FFBC: Unravel (Linked #2) by Imogen Howson + GIVEAWAY!

Welcome Everyone to another FFBC event!

This week we are featuring Imogen Howson author of the Linked Series!
The sequel Unravel will be released soon! 

Read down below to find out more about the Linked Series and Imogen!

Unravel (Linked #2)
by Imogen Howson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 8th 2014
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Untold dangers await telepathic twins in this sequel to the futuristic, romantic thriller called classic sci-fi, space-travel adventure at its best. After Elissa and Lin exposed the government's secret experiments inLinked, which Booklistcalled a roller-coaster ride into space that just about everyone should enjoy, their home planet Sekoia is thrown into chaos. Determined to do their part to help the planet they've hurt, they return to Sekoia only to discover that things are far worse that they imagined. Resources are suddenly scarce, people are scared, and there's a rising current of anger against the Spares. When Lissa and Lin find themselves among another group of Spares and twins, they feel like they've found their kindred spirits at last. But a threat none of them could have expected is lying in wait for Sekoia's Spares.

As a child, I loved reading so much that I not only read in bed, at the table and in the bath, but in the shower and – not so successfully – on my bicycle.

I enjoyed books in a slightly unorthodox way, too – many of my childhood books have ragged edges where I tore paper from the margins in order to eat it.

I wrote my first book at eight. It was entitled The Dragon in the Teapot and would probably have been a huge hit if I hadn’t lost the only copy on a family day out.

Some years later, armed with several different types of backups, I’m busy writing romantic science fiction and fantasy for young adults and adults.

I live with my partner, our two teenage daughters, and three cats, near Sherwood Forest in England. I’m a Christian, a feminist, and a lover of cheese, chocolate, stationery shops and eighties pop music. I still read in most places, but I no longer eat paper.

I’m a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the group blogs The Lucky 13s and Author Allsorts, and the online writers’ community Romance Divas. I’m represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency.

You can keep in touch with me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowsonauthor – or Twitter –http://twitter.com/imogenhowson.

Or please feel free to contact me by email.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Dirty Dancing.

Anything happy and pop-music-y. I have the shallowest tastes in the world.


Awwww, Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books. He is such a gentleman!

It’s from These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer. The hero, the Duke of Avon, is a Bad Man with a Bad Past. The heroine, Leonie, is much younger (and adorable), and calls him “Monseigneur”. He thinks he’s not good enough for her because of his terrible past, and she knows all about it and doesn’t even care. 

They eventually have a conversation in which he says, “Leonie, you are not the first woman in my life.” And she says, “Oh, Monseigneur, I would so much rather be the last than the first.” (Awwww.)

And then he asks her if she’s sure, and she says she never thought he would be so foolish. And then he kisses her and they get married—like, that very day. *melts*

Anything by Joss Whedon. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse…

Diana Wynne Jones. She died a few years ago and I cried—partly because I was just so sad she didn’t exist any longer, and partly because I realized I would never get the chance to meet her. I wish I’d managed to meet her while I could!

Thank you for having me! And please let me know what you think of Unravel.

Hello Imogen! We are super excited to host you in our FFBC. 

Thank you so much for having me!

Linked is about a girl, Elissa, who has been plagued her whole life by inexplicable visions—and weird phantom bruises that come from nowhere. When she discovers that the source of the visions is the twin—Lin—she didn’t even know she had, who has been raised in a secure government facility and undergone “humane experiments”, they go on the run together. They end up having to escape off-planet, which throws them into the company of the arrogant young spaceship captain Cadan, the best friend of Elissa’s older brother. 

In Unravel, Elissa and Lin, with Cadan’s help, have freed not only Lin, but all the other twins who were imprisoned with her. But in doing so, they’ve caused the collapse of their planet’s government. Their planet is now in chaos and under martial law, and enough people blame the twins to put them in danger all over again.

What fights between spaceships would be like. I spent a lot of time on the website TVTropes.org—not so much researching the actual science, but researching what science fiction readers will accept as “realistic enough”, and what are the really obvious mistakes that get made over and over again.

Distrustful, angry, protective, proud, kind.

My favorite scenes were the ones showing the development of Elissa and Lin’s relationship, and also Elissa and Cadan’s. Elissa starts out thinking of Cadan as irritating and arrogant, and he thinks she’s a spoiled brat, and it was a lot of fun gradually making them see each other differently (and even more fun getting them to fall for each other). With Elissa and Lin, they start out kind of knowing each other really well, due to this telepathic link they share. But Elissa didn’t know Lin was real—she thought her visions of her were just dreams—so although she feels weirdly familiar, at the same time she’s this stranger with freaky powers. And that relationship continues throughout Unravel. It’s not a love/hate relationship, but it is a love/fear/confusion type relationship. Which made it interesting!

There’s a really violent scene towards the end of Unravel. It was hard to write it as brutally as it needed to be, and also hard to make all the characters react realistically—but not so realistically that all I had was pages of everyone crying and screaming! Which might be true to life, but which would be pretty dull to read.

I don’t usually write with a message in mind—I’m writing primarily to entertain people. But a definite message that came out during the writing of both Linked and Unravel is that, if a group of people sees another group of people as different, as “other”, it’s a very short step from that to seeing them as not really people at all. And once they’re not people, you can justify all sorts of atrocities. You see it in the way the Nazis treated Jews, in the way white people treated black slaves, and, in the UK, more recently, the way the press speaks about immigrants—both legal and illegal.

Linked and Unravel are not political allegories at all (which is good, because I think you have to be a genius to write an allegory that’s also worth reading as a story), and I definitely didn’t set out to write a book with a message, but I think that point about turning people into the “other” has ended up being portrayed very clearly in both books.

I guess it just matters to me a lot, so it ends up in my writing.

Follow the FFBC Unravel Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Win (1) of (2) hardbacks of Unravel by Imogen Howson (INT)

Review: Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows

Title: Honor Reclaimed
Series: HORNET #2
Author: Tonya Burrows
Published: 05.27.14
Pages: 350
Acquired: eARC provided by Entangled: Select


Former Marine sniper Seth Harlan is determined to prove that he can still do his job despite his ongoing battle with PTSD. When an old friend contacts HORNET to rescue a black ops soldier, Seth's stability is strained. He knows all too well what it's like to rot inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death. And he's not about to leave a man behind.

Photojournalist Phoebe Leighton just stumbled into the middle of an arms deal. Teaming up with a ragtag team of mercenaries is the last thing she wants to do--especially when she realizes Seth Harlan is assigned to the mission. He may ignite a passion in her she thought long dead, but Phoebe's hiding a secret that could destroy him.

With a bomb in the mix, HORNET's mission is suddenly about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of the team struggle to stop a ruthless warlord bent on power, revenge...and death

My Review:

This is probably my favorite Tonya Burrows book to date and that is definitely saying a lot since I have loved every book she has written to date. 

The book immediately starts off with a scene worthy of an episode of 24. The action packed pace and interesting story line would be enough to make anyone a fan of this book. But luckily for us there is so many more components of this story that make it even more enjoyable. 

It is no secret that I fell in love with the cast of characters that make up HORNET, in Seal of Honor. And when we found out who was going to be the lead character of this book in Wilde Nights in Paradise, I was happy with the choice. PTSD is a topic that is extremely hard to think about. In my life time, this has been something that has become more prevalent and something we hear  more about, especially after the recent Iraq war. So yes it is hard to hear about, but I knew it must be even more difficult to write about. I read another NA story last year about the topic and I thought that author had done such a great job talking about her character having PTSD, but reading Seth's struggle in Honor Reclaimed made the disease so much more real and so much for heart-breaking. PTSD is a tough subject, and I believe Tonya Burrows really did it justice. 

Separating the PTSD from Seth's character, we also get to read about the every day burden that he carries around with him regarding his failed mission. And damn in, that is some real turmoil and my heart really ached for him and everything he carried on his solders. I wanted him to start cutting himself some slack and allow himself to heal and learn how to be happy again. And that where Phoebe comes in. 

Phoebe is one of those characters that I was torn about. Yes, she is doing some great things and trying to bring awareness and help to a cause that on a personal level, as a middle eastern woman I feel strongly about. But when I found out the big twist of the story, on what she was guilty of, honestly I did not like her and at first I did not think she was good enough for our hero, Seth. But seeing how she was with him and always trying to console him and putting up with his jerk side (and yes he could be jerk) started to get me to warm up to her and I eventually did like her for Seth. 

With addition to Seth and Phoebe, I started really falling for some of the other characters especially Jessie. And I was happy to find out that he is getting his own story! He's the medic and yes I am a nurse, so I do have a soft spot for him. Yes, I may be a little biased, but any male or female who can help take care of emergency battle injuries, gets major swoon points with me!  And for all the Gabe and Aubrey fans out there, we do get to see a couple glimpses of our first couple from Seal of Honor!

So if you want a fast paced military thriller with a beautiful broken man trying to find his way again, then this is definitely the book for you! 

Review: Dark Days by Kate Ormand

Dark Days
by Kate Ormand
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Rating: 4 Stars!
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The future world has been divided into sectors--each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors' thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what's coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future. 
Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she'll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.

My Review:

I am always cautious about reading back to back books in the same genre. I have always found that if you read contemporary back to back, the stories end up jumbling together up together, I start mixing up the characters names and to top it off I start being able to predict the plot and the twists and the book does not end up becoming as enjoyable as it would be.

In the month of June I had 3 Dystopian books I had to read to review: Branded, The Murder Complex and then Dark Days.  And I am proud to report, did my usual issues with reading boos in the same genre back to back was not an issue. In fact I actually really enjoyed all 3 of them.

Dark Days is one of those books that grabs your attention from the very first page and keeps it to the very end. The whole idea of premise of the story is so enticing. What if you only had 15 days to live? How would you spend those days? Would you make a bucket list of things to get done? Stay closed off until the inevitable occurred or would you go out fighting? These are exactly the choices that Sia has to figure out.

In addition to the amazing action packed pace, but I really enjoyed about this story was Sia. She is faced with the the fact that she has only 15 days left to live before the government sends out cyborgs to end everyone but the chosen ones for the New World. She must figure out how to live the last days of the life. I loved the fact that she didn't just crawl up into a fetal position and wait for the inevitable. She is a fighter and tried to make the best of the days she had left and when the time came to fight for what she believed in, she fought harder then what was expected.

Some of the more negative reviews wanted more world building and more explanation to why things were happening. But I honestly enjoyed that aspect of it. This book is meant to be a stand alone therefore didn't need too much build up and unnecessary explanation of why things were the way they were. I loved that from page 1 we were immediately drawn into the sad and sometimes gory reality that is Sia's life.

If you're looking for a action packed dystopian that keeps you engaged throughout and has a great conclusion, than this is the book for you!

KATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. 

You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).

Follow the FFBC Dark Days blog tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Giveaway is open to International  | Must be 13 or older to enter

Win A Dark Days canvas bag, signed bookmarks, and a signed hardcover (INT)

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