Waiting on Wednesday (7): The Murder Complex

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**Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.**

The Murder Complex

Author: Lindsay Cummings
Series: The Murder Complex, #1
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Expected Publication Date: June 10th, 2014
Format: Hardcover, ebook
Purchase: Amazon | Chapters | B&N | Kobo

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An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

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This actually was released yesterday but I still decided to keep it for my Waiting On Wednesday post. I have been waiting for this book to be released; it even made the list for my Top Ten Tuesdays (1): Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For. So I’m highly looking forward to heading to Chapters and picking this book up, hopefully today if not this weekend!

I’m also hoping that this will be the book that will break me into the Dystopia genre. Minus 1984 and The Giver the only Dystopian book I’ve read is The 5th Wave, which dragged me into a reading slump back in January and I haven’t been able to finish it since! I own a couple that fall under this category but none have really appealed to me as much as The Murder Complex does.

What book are you currently waiting on?!

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Review: Then and Always

**I received an advanced copy of Then and Always from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review and participation in their blog tour.**

 Thank you to Elizabeth Cameron from Penguin Canada!


Then and Always

Author: Dani Atkins
Series: N/A
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication Date: May 20th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 320
Source: Penguin Canada / Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Chapters | Kobo

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Absorbing, surprising, and heart-rending, Dani Atkins’s debut novel follows a young woman who, after an accident, gets a second chance at life … just not the one she remembers.

Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at a top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart. Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

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What if?

What if is a simple question with a not so simple (endless) list of possibilities.

Everyone has that moment in their life, or maybe even a few, where you sit there thinking “what if?” What if I did this differently? How much would my life and/or perspective have changed? The answer? We’ll never really know. That is unless you’re Rachel Wiltshire.

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When I started Then and Always I truthfully did not know what to expect. You read the synopsis and you understand what the back-story is, but there is no way to prepare yourself for what you’re truly about to experience while reading this.

Then and Always should have been a comfy read for me, and what that means is I should have dressed in comfy clothes; an added bonus would be a pair of fluffy slippers (if only I had a pair), a cup of tea to my left, my cat sleeping to my right, and a box of Kleenex directly in my lap. And if I was really lucky, a tub of ice cream in the freeze and a box of Ferrero Rochers just waiting to be devoured. 

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Instead? I read 87% of this hunched over my laptop, eyes scanning from left to right. If I had a physical copy you would hear nothing but me vigorously flipping the pages waiting to find out what would happen next. From the minute you finish the first chapter YOU ARE HOOKED. Dani knows how to do more than just write a novel, she knows how to captivate you and leave you wanting more but taking away a beautiful and truthful life lesson. She had my emotions trapped on a roller coaster throughout this whole novel; I was basically sitting on the edge of my seat trying to predict what the end result would be. You can try to prepare yourself for the tears that will fall, but you can’t prepare yourself for all the emotions, THE FEELS!

Dani Atkins uses first-person narration through Rachel to tell the story and I couldn’t imagine it being conveyed any other way. Can I also just say that first-person narrative is something you don’t come across often; or when you do it’s not done probably, but she executes this beautifully.

Overall, I’m going to go ahead and boldly say that Then and Always is THE book of the summer. Dani Atkins deserves a huge amount of recognition and praise for this book. I’m still trying to comprehend the fact that she’s a first time author! This is a book you won’t want to miss out on, and an author to keep your eye out for.
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I give this 5 beautiful fluttering butterflies!!!
5 stars

Again, I would like to send a HUGE thank you to Elizabeth Cameron from Penguin Canada for allowing me to take part of this blog tour!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Book Blitz: Transformed by E.V. Fairfall

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Author: E.V. Fairfall
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publication: January 1st, 2014
Format: Paperback, ebook
Pages: 273
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:

Since the beginning, two entities have had complete, unquestioned control over Thea: the Earth and God.

But when Thea suddenly figures out that the Earth has  trapped her within a forest, she discovers that the only way to set herself free is to break God’s one rule; she must forsake her animal form and become human.

The result is nothing she could ever have expected. Lost within the torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is and even begins to fall in love with the one thing she always hated: a hunter.

As her act against God proves more problematic than anticipated, it is only a matter of time before her punishment may prove to be worse than Earth’s entrapment.

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Giveaway!

one (1) ebook copy of Transformed!
Open internationally.

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Q&A with E.V. Fairfall!

What makes Transformed a unique story?
Well, let me first ask you this: how often have you read a book in which God and Mother Earth are siblings? Or a book in which Earth itself is an entity of its own, and prevents God from doing anything he wants? How often have you read a book in which Mother Earth is able to take any form except for that of a human because it is forbidden? Though Transformed is a story about finding one’s self, it also explores the foibles of being human and the value of all life. It is about making mistakes and finding a solution, even if that solution isn’t what was originally intended.

Where does the story take place? 
Transformed takes place in a small mountain town in Colorado. This fictitious town resides next to a forest and is green and lush (Colorado can get very dry), and because of its high elevation, it has strange weather patterns. 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on the way they sound or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? 
Names! Names are so important to me, mostly because I can’t actually write a character without first knowing their name. I can have the perfect scene in my head but until I find a name that I know fits the character, I just can’t write them in. I don’t pick names based on the sounds, but sometimes I pick a name because of its meaning. Mostly I just know when a name works for my character. As for resources, I tend to use lots of baby naming websites.

Who is your favorite character from Transformed and why? 
Oh gosh, I’m going to say Cricket. I love Chamber of course, but Cricket is just so fun. Cricket is a girl who Thea turned into a squirrel because she needed to borrow her apartment while she was human. Even though Cricket is now a squirrel, she insists on taking special care of the clothes that she reluctantly let Thea borrow—more like take. Thea, who doesn’t understand why Cricket cares about the clothes, tends to leave them wherever she might drop them. Here is a quick excerpt from the book: 

“’You have a squirrel in your sweater.’ Brice cocked his head to the side. ‘Actually, I think it’s stealing it.’

Thea looked over her shoulder to see the little squirrel dragging the sweater across the floor toward the closet. If Brice saw a squirrel put a sweater on a hanger, she would never hear the end of it. She shook her head toward the squirrel, causing the ball of fur to stop and glare before continuing to drag the sweater out of sight. If Thea didn’t start hanging up the squirrel’s clothes, she had a feeling the little rodent would attempt to kick her out.”

Give us some insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Thea is God’s sister and has spent her life filling the role of Mother Earth, creating the plants and animals and serving as their guardian. Alongside her brother God, the two siblings used their light to create for hundreds of years. She doesn’t understand humans, and she likes them even less. It isn’t until she takes a human form that she begins to understand what she has been missing out on, and ultimately she gains a deeper understanding of her brother and what it means to be a part of a family.

Did you have a specific song or playlist that you listened to when you were writing Transformed?
I actually can’t listen to music when I write. I wish I could. Sometimes a song will inspire me or motivate me, but while writing I need quiet. Of course, that never really happens because I live in an apartment with paper thin walls—but that is part of the adventure.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Never give up, and go to writers conferences! I wish I had gone to a writers conference earlier. They open your mind to a side of book writing that you normally wouldn’t consider. You can meet people who love what you love, and it is a great chance to break out of your shell and read some of your work out loud. Not only that but you will meet other writers who will help you through the hard times.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? 
Reviews! Social media posts on Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads and so on. Word of mouth is huge for any author. There are so many great books in the world that people haven’t discovered, but they only need to be pointed in the right direction.

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I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.

Transformed is my first novel, but it isn’t my first publication; I’ve had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.

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Book Blitz: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

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Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Series: Secrets of Itlantis, #1
Publication Date: February 2014
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:
All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

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Interview with Kate Avery Ellison

Describe Of Sea and Stone in six words.
Atlantis, steampunk, sunlight, seawater, secrets, romance.

What books have you read and loved lately?
I am almost finished with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and it’s an absolute delight. Witty, immersive, and utterly compelling fantasy that reminds me very much of my beloved Megan Whalen Turner books.

What authors have influenced your writing style the most?
I grew up on a pretty steady diet of mystery, actually, so I feel like classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie had a strong influence on me. When I was a teenager, I started reading fantasy by authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Sherwood Smith. The Blue Sword, Ella Enchanted, Crown Duel…I loved those books. I also had a huge love of historical fiction, so Ann Rinaldi, Elizabeth George Speare, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw influenced me a lot as well. As far as more recently-written books that I didn’t grow up reading, I continue to be an awe of fantasy authors Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, etc.) and Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock), dystopian author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), and contemporary young adult authors Lucy Christopher (Stolen) and John Green (A Fault in Our Stars).

Are you working on anything else currently?
Yes! I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Secrets of Itlantis series, and I’m also working on a few secret projects on the side—one is a more traditional fantasy, another is a post-apocalyptic novel. I hope to have more details about them for my readers very soon.

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Blitz-Wide Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!
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KateAuthor Bio

I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I’m not writing, I’m usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he’s eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog, find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page, and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores!

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Book Blast: Blackness Takes Over by Norma Jeanne Karlsson

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Blackness Takes Over

Author: Norma Jeanne Karlsson
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 261
Purchase: Amazon | Kobo

Synopsis:

Shannon Kelly’s life has been anything but typical.
Her life has been altered viciously at the hands of others twice.

However horrible they have been, it’s these changes that have given her a family and career…now possibly love.
The last thirteen years she has been supported and loved by her protector, her entertainer, and her comforter, but never a lover.

When Dylan Kellerman enters Shannon’s life he changes its course in more ways than one.
He gives her hope and promise of a future she was convinced wasn’t attainable.

Just as she begins to believe she has finally turned her life into something she can build a future on…blackness takes over.

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Giveaway!

*MUST BE 13+ to enter | International Giveaway*

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About the Author

Blackness Takes Over is Norma Jeanne’s debut novel. What began as an homage to the home town of a homesick Midwestern girl, unfolded a story of love, danger, humor, and trust. She’s currently working on her untitled sophomore effort. We can’t wait to see what thrilling saga she leads us through next!

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Norma Jeanne recently found herself relocating to the United Kingdom. Now living in Belfast, she took hold of the opportunity to kick the 9-5 job for a chance to become an author. The best part: working from her home office, she gets to spend more time with her cast of crazy characters (written and real).

In her free time Norma Jeanne is a voracious reader and consumes books as readily as meals. She is a people watcher by nature and uses her experiences in life, observed or otherwise, to build the worlds and characters that thrive in her books. A believer in the strength of the human spirit, Norma Jeanne writes the stories of people that persevere when all appears to be lost.

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” –Dylan Thomas

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The Opposite of Nothing by Shari Slade | Cover

      The Opposite of Nothing

Author: Shari Slade
Expected Publication Date: April 14th, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Format: ebook
Designed by: Book Beautiful

Synopsis: 

Callie Evans would rather hide out in her DJ sound booth than face the fact that she’s in love with her best friend, notorious campus hottie Tayber King.

Tayber turns hooking up into an art form–no drama, no commitment, no lies, and nobody gets hurt. Nobody but Callie, that is. When she sees an  opportunity to explore his sexier side using a fake online profile, she grabs it. Now her uninhibited alter-ego ‘Sasha’ is steaming up the screen, and Callie’s whole life is breaking all of Tayber’s rules.

As Callie and Tayber get closer, online and off, she knows she has to confess. And risk losing him forever.

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Author’s Bio

Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn’t toiling away in the non-profit sector, she’s writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.

Frequently found in a blanket fort, you can also find her contributing at Wonkomance, on twitterfacebook, or tumblr.

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