Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Blitz: The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow+Giveaway

The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Release Date: 02/25/14
Harlequin Teen
381 pages
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository | iBookstore

"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." 

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride." 
--RT Book Reviews

Book Two:

Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2)
Release Date: 10/28/14
Harlequin Teen
448 pages
All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A MillionBook Depository | iBookstore

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … but that doesn’t matter when you live there.”


Damien leaned lazily against the door frame. “So you’re the infamous Diamond sisters?”

“Infamous?” Savannah asked. “I’m one of the Diamond sisters, but I didn’t know we were infamous.”

“I’m kidding.” He laughed. “There’s just been some talk about you three, and everyone’s been curious to meet you.”

“Oh, okay.” Savannah knew Adrian Diamond was well known, but she hadn’t realized that meant people would talk about her and her sisters, too. “Who’s everyone?”

“Just some of us who go to the Goodman School,” he said. “A few of us live here and in nearby condos. Your dad made a donation for the school’s new sports center, and the talk is you’ll be attending in the fall.”

Savannah had hoped her mom would get better before the end of summer so she wouldn’t have to start her sophomore year with total strangers. She bit her lower lip, trying to figure out how to reply in a way that wouldn’t make her sound clueless. “We haven’t talked with our dad about school yet.”
Well, they hadn’t talked to their dad at all yet, but Damien didn’t have to know that. And Savannah hadn’t realized that donations—or any payments—were necessary to go to school. At Fairfield High, new kids just signed up on their first day.

“Too bad,” Damien said. “You’ll have to let me know when you find out. But you’ll be at the Fourth of July party at Myst tonight, right?”

“Yes.” Savannah breathed a sigh of relief at the mention of something she knew a little bit about. That was the place Adrian had mentioned in his note. “Have you been there before?”

“Been there before...” He repeated her question, lingering on every syllable. “Of course I’ve been there before. It’s the hottest new club on the Strip. And it’s the best, just like everything else at the Diamond.”

About the Author 
Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, joinMichelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!
Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Book Signing Recap: #ELockhartinPH

It has been far too long since we did a recap on the amazing signings we've been to, when in fact a couple of authors have visited Manila for events and whatnot since November (you can check  out the photos here and here). Our reasons have been the same and now that school's out (for most of us), we wanted to share with you the wonderful event that is the book signing tour of E. Lockhart in the Philippines.

The Manila leg of the tour and Q&A/forum with the bloggers were held on the 22nd, which Mary Ann, our friend Jello, and I attended. We arrived about fifteen minutes before the event started to chat a little bit and take pictures with some blogger friends.

Emily arrived almost exactly as the forum was scheduled to beginwhich was awesome because we were super excited to meet the person behind the powerful and heart-wrenching but totally amazing We Were Liars. The entire Q&A session was very insightful and you can tell that she gives the questions a lot of thought before answering them. Read on to know what we learned about E. Lockhart, her books, and her writing process during the fun and informative Q&A!

  • Emily Lockhart said that in all her books, her favorite is “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks ” because the character of Frankie is in lots of way better than her.
  • There are elements of fairy tale in WWL, would you consider writing another book with this kind of format? Emily like to experiment with formats, and each of the subsequent books in the series of boyfriend list has some kind of instructional device that was a challenge for her. She also said that she always set herself some kind of structural challenge because that’s kind what keeps her writing.
  • In we were liars how hard was it to tackle with unreliable narrator, what are some difficulties you encounter while writing and what kind of considerations did you make? Emily said that for the first time in WWL. she used different word processor. She the used one called Scrivener which was often used by people who were writing big multi-book fantasy series and because the book poses an amnesia story she had to know where the pieces of the book were. The other thing she did was to share the book with her writing colleagues. Emily also said that she was usually fairly confident in what she have written but with we were liars she was not so confident because she didn't know when people would begin to suspect,  whether they would have misleading suspicions that she want them to have and whether they would actually figure it all out.
  • Of all reading your books one can’t help but notice and appreciate your distinctive and beautiful writing style. How did you grow into it and what advice could you give to aspiring writers who are wanted to develop their own writing style? A breakthrough for her in finding her voice as a storyteller was trying to write like she would talk to a friend. She doesn't make sure that everything is perfectly in order and she doesn't have to be invisible, she could just try to talk on the page.
  • Who is Emily Lockhart in her younger years? Emily then proceeds to tell us that she went to 2 different HS. The first HS she went to, she was so excited because there was drama and dance and visual arts, though she was completely miserable in this HS. Emily could not get in to any drama productions and she wanted to love these classes which were not fun. In her junior year Emily transferred to a prep school and her parents’ think that these preppies would eat her alive and but she was still the same Emily after going to this school and had friends, boyfriends and got parts in the drama productions. Because she changes schools, had this radically different experience, Emily think it was one of the reasons she keep writing about HS is because she had this radically experiences both culturally and socially.
  • If there’s one scene that you could change in we were liars what would that be? Emily said that she actually doesn't re read We Were Liars, she made the best book that she knew she had to make and she stop thinking about it.  Emily also said that she would probably write some new scenes and change something’s but she’s just thinking all the things she’s changing for her next book. 
  • How did you come up with the unforgettable twist in WWL? Emily told us that she already had this idea; she had the setting and the family in her mind but could not figure out what the story was. So she went to her 2 YA adult’s editor, Donna and Beverly. She told them about her idea on writing about real estate but both her editors suggest for her to add something in the book. One even said about adding dirty and bad things. Emily then went to this worst coffee shop which is right across from her daughter’s school when she was about to pick her up, where she brainstorm for the book and take the whole plot in 10 mins. Those ideas from her editors were staying in the back of Emily’s head for a long time and finally found a way to put them all together.
  • If you could write about something else, something not quite young adult or HS what would it be and why? A con artist which is going to be her next book set in international jet setting with a little bit of murder.
  • Which aspects of the family would you like to see exposed in the screen (reality TV show)? Emily said that she kind of like a cooking show, she love their food and she want to know what’s in their food. The Sinclair’s TV Show would be “ The secrets of the Sinclair family kitchen”
  • What brought you the idea of writing we were liars? When Emily’s looking an idea for a story, where the universal emotions in this, are because she like to write unusual characters that have an unusual voice and way of thinking. In we were liars one of the things Emily wanted to write about is families fighting over property, grown children fighting over parental love and approval and younger kids hearing people fight and that’s an experience that she had and that she think most young people have had.
  • If you were Cadence and if you have a choice would you actually let them go? Emily said that she don’t think Cadence has a choice. Emily also said that she would let them go because you can’t stay on an island forever you have to go back to the rest of the world.
  • Your previous books have a comedic element to it compared to WWL, can you tell us the secret on making a suspense novel? Emily said that the truism of mystery writing as opposed to suspense, but in mystery there are 3 or 4 suspects and all of them are lying. If your suspect in a mystery is completely open and telling the truth you figure it out quite quickly that they’re seems to be a suspect, if they’re definitely lying and you just don’t know what’s the lie and what’s the truth then the story is much more interesting. She try to hold that idea in writing WWL even if it’s not really a mystery that all of them would have some truth to them and false to them.
  • What inspired you to add these fairy tales stories? E Lockhart parents were divorced when she was very little and she and her mother lived in a communal household. They switch houses quite often. They don’t have furniture and just had a bed or any stuff really. One thing that they moved from house to house was a cardboard box full of beautiful late 90th and early 20th century fairy tale collections and was allowed to look these collections under supervision and with clean hands and her mother would watch her very carefully. Much later she found out that these books had been given by her father to her mother during their courtship, a box of marital baggage and were endowed with memories of the courtship. Emily was interested in WWL in writing a story in which objects were endowed with a lot of family baggage and meaning and the fairy tales came naturally because of these collections.
  • How emotional do you get when you’re writing your stories and what challenges have you had that you incorporating the feels into your works? Emily said that she usually have to push herself in rewrites to put emotions into the book because she’s scared of that and she avoid it on her first draft of novel.

After the Q&A, we lined up to have our books signed and interact with her one-on-one. Emily's such a cool and nice person and we truly enjoyed the time that we got to know her. 

Mary Ann and Dea with Emily

Bloggers wearing their awesome We Were Liars shirt

And finally, a picture with all the bloggers at the event. We have no idea what was so funny when the picture on the right was taken. :)

We headed to the public signing and checked out the crowd at the venue after the forum. There, almost three hundred excited fans showed up and were patiently waiting to finally meet E. Lockhart! Check out these pictures from the book signing event below (you can find more here). 

(Photo by NBS)

E. Lockhart's stamps of We Were Liars quotes about kindness and bravery on fans' hands and books.

(Photo by NBS)

E. Lockhart Book Signing Recaps:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Official FBI Case Files on the Suspects by Paula Stokes(LIARS, Inc.)+Giveaway

by Paula Stokes
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 24th 2015
For fans of Gone GirlI Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.


Paula: Welcome to Day 2 of the #CatchAKiller Blog Tour. The first week is background profiles on the victim and suspects. The second week is FBI subject interview transcripts. Follow along to win fun swag and test your detective skills. Nothing in the content is directly spoilery for the book, but the info presented here might get you thinking about who's lying and who's telling the truth. Can you follow the clues and sniff out a killer? Make your guess and then read LIARS, INC. to see if you’re right!

CASE CA4153-228
LEAD INVESTIGATOR: McGhee, James, Special Agent
SECONDARY INVESTIGATOR: Gonzalez, Alex, Special Agent

SUBJECT: DeWitt, Remington
AGE: 53
ETHNICITY: Caucasian
HEIGHT: 6’1”
HAIR: Blond
EYES: Blue

Senator Remington DeWitt was born in Los Angeles, CA and has also lived in Malibu, Boston, and Sacramento. He is currently in the running to be appointed Secretary of Labor. Married to Claudia DeWitt. Senator DeWitt is being questioned in conjunction with the disappearance of Preston DeWitt, his only child. [NOTE: His spouse, Claudia, was also asked to answer a few questions, but the senator informs me she suffers from anxiety and isn’t up to talking today.]

CRIMINAL HISTORY: One count of drunk and disorderly contact that occurred thirty years ago while the senator was serving overseas in the Marine Corps. Handled by UCMJ.

MEDICAL HISTORY:  Cholecystectomy, tonsillectomy, wisdom teeth removal, chicken pox as a child, current atrial fibrillation and hyperlipidemia, former two pack a day smoker. Social drinker. Subject denies psychiatric disorders, current tobacco use, and drug abuse.

ACADEMIC HISTORY: Attended elementary and middle school in Los Angeles. Foreign boarding school for high school. Undergraduate work at Pepperdine. MBA at Harvard.

WORK HISTORY: Current U.S. Senator. Current CEO of DeWitt Firearms. Former Governor of CA. One four-year stint in the USMC.

SOCIAL HISTORY: Senator DeWitt splits his time between Washington, D.C., his home in Vista Palisades, and traveling for his firearms company. He describes himself as extremely busy, but says both he and his wife still make time for Preston and assure that he receives excellent care. Subject says he and Preston weren’t close per se, but also weren’t doing more than “the usual amount of arguing you see between a teenage boy and his father.”


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About the Author 
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blog Tour: 1940's Style Guide of Dead To Me by Mary McCoy+Giveaway

Dead to Me
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

"Don't believe anything they say."

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her--and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets--and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars--if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

Dead To Me is set in 1940s Los Angeles, so while I was writing, I had to do a little bit of research on 1940s fashion to make sure I didn't anyone dressed for the wrong era. The characters include everyone from housewives to movie stars to tomboyish teenage girls to private eyes, so I looked to old dress patterns, archival photos, and of course, movies for inspiration.

There's a fabulous collection of Life Magazine photographs of teenagers in the 1940s, and I used that when I was thinking about Alice, the main character, and what she would have been wearing:

After World War II, one of the most significant trends in women's fashion was know as the New Look, the name of Christian Dior's spring-summer 1947 collection. The clothes were feminine, with longer skirts - an antidote to the more utilitarian styles of the war-era. Alice's mother would have adored this look:
I also see Annie, the glamorous older sister, adopting the New Look, only a more youthful version of it:
Camille Grabo, the disgraced starlet, would have gone with dramatic looks. I see her wearing a lot of black, too:

And on the other end of the spectrum is Ruth, who doesn't care about fashion, who's described as wearing shirtwaist dresses. This would have been a few years out of fashion, and definitely more austere than what the other women are wearing:

And then there are the men. Of course, for Jerry Shaffer, the tough-talking private detective, I went to the platonic ideal, Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep:

And for Conrad Donahue, the devastatingly handsome but dangerous movie star, I used Montgomery Clift as my model:

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Follow the Dead To Me by Mary McCoy Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

About the Author 
Mary McCoy is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles's notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her debut novel, Dead To Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.

Win (1) hardcopy of DEAD TO ME by Mary McCoy (US Only)

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