Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #25: Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

Carmel's WoW Pick:
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Expected Release Date: August 16th 2016
(Tor Teen)
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Goodreads Summary:
Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

Well, you don't really have to wait that long. You can win an advance copy of Vicarious at YABC (Click here.) And yes, international addresses are welcome! If you love something high tech, this is for you! Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will sure love Vicarious! No, I don't like computers and the interwebs. I prefer to be a troglodyte just like you. Can you recommend something dark and twisty? One word: VICARIOUS.

I'll just probably sit here and wait. Paula knows how to torture me.
Add VICARIOUS on Goodreads!
Or you can always Pre-order on Book Depository (FREE SHIPPING!)
About Paula Stokes:
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.


What's your WoW pick? 
Can you recommend more books about hacking and computers?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Last month, National Book Store announced the signing tour of Christine Brae, Tarryn Fisher, and Colleen Hoover. The moment it was official, I knew I had to meet Tarryn. THE NEED IS REAL! That same night I got an email from Tarryn confirming that we are going to meet each other! YAAYYY!

The meet and greet is by invitation only and is not sponsored by National Book Store. I did not receive any compensation from NBS for posting about this. Anyway, let's fast forward to September 19, 2015 aka the best day of my life! I entered the meeting place expecting nothing. I was really nervous as hell! Maybe she won't remember me that much. Maybe it would just be short. Maybe I will make a fool of myself!

When the trio entered the room, I saw Colleen first. Then, Christine. Lastly, Tarryn. I was smiling like an idiot! Hahaha! Everything seems so fast and I could not find myself to function well. I was in awe when I saw Tarryn! She said hi to the people she recognized. But when she saw me, I totally did NOT expect things to happen the way it happened. She opened her arms and she hugged me tight! SHE HUGGED ME TIGHT! DREAM COME TRUE!

It did not stop there! What made me cry is when she shared to the people in that room that she made a promise to me that she would give me a copy of her book, The Opportunist. She said something like, 'Remember, two years ago, I promised I would give you this (The Opportunist). I am now giving it to you!' I COULD NOT HELP THE TEARS. I ugly cried! That was 2 years ago. I don't even remember my messages last month. Let's all take a moment and realize that Tarryn actually remembers me! Along with The Opportunist, she also gave me a copy of her other books: Dirty Red, Thief, Marrow. I also got my copy of Hopeless signed by Colleen.

I would like to thank certain people also who I've met during this once in a lifetime event. Thank you to Queenie, May, Vanity, Rhyzza, Jane, Esca, Hannah, Gladys, April, Lindsay, Louisse David, KC. You guys are amazing! You are my kind of people! I LOVE YOU!

The fun did not stop there! Tarryn Fisher asked for a selfie with me using her phone! I MADE IT TO TARRYN FISHER'S PHONE! Below are the pictures from Tarryn Fisher's account and from Wyn's account.

ISN'T IT AMAZING?! I am still overwhelmed by all this! I did not expect that kind of reception from fellow readers and most especially from the authors. I can say with certainty that I supported the right author. You are unprecedented and everything beyond imaginable! There are no words. THANK YOU SO MUCH, TARRYN FISHER!

For those asking about Kyla, don't worry. Colleen greeted her in this video. She's very happy with my surprise!

Colleen Hoover Says HI
Colleen Hoover greets Kyla! #CarmelandKyla #ColleenHooverYou can read about the #CTCinPH event here:
Posted by Carmel and Kyla on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

About Tarryn Fisher:
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Tarryn Fisher is cooler than you, but not one to rub it in your face. She graduated first in her class at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She is a lover of human nature, and a real life villain (House of Slytherin). Her heart is dark, but she loves you with it anyway. Currently she lives in Washington with her son and daughter, and is working on her eighth novel, F*** Love, which will be available this fall.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide 


Did you attend #CTCinPH? What book signings have you attended lately?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Blog Tour: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (Excerpt + Giveaway)

The Weight of Feathers 
by Anna Marie McLemore

Young Adult - Fantasy, Romance
Publication: September 15th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Add this book to your Goodreads TBR shelf!
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

The Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning young adult novel about two teens who fall in love despite the almost impossible odds against them.

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have long been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows-the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family's show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it's a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace's life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.


The feathers were Lace’s first warning. They showed up between suitcases, in the trunk of her father’s station wagon, on the handles of came-with-the-car first-aid kits so old the gauze had yellowed. They snagged on antennas, turning the local stations to static.
Lace’s mother found a feather in with the family’s costumes the day they crossed into Almendro, a town named for almond fields that once filled the air with the scent of sugary blossoms and bitter wood. But over the last few decades an adhesive plant had bought out the farms that could not survive the droughts, and the acres of almonds dwindled to a couple of orchards on the edge of town.
The wisp of that black feather caught on a cluster of sequins. Lace knew from the set to her mother’s eyes that she’d throw the whole mermaid tail in a bucket and burn it, elastane and all.
Lace grabbed the tail and held on. If her mother burned it, it would take Lace and her great-aunt at least a week to remake it. Tía Lora’s hands were growing stiff, and Lace’s were new and slow.
Her mother tried to pull the tail from her grip, but Lace balled the fabric in her hands.
“Let go,” her mother warned.
“It’s one feather.” Lace dug in her fingers. “It’s not them.” Lace knew the danger of touching a Corbeau. Her abuela said she’d be better off petting a rattlesnake. But these feathers were not the Corbeaus’ skin. They didn’t hold the same poison as a Corbeau’s body.
“It’s cursed,” her mother said. One hard tug, and she won. She threw the costume tail into a bucket and lit it. The metal pail grew hot as a stove. The fumes off the melting sequins stung Lace’s throat.
“Did you have to burn the whole thing?” she asked.
“Better safe, mija,” her mother said, wetting down the undergrowth with day-old aguas frescas so the brush wouldn’t catch.
They could have cleaned the tail, blessed it, stripped away the feather’s touch. Burning it only gave the Corbeaus more power. Those feathers already had such weight. The fire in the pail was an admission that, against them, Lace’s family had no guard.
Before Lace was born, the Palomas and the Corbeaus had just been competing acts, two of the only shows left that bothered with the Central Valley’s smallest towns. Back then it was just business, not hate. Even now Lace’s family sometimes ended up in the same town with a band of traveling singers or acrobats, and there were no fights, no blood. Only the wordless agreement that each of them were there to survive, and no grudges after. Every fall when the show season ended, Lace’s aunts swapped hot-plate recipes with a trio of trapeze artists. Her father traded homeschooling lesson plans with a troupe of Georgian folk dancers.
The Corbeaus never traded anything with anyone. They shared nothing, took nothing. They kept to themselves, only straying from the cheapest motel in town to give one of Lace’s cousins a black eye, or leave a dead fish at the riverbank. Lace and Martha found the last one, its eye shining like a wet marble.
Before Lace was born, these were bloodless threats, ways the Corbeaus tried to rattle her family before their shows. Now every Paloma knew there was nothing the Corbeaus wouldn’t do.
Lace’s mother watched the elastane threads curl inside a shell of flame. “They’re coming,” she said.
“Did you think they wouldn’t?” Lace asked. Her mother smiled. “I can hope, can’t I?”
She could hope all she wanted. The Corbeaus wouldn’t give up the crowds that came with Almendro’s annual festival. So many tourists, all so eager to fill their scrapbooks. That meant two weeks in Almendro. Two weeks when the younger Paloma men hardened their fists, and their mothers prayed they didn’t come home with broken ribs.
Lace’s grandmother set the schedule each year, and no one spoke up against Abuela. If they ever did, she’d pack their bags for them. Lace had watched Abuela cram her cousin Licha’s things into a suitcase, clearing her perfumes and lipsticks off the motel dresser with one sweep of her arm. When Lace visited her in Visalia and they went swimming, Licha’s two-piece showed that her escamas, the birthmarks that branded her a Paloma, had disappeared.
Lace’s mother taught her that those birthmarks kept them safe from the Corbeaus’ feathers. That family was el Diablo on earth, with dark wings strapped to their bodies, French on their tongues, a sprinkling of gypsy blood. When Lace slept, they went with her, living in nightmares made of a thousand wings.
Another black feather swirled on a downdraft. Lace watched it spin and fall. It settled in her hair, its slight weight like a moth’s feet.
Her mother snatched it off Lace’s head. “¡Madre mía!” she cried, and threw it into the flames.
Lace’s cousins said the Corbeaus grew black feathers right out of their heads, like hair. She never believed it. It was another rumor that strengthened the Corbeaus’ place in their nightmares. But the truth, that wind pulled feathers off the wings they wore as costumes, wasn’t a strong enough warning to keep Paloma children from the woods.
La magia negra,” her mother said. She always called those feathers black magic.
The fire dimmed to embers. Lace’s mother gave the pail a hard kick. It tumbled down the bank and into the river, the hot metal hissing and sinking.
“Let them drown,” her mother said, and the last of the rim vanished.

THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS by Anna-Marie McLemore.   
Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Griffin.


“McLemore’s prose is ethereal and beguiling… The enchanting setup and the forbidden romance that blooms between these two outcasts will quickly draw readers in, along with the steady unspooling of the families’ history and mutual suspicions in this promising first novel.” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers beguiled by the languorous language—a striking mix of French and Spanish phrases, wry colloquialism, lush imagery, and elevated syntax—will find themselves falling under its spell. The third-person narration alternates between Lace and Cluck, doling out twists and building to a satisfying, romantic conclusion.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In this tale of magical realism, the magic is so deftly woven into the fabric of the story… Told with skillful poetic nuances, this Romeo-and-Juliet story of forbidden love will entice fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle who wished for a little more romance.” —School Library Journal

“Anna-Marie McLemore's debut novel is a very imaginative modern-day romance akin to Romeo and Juliet and is infused with the whimsy of magical realism.” —RT Book Reviews

“An air of mysterious fantasy enshrouds the whole book, pulling the reader through it as if in a spell. McLemore is a writer to watch.”—The Guardian

“You've never read a love story quite like this one. Anna-Marie McLemore has created in entirely imaginative world and rich characters that will pull you in as if she's spinning magic herself.” —Bustle

“With prose as magical as its characters, The Weight of Feathers is an exciting debut.” —Paste Magazine

“McLemore’s debut novel has ties to Romeo and Juliet, David Almond’s mythical Skellig, and the real-life performances of Cirque du Soleil.” —Booklist


Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine's cratelit, Camera Obscura's Bridge the Gap Series, and The Portland Review. The Weight of Feathers is her first novel.


  • This contest is open for US residents or to those with US mailing addresses ONLY.
  • The giveaway will run until September 29, 2015.
  • You must be 13 years or older, or have parents’ permission to enter.
  • All your entries will be disqualified if you pickup entries for something you haven’t done. (I had to do this for so many of my last giveaways, please don’t make me do this again.)
  • If you only use ONE account to do all these tasks and enter under different names, they will still only constitute as ONE entry.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, he/she will be disqualified. Then I will have to choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to follow St. Martin's Griffin (Griffin Teen) through their social media links!

St. Martin’s Griffin

Big thanks to St. Martin's Press for making this post possible!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Blog Tour: Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt (Interview + Giveaway)

Today on the blog, we have a special guest! It's no other than...

Marie Marquardt
Marie Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the author of Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. She is widely published on issues of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. South. Marquardt has also worked as an advocate among immigrants in Atlanta. She is a founder and  co-chair of El Refugio, a hospitality house near the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Dream Things True is Marie's first young adult novel.


The wonderful people over at St. Martins Press gave me the opportunity to interview Miss Marquardt. Check out the interview below!

1. Hello Miss Marquardt! It's an honor to have you here on the blog. So, Dream Things True is your debut novel. For those who don't know about it, could you tell us more about the book?

Thanks for having me! At its heart, Dream Things True is a love story. Evan and Alma grew up in the same small Southern town, but worlds apart. Evan is a privileged white boy, nephew of a US senator; Alma has lived almost all her life in this small town, but is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, and has no way to become a legal resident. When they fall in love, they fall hard. But then their worlds collide. Alma struggles to stay in the U.S. and pursue her dreams; Evan is desperate to help her, but he has no idea how.

2. How long did it take you to write Dream Things True?

A very long time! The first draft took almost three years (I kept setting it aside to do things like have babies and write academic books).

3. Do we get to read the story from both Evan and Alma's point of views?

Yes, this was important to me. The story came to me in the third person – very close third person, alternating between Evan’s point of view and Alma’s point of view. I tried a couple of times to shift it into first person, but it didn’t feel right. Maybe because it was such a hard story to tell, I needed to pull a bit away from the intimacy of first person.

4. Why should readers read your book?

Because it’s a love story, and – really – who doesn’t love a good love story? What makes it a bit different from traditional YA romance, though, is that it will make readers feel (swoony), but it also encourages readers to think about complex issues that don’t have easy answers. I think many YA readers are hungry for this kind of story.

5. Lastly, what is your message/piece of advice to those aspiring authors?

If you love to write, keep writing! If you want to get your writing published, be prepared for rejections. They are a big part of the process, so try not to forget this: the rejections aren’t judgments of you. You’re awesome. The good rejections will help you to become a better writer. The bad rejections will put you into the fetal position. But, eventually, you’ll unfold yourself and get back to writing.


Dream Things True
by Marie Marquardt

Young Adult - Contemporary, Romance
Published September 1st 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl and together they face perils in their hostile Georgia town. Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much -- except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There's too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she's an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one's family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.

And the part y'all have been waiting for...

• Giveaway is open to US + Canada residents only. [Sorry INTL folks! :(]
• Must be 18+ or have parent's permission to join the giveaway.
• Most importantly, do not CHEAT. If you have one invalid entry that means I will consider all of your other entries as INVALID, too. IBut IF it was invalid by accident, you can notify me over at Twitter.
• Once the giveaway is over, I'll be the one to contact the winner. If he/she doesn't respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Questions? Suggestions? Violent reactions? Feel free to email me for further information.

Big thanks to St. Martin's Press for making this post possible.

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