Sunday, September 11, 2016

(Spotlight) The Storm by Virginia Bergin

Some people walk in the rain. Some people die.

Ninety-seven percent of the population is dead. And the killer rain keeps falling. Ruby’s not sure she can make it on her own much longer. So when a chance encounter leads her to a camp with the last boy she may ever kiss (it’s not easy to date during an apocalypse), Ruby gratefully accepts the army’s protection.
But safety comes with a price: If Ruby wants to stay, she must keep her eyes—and her mouth—shut.

Except Ruby stumbles across a secret she can’t possibly keep. Horrified, she flips out and fights back—only to make the most shocking discovery of all…

Title: The Storm
Author: Virginia Bergin
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads Link:

Buy Links:

About the Author:
VIRGINIA BERGIN works as a writer for TV, eLearning, and corporate projects. Most recently, she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University. She lives in Bristol, England. Visit her at

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @VeeBergin

Excerpt from The Storm by Virginia Bergin:
From Chapter 7
At this point in time, there are a number of things I don’t really get. But these are only the things I know I don’t get, and not the things I don’t know I don’t get, which are, unfortunately, to be revealed.
I dragged Saskia into that ice-­cream van myself. No one helped. No one tried to stop me. Crying, dog tired (don’t think about dogs)—­no, dead tired (don’t think about death)—­very (that’s OK) tired, very hungover, very ill, and very aching-­all-­over, I drove that stupid ice-cream van toward the army base. It was the only place I could think of where there would be medical help, and I took the only route I knew to get to it: highway, turn right at Swindon.
I was on the same highway I’d once driven along with the Spratt, when we sang and played silly games—­as you do when you’re trying to take your mind off an apocalypse-­type situation. And I realized a dreadful thing. That journey? It was the last time I’d laughed. I had smiled since. I had smiled pretty hard last night. Grinned witchy grins. But that journey? It was the last time I had laughed.
In an attempt to block out thoughts about the disappearance of my own laugh, I tried to find other things to think about—­but I didn’t much want to think about a single thing. Except…why had Saskia even turned up looking for me in the first place? Why would she—­why would anyone?—­leave the Camp of the Useful: the army camp where you’d be protected and taken care of? Where everything was surely…tickety-­boo, as my grandma would have said.
It was the one thing I probably should have asked her about, and now I couldn’t ask her about it, and no explanation I could come up with seemed remotely plausible:
EXPLANATION #1: Saskia is a kindhearted girl who really likes me and was so worried about whether I was OK she left the army camp.
EXPLANATION #2: Saskia had ditched the Spratt, and she had come to beg my forgiveness.
EXPLANATION #3: The Spratt had ditched Saskia, and she had nowhere else to go.
EXPLANATION #4: Ruby, she kept trying to tell you something and maybe you wouldn’t have to be dreaming up explanations if you’d listened.
There are no comments because I have nothing to say about any of my own explanations. It was almost enough to make me want to stop the ice-cream ambulance and go and shake Saskia back to consciousness for just long enough to get the truth out of her, but only a monster would do such a thing—­and I am not a monster. Thinking bad thoughts is not the same as doing bad things, and plenty of people who think they think GOOD thoughts do TERRIBLE things. (They used to call it “politics” or “religion” or “teaching mathematics.”) All I do is drive an ice-cream van.
When we finally arrive at the gates to the army base, there is a camp of useless people, like me. There are cars; there are caravans—­fires burning, people sitting out under tarps…people wrapped in blankets and duvets that tumble from their shoulders as they rise to their feet, laughing and…hooting, jeering, and cheering.
I remember that I am a witch-­fairy driving an ice-cream van.
Ahead of me, at the gates, electric lights in the dusk burn so brightly, I am blinded, and I stop long before I have to, blinking, dazzled. My head hurts.
I am getting into this base. I am getting Saskia into this base.
A fist against my window. I see a face—­a woman’s face.

(Spotlight) Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson

“Readers who crave more books like Balson’s Once We Were Brothers (2013) and Kristin Hannah’s bestselling The Nightingale (2015) will be enthralled by Karolina’s Twins.” Booklist (starred review)

Karolina's Twins
Ronald H. Balson

St. Martin's Press
September 6, 2016
ISBN: 978-1250098375

Book Description

Lena Woodward, an elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing past in Nazi occupied Poland. At the same time, Lena’s son Arthur presents her with a hefty lawsuit under the pretense of garnering her estate—and independence—for his own purposes. Where these stories intersect is through Lena’s dubious account of her life in war-torn Poland, and her sisterhood with a childhood friend named Karolina. Lena and Karolina struggled to live through the atrocity of the Holocaust, and at the same time harbored a courageous, yet mysterious secret of maternity that has troubled Lena throughout her adult life. In telling her story to Catherine and Liam, Lena not only exposes the realities of overcoming the horrors of the Holocaust, she also comes to terms with her own connection to her dark past.

Karolina’s Twins is a tale of survival, love, and resilience in more ways than one. As Lena recounts her story, Catherine herself also recognizes the unwavering importance of family as she prepares herself for the arrival of her unborn child. Through this association and many more, both Lena and Catherine begin to cherish the dogged ties that bind not only families and children, but the entirety of mankind.

About the Author
RONALD H. BALSON is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator, and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues. He is also the author of Saving Sophie and the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.

Link to Excerpt

“Readers who crave more books like Balson’s Once We Were Brothers (2013) and Kristin Hannah’s bestselling The Nightingale (2015) will be enthralled by Karolina’s Twins.” —Booklist (starred review)

“A heartbreaking tale of a mother’s love, friendship, and family in the face of increasingly brutal conditions and the constant threat of imminent death in Nazi-occupied Poland…reminiscent of the author’s first novel Once We Were Brothers…compelling.” —Library Journal

“The third in Balson’s promising series about a husband-and-wife investigation team specializing in Holocaust cases. [Lena Woodward’s] survivor account becomes the main source of suspense, since she is reluctant to reveal the full horror of what she experienced until the end…and [it] does not disappoint.” —Kirkus

"Balson kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what the next chapter would reveal. He did an excellent job in staying true to the historical facts of those years of the Holocaust and what Lena, the main character and survivor, had to go through. Balson keeps the suspense so riveting that it was difficult to put the book down. I would say most will read it in one night sitting—kudos to Ronald Balson." —Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute

“Secrets, friendships, survival, and the Holocaust are woven together in Ronald H. Balson’s haunting Karolina's Twins.” —Family Circle

Sunday, September 4, 2016

(Blog Tour Spotlight and Excerpt) The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

"An engaging read...full of drama."
—School Library Journal

“Eden will lure readers with her willful refusal to allow poverty and hardship to define or limit her.”
—Publishers Weekly

The Possibility of Somewhere
by Julia Day

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

**On Sale September 6, 2016**

Hardcover | $18.99

ISBN: 9781250097354| Ebook ISBN: 9781250097361

In her contemporary YA debut, THE POSSIBILITY OF SOMEWHERE (St. Martin’s Griffin; September 6, 2016), Julia Day uses Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to frame a sweet story about two overachieving high school students who want more than their small hometown has to offer. Ash and Eden are fighting their parents’ expectations, their school social status, and each other for the valedictorian spot, but when they are forced to work on a class project together –something seems to change.

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he's admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There's only one obstacle in Ash's path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden's ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college– and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks... When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream – one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?

With a cast of characters that feel very real, from an autistic four-year-old boy Eden babysits to the new girl in school who shakes things up, THE POSSIBLITY OF SOMEWHERE is a look back into the awkward period in high school when the future is in transit. A touching back to school read about first relationships, Day’s contemporary YA debut will have you falling in love.

About the Author

JULIA DAY lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two twenty-something daughters and one geeky old husband. When she's not writing software or stories, Julia enjoys traveling with her family, watching dance reality shows on TV, and dreaming about which restaurant ought to get her business that night.

Hit the jump for an exclusive excerpt