Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Die Young With Me (With Giveaway!)



Welcome to Day #9 of the Die Young With Me Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus (9/20/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Rob and 10 chances to win a copy of Die Young With Me, as well as two chances to win a Punk Rock Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!


5 Musicians I'd Love to Meet
Living or Dead
by Rob Rufus

Over the years I’ve met tons of musicians.  Some of them you would have never heard of, and some of them are all over TV and magazine covers – either way; I’ve been pretty lucky.  But there is also a downside to meeting musicians you idolize – sometimes, they’re assholes.  Sometimes your musical heroes are drugged up, or creepy, or just plain boring as hell.  Sometimes they’ll even try to sleep with your girlfriend (and that’s a bummer, take it from me).

So when compiling this list, I tried to keep my past experiences in mind.  All of the musicians below are ones that I’d not only love to meet, but they are musicians I believe are wholly represented by their art.  Because when you’re meeting your heroes, my stance is – the less surprises, the better.



BILLY BRAGG

Billy Bragg is one of my favorite songwriters.  He’s like the British Woody Guthrie, but with a better sense of humor.  We once played a festival together in Florida called Harvest of Hope, the proceeds of which were going to migrant farm workers.  Because it was for charity, Billy Bragg flew over from England and played on his own dime.  He didn’t want to take any money away from the cause.  He was the only headliner who played for free.

Unfortunately, the cost of putting on the concert bankrupted the organization.  Brutal, right?  But I was taken by how selfless Billy Bragg was – he practices what he preaches, and he knows how to insult people with grace, a trick I’d really love to learn.



DEAN MARTIN

I would’ve loved to hang out with Dean Martin for the exact opposite reasons that I’d love to meet Billy Bragg.  I mean, can you imagine?  Movie stars, Playboy bunnies, starched collars of thick wool suits, and enough hair products to make your eyes bleed.   The booze would be flowing like, well, booze!  Come on Dino, sign me up!



ELVIS

Hail to the king, baby – who wouldn’t kill to hang out with Elvis?  But in the end he stuck close to his moron redneck friends, leeches that were sucking him dry and making a mockery of his legacy.  If just one of those Memphis Mafia guys had been real with Elvis, maybe he’d be alive today.  Let me join the Memphis Mafia, Elvis, come on!  I’ll shoot straight with you dude, I swear.



TIM ARMSTRONG

In my opinion, Tim Armstrong is one of the best songwriters around, period.  The front man for one of my favorite bands, Rancid, we’ve played the same festivals many times but I’ve never met him.  He’s a painter, writer, producer, DJ, actor, and everything else under the sun – the man is a serious artist.  I just wanna vibe with this motherfucker till I get on his level…or close. 



LUCINDA WILLIAMS

I’ve never had a crush on a woman’s talent the way I do on Lucinda Williams.  She is just unreal to me on every level, and writes songs that will rip your heart out of your chest, fuck it up, stomp on it, brush it off, and then carefully re-insert it.  She’s one of the bravest female artists I can think of, and I would really love to get a chance to tell her how much I appreciate it, and how much I’ve learned from her songwriting.

If you have artists that you’d like to meet, it isn’t as hard as you’d think.  Just hang long enough and they’ll appear, bedazzled and sparkling and…human.  Don’t forget that part.  They’re just people – and, like a lot of people, they sometimes let you down.  Sometimes it is better to know them through their art, it’s often more reliable and very rarely has bad breath.


*****

Stop by Once Upon A Twilight tomorrow for the last stop on the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:

September 19th - Mundie Moms
September 20th – BookHounds
September 21st – PageTurners
September 22nd – The Ravenous Reader
September 23rd – A Dream Within a Dream

September 26th – Positively Book Crazy
September 27th – Crossroad Reviews
September 28th – Book Briefs
September 29th – Addicted 2 Novels
September 30th – Once Upon A Twilight


Follow Rob: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes the incredibly moving true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.

Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?

When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.

But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.

While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music. Die Young With Me is a raw, honest account of a brave teen’s fight with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.


About the Author: Rob Rufus is a musician and writer living in Nashville. His band, Blacklist Royals, has released two full-length albums and played in sixteen countries over the past five years. Rob has written articles for Modern Drummer, Amp Magazine, Digital Tour Bus, and many music sites. Rob also works closely with the cancer community, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Stupid Cancer Podcast (the largest advocacy/support organization worldwide for teens with cancer), and Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can find him online at robrufus.net, on Twitter @rob_rufus, and Instagram @dieyoungwithme_official.


GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY


  • Two (2) winners will receive a Punk Rock Prize Pack featuring a finished copy of Die Young With Me, an exclusive poster, a mix tape (ft. an excerpt of the book), Die Young With Me switchback comb (not pictured), and Rob Rufus punk rock vinyls
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • US Only
  • Ends 10/2 at midnight ET
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blog Tour: The Storybook Knight Review


Title: The Storybook Knight
Authors: Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty
Published: September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…"

Review: I honestly didn't know what to expect when I was first introduced to THE STORYBOOK KNIGHT. The covered definitely drew me in, and the story itself also sounded intriguing. Why not give it a go? What I found out was the cover and the summary (though both fabulous) do not do this book justice. Once you tear open the first page, you'll truly see how elaborate the illustrations are. There's no detail left behind, and to top it off, I was blown away by the limerick.

THE STORYBOOK KNIGHT is a fantastic adventure, probably more suited for kiddos 4 and up. I truly believe they'll enjoy each and every bit of the story, and there's always some new piece to catch every time you go through the artwork.

Rating:

5 Stars



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Max At Night Review


Title: Max At Night (Max)
Author: Ed Vere
Published: September 3rd 2015 by Puffin
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Meet Max - the mighty kitten and New York Times bestseller.

This is Max. Max is very sleepy. It's way past Max's bedtime. Max has drunk his milk. Max has brushed his teeth. Max has cleaned behind his ears. Now Max just needs to say goodnight...

Max is tired and all ready for bed, but when he can't find the moon to say goodnight to, he sets out to find it. But that's not as easy as Max had hoped... Witty and heart-warming, this stylish and beautifully illustrated book is the perfect bedtime read."


Review: What a great bedtime story! The illustration was just too cute, and the story itself is just as charming as sweet little Max. This is a wonderful picture book for both girls and boys of all ages.

First off, I loved where the story took us with the whole search for the moon. Like I said before, Max is a charming kitten who simply wants to say goodnight to the moon. I loved how the illustration completely focuses on Max and his journey, and everything else was merely background. He stumbles across a few obstacles that has you guessing how he'll find his way to say goodnight, which I believe will intrigue both children and adults. Part of me does wish the story itself was slightly more elaborate, but all in all, a great book to help tuck in your little ones at night.

I can't wait to read this to my soon-to-be little one to help tuck her in at night.

Rating:

4 Stars



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: Holding Up The Universe


Title: Holding Up The Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository


Review:
This book! This book is so powerful and has so much soul that it completely touched me in so many different ways. From the writing to the characters to the overall story, I was completely moved and, needless to say, devoured this novel in one sitting. What do you expect when it's written by Jennifer Niven?

Jack and Libby are such wonderfully written characters, flawed in every way you and I are, yet still striving to be better. Yes, there's definitely bullying in this book, and yes, you will feel hurt, but there are moments where you'll be swooning and smiling so hard that you think your lips are going to fall off. It makes up for all the times you're cringing and wanting to simply throw the book across the room just to be done with it. Let's be honest, you don't know true happiness unless you've encountered the deepest of sorrows.

I could go deeper into the story, but I feel like it would ruin it for everyone. Just know that this book offers so many lessons including finding peace in who you are and not who everyone thinks you should be. I feel like I grew as a person after reading HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE and others will as well. For anyone who feels offended by the summary, know that the author drew in both her's and her friend's personal experiences, and it is in no way meant to be offensive. Personally, I feel it's meant to help others and let them know they're not alone.

Rating:

4.5 Stars



Friday, September 9, 2016

The One Real Thing Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway + Excerpt


Title: The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1)
Author: Samantha Young
Published: September 6th 2016 by Berkley
Source: Finished copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….


Review: There is absolutely nothing better than curling up with the latest book by one of your favorite authors. Samantha Young just has this incredible talent for sucking you into a story from the very page...Heck, first line! THE ONE REAL THING is not an exception to this. It's quirky, fun, sexy, and just downright good!

The two main characters are easy to love. Both find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. You have Jessica, a doctor at the Wilmington prison who stumbles across some letters that ultimately lead her to a life changing journey. If you've ever read THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks, it kind of reminded me of Logan's journey sans angst. Then you have Cooper, a man whose ex-wife cheated on him, running his family bar (with angst!). When these two collide, as cliche as it sounds, sparks flew. Their chemistry is electric. You could feel the sexual tension and oh, when they finally got together...Wowsas! I loved them together more than I did when they were apart. I loved that the author chose to have them build that sexual tension rather than rush into an insta-love relationship. This made me devour the book even faster.

The novel is told through both Jessica's and Cooper's point of views. One thing I found odd was that Jessica's POV was written in first person and Cooper's in third. I wonder if the author did this so readers would relate more to Jessica than Cooper? Either way, it was a little odd to me, but it didn't necessarily take anything away from the overall story.

From the quaint beach town to the sizzling romance, I highly recommend everyone check out THE ONE REAL THING. If you live in an area where the weather still permits, take it to the beach or pool with you, drink a couple cocktails, lay back and enjoy. It really is the best way to savor this fabulous novel.

Rating:

4.5 Stars





Excerpt: Why did it feel like having sex had complicated things so much? Usually sex was complication-free for me.

But before that night I’d been completely sure that Cooper was interested in exploring something more with me, and now I was freaking out that his interest would wane now that he’d had me.

I shook my head slowly. “No. It was good.”

He scowled, his arms tightening around me so much there wasn’t an inch of space between us. “It was better than fucking good, Jessica.”

I scowled back and pushed at his chest for some breathing space. “Well, I’m sure you’d know all about that.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“You use the word ‘fuck’ a lot.”

“It’s a good fucking word.”

I was tempted to laugh at how disgruntled he sounded and he seemed to catch my amusement because his hold on me eased.

“What’s going on in your head, Jess?”

I thought about evading this conversation. I’d never had to have an adult, open conversation with a man about sex. However, I realized, somewhat reluctantly, if I wanted something more with Cooper Lawson I was going to have to give him more than I was used to giving.

I couldn’t change his past, but I could figure out what it was he wanted in the future by just being honest and asking the question.

“You still want something with me, right? This”—I gestured behind me to the table—“it wasn’t just about sex.”

“No,” he said. “It’s not just about sex.”

As I heaved a sigh of relief, he let go of my waist to cup my face in his hands, dipping his head down to mine so our noses almost touched. He stared deep into my eyes and I shivered. I felt like he was trying to see right into my soul.

“I’m in this for the long haul, Doc. I was before you walked into my bar tonight, but now, after the best fucking sex of my life, after how wild that was, there’s no way I’m letting you walk out of here without me.”
And there he went doing it again.

His words resonated deep within me along with giving me that deep, sexual belly flip of arousal.

My fingers curled into the top of his biceps. “Best sex of my life, too,” I murmured. “It stunned me a little. Confused me . . . I thought maybe . . . you . . . this was old hat for you . . .”

He gave me a crooked grin. “You think I make a habit of fucking women in my bar.”

“You could,” I said. “You are definitely a man who could pull that off.”

Cooper threw his head back in laughter and I pressed my body deeper into his to feel his joy.

And then he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me.

Just as I’d suspected, he was a really good hugger.

When he pulled back he was smiling gently at me. “You’re the only woman I’ve had in my bar.” He let me go only to take my hand in his. “No one sits at that table anymore.” He gestured to the scene of the best sex we’d both ever had. “It’s now a shrine.”

“You can’t do that!” I was mortified at the possibility of people finding out why there was a table in Cooper Lawson’s bar that no one was allowed to sit at.

“I can. It’s my bar. I think I’ll even carve ‘Coop and Doc were here’ on it.”

Finally getting that he was joking, I made a face. “Funny.”

“You’re slow on the uptake tonight,” he teased.

“My brain was just frazzled by the orgasm to beat all orgasms.”

He squeezed my hand. “You up for more brain frazzling?”

I shivered at the thought. “Definitely.”

His eyes darkened. “Let’s go back to my place.”

Exhilarated by the prospect, I followed him, and it wasn’t until we’d stepped outside the bar into the cool night air that I said, “I don’t suppose you know where my panties are?”

“I do, actually.” He led me to the back of his bar to the parking lot. A dark-colored GMC was the only truck there.

“Um . . . could I have them, please?”

He stopped me at the passenger side of the truck, pressing me up against the car. “Why?” he whispered against my lips before he kissed me deeply. He came up for air a few seconds later. “You’re not going to need them where we’re going.”

The nagging pressure between my legs increased. “You are so very, very good at stringing the exact right words together.”

He kissed me again.

“You’re just good with your mouth in general,” I murmured.

Cooper grinned and brushed his lips over mine. “In the truck, Doc.”


Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous people at Berkley, you can enter to win 1 of 5 copies of THE ONE REAL THING. Did I mention it's open to international participants as well? Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Papillon Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway




Title: The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon (Papillon #1)
Author: A.N. Kang
Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: Finished copy received by the publisher/tour in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads

Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he's lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it's also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home?

Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.

Review: You guys, this book is TOO stinking cute! As a fellow cat lover, I couldn't help but grin like a maniac as I flipped through the pages and read the story. Yes, I was cheesing HARD!

Papillon (which is French for "Butterfly") is a cat who is so fluffy that he actually floats. His owner loves him so much that she starts trying to weigh him down to get him to stay. The thing is, he doesn't want to be weighed down. He wants to float, float, float, and explore.

From the illustrations to the quirky and darling story, I simply loved every minute of this picture book, especially the part that involved costumes. You'll see. I truly cannot wait for my little girl to be born already, so I can read this story to her over and over again. I also can't wait to see when and where Papillon's next adventure will be.

Oh, and be sure to take off the cover jacket once you get your hands on this book. What's underneath is precious!

Once you're done reading, you'll want to pick up your cat and cuddle with her/her for days!

Rating:

5 Stars


LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT A.N. KANG:
A. N. Kang (www.annakangdesign.com) was born in a little town in South Korea, with endless rice fields around her house. She grew up entertaining herself with picturebooks, and drew constantly. After moving to the United States as a teenager, she graduated from art school and began to design jewelry, greeting cards, and holiday installations all over New York City. She now lives and works in New Jersey with her sassy cat, Papillon. This is Kang’s debut.


Be sure to follow the rest of the tour!

9/4: The Irish Banana Review
9/5: Addicted 2 Novels
9/6: Mundie Kids
9/7: That Artsy Reader Girl
9/8: Vi3tbabe
9/9: FangirlConfessions
9/10: Owl Always Be Reading

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of PAPILLON (US Only)

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