September SST: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess Interview + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I was lucky enough to interview Jessica Cluess about the first book, A Shadow Bright and Burning, in a new trilogy of hers. See below for her answers, plus a giveaway.

 

A Shadow Bright and BurningTitle: A Shadow Bright and Burning
Author: 
Jessica Cluess
Publisher:
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
September 20, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

 

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she’s brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

 


 

interview

 

Was there anything specific in your life that made you want to write?

The recession of 2008, actually. I know that’s not the most romantic story in the world, but it’s the truth! I was barely making ends meet, and I really had no idea what was going to happen to me. So, feeling glum, I picked up Dune by Frank Herbert and got instantly whisked away to another world. I thought ‘I need to write stories that make other people feel this way.’ So I got to work, and I haven’t stopped since.

 

What’s your favorite color?

Red. I’m a Gryffindor, it’s expected.

 

If you were on a deserted island, what’s one book that you’d want to have with you?

Is there a How To Survive On A Deserted Island For Dummies? Because then definitely that one.

 

Did you have a playlist that you listened to while writing A Shadow Bright and Burning, or are you a ‘write in the quiet’ type of person?

I’m a ‘listen to the same song over and over while staring at a blank wall and thinking, then shutting off the music to write’ type of person. But I listened to everyone from Florence + The Machine and Janelle Monae to Bach and Stephen Sondheim to music from video games and the theme song from Outlander for like ten hours straight. I believe music is to writers the way food is to pregnant women: it may be a combination of something you’d never eat or listen to normally, but when you’re creating, it suddenly becomes the only thing you want.

 

Do you know how many books are going to be in the Kingdom on Fire series?

Three. I know exactly what happens in the epilogue of the final book. When I write it, I’m going to be pretty emotional.

 

If you could have any job in the world, what would you choose and why?

Besides this one? Because it’s pretty sweet. Well, when I was a kid, I wanted to be an FBI agent. Then, when I realized that didn’t involve hunting for aliens or interviewing cannibals, I changed my goals.

 

Do you have any advice for writers looking to be published?

I think the biggest thing is persistence. My first book that I queried died a horrible death—no one would touch it. If I’d stopped there, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. So even after the worst rejection of your life, remember that an acceptance could literally be right around the corner.

 

Chocolate or vanilla?

Oof. Chocolate, I suppose. Although sometimes a vanilla milkshake is perfection.

 

What are some of your hobbies?

Honestly, writing used to be my hobby, so I need to get some more. Let’s see. I love hiking. If I could, I’d hike every day, always in the early morning. Watching terrible movies with my friends and shouting at the screen is always fun. Maybe I should take up knitting.

 

Are you considering writing in other genres, like contemporary for example?

I’m a fantasy writer at heart. For me, it’s the genre that allows a lot of fantastic worldbuilding with really intense emotion, two things that I love. I would love to write a detective series one day, but it would probably end up with something supernatural going on. I can’t stay away.

 


 

about the author

 

JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.

 


 

giveaway

 

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September 2016 TBR

Last month I read 5 of the books I listed for my August TBR, and 2 additional ones I didn’t list (Falling for You and Shuffle, Repeat). I like having a big TBR pile to choose from, so I’m going to keep doing this for a while. Here’s my tentative August TBR list. Obviously I won’t get to all these books this month. So like usual, whatever I don’t get to, I’ll push to the next month like I did with last month’s TBR.

 

To read:

A Shadow Bright and Burning A Song to Take the World Apart The Art of Not Breathing Did I Mention I Need You You Were Here The Art of Being Normal This Song Is (Not) for You Status Update Beta Test Connection Error Enter Title Here Summer of Supernovas The Inside of Out Wild Swans Calling It Undecided I Crawl Through It Now and Again Wrecked South of Sunshine Anything Could Happen Play On Last Will and Testament Right of First Refusal Out On Good Behavior The Fixer The Long Game How It Feels to Fly Emmy & Oliver Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel The Great American Whatever If You Could Be Mine Far From You The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley One Man Guy More Happy Than Not All the Bright Places

 

Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I move to the top of my TBR list?

Cover Reveal: Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember

TIGER’S WATCH (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember
Cover Reveal September 1st, 2016

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Book Title: Tiger’s Watch
Series: Ashes of Gold (Book 1 of 3)
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Author: Julia Ember
Release Date: August 2017
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28489382-tiger-s-watch
Cover Design: Meghan Moss (Trivia: This cover is a physical watercolor painting that Meghan did for the book, not a digital painting.)

 

TIGER’S WATCH SYNOPSIS:
Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as an inhabiter, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But when the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

 

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi sees a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander – a side that draws them to Xian.

 

When their spying reveals that everything the inhabiter’s academy taught was a lie, Tashi faces a choice: save their country or the boy they’ve started to love? But while Tashi grapples with the decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabiter’s bond to their animal is for life – when Katala dies, so will Tashi.

 

tigerfinal

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from the Windy City, Julia Ember now resides in Sunny Scotland where she learned to enjoy both haggis and black pudding. She spends her days working as a professional Book Nerd for a large book distribution firm, and her nights writing YA Romantic Fantasy novels.

 

A world traveler since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters.

Monthly Wrap-Up – August 2016

I read only 7 books this past month, and I finally passed my goal of 100 books! I’m at 103 read so far this year. I really want to excel with all my yearly reading challenges. Each challenge title is linked to that specific Goodreads shelf, so you can see at a quick glance what my ratings for each book were.

 

ARC August Reading Challenge – 4 ARCs read

Girl in Pieces Up to This Pointe Tone Deaf Just a Girl

 

A Series A Month Reading Challenge – 6 (+ 3 extra)/12 series read

 

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge – 64/11-15 books read

Falling for You Shuffle, Repeat Up to This Pointe Tone Deaf Just a GirlSuffer Love

 

#RockMyTBR Reading Challenge – 42 books read

Suffer Love

 

Backlist Books Reading Challenge – 52 books read

Falling for You

 

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge – 30/30 books read

 

It’s New to Me Series Starter Reading Challenge – 14/11-12+ series started

 

Read Tamora Pierce Reading Challenge – 0/8 books read

 

Debut Author Reading Challenge – 17/12-20 books read

 Girl in Pieces Suffer Love

 

New To You Reading Challenge – 59/25 books read

Shuffle, Repeat Girl in Pieces Up to This Pointe Tone Deaf Just a GirlSuffer Love

 

Prequel & Sequel Reading Challenge – 133/51-75 points

 

EBook Reading Challenge (eARCs count) – 25/10 eBooks read

Girl in Pieces Up to This Pointe Tone Deaf Just a Girl

 

Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

Contemporary – 72/25 books read

Falling for You Shuffle, Repeat Girl in Pieces Up to This Pointe Tone Deaf Just a Girl Suffer Love

Fantasy – 30/25 books read

 

Finishing The Series Reading Challenge – 14/7+ series finished

 

I Love Libraries Reading Challenge – 46/18 books read

Falling for You Shuffle, Repeat

 

Harry Potter (Re)Read Reading Challenge – 4/7 books read

 

Diverse Reads Reading Challenge – 28 books read

Girl in Pieces Tone Deaf

 

I’m still doing the weekly memes Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, and Stacking the Shelves. I also started a new weekly meme on my blog called Loved That, Read This, which is all about book recommendations.

August SST: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team

 

Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This book was dark, but so amazing. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

 


Girl in PiecesTitle:
Girl in Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date:
August 30, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

 

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

 


 

review6

 

I was beyond excited to read this book for the Sunday Street Team. I think more people should tell darker stories, because they exist in our world. This was an amazing book. The writing was heartbreakingly beautiful. I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

As soon as I picked up this book, I pretty much didn’t want to put it down…except to take some breaks when my heart felt like it had cracked open in my chest. The book wasn’t all darkness, but it definitely wasn’t a happy book. Which is fine with me, because life isn’t sunshine and daisies 24/7. Charlie’s story, and even a lot of the secondary characters stories, will resonate with a lot of people.

 

I absolutely loved Charlie’s character. She seemed so real. My heart ached for her, and the people surrounding her, that have to deal with inner and outer demons. I really liked a lot of the female characters in this book, but barely any of the male characters–except a couple. A lot of the guys were jackasses. Charlie goes through so much in this book, and by the end, I’m glad she has people she can turn to, people she can rely on.

 

Honestly, I think everyone should read this book. It reminds you that sometimes bad things–overwhelming things–happen. But with some supportive friends, you can embrace life to its fullest. One of my favorite things about this book is that you can feel the raw pain and emotion. Kathleen wasn’t scared to show the downs of life, to show how the tornado building inside you can lash out at any moment.

 

I made notes of some gorgeous lines while reading: “We all have our Kiefer stages, when we want to destroy ourselves in order to create. To see if that’s beautiful, too.” and “I say the wrong thing, if I can bring myself to say anything at all. I’ve always felt like an intrusion, a giant blob of wrong.” and “I’m so unwhole. I don’t know where all the pieces of me are, how to fit them together, how to make them stick. Or if I even can.”

 

Final note: An amazing book. It’s definitely dark, but it has an optimistic ending. I’m so glad I read this book. As soon as I finished reading, I bought myself a copy for my personal collection. I’d highly recommend this one.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, please consider contacting:
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
To Write Love on Her Arms: https://twloha.com/find-help/local-resources/
National Runaway Hotline: 1-800-621-4000

 

5 stars

 


 

about the author

 

Kathleen Glasgow lives in Tucson, Arizona. She writes for the radio show The Writer’s Almanac and can probably provide you with some interesting anecdotes about historical literary figures if you asked nicely. You can find out more about Kathleen by following her on Twitter: @kathglasgow, Instagram, @misskathleenglasgow (where she posts about sunsets, depression, spirit circles, and books) or her website: kathleenglasgowbooks.com.

 


 

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UNITED Launch Blitz & Giveaway

UnitedLaunchPic1

 

Hey there, booklovers!

 

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of UNITED, the final book in the Alienated trilogy. Our star-crossed lovers Aelyx and Cara have overcome some heavy obstacles to be together—riotous mobs, alien hybrids, and worst of all, high school on two planets. Now to stay together they’ll have to unite their people against a common enemy, a threat more deadly than they ever imagined. (NBD, right?) I’ve written an ending to this trilogy that makes my heart happy, and I hope you’ll love the conclusion as much as I do!

 

What do reviewers have to say about the series?

“The author’s storyline is out of this world.” –VOYA on Alienated

“The unusual plot and world building are ingenious.” –Library Media Connection on Alienated

“If [the third novel] is as entertaining as this tale, it can’t come soon enough.” –Kirkus Reviews on Invaded

“A fun genre-blending series that will only gain traction as it continues.” –Booklist on Invaded

 

If you love hot aliens, snarky humans, and wild sci-fi adventure, make sure to pick up a copy of UNITED today. It’s now available in stores and online.

 

UnitedFinal

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/25XrSct
iBooks: http://apple.co/1sGfH1Z
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1tqvT7u
Book Depository (free international shipping): http://bit.ly/1XpeAjN
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1Uc75wb

 

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a set of all 3 mini-posters in the Alienated series—signed by me! The giveaway is open internationally.

 

Best of luck, and happy reading!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Landers-smallMelissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

 

August 2016 TBR

Last month I read 2 of the books I listed for my July TBR. I was focused on editing a manuscript and therefore didn’t have time to read much. I like having a big TBR pile to choose from, so I’m going to keep doing this for a while. Here’s my tentative August TBR list. Obviously I won’t get to all these books this month. So like usual, whatever I don’t get to, I’ll push to the next month like I did with last month’s TBR. My two longer readathon/reading challenges for the summer (Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program and the Summer TBR Wipeout) run through all/part of August, respectively. Finally, there’s also the 4th Annual ARC August challenge. Therefore I’m hoping to focus mostly on ARCs this month, so I can get my Netgalley ratio up.

 

To read:

A Shadow Bright and Burning Girl in Pieces A Song to Take the World Apart The Star-Touched Queen And I Darken The Art of Not Breathing Did I Mention I Need You You Were Here The Art of Being Normal The Darkest Lie Up to This Pointe This Song Is (Not) for You Status Update Beta Test Enter Title Here Suffer Love Summer of Supernovas The Square Root of Summer The Inside of Out Wild Swans Just a Girl Calling It Undecided Ink and Bone Paper and Fire I Crawl Through It Passenger Now and Again Wrecked Learning to Swear in America South of Sunshine Tone Deaf First & Then Dreamstrider Anything Could Happen Vengeance Road Play On Thicker Than Water Soundless The Darkest Corners

 

Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I move to the top of my TBR list?

Monthly Wrap-Up – July 2016

I read only 2 books this past month, and I’m at 96 books read so far this year. The reason I barely read anything in July was because I’m editing a manuscript to enter into a writing contest. I really want to excel with all my yearly reading challenges. Each challenge title is linked to that specific Goodreads shelf, so you can see at a quick glance what my ratings for each book were.
 

A Series A Month Reading Challenge – 6 (+ 3 extra)/12 series read

 

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge – 58/11-15 books read

Run Signs of You

 

#RockMyTBR Reading Challenge – 41 books read

 

Backlist Books Reading Challenge – 51 books read

 

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge – 30/30 books read

 

It’s New to Me Series Starter Reading Challenge – 14/11-12+ series started

 

Read Tamora Pierce Reading Challenge – 0/8 books read

 

Debut Author Reading Challenge – 15/12-20 books read

 Signs of You

 

New To You Reading Challenge – 53/25 books read

Run Signs of You

 

Prequel & Sequel Reading Challenge – 133/51-75 points

 

EBook Reading Challenge (eARCs count) – 21/10 eBooks read

Signs of You

 

Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

Contemporary – 65/25 books read

Run Signs of You

Fantasy – 30/25 books read

 

Finishing The Series Reading Challenge – 14/7+ series finished

 

I Love Libraries Reading Challenge – 44/18 books read

Run

 

Harry Potter (Re)Read Reading Challenge – 4/7 books read

 

Diverse Reads Reading Challenge – 26 books read

Run

 

I’m still doing the weekly memes Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, and Stacking the Shelves. I also started a new weekly meme on my blog called Loved That, Read This, which is all about book recommendations.

Loved That, Read This [5]

 

Loved That, Read This

 

I’ve been giving a lot of books recommendations lately, so I decided to start a new weekly feature. Loved That, Read This is all about recommending books! There’s no set amount on how many books you have to recommend per week, or restrictions on what genres/age categories you can feature. Just have fun with this! If you want to participate, please link back to me in your post, and then link up below via the linky! Okay, with that said, here we go:

 

Read This 17

If you loved Divergent, then read Delirium.

I’ve been noticing people in the industry still steering clear of dystopian books, so in honor of my love for them, here’s a book rec. Both of these books feature a society surrounded by a wall, and the occupants are divided in some way (factions/factionless vs. cured/uncured). Both books feature main characters who slowly realize that their world isn’t what it seems.

Read This 18

If you loved Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, then read All the Feels.

These two books focus on main characters who are obsessed with either a TV show, or movie, franchise. Scarlett’s in high school, and Liv’s in college. Both girls express their grief over their respective fandom being cancelled by doing something creative. Scarlett writes fanfiction, and Liv starts a campaign (and does movie clips) to try and bring her fandom back.

Read This 19

If you loved Sloppy Firsts, then read The Boyfriend List.

I’m giving two “older” series some love! Both of these main characters are very opinionated, and a bit out there sometimes. Each of the girls lose their best friend in some way (no, the best friends don’t die). The Jessica Darling series is 5 books (some of which are NA aged), and the Ruby Oliver series is 4 books.

Read This 20

If you loved Remember Me?, then read Airhead.

These two books feature main characters (adult vs. YA) who don’t remember everything when they wake up. Their lives are changed when they wake up in the hospital after their accidents. Both books have a bit of darkness to them, and lots of secrets/lies that keep you flipping the pages.

 

Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them! Don’t forget to link up below with the URL to your blog post (not your blog), and your name. Then if you have some time, check out some of the other links!

 

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Waiting on Wednesday [49]

waiting on wednesday2

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly awaiting.

 

There are so many books I’m excited about, so I’ll definitely keep doing Waiting on Wednesday. With that said, here’s my pick that I can’t wait for.

 

Girl in Pieces

Title: Girl in Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: August 30, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): For fans of Girl, Interrupted, Thirteen Reasons Why, and All the Bright Places comes Kathleen Glasgow’s debut novel about a girl who has lost everything—almost even herself.

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.


Why I Chose This Book:

This sounds incredible, and kind of dark, which I don’t mind in the slightest. I’ll be reading and reviewing this for Sunday Street Team, so I can’t wait to get my hands on the eARC soon. I think it’ll be fantastic…especially given the 4-5 star reviews it’s gotten so far!

 

What upcoming releases are you most excited about?