Monday, May 6, 2013

daynight Review and Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours...

It's time to leave Earth and cross over to the other side... it's not as far away as you think!!

by Megan Thomason
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 26th 2012 by Creatspace

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex. Punishment for disobeying SCI edicts? Immediate Exile or death.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Introducing...  the new Novella:  FREE for the Tour!
On Smashwords!

clean slate complex
by Megan Thomason

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Worldwide non-profit and do-gooder organization. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Life(TM). Reality: hidden behind every kind act is a dark agenda designed to gain control and force societal and moral extremes. Currently, the SCI’s pushing Project Liberate, a program to woo the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes—where “everything is provided” from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…

Meet Alexa Knight. Feisty, tough and currently homeless in Los Angeles, Alexa agrees to help the SCI in return for medical care for her sick mother. When she starts to suspect there’s more to the SCI than meets the eye will she believe Adam—the boy who saved her life and the SCI’s biggest champion, or Joshua—the attractive enigma who sings about conspiracy theories and pretends to be someone he’s not?

Full of action, humor, romance, twists and turns, clean slate complex is a companion story to the highly-praised dystopian novel, daynight. It can be enjoyed before or after readingdaynight.

daynight Review

“Hello, my name is Dorothy, and I'm an emotional reader.”

Above all else—grammar, style, plot, or even characterization—I depend on emotional connections to the characters I follow. I want to giggle as the protagonist gets flirted with by the cute guy, and cry with her when he inevitably breaks her heart. Hate, joy, anger, contentment—all are welcome, which is why I write this review with a heavy heart. I was anxious to dig into the world of daynight by Megan Thomason, the concept of an alienesque sister planet to Earth drawing on my love for Sci-Fi, but my hopes for a new obsession were shattered by poor editing and a shallow depiction of humanity.

The opening prologue was hilarious. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard so soon when reading a book, so my already high expectations were sky-rocketed by some pretty fantastic writing. I even noted how the semi-colon was used correctly, a nitpick of mine. As I was thrust into Kira's first person perspective my fascination waned, which is acceptable for the setup of a story. What was not acceptable were the repetitive and overabundant details, overuse of narration to dialogue, and inconsistent tense participles. When I saw another semi-colon in the beginning of the book, this time used incorrectly, I should have taken it as an omen.

Where I think the emotional disconnect was the most evident was in the narration and in the characters themselves. The entire first half of the book was a vague description of the workings of Thera—rules, schedules, terminology, etc. We knew that the sun rose in the west and the heat made living a nightly affair, but we didn't know how the SCI could get away with taking kids to a different planet, threaten their lives, and reap no consequences. And Kira, after scoffing initially at the idea of being somewhere other than Earth, just seemed to accept Thera and her life there. There was no fear, no panic—nothing but curiosity. As much as the characters liked to talk inside their own heads, I didn't really learn much about them. Details, yes, but they didn't have any definable personality traits that moved them through the story. Add to robotic characters a told story instead of shown, narration being the choice instead of dialogue, and it's not surprising I couldn't invest myself in daynight.

Grammatically speaking, this book should not have been written in first person. It seems the go-to point of view for many authors, but first person is harder to pull off than one might think. It may lend itself well to witty inner dialogue, but often at the expense of giving the reader the full picture, and if you're dead set on using it for three separate voices, a lot of work must go into making each of those voices unique. From Blake to Kira to Ethan, I began only hearing Megan Thomason.

I wanted desperately to like this book. The concept even now appeals to me, and I'm all the sadder for it not having delivered. I'm locking this book up, but I'm not throwing away the key. With a heavy dose of editing—fixing consistency in the flashbacks and the past perfect/simple past mix-ups, developing the characters, cutting the fat off the narration, reblocking the plot layout—daynight could be phenomenal. It's innovative and intriguing, but it was published before it could blossom into a well-rounded story.  

Megan Thomason
Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.

Find & Follow:

daynight Second Chances Giveaway:

Choose what you enter to win wisely. Your stay on Thera may be extended indefinitely.

Highlighting a different giveaway every daynight of the Tour... International Winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and US Winners may choose $25 GC in lieu of Prize Package.

US only. International winners will receive $25 Amazon gift certificate. US winners can opt to receive $25 Amazon gift certificate in lieu of any prize package.Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Megan Thomason. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Become an SCI Recruit
The Second Chance Institute (daynight's Dystopia)
April   22 - Launch!
                - My Seryniti - Review
                - Little Library Muse
           23 - Tressa's Wishful Endings
                - Buckeye Girl Reads - Teaser
                - Marked by Books Review
                - Red Headed Bookworm
Welcome to Thera!
Building Thera
           24 - Coffee Books and Me
                  Stressed Rach
                  Snuggling on the Sofa - Review
           25 - Christy's Cozy Corner - Teaser
                - All Fantasy Words - Review
Kira * Blake * Ethan
Character Backgrounds & Posters
           26 - Susie Q-Pons and Giveaways - Review
                - My Passion for Books - Review; Ethan
                - Paranormal opinion - Blake
                - The Cozy Reading Corner - Kira
                - Book, Books, the Magical Fruit - Teaser
                - Bookaroo-Ju - Teaser
           27 - Bookworm Lisa - The Characters
                - Getting Your Read On - Review
daynight's Controversy of "Cleaving"
           28 - Fantastical World of Wonders - Review
                - Pause Time
                - A Backwards Story
                - Beck Valley Books
           29 - I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - Teaser
                - Books Mystify - Review
                - Mel's Shelves - Review
Vacation on Earth!
           30 - The Broke Book Bank - Review
                - Letters to the Cosmos - Review
                - Arriane Cruz 
                - Candace's Book Blog
May      1 - Life of a YA Girl - Review
                - Fuonlyknew - Teaser
Risking Exile
Dystopian Survival 101
             2 - A Tiffyfit's Reading Corner - Review
                - Lovin' Los Libros - Review
                - Paulette's Papers
                - Becky's Barmy Book Blog 
             3 - Backing Books - Teaser
                - Book Snob - Review
             4 - Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
                - Living a Goddess Life - Review; Recipe
Clean Slate Complex
             5 - Mortality Bites
                - The Book Eater
                - Deco My Heart - Review
             6 - Passion and Life - Teaser
                - The Reading Diaries - Review
                - Jack's Junk Drawer - Review             7 - Grand Finale Blast!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prohibition….Gangsters….Bootleggers….Al Capone….and a 17-year-old girl named Eve Marryat who, in the tumultuous summer of 1931, learns the meaning of….

Sweet Mercy

Sweet Mercy
Sweet Mercy
by Ann Tatlock
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 1 2013 by Bethany House Publishers


When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge. 

St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.

Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?

Review of Sweet Mercy

As I flipped through the first pages of Ann Tatlock's Sweet Mercy, hitting the ten percent mark, and the twenty, and then the thirty, dread snaked its way into my heart. This is the very first book I have reviewed for a tour, and I was miserable with the thought it would have to be negative. Halfway through the book, I was relieved to find my interest increasing, and by the end I was as content as hot summer days spent drinking sweet tea on the porch.

The problem with Sweet Mercy lay in the Prologue. As so many romantic stories begin, we meet Eve as an old woman, leading her grandson through a place of her past. She's searching for a box of trinkets, one of which the boy's grandfather gave her before they were married. The story of a grand love affair is obviously the next step, but my expectations would be wrong. The story of Sweet Mercy is not about seventeen-year-old Eve's romance with her future husband, but rather about all the people she meets who help her grow into the woman she becomes. Had the Prologue captured that essence instead of making me guess who Eve's mysterious sweetheart would turn out to be, I would have started enjoying the book much sooner.

Ann Tatlock's biggest strength as a writer is her ability to distinguish each character with only a few short lines. Even Cecil, a man introduced only twice in the book, was so profoundly real to me. There's a boy being beat by his bootlegging father, a girl whose only dream is to marry that boy, the shy suitor who's off to college in the fall, an angry albino who learns to care for a lonely girl, a bum searching for alcohol in the days of prohibition, and of course Eve. I was not fond of Eve to begin with. She was preachy, judgmental, and incredibly naïve. But as these characters surrounded and taught her, my feelings grew and changed. I began to understand why such an innocent soul would rebel against the very idea that good could coincide with bad.

I can't deny my disappointment at not having enjoyed Sweet Mercy as much as I could have, but the end gave me hope I might take to a second read. The history is rich, the characters fascinating, and the outcome beautiful. If you're someone who likes a good coming of age story, you might want to take a peek inside Sweet Mercy and decide for yourself if you like the gangster-ridden cities of the thirties.

Ann TatlockAnn Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon.Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

On this Tour... test your 1930's Gangster knowledge with our trivia quiz, a different question on every post!


2 Winners, USA only: Print copy of Sweet Mercy, Ghirardelli chocolate, book themed pen & notepad.

2 Winners, world-wide: eCopy of Sweet Mercy

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Bethany House Publishers and Ann Tatlock. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours 
April 15 - May 3, 2013:

15 – Launch!
16 – I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - What was Prohibition?
17 – JoJo’s Corner – Review
18 – Letters to the Cosmos – Review
19 – The Broke Book Bank – Guest Post Meet the Lawmen

21 – The Wonderings of One Person – Molls and other Dolls
 - Books Mystify – Review
22 – Tressa’s Wishful Endings – ReviewThe Setting behind the Setting
-  Momma Bear’s Book Blog – Review, Meet the Cast
23 – CTF Devourer – Review
 - Christy’s Cozy Corner – Fun Facts About 1931   
24 – ADD Librarian - Review
25 – Worthy 2 Read – Review
26 – Green Mountain Couple – Just a Taste (to wet your whistle)

28 – Backing Books – Review
29 – Celtic Lady’s Reviews  Four Famous Gangsters
30 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
1 – The Jack’s Junk Drawer – Review
2 – Living a Goddess Life – Review, Recipe
3 – Grand Finale