Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- Mira’

Ink Blog Tour: Book Excerpt

We are delighted to share an excerpt from Amanda Sun‘s Ink.

inkOn the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
When Katie meets aloof but gorgeous Tomohiro, the star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him… and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near each other, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings
come to life.
Somehow Tomo is connected to the kami, powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan—and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions, and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

Then I heard the chimes.

There were at least forty of them hanging in the tree above me, little Japanese wind chimes tinkling in the hot gasp of wind, their papers floating and rippling as they twisted back and forth. Most furin chimes in Japan were bright summer colors, but these were black-and-white with jagged edges, so I knew Tomohiro had drawn them into existence. Some of the chimes sounded mournful, likely the drawings that had gone wrong, but the sound of them all jingling together was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever heard.

He was sitting in the grass, his notebook balanced on his lap. I watched him for a moment before he realized I’d arrived. He looked up at the sky, the clouds drifting lazily above. He’d loosened the tie around his neck and rolled his sleeves up to his elbows. The top buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned, exposing the defined edges of his collarbone. He seemed lost in the sound of the chimes, and I hesitated, listening to them, too.

Then the pollen of the flowers caught in my nose and I sneezed. He whirled around, his eyes wide until he realized it was me.

“Okaeri,” he said, and as much as I’d felt awkward when Diane said it to me, when Tomohiro said it I got goose bumps.

“I’m a bit late,” I apologized.

“I’ll say,” he said with a laugh. “Come see what I’m drawing for you today.”

I walked forward and sat beside him in the grass. He opened his notebook, and a half-finished sketch draped across the page. I stared with wide eyes.

“You’re serious.”

He just grinned and pulled the cap from his pen. I rested my hand on his arm.

“Don’t you think people will notice that?”

“In Toro Iseki?” he said. I just stared at him. “Katie, this is our last chance to try this. We won’t have another opportunity like this for who knows how long. I want to try.”

“You’re totally crazy,” I said. “It could trample us.”

But he placed the nib of his pen on the paper and started filling in the sketch. He drew in the eye, a dark pool of ink on the page. He filled out the ear and the mane, the muzzle and the long, strong flanks that whizzed across the page as he drew them. The sketch tossed its head and turned to bite a fly off its withers.

There was a gentle thud in the grass, and another, and then the horse stepped out from behind a Yayoi hut. There was a ghostly, vacant look in its eyes, and its mane was as jagged as Tomohiro’s hurried pen strokes.

Tomohiro drew faster and faster, his own eyes growing vacant and strange like the horse’s. He was scribbling in details, fetlocks above the hooves and muscles trailing down the horse’s legs.

“I think that’s enough,” I said.

“Huh?” He broke away like I’d snapped him out of a dream. I pointed to the horse sniffling at the grass with his scribbled black muzzle.

He whispered, “I did it.”

Our thanks to Mira Ink for allowing us to share this excerpt with you today.

Still undecided? Check out Pruedence’s review of Ink here.

Ink is available to buy now from Amazon (here).

Amanda Sun was born in Deep River, a small town where she could escape into the surrounding forest to read. Ink is her first novel and The Paper Gods series is inspired by her time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan.
Visit her at www.AmandaSunBooks.com and on Twitter at @Amanda_Sun.

Posted on:

Ink

Amanda Sun

inkI looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.
Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.
A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.
And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I have had Ink in my possession for a few months now and I simply couldn’t wait to read it. I have had a passion for Japanese culture and mangas for as long as I can remember, and when the lovely peeps at Mira Ink started talking about Ink it was like all my dreams had come true. I had finally found a novel that was the embodiment of a manga-like story, with strong Japanese culture references, based in Japan, in an English book! As you can already tell I was very very excited!

I finally tore into it as I lay on a roasting beach in Italy. Despite the Mediterranean surroundings Amanda Sun quickly transported me to Shizouka in Japan.

Ink is the story of sixteen year old Katie Greene who is uprooted from her home in America to relocate to Japan with her aunt after the sudden loss of her mother. At an age where friends, communication, stability and school are pretty much the epitome of her life, Katie was beyond allergic to the idea of adapting to her new environment. Personally I couldn’t envy her more but hey-ho such is life.

Learning Japanese kanjis however becomes the last of her concerns when she notices Yuu Tomohiro’s pictures move on paper. And all concerns whatsoever decidedly go out the window when her own snail doodles at school develop sharp teeth (which she is sure she never gave them in the capacity of their creator in a moment of boredom at school) and decide to have a go at snacking on her own fingers.

Ink had a slow and steady start like the gentle brush strokes of an artist who isn’t quite sure where his new painting is going, picking up the pace with every new chapter until it all became a vortex of events and fight for survival as the artist’s design becomes more and more clear and he struggles to complete it in a frenzy whilst the idea is still fresh in his mind.

As cool a concept as it may be, Amanda put an almost evil twist on things turning them as dark as the ink they were drawn in. Initially I thought the worst I had to fear from any picture was a paper cut but for Katie and Tomo far more was at stake.

Verdict: Ink was a read that I couldn’t disengage from once it sunk its calligraphic claws into my mind. And neither do I wish to be released!! I now drown in the inky images created by Amanda Sun whilst anxiously awaiting the sequel!

Reviewed by Pruedence

Make sure you pop back next week, when we will be sharing an excerpt from Ink.

Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication Date: July 2013
Format: eArc
Pages: 384
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Japan, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge:None
Posted on:

Dare You To

Katie McGarry

dare you toRyan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”
“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….
“I dare you…”
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all…

Dare You To is the very anticipated sequel to Katie McGarry’s fantastic debut novel Pushing the Limits (read my review here). Before I start discussing Dare You To I should first explain the sheer impact it’s prequel had on me. Pushing The Limits was unquestionably one of my favorite reads of 2012 and set a very high bar for Dare You To. The emotions and themes touched by Katie McGarry in this prequel were heart wrenching to the point that I will confess that by the end I had shed a tear or two.
Suffice to say that I had high expectations for Dare You To given what Pushing The Limits had previously delivered.

In all truthfulness although I did enjoy Dare You To it did not touch me the way Echo and Noah’s story did.
Picking up with one of the trio of friends to whom we had previously been introduce to in Pushing The Limits, Dare You To is the story of Elisabeth, who prefers to be called Beth (and she is quite vocal about this preference), and Ryan. Like in Pushing The Limits alternate chapters are written from either Beth’s or Ryan’s point of view, a style of narration that I always very much enjoy as it allows an increased insight into each character’s mind, personality and into the different relationships they have.
Similarly to Echo and Noah, Beth and Ryan each have a complicated history. One wears it like shield along side the f*** off sign stamped on her forehead, whilst the other hides it behind a façade of perfection in the hope that if it remains hidden long enough it just might go away. Neither method is healthy and nobody would have thought that two people with such different backgrounds and ways of dealing with it could be each other’s cure.

Dare You To had a slow start which I initially struggled a little bit with, but after I got past the first few chapters and once the characters took on a more steady shape, Ryan and Beth’s story picked up the pace and from then onward I struggled to put the book down.
As in Pushing The Limits, Katie McGarry strived to tackle important social themes that more often than not interfere with our opinions, choices in life and life itself. Through Ryan and Beth Katie dealt with trust, acceptance and the forever complicated relationships between family, friends and more.

Despite liking Beth and Ryan I cannot say that I grew to love them and their story as I did Echo and Noah. I also found Katie McGarry’s writing style initially somewhat different from her previous book.
I will admit though that I was so blown away by the prequel that I do not doubt that, despite my best efforts to not let it affect my judgment of Dare You To, Pushing The Limits has in fact compromised my thoughts. It is also debatable that because the overall genre of the story and that some of the afore mentioned themes overlap with those in Pushing The Limits, that this also makes it more difficult to not compare the two.

Verdict:This said Dare You To was still a very pleasant and interesting read, and I will be looking forward to reading the final book in this series!

Reviewed by Pruedence

Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication June 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Pruedence
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
Posted on:

Scent Of Magic

Maria V. Snyder

scent of magic 2Hunted, killed, survived?
As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confidant, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet: an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.
War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible…again

This is the second book in the Healer series and may contain spoilers for the first book.

Maria Snyder is a go to author for me, I eagerly await any new book and I have yet to find one that disappoints. I really enjoyed the first in the series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this.

The book is told in alternating point of view, mainly Avry, when it is written in the first person, but also Kerrick, which is written in the third person. It was an interesting idea to write in both first and third person, one which I found worked quite well. It did make it much easier to tell who was ‘speaking’ at the time.

I loved the character development we see in many of the characters in the book. Characters that featured more heavily in the first book take more of a back seat and new characters come to the fore. What is guaranteed is that you will feel something for all of the characters whether that be love or hate. I did miss certain characters and would have liked to see more of them, but they will more than likely make a return to centre stage in subsequent books.

I was a little apprehensive about reading the book after finding out that Kerrick and Avry would be apart during the book. Their relationship was the thing I loved most in the first book and I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it as much with this taking more of a back seat. I needn’t have worried. Of course because of this there isn’t as strong a romance theme in the book, but then the romance was never supposed to be the central theme anyway. The action and political manipulation that took place more than made up for it. The book still keeps a strong theme on relationships, just less so on the romantic type. It also deals with life and death and the ethics of bringing people back to life.

The only thing that grated slightly were how often the peace and death lillies were mentioned. I realise that they are central to the storyline, but I just don’t get it. Maybe this will be explained in later books though.

Overall this is an incredibly strong middle book. Often second books in a series feel like ‘bridging’ books but this was a fantastic read all in its own right. I’m just so annoyed I have to wait for the next

Verdict: A very strong second book to a series. Yet again Maria Snyder does not disappoint.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: December 2012
Format: eARC
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: None
Posted on: