Monday, March 18, 2013

Cover reveal for Jennifer Walkup's SECOND VERSE

Today I'm helping my friend  Jennifer Walkup with the cover reveal for her debut "Second Verse". Click below to enter the Epic Cover Reveal Contest over at Me, My Shelf and I - she's giving away signed ARCs, signed bookmarks and an Amazon gift card!

But first, here's the cover:

Isn't it beautiful?

And here's the official summary:
Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder.
Murder Now
Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.
Murder Then
Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.
Murder Yet to Come
But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and their own, and how closely the two are connected. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself.

I can't wait to read it!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vacation photos!

As I mentioned before, I was on vacation in the Seychelles and Dubai for three weeks and here are a few photos (we took over 3000...)

The beach of our hotel.

On the island La Digue

Exploring the island Curieuse

Enjoying the sunset in the pool.
And watching fruit bats.

And sometimes being watched by fruit bats...

Seeing cute mammals in the Vallé de Mai on the island Praslin

Exploring the national park Vallé de Mai

Petting a turtle on the island Cousin
and discovering endangered birds nesting on the ground

Then we flew to Dubai

and spent a few days in the desert
...watching gazelles

and riding camels

and drinking sparkling wine in the dunes

and taking walks shortly after sunrise

and stalking the oryx antelopes in front of our entrance door

and then in Dubai marveling at the highest building of the world: The Burj Khalifa

and enjoying the view from our room

and going shopping in the Dubai mall, buying too many Arabic sweets...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Love: BY BLOOD by Tracy E. Banghart

I'm back from my vacation (Seychelles and Dubai), but before I do a post filled with too many photos, I want to recommend a book to you. My friend and crit partner Tracy wrote it and I loved it.

It's called By Blood as you can see and here is the official summary:
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please. 

Spending two months with her mom, Dr. Mike (don’t call him her stepdad), and their pooping, puking infant son? Not what she had in mind. It’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix (leather and spit-up do not mix). 

Not only does she get put on diaper duty (gag), but there’s also Dr. Mike’s cute research assistant to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than her trying to plant one on him hours after they meet is knowing he’ll be a witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.

So when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, the summer suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she expected. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom . . . and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

I loved Emma. She has flaws but that only made her feel like a real person to me. I especially loved her progressing relationship to her little half-brother! 
Did you like Anna and the French Kiss because of its lovely foreign setting, then I should tell you that By Blood makes you fall in love with Oxford (and the hot boys that roam the streets there...hehe). You can feel that the author knows her setting. I visited Oxford once before I read the book and then once again after I read it, and Tracy just nailed it. The British vibe, the pubs, everything. And the mystery really caught me off guard. A book that will surprise you!
If you like contemporary mysteries, foreign settings and hot boys, then this is for you!
You can buy it here.