Book Friday! Review of The Bees by Laline Paull

Hi darlings!

Tawney Twin here and it’s Book Friday where we talk all about the books we read for the week.

I wanted to tell you about one book in particular, that completely blew me away.

surprise

I read it in one day. Maybe just a couple of hours. It grasped my attention from the beginning. What book could have grabbed hold of me in such a way? Well….a book about bees. Yes real bees that fly around and get honey.

bees

Review:  I wasn’t sure what to think about this book. How the heck would bees interest me? I love honey and bees always intrigued me so I wanted to give it a try. What could it hurt? I was very happy I did read it. From the moment I read chapter one, the main character Flora 717 had me hooked. She has just emerged from her comb as an adult. Here new life has begun. We are thrust into the bee world with cast systems, oppression, societal rules, a mother religion and many many bees. This world drew my attention right away. Laline brings their world to life with Flora in an exceptional way.

Flora is born into a low cast system, the lowest in her hive. It’s a matriarchal hive ruled by one Queen. But the moment Flora is born its obvious she’s different. At her birth a deformed bee gets killed by the fertility police because of being different from the others, which they call sickness. Because Flora is bigger and different it could get her killed. But she’s saved by a priestess bee named Sage. She’s a priestess part of the caste system that rules the hive and takes care of the Queen. The Sage sees potential in Flora, so she gives her different positions with different bees, which is unusual. Normal bees usually die in their positions. She helps newborns hatch from their eggs, moves to the nursery to help raise them then becomes a forger flying for pollen only to move back to the servitude of her low caste system, a sanitary worker. Laline moves us flawless through the hierarchy of the hive with Flora’s job hopping to show us how unique Flora is and her world.

The first half of the book does a wonderful job in introducing us to the bees world on their religion for the Mother. The biggest rule is only the Queen can breed. Given that its a female hive with only few drones, male bees, it shouldn’t be that hard. But surprise are in store and Flora was born to bend the rules. She also meets many different bees along the way including a drone named Sir Linden. And boy are these male bees spoiled! But Flora was born to bend the rules. The bees communicate through their antennas, scent and touch. Many things happen to Flora that she needs to block her antenna from other bees reading her thoughts. And boy does she need to keep her secrets!

The book is written wonderfully, so much so that sometimes I forget that I’m reading about a bee! Flora was a character I grew attached to and concerned for throughout the book.  I loved the language Laline developed for the bees. “The Queen’s Love”, “The Blessing,” “The Visitation” are a few of the words used for the bees rituals.  I whipped through this book in one day. It was so unique that I highly recommend it for others to read.

The Bees Plot:

bees

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

The Author: Laline Paull

laline

Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theater in London. She lives in England with her husband, photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.

 

Thank you for joining us today. Until next time!

bye

Love Tawney

 

Book Friday: Afterworlds Review & ARC Giveaway

Helloooooooo lovelies!

 

hi

It’s Tawney twin here and today we’re talking about Scott Westerfield’s Afterworlds. We had the pleasure of reading this book before publication by receiving an ARC from BEA. Here’s a little about the book.

Afterworlds
Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.

 

Afterworlds is a great concept for a story! This novel is actually a story within a story. Scott weaves both stories together using every other chapter for us to follow each story. There are two main characters. the first is Darcy Patel. Her story is told in third person. Darcy just signed her first publishing deal for a story she wrote while in high school, Afterworlds. With her book deal she moves to New York where she discovers the ins and outs of being a newbie author. She mingles with other authors at a YA Drinks Night. This is where she meets another debut author Imogen. They become fast friends but soon love blooms and the two are together 24/7. But Imogen has her secrets and they begin to unravel while Darcy is trying to figure out the world of publishing. Darcy’s story is a contemporary story where we follow her trying to edit Afterworlds, write the sequel to Afterworlds, talking to her agent, hanging with other authors and trying to survive first love. It’s a wonderful story of what the publishing world is about.

Our second main character is Lizzie. She’s Dacy’s main character in the book she just signed Afterworlds. Her story is told in first person. We begin Lizzie’s story at the airport when terrorists attack. The only thing Darcy can do is play dead, and dead she does. A little too much to the point she crosses over to the world of the dead.  There she meets Yami and her brother Yamaraj, Yama for short. Yama tells her she’s a psychopomp and begins to teach her how to survive with the dead. But soon she wants to help the ghost of her mother’s childhood friend against a pedophile. But with power things can go wrong and they do. Lizzie grows close to Yama and we watch her love grow for him as she even finds out what he truly is. Lizzie’s story is a paranormal adventure which starts off with a bang.

Back and forth we follow both girls through their trials of first love and the obstacles life brings. I have to admit I liked Darcy’s story a lot better than Lizzie’s.  Lizzie’s was a great paranormal story but I didn’t connect with the character more than I did with Darcy. I wanted to see more in the world of publishing and her connection with Imogen. It was nice to see a diverse relationship that isn’t much offered to readers. I give this book 3 stars. I liked the writing and how both worlds flowed together but I just wasn’t interested in Lizzie as I was Darcy. Both worlds also seemed to become depressing with the downs and out of relationships. I would like to see Darcy sell her second book and how the relationship with Imogen is going. I want more about the publishing world. Lizzie’s story I’m not sure I would follow again so I’m probably I wouldn’t read a sequel. 

 

Here’s your chance to read Afterworlds before it comes out! Go enter to win an ARC.

For some reason WordPress doesn’t like rafflecopter so click the link below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!

good

Love

The TWINS

Monday Funday with author Leigh Ann Kopans

It’s Monday lovelies! Boooooo. But have no fear, Tawney twin is hear today to spread a little fun.

dancing groot

Today we have author Leigh Ann Kopans answering our Monday Funday questions. First let’s get a little introduction to Leigh Ann, who we just adore!

2013-June-Leigh-Ann-Kopans-240x300

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Solving for Ex was born of her love for Jane Austen’s classics, and how they taught her that love stories could be funny and wickedly smart. Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)

Here are her books!

Final ONE cover    TWO   solving for ex      First

 

Thank you Leigh Ann for joining us. Let the games begin!

game

 

1. Your series ONE and TWO deal with kids who have powers. Like Xmen what authors would you have as part of your superhero team and what powers would they have? Including your own!

 I’d have Suzanne Collins, for instilling theme and symbolism deep into every part of every story; Kristin Cashore, for her breathtaking descriptions; and Stephanie Perkins, for her heart-wrenching relationship arcs.

Those are great authors and they do have such powers of writing!

2. Sofia travels to a first world village in your new book. Is there a first world country you would go to and volunteer your time?

 She goes to a third world country, LOL! (And actually I learned the politically correct term is “developing country.”) Honestly, it would be really difficult to get me to go to a third world country, but I think if I did I would have to be enticed by either the weather or the food!

Oops I meant third world but now will call it developing country!

3. If your teen years was a YA book, what would you be like as a teen?

wrinkle in time

Oh, my gosh. I was Meg Murry (From Madeleine L’Engle‘s A Wrinkle in Time) when I was a kid. Awkward looking, socially awkward, awkwardly smart, frustrated by it all. Poor kid me.

Aww! I think a lot of our teen selves were awkward. I know Kristen and I weren’t the Sweet Valley twins as teens! We were more Fred and George Weasley.

sweet valley       weasley

 

4. If you could write your next book with any other author who would it be?

hunger

I really think it would be Suzanne Collins. She writes such great action, and knows how to amp up the danger in her plots, something I really struggle with.

 

5. Tell us something funny that has happened to you, very embarrassing or scandalous! :)

Well, we were doing hip thrusters in my kickboxing class this morning and I made a sex joke and none of the other suburban ladies thought it was funny. Does that count?

what Oh yes it does! I hate when that happens! It’s so embarrassing with the silence that follows.

 

First World Problems was just released and to celebrate we’re giving away the ebooks of Solving for Ex and First World Problems. To enter just comment below on what developing country you would like to visit and how you would like to help!

Thank you so much Leigh Ann for joining us today and answering our silly questions.

Until next time.

waving

Love Tawney Twin

Tuesday book Giveaway Leigh Ann Kopans First World Problems

Hi lovelies! It’s Tawney Twin here and we are celebrating today!

Today is Leigh Ann Kopans book birthday for First World Problems! Yay!

tumblr_m6tjjblqzk1r8ltw6o1_500

I’ve followed Leigh Ann from the beginning when she published her first YA novel ONE. If you haven’t read that book you should check it out.  It’s Xmen meets Divergent. I love her writing and always look forward to the next book. Her characters are unique and the love stories within the book are slow and don’t immediately jump into love at first sight. The plots are wonderfully developed and Leigh Ann is a an author who self-publishes her own books. If you heard about self-publishing you know that authors work their butt off promoting and spreading the word of their books.

Well, I’m here to spread the love for Leigh Ann!

tumblr_m7eq09AQ0R1rziwwco1_500

Let’s start with the book description!

First World Problems:

First

Sofia Cole has always been able to get anything she wants through begging, flirting, and shameless manipulation of everyone around her.

Sofia doesn’t think that Dad sending her on a gap service year to Guyana to address how “spoiled” she is will change any of that.

Sofia just might be proven wrong.

(A companion novel to SOLVING FOR EX (February 2014,) FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS is a standalone Upper YA/Lower NA contemporary romance. Fuller synopsis below.)

*****
Sofia’s had a really rough year – busted for cheating at prep school, dumped – dumped! – for the first time ever, and her new non-profit working stepmother is turning out to be an uppity bitch.

She deserves to treat herself. But when she throws herself a birthday party with 20 of her closest friends in Paris and (accidentally!) maxes out her dad’s credit card in the process, he’s had enough of her attitude. As punishment, he switches her planned gap year touring Europe to one doing community service work with the evil stepmother’s relief organization in Guyana.

The rural village of Dabu needs help in every area from education to getting safe drinking water. But Sofia’s more concerned about her roommate Callum, the gardening expert, who calls Sofia “Princess” and scoffs at her distaste for sweaty, muddy, iguana-eating, outhouse-using life in Guyana.

Eventually, life on the equator, her work in the village, and especially Callum – with his brooding eyes and bewitching New Zealand accent – start to grow on Sofia. Life is rough in Guyana, but it’s roughest on the girls, whose families are too poor to send only the most promising boys in school. They’re trapped in a cycle that will keep them from ever making a better life for themselves, or for the village. Worse, Callum doesn’t seem to think any of the changes Sofia envisions are actually necessary.

Determined to change the girls’ futures, she comes up with a strategy to help them and, ultimately, the village. But what starts out as a plan to convince Callum and her father that she’s fallen in love with Guyana, turns into the realization that maybe she’s falling for Callum, too. And that by changing these girls’ lives, she might also be changing her own.

Author Info:

Leigh Ann Kopans

2013-June-Leigh-Ann-Kopans-240x300

 

Raised on comic books and classic novels, I developed an early love of science fiction and literature.  As an adult, I rediscovered my love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted me as a teen.

I live with my husband and four children in Columbus, Ohio. When I’m not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find me obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using my  kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)
I started this blog to chronicle my drafting process, but now you can read about my life as a full-time working writer. There is angst, drama, and general chaos. It’s awesome.

Order your copy here! Website,Amazon, BN.

 

So now to the giveaway!

Hehehehee

 

Win an ebook  of First World Problems by posting a comment below. The main character Sofia is shipped off to do community service in the rural village of Dabu.  Where would you go to help a first world village? Building homes or helping produce fresh water? Let us know!

 

Thank you!

Love Tawney Twin

Monday Funday: Ice Bucket Challenge accepted!

Hi lovelies!

So it was going to happen eventually. If you haven’t heard, there’s a movement going around regarding an ice bucket challenge for ALS. Here is more info on the whole challenge.

I think this movement is wonderful! It brings awareness to a disease that most people don’t know about. ALS or known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Early symptoms of ALS  include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. Soon the muscles become useless and the ability to initiate and control movements is lost. Here is more information on the disease.

So I was tasked by my lovely friend Vivian to do the challenge! So here I go. FYI: I look horrible because I just woke up!

I still donated to ALS even though I accepted the challenge. You can donate too!

 

Here are my favorite Ice bucket challenges!  Enjoy!

Love Tawney (Good Twin)

 

 

Review Friday! Sisters’ Fate, Gates of Thread and Stone, and A Slither of Hope

Hi Lovelies!

It’s Tawney twin here! Let’s talk about books!

Book

I’ve been reading a lot lately due to the fact I’m unemployed at the moment. It could be both a good thing and bad thing! But due to my free time I’ve read so many good books! I’ve decided to share them with you because they’re an excellent, fast reads that you need to add to your “to be read” list!

best day ever

Here’s 3 books I’ve read the past week and why you should read them too!

 

Jessica Spotswood SISTES’ FATE

Sisters' Fate

If you  haven’t read The Cahill Witch Chronicles…you need to get on it! Coming from the last book Star Cursed, we were left with a cliffhanger! The dreaded cliffhanger that makes you wait agonizing months/years to see what happens. But it wasn’t just any cliffhanger, it was a OMG-I-didn’t-see-that-coming-cliffhanger! Cate returns to the world that Jessica beautifully created with the prophecy and for a fight to protect her sisters.  Cate has always tried to keep it a secret that she’s a witch from the Brotherhood. And it gets harder and harder with the amped up security. The Sisterhood doesn’t know what to do and Cate needs to protect her sisters. I’m not going to give much away but it all twines together perfectly when this book is finished. I devoured this book once I got it in my hands! It was a great ending for the series.

Book Description:

A fever ravages New London, but with the Brotherhood sending suspected witches straight to the gallows, the Sisters are powerless against the disease. They can’t help without revealing their powers—as Cate learns when a potent display of magic turns her into the most wanted witch in all of New England.

To make matters worse, Cate has been erased from the memory of her beloved Finn. While she’s torn between protecting him from further attacks and encouraging him to fall for her all over again, she’s certain she can never forgive Maura’s betrayal. And now that Tess’s visions have taken a deadly turn, the prophecy that one Cahill sister will murder another looms ever closer to its fulfillment.

 

Buy on: Amazon,Barnes and Noble, or Book Depository

 

Lori M Lee  GATES OF THREAD AND STONE

I love fantasy, so when I heard about this book I immediately added it to my TBR list. The cover is gorgeous and the concept of the book sounded fabulous. Once I bought my book and had it in my hands I engulfed this book like it was a rare chocolate treat. And what a treat it was! It’s a story of magic, romance, time bending and a gutsy main character that I loved reading about. We follow Kai through an absolute wonderful world that Lori created. I love world building and she didn’t disappoint with caste systems and magic. There’s the Infinite, the Grays and the mahjo. What’s not to love? Kai is a datermined girl who wants to save her brother Reev, who was kidnapped. Enter Avan who wants to help Kai. What a great friendship they have that slightly moves to the possibility of more. The writing flowed and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough to see what happened next to Kai. A great adventurous read. I can’t wait to learn more from this world that Lori created. I know she has more in store for us!

Book description:

Gates-cover-FINAL-sm-2

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

Buy on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Book Depository

 

Lisa M Basso A SLITHER OF HOPE

I love angel books! When I got the first book in this series, A Shimmer of Angels,  I was hooked! So I immediately snatched the second book when it was released. We have the Fallen, angels, and hottie Kade, (Love that name) and our main character Rayna has wings! The writing was great and I whipped through this book like a road runner, quickly turning each page. Rayna must learn to protect herself form the Fallen and Kade can help with that but when she runs back to her family things get a little complicated….the suspense kicks in as we follow her trying to save herself and those she loves.

 

A SLITHER OF HOPE

Rayna struggles to piece her life back together, but hiding in plain sight from the police, the SS Crazy, and the Fallen isn’t a foolproof plan—something Kade, the World’s Worst Roommate, reminds her of everyday. 

The late nights of failing to teach Ray how to protect herself against the Fallen are getting to Kade, changing him in ways he doesn’t like, and after a family emergency sends Ray back into Cam’s arms, Kade decides he’s had enough. 

News of Rayna’s resurfacing brings both angels and the Fallen to San Francisco by the dozens, all eyes scouring the city for the girl with the gray wings. Rayna will need both Kade and Cam’s help to ensure her family’s safety, navigate the new dangers and enemies springing up all over the city, and manage the surprises that arise with her new set of wings.

Buy on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the Book Depository.

 

So those are the books I’ve read this last week! Magic, witches and angels! I just love magic and fantasy!

dr who

How about you? What have you read?

 

Love Tawney

Monday Funday: Author Dahlia Adler

It’s not too often we look forward to Mondays.

monday

But when you talk to great authors for some fun then Mondays become special!

yay!

Our Monday Funday today is with author Dahlia Adler, who wrote the book Behind the Scenes. Before we get started here is a little info about her!

 

57cbad1db0529223-17869397            dahlia

High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be *the* Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Ready for some fun?

phoebe-roz

Thought so! If you don’t know what Monday Funday is, it’s where we ask fun questions to authors. Questions that usually don’t get asked!

Let the games begin!

Bane

 

1. In your book Behind the Scenes, Ally is the assistant to her best friend Vanessa, who happens to be an actress. If you could be the assistant to any actress or actor who would it be? I think I would love to be the assistant to Kerry Washington so I could get all the secrets of Scandal!

jennifer

 Probably Jennifer Lawrence. It’s hard to imagine she’d be the type to be totally brutal to her assistants, and if she is, wouldn’t that just be the best tell-all ever?

2. If you were stranded on an island, which authors would you like to be stranded with you? Remember, you will be with them 24/7 looking for food and passing the long days together.

 I’d last all of five minutes without Maggie Hall (The Conspiracy of Us), plus she’s a fabulous world traveler so I know she’d be the perfect person to have in survival mode. I’d also need my accountabilibuddy, Lindsay Smith (SEKRET; SKANDAL) because if anyone could get my butt in line to do the necessary hunting/gathering, it’s her. And probably Courtney Summers (CRACKED UP TO BE; SOME GIRLS ARE; FALL FOR ANYTHING; THIS IS NOT A TEST; ALL THE RAGE) because A) the bedtime stories, and B) the woman wrote about surviving a zombie apocalypse, and I feel like she could probably handle this.

3. Who’s your favorite book boyfriend? Come on, you have to have one!

 going too far     jellicoe
I have two! I’m torn between John After from GOING TOO FAR by Jennifer Echols and Jonah Griggs from JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta. Both have that strong, silent, protective-without-being-absurdly-possessive-or-abusive thing going for them. 

 

4. If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say? I think mine would say “Tawney, who is so bubbly and smiles way too much, moves to Florida hating the humidity. It ruins her bangs.”

“Local Rec-ing Ball Writes Book Thing”

 5. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

the-chairman

The idea of being in someone else’s skin sort of terrifies me, honestly. Almost as much as having someone in mine. Maybe the Chairman on Iron Chef. Does he get to taste the food? That’s what I want.

 I love the Chairman!!! He should be able to eat all the food!

 

You can get the book here: Amazon, BN , Book of Wonder,Book Depository.

Follow Dahlia on twitter, or her blog

 

 

Until next time!

LOVE

The Twins