Friday, August 26, 2016

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Aveyard, V. (2015). Red Queen (Red Queen, Book 1). New York: Harper Teen.

Young Adult / Fantasy / Suspense

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

BLURB (Amazon)Seventeen-year-old Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.


HALL WAYS REVIEW: This was a great blending of a lot of elements found in popular YA books, and it was highly entertaining. There were definitely times that I had to suspend my disbelief and just go with it, and I think had I read this in a more concentrated time period (not an option: it was my toothbrush book), I would have figured out most of the twists and turns.  Even so, I liked the premise, I liked/loathed the characters (sign of good writing), and I enjoyed the random steampunk-ish elements thrown in. Naturally, the grammar policewoman in me managed to find an error or two, but overall it was very well-written and easy to read.

I am likely to read the next installment, but there are elements that need to be addressed for this story to remain strong. Author Victoria Aveyard has left lots of opportunity to show growth, reflection, and self-examination in main character, Mare, and readers need to see it so that Mare becomes unique and exceptional instead of stereotypical.  I also hope the next books give more of the backstory on how the human race evolved to produce the Silvers and what exactly happened to the world a hundred years earlier. 

Epic Reads FIRST5 gets credit for setting the hook on this one. I took the bait and bought a hardcover just because I needed to read the rest of the story.  (Way to go, book promotions team! It worked!) So my honest review is given with absolutely no strings attached.

Victoria AveyardABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria Aveyard graduated from USC, where she majored in screenwriting. RED QUEEN is her first novel. She splits her time between Massachusetts and Los Angeles. You can visit her online at

Monday, August 22, 2016

Texas in Her Own Words ~ ~ ~ Bonus Promo* Tour Stop, Scrapbook Page, & Giveaway!

(Second Edition)
Tweed Scott


Genre: Texas / Texana / General Interest
Publisher: Tejas Publishing
Date of Publication: June 16, 2016
Number of Pages: 336

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Texas in Her Own Words is a peek into the Texas psyche. It explains why Texans are the way they are . . . where all that attitude comes from. This work is the result of a statewide search for what author Tweed Scott calls the “T-Chromosome.” Texans are different but why?  Scott went statewide to find the answers to three basic questions. 1) What makes Texas special? 2) Why is this place so different than anywhere else on the planet? 3) If and when it applied, what does it mean to you personally to BE a native Texan?

Scott shares some remarkable answers with you throughout the book. In the end, he learned that all Texans share four traits or attributes. When you finish this book, you will understand why Texans are the way they are. IF you are a native Texan, chances are you will find some of yourself between the covers of this book. It’s a fun read.

Praise for Texas in Her Own Words
"Searching for the soul of Texas, Tweed Scott has done a great service.  People and places and the cowboy poetry of the heart -- Texas in Her Own Words is chock full of all of these things.  It deserves a special place on your bookshelf. Say right between Larry McMurtry and J. Frank Dobie." -- Kinky Friedman, author and entertainer

"It's a Texas thing, you either have it, or you don't.  Few people can define such an emotion, a feeling, a pride that is embedded so deep.  This book made me cry and smile at the same time.  Texas in Her Own Words helps to explain what 'Lone Star state of mind' is. . ." -- TJ Greaney, Publisher, Countryline Magazine.

"I [Patricia Spork] very highly recommend Texas in Her Own Words (Second Edition) by Tweed Scott to Texas researchers and historians, to any hopeful "wannabe" Texan or to any yee hawin' boastful Texan, like me (a transplanted didn't-know-it "wannabe")." 
-- Patricia Spork, freelance writer and artist
Amazon * Texas Trading Post * Tejas Publishing

Tweed Scott is a laugh-out-loud funny motivational speaker and corporate entertainer. He retired from broadcasting after 31 years. His broadcasting accomplishments include operating the highest rated FM station in America and later the 5th highest rated AM station in America. Tweed is an award winning speaker and the author of the three-time national award-winning book, Texas in Her Own Words. His book is sold at the Alamo, the state capitol gifts shops in Austin, the San Jacinto Museum & Battleground, and the Sam Houston Statue & Visitor’s Center in Huntsville.

He is the past president of the board for the Writers’ League of Texas serving some 1,300 members. Tweed now writes for several magazines and has built his own writing and speaking company, Tejas Publishing, LLC.  He is a graduate of Lamar University and a US Navy veteran. He continues to write and spread what he calls, “The Gospel of Texas.”


August 22 - September 6, 2016 

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Guest Post 1
Author Interview 1
Excerpt 1
Guest Post 2
Excerpt 2
Tweed’s Scrapbook
Author Interview 2

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NOTE FROM KRISTINE at HALL WAYS: The content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Book Blog Tours.  If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks as a blogger for Lone Star Book Blog Tours, contact Kristine via the Contact Form found at the bottom of the Hall Ways blog.