Thursday, August 27, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro

If you have any affinity to urban art and felt, feel like the kid from the wrong side of the tracks, Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro will read like it was taken from your own life. An insightful look into a young adult who has been forced into a way of thinking but rebels innately, clashes with the culture penning her in without realizing how her very existence fights. Inside her mind, her thoughts - is a vibrant world of expression just waiting for release. Why must everyone insist there's a certain way for her to share herself, her gift?! Ror finds beauty within herself, and while it might come from a dark place, stem from memories she would rather not face, in spite of it all she manages to track the real her and come out screaming... with pen and art paper at the ready.

Into the Dangerous World truly captivates with its stunning art overlaid with artful narration. The combined talents of Julie Chibbaro and artist JM Superville Sovak gear up for showing just what it's like to be coming of age in world where labels get slapped on everything and freedom of expression means tunnel-visioned dreaming. Gorgeous book - each and every page.

Ror lives to draw—to her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she understands life. Raised on a Staten Island commune, she’s never attended a day of school, and knows little of the outside world. When her paranoid father burns down the commune with himself inside, Ror, her mother, and sister end up in a homeless residence in Manhattan. There, she runs into trouble—and love—with Trey, the leader of Noise Ink, a graffiti crew.
On the city’s streets, and in its museums and galleries, Ror finds herself pulled in different directions. Her father wanted her to make classic art. Noise Ink insists she stay within their lines. Her art teacher urges her to go to college. But what does she want? Ror’s soul-searching—expressed in remarkable drawings and sharp-edged prose, set in the gritty Manhattan of 1984—is cinematic in its scope, and its seamless blend of text and art makes Into the Dangerous World a groundbreaking event in young adult fiction.


Julie Chibbaro and Jean-Marc Superville Sovak are the husband and wife duo behind Into the Dangerous World (Viking 2015). Julie Chibbaro was born into a family of artists, and also married one. She grew up in NYC during the explosion of graffiti art. She has written two historical novels, Redemption, which won the American Book Award, and Deadly, which won the National Jewish Book Award. JM Superville Sovak is half-Trini, half-Czech, half-Canadian. His fourth half is spent making art, for which he earned his M.F.A. from Bard College in NY. They both live in Beacon, NY.

For those of you that purchase a copy of INTO THE DANGEROUS WORLD any time during the official book tour (August 18-September 30) will receive a one of a kind #IntoTheDangerousWorld filled with lots of goodies. To qualify you must send proof of purchase to (while supplies last).


How has graffiti affected your life and inspired it?

At first, I didn’t like graffiti, since I grew up in New York and saw it every day on the subway and, being a law-abiding citizen, knew it was illegal. There was something mysterious about it, though. My friend, Armand, was in a secret crew and he would fill many black books with beautiful marker lettering and drawings, and I sensed that this underworld was exciting.

I started to see street art as a kind of rebellion – along with the graffiti, the subways were also crowded with advertisments, these selling tools trying to get you to buy, buy, buy. The more stunning graffiti paintings (every art has its bad and good practitioners) seemed to transcend these ads, to poke fun at them, to say, “We don’t have money to buy what you’re selling, but we do have the power to express ourselves.”

Graffiti, I came to realize, gave the artists a community, a place to go where they were accepted, a sense of family, an outlet for their creative expression, a way of being in the world when often, many of them were outcasts.
I don’t believe in vandalism, and neither does Ror, but I do believe in fighting against those elements in our world that can overtake our everyday lives and make us act in ways that are destructive (like judging each other for what we do or don’t have, or needing to buy things we can’t afford.)
There are now many accepted kinds of “graffiti” – street art murals, in fact, are coveted around the world. Artists like Banksy, Swoon, and blu are masterful and can give the joy of art to anyone walking down the street, not just someone with enough money or knowledge to go into a museum. Street art is an equalizer that can bring rich and poor together. That, to me, is great art.


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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE: August 20th Reads All The Books – Review August 20th Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Top5/10 List August 20th Handbags, Books...Whatever – Guest Post August 24th Bookish – Review August 25th Heather Ann's Book Reviews – Review August 26th– Fangirlish – Review/Author InterviewAugust 27th– Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review September 14th– Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review September 16th– Journeys & Life – Review September 17th– The Power of Three Readers – ReviewSeptember 18th– My Reading Reality – Review September 19th– Actin' Up with Books – Review September 21st – Cabin Goddess – Review & RecipeSeptember 3rd Bookish Lifestyle – Review / Character Interview

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

'Waiting On' Wednesday #19: Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

So I'm a fan of femme spy fatale characters. This cover, Velvet Undercover, fulfills my heart's desire in every regard for a throwback spy looking book. In fact, I cannot think of one bad cover for Teri Brown. She has such precise titles with pretty covers! 

Seriously, look her up and then go buy her books, okay? Okay. 

  • Title: Velvet Undercover
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • Publishing date: October 20, 2015
  • Author(s): Teri Brown
  • Series: Looks to be a standalone at the moment


Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Short Stories for if I Taught YA Fantasy Lit Overview

Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.

These ten short stories prepare you for upcoming bestsellers, because of course when September rolls around, the publishing industry scrambles to get their "best chance of the next big thing" on shelves or pushed madly into winter promotions. The Frankfurt Book Fair also, takes place the beginning of October every  year and it is the place to be if you want to sell foreign rights and build some buzzy anticipation around novels that are hot in the USA, which is why, these short stories should find their way onto your e-reader. They are short and sweet and not so subtle in their attempts of drawing the reader in before the next installment of the books they're tied to come out. 

If I were doing an overview lit class or more likely a workshop, I would include these short stories since they all provide examples of how to pull readers into a fandom without giving away too much of the story. These shorts do a good job of creating a bond with certain characters while leaving room enough in the narrative for the full novels the shorts are supposed to be sucking fans into.

They're also definite must-reads if you're planning on sticking with the fandom surrounding some hefty bestsellers that have book #2 coming out and/or spin-off series. But hey, even if you don't recognize these titles, these authors; think of these shorts as a quick howdy-do and get yourself up to speed, because I can guarantee you, come fall and winter; these novels will be the ones generating a lot of talk.


Lois Lane: Double Down coming May 1, 2016 -->
Read two teaser short stories from Gwenda Bond to gear up for the anticipated release of her second Lois Lane book from DC Comics. Oh the privilege and responsibility of bringing Lois Lane to YA life rests on sturdy shoulders. Bond (hah!) makes Lois Lane such a nosy, interfering teenager with the sass that makes Lane such a wicked female when she grows up and faces off with Clark Kent and his ilk - supervillain or not. The great thing about these two teasers... you can read them for free HERE and HERE.

Beastly Bones coming September 22, 2015 -->
William Ritter finds the fantastical a bit elementary in Jackaby, his debut novel that won over Sherlockians as well as the general public by pairing an American supernaturalist with a curiously smart Nancy Drew type if she had been transplated to the late 1800s. Abigail Rook and Jackaby will win your hearts over in this short story, The Map: A Jackaby Story, with a birthday celebration you will not soon forget. Oh, did I mention that it too is free to read HERE?

Six of Crows coming September 29, 2015  -->
Oh my, but do you ever want to read this sweet, short - too short really - short story from Leigh Bardugo! The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story not only goes back to a certain sexy someone's beginnings but it also features - count with me; one, two - yes, two chapters for Six of Crows. One of the most highly anticipated books for this fall, do not miss out on this one!

Glass Sword coming February 9, 2016 -->
Victoria Aveyard went and wrote fans three... one, two, and three short stories for her Red Queen series that has already been optioned for film and will be unveiling book #2 into the promotional madness following the holiday season. The covers for these short stories are ahhh-mazing! Also, all three of them are pre-orders. Yeah... sorry about that!

Winter coming November 10, 2015 -->
If you haven't read the first three novels of the Lunar Chronicles, I beseech you to read them as soon as you can. Winter is the last book, the finale! If you need proof of how easy to fall in love with the cast of characters featured in this series is, Marissa Meyer has FOUR short stories for free to prove it to you. Now only three you can get on Wattpad. The fourth one is free when you subscribe to her newsletter. Also, a heads up, for collectible fans like myself who want this short stories bound into a cover that matches the rest of the series, that is happening! Stars Above, the bound anthology will be out February 2, 2016.

Technically you could say there's eleven shorts mentioned here. Consider the fourth short from Marissa Meyer a bonus since you cannot get it unless you subscribe to her newsletter. Overall though, I tried to give you some price ranges that weren't too steep as well.

cross-posted to Fangirlish

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomherbhoy [Part 2]

Farah Oomherbhoy created a fantasy world that's vibrant, magical in comparison to the dreariness of the real world in The Last of the Firedrakes. Aurora now living with her adoptive aunt and uncle who have no love for her finds herself transported to Avalonia, pulled there against her will.

{Queue up the sexy... behind door #1 is a Fae named Rafe. Behind door #2 is Kalen of Pixie Bush. Both enticingly real, rakish and not very forthcoming with the information when they're not interested in sharing. While you would think there's a love triangle twist here... I'm simply sharing your options of boy crushes. Aurora seems pretty set on one particular Fae with a savior complex if I'm reading the story right.}

Thrust into a new adventure where Aurora has power within her and begins to feel less helpless than she has since she lost her beloved adoptive parents. She discovers her own personal ancestry is a royal one that she never knew about that explains the magical world hopping and her unease with these revelations grow when she begins to learn of how intricate the plot against her is, dating back to her biological parents.

While some of the unfolding of the plot seems predictable, for a YA fantasy, readers will find the world-building too enticing to care. The creature line-up is imaginative and littered with villains and allies. As Aurora navigates her new existence, she has to figure out who's who. However, I cannot name names of certain characters since they give away a lot of the secrets of the story.

Needless to say... Do I really have to say it?! Read the book to find out for yourself; it's quite clever.

Since I'm avoiding spoilers so you all can experience the smart plotting of The Last of the Firedrakes, Farah agreed to talk about writing, the creative process and how she stays passionate about her pet project. She had a lot to say unsurprisingly, since writing is her life. Read PART ONE for a more fun, personal Q&A with Farah.

How do you overcome writer's block?
 I have faced writers block quite a few times, and sometimes it’s hard to get out of it. But you have to push yourself to keep writing, even if you are never going to use it, just put something on the page, and the rest will sort itself out.

How do you juggle writing & family life?
 It does tend to get difficult since I have three little children and it gets hard to write at a specific time. Usually I prefer to write at night, after the children have gone to sleep and the house is quiet. But during the day when the children are at school I do research, read, and make notes about the book. Then I sit down and write when I have some time in between chores. I think I really should have some sort of schedule. I do intend to follow one from now on and try and write everyday, since I have to get going with books 2 and 3 of this series.

Is there something specific you need as you write?
If I am at home, I can only write in my own room. But if I am on holiday and I feel like writing, I usually find a nice pretty place like a garden or terrace to sit and write. I also need my trusty pen and notepad with me, I can’t write without that.

If you were not a writer, what would you like to do?
I think I would be a book blogger or a librarian, since I love reading so much. I would definitely do something that includes books.

Where is your favorite spot to write?
In the garden or on my couch.

What drives you insane about the writing process?
The editing. Somehow it just seems to go on and on forever. It literally never ends.

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
Writing the book is my favorite part; it’s what I love to do. Everything else is secondary.


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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomherbhoy [Part 1]

Last of the Firedrakes engages fantasy readers on all levels of tropes. It has a wicked queen, an orphan with a royal name and an escapism that comes from being transported from harried teenager to hero of the day. A fun story that begins here but has more to come - this is book one of the Avalonia Chronicles -- and for young adult readers looking for a new villain to hate.

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.  Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.

Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.

Now I couldn't leave this blog post without getting some fun facts about Farah... nothing against just posting about books -- because BOOKS ARE EVERYTHING... however, I like a bit of the personal touch and add it when I can. Authors are ever so interesting too. It's fun to pick their brains. So shall I have at it, then?

What is next on your to read list?

The Red Queen, Queen of Shadows, Queen of the Tearling, and Orphan Queen. Looks like I'm a bit obsessed with books about queens at the moment.

What one item would you eat for the rest of your life?


What is the last thing you bought?

A sun hat

Craziest thing you ever ate?

Lamb brains.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?

1. Lauch The Last of the Firedrakes
2. Write book 2 of The Avalonia Chronicles
3. Start book 3 of The Avalonia Chronicles

She might be a bit preoccupied with writing her books, yeah? Adore that her bucket list is so focused on the fantasy series she is passionate about. Most people say they want to write a book, but it is indeed another thing to actually do it, sell it and promote it. Good luck, Farah!


August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review
August 15th – Dizneeee's World of Books – Review / Guest Post
August 15th – Melissa Martin's Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post
August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post
August 17th – Christine Abee – Review
August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview
August 18th – EndlessReading – Review
August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview
August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post
August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post
August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview
August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview
August 24th – Miranda's Book Blog – Review / Guest Post
August 25th – BookishFever – Review
August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10
August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo
August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review
August 28th – Bookish – Review
August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview
September 1st – Beauty's Library – Review / Guest Post
September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview
September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview
September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview
September 9th – Read with Royella – Review  
September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview
September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl's Book Worm Booty – Review
September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers
September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist
September 14th – Rockin' Book Reviews – Review

Goodreads Giveaway Code:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

The Last of the Firedrakes

by Farah Oomerbhoy

Giveaway ends August 15, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway