The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas – Musical Playlist

We’re excited to be able to share with you this special musical playlist for Jodi Ellen Malpas’s newest novel compliments of Forever – Grand Central Publishing. =^.^=

~*~

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing

Release Date: August 8, 2017

A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy.

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he’s forbidden.

The Forbidden Tracks:

Unlike This Man & One Night, I didn’t really use much music in The Forbidden. But I did listen to it during the writing process, and there are a few tracks that had a place within the story for one reason or another.

Madonna – Like A Prayer

When Annie is getting ready for her girls night out, she’s dances around her bedroom in her towel with a glass of wine singing along. Because what woman doesn’t like a bit of Madonna? It’s like the perfect track to get ready to. Any everyone knows the words!

Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon

This was the track of the moment for me while I was writing The Forbidden. The lyrics ring so true for Annie’s disposition at this moment in the story, and I kept imagining her bursting through Hyde Park on a spontaneous morning run, feeling like she had a new lease of life. “We’re in heaven, you and I. When I lay with you and close my eyes, my fingers touch the sky.” Perfecto!

Moby – Go

Annie’s friend, while slightly drunk on their night out, puts herself on the dance floor and has a bit of a drunken sway. This track has always been a firm favourite of mine, the tempo intense, and it was perfect for the atmosphere in the bar when Annie and Jack first set eyes on each other.

Jean Jacques Smoothie – 2 People

This track was originally in the book, but after edit was removed. The words are perfect for the chemistry and feels that Jack and Annie had on their first encounter. There are literally 16 words in the whole track, and each one is perfect. To me, the lyrics represent the joining of two people who are just meant to be.

Two people, just meeting
Barely touching each other
Two spirits greeting
 Trying to carry it further

Zedd – Clarity (Feat Foxes)

This didn’t make it into the book, but it was a huge track at the time I was writing The Forbidden and always seemed to be on the radio everytime I got in the car! I always thought how apt the words were for Annie & Jack.

“If our love is tragedy why are you my remedy
If our love’s insanity why are you my clarity”

The Forbidden – Alfie Malpas

This seems a bit strange to share, but, ultimately, it deserves first place in my list in terms of ‘the feels’. This is the track for the book trailer, and it was produced by my son J He’s a bit of a whizz when it comes to music, and there have been many tracks I’ve used in past books that Alfie has brought to me because he just knows I’ll love them. He has a knack of finding immense music by artists many haven’t heard of yet. But this track he actually produced from scratch himself. I went to him with a brief. I wanted intense, almost uncomfortable. He came back with this, and though it is massively far removed from what he usually produces, he done me so proud. It is perfect for The Forbidden.

James – Top Of The World

One of my all-time favourites. There’s a scene in The Forbidden when Annie is aimlessly wandering the streets of London. It’s a moment in which she is lost and trying to silently comprehend where she is at in her life and what she is doing. Top of The World couldn’t be more fitting for her frame of mind.

Alanis Morissette – Uninvited

Another old favourite. Simple, really. “You’re not allowed. You’re uninvited.” In my mind, that’s what Annie is saying to herself all the time about Jack. She’s angry at his persistence. Tries to tell herself to steer clear. But your heart doesn’t always listen to your head.

Excerpt:

“Thank you for your help,” I say quietly, studying him, definitely detecting that he’s deep in thought. Don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask. I need to get back into my apartment without engaging with him, which could prove tricky when he’s blocking the doorway and looking like he has no intention of shifting to let me in.
“Annie,” he breathes. “I’m struggling so badly.”
“I’m not doing this.” I swallow, pushing my way past him. He grabs me by the top of my arm and holds me in place. “Let me go, Jack.”
“I’ve already told you I can’t do that. Annie, I’m drowning here. I’m going out of my mind, and the more time I spend with you the fucking worse it’s getting. Listening to you, talking to you, sharing a passion with you that goes way beyond the amazing time we had in bed together.”
“You have to forget!” I yell, knowing anger is the only way forward. Be angry with him. Let it dominate me and rule me, because the alternative scares me to fucking death.
He pushes me into the hall and slams the door behind us, forcing me to back up. “No,” he says, straight and even. “No,” he repeats, moving one more step forward, except this time I don’t retreat. Because I can’t. Because he has me locked in place with those grey eyes, and now they’re back to their full glory. Sparkling, even if it’s with anger. He reaches for his shirt and starts unbuttoning it before shrugging it off and throwing it to the floor, revealing the chest that’s haunting me.
I quickly look down at the pile of material, my mind reeling. His chest. His perfect damn chest. “What are you doing?”
“I have no fucking idea.” He reaches for me and slides a hand around my neck, pulling me to him. Our chests meet, and my determination to repel him vanishes under our connection. Wrongs turn into rights. Conflict turns into craving.
“I can’t get you out of my head, Annie.” His forehead meets mine, his palm massaging away the tightness in my neck muscles, softening me up until I relax in his hold. “I want you all over again, and I can’t even find the will to worry about how much more that’ll make me want you.” He breathes down on me. “I’ve played that night on repeat. I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms again. I’ve craved the sound of your voice, the feel of your touch, the softness of your lips on mine. I know I shouldn’t want you. But I do. Nothing has ever made me feel this insane with need. Nothing has taken up so much space in my head. I can’t fucking help it, Annie.” His grey gaze sinks into me, my heart steadying to an even thrum. His head starts to shake mildly, his splayed hand moving up to the back of my head and fisting my hair. “I don’t want to help it,” he growls. “I want you. I don’t care how wrong it is.” His clenched fist tightens, gripping my hair harshly. “I know I’ve been on your mind since I fucked you every which way in that hotel room. Stop denying it. Don’t insult me and tell me you don’t crave that amazing feeling all over again. I can see it in your eyes every damn time I look into them. You. Want. Me.”
It’s me who moves in first. All me. I lunge forward and smash my lips to his, the magnetic force winning. His words winning. Jack winning. My heart winning. I coax his mouth open with hard, hungry kisses. I’ve lost my mind to a craving too powerful to fight off. And, like Jack, I don’t care how wrong it is.
Lost.
Yet as he walks me backward until my back slams into the wall, I feel found again.
I cry out, and Jack moans. We’re clumsy and desperate. He’s pushing me up the wall with the force of his kiss, then he’s rolling away, taking me with him until it’s his back slamming into the wall. It’s the elevator all over again. The atmosphere is sizzling. I’m on fire. He scoops me up, pinning me to him, and carries me into my bedroom. I focus on him. Only him and the return of feelings that I’ve fantasized about since that unforgettable night. All the guilt is abandoning me, and I let it, unprepared to let anything stop me from taking the forbidden.

About the Author:

Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 copies of The Forbidden, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2462/

The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount – Excerpt & Promotional Post

In Patty Blount’s THE WAY IT HURTS, two teens’ quest for fame goes terribly wrong when a single tweet goes viral and the online backlash follows them into real life. Fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay will like how main characters Elijah and Kristen bond over their music in this edgy, real world contemporary young adult read that examines the impact social media has on the lives of today’s youth.

~*~

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Date Released: August 1, 2017

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program–and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.

Advanced Praise for The Way It Hurts:

“Blount writes authentically; both protagonists’ voices are distinct. The author explores the rapidly consuming world of social media and how it affects relationships online and in real life. A relevant read and must-have for all YA collections.” – School Library Journal

 “THE WAY IT HURTS draws our attention to the joy, heartache and confusing contradictions that arise as we try to find our place in the real world and the virtual one.” – Kimberly Sabatini

Elijah and Kristen’s personal evolutions through the novel, along with their chemistry, feel as authentic as the conflicts they face. A genuine plot filled with steady tension that will keep readers hooked.” RT Book Reviews

“This book sensitively covers topics such as sexism, handicapping conditions, communication, and ageism. Agency is also shown when Kristen says she wants to pursue studying in a conservatory rather than continue in the band and the three young men acknowledge her wish. Talking about what bothers us rather than trying to guess another person’s feelings is demonstrated through the actions of the characters. The characters’ issues are eventually resolved through hard work and understanding, making this an interesting and informative read. School Library Connection

Excerpt:

Elijah took my hands. “Okay, look. Maybe you’re right. Maybe these people are taking this whole battle thing way too seriously. If you’re scared, then we’ll stop. No more posts except for appearance information.”
“So no more battle of the sexes, no more make Kris scream?”
He held up his hand. “Swear to God.”
“Okay.” I sighed in relief. “You’d really do that?”
He leaned closer and repeated the vow. “I promise, Kris.”
And just like that, I forgot why I was mad at him. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even blink because I was afraid he’d let go. This was the part of him I adored. I clung to him for a long moment, and when his gaze drifted to my mouth, I wondered if—hoped—prayed—he’d finally kiss me.
And then, Etta’s voice suddenly spoke inside my head. “Well, my God, darling, it’s the twenty-first century. What on earth are you waiting for? You can kiss him.”
I could. Yes. Yes, I could just lift my head and lean in and kiss Elijah Hamilton like it was a normal, ordinary occurrence.
Right. Like kissing Elijah Hamilton would ever be ordinary?
I’d watched him kiss that girl at the mall and was sure I’d memorized all the steps in his routine. He’d move in, grip my face between his hands, run his thumb along my jaw, and finally, glide his arm down around my body, pulling me against his own, all the while, peeking through his lashes to see if I enjoyed it.
I wasn’t sure when I decided—even what made me decide. I just touched my lips to his and waited.
It took a second or two. But then there was a sudden, tiny squeak from him, and I felt the pulse in his wrist leap under my fingertips.
And then, his hands were in my hair, angling my head just the way he liked it, his tongue brushing against mine, so soft it might have been my imagination…except imaginary kisses were never so intense. He kissed me like I was a song he wrote, lips wrapped around every word until it hummed with hidden meaning and promise, and his hands held me the way they held his guitar—like the music would stop if he let me go.

Copyright © The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount 2017

About the Author:

Native New Yorker Patty Blount is the award-winning author of several critically acclaimed internet issues novels for teens as well as a few adult contemporary romances. She is inspired to write by such greats as Judy Blume, JK Rowling, and Gayle Forman. In fact, Judy Blume is the reason Patty elected to write under her real name…so she’d appear on shelves next to her idol. Patty adores writing; she’s written everything from technical manuals to song lyrics (see THE WAY IT HURTS, coming August 2017). Patty wants you to know she loves chocolate…really, really loves chocolate.

When not crushing on actors Gilles Marini or Sam Heughan, Patty can be found sitting in traffic somewhere on the Long Island Expressway, listening to audio books or talking wildly to herself about plots and characters. Prone to falling madly in love with fictional characters, Patty suffers frequent broken hearts when they all invariably prefer the heroine to her… go figure. When she’s not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies and live tweet the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

***Giveaway***

Patty Blount is offering one (1) lucky winner a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29393/?

The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas – Taser Blitz

We’re excited to be able to share with you this special look at Jodi Ellen Malpas’s newest novel compliments of Forever – Grand Central Publishing. =^.^=

~*~

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing

Release Date: August 8, 2017

A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy.

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he’s forbidden.

Pre-Order Today:

Excerpt:

Keeping his eyes on mine, he calls to the barman. “Two tequilas, please.”
“Tequila,” I muse, looking over my shoulder when the salt and lemon land behind me. “Is that my challenge?”
“Crying off?” he goads, reaching into his pocket and pulling out some notes.
“Never,” I scoff, turning into the bar. I don’t know what his game is, but I want to play. With him. “You’re asking me to prove I’m sober by doing a shot?” I narrow my eyes on him, teasing. “Or is your plan to get me drunk and take advantage of me?”
He smiles to himself as he pays the barman. “You don’t look like the kind of woman who could be taken advantage of.”
“What kind of woman do I look like, then?” I challenge quietly.
He turns into me, watching me for a few moments. “I don’t know, but I think I’d like to find out.”
I hold his gaze for a few seconds, no retort coming to me. I think I want him to find out, too, just as much as I want to find out what kind of man he is. My eyes drop from his sparkling greys, down his tall, lean frame to his feet.
Oh…fuck…
“Let’s play,” he says, moving in closer and pulling one of the glasses forward. I don’t mean to, but I yank my arm away abruptly when he brushes against me, startled by the tiny stabs of pleasure that pitter-patter all over my skin. The fleeting touch tells me he would feel as good as he looks, and—give me strength—he smells divine, all manly and earthy and fucking edible.
The sudden lapse in movement and talking from both of us becomes slightly awkward. I can feel him looking down at me.
“What do I have to do?” I ask again quietly, almost on a breathy gasp.
He clears his throat. “You’re not drunk?”
“Not even the slightest bit.” I raise my nose in the air.
“Good. Then you’ll smash this challenge first time.” He places a finger on the brim of one of the shot glasses. “Brace your palms on the edge of the bar,” he orders, firm but softly. I look at him, finding a serious face. “Go on.”
Frowning, I place my hands on the edge of the bar. “Okay?”
He takes my hips. He takes my fucking hips! I freeze from top to toe and swallow hard, waiting. My insides are quickly furling, my mind in chaos. “Move back a bit,” he says, pulling at them a little until I step back.
Oh, Jesus. I’m on fire. I have a strange man bending me over a bar in public, and me, Annie I’m-immune-to-men Ryan, isn’t fighting him off. It’s like he has me under a spell. What gives? I dare not look behind me. I’m not stupid enough to think Lizzy isn’t currently watching a man manipulate my body to where he wants it.
“You feel tense,” he observes, releasing me and moving back to my side.
I don’t deny it; neither do I confirm it. His big hands felt so good resting on my hips, so much so I have to resist not claiming them and putting them back where they were. “What now?” I ask, evidently struggling for air, damn me.
“Now.” He picks up his beer and grins. “I get to gloat that I had you bent over a bar within five minutes of meeting you.” He takes a swig, still grinning, and I hear the roar of a man down the bar laughing his head off.
Oh, the fucker! Part of me has admiration. Another part of me wants to slap him stupid; I don’t care how beautiful he is. And another part of me wants to rip his clothes from his body and ravish the sly bastard.
I cannot believe I fell for it! How many women has he played like a fiddle? I drop my head, shaking it to myself.
I knew that smile was dangerous. A man who can bend a woman to his will so easily and so soon couldn’t be anything less than lethal. And the fact that he got me with his wicked game means hats off to him. I can’t possibly take that away from him, and since I’m lacking in the dignity department right now, I decide not to slap him. Nor will I chuck a drink over his head, or fire a load of verbal abuse at him.
I’ll do what he least expects.
I push myself up and turn to face him, unable to stop myself from smiling at his half-grin. Holding his gaze, I slowly lick the back of my hand, blindly take the salt off the bar, sprinkle a bit, and take one of the shots of tequila. But as I’m taking my hand to my mouth to lick the salt up, he seizes my wrist and takes the shot from my other hand. My heartbeat accelerates, our eyes glued to each other as he moves into me and slowly brings my hand to his mouth. I watch, gripped, as he lazily licks up the salt from the back of my hand, eyes on mine, and then knocks the tequila back. Kill me now, for I will certainly die a happy woman. His tongue on my skin. His eyes boring into mine. His hold of my wrist. I must look like a statue—unable to talk, move, or think clearly.
“There’s one more tequila,” he says, cocking his head toward the bar but keeping me in his sights. “And it’s yours.”
Oh good lord. My heart is speeding up by the second as I watch him lick the back of his hand and sprinkle some salt. Then he offers it to me. I stare at his hand, and then slowly look up at him. I could get lost in those grey glittery eyes.
“I taste good,” he whispers.

About the Author:

Jodi Ellen Malpas wrote her debut series, The This Man Trilogy, in secret, worried about what people might think if they knew what her imagination was capable of. She was shocked herself. But she finally found the courage to unleash her creative streak and self-published THIS MAN – the first book of the This Man Trilogy – in October 2012. She took a chance on the story with a hero who soon became one of modern day fictions most prolific alpha male characters. Jesse Ward – also affectionately known as The Lord of The Manor, sparked incredible reactions from women across the globe and catapulted Jodi into the world of women’s fiction.

Jodi went on to self-publish the second book in the trilogy, Beneath This Man in Jan 2013, just before Grand Central Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group, picked up the popular trilogy and the unknown Jodi. The third book of the trilogy, This Man Confessed, took Jodi to the top of the bestsellers lists, earning her the proud title of #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. This Man has since been voted one of the top romance novels of all time.

With so much love, enthusiasm and a thirst for her words from her readers, Jodi suddenly wasn’t afraid of her imagination anymore. She went on to write The One Night Trilogy with the delectable and mysterious Miller Hart, and stole the hearts of her readers once again. Her first stand-alone novel, THE PROTECTOR,  released in September 2016 and has since been nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. All I Am, a This Man Novella featuring Drew from the trilogy, releases June 18th, and Jodi’s next stand-alone novel. THE FORBIDDEN, is set for release in August 2017.

All seven of her published novels have hit the New York Times best sellers list – as well as the Sunday Times list and various international best seller lists. Her work is now published in over 24 languages across the world.

Jodi was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a mojito addict, is famous for her obsession with Converse, and has a terrible weak spot for Alpha Males. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters has become her passion – a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 ARCs of The Forbidden, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26635ce2464

Dancer’s Review of The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

I’d like to thank Rockstar Book Tours for letting me participate in this wonderful event, and to the publisher for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. If you would like to see all of the blogs involved in this tour, please click on the banner above. =^.^=

~*~

Review:

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: July 18, 2017

Goodreads Description:

Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

 

Review:

Wow! I could leave this review there, but I realize that it is less than helpful in the grand scheme of things. Seriously though, my mind is still processing all that this book is and all that is yet to come. Filled with mystery, magic, suspense, and a plot twist that will leave your mind boggled, Young Adult readers and Maxwell fans are definitely going to enjoy this book!

Between the wonderful cover and the synopsis, I already knew that I was going to like this book, but I hadn’t expected to love it as much as I did, or to feel a wide-range of emotions both while I was reading and once I was done. This is one of those books which pulls you into the story from the first chapter and refuses to let you go until you’ve reached the end. There were moments when I laughed, moments where I sighed, moments where I got teary-eyed, moments when I screamed in frustration, and moments when I was holding my breath in anticipation waiting to discover what would happen next. It was everything I wanted and so much more.

Esta is an amazing young lady. She’s strong, determined, fierce, and I couldn’t get enough of her. She’s a thief with a conscious, one who is unwilling to take something simply for the sake of taking it, but also isn’t above stealing and manipulating others in order to protect those she cares about. She’ll do what she needs to do in order to survive. Harte, on the other paw, made me twitchy. He came across as selfish, vindictive, angry, and not above hurting others in order to reach his goal. I honestly didn’t trust or care for him most of the time. Part of this was because I couldn’t exactly pin down his true motive for wanting the book in the first place, another part was because I just couldn’t put my first impression of him aside in order to see what else was there. He’s truly complex character, and I’m still working through my feelings toward him as I write this. As far as their relationship goes, I can definitely say there is chemistry between them. There’s this love/hate vibe that leaves you wondering if they are going to end up together while they drive each other crazy trying to maintain the upper hand over the other. As for all the other characters, I enjoyed the rich complexity of personalities I found amongst them. Whether they were allies or villains, I was invested in their lives and anxious to find out what would happen to each of them.

What I really loved about this title though was both the world building and the twist that the plot took. The majority of the book is set in 1901 New York, though some parts of it take place during present day, and magic is differentiated between the real and the scientific (alchemy and such). Those with real magic, the Mageus, are feared while those of the Order, the alchemists, are hailed as heroes, or at the very least viewed as the lesser of two evils. The smells, the look/style, the people and the social classes, as well as the political and social atmosphere of this time are brought to life through Maxwell’s writing and makes the reader feel like they are actually there. As a result, though the book is a fantasy, the attention to these details gives it a historical feel too. At the same time, Maxwell’s strength in storytelling is highlighted by the twist that happens within the plot. There is much more here than meets the eye where this book is concerned, and I strongly encourage readers to pick it up and discover it for themselves.

Yes, I loved this book. Yes, I would recommend it to anyone who loves YA. And yes, I plan on reading the next book when it comes out. After how this one ended, I’d be a fool not to want to read the next one. It’s been a pleasure to see how much Maxwell’s writing has grown since her first novel, and I can’t wait to discover what she has planned next for everyone. =^.^=

About the Author:

Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest, Gathering Deep, Unhooked, & The Last Magician (Simon Pulse, Spring 2017). When she’s not writing books, she’s an English professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win a signed finished copy of The Last Magician and swag, please click on the Rafflecopter link below. Please note that this giveaway is open to US Residents only!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2604/

The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount – First Look Celebration!

We’re excited to be sharing with you a special first look at Patty Blount’s The Way It Hurts, releasing August 1, 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire! =^.^=

~*~

In Patty Blount’s THE WAY IT HURTS, two teens’ quest for fame goes terribly wrong when a single tweet goes viral and the online backlash follows them into real life. Fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay will like how main characters Elijah and Kristen bond over their music in this edgy, real world contemporary young adult read that examines the impact social media has on the lives of today’s youth.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: August 1, 2017

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program–and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.

Pre-Order Today:

Advanced Praise for The Way It Hurts:

“Blount writes authentically; both protagonists’ voices are distinct. The author explores the rapidly consuming world of social media and how it affects relationships online and in real life. A relevant read and must-have for all YA collections.” – School Library Journal

 “THE WAY IT HURTS draws our attention to the joy, heartache and confusing contradictions that arise as we try to find our place in the real world and the virtual one.” – Kimberly Sabatini

Elijah and Kristen’s personal evolutions through the novel, along with their chemistry, feel as authentic as the conflicts they face. A genuine plot filled with steady tension that will keep readers hooked.” RT Book Reviews

“This book sensitively covers topics such as sexism, handicapping conditions, communication, and ageism. Agency is also shown when Kristen says she wants to pursue studying in a conservatory rather than continue in the band and the three young men acknowledge her wish. Talking about what bothers us rather than trying to guess another person’s feelings is demonstrated through the actions of the characters. The characters’ issues are eventually resolved through hard work and understanding, making this an interesting and informative read. School Library Connection

Excerpt:

I shifted in my broken seat, wondering how many more minutes of the hell that was Bear River High School North’s production of Cats I’d have to endure. My fingers itched for my guitar and notepad. Melodies played in my head, begging to be put down on paper, and there were a dozen other things we should have been doing to promote Ride Out so we could get the band some notice.
The music rose. Beside me, Nick sucked in a breath. I didn’t know Leah. Nick met her at a concert a few months back, and they’d been hanging out whenever they could because, Nick claimed, Leah was the One.
I hid half a laugh and shook my head. I didn’t get the whole concept of the One, but I’d help Nick get what he wanted.
Leah raised her face. When she opened her mouth, I sat up a little straighter. Her voice… Jesus, it was astounding. Clear. Strong. Powerful but sweet. I watched and listened, the audience around me fading away. Her voice swelled, and she attacked the high notes without hesitating, making goose bumps jump out of my skin. What was the top note of her range? She glided across the stage; she never struggled or stumbled. The audience waited for the crescendo, and when she reached it, holy God, it was like a…a promise kept. She blew me away. The notes faded out, and the rest of the production was a blur. I had no idea Leah could sing like that and couldn’t take my eyes off—
My best friend’s girl. Shit.
The lights came up, and everybody got to their feet, applauding like mad. Nick held up this lame poster board sign he’d made. I used that time to get my hormones under control and put Leah and her amazing voice out of my head. The rest of the cast assembled on the stage for their curtain call, and I locked eyes with one of the actors— the White Cat. She was incredibly hot—a solid body with an impressive rack. Her solo dance was the best part of the show up until Leah’s song. She looked amazing in that white cat suit. So freakin’ hot.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a moment please.” A teacher walked to the right of the stage and waved her hands. “Thank you all for attending our opening night performance! I am so proud of these kids. They made all their own costumes and designed the set themselves. And tonight, I want to share with you an amazing last-minute change-up to our program. Grizabella, played by Leah Russo, is ill and was unable to sing this evening. Her songs were actually sung by our White Cat, played by Kristen Cartwright.”
The teacher’s hand swung to my favorite cat, and my jaw dropped. That awesome voice was hers? Whoa. I stuck two fingers in my mouth and let loose with a shrill whistle while the audience roared their approval. The white cat’s eyes met mine, and I started to picture her in different clothes…maybe some black leather, studded bands on her wrists, hair long and wild down her back, strutting across a stage while I shredded the hell out of the guitar. If she could sing Broadway songs without breaking a sweat, what could she do with a hard metal rock track? I wondered—again—what her range was. Could she get low with some Halestorm or full-on mean with a Slipknot metal scream? I should put her in Ride Out right now. I grinned like a maniac because I knew that would really twist BroadwayBaby17 into a knot.
A brilliant idea struck. I pulled out my phone, snapped a photo of the white cat, and from the band’s Twitter account, posted this:
Ride_Out: This cat’s HAWT! And damn, can she sing.
It needed a hashtag. I tapped out “#CatCall.” Oh, this was awesome. My phone buzzed a minute later with a reply from a fan calling himself JJStix88.
Sweet! Get her to meow. #CatCall
I tapped out another post.
JJStix88: Make her arch that back! #CatCall
Ride_Out: Wanna hear her scream! #CatCall

Copyright © The Way It Hurts 2017 by Patty Blount

About the Author:

Native New Yorker Patty Blount is the award-winning author of several critically acclaimed internet issues novels for teens as well as a few adult contemporary romances. She is inspired to write by such greats as Judy Blume, JK Rowling, and Gayle Forman. In fact, Judy Blume is the reason Patty elected to write under her real name…so she’d appear on shelves next to her idol. Patty adores writing; she’s written everything from technical manuals to song lyrics (see THE WAY IT HURTS, coming August 2017). Patty wants you to know she loves chocolate…really, really loves chocolate.

When not crushing on actors Gilles Marini or Sam Heughan, Patty can be found sitting in traffic somewhere on the Long Island Expressway, listening to audio books or talking wildly to herself about plots and characters. Prone to falling madly in love with fictional characters, Patty suffers frequent broken hearts when they all invariably prefer the heroine to her… go figure. When she’s not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies and live tweet the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases.

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