Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Monday, July 15
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Welcome to Louisiana! Reading Road Trip Blog Stop!

I am a New York girl but I love, love, love Louisiana! It’s my go to vacation spot and frankly I’d live there if I thought I could slow myself down for more than a few days at a time. What isn’t there to love though—-jazz music, sweet tea, Creole cooking, parades, masks, and a decaying beauty that makes my breath catch every damn time. I often say that every city has it’s own heartbeat. To me, NYC has the frenetic heartbeat of a hummingbird—constant and almost a buzz. New Orleans, ahh New Orleans has something completely different—-the thready beginings of a jazz song, individual notes surrounded by silence. It’s lovely. But I’ve digressed—I wanted to highlight Louisiana with a great book that combines my love of New Orleans with lots of my other loves (like Greek Mythology) and well there was one series of books that jumped to mind as probably being under-read but deserving of more press and importantly, more readers: Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton.

Set in New Orleans post a series of devastating hurricanes that have all but destroyed the city, Darkness Becomes Her captures both post-natural disaster NOLA and the magic of the city itself. Not only did the NOLA setting impress me, but the plot is well conceived—putting a mythological classic twist on the paranormal.  I love it when authors go old school, and by old school I mean ancient Greek. Goddess villains, shady adults, and a great band of misfits that make a family. Ah, but there is more!  A fiery female lead and a hot love interest.  It’s perfect start to a great Medusa series.

A Beautiful Evil is the sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.  The series transcends genres managing to be dystopian, paranormal, and mythological in a brilliant feat. A Beautiful Evil picks up right where Darkness Becomes Her left off and boy is that an interesting place. Ari and Sebastian just make sense and what they go through together in this book makes every page worth reading. In addition to a great romance this book is ALL ACTION.  Ari’s a doer more than a thinker and damn is she busy. Part of that is because Athena is such a good villain. What I love the most is that Keaton places these tiny details in her narrative that end up being important. The future destroyed and then reclaimed New Orleans is a great setting and there’s beauty amidst the decay and rubble. 

There are lots of other amazing books set in New Orleans—Dead Letter Office, Post Mortem, and Interview with a Vampire to name a few. And everyone knows that Charlene Harris’ books are set in Louisiana too (SOOOOOOKIE) If you’re interested in more recommendations or if you just want to talk about NOLA or books set in the crescent city, you know where to find me. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trip to Louisiana with me. It’s been a pleasure. And for those of you who don’t want you stop to end here, I’m giving away a set of Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil to one lucky winner! Enter the rafflecopter here.

Bless Your Hearts,

V.V.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #publishing #reading #louisiana #reading road trip #road trip #Darkness becomes her #a beautiful evil #kelly keaton #paranormal #mythological #dystopian #new orleans



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Monday, July 8
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Welcome to D.C! I’m so proud that my first Reading Road Trip Tour Stop is for our nation’s capitol— a city of the people, by the people, and for the people. How can you not love the reclaimed swampland that makes history happen on a daily basis and where marble phallic symbols run amok? Eff yea ‘Merica!

SO anyway on to the reading bit—- four score and several months ago I started to read the Georgetown Academy series. I fell head over heels for it. We’re talking faceplant may need reconstructive plastic surgery levels of falling here. And central to series is the D.C. setting since politics at GTA go far beyond the normal high school kind and on to the national stage. D.C. becomes it’s own character in these books—from the start of book 1 to the close of book 4- Georgetown Academy rings like a love story to America’s capitol. I truly love this series and I think it’s a great representation on what makes D.C. so utterly amazing.

If you would like to read my reviews of the individual books, you can find them here:

Book One, Book Two, Book Three, Book Four and my Top Ten Reasons to read Georgetown Academy Season 1 here.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! Jessica and Alyssa, authors of Georgetown Academy, have graciously written us a little something entitled:

WE HEART D.C.

When we used to go on yearly field trips to D.C. in middle school, the most exciting part was the three hour bus ride—you really can’t ask for more drama than when you put fifty seventh graders in a confined space. But now that we’re adults (or as adult as we’ll admit to being), we have a whole new love for the District—so much so that we set an entire YA series there!

For one, you’ve got the monuments. For some reason in every TV show about the Beltway, people only meet up at the monuments in order to scheme to take down the president or rendezvous with the person they’re having an affair with. But for us, we love to sit in the perfectly manicured grassy area of the National Mall and read, people watch or write. It’s the only mall where we’re not distracted by a window display of shoes. 

Two, the bar and restaurant scene is amazeballs and keeps getting better. Not only are the food and cocktails good, but eavesdropping on the conversation around you is even better. Just last week at one of our favorite bars, Churchkey in Logan Circle, the two women to the right of us were talking about their clearance level at the State Department and the two guys to the left of us were dishing on the respective Congressmen they work for. Way better than hearing the usual bar talk of women drunkenly declaring that whatever song is playing is their favorite song ever and listening to guys trash talking about their fantasy teams. (But full disclosure, we admit when Like a Prayer came on, we were the two girls who loudly announced that it’s our all-time favorite.).

Three, not to sound like we read Eat, Pray, Love too many times, but we’re obsessed with the aura of the city. Manhattan has its own frenetic pulse and same with L.A. (although the pulse is a lot slower because everyone is hungry), but D.C. has a unique energy that you can’t get anywhere else. Yes, Congress is a bigger disaster than when we cut our own bangs, but there is still something about this city where you feel like you’re in the heart of the action even as you wolf down that Georgetown Cupcake.

And finally, we heart D.C. because it’s the perfect place to set a YA series. We got the idea to write Georgetown Academy after hearing the stories of our friends who went to prep school in D.C. Nowhere else in the country are high schoolers throwing parties at people’s houses whose parents have diplomatic immunity so the cops legally can’t break up their rager. Some people imagine what life would be like to be a powerful senator, the director of the CIA or the Veep. We wonder what it would be like to be the teenage children of those high-ranking officials because it’s got to suck when your senator mother is publicly trying to take down the senator father of the hot guy you share a Bunsen Burner with in chemistry class. D.C. is like its own character in our series and all we can say is, we hope we do our favorite city justice. 


Thanks so much to Jessica and Alyssa for letting us in on why they <3 D.C. UGH, do you not want to go visit D.C. like right this instant? I do!

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed you little pitstop here at the D.C. tour stop and that you’ll consider reading Georgetown Academy. For one lucky reader I’m giving away a copy of Georgetown Academy Season 1—ALL FOUR BOOKS! Just follow the link and enter via the rafflecopter here.

xoxo,

V.V.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #ya lit #young adult fiction #d.c. #washington d.c. #georgetown academy #coliloquy #reading road trip #blog tour



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Tuesday, July 3
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READING ROAD TRIP BLOG TOUR: Rhode Island

Ah Rhode Island, the little state that could. First to ratify the constitution and first in all our hearts, right? I went to school in Providence, Rhode Island and those four years were the best of my life so I am so happy to represent our smallest state of the Union in the Reading Road Trip Tour. IN FACT, I was just up in Newport, Rhode Island for the weekend doing some recon (or relaxing, whatever). Anyway the road trip allows us to give away a book that either takes place in the state OR by an author who is from the state SO I’ve chosen to giveaway INFINITE DAYS by Rebecca Maizel. 

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)

Rebecca is from our lovely little state of Rhode Island. She graduated from Boston University and Rhode Island College Master’s program.  She teaches community college in Rhode Island and is currently studying to receive her MFA from Vermont College.  Her hotly anticipated sequel to Infinite Days, Stolen Nights is due out this fall. 

My Original Review of INFINITE DAYS from way back when:

This book was an addiction for me. I skipped meals, holing myself up with this book until I was done. Then, I read it again. I don’t know what I loved more the originiality of the plot, the ernestness of the characters or the thrill of danger lurking at the door. While romantic and paranormal, Maizel’s debut shines most for her heroine’s compelling desire to be human in every sense of the word. It is this heart-breaking, fragile humanity that may be her saving grace. 
I can only compare this first book to how I felt when I read Twilight and the first Harry Potter. Maizel has the brillian gift of creating characters you don’t just love despite their flaws, but characters whose story you NEED to hear creating a compulsion to listen and experience that story for yourself. 

There is no doubt that I am buying a copy of this book for myself and copies to give to all my friends. 

Overall: A++

Thank you to www.ilikethesebooks.com & www.iceybooks.com for hosting this awesome giveaway tour.

ENTER the RHODE ISLAND GIVEAWAY to win ONE of TWO copies of Infinite Days for yourself: rafflecopter here.  US and Canada only please.

Tour Schedule: Check out the schedule here for all the other tour stops where you can enter all the giveaways!

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #giveaway #rebecca maizel #infinite days #reading road trip #blog tour


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