Friday, May 27, 2016

{Guest Post} NIL ON FIRE by Lynne Matson: "What would you accomplish if you only had the certainty of 365 days of life remaining?"

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Lynne Matson is the author of the acclaimed Nil series, a thrilling trilogy in which teens trapped on a mysterious island have exactly 365 days to escape, or die. NIL was awarded a VOYA Perfect 10 for 2014 and a starred review, and was selected as a TEEN Vogue hot summer read. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently nominated for numerous state awards. A former lawyer, Lynne is now a full-time writer. She lives in Florida with her husband and four sons.  Cookies are her kryptonite, especially Thin Mints.

Visit Lynne on her website

What would you accomplish if you only had the certainty of 365 days of life remaining?

by Lynne Matson


Lynne previously stopped by A Backwards Story
during her first ever blog tour
to reveal secrets about the island world of Nil!!! 

Lynne, I'm SO HAPPY to have you back and be on tour again,
this time for the final book in the series!!!!

 
What would I do if my days were numbered? What would I accomplish—or hope to accomplish in my final year?  How would the fact that I KNEW my days were numbered change the way I lived out my remaining days—or would it?  What would I do with this knowledge?

I love this prompt SO MUCH because this question is a HUGE part of the Nil world.

As y’all may know, the teens on Nil have exactly one year to escape the island, or they die. And how they choose to spend their days on the island is a big part of each book. Do they make connections with other teens? Do they risk growing close to someone or falling in love, knowing that they might not have a future together? Do they choose to hope? Do they choose to help one another or simply fend for themselves? How do they fight the unknown? Or do they give up? How do they cope every day with the knowledge their clock is winding down?

For the teens on the island of Nil, death isn’t guaranteed, but neither is life. And if they do escape, they’ll have to live with the consequences of decisions made back on Nil. On Nil, time--especially the lack of it--colors every character’s decision, but each character makes very different choices. Some selfless, some selfish. Some perhaps, a mix of both. Throughout the entire NIL series, the pressure of time—of dwindling time—adds another layer to every decision the characters make. Time is a worthy adversary all its own.

Here’s a quote from NIL, where Thad talks about his awareness of dwindling time, and how it impacts how they live on the island.

Emotion flickered in Thad’s eyes, like a ghost. “Don’t you see, Charley? That’s part of Nil’s fun.” He laughed, but it sounded choked. “That’s part of what I needed to get my head around this past week. The fact that I’d met the perfect girl, here, in the one place where there’s no future. Where the only given is that we can’t stay.”

Both Thad and Charley wrestle with their feelings, knowing that they’re living in a place that has no future…and falling for someone who may not have a future either.

In NIL UNLOCKED, Rives wrestles with whether to risk his heart again, when his time is short and his responsibilities seem endless. As Leader, the risks that Rives takes are to help others, but each one comes at a greater personal cost.  And for her part, Skye makes choices that impact everyone’s time clocks, not just her own, ultimately risking Rives’ life in a way she’d never anticipated. The lack of time makes each victory sweeter and each defeat that much more painful.

NIL ON FIRE continues that thread—with Skye facing the ultimate choice, with no time left on the clock.

So how would I spend my life if I knew I only had 365 days to live?

If I were stuck on the island of Nil, I know I’d spend a good chunk of my time foraging for food, running from tigers and other crazy things on Nil, and generally fighting a sense of impending doom in paradise. I’d like to think I’d stay strong, although at times, it would be hard to maintain hope as time ran out. But at the same time, hope and faith are a huge part of my life, so I know somehow I wouldn’t give up.

But how would I spend my life here, in this world, if I knew I only had 365 days to live? I should answer that I’d live just like I do now, because you never know when your time is up, right? I mean, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. But I think if I KNEW I had only a year to live, I’d really let the small stuff go . . . the stuff that doesn’t matter. Hug more people, stop to appreciate life’s blessings, both big and small. Tell everyone I love that I love them, thank the people who have touched my life, try something new, read ALL THE BOOKS, go to more concerts, hug and kiss and stay up late with my boys as much as I could, eat more cookies, and take a trip to Hawaii with all my boys and super cute husband…because that’s where the idea for the Nil world was born. ^_^

As I write this post, I’m think I’m going to work on this . . . going for more hugs, books, and cookies. . .  more quiet moments. Less worrying about the small stuff. More time with the people I care about, and more thanks to those who impacted my life in the most wonderful of ways . . . including all the awesome bloggers and readers who’ve made the world of Nil come alive—like you!

Thanks, Bonnie, for having me on your blog! And thank you sweet readers, for sticking around to the end.NIL ON FIRE is for you. ^_^

   ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title:  NIL ON FIRE
Author: Lynne Matson
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.  / Macmillan
SUMMARY:

Despite Rives and Skye's attempt to destroy Nil, the island remains. And back in this world, Nil won't let Skye go. Haunted by a darkness she can't ignore, Skye wrestles with Nil nightmares that worsen by the day and threaten to tear her apart. As Skye fights to keep her mind intact, she realizes that to finally break free of Nil, she must end Nil's vicious cycle once and for all--and she can't do it alone.
 
Who will return to Nil, and in the end, who will survive? In this thrilling final installment of the Nil series, the stakes have never been higher: everyone's fate hangs in the balance, including Nil's own--and Nil will fight to the death. When the full force of the island is unleashed, Skye faces an impossible choice, a cruel one she'd never imagined she'd have to make. Soon one Nil truth becomes painfully clear: only one side can win.
 
Losing isn't an option, but winning will cost Skye everything.
 
Perfect for fans of Lost and survivalist stories, NIL ON FIRE is a stunning conclusion to the Nil trilogy that will leave readers breathless.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What you NEED to read to overcome that ACOMAF hangover!

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas has been out for almost a month now--and been sitting #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List for two weeks to boot!!!

We've all been reading it together. We've all been mourning the wait for the next book together. We've all been buzzing, been gushing, been talking, been EVERYTHING about this book.

One more thing we've been doing together?

Getting drunk on ACOMAF and having the BIGGEST. BOOK HANGOVER. EVER.

Ask around and everyone is saying the same thing: They can't read, or have no interest in reading, or everything is mundane in comparison to how amazing ACOMAF was.

I've been saying that all other books are like ashes in my mouth.

I mean, listen. I read one of this year's BIGGEST releases right after ACOMAF--a book EVERYONE is obsessed with. And I went MEH. *THEN* I read a book I've been wanting to read for over a year now. And I went MEH.


All I wanted to do was re-read ACOTAR/ACOMAF.

(And I had just re-read ACOTAR and first-read ACOMAF, and I never want to go back and start all over again right away! I think the last times I remember doing this were for The Hunger Games trilogy that I binged back-to-back and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins. It's very rare!!!)

And so I DID. Well...I re-read certain parts from both books. Which I knew I would very early on reading ACOMAF. And I think I'm already ready to read both books AGAIN. ^^;;;

How can I move on to something new when I'm still so stuck in another world? Book after book, nothing was working.

I decided: I needed to read something SIMILAR to ACOMAF.

...But....there really isn't anything quite like it.

On a whim (And remembering NOTHING about the synopsis), I decided to try the adult fantasy series Tairen Soul by C.L. Wilson that has been sitting on my nook for years. I've always wanted to read it and have heard great things about it, but have never gotten around to it.

But these covers, though....

THIS WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER!!!

So far, it has helped me overcome my ACOMAF hangover in a way that no other book has come close to.

I think it's because there are themes that resonate the same way in both books, and it's structurally what I needed.

There are fae warriors in both books (And let me go on record: I'm not a big reader of fae books. These are more fae warriors than traditional fae in both books, and they read differently!). Both books also feature worlds where the fae/fey are feared, where their magic and choices bleeds into and affects the lives of humans. Both have wars coming that will change the fates of both humans and fae alike.

Both series feature human girls with drastically different, more magical futures than they ever envisioned for themselves.

Both books have prophecies and destinies. Tales of romance, of soulmates, of truemates.

Structurally, Tairen Soul is more like Maas' debut series Throne of Glass in that both books are in third person and have POV switches to other characters, including villains, while the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy is in first person.

Both series are technically composed of adult fantasy novels. I don't really care that the ACOTAR series is in teen, because it's hard for me to recommend the series to a young teenager. It's just not meant for new teens (Sorry.) Maas and her publisher were originally going to publish the series as adult before deciding to keep it in teen with her ToG series.

Granted, I'm not saying that the two series are on the same playing field, because they're not. But the two worlds have enough similarities that my soul latched onto it when it wanted no other type of world after being so entranced by ACOMAF.

I've been enjoying the first book, LORD OF THE FADING LANDS, a lot, and have already moved on to the second book, LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS. After I finish, there are still three more books in the series--and they're all published--so I'm really excited to have a lot of new reading material!!!

Why did I wait so long to finally pick this series up?

Well, for one, maybe the covers. They're so cheesy!!!! For another, I think I picked the series up right around when I started blogging more frequently, and I tend to read review books and ARCs for books I'm really excited about before I have time to read the stuff I've already purchased. ^^;;;

I need to get better at that!!!

But what's it about?

The series centers around a girl named Ellysetta who is on the brink on turning 25. Once she hits 25, marriage is no longer possible. Nobody wants her save for a bully she despises who tricks her into a betrothal. The series also stars Rain, King of the Soul, who harbours a Tairen Soul within him. He consults the Eye of Truth Oracle to find out if there's a way to prevent the Tairen and the Fey from dying into extinction and is called to the city of Celieria. Once in Celieria, Ellie's soul calls to Rain's, marking them as truemates. But how can a fey and a human be destined to be together? How can a human girl be fated to save the Tairen and the Fey...and to save Rain himself? There's more to this not-so-ordinary-human-girl than what meets the eye, and with war on the horizon, she may indeed have the ability to save them all--but only with Rain's help..

If you're suffering from an ACOMAF book hangover or, heck, just want to read something in a similar genre, check out the Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson.

You won't regret it!
  ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:


Title: LORD OF THE FADING LANDS
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2007
Publisher: Avon / HarperCollins
Received: Purchased

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17368138-gilded-ashesd
SUMMARY:

Once he drove back the darkness.
Once he loved with such passion his name was legend.

Once, driven wild with grief over the murder of his beloved, the majestic Fey King Rain Tairen Soul had laid waste to the world before vanishing into the Fading Lands. Now, a thousand years later, a new threat draws him back into the world—and a new love reawakens the heart he thought long dead.

Ellysetta, a woodcarver’s daughter, calls to Rain in a way no other ever had. Mysterious and magical, her soul beckons him with a compelling, seductive song—and no matter the cost, the wildness in his blood will not be denied.

As an ancient, familiar evil regains its strength, causing centuries-old alliances to crumble and threatening doom for Rain and his people... he must claim his truemate to embrace the destiny woven for them both in the mists of time.

  ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:


Title: A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Received: For Review;
since purchased!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17368138-gilded-ashesd
SUMMARY:

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

 
Title: A COURT OF MIST AND FURY
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Purchased!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17368138-gilded-ashesd
SUMMARY:

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

  ~*~

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BIG Disney News This Month Feat. TANGLED and BEAUTY & THE BEAST!!!

You love Disney. I love Disney. We ALL love Disney!!!

Whenever Disney has big news, I think we all take in a collective gasp.

This week, Disney released two exciting pieces of news regarding two of their Princess movies, Tangled and Beauty and the Beast.

The first wave of excitement was drowned out by the second one, so we'll start there:

There's going to be a Tangled TV series on Disney Channel in 2017!!!!!!!!!

Mandy Moore (Rapunzel) and Zachary Levi (Flynn/Eugene) are coming back to the voice the characters we love and know. Not only that, but there will be MUSIC. Annnnnnd it will once again be done by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater

Right now, the series is scheduled to have a total of 78 episodes, which will be spread out over three seasons.

Ahhhhh, that's a LOT of Tangled.

BEST.DAY.EVER!!!!!! AMIRIGHT!?

Here's an EW interview with Zachary Levi that sheds some light on what's to come:



The first trailer to Beauty and the Beast: The Live Action Movie IS HERE!!!!!

THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

If you were on social media yesterday, you already heard the news, because it spread like WILDFIRE. It was trending on Twitter and Facebook. EVERYONE is talking about it.

We've known for a few years that Beauty and the Beast: The Live Action Movie was coming...and we've been (not so patiently) waiting for 2017.

The first teaser trailer dropped yesterday!!!!!

IT WAS NOT NEARLY LONG ENOUGH.

....IT WAS EVERYTHING.

Ahhhhhhh, I am so so so so so so so so so excited about this movie.

....Um, did I mention I was excited?

It looks so pretty!!!!!

If you missed it, come take a peek:


 Are you excited to watch these????


Friday, May 20, 2016

{Excerpt/Giveaway} WITHERING ROSE by Kaitlyn Davis


I really enjoyed the GATHERING FROST, the first book in the Once Upon a Curse stand-alone companion series! I'm REALLY excited that WITHERING ROSE is finally here. I feel like I've been waiting ages to read it! AND it's Beauty and the Beast, except in reverse!

Sooooo excited the launch is here!


Keep reading to win a copy of WITHERING ROSE!!!

  
WITHERING ROSE (Once Upon a Curse #2)
by Kaitlyn Davis
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Release date: May 17th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:


  **A USA Today Recommended Series!**

What if Beauty was cursed, and the Beast was the only one who could save her? Don't miss WITHERING ROSE, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Beauty & The Beast. This is the second book in Once Upon A Curse, a series of interconnected stand-alone novels all set in the same fantasy universe.

"As the heat finally disappeared, I felt the bloom blossom in the very core of my soul, a rose just like my name—a ticking clock hidden behind a fa├žade of beauty. From that moment on, my life would become a countdown, and all I could do was wait and watch as the petals of time slowly started to fall."

Omorose Bouchene has a secret—magic. There's only one problem. At the age of seven, an earthquake struck, catapulting her into a new world. A land made of skyscrapers and cell phones. Fast cars and fluorescent lights. A land where magic isn't supposed to exist and anyone who wields it is the enemy.

But after ten years of hiding, she's desperate to find a place where she can be free. Because all magic comes with a curse, and her curse is time—every ounce of power she uses strips days off of her life. The clock is winding down, and the only option left is to escape to the realm ruled by a man known only as the Beast. But the king of monsters isn’t what he seems. And the more Omorose opens her heart, the more she comes to realize that the only person she may need to fear is herself. 

Buy Links:




excerpt
Are you ready for a sneak peek!? 


 


From Chapter Twelve


Cole stands abruptly, pushing his chair back so quickly it nearly falls over. "Come with me," he urges.

His tone is pleading so I do, taking his hand, not saying anything as we leave the barely eaten food behind. It doesn’t take long for me to recognize where we're going. I expected it all along.

Still, I gasp as we enter the ballroom. Cole starts down the steps, but I stop at the top, taking in the twinkling chandeliers and the newly cleaned glistening gold moldings all around the room. My eyes follow the trail of flickering lights around the sweeping space, meeting the hundreds of eyes reflecting those same flames as they watch me with their king. Wolves. Bears. Leopards. Birds. Foxes. A kingdom of predators who bow submissively before us in a swift wave.

Cole looks over his shoulder, reaching out to where I'm stuck.

"Dance with me," he whispers.

My gaze drops to his. I don't understand the pain in his eyes. But I understand the hope. And it guides me to him. Our fingers wrap together, holding tight, and he leads me to the center of the floor.

"There's no music," I murmur shyly, conscious of the many eyes upon us.

Cole spins me toward him, grasping my small waist with his strong hand. The heat of his palm pushes through the fabric, burning as though there is nothing between us at all. His other hand still clutches me, holding our arms to the side. And then he leans in, close enough that all I see and sense is him, the broad expanse of his chest, the woodsy, wild smell that clings to him, the rumble of words deep in his chest.

He presses his lips gently against my ear and whispers, "There will be."

The first howl rises almost eerily in the silence. But another joins. Then another. The song reminds me of the one I heard deep in my soul the first time I stepped into this room, dancing with my memories before the sound of a distant laugh stopped me.

This time, no one is laughing.



Book One 
(click on image for Goodreads link):

Gathering Frost Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes and NobleKoboiBooksSmashwordsGoogle Play

RAVE REVIEWS for Gathering Frost!

"My favorite thing about this book is the action. Jade isn't a sleeping princess. She's the best fighter and so fierce in her "empty" state. I felt like this was an urban fantasy with all the steam of a romance, and it was almost perfect for me." - Jessie Potts, USA TODAY Happy Ever After Blog

"Davis writes with confidence and poise, and the story's many twists and turns stave off predictability and allow readers to become immersed in a starkly magical world filled with last hopes." - Publisher's Weekly

"Gathering Frost is just awesome in every wayBeautiful prose, lots of heart-wrenching emotion, action and romance, a great, unstoppable villain, and a smart, tough heroine who will fight for what she wants." - Geeks in High School

"The writing is flawless as always and I must say, way to take a classic and make such a creative and wonderful twist to it...It's well thought out and it unbelievably magnificent. I seriously couldn't put it down. Wait I never actually put it down. I started and finished in one sitting because it's just that good. This one is a MUST READ." - Happy Tails and Tales Blog


About the Author
Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. 

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she's not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found indulging in some puppy videos, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her--about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general--you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com

To stay up-to-date with all of Kaitlyn's new releases, sign up for her new release newsletter here: TinyLetter.com/KaitlynDavisBooks

Author Links:
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