Friday, July 28, 2017

Author Interview - Lisa Maxwell + Giveaway

Lisa Maxwell, author of the New York Times best selling book THE LAST MAGICIAN, took enough time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions I had about writing and her new book! Plus, there will be a giveaway for a swag pack on this blog AND a giveaway for a signed copy of the book that will be posted on all participating blogs! 

1. What character do you feel a close personal connection to? 

Probably Viola. She has my temper, I think. And I drew a lot on my own upbringing and Italian-American identity to create her.

2. What is your ideal setting for writing? 

On my couch with my laptop and a cup (or 6) of coffee. This book, though, didn’t like that setting. I wrote a lot of it in my bed, in the dark. There was something about being cocooned in the dark that helped me focus.

3. Did your original idea for The Last Magician change by the final draft? 

Oh…yeah. Considering that at first I thought the thief would live in DC and drive motorcycles? It took me a really long time to figure out where Esta’s story was set—and even then, I hadn’t been planning on writing a time travel book. That all came later.

4. What was your inspiration? 

I had a few things. I loved the show Leverage and wanted to write something as fun and smart as that show was—bad guys trying to be the good guys. I also loved Newsies and the whole world of life in the streets…though, THE LAST MAGICIAN has no signing or dancing. Maybe in the sequel? ;)

5. Any plans for the future? 

I’m working on the sequel right now. 

6. Any advice for aspiring writers? 

Read everything. Finish something.
You have to read widely—even things that you don’t think you like or things that are hard, because they all help teach something about how writing, stories, or language works. And if you can finish something, then you always know you’re capable of finishing. That’s an amazing source of confidence in future projects, because you know you’ve done it before.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!



I know I usually never cross post between my blog and my bookstagram, but I figured I should post something patriotic since it's the 4th of July! So, here's what I posted on my bookstagram @acrossthebookiverse! If you like it, maybe give me a follow or a like! I love meeting new people, so don't be afraid to comment or send me recommendations or thoughts on titles I review!



Happy #4thofjuly #Bookstagram! Here's some #redwhiteandblue for y'all! #books

Monday, July 3, 2017

Must Have Monday #2 - Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener

30063453Title: Amid Stars and Darkness
Series: The Xenith Trilogy #1
Author: Chani Lynn Feener
Release Date: 7/18/2017

Besides the fact that this comes out on my birthday, I read it a looong time ago back before Swoon Reads picked it for publishing, so I'm super excited to see how the final copy is! P.S, I've already preordered it!

My original review is posted here --->

http://acrossthebookiverse.blogspot.com/2016/01/prisoner-of-glass-review.html

As you can see, A LOT has changed!

Goodreads Synopsis:

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Must Have Monday #1 - Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

27414411
Title: Pitch Dark
Author: Courtney Alameda
Release Date: 2/20/2018

This book sounds so amazing! The perfect combination of horror and sci-fi. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Goodreads synopsis:

Tuck Durante is a shipraider, combing space for Earth artifacts from a war that ended 500 years ago. When his parents' ship crashes in the dead zone and the crew goes missing, Tuck hires a ragtag rescue team.

Meanwhile, curator Lana Gray is fighting to keep the US PANAM John Muir—and the remnants of its crew—alive. Their space capsule housing Yosemite National Park was hijacked. The hijacking turned ninety-five percent of her crew into nightmarish creatures called mourners who flay, dismember, or decapitate with nothing more than sharp-pitched shrieks.

Now, despite their differences, Lana, Tuck, and their crews must work together to save the John Muir. In space, nobody can hear you scream...but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you'll hear.

Also by Courtney Alameda: Shutter 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June Mini Reviews

I try to avoid spoilers, but in the off chance that I say something spoilery in the following mini reviews, consider this your warning!

1. The Summoner Series (#1-3) by Taran Matharu
This series was just...magical! Main character Fletcher and his little demon buddy, Ignatius, were actually friend goals. They were so adorable together I could just not get enough. Fletcher's family was...heartbreaking. In more ways than one. I found myself feeling so terrible for him on more than one occasion, especially in the beginning of book 2! I feel like there was so much more that could have been in the story. Not even necessarily the main plot, but sub plots and little adventures. Also, Sylva and Fletcher had so many possibilities that were unexplored! But other than some of those little missed opportunities, I love this series!

2. Illuminae (Illuminae #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I would be lying if I said this book didn't confuse the hell out of me in the beginning. Some pages read more like a book, others were seemingly random, some seemed like web pages with stuff I didn't know, and it just took me way too many pages to figure out what the heck I was actually supposed to be reading and what I could skip over. By the end, though I finally got the hang of it and I truly enjoyed the book! I would absolutely love to see more interaction between Kady and Ezra, because couple goals.

3. It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson 
There really isn't much to say about this. I could throw it into a 'dark comedy' category, because it gets super real at times. This book really makes you think, which is something I didn't expect from Shane, since he likes to gloss over everything with comedy and jokes, but there was such a blanket of truth, that it really hit me. Watching his videos, it's really easy to forget what a hard life he had and, yes, he obviously has a really low self-esteem, but he really is working on it and I am so proud of him for how far he has come.

4. Outsiders 2: Unfinished Business (Outsiders #2) by Tammy Ferebee 
I absolutely loved the first book, so when I got the opportunity to read book 2, I jumped at the chance. Jaylen and Michael are literally so adorable, but Michael pissed me off in the beginning of the book sooo much! This book was packed so full of intense moments and action that I am surprised it fit in 285 pages. I had so many questions at the end though, so maybe a book 3? I sure hope so, but won't hold my breath, it seemed pretty final. Awesome indie read, though, that I love spreading the word about! Tell your friends!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Caloric by Tricia Barr - Book Blitz + Giveaway

Displaying CaloricBlitzBanner.png


Title: Caloric
Author: Tricia Barr

Displaying Caloric.jpgPhoenyx Blake has a secret. When she wakes in a dungeon with three strangers, she is forced to face it, which isn’t easy seeing as her cellmate, Sebastian, has starred in her dreams. As days pass, they learn they are each one of the four elements bound in human form and they have been abducted by an ancient society that plans to kill them and steal their powers. If they hope to escape, they must master their powers, and Phoenyx must learn to let go of fear and let love in, before it’s too late.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35408684-caloric?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Caloric-Tricia-Barr/dp/0998977713/
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/caloric-tricia-barr/1122743322?ean=9780998977713
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/caloric-2


LOOK HERE FOR A SUPER AWESOME EXCERPT!!!

   The door clanked unlocked and then swung open. This time when the large bald man stepped inside, he paused, did a double take of the room and dropped the large paper bags at his feet. His face went sallow and he looked clearly distraught.
“Shit,” he muttered. Then he approached the cell to take a closer look and assess his next move.
As soon as he came close enough, Phoenyx grabbed his arm. He jumped in shock and confusion, but then quickly relaxed, soothed by her touch.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said in a sultry voice. “You want to help us. All you have to do is unlock these cells and let us out.”
“I would but I don’t have the key,” he said, his eyes locked on hers, looking like a love-sick puppy.
There was a collective sigh of disappointment behind her.
“Who does?” she asked.
“Dexter has it,” he confessed eagerly.
“Is there any way that you can get the key for us?”
“Uhhh, I don’t know,” he said. “He keeps it hidden in his office and no one is allowed in there. I will gladly try.”
She frowned. Why did we just assume this automaton would have the key? This really put a damper on their plans.
“Ask him what we’re doing in here,” Sebastian whispered.
“Right, why are we locked up in here?” she asked the oaf.
“Because, you four are the Bound Ones, from the legend,” he said as if it was simple and obvious.
“The Bound Ones?” she asked, feeling like she just stepped into The Twilight Zone. “What legend?”
“Yes, the legend we learn when we join the brotherhood. The legend of the Bound Ones says that, thousands of years ago, man was a slave to the elements. Man could not master crops because Earth was fickle. Volcanic eruptions would swallow whole villages and earthquakes would topple any and all of man’s accomplishments. Man could not master the sea because Water was too proud to be tamed. Air constantly tore apart cities with tornados and hurricanes, and Fire ravaged everything in its path. So our forefathers, the wisest of the Celtic sorcerers, forged a powerful spell binding each of the four elements to a volunteer from the rite, so that man would have control over the elements, rather than be controlled by them.”
“So…you’re saying that the four of us each have one of the four elements inside of us?” she asked, unable to keep the tone of doubt from spewing out.
“Yes, you are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in bound human form,” he said, as if none of this sounded ridiculous.
Phoenyx turned around and looked at the others. Their faces were a mixture of skepticism and pensiveness.
“If this is true, what makes you think we are these Bound Ones? Wouldn’t they be long dead seeing as this legend happened so long ago?” Skylar asked.
“According to the legend,” the bald man began, “the spell was made to keep the elements bound in human form through reincarnation. The elements are eternal and cannot be destroyed, so if the bound human died, the element would once again be free. The spell was made to assure that once the human died, the element would be immediately reborn into another human vessel. Unfortunately for our forefathers, they didn’t take into account how that would make it impossible to keep track of them. After the first volunteers died, we lost hold of them permanently.”
“That still doesn’t explain why you think these Bound Ones are us particular four people,” Skylar argued.
“There was another partition in the spell,” the man continued. “When one of the Bound Ones dies, all die, and when one is born, all are born.”
That struck a chord in all of them.
“That’s why we all have the same birthday,” Lily said.
“That’s why they want to keep us alive,” Sebastian said. “They think if one of us dies, we’ll all die.”
“Yes,” the man said.
“That doesn’t prove anything,” Sebastian said. “So we were all born on the same day. Big deal. There must be thousands of other people all over the world born that same day.”
“You were all born, not just on the same day, but at the exact same time,” the man said. “Your births coincided with the deaths of four people who showed signs of being the previous Bound Ones.”
“We were all born at the same time?” Lily thought out loud. “That would definitely bring the odds down quite a bit. Approximately two-hundred and fifty people are born every minute—at least, that’s what I remember from my nursery rotation.”
This was ridiculous. It had to be. These people clearly had some screws loose…then again, the four of them did have powers. That couldn’t just be coincidence. That same nagging, writhing feeling reared its ugly head once more. She ignored it and went on with the interrogation.
“Okay, so let’s say we are the ‘Bound Ones’,” Phoenyx said, air-quoting with her free hand. “What do you want with us?”
“The Celtic sorcerers who bound the original humans founded a brotherhood to keep an eye on the elements, to keep everything in balance, and called it the Four Corners.” He moved the fingers of his free hand over the pin on his shirt. “Dexter Mauldive, our Grand Master, convinced the High Council that it was time to put the elements back under our control, and that it would be best to put all four elements into only one vessel, making it easier to relocate them after each rebirth. He has volunteered to be the first.”
“Just how do you plan to do this?” Skylar asked.
“We have realized that we can’t just kill you, because then the elements would immediately be reborn somewhere else and we would lose them once more. Our best researchers have said that the elements must be in a sort of limbo state in order to be manipulated and placed inside a new host.”
Phoenyx swallowed hard. “Limbo state? How will you accomplish that?”
“There is currently a massive solar storm happening. In three days a very rare, very large solar flare is forecasted to explode. Our researchers say the radiation and electro-magnetism this will release will both heighten the powers of all four elements and weaken their hold to your bodies. On that day, the four of you will undergo a series of electrocution which will further weaken that hold enough for the spell to work. In order to break down your bodies even more in preparation for the ritual, we were going to starve you. This is the last time you will be fed.”
Phoenyx’s heart pounded wildly and the hand she grasped him with was trembling and dripping cold sweat. Holy shit, this was so much worse than anything she could have imagined in her head. The prospect of being killed was already bad enough but to find out that they were going to be starved an electrocuted? This was a goddamn nightmare!
She sensed Lily was crying. Like hell she was going to let this happen to them!
“What’s your name?” she asked, her steady voice disguising the panic and anger she felt.
“Lucas,” he answered. She noted to herself how creepy it was that, even as he told them about all the horrible things that his cult planned for them, he still gawked at her like a horny gorilla.
“Lucas, you have to bring us that key and get us out of here,” she commanded, pushing her will into him with everything she had. “At all costs but be discreet about it. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” he said, almost like a moan of pleasure.
She released his arm. “Now go, and hurry!”
He nodded eagerly, moved the last brown paper bags closer to the cells, and left the room.
Now that he was gone, the room was dead silent, except for the loud banging of Phoenyx’s heart. No one spoke for a very long moment. Finally a sniffle escaped from Lily. Phoenyx instinctively turned and put her arms around Lily, inviting Lily to stop holding it in and her tears soaked into Phoenyx’s already quite dirty shirt. Phoenyx had no words to comfort her with this time. If Lucas didn’t come back to free them, they would die.

AND AN EXTRA SPECIAL GIVEAWAY


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Monday, June 19, 2017

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan - Review

26252859Title: The Hidden Oracle
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo #1
Format: Hardback
Pages: 376
Rating: 3.5

Chiron galloped over. "Thank the gods!"
"You're welcome," I [Apollo] gasped, mostly out of habit. 

It took me forever to even pick up this book. I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so much (it has to be in my top 5 series...ever). When Heroes of Olympus came out, I was up the freaking wall, because we were finally going to see more of the gang! Only to be disappointed after the first book was all new characters. Of course, that series progresses and I eventually fell in love with it as well. I thought it was over. Rick was writing his Norse series, I wrote my farewell to Percy Jackson, and I thought the story had ended.

Trails of Apollo. I saw the clips on YouTube about it and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I love Apollo. He's probably one of my favourite Olympian gods, because he's quirky and the way he never sees anything as his fault amuses me to no end. He reminds me of Narcissus, because he's always talking about how everyone surely must love him and his beauty and his wit. For the first hundred pages or so, that is exactly what I got, but in human form! I understand that, as a human, Apollo would feel differently about some things or care about things he normally wouldn't have as a god, but this is his third time as a mortal, surely if the first two times didn't really change who he was, the third time around would be no different...so why does he get so weepy and sad about...everything!?

Meg...when we were introduced to her it left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn't like Meg from the start and I still don't. She gives off the "I'm so tough" vibe/act that authors sometimes give female characters to "appeal" to the female audience and I absolutely hate it. I'm not saying that girls can't be tough or whatever, but you don't need to stress it so much. Just let whatever happens happen.

For some reason, everyone at Camp Half-Blood seems really ready to make fun of Apollo or pick on him, which really doesn't make sense to me. Even though he's in mortal form, he might at some point be a god again and boy wouldn't you look stupid if he came up and wiped that smile off your face. Which I am 100% convinced he would do once he was back in his godly status and ready to beat the ever living crap out of the people that wronged him.

And now, the entire reason I couldn't bring myself to give this book four stars...LEO.

Yeah, that's right, I can't stand him. I find him such an unlikable Jason/Percy wannabe and he simply can't be them because it is not his destiny to be as good as them. So, after I thought he died in HoO, you're telling me I have to sit through 5 more books with him as the main character bringing little to the table and being annoying the entire time!? Awesome. Just freaking spectacular. All the snip-its I was seeing before this even came out was all about Percy and Apollo interacting and now you're telling me that instead of my beautiful, awesome Percy paired up with turned-human Apollo fighting to save the world I get Leo and weepy Apollo with god-turned-human Calypso that probably won't end up doing much? This should get interesting real fast.

*quietly* I just want more Percy....