Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Top 10 Research Methods Used to Write The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

The Paris Winter
Imogen Robertson

"There is but one Paris."
– Vincent van Goh

Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris, she quickly realizes, is no place for a light purse. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling decadence of the Belle Époque, Maud slips into poverty.

Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, she stumbles upon an opportunity when Christian Morel engages her as a live-in companion to his beautiful young sister, Sylvie. Maud is overjoyed by her good fortune. With a clean room, hot meals, and an umbrella to keep her dry, she is able to hold her head high as she strolls the streets of Montmartre. No longer hostage to poverty and hunger, Maud can at last devote herself to her art. But all is not as it seems.

Christian and Sylvie, Maud soon discovers, are not quite the darlings they pretend to be. Sylvie has a secret addiction to opium and Christian has an ominous air of intrigue. As this dark and powerful tale progresses, Maud is drawn further into the Morels' world of elegant deception. Their secrets become hers, and soon she is caught in a scheme of betrayal and revenge that will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse at Certainty by Victor Bevine + Giveaway! (US/Can)

Victor Bevine

When you're fighting an injustice, can it be wrong to do what's right?

Inspired by the scandalous true story that shocked a nation at the close of WWI.

With America's entry into World War I, the population of Newport, Rhode Island, seems to double overnight as twenty-five thousand rowdy recruits descend on the Naval Training Station. Drinking, prostitution, and other depravities follow the sailors, transforming the upscale town into what many residents—including young lawyer William Bartlett, whose genteel family has lived in Newport for generations—consider to be a moral cesspool.

When sailors accuse a beloved local clergyman of sexual impropriety, William feels compelled to fight back. He agrees to defend the minister against the shocking allegations, in the face of dire personal and professional consequences. But when the trial grows increasingly sensational, and when outrageous revelations echo all the way from Newport to the federal government, William must confront more than just the truth—he must confront the very nature of good and evil.

Certainty recalls a war-torn era when the line between right and wrong became dangerously blurred.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Double Strike by Gretchen Archer Giveaway! (US/Can only)

Double Strike
Gretchen Archer

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way knows three things: Cooking isn’t a prerequisite for a happy marriage, don’t trust men who look like David Hasselhoff, and money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees. None of which help when a storm hits the Gulf a week before the most anticipated event in Bellissimo history: the Strike It Rich Sweepstakes. Securing the guests, staff, and property might take a stray bullet. Or two.

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three problems: She’s desperate to change her marital status, she has a new boss who speaks in hashtags, and Bianca Sanders has confiscated her clothes. All of which bring on a headache hot enough to spark a fire. Solving her problems means stealing a car. From a dingbat lawyer.

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three goals: Keep the Sanders family out of prison, regain her footing in her relationship, and find the genius who wrote the software for futureGaming. One of which, the manhunt one, is iffy. Because when Alabama hides someone, they hide them good.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Double Strike—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
Do you prefer high-stake thriller mysteries (think Thomas Harris, John Grisham, etc.) or lighter, funnier cozy mysteries like Double Strike? What are some of your favorite titles of either category?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Gretchen and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at Claire McKinney PR!
Giveaway ends November 4th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canadian residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Dance of the Spirits by Catherine Aerie Spotlight + Giveaway! (International!)

The Dance of the Spirits
Catherine Aerie

Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won... until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River. Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of "American imperialism" is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons.

Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winters, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twists and turns of fate and destiny. Though their love is forbidden, their passion and pursuit of liberty cannot be quenched.


Books à la Mode is giving away one $30 Amazon gift card—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Catherine's question in a comment below:
How do you make the decision to buy a book? For example, a friend's recommendation, Amazon review, text message, book store display, book review, newspaper, etc.?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Catherine and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

For additional entries, you can follow Books à la Mode via Bloglovin', follow Catherine on Facebook, friend her on Goodreads, and/or Tweet about the giveaway. Don't forget to fill out the Rafflecopter form for your entries to be counted!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the author—a huge thank you to Catherine!
Giveaway ends November 2nd at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open internationally—yay! That means anyone in the world can enter, provided you can redeem Amazon gift cards and have a verifiable email address.
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 2014!

The 5th annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is scheduled from October 15th at 12.01 AM until October 31st at 11:59 PM (EST).

The Prizes

One lucky follower will win a $15 Amazon gift card! 
If you would prefer a gift card to a different book retailer such as Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million, I'm happy to make substitutions!

We'll have ANOTHER winner for this amazing set of eBooks:

That's two winners total! Woohoo!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Fred Venturini, Author of The Heart Does Not Grow Back + Giveaway! (US/Can only)

The Heart Does Not Grow Back
Fred Venturini

Every superhero needs to start somewhere...

Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise? The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Interview with Melissa Marr, Author of Made for You + Giveaway! (US only)

I'd like to welcome one of my favorite YA paranormal authors, Melissa Marr, to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Made for You from HarperCollins. You guys may know Melissa for her phenomenal Wicked Lovely series, which definitely influenced me in my early teen years. Stick around until the end for a fabulous giveaway that you don't want to miss!

Welcome to Books à la Mode, Melissa! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

Melissa grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and various other creatures. After teaching college lit for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing.

Melissa writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and been bestsellers in the US, as well as various countries overseas. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens and Graveminder for adults.

Her newest HarperCollins release, Made for You, utilizes both her graduate degree in Southern Literature and her personal experience with stalkers in a story about a killer who terrorizes a small North Carolina town.

Currently, Melissa resides in Virginia with her spouse, children, and many dogs.

It's amazing to get to feature you today, Melissa! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hits stores last month:

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she's confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why?

It seems impossible that anyone would have it out for the town darling. Thanks to her family's distinguished history and her own unassailable reputation in old-money Jessup, Eva is universally liked. But she has little time to consider the question when she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people's deaths when they touch her.

Eva is struggling to understand just what these visions mean when a slew of murders takes place back home. The victims, all classmates, are discovered alongside eerie messages that tie the incidents to her. There is a killer on the loose, and he is after Eva.

While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old friend, reappears. The two traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva's power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the determined killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this racy thriller that Melissa’s devoted fans and new readers alike will find enthralling.
Buy the book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Books-A-Million | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play | Publisher

Describe the Made for You in six words.

Killer. Romance. Messages via friends’ bodies.

What was the inspiration for the book?

Made for You is a result of a confluence of forces: my interest in serial killers and sociopaths, my love of romance, and a long-standing desire to write a contemporary novel. And my real-life experiences influenced the story, as I drew on some difficult memories of being stalked and having to work with the police to protect myself.

Which character from the book was the most difficult to write?

Judge. Getting inside the head of a killer was unsettling... perhaps more so because I write at night. I tried to never write his sections last for the day because I gave myself nightmares if I did.

What do you consider your biggest strengths and weaknesses as an author?

I taught uni for 12 years. I spent the 7 years before that studying literature—how it works, how to break it down. That has given me my biggest strengths: revision skills, self-criticism, and copyedit skills. My biggest weakness is beginnings. I generally re-write the beginning the entire time I’m writing the rest of the book. I always start too late, and then write backwards. It’s maddening.

Name the top five novels that have made the biggest impact on your life or on your writing.
  1. Sanctuary (William Faulkner)
  2. The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
  3. Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Hardy)
  4. American Gods (Gaiman)
  5. Salem’s Lot (King)
How do you react to a negative or harsh review to your books?

I’m human. :) I suspect I respond like anyone else does. That said, I have no expectation that everyone will love my work, so professional criticism is fine.

Agreed, professional criticism can actually be very helpful, too! Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out Melissa's random favorites, her best personal and professional advice, and what dreams she's realized as a result of her writing. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished hardcover copy of Made for You, so you don't want to miss that either!