Warcross by Marie Lu | REVIEW


WarcrossWarcross by Marie Lu (Warcross #1)
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books on September 12th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover

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BLOG TOUR: Traitor’s Hope by Virginia McClain (Guest Post + GIVEAWAY)

Traitor's Hope Blog Tour Banner

Hey Bookworms!

Welcome to my stop on the Traitor’s Hope Blog Tour! I am excited to be posting a Guest Post + the Giveaway.

(Guest Post: How to Research Your Story Before Writing It)

Traitor’s Hope Info

Traitor's HopeTitle: TRAITOR’S HOPE (Blade’s Edge #2)

Author: Virginia McClain

Pub. Date: October 14, 2017

Publisher: Artemis Dingo Productions

Pages: 284

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: AmazonBuy The Paperback, Goodreads

Traitors lurk around every bend. Mishi’s mind is betraying her, and she fears her kisō and katana will betray her next. Taka’s heart abandons her for a person she cannot possibly trust. Now that the two friends are obliged to help re-establish peace in the land of Gensokai, the only question is where the next betrayal will come from and if Mishi and Taka will have the strength to survive it.

About the Author

Virginia McClainVirginia thinks dangling from the tops of hundred foot cliffs is a good time. She also enjoys hauling a fifty pound backpack all over the Grand Canyon and sleeping under the stars. Sometimes she likes running for miles through the desert, mountains, or wooded flatlands, and she always loves getting lost in new places where she may or may not speak the language.

From surviving earthquakes in Japan, to putting out a small forest fire in Montana, Virginia has been collecting stories from a very young age. She works hard to make her fiction as adventurous as her life and her life as adventurous as her fiction. Both take a lot of imagination.

She recently moved to Winnipeg with her husband (a Manitoba native) and their dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Guest Post

How to Research Your Story Before Writing It

Oh, research… for some authors it’s the unwanted step-child of a Grimm fairy-tale, for others it’s the prized, pure-bred Pomeranian that they just can’t stop showing you pictures of. Either extreme can lead to bad writing, and it can be tough to find the right balance, but it’s generally always worth making the effort.

Pretty much all writing requires some level of research. Beware the author who says they did zero research. I mean, I write fantasy, I technically have license to just make up every aspect of my world without consulting anyone, but… I still do research. Even complete fictions are more compelling when based in fact.

The truth is, I enjoy doing research for my writing, even though I was someone who hated doing research for papers when I was a student. But writing novels isn’t like writing papers (no need to write a tedious bibliography and do proper citations), and I’m only researching things that I’m interested in. For example, for the Chronicles of Gensokai books: traditional samurai clothing and weapons, fighting techniques, and culture. Or, specifically for Traitor’s Hope: the symptoms, causes, and treatments for PTSD. I find those topics fascinating, and the trick becomes not including all of the fascinating facts I learned during my research in one giant rush of information sure to put all of my readers straight to sleep. This happens to a lot of authors, because we get excited about our newfound knowledge, and want to share it with the world. “SURELY EVERYONE ELSE WILL FIND THIS AS FASCINATING AS I DO!” we shout at our computer screens before madly retyping whole paragraphs from Wikipedia articles and textbooks that we have borrowed from the library.

This is why editors exist.

Seriously though, it takes a bit of restraint to keep from doing this, and it’s an easy trap to fall into. Have you ever read The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel? I loved that book, and wanted to love the series, but I struggled, repeatedly, to get through the three-page explanation of the atlatl that she included EVERY. TIME. IT. WAS. USED. Seriously! I know she must have learned a tremendous amount about pre-historic peoples and tools, and spent huge amounts of time acquiring said knowledge, and really, I found the description fascinating the first time that she included it… but after that I understood how it worked and why it was important and didn’t need to read a brief dissertation on the history of the atlatl and how it changed hunting for Neanderthals every time someone got one out to help bring down a bison.

Ahem. My point, dear readers, is that research, while important, needs to be streamlined when it hits the page. It is very important that you, as a writer, understand how the mechanics of what you are writing works. Whether you’re writing a police procedural or a romcom you should be doing some amount of research. Readers don’t like it when they find factual errors in your book, and you have to assume that someone somewhere is going to read your book who knows more about something than you do, so it pays to do your research. But, once you’ve done it, don’t hammer people with it. Sprinkle it lightly, gently, across your writing, so that it is clear that you haven’t pulled it all from nowhere. Try to do that without forcing anyone to read an instruction manual on how to reload a Glock 9mm every time your protagonist needs to shoot one.

For my part, I have stories that I research extensively before I start them: I am working on a sci-fi series that takes place thousands of years in earth’s future, and for a big part of the setting I needed to consult an evolutionary biologist. So, I called one up at the local university where I was living at the time and asked her if I could buy her a coffee in exchange for pelting her with random questions about the evolution of plants, animals, and genetic mutations. To my great delight she accepted, and I now have copious notes to use for my world building.

Then, there are stories that I only research on the fly as issues arise, like most of Traitor’s Hope. The information about feudal Japan is only looked up as needed, when I’ve forgotten something or I think a detail might be important. After all, Gensokai is only inspired by feudal Japan, it’s actually its own, fictional world, so I don’t rely too heavily on how things were historically. Meanwhile, the PTSD is something I take very seriously in terms of representing properly, so that research was done before I even started the book. However, I had to alter things to fit a world without psychologists or psychotherapists, without lab created medications, and with the added complication of magic. So, I had to balance out what my research told me with what made sense for my world, and all the while treat the condition and the people it affects with the respect they deserve. I have no idea if I succeeded or not, but I gave it my best.

Research. To summarize: research is an author’s best friend. Until it isn’t. Does that help?

Giveaway Time

1 winner will receive a signed paperback set of BLADE’S EDGE & TRAITOR’S HOPE, US Only.

3 winners will receive eBook sets of BLADE’S EDGE & TRAITOR’S HOPE, International.

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/9/2017- Two Chicks on Books Interview

10/9/2017- Blushing Bibliophile– Review

10/10/2017- Arvenig.it– Guest Post

10/10/2017- Bibliobakes– Review

10/11/2017- Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews– Excerpt

10/11/2017- Ashley M. Delgado– Review

10/12/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

10/12/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Spotlight

10/13/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

10/13/2017- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

Week Two:

10/16/2017- Novel Novice– Excerpt

10/16/2017- Nick Bryan Dot Com– Review

10/17/2017- Books at Dawn– Guest Post

10/17/2017- YA and Wine– Excerpt

10/18/2017- Fire and Ice– Spotlight

10/18/2017- A Gingerly Review– Review

10/19/2017- My Nook, Books & More– Excerpt

10/19/2017- Jena Brown Writes– Review

10/20/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland– Interview

10/20/2017- Ramblings From An Alternate Reality– Review

Until next time,

Jesse Nicholas Sig



Weekly Cover Reveal Recap | October 9 – October 15

Weekly CoverReveal RecapHey Bookworms!

Here are the covers that were revealed during the week of October 9 – October 15. Click the author to hop on over to their GoodReads page to add it to you’re TBR!

This was a big week for reveals. Hope ya’ll enjoy.

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BLOG TOUR: The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman (Excerpt + GIVEAWAY)

The Innocence Treatment Blog Tour Banner

Hey Bookworms!

Welcome to my stop on the The Innocence Treatment Blog Tour! I am excited to be posting a Excerpt + the Giveaway.

The Innocence Treatment Info

The Innocence TreatmentTitle: THE INNCOENCE TREATMENT

Author: Ari Goelman

Pub. Date: October 17, 2017

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Pages: 304

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.

Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her–and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?

Told in journal entries and therapy session transcripts, The Innocence Treatment is a collection of Lauren’s papers, annotated by her sister long after the events of the novel. A compelling YA debut thriller that is part speculative fiction and part shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets, Lauren’s story is ultimately an electrifying, propulsive, and spine-tingling read.

About the Author

Ari GoelmanI’m Ari Goelman.  I write fantasy novels.  Stories, too.

My latest novel, due out in October, 2017, is The Innocent Treatment.  Lauren Fielding is a sixteen-year-old high school student with a cognitive disability – she believes everything her friends tell her, and she believes that everyone is her friend.  A cutting edge medical treatment helps Lauren, but after the treatment her mental condition soon veers into paranoia.   Or does it? The Innocent Treatment comes out in October, 2017, but in the meantime you can read (a little) more about Lauren here.  (You can also pre-order a copy here.)

My first novel, The Path of Names came out a few years ago.  It’s a middle grade fantasy / murder mystery / ghost story.  You can read lots more about it here.  Or you could just read the book.  Honestly, that’s probably a better idea.

Here’s my blog and here’s a list of the short stories I’ve published,  many of which you can read online for free.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Case Notes of Dr. Finlay Brechel

December 2, 2031

          The subject, Lauren Fielding, is a sixteen-year-old girl. Skinny, verging on gaunt, but muscular. Postoperative scars still visible through crew-cut hair. A far cry from her preoperative photos three months ago, in which she was a slightly plump redhead with shoulder-length hair, smiling broadly in every picture.

According to her medical chart, she remanded herself to the custody of this facility twenty-three days ago, about two months after being treated here for a preexisting disability. Neither the details of her initial disability, nor the course of treatment, are entirely clear to me, but as far as I can tell, her disability had both cognitive and behavioral components. (Her medical papers repeatedly mention “modified oligodendrocytes”—I have no real idea what that means. I know oligodendrocytes are a type of brain cell that connect different parts of the brain, but I can’t imagine that it’s possible to deliberately modify such tiny, poorly understood cells. Ah, to be a neuroscientist instead of a humble psychologist…)

I have sent Dr.  Corbin a note asking for more details regarding Ms. Fielding’s treatment and case history, but I’m not entirely sure I’ll understand any additional details she provides. It seems to me that Corbin is operating somewhere on the frontiers of brain science with her treatment of Ms. Fielding, while my understanding is stuck in 2024 or so.

What I do know is that Ms. Fielding is currently exhibiting pronounced signs of paranoid delusions. I believe these delusions are responsible for the multiple violent episodes she’s initiated since coming to this facility. Due to previous assaults on past therapists and orderlies (including a particularly violent one on the orderly Eric Schafer, who she mentions so favorably in her first journal entry), she is heavily restrained when we meet.

Giveaway Time

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE INNOCENCE TREATMENT, US Only.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/9/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

10/10/2017- It Starts at Midnight– Review

10/11/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

10/12/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review

10/13/2017- Books at Dawn– Excerpt


Week Two:

10/16/2017- Howling Libraries– Review

10/17/2017- YA and Wine– Interview

10/18/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

10/19/2017- Kendra Loves Books– Review

10/20/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Interview

Until next time,

Jesse Nicholas Sig


Weekly Cover Reveal Recap | October 2 – October 8

Weekly CoverReveal RecapHey Bookworms!

Here are the covers that were revealed during the week of October 2 – October 8. Click the author to hop on over to their GoodReads page to add it to you’re TBR!

This was a big week for reveals. Hope ya’ll enjoy.

Continue reading