Feb
25
2013

YA Novel "Dualed" by Elsie Chapman

Guest Review by Jay C. Spencer

YA Novel "Dualed" by Elsie Chapman

Two of you exist. You and your Alt. Only one will survive.

Synopsis

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Review of Elsie Chapman's "Dualed"  

I had been looking forward to reading "Dualed" for several months and, to my relief, Canadian author Elsie Chapman’s debut didn’t disappoint. "Dualed" had initially grabbed my interest just by its concept, kill or be killed by your Alt, but Elsie Chapman’s words easily kept me flipping my virtual pages with her intense description, and hair raising suspense. I actually found myself pausing several times while I was reading to ask myself the same questions the daring, but reluctant, main character West Grayer was struggling with;

What would I have done if I was being hunted by myself?

How far would I have gone if my life was on the line?

Would I fight, or flee? Would I kill, or be killed?

If the Young-Adult dystopian category has caught your eye, then I say, don’t hesitate to add this book to your to-be-read pile. Elsie Chapman has written a fast paced, violent and visually rich addition to the dystopian genre, and one that readers of The Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy. This is one reader who will definitely be watching the clock until the sequel, "Divided", hits the shelves in 2014.

- Jay C. Spencer

"Dualed" Book Trailer

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George, BC, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a BA in English Literature. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and two kids, where she writes to either movies on a loop or music turned up way too loud (and sometimes both at the same time). You can find out more about Elsie and her books by visiting her website elsiechapman.com and her blog Elsie Chapman author on Tumblr. Social media fans can follow @elsiechapman on Twitter, like the Elsie Chapman Facebook Page, and find Elsie Chapman on GoodReads.

ABOUT THE GUEST REVIEWER

Jay C. Spencer is a writer, Visual Art teacher, and music and book blogger. If not at the rink or on the court with his young kids, Jay would gladly talk to you about any genre or decade of music, and of course his favorite books. You can follow Jay on Twitter @SpencerToday and check out his personal blog Jay C. Spencer and All The Write Notes a blog about music and writing.

BOOKALICIOUS BOOK GRAB GIVEAWAY

We're giving away a copy of "Dualed" by Elsie Chapman courtesy of Random House of Canada! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment in the "Click Here To Spill It" bubble below and tell us why you would love to read this book. You have until March 3, 2013 to enter. You must be a YMC member and please be sure you've registered your email address in our commenting system so we can contact you if you win.

Yummy Rules and Regs: You must be a YummyMummyClub.ca member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until March 3, 2013. Contest open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Winners will be picked using www.random.orgSee full contest rules.

For more details on upcoming Bookalicious news, reviews, and interviews sign up for the Bookalicious Newsletter!
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Feb
20
2013

"Alys, Always" by Harriet Lane

This Gripping Novel Will Keep You Guessing

"Alys, Always" by Harriet Lane

“Alys, Always” by Harriet Lane

Thirty something Frances Thorpe lives an inconspicuous life as an assistant editor for the books section of London’s literary magazine Questioner. She is on her way home on a cold and rainy, winter night. Frances slows her speed while driving down the slippery country road. The trees flash by along the sides and just as she tires of this monotony, Frances spots something that isn’t quite right. It’s a light just off the shoulder of the road. She stops her vehicle and notices the aftermath of an accident. A car is lying on it's side. Without hesitation or fear, Frances approaches the car wreck. She discovers an injured woman inside. She says her name is Alys Kyte and this is where she shares her final words and takes her final breath.

Frances is unaware how much this fateful moment will change her world from this point on. In an attempt to bury the experience Frances finally concedes to a closure meeting with the Kyte family. This plan to put it all behind changes when Frances learns that Alys was the wife of celebrated, prize winning author Laurence Kyte. Frances soon propels herself into a world of privilege. This is her opportunity to forge a new life full of promise and possibilities. 

Frances twists the truth to suit herself. She lies and rationalizes her behaviour, "Maybe it’s not really lying if you barely know you’re doing it. It should be true. It’s the way it should be, in an ideal world.”

The big question is whether Frances' future is all part of her destiny or will it be a product of her own design? 

“Alys, Always” is a psychological thriller that will mesmerize, transfix and tantalize. Frances is a complex character that the reader will not soon forget.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harriet Lane has worked as an editor and writer at Tatler and the Observer. She has also written for the Guardian, the Telegraph, and Vogue. She lives in London, England. Alys, Always is her first novel. You can read more about "Alys, Always" and author Harriet Lane by visiting www.harrietlane.co.uk, find Harriet Lane on GoodReads and follow @HarrietLane_ on Twitter.

BOOKALICIOUS BOOK GRAB GIVEAWAY

Simon & Schuster Canada has copies of “Alys, Always” to give to 5 lucky Bookalicious readers. To enter the draw all you have to do is leave a comment in the "Click Here To Spill It" turquoise bubble below. For more Simon & Schuster Canada books and author information visit their website simonandschuster.ca, follow @SimonSchusterCA on Twitter, and like the Simon & Schuster Canada Page on Facebook.

BONUS BOOKALICIOUS TWITTER AND FACEBOOK GIVEAWAYS

To increase your chances of winning a copy of "Alys, Always" you can enter the Bookalicious Facebook Page Draw starting on Friday, February 22nd and watch for the @BookaliciousCA #AlysAlways Twitter RT draw on Wednesday, February 27th. Good luck!

YMC Rules and Regulations

You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click here to sign up. It's free and filled with perks! One comment per member. Entries accepted until March 8, 2013. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org. Please mark the email wanda@yummymummyclub.ca as a "safe sender" when you enter a Bookalicious Blog giveaway, and respond within 1 week to claim your prize. For more details on upcoming book news, sign up for the Bookalicious Newsletter!

Relish reading,

Wanda Lynne Young

@BookaliciousCA

Feb
14
2013

Emme Cross Returns To St. Bart's

In Her Searing Romance Series

Emme Cross Returns To St. Bart's

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Escape the everyday, humdrum, same old same old, day-to-day routine? Books are a great way to escape, and why not enjoy a little scintillating romance while you're at it? Emme Cross answers this call with her sizzling, steamy, sexy St. Bart's series. Oh my! Read on to learn more in my interview with the awesome author, Emme Cross.

St. Bart’s: Book One

St. Bart’s. Just the name of the Caribbean Island is evocative of sex and celebrity. Eight square miles of gourmet restaurants, designer shops, yachts and secrets.

Sunny O’Hara returns to her mother’s birthplace of St. Bart’s to establish roots after a nomadic childhood. Her long-term plan is to build luxury rental villas. Short term, she takes a job as a translator on a film set where she meets Sven Larson, an international movie star who is looking for something real in the midst of Hollywood fiction.

Anxious to change her romantic status from “untouched” to “on fire,” Sunny proposes “Lothario Larsen” act as her sexual mentor.

Win-win, right? She gets experience. He gets a chance to rediscover innocence. They agree this ends when the movie wraps and he leaves St. Bart’s.

Scorching sex turns to something much more complicated-love and Sven’s public declaration puts Sunny in mortal danger from a homicidal stalker.

  Q&A With Emme Cross: Part One

WLY: When did you become a writer?

EC: I have been writing my whole life. I work as a journalist for the two biggest radio stations in Canada.

WLY: Do you consider your St. Bart’s series to be part of the romance or erotica genre?

EC: I prefer to think of what I do as romance rather than erotica, because the charactersnot the sexdrive the plot. But then again, I don't necessarily believe in happily ever after, so maybe I fall through the genre cracks.

WLY: In your personal travels to the island of St. Bart's, what continues to inspire your "St. Bart's" series?

EC: We have been visiting St. Bart's for years. Every December, we pack up our books and go through the couch cushions and head south for a week. We discovered the island on a cruise. We'd stopped in St. Martin. I had to get off the ship. I discovered I was claustrophobic when our cabin was in the bowels next to the anchor. We took a day trip to St. Bart's and fell in love. It's a magical place. I can see why the rich and famous flock there. It's exclusive, hard to get to, and, yet, worth the effort . . . like anything worthwhile.

Return To St. Bart’s: Book Two

Sunny O’Hara and Sven Larsen fell in love on the Caribbean Island of St. Bart’s. But now they’ve moved to Los Angeles where he’s hard at work on a new movie. Sunny is at loose ends, trying to fit into his life while establish one of her own. When Sven is nominated for award after award, their life together becomes a whirlwind and cracks between their aspirations begin to show. Those cracks widen when Sunny discovers she’s pregnant, a situation exacerbated by Sven’s reluctant fatherhood and his ever demanding career.

Sunny returns to the island to wait out her pregnancy but tragedy strikes, driving the lovers even further apart both geographically and emotionally. Both face temptations and challenges as they try to fashion a mature relationship.

Return to St. Bart’s examines what happens when a holiday romance ends. Will their love survive all these challenges? Can two people with so little in common forge a future together or will their affair shatter like so many other summer romances?

  Q&A With Emme Cross: Part Two

WLY: St. Bart's has a mystique all on its own. Is this romantic tourist destination a character in your novels? What about book two's Los Angeles location?

EC: Book 2, Return to St. Bart's, begins in Los Angeles. Sunny has followed Sven home. I wanted to explore what happened after the rush of romance and lusthow you actually form a relationship when confronted with realitygoing from beach sex to laundry, if you will. They start off in L.A. for Oscar season, appropriately, but then circumstances see her return to St. Bart's and he heads to Germany to film a movie. Can they get back together? Like anything, it's a crapshoot.

WLY: In your second novel, Sunny and Sven Return To St. Bart's to rekindle their romance. If a couple's relationship road turns a bit rocky, would you suggest they travel to an exotic location to reconnect with each other? 

EC: I can't imagine a more romantic destination than St. Bart's, and this is coming from someone who was in the Maldives last year and is heading to Krabi, Thailand in March. The combination of scenery and food, and that French attitude . . . wonderful! The key is not to be intimidated. Pack a pair of walking shoes and sunglasses, and just hang out. You don't need to dress to impress. The really rich don't bother. It's all in the swagger and the attitude.

WLY: Does the storyline or characters in Return To St. Bart's bring any new twists or turns for the readers?

EC: There are a couple of out-of-nowhere twists in the second book. Both are based on research, but I know some readers will have trouble with them. Read the Author's Notes at the end of the novel, and I will explain how I came up with some unbelievable plot lines. To me, the most unbelievable is the idea that Sunny might cheat on Sven, but she's young, relatively innocent, and vulnerable. Linus is . . . WOW! Who could blame her?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emme Cross is a veteran journalist who has worked at the biggest media outlets in Canada, and has met everyone from politicians to rock stars. She writes and reads the news on the biggest radio station in the country, and researches and writes for the biggest news station in Canada. She is an avid reader, gardener, world traveller, and foodie. She lives in Oakville, Ontario with her husband and her English bull terrier. You can read more about Emme and her amusing musings on her blog, "The Wife Says..." Social media types can like the Emme Cross Page on Facebook and find Emme Cross on GoodReads. The St. Bart's series can be found on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com, in paperback and ebook format.

BOOKALICIOUS BOOK GRAB GIVEAWAY

Author Emme Cross has St. Bart's prize packs to give away to three lucky Bookalicious readers! Each winner will receive a copy of St. Bart's and Return To St. Bart's in their choice of either paperback or ebook format. To enter the BBGG draw, all you have to do is leave a comment in the "Click Here To Spill It" bubble below. Good luck! 

YMC Rules and Regulations
You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click here to sign up. It's free and filled with perks! One comment per member. Entries accepted until February 28, 2013. Contest open to Canadian and US residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org. Please mark the email wanda@yummymummyclub.ca as a "safe sender" when you enter a Bookalicious giveaway, and respond within 1 week to claim your prize. For more details on upcoming book news, sign up for the Bookalicious Newsletter!

 

                              

Relish reading,

Wanda Lynne Young

St. Bart’s background image from Flickr, By Christopher Macsurak