he told her who he was and what happened, and promised to take her back to his kingdom. She was like, “Oh, ok, cool.”

Unfortunately, the king kind of had a wife, and she found out what was going on. She wrote to Talia, pretending to be the king, asking her to send the babies to him. She did, because apparently babies can travel solo in fairy tale land, and the queen told the cook to kill them and feed them to the king.

The cook was like “WTF” and hid the babies, feeding the king some nice lamb instead. Then when Talia came to the kingdom, the queen plotted to burn her alive, but the king found out and burned her instead.

Talia married the king and they lived happily ever after.

Sleeping Beauty (17th century France) aka “The One With the Ogre Mother”

Seven fairies were invited to the christening of the new princess and given  golden caskets as gifts. The eighth fairy in the kingdom was not invited, because no one had seen her for years and they thought she was dead. Since she was overlooked, she gave a “gift” to the princess – she would prick her finger on a spindle and die. One of the other fairies partially reversed the curse – she would fall into a deep sleep for 100 years and be awakened by the kiss of a prince.

Spinning was  banned in the kingdom, and sixteen years passed safely, until one day the king and queen were away from the castle, and the Princess wandered about. She found an old woman spinning, and asked if she could try it. She pricked her finger, she fell asleep, and was placed in a beautiful bed to sleep.

The good fairy came along and put everyone in the castle to sleep, so Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t be alone when she woke up. She created a forest of brambles around the castle that would last a hundred years.

A hundred years later, a prince stumbled across the castle and learned about the sleeping princess. As he approached, the brambles fell away. He found the princess, was overcome by her beauty, and kissed her. She woke up, and they got married. Yay!

Then things got weird. The prince kept the marriage a secret, because his mom was an ogre, and she wouldn’t approve. But then his dad died, he ascended to the throne, and he brought Sleeping Beauty and their two kids home with him.

The Ogre Queen was not happy. She sent Sleeping Beauty and her kids to a far away house in the woods, and told a cook to serve up the kids for dinner. He served lamb instead, but neglected to tell Sleeping Beauty that he hadn’t actually killed her kids. So when the Ogre Queen demanded that Sleeping Beauty be cooked next, she offered to slit her own throat to join her children. The cook then set things straight, mother and not-dead-kids were reunited, and the Ogre Queen, when she discovered what had happened, prepared a tub of vipers to kill the cook.

The King returned, his mother panicked and threw herself into the tub, and died.

Everyone lived happily ever after. 

Huh..Well those four versions is surely not what I remember Sleeping Beauty story is in my childhood. Thank God for the people who change the story from dark and creepy to something that kids love this day!--Mary Ann 


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Follow the A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.

I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.
Open to all US, UK and Canada residents | Must be 13 or older to enter

FIRST PRIZE: Win (1) signed copy of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas plus a spinning wheel charm bracelet.

SECOND PRIZE: Win (1) of (2) signed copy of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas.

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