Saturday, September 23, 2017

This Week on Books Direct - 23 September 2017

This Week on Books Direct -
23 September 2017

This Week on Books Direct - 23 September 2017

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

Recently, an image went viral of convicted sex offender Brock Turner's picture included in a criminal justice textbook's definition of rape.

The Criminology Textbook Using Brock Turner's Case As An Example Of Rape Has Been Addressed By Its Publisher by Morgan Shanahan for BuzzFeed

Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood is no fan of Donald Trump's presidency, but it has been a boon for her - at least in one way. Sales of her 1985 dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, have shot up since the election, and the Hulu series it inspired has also amassed a large fan base.

Margaret Atwood On Why Emmy-Winning Handmaid's Tale Resonates In The Trump Era: It's 'No Longer a Fantasy Fiction' by Sam Gillette for People tv

On Hide a Book Day, and as part of their Ten-Year Anniversary Celebration, Goodreads teamed up with The Book Fairies to hide books for people to find, read, and pass on.

Hide A Book Day: Highlights from Around the World by Hayley for Goodreads

Author Toolbox 5: The Logline by Anna  Simpson for Emaginette
To try to get as many readers as possible to read your book's blurb, start with your logline.

Author Toolbox 5: The Logline by Anna  Simpson for Emaginette

You can now keep up with your book club more easily without dropping cash every month, thanks to Google. The company just added a new search feature that lets you look up book titles in your local library's e-book system straight from your phone.

You Can Now Search Your Library’s E-book Collection Straight From Google by Sasha Lekach for Mashable

Six Young Women With Prize-Winning Book Collections by Nadja Spiegelman for The Paris Review
Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney at Honey & Wax Booksellers, in Brooklyn, are hoping to broaden our imaginative capabilities. This summer, they announced their first annual book-collecting prize, open to women under thirty.

Six Young Women With Prize-Winning Book Collections by Nadja Spiegelman for The Paris Review

An illustrator has shut down racist internet trolls who bombarded her with abuse after she depicted Harry Potter character Hermione Granger as black.

Racists Flip Out Over Artist’s 'Harry Potter' Picture With Black Hermione by Lee Moran for Huffington Post

A former Division III college baseball player is claiming the author's best-selling novel The Art of Fielding shares "extensive and substantial similarities" with his unpublished work.

Chad Harbach Is Being Sued For Copyright Infringement by Arianna Rebolini for BuzzFeed

Happy 70th Birthday, Stephen King by Emily Burnham for Bangor Daily News
Bangor’s most famous resident celebrated his 70th birthday on 21 September, hot on the heels of the blockbuster release of IT, which is now the highest-grossing Stephen King film adaptation of all time.

Happy 70th Birthday, Stephen King by Emily Burnham for Bangor Daily News

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, September 22, 2017

"Finding You" by Lydia Albano

Finding You
by Lydia Albano

Finding You by Lydia Albano

Finding You by Lydia Albano is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Taken from home and family, all they have is each other: a young woman learns to rely on her inner strength in this suspenseful debut that celebrates the power of true love and never giving up.
Isla is kidnapped from a train platform in broad daylight and thrust into a nightmare when she is sold to a sadistic aristocrat. Locked in a dungeon with a dozen other girls, Isla's only comfort is a locket and the memory of the boy she loves. But as the days pass and more girls disappear, she realizes that help is not coming... If they're going to survive, they'll have to escape on their own.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Lydia Albano's debut novel Finding You is a powerful story of a teen girl finding strength and hope even in the worst circumstances.

There was no doubt that we were the two most opposite people in all the world. But for all my failings, and the ways he balanced them out, I loved him with all my heart.
“Let’s run away,” he’d say when we were little. “Think of all the amazing places there are, waiting for us to see them, still secret and undiscovered.” And he’d spread his arms at the stars and breathe in deeply, eyes aglow with the lure of adventure. And if anyone could have ever made me try something reckless, it would have been he.
But I was the little girl who took out a book instead: about gemstones and minerals, industry in the past century, the lifespans of butterflies. Nothing that would interest the adventurous boy I loved. Nothing that translated into action.
And he’d look at me like I was sad and hopeless, and he’d sigh. He’d say, “You’ll never understand, dear. The world isn’t in books.” And he would leave, climbing off of the roof outside my window, down the iron bars and gutters and across the street to his own home.
But the next day he’d be back.
That was when my life—our life—was sweet and simple; before my mum died and his too, before Nicholas took over power, and everyone wanted copper and so many men were sent to work the mines. That was before the hottest day of the year I was sixteen, when the boy—who had somehow become a man, suddenly—climbed the rusty ladders to the roof outside my window, dressed all in brown.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Isla’s determination to reunite with her beloved Tam will captivate romance fans, and all will cheer her newfound self-reliance." ~ Booklist
"A timely reminder that female subjugation must always be fought. Hopefully, Isla’s journey of rebellion and self-exploration are only the beginning - a sequel would be a welcome treat." ~ VOYA
"So many times while reading this book I read the same sentences over and again because I loved the word choices and the imagery they crafted. Beautifully and thoughtfully written, suspenseful, engaging, and wonderfully substantive." ~ suellen foreman, Swoon Reader
"This book has an uncanny way of getting under your skin and staying there, making you recall not only your first crush but also inviting you into a dangerous world that hits all too close to home - sometimes all in the same sentence. Albano has created something incredibly special with Finding You. This is a story that will give you chills and keep you turning pages until the very end. I know it did that for me. The world needs more books like this one." ~ Samantha Chaffin, Swoon Reader
"Beautifully and emotionally written! ... Through this experience, these girls - especially Isla - grow and become stronger. They are able take action and come up with plans, despite never thinking they could be anything but weak. Girls can be smart, strong, and badass." ~ Chen Yan Chang, Swoon Reader

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Isla and Tam are two young people torn apart by circumstance. When Tam leaves to join the army, he gives Isla a heart locket to which he has the matching key. Isla is kidnapped while seeing him off at the train station and ends up in a dungeon, along with several other young girls. During her incarceration and the distressing events that ensue, Isla maintains her sanity by her unwavering faith that Tam will come to her rescue. The heart locket is her symbol of this hope and, when it is taken from her, Isla realizes she must plan her own escape. Will Isla and Tam ever be reunited and, if so, at what cost?
The book is set in a dystopian future, a world where there is no electricity, no motor vehicles, nor any modern methods of communication. How this world came to be is not explained. But the themes of the story are timeless, and the main theme of sex trafficking is especially timely. The book is slow to begin, but the pace picks up halfway through, when the story switches from Isla's captivity to being on the run. The book is very well-written, with some wonderful lines, but I found the overuse of the words "grating" and "rifling" to be, quite frankly, grating.
From the very first line, there is no doubt that Isla is in love with Tam. However, she is not sure that he reciprocates her feelings. It is this doubt that gives Isla the impetus to grow in confidence and self-reliance throughout the course of the book. She goes from being mild and bookish to being the leader of her ragtag band of new friends. Given this growth, I was disappointed by how she was "rescued" toward the end of the book. Although, as Isla herself says, "Maybe everyone needs saving sometimes."
While this story is complete, the author leaves it open for a sequel.
Warnings: sexual references, graphic violence.

Some of My Favorite Lines
"There was no doubt that we were the two most opposite people in the world. But for all my failings, and the ways he balanced them, I loved him with my whole heart."
"Everything is in chaos. The locket and the kiss are at war with the longing and the pain, and suddenly all I can think is that I never told him I love him."
"My dress clings to me like a cobweb."
"Every novel I’ve ever read tells me it’s possible, that the girl is always rescued from danger at the last minute."
"At least if I sleep, I might dream. And if I dream, I might see Tam."
"There’s only darkness in here. Thinking about the light just makes the shadows seem deeper."
"Doesn’t miss the sun. He’s made for the shadows, and the filth."
"I need a plan. All the books tell me that a heroine has a plan."
"I love books, and meeting the people inside them who don’t exist until you turn the page,"
"I don’t know what to say, so we sit together in silence, and I think about how beautiful my old life looks now,"
"... it’s as if saying his name out loud lights a match in the darkness: bright and warm, but only there for a second, and then the cold surrounds us again."
"I don’t have a guide to tell me what to do, moment by moment. But every story I’ve ever read has some love and some good and some evil."
"Maybe everyone needs saving sometimes."
"I’ll find him and make my own happy ending."
"A library. There are hardly a dozen books between all four walls, but I feel instantly at home."
"In some ways I’ll never be the same again, never be able to go back. The person I was before that hot day in the crowded city, that person is gone."

About the Author
Lydia Albano
Lydia Albano is a (self-proclaimed) Bunburyist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she promotes Oxford commas, spends her money on musical theater, and demands the Myers-Briggs letters of everyone she meets. Her debut novel, Finding You, has just been released by SwoonReads/Macmillan.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of Finding You by Lydia Albano (US/Canada only).


"Running with Wolves" by Summer Lane

Running with Wolves
by Summer Lane

Running with Wolves by Summer Lane

Running with Wolves by Summer Lane has just been released. This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

More books by this author: Collapse Series: State of Emergency, State of Chaos, State of Rebellion (read my blog post), State of Pursuit (read my blog post), State of Alliance (read my blog post), State of Vengeance (read my blog post), State of Destruction (read my blog post), State of Fear (read my blog post), State of Allegiance (read my blog post); Zero Trilogy, which complements the Collapse Series: Day Zero (read my blog post), Day One (read my blog post), and End of Day (read my blog post); Bravo: Apocalypse Mission, the first book in the Bravo Saga (read my blog post).

Alaska, 1898
"They always come back," she whispers. "Always."
He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge.
Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money.
Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she hires a gruff but dangerous gun-slinging trapper and guide, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down.
But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye.
The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as at seems.
If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy ... only the hunt.
A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"This book really does have it all. I love a good love story, and this one does not disappoint. But really, it is a beautiful journey of self-discovery with a healthy dose of mystery, romance, family, friendship, greed, sorrow, joy, and of course, wolves." ~ Amazon Customer
"Reading this book I've felt like I was in this story not reading but witnessing it with realistic dialogues and perfectly described scenery. Despite the love story that would have never happened in real life it's a well researched, well written story. It will make you laugh, shed a little tear and most importantly it will make you curious what's next." ~ Marta
"[...] this is an incredible story! I couldn't stop reading ... the flashbacks, the mystery, the twists, the anticipation, and the romance kept me on edge the whole time. Just when you think the end is near and hope is gone, the story flips. It is definitely not disappointing at all. [...] I highly recommend this book for anyone who appreciates the wilderness, animals, and a good old-fashioned romance novel." ~ Horsenaround92
"Jenna and Jeremiah are amazingly well-developed, and the plot was different and refreshing. I enjoyed the relationship that Jenna and Jeremiah had with the dogs, and the way the wolves were integrated into the story was both believable and natural. I can't help wondering if this will be a series, and finding myself hoping it will be." ~ Janiece Rhodes
"Go on an adventure in the wild, untamed Alaskan wilderness filled with romance and justice. The book feels like it takes you to another place in time." ~ Mona Collier

Interview with the Author
Summer Lane joins us today to talk about her new novel, Running with Wolves.
This is your first historical fiction. How different was the writing process, as opposed to the past 17 novels you’ve written – which have all been post-apocalyptic?
A historical novel is more strictly attached to the time period in which it takes place. The way people talk, dress, act, and even eat are different than how we do all of those things modernly. I had to do a lot of research, of course. I have been slowly working on this book for roughly two years, when the idea originally occurred to me. I have read so many books about Alaska ... toward the end of the writing process, I was devouring whole college textbooks and double fact-checking everything I had until I was entirely sure my eyes were going to fall out of my head.
With my apocalyptic books, the research is tactically-oriented, if that makes sense. With Running with Wolves, I had to make sure the slang and vernacular were correct and that the history was right on target. I took a few artistic liberties with the story, as all writers do, but everything is based in fact. Everything.
Where did the idea for Running with Wolves come from?
I have always loved animals. I have always loved dogs. I first was enraptured by the idea of setting a story in Alaska when I was a little girl, after watching the animated film Balto for the first time. The concept for this particular novel sprung up about two years ago. It took me a long time to cultivate the plot to a point where I liked it enough to go ahead and write the book. I have always wanted to write a western-style novel, and that’s what Running with Wolves is. A western novel set in the snow, with adventure and romance.
Where does the story actually take place?
I have constructed a fictional tale within the boundaries of the boomtowns and mining camps that existed in 1898. The main character, Jenna Renee, lives outside of a town called Dyea. I used prominent and famous historical hotspots, such as the Chilkoot Pass and Dawson City, in the book, too.
Can we look forward to some romance, in addition to adventure?
Yes! One of the central themes of the novel is the romance story between Jenna Renee and the rather callous but handsome United States Marshal Jeremiah Black. I love Jeremiah’s character – he’s got a lot of surprises up his sleeve, and I think readers will love him as much as Jenna does.
What are your upcoming projects?
Well, I have a non-fiction novel coming up in the next several months: Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel. I’m also releasing the first installment of the anticipated Resurrection Series in January 2018. Resurrection will continue the adventures, fights, and romances of Commander Cassidy Hart from the hit Collapse Series.
Thanks for stopping by today, Summer. Best of luck with your upcoming projects.

About the Author
Summer Lane
Summer Lane is the #1 Bestselling Author of 18 novels, including the smash-hit Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, Bravo Saga, Collapse: The Illustrated Guide, and the adventure thriller, Unbreakable SEAL.
Summer owns WB Publishing. She is also an experienced journalist and creative writing teacher. Writing Belle is her online magazine, where she has interviewed and featured hundreds of writers from around the globe.
Look for her upcoming books, Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel and Resurrection: Shadows of Omega, the hotly anticipated continuation of Cassidy Hart’s post-apocalyptic adventures.
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona.

Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle tablet, a $20 Starbucks card or a Jack London novel collection (US only).