Blog Tour: One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin (Exerpt)

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin

Release Date: February 10, 2015 – Spencer Hill Press
320 pages – 978-1939392633

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Summary:

Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a “lady” while the guys move on without her. Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.  But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.

Excerpt:

From Chapter 3

One month later, I’m sitting in a brightly lit classroom at the Winston Academy for Girls. My dad used to joke that the day I wore a skirt would be the day the zombie apocalypse rolled into town. Two hours in and I have yet to see a zombie, but I do feel like the living dead. Someone bathed in raspberry perfume this morning, causing a war to rage inside my nostrils. I might fall to the floor and convulse, the smell’s that thick.

Maybe it’s not the perfume. Maybe I’m allergic to all this estrogen.

“You okay?” the girl next to me whispers.

I respond by covering my mouth and sneezing so hard that a giant wad of snot lands in the palm of my hand. Carefully, I move my hand under the desk and smile.

“Fine,” I reply. “Just tired.”

The girl chews on a strand of her honey-colored hair as she attempts to write down every word of the lecture. A leather day planner rests at the edge of her desk, a name embroidered in pink curly letters at the bottom: Emma Elizabeth Swanson.

I’m definitely not in public school anymore.

Our Business Mathematics teacher pity-smiles at me from behind her glasses and dives into a discussion about supply and demand. I continue to wonder what I should do with the snot on my palm. If I were sitting beside one of the guys at Burlington High, like I should be this year, the snot wouldn’t be an issue. I would wipe it on Cowboy, the least likely of the group to retaliate, and laugh.

But what would a “lady” do?

Here at Winston, boys feel as mythical and mysterious as unicorns. There’s no sign of them anywhere. No obnoxious belches. No stupid high- fives. No talk of monster hunting. It’s unsettling, like I’m walking among a race of polite aliens wearing plaid jumpers and lip gloss.

How am I supposed to survive a year on another planet? 

About the Author:

Lisa Aldin

Lisa Aldin graduated from Purdue University with a B.A. in English Literature. She now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and daughter. ONE OF THE GUYS is her debut novel.

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Cover Reveal: Play On by Michelle Smith

Title: Play On by Michelle Smith
Expected Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

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Summary:

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius; she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek — he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa’s pain, it forces him to look beyond the façade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn’t everything—maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.

About Michelle Smith:

Michelle Smith writes books for teens (and adults who aren’t ashamed of their love for YA). She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and is a complete sap. She advocates for mental health awareness, and is a strong supporter of The Trevor Project, Love is Louder, and To Write Love on Her Arms.
Michelle lives in North Carolina with her family.
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Blog Tour: The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray [Book Thoughts]

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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.

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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)