Blog Tour: Excerpt of Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Not Now, Not Ever by Lily AndersonNot Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson
Published by Wednesday Books
Published: November 21st 2017
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The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.

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About Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson is a school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California, far from her mortal enemy: the snow.

The air conditioner wasn’t up high enough to permeate through more than the top layer of my hair. Even with the streetlamps burning outside the windows, I knew it would still be almost ninety degrees outside. I took a long sip of my lemonade.

Sid’s biceps gave an unconscious flex. “They couldn’t have picked something useful for you to do with your vacation?”

“No,” I said. The truth came out cool and clean against my lips. “They really couldn’t have.”

When we perfect commercial time travel, everyone in the past is going to be pissed at us. It’s not only that their quiet, sepia-toned lives will be inundated with loud-mouthed giants. And it’s not even the issue that language is a living organism, so all communication will be way more problematic than anyone ever thinks about.

It’s jet packs.

At some point, someone is going to ask about jet packs, and no amount of bragging about clean water and vaccines and free Wi-Fi will be able to distract them. Even if you went back before the Industrial Revolution, someone is going to want to know if we’ve all made ourselves pairs of Icarus wings.

Defrost Walt Disney and he’ll ask to be put back in the fridge until Tomorrowland is real. Go back to the eighties and everyone’s going to want to know about hoverboards.

Hell, go back to yesterday, find your own best friend, and they’d still ask, “Tomorrow’s the day we get flying cars, right?”

People want miracles. They want magic. They want to freak- ing fly.

Unrelated: Did you know that crossing state lines on a train is pretty much the most boring and uncomfortable thing ever?

Despite sounding vaguely poetic, the midnight train to Oregon wasn’t much for scenery. Unfortunately, running away tends to work best in the middle of the night, especially when one’s cousins have a curfew to make and can’t wait on the platform with you.

Twelve hours, two protein bars, and one sunrise later, the view was rolling brown fields that turned into dilapidated houses with collapsing fences and sun-bleached Fisher Price play sets. Apparently, the whole “wrong side of the tracks” thing wasn’t a myth. Everything the train passed was a real bummer.

One should always have something sensational to read on the train, whispered Oscar Wilde, sounding remarkably like my stepmom.

With my headphones drowning out the screech of the tracks, I reached into my backpack, pushing past the heavy stack of books and ziplock bags of half-eaten snacks, to the bottom. Tucked between the yellowed pages of my battered copy of Starship Troopers was a folded square of white printer paper. I tried to smooth it over my leg, but it snapped back into its heavy creases.


Dear Ever,

On behalf of Rayevich College and our sister school, the Messina Academy for the Gifted, it is my great pleasure to offer you a place at Camp Onward. At Onward, you will spend three weeks learning alongside forty-seven other accomplished high school students from all over the West Coast as you prepare for the annual Tarrasch Melee. The winners of the Melee will be granted a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Rayevich College . . .

The page was starting to wear thin in the corners from my fingers digging into it whenever it stopped feeling real enough. The packing list that had once been stapled to it was even worse off, high- lighted and checkmarked and underlined. I’d had to put that one inside of an N. K. Jemisin hardcover so that the extra weight could smash it flat.

I ran my thumb over the salutation again. Dear Ever.

I shivered, remembering how my hands had trembled as I’d read those words for the first time, stamped to the front of an envelope with the Rayevich seal in the corner. It meant that everything had worked. It meant that freedom was as simple as a checked box on an Internet application.

The train lurched to a stop. I shoved the note back inside of Star- ship Troopers and popped out my headphones just in time to hear the conductor’s garbled voice say, “Eugene station.”

I staggered down to the platform, my laptop case and my back- pack weighing me down like uneven scales. I sucked in fresh air, not even caring that it tasted like cement and train exhaust. It was cooler here than it was back home. California asphalt held in heat and let it off in dry, tar-scented bursts.

Oregon had a breeze. And pine trees. Towering evergreens that could have bullied a Christmas tree into giving up its lunch money. We didn’t get evergreens like that at home. My neighborhood was lined in decorative suburban foliage. By the time I got back, our oak tree would be starting to think about shedding its sticky leaves on the windshield of my car.

As a new wave of passengers stomped onto the train, I retrieved the massive rolling suitcase that Beth had ordered off of the Internet for me. It was big enough to hold a small person, as my brother had discovered when he’d decided to use it to sled down the stairs.

I’d miss that little bug.

There were clusters of people scattered across the platform, some shouting to each other over the dull roar of the engine. I watched an old woman press two small children into her bosom and a hipster couple start groping each other’s cardigans.

In the shade of the ticket building, a light-skinned black guy had his head bowed over his cell phone. His hair was shorn down to his scalp, leaving a dappling of curl seedlings perfectly edged around his warm brown temples. He was older than I was, definitely college age. He had that finished look, like he’d grown into his shoulders and gotten cozy with them. A yellow lanyard was swinging across the big green D emblazoned on his T-shirt.

“Hey,” I called to him, rolling my suitcase behind me. My laptop case swayed across my stomach in tandem with my backpack scraping over my spine, making it hard not to waddle. “Are you from Rayevich?”

The guy looked up, startled, and shoved his phone into the pocket of his jeans. He swept forward, remembering to smile a minute too late. All of his white teeth gleamed in the sunshine.

“Are you Ever?” His smile didn’t waver, but I could feel him processing my appearance. Big, natural hair, baggy Warriors T-shirt, cutoff shorts, clean Jordans. Taller than him by at least two inches.

“Yeah,” I said. And then, to take some of the pressure off, “You were looking for a white girl, right?”

His smile went dimply in the corners, too sincere to be pervy. “I’m happy to be wrong.”

“Ever Lawrence,” I said, hoping that I’d practiced it enough that it didn’t clunk out of my mouth. It was strange having so few syllables to get through. Elliot Gabaroche was always a lot to dump on another human being.

“Cornell Aaron,” the college boy said, sticking his hand out. He had fingers like my father’s, tapered, with clean, round nails. I spent the firm two-pump handshake wondering if he also got no-polish manicures. “I’ll be one of your counselors at Onward. It’s a quick drive from here.”

He took the handle of my suitcase without preamble and led the way toward the parking lot. I followed, my pulse leaping in the same two syllables that had wriggled between the folds of my brain and stamped out of my shoes and pumped through my veins for months.

Bunbury.

It was a stupid thing to drive you crazy, but here I was: running away from home in the name of Oscar Wilde.

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Book Promo – Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

Book Promo – Christmas in Paris by Anita HughesChristmas in Paris by Anita Hughes
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Published: October 4th 2016
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Christmas in Paris is a moving and heartwarming story about love, trust, and self-discovery. Set during the most magical week of the year, the glorious foods and fashions of the most romantic city in the world are sure to take your breath away.

Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysee and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.

When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the city of lights wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.

Amazon || B&N || Indiebound

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About Anita Hughes

Anita Hughes is the author of Island in the Sea, Rome in Love, French Coast, Lake Como, Market Street, and Monarch Beach. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program. Hughes lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information about Anita and her books, visit anitahughesbooks.com.

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Praise

“Christmas. Paris. Star-crossed lovers. Yup, it’s the perfect holiday read!” —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dashing Through the Snow

“Gorgeously festive and evocative, this is a compelling story filled with characters you truly care about. I adored it.” —Melissa Hill, USA Today bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet

“I was instantly transported back to France, once again strolling the Champs-Élysées, taking in the scents, the sights, the taste of Paris.  It doesn’t get any better than falling in love in La Ville-Lumiére, the City of Light, during the most magical time of year.  Delicious, delectable, and delightful!” —Donna Kauffman, USA Today Bestselling Author of Starfish Moon

“Hughes bring her signature combination of haute couture and high-society romance to Paris, adding a touch of magic and allowing us to live vicariously through Isabel as she falls in love in the most glamorous city in the world—and buys labels most women can only dream about. A charming modern-day fairy-tale romance.”Kirkus Reviews

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Book Promo – Santorini Sunsets by Anita Hughes

Book Promo – Santorini Sunsets by Anita HughesSantorini Sunsets by Anita Hughes
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Published: August 2nd 2016
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Brigit Palmer is thrilled to be on the Greek Island of Santorini. She's here for her wedding to Hollywood heart-throb Blake Crawford, one of America's most eligible bachelors. Brigit's parents have rented a villa, and soon guests will arrive from all over the world for the intimate ceremony.

Brigit is a New York socialite, and she's just given up her position at a Manhattan law firm to run her father's philanthropic foundation. Things are finally falling into place. Love, career, family. Everything is going so well...until she steps into the garden and sees her ex-husband Nathaniel hiding in the rose bushes.

Nathaniel, a failed novelist, announces that Blake sold the rights to the wedding to HELLO! Magazine for two million dollars (donated to charity), and he is the reporter assigned to write the story. Everyone expects Brigit to have her happily ever after, including her mother who taught her how to lead the perfect lifestyle, her younger sister Daisy who impatiently wishes for her own love story, and of course, her fiancé. Things are supposed to work out for them. But when Brigit discovers an unsettling secret about Blake, she questions everything she's ever believed about love, and wonders if she's better off alone.

Told in Anita Hughes' spectacularly descriptive prose, SANTORINI SUNSETS is a story about family bonds, first loves, and the question of when to let go and when to hang on as tight as you can.

Amazon || Barnes & Noble || IndieBound || iBooks || Books-a-Million

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About Anita Hughes

Anita Hughes is the author of Island in the Sea, Rome in Love, French Coast, Lake Como, Market Street, and Monarch Beach. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program. Hughes lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information about Anita and her books, visit anitahughesbooks.com.

 

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Book Love: Perfect Holiday Book

It’s that time of year. The first day of winter is upon us (today actually) and that usually means ones thing, especially here in Massachusetts, reading inside with tea/coffee.hot chocolate while the snow falls outside. Although I’m hoping this year is nothing like last year…I’m looking at you 100+ inches of snow within like a month…I do like my reading time.  And if you are like me you love a good winter romance to snuggle up with and that is exactly what I’m telling you about today.

Book Love: Perfect Holiday BookMy True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published: October 14th 2014
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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you're going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

I read this book last year and it just made me smile. It brought a lot of my favorite authors together with 12 short winter/holiday themed stories and gave me a taste of some other authors that were knew to me. It is the perfect gift to get someone for the holidays or to buy for your self when you are sitting at home snuggled under a blanket.

What is even better? Well the fabulous editor of My True Love Gave to Me, Ms. Stephanie Perkins, will be back in just in time for a summer version with another fabulous 12 authors in Summer Days and Summer Nights ( St. Martin’s Griffin, June 2016) available for pre-order now!

Book Love: Perfect Holiday BookSummer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
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Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

 

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Blog Tour: All the Rage – Courtney Summers (giveaway)

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Blog Tour: All the Rage – Courtney Summers (giveaway)All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Published: April 14th 2015
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four-stars

The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won't now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Courtney Summers has a way about her story telling that can easily pull you in and trample your heart while also being really truthful about the subject matter. It was the case with Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be and Fall for Anything. She didn’t mince words are try to “dumb” down a hard topic just because it is geared towards a younger audience. So when I saw she was writing a book like All the Rage and I was so excited to see what she would do with it. And although I struggled with this one at times, it wasn’t the characters or the story or the writing, it was me being faced with something a lot of girls deal with with Courtney telling it in a very real, very raw way.

All the Rage is about Romy, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks in a small town that is raped by the town golden boy and no one will believe her. Instead Romy is bullied and branded a liar. Her friends turn against her, the town turns against her. Needing to get out Romy finds a job at a diner in a different town where no one knows her and her story. She has a place there and is happy, maybe even falling in love. But when her worlds collide and she finds out that she may not be the only victim Romy must decide if staying quiet is worth it.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little confused with how the story was being told at the beginning and it was kind of turning me off. Romy has a lot of trouble focusing on thoughts and saying things in sentences and that made me struggle. I wasn’t sure I would be able to read a story like that. But as I continued on with the book I actually saw the beauty in it. Romy was a girl that lost her voice. She had her right to tell the truth of what happened to her taken away. Because of that moment she was scared to say what she was thinking, what she felt, the truth. Instead she stuttered and lied and said what she thought people would want to hear. When I let that settle in I saw the absolute beauty of it. And I saw the pain Romy was truly in. While she looked healed she was far from it which broke me.

I also enjoyed the story that helped break Romy out of her fear of speaking up and not being afraid of someone because of their wealth or connection. I don’t want to say too much as it is another aspect of the book that is important and goes along with the culture of this community, but it is very very poignant and was done in a beautiful way.

In the end All the Rage was a typical Summers’ masterpiece. She didn’t skirt around the edges. She hit the hard stuff right on the head with a sledgehammer and didn’t let up. She showed really what a “boys will be boys” kind of mentality and do to a person and the community and why it is so hard for victims of abuse and rape to actually speak up. She gave Romy a voice and hopefully by doing that gave a voice to other girls in the same situation.

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About Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers lives and writes in Canada, where she divides most of her time between a camera, a piano and a word processing program. She is also the author of What Goes Around, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be, and Please Remain Calm.

FIND IT: AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || Books-A-Million || IndieBound || Indigo || iTunes || Google Play || Kobo

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