Tag: Blog Tour

Blog Tour: The Lost Causes

Today I am one of the two stops on the blog tour for The Lost Causes written by Jessica Etting & Alyssa Schwartz.  This is a Rockstar Book Tours. Today I will be sharing my review. At the end of this post, you can enter to win one of three copies of The Lost Causes (Us and Canada only).

Book Description:

They’re the kids that no one knows — or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they’re out of other options. They’re lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal.

There’s only one problem. She’s not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power.

Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price.

Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover.

But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who — if anyone — they can trust.

About The Book:
Author: Jessica Etting & Alyssa Schwartz
Pub. Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pages: 344
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

Dates Read: August 19 -27, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars

The Lost Causes is not one I would have picked up myself and I was glad I was sent an arc copy!  This is the book any teenager (and even those older) will love. I wish I had been able to read this when I was a teenager.

The Lost Causes is about a group of misfit teens (similar to The Breakfast Club). They are teenagers who are considered ‘lost causes’ that no one seems to care about and they all have their own issues.  They are then given special abilities and the FBI pulls them into a murder case to help solve.  Here is where you need to totally suspend your belief in reality. There is no chance this could actually happen.   Every bit of the novel is outlandish and unbelievable, but it is in a great way! I did not want to put it down at all and you go on a roller coaster where one thing happens then something else happens.   I didn’t know who was going to end up being the killer and then we have that ending!  I really hope this is to become a series as I became attached to all of our ‘Lost Causes’. I need more stories with this group of teenagers!

This is a book I would definitely recommend for teenagers.  Every teen feels like they don’t belong anywhere at some point in their life and this book covers those feelings and giving our ‘lost causes’ these abilities makes them important and special which all teens have that need.  Yes, there is some teen drama and a totally inappropriate relationship, but it’s a book about teenagers so you are going to get that.

The Lost Causes is a young adult thriller with paranormal twists.  It’s different from what I usually read, but I really enjoyed it. It is 100% recommended.

Thank you to KCP Loft for sending me a print arc and NetGalley for my e-arc copies.

About the Authors:

Hi, we’re Jessica & Alyssa!

We’re best pal writing partners who have been obsessed with reading since we each used to hoard The Babysitters Club books in our bedrooms across the country from one another in Los Angeles (Jess) and Virginia (Lyss).

We finally met on the first day of college at USC, long enough ago that Rocket Dog platform flip-flops were fully acceptable night-out shoes and our biggest life decision was whether to watch Dawson’s Creek or Beverly Hills, 90210 on Wednesday nights (90210, obviously).

​We started writing together right after college when we took the “write what you know” adage to heart and wrote a TV pilot that sold to Fox about how life sucks when you’re 22, broke and a freshman in life. We spent the next many, many years writing for TV and film before we jumped into the book world, a major lifelong dream of ours.

​The number one question everyone always asks us is how we write as a team so here’s the rundown…After being best friends and writing together for so long, our brains now officially occupy a shared space. Ninety percent of the time, we know what the other person is going to say before she even opens her mouth. Our husbands think it’s creepy, but we think it’s awesome. After this many years, we’ve honed it to a pretty efficient process….except for when we digress on Facetime to catch each other up on the few hours we weren’t in contact with each other (which takes especially long if we’ve both finished the same book and need to discuss, if one of us needs justification for an argument we picked with our husband or if we’ve discovered a new hair product, self-tanner or blog).

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Intstagram

Tour Schedule:
Here is the schedule for the rest of this week. You can find the full schedule on Rockstar Book Tours site here.

Smada’s BookSmack– Excerpt
Jessica’s Reading Room– Review

Portrait of a Book– Interview
Texan Girl Reads– Review

Cindy’s Love of Books– Review
A Gingerly Review– Review

Comfort Books– Interview
The Desert Bibliophile– Review

Rainy Day Reviews Excerpt
Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of The Lost Causes (US & Canada).This giveaway ends on September 19th at Midnight EST!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Death in Dulwich

Today I am one of the two stops on the blog tour for Death in Dulwich by Alice Castle!  It was published on September 6th.  Today I am featuring a Character Spotlight. The character featured is Belinda McKenzie.

Book Description:

Thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane has her hands full, with a bouncy young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own, and bills to pay. She loves her little home in plush London suburb Dulwich, but life here doesn’t come cheap.

She is thrilled to land the post of archivist at top local school Wyatt’s – though she secretly fears she’s not up to the job. But even Beth couldn’t have imagined how badly things could go, until she discovers a hideous crime and finds herself prime suspect.

Setting out to clear her name, Beth encounters a cast of characters who will follow her through the London Murder Mystery series, proving along the way that the nastiest secrets can lurk in the nicest places.

Buy Death in Dulwich Now!
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The character I’d like to introduce is Belinda McKenzie, the scary uber-mummy of the school gates who is my heroine, Beth Haldane’s bete noire.

Why did you create Belinda?

I created Belinda because there is always, always a Belinda type, at every school my children have attended. Some Belindas are better disguised than others, but there’ll be one, just look out for her.

Did you write the book to accommodate Belinda or Belinda to accommodate the book?

I wrote the character to be a bit of light relief. Murder mysteries can become a little intense and Belinda’s struggles to maintain supremacy in the playground and beyond are fun to write and, I hope, entertaining to read.

What do you like most about her?

I think the Belinda McKenzies of this world are a little misunderstood. They are usually hugely capable women who have, through a combination of circumstances, fallen back on motherhood when by rights they should be running small countries or at least large companies.

What do you like least about her?

I must admit I am a bit allergic to bossiness.

Did your early readers/editorial team like her to start with or did you have to change her in any way?

Everyone has a love/hate relationship with Belinda – and everyone wants to know who her real life model is.

Does she have any similarities with anyone real?

Belinda is entirely fictional; it would be more than my life is worth to base her on a real person. Having said that, I now do feel as though I know her horribly well.

What are your plans for her?

Belinda will always be in the thick of Beth’s mysteries – of course. Nothing happens in Dulwich without her involvement.

Would you be friends in real life?

Absolutely not!! Though I’d be too scared to turn down a cup of tea if she asked me.

About the Author:

Alice Castle had a long career as a feature writer on national newspapers including the Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph before becoming a novelist. After a day writing about her prime suspects, she loves nothing better than curling up with a murder mystery at night. Alice grew up in south London and, after a brief stint in Brussels (where her first novel, Hot Chocolate, is set) she is back where she belongs, dreaming up more adventures for her heroine, amateur detective and single mum Beth Haldane. She is married with two children, two stepchildren and two cats, and writes about parenting on her mummy blog, DD’s Diary www.dulwichdivorcee.com. Her latest book, Death in Dulwich, is being published in September 2017 by Crooked Cat Books.


Blog Tour: The Case of the Missing Bride

Today I am one of the two blog stops on the blog tour for The Case of the Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke! She is published by Bloodhound Books. Today I will be sharing Carmen’s thoughts on character and in turn we will be learning a little about Alyssa!

Book Description:

When a girl goes missing on board of an ocean liner, only one person is convinced that the disappearance is no accident. Alyssa has found herself with a group of impoverished girls who are embarking from Australia to Canada in the hope of marriage. As the daughter of a senior official, Alyssa doesn’t share this goal. She hopes to return to England via Canada and sees the trip as her only way to secure any passage on a ship. But the girls all share one problem. Their presence on the ship is not known to many of its passengers but their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen discovers the girls. Then Emma, one of the intended brides, goes missing. Alyssa is convinced the disappearance is no accident, and she will risk her own life to search for the killer. What happened to Emma? Is there a murderer on board the ship? Alyssa is about to discover that there is more to her voyage into the unknown than she bargained for.

Characters. We need to love them or hate them.

In Alyssa Chalmers’ case, I love her. There. I said it. She’s feisty, rash, open-minded and prejudiced, honest except when she has to lie…

She wasn’t always like this.  I knew what I wanted from my heroine, a young woman ahead of her time, which in 1862 took some serious guts, someone who challenged her circumstances but still was confined by them.

So far, so good. Except she proved elusive. Whenever I thought I had pinned her down in my head, she slipped out of my grasp.

I’d gotten her name wrong.

For me, names are more than just props for writing, that can be changed at a later stage. If I don’t have the right name, I can’t nail the character. It’s impossible. An Annie Parker will never have the same strength and weaknesses as an Eloise Parker. A Mark Bryson is a far cry from a Bartholomew.

I had an approximate idea of her name. Chalmers sounded right, short enough to be easy to remember, strong enough to be memorable. It tried Alice. No. Elsa. No. ‘The Case of the Missing Bride’ rested on that stupid name. In the end, I met a young marine biologist. Her name was Alyssa, and that was it.


With the name fixed, I could see her, a young woman set apart by birth, education and means, who despite all this is not allowed to make her own way in the world. She was raised to champion others, like she does with the brides, but she doesn’t always fit in. She needs to earn it.

She’s headstrong and hot-tempered enough to clash with the captain, with no regard for the consequences for herself. Sometimes I shake my head over her behaviour, and her struggle to appear gracious in the face of blatant disregard for female achievements.

What I admire about her, is how she turns her disadvantages around. She is painfully aware of the limitations to her freedom, but she is also willing to do what she can to overcome them.

That’s my girl. Now, an Alice would have been completely different. Or an Elsa. But then my book wouldn’t exist.

About the Author:

Carmen has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

The shaken but stirring novel made it to the longlist of the Mslexia competition, and her next book and first mystery, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner.

Carmen was born in Hamburg, Germany, but had planned on emigrating since she was five years old. She first moved to New Zealand and now lives in York, UK, with her daughter, cat, and sometimes her seafaring husband comes home.

Contact Carmen:
Twitter @CarmenRadtke1