New Release Review! JUST ONE OF THE BOYS by Leah and Kate Roper


Just One of the Boys

by Leah Rooper

Synopsis:

Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons. But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality…even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates…

Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning…

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning–a few locker room scenes are included…

 

Review:

Such an adorable story!

Just One of the Boys was a super-cute, super-quick read that if you liked She’s the Man, you’ll absolutely love. (It’s not quite as obviously a retelling of  Twelfth Night as the movie is, but it’s the same general idea. With hockey. So really, a win-win.) Like StM’s Viola, Alice is told she can’t play the sport she loves because of her gender; also like Viola, she takes her twin’s place on the team, though for different reasons. All kinds of girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy hijinks ensue, and she develops a crush on the team’s (formerly? maybe…) star player–but also becomes his best friend, which complicates things all over the place.

Meanwhile, her twin is hiding a secret, her mom is making extra demands on her time, and did I mention she’s got a crush on her new BFF? Not quite everything that isn’t right get fully resolved by the end (what is her coach’s response to her news???) but the book still leaves you with a happy glow anyway.

Here’s hoping the Ms. Ropers have plenty more books in them!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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New Release Review! THE CINDERELLA FANTASY by Sara Jane Stone


The Cinderella Fantasy
by Sara Jane Stone

Synopsis:

A princess who has lost her faith in love . . .

Lucy Linden’s prince charming (a.k.a. her fiancé) disappeared three months before the Big Day. Determined to pick up the pieces, she dives into the world of online dating. But the only men interested in a woman whose day job involves playing Cinderella leave Lucy looking for an exit strategy before the main course. And the man rushing to her rescue isn’t the solution to her problems. Jared is a walking, talking fantasy—if Lucy’s daydreams began and ended in the bedroom. No one would ever mistake South Florida’s bored billionaire bachelor for a long-term prince.

A man willing to risk everything to prove he’s her prince . . .

Jared Mitchell pushes the limits, in the boardroom and in bed. When his best friend and business partner’s little sister sends up red distress flares, he’s thrust into the role of pseudo-big brother. He’s never had a thing for Cinderella. But now he’s fighting his desire to make the princess his—even if he has to risk his empire to deliver her happy-ever-after ending.

 

Review:

The Cinderella Fantasy is a cute and sweet (if somewhat silly at times) contemporary romance. The idea of three friends and roommates who have their own business which lets them dress up as princesses (birthday parties, hospital visits, etc.) is a unique one, and I am interested to see what is in the works for the other two “princesses” (though is one of the books going to have “Mulan” in the title? Somehow I suspect not, which is a bummer 🙁 ).

Lucy’s dating disasters were fun to read (thigh gap???!!!), and the temptation of her older brother’s best friend/business partner makes for an entertaining troupe. I got a little aggravated with Lucy’s back-and-forth over her relationship with Jared (my job is important to me but you can’t work too much or else?) and still am not sure how I feel about her brother’s involvement in the start of their relationship. The ending also comes about really quickly, given all of the angsty back and forth will-she-won’t-she drama that came before…

Still, though, The Cinderella Fantasy was an entertaining way to pass the time. It’s not going to be my favorite book from this author, but I am interested enough to see where this series will go with the other two girls.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.


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A Conversation with A.L. Davroe, Author of REDUX (Tricksters #2)

 

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, A.L.! What 5 things should readers know about you?

Geez, this is a hard question…Um…

  1. I can pick my nose with my tongue. That’s always fun at parties…
  2. I have anxiety and I’m not afraid to talk about it.
  3. I make cheese, write novels, and pet sit for a living.
  4. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up and that’s ok.
  5. I drink nothing but tea and seltzer.

Okay, now I really want to go to a party you’re at! And kinda don’t, both at the same time… 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The first inspiration came from two of the women from my previous agency talking about wanting a Steampunk Cinderella concept. I got this idea for a Cinderella that loses her leg instead of her shoe. Of course, I was sick of writing Steampunk at the time and I was curious about writing futuristic pieces, so I chose to go with that instead. NEXIS, the resulting novel, went a completely different direction than the actual Cinderella story, but you can see some of the threads there. The follow up novel, REDUX, had a number of versions, but the current one came about through a sort of learning experience that the main character, Ella, and I had together as creator and project. I talk about that journey in the acknowledgements.

Cool! I’ll have to check that out.

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I started writing for fun my freshman year of high school. My mother had always said to me that I was a good writer, but I never really listened to her. Parents are supposed to tell you stuff like that, right? It took a friend asking me to write a fan fiction with her that really got me into writing for enjoyment. She’d always enjoy the sections I wrote and I enjoyed writing them. I started to miss working on the fan fiction when it was in her possession. One day, I was waiting after school for my mother to pick me up after drama club. I finished reading this one novel that I had been really into and I was so bored. I wanted the book to continue. I wanted to be writing. Mostly, I just wanted something to pass the time. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just write my own story? Something like this, but different.” That was my first novel. I went on to continue writing just for fun throughout high school and college. I finished this one novel about a year out of college and thought to myself, “This story needs to be shared with the world.” And that started my path to publication.

That’s awesome! I love that you started with fan fiction…

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I always have a bunch of projects that I’m working on. I can’t really say which one will be finished first or what’s next. Rest assured that I have more YA novels coming – both Sci-Fi and fantasy. I also have some adult pieces that I’m excited to bring you in the future. However, I plan to take a nice long vacation after REDUX comes out.  😀

LOL—sounds like a plan!

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

Would you believe that I’ve been on a non-fiction stint? I started taking classes, so I’ve been reading lots of books for my classes. The current book I’m reading is on graphoanalysis. It’s pretty interesting and I find it hard not to start analyzing everyone’s handwriting, LOL!

That does sound interesting—and I can see how that would be very tempting… 🙂

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

I’m a firm believer that readers should read NEXIS before REDUX, so the pitch for NEXIS would be: A female version of Matrix meets Tron and Ender’s Game.

Excellent point—works for me! Thanks, A.L.!

 

About the author:

I write both YA and adult speculative fiction. I’m represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. I’ve written FOR YOUR HEART; CITY STEAM; NEXIS; and M.I.A.. My latest novel, REDUX (YA science-fiction) is coming out with Entangled Teen in March 2017.

By day, I live in Connecticut with my feline hench-creatures and I make cheese. 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 wear purple 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).

About the book:

The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.

To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.

But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.

But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.

Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.

Or die trying.

A Conversation with Natasha Farrant, Author of THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET

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Welcome, Natasha! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I talk to my cat more than to any human being.
  2. I am addicted to strong black coffee.
  3. I am never happier than by the sea.
  4. I am proud to busting of my two amazing, strong, independent thinking teenage daughters.
  5. I am a European.

Fantastic!

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Headstrong Lydia is the youngest sister of five, bored to death living in the country, dreaming of escape and excitement.

Handsome Wickham is a gambler and chancer, his charm and good looks his only assets.

Recently returned from India, the Comte and Comtesse de Fombelle have escaped the French Revolution and are looking to find their place in English society.

All of them are hustling for money and position, and marriage is the game they’re playing. Who is going to win? And what, pray, of love?

That pretty much sums it up.  As for Lydia, the one thing she would need on a desert island is company! She’d go crazy on her own. If you won’t give her an actual person, please could she have her pet cat, the murderous Napoleon?

LOL, yes, I could definitely see that! The murderous Napoleon, huh?

 

How long have you been writing, and what made you start?

I remember the exact moment when I learned to read on my own.  I must have been about five years old, and I was sitting in class, and suddenly the words on the page in front of me stopped being a cipher and became something magic: a story. I think I’ve known since that moment that I wanted to make the same sort of magic.  I’ve scribbled bits and pieces – ideas, thoughts, poems, diaries – all my life, but I didn’t start on my first full length novel until I left university (college). That novel, by the way, has never seen the light of day!

LOL, I hear you! Neither has my first. And it never, ever will! 😉

 

Besides Jane Austen, what authors and/or books have inspired you?

Oh, where to start! Enid Blyton, of course. Don’t sneer. As a child, there was no-one like her for making me believe I could do anything. Laura Ingalls Wilder. C S Lewis. L M Montgomery. E Nesbit. Eva Ibbotson. PG Wodehouse. Charlotte Bronte. George Orwell. Barbara Kingsolver. Stefan Zweig. Shakespeare.  Cervantes. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Harper Lee. Alexandre Dumas. Georgette Heyer. What can I say, I have eclectic tastes!

I’ll say! Great taste, though 🙂

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

What I like best are those rare, rare moments when the magic happens and I am transported as I write to a different time and place.  The most challenging parts are those days – alas, much more numerous – when everything I do feels wrong.  But I couldn’t ever stop.  As a wise man once said, “the only thing I can imagine worse than writing would be not writing.”

Excellent point!

 

What are you working on right now?

A middle-grade boarding school adventure story.

Sounds like fun!

 

If you had to sell The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet in a single Tweet, what would you say?

If you like the sound of a Regency feminist romp with a Jane Austen twist, then this is the book for you!

Perfect! Thanks so much!

 

About Natasha:14439497131443949692norfolk-beach

I am one of those rarities, a Londoner born and bred.  And like most true Londoners, I’m not completely English, but three-quarters French with a little bit Dutch thrown in.  I can’t imagine living anywhere else, though I would like a horse, a big old house with a secret passage or two, a fig tree, a walnut tree, lots of dogs and a vista of rolling hills on one side and the sea on the other.  All of which are sadly incompatible with both life in the city and my income.

I write partly because in my stories I can live the lives I’m not…

I have two teenage daughters, Justine and Lily, who provide endless inspiration for my books.  I am pleased to say inspiration works both ways. One of them has dyed her hair pink, and the other has taken to hanging out on the roof in the middle of the night.

The “person” I talk to most is my tortoiseshell cat, Amber.  This is because as a writer you spend a lot of time alone, which makes you go slightly mad.  Amber repays me for my conversation by trashing my house.  Soon we are goig to buy a dachshund puppy called Blue, and presumably he will be equally destructive.

I get very grumpy if I don’t have a good book to read, if I’m not writing, if I’m hungry, tired or don’t get enough exercise.  Otherwise I am a generally cheerful person.

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about my life as a writer.

 

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Title: THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET
Author: Natasha Farrant
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: The Chicken House
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

 

A fresh, funny, and spirited reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet brings the voice of the wildest Bennet sister to life.

Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She’s stubborn, never listens, and can’t seem to keep her mouth shut — not that she would want to anyway. She wishes her older sisters would pay her attention, or that something would happen in her boring country life.

Luckily, that something is right around the corner, and it’s the handsome Wickham, who arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia’s not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fasionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths inevitably become entangled again.

At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she would have never dreamed possible. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?

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A Conversation with Shonna Slayton, Author of SPINDLE (with a giveaway!)

spindletour

Welcome, Shonna! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I’m always cold (bring a sweater wherever I go)
  2. I live in Phoenix, which is terribly hot, but the buildings are heavily air-conditioned….so I freeze.
  3. I’m terrible at remembering names (sorry!)
  4. I’m even worse at remembering numbers. Numbers fly right out of my head.
  5. I prefer cookies over cake unless it’s a Blackforest cake.

Numbers! They’re the instrument of the devil, I’m sure of it 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I wanted to write another fairy tale similar in style to Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes. So, by pure brainstorming I started working with ideas to create Spindle. Throw in a little of that “author’s gut feeling” and there you go.

Fantastic!

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

A bazillion years! I first realized in about 5th grade that I wanted to be a writer. My teacher that year kept reading amazing books to us, and I was hooked. I just wanted to be a part of the world of books, to give back to that which I’d gained so much already.

That’s fantastic! I love when teachers have a hand in it too 🙂

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m writing another historical fairy tale—another of the “big” fairy tale stories. I’ve also got an original fairy tale sitting on my computer that I keep looking at. It doesn’t match my current line of retellings, but it’s cute, and I might self-publish it next summer. You heard it here first.

Awesome! Can’t wait!

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m one of those people who has several books on the go all at once, currently I’m reading: Winter by Marissa Meyer, By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson, and Tombstone from a Woman’s Point of View (the correspondence of Clara Spalding Brown in the 1880s.) This last book has been interesting since Clara was in Tucson when the famous shoot out between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday and the “cowboys” took place at the O.K. Corral.

Wow—quite a selection!


If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

The evil fairy’s magic is wrapped up in the cursed spindle, and to be free of it she has to see a girl to the death.

Perfect!

 

About the author:shonna-slayton

SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN. Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes, set in the 1940s are out now. Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s, will be out October 2016.

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.

The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can’t read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton.

 

Author Website: http://shonnaslayton.com/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShonnaSlayton

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Author YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ShonnaSlayton

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Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shonna.slayton/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7326743.Shonna_Slayton

Newsletter: http://shonnaslayton.com/new-release-mailing-list/

spindle-cover

Spindle
by Shonna Slayton
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen

 

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

 

Excerpt:

She never asked Henry to walk her to the cottage. But that was the way with a Prince, as everyone said. They acted out of habit, and once a habit was established, it stayed that way. His new habit appeared to be trying to keep her mind off of Wheeler.

“They’re ridiculous,” he said scornfully as the couple in front of them touched hands for a few moments before separating again.

Briar’s heart cracked a little more. She remained silent, but fingered the fancy comb holding up her hair. The comb that Wheeler had given her for Christmas. And now they’re going to our pond. Is there no other place he can take her?

“You can hold my hand if it would make you feel better,” Henry said. He held out his calloused, grease-laden fingers for her to grab. His hand had grown since the last time he’d offered it to her.

She sighed. Henry. He was there when her family moved into the valley and would likely still be there when they moved out. She was told there’d never been a time when Sunrise Valley didn’t have a Henry Prince in it. From son back to father to grandfather and beyond, and none of them had ever gone anywhere. They were known as a reclusive family, hardly leaving their farm. Except for Henry. He was different.

Briar’s family had only been in the valley since Pansy was born. They were supposed to be traveling through, but then Da got a job at the new factory and they stayed. Mam worked, too, but developed the coughing sickness from all the cotton in her lungs. She died when the twin boys were born, and then when Da died of consumption, the Jenny children were stuck there, like weeds that nobody wanted.

Briar didn’t intend for them to stay any longer in Sunrise Valley than they had to. She would find a way out for her sister and brothers. Back to the Old Country like Mam wanted for them. Back to where they would fit in. And Henry Prince was not that way.

He wiggled his eyebrows at her.

Unguarded, she laughed. This particular Henry Prince was also known for being an audacious flirt.

 

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New Release and Giveaway! AVENGING FATE by Jennifer Derrick (Threads of the Moirae #2)

Avenging Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2016
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Still reeling after killing the man she loved, Atropos turns her attention to the twin tasks of avenging his death and freeing humanity from the deadly grip of the Keres. When she sets out on a murderous mission to retrieve her shears, her only aide is her temperamental ex-boyfriend, Ares. He is fickle at best, traitorous at worst, and assistance from him may be worse than none at all.

Along the way, she allies with a group of powerful supernaturals and learns that the crimes of the gods are more twisted and far-reaching than she realized. What begins as a quest for vengeance becomes a journey through betrayal, loss, love, and hope. It ignites a war that will pit Atropos against the gods in a battle for the freedom of humanity.

Avenging Fate is the second book in The Threads of Moirae Series by Jennifer Derrick.

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EXCERPT:

When we reach Alex’s house, I’m not surprised to see that it’s been vandalized. With no residents to defend it, it was easy pickings. The front door’s been kicked in and the frame is splintered so it won’t close properly. A couple of the windows are broken, too. Once we’re inside, I’m relieved to see that most of the damage is limited to the kitchen. Whoever came here was looking for food and not much else. The presence of a rotting, stinking corpse on the kitchen floor probably made them hurry up and get out.

I leave Ares and Elaina to gather up any dog food and supplies they can find as I make my way down the hall to Alex’s room. Stopping in the doorframe, I grip it hard to keep myself upright. The memories and the grief come fast and hard, threatening to overwhelm me. The hospital bed is still in the room, as is most of the medical equipment that kept him alive those last few days. No one’s made the bed, so the sheets are still rumpled from Alex’s body.

The IV still hangs on the pole next to the bed, and the oxygen tank is on the floor under the bed. The needle and tubing for the IV and the cannula for the oxygen rest on the mattress where I dropped them the night I took Alex away from here to die in peace. The book we were reading together lies facedown on the mattress, open to the page where we left off. Everything is frozen in time, except the most important part. Alex is gone and he isn’t coming back.
Alex’s bookcases still droop alarmingly, although they aren’t as orderly as they once were. It appears the looters rifled through them, probably looking for stray cash tucked in the pages of the books. I force myself to cross the room and scan the shelves for anything that might indicate where Emily has gone. I also check the desk, but find nothing in either place.

I cross to the bed and can’t help myself. Picking up the pillow, I hug it to my chest, burying my nose in it. I catch the last whiff of Alex’s shampoo, the same fruity-spicy scent he always used. I’m aware this isn’t good for me and it’s not helping us with our mission, so I reluctantly put it down. But I can’t resist one other thing. Grabbing the book, I fold down the corner of the page we were on and tuck it in my waistband next to the gun. It’s sentimental and dumb, but I want to remember our reading time.

When I turn to leave, Ares is standing in the doorframe, watching me with an expression that is both pitying and concerned. I can stand the latter, but I don’t need his pity.

“Don’t say anything,” I warn as I push past him and head down the hall toward Emily’s room.

“I just came to see if you’re okay. I figured this would be hard for you.”

“Just getting up in the morning is hard for me, but I do it,” I say. “I’ll be okay.”

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Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

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Author Bio:

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

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