Blog Tour
June 24, 2016 posted by Nichole

2016 Debut Authors Bash: Dana Elmendorf

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Hi, everyone! Welcome back!

Today, I am super excited to introduce you all to Dana Elmendorf and her book South of Sunshine. Dana has created an amazing post (with pictures) about what you will need on hand to survive South of Sunshine. Take a look below and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Top 10 Items You’ll Need on Hand to Survive South of Sunshine.

Top 10 Items You’ll Need on Hand to Survive South of Sunshine.

 

  1. Glass of Iced tea, sweet tea to be exact.  Don’t sweeten with some sugar substitute. This needs to be the real deal sugar.  And if we’re being specific, it needs to be Lipton tea bags.  Go ahead and fix a gallon because you gonna love it so much you’ll want more.
tea
  1. Pork Rinds – What the what are pork rinds, you ask? Do you know what the rind of an orange is?  The thick outer covering, essentially the skin of an orange.  Wellllll, that’s what pork rinds are, the skin of a pig with a little fat on it, fried.  Hey hey hey, don’t knock it until you try it.  If you eat bacon it’s the same difference. Lest I remind you what Dr. Seuss always said, “Try it.  You may like it.” They’re like salty crunchy airy chips with a bacony flavor. Like a cheese puff, minus the cheese plus the bacon taste. It is a southern favorite, and if you want your southern game to be strong, I suggest you get some.
pork
  1. Instagram Account – In South of Sunshine there’s a “hearts in nature” theme.  Kaycee believes, “Hearts abound in nature. Love notes from the universe, asking you to pay attention.” After you read the book you’re going to start seeing accidental hearts out in the wild. (I’ve hand several friends text me pictures.) You’ll want an Instagram account to post these little beauties on once you start finding them. This particular “heart in nature” I saw on an unexpected plane trip back home to Tennessee.
plane

 

  1. Nail Polish – Set of rainbow nail polish to be exact.  I suggest OPI because two coats of that with a clear topcoat will last you 10-14 days before it chips off your toenails. If you’re like Kaycee and you hate letting people pick at your feet, I suggest you can do the pedicure yourself. Either way, you might want to be prepared to impress your first crush.
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  1. Southern Euphemism Reference Book – Southern people have some colorful colloquialisms that most people who aren’t from around our parts don’t have a clue what we’re talking about.  I’d suggest Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit by Allan Zullo and Gene Cheek.  (In case you’re wondering, the title of the book is an expression of surprise.)
biscuit
  1. CB Radio – Three or four to be exact. So why a CB Radio?  After you read about the game Cat and Mouse, you’re going to want to play with your friends too. I know you’re thinking (after you go Google what a CB radio is) why would I want one of those if I have a cell phone? The thing about CB’s is that you can chat with several of your friends at once. Besides, you don’t get cool CB handles on a phone.

 

  1. CB Handle – Now don’t rush into picking a name. Simmer on it a bit (which means think about it a while before making a decision.) It needs to be something to go with your personality.  A name right that when you tell your friends, they’re impressed with how clever you are.  If you’re not sure what to call yourself, I might suggest watching old movies like Smokey and the Bandit or Convoy*. Either will inspire a handle and get your CB skills up to par too. (*FYI, Rubber Duck has already been taken.) Here’s a CB handle pocket guide to help you out.
handle
  1. Punching Bag – You’re going to want to punch something before this book is over.  You should!  Some of the bigotry and hateful things Kaycee has to endure will really upset you.  The painful abuse the LGBT community has to go through is horrendous.  And sometimes you just need to punch something to make you feel better.  And since I promote love and not hate, I suggest a punching bag to release those frustrations.
bag
  1. Rainbow Attire – Now that you’ve got your frustration taken care off, lets arm you with rainbows.  You’ve already got the rainbow nail polish, now all you need is a rainbow shades, maybe a rainbow tank top, fancy bracelet, flashy leather clutch and if you want to round your whole outfit out, I suggest rainbow Chucks.
    attire
    1. Kleenex – By the end of the book I hope to have taken you on an emotional journey.  I hope you feel Kaycee’s pain and struggles, because empathy is important. I hope you cry tears of heartache, relief, understanding but most of all I hope you end the book crying tears of happiness.  Kaycee’s journey has a lot of roller coaster ups and downs, but by the end of the book you’ll be glad you took the ride with her.
    kleenex

 

south
What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love?
And what will she risk for acceptance?In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.


 

dana
Born and raised in small town in Tennessee, Dana now lives in southern California with her husband, two boys and her tiny dog. When she isn’t exercising, she can be found geeking out with Mother Nature or scouring the internet for foreign indie bands. After her family’s needs are met, you can find her dreaming up contemporary YA romances with plenty of kissing. Rep’d by Lauren MacLeod with The Strothman Agency.

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Author Interviews
June 23, 2016 posted by Nichole

Author Interview with Brenna Yovanoff

26067507Waverly Camdenmar is perfect. She is straight As, most likely to take over the world. And she hasn’t slept in days. She spends her nights running until she can’t even think. Then the sun comes up, life goes on, and Waverly goes back to her perfectly hateful best friend, her perfectly dull classes, and the tiny, nagging suspicion that there’s more to life than student council and GPAs.

 

Marshall Holt is a loser. He drinks on school nights and gets stoned in the park. He is not even close to being in Waverly’s world. Until one night she falls asleep and dreams herself into his bedroom—and when the sun comes up, nothing in her life can ever be the same.

 

PLACES NO ONE KNOWS introduces readers to the dreamy love story of star-crossed teens Waverly Camdenmar and Marshall Holt. A contemporary Say Anything with the dreamlike, dark edges of Donnie Darko, and the acid humor of Heathers, PLACES NO ONE KNOWS is a sophisticated read that begs to be read and will appeal to fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall.


 

Can you tell us about your upcoming book, Places No One Knows, in 40 words or less?

 

Waverly is a high-achieving, tightly-wound girl who never sleeps. Marshall is … not. When Waverly tries to hypnotize away her insomnia and winds up magically appearing in Marshall’s bedroom, they both face what it means to be truly seen.

 

What was your favorite scene to write?

 

Oh, man! This is so hard to talk about without a million spoilers, but any of the uncomfortable ones. I love uncomfortable things.  So if you’re reading along and find yourself thinking “Wow, this scene is making me really uncomfortable!” Whatever it is, that was my favorite scene to write.

 

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

 

There is a scene that I love. It was a scene that existed for four drafts, at about three quarters of the way through the book, and it’s not there anymore, and my editor was incredibly patient as she reminded me every single draft to take it out. Because she was 100% factually correct. But I still just wanted to see Waverly and Marshall snuggle in a baseball dugout.

 

What theme song would you give Places No Ones Knows?

 

Definitely “Palaces of Montezuma” by Grinderman. Definitely. (Particularly the Barry Adamson remix, which is very good.)

 

Series/Standalone/Companion?

 

Standalones all the way!

 

Are you working on anything else?

 

The book I’m writing currently is another standalone (surprise!), in the same vein as Places No One Knows, which means it’s got an element of magic, but it sways heavily contemporary. It’s about misanthropy, idealism, and the constant, daunting struggle of being your best self.

 

What is the best book you read recently?

 

Girl in Pieces, by Kathleen Glasgow. It’s not out til the end of August, but anyone who loves tough, realistic stories with beautiful writing needs to pick this up!

 

What is currently in your TBR pile?

Next up on my reading agenda are Illuminae, but Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and The Nameless City, which is a graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks, and I’m currently reading an adult novel called The Necromancer’s House, by Christopher Buehlman.


3023658My young adult fantasy novels The Replacement, The Space Between, Paper Valentine, and Fiendish are available from Razorbill/Penguin Group.

Here are some things about me (not book-related):

I’m good at soccer, violent video games, and making very flaky pie pastry.

I’m bad at dancing, making decisions, and inspiring confidence as an authority figure. I suspect this is because I am short, and also terrible at sounding as though I have any idea what I’m talking about.

Author Interviews
June 22, 2016 posted by Nichole

2016 Debut Authors Bash: Author Interview with Everly Frost

Debut BannerHi, everyone! Welcome back!

Today I am very excited to introduce you to Everly Frost, author of Fear My Mortality. I had the privilege of interviewing Everly for the 2016 Debut Authors Bash. Take a look below!

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Everly Frost wrote her first story when she was nine. She grew up in a country town, lived for a little while in Japan, and worked for several years in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Now, Everly lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two children. She doesn’t speak Japanese so often anymore, has left the cold Canberra winters behind, but has never stopped writing.


 

Can you tell us about your debut, Fear My Mortality, in 40 words or less?

 

Fear My Mortality is set in an alternate version of today’s Earth where everyone is invincible and can’t be killed, but sixteen-year-old Ava Holland suspects she might be mortal when her brother dies, sparking community-wide fear of mortality.

 

What was your favorite scene to write?

 

My favourite scene is the one where Ava finds out she’s stronger than she ever thought she was. She’s just been devastated watching her brother die and has been taken for tests to find out whether she’s mortal too. She finds herself in a green-lit room at the mercy of someone she should be able to trust—a Hazard officer (think our version of a police officer) who turns out to be an undercover operative for a secret group that wants to create a mortality weapon.

 

Inside that room, she’s exposed to an experimental substance that heals her wounds but also gives her off-the-charts strength and strange hallucinations. She sees a red rose and a scorpion—two very different symbols—one of beauty and one of danger. She realizes that both apply to her when she breaks herself free of her metal restraints and sets the room on fire just by exhaling. She’s ultimately subdued but it’s a turning point for Ava in her fight for freedom.

 

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

 

I had to cut two chapters from the beginning of the book and that was really hard. I’d written those chapters to set up the world, its time setting, and to show more of its characters—in particular more of Ava’s brother, Josh, before he dies and also more of Michael Bradley, the boy who unintentionally kills Josh and then becomes Ava’s only hope of survival. I wanted to show more of who they were before everything changes for them. But the pacing during those chapters was gentler than the rest of the book and the subsequent leap into action more sudden. I miss those scenes, but I think the pacing’s more even because of the cut.

 

Do you have a favorite quote from the book?

 

My favorite quote is something that Ava’s brother, Josh, says:

 

He tapped his temple and pressed his finger there, his eyes boring holes into me. “The only war we fight is the one in here.”

 

What theme song would you give Fear My Mortality?

 

Fear on Fire by Ruelle. It’s a haunting, beautiful melody with a deep beat and words that could have been written for Ava and Michael.

 

Can we look forward to any swoony boys or girls?

 

I think Michael Bradley is kind of swoony. On the surface, he’s the boy who has it all. He heals faster than anyone else and his dad runs a successful corporation. But his reality is far more complex. His family was targeted by a group of terrorists who call themselves Bashers—they believe that slow healers are an abomination. Michael’s brother is a slow healer and the Basher threats tore Michael’s family apart. When there’s a Basher attack and Josh is there in a Basher uniform, Michael fights back, not knowing that Josh will die. After that, Michael seeks redemption by protecting Ava. He does everything he can—literally taking bullets for her—and she begins to trust him even though that’s really hard for her in the circumstances. I think it surprises them both when they fall in love but by the end of the book they’ve proven that they’ll never give up on each other.

 

Are you currently working on anything else?

 

I’m currently working on more books in the series and can’t wait to tell the rest of Ava and Michael’s story.

 

What has been your best experience as a debut, so far, this year?

 

Absolutely the best part has been receiving messages from readers. It’s the most amazing feeling in the world. Also, meeting other debuts – they’re a wonderful group of people.

 

What debut are you most anticipating?

 

There are so many incredible debuts. I’m honored to be reading an arc of THE WEIGHT OF ZERO by Karen Fortunati and I’ve just finished the exquisite GIRLS IN THE MOON by Janet McNally. I also fell in love with DIG TOO DEEP by Amy Allgeyer.

 

For next year’s debuts, I’m crazy in love with Cale Dietrich’s LOVE INTEREST. I had the chance to read an early version and let me tell you, it’s amazing.

 

Thanks so much for having me here today!

 


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In a world where people are invulnerable to illness and death, with lives spanning hundreds of years, a sixteen-year-old becomes witness to the impossible – her brother’s failure to regenerate after death after which she suspects that she too may be mortal.

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Top Ten Tuesday
June 21, 2016 posted by Pavan

Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year!

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Hi everyone! I have this week’s Top Ten Tuesday for you all. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s topic is Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year!

1. Night Study by Maria V. Snyder.

2. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier.

3. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

4. Waer by Meg Caddy.

5. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

 So unfortunately I have not read a lot of 2016 releases because University is kicking my butt and I have also been on a re-read kick lately! What are your favourite 2016 releases?

Blog Tour
June 21, 2016 posted by Nichole

2016 Debut Authors Bash: J. Keller Ford + Character Interview!

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3955253J. (Jenny) Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind and oozes out in sweeping tales of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters and traveling. She is a mom to four magnificent and noble offspring, and currently lives in paradise in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.

Her YA fantasy novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, Book 1 in the Chronicles of Fallhollow trilogy, is slated for paperback and ebook release on May 31, 2016. Published short stories include “The Amulet of Ormisez” (MAKE BELIEVE anthology), “Dragon Flight” (ONE MORE DAY anthology), and “The Passing of Millie Hudson” (READING GLASSES anthology), which you can find on the “Books” page of this website. – See more at: http://www.j-keller-ford.com/about.html#sthash.8upH0Cdu.dpuf

Read below for a special character interview with Eric!

Hi, Eric, welcome to the blog! How are you doing today?

“I am well, my lady, taking into consideration we are at war with the Dragon King. It’s not exactly a picnic on a sunny day by the Cloverleaf River.” He shifts in the chair, leans forward, and cocks an eyebrow. “But I must ask. What is a blog? Is it a tavern?”

I have to ask, and will probably offend you at the same time, but what the heck does a squire even do?

“I am not offended by your question at all. It is quite typical for a girl such as yourself to not understand the duties of such a position. After all, a day of preening and gossip doesn’t allow for much else, I suppose.” I stare at him, unsure if it is my turn to be offended. Eric rises, all six, feet of him, and stands before the window, his dark hair shimmering in the sunlight. I allow a moment to take him all in. Wide shoulders, taut muscles. Lips that scream kiss me, and trust me I would if I were seventeen. His low, melodic voice snaps me from my daydream. “Squires are extremely important to the knights they serve. We attend to the knight’s horses. We dress the knights in their armour before battle or tournament. We guard prisoners, ensure our Master’s weapons are clean and sharp. We might even be asked upon to do various jobs about the castle, such as helping out the kitchen staff or changing bedsheets, for example.” He turns to me, his green eyes twinkling with humor to match the smile on his face. “I, however, don’t do much of that sort of thing, as I am a squire of the body to the most revered knight ever to live in all of Fallhollow, Sir Trogsdill Domnall. I’m sure you’ve heard of him.”

Yeah. uh huh. I shift in my seat. Moving on. How are you and David getting along? Would you consider yourselves best friends at first sight? [;

“Me? David? Best friends?” Boisterous, hearty  laughter fills the room. “Oh good heavens no.” More laughter. It’s contagious. I find myself smiling. I don’t want to. “David is a strange lad to be sure. He tries to be all bip and pow, but to be honest, he’s sort of a runt with a snippy attitude. Don’t get me wrong. He’s nice and all, but he’s not built for this war stuff. I expected more than I got, though I do have to say the boy can run. He’s not too bad with a bow and arrow, either. Don’t let it be said that I don’t give credit where it’s due. That doesn’t mean we’re best friends.”

Be honest, what’s your LEAST favorite thing about David?

“He’s cocky and arrogant and he has this odd, peculiar way of speaking that grates my nerves. He is also friends with this amazing girl, Charlotte, whom I’d like to become better acquainted, but I suspect there is more going on between them. Until I know for certain, I must keep my distance, which is difficult as she is quite captivating. Her eyes, however, are for David alone, for reasons only the heavens can understand, and until that changes, I must remain distant. I respect him enough to not interfere in matters of the heart. Besides, we have other things to worry about, like what to do with the dragon in Berg Castle.”

Dude, you got to meet dragons??? What was it like? Did you get to ride it?! YOU DIDN’T ACTUALLY KILL THE DRAGON, RIGHT?!

“Girl, have you lost your mind? We’re talking about Einar. He’s hundreds of feet long, just as wide and near as tall! You don’t ride him, and yes! We intend to kill him. He’s a vile beast and I can’t wait to take that long sinuous neck right off his body.”

Okaaay. Moving on. If you, David, and Charlotte had to dress up as a theme for Halloween, what would you all go as?

“Halloween?”

I explain.

Eric paces the room, his hand cupping his chin as if in deep thought. “Hmm, I suppose I’d dress as the king, Charlotte would be my queen, and David would be the court jester.”

That’s not very nice I tell him, but he just grins and my heart puddles.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

“Hypocrisy, without a doubt. This do as I tell you, not as I do train of thought is dragon dung. You want me to learn, you want me to be the best I can be, lead by example. Don’t speak words out of one side of your mouth and do something completely different. That’s like telling a child not to hit someone while you’re hitting him. Grrr. There’s nothing that burns me more.”

What is your favorite thing about Charlotte?

“Her fire. It exudes from her even when she says nothing at all. I like that.”

Be honest, are readers going to like YOU or DAVID more?

He chuckles that soft laugh of his. “Of course they’re going to like me more. I’ve impeccable manners. I’m educated. I’m trained in warfare. I can ride a horse. I believe myself to have integrity and a sense of humor. What is there not to like?”

Yes. what indeed. I smile. Next question. If you had to ask the author a favor for the next book, what might you ask her?

“Wow, that’s a tough one. I think I’d like to go back in time. See my mother as she was when she was young. Attend Trog’s adoubement ceremony. Maybe write out David for a while and let me get to know Charlotte better without his hovering presence. Of course, more than anything, I’d like the knights and Trog to see me as something more than a glorified valet. Recognize my potential. See me for what and who I am and respect me. That would mean everything.”

Are we going to see more of you?! [;

“Oh yes, my lady. I’m not going anywhere.”

Thanks for stopping by!

“The pleasure was mine.”

 

YOU GUYS! I LAUGHED SO HARD! For real…..BEST character interview I’ve EVER done with an author! I LOVED THIS!


in the shadowSeventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.

Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.

Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.

With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.

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Blog Tour
June 20, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan

don't get caught10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

 

My Review:

Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan is one of the funniest books I have ever read in my life. I was laughing from the very first chapter clear up until the end. Some of the comments and metaphors in this book…..Oh, lord. I was DYING. I never laugh in books. EVER.  I really don’t have much of a funny bone. Let me tell you, though, this book was hilarious!

One thing that I really loved about Don’t Get Caught was that, while it did have one main character, it focused on four or five characters throughout the entire book. I loved that each character had their own unique personality and each of them really owned the book and helped make it be so successful. My only complaint with the main characters was that they really didn’t come off as high school students. I’m not positive, but I think that they were supposed to be Juniors in high school. They had to have at least been sophomores because some of them had cars and were able to drive. However, they kind of came off as like 8th and 9th graders. It could just be that I haven’t been in a high school setting in quite some time. That being said, they really did come off a bit younger than they were portrayed.

Another thing that I loved about Don’t Get Caught was the mystery and suspense that filled up almost every single page of this book. If I had to describe the plot line of this book, I would probably say Pretty Little Liars meets Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor. It was very action packed. Very in your face, pulse-pounding mystery. Those are the kinds of books that I really enjoy. I do wish that maybe there would have been some more suspenseful moments. However, I thought Dinan did an excellent job planning the hesists and pranks.

Even though I did really enjoy this book, I did have a few complaints. 1) I had a very difficult time relating to some of the family situations. As a teenager, especially as an older teenager, I would have not bowed down to my parents quite as much as the characters did. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be punished or spoken to in some of the ways that Max was. I was the teenager who would get in your face and tell you a straight up “hell no, that’s not gonna happen.” I would have gotten into screaming matches and just ignored the ground rules. Obviously, I was a horrifying teenager. Also, my parents wouldn’t have acted disappointed in me over a C, and my mom would have ALWAYS been on my side before jumping to conclusions and siding with the school. Now, I know that there are some parents who are like the parents that were described in this book. However, I found it kind of weird that all of the parents were kind of like Max’s parents. I guess Wheeler’s parents were a little more laid back, but I thought it was a little odd that so many parents were so strict and not automatically on their kids side. 2) This is my education major side coming out, but some of the things that happened (regarding punishments and the way the school staff responded) would probably have never happened. The V.P. wouldn’t have been allowed to treat the students in the way that he did. If he did, parents would have FREAKED. OUT. Also, some of the punishments would have never happened because the school wouldn’t have legally been allowed to force the students to do those things. I can just imagine my mom’s reaction if I was told I had to do those things. So, again, this is probably just the education major part of me making an appearance, but those scenes did bug me. 3) I had a very big problem with the ending of the book. I wanted something more shocking and in your face to happen. I was pretty let down with the end results and kind of just expected a little bit more of an AH-HA! moment.

The ending of Don’t Get Caught really set it up nicely for a second book. It will be kind of disappointing if a second book isn’t made, because it almost felt like a cliff hanger. I’m definitely excited to read more from Max and about what comes next.

Overall, I really enjoyed Don’t Get Caught. I thought it was a hilarious book that had me laughing my head off. I haven’t had that much enjoyment over a book in a very long time. Kudos to the author. This was a great read!

Rating: : ★★★½☆

 

Author Interviews
June 20, 2016 posted by Nichole

2016 Debut Authors Bash: Author Interview with Kurt Dinan

Debut BannerHi, everyone! Welcome to today’s stop for the 2016 Debut Authors Bash! Today I’m crazy excited to introduce you all to Kurt Dinan, author of Don’t Get Caught. First off, let me start off by telling you today will feature two different posts for Kurt Dinan. This morning I am featuring an author interview with Kurt. Later this afternoon, stay tuned for my book review of Don’t Get Caught! I absolutely adored this book and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Check out more from Kurt below!

Kurt

Kurt Dinan is a high school English teacher living in Cincinnati. His debut novel, DON’T GET CAUGHT, will be released in April of 2016. He is represented by Kerry Sparks of LGR.


Can you tell us about your debut, Don’t Get Caught, in 40 words or less?

DGC is a about Max, a high school nobody, who teams up with 4 other misfits to get back at the mysterious Chaos Club for framing them.  Over-the-top pranks, juvenile humor, and cows.  The perfect way to start your summer.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Wheeler’s prank on the football field was my favorite because it’s pretty much everything I wanted the book to be summed up in one chapter–it’s fast, fun, suspenseful, and over-the-top.  It was one of the last chapters I wrote, and it came very easily, which I guess is what happens when you sit around thinking of how to execute pranks all day.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

The scene in the book where Ellie takes Max to the radar dish the first time had a completely different ending for the first few drafts of the novel until I decided to make his life miserable.  Changing that scene meant having to cut some romantic stuff that I liked, and a sort of dreamy description of what their car ride back to town was like.  In the novel now the car ride back is awkward, but at an earlier point it was a lot more positive and, like I said, dreamlike.

Standalone/Series/Companion?

The book completely works as a standalone, but I’ve left the door open for a sequel.  People are constantly me if there will be a sequel, but at this point there are no plans for one.  But fingers crossed!

What theme song would you give Don’t Get Caught?

AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” nicely fits the feel of the book and the motivation of the characters.  It’s a song with some punch behind it–I’d hear those opening 30 seconds in my head when I would write some times– but it’s also something I could see the characters listening to gear up for a prank.

What is Max’s biggest perk and quirk?

Max’s biggest perk has to be his knowledge of heist films and, as a result, heist rules since it’s what helps him organize a crew to get back at the Chaos Club.  His biggest quirk would be his overthinking everything.  His reactions tend to be exaggerated and overly dramatic–”I have my hands jammed in my pockets, trying to avoid the million and one worst-case scenarios I’ve dreamed up, most of which end with either me puking or Ellie losing a limb”–but it’s also part of his charm and humor.

What will Max be dressing up as for Halloween?

I could see Max dressing up in a nice, fashionable suit, slicking his hair back, and wearing sunglasses for Halloween.  And when the adult at the door asks, “What in the hell are you supposed to be?” Max would say, “I’m a suave cat burglar staking out the neighborhood.”

What else are you working on?

I haven’t settled on what my next novel will be, but I do know that I’m sticking with my strengths–writing fast-paced, fun novels with an over abundance of juvenile humor and jokes.

What debut are you most looking forward to?

The debuts I’m most excited about are Robin Reul’s MY KIND OF CRAZY, Marisa Reichardt’s UNDERWATER, and Jenny Manzer’s SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN.  All of them are out now, and all are fantastic!


don't get caught10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

 

Don’t forget to stop by later this afternoon to read my review of Don’t Get Caught!

-N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour
June 19, 2016 posted by Nichole

2016 Debut Authors Bash: Dee Romito

Debut BannerWelcome to today’s stop for the 2016 Debut Authors Bash! Today I’m excited to introduce you all to Dee Romito! Dee and I came up with a stellar idea of creating our own BFF Bucket Lists, which can be found below. If you would like to create your own bucket list, you can do so here: http://www.deeromito.com/books.html

Dee’s BFF Bucket List

Dee s BFF Summer Bucket List-page-001

Nichole’s BFF Bucket List

Nichole had an EXTREME technical error when doing this post…….Yes…shocking, right? But here are my answers. And woah….I just talked about myself in the third person. I know, I know. I”M SORRY!

 

watch the entire Harry Potter series
create a family recipe
donate books to the library
send a care package
read ten new books
see a baseball game
drink fancy coffee
have a picnic
shop for fall clothes
take a nap
learn something new
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Dee Romito’s middle grade debut, THE BFF BUCKET LIST, will hop onto bookshelves in May 2016 with ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES and SEVEN SIDES TO EVERY STORY to follow in 2017.

When she’s not writing, you’re likely to find her on adventures with her husband and two energetic kids, at the local ice cream shop, or curled up in a comfy chair with her cats. She loves to read, travel, and giggle like a teenager with her friends.

Dee blogs at http://writeforapples.com and you can visit her website at http://DeeRomito.com.


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Ella and Skyler have been best friends since kindergarten—so close that people smoosh their names together like they’re the same person: EllaandSkyler. SkylerandElla.

But Ella notices the little ways she and Skyler have been slowly drifting apart. And she’s determined to fix things with a fun project she’s sure will bring them closer together—The BFF Bucket List. Skyler is totally on board.

The girls must complete each task on the list together: things like facing their fears, hosting a fancy dinner party, and the biggest of them all—speaking actual words to their respective crushes before the end of summer. But as new friends, epic opportunities, and super-cute boys enter the picture, the challenges on the list aren’t the only ones they face.

And with each girl hiding a big secret that could threaten their entire friendship, will the list–and their BFF status–go bust?

Book Reviews
June 18, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Sacked (Gridiron #1) by Jen Frederick

sackedWhat he wants he gets…

Knox Masters is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And…virgin. Knox knows what he wants–and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he’s set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she’s the sister of his fellow teammate, but that’s not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

…but he’s never met her before.

But Ellie isn’t as sure. She’s trying to start a new life and she’s not interested in a relationship…with anyone. Beside it’s not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother’s teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

My Review:

Ever since reading Paper Princess, Jen Frederick has become my new addiction. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never even heard of her before. Trust me, though, when I say that I am going to devour all of her books. This lady knows how to write! For real, if you are a fan of NA, or are just starting to venture into NA, THIS is a really good book!

The characters in Sacked were absolutely brilliant. I tend to have a really difficult time with the female leads in NA books. That wasn’t the case at all with Ellie. I was actually a really big fan of hers. I also really loved Knox. Oh my gosh, KNOX. That boy was HOT.

I thought that I was going to have a really big problem with the whole virgin storyline because that’s not really my thing. It seemed super unrealistic and not all that sexy. Somehow, Frederick made it work, because it didn’t bother me at all. The only thing that DID bother me were some of the sexy scenes because 1) I didn’t really think they were sexy enough and, 2) Kind of unrealistic for a guy who’s losing his virginity. No offense, but there’s no way he would have been that good right at the start. So, yes, I probably would have done away with that whole storyline, but it really didn’t bother me!

My absolute biggest problem with this book was the lack of focus on the actual game scenes. As a sports fanatic, I took a little offense that there weren’t some intense game scenes. We seen Knox play a couple of times, but it’s summed up in like three paragraphs. Also, we don’t see the championship game. It just doesn’t exist in the book. What was the buildup for? There should have been a really good game scene that at least covered a few pages. Instead, it was like blah. On top of that, I didn’t like how the author made up an NFL team at the end. She often referred to the Patriots and the Seahawks. However, at the very end of the book, she mentioned a team that doesn’t even exist. Like….they’re not a team. Where did that come from? Also, I felt really cheated at the end of the book. I felt that it should have ended with the Draft. I disliked that I didn’t get to read about that.

Another thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was the climax between Knox and Ellie. Their relationship really didn’t progress how I wanted it to. Was it still cute and sweet? Yes. However, I would have enjoyed seeing more cuteness and charm between the two of them, rather than both of them automatically jumping into a relationship. The beginning of the book did a really good job building that anticipation. Ultimately, though, I thought that anticipation only lasted a couple of chapters before it disappeared.

On a more positive note, I ADORED all of the side characters. I really hope that several of them get their own books, because I want to read about each and every one of them. This holds especially true for Matty, Hammer, the Quarterback, the brother, the roommate….I love them all! I’m VERY excited to read more about them!

Overall, I loved this book! It was originally a 5 star but there was just a little too much cheesiness at the end. However, I am very excited to jump into the next book, and I will be doing so tonight!

Rating: : ★★★★☆

cover reveal
June 17, 2016 posted by Nichole

Cover Reveal: ROCK WEDDING by Nalini Singh

Hi, everyone! Welcome back!
Nalini Singh is one my favorite all time authors. So, when she asked for help in revealing the cover for Rock Wedding, I couldn’t pass it up! I’m actually not super familiar with this series, since I’ve mostly read the Psy-Changeling series, but I can’t WAIT to read this one! And look at that cover!!!
RockWedding_600x900
ROCK WEDDING by Nalini Singh
Releasing: July 19th
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…
After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.
Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.
But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?
Let me know what you think of this beautiful cover in the comments section below!!