*COVER REVEAL* The Upworld by Lindsey S. Frantz

 I am beyond THRILLED to reveal the gorgeous cover of The Upworld by Lindsey S. Frantz. If you love YA dystopian novels, this book is for you. The Upworld will be released this summer!

It’s been many generations since the Vitium War. In the ruins of what was once Appalachia, the population has split into three groups—upworlders who live in sparse, walled off cities, albino cave dwellers, and a group of savage nomads called the Wylden. Then there’s Erilyn—a telekinetic 17-year-old girl who can see auras and hear thoughts. For three years she lived a quiet, calm life in the woods with Luna, her albino serval cat, until the day Finn—an upworld boy from Sunnybrook—stumbles, injured, into her clearing, chased by Wylden hunters. Erilyn’s once calm life is turned upside down as she guardedly travels with Finn back to Sunnybrook. There she must confront both the secrets of her past—the cave dwellers she ran from as a child and the bittersweet memories she daily tries to forget—and Morrigan, the girl who broke Finn’s heart and who’s harboring her own a dangerous secret.

In alternating chapters told in Erilyn and Finn’s voices, in a style similar to Veronica Rossi, Frantz explores segregated societies and how vitium—the product of hundreds of years of pollution—affects this post-war world, which has startling parallels to our present.

If you are already itching to read The Upworld, you can check out Erilyn’s Awakening, the prequel short story to The Upworld, in From Now On- The Last Words Anthology.

 

Preorder From Now On – The Last Words Anthology TODAY for only 99 cents!

Amazon

 

Lindsey S. Frantz was born and raised in Appalachia and earned her MFA from Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. Her stories and poems have previously appeared in numerous literary journals, including Main Street Rag’s Villains Anthology.

She currently lives in sleepy, art-rich Berea, Kentucky with her husband, Vince, and their two young children, James and Sadie.

 Check out her website and her facebook page

Continue reading

Review of The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance that will take your breath away. The images that she paints of a post-Katrina New Orleans break your heart while keeping you on the edge of your seat.cropped-1379804_364670740332733_1548094926_n.jpegA destination novel, you feel almost as if you are actually in the city itself–she writes it that well.  Our protagonist, Adele Le Moyne, is most definitely an anti-bella which I loved. Her 511OakHSwnL._UY250_voice from the beginning is strong and likable. The book itself is full of strong female characters. The novel does contain a love triangle, which I know turns some readers off, but it is well written and draws one in. This pager turner has white knuckle moments that will have your heart pounding. One of the best books I’ve read this year. Well written, it consumed me and left my mouth watering for more! Can’t wait for the second book in the series, The Romeo Catchers!

811koHvRLVL._UX250_Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittering drag queens of the New Orleans French Quarter. She cut her teeth on the streets of New York and has worked all around the world since. She either talks too much or not at all. She obsessively documents things. Her hair ranges from eggplant to cotton-candy colored. One dreary day in London, she missed home and started writing The Casquette Girls.

Her debut novel garnered over one million reads online before it was acquired by Skyscape in a two book deal. Her second book is due out winter 2016.

Alys is represented by ICM. And she still plans to run away with the circus one star swept night.

To purchase The Casquette Girls:

Amazon

B&N

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

 

 

download (3)

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne and her father are among the first to return. Adele wants nothing more than to resume her normal life, but with the silent city resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

Strange events—even for New Orleans—lead Adele to an attic that has been sealed for three hundred years. The chaos she accidentally unleashes threatens not only her but also everyone she knows.

Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, Adele must untangle a web of magic that weaves the climbing murder rate back to her own ancestors. But who can you trust in a city where everyone has secrets and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless…you’re immortal.cropped-13496099.png

 

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden re-releases in SEVEN days and all I will say about this book is that it is DELICIOUS! To get an idea of what I mean, watch this


images (1)

This last summer at  Utopia, I had the privilege of seeing Arden on a panel about book trailers and I have to say, after watching the trailer for The Casquette Girls, I couldn’t NOT get my hands on this book! I have SO much to say about this book, and I promise you, you’ll get it all next week when it releases. Until then, watch this teaser and read about the author down below. And for the love of Pete, don’t forget to preorder it today!

Amazon

 

Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittedownload (4)ring drag queens of the New Orleans, French Quarter. She cut her teeth on the streets of New York and has worked all around the world since. She either talks too much or not at all. She obsessively documents things. Her hair ranges from eggplant to cotton-candy-colored. Rep’d by ICM. Follow her adventures on Twitter or Instagram @AlysArden

 

 

Aileen Erin’s Becoming Alpha

Lindsey says:

S18242939ometimes a book with fantastical elements will take a while to ease you into the parts that may come as a shock or the parts that need to be learned. Other times, you get thrown in the deep end and you either sink or swim. In Aileen Erin’s Becoming Alpha, you’re thrown in, but thanks to Erin, you have plenty of life preservers to keep you afloat.

A book jam packed with the supernatural—witches and werewolves and vampires, oh my!—and seasoned heavily with emotional turmoil and sexual tension, this is on you’ll pick up and not want to put down until the very end.

Tessa, our protag, is just a normal, high school aged girl from a normal family, except for the fact that every time her skin comes in contact with something, she sees visions. Dastien is just a normal college aged guy, working as a martial arts teacher at a local high school, except this high school caters to a very specific, very furry crowd.

If you’re looking for a fast paced novel with lots of action, electric romance, and interesting characters that make you love them, and sometimes hate them, with passion, look no further. And lucky for us, Erin has written four other books in this Alpha Girl series, with the fifth having been released just this past September. Go check it out!

To purchase Becoming Alpha

The author

Life and Death, Twilight Reimagined–Is this for real?

Aside

twilight-10th-anniversary-edition-cover

So today, this appeared in my Facebook news feed. The post read that for Twilight‘s tenth anniversary, Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new book. It goes on to say that Life and Death, Twilight Reimagined is a gender swapped retelling of Twilight. My first thought was, “Is this for real?”  After a quick search on Amazon, I quickly came to the conclusion that it was, in fact, for real. You can see for yourself right here.

Immediately, I messaged several of my friends who were Twilight fans. The reception was the same across the board: this is either going to be awesome or completely awful. No one felt there was going to be an in between.

My feelings? I’m hesitant to read it (but I know I will.) I’m still a little touchy over Stephenie’s betrayal over the whole Midnight Sun thingy. (Yes, yes I know. She was the one who was actually betrayed when a fan leaked her beta copy. But she punished ALL of us!) We were all dying to see Midnight Sun completed, but Stephenie (and this is her prerogative, of course) couldn’t bring herself to finish, the joy having been all sucked out. However, she started a trend, whether she wanted to or not, of rewriting books from the male protagonists POV. Just look at E.L. James’ Grey. And so my second thought is that perhaps this is her way of getting Edward’s POV out there again, but this time in a gender swapped role.

Also, I’m a little confused over the lack of promotion of this new novel (hence my doubt that it was legitimate.)

Having said all that, I am intrigued. According to some spoilers, the ballet studio scene ends very differently from what we know from the original Twilight and apparently Meyer was able to clean up some of the things that have bothered her about her original book.

What say you? Do you think you are going to read this new book in the Twilight franchise?

Amy A. Bartol’s Newest Book in the Kricket Series and Giveaway

11807416_879777835440395_9009994380553901780_o

This is a spoiler free review. If ever a series needed a book four, it is the Kricket series. It takes an incredibly talented author to woo her readers into loving the hero AND the villain, and Amy A. Bartol has done it! Bartol has weaved a story that creates a conflict of the heart so intense that the reader is left bereft and wanting more. Be prepared, the ending of this book will rip your heart out, but I believe there is so much more to the story and lovers of this series should demand to hear the end of Kricket’s story!

The Kricket Hollowell character is everything I love in a female protagonist. She kicks butt without sacrificing her femininity. She is loving without being naïve. She’s tenacious and a survivor.

Without giving spoilers, Kricket makes a hard decision, essentially sacrificing herself for others. Stuck in an impossible situation, the world of Black and White morphs into various shades of gray. She is forced to navigate alone in a world where the enemy isn’t necessarily who she thought it would be. In the end, she does what she’s always done—what her time on Earth taught her to do: she survives.

Other characters, too, inadvertently find themselves trapped into making heartbreaking decisions that have devastating consequences. In the end, we find that these characters we’ve come to love have not betrayed one another, but have given up what they most wanted—have sacrificed themselves for others.

It’s refreshing to see a character who discovers that there is no white knight—that if she wants to be saved, she will have to save herself. Bartol breaks from the cliché and it elicits a raw, emotional response from her reader. Thankfully, she leaves her ending so ripe for a fourth book, that we only need hope (and campaign hard!) that her publishers give her the green light. So here’s to Kricket #4!

BAWDABAW!

 

Like and Share this giveaway post on Facebook! Winner drawn September 30th!

 

To buy the first two books in the Kricket series: Under different Stars, Sea of Stars

To buy Darken the Stars

 

CJ Redwine’s Defiance

 

redwine-defiance

**I purchased a signed copy of this book from the author at UtopYa Con 2015***
Let me preface this by saying that I have pretty much stopped reading novels of the Dystopian/Post-Apocalypse variety. Not that I haven’t enjoyed them in the past–I’m just kind of over them. That being said, I heard this author speak at a a recent writers conference and enjoyed her wit, humor,and overall voice so much that I decided I’d like to read her work.
I’m so glad that I did.
Defiance is well written. The tension is immediately present from the first few sentences when we discover that her father hasn’t yet returned and is heightened in each subsequent chapter. Redwine then takes you on hair bending curves–abusing her characters a bit, before giving the reader a brief romantic respite. Then the action explodes once again.
The female protagonist, Rachel, is fiesty, bad-a$$, and as stubborn as hell. She begins her journey as a head strong girl, whose arrogance in her abilities almost gets her killed. She’s at times unreasonable, impulsive, and sometimes waspish.
I loved her.
I loved that she was hurting and couldn’t see through the red haze at times. I loved how easily she moved from anger to contrition when she realized she was wrong. I loved that her character has room to grow in the next books (which I have yet to read.) In fact, by the end of Defiance, she sees the consequences of her rashness and mourns them to the point of self-loathing.

Logan is an introspective “tech” guy. Violently losing his mother and then being branded as an outcast, he was apprenticed out to Rachel’s father as child. Logan’s character develops as he takes on the role of Protector over Rachel. He moves from quiet observer to action hero–from silent usurper to leader of a movement. And in the process, he allows himself to love even though everyone he’s ever loved has been ripped from his life.

This post apocalyptic society fascinated me. In a world where modern governments have fallen and basic human rights fell with them, we have Baalboden: a misogynistic society that in some ways parallel modern extremist muslim cultures (in their views of women.) Women are only taught housekeeping skills, how to entertain, etc. Men are given SIX more years of education. Women can not go out in public without their Protector and have no say in whom they will marry. When of age, they are CLAIMED. Like property.

But Rachel’s father raised her differently. He taught her to read and write. He taught her how to use a sword and to defend herself. He taught her how to survive in the Wasteland.

Great book.
I’m ready for the next.

 

Purchase Defiance