Welcome to the blog tour for Believe, the third book in the new adult contemporary romance series, The Brightside, by Katie Delahanty. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis My name is Amanda Conrad and I Am. A doctor. When my cousin Liv whisked me away to South Africa to be maid of honor in her super-secret celebrity wedding, I was about to begin a five-year residency at NYU and was on my way to becoming a plastic surgeon. My plans definitely did not include a rock-star best man sweeping me off my feet.
But what happened in South Africa needed to stay there—he’d return to his touring and I’d start my residency, with our fond memories of a whirlwind, fairy-tale week. But now nothing feels right—I’m questioning my once solid plans, and I can’t stop thinking about him. Our lives are so different… Am I ready to risk everything I’ve worked for since I was thirteen—and put my heart on the line? To dream bigger than I ever thought possible? To believe I can have it all? That’s the thing about growing up…sometimes you have to be brave enough to redefine happily ever after.
I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me.
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it’s all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…
Synopsis My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Engaged.
When Berkeley proposed I thought we’d live happily ever after—we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. But instead he dropped a bombshell that turned my life upside down: he’s set to star in a movie with, who else, his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about is #Berkstina.
Berkeley wants me to work on set as a costume designer—a dream come true—but there’s a catch; we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, the love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. I know Berkeley is passionate and driven, but he has so much going on—I don’t know if we can take it. I’m starting to wonder how well I know him.
I love him, but am I ready to drop everything and decide the rest of my life? To become Olivia Dalton?.
Author Katie Delahanty
About the Author Katie is a fashion designer turned novelist. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic crisis induced career shift from lingerie designer to ecommerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Welcome to the release day book blitz for My Junior Year of Loathing, the second book in her young adult contemporary romance series, School Dayz, by Jennifer DiGiovanni. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can read my five-star review of book 1, My Senior Year of Awesome, here.
My Junior Year of Loathing (School Dayz #2) by Jennifer DiGiovanni
About the Book Title: My Junior Year of Loathing Series: School Dayz #2 Author: Jennifer DiGiovanni Publisher: Swoon Romance Release Date: October 25, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis Junior year is supposed to be tough. Exams, term papers, homework, college tours, and participation in extra-curricular activities can all add up to non-stop stress. But Melinda Banner has goals to achieve and dreams to make real. This year, she’ll be unstoppable. But even over achievers need a break.
While walking in the woods to take a break from the stress of it all, Melinda meets a boy named Connor. After a few more run-ins, the two settle into an uneasy friendship, if you can even call it that.
But Connor’s closed and mysterious. Whenever Melinda asks too many questions, he suddenly has to go or is no longer interested in talking. When they’re together, she’s torn between wanting him to open up and running away as fast as she can. Still she can’t seem to shake her budding interest in him.
Connor has his own way of looking at the world, and his views often conflict with Melinda’s practical nature. Can you like someone and loathe them at the same time? Is he even worth the emotional tug on her heartstrings or distraction from all things Junior year?
And, as if she needs another project right now, Melinda starts to obsess over the abandoned estate she passes on the way to school each day. Between Connor and the old estate, Melinda’s beginning to think she’s taking on too much.
But Melinda’s smart. She finds a way to indulge her interest in the estate and fulfill her obligations. She will uncover the truth behind the aging edifice for an epic article in the school newspaper.
But when her investigation reveals a connection between Connor and a tragedy long-since forgotten, Melinda has a choice: put off her junior year achievements to save a local landmark and a boy who constantly pushes her away or put them both out of her mind for good and focus on making the grade.
Excerpt #2 Late-summer humidity beads on my skin as last remnants of daylight dissipate, giving way to a bright silver moon. I drink in the scent of wildflowers along with the hum of voices mixing with a choir of cicadas in the woods behind me. When I turn to continue on, I sense a swift movement in the overgrown brush to my left. A branch snaps.
“Who’s there?” My heart ricochets around my chest. I tense my legs, prepped to run at the first sign of danger while my eyes dart along the bottom of the thicket, hoping to find a small animal. Very small. Preferably not a skunk, though.
Another snap, followed by footsteps.
“Just me,” says a male voice. Someone about my size steps out from behind a wide oak tree, hands raised. I give him the once-over, covertly searching for weapons. Dark hair, faded jeans, ratty gray T-shirt, and lace-up combat-style boots. He takes a step forward. We exchange suspicious glances.
“Thinking about calling the cops?” he asks in a low voice.
“Why? Are you a criminal?”
With a shrug, he turns his attention toward the backyard party. “Huh. Another big bash at the Martins. They hire a ten-piece band just for cocktails.”
I scoff. “Why not hook up an iPod and some speakers?”
A smile appears on his moonlit face. “Wireless speakers don’t have enough juice for a yard that size. Plus, nothing’s better than live music when you’re schmoozing with the rich and famous. Do you come here often?” He grimaces. “Man, that sounded cheesy.”
Admittedly, this is an odd time and place for pickup lines. “Actually, I’m a first-time offender. I’m the new kid on this enormous block, which is more like a small city. My mother married Brian Welsh.”
His expression blanks. “Oh.”
“I live about four houses down.” I point in the general direction. Then I second-guess myself. Should I have given this random guy in the woods so much information? He looks about my age, but all sorts of scary. And from the smell of him, he could use a long, hot shower.
He sticks out his hand. “Welcome to the neighborhood. I’m Connor.”
“Mel.” I keep my hands at my sides.
His arm remains extended. “Nice to meet you.” Our eyes meet and hold. Against my better judgement, I offer my hand, allowing his warm fingers to wrap around mine. A crash of drums, followed by laughter, directs our attention back to the party.
My Senior Year of Awesome by Jennifer DiGiovanni
About Book 1 Title: My Senior Year of Awesome Series: School Dayz #1 Author: Jennifer DiGiovanni Publisher: Swoon Romance Release Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | My Review
Synopsis A girl desperately tries to avoid the boy she was voted most likely to marry by her senior classmates. To prove senior superlative votes are meaningless, she and her best friend create their own list of awesome high school achievements to be completed by graduation.
It’s the final semester of senior year, and everyone at Harmony High can’t wait to find out the results of the Senior Superlative votes! But the balloon bursts in Sadie’s face when she discovers she’s been voted “Most Likely to Get Married” to Andy – a boy she’s never dated or ever thought of as a potential boyfriend. Completely and utter mortification sets in.
To prove high school means something more than a Senior Superlative award, Sadie and her best friend Jana decide to create their own list of awesome non-academic achievements to be completed before graduation.
Yet, the harder Sadie works to show everyone she’s not the least bit attracted to Andy, the more appealing he becomes. Typical for the girl who can’t seem to achieve anything important, even the completion of one lousy college application.
When senioritis kicks in and the school year dwindles down to mere weeks, Sadie decides to risk her good girl reputation to prove that an Awesome Achievement means much more than any Senior Superlative vote. By the time Sadie realizes her epic screw-up, she just might have lost her chance at the prom date of her dreams.
Author Jennifer DiGiovanni
About the Author Jennifer DiGiovanni is the author of the School Dayz Series. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to try new sports and activities from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.
The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy #1) by Rysa Walker
Synopsis In this thrilling new series from Rysa Walker, the award-winning and best-selling author of Timebound, a teen psychic is the key to stopping a government conspiracy.
It’s never wise to talk to strangers . . . and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.
When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl who was brutally murdered, Anna is pulled headlong into a deadly conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Facing the forces behind her new hitcher’s death will challenge the barriers, both good and bad, that Anna has erected over the years and shed light on her power’s origins. And when the covert organization seeking to recruit her crosses the line by kidnapping her friend, it will discover just how far Anna is willing to go to bring it down.
My Review Part paranormal, part thriller, part scifi, this book is really unique. Seventeen-year-old Anna has an unusual ability to channel the dead by touching something they have also touched. It’s like The Sixth Sense, except the dead know they’re dead, they just have something left undone before they can let go of their old lives. When Anna picks up Molly, a trafficked teen who was brutally murdered, she contacts Molly’s grandfather, a former detective, for help. To say Anna has an uphill battle convincing him that Molly is residing in Anna’s head would be an understatement. Together with friends of Molly’s, Anna and her best friend, Deo, try to help Molly get the closure she needs, only to realize they’ve stumbled into something huge that might have roots all the way at the highest levels of the government.
Plot The story is well-plotted, but takes longer to get going than I would have liked. It’s definitely an intriguing story, but there’s a lot of world building involved that is necessary to understand Anna’s situation and the world she lives in, but at times, it slows the story down. There is also far less romance than I like in my young adult novels. Which means this is perfect for anyone who thinks young adult has too much romance 🙂
Characters Anna is a fascinating character. I had a difficult time warming up to her, though. While I understand why she’s so distrustful and standoffish, it made it difficult to identify with her. Still, she’s intriguing with one of the best backstories I’ve read in awhile. I loved the rest of the characters as well, all are so well-developed they jump off the page. Everyone from Deo to Aaron, Sam, and even Daniel are living, breathing characters that drive the story as much as Anna.
What Didn’t Work for Me
1. The pacing. It was slow at times, almost too slow.
2. The ending. I realize it’s the first book of a trilogy, but it was still too much of a cliffhanger for me.
3. The cover. It doesn’t really do anything for me. It didn’t grab my eye at all, but the author’s name sure did, and the description sold it.
What I Enjoyed About The Delphi Effect 1. The world building. True perfection!
2. Deo. He’s anything but stereotypical as the gender-questioning best friend.
3. The plot. Unique. And that’s about all I can say without giving anything away 🙂
4. Aaron. He’s amazing as the guy, with a secret of his own, who swoops in to help Anna and Deo.
5. Conspiracies. I adore a good conspiracy, particularly one with ties to the U.S. government. This was my favorite aspect of the story!
Bottom Line The Delphi Effect is a fascinating paranormal/scifi/mystery/thriller for young adults.
Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book Title: The Delphi Effect Series: The Delphi Effect #1 Author: Rysa Walker Publisher: Skyscape Release Date: October 11, 2016 Pages: 380 Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Author Rysa Walker
About the Author Rysa Walker is the author of the bestselling CHRONOS Files series. Timebound, the first book in the series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Rysa grew up on a cattle ranch in the South, where she was a voracious reader. On the rare occasions when she gained control of the television, she watched Star Trek and imagined living in the future, on distant planets, or at least in a town big enough to have a stoplight. She currently lives in North Carolina, where she is working on the next installment in The Delphi Trilogy. If you see her on social media, please tell her to get back to her Writing Cave.
Welcome to the book blitz for House of Chaos, a young adult fantasy by Sarai Henderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s playlist, and details on her giveaway.
House of Chaos by Sarai Henderson
About the Book Title: House of Chaos Author: Sarai Henderson Publisher: House of Chaos Publishing Release Date: September 13, 2016 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis Sixteen years ago, Tabri showed up in the mountains an orphaned child with the magic of the Chaotics running through her veins. She survived the bitter winter, the wrath of a yeti, and mutinied on the flying pirate ship Stallings, but then the Madnesi came.
Nell’s Furyon bloodline and elemental magic make her the perfect warrior. Perfect to revenge her sister’s death at the hand of a Madnesi Lord, to defend the Chaotic until her magic fully emerges and to defeat the masses of rotting undead who threaten the survival of the Wilders. If only there was more time in the day.
The Earth Stone has given the two companions a path to safety, but Tabri’s magic is on the fritz and Nell has completely lost her mind with grief. Can they hold it together long enough to allow Chaos to shine a light in the darkness, or will the Madnesi destroy all magic in the world along with the prophecy?
Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford & Sons
Geronimo – Sheppard
Lost Boy – Ruth B.
Wild Things – Alessia Cara
Say Something – A great big world
Believe – Mumford & Sons
Rangers – A Fine Frenzy
I’d come for you – Nickelback
Rise – Katy Perry
My tourniquet – Evanescence
Hearts without chains – Ellie Goulding
Lights – Ellie Goulding
Still Falling for you – Ellie Goulding
About the Author Sarai Henderson is a retired ballerina from Oregon City, Oregon, where she spends most her time chasing down her three rambunctious boys and writing on her lunch break at work. She enjoys DIY projects, Photography and writing on her blog about life as a mother of an autistic son.
Synopsis A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.
Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.
Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.
My Review This was very different from any other young adult book I’ve read. Ever. Seventeen-year-old Riley’s father has been on death row since she was seven for crimes he claims he didn’t commit. Riley’s close relationship with her father is shown through weekly visits where the two hug and play chess. When the last of her father’s appeals run out, Riley must accept that she’s going to lose her father, something she can’t quite bring herself to accept. At least until her father confesses he’s guilty, telling Riley to move on with her life. Riley is devastated and confused, which gets worse when he immediately recants his confession. With the help of her only friend, adorable dark-haired Jordan, Riley decides she needs the truth, whatever that may be.
Plot The main plot centers around Riley’s search for the truth and unfolds like a mystery. A secondary plot is the romance between Riley and Jordan. Riley’s family has many secrets and the more Riley learns, the more she begins to question everything, not just her father’s sudden confession and retraction. At times the pacing was slow, but the author throws in a number of twists to keep things interesting.
Characters Riley is intriguing. Having essentially grown up with only her mother and a relationship with her father who is behind bars, her life is anything but normal. The story takes place over summer, so there is little interaction with other kids her age, with the exception of Jordan, whom she meets at a mall an hour away — a place she goes so she won’t be recognized. Being the daughter of a convicted serial killer can’t be easy and I would have loved to explore a little more of this aspect of her life. Riley’s father was an enigma throughout and her mother was complex. Jordan is likeable as the friend and love interest, but he isn’t as deeply developed as he could have been. This is Riley’s story though, and she’s pretty well fleshed out. On the other hand, Mr. Masters, the defense attorney for Riley’s dad, is well developed and a great foil for Riley.
What Didn’t Work for Me
1. Parts of the plot. I don’t want to give anything away, because there are some great twists, but not all of it works. There were a few things that happened that I thought needed more fleshing out for me to fully embrace them.
2. The cover. I don’t think the cover does the story justice.
3. Jordan. He’s interesting right off the bat, but I never really understood why he was so devoted to Riley from the beginning. They don’t spend all that much time together before he’s dropping everything to help her out, pledging his enduring loyalty.
What I Enjoyed About The Row 1. The chess. I love how the author weaves in the game of chess throughout, drawing parallels between the game and the plot.
2. Riley. She’s sympathetic, smart, determined, and tough. She’s not perfect by any means. There are many times she makes huge mistakes, but it’s easy to forgive her because so much of how she reacts is based on her unorthodox upbringing.
3. The plot. I love both the mystery aspect and the young adult romance. Both are well done and tie together nicely.
4. The law. I love legal thrillers and this almost reads like one from a teen’s point of view.
5. Mr. Masters. Riley’s dad’s law partner, defense attorney, and Riley’s surrogate father figure is fantastic, driving some of the best parts of the story.
Bottom Line The Row is a dark tale of a girl seeking truth and justice about and for the father she adores.
Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book Title: The Row Author: J.R. Johansson Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Release Date: October 11, 2016 Pages: 352 Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Author J.R. Johansson
About the Author J.R. Johansson’s books have been published in a dozen languages and more than twenty countries worldwide. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. She lives inUtah with two sons, a wonderful husband, three cats, and a hot tub named Valentino.
She is represented by the stellar Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.