Blog Tour: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | Guest Post & Giveaway

Good news, everyone! I’m excited to host Audrey Coulthurst, author of OF FIRE AND STARS, today as part of the blog tour! I’ve got a great guest post from Audrey, and if you stick around until the end of the post, you can enter to win one of three copies of the book.

ABOUT OF FIRE AND STARS

offireandstarsBetrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AUDREY COULTHURST

  1. Wake up. This is a bit of a misnomer because it’s unlikely that I was sleeping. The sun comes up early on the west coast and so does whatever my darling Siamese cat ate the night before. Nothing says rise and shine like a fresh mound of cat vomit.
  2. Activate corporate drag sequence. Shower. Don a dress. Iron hair. Apply makeup and mascara. Hey, het, hey! PSYCH!
  3. March to work. My walk, or “dyke stomp” as one of my college friends dubbed it, has all the delicacy and daintiness of a freight train. If people are not scared out of my way by the thunder of my boots over the pavement, a well-timed hiss helps part the crowds (I’m almost always nonverbal before 10am and caffeine).
  4. Initialize robot (day job) mode. Cleverly disguised as a corporate cyborg, I sip tea while performing a variety of useful functions for the company that furnishes my paycheck and health insurance.
  5. It’s food o’clock! My favorite! I sometimes walk home but have a weakness for some of the lunch options available near my office, like spicy pizza, spicy Thai curry, or spicy sushi (you may notice a theme). In times of overwork or desperation I will eat funky licorice out of the secret stash in my desk (thanks to my critique partner Paula Garner). It has the texture of tire rubber, the meatiness of roadkill, and an aroma somewhat reminiscent of cat litter. DELICIOUS!
  6. Complete roboting sequence. During the afternoon I plot (fictional) murder while continuing to earn a living. On the best days I receive hilarious emails from Paula that cause me to cackle so loudly my coworkers scatter like startled pigeons.
  7. Hurry home. There is usually a little more spring in the stomp home. Sometimes I smile as I ponder the magic my evening will hold. In tandem with the speed walking, this tends to confuse and alarm other pedestrians.
  8. Deactivate corporate drag sequence. Discard all accessories and clothing items that suggest I belong to civilized society. My love of pajama pants is boundless. I would wear them 24/7 if I could.
  9. Write. This is usually when the words happen—after cocktail hour, before dog walking and in between other necessary adulting like laundry, dishes, cooking, and the occasional fit of gloom over the need for more hours in the day. Siamese cat snuggles help offset the hard parts!
  1. Read, sleep, repeat! I try to get in a little reading just before bed, then it’s off to dreamland and back up in the morning. Balancing a day job and a writing career can be very challenging, but it’s wonderful to have the financial stability to pursue my dreams. Plus, if anyone at work makes me angry, I can threaten to write them into a book. ☺

Thanks so much for telling us about your day, Audrey! What’s a day in YOUR life look like?

ABOUT AUDREY

audreycoulthurstAudrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.

Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

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GIVEAWAY

3 Finished Copies of OF FIRE AND STARS (US Only)

ENTER HERE

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Blog Tour: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston | Review & Giveaway

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Hi, everyone! Today I’m really, really excited to be part of the THIS IS OUR STORY blog tour! I’ve been looking forward to this forever it seems like. My excitement doubled when the absolutely gorgeous cover was revealed, and then I read it. You’ll hear more about that below. But first, let me tell you a little about the book and the author. Plus, stick around to the end for a giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK

this-is-our-storyNo one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

MY REVIEW

I really, really liked this book, you guys. This was the first time in a while that I read a book in two days. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time for that, but this book would not let me put it down to do anything else. It grabbed me from the very beginning. The plot is so twisty and every time I thought I had figured it out, something else happened that kept me guessing.

I loved how we got short chapters from an anonymous POV (one of the boys). It was strange and creepy and definitely made my skin crawl a time or ten. And I really liked being in Kate’s head the rest of the time. She’s so smart and hardworking and she just wants to bring the truth – whatever it may be – to light. She wants justice done.

Add on top of all of this some swoony boys, awesome bffs, super interesting secondary characters, and one of the coolest title treatments I’ve ever seen (look closely at the colors of the letters) and you’ve got an incredible book.

Perfect for fans of mystery, prep school boys, kickbutt MCs, and fall (this one was a great one to read this time of year).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ashley-elstonAshley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband and three sons. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a certified landscape horticulturist and loves digging in the dirt. Her debut novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, was published by Disney Hyperion in 2013 and the sequel, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, in 2014. Her latest novel, THIS IS OUR STORY, will be published on November 15, 2016.

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GIVEAWAY

3 Finished Copies of THIS IS OUR STORY (US Only)

ENTER HERE 

Blog Tour | We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson & Giveaway

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Today I am really excited to be a part of the blog tour for Shaun David Hutchinson’s WE ARE THE ANTS, which is one of my most anticipated books for 2016! Before we get to Shaun’s guest post (and the GIVEAWAY!), let me tell you about the book.

ABOUT WE ARE THE ANTS

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse // January 19, 2016

Henry Denton doesn’t know why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. Until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

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 So as Henry only has 144 days to decide the fate of the world, I asked Shaun what he would do if the world was ending in 144 days.

Top ten things I would do if the world was ending in 144 days

  1. Track down my 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Everard, and tell her I’m sorry for being such a pain in her butt.
  2. Spend a week living in the Louvre.
  3. Sample every kind of weird food I could get my hands on.
  4. Travel to the highest point on Earth I could realistically reach and stare at the stars.
  5. Fly a plane.
  6. See Hamilton…even if I had to sell a kidney for a ticket.
  7. Smile more.
  8. Spend time with strangers, listening to their stories.
  9. Swim in a giant pool of Jell-O.
  10. Spend as much time with my loved ones as possible.

ABOUT SHAUN DAVID HUTCHINSON

Shaun David Hutchinson author photoShaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of The Deathday Letter, fml, and the forthcoming The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. He can be reached at shaun@shaundavidhutchinson.com. He currently lives in South Florida with his partner and dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY
3 Finished Copies of WE ARE THE ANTS

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

FOLLOW THE REST OF THE TOUR

1/19: Bookish Antics – Review
1/20: Reading Is Better With Cupcakes – Pocket Note
1/21: Reads All the Books – Review
1/22: Read Write Love – Q&A
1/25: Tina the Bookworm – Review
1/26: The Hardcover Lover – Guest Post
1/27: The Innocent Smiley – Review
1/28: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
1/29: Don’t Fold the Page – Review