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5 star review for Here's the Thing by Emily O'Beirne & E-copies Giveaway



This is my second O’Beirne novel. The first being Points of Departure, which I reviewed and loved two days ago. But if you don’t like multiple POVs, Points of Departure isn’t a good fit.

But the good news is Here’s the Thing is told by only Zel and she’s fantastic.

It has everything that was great in Points of Departure and none of the flaws. I highly recommend Here’s the Thing to everyone and it’s a must read for fans of YA contemporary.


Here's the Thing by Emily O'Beirne

Genre: YA Contemporary (LGBT)
Release Date: October 19th 2016
Ylva Publishing
Summary from Goodreads:
It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Evenif Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.

But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.

As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.

Pre-Order @ Ylva



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First sentence (prologue):
She still sends me pictures.

Zel is present from the first page, grabbed me and never let go. I love her voice. The prologue sets up the heartbreak, misery, and mystery surrounding what happened between her and Prim.

After that, we join her touring a fancy-pants school as her family moved her back to Australia after 8 months in New York. Now they’re in Sydney, though she grew up in Canberra.

For my fellow geography-challenged peeps. 

That’s when everything from the blurb comes into play: Art teacher, Drama crew and project, waiting for Stella to show up, and for Prim to speak. I absolutely loved unraveling the mystery of Prim and their falling out. I had an idea of what went wrong obviously, but I needed the details. The past passages worked perfectly and felt natural. Enough so, I kinda want to tag it Mystery, because it had me hooked.

But the other aspect I really want to talk about is the drama presentation they did. Only I’m not sure if that qualifies as a spoiler. Probably does. Grrr.

Anyways, this whole book is progressive as fuck.

It was one of the first times in my life I was forced to check my privilege, to recognize it existed.

In that same vein, here’s some informative articles about Australia’s crimes against humanity towards refugees.



Zel: 


Seriously, I was more regular about losing MetroCards than I am with my menstrual cycle.

I can’t love her more. She’s relatable and adorable and admirable and you just want to shake her a bit to make her see that. Her mind was expanded in New York and now is going through growing pains to mature more. I felt so bad for what she’s going through but I’m so happy to see read this in a novel.

Zel’s Family: 


Anyway, Dad always says he doesn’t care if people assume he’s gay, because it’s not an insult.

Yay happy families! Not only in YA but in QUILTBAG YA to boot. There are family dinners, heart to hearts and just plain hanging out. It’s glorious in its simplicity of just being there. It’s not made into a big deal. But IT IS while reading it. Made me so happy :D

Romance:


Because that’s the thing. There’s always a reaction, however small or positive. Why does there have to be one at all?

It’s a slow burn. Not strong enough to qualify for hate to love, but definitely stand offish push-pull acquaintances. There’s also a love triangle, but no worries, Zel’s an outsider to that drama. It’s hilarious watching the trio’s spectacle play out. It doesn’t pull focus and has a purpose. Several purposes actually. This is kind of love triangle portrayal in YA I can get behind.

Bottom Line:


Ya’ll should be damn envious I got to read this book before release and ready to enter all the giveaways for it. Or do the smarter thing and don’t risk it, pre-order it now.






About the Author

Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables. Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.

From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people. Living in an apartment, Emily sadly does not possess her dream writing room overlooking an idyllic garden of her creation. Instead, she spends a lot of her time staring over the screen of her laptop and out the window at the somewhat less pretty (but highly entertaining) combined kebab stand/carwash across the road. (from the publisher’s website)




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(PSSSST! There's also a giveaway on Goodreads!)

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Check out Hallowread Book Festival and Mini-Con for Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk and Horror

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | Please comment!
Hallowread is a book festival and mini-con for authors and fans of Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk and Horror.

October 21-23 2016 in Havre de Grace, Maryland!




Multi author event with various activities throughout the weekend including Writing Workshops, Ghost Tour, SteamPunk Author Tea, Author Panels, Book Signing, Paranormal Investigation and so much more. Hang out with your favorite authors in our new host city, the haunted and historic town of Havre de Grace, Maryland!

Local Maryland author of dark urban fantasy, Rachel Rawlings, had a crazy idea. Create a book convention for genre fiction and hold it the weekend before Halloween. Haunted and historic Ellicott City held a special place in her heart so there was no other place to take her first ever convention. The town welcomed her and HallowRead with open arms. Each ticket sold helped raise money for the Ellicott City Partnership- a coalition of residents and business owners for the betterment of the town. HallowRead raised money for projects like rain barrels which help reduce the sediment and contaminants running into the Patapsco River and fund grants for projects like Paint Main Street which helped small business owners get a much needed fresh coat of paint improving the moral and over all appearance of the town.

Rachel is excited to take the convention on the road for 2016 and raise funds for Harford County literacy programs and the local library system! One ticket, whether it’s a $10 paranormal investigation or the full monty ticket, makes a difference for the town and the wonderful people who call it home, something Rachel is extremely proud of.

Click here to see a list of HallowRead events

Get your tickets here: http://hallowread.com/tickets/

See a list of attending authors here: http://hallowread.com/authors/

Author Opportunities still available!

Interested in participating in HallowRead?

Registration of $35.00 includes a feature on panels, the signing, website and social media, plus other special incentives!

Contact HallowRead13@gmail.com


About the Founder of Hallowread:


Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn't until 2009 that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.

When she isn't writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.

More information on Hallowread, its schedule of events and participating authors can be found at www.hallowread.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/Hallowread .

She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.




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Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway for Fate's Divided by Jules Barnard


It all started when I saw that cover in my email. I immediately stopped to take a closer look. Then I read the blurb. I was so there. Bi-racial nerdy chemist? Fuck yes! Science + Fae magic? Awesome!
The fact it’s New Adult with Elena in college and assuming she’d deal with contemporary problems was a sweet bonus. The romance aspect for me is hardly ever a big draw, but I figured as long as it didn’t get in the way, it’d be all good.

So close. And it wasn’t entirely because of the romance.

Some of it’s the fact I don’t like angels. Some of it’s specific to Fates Divided.

Find out what exactly below and why I’m still continuing the series.


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4 Stars for Points of Departure by Emily O'Beirne & Chance to Win 1 of 10 copies



This is the first novel I read from Emily O’Beirne but I have another review coming for another novel of hers, Here’s the Thing, coming on the 30th. This is definitely one author to follow and I will be reading her first series, A Story of Now.

The F/F romance and blurb hooked me. It wasn’t exactly like I’d assumed but it smashed my expectations. It follows five very different young women during the summer after high school graduation.

I easily recommend this one for contemporary, QUILTBAG, and New Adult fans provided you like this kind of story telling with multiple POVs and time skips. There's an awesome giveaway for 10 e-copies of Points of Departure below so don't forget to throw your hat in the ring.

If not, I'd check out her other work. Here's the Thing is a single perspective that immediately sucked me and it's going great so far.


Points of Departure

by Emily O'Beirne
Genre: YA Contemporary (LGBT)
Release Date: June 16th 2016
Ylva Publishing
Summary from Goodreads:
In this young adult novel, to be released June 2016, best friends Kit and Liza have been looking forward to this trip forever.

Five girls, five tickets overseas. It’s exactly what they all need after the final slog of high school. But when Kit’s suddenly forced to drop out, Liza’s left with three girls she barely knows.

There’s Mai, committed only to partying. There’s Tam, who already has her doubts about leaving her sick father behind. And there’s Olivia, so miserable about screwing up exams she’s not even sure she wants to get out of bed, let alone on a plane. Meanwhile Kit’s stuck working double shifts to pay off a debt, wondering if she’ll ever get it together.

All Liza wants from this trip is to discover a new version of herself. She just hadn’t planned on doing it without Kit by her side.

And they’re all learning that travel isn’t just about the places you go, but who you’re with at the time.
Buy it:
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I started Points of Departure excited to dive in and was greeted with descriptions of our five main girls. (Not to be confused with the Mane Five.) I like character lists as a reference in general and quickly found it necessary.

While I eventually liked them all and want a sequel with them, the POV jumping was hard to get used to at first. There didn’t seem to be much differences in the writing between them all. Before each section, it lists who’s speaking and where there are that’s tremendously helpful. But I really wish the date/time was included. Getting acclimated to the time jumps was difficult and the only thing I struggled with.

The story begins following Liza, who recently dropped two surprise announcements to her parents. One, she’s a lesbian. Two, she’s quitting running – the thing that’s dominated her life for years.

Liza is the quiet, considerate, best friend anyone could have. She’s had a rough go of it and I immediately wanted karma for those who hurt her. This damn bookish nerd won me over immediately.

Kit came off as an oddball. I wasn’t sure what to make of her but once past the awkward set-up conversation and onto their lives, she became my favorite. Tied with Liza, of course.

She appears to be a mess, but her background and self-discovery journey hit home for me. She reminds me of my best friend growing up, but with a different outcome. I’m so proud of her. She has the knack with people I’ve never had or understood – it seems like magic. I still don’t know how it works, but appreciate people like her. I’d think we’d be friends.

Tam is country-bumpkin homebody ( ← me growing up) worried about her family, aspiring chef, and the boy next door. It was nice to see that not everyone needs or should go to college with her and Kit. Her feelings with everything going on was so understandable. I felt for her so much.

Mai’s the only perspective we don’t get to read, which was perplexing. We see how everyone else views her, but I really wanted to know her since outsider perspectives aren’t the full story. In the end, with great insights and revelations, I appreciated that.

To me, it’s a message of how and why our perspectives are skewed and an argument to be better – not so quick and willing to look deeper. Which goes for the whole tale actually, but I found Mai’s attribution particularly compelling. I liked how her race/heritage came up and was handled. It was just a part of her and how people judged her but she wasn’t the token friend.

Which leaves Olivia. She was parts understandable, sympathetic, and frustrating. Her famous author mother and how it affected her was interesting. Not something you run into every day. Then there’s her collage problems, worried about her exams and “do I really want to do this?” second thoughts, which was engaging. Her romantic problems are where the sympathetic and frustrating go into overdrive for me. It went from “Well, that sucks”, being on the other side of the equation, and “Do what I want now!”

Romance:


The romance takes a while to appear. I was honestly thinking this would be some sad heart wrenching shit as far as partnerships were concerned for a long time. Like almost the whole book before I was SURE these kids would make it together after all.

It wouldn’t have been a total loss if it’s the unrequited kind because of the adventure, the friendships, the personal problems, and just generally enjoying the story. But I’m ecstatic about how it wound up.

I wasn’t expecting who would show up and pair off. It was a lovely squee fest when things started rolling romantically. They’re all compatible and cute.

It feels important not because it’s all about the romance but because the romance is an integral part of these young women maturing and getting ready for the next stage in their lives. Not everyone ends up committed or with someone either. For some, being independent and alone is what they want and need in their life right now. Which was honestly refreshing along with everything else.

Also, pleased to announce there’s no slut shaming! YAY!



I was wavering between 3.5 and 4 stars, but I have to give the higher rating this time. Even with the problems getting into the story, it was so pleasurable – delightful, fun, and deep—that I can justify 4 stars.
I absolutely want a follow up with these gals to see how, what, and who everyone’s doing.

Recommendation:

I can easily recommend this one for contemporary, romance, QUILTBAG, and New Adult fans provided you like or can handle this kind of story telling with multiple POVs and time skips.

If this isn’t your type of narrative, I have a review of O’Beirne’s Here’s the Thing coming in two days. So far, so very good. Hope to see you then!

In the meantime, I have other reviews for your perusal as always. ;) I also recommend checking out Emily O’Beirne’s blog and her publisher, Ylva Publishing. Worthwhile and did in fact sate my procrastination problem and motivated me to finish this review in advance. Thanks again Emily!



About the Author:

Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables. Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.

From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people.

Living in an apartment, Emily sadly does not possess her dream writing room overlooking an idyllic garden of her creation. Instead, she spends a lot of her time staring over the screen of her laptop and out the window at the somewhat less pretty (but highly entertaining) combined kebab stand/carwash across the road. (from the publisher’s website)




10 e-Copies of Points of Departure!
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Excerpt & Giveaway for Alchemiya, F/F Fantasy, by Katey Hawthorne

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | Please comment!

About the Book

Alchemiya
By Katey Hawthorne
Genre: F/F erotic romance / fantasy
Eugenia was born to privilege in the Ratna clan, nobility famed for their alchemical jewel production. Eugenia’s a talented alchemist herself—but the patriarchy insists her less able brother is the heir to the family secrets and property. As if that weren’t insult enough, an accidentally public tryst with another woman means Genie is shunned by polite society altogether.

Enter the gorgeous Lord Oliver Plumtree, scion of one of the oldest alchemical families in Chrysopoeia and master of the foreboding Waldgrave Abbey. But Lord Oliver is actually Olivia, and on the lookout for a wife—one who requires an escape from the same crushing social mores that have forced Olivia to masquerade as her own long-dead brother to keep her family’s estate intact.

Genie and Liv seem a perfect match from the get-go, and things heat up quickly between them. But before they can carry off their marriage of convenience, Waldgrave Abbey reveals more secrets. Jealous Plumtree relatives and Liv’s association with the Secret Society of Alchemiya, rumored to be a dark and sinister arm of the patriarchy, might just ruin Genie and Liv’s chance at their unlikely happily ever after.

Buy it:


“Lady Ratna, I think?” a mellow voice asked just over Eugenia’s shoulder.

She turned slowly, amazed that anyone in this crowd, all of whom had heretofore ignored her presence completely, would deign to speak to her. She was even more amazed that the delicate, rather prettily handsome, fresh-faced young man who addressed her was not already of her acquaintance.

Speaking to a lady without an introduction? Eugenia wondered if she’d like him or hate him. She’d lay odds on the latter, but tonight had been…surprising.

“Yes?” she asked, careful to show no interest.

He made a casual, almost flippant bow. “Oliver Plumtree, your servant. Forgive me for introducing myself, my lady, but I admit I was hoping to find you here.”

“You amaze me,” she said, since she kept thinking it over and over. She took a sip to compose herself, concentrating on the play of the bubbles and the tartness of the wine on her tongue. When she felt sufficiently herself again, she added, “I was so looking forward to an evening of being invisible, too.”

“In that dress?” Oliver Plumtree’s eyebrows, thin, pale, and finely arched, rose. “Hardly.”

“Ah, so you hoped to find me here so you could flatter me. How original.” Eugenia was almost sorry the moment it was out of her mouth; damn Delaney for putting her in a sour mood. She took another, longer drink.

Plumtree only laughed, though. “Partly, I think. I apologize for interrupting your evening of invisibility, though. And they say infamy has nothing to recommend it.”

She blinked to hear someone—someone so obviously genteel—openly comment on her reputation. It was…odd but refreshing. “Would you like to be invisible too, Mr. Plumtree?”

“Dearly.”

“In that jacket?”


About the Author:

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills.







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