YA Fantasy Showdown! Team Urban VS Team Epic: TEAM EPIC

Team Epic: Why I Love Epic Fantasy!

Erica Cameron – Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles, #1):

Why do I love epic fantasy? It’s a blank slate. We can erase all of our preconceived notions of society and law and even science, throwing all of that over the side of a cliff. Epic fantasy lets us push humanity well past the breaking point with ever more impossible landscapes and situations. It lets us see what we could be if only we let ourselves get there. Plus, epic fantasy is, well, epic!

 

Book Description:

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle. On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

 

Buy Island of Exiles

Amber Mitchell – Garden of Thorns:

When I read and write, it’s because I want to escape and nothing gets you farther from your troubles than the distant shores of entirely new worlds. Epic fantasy invites you onto its tropical beaches, into its lush jungles and through its exotic cityscapes, shaking out its uncharted map for you to explore. Every page brims with fantastic characters questing, battling men and extraordinary beasts alike with magic flowing from nimble fingertips and daring sword fights. The allure of entirely new cultures, the epic stakes, swoon-worthy romances, and the flowing dresses of epic fantasy will always have my heart.

 

Book Description:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll to take to her grave if she must.

 

Buy Garden of Thorns

 

L.E. Sterling – True North (True Born, #2):

Don’t get me wrong — #TeamUrban is great. I love time jumpers and magicians running around a book. They make you blink and question what you saw. But I prefer life in a funhouse mirror. Give me a goblin market. Give me a warrior queen with immortal blood. I want the snow queen’s glass shard to be embedded in my eye. I want to completely escape the bounds of reality — not be shackled by them. I don’t want to just question my perceptions — I want to know I’m not in Kansas any longer.

 

Book Description:

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

 

Buy True North

 

Nicole Luiken – In Truth & Ashes (Otherselves, #3):

First for the endlessly inventive magic. Second for the fascinating new worlds to explore. Third for the fantastic creatures that dwell there: dragons, gargoyles, demi-gods and phoenixes are just a few of the ones I’ve used.

Epic fantasy gives a writer a bigger canvas to paint. Instead of a city, a country or even worlds. Wars. Heroes. Villains. Destinies. Everything is bigger is epic fantasy. The stakes are higher, instead of a single group, the fate of a world can hang in the balance.

 

Book Description:

The Mirror Worlds are but dull reflections of the True World, where magic and technology blend together…

On the True World, Belinda Loring has known from childhood that she must Bond with the son of another noble First Family. Uniting the families ensures hers will hold onto its powerful position, and so she’s always pushed down the tender feelings she has for her best friend—gorgeous, steadfast Demian, who isn’t noble.

But when the ceremonial magic goes disastrously wrong, Belinda becomes a national disgrace. Scorned as Broken, she turns to Demian for help getting revenge on the man who ruined her: the radical Malachi.

But the seeds of Malachi’s murderous plans lie buried in Belinda’s past, in the dark days of her kidnapping—a period of which she has no memory. And Demian may hold the key to recovering all that she’s lost—and saving the worlds.

 

Buy In Truth & Ashes

 

Renee Collins – Relic

 

Book Description:

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

 

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

Buy Relic

 

Rebekah L. Purdy – The Summer Marked (The Winter People, #2):

Epic Fantasy is an escape from the “real world” and takes you to other lands, places you can only dream of, which is why I love it so much.  And there’s so much more opportunity to really explore new creatures and characters within these worlds. I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of stepping through a closet and finding a cool fantasy world? LOL.

I’m also a big fan of the epic battles (think Lord of the Rings or Throne of Glass). Girl with a sword=Awesome.

 

Book Description:

Fresh off a break-up with her boyfriend, Kadie’s glad to be home from college for Thanksgiving. All she needs is a rebound guy, a box of chocolates, and some girl time with her best friend, Salome. Problem is, Salome isn’t returning her calls, and her family won’t say where she is. Feeling sorry for herself, Kadie ends up at Club Blade, a place filled with pumping music, dangerous guys, and promises of a good time. However, when midnight strikes, Kadie’s fun turns into a nightmare as she’s ripped from the human world into Faerie by a vengeful Winter Prince named Etienne. For the first time in her life, she realizes the monsters Salome always spoke of are real, and they’ll stop at nothing to destroy her friend.

Salome thought the winter curse was behind her. But winter has left its mark. Not just on her, but on the whole summer court. The Kingdom of Summer is falling apart, and Nevin is hanging onto his throne by a thread. With war on his doorstep, he has no choice but to send Gareth into enemy territory, which means Salome will be left alone—vulnerable in a world she doesn’t understand. A place where beauty is deadly and humans are pawns in the macabre games the Fae play. Both Kadie and Salome will have to call on all their strength to survive in a world where humans aren’t meant to be. With death and enemies all around them, it’ll be a miracle if they can survive.

 

Buy The Summer Marked

 

Chloe Jacobs – Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1)

 

Book Description:

While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.

To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

 

Buy Greta and the Goblin King

 

 

YA Showdown! Team Urban VS Team Epic: Urban Version!

Team Urban: Why I Love Urban Fantasy!

 

Brenda Drake – Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

I’m such a fan of Urban Fantasy for many reasons, but mostly because writers can take our normal world and, either secret or not, add a dash of the fantastical to it. With mystical creatures hiding from humans or living side by side with them, deliciously nefarious things can happen. There’s just something extraordinary about urban fantasy. It’s the ability of the writer to look at something normal in the human world and mix it up. Changing a simple book into something that can transport someone from library to library or hiding a zoo of magical beasts in a common suitcase.

 

Book Description:

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

 

Buy Guardian of Secrets

 

Chris Cannon – Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames, #4):

  1. There are no maidens that need to be rescued in urban fantasy. More than likely the females are the ones kicking ass.
  2. I love the snarky banter that occurs when you throw modern day characters into strange/magical/supernatural circumstances.
  3. Anything is possible in urban fantasy. There are no rules about what types of paranormal creatures you can have. If you want to create dragons that breathe fire, ice, wind, sonic waves, and lightning, you can, just like I did in Going Down In Flames *cough cough shameless self promotion

 

Book Description:

She isn’t afraid of anything…except losing the knight she loves. Bryn McKenna has it all, including her smoking-hot knight turned live-in boyfriend, Valmont. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting into the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparents want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire.

If she doesn’t say, “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon, she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

 

Buy Fanning the Flames

 

Shonna Slayton – Spindle:

Urban fantasy reminds me that our own world is magical. We are so used to the way our world works that we take for granted how incredible it is that our heart beats, our brain imagines, that our eyes see color.

As a writer, urban fantasy allows me to open up my imagination on multiple planes. I still work with the real world, but I get to add layers onto that. It’s like going from black and white TV to color. Like Dorothy in dusty old Kansas stepping into the colorful land of Oz.

 

Book Description:

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.

 

Buy Spindle

 

Tara Fuller – Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1)

Book Description:

Death doesn’t fall in love. Usually. Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Buy Inbetween

 

Danielle Ellison – Salt (Salt, #1):

Whether it’s witches, demons, ghosts or other types monsters, there’s nothing like escaping the sometimes mundane reality of our world, or giving what we know every day a spice of fantasy.  Filled with kick-ass heroines who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in (and hot, just-as-fierce love interests) Urban Fantasy inspires you look beyond what you see and be more than you think you can be. Plus, life is more with some magic: more dangerous, more unpredictable, more chaotic, more fun.

 

Book Description:

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

 

Buy Salt

 

Rachel Harris – My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #1)

Book Description:

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits…right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

Buy My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century

 

Gloria Craw – Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising, #1):

I love Urban Fantasy because it infuses normal life with myth and magic. It’s so exciting to have something in common with a character who finds a magic object, special ability or a secret origin. The possible ways her courage and passion might be tested are endless. When she does triumph against fantastic odds, I’m left feeling inspired and reassured that I can overcome great obstacles in my everyday life too. Urban Fantasy reminds me that the ordinary in us can sometimes be…extraordinary.

 

Book Description:

We’ve stayed hidden too long… I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger. So I hide in plain sight, wearing drab clothes and thick glasses and trying to be invisible. I’m so good at hiding, no one has ever noticed me. Until Ian…the mysterious and oh-so-cute boy I know I need to avoid.

Now I have been seen. And more terrifying still, I am wanted—by those who would protect me and those who would destroy everything and everyone I love. But if they’re all terrified about who I am, wait until they see what I can do…

 

Buy Atlantis Rising

New Release Blitz with Giveaways! THE EXPATRIATES by Corinne O’Flynn (Song of the Sending, Book One)

 Two chances to win the first book in this new series!
 ExpatriatesBlitzBanner
The Expatriates #1
by Corinne O’Flynn
(Song of the Sending)
Publication date: October 15th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

They told him his world was destroyed.
And they were the last to escape.
They thought he was safe.
They were wrong.

Jim Wales can communicate with animals, but that’s not why he lives with a traveling carnival. Turns out his family’s been hiding him there since he was little, since someone started hunting all the scholars. Jim is a scholar—someone who can manipulate energy using magic—and he has no idea.

When a message arrives from Jim’s father—who supposedly died twelve years ago—Jim’s whereabouts are discovered, their carnival is attacked, and his mother is kidnapped. On the run with a strange glass map and a single coin, Jim finds himself racing to reclaim the father he thought he’d lost, plotting to save his mother, and discovering the truth about who he is.

But going home isn’t the same as being safe, and trust is everything.

 

Excerpt:

 “Shh!” Charlie stepped toward the midway, her head cocked to listen. “What in the world?”

I followed her gaze across the fairgrounds where the big top towered over the smaller event tents. Festive red, white, and blue flags atop each of them blew in the morning breeze.

“Do you guys hear that?” she asked.

“Hear what?” Hollis said, wiping sweat from his face. He held the swaddled bird against his chest.

The peaked canopy of the big top stood tall over the row of concession stands. The old marquee twinkled faintly in the sunlight, its red and yellow light bulbs spelling out Sweetwater’s Traveling Show. Everything was quiet.

“Charlie?” I knew better than to question her ears.

“What is it?” Sam asked.

“Shhh.” She closed her eyes and cupped her hands around her ears.

“I don’t hear anything,” I said. “Actually I don’t hear anything at all.”

Usually, on the day we arrived in a town, the fairgrounds were so noisy you could barely have a conversation without shouting. The roustabouts and canvasmen made a terrible racket erecting the tents and hammering the steel spikes into the ground. Then there was the constant hum of generators and cranes and trucks permeating everything as we all got things ready for the weeklong stay. Not to mention the animals screeching and squawking and the regular people noise. But from where we stood, it was eerily quiet. The whole place felt like a ghost town.

A mushroom of black smoke billowed above the big top in the distance. A rolling boom reached us a moment later.

“Whoa,” Sam whispered.

“Sweet Sisters. They’re here,” Hollis said

 

What readers are saying:

“Told in a beautiful, flowing style full of colorful images and adrenaline-pumping action.”

“Pop some popcorn, sit back … and enjoy the thrill ride, right up to the end, which leaves you begging for more.”

“Captures your attention from the start and then guides you through a roller coaster of adventure, drama, mystery, magic and young love.”

 
Purchase:

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AUTHOR BIO:headshop500x_lowres

Corinne O’Flynn is a native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado and wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. She loves writing flash and experimenting with short fiction. Her novel, THE EXPATRIATES (Oct. 2014) is a YA fantasy adventure with magic and creatures and lots of creepy stuff. She is a scone aficionado, has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea, and is always on the lookout for the elusive Peanut Chews candy.

When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at her website, Facebook, or Twitter @CorinneOFlynn.

Website:  http://www.corinneoflynn.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/oflynnbooks
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/CorinneOFlynn
Newsletter:  eepurl.com/YNic5
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22917879-the-expatriates

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New Release and Giveaways! DUST by Sarah Daltry

Two chances to win!

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Dust
by Sarah Daltry
Publication date: November 7th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Who makes YOUR choices?

“I was once the type of person who was impressed by starlight; the type of person who would dance beneath glass ceilings and let the world swim in its loveliness. The sky reminds me of the parties we used to throw – parties like the one last night. The memories bring back the trill of harps and endless ripples of satisfied laughter. Now, though, when I try to recall what I felt, all I hear is screaming.”

In a world ravaged by war and oppressive forces of evil, a princess must fight to claim her bloodright and save her people.

When the princess, Alondra, falls for the beautiful, blue eyes of a hooded stranger, it awakens in her a taste for freedom and an escape from her duty.

But her parents have other plans; they have a kingdom to protect and Alondra must marry to ensure the peace between nations. Only what happens when your parents choose a cold-hearted assassin as your betrothed?

As lies, illusions, and long hidden vendettas surface, the princess has to confront a very secret history. One that makes her realize that she not only risks losing her liberty, but also everything she has known and loved.

 

Excerpt:

Curiosity echoes through the room. No one goes to Challar. We live in a world that does not need history books; stories that we need to know are preserved through the bards and everything else… Well, some things are better left in the past. I know there is much of Anara that has been kept from me, but I always believed my parents and elders when they said the past was buried to save us. Now, though, I feel like a marionette, and I want to know who’s holding the strings.

“Something’s bothering me,” I tell Seamus. “I can’t explain it, and please don’t ask. But I want to go to see if I can get some questions answered. I planned on going without telling anyone and being back for dinner. Still,” I pause, “I would be happy to have your company.”

“Sure,” he says. The truce is unspoken, but it’s there. As he said yesterday, I cannot fight my destiny; now at least I have someone to go alongside me.

“Thank you. I’m sorry I can’t say more, but I hope you take comfort in knowing that my asking is…”

He nods. “I understand. Actually, there was something I wanted to say to you before you left, and I suppose now is as good a time as any. You see, Alondra, I… Well, I know that this is challenging for you. I know that our parents strive to think for the future, to establish an alliance that will better both of our kingdoms and Anara as a whole. However, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Seamus,” I start, but he brushes his fingers across my lips and continues.

“I never anticipated that you would love me, but I don’t want to be hated. Not by my wife. I see the way you look at me. I see what you see, and I know what I am. I am prepared to offer you a choice, Alondra. After you depart Demoria, I will not contact you until we return to your kingdom for the engagement ball. When I return to Kooram, I ask that you tell me how you feel then. If you still feel that our marriage would never be more than a punishment, I will publicly ask for a dissolution of the agreement.”

“Your kingdom will blame me,” I argue.

“Although I am an assassin, Alondra, I am also a prince. I know how to affect change with words as well as with a blade.”

I want to reply, to say something, even though I don’t know what words would bubble to the surface. Choices swim in my mind and I try to pull the threads of them apart to see the future lying at the end of each. As I contemplate, Seamus leans over. He gets closer and I realize he is going to kiss me. I don’t have time to decide if that’s okay before a scream rings out from the party below.

Dust
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AUTHOR BIO:SarahAuthorPhoto
Sarah Daltry is a varied author, known best for the contemporary New Adult series, ‘Flowering’, a six-title series that explores the complexities of relationships, including how we survive the damage from our pasts with the support of those who love us. Although the books are no longer in print, they are being rewritten and redeveloped for future publication. Please visit Sarah’s website for more details.

As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved Young Adult literature and ‘Dust’, an epic fantasy novel where romance blends with the blood and grit of war, is her second official foray into YA, following the gamer geek romantic comedy, ‘Backward Compatible’. Most of Sarah’s work is about teens and college students, as it’s what she knows well.

Sarah’s passion in life is writing – weaving tales of magic and beauty. The modern and vast social networking world is an alternative universe that she makes infrequent trips to, but when she does, readers will find her attentive, friendly and happy to discuss the magic of stories and reading. Please stop by and say hello anywhere Sarah is online! You can find these places at http://sarahdaltry.com

Sarah has moved back and forth between independent and traditional publishing. Her first novel, ‘Bitter Fruits’, is with Escape, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, and she signed with Little Bird Publishing in the spring of 2014.

Sarah has also written ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ a reimagining of one of her favorite poems in a contemporary setting.

She is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer and sarcastic nerd.

Author links:

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Release Day Launch with Giveaway: DESCENT by Callie Ross

We are extremely excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Kallie Ross’ DESCENT!
DESCENT is an amazing young adult fantasy adventure that is out today!
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ABOUT DESCENT:

Seventeen year old Ollie Miller is ready to leave all of her hurt feelings behind, but moving on seems impossible while living next door to her ex-best friend, Mateo. When curious earthquakes begin to shake and rip open the foundation of her small town, the ground becomes as unsteady as her feelings for him. When they fall, they fall hard…

Ollie’s disastrous attempt to save Mateo’s brother from falling into a curious chasm results in their descent into a cavernous wonderland. Ollie, Mateo, Jesse, and Alexis search for a way back home, and encounter a mysterious tribe of natives. Gabriel, the next in line to lead his people, is granted permission to guide them to the surface. On their treacherous journey, an overzealous elder threatens all of their lives, because he can’t risk them exposing his people, or the power he wields. The group discovers ancient secrets, unexpected truths, and uncharted feelings. Ollie must find a way out or risk being stuck in the caves forever—or worse, dead.

“Descent is a gripping debut that takes you on a roller coaster – a page turner that has you asking – what happens next. I loved every single word of it.” Fangirlish.com

 

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FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS:

 

Descent (Chapters 1-5)

DESCENT

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Author PhotoAbout Kallie Ross:

Over time my love for learning gravitated toward studying conspiracy theories and contradictions in our culture. My conclusions have ignited a passion to write compelling young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction.

I love being a wife, mother, friend, writer, and teacher. I began teaching high school English in 2002 and started blogging and podcasting in 2008. I have a brilliant husband, two redheads, and never imagined my life would ever be this fun!

 

 

Find Kallie Ross

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New Release Review: CINDERELLA’S DRESS by Shonna Slayton

A new YA historical with a touch of fantasy…

Cinderella’s Dress
by Shonna Slayton

Blurb:

Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dresses is even tougher.

Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she’s working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dresses, life gets complicated.

Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart, Johnny, stuck in the middle of battle, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.

Review:

I had such high hopes for this one…look at the cover! Read the blurb! Who doesn’t want to read a historical fiction/fairy tale modernization mashup? There’s oodles of potential here–and while it wasn’t a wasted read, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting (and hoping for) either.

What I did love about this book–or should I say who?–was the character of Johnny. He’s snarky but in a good-natured way; good-looking yet approachable. He didn’t hold a grudge, and he was a darn good letter writer. He makes an excellent YA book boyfriend, though he doesn’t get nearly enough page time here.

Another plus for me was the dresses. I loved the description of them as well as the concept. The ball gown especially has some sneaky mad skills (not going to spoil what they are here) that were unexpected and very cool. I would really have liked to have seen more about them, though, so I could really understand how that particular part of this novel’s world “worked”.

One thing I was really looking forward to was the WWII setting–to be honest, it’s a huge part of why I picked this book to read and review. Though there were many historical aspects that were mentioned and gave me warm historical fuzzies, overall I just didn’t get that feeling of total immersion in the time period that I was hoping for. The characters gave off a modern-day vibe throughout much of the book. Sure, the situations they were in were historical, but their reactions, comments, and actions didn’t always ring true to the era they were supposed it be in. I did love the letters back and forth between Kate and her brother, father, and sweetheart, though–they were a really fun touch.

The timeline of the novel was uneven–in parts time passed at a moderate pace with daily events described as they happened. Then there were gaps in time that went by without explanation, though, and it often took me a bit to realize that we’d gone forward in time from the paragraph before. (This could possibly be something that’s addressed in the final copy–maybe the ARC didn’t show an indicator that the final will, reflecting the shift in time?) It made the story feel somewhat disjointed, and this reader at least feeling like she was playing frequent catch up.

The odd pacing was reflected in the ending as well–everything happened very quickly, and not everything felt as if it were a natural progression of what had come before. There were pretty major loose ends left by the novel’s end, and no clear indication of whether or not there is going to be a second book. (If there is, I’ll probably give it a go–I really do want to know what happened with the characters who are left hanging, and how the dresses are doing in the future–plus, hopefully the narrative of book two will be tightened up more than that of book one.)

There also was some unnecessary repetition–of comments, thoughts, situations–that made it all the more frustrating when things I really wanted to know about (how do the dresses work? what do keepers do? what’s the real history behind the story–the drama between the descendants of Cinderella and the descendants of the stepsisters through the generations?) are only addressed in vague generalizations.

Kate’s character too was a bit of a mixed bag–on the whole she wasn’t bad, but she made some choices that just made me cringe. She was also really quick to make assumptions and then act on them without checking to see if they were holding true or not. (Also, her first kiss takes so long to come that at first I didn’t even realize it was the first one. Until she told me it was, that is.)

Overall, this book used a whole lot of words to tell not nearly enough story. There was so much potential here, but reading the novel felt as if you were just skimming over events, never really getting truly immersed in them. I probably will give book two–if there is one–a chance, but that will be more on the potential of this one than its reality.

Plus, I’d love to see more of Johnny. Not to mention Kate’s older brother Floyd….

Rating: 3 stars / C

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
View all my reviews

Cover Reveal: Descent by Kallie Ross

Are you a fan of young adult fantasy? Here’s a new one to add to your TBR pile…from a fellow English teacher! Fun!

Descent Cover

 

 

We are over the moon excited about the cover reveal for Kallie Ross’ DESCENT! DESCENT is a Young Adult fantasy that comes out June 9th!

Add this one to your Goodreads TBR pile ASAP!

DESCENT Synopsis:

Seventeen year old Ollie Miller is ready to leave all of her hurt feelings behind, but moving on seems impossible while living next door to her ex-best friend, Mateo. When curious earthquakes begin to shake and rip open the foundation of her small town, the ground becomes as unsteady as her feelings for him. When they fall, they fall hard…

Ollie’s disastrous attempt to save Mateo’s brother from falling into a curious chasm results in their descent into a cavernous wonderland. Ollie, Mateo, Jesse, and Alexis search for a way back home, and encounter a mysterious tribe of natives. Gabriel, the next in line to lead his people, is granted permission to guide them to the surface. On their treacherous journey, an overzealous elder threatens all of their lives, because he can’t risk them exposing his people, or the power he wields. The group discovers ancient secrets, unexpected truths, and uncharted feelings. Ollie must find a way out or risk being stuck in the caves forever—or worse, dead.

Descent Teaser

 

Author PhotoABOUT KALLIE ROSS:

Over time my love for learning gravitated toward studying conspiracy theories and contradictions in our culture. My conclusions have ignited a passion to write compelling young adult fiction that incorporates legend, conjecture, fantasy, and conviction.

I love being a wife, mother, friend, writer, and teacher. I began teaching high school English in 2002 and started blogging and podcasting in 2008. I have a brilliant husband, two redheads, and never imagined my life would ever be this fun!

 

 

Descent Teaser 2

 

LINKS:

KallieRoss.com

Kallie Ross Facebook

@KallieRoss Twitter

KallieRossWrites Tumblr

Descent: A Lost Tribe Facebook

Kallie Ross Goodreads