Book Recommendation: Frostblood by Elly Blake

27827203
Hardcover, 384 pages Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

My Thoughts…
Now this is a YA fantasy! Fantastic world building, ancient blood feuds, romance, humor, nail-biting battles… yes please! I can’t wait to see where the rest of this series goes. The book comes out January 17th, so make sure it’s on your TBR pile!

#PitchWars Picks

So as I’ve mentioned earlier, I am a #PitchWars mentor this year and boy has it been fun!giphy

All in all, we had 141 submissions and of these we requested 28 fulls. You can find the exact breakdown of genre on Lynnette’s blog post HERE.

I was a little nervous going into this because Lynnette and I have never worked together before and all of a sudden, we needed to go through a ton of submissions and find ones that we could both agree on. How were we going to deal with SUBJECTIVITY??

But we had a great baseline: we knew we wanted something dark and twisty (probably in the Fantasy genre) and we both LOVE books. Those two factors were MORE than enough and we had a blast going through all the submissions. I was even able to tap into my nerd and made a Trello board that had 8 designations for requested materials.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-2-35-40-pm
Half of our #PitchWars Trello Board

We were blown away by all the dark and twisty that ended up in our inbox and went through several “THIS IS THE ONE” wait, no, “THIS IS THE ONE” moments.

But then we came across Meghan Jashinsky’s A COURT OF GLITTERING CRIMSON and it was the first one that got an enthusiastic, YES from both of us. But we knew to make it more marketable, we needed to address the magical system which was going to be a big re-write.

We contacted Meghan before the submission period was over to see if she would even be open to making such a big change and she was. THEN came the part where we had to fight off other mentors from offering to mentor hers as well.

Long story short, we were able to snag Meghan’s manuscript and we couldn’t be more happy about it!

But that’s not where the story ends!

Lynnette and I had also loved Tracie Martin‘s THEN BEGGARS WOULD RIDE, a YA literary thriller that has a voice that will keep you up at night. BEGGARS was our #2 pick and we were campaigning hardcore behind the scenes to try to get other mentors to pick it up because it totally deserved some PitchWars love.

Then, the day of the big reveal, I found out I had won a wildcard spot and I could pick one more book to mentor if I so wished (or I could pass it on to another mentor). Due to Lynnette’s active editing business, she knew her schedule would only permit her to mentor one manuscript, but I felt so strongly for BEGGARS that I offered to mentor it myself!

SO there it goes!

I am mentoring both Meghan and Tracie for #PitchWars2016!

These books are high-concept, dark, gory, beautiful, and heartbreaking. You’re going to love them and I can’t wait to see these books shine!

giphy-2

Book Recommendation: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

7824322
Hardcover, 344 pages Published March 22nd 2011 by Philomel Books

Summary:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

My Thoughts…

When I grow up, I hope I can string words together as beautifully as Ruta Sepetys. I mean, seriously guys. She’s an incredible writer! She’s also ridiculously kind as I was lucky enough to meet her earlier this year.

This book is beautiful and heart breaking and hopeful and tragic. I definitely recommend it!

They are also making this book a movie that comes out next year, but changing the name to Ashes in the Snow because anything with  Shades and Gray definitely has a much different meaning now thanks to a certain Twilight fanfic 🙂

Check out The Darkest Lie by @PintipDunn!

The Darkest Lie Release Blitz | Pintip Dunn | JenHalliganPR.com

I’m so excited to be part of the Release Blitz for Pintip Dunn’s THE DARKEST LIE! Check out the book’s details and teaser, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

The Darkest LieThe Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn | A Book and a Latte | bookandlatte.com

Publisher: Kensington YA

Publication: June 28, 2016

 

“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt from The Darkest Lie

“I’ve been researching the story of her suicide,” Sam says. “And I came across something in my research that nobody could explain.”

“What is it?” I say dully, even though I can probably guess. I mean, there’s lots that’s inexplicable about my mom’s behavior. Tons.

Like: How could a grown woman be sexually attracted to a boy? Or more importantly: Why would she act on it? And my personal favorite: Did she have any kind of moral fiber—even a few lost threads—at all?

But Sam bypasses all the obvious questions and picks up a lock of my hair. I feel the slight tug all the way to my roots.

“Her hair.” He rubs my strands between his fingers, and I suppress a shiver. “It was chopped off, jagged. One article said it looked like it was lopped off with a butcher knife.”

I shrug, but even that simple movement is infused with the awareness of his touch. Still, he doesn’t let go.

“They said she was crazy,” I say. “Out of her mind. Maybe she was disfiguring herself as a sign of her shame. Who knows what motivated her actions?”

But even as I repeat the explanation the detectives gave for just about everything, my dad’s words echo in my mind: I knew your mother. She wasn’t capable of those things. I don’t believe she did any of it.

All of a sudden, my excuses sound exactly like what they are—easy, surface-level assumptions designed to make it easier for the detectives to close the case.

Sam frowns. “I guess I could buy that if I hadn’t seen the interview with her hair stylist in one of the local papers.”

Oh. One of those. Every newspaper in a fifty-mile radius went berserk when my mom committed suicide. Every day, there was a new article, featuring interviews with her fellow teachers, former students, even our lawn guy, for god’s sake. If there was a story on her hair salon, I must’ve missed it.

“The stylist kept saying your mom’s haircut was inconceivable, and I couldn’t understand why. So when I was scooting past Cut & Dry the other day, I stopped to talk to her.”

“Did she confirm my mom was a natural redhead?” I raise my eyebrows. “Reveal the exact color of dye she used to cover her silver sparkles?”

“Not at all,” he says, and something about his tone stops me. The chill begins at the base of my spine and crawls its way up, one long spider leg at a time. “The stylist said she’s been cutting your mom’s hair for two decades. And in all that time, your mother never let her cut more than half an inch. In fact, she came into the salon two days before she died, and they had the exact same argument. The stylist tried to talk her into a bob, and your mom adamantly refused.”

Abruptly, he lets go of my hair, and the strands swing back over my shoulder, loose, unencumbered, and very, very cold.

Sam’s eyes pierce right into me. “So what I want to know is: What could’ve happened in two days that made her change her mind? Unless . . . she didn’t.”

Pintip DunnAbout Pintip Dunn

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, is a finalist in the Best First Book category of RWA’s RITA® contest. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

Giveaway

There are 2 prizes! One winner will win a signed copy of THE DARKEST LIE (US only), and another winner will receive a $50 gift card to Amazon or Book Depository (international)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Recommended Book: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

6604794-2
Hardcover, 288 pages Published March 9th 2010 by Dial Books

 

My Thoughts…
This book has been highly recommended to me over and over again because… well, Jandy Nelson.

If you’ve never read a Jandy Nelson book, you’re missing out on some of the most heartbreaking prose you’ll ever come in contact with. She has a way of making her characters breathe on the page in a way that will make you laugh and weep and then laugh again.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have never lost someone I’ve been very close to, but the raw vulnerability in Lenny’s grief will touch your heart. I also really believe it will help put words to your grief if you have lost someone close to you.

I 100% recommend this book!

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.