Category Archives: readalong
Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends, and Tales of Superstition
by Various Authors
Horror Short Story Anthology
The stories are based on urban legends, myths, tribal tales and superstitions from around the world. A charity anthology to benefit SPCA International with stories by Shannon Delany, Jackie Morse Kessler, Stephanie Kuehnert, Jennifer Knight, Marianne Mancusi, Michelle E. Reed, Dianne Salerni and Pab Sungenis.
MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends and Tales of Superstition by Georgia McBride
This is a collection of short stories that some well known indie authors got together and published fr charity (the SPCA). Authors include Mari Mancusi, Jackie Morse Kessler, and Shannon Delany, among others.
There are eight stories included: “The Rescue”, “Thirst”, “Chupacabra”, “The Road Home”, “Gift of the Were-Magi”, “Midhalla”, “Bloody Mary”, and “The Silverfoot Heretic.” The stories widely varied in main theme, but all had a supernatural element.
My favorite tale of the collection is “Bloody Mary” by Dianne K. Salemi. I am assumin it takes place is the late 19th century, but no date was explicitly given. In this story, a girl named Mary Louise entertains her 2 friends and her cousin newly arrived from Jamaica, by playing a game of Bloody Mary. Mary Louise’s cousin sees something most unexpected in the mirror, and the consequences will be dire and lead to a curse for one of the girls. This story stayed with me even after I read it.
I also enjoyed “Chupacabra” by Jennifer Knight. It is a supernatural story told from two points of view–the creature, who uncontrollably murders people, and the girl who’s hunting him. This does turn into a bit of a romance, but it wasn’t cliched. I wondered what’s going to happen to the couple next, as the ending was kind of a cliffhanger.
There are other stories her, about wandering ghosts, vengeful gods, and more. But these are the two that caught my attention most. I thought this was a great anthology to get me into the Halloween mood, and I love that it’s for charity!
Make sure to enter the tour wide giveaway!
· An ebook of each authors’ work (INT)
· One (1) physical copy of the Very Superstitious Anthology (US Only)
Letters to Nowhere
by Julie Cross
Letters to Nowhere Series, Book One
From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest Series…
Set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics…
I’ve gotten used to the dead parents face. I’ve gotten used to living with my gymnastics coach. I’ve even adjusted to sharing a bathroom with his way-too-hot son. Dealing with boys is not something that’s made it onto my list of experiences as of yet. But here I am, doing it. And something about Jordan–being around him, talking to him, thinking about him–makes me feel like I can finally breathe again. That’s something I haven’t been able to do lately. He knows what it feels like to be me right now. He knows what it’s like to wonder–what now? I think about it constantly. I need answers. I need to know how to get through this. In the gym, if you’re struggling, you train harder, you do drills and conditioning. How do I work hard at moving on? At being on my own? And what happens if I might be…maybe…probably falling for Jordan? I mean we live together now. That can’t happen, can it? But kissing him…well, let’s just say it’s not an easy activity to forget.
Humiliation 101: a Letters to Nowhere excerpt
In Letters to Nowhere, my main character, Karen, goes from being an only child living with two loving parents in her isolated elite gymnastics world that trades high school for online home schooling—no dating or boy experience at all—to living with her male coach and his very cute and socially normal teenage son. Right from the start, she is caught in one embarrassing situation after another. Prior to her first night at her Coach’s place, Karen’s teammates plant some new concerns she hadn’t thought of until now.
As expected, right after practice, while my face was still as red as my hair and twice as sweaty, Blair turned back into “best friend Blair” and drilled me immediately with all her concerns. She had no internal censor whatsoever. “What if you’re, like, walking to the bathroom and Coach Bentley is coming out of the shower or whatever and you get a glimpse of him naked?” Blair had her head flipped upside down as she forcefully ran a brush through her long black hair. “Do you think that image will ever leave your head? How is he going to coach you after you’ve seen his bare ass or worse—”
“God, Blair!” Ellen groaned, “Ew.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m not going to see him naked. Besides, I’m sure we’re both mature enough to deal with accidents that aren’t preventable.”
Okay, so I was totally not mature enough to deal with seeing Coach Bentley’s unexposed skin, but you could bet I’d do everything I could to prevent the incident from happening.
And then later on Karen’s reminded of Blair’s warning when she realizes who she’s sharing a bathroom with.
After finishing all the paperwork, I finally made myself walk up the stairs. Jordan’s bedroom door was open, his body stretched across the bed, textbooks and notebooks spread out in front of him as he scribbled on a page. Remembering Blair’s concerns, I knocked lightly on the door frame and he looked up right away. “Is it okay if…if I use the shower? You don’t need to go in there now…do you? Because I can totally wait or whatever.” He looked mildly amused with my obvious distress. “The bathroom’s all yours, Karen.” As I started to turn away, he added, “Just don’t mess with those magazines under the sink.” My eyes widened. Jordan laughed and looked down at his notebook again. “Kidding.” I let out a breath before walking away. “I removed all traces of porn this morning before you got here,” he said to my back. Being an only child had left me highly unprepared for a number of situations. I was clearly in over my head. Not something I felt often.
Hope you enjoyed the short excerpts and check out Letters to Nowhere if you’d like to read of Karen and Jordan’s story!
About the Author
There are two tour-wide giveaways.
–GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE GIVEAWAY to ONE Winner.
–An eBook of LETTERS TO NOWHERE to FIVE Winners.
The Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally, however international winners can only select five of the books listed due to shipping costs.
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY:
AUTOGRAPHED FINISHED COPIES of…
– All 3 of Simone Elkeles’ HOW TO RUIN series
– TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz
– GONE GONE GONE by Hannah Moskowitz
– LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger
BITTERSWEET by Sara Zarr
ARCs of OCTOBER 2013 YA RELEASES
– UNBREAKABLE by Kami Garcia
– ANYWHERE BUT HERE by
– BANG by Lisa McMann
– REALITY BOY by A.S. King
– NEVER FADE by Alexandra Bracken
SIX MONTHS LATER by Natalie D. Richards
ARCs of NOV 2013 – FEB 2014 YA RELEASES
– ALIENATED by Melissa Landers (Feb 2014)
– ROOMIES by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando (Dec 2013)
– AFTER EDEN by Helen Douglas (Nov 2013)
OTHER BOOK PRIZES
– Personalized signed copies of TEMPEST + VORTEX (a foreign edition if available can be swapped for the U.S. edition)
– E-copy of LETTERS TO NOWHERE by Julie Cross (if print is available at time of shipping, a print copy will be sent, too)
WINNER’S CHOICE (ONE of Following BIG prizes)
– Basic US Kindle (valued at $69.00 USD) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007HCCNJU/ref=sa_menu_kdptq
– $50 US Amazon Gift card
– $50 US Barnes and Noble gift card
*As some prizes may not be redeemable by international participants, alternative suggestions are welcome but not guaranteed.
Hi! I’m so excited to be participating in the read-a-long for Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. This is being hosted by the cool Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.
This book has been out for several months and although I owned it, I hadn’t gotten the chance to read it because of so many other things I needed to read for tours and such. So when I saw this read-a-long, I thought it would be a great chance to get the book read in a leisurely manner 🙂
If you hadn’t heard about this book, let me tell you more about it.
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
This week’s theme is ROAD TRIPS!
I’m not the biggest fan of the trip itself, and honestly when I was younger I used to get really bad carsickness. It’s pretty much gone though now that I’m grown up!
What do I always bring with me?
Vanilla Coke–My favorite soda EVER. It’s actually pretty rare where I live, so when I find some at a gas station along the way I always buy it.
Beef Jerky–Keeps your jaw busy chewing, and also give you protein to kill your hunger for a longer amount of time.
MP3 Player–Yes, this is my actual MP3 player 🙂 I have an adapter that connects it to our car stereo. My husband and I both like wide varieties of music, so this thing is jam packed with everyone from The Used, to George Strait, to Boyz II Men.
I think that’s about it…I am pretty happy to just kick back and enjoy the scenery.
My Thoughts on Sweet Evil Thus Far:
Well, I have had VERY mixed results with angel/Nephilim books, so I’m anxious to see where this leads. Anna is a goody two shoes who is extremely sheltered. She actually reminds me of myself when I was in high school. I am a bit perplexed as to how someone like Anna could be best friends with a guy like Jay…he seems way more outgoing and popular.
Kaiden (pronounced Ky-den, but I keep saying Kay-den in my head) is just alright so far. There hasn’t been that much interaction between him and Anna, and what there has been was very rushed and a bit confusing (for Anna and me both). I definitely don’t get the smoldering sex god vibe yet, but maybe it’s yet to come. A British accent gives him points in my book, however!
Fave Quote So Far:
Anna: “…and as far as having…you know…”
“What?” Kaiden asked.
My chest heated and it spread through my face and limbs.
Kaiden: “You’re too embarrassed to say it? Sex. Go ahead, give it a go. Sexsexsex.”
It’s not too late to enter the read-a-long! Click the banner at the top for info. Just for joining, you could win your choice of FIVE ARC’S!
I’m plugging right along into Week 3 of the Pushing the Limits Read-a-Long!
I’m not sure how I feel about the book yet…but hopefully by the end I will love it, as I have seen so many others have!
Here are my answers for this week’s questions.
1. In the beginning of this section Noah decides to ignore Echo because he’s angry and hurt. What did you think of this? Have you ever experienced a friendship that went awry and they started ignoring you?
During college I lost my friendship with my best friend in high school. Now, I realize it was probably for the best, since our lives went in such different directions. But then, I couldn’t understand what went wrong and it hurt, a lot. These days I realize that the only people I can depend on are my family.
2. Noah has a bit of a false reputation. Everyone thinks he’s a big druggie and a guy that just randomly hooks up with girls. While some of it is true to a certain extent, we see it’s not really him. Have you ever had a false reputation where people draw their own conclusions? Do you think Noah should do something to make people not think that about him?
Somewhat. I’ve heard that some people might think I’m stuck up or snobby, but the truth is I’m just not a very social person. I don’t think Noah cares much about what his schoolmates think about him. He only has to prove himself to Noah and his brothers.
3. Ashley finds out she’s having a boy and informs Echo she will have a brother ‘again’. Echo took this very personally and was extremely upset. Do you think Echo overreacted? Do you think Ashley meant that the new brother would replace her brother?
No, I don’t think Echo overreacted at all. I’m very undecided about Ashley–I can’t tell if she really wants to bond with Echo, or if she just wants Echo to go back to her old life. I myself only have one brother, and there’s no way he could ever be replaced.
4. Echo doesn’t remember what happened with her mother and for this reason she has trouble seeing her the way everyone else does. She can’t seem to not miss her and still wants to talk to her. Do you think she should pursue finding her mom? Do you think it will help her or do you think she would be in danger?
I don’t think there’s a right answer to this question. A child always misses her parent, no matter what wrong things they might have done in the past. If Echo does decide to meet her, I think she should ease into it and make sure her mom is fully healed.
5. Noah doesn’t trust the people who have his brothers because of his own past situations. He decides to seek out a lawyer himself and try to get custody. Do you think this is his best move? Do you think there are some other options he should consider?
I know that Noah desperately wants his young brothers back, but I kind of agree with Mrs. Collins in that it would be very difficult for an 18 year old to raise two boys. Noah should probably at least try to get a stable job and home first.
6. Echo finds out that Noah and his parents built houses for Habitat for Humanity. Have you ever volunteered for something like that? What is a cause that you feel strongly about?
In college I spent time on fundraising for St. Jude’s, and I still make donations. Any cause that helps children is worthwhile.
Welcome to week two of the Pushing the Limits Read-a-Long. The book is definitely delving into more serious territory now 🙂
Here are my answers for the week’s questions.
Questions Week 2: Pages 85 – 162
1. Noah and Echo create a plan to read their files. What do you think of this plan? Would you read your friend’s file first knowing you might not have time to read your own? Would you want to read your own file?
I am kind of split about their plan. On one hand, I know their files contain information they desperately need and want to know. But on the other hand, it may hurt them more than help them. Echo is working slowly towards recovering her memories, and having them all come rushing back my reading her file will not be great for her already fragile psyche. Noah wants to know where his brothers are living, but he will probably set himself back a lot by going to their home. I would not read my friend’s file first, I’d read my own.
2. Mrs. Collins starts to earn Noah’s trust by taking him to see his brother win a writing contest. What do you think of how she’s handling Noah? How would you feel if you were in Noah’s position, hearing that your brother sees you as his hero?
I believe she had to take this track because of the nonchalant way he had been acting in their sessions, mouthing off and even skipping them. By showing him what he’s working toward, it may help him open up to her. My heart melted when I read that scene, and I know if one of my siblings had written that about me, I would be a puddle on the floor. 🙂
3. Echo is starting to draw and paint again. She’s starting to express the feelings and what she’s seeing as she’s starting to remember what happened that day. Art therapy seems to be a popular way for people to deal with their feelings. Why do you think Echo’s dad didn’t want her to continue with art since it was such a big part of her and is part of so many people’s therapy in dealing with similar issues?
I’m not sure at all about his reasons for this. It almost feels like he doesn’t want her to remember. I hope it is because he feels he is protecting her from having to deal with those traumatic memories.
4. We see how crazy Beth’s home life is and we start to understand why she is not as keen to be trusting with people in her life. At the same time, we get to see how fiercely loyal Noah is. What do you think of the way Noah reacted to Beth being beaten by her mother’s boyfriend? Do you think it’s showing bad behavior that could get Noah in more trouble or the act of a true friend?
I don’t think this was great behavior at all from Noah. I know he wanted to protect his friend, but the potential of getting in trouble with the law wouldn’t be very good for the prospect of getting back his brothers. I believe since he has been in foster homes for so long, violence is how he responds to situations now.
5. Echo has an unusual name. What do you think of the story behind it? Is there a Greek Myth or other story that would inspire you to name a child after a character?
Well, I can’t say I love the name, and I didn’t understand why her mom would have wanted to name her after such a depressing story. My child’s name is Nathaniel–I wanted something that wasn’t that common (such as the Aidens and Cadens of the world) but still wasn’t too out there.
6. Echo’s big thing is trying to find “normal” again. She doesn’t want to be the scared girl or the girl who can’t remember what happened to her, she just wants to be normal. This goal impacts her relationships with her family, friends, Noah and her ex Luke. But at the end of this section, Echo is starting to figure out that there’s no going back to old normal and she’s going to have to find a new normal. How big of a step is it for Echo when she realizes she’s not “in” love with Luke and figures out that she does need to find a new normal?
Luke is a pretty horrible and inconsiderate dude, so I’m happy she realizes the truth. It’s very important for her to move on from the toxic people in her old life…normal doesn’t mean the same thing for every person.
It’s not to late to join the read-a-long! Click the banner at the top for more info 🙂
I’m excited to be participating in the Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry read-a-long!
QUOTED FROM BEWITCHED BOOKWORMS:
For 6 weeks, we will discuss the amazing emotional roller coaster that is Pushing the Limits. We will tear up with Echo, swoon over Noah and thoroughly enjoy this unbelievably fantastic book! Every week will have awesometastic giveaways sponsored by HarlequinTEEN and we have an epic, unique and absolutely adorable Grand Prize sponsored by Bewitched Bookworms and Katie McGarry herself!
Ready for some fun?!
Then grab your copy of Pushing the Limits and buckle up! It’s one hell of a ride!!“
I’ve been having this book from NetGalley for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve actually been apprehensive about reading it because I have seen NOTHING but 5 star reviews for it. To me, that often means a book is too good to be true. So, I figured I’d join the read-a-long and see what my fellow bloggers thought by answering the weekly questions.
Week One: Pages 1-84
Questions for the first week (my answers are in blue):
1. The story starts out with Echo’s thoughts on how she wants to answer her therapist’s questions (snarky and caustically truthful) which are quickly juxtaposed to how she does (milque-toasty and banal). Who do you think she hides the truth for more, her parents or herself?
I don’t think she’s hiding the truth for herself. She has a bit of amnesia, and from what I gathered, she WANTS to know the truth. I believe she does it more for her dad–she believes her dad has too much going on in his life with his new wife and baby on the way–than to be bothered caring about her.
2. We see Mrs. Collins, the school therapist, interact with both Echo and Noah in the first few chapters. From those interactions, what do you think of her? Is she a prototypical caricature of state care? Or do you think she’s there to make an honest difference in the lives of those she’s there to help?
My mind is not made up yet about Mrs. Collins. I can’t tell if she really wants to help, or if she’s one of those teachers who is progressive for the sake of being progressive. Since she is new, it’s hard to gauge. I HOPE she has the kids’ best interests in mind.
3. Noah has two friends, Beth and Isaiah, who have his back no matter what–through thick and thin–and he has theirs. Consequently, his life is a little easier because he has two people who know about his situation. Echo only has one close friend, and Lila will barely speak to her in school. Do you think Echo would have had an easier time coping and moving on if she had friends like Noah does?
No, I don’t think Echo’s having more friends would have helped her. After the traumatic things that happened to Echo, she withdrew into herself, despite having one best friend who cared. Even once she goes back to school, her friends don’t really help her to come out of her shell. I think Echo has to get past her issues by herself first.
4 . Echo fixates on a colorful ribbon that sits on the school counselor’s desk during their one-on-one sessions. Do you think this is a case of “Oh, look at the pretty ribbon. Let me zone out while staring at it” , or could it have a deeper significance!
Of course, the ribbon will have a significance. The author wouldn’t go out of her way to mention that Echo noticed it moving if it didn’t. This ribbon has some importance to Echo’s past and memories.
5 .) Noah and the jacket… Already when Noah and Echo meet for the first time, Noah got angry when Echo forgot her Jacket (pg 34). Then on Echo’s Birthday party Noah gave Echo his jacket when he saw that she forgot hers (pg 54). There is a significance behind his anger when Echo has no coat and it tells already so much about Noah!
a) Why do you think is Noah so focused on Echo and her Jacket and what does that tell you about Noah’s character?
Noah is an older sibling, and as such, is used to looking out for those he cares about or thinks need help. I believe that since Noah doesn’t have his younger siblings to care for at the moment, he’s taking care of the one person he can–Echo.
b) Show us your favorite jacket! Either with you having it on or alone!
Let me just say I live in the Deep South, in Louisiana. Even in the winter, our temps RARELY go below 30 degrees. So, most of the time I just wear a hoodie from Old Navy or such–I am all about comfort.
6. Echo wears gloves all the time to hide her scars. Not only for her sake, but obviously also for the others. When Noah sees Echo’s scars for the first time he’s shocked.
a) Do you think this was the moment he began to see Echo in a different light?
No, I don’t think this was his eye-opening moment. For me, it was before their first tutoring session, when they both opened up to each other about people they’d lost. I believe that was when each realized that the preconceived notions they had about the other weren’t completely accurate.
b) Show us your favorite pair of gloves!
Like I said, it doesn’t get cold here…but I love those tech gloves that allow you to use your phone while you’re wearing them!
You can still join us for the rest of the read-a-long! Click the banner at the top for more info 🙂