October 2, 2012 § 6 Comments
Scott Nicholson does spooky like no one else I know, so what better way to kick off the month of Halloween than with his novel-The Home and an awesome giveaway!
Enter the Rafflecopter to win your choice of a Kindle Fire, Nook HD, or Kobo Glo, as well as signed books and audiobooks in the Home for Halloween giveaway from author Scott Nicholson.
The giveaway celebrates the launch of paranormal thriller The Home. Experiments at a group home for troubled children lead to paranormal activity—and the ghosts are from the home’s dark past as an insane asylum. In development as a feature, it’s available in ebook at Amazon US, Amazon UK, BN.com, Kobo, and Smashwords.
EXCERPT: THE HOME
By Scott Nicholson
(From Chapter 10)
Starlene loved Group. The setting was perfect for teaching socialization skills while also gaining the children’s trust. In group therapy, she could be a “facilitator,” though she hated that word for it. A facilitator was someone who was structured and inflexible, who “empowered” others while not taking much personal risk. She thought of her job as more like “witnessing,” showing others the blessings she’d discovered and which all could share in.
“Hey, guys,” she said, looking into each face in turn.
“You’re late,” Deke said.
“And I apologize. Adults have to apologize sometimes, too, don’t they, Freeman?”
Freeman winced, twitched one corner of his mouth, and said nothing.
“You going to make us talk about something, or do we just got to sit here for an hour?” Deke said.
“I think it’s better when we get things out in the open,” Starlene said.
“Because sharing is caring,” Freeman said.
She ignored his sarcasm. Many placements came to Wendover with a wall around their hearts. You couldn’t hammer through the wall; battering at it only made the wall stronger. Love was better. Love seeped through the cracks and melted the wall away, eroded its base until the stones crumbled. “We do care, Freeman.”
Deke glowered at Freeman, then at Starlene. He looked around the circle, at the children sitting in their straight-backed chairs, making sure he had an audience. “Not all of us care, Freaky Freeman.”
Starlene was about to quiet Deke, then decided the group dynamic might be more interesting if she let the children lead the discussion themselves. If only Deke’s natural leadership skills didn’t turn nasty so easily. Six years in therapy, according to the case file, and Deke was no closer to adjusting to society than he’d ever been. Still, the Lord and her professional obligation required her to have hope for him.
But patience was a demanding virtue. That was one of the warnings that her Psych teachers had burned home, that occasionally you’d feel like slapping little Johnny across the face. No matter that he had been abused and suffered a neurochemical imbalance and was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, you sometimes had to wonder if a particular brand of vermin was, and always would be, a rat.
November 9, 2011 § 20 Comments
Author – Tahereh Mafi
Publisher – Harper Collins
Date – November 15, 2011
Shatter Me introduces us to Juliette as she sits in solitary confinement in what seems to be a mental asylum, counting the days (264) since she’s seen, heard, or been touched by another human. The world outside those four walls (with 14 cracks) has gone insane, people starving to death, whole species of animals no longer exist, and the people in power call themselves the Reestablishment. The Reestablishment…these are the people who drug her away to this place for a murder she didn’t mean to commit, to a fate she’s sure she deserves, to be trapped by her guilt as much as by the prison walls. The power she holds within her very skin is one she doesn’t want and she will do anything to disprove the notion that she is a monster, even though she herself believes it. She maintains her tenuous hold on sanity by writing in her notebook and refusing to allow herself to acknowledge the thoughts that sometimes overwhelm her. When she awakes one day to find herself with a cellmate, her entire world begins to change.
The writing style of Shatter Me was like none I’ve read before, both haunting and at times a bit overwhelming. Written in an almost lyrical or poetic prose, Juliette’s inner thoughts and feelings were often uncomfortably intense, which would be understandable considering the situation she was in. Many of her words/thoughts were written and then struck out, as if she were refusing to allow herself to acknowledge those thoughts. I thought this was a powerful way to show how she was struggling to hold onto her sanity. As she began to have more human interaction, the strikethroughs became less common. It was such a fascinating progression. While, for the most part, I thought the writing was beautiful, there were also times when it felt like overkill and it became a bit tedious. Overall though, I enjoyed the unique imagery and the flow of the words.
“I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder how they are always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. Its like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the raindrops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.
My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.”
The story itself was intense and reminded me very much of Xmen. Juliette’s power is reminiscent of Rogue and many of her characteristics also reminded me of Rogue from Xmen. The plot was action packed and thrilling. The villain, Warner, was out of his mind and made an even more effective bad guy because of the hint of a hidden past that may explain why he is the wicked boy he’s become. Happily, this did not become a love triangle since Warner is simply too psychotic to engender much sympathy from Juliette. The interplay between Juliette and Adam was extremely well done. This is a romance that I can believe. Things between them tend to get pretty steamy a couple times, but Mafi reins it in and manages to keep it PG. The ending also reminded me a lot of Xmen and has me incredibly excited about the sequel.
Overall, I think that Shatter Me has lived up to all the hype. Most readers will enjoy the intense and original writing style as well as the exciting premise, a steamy romance, and a villain you love to hate. In the sequel, I hope to see more details about the dystopian world and how it became that way and more about the two factions, the Reestablishment and the people who are not ready to succumb to that tyrannical rule and of course more Adam and Juliette! I would recommend Shatter Me to readers who enjoy dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction, fans of Xmen, and anyone who enjoys a thrilling YA adventure.
I somehow ended up with two ARCs of Shatter Me so I decided to give one away to one of my lucky readers. I will be shipping this myself so this will be US only. You do not have to be a follower to enter but following is appreciated! Extra entries for sharing the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. (leave me the link) and for commenting on yesterday’s discussion question located here.
You have from today (November 9) until Monday (November 14) at 11:59 PM to enter. Winner will be announced on Shatter Me’s release date, Tuesday November 15. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form, if you have any problems please email me. Good Luck!!