Seven Days with You
by Hugo Driscoll
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 10th 2017
Summary from Goodreads:
Sean Johnson’s life as a small-town farmhand has been nothing but predictable, but when he meets Sophia Hillingdon at the local animal sanctuary, she gets him out of an eighteen-year rut, away from the mundane existence on the farm, and a grieving, drunken father.
Sophia is the first person who understands him and makes him believe that he might get out of their small town, who tells him, he has the potential to be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do.
But as their relationship unfolds, it is the most devastating of news that will change both of them forever.
I hadn’t been anywhere, but my mind had been everywhere. That’s how I felt that summer. Or more precisely, that’s how Sophia had made me feel by the time summer neared its conclusion. The months of July and August had followed identical patterns to June in that we rarely spent a day apart. We rode with Violet across the Suffolk countryside, sometimes for miles on end, often stopping by at local pubs. Then it would be Saturday. That was the best day of all for there was no work on Sunday, which meant dancing with Tom and Jessica until our bodies could no longer stand. We drank, we laughed, and most nights after, we made love as we tip-toed up the stairs of my father’s house. I was obsessed with everything about her. Yes, Sophia Hillingdon, the girl I’d known for barely a few months was the girl I now wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And though we often drove each other crazy, we soon laughed and made up as if nothing happened. It often puzzled me as to why Sophia found our fights so amusing seconds after we were hot from the exertion of spouting obscenities at each other. Red-faced, she’d often say, “You drive me mad Sean. But, you know something? That’s just how I like it.”
“Why?” I’d ask.
“Us,” she would say. “I love how angry you make me because…. Well, I’m obsessed with you… even our arguments sound oddly beautiful.”
About the Author
Hugo Driscoll is a 25-year-old British author and content writer for an online publication in London.
Seven Days with You is his first novel.
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Sometimes the one you love isn’t the one you’re meant to be with.
The summer before senior year, Chloe starts an internship as a reporter at a local newspaper. While on assignment, she meets Kieran, a quirky aspiring actor. Chloe becomes smitten with Kieran’s charisma and his ability to soothe her soul, torn over her parents’ impending divorce. But as their bond deepens, Kieran becomes smothering and flies into terrifying rages. He confides in Chloe that he suffered a traumatic childhood, and Chloe is moved to help him. If only he could be healed, she thinks, their relationship would be perfect. But her efforts backfire, and Kieran turns violent. Chloe breaks up with him, but Kieran pursues her relentlessly to make up. Chloe must make the heartrending choice between saving herself or saving Kieran, until Kieran’s mission of remorse turns into a quest for revenge.
“An engrossing tale of a dangerous teen romance.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Girl on the Brink is a must have for every high school and public library.” – Isabelle Kane, Wisconsin high school librarian
ABOUT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
Abusive relationships are widespread, cutting across socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, religious and gender preference lines. One in three high school girls experience dating violence, while more than half of college-aged women reported experiencing controlling behavior in a relationship. Eighty-nine percent of female college students said they were unable to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, and a third of teens involved in intimate partner violence ever told anyone about it.
For more information, see http://www.breakthecycle.org/dating-violence-research.
About the Author
Christina Hoag is the author of Girl on the Brink, a romantic thriller for young adults (Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books, August 2016) and Skin of Tattoos, a literary thriller set in L.A.’s gang underworld (Martin Brown Publishing, September 2016). She is a former reporter for the Associated Press and Miami Herald and worked as a correspondent in Latin America writing for major media outlets including Time, Business Week, Financial Times, the Houston Chronicle and The New York Times. She is the co-author of Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, a groundbreaking book on gang intervention (Turner Publishing, 2014). She resides in Los Angeles. For more information, see www.christinahoag.com.
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Captivate (Submerged Sun #1)
by Vanessa Garden
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 10th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
In a glittering underwater world, where danger lurks behind beauty and power…
For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.
Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko…the King of this underwater civilisation.
Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets…
Captivate (Submerged Sun Book 1)
“Miranda Sun, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?” Marko’s chest swelled with each breath. “Because if you say yes then you are bound to me for eternity, even in death.”
I sucked in a shaky breath and closed my eyes for a moment before opening them to gaze down at him.
“Does it have to be in death, too?” I said, trying my best to make light of it all.
Marko, still on his knees, whispered hoarsely, “Yes. It has to be forever, Miranda.” He bent his head and pressed his lips to the back of my hand.
I gasped and tried not to melt like candle wax.
“I’m serious about this, Miranda.” Smouldering eyes bore into mine. “Are you?”
“Yes,” I whispered, restraining the urge to extend my fingers and brush them against his mouth.
He got to his feet, took a step closer and traced his thumb across my cheek. Then he took me by the wrists and wrapped my arms around his neck before snaking his own arms around my waist to draw us together.
“Now that we’re engaged, Miranda, I guess you won’t object to this,” he whispered before lowering his face. He was going to kiss me and I wasn’t going to stop him. I’d be lying to myself if I said I was only doing this for my freedom. I wanted his lips on me.
The kiss was gentle at first, his lips moving over mine with just enough pressure to make my mouth tingle. A soft moan rumbled in his throat, and my stomach fluttered. I caressed his neck and slid a hand up into his thick, dark hair and in response his hands moved over my waist to rest on my hips.
When our tongues touched, the kiss became urgent. Marko’s lips trailed down my neck, his breath warm and fast against my skin. My hands slid over the breadth of his shoulders and down his arms, his biceps flexing and hardening at my touch.
Another groan escaped his throat and he pressed his hips against mine so that I could feel just how much he wanted me.
When we gravitated towards the bed, I suddenly realised things were getting way out of hand.
What on earth was wrong with me?
“Stop, Marko,” I whispered between kisses, and he instantly complied, his breathing ragged.
“Having second thoughts?” he asked, licking his lips and watching me through thick, dark lashes.
I swallowed thickly. “Of course not. I’m just … I was—”
“You don’t want to marry me, Miranda, admit it.” He smiled wryly. “Even though you enjoyed the kiss.”
I shook my head. How could I have let myself lose control with the person holding me captive? Why did he have such an effect on me?
“Of course I want to marry you. I said so, didn’t I?” I folded my arms across my chest.
“Even if I tell you I plan to kiss you like this on a daily basis? You still want to play pretend?”
Yes, even more so.
Oh god, why was he so intent on knowing my true feelings? Wasn’t this what he wanted all along? For me to agree to his plans?
I kept my arms folded and raised my head. “Yes, and I’m not pretending.”
“So you want me to believe that you’ve suddenly fallen hopelessly in love with me,” he said.
I ignored the smirk on his lips and said, “Yes.”
He folded his arms across his chest and stared down at me. Amusement sparkled in his icy blue eyes.
“Say it, then. Declare your love for me.”
Blood pounded in my ears. My cheeks burned. He stood there, waiting.
“You first,” I said, my voice trembling. “How do I know that you’re not pretending?”
He raised his brows and said, “Fine,” before snaking his arms around my waist and locking eyes with me. “I love you, Miranda.”
It if wasn’t for his strong arms holding me, I would have melted to the floor. No boy had ever said that to me.
“Good. I … I love”—I cleared my throat— “you, too.”
Marko grinned and kissed me again.
Under a Million Stars
by Rita Branches
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 8th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?
Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.
Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.
Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. Ashe watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.
Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.
Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?
Buy Links: Amazon
I got interested in this book’s cover and so I requested to host the blog tour. Under a Million Stars by Rita Branches is a full load of emotional scenes. Even with just the starting chapters, my emotions was already stirred and I felt for Charlie.
Charlie is a talented girl who has everything she wanted, She plays the piano and she is very good at it, she has a happy family and two best friends. But, everything went down hill when a tragic accident took both of her parent’s lives and her younger brother also.
I really felt how Charlie was dealt with the pain, I really liked her and her relationship with her best friend Kylie. She shows strength and also a weakness that made her character really realistic.
I dislike Jacob in a way that he hadn’t told Charlie his secret. Why does he need to mess Charlie’s head, when he was also feeling the same way about her? I really don’t get his character, but this was all redeemed in the end.
Under a Million Stars by Rita Branches were an easy read and a very heart-warming one. Aside from some chapters or scenes that look a bit hastily done as it has the tendency to jump to one scene and to the other.
Book Review: Under a Million Stars
August 8, 2016
Teen & Young Adult, Drama, Contemporary, Romance
Received ARC from YA Bound Book Tous
My Rating: 4 Stars
Plot: Fast Paced
Page Turner: YES!
Hi! I’m Rita Branches. I was born and raised in Portugal and I’m going to independently publish my debut novel in the Spring of 2016, Painting Sky.I am so happy that you decided to take a look at my work. Little bit about myself: along with being a writer, I am also a landscape architect. I started writing to bring ‘to life’ the stories that my mind created.I LOVE to read. It was and always will be my passion.
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by Candy Atkins
Genre: YA Fantasy
May 20th 2016 | Monster Publishing
How am I supposed to save the world when I’m not strong, not brave, not smart, and not particularly good at most things? I ran away from home the day after my thirteenth birthday when Auntie and her weird friend attacked me. Now I’m on the run with the Grim Reaper and a scary soldier. And I’m no longer on Earth. They were expecting metobe a Knight. The savior that’s supposed to stop a war and prevent the invasion to Earth. But I’m not. They grabbed the wrong girl. I just don’t know how to tell them.
Excerpt (Chapter 2):
I get ready for school and ignore Auntie’s request that I change my hair. I grab the black jeans I wore yesterday and pick up the black sweater that’s lying next to them, but a quick smell check informs me that I need to wash it before I wear it again.
As soon as I hit the sidewalk, I slow my pace. Goosebumps race up my arms and my feet stop moving. I scan the street for anything out of the ordinary but everything seems to be as it should. I shake off my willies and head off to school.
The feeling won’t leave. Something isn’t right. Then I hear it. I never hear the laughter or singing during the day, but today I hear both. In fact, the singing is louder and clearer than it’s ever been. It’s in a language I’ve never heard, so that’s probably why I couldn’t understand it before. Last night I saw creatures at the foot of my bed, and today the singing. Did Auntie see them too, or am I going crazy?
“Shhhh. Shhhh. That’s her,” whispers through the air, but there’s no one around.
Mrs. Belmonte is taking her garbage to the curb. She’s the only one on the street and I can see she’s not talking. “ That’s the Agatha.” I stop and thoroughly scan the area. Someone must be playing a prank, but I don’t understand how they could do it without an elaborate setup. Plus, I’m not important enough for anyone to go to that much trouble.
“ Yep. Her.”
The sound seems to be coming from the maple I’m standing next to, almost as if one tree is talking to another, but there are too many voices. They’re exceedingly high-pitched and talking in unison. Can bugs talk? Can I hear bugs? No, bugs don’t talk, so obviously that’s not what I’m hearing.
My gaze darts down the street. I don’t want anyone to see me listening to the tree. I used to believe that the singing was something everyone heard. People always talk about a song they can’t get out of their head, or maybe an argument they had with themselves, but when I told Auntie about my songs, she told me that only I can hear them. She said I must never tell anyone or they’ll take me away. I never asked where they would take me or who they were, but I’ve never told anyone anything ever again, not even Auntie.
The voices used to be just songs, but now they’re talking to me, or more accurately, about me. Delusional, that’s what this is called. I’m imagining things in my room and hearing voices.
I can’t get enough air into my lungs. My fingers are tingling and my arm is going numb. I need to get away from the bugs, or whatever they are. I don’t want to run and draw attention to myself, so I walk as fast as I can while trying to look relaxed.
“Which one?” the voices continue.
“That’s the Agatha.”
“Goes to school down the street.”
“Why did she do that to her hair?”
The bugs in each tree speak as one voice and discuss me with their neighbors in the next tree. I don’t care who sees me, I’m running.
The wind in my ears and the blood thumping through my veins make it impossible to hear the voices, so I sprint faster. I cross the street against the light and weave around the honking cars. Even though I don’t go far, my lungs almost implode from the effort. My right thigh is cramping so intensely I’m afraid I might fall.
As I reach the school, I have to slow down because the other students are clogging the sidewalk. I shove anyone who is in my path out of the way. Some of the kids complain and a few push back, but I keep running.
Once I’m safely inside, the noise of the other students drowns out everything else. I bend over and rub my thigh as I try to fill my burning lungs. I’ll never run again for as long as I live. When my air returns and I can keep my breakfast down, I stand. There, on the locker right beside my face, is a fly. Without thinking, I smash it with my bare hand. There’s no way I’m letting them follow me in here.
“Gross,” a girl across the hall says to another.
The burning in my face replaces the fire in my lungs. I can’t believe I just did that, and in front of Trishel Gomez, of all people. My hand is covered in fly guts and Trishel is witnessing the whole disgusting episode.
“So Aggi,” she says, leaning against the lockers. I wipe the fly guts on my jeans and see her flash of revulsion. This day couldn’t get any worse.
“What made you decide to dye your hair?” Trishel asks so sweetly it’s easy to tell she’s faking.
“I’m thinking of dying mine, too. Where’d you get yours done?”
I don’t answer. I just put my head down and walk away, hoping she doesn’t follow. She’s making fun of me the way mean girls do. I don’t know how to fight back when they pretend to be nice but really aren’t. Her friends laugh at me as I walk down the hall, and I’m relieved they let me go.
First period is science. I share a lab desk with Joe Thompson, one of the most popular boys in school. I’m not up to facing him, so of course, he’s waiting for me when I arrive. I keep my head down and hope Joe loses interest in whatever he has planned for me today, but no such luck.
When I reach the desk, I notice he’s left a white carnation on my side of the table. I ignore it as I sit down and chide myself for getting to class so early. Joe is unfazed by my lack of reaction as he waits for more of his followers to arrive.
When the class is full, except for Ms. Quraishi of course, Joe picks up the flower and drops to one knee. “ Agatha Stone, you are the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. I must have you. Will you marry me?” The last part is hard to understand through his laughter.
My blood stops circulating and I freeze solid, praying he’ll tire of this game, and willing the teacher to hurry up.
“You just got rejected by Agatha Stone!” a girl in the back of the room shouts. The entire class erupts into laughter.
I don’t understand why this is funny, especially since he does stuff like this all the time. He asks me to every dance, recites obscene poetry, and tries to hold my hand on a regular basis. It wasn’t funny to begin with, but the repetitiveness of his torture should be boring his audience by now. It’s been going on for years, though, so I guess I’m wrong.
I make it through the rest of my morning classes without incident and, as is my ritual, I hide in the library during lunch. I get some chips and a soda out of the vending machine and peruse the aisles.
My nightmare rattled my nerves. Only now I can’t remember what I was dreaming about, just the events that happened after I woke up. I try to find a book in the psychology section that can explain what’s going on with me.
I’ve always been different. I don’t know how to talk to people, and I don’t know why people do the things they do. I also don’t like the stuff others seem to like, and they certainly don’t like what I like. Different had been hard, but this new delusional twist is terrifying.
I open a book at random and then slam it back into place. I’m not insane. I’m in the wrong section. Where I should be is in mythology. That thing last night looked a lot like the Grim Reaper. Maybe I read something that stuck in my head and came out in the nightmare.
Death is dark and cloaked like that. Every cartoon wanting to depict something scary has the red eyes in the dark. The devil sometimes appears like that, too. But what I saw wasn’t scary. Maybe that’s the trick: like a Venus flytrap, it makes you comfortable, then eats you.
Frustrated, I leave the library to get an early start to my next class. I don’t pay any attention to my teacher and try, without success, not to think about the weird events of the last few hours.
“Ohhh! Ohhhh! Ohhhh! I know this one! I know it!” say the high-pitched bug voices.
I snap my head around and scan the room. No one is talking, and no one hears the bugs. The teacher continues his lecture as I search for the source of the voice or voices—many voices saying the same thing.
”Agatha,” the teacher says.
Mr. Hallman has asked something, but I have no idea what the question was. Why do teachers get such a thrill from picking on the weak? Mr. Hallman knows I don’t know the answer but called on me anyway just to humiliate me.
“Cape of Good Hope! I know! I know! Ohhhh! Ohhhh! Cape of Good Hope!” the bugs chant.
I don’t know the question Mr. Hallman asked, and I’ve never heard of the Cape of Good Hope, but the bugs seem to know. “ Cape of Good Hope?” I mumble.
“Very good,” Mr. Hallman affirms, sounding surprised. I’m surprised, too! How do I know that? Maybe I heard the question and somehow knew the answer, but I don’t know what the Cape of Good Hope is.
The bugs are singing again. This time it’s in English and about famous explorers. I’m definitely not writing these songs. It’s one thing to make up a language, but I don’t know these explorers. It’s coming from a large Yucca tree in the corner that’s swaying in the breeze from the open window. However, there’s no breeze on this side of the building. The tree is dancing. It’s singing a song and dancing to its music.
I’m as nutty as Auntie. The thought makes me jump out of my chair and gaze helplessly at the startled faces staring back at me. I need to get out of here. I grab my book bag and walk out the door. Mr. Hallman says something about my leaving and the Yucca bugs say goodbye, but I ignore them.
I run as fast as I can toward home, but even though it’s just a block and a half, I’m not going to make it this time. I’m almost there when my lungs won’t take any more. This is the most exercise I’ve ever had in my life and it might kill me. I’m nauseous, but once some air gets into my lungs and I walk off the leg pain, I notice that the bugs have stopped talking. Relieved, I walk the rest of the way home.
Just as I reach my stoop, the bugs mock me. “ You’re in trouble. You’re in trouble,” the high-pitched voices chant in unison.
I try to jump up the first three steps at once, but miss and crash painfully into the concrete.
“You don’t want to go in there,” the bugs tease, shaking the trees branches.
I ignore them and limp inside. Is it rude to not speak to one’s delusion? Walking up the stairs clears my head and I relax for the first time today. Auntie won’t be mad that I’m skipping school because she doesn’t care if I go or not.
When I walk into the apartment, the air leaves my lungs with an audible whoosh. My body refuses to draw in another breath as my eyes travel around the empty room. Before I can form an explanation, I leap backward out the door. I bend over to make the oxygen rush to my brain faster. I can’t believe I was so distracted I accidentally walked into the wrong apartment. I turn in a slow circle and press my hand to the bridge of my nose. I’m in the right place, but I check the number to be sure.
I cautiously step back in. Everything is gone, including the carpets. Moldy stains cover the floor and walls, and the entire place has been swept clean and wiped down. The smell of garbage-cats has been replaced with the scent of rotting lemon-pine trees. Funny how our apartment looks smaller with the stuff out of it. My vision spins but straightens out before I can faint. How is this possible?
Candy Atkins is a full-time writer who lives with her husband and two kids in Orlando, Florida. She’s an avid reader and lover of all things fantasy and sci-fi. Her debut novel, The Lost Knight, is volume one of the six-part Lost Knight Series.
Her life’s journey has taken her from dining with the President to being on food stamps to running her own company. And since all author bios end by naming and quantifying pets…she also enjoys spending time with her boxer, Butler, and Wynona the cat.
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