Book Tour — Ashes by Amy Keen

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Ashes 
Foresight Series, Book Two
Amy Keen
Released: April 6, 2013

They will not give up…she’s about to find out why

Scarlett barely escaped with her life the last time she ran in to The Venari; but she refuses to spend her days looking over her shoulder.

Determined to be normal, she heads to Europe, only to learn that her wish to blend in is simply not meant to be. With Jake delayed in Salem, Scarlett is vulnerable and forced to rely on new found friends, The Collective; a band of people with gifts like her own.

When her desire to bring an end to her torment leads her to the dark underbelly of Paris, she discovers what The Venari plan for her is not death, but in fact much worse.

Ashes (Foresight, #2)

Buy Embers (Book One) on Amazon

Buy Ashes on Amazon

Excerpt from Ashes:

We took a sudden left down a path I hadn’t even noticed and I grew more painfully aware of how much deeper we were going, which meant I was losing track of how to get out. The air further down was damper and the putrid scent of the death housed in the rooms all around us was lingering, haunting the maze like a horde of ghosts.

Sutcliffe stopped at a large wooden door that ran flush with the stone wall. It was thick, old timber with heavy metal adornments and a huge door knob. He placed his hand over the handle and it split in two, one half separating from the other as the top slid to the right. Beneath what had appeared to be a normal handle was a small gray pad, not unlike what Elias had at his apartment. They had been making modifications. I guessed this is what he was referring to when he used the word sophisticated. The door came to life with a loud thunk. It moved back a few inches before sliding to the left and revealing a bright white laboratory style room. The luminescence of the clinical strip lights burned my eyes and I squinted to adjust. He dragged me forward and the room expanded before me into huge space that glowed white. To my left there was a bank of steel work benches with complex looking machinery and microscopes. Straight ahead there was a large dentist style chair with restraints on the arms and legs; a huge brace hung above it which looked like some kind of futuristic helmet and a hospital gurney, just like the one I had experienced the last time I lay in wait, at the back of the room with unused IV machines lined up alongside. On the right hand side there was a bank of monitors mounted on the wall above a control panel of blinking lights and switches so vast it looked like it could have been lifted right out of air traffic control. The wall of blank screens stretched ten deep and three high. There was nothing to suggest at all where we were stood, not a single bone or trace of stone. I had been in hospitals less equipped than this. If the circumstances were different I might have been impressed at what they had been able to achieve in these underground tombs, but the reality jolted me back into the moment and the darkness I had been fighting since I first learned about any of this twisted; we both knew that this room was set to bring about some form of conclusion.

My eyes were greedily trying to take it all in, desperately searching for clues of a way out, what exactly they would do with me in this room. The door had long since closed behind us and a glance confirmed my worst fears; there wasn’t just a code to get in. There was one to get out.

About the Author: Amy Keen

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Amy works in PR by day and spends the rest of the time as a mum, wife, fan-girl and YA author. A total, unashamed book freak, she reads and writes as much as possible and has a penchant for anything ‘wordy’. If there is any time left over after all of the above, she can be found chatting at inhuman speeds, consuming absurd amounts of coffee (writer cliché #1) and attempting to diffuse her perpetual state of shopper’s guilt. Her new novel Ashes just released and her debut novel Embers (Foresight #1) came out in 2012.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon / Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday (1)

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It’s Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is:

TOP TEN BOOKS FEATURING TRAVEL

1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

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Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke-about-town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous-though utterly romantic-results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

A trip around Europe — that’s about as travel as you can get!  There are planes, trains, cabs, bikes, and lots of walking involved… And a little romance!

2. Die for Me by Amy Plum

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In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

The travel isn’t exactly ‘fun’ since the MC is moving to Paris after her parents die, but the setting is quite beautiful — who wouldn’t want to meet dreamy boys in Paris?

3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

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Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch, but SPACE travel is travel. Right?

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Ahh, another lovely trip to Paris.  These book characters are so lucky!

5. Parallel by Claudia Lefeve

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Destiny has a way of catching up.

Saddled with powers she doesn’t understand, Etta Fleming’s world is turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of.

One minute, she’s an orphan living at Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.

Plucked from the only world she’s ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn’t know, and a best friend who can’t know.

PARALLEL is the first book in the Travelers Series.

The travel in this case is to a parallel universe.  It’s still pretty cool.

6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

A piece of this amazing book centers around Hazel & Augustus visiting Amsterdam.  And it was spectacular.

7. Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

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Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny’s backpack–and the last little blue envelope inside–she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure–one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

Another trip around Europe? Yes, please!

8. Into the Wild by Jon Krakaurer

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In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Tragic, but beautiful nonetheless.

9. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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Essential Edition handsomely packaged with french flaps, rough fronts, high-quality paper, and a distinctive cover look

On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, “a sideburned hero of the snowy West.” As “Sal Paradise” and “Dean Moriarty,” the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac’s love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

Kerouac’s classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be “Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than forty years ago.

A classic — even has traveling in the title.

10. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

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With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man – also named Jonathan Safran Foer – sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.

An amazing journey of body and spirit. God, I love this book.

Dreamless — Book Review

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The Deets

author: Josephine Angelini

released: May 29, 2012

format: E-book, paperback, hardcover

pages: 496 pages

publisher: HarperTeen

Read: May 16, 2013

Book Pages: Amazon.com • Goodreads.com • B&N.com • Author’s Website

The Down-low

StarHearts, as fans of Josephine Angelini call themselves, will stay up all night reading Dreamless, the second book in the bestselling Starcrossed series. The saga mixes mythology, romance, action, and intrigue in a completely original way.

Dreamless continues the story of Helen Hamilton, a shy girl living on Nantucket Island whose desire for an ordinary life was thwarted when she discovered she is a Scion, a descendant of a Greek god and a mortal. Each Scion has a power, and Helen’s is the ability to travel to Hades.

Helen is determined to use her talent to stop a war amongst the gods and change her destiny, which is to live a life patterned after that of the tragic Helen of Troy. But her quest may cost her Lucas Delios, the boy she loves. (From Amazon.com)

Why You Should Buy It

This second book in the Starcrossed trilogy takes Helen, Lucas, and all their family and friends on more twists and turns through the modern world of greek mythology.  The mixture of mythology, suspense, action, and romance is a perfect blend of magic — it will keeping you hanging on until the very end.

My Thoughts

I had two issues with this book — the love triangle and the fact that no one could figure out Helen’s true parentage.  But, obviously these were major plot points that lead up to the final book, so I was able to accept them quickly.

This book wasn’t as fun as the first one — and I mean that in the best way.  I have found the true point of the second book in a trilogy is to add gut-twisting emotional issues that the protagonists have to work through.  The ‘happily ever after’ image has to be shattered so it can be remolded in book three.  And this book did hit me hard emotionally.  I just wanted to hug Helen all through the book.  And Lucas and Orion.  All three deal with more than any other characters and are still amazing characters.

I also have to say that the ending of this book was rather brilliant.  I sometimes hate how books in a trilogy have endings that seem thrown together — just to get you to the next book.  But this one ends perfectly.  Not that I wasn’t screaming “WAIT, WHAT ABOUT…” No, you still have questions and I wish some things would have been answered in Dreamless, but obviously we will see how they turn out in the final installment.

The mythology interwoven in this book is supberb.  Angelini really knows how to manipulate the myth into something that is completely realistic for 2012.  And that is SO important when writing about something that’s been around for thousands of years.

Overall, this book was an amazing addition to the Starcrossed series.  I for one can not wait for Goddess to hit the shelves at the end of this month!

Overall

Four point five out of Five Stars

 

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