Top Ten Tuesday
May 3, 2016 posted by Nichole

Top Ten YA Characters that I’d Like to Revisit in 10 Years

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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 YA Characters that I’d Like to Revisit in 10 Years.

  1. All of the characters in Harry Potter – I feel really old to admit that I first started reading (well, at least listening to it as my teacher read it to the class) Harry Potter in the 5th grade. Those of you who didn’t actually grow up with Harry Potter releases really missed out. I remember standing in line with my mom and my cousin Brittany for the midnight release of the new HP book; I remember going to the movie premiers and having to sit in these huge lines, against the movie theater wall, waiting for the previous showing to exit the theater. Harry Potter will always be my favorite, because it started everything. And I feel so cheated about the play and the new movies and blah blah blah blah, because it’s just not fair. I don’t want to read a play script or fly to London to watch the play in person. I want another book. Maybe J.K. Rowling will shock me in 10 years and produce another Harry Potter book.
  2. Jace and Clary from The Mortal Instruments – Okay, I have not read the last TMI book, so if you know something that I don’t……don’t tell me. I really loved the first 3 of these books, but 4 and 5 were really hard on me. Therefore, I haven’t had any desire to read book 6….. But I did really love Jace and Clary and would like to see where they end up in 10 years.
  3. Alec and Magnus from The Mortal Instruments – Again, I loved them in TMI. I would love to see how they end up.
  4. Hazel and Gus from The Fault in Our Stars – Yes, I’ve read the book. Yes, I’ve watched the movie. So you might be reading these names and thinking “what’s wrong with you, Nichole?” But just because you’re “gone” doesn’t mean your really gone. I want to into the afterworld and see them 10 years later. Or now. Either way works.
  5. Jacob and Renesemee from Twilight – I might have just butchered her name…. I’m one of the only ones that I know who didn’t absolutely hate that twist. I actually really liked it! I really want to know how their story unfolds….because you know they have one!
  6. Hawke and Sienna from the Psy-Changeling series – Okay, okay, I’m cheating! They aren’t a YA couple! Sue me! But they’re one of my favorite couples EVER and I need to know EVERYTHING!
  7. Emma and Jonah from the Heir series by Cinda Williams Chima – THAT ENDING! It left us on a huge cliffhanger, and I’m not really sure if there will be another book. I want to know more!
  8. All of the characters from the Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer – Again, I thought that this series ended with a lot of cliffhangers and untold stories. I want to know more!
  9. Savannah and Adam from the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong – Okay, I’m cheating again. This is an adult series, BUT KA also writes YA…so HA! I felt kind of cheated that we really only get Savannah and Adam for such a limited amount of time. I really want to see more of them and how that relationship progresses. I mean, come one, Clay and Elena got SO MANY BOOKS!
  10. Asher and Eve from the Revelation series by Randi Cooley Wilson – There were NOT enough books in this series! I NEED MORE!!!!
Author Interviews
May 2, 2016 posted by Nichole

Author Interview with Christopher Morgan

28601190Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed?

Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.


 

Can you tell us about your book, Forestium: The mirror never lies, in 40 words or less?

Good and evil face-off in this thrilling coming-of-age adventure tale of a young man who yearns to know the truth about his presumed dead father. He finds friends, enemies, adventures, but most of all, he finds himself. [lol – exactly 40 words J]

 

What was your favorite scene to write?

I think it would have to be chapter 29 – The Portallas. This was the final showdown between our hero, Joshua, and the evil dark forces of The Goat and his Blood-bats. Everything built up to this point and it was truly wonderful climax that I thoroughly enjoyed writing. I really felt myself getting wrapped up and immersed in the story as each new word was being typed onto the screen – I really felt like I was ‘in the zone’.

 

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

I originally had a completely different start to the book, with no prologue and an entirely different chapter 1. The problem was that it read more like an information dump with lots of telling instead of showing. It was a tough decision but I eventually had to cull the whole beginning and come up with a completely new approach, which fortunately worked out much better. From an editing point of view, chapter 16, Galleon’s Temptation, was difficult to deal with. One of the problems was the multiple switches of POV. It took my editor and I several passes to get it just right.

 

Do you have a favorite quote from the book?

I have a couple that I really like. Joshua is confronting Sarah’s father, the Jemarrah elder, who is enraged his daughter is now involved with the son of a former enemy. Joshua tries to reason with the man and implores him to let bygones be bygones. Joshua says to the Elder:

 

“Isn’t that the best that could come out of this situation? The alternative is for our people to continue to carry the hate.”

 

Shortly after this, the Elder turns the tables completely on Joshua with the following great line:

 

“Do you love her enough…to let her go?”

 

If you had to give Forestium: The mirror never lies a theme song what would you choose?

 

It would be something very melodramatic and thunderous, like the theme tune to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

 

Series/Standalone?

Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies is the first book in the Portallas series. There are many more adventures awaiting Joshua and his friends with each new book playing out in a totally different environment. Forestium is a heavily forested world, where people live from the land and what resources the forest can provide. The next book in the series is Archipelago. Can you guess what sort of environment that adventure will play out in?

 

Are you currently working on anything else?

I’m currently working on Archipelago but also doing lots of promotional activities for Forestium – really building up my author platform. The series web-site, http://portallas.com is already crammed full of exciting things and well worth checking out. Today, I created a whole new area for schools to support my increasing number of author visits, for example. There are lots of really useful resources and other fun activities that are freely downloadable there. Check out http://portallas.com/schools/ for more details.

 

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I haven’t read any fiction for quite a while. Prior to starting with the Portallas series, I was reading lots of non-fiction, though. I study mathematics, physics, particle physics, cosmology and various other sciences in my spare time.

 

What is currently in your TBR pile?

My life has revolved around publishing and building my author platform for the past several months, so my TBR pile is really full of various books, publications and articles covering those types of subjects. One day, I’ll find some time to bury my nose back into some fiction again.


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Christopher Morgan is an author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. Much of his time is spent volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which are marketed through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees.

Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age 20, he moved to The Netherlands, where he married Sandy, his wife of 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending 7 years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited around 40 countries to date.

Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live.

FORESTIUM is Christopher’s debut novel and is the first in the PORTALLAS series.

adult books
May 1, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey #4) by Sawyer Bennett

rykerThe rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

My Review:

Can I just start out by saying that Sawyer Bennett is my new author crush? Seriously! Sometimes, it can be so difficult to find a new author that you absolutely adore; who writes flawlessly, beautifully, and magnetically addictive. Whenever I start one of her books, I devour it, hardly lifting my eyes for a break. That’s exactly how I was when reading Ryker. I mean, for real, I skipped most of this week’s NASCAR to finish it. If you know me, you know my love of sports. That’s a big freaking deal. DUDE I WAS EVEN READING THIS DURING THE DRAFT! (Okay, not the first round of the draft. BUT MOST OF 3-7!)

I love that I’m reading this series out of order because that it so typically me. I don’t care, though. Sure, I’m missing SOME THINGS…well, not missing, but reading details out of order. BUT I DON’T CARE! I’m reading this in whatever order I darn well please! And I’m not disappointed because OMG RYKER. Holy smoking hotness. RYKER! Need I say more.

And Let’s not just discuss Ryker, because Gray was equally amazing. Sometimes, I find myself having a difficult time with the female leads in NA books, because I can’t stand them. That wasn’t the case with Gray. I LOVED HER. She was such a badass. I only wish that I can grow some lady balls like Gray.

While this book features a huge insta-love theme, I didn’t care. That says a lot, because I normally can’t stand insta-love. I thought that Ryker and Gray were the PERFECT COUPLE.

Even though I loved this book, there were a few moments that I would have changed up a bit. 1) Even though there were a TON of sexy scenes (and I’m not complaining!) I would have liked to see a bit more “fun” in those scenes. I loved that sex didn’t foster their relationship, but I wanted to see some down and dirty scenes. And there WERE some. But I wanted a little bit more. 2) I would have liked to see more of a relationship between Gray and Ryker’s girls’. We only got to see her interact with them ONE time. That wasn’t good enough for me. 3) Finally, I felt that we were missing the final showdown with Ryker’s ex-wife. After the meeting with Gray, I felt that we should have heard from her one more time. It was really disappointing and confusing that we didn’t.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. I 100% recommend it to every single reader out there. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I can’t wait to read every single one of Bennett’s books!

 

Pages: 269

Publication Date: September 8th, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: : ★★★★½

Blog Things
April 30, 2016 posted by Nichole

Discussion Post: How to Manage Your Time

Hi, everyone! Welcome back!

 

I’m sorry that we haven’t done a discussion post in awhile! I actually had like 4 of them scheduled and then just didn’t have the time to write them. Ironically, I will be writing a post about how TO manage your time.

 

I have been there and done it all when it comes to managing time with blogging. I’ve been a full time student while attending classes at a University, I’ve worked full time 9-6 with constant overtime, I currently attend school online full time, I’ve balanced relationships and friends, and I’ll be starting up my student-teaching in the Fall. I guess you can say that my life is hectic and chaotic and overwhelming at times.

During each of those different phases of my life, I’ve either managed my time well or I haven’t. For example, when I worked full-time, I hardly ever blogged. I think I read about 19 books last year (and that was like 10 books after I quit my job in August.) I had no time for anything. On top of that, I was super stressed out AND bummed out that I couldn’t participate in a bunch of events because I 1) hadn’t read very many books and 2) wasn’t very familiar with any of the new books of 2015. It was a mess…

Going to school full time (right now) doesn’t really play a part with my blogging. Honestly, I probably spend way more time on here than I do with actual school work.  I’m reading more than I’ve ever read. It’s amazing!

One thing that I’ve adopted this year is a specific “blogging day.” Sunday’s are devoted to NASCAR, and I just sit on the couch with my laptop and blog while I watch the races. I don’t know why I haven’t adopted this practice in the past. Let me tell you, it is PERFECTION. I get so much work done on Sundays. Right now, things are a little chaotic, because I have so much going on with the Debut Authors Bash, but my blogging Sundays have become a permanent fixture in my life.

What I really want to discuss is how all of you manage your blogging time. I’m nervous for when I start student-teaching in the Fall, because I have a bad feeling that it’s going to be similar as to when I was working full time. I’ve gotten so used to loving reading again and enjoying blogging that I’m just really nervous about it. How do you all do it? Are you like me and assign a specific blogging day? Do you randomly blog? Or maybe do you set an hour or so each day to blog? Lunch hours? Let me know in the comments section below!

Blog Tour
April 29, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

star touched queenFate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

About the Author:

Roshani Chokshi CREDIT Aman Sharma

Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling. The Star-Touched Queen is her first novel.

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

 

The archives were cut like honeycombs and golden light clung to them, dousing every tome, painting, treatise and poem the soft gold of ghee freshly skimmed from boiling

butter. I was only allowed to visit once a week—to meet with my weekly tutor before I inevitably scared him away. Every time I left the archival room, my arms brimmed with parchment paper. I loved the feeling of discovery, of not knowing how much I wanted something until I had discovered its absence.

The week before, I had lost myself in the folktales of Bharata. Stories of elephants who spun clouds, shaking tremors loose from ancient trunks gnarled with the rime of lost cyclones, whirlwinds and thunderstorms. Myths of frank-eyed naga women twisting ser- pentine, flashing smiles full of uncut gemstones. Legends of a world beneath, above, beside the one I knew—where trees bore

 

 

edible gems and no one would think twice about a girl with dark skin and a darker horoscope. I wanted it to be real so badly that sometimes I thought I could see the Otherworld. Sometimes, if I closed my eyes and pressed my toes into the ground, I could al- most sense them sinking into the loam of some other land, a dream demesne where the sky cleaved in two and the earth was sutured with a magic that could heal hearts, mend bones, change lives.

It was a dream I didn’t want to part with, but I had to settle for what magic I could create on my own. I could read more. Learn more. Make new dreams. But the best part wasn’t hoarding those wishes to myself. It was sharing everything I learned with Gauri, my half-sister. She was the only one I couldn’t scare away . . . the only one I didn’t want to.

Thinking of Gauri always made me smile. But as soon as I caught sight of my tutor of the week, the smile disappeared. He stood between two pillars of the archive section marking the king- dom’s history. Beyond the sheer number of things to read in the archive room, what I loved most was its ceiling. It was empty, wide enough to crawl through and conveniently linked to my father’s in- ner sanctum.

The tutor, as luck would have it, stood directly below my hiding spot.

At least Father’s announcement hadn’t started. The courtiers still murmured and the footfall of tardiness fell on my ears like music. But if I was ever going to get to hear that meeting, I had to get rid of the tutor first.

“Punctuality is a prize among women,” said the tutor.

 

 

I bit back a cringe. His voice was sticky. The words drawn out like they would morph into a noose and slip around you in the dark. I stepped back, only to see his eyes sharpen into a glare.

He was heavyset and tall. Soft-rounded jowls faded into a non- chin and thick neck. Greasy black eyes dragged across my body. In the past, my tutors had all been the same—a little doughy, a little nervous. Always superstitious. This new tutor held my gaze evenly. That was unexpected. None of my other tutors had ever met my eye. Sometimes the tutors sidled against the dark of the archival chambers, hands trembling as they pushed a set of notes toward me. History lessons, they said. Why did they always start with history? Show me a dream unrealized. Don’t show me un- changeable paths.

The tutor cleared his throat. “I have no intention to teach you history or letters or speech. I intend to teach you silence. Stillness.” This time I didn’t even try to hide my scowl. I did not like this replacement. Tutors generally left me alone. I never had to raise my voice. I never had to scowl. I didn’t even need words. What scared them most was much simpler and sweeter than that—a smile. The moment I smiled—not a real one, of course, but a slow, crocodile reveal of teeth and a practiced manic gleam—the tutor would make an excuse, edge along the wall and flee out of the ar-

chive rooms.

Who wanted to be smiled at by the girl that trailed shadows like pets, conjured snakes and waited for Death, her bridegroom, to steal her from these walls? Never mind that none of it was true. Never mind that the closest I had come to real magic was making off with an entire tray of desserts without anyone noticing. The

 

 

shadow of me always loomed larger than the person who cast it. And sometimes that had its benefits.

This tutor, however, was not as easily cowed. I strained my ears, listening for the footfall of more courtiers, but it was silent. The meeting would start any minute now and here I was, stuck with some fool who wanted to teach me the virtue of silence.

I grinned at him . . .

. . . and he grinned back.

“It is unseemly to smile at strangers, Princess.”

He took a step closer to me. Shadows glommed around him, choking off the honey light of the room. He smelled wrong. Like he had borrowed the scent of another person. Sweat slicked his skin and when he walked closer, red shimmered in his eyes—like coal smoldering in each socket.

“Let me teach you, lovely thing,” he said, taking another step closer. “Humans always get it wrong, don’t they? They think a bowl of rice at the front door is strong enough to keep a demon away. Wrong. What you know is a false promise of strength. Let me show you weakness.”

The room had never felt this empty, like I was trapped between the space of an echo and a scream. I couldn’t hear anything. Not the parrots scuttling on their branches or the court notary dron- ing his list of the afternoon’s agenda. Silence was a silhouette, some- thing I could trace.

The tutor’s voice transcended sound, muddying my thoughts. “Let me teach you the ways of demons and men.”

My knees buckled. His voice echoed with all the desperation of someone who had not slaked his thirst in eons and had just

 

 

spied a goblet of water sweating beads of condensation, thick as planets. His voice lulled me, coated me. I wanted to move, but found myself rooted to the spot. I glanced up, fighting the drowsi- ness, and saw his shadow smeared on the wall—horned, furred belly skating over the floor, shifting into man and beast and back. Devil. Raksha.

Somewhere in my mind, I knew he wasn’t real. He couldn’t be. This was the court of Bharata, a city like a bone spur—tacked on like an afterthought. Its demons were different: harem wives with jewels in their hair and hate in their heart, courtiers with mouths full of lies, a father who knew me only as a colored stone around his neck. Those were the monsters I knew. My world didn’t have room for more.

The drowsiness slipped off me. When I shook myself free of it, my smile was bitter smoke, my hackles raised until I thought my skin had given way to glass. Now, he seemed smaller. Or maybe I had grown bigger. My surroundings slid away, and all that was left was fire licking at the earth, the edge of a winter eclipse, stars whirling in a forest pool and the pulsing beat of something an- cient running through my veins.

“I don’t care for the ways of men and demons,” I hissed. “Your lessons are lost on me.”

Whatever darkness my mind had imagined melted. Parrots singing. Fountains gurgling. The distant voice of a courtier dron- ing about wars. Sound pushed up between those lost seconds, blossoming into fierce murmurs, hushed tones. What had I imagined? I searched for the tutor’s shadow splayed against the wall. I waited to see something slinking along the ground, darkness

 

 

stretched long and thin over tomes and cracked tiles, but there was nothing.

You,” he hissed in an exhale that ended in a whimper. He backed into a corner. “It’s you. I thought . . .” He gulped down the rest of his words. He looked lost.

I blinked at him, shaking off the final remnants of that drows- iness. I felt groggy, but not with sleep. A moment ago, I thought I had seen horns limned in shadow. I thought something had coursed through me in defense—a low note of music, the bass of a thun- derclap, a pleat of light glinting through a bruised storm cloud. But that couldn’t be right. The person before me was just . . . a person. And if I had heard him say something else, saw him morph into something else, it was all distant and the fingers of my memory could do nothing but rummage through images, hold them to the light and wonder if I hadn’t slipped into a waking nightmare.

The tutor trembled. Gone was the blocky figure choking out the light and lecturing me on silence. Or had he said something else in those lost moments? Something about weakness and de- mons. I couldn’t remember. I clutched a table, my knuckles white. “I must go,” he said, his face pale, like blood had drained from him. “I didn’t know. Truly. I didn’t. I thought you were someone

else.”

I stared at him. What did he mean? How could he not know who I was? Someone must have told him that I was the princess he would be tutoring this afternoon. But I was wasting time. He was just another tutor scared by a reputation pronounced by far- away lights in the sky. Curse the stars.

“Leave,” I said. “Inform the court that we completed a full

 

Mini Review:

YOU GUYS….I’m behind. I’m sorry! I’ve been sick (which is no excuse) and just haven’t fully finished this one yet. But I am reading it! What I will say is that there are a lot of elements to this story and I feel that it might be a really good read. I’m really curious to see what all is going to happen. I also like the main character a lot.

I don’t want to say much more until I completely finish the book, but I’ll be posting my full review soon!

 

Waiting on Wednesday
April 28, 2016 posted by Nichole

A Super Late Waiting on Wednesday #112

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

YOU GUYS! I’M SO SORRY! I THOUGHT I HAD THIS SCHEDULED! Seriously….I’m banging my head so hard right now. Here it is over a day late!!!

outliersFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia comes a fast-paced teen series where one girl learns that in a world of intrigue, betrayal, and deeply buried secrets, it is vital to trust your instincts.

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice but to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

In this breakneck tale, New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight brilliantly chronicles a fateful journey that begins with a single decision—and ends up changing everything. 

 

The Outliers (The Outliers #1) by Kimberly McCreight

Published by HarperCollins

Published on May 3rd, 2016

Author Interviews
April 28, 2016 posted by Nichole

The Land of 10,000 Madonnas Blog Tour + Author Interview with Kate Hattemer

madonnaWelcome back!!!! I haven’t seen you since….one…of the debut authors bashes!!!!

Thank you so much for having me!

Can you tell us about your newest book, The Land of 10,000 Madonnas, in 40 words or less?

When Jesse died, he left behind five grieving cousins and friends — and five plane tickets to Europe. Squabbling, sight-seeing, and backpacking through Germany and Italy, the friends try to figure out the trip’s true purpose.

I know this is such an odd question, but I’m curious……did you listen to any of Madonna’s music while writing this book?

Yes, definitely the first time I’ve been asked that question! And no, I didn’t! But I should have. What a wasted opportunity.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I love writing dialogue, and I love going a bit over the top — two scenes in particular fulfilled those natural inclinations of mine. In the first, a strawberry smoothie explodes all over the only pair of pants one character packed. In the second, the whole group starts playing Art Museum Bingo.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

A lot of material for this book hit the cutting room floor. I hadn’t realized this until thinking about this question, but in three subsequent drafts, I wrote and then cut three different love interests for the main character, Cal. Ultimately, the romantic subplots just didn’t serve the book.

Standalone/companion/series?

It’s a standalone, thank goodness. I became very fond of the characters over the years it took me to write the book — and also very sick of them.

Favorite quote from the book?

This paragraph says exactly what I wanted it to say, which is rarer for me than you might imagine:

Five years had passed, and nothing much had changed: the rowdy joys of sunlight, of sneaking off and scrounging makeshift meals outside. And everything had changed. She had heard the shuttering gasp of the old world ceding to the new. In every life there was a zero point, and hers was that day last August. Without knowing, she had always counted down toward that day, and for the rest of her life it would be the point from which she would mark her time: one year, two years, five years, fifty. Nothing important would ever happen without the lancing reminder that it drew her further from the world in which her cousin had lived.

Is this going to make readers cry?

Please consult the following mathematical model:

W = TI x n

W = likelihood of weeping

TI = reader’s personal teariness index (did you give yourself a sinus infection with The Fault in Our Stars, or are you the type who stayed dry-eyed throughout the entirety of The Book Thief?)

n = proportion of book, expressed as a decimal, devoted to topics that set off this particular reader (impossible to forecast, but at least note that no animals die)

That should help.

If you had to assign The Land of 10,000 Madonnas a theme song, what would you choose and why?

I haven’t listened to anything but Hamilton since October, so, since I’m unsure that other music exists (is that still a thing?), I’ll choose “Cabinet Battle #1.” Why? Lots of words, lots of shade.

What else are you working on?

I’m bouncing between two projects: a ridiculous middle-grade novel (MG is hard! I am not naturally concise!) and a YA about a feminist firebrand. I hope they’ll both see readers someday!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

Bellweather Rhapsody, by Kate Racculia. It’s so well-crafted and beautifully written, and it somehow manages to be both character-driven and incredibly suspenseful. Read it!

What is currently on your TBR pile?

I can’t wait to read these new releases: Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words, and Lindy West’s Shrill. And supposedly my roommate and I are going to read Middlemarch this spring — we were shooting for the middle of March, but that ship seems to have sailed. It’s been sitting on our kitchen table for a few months now. So far it’s served a purely decorative function.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate HattemerKATE HATTEMER graduated with a degree from Yale in Classics. She works as a bookseller in Cincinnati and is the author of The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy, which has received five starred reviews.

 

Praise for The Land of 10,000 Madonnas:

“John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Rainbow Rowell fans will be deeply moved by Hattemer’s novel of a pilgrimage.” — School Library Journal

“A moving read for readers of all ages.” — Publisher’s Weekly

 

Praise for The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy:

« “A treat from cover to cover.” —Kirkus Reviews « “Irresistible.” —The Bulletin « “Relying on the passion and ideals that drive adolescence, this has a vibrancy and authenticity that will resonate with anyone who has fought for their beliefs.”—Booklist

Blog Tour
April 28, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Blitz: Shift and Caged by Karina Espinosa + Giveaway

shift caged karina espinosa

shiftSHIFT (Mackenzie Grey #1) by Karina Espinosa

Genre: NA/Paranormal

On sale for 99 cents! Make sure to grab your copy today!

Synopsis:
It’s hard enough being an undergraduate student, an intern at Downtown Manhattan’s police station, and a bouncer at a local bar. Add her now ex-boyfriend who recently dumped her for the school’s resident bimbo—oh, and she’s a werewolf.

Mackenzie Grey meets her match when she is kidnapped by the Brooklyn Pack and tossed between Sebastian and Jonah—the Alpha and the Beta. Being a lone-wolf in the city is dangerous, and now that the Pack has found her, so can every supernatural being in the Tri-State area. And not even her sarcastic, smart mouth can get her out of this.

When a string of kidnappings involves Mackenzie in supernatural politics, she questions her new acquaintances and finds unlikely allies. Can she escape Pack law and keep her freedom—or will she be condemned to an unwanted path?

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/SHIFT-Karina-Espinosa-ebook/dp/B00RW8X7MG

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24398160-shift


cagedCAGED (Mackenzie Grey #2)

Genre: NA/Paranormal

Synopsis:
It’s hard out there for a lone-wolf.

Mackenzie Grey has started a brand new life in an attempt to escape the Brooklyn Pack. She settles in as a detective in a special unit of the LAPD when her identity is put at risk, and she has no choice but to run again. The question is: does she want to run forever?

As events force Mackenzie to confront her past, she is met with many surprises—including the revelation of her true ancestry. When Packs across the country learn of who she is, Kenz becomes the object of desire in a deadly wolf hunt, and she must once again fight to keep her freedom.

Witnessing first-hand the barbaric treatment of Lunas, Mackenzie has to make a choice—follow the prediction of her Vision Quest or let herself be CAGED…

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/CAGED-Mackenzie-Grey-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01D9JC0MO

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29341812-caged


karina
Karina Espinosa is the paranormal author of the Sins of the Fallen series and blogger at YoungAdultHollywood.com & DirtyandThirty.com. Infatuated with travel, pop culture and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online and listening music. With nomadic tendency, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of The Walking Dead and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @TweetsByKarina
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Top Ten Tuesday
April 26, 2016 posted by Pavan

Top Ten Bookworm Delights

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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 Bookworm Delights. I seriously love this week’ s topic!

1. Walking into a bookshop: I love being surrounded by soooooooo many different books! Bookshops are my second home.

2. Cover reveals (or even just book covers in general): I love that moment when you see a cover and it’s just so stunning that you fall in love straight away!

3. Holding a book: I love reading both physical books and ebooks but nothing beats that feeling of holding a physical book in my hands and turning the pages.

4. Striking up a conversation with a fellow bookworm: So I am that person in a bookshop (or on twitter) that will probably see a book you are holding/talking about that I love and strike up a conversation with you about that book. I love that you can make new bookish friends this way!

5. Book events: I absolutely adore going to book events and meeting fellow booklovers and even meeting so many different authors. It also helps that I end up walking away with more books than I brought with me!

What’s on your list?

adult books
April 25, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Hawke (Cold Fury Hockey #5) by Sawyer Bennett

hawkeThe Carolina Cold Fury hockey team proves that love is a power play. As Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling series continues, the league’s most notorious party animal gets blindsided by the one that got away.

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.

Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.

My Review:

I have been DYING to read this book! So, me being me, read the series COMPLETELY out of order and started with book five! GO ME! It didn’t matter, though, because these books can be read out of order as standalones. The previous characters were mentioned throughout the book, but it was mostly just about Hawke and Vale.

OH. MY. LORD. This book was SMOKING HOT. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I even fanned myself down in some scenes! Holllllllly Smokes! This is a definite must read, especially for NA lovers and/or hockey/sports fans. YES, PLEASE!

I absolutely adored Hawke and Vale. There were a couple moments that each character sorta kinda got on my nerves, but it didn’t matter. LOVED THEM. They had so much chemistry together. I loved that they already had a past and had so much anger at each other 7 years later. I would have liked to see the two main characters prolong their relationship a little bit longer than they actually did. They jumped back into it a little sooner than expected. Didn’t really matter…but I thought that it would have added to the story.

Let me tell you, I NEVER cry in books. I can probably name all the books I’ve ever cried over on one hand. I just don’t have that emotion over books. While I didn’t exactly bawl over this book, I did cry. There were some super emotional scenes that just tugged at my heart strings. SO BEAUTIFUL.

I felt that the ending was a little bit rushed and cheesy. I would have liked to see it come together a little bit more than it actually did. Again, it wasn’t the biggest deal ever. Some books, especially in this genre, are just going to have some rushed, cheesy endings. I took it for what it was and still adored every moment.

I would 100% recommend this book to NA and adult lovers. I would also recommend this series as a great start for anyone who is wanting to venture into the NA genre. Sometimes really good NA books can be hard to find. This series is a great example of wonderful, hot, steamy, yummy NA writing. I NEED MORE!

Pages: 275

Publication Date: March 15th, 2016

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: : ★★★★☆