Saturday, 14 March 2015

Blog Tour : Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman + Giveaway (US/Canada)


Book Summary : The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together
they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?

SHADOW SCALE is supported by a national marketing and publicity campaign that includes a national author tour, a dedicated series website, and outreach to media outlets. For more information, visit SeraphinaBooks.com.

About The Author : As a child, RACHEL HARTMAN played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of her award-winning debut novel, Seraphina. Born in Kentucky, Rachel has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada. To learn more, please visit RachelHartmanBooks.com and follow her on Twitter @_rachelhartman.

Giveaway

Thanks to the folks at Random House, for offering one copy of Shadow Scale to give awayr.

Giveaway Rules

To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
All entrants must be at least 13 years or older.
The giveaway is open to USA/CAN only. (Sorry international folks.)
The winners will be announced here and will be emailed.
Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Cover Reveal and The First Two Chapters Launch for Of Smoke and Stardust (on Wattpad)

This is the big day for me and cp-turned-co-author Ellie Moreton.

Most of you guys don't know that I write too. Well, I'm an attempted writer, and this is my first step in my quest towards the goal. And nothing could have more wonderful than sharing my writing journey with you guys. Of Smoke and Stardust is a space fiction that pitched as 'Gladiator met Battlestar Galactica'.

Well, lo and behold, for we're going going to be posting it up on Wattpad from 3rd February.


Excited???

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Book Summary : While investigating missing teens across the galaxy, Lieutenant Alya Nayer and her Galaxy Hawks crew get word of an illegal fighting arena. They head out to investigate, but what they find is far worse than prohibited boxing matches.

Parker has spent the last two years in a prison that forces the inmates to fight against each other--not for freedom, but for the entertainment of the rich. When the Hawks show up asking questions, he sees an opportunity to escape and to find his missing brother.

When Alya and Parker have to team up, and work together, personalities clash, and sparks arise.

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Doesn't it sound exciting?

To increase your heartbeat even more, we are revealing the cover, designed by the fabulous Ellie.

Drum Roll Please......

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Isn't it gorgeous?
Click on the image to go to the Wattpad page, add it to your read list and read the First Two chapters.

Keep an eye on out Wattpad page, for we'll be posting one chapter, bi-weekly, on every Wednesdays.

We are exited to share the story with you, and truly hope you enjoy reading the story as much as we enjoyed writing it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Interview with Romina Russell, the author of Zodiac + Win a copy of Zodiac

Soumi :- Welcome to my blog, Romina. It’s an honour to have you.

Romina :- It’s an honor to be here! Thank you for inviting me over.


Soumi :- Would you like to tell us about your inspiration behind Zodiac?

Romina :- It was super fun to build out a universe according to our astrological signs. As a series, ZODIAC is inspired by a number of themes that have always fascinated me—discovering new worlds in the unknown reaches of Space; a young girl facing her fears as she comes of age; separate societies struggling to set aside their differences to unite; a new leader testing her limits as she rises to power; complicated romances that can become exquisitely painful; and the notion of Time, and the various roles the past, present, and future play in our human lives.

Soumi :- I have to say the Zodiac Universe is one of the brilliant world buildings I have ever read. How did the idea of creating a planetary system based on astrology cross your mind?

Romina :- Thank you so much! I knew I wanted to create a complex Sci Fi universe, but the Sci part intimidated me, and I wsn’t sure where to begin. It was my friend and editor, Liz Tingue, who suggested I use astrology as a way to marry Sci Fi to Fantasy, enabling me to use my imagination whenever my Sci knowledge failed me—which sounded brilliant to me!


Soumi :- The main character, Rho, is a Cancrian. How did you know Cancer would be the perfect house for her? How difficult was it for you to build her character?

Romina :- I wanted a main character whose strength wasn’t in her hands, but in her heart—she wouldn’t stab someone with a sword, but she would slay them with her words. Rho’s best weapon, throughout the entire book, is her voice. She uses Truth to fight, and it’s that honesty, that courage to point out what isn’t working in her world, that makes her a leader. It’s been surprisingly effortless to write her, and I think that’s because from the outset, I knew I didn’t want Rho to be like me (a closed-off, OCD, perfectionist Virgo), and I felt that House Cancer suited her selfless and nurturing nature best. That’s why it was so easy to give her a few of my own traits (curly hair, green eyes, drummer)…we’re too different for me to ever confuse her with myself!


Soumi :- Zodiac is you debut novel, and it has received huge response from the readers. How are you feeling about it?

Romina :- Thank you! I used to think the most memorable moment of getting published would be holding the physical book in my hands—but I honestly can’t remember how that felt. What I do remember is every message I’ve received from a reader wanting to know what the Helios happens after the last page of ZODIAC! The thrill of interacting with readers is my favorite new feeling, and all the theorizing I’ve been hearing is making me so excited to share the next instalment in Rho’s adventure.


Soumi :- Would like to share the experience about your publishing journey.

Romina :- I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was nine, but I didn’t finish my first novel until I was twenty. It took another ten years, five manuscripts, and dozens upon dozens of rejections to get to ZODIAC. The thing that made the biggest difference in my life, and in my writing, was starting a critique group six years ago and sharing my work with other aspiring authors.


Soumi : - As we know, Zodiac is a series. Would you like to share a few words about the next instalment? I’m sure readers are dying to know.

Romina :- Yes! I’m actually working on my editor’s line edits now—I can’t believe how quickly book two went! It was such a delight to write that I absolutely, positively, CANNOT WAIT to share it! One thing I’ll reveal is that the sequel picks up a few weeks after book one ends, and we meet our fallen star, Rho, on the pink sands of planet Tierre of House Capricorn…


Soumi :- Any message or advice for your fans?

Romina :- Thank you, I love you, and trust yourselves. For questions/advice, you can Tweet me at @rominarussell!

About The Author :- Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based YA author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on a YA novel, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

You can stalk her over
www.rominagarber.com
www.zodiacbooks.com
@RominaRussell
www.facebook.com/rominabooks
www.facebook.com/zodiacbooks
www.instagram.com/rominagarber

Now the giveaway time!!! Penguin Teen has been kind to donate a copy of Zodiac for giveaway purpose.
To enter...
Please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
All entrants musst be at least 13 years or older to enter.
The giveaway USA only. Sorry international folks.
The winner will be announced here, as well as will be emailed.
Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not in the comment section.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Slightly Burnt by Payal Dhar

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Book Summary : "Sahil was going to say it, no matter what stunt I pulled and then things would be all weird between us, because, you know, I just didn't feel that way about him."

Sahil has been Komal's very best friend since, well, forever. Which is why she doesn't want to hear his confession. But there isn't much she can do to stop him from saying what he has to say. When her brother gets unwittingly tangled in the whole mess that ensues, Komal finds that she is out of her depth and in desperate need of help.

Slightly Burnt is a fresh take on coming of age in India.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars


My Thoughts : Slightly Burnt is a book that requires quite a nerve to be penned down at the haphazard Indian social milieu, which recently banned the ‘377 IPC law’ that has previously empowered homosexuals to rightfully carry forward, by stating it ‘unconstitutional’. It’s a brave attempt by the author Payel Dhar to showcase and delve up the undercurrent of desires (here a ‘teenager’) who was denied to choose or even show his feelings just because of societal defensiveness. The manner in which the issues had been addressed and dealt with without sentimentalizing or overstepping the boundary by bringing up unnecessary angst, is remarkable.

Regarding the flow of the story, it started with a suspicious way where in a congestive parking area Komal is shocked to hear those ‘three’ words from her childhood best friend, Shahil. Though she didn't actually hear Shahil confess those words ‘I love you’ to her, she pretty much assumed they were meant for her. Nearly half the story later, when we are pretty much exhausted of guessing, the author intelligently revealed it which can be deciphered as ‘I am gay.” From this point onward, the author became careful in threading her plots and grooming her characters, showing their worst and best emotional states.

The writing style was light, infused with humor and occasional in-depth philosophies, and each of the characters shines through the book. The author had wisely chosen her protagonist—a sixteen-years-old teen Komal and put her in situations where she learned her best friend and younger brother are in a relationship. Needless to say, here the author did a fascinating job in layering both the plot and the characters in a very judicious way to outcast the feeling of the protagonist. I adored Komal for accepting her brother and her best friend for who they are, and understanding their relationship in truest sense.

For me, Slightly Burnt was a bittersweet tale of friendship and relationship. I would strongly recommend this book.





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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Amy & Matthew by Cammie McGovern


Book Summery : Amy loves Matthew and he loves her back. This is their story.

Amy is unflinchingly honest about her limitations. Born with cerebral palsy, she can’t walk or talk without help. But trapped inside this uncooperative body lies a brilliant mind and a luminous spirit – a girl capable of truly loving and worthy of being loved in return.

Matthew has his own set of challenges – a mind consumed by unwanted repeated thoughts, obsessive rituals and a crippling fear that he can't explain. But underneath all of the anxiety lies a deep seed of hope for someone to come along who believes in him…

This is the story of Amy and Matthew. It may not be a fairy tale romance or set in an imagined world far from our own. But the love they share is real. And yes, there's magic in it.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Amy and Matthew...Yaah!! It’s a love story–-a story of two disabled high school students. Whereas Amy is a patient of cerebral palsy, Matthew is suffering from OCD. And it’s very clear that a love story of such central characters is a journey of searing sympathy, and so it is. It’s a story of falling in love for first time. It’s a story of soaring over fears and disabilities.

Though the initial chapters was quite boring and sometime over-stressed but as the story progresses it snags the reader’s attention. Written from a dual point of view, the story is worth sharing positive reviews.

The catchiest sides of the story are the spark in Amy, the wittiness in her dialogues and the courage in self. Sending her loved one in date with another girl just for the sake of him, despite knowing the possibility of losing her boyfriend, is a selfless act.

The story starts with Amy, being a cerebral palsy patient, got her classmate Matthew, along with a few others, as an aid for teaching her the act of socialization that she might need for her college. The honest and straightforward Matthew was never so fond of doing this but applied on request of Amy. I think, initially, Matthew was sort of jealous of Amy’s smartness. The story then accelerates beautifully with different instances of their interactions which smoothly morph from friendship to relationship. With Amy helping Matthew to retrain his mind in getting out of OCD of hand washing (PS: Matthew used to wash is hand for over 30 minutes :-P) by use of regular tasks. A worthy line of Amy in this matter is “Your fear may seem real but the danger is not. You are safe.” – Such a simple and practical advice.
With Matthew, truly speaking I don’t like such a thrower at the starting. But as the plot moves with more and more, unfolding Matthew’s character from every interaction with Amy, I couldn’t help but change my view point. An OCD patient behaves in a way his disease shapes him. That’s the case for Matthew. His possessive behavior like texting all the prom night after Amy left with Sanjay, is quite justified from an high school student who is suffering from OCD.

The story gains its point again on the portrayal of first-love. Along with its possessiveness and confusion there lie the state of extreme excitement and careless anticipation. Personally, I could relate the feelings of being in my first relationship with Amy and Matthew--their behaviour, slowly falling in love with each other; their insecurities are so deep and practical.
But despite all these, it had become a bit too dramatic. Though the author tried her best to fence the feeling and sequence of plots as much practical, but I think Cammie McGovern got either lost or rather baffled in her effort to make the readers sympathize. Still, Amy and Matthew will be in the first row of my bookshelf for rest of the year.



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