We’re 2016 #PitchWars Mentees!

TGIF, bookish friends! Today we have some amazing news to share with you … and you’ve probably already guessed by the title of this post. And the *awesome news* (which we’ve already shared on Twitter, if you follow us over there –> @PendantTrilogy #shamelessselfpromo) is …

WE’RE #PitchWars 2016 MENTEES! Everyone, let’s do a *happy dance*!

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#PitchWars is basically an annual event for writers with polished manuscripts who are seeking representation. The decision to enter was a little … spontaneous. I just kept seeing people on Twitter talking about #PitchWars. Everything was #PitchWars, #PitchWars, #PITCHWARS. Finally, we knew. We knew we had to enter this contest–at least give it a try, seeing as having the opportunity to work with a mentor would be incredibly amazing. So, we entered the contest during the submission window in early August (we were able to submit to six mentors after winning a giveaway!), and the eve of August 25th (AKA, PitchWars Mentee Announcement Day), Brenda Drake gave us a little surprise!

YA-Mentor-Picks-2Do you see our names on this *gorgeous* list? Look a little lower … lower … and stop! We’re fifth from the bottom! Brenda Drake released the mentors’ picks a DAY early (or night, rather). Our manuscript, A TASTE OF DARKNESS, was chosen by Stephanie Scott, whose YA novel ALTERATIONS releases from Bloomsbury Spark this October (!!!). We are SO excited to get to work with Stephanie, and make this novel rock. Congrats, also, to our fellow mentees–and of course, to  EVERYONE who submitted to this contest. There were approximately 2000 people who entered. Two thousand. That’s mind-blowingly awesome. Seriously. Y’all should give yourselves a pat on the back–or better yet, buy yourself a shiny new book–for achieving something so amazing. Writing a book. 

Time and time again, I hear people saying “I wish I had the time to write a book.” Well, you did. You got up, dusted off that ol’ laptop, and decided to write a novel. And not just write one, but pursue revision, and further, possible representation from literary agents and book deals with publishers. A-may-zing.

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So if you’re busy in the revision cave, or getting ready to start a shiny new project (hey, we are too! for both…), congrats. Congrats on writing a novel, and doing something that you’re truly passionate about.

Thanks for reading this post, bloggers! We’re so excited to see where #PitchWars takes us. Until next time,

-S&S

Stalking Jack the Ripper Blog Tour: Reasons We Need SJTR in Our Hands

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco releases in just under a month, and we’re so happy to be a part of the online blog tour leading up to the release date! It comes out September 20th, 2016, from Jimmy Patterson books (a new imprint of Little, Brown). Before we get this post rolling, we’d like to thank the awesome Ava @ Bookishness and Tea for organizing this awesome tour and street team! Here’s the cover and Goodreads synopsis.


28962906Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


Now THAT’s a creepy synopsis! Let’s get started on the reasons why we need SJTR in our hands, stat.

We’re not just going to list any reasons, though. We’ll be listing them according to the acronym “SJTR.” I.e., one reason for “S,” one for “J,” … you get the picture.

1. S

SERIAL KILLERS. Of course, serial killers are scary, but … in thrillers? Sign us up! The scarier the book, the better. We’ve been getting into horror/thrillers a lot over the past three years, and … our love for them keeps on growing!

2. J

JIMMY PATTERSON. AKA, James Patterson. AKA, James Patterson made a new imprint under Little, Brown and SJTR is the first book to be published! How cool! We’ve read and enjoyed his novel ZOO, so we’re excited to see what this book brings to the table under this exciting new imprint.

3. T

THE HORROR. Now, we’re not the biggest “horror” or “gore” fans out there–in fact, we prefer a deep psychological thriller to anything straight-up “horror”–but the premise of this novel, plus the opening scene, intrigue us way too much to be ignored. You can read an excerpt of the novel here. Yes, gory. Yes, bloody. Yes, we need this book right now.

4. R

ROMANCE! Now, Sarena and I are not huge proponents of romance novels, but we’re always in for a romance subplot! We weren’t expecting a romance in a serial killer story, but that’s what makes it all the more intriguing! We can’t wait to add another OTP to our never-ending list. A new book boyfriend is cool, too.😉

And that’s it! Our reasons-to-read-SJTR-based-on-the-acronym post! We hope you enjoyed it, and we hope YOU pick up a copy of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER when it releases this fall!

Until next time,

-S&S

Olympic Book Tag!

The Olympics are here! And we have watched … next to nothing! Woohoo! (*insert sarcasm here*).

In all seriousness, we really enjoy the Olympics, especially events like swimming and track. So today, we decided to do the Olympic Book Tag, created by Shannon at It Starts At Midnight. Let’s get started!

 

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All graphics in this post were taken from the original post at It Starts at Midnight. 


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We absolutely loved THE MERCILESS by Danielle Vega from page one. Intriguing, horror/nightmare-inducing … seriously, we need to get book 2 soon.

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Honestly, we haven’t read many road trip books. So … we’re going to mention our favourite space trip book. I.e., a journey across the galaxy! For this one we’re going with ZENITH by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. (The full book will be released Fall 2017!)

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Love triangles can be bad. Superrrrr bad. But there are some good ones out there, we won’t lie! We can’t deny the love triangle in The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare tugged on a heartstring or two (or thirty).

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Don’t get us wrong, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is still an enticing, gripping read, but we just didn’t get the plot twist. As in, was it even much of a twist? Well, it wasn’t to us, anyway. Oops…?

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How can we not say The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson as the answer to this question? Such an awesome summer or beach read.😀

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Have to go with The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings for this one. It’s engrossing, violent, and … well, just read our review on it HERE!

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Nothing says “PLOT TWIST” like practically every page (*cough* death *cough*) throughout the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes. Seriously, we forgot how many times this series has taken us by surprise!

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And can we add an additional answer to this one? Because the plot twists in Dangerous Girls/Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas are unbelievable!

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Oh, book sobbing. There are a few (okay more than a few) books that have made us sob. And in particular, ugly sob. (That’s reserved for a very special few, such as…) 128029

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Passenger and The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken are definitely on the slow side, though still enjoyable!

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One of our childhood faves (and even present faves–hey, children books rock!) is the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. Yes, I (Sasha) still rabidly read these books. Yes, they are geared toward fourth-graders. Pfft.

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How could I not feature MY LADY JANE by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows for this question? Because YES. And, well, HORSES.

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For Sarena, it was definitely a struggle to finish Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. And for me? First (& only) book I’ve DNF’d. 1162543

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We love the friendship between Safi and Iseult in Truthwitch by Susan Dennard! 

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Aaaand we tag…

Jess @ Princessica of Books

Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts

Stephanie @ Fangirling Nerd Fighter

NicoleLynn @ Pop Crunch Boom! 

And if you want to do this tag (heck, we weren’t tagged to do it, it was just fun!), then go ahead! It’s super fun, and if you have done this tag, be sure to link your post down below!

Until next time,

-S&S

The Book Buzz #7: The Cursed Child, Ascendant + More

Hey, everyone! So, if you’ve been checking our “Book Buzz” category, you’ll see we haven’t posted anything since February. Our blog has been through some mini hiatuses, especially with the launch of our Editing Services, but now, we thought it’d be the perfect time to share what’s buzzing in the YA/MG book (and film) community.

The biggest book to come out in July was undoubtedly Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We both read and actually really enjoyed it, though we were surprised by how a lot of the story line was … well, real. (You can find our GIF review here.)

There have been some mixed reviews over the Cursed Child, and since that was only parts one and two … we definitely have more parts to look forward to. (And possible movie news, though that is nowhere near confirmed!)

Moreover, the YA community was definitely shocked when Lionsgate announced the TV movie for Ascendant (Allegiant Part 2) since it’ll be skipping theatres.

As per Veronica Roth’s twitter response:

You can read a bit more here.

 

In better YA news: BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver has a movie release date: APRIL 7!

Read the announcement from EpicReads on Twitter!

It was also recently announced that Alexandra Bracken’s YA sci-fi/dystopia novel, THE DARKEST MINDS, now has a film director! Read more about it here.

And that’s it for now! What buzzing book news have you heard about lately?

-S&S

Waiting on Wednesday #32: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Hey, everyone! Since it’s Wednesday, and we haven’t posted a #WaitingOnWednesday in a while, we thought we’d share a book we’re really excited for (and it’s out next month!).

Here’s the cover and synopsis for LABYRINTH LOST:

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…


We’ve both been excited for this book for a long, long time. We were lucky enough to receive the ARC from Raincoast Books (thank you!) and plan on reading it very soon. We’re also a part of the Resting Witch Face (RWFSquad) Street Team to help promote the book. Plus, we’re always looking for new, diverse reads to add to our TBRs.

Is this one on your fall to-read list? Add it now on Goodreads if you haven’t already!

Until next time,

Sarena and Sasha

GIF Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child released almost a week ago (the release party was epic!) and we’ve both already finished the whole thing. We don’t typically review anything Harry Potter-related, because a) it’s pretty well-known we love HP, and b) we’ve never really seen the point in reviewing it. But now? A script-turned-book? Sign us up! Here’s our GIF review for HP & the Cursed Child! We’ll try our best to keep this non-spoilery!


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Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


I mean, first off, let’s start with the announcement of the script-book. Harry Potter must’ve been like…

And here’s how we felt upon seeing the book IRL for the first time:

(You could say we were really excited.)

And then there was a rush of nostalgia as we read the opening of part one, act one:

And this was us as we learned what the REAL plot of this book–ahem, play–was about…

I mean, it was both weird and super cool? Just the fact that there’s an eighth book/play, and that everything that what was happening was CANON, is still surreal.

But don’t get us wrong, amongst the strangeness and the constant shouting of “WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING?” we were like: 

Aaaaand, of course, there were a lot–a LOT–of moments where we couldn’t even believe what was happening was real. (BUT: those callbacks to the original series! WHAT EVEN?!?!)

I think we’re in the majority when we say Scorpius Malfoy was the best character out of them all. Amiright? Every time he came “on stage” this was us:

Overall, this script-book was packed with non-stop action, twists, and nostalgia. Of course, we think the original Harry Potter series is much better, and we think this would have been 100x times better in actual play format, but … our love for Harry Potter knows no bounds. And yeah, we still enjoyed this play to the fullest extent we could.

We’d give this play somewhere between a 4 – 5/5 stars. How much did you enjoy (or not enjoy! opinions rule!) this script-book? Let us know in the comments below! Until next time,

-S&S

July Wrap-Up & August Releases [2016]

Somehow we’re only a month away from school (*shudder*), which means it’s our last full month of summer. Which also means … we need to get reading. Because, let’s just say, July wasn’t our best reading month (unfortunately). BUT there are a lot of amazing book releases this month (including one of our most anticipated books of the year!), so let’s get into it!

Sarena read 2 books: 

  1. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (4/5 stars)
  2. The Doll People Set Sail by Ann M. Martin, Laura Godwin, and Brett Helquist (3.5/5 stars)

Her favourite book of the month? P.S. I Still Love You!

Sasha read 4 books: 

  1. The Trials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (4/5 stars)
  2. Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (4.5/5 stars)
  3. A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (4/5 stars)
  4. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (4.25/5 stars)

Her favourite book of the month? Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh!

And now it’s time to look at the awesome releases this month, including our most anticipated…

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT by Sabaa Tahir (out August 30!!!)

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FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi (out August 30)

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BEAUTY OF DARKNESS by Mary E. Pearson (out August 2)

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THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR by Katharine McGee (out August 30)

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If you couldn’t tell, our most anticipated release of the month is A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT. (Who’s excited? We definitely are!)

Let us know what you’re planning on reading this month. In case you missed it, we posted our ARC August TBR, so check that out if you want to see what we’re reading this month!

Until next time,

-S&S