Tracy Banghart

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    Tuesday
    Jan212014

    RATGIRL Blog Tour!

    Hello dearies! Today I'm very excited to be part of the RATGIRL blog tour, through Xpresso Book Tours.

    As soon as I read the description of this book, I knew I had to check it out. A dystopian retelling of the Pied Piper with a kick-butt heroine? Yes please! And let me tell you, it didn't disappoint! First, some info on the book:

    RATGIRL: Song of the Viper by Gayle C. Krause 
    Publication date: January, 2014
    Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

    Description

    Sixteen-year-old streetwise orphan, Jax Stone is an expert at surviving in a dangerous city, where rats rival the homeless for food and shelter, but she’s an amateur at fighting the immoral mayor when he kidnaps her little brother. Desperation demands she quickly master the role of courageous opponent. She uses her hypnotic singing voice to lead rats to their death, and all the children to safety, in a dying city cursed by the deadly sun.

    My Review

    I have to tell you, I loved this book. It was gritty and dark and sometimes kind of terrifying...and I couldn't put it down. The world-building was visceral and superbly detailed, with tons of wonderful description that wove so well through the story that it never slowed down the action. I haven't read a book with such great world-building in a long time.

    I was also really impressed with the character development. Jax Stone, our heroine, was brave and strong and scrappy, and the author did a great job with her voice. I could see through her eyes and feel her emotions, which was often gut-wrenching. The rest of the characters were also really well done; I got a sense of their personalities, motivations, and individual quirks and they all stood out on the page.

    As for the action, boy, this book kept me on the edge of my seat! I think it's amazing when an author can completely rip the rug out from under me...I think the story's going one way and WHOOSH...there it goes, off in another - and usually more exciting - direction. This happened to me several times in this story and I was breathless trying to read faster wondering what would happen next. Three quarters of the way through, there were a couple places where the pacing felt a little inconsistent to me, but it didn't keep me from rushing towards the end to find out what would happen. I was semi-familiar with the Pied Piper fairy tale...and after finishing Ratgirl was so inspired I had to look it up to remind myself of the original story. This retelling worked really, really well, especially within the world the author created.

    Overall, Ratgirl is a well-written, exciting, compulsively readable story, with a gritty, well-developed world and complex characters you'll love to root for. It sounds like there's going to be a sequel, and I can't wait to read it!

    My Rating: 4 Stars

    Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

    Better yet, purchase a copy from Amazon here or Barnes & Noble here.

    Also, enter to win a KINDLE in this amazing giveaway!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    About the Author

    Gayle C. Krause is a member of SCBWI, YALITCHAT and The Cliffhouse YA Wonderwriters.She writes across the genres. Her first publication credit was a short story in Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2 (2006). The Storyteller’s Daughter, her YA historical short story, was featured in Timeless, A YA Historical Romance anthology from Pugalicious Press (2012).Her new YA novel, RATGIRL: Song of the Viper was published in February 2013 (Noble Young Adult).

    During the course of her writing career Ms. Krause has served as assistant editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a dark fantasy online magazine developed for young teens, a children’s book reviewer for Children’s Literature .com and she offers a critique service for children’s writers at First Peek Critique. (www.gayleckrause.com)

    She also runs a blog that encourages new children’s writers through contests, book reviews and author interviews. http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com.

    Author links

    http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.ca/

    https://twitter.com/GeeCeeK

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443239.Gayle_C_Krause

    ~~

    Follow the rest of the tour here!

     

    Friday
    Jan102014

    Shattered Veil Countdown: 7 weeks

    Did you know there's less than a week left to enter the Goodreads First Look contest for a signed advanced copy of Shattered Veil? The link to the giveaway is at the top of the page. Go enter...I'll wait... ;-)

    You're back! Good.

    So. Shattered Veil comes out seven weeks from today. And I'm feeling good, peeps. Reviews are starting to come in, and so far the response has been great. (A reviewer on Goodreads called the book "inspiring". INSPIRING. I about cried.)

    Today's teaser is below...check back next week for a post about why i'm choosing to call this book a "new adult"...but feel like "young adult" is a label that fits too. Happy Friday!

    For one young, talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face...and the one promise she swore she'd never break.

    SHATTERED VEIL
    February 28, 2014

    Wednesday
    Jan082014

    Book Bloggers Are the Best

    So, we're only eight days into 2014 but I have to tell you, I'm feeling really, really good about this year so far. Professionally, that has a TON to do with the amazing book blogger community. As you all know (how could you not, if you read this blog? ;-)) Shattered Veil comes out in a little less than eight weeks. Already, bloggers are requesting e-ARCs through NetGalley, putting it on their "Waiting on Wednesday" lists, and featuring it on their blogs. CAN I TELL YOU HOW HAPPY THIS MAKES ME?? Seriously.

    I LOVE that so many book bloggers are open to reading indie books...not only that, they're excited about them! (As they should be...I've read a couple AMAZING ones lately. Check out my reviews here, here & here.) People talking about books and writing reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and the like make SUCH a difference in the visibility of a book. And I can't even explain to you the THRILL of hearing that someone is excited to read one of mine. 

    So I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you to the bloggers who've requested Shattered Veil or By Blood on NetGalley. Thank you to those who've written reviews. Thank you to everyone who has signed up for the book tour or added my books to your Goodreads TBR list...and thank you to anyone and everyone who wants to read Shattered Veil (or any of my books). 

    I decided to self-publish because I wanted to find readers for my books, and I was tired of waiting for a traditional publisher to give me permission. I put all this time and energy and love and hope into writing these stories...and I wanted to believe there was someone, maybe a few people, who'd enjoy reading them. Any writer will tell you - the actual WRITING is only half of the job...it's like a telephone call. It only works if there's someone on the other end to receive your words. 

    I am so, so grateful to know there are readers out there who want to connect with my stories. You guys are the best!!

     

    Tuesday
    Jan072014

    Blog Tour: The Sorcery Code

    Hello dearies! I'm very excited to be part of my first BLOG TOUR, courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours!

    This particular tour is a reviews-only tour for THE SORCERY CODE by Dima Zales.

    First, here are some details about the book:

    The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales 
    Publication date: December, 2013
    Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

    Description

    From the internationally bestselling authors who brought you the Krinar Chronicles comes a captivating tale of intrigue, love, and danger in a world where sorcery is entwined with science . . .

    Once a respected member of the Sorcerer Council and now an outcast, Blaise has spent the last year of his life working on a special magical object. The goal is to allow anyone to do magic, not just the sorcerer elite. The outcome of his quest is unlike anything he could’ve ever imagined – because, instead of an object, he creates Her.

    She is Gala, and she is anything but inanimate. Born in the Spell Realm, she is beautiful and highly intelligent – and nobody knows what she’s capable of. She will do anything to experience the world . . . even leave the man she is beginning to fall for.

    Augusta, a powerful sorceress and Blaise’s former fiancée, sees Blaise’s deed as the ultimate hubris and Gala as an abomination that must be destroyed. In her quest to save the human race, Augusta will forge new alliances, becoming tangled in a web of intrigue that stretches further than any of them suspect. She may even have to turn to her new lover Barson, a ruthless warrior who might have an agenda of his own . . .

    My Review

    I'll be honest, at first I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy THE SORCERY CODE. I haven't read a book with a male main character in a long time, and being thrust immediately into a scene with a man staring at a naked woman, well...I was worried.

    But the story completely defied my expectations. I was initially intrigued by the premise of sorcery working like science, and the author did a FABULOUS job with this concept. The worldbuilding was wonderful - enough details that I could get a good sense of how the world worked but never so much description that it slowed down the action. I appreciated that the author respected and worked within the rules he had created for his world; there's nothing more annoying than a last-minute hitherto unknown magical "fix" for the main character's predicament.

    I found the writing very smooth and easy to read, with moments that were genuinely thought-provoking, particularly when it came to Augusta and Barson. It was a unique experience to have so much insight into the antagonists' mindsets and philosophies. I was Team Blaise and Gala all the way, but I could understand many of Augusta's concerns and loved the added complexity her narrative contributed to the story.

    Overall, THE SORCERY CODE was a great read and I will definitely check out the next book in the series when it comes out. This was the first book I've read by Dima Zales, and I am looking forward to checking out his other novels.

    If you enjoy clean, character-driven fantasy with a unique premise and skilled world-building, you should definitely check out THE SORCERY CODE!

    Rating: 5 Stars

    You can add it to your Goodreads TBR list here.

    Buy on AmazonB&N, Kobo, Smashwords

    ~~

    And, as an added bonus, you can also enter to win paperbacks of Dima Zales and Anna Zaires' Krinar Chronicles!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    About the Author

    Dima Zales is a full-time science fiction and fantasy author residing in Palm Coast, Florida. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked in the software development industry in New York as both a programmer and an executive. From high-frequency trading software for big banks to mobile apps for popular magazines, Dima has done it all. In 2013, he left the software industry in order to concentrate on his writing career.

    Dima holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from NYU and a dual undergraduate degree in Computer Science / Psychology from Brooklyn College. He also has a number of hobbies and interests, the most unusual of which might be professional-level mentalism. He simulates mind-reading on stage and close-up, and has done shows for corporations, wealthy individuals, and friends. To read more, click here!

    Links

    http://www.dimazales.com/index.html

    https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDimaZales

    https://twitter.com/AuthorDimaZales

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210511.Dima_Zales

    ~~
    Friday
    Jan032014

    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year, my lovelies!

    Photo Courtesy: satit_srihin at freedigitalphotos.net2013 was a pretty crazy year here...on the personal front, MAJOR HOTSAUCE and I moved - twice! - and my son celebrated his first birthday. I met some wonderful new friends near our new house and wore a bikini for the first time since I got pregnant (woot!). I spent the holidays with my family and found an even greater love and appreciation for my closest friends, as they supported me over the past year.

    Professionally, I self-published two novels, racked up some lovely reviews, met some wonderful book bloggers and new bookish friends, and *almost* finished a new novel (Jan 12th!! That's my new deadline and it WILL happen!).

    To all of you who read By Blood and/or Moon Child, who reviewed them on Goodreads or Amazon...to those who liked me on Facebook or said hi on Twitter...thank you so, SO much for reading...for your support...for you enthusiasm. I am loving my new indie publishing career and a BIG part of that is the amazing author and book blogger community. I'm still a teeny, tiny, very small fish in a BIGGGGG ocean, but the words of encouragement, kind reviews, and excitement about my new projects mean more than I could possibly say. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    Needless to say, I have a TON to be thankful for, both personally and professionally, and even more exciting things to look forward to in 2014. MAJOR HOTSAUCE and I have made a list of all of our resolutions, I've got my computer prepped for LOTS of writing, and I'm super excited to dive in to an awesome year of Mommyhood and Author World Domination! Ha ha.

    Today happens to be eight weeks exactly before SHATTERED VEIL is released! Can you believe it? Have I mentioned how excited I am??? ;-) (For a chance to win an early copy, be sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway at the top of this page!)

    To hopefully get YOU excited, each Friday until release day I'll be sharing a teaser and doing a little giveaway, so be sure to stop back and take a look at the goodies. 

    This week's giveaway, a fabulous Shattered Veil prize pack, which includes this super snazzy notebook, magnet and button (thanks to Regina at Mae I Design for the gorgeous designs!)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    And...drumroll please...here's your first sneak peek at SHATTERED VEIL! :-)

    For one young, talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face…and the one promise she swore she’d never break.

    SHATTERED VEIL
    February 28, 2014