November 21, 2014

What's your fave books of 2014? Sign up for the Top 10 of 2014 event + Giveawaway!

Can you believe we’ve had another totally AWESOME year of freakin’ fab-tabulous books has already flown by?

Well neither can I! What does this mean? It’s time for another fun filled “Top 10” week where we look back at the best of all things books of 2015, and excitedly look forward to the fabulous new releases in 2014.

Last year was so much fun co-hosting the event with two of my favorite fellow bloggers –Rachel from Fiktshun, and Jaime from Two Chicks on Books. Jaime and Rachel will be hosting with me again, but this year Rachel will be hosting on Reading YA Rocks and we’ve included another one of our favorite bloggers to host along with us this year! Nancy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader and I’m thrilled that she will be joining us. As always a thanks goes out to our original co-hosts Lisa from A Life Bound By Books and Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic who will not be hosting the event with us due to their busy lives we hope they’ll be back in 2015!

Haven't heard of this before? Here's how it works; the event runs for five consecutive days on the last week of the year. Each day we have a topic highlighting some of our favorite lists and we invite ALL of YOU to join in on the fun and share your lists with everyone too!

Each day of the event we hope you’ll visit one of the hosting blogs and share your list with the Linky that will be provided. Just be sure you follow which lists goes on which day. Speaking of... here’s what we’re doing for this year’s event!

Monday, December 22nd – Best Books I've Read in 2014 (Doesn't have to be released in 2014, just a book you've read in 2014)

Tuesday, December 23rd – Best Book Covers of 2014 (MUST be a book released in 2014. Would be best if it’s a book you’ve read but it’s not required)

Wednesday, December 24th – Best ________ Of 2014 (Readers/Bloggers choice. Please fill in the blank with ONE of these topics – Villains, Contemporaries, Dual POV’s, Novellas, Adult titles, New Adult titles, Love Triangles, Couples, Bad Boys or Debuts. REMEMBER – this list MUST be from books you’ve READ in 2014)

Thursday, December 25th – Best Book Boyfriends of 2014 (MUST be from a book released in 2014)

Friday, December 26th – Top 10 Books I’m looking forward to in 2015. (This list should be comprised of books released ONLY in 2015)

How you do these posts/lists is totally up to you. What books, covers and characters you pick are all your own.

The only rules you need to follow are:
1) Your post must be “on topic”
2) Your post must be limited to 10 items; and
3) Your post must be posted on the dates we've provided.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking. That this will be hard to keep to 10. Some of you might like to break the lists up a bit. Working with a Top 10 for YA books and then a Top 10 for New Adult or Adult titles. Feel free to add honorable mentions if you’re also having a hard time sticking to 10. However, with the honorable mentions, please try to keep it to a minimum or it kind of defeats the whole purpose of things.

Our main focus of this event is for YOU to join in and share your lists with us all and for everyone to visit each other’s blogs’ and see what books have made it on THEIR lists.

The event is simple. Follow the dates and list topics as provided and fill out the linky below. This gives us an idea who will be joining us for the Top 10 week. THEN, be sure to come back to one of our blogs on each of the five days and link up your post for that specific day! Just remember, each day will have a linky for THAT Top 10 topic.

Also, you don’t want to miss a day during the event. We just might have some giveaways up our sleeves and joining in the event, keeping up with our and everyone lists just might help you enter to win! Additional giveaway details to follow, so keep checking back to find out what we’re giving away and when!

And don’t forget to snag our button and to help spread the word for the event. We’d love to have anyone and everyone join us this year. The more the merrier!

NOTE: this is the SAME Linky on each of the Co-Hosts Blogs, so please only enter your Name, Blog Name and URL on one blog. Thanks!

Sign Up Here!!!

We hope everyone who reads this will be as excited for this event as we are and we can't wait to check out all of your lists!

Each Co-Host will be mailing books for this totally awesome giveaway!
Giveaway is ONLY open to those who've signed up to participate.
Must be 13 or older to enter
Giveaway is US ONLY
Giveaway is open until December 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
Prizes will be sent separately from each of the four hosts to the winner via Media Mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 5, 2014

A Thousand Pieces of You Blog Stop + Giveaway!

About the Author

Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)

I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads or (of course) my own home page.

If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

☆ How to find Claudia ☆

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About the Book

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

☆ How to find A Thousand Pieces of You ☆
Goodreads ☆ Amazon ☆ Barnes & Noble

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Why Marguerite is an artist

A few people have asked me why I chose to make Marguerite, the main character of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, an aspiring artist. After all, she's the daughter of two groundbreaking physicists – Dr. Sophia Kovalenka and Dr. Henry Caine – and has spent her life surrounded by aspiring scientists. Her sister is studying oceanography. So why is Marguerite spending all her time with tubes of oil paint and an easel?

Well, the first reason is largely pragmatic: If the point-of-view character for the book were a scientist, then the story would have to contain actual science. As in, deep, detailed explanations of the multiverse, how the Firebird works, all of it. We're talking about pages and pages of math, right in the heart of a YA novel. I think you will all agree that this would have been a bad idea. NOBODY WANTS EXTRA MATH. I've actually read up on the science of parallel dimensions (which, by the way, the majority of theoretical physicists believe to be completely real), but I'm nowhere near educated enough to do a competent job of explaining all of this – certainly not in a way that would sound entertaining. And not involve math.

Second, this book is science fantasy more than science fiction. Alternate quantum realities may be completely real, but the Firebird is not. We are nowhere near being able to even perceive alternate dimensions, much less send our consciousness into them. If Marguerite had been a scientist, I would have had to have come up with a lot of fake technobabble to explain what the Firebird is. Probably readers would have found this confusing at best, boring at worst. Out of respect for the real science behind all this, I thought it was better to leave the Firebird as a mysterious sort of thing; it works according to consistent principles, like a scientific device would, but how it works is mostly irrelevant.

Having Marguerite be an artist surrounded by scientists also allowed me to give her a unique perspective within the book. Her parents, Theo and Paul all view what's happening through the lens of their theories and experiments; for Marguerite, everything is more immediate and visceral. None of this is abstract for her. Marguerite's sense of wonder as she travels through dimensions – it's fresher because it's all so totally unexpected, something she never thought would be a part of her experience. When the first new universe takes shape around her, it's huge. While I'm sure any of the others would be blown away by that experience too, it's bigger, stranger and wilder for Marguerite than for anyone else.

Finally, from the first days I thought about this book and its characters, Marguerite simply felt like an artist to me. When I envisioned the new universes through her eyes, I found myself describing the colors in the kind of detail someone would use if she were trying to find the exact right shade of paint. Imagining which famous painters would've been most likely to create the images Marguerite saw in front of her – Picasso, or Goya, or even Warhol – not only was it fun, but it also felt more vivid and more interesting than any other description I could've used. Sometimes characters seem to choose who they are; Marguerite seems, to me, to have chosen painting of her own free will. As a writer, when a character tells you something so strongly and unmistakably – you go with it.

Besides, if Marguerite weren't an artist, would the book ever have wound up with this gorgeous cover? Lots of people have noticed the beautiful colors, the way the cities mirror each other, etc. – but only a few have realized that the paint-splotch edges, and the canvas texture beneath the Russian image, reflect Marguerite's identity as a painter.

So while it might seem counterintuitive to make an artist the hero of a science-fiction novel – for A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, and for Marguerite, it just felt right. Hopefully readers will agree.

* The first moments on the first page have endured almost verbatim. That doesn't surprise me – from the moment I thought of that scene, I was positive it was the right place to begin.

* What does surprise me? Some of the first snippets of dialogue I came up with come from a scene in Russia where – how do I put this without providing spoilers? – Marguerite asks Paul to call her by her first name, something the Paul in that universe doesn't do. That, too, survived nearly word for word. When you read the book, I think you'll understand why.

Whenever I talk about A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, I always say that this idea came to me faster and in a more complete form than most books do. That is absolutely true. But even this book had to evolve. Even the most beloved ideas may need to shift in the service of the greater story. I love how A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU came out – especially, I think, because I see all the different books it might have been. The alternate-universe versions of what the novel could look like. And I kind of love them all.

(Except the one where Theo is called Sebastian. Just no.)

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This is a tour hosted giveaway!
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU Prize Pack consisting of a scarf with a quote from the book, a scented candle from one of the mutliverses, and a signed book. International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

☆ The Tour ☆

Week One:
10/27/2014- The Midnight Garden- Guest Post
10/28/2014- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview
10/29/2014- BookHounds YA- Review
10/30/2014- Dark Faerie Tales- Interview w/ Paul
10/31/2014- Me, My Shelf and I- Review

Week Two:
11/3/2014- Parajunkee- Interview
11/4/2014- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
11/5/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Guest Post
11/6/2014- Page Turners Blog- Review
11/7/2014- Reading YA Rocks- Guest Post

Dear followers, fans and peeps! Some of the books I review on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads are provided to me for free by either the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. Please know that I am in NO WAY compensated for my reviews. All opinions are mine and I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for a free book! But some of the purchase links on my blog are monetized through places like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble.