For You

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For You
Original Composition by Rebecca Castillo
Inspired by the novel Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

Fire and Flood
Salt and Stone
Heaven and Hell
For you

I’d do it again
If it meant
One more day
With you

The jungle the sand,
The ocean and mountain
These things they made me do

The horrors, the pain
surviving the terrain
But can I really save you?

Heat and blood
betrayal and death
secrets I’ll keep
from you

Will I see you again?
When it’s the end?
It’s another day
Without you

The jungle the sand,
The ocean and mountain
These things they made me do

The horrors, the pain
surviving the terrain
But can I really save you?

What if it’s not enough?
What if I can’t save you?
Here I am, standing at the end….

Smoke and tide
Drowning and dying
Heaven and Hell
For you

Would I do it again?
If it meant
One more day
With you

The jungle the sand,
The ocean and mountain
These things they made me do

The horrors, the pain
surviving the terrain
But can I really save you?

I need to save you

Again, I’m not the best singer in the world, and I know that, but I sure like writing songs 🙂 And I love sharing them with ya’ll! Check out the song below!

Cinderella’s Shoes Cover Reveal

Cinderella’s Shoes
Release Date: 10/06/15
EntangledTeen
Summary from Goodreads:
The war may be over, but Kate Allen’s life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she’s been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella’s magical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters’ modern descendants. 
But Cinderella’s dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father—missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.
Because when you harness Cinderella’s magic, danger and evil are sure to follow…

First book in the series:(cover linked to Goodreads)

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SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novels Cinderella’s Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella’s Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds
inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.
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Firebug Teaser

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Firebug (Firebug #1)

by Lish McBride

Book Synopsis(Goodreads):

Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her mother’s death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

Quote 1:

“But nowhere in the file had anyone said, “Oh, and by the way, he runs like a gazelle with an espresso addiction.” At least not in the parts I’d skimmed.”
Lish McBride, Firebug

Quote 2:

“Don’t you think it’s a bad sign that your best argument for your beau is that nothing has been proved in court?”
Lish McBride, Firebug

Quote 3:

“There’d been some nights when my fat ass had saved my ass (ba-dum-tsh).”
Lish McBride, Firebug

Quote 4:

“Aves hasn’t mentioned a boyfriend,” Lock chimed in, “and we’re just dying to hear all about you.” Liar. My friends were filthy lying sadists.”
Lish McBride, Firebug

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Deviate (The Light Key Trilogy #2)
by Tracy Clark
Release Date: 03/03/15
Entangled Teen

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Tormented after a daring escape, Cora Sandoval must find a way to stop the Arrazi from murdering innocent people and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers. She must also accept one bitter betrayal: Finn Doyle—the Irish boy who has both a piece of Cora’s heart and soul—is Arrazi…

On the verge of extinction and sought by those who would either consume or destroy them,  Cora and the remaining Scintilla survivors must solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.

No longer will she hide.

No longer will her loved ones be hunted.

And she will have her vengeance…even if she shatters her heart in the process.

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Book One: Scintillate

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INTERVIEW WITH TRACY CLARK

Who is your favorite character (that you’ve written)?

Tracy: I adore writing the snarky-girl character and Cora’s cousin, Mari Sandoval, is that for me. I challenged myself with Cora to write a more contained character, one who doesn’t always need to have the quick comeback. Cora is strong but has a quieter strength. Mari gets a lot of the awesome one-liners. She was fun to write. The most honest answer to this question though, is that in DEVIATE I loved writing from Finn’s pov. Because he is the “rock star poet” I got to delve into his sensitive yet tortured mind. He has a lot to be angry and upset about and being in his head was a great experience.

Are any of the characters inspired by someone in real life?

Tracy: Totally! Cora is very much like my friend Monica whose family is from Chile. Her looks and quiet demeanor are patterned after her. And Mari, Cora’s cousin and best friend in the book, is a complete homage to my girl, Lucy. Even my son recognized it when he read the book! A male character, Giovanni, has some characteristics of the other best friend in my Tribe, Mary Claire who is Danish and well-traveled and sure of herself.

If you could jump in to any book and live there, which book would you choose?

Tracy:Is there anyone on the planet who wouldn’t want to go to school at Hogwarts? Nuff said.

What was last book you bought OR what book are you looking forward to reading?

Tracy: The last book I bought was COMPULSION by Martina Boone. She’s a friend and a colleague in our blog group YA Series Insiders. I can’t wait to read it! I’m also looking forward to reading WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. I’ve had the book for a while and am so late in reading it!

If you could be any kind of creature (other than human), which would you pick and why?

Tracy: It’s a tie between a bird for the pure joy of flying free and a well-loved and spoiled puppy.

If you could no longer write/read, what hobby/profession/habit would you choose to fill the void?

Tracy: I’m fascinated by wine. The process of making it, blending it, the differences in regions all over the world. I even took a DVD class recently to learn more. If I woke up in NightmareLand where I couldn’t write or read, I’d be a Master of Wine. ß actual designation.

Of all the little things and simple pleasures in life, which one do you enjoy most of all?

Tracy: Because writing is my passion, I’m guilty of doing it even when it would be better for me to unplug and recharge. I’m really driven! But lately, I’ve been getting the repeated message that in order to live a truly full life, I need to allow for time to not be “productive.” I need to chill and putter more. I LOVE to read magazines! A stack of mags, a glass of wine, sitting out on a lounge chair in the yard. Heaven.

If you could have a casual, 30-minute conversation by the fireplace with any author, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask?

Tracy: Is it cheating to say I’d love to have a conversation with the fascinating couple that is Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer? They intrigue me as artists, as people, as blatantly REAL humans. I think it’d be a kick-ass time, too.

What event or accomplishment would you consider to be the highlight of your career thus far?

Tracy: Completing this series was a huge accomplishment! So many threads, characters, story-lines, themes go into writing a trilogy and it’s a big task to tie everything together in a way that keeps readers turning pages throughout every book. I’m very proud of having done The Light Key Trilogy.

What thought or sentiment would you like to have copied and put into one million fortune cookies?

Tracy: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

About the Author

 

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.

She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.

Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

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Nexis Cover Reveal

Nexis
Release Date: 12/01/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

I write both YA and adult speculative fiction. I prefer revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. I’m the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and my YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, is coming out with Entangled Publishing in 2015!

By day, I live in Connecticut with my two feline hench-creatures.  I’m a terrible blusher, have a weak spot for cuddly animals, love Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and I’m a huge advocate of alternative healing methods.  I also wear Vibram five-finger toe shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble.  I’m a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.  I also suffer from Resting Bitchface Syndrome (RBS), so even though I might look like I’ll tie you in a knot if you come near me, I’m more afraid of you than you are of me (see blushing problem above).

 

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All Fall Down Teaser

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All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

by Ally Carter (Goodreads Author)

Book Synopsis(Goodreads):

A new series of global proportions — from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Quote 1:

“Ok,” he says. “First lesson.”

Noah broadens his stance, taking his place firmly on the embassy side of the threshold. “in the United States,” he says. Then, with both feet, he leaps on to the sidewalk. “Out of the United States.” Quickly, he jumps back toward me. “In the United States.” Another jump across the threshold. “Out of the United States. In. Out. In –”

“Is this the part where I hit you?”
Ally Carter, All Fall Down

Quote 2:

“You’re following me,” I say.
“Yes, I am.”
“That’s really annoying.”
“I’m sure it probably feels that way, yes.”
I stop. “I can take care of myself.” Overhead, the gas in the streetlamp surges. It grows brighter, harsher. There are no shadows anywhere as he looks at me.
“That’s exactly what worries me.”
Ally Carter, All Fall Down

Quote 3:

“I’ve attended seven schools in ten years,” I explain. “So you can rest assured I know you. You’re the girl who thinks being cruel is the same thing as being witty. You think being loud is the same thing as being right. And, most of all, you’re the girl who is very, very pretty. And also very, very…common. trust me. There’s at least one of you in every school.” I watch her features shift. “Oh. Wait. Did you think you were unique?”
Ally Carter, All Fall Down

Red Release Day Book Blitz

 Red 
by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Bad girls burn hot…
Red is the color of Kia Alcott’s hair. It’s her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble. And it’s the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It’s an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.

Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn’t stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family…you to check them out, because if nothing else, there are some great tunes on this list.

Excerpt from “Red” by Alyxandra Harvey

The tower room had an iron gate, like something out of a horror movie. It was open at the moment, but I could see the impressive locks even from here.
I wondered what could possibly need to be contained that carefully. Besides me. A tiny shiver danced over the back of my neck as I peered inside.
Spears with decorative beaded bands, arrows, and swords, were all lined up with military, rather than museum, precision. And a lot of stuffed animal heads. There was a stag with chunks of turquoise stones for eyes, a crane standing on a log, a white bull with gold horns, and a horse head with a horn attached to its forehead to make it look like a unicorn.
Rich people were weird.
I was stepping inside when a hand closed tightly around my arm, jerking me to a stop. I shouted something that was definitely not ladylike enough for this house. My pulse thumped in my ears.
“You shouldn’t be in here,” the person said.
He flexed his hands suddenly, the way people do when they’ve touched something too hot. He wore a silver ring on his thumb. I tried to concentrate on that instead of the spark of panic smoldering in my belly. Burning down a private museum seemed like a really bad introduction to my new life.
Had he seen the tiny spark that ate a hole in my sleeve? I rubbed it, making sure it wouldn’t flare up again. I wasn’t even sure if it was a new spark or a burn from an old one.
I’d learned I didn’t need kindling—, I was kindling.
My palms itched painfully. I shoved the guy to distract him from the heat coming off of me. “Who the hell are you?”
“Ethan,” he replied.
Ethan Blackwood. Of course. Way to make a first impression.
“You must be Abby’s granddaughter.” He was standing very close. And I’d just known he’d be gorgeous. I assumed he’d have better manners, though. Possibly no one else noticed with that ridiculously beautiful face. His hair was blond, his cheekbones deadly. He was lean and muscular, like someone who knew exactly what his body was capable of. And I was thinking way too much about this.
“Get out of here,” he said softly, intently. His mouth was distracting; it belonged to a villain in a movie full of secrets and temptation. “Now.”
I was suddenly embarrassed, as if he could read my mind. A little more aggressive misdirection couldn’t hurt. “Have you considered taking up yoga?” I asked with patently false sweetness. “You’re a little tense.”
“Just go,” he said. “You—”
“Ethan!” Holden Blackwood interrupted us, sounding shocked and annoyed. “Leave the poor girl alone.”
A muscle leapt in Ethan’s jaw as he clenched it. He didn’t look at his father, just kept staring at me. “Ethan!” Holden repeated, annoyance hardening to anger.
Ethan shoved past me so suddenly I toppled into the door frame. I heard his footsteps stomp down the hall and then the slamming of his bedroom door. “I apologize for my son.” Holden sighed. “I fear I’ve spoiled him.”
Yeah, I couldn’t exactly picture Ethan with an after-school job. Speaking of which, I was going to have to get one as soon as possible. Abby wasn’t the type to give out an allowance, even if she’d been able to afford it. I shrugged awkwardly at Ethan’s dad. “It’s fine.”
“It certainly is not, but it’s gracious of you to say so.” I couldn’t think of a person more opposite to Abby than Holden Blackwood. Or more opposite to my dad, come to think of it. He screamed sophistication and wealth. The Alcotts just screamed. “Perhaps you’ll do him good, Kia.”
I nearly snorted. He smiled briefly. “Sorry,” I said, motioning to the trophy room before I opened my big mouth and told him I didn’t do miracles and his brat of a son was beyond my help.

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About the Author

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

 

 

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The Thorn and the Sinking Stone Book Blitz

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone
by C.J. Dushinski
Release Date: March 2015
Entangled Teen
313 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth’s Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…To avenge his father’s death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know. But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…

The Soundtrack to the Thorn and the Sinking Stone:

As with many writers, music is a huge inspiration to my work. I don’t generally play music while I write; I tend to require complete silence in order to let the scene come to life the way I truly intended, without outside influence. But, prior to actually putting the words on paper, a lot of my scenes, characters, and elements are completely inspired by music. I’ve actually had this list of songs in a word document titled Song List since 2009, the year I began writing The Thorn and the Sinking Stone. Every song on the list somehow inspired the story, as you’ll be able to see quite clearly after reading. I never intended to share the list, but now that it’s all over, it seems like the story can’t quite be fully appreciated without the soundtrack that inspired it. Some songs you may know, most you won’t, so I encourage

For your listening pleasure, here it is…

Rain City – Turin Breaks: Well this one is quite obvious, isn’t it? This is how Rain City came to be. Something about this song always captured the city in my head. It was a little haunting, but hopeful too, just like the city where Sebastian and Valencia live.
O’ Valencia – The Decembrists: Again, another obvious one. And this is a big one. This song inspired the whole story. There are elements that are taken, quite literally, from the lyrics. Forbidden love, two warring families, a murderous brother… this, folks, is where it all began. This is the song that made me sit up one day and say hey, I should write a story about this, it’s so good.
Run – Snow Patrol: I don’t think a more beautiful song exists. This song has always given me chills. I could still listen to it all day, every day and never get sick of it. The desperation, the longing…it completely captures how I wanted Valencia and Sebastian’s love to feel to the reader—the kind that makes you sad and happy at the same time.
Volcano – Damien Rice: I debated keeping this song on the list because it actually inspired a secondary relationship to the story that didn’t make the final cut. But it felt wrong to remove it, since it was very much part of the initial process. A very dark, one-sided type of love. Maybe it can make a reappearance elsewhere, in another story, another time.
The Funeral – Band of Horses: This is the song that inspired the opening scene. I struggled for a long time on the perfect place to begin the Thorn and the Sinking Stone. And then one day while driving in my car this song came on, and I thought, ‘Yes, that’s it. We’ll begin where another story ended…with Lucky’s death.’ This is the song I imagine playing in Sebastian’s head as he watches his brother carry his father’s casket to the boat.
Swords – Band of Horses: Another Band of Horses song you say? Well, yes. Because they are awesome. And if you don’t know them, check them out. This song really reminded me of the Two Daggers and the Leolds and their bond as brothers. It helped shape them as a family more than a gang, which is drastically different than that of the Black Roses.
Night-watchman – Bell X1: Another stellar Irish band (after Snow Patrol). Something about this song was so, so sad to me and reminded me of how Valencia must feel when she looks out of the city and how alone she must feel in her Curse, hunted and unwanted. And somewhere in there, just the little bit of hope, like how she feels with Sebastian. And now you know why the Watchmen are called the Watchmen.
Simple Song – The Shins: Just a simple song. I love this, because that’s exactly what it is. It feels so simple. So peaceful. So loving. And I feel as if this is what Sebastian strives so much to achieve. A way to lead a simple life…
I’ve Got Friends – Manchester Orchestra: Just a little bit of angst here. But you can’t really write about being a teen without a dash of angst. And for me, this song sums it all up. When I listen to this, I feel like I can actually hear Sebastian and Valencia screaming it, while their respective families stand in the background, wanting to tear them apart.
Yellow –Coldplay: Everyone needs a little Coldplay in their writing. To me, this is exactly how Sebastian feels about Valencia. There is nothing he wouldn’t dofor her, to reach her. To him, she is perfect. She is everything he is fighting for.

Crawl – King of Leon: A little anger to go with that angst. This isn’t a perfect love story, as most in real life go. There is a lot of crap these two must go through for even the sliver of a chance to be together. For me, this song really summed up the struggles of their relationship. This is a little bit of both Sebastian and Valencia at their worst.
I’ll believe in Anything – Wolf Parade: This song is a rarely known gem. This is mainly for Valencia, when her walls begin to fall and she first falls in love with Sebastian. She is blinded by him and all the beautiful things in him she’s never seen in anyone else. She’s always been somewhat naïve, and now, in her eyes, he can do no wrong, and she would follow him anywhere.
I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons: Would you wait for the one you loved? Despite distance and blood feuds and loyalties? This song inspired a lot of the challenges Valencia and Sebastian face throughout their growing relationship. I can’t listen to it without wishing that all love in the world felt the way this song makes me feel.
Well, that’s it! I hope you take the time to listen to a few of the songs that inspired the Thorn and the Sinking Stone and I hope they allow you to imagine the world of Rain City a little more vividly.

CJ

About the Author
While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world.  Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii.
After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired and began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories. 

 

CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC.
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The Ghost of You

Rating:

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The Ghost of You

By Amanda Burckhard
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: Young Adult, New Age
Rating:  4 Stars

Book Summary (Goodreads):

Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.

A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.

The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.

Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.

“A lovely, haunting, captivating tale from the first page to the last. It grips your heart and keeps it until the very end.” – Natalie Decker

My Review:

This book was incredible. It’s the story of loss, pain, darkness, love, and personal discovery. Emmy is a popular teen that enjoys parties and her boyfriend Zane. Emmy is close to her brother and their close group of friends. This group of friends is practically inseparable. One night after a party her brother Derek dies in a car accident. Emmy struggles through the loss and eventually ends up taking painkillers. A year later Emmy has broken up with Zane, drifted from many of her friends, rarely talks with her parents, and still struggles with taking pills since by taking them she sees her brother and strives to keep him alive as much as she can. Throughout the book we see Emmy fall deeper and deeper into that darkness. She meets Logan, and Logan is wonderful. Logan sees through the mask Emmy wears and tries to get through to her.  Logan does everything he can to help her and have her open up to him. There story is pure and real. But is it enough to really save her?

I really enjoyed Logan’s character. He too has his own secrets, though dark that they may be, he has conquered his past demons and has the ability to relate to Emmy and tries to persuade her to be better. But the truth is that Logan doesn’t really understand what taking the pills does for Emmy, and she cannot let go of her brother, it’s too painful for her. I loved Logan because he didn’t run “hot” and “cold” like a lot of love interests in love stories. At times he does seem distant, and he does go through periods of not really talking to her, but I don’t feel like he’s the traditional “hot” and “cold” guy. And when he explains his reasoning’s why it makes complete and total sense. There’s so much more going on with Logan than meets the eye, and it’s neat to see a character that he too has once fallen, but now strives to be a better person.  At first when he realizes what’s going on with Emmy, I was surprised with his mood towards her. He get’s really angry with her and basically tells her to choose between him or the pills. I was angry with him for placing that demand on her, and I was ready to be angry with Emmy if she decided to choose him because he gave her an ultimatum. But in the end it all works out for the best, and even with Logan’s ultimatum, he’s hard not to love.

Zane was a complete douche from the beginning and I’m so happy that this book wasn’t your typical love triangle story. Sure we have Zane pining over Emmy and wanting the girl she used to be, but Emmy wants nothing to do with Zane thank goodness! I think though he was great to have in the story because deep down I think Zane partially blames himself and I think Emmy had to learn to forgive him and forgive herself too.

I loved being able to get to know her brother Derek even though it was just a hallucination of Derek. Derek is adorable and sweet, and gives a little comic relief to Emmy’s life. You can see how close Emmy and Derek are and how much Derek, even though its Emmy’s vision of him, loved Emmy and was there for her constantly.

I loved Emmy. She struggles throughout most of the book, but we really get to see how hurt she is and how much she aches for her brother. The author does a fabulous job telling Emmy’s story. My heart broke for Emmy on more than one occasion, and when Emmy finally breaks through the darkness it was hard not to let the tears fall.

What I didn’t like about the book:

Honestly there wasn’t anything I disliked about the book. This is a genre I don’t normally read but that I surprisingly enjoyed.

What I liked about the book:

I loved the message behind the book. There’s a point in the story where Logan tells Emmy that she has to choose between him or taking the pills. I’m so happy she doesn’t choose him. Because in real life when given choices like that we aren’t doing it for ourselves and that’s the real problem. Emmy has to make the better choice for her and her alone. And I love that in the end she does what she feels is best for her to help her let go of her brother and to get the help she needs. And she does it for herself, which is so powerful.

This book was wonderful! I typically read stories that aren’t really based on real life events. But surprisingly when I read this one I enjoyed it. It’s a beautiful love story, not just for Emmy and Logan, but also for Emmy to love herself and to help herself. What power this story gives! I think a lot of troubled youth could really benefit from reading a story like this!  I really look forward to reading future books written by Amanda Burckhard!

Recommended Audience:

Young adults, and individuals looking for a good romance and a story that deals with real life situations.

Book Quotes:

Book quote 1:

He cleared his throat. “So, what were you doing lying int he middle of your lawn?”

Fell out of the tree.” Oh, God. Did I just say that? Why didn’t I lie?

He smirked as if he thought I was joking. “You fell out of your tree? Why were you in a tree?”

“I was… uh… trying to rescue a cat?” Oh sure, now I lied.

“that sounds like a question.”

I swallowed hard, my mouth full of sandy regret. “Did it?”

“So where’s the cat?”

It ran off. Then I fell.” What the hell was my problem? I was a genius liar. The best. All I could manage was crappy lies and word vomit whenever Logan was around. It was like his presence turned off any filter any voice that said “think before you speak.”

Book quote 2:

Tears of frustration carved valleys into my cheeks from my eyelashes to my chin. What was I going to do without Derek? He wasn’t even gone more than a few hours and I already blew up at Dad. He couldn’t leave me. He said he’d always be here. He promised.

“Emmy?” a voice said behind me.

My heart soared for the split second it took me to turn and find that it wasn’t who I’d been waiting for. It was Logan. My heart stopped its fight, turned to glass, and plummeted down a flight of stairs. Seeing Logan at that moment, when I felt nothing but vulnerable and alone, made everything so much worse. My tears turned into sobs.

 

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About the Author:

 Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.

Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she’s been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.

She currently lives in South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.

Author Links:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

Buy Links:

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The Revolution of Ivy Cover Reveal


**Spoilers if you haven’t read book one**

The
Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy
#2)
by Amy Engel 
Release
Date: 11/03/15
Entangled
Teen
Summary
from Goodreads:
Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her
family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on
her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She
has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder
plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s
borders.
But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in
Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for
what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for.
The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
by Amy Engel 
Release Date: 11/04/14
Entangled Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.
Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

About the Author
 Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at http://amyengel.net/ or @aengelwrites.

Author Links:

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