Saturday, March 26, 2016

Backlist Revival Project 3: Cities by Carla De Guzman

Back in January, I announced that I will be working with Ms. Mina Esguerra. We are doing Backlist Revival Project to help bring attention, new reviews, and new readers to books that are a few years old. We will feature a book per month and the featured book of the month is a contemporary romance that was published in 2014 or earlier. So, if you are interested to REVIEW books by Filipino authors, please let us know.

For March, the featured book is CITIES by Carla De Guzman.


CITIES
by Carla de Guzman
Publication Date: November 30th 2014 by Midnight Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

Celia has dreams. 
She dreams of going to Seoul for that scholarship she never took, of leaving everything behind and moving to New York. 
In all those dreams, she finds herself attached to Benedict, the boy she has always loved, who didn’t love her back. 

Ben believes in parallel worlds. 
Worlds where the things you didn’t do come true—worlds where he went to London and fell in love with Celia, where he shows up on the day she needed him most. He believes that dreams are glimpses into that parallel world, and it’s not a coincidence that Celia’s been having them too. 

It’s the day of Ben’s wedding, in the middle of a typhoon in Manila. How will these dreams and unmade decisions change their lives? Will they bring them closer together, or just drive them further apart?

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Excerpt


The thing about dreams, there’s always something in the back of your mind that tells you that you’re dreaming. It’s like a subconscious warning signal, telling you not to get too involved, not to believe what you think you can see. In dreams, there’s a glow about the edges that you can’t place. Everything is wonderfully unreal. Dreams can end when you want them to.

I was trapped in a dream, a dream that felt like a memory.

There were no glowing edges, or subconscious warnings in my mind as I walked through it. The breeze was humid and real, my toes kicked against the warm rocks baking under the sun. It had to be a memory. I never came back to this place after graduation, no matter how much I had loved attending this school. In the harsh and scary real world, I was an adult with an adult job. Now…here I felt I was a young, naive little thing, still excited at the possibilities of life, still brave about love. That wasn’t who I was anymore, and that hadn’t been who I was in a long time.

 So what was I doing here?

I stood in the hallways between the parking lot and the Communications building, one of my favorite spots in my school. The sun spent its last moments by glowing brilliant and orange, casting its golden light on everything it touched. My skin prickled in the warmth and my heart fluttered. I turned my hand over and realized that I was holding a fresh white rose.

Oh. This was a memory. A particularly bad one that I had hoped to forget.

The school bells chimed in the distance, and my heart twisted in my ribcage. I tried to wake myself up and stop myself from remembering the horror of this moment, but the light kept me rooted to the spot.

He’s not coming, I told myself, like I was trying to keep my own heart from getting hurt. He didn’t come, remember? He never showed up. Wake up, Celia. Wake up!

I held my breath. You may not die in dreams, but in memories I wasn’t so sure. The world was still and he wasn’t coming.

As the last of the chimes faded away and the sun shed its last rays, a figure appeared at the end of the hall. The footsteps squeaked and drummed against the pavement as I gasped.

Is that…?

“Celia!” He exclaimed, catching his breath as he finally stopped in front of me, his own white rose in his hand. “Am I late?”

Wake up!!!


About Carla De Guzman:
Employee by day and writer by night, this blog is her free space to post things about her travels and her adventures as a self-published author. Carla is a proud part of #romanceclass and loves supporting Filipino authors and artists.





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Friday, March 11, 2016

Book Review: Girl Last Seen by Anne Greenwood Brown & Heather Anastasiu




GIRL LAST SEEN  
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Expected Release Date: March 1, 2016
(Albert Whitman Co.) 
Add to Goodreads



Goodreads Summary:

Ka
dence Mulligan's star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren's vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady's boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and sees that there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she's unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it's too late?



CARMEL: BEFORE I READ GIRL LAST SEEN, I ALREADY HAVE MY THEORIES. I WAS LIKE, "PLEASE BE DARK. PLEASE BE CREEPY AND TWISTED." I GOT WHAT I ASKED FOR!


KYLA: THAT ENDING WAS MIND-BLOWING!


CARMEL: I'M NOT GONNA SPOIL ANYTHING. SORRY GUYS, YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOK TO BE AMAZED BY THE GREATNESS OF THAT ENDING. I AM SPEECHLESS UNTIL NOW. 


KYLA: KADENCE IS
CRAAAZY GOOD! HMMM, EVERY TIME SHE VLOGS, SHE SAYS RUDE THINGS IN A VERY SWEET WAY. 


CARMEL: I LIKE HER THAT WAY!
I WAS ROOTING FOR HER, YOU KNOW! 


KYLA: I LIKE KADENCE, BUT I LIKE LAUREN MORE.
LAUREN IS STRONGER THAN SHE LETS ON. 
 

CARMEL: I GUESS THE GIRLS REALLY ARE GREAT IN THIS BOOK. THEY 
WEREN'T OVERSHADOWED BY OTHER CHARACTERS. THEIR PRESENCE WAS REALLY STRONG THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE BOOK. THE AUTHORS MADE BOTH OF THEM STOOD OUT EQUALLY
 

KYLA: THE AUTHORS DID AN JOB AWESOME WITH THE STORYLINE. IT WAS EASY TO FOLLOW DESPITE THE VARIOUS PERSPECTIVES.
EACH VOICE WAS DISTINCT
 

CARMEL:
KADENCE IS STILL MY FAVORITE EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS MISSING MOST OF TIME. 


KYLA:
THE CRUELEST ACTS ARE THE SILENT ONES. THAT'S MY FAVORITE LINE. 


CARMEL: I KNOW! YOU DON'T REALLY FULLY KNOW SOMEONE. WE ALL HAVE OUR SILENT MOMENTS.
THE CHARACTERS WAS ABLE TO REFLECT FRIENDSHIPS IN DIFFERENT LEVELS. THAT SECRETS CAN KEEP YOU CLOSE AND BREAK YOU APART AT THE SAME TIME. 
 

KYLA: TOTALLY AGREE! FANS OF
PLL WILL DEFINITELY LOVE GIRL LAST SEEN.


CARMEL: OVERALL, GIRL LAST SEEN IS
MY FAVORITE YA MYSTERY SO FAR. IT DEALS WITH FRIENDSHIPS, SECRETS, AND GUYS THAT COME BETWEEN THE TWO GIRLS. 


KYLA: IT'S A MUST-READ MYSTERY NOVEL FOR ME!
GO GET A COPY NOW!


PS. The book features two original songs composed by Kadence and Lauren. You can listen to TWISTED and SING TO  ME CALLIOPE while reading!




About Anne Greenwood Brown:


Anne Greenwood Brown is the author of Lies Beneath, Deep Betrayal, Promise Bound, and several other forthcoming YA novels. Besides writing and reading YA literature, she loves all things Irish, romantic movies, beef stroganoff, and Nutella. Find her online at annegreenwoodbrown.com or on twitter as @AnneGBrown.





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Friday, March 04, 2016

Blog Tour: IN REAL LIFE by Jessica Love (Interview & Playlist + Giveaway!)


IN REAL LIFE
by Jessica Love

Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press)
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Hardcover: 978-1-250-06471-4 / $18.99
eBook: 9781466870994 / $9.99
Goodreads
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, Skype all the time, regularly send each other presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem…Hannah and Nick have never actually met. 

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker at school, she decides to finally break a rule or two herself.  She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, with her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-a-friend feelings for him.


Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention to Hannah for the past three months.  And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about.  Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Want to know more about IN REAL LIFE? Check out my interview with Jessica Love below!

INTERVIEW

1. Hello, Miss Jessica. It's an honor to have you on the blog. So, could you tell us more about your novel, IN REAL LIFE?

Thank you so much for having me! It’s an honor to be here!

IN REAL LIFE is about two best friends, Hannah and Nick, who were introduced by their older siblings online when they were in 8th grade and have been BFFs ever since...but they have never met in person. Over Spring Break of her senior year, Hannah finally realizes she might have some more-than-friend feelings for Nick, so she hops in a car with her sister and her IRL bestie and they road trip to Las Vegas, where Nick lives, to surprise him. Once they get there, though, Hannah finds out that he hasn’t been totally honest with her, and things go crazy from there. It takes place over one wild weekend in Las Vegas.

2. Could you tell us more about Hannah and Nick?

Hannah grew up with a wild child older sister, so she’s a total good girl. She always follows the rules, always does what she’s supposed to. But at the beginning of the book, following the rules backfires on her, and she decided to spend her spring break going a little crazy. Hannah is indecisive, quick to judge, nervous about doing big things, and prone to running away from her problems. But she’s also a loyal friend who ultimately learns how to open herself up to new experiences. 

Nick is a bit of an awkward character. The reason his friendship with Hannah works so well is because he can hide his awkwardness behind the screen or the phone. Nick is the ultimate introvert. He loves his privacy, he has a love/hate relationship with his brother, and he’s very conflict-averse. But he also cares very deeply about the people in his life.

3. What inspired you to write IN REAL LIFE?

A reality show! I was watching a reality show where two people who had only known each other over the phone were meeting for the first time. (Not Catfish...I actually had this story written before the first season of Catfish ever aired!) I have a lot of internet friends I’ve never met in person, so I loved the idea and sat down pretty quickly after that to start the book.

4. Do we get to read the story from both Hannah and Nick's perspectives?

This book is just from Hannah’s POV. Although I do have one key scene written in Nick’s POV...I may share it on my website or something once the book has been out a little bit longer. (Getting things from Nick’s POV makes this scene a bit of a spoiler!)

5. Why should readers read IN REAL LIFE?

I think people who are looking for a fun, fluffy romance will enjoy it.

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica Love is a high school English teacher in Los Angeles, California, where she met her husband and her two tiny dogs online. She is the co-writer of Push Girl with Chelsie Hill.


AUTHORS' SOCIAL LINKS

GIVEAWAY
Please read the rules first before entering. If you have more questions, email me or tweet me.


GIVEAWAY RULES:
• Giveaway is open to US/CAN residents only. 
• Must be 13+ or have parent's permission to join this giveaway.
• Carmel & Kyla or St. Martin's Press shall not be held responsible for lost/damaged mails.
• Do NOT cheat. We do not tolerate cheating and everyone knows that cheaters never prosper!
• Once the giveaway ends, an email will be sent to the chosen winner. If the winner doesn't reply within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

 
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