Tuesday, January 17, 2017

FREEKS by Amanda Hocking



Freeks

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.



What I thought:

I wanted to love this book. The cover is gorgeous and the premise is amazing. I was so excited about the traveling carnival, but the writing fell flat for me, and I couldn’t connect with the story.

Things I liked:
Mara is a great character
So much diversity
Gabe

What I didn’t like:
The writing felt super flat and not fleshed out at all
Because of that, the diversity felt only surface-deep, like the characters had been assigned race with a paintbrush
Insta-love
The ending felt rushed and didn't really deliver on the premise


My Rating: ** (2 1/2 stars)


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

HOOKED ON TROUBLE by Kelly Siskind Release Day Blitz & GIVEAWAY!






HOOKED ON TROUBLE by Kelly Siskind (January 10, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99; Over the Top Book 3)



Reality bites.  Hard.

The last time Raven did “real” was sixteen months ago, when she spent one unforgettable night with the tattooed, impossible sexy Nico, and then he disappeared the next day.  Since then, she’s kept her guard up and her feelings to herself.  She doesn’t have time for relationship drama when she’s busy searching for her long lost sister.

Nico hasn’t stopped thinking about Raven—her sultry curves, inked skin, or the fact that he ditched her after their night together.  Now that they’re living in the same city, he knows this is his chance to make things right.  What better way to prove to Raven he’s for real than helping her find her sister?  But when the lines between right and wrong start to blur, putting his job on the line, Nico has to decide if the risk is worth the ultimate reward.



Check out my Review of HOOKED ON TROUBLE Here 


Buy the Book!
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2hCb5Ft





About the Author:

Small-town girl at heart, Kelly Siskind moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario, Canada.  When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. 

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all.  She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

Social Media Links:


Add Hooked on Trouble to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2hLwMWX

Giveaway
Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Hooked on Trouble!




FREEKS Q&A with Amanda Hocking



   


Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks. 


BUY LINKS:



Social Links:







   

Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Several of her books have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, including the Trylle trilogy and Kanin Chronicles.  Her zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite. She has published over fifteen novels, including the Watersong quartet and My Blood Approves series. Frostfire, Ice Kissedand Crystal Kingdom  - all three books in her latest trilogy, The Kanin Chronicles - are out now.


AMANDA HOCKING Q&A


1.     Your characters are sent into the Hunger Games. Who wins?

If it’s just the characters from FREEKS, and only one could win, I would put my money on Luka or maybe Roxie. Luka because he can heal from injuries, which gives him a crazy advantage, but Roxie is smart and she’s a survivor. Plus, she has the power of pyrokinesis, which I think I would come in handy in a battle to the death.

2.     What do you listen to while you write? Or do you prefer silence?

I almost always listen to music when I write, unless I’m writing a really difficult scene. Sometimes the silence helps me focus, but most of the time, I prefer music. For FREEKS, I got to make a really fun 80s playlist, so I especially enjoyed working to that.

3. What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve looked up in the name of research – or what do you think the government has maybe flagged you for?

There are sooo many things. For FREEKS, I had to do fun stuff like, “What does a dead body smell like?” and “How much blood can a human lose?” And then after those macabre questions, I did a bunch of googling on fireflies and tarot cards. My search history when I’m working can be pretty exciting like that.

4. What was your favorite part of writing FREEKS?

I love Southern Gothics and I love pulpy 80s horror movies, so I was excited to be able incorporate those things in FREEKS. But my favorite part was actually Mara and Gabe. I think they complement each other well, and it was fun writing their banter and flirtations.

5. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing your main characters from FREEKS?

For Mara, I envisioned Cassie Steele from the start. I used to be a hardcore Degrassi fan, and I loved Cassie Steele on that. For Gabe, I like Ryan Guzman. I saw him in a Jennifer Lopez movie, and I was like, “Yep. That could be Gabe.”

6.  Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I usually write between 11 am and 7 pm. I’ve tried to write earlier in the day and have more of a 8-5 type schedule, but I am not a morning person. My brain just doesn’t want to work much before noon.

7.   Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I usually have a goal in mind before I start writing, but it varies. Some days, it’s slow going and I hope to get at least 500 words out. Other days, I fly through with thousands of words. So it depends on where I’m at in the book, when it’s due, and how I’m feeling about the whole thing.

8. When you develop your characters, do you already have an idea of who they are before you write or do you let them develop as you go?

With all my main characters, I have a really good idea of who they are, and it’s just a matter of showing that to the readers. With the side characters, they tend to be rather one-dimensional, and they grow into the story as they’re needed.

9. How did writing Freeks differ from your writing your previous novels?

FREEKS was the first thing I had written in awhile that was started out just for me. For most of the past ten years, I have been writing my books with the intention of publishing them, with the audience and readers and trends in mind. I think I had gotten a little burnt out on trying to make everyone happy (mostly because it is impossible to please all readers all the time), and I just wanted to write something that for the sake of writing it.

And that turned out to be a gothic love story about a teenage girl travelling with a band of misfits in the 1980s. It was a very cathartic writing experience for me, and it reminded me of exactly why I loved writing in the first place – I love getting lost in the world, with the characters.

10. If Freeks had a theme song what would it be?

Either “Hush” by Limousines or “Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears.

11.   Can you please tell us a little bit about Freeks and where you got the inspiration to write it?

I was going through a rough patch, creatively speaking, and so I just sat back and tried to think of my favorite and what I loved most that I would want to write about.

When I was a kid, I used to get old books at garage sales all the time, and I distinctly remember getting Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and a few old V. C. Andrews novels, which are pulpy Southern Gothic-esque novels. I also watched The Lost Boys and Pretty in Pink over and over again (I think I literally ruined the old VHS of The Lost Boys from watching it too much).

So I basically threw all those things together in a soup, and I picked apart the things I liked and wanted to explore more. That became a travelling sideshow in the 80s stopping Louisiana, where a supernatural monster is afoot, and a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is smith with a local boy with secrets of his own.

12.   Freeks is full of many amazingly talented characters and I imagine it was really fun to create some of them, but which one was your favorite and why?

Mara and Gabe are my obvious favorites, since they’re the main characters because I was drawn to them and their story the most. Both of them of them have complex feelings about family and personal identity, and their instant chemistry was fun to write.

But I think Gideon – the namesake and head of sideshow – was actually the biggest surprise, which made him fun in a different way. In the original outlines of the story, he was much a different character – very one-note and cruel – but he completely changed and evolved as I was writing. 


13.   The book is based off of a type of traveling circus that is full of many mysterious acts. If you were to attend a Freekshow, which act would you want to see most?

My favorites are usually the acrobatics, but I think if I attended Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, I would be most excited to see Gideon’s magic act. With his skills and knowledge, I think it would be a really amazing show.

14.   What do you hope readers will take away from FREEKS after reading it?

With some of my other novels, I deal with heavy themes like life and death, identity, honor, mortality, classism, and family. And while I do definitely touch on those themes in FREEKS, I mostly wrote it as an escape for myself, and that’s what I hope it is for other readers. Life can be hard and frustrating, and I just wanted to write a fun book that readers could get lost in for awhile.

15. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?


Probably how chronically shy I am. Writing is a weird profession, because a good 90% of it is perfect for introverts – you sit alone by yourself and make up imaginary friends to go on adventures. But the last 10% – which involves introducing the whole word to your imaginary friends – is the most exciting and rewarding part, but it’s also the most difficult when you’re as shy as I am. 


Happy Reading,

Chelly

P.S. As always, find me on twitter @chellypike and let me know what you're reading.

Monday, January 9, 2017

MARESI by Maria Turtschaninoff



Maresi (The Red Abbey Chronicles #1)


What I Thought:

There were things I really liked here and things I really didn't. The setting was rich and well-explored. I loved the world here. There's a lot of world-building and I liked the society that's set-up in this story. I enjoyed the MC, Maresi. There's a full, well-rounded cast of characters to love and I adored their sense of community and independence. My biggest complaint was the pacing. I wasn't in love with the way the narrative was presented. I know this is a translation, so maybe that had an impact, but I found the tense shifts very distracting and the pacing too slow, especially the first half of the story.

Overall, I liked it and will pick up the next book in the series. (I assume there is a next book. I hope there's a next book.)

My Rating: *** (3 1/2 stars)

*I received an eARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

________________________________


RATING SCALE: 
 5* = OMFG loved it. Will read it again. Touch my book and I will cut you. 
 4* = Really good. Highly recommend. Miiiight reread. Maybe. Don't touch my book. 
 3* = Good. I liked it. Go ahead and touch it. 
 2* = Not for me, finished but struggled. Didn't connect. 
 1* = DNF. Couldn't do it.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

My Year in Books: 2016


Chelly
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2016

TOTALS
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53
books

21,298
pages
Img totalmediumr 2x
The Lottery by Shirley JacksonThe Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
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SHORTEST BOOK
30 pages
The Lottery
by 

LONGEST BOOK
1,443 pages
The Fiery Cross
by 


AVERAGE LENGTH
426 pages

MOST POPULAR



Img temp desktop 2x
1,702,358
people also read
City of Bones
by 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Chasing Chaos by Katie Rose Guest Pryal

LEAST POPULAR
56
people also read
Chasing Chaos
by 
MY AVERAGE RATING FOR 2016
4.2
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
HIGHEST RATED ON GOODREADS
A Court of Mist and Fury
by 

4.74 average
Img ratingribbon@2x
Chasing Crazy by Kelly Siskind
MY 2016 BOOKS
Siren's Call by Debbie HerbertHighland Heat by Jennifer Haymore
The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

it was amazing

Feverborn by Karen Marie MoningLoving Lucas by Violetta Rand
The Fiery Cross by Diana GabaldonThe Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily  Anderson
My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind
The Infidel Stain by M.J. Carter
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Two Cuts Darker by Joely Sue BurkhartThe Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy
Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth HoytSpells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteChasing Chaos by Katie Rose Guest Pryal
it was amazing




The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms
Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings by Marquis de Sade



it was amazing


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida CórdovaA World Without You by Beth Revis
The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor
The Graces by Laure Eve




The Reader by Traci Cheeit was amazing

Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda BondA Fine Mess by Kelly SiskindInto the Dim by Janet B.  Taylor
The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom
A Night of Forever by Bronwen Evans




The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
it was amazing

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
How to Make Out by Brianna ShrumHooked on Trouble by Kelly Siskind
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo


The Drafter by Kim Harrison

I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly

Wake of Vultures by Lila BowenDeath at St. Vedast by Mary Lawrence
Prisoner by Annika Martin


it was amazing