Check out THE ARTISANS by @JulieAReece


Here is another amazing read to add to your YA collection.  It is fantastic and I’m so excited for Julie. She’s one of my favorite YA authors and deserves to be on top of every chart there is!!  Review coming soon!!

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight with Julie Reece with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting Julie Reece, author of

The Artisans

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

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Get to Know Julie Reece in 10 Questions or Less!

Twitter or Facebook? -Both

Favorite Superhero? –One hero to rule them all: Thor

Favorite TV show? -Sherlock (British)

Sweet or Salty? -Ice cream is a food group.

Coke or Pepsi? -Tea (I’m a rebel)

Any Phobias? –Sharks and, ew, spiders … oh and drowning.

Song you can’t get enough of right now? –Caroline (or anything) by Kill It Kid *dies*

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend? ‘Weaver’ from May Webb’s, Precious Bane *swoons*

What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR? -Saving Francesca , by Melina Marchetta

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to? –OMG! Crimson Peak and Mad Max:Fury Road

BIO

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads

The Artisans

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old RAVEN WEATHERSBY gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?

The Artisans is a delectably rich, layered and dark YA Southern Gothic inspired by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic Beauty and the Beast.

The Artisans has all the elements I love – spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored.” ~ Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy.

add to goodreads

Title: The Artisans
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Julie Reece

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FIFTEEN by Jen Estes – a review


Curiosity Quills recently offered me the opportunity to read FIFTEEN by Jen Estes in exchange for an honest review.  After reading the back cover blurb, I decided to take a chance on it as the premise really captured my attention.

Fiftee - Jen Estes cover

Fifteen, by Jen Estes

Genre:Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher:Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­:January 15, 2015

Cover Artist:Conzpiracy Digital Arts

Goodreads

Description:

Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution – fifteen years from now – where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.

For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams – now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels – who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.

My Review

I’m really torn over this book.  Part of me really, really loved it and the other part of me only liked it.

I thought the beginning started out kind of slow and I was wondering when the story would pick up. It didn’t take long before the first ‘dream’ sequence, and boy, did it catch my attention.  The monster in Ash’s dreams is wicked beyond wicked, and what happens to her during the dream is just too freaking weird and unsettling.

I’m really trying hard not to give spoilers away here but it’s difficult to talk about this book without giving something away.  Hmm, let’s talk characters.

There is this doctor in the book that is an oddly placed character.  Ash and her friend, Nadette’s, reaction to him seemed  too quick. They just went with him unknowing, unthinking, and it’s not like he was a young college kid, either. He’s an old guy, well, old to a couple of teen girls.  I thought this entire scene just unfolded way to easy. They were too trusting. Personally, I was kind of creeped out by the guy, the way he stood under a tree staring at the two girls, and yet they’re like “hey, baby.” It felt ‘off’ to me. It through my creep groove off.  However, I liked the character and I really enjoyed watching the way he helped Ash come to terms with her dreams.

Anyway, Ash’s relationships with Tate, Nadette and Skylar are all very typical teenager, and there is a strong YA voice when the three of them get together. I would have liked to have seen deeper characters, a little bit deeper POV with Ash and her feelings toward Tate. Don’t get me wrong. We know her relationship with him. We know how she feels about him. I just would have liked to have seen a bit deeper connection.

The settings are pretty typical – high school and college campuses. The scenes are easy to picture in my mind. The prose is fairly quick overall and engaging. The storyline and plot are easy to follow, but there are some twists and turns that are really quite nice.

There is a scene where Ash falls asleep in class that I would have liked to have seen developed a bit more. I think there would have been more reaction among the students. I really liked this first introduction into carrying things over from sleep to reality – one dimension to another. Very nicely done.

Bad thing is, I found myself wanting to get to the dreams instead of reading the story. At one point I found myself skimming because I thought it was taking too long to get to the dream scenes, which were becoming more and more intense and vivid. Ms. Estes knows how to write these villains and monsters, and even better, she knows how to weave them into reality. I can’t really say it’s the author’s fault I wanted to jump ahead. Then again, a slow enticement is much better than a WHAM! Know what I mean?

As for the end of the novel, Jen Estes knows how to end a book. I loved the twists and turns in the end and the last line was most excellent. It made me go “ooooo”. All I could think of is if I were Fifteen, everything she’d just been through would completely freak me out.

Overall, I wish there had been a tad more deep character development. Sometimes they felt flat to me and then in other spots, they were bopping all over the page. I didn’t like the ending with Tate and Nadette.  That really sucked and I would have liked to have seen a different ‘ending’ for them and Ash. Again, my preference and nothing the author did wrong.

Try as I might, it is really difficult to peg down score for this one.  It would be between a 3.75 and a 4.0. I think I’ll give a 4.0 because the creepy, wraithy kind of villain was just written so damn well. I could see him in all his ghoulishness.  At times, it was if he were standing right in front of me. *Shiver* And then to find out he’s really …

Nope, not going to tell you. You’re going to have to read the book to find out.

I give FIFTEEN 4 stars. It really does have a menacing, hair-raising storyline and I think most people who like edgy YA horror without going overboard, will love this novel. It is pretty intense for the most part, with a very interesting plot line.  I am happy to say this is the first book I’ve read in 2015.  Thank you Curiosity Quills Press and Jen Estes with starting out my year with a really enjoyable read.

About the Author

Jen

Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries).

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between staring at corn or reading books. Corn husks just didn’t have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club, and so a bookworm was born. Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four books in the mystery genre, Jen finally gave in to the literary demands of her inner teenager with her YA debut, FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries) with Curiosity Quills.  Jen lives in Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo.

She is an active member of the National Writers Union. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good book. You can find Jen on the web at http://www.jenestes.com, on Tumblr as AuthorJenEstes and tweeting under @jenestesdotcom

Find Jen Estes Online:

Website | Facebook |Twitter| Goodreads