Blog Tour: The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray [Book Thoughts]

Dollhouse (2)

Summary:

A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields–a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus–she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.

At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne’s heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.

The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now “Persephone,” and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move an how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.

If they play it right, then they’ll be safe.

But if they play it wrong, they’ll die.

My Thoughts :

(**I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The Dollhouse Asylum is the book that makes you stop for a moment, think, and realize that this, this is the reason why you love reading. This book makes the list of those really awesome reads that capture you in their brilliance.

I’m not gonna lie, at first the book sounded like a deranged spin-off of The Hunger Games (if that’s possible), and honestly, Teo reminded me of Edward Cullen with his captivating and confusing language. As I got further into the story, those thoughts washed away pretty quickly; little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Cheyenne is a pretty average girl – smart, shy, underappreciated – except for the fact that she is in love with the man that is her teacher and kidnapper. Pronounced “tay-o” (like Matteo), Teo has a personality that is insanely whacky, but also charming. He is the polar opposite of Cheyenne; because of that, I think the two fit really well. Even though he is introduced as a kidnapper, Cheyenne is pretty persuasive in getting you to think otherwise. I found myself battling my own thoughts about Teo’s wit and charm, just as Cheyenne does; it was so interesting – and disturbing – to put myself in her shoes as she fell for this maniac.

While this book is filled with an insane amount of action, I really appreciated Cheyenne’s character development throughout the story. In the beginning, you see her as this innocent girl who is completely infatuated with and dependent on Teo. As the story continues and Teo reveals his true self to the citizens of Elysian Fields, Cheyenne matures and realizes that some things are more important than love. I loved seeing Cheyenne not only find her confidence, but also herself, even though she has to go through a whole lot of devastation to do so.

The Dollhouse Asylum is a very gripping novel. Not only that, but I absolutely LOVED all of the literature allusions intricately woven into the plot. When I first heard about this book, the concept of a dollhouse was interesting – I didn’t realize Gray had come up with this magnificent plot for the couples to act out the stories of famous couples! The originality of this book blew my mind and I’m upset that the story is over.

The Dollhouse Asylum is a fantastic debut. I’m looking forward to any other books Mary Gray publishes in the future. If you hadn’t already come to the conclusion of needing to get the book for yourself, well, what are you waiting for?

About the Author: Mary Gray

Mary Gray has a M.-Gray-author-picfascination with all things creepy. That’s why all her favorite stories usually involve panic attacks and hyperventilating. In real life, she prefers to type away on her computer, ogle over her favorite TV shows, and savor fiction. When she’s not immersed in other worlds, she and her husband get their exercise by chasing after their three children.  The Dollhouse Asylum is her first novel.

Mary Gray’s Website.

The Dollhouse Asylum on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

Giveaway!

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Go enter the Rafflecopter here -> http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b7f8ba9/

Don’t Forget to Stop By all the other Tour Stops for more The Dollhouse Asylum Awesomeness!

October 8 – Fantasy Book Addict (Interview)
October 9 – Books Live Forever  (Book Review)
October 10 – Kiki’s Bookshelf (Interview)
October 11 – The Bookshelf Sophisticate (Guest Post)
October 12 – Falling for YA (Interview)
October 13 – YA Sisterhood (Book Review)
October 14 – Fragments of life (Interview)
October 15 – Two Chicks On Books  (Guest Post)
October 16 – Harley Bear Book Blog (Book Review)
October 17 – Lost in Believing (Book Review)
October 18 – Jessabella Reads  (Guest Post)
October 19 – Stuck In YA Books (Book Review)
October 20 – The Book Goddess  (Guest Post)
October 21 – Swoony Boys Podcast (Interview)
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Transition from YA

Ever since my blog has been born, I have been a book blog. And since this blog has been a book blog, I have primarily focused on books/novels that fell under the Young Adult category (aka ‘teen books’). Therefore, Lost in Believing has been known as a YA book blog.

This fall, I am going to be attending Baruch College in Manhattan – which makes me a freshman  in college. In a month, I will be turning 18; thus beginning my slow transition from young adult books to adult books. But wait, getting older does not necessarily mean I will be transitioning from one genre to the next, just more likely.

I am writing this post to let you know that this blog will not just be a young adult blog anymore. From this point on, I will be blogging about books that fall under the ‘New Adult’ category, and yes, also books that fall under the plain old ‘Adult’ category. Honestly, this blog will probably remain mostly a YA book blog, but I wanted to let you guys know that those books will not be the only books I will be talking about.

What is New Adult?

Here is a wonderful answer from NA Alley:

We view New Adult fiction (NA) as a category of literature—meaning, it gives readers content expectations, but it does not dictate genre-based criteria. Typically, a novel is considered NA if it encompasses the transition between adolescence—a life stage often depicted in Young Adult (YA) fiction—and true adulthood.

Protagonists generally fall between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, though exceptions may apply. NA characters are often portrayed experiencing: college, living away from home for the first time, military deployment, apprenticeships, a first steady job, a first serious relationship, etc.

Other terms for NA include: Upper YA, Crossover Fiction, and Mature YA.

If you want to learn more about the new genre, head over to NA Alley; they know their stuff.

As of right now, I’ve only read one book that is classified as NA, but I have a list of NA books on my TBR list AND I’m on the e-mail list for a bunch of NA book tours and news. This fall begins a whole new part of my life, and I’m excited to introduce a new part to my blog.

I know a lot of you have been with me from the start, and I know that I’m not the only one that’s getting older. If you aren’t already familiar with NA, I hope I’m able to introduce you to it!

Leave me any thoughts or comments below. And here’s to the future (:

Book Expo of America – Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the first day of Book Expo of America; I would say it was pretty enjoyable…

Before the exhibit hall opened.

Before the exhibit hall opened.

Since I come from New Jersey, I had to get up at five in the morning to get ready and take the bus in with my dad (he works in the city). I arrived at the Javits Center around

eight, got my press badge and then walked around. Even though it was eight in the morning, you could feel the excited buzz in the atmosphere. Let me tell you – that excited buzz is the best feeling.

At nine, I met up with my friend Michael. He and I actually met through Penguin Publishing three years ago. When we get the chance, we attend all things books together; and what other even would be better than BEA itself?

Michael & I

Michael & I

Right after that we got on line for Diana Peterfreund’s signing for her new novel Across a Star-Swept Sea. Diana was pretty cool, sporting a head band with a boat on it. I actually didn’t realize, but I saw her before the exhibit hall opened. Not only was that my first time meeting Diana, but it was also the first time ever holding one of her books. I’ve heard great things about her stuff, so I’m excited to read Across a Star-Swept Sea.

Diana Peterfreund signing.

Diana Peterfreund signing.

After, we just wandered through the different companies and publishers. Neither of us came with a plan for day, which meant that we just had to wing it. We checked out all of the more well-known publishers, especially Penguin, because honestly, we consider that our publisher since we are part of their teen research group. No worry though, because we did check out all of the booths. And when I say all the booths, I mean all the booths.

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While doing so, I spoke to a few marketing and media coordinators and they were all very friendly and helpful. The two publishers that stood out to me were Omnific and David R. Godine. Before yesterday, I had never heard of David R. Godine publishing. I have heard of Omnific, though. Fun fact: a fan fiction called Boycotts & Barflies that was once very popular on fanfiction.net was published by Omnific. I actually saw the book Boycotts & Barflies by Victoria Michaels on the table, and that was the reason I stopped. Omnific is a pretty cool publishing house that focuses on romance. One of the coordinators explained their genre with the words “if Harlequin publishes it, we don’t.” This means that they don’t publish novels that fall into the cliché romance category. I found out about some of their books, and I have to agree with that quote; their stories sound unique and apart of the clichés of the romance genre.

David R. Godine publishing

David R. Godine publishing

Throughout the day, I also managed to meet a few other authors: Andrea Cremer, David Levithan, James L. Sutter and James Dashner. It was my second time meeting Andrea Cremer and James Dashner; the first time hearing about James L. Sutter; and my first time meeting David Levithan. Honestly, the highlight of my day was meeting David Levithan. I am a huge fan of his novels and I’m very excited to read Invisibility (it’s co-written with Andrea Cremer).

David Levithan signing Invisibility

David Levithan signing Invisibility

I also chatted with other bloggers. Last year, I met Shanese from The Bo0ki3, and I was able to see her again this year. On line, I spoke to the father of Emily Trunko, from On Emily’s Bookshelf and learned about this thirteen years old YA blogger who made it to BEA. I also met Alison Stover from Alison Can Read because we both spelled our names the same way! Last but not least, I met the West brothers from Novel Thoughts. I’m a fan of their blog and I kept seeing them everywhere and decided to introduce myself. Not gonna lie, they’re pretty awesome.

All of the books I picked up

All of the books I picked up

All in all, I had a wonderful time. No, I didn’t pick up as many books as years past, but I don’t mind. By not going in with any plans this year, I think I was able to enjoy myself more because I took the time to experience it all. I’m thankful for being able to attend BEA 2013. If you get the chance, go! It’s now open to the public, and will be next year too!

Happy 3rd Blogoversary to Me!

Three years ago today (May 31, 2010), my book blog was born.

Happy 3rd Blogoversary blog!

I would like to thank you all. For reading, commenting, subscribing, and just taking your time to look at this blog. Book blogging has changed my life, and I don’t think any of you will understand just how much this all means to me. *hugs* I appreciate everything you guys do; without people to read my posts, this blog would be nothing.

THANK YOU!

To thank you guys, I will be putting up a giveaway soon to celebrate. Keep an eye out!

Poll: Do you read e-books?

I’ve been curious…

Blog Tour: Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell (Teasers)

Oh hey, welcome to this blog stop of Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell! If you do not know what Deadly to Love is, you are now going to find out. Deadly to Love is a fabulous YA paranormal-urban fantasy-romance e-book re-releasing this month!

Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)Title:
Deadly
to Love (Elemental Killers #1)

Author:
Mia Hoddell
ASIN: B00BDQ3QGA
ISBN: 9781291319170
Genre:
YA/Paranormal/Urban
Fantasy/Romance

Description

There is a love that is so dangerous, so powerful, so intoxicating that it embraces your heart and smothers your mind until it leaves you defenceless.

Serena knew that but still, it didn’t stop her. His name was Kai. He was the most beautiful, irresistible man she had ever encountered. Their attraction was too compelling to fight and she knew she would go to the end of the world beside him. That is love.

However behind the allure was hidden a deadly secret – a secret that threatened her fragile life… But secrets best left unsaid never remain hidden forever. When Kai reveals his true identity, she is exposed to a frightening world she had no idea existed. Controlled by powerful Elemental forces her life is placed in mortal danger.

Unbeknown to them, their lives have been entwined from the beginning and it leads her to discover an even greater secret about who she really is. As the pieces begin to unravel and death becomes a reality, Serena is forced to decide what is more important…her love or life.

Buy Links: 
Paperback
(Lulu)
and will be available on Amazon soon

I don’t know about you guys, but this novel sounds pretty cool. Thankfully for us, Mia gave me some little teaser quotes to share with you all…

Kai still kept a tight grip on my hand and as we neared the empty space he pulled us back slightly, deliberately slowing our pace so we were out of sync with the others. (Page 331)

His reply came quickly and my heartbeat increased a little as I read it, wondering what had come over me. (Page 58)

“Well as you can hear, I’m not dead and not planning on being so any time soon. Yeah the weathers weird but it’s not like we can do anything but wait it out I guess,” I lied. (Page 250)

“Water,” was all I managed to say as I tried to come to terms with what had happened. (Page 330)

Everyone stared at him in shock as what was written seemed to be too good to be true. (Page 291)

I seriously love the name Kai. Gahh, *swoons over characters that have amazing names*

About The Author:

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Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and her preferred genre is Young Adult, Paranormal Romance. Before 2009, Mia wouldn’t even pick up a book and was more interested in sports. However she finally found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of both reading and writing. Mia began with poems and after getting two published in separate anthologies she moved on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series The Wanderer Trilogy and from there other ideas have emerged which she hopes to turn into novels as well. Elemental Killers is her second series and book two will be out soon.

Author Links

Blog: http://miahoddell.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mia-Hoddell-Author/421368247889610?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiaHoddell
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/miahoddell

Book Links:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Paperback (Lulu) and will be available on Amazon soon

Blog Tour: Ambril’s Tale, The Return of the Dullaith by Wendy D. Walter (Includes Q&A and Giveaway)

Hey guys. Welcome to the blog tour of I would  a recent e-book, The Return of the Dullaith by Wendy D. Walter! *exchanges “hellos”* Now that you guys have met, let me tell you all about this book!

Ambril's Tale-Tales of the Dullaith by Wendy D. Walter 2

Summary:

Fourteen-year-old, Ambril struggles with the mystery surrounding her father’s death when she moves back to the mysterious town where she was born. When she accidentally uncovers a secret which threatens to destroy her entire family, she continues her quest, against all odds, to clear her father’s name. But will she be able to claim her magic and and heal the rifts in her family?

Ambril’s Tale, The Return of the Dullaith has received great 4-5-star reviews. Readers are impatiently demanding Book Two, which will be out early Spring 2013.

Sounds pretty cool, right? You know what’s even cooler? Each chapter begins with a beautiful illustration from the author herself above each chapter title. For example, this picture is above chapter one:

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I was lucky enough to be able to ask Wendy some questions about her book.

About The Author: Wendy D. Walter

Writing was an early passion for Wendy. As a kid, she wrote lots of stories, but being shy, they usually ended up under the mattress. When she finally set out to tell Ambril’s Tale, she decided not to write a story but a world, full with her own marvelous illustrations. She considers The Return of the Dullaith as just the curly tip of the fairy boot. Wendy lives near San Francisco with her husband, daughters, cat and border collie. More information about Wendy’s book and art, check her site: http://wendydwalter.com.

1. Before your book, I had never seen the name Ambril; how did you manage to stumble upon that name?

I wanted Ambril to have a name that sounded inorganic and organic at the same time. One of the underlying themes in Ambril’s Tale is about humanity’s struggle to strike a balance between the environment and the technology we create so well.

Ambril Amber + brill, the first is a semi-precious stone and the second, brill sounded fern-like to me. It still does, though it’s actually the name of a fish :~).

I was so proud of my originality…until I googled Ambril and found that there were several Ambrils out and about in the world. I’m still giggling about that! Oh well, I tried!

2. How did you get the idea for your story? Was there anything that ‘sparked’ the idea?

The idea of Ambril’s Tale was born during a move from Southern California to Utah in the middle of a snowstorm. I was 10 years old, and felt like a Martian. I longed for a walking house who might take me back to my easy, sunny home.

Big questions formed in my mind then, questions that just wouldn’t leave me alone…Who am I and why am I so different?…sat across the lunch-table from me. Is this their problem, mine or is it something bigger?…we played a lot of solitaire those first few months. To be honest, these same questions still poke me occasionally. When they began to annoy me, a few years back, I decided to sit down and see if I could get Ambril to answer them for me.

3. Ambril’s Tale, The Return of the Dullaith is an illustrated book. When you wrote the story, did you plan to illustrate it? Or did it the images come to life before the story’s text did?

Great question! Sometimes the images came first, but for the most part, the writing got the ball rolling.

But whichever came first, I must say that I learned a lot about my characters while sketching them. Who knew that Mr. Pinwydden always wore argyle socks? Or that a fanged geranium’s teeth were never straight? Even I didn’t, until I rolled up my sleeves and started to sketch.

4. Which character in your book is your favorite? Why?

Another interesting question, Hendoeth and Betula are characters that simply write themselves, I hardly have time to put spaces in between the words, the dialogue comes so quickly when I write their scenes. They feel like old friends, and boss me around when we are working on a snag in the story, but I love every minute of it!

5. Any advice for aspiring authors?

Stick with it! Don’t give up, steam through to the end, then start again. It’s hard, but try to listen when your early readers critique your book. Especially if you hear the same criticism again and again. Nod, take their words to heart, and make some changes. It’s humbling, and sometimes painful, but in the end, you generally get a better book.

Thanks everyone, if you would like to contact me…

Ambril’s Facebook page
Wendy D. Walter on Twitter

Wendy’s blog:
ambrils-tale.com
Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith on Amazon
Ambril’s Tale-Return of the Dullaith- BarnesNoble

Some of the Illustrations for Book One are available here:
wendydwalter.com/illustrating

I’d love to hear from everyone,
and thank you Alison!

Giveaway Info

At each blog stop on her tour, Wendy is giving away a prize, a copy of one of her books (paperback or e-book). You can also enter her 12-12-12 Grand Prize Giveaway of a sterling silver pendant of the Tree of Life, and an End-of-Tour Grand Prize Giveaway of a hand-painted gnome, hand-painted by Wendy herself! There will also be some surprise giveaways along the way! Stay tuned!

1) To win a book: leave a comment on this blog post about what you like about magic to be entered to win a copy of Ambril’s Tale: The Return of the Dullaith in paperback or e-book format. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.

2) To win one of the Grand Prizes: Click the link to go to Wendy’s website and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on Dec. 12th for the  sterling silver pendant of the Tree of Life. Here’s Wendy’s site: http://wendydwalter.com/blog-tour/. OR you can click on the link here (It will lead you directly to the rafflecopter entry form): a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you doing? Go enter the giveaway and check out the other stops on this tour! (: