BLOG TOUR: The Sham by Ellen Allen

The Sham by Ellen Allen 
Release Date: 09/07/14
Blurb Description: When love leads to death, be careful who you trust…

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as "The Sham", with her boyfriend, Jack, but he's very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He's also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months' ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily's classmates washed up in the local floods.

Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they're pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.

WARNING: THIS BOOK IS UNSUITABLE FOR YOUNGER TEENAGE READERS. IT DEPICTS ADULT SITUATIONS, MURDER SCENES, CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SEX AND PROFANITY.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The idea for this book came to me in a nightmare... It was so vivid that I imagined I was 17 again, at school, in the same group of 4 friends that I used to hang around with. We were involved in a murder and cover-up. I started writing partly as a way to get it out of my head and then the characters turned into real people... and Emily and Jack were born.

As some of the early reviewers have stated, it is quite extreme in chapter one, and necessarily so. This is the incident that sets up the whole book; something awful happens that sets off a train of events for the characters. This book is a mystery in two ways in that we're: 1) trying to find out who killed Emily's classmate; and 2) trying to work out who Jack is. I hope you enjoy it!

Buy Links:

About the Author
I’ve just finished writing my first book, so I’ve been busy trying to work out how all the pieces fit together – the planning, the plot, the rules, the imagination, the characters, the grammar, the structure, the endgame… there’s too much stuff to remember and a lot of the information that I’ve discovered online about how to write isn’t that good or even well written (the irony in reading advice on writing that isn’t well written…)

So I decided I needed to find somewhere to store the good stuff. Then it occurred to me that other people might find it useful too. So here it is. My online reference tool of all the useful (i.e. good) advice for writers-to-be. I only post here when I have something really useful to say about the craft (Twitter is for daily musings, Goodreads to review and Amazon to buy my work); it’s all about the quality here, folks, not the quantity… Enjoy!

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

**GIVEAWAY**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**EXTRACT** 

Extract one: “We’d all smoked the same little something”
From chapter: Have you seen anything? Or How dead bodies ‘melt out’ in spring thaws

          We all knew something was off. We could feel it, in about a million mammoth ways. The classroom was buzzing, as if we hadn’t been able to cope with the endless weeks of gloom. Like everything had been packed inside, so tight, for so long, that something had to snap.
          I took my usual seat, lollygagging in the middle of the classroom, wondering if the bottom of my jeans would ever get dry. We were still inundated with water but now from below, rather than above. The mammoth influxes of snow had started to melt leaving us to navigate the puddles, pools and streams left on every manmade surface. Becky and Rebecca were making a triumphant return to school, sitting on desks at the back but I kept my distance, wanting to keep well away. I smiled at a joke one of the boys made but I didn’t make eye contact. I remembered something Jack had said. Seem engaged in what’s going on, but don’t get involved or singled out. It seemed like good advice; an invisible boy knows how to stay hidden.
          I found a soggy breakfast muffin full of cold egg and tinned tomatoes seeping into my textbooks that Mum must have sneaked into my bag before I left the house. She can never remember I hate tomatoes, how many sugars I have in my tea or that I haven’t eaten a Jaffa Cake since I was six. Her memory is perpetually locked into my childhood patterns, pre-pills, before pre-breakfast cocktails were the norm. I took a bite because I was too hungry to mind or to worry about smelling out the classroom but I had a sense of unease. The days Mum acts like a Mum, they’re never the best.
          Like the day Grace finally died. My mother was sane, motherly. Offering advice. Telling me I might want to think about not going to see Grace in the funeral home. It’s better to remember them living, she had said. Breathing, laughing. But I had to see for myself, say goodbye. And now every hello I make to Grace, every memory I bring back to life begins with the last one I have. Cold. Stony. Her hair in a style she would have hated. A dress cherry-picked by her mother that made her look about ten. Like something out of Anne of bloody Green Gables. Like I said. The days when Mum makes sense, when I’m grateful for her efforts. Those never turn out well.
          Everyone was making so much noise. It was like we had all smoked the same little something before breakfast, inhaling the crazy. Kitty was quite literally, begging,

  “have you seen Me?”


She’d suddenly appeared everywhere, plastered all over school on posters the size of entire walls, her head eight times its usual size. I couldn’t help thinking they were looking for the wrong girl; she was barely recognisable from the picture they’d used; pre-make up, pre-highlights, pre-pubescent. Maybe – if she’d been discarded outside, left to rot like Cath – the hail and snow and wind and rain might have eroded all adolescent traces, like a two-month outdoor facial for her face? Would they draw the teenage mask back on like they did with Grace? A little mascara here, a little hairspray there? As if it makes a difference.


          I shimmied down inside my coat, snuggling under my hood. I wasn’t sure if anyone there knew that Jack even existed, never mind if they’d got wind of the police’s suspicions but I felt tainted by association. It was as if Kitty was speaking directly to me, pleading, Come and find me. I’m still okay. Nothing bad has happened. Yet. But we all knew different. Not the details. We had 20 minutes to wait for the hows, the where fors. 20 minutes for the puss to ooze through our streets, beneath our school gates and classroom doors. Before the hysterics really began.



BLOG TOUR: Life In The No Dating Zone by Patricia B. Tighe- Review & Giveaway

Life In The No Dating Zone by Patricia B. Tighe
Release Date: 12/02/14
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Blurb Description: After surviving her parents' relationship drama when her older sister elopes, Claire Gardner vows not to date during high school. Now, three years later, Claire is thrust into new relationship drama--her two best friends have boyfriends. Which means Claire is spending more and more time alone. And she's more than a little peeved.

Enter Gray Langley. His year-long crush on Claire's friend Lindsey has made him desperate enough to ask Claire for help. Hesitant at first, Claire agrees--anything to get rid of Lindsey's current evil boyfriend. But as Claire and Gray plot together, an attraction develops, and now she must decide if being with Gray is worth the pain that will come from confronting her parents with the reasons for her vow.

Add to Goodreads Buy Links: Amazon

About the Author
Patricia B. TigheI'm not the writer who's been writing for as long as she can remember. In fact, I didn't start writing fiction until I was almost thirty. But, I've always been a reader. Which, of course, is one of the basic requirements for being a writer. I've read everything from horse novels and spy thrillers to historical romance and fantasy sagas—and lots in between. There's something wondrous about picking up a book and entering a new world with new adventures. And I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

When I'm not reading, I hang out with my husband and two old dogs, plus my grown sons whenever I get the chance. In the fall I spend way too much time yelling at my TV while watching football. I'm also addicted to British TV shows. Top Gear, anyone?

Oh, yeah. And I write. Kissing books. Or at least books that include kissing. Hope you enjoy them!

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

**GIVEAWAY**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**MY REVIEW** 

So, No dating in high school? Different, yes! Do you think she'll break her 'vow'? Well (...) Is the boy next to perfect? UH, YES!

Is the story worth a read? DEFINITELY!

Life in the No Dating Zone is your typically cute contemporary romance- with a boy, a best friend, a problem sister, a plan and LEGOs! Claire is your bossy, down to earth, smart, girl next door pretty teenager. With the super popular best friend, who just happens to be nice and another, more know- it- all best friend, she starts to feel left out when both of them get boyfriends!

Enter Grayson, who likes the nice popular best friend with the sleaze boyfriend, and turns towards Claire for advice!

And the rest is history!

All I can say is- this super sweet is the perfect book to light your day up!

BLOG TOUR: Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich- Review, Interview & Giveaway

http://www.sarahnegovetich.com/p/author.htmlAuthor: Sarah Negovetich
Blurb Description: Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance.
A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancĂ© she’s almost certain she can learn to
love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo & iTunes

AUTHOR BIO: 
Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.
Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better clichĂ©.

Sarah divides her time between writing YA books that her husband won’t read and working with amazing authors as an agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her life’s goal is to be only a mildly embarrassing mom when her kids hit their teens.

You can learn more about Sarah and her books at www.SarahNegovetich.com
or follow her antics on Twitter @SarahNego.


#RiteOfRejection Reader Survival Pack

Prize pack includes:

Chapter 17 tissues (because that's when you'll need them), a jumbo sized chocolate bar (a hot commodity inside the PIT), an orange scented candle (courtesy of Rebecca's fondest memory from home, a dandelion pen (as featured on the cover), hand-crafted Molly bag (these are used extensively by the main characters), and a $10 Amazon gift card.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**INTERVIEW**
1.   What does it feel like to have your book out there, for the world to read?
Surreal! I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet. Maybe it will hit me on release date. In my head, this is still a project I’m helping one of my clients with. I’d describe it as equal parts excited and nervous, with a dash of ‘are we there yet’ thrown in for good measure.
2.      Tell us a little about the storyline for Rite of Rejection: 
The story follows Rebecca who is on the verge of becoming a full member of her society, but instead she’s identified as a future criminal and sent to prison for life. Except this prison functions as its own little community where the only thing you can’t do is escape. Having lived her entire life sheltered by her mother, Rebecca has no idea how to survive on her own. She needs the help of other teens, wrongly accused just like her. Together they make plans to create a new life and Rebecca learns how to start living, but when you’re surrounded by criminals it’s hard to know who to trust.

3. What inspired you to write Rite of Rejection?
I remember reading a news story about a senseless crime and wishing there was a way we could know ahead of time who would do this kind of thing. From there I brainstormed what that would look like if we could (think Minority Report) and it all snowballed from there.

4. Do an Acronym for Rite of Rejection (one word for each letter of the title)
Whoops! I should have picked a shorter title. This was crazy hard and probably doesn’t make any sense unless you’ve read the book. Spoilers! J
Rebecca’s
In
Trouble.
Eric
Offers
Freedom.
Revolutionaries
Escape
Jail,
Except
Criminal
Trades
Information
On
Niceguys

5. What is your opinion on negative reviews?

I have a love/hate relationship with them. So far most of my reviews have been favorable, but I’ve had a few readers that really didn’t like the book. I’m not going to lie, those reviews sting, but not as much as I would have thought. While I adore getting those 5* reviews, I also appreciate the readers who didn’t like it. Negative reviews remind me that I still have room to grow and learn so I can be a better writer. They motivate me to work toward putting out an even better book next time. 

**MY REVIEW** 

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars!

A Good, but not great new book in the Dystopian World!

I swear I've gone on a Dystopian String this week, starting off with watching (and just sitting in the theatre long after it was over going NO in my head) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 3, then I read  Amanda Thorne's Ruination and almost immediately started this!

While I really LOVED the idea of an Acceptance Ball in the modern world, and to a girl that dreamed and thought about it, to get Rejected for no reason, and pretty much everything else unfair about a system that claims to be flawless- I found that the execution could have been a lot better.

It was nice, don't get me wrong, but I felt like there could have been more anger, more emotion early on from Rebecca, her parents, everyone. I feel like The Acceptance should have been given more importance so that the reader understood what it was to live the 'proper' life, not leave it to his/ her imagination.

Still, the story picked up later on, and I found myself enjoying the book:) I would recommend the book