More News and a Review

It’s been about a week since I last posted. I know…bad blogger. I’m working on getting myself back on track. I have been reading a lot, working on revisions, and some other behind the scenes things. Back to blogging. From now on, my focus here will be on reviews, cover reveals, and author promos. I’m taking all of my author updates and writing posts to my new site: http://amygiuffrida.com. If you want to see what I’m up to, that’s where I’ll be:)

Now for some reviews.

Over the past week, I’ve read two fantastic YA novels–The Program by Suzanne Collins and Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie. They may be completely different books, but I inhaled them both.

 

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In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

What did I think?

Holy moly! Suicide is an epidemic, sucking teens left and right into deep depression before taking their lives. Nobody knows where this virus has begun or why it infects only teens under the age of 18, but it does. Those who show any signs of infection are quickly carted off to The Program. After their friends all succumb to the depression, Sloane and James fight The Program.

The Program is rooted in such an original idea, that I couldn’t help but get sucked into the story. I can’t rave enough about Sloane and James. Without spilling the beans about the ending, I will only say that true love can only be the thing with enough power to find their way back to each other.

The Program is a MUST read!

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Three went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were.

When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby town called Purity Springs. When they arrive, the emergency sirens are blaring and the small farming town seems abandoned. With no other shelter, they spend the night in an empty house.

But they soon discover that not everything in Purity Springs is as it seems. When the town’s inhabitants suddenly appear the next morning, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins, who plans to make Dee his new wife. Elijah’s son, Joseph, offers to help them escape . . . but the price of his help may be more than Dee and her friends can bear.

What did I think?

Talk about another story with a fresh plot! And scary?! Heck yes it is. I mean, can you imagine running out of gas and walking into an abandoned town? There are no phones, no gas, no humans to help you. I would have kept walking–no, running. Seeing that Dee, Luke, and Mike aren’t smart like me, they find themselves in a town that is run by an extremest.

Think about the name of this town for a minute. Purity Springs. Doesn’t that just totally jangle your nerves a little bit?! Um, yeah. You all know I love horror, but this doesn’t contain the typical horror nuances. Yes, they run out of gas. And yes, they walk into a creepy town. That’s where the similarities end. Trisha and Lindsay have created something so new and fresh that Creed is a MUST READ!!!

If you want to talk to Lindsay and Trisha, join The Midnight Society tonight, 7 pm CST on Twitter. We’re using the hashtag: #MBC

I hope to see you all there!

ANOMALY by Tonya Kuper

First of all just let me tell you how much I adore Tonya. Once upon a time, we blogged together at Publishing Hub. Anytime one of my co-bloggers publishes a book, I make sure to purchase and read their novels. Why? Because that’s what writers do. And let me tell you…THIS is an author you should follow!!!

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Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
 

Worst. Birthday. Ever. 

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

What Did I Think??

This is my official review on Goodreads:

Holy awesome-sauce Batman! This is a fantastic read! I love that Tonya utilized some girl geekdom in her debut novel. Anomaly has it all–Star Wars references, smooching, darkness, and action. This is all I love in a good book and wasn’t disappointed. Now, could someone please get me book 2?! 

I’d like to add to this:

Can someone please send hottie Reid my way? OMG he has everything…dark wavy hair, a tattoo, and a bad-ass motorcycle.

Honestly, I had no other words for this story. It has EVERYTHING I want to read in a book. Tonya announced a few days ago on Facebook that Anomaly is going into its second printing! This story definitely deserves all of the praise it’s getting. It is a MUST read of 2015!!

Ringing in the New Year

Happy New Year!

I have some fantastic news, but before I go into that I thought I’d take a look back at my 2014 most memorable moments. Here are my top 5:

1.  BEA- There was so much fun packed into 3 days in New York. I finally met my critique partner face-to-face, I attended the Teen Author Rooftop Party, I met Stan Lee and Billy Idol, and spent time with blogger friends (too many to name), and I got to ride the subway with a fantastic author.

2.  Comic Con- YES! I took my teenager to NYC and spent the entire day surrounded by the coolest characters and fans. It was here that I freaked out/geeked out when I met Amber Benson and Stephen Amell in person.

3.  Full Requests- I know this isn’t something we are supposed to talk about, but I will. 2014 brought me 14 full requests for my manuscript titled, The Bleeding Heart. That’s a ton!!

4.  Sera- We marked one whole year together. My pup celebrated her first birthday and we finally have the whole routine down. We couldn’t have found a better dog for our family.

5.  I served on a committee that ran through multiple interviews ISO a new school librarian. Although the process took longer than we’d planned, I think we found the perfect fit for our small school. My favorite question was, what was the last book you’ve read and who would you recommend it to? What’s the last YA or MG book you’ve read. Of course I added the YA/MG part:)

In With the New

At the end of 2014, I made a decision…I am going to self-publish my NA Psychological Horror, The Bleeding Heart!

I wrote this story two years ago and I’ve been querying ever since. I submitted The Bleeding Heart into a few contests and even won a few, but alas I have not landed an agent. I’ve come to the realization that this story is not meant to be traditionally published. Maybe I’m not meant to be a traditional author. I’ve never really been traditional. In fact, my grandfather (we called him Grumpy) loved this about me. He always said that I found my own way, and I guess I’m going to continue in this tradition.

I’ve done a ton of research about how self-publishing and talked to a few indy authors. For those of you thinking about going this route, I totally suggest you read Jaime McGuire’s blog post about self-publishing.

The first thing I’m doing is taking the next two months to revise a few parts, then will send to a few trusted souls for a final read-through. Once that’s finished, I will copyright my work. Once this is finished, I’ll get to work on formatting my novel for all of the ebook outlets–Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, etc. I know I can hire someone to to do this for me, but I’m trying to do the majority of work myself.

And what I can’t do is design a cover. So, I’ve already set out and selected a cover designer. Last week I sent in my deposit, so sometime in April I’ll be talking cover! For my book! Yeah, I’m still pretty freaked about this part. Once I start seeing art, I’ll know this is it!! So look for a cover reveal sometime in April! The Bleeding Heart release day will be sometime in May.

The Bleeding Heart release will be sometime in May! I’m looking forward to the process and finally holding my baby in my hands.

So that’s my news.

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Dying to Devour: Jennifer Armentrout’s Dark Elements

I adore Jennifer Armentrout. Not only is she a fantastically nice person, but she creates THE BEST and HOTTEST men EVER! Crazily enough, I’ve had Stone Cold Touch on my shelf since BEA just waiting for me to first read White Hot Kiss. And read I did. The fact that it’s a story filled with demons and gargoyles, all of which a beyond hot, makes the underlying romance even better. The tension Armentrout creates between good and evil is palpable. For all of these reasons, I’m dying to devour the rest of Stone Cold Touch.17455585

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

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Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

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