Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Belgrave Daughter

Today, we here at All Booked Up YA are pleased to introduce our readers to Zara Hoffman's debut novel, The Belgrave Daughter!  Let me just start off by telling you that this book has it all (at least in my mind): magic, romance, angels, demons, Eeeee!  I won't lie, there are definitely parts where I could tell that this was Hoffman's first novel, but this is easily looked over because the core of her writing is amazing!  I CANNOT wait for the rest of the series.  This new author definitely has some major potential!  We here at All Booked Up YA are eager to keep our eyes on this one!

The Septemgeminus Prophecy states: "A powerful sorceress with blood laced in gold sevenfold shall determine the fate of the world." 
Fawn Belgrave's magical powers are the coveted prize in a bet between God and the Devil. 
When she meets Caleb, the dark angel assigned to seduce her, Fawn's life is turned upside down.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Guardians Review + Guest Post + Giveaway!

So today is a pretty amazing day!  Today, we had a chance to participate in The Guardian's Blog Tour!  We're so happy to have brilliant writer T.M. Franklin participate and guest post for us as well as a giveaway!!  This is our first official guest post and from one of our fav writers! 

Before we get the guest post, please let me tell you that if you have yet to read the MORE series, you are missing out! 

The Guardians (More, #2), is the second book in the More series that follows our main protagonist, Ava, who’s life is . . . complicated.

After all, it’s not every day a girl learns she’s not entirely human, or unlocks hidden powers strong enough to make even the First Race sit up and take notice. After surviving an attempted kidnapping and standing up to the Race’s Ruling Council, Ava Michaels returns to college and what she hopes is a normal life. But Ava quickly realizes that for her, normal may not even exist anymore.

In fact, the Council wants her under their control, and they’re not the only ones. The mysterious Rogues have a plan of their own, and it turns out Ava’s a big part of it, whether she wants to be or not.

On top of that, her new relationship is tested in ways she never expected. Her boyfriend, Caleb Foster, has disappeared—accused of betraying the Race—and Ava herself stands implicated in a crime she didn’t commit.

Clearing their names will mean uncovering a web of deceit and intrigue with Ava woven right in the center. To unravel the strands, she joins forces with some unlikely allies; a Protector who once haunted her nightmares, a young girl with secrets as unexpected as Ava’s, and a group of rebel Guardians who have their own fight against the Council.

Together they stand in a battle to find the truth, bring Caleb home, and secure Ava’s freedom—not to mention save her life.

Wow, if you think middle series books are typically mediocre, you are in for one crazy surprise with T.M. Franklin's The Guardians (More, #2)!  Okay, so seriously, T.M. Franklin is a master at world building!  She has taken the super human race concept to a new level and adds in a great mix of mystery and intrigue, action and romance that will completely capture readers and have them hanging on the edge of their seat until the very last page!  This book seriously has it all! The settings are familiar and yet unique and create a whole level of wonderment that will leave you breathless.

Let me just say, that I absolutely adore Ava and her boyfriend Caleb.  More really solidified the couple in my mind and while The Guardians continues their story, I would definitely not have complained if there had been a little more relationship building between the two of them.  Also, as far as supporting characters go, Most Improved is hands down awarded to Tiernan and Katherine.  I will be honest when I say that in the first book I really disliked Tiernan and Katherine, however their story develops quite nicely and I have grown quite fond of the pair, especially Tiernan.  :)

If you have not read More (More #1) yet, stop what you're doing and go pick up a copy and if you have had the privilege of reading the first do yourself a favor and add The Guardians (More, #2) to your collection!  You will NOT be disappointed!  I didn't think it was possible, but this one improves upon the first! 

Now on to the guest post...

Getting into the Writing Groove
By T.M. Franklin

People often ask what I do to get into the right mindset to write, and if I have any weird rituals to help me get into the mood. Well, I do have things that make me more comfortable and able to focus, but I don’t always have to wear the same shirt (gross!) or turn around three times before I sit down or anything (my dog does, though.)

Still, here are my Top Five Must-Haves to Get Into the Writing Groove.

1.  Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

To clarify, it doesn’t have  to be coffee, although I do prefer it in the mornings (fat free half and half and two Splendas, or a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte for those keeping track.) I usually switch to Diet Coke in the afternoon, and in the summertime it’s really strong iced tea or iced coffee.

But yeah. Caffeine is a necessity, and I have to admit I drink a lot (read: too much) of it.

2. Quiet
A lot of authors have playlists they write to, even several different ones, depending on the mood they want to create. I’ve found I can’t write to music, though. I get too distracted singing along. Even with instrumentals, I hum, trying to find the harmonies, and before I know it I’m dancing around the kitchen instead of writing.

So no music for me. I love it, but not when I’m writing.

I can, however, write with the television on. I think it comes from years working in a TV newsroom with the constant noise of different competing channels and satellite feeds and police scanners surrounding me. It’s just white noise to me, and it actually helps me focus. Go figure.

3. An Outline

I’ve found I have to be organized if I’m going to get any writing done. I’m not a seat-of-your-pantser when it comes to writing. I need to have a detailed outline, even broken down into scenes with notes to help me along. This way, even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired, I can push myself through, because I know where the story’s going. I can always go back and fix it later, but getting those words down is the most important thing, at least for the initial draft.

4. A Motivator

To go along with number 3, I need a deadline. I need a daily or weekly goal. I need to have accountability. Otherwise, I’ll procrastinate until the very last minute. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has been a big help to me as far as this is concerned. The goal to write 50,000 words in a month, 1,667 words a day, is really a great motivator. In fact, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo right now – so stop by and keep me on my toes!

5. A Friend (or Two or Three…)

And speaking of motivators and accountability, I love a good Word Challenge (WC.) I have a lot of writing friends and I’ll often meet up with one or more of them in a chat room and we’ll just write for an hour or two and compare word counts at the end of that time. Sometimes we’ll share a little snippet of what we wrote and give each other feedback.

It’s a great way to encourage one another, and to keep yourself on target for that limited amount of time. I’ll even turn off all social media during a WC (gasp!) so I can completely focus.

So there you have it. Nothing too strange. No dancing under the full moon or writing in my underwear. Just keeping alert, keeping organized, and keeping motivated with the help of some friends.

What do you do to stay focused? Share your tips in the comments!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Of Neptune

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Today is an exciting day, because today is the day that I am announcing that I am EAGERLY awaiting the release of Anna Banks' series finale, Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy, #3)!  

The cover of this beauty was just recently released and really, wow!  STUNNING!  Looks very similar and in line with Of Triton.  Where Emma is definitely in charge in Of Triton and the romance and lust builds, this cover definitely shows her more trusting and Galen more caring...not that he EVER was not caring, but he clearly would do anything for her (lucky).

Anyway, I know a lot of you are thinking, "What, a third?" But really, who can ever get enough of Galen!  Seriously!  Can it be 2014 yet?  There are SOOOOO many books I am waiting on!