WANT AN ARC OF STEPPING STONES?

If you haven’t heard by now, I have a NEW book coming out August 25! Stepping Stones, a YA Urban Fantasy, is a story of loss, endurance, hope, and of course, love, and it needs early reviews! (Goodreads Here!)

Onnaleigh Moore is part of a plan—and it isn’t hers. When her brother dies in a car accident, Onna is desperate to preserve the tatters of her family. Any hope of finding normalcy vanishes when her mother runs off and her dad turns to booze to numb his pain. Onna’s grief is crippling, but the boy who showed up just when she needed him is helping her cope.

Everett’s presence is comforting, though he knows things—Onna’s name just before they met, where she lives, and sometimes he comments on thoughts she doesn’t say aloud. She pegs him for a stalker, or maybe psychic, but the truth is deadlier than she imagines. As their feelings for one another deepen, Everett confesses a horrifying secret: Onna’s brother is only the beginning of the plan, and some fates are worse than death.

If you’re a book blogger and want to get your hands on a copy, please fill up the form below and I’ll be in contact if you’re chosen. ARCs will be available in early July and reviews should post before the last week in August. I look forward to sharing Onna and Everett with you!

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REVIEW – SEARCHING FOR SKY BY JILLIAN CANTOR

Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

Available May 13, 2014 from Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Goodreads

Amazon

Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.

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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I am in no way compensated for my opinion.

Sometimes you come across a book that makes you question everything you believe. Searching for Sky was that book. The premise of “reverse dystopian” hooked me right away, especially because it seems every YA book is dystopian now. It was refreshing to look at the world from a different angle.

The concept is simple. Sky and River grew up on a remote island with Sky’s mother and River’s father. When I say remote, I mean, they literally have made do with only what’s on Island. They eat fish from Ocean, they made Shelter out of things on Island. There are no other people. There’s no technology. There’s nothing but their parents and them and what Island provides.

The story unfolds beautifully, in layers, in such a way that feeds the reader’s hunger for knowledge.

When Sky and River’s parents die, River breaks his father’s rules and lights a fire on the beach. They’re rescued by a boat the next day. What follows is a complex attempt at assimilation in modern society. Sky and River were originally from California, but it’s nothing like they’ve ever known. Sky, whose real name is Megan, is still a minor, and is claimed by her maternal grandmother. River, technically an adult, is released into the modern world with nothing.

Searching for Sky makes you ask questions. What makes an evil person? Is it being a murderer, or is it taking happiness away from a child who doesn’t know any better? What is truly right and what is truly wrong? What determines the right to have a voice? Is it book knowledge, or is it life itself?

The writing itself is poetic. Sky and River don’t view the world the same as everyone else. They don’t have words for things, they don’t understand technology, money, evil. Watching them try to interact in a world they can’t fathom was heartbreaking. It made me question what is important in life and what things I could do without. It made me question morality and how far someone would go to protect their child.

This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster. I read it “cover to cover” in one sitting. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you think. Beautifully written, with rich nuance and attention to detail, Searching for Sky is a book that will haunt me long into the future.

4 STARS

REFLECTION POND BLOG TOUR

Reflection Pond is going on tour with Irresistible Reads Tours. At the bottom you will find the tour schedule where you can get in on the action.

Reflection Pond for PrintPDF6_page1_image1Have you picked up your copy of Reflection Pond yet? Here’s what other people are saying –

“This book was definitely original.”

“I could not put this book down.

“I loved the chemistry between Callie and Rowan. It really came alive and I could just feel the sexual tension between the two.”

-Nikki

Full review HERE.

“The book offered everything. Romance, intrigue, murder, some minor violence.”

-Heather

Full review HERE.

“I loved this book!

“This is a story you don’t want to miss.”

-Iris

Full review HERE.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, April 28:

Margay Leah Justice – Promotional Post

Tuesday, April 29:

Coffee Books & Art – Book Excerpt

Wednesday, April 30:

Endless Reading – Book Excerpt

Thursday, May 1:

Zili In The Sky – Guest Post

Friday, May 2:

Library Mosaic – Promotional Post

Monday, May 5:

The Phantom Paragrapher – Book Excerpt

Tuesday, May 6:

CJ Mckenzie @ Goodreads – Review

Wednesday, May 7:

Chelsea’s Reading Adventures – Review

Thursday, May 8:

Library Mosaic – Book Excerpt

Friday, May 9:

YA Bookaddict – Book Excerpt

Monday, May 12:

Readsalot – Book Excerpt

Tuesday, May 13:

Chelsea’s Reading Adventures – Book Excerpt

Wednesday, May 14:

Whispered Thoughts – Review

Literary Meandering – Interview

Thursday, May 15:

Paradise of Pages – Review

Kristy Centeno – Promotional Post

Friday, May 16:

Margay Leah Justice – Book Excerpt

Monday, May 19:

The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Promotional Post

Tuesday, May 20:

The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review

Wednesday, May 21:

All Things YA and NA – Guest Post

Thursday, May 22:

Lekeisha The Booknerd – Review

Friday, May 23:

Monday, May 26:

Ladybug Literature – Book Excerpt

Tuesday, May 27:

Coffee Books & Art – Promotional Post

Wednesday, May 28:

Wrap-Up

REVIEW – SECOND STAR BY ALYSSA B. SHEINMEL

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Available: May 13, 2014 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Goodreads

Amazon

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete’s nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she’s falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up–and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

I keep wavering between 3 and 4 stars on this book. There were parts of it I really enjoyed, while others seemed rushed and not as thought out.

The story is based around recent high school graduate, Wendy. She had her life waiting just beyond the summer, with an acceptance to Stanford and the promise of a perfect life. Except, she can’t let go of her twin brothers, who went missing just before she started her senior year of high school. As surfers, her brothers lived a beach life, waking before the sun to catch the best waves, sometimes disappearing for days, and finally for good. The police write them off as dead, drowned in a swell too big for them to handle. Their boards wash up, but the boys never do. Her parents accept their deaths, moving on with their lives in a fog of disbelief, not really seeing anything anymore.

Wendy isn’t ready to let them go, and as her summer begins, she throws herself into one final search for them, which leads her to Kensington, part beach, part wasteland of what could’ve been. It’s there, amongst abandoned houses perched precariously over the ocean, that she meets Pete. He’s a surfer, and even better, he may be able to lead her to her brothers. Surely they’d surfed Kensington, with its powder perfect beach surrounded by waves. But Pete’s life isn’t just beaches and fun. As a squatter, he has to steal to eat, to survive, to care for the other life refugees he’s taken in. But Wendy can’t help herself. As she weaves her way into the surfers’ lives, she begins asking questions. Her brothers are out there. She knows it.

But Pete isn’t the only secret hiding in Kensington. On the other side of the beach lives Jas. Surfer by day, renowned drug dealer by night. And he has history with Pete.

What ensues is a complicated of exploration of what it means to live and what you must let go when you grow up.

The strongest part of this book was probably the setting. It was California rich, sand and sun and boys, I could practically smell the suntan lotion. There was a lot of symbolic reference to sand, which I liked. It seemed to me that the sand was Wendy’s memories, but by the end of the story, the sand was her future. It was a nice arc from what was to what could be.

The characters themselves were not that well depicted. It’s like the novel just scratched the surface of the whole story. While I enjoyed reading it, I never felt connected to Wendy. Though it was written in first person, I never became Wendy, she always seemed separate from her body, and at times, from the story, like she carried to much of a narrator’s voice. Pete, who was probably the best fleshed out character, still fell a little flat. Jas, who I wanted to like the most, was supposed to be the bad boy, but we only ever got one impression of him actually being “bad.” I wanted more. I wanted to truly and thoroughly hate him before Wendy made me fall in love with him.

There were lots of things I liked. There was romance, but it wasn’t overdone. There were two love interests and I liked both of them and didn’t hate Wendy for being conflicted. I loved the setting and learning more about surfing. I liked the twisting of plot. It definitely keeps you guessing until almost the very end, and then, throws you for another loop.

Overall, this was a quick, enjoyable read, I just wish there was more substance for me to sink my teeth into.

REVIEWERS GET IT FREE

Reflection-Pond-ebook-1-VanI’m excited to announce that I’m running a promotion on Story Cartel to get reviews for Reflection Pond. Are you ready to review? Get your copy now! All reviewers between April 15th and May 15th will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Each review posted gets you another entry. So remember, Amazon, Goodreads, Nook, Library Thing, and Blogs.

Sometimes you find home, sometimes it comes looking for you.

Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. She’s never belonged, at least, not until she falls through a portal into her true home. The beautiful faerie city of Eirensae doesn’t come free. Callie must find her amulet and bind herself to the city, and most importantly, avoid the Fallen fae who seek her life. Seems like a small price to pay for the family she’s always wanted.

Then she meets cynical and gorgeous Rowan, who reads the darkness of her past in her eyes. He becomes Callie’s part-time protector and full-time pain in the ass. He has secrets of his own for Callie to unravel. What they don’t know is that the future of Eirensae lies with them, and the once peaceful city is about to become a battleground for power.

The small print: No purchase required to win. All I’m asking for is reviews. Open to everyone, everywhere, except where prohibited by law. Good luck and happy reviewing!

 

BLOG HOP MONDAY PART 2

It’s still Blog Hop Monday around here and as part of my agreement to hop, I have to answer four questions. I didn’t want to give you eyestrain talking about myself since all of my wonderful authors had so much going on.

Now, however, it’s afternoon, and I’m certain you’ve all had your naps and brunch and tea, so you’re ready for me to talk about me.

Q&A time.

1. What am I working on?

Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Reflection Pond, titled Poison Tree. This is a continuation of Callie and Rowan’s story as they struggle to save Eirensae and everyone they love. In addition to Poison Tree, I’m also working on a manuscript titled Sleep and Shatter, which is about a princess who wakes up to find her entire kingdom slaughtered.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As everyone knows, I write young adult. The great thing about YA is that it explores a whole lot of adult subjects. I like to think that my work doesn’t hold back. I’m not afraid to get into the “sticky” and “taboo” subjects. You should always write in a way that scares you, and I always try to remember that when I sit in front of my computer. I want to cross the lines. I had a reviewer for Antithesis say that some of the scenes were too steamy for her, my response to that? Good. Reading isn’t just about escaping, it should teach you something, make you feel, force you to question things. It certainly shouldn’t make you comfortable. So I always try to write true. I don’t want to sugar coat. I don’t want to be reluctant. It’s something I’m always working on.

3. Why do I write what I write?

I’ve answered this question so many times, and my answer always remains the same. Writing YA is a lot like living as a young adult. You can get away with more. Everything is heightened, every emotional response feels 100 times richer, 100 times more devastating. I can take more chances and reap bigger rewards with YA. There are no limits.

4. How does my writing process work?

Process? Ha! I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I don’t write every day, but I do something writing related every day, whether it be reading, editing, blogging, or being active in social media. Writing is organic for me. I have to feel it. If I’m not in the mood, it won’t happen, and I’m the queen of distraction. So when I get in a mood to write, the words come in torrents, but if I’m not, literally nothing will happen.
Once I’ve got my manuscript completed, it goes through an initial edit, which involves me printing it out and going after it with a pen, usually pink or purple (though sometimes red). Then I send it out to beta readers and do a complete overhaul to fix anything and everything. Then the process starts all over again until I think the book is done. It’s done when I say it is. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You know your work. You say when it’s ready. Otherwise you’ll never submit or publish anything, only edit it to death.

So there you have it. All about ME, and also about all those other authors I talked about earlier. Happy Blog Hop Monday.

Go buy my book.

Kacey

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, REFLECTION POND!

Reflection-Pond-ebook-1-VanI am so excited today! Finally, after a long wait filled with ridiculous amounts of anticipation, Reflection Pond is NOW AVAILABLE!

Sometimes you find home, sometimes it comes looking for you.

Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. She’s never belonged, at least, not until she falls through a portal into her true home. The beautiful faerie city of Eirensae doesn’t come free. Callie must find her amulet and bind herself to the city, and most importantly, avoid the Fallen fae who seek her life. Seems like a small price to pay for the family she’s always wanted.

Then she meets cynical and gorgeous Rowan, who reads the darkness of her past in her eyes. He becomes Callie’s part-time protector and full-time pain in the ass. He has secrets of his own for Callie to unravel. What they don’t know is that the future of Eirensae lies with them, and the once peaceful city is about to become a battleground for power.

You can get your copy at all the following places:

CreateSpace Paperback

Amazon Paperback

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook

Add it on Goodreads

Don’t forget to review and share the news!

All the best,

Kacey