Category Archives: Author Interviews

Author Interviews
September 25, 2016 posted by Nichole

The Tokyo Cover Girls Blog Tour: Author Interview with Jackie Amsden

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TokyoCoverGirlscover (1)The Tokyo Cover Girls by Jackie Amsden

Genre: contemporary YA;jsessionid=0A61A21AAB86A91A1111D53EC9043797.prodny_store02-atgap04?ean=2940153181349


New York has Jacobs, Paris has Chanel, Milan has Versace and Tokyo has . . . Hello Kitty toilet plungers? With its cute-obsessed catalogue and magazine market, anyone who is anyone knows that modeling in Japan means being at the bottom of the fashion industry. Blake, Jess, and Hailey are doing their best to survive yet another casting where pigtails and toddler-impressions are a must when they stumble upon the opportunity of a lifetime. The prestigious Satsujin company has selected them to compete for a campaign that will transform the winner from commercial nobody to haute couture superstar faster than you can say Vogue Italia.


Jackie Amsden worked as a fashion model in China, Japan, and Taiwan before retiring at the age of eighteen after one too many agent threats, nude photo shoot requests, and self-loathing-induced Pocky binges. If you’d like to learn more about her decent into the darker side of Asia’s candy-coated modeling industry sign up for free installments of her upcoming memoir, Toy Girl, at


Read below for an author interview with Jackie Amsden:

Can you tell us about your book, The Tokyo Girls, in 40 words or less?

When three teens are offered the chance to compete for a high-profile clothing campaign, their dreams of becoming the world’s next models of the moment seem about to come true. Of course, nothing is ever what it seems in the fashion world. Just ask all those dead girls…

What was your favorite scene to write?

One of my trips to Tokyo I lived above a girl named Kirsten, an American model also signed to my agency. I based the Jess character on Kirsten and like her, Kirsten had an American-Japanese boyfriend named Taro. Taro was a funny, gorgeous business student and they were adorable together. Having never had a boyfriend myself at that time, I was naturally totally jealous of their relationship and had a desperate crush on him.

In one of the earlier drafts of my novel, I wrote a scene where Jess goes to see Taro at his home, an austere house in one of Tokyo’s upscale neighbourhoods, Yoyogi-koen. They eat some food, drink some wine, make out, and ultimately sleep together. In other words, do all the stuff I had fantasised about doing when I was seventeen. Maybe it was the wine I was drinking that day, but I had way too much fun writing that chapter.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

So, apparently the pages I write when I’m drunk aren’t nearly as good as they seem at the time. In fact, they pretty much stink. Much as it killed me, I eventually had to cut the Taro-Jess love scene–but it will live on forever in my heart.

What theme song would you give to the Tokyo Girls?

Every Breath You Take by The Police. It’s creepy, yet gorgeous and sexy at the same time. In The Tokyo Cover Girls, my goal was to create a world just like that.

Are you currently working on anything else?

The sequel!

What is currently in your TBR pile?

I’m always interested in books written by and about the modelling industry. Next on my list is a memoir, A Model Tells All by Ines C, about a woman from Serbia who spent 15 years in the industry and represented some of the biggest names in the fashion world. I’m also interested in reading The Stories Models Never Tell by Christine Hart, another modelling world veteran who started her career after completing a law degree at the age of 25.

Follow the rest of the tour!

September 15th

The Cozy Little Book Nook – Review

RoloPoloBookBlog – Spotlight Post

September 16th

Book Lover Promo – Spotlight Post

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Spotlight Post

September 17th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

September 18th

VampyreLady’s Cover Reveals, Blog Tours, New Releases & All Things Bookish – Spotlight Post

Live to Read – Promo Post

September 19th

Alice’s Book Vault – Promo Post

September 20th

The Procrastinator’s Corner – Review

September 21st

Down the Bookhole – Spotlight Post

September 22nd

Bookrantings – Review

September 23rd

YA Book Divas – Review

September 24th

Little Miss Trainwreck – Author Interview

Book Lovers Life – Spotlight Post

September 25th

YaReads – Author Interview

September 26th

Lekeisha the Booknerd – Review

September 27th

The Book Beacon – Guest Post

Pandora’s Books – Promo Post

September 28th

Just One More Chapter – Spotlight Post

Noshelfcontrol – Author Interview

Author Interviews
September 22, 2016 posted by Nichole

Olivia Decoded Blog Tour: Author Interview with Vivi Barnes

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Olivia TwistedOlivia Twisted Synopsis (Olivia Twisted, #1):


Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Liv might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Liv and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…


Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.


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Entangled Publishing:

Olivia DecodedBook Title: Olivia Decoded (Olivia Twisted, #2)

Author: Vivi Barnes

Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016

Genre: YA Thriller

Olivia Decoded Book Synopsis:

This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.


This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.


I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.


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About the Author:


Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. After college, she convinced her supportive husband to

move with her to be part of the sunshine and magic in Orlando, Florida. On a good day, she manages to divide her time writing, working, reading, goofing off with her three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. Vivi is a proud member of SCBWI and attends conferences whenever she can.

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The Giveaway:

A signed copy of Olivia Decoded + a $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

“Wow, who gave you that?”

“My grandfather. He left it on my car seat this morning.”

“Oh, boo. I thought maybe you had a secret admirer or something.” I try not to smile at her obvious disappointment. Emerson’s been on me to date for months now. She knows I had someone back in Richmond who was special, but only that we broke it off before I moved here. She doesn’t know anything else about Jack. No one does, because what would I say? The last guy I dated is a criminal, and the last time I saw him was right after we got kidnapped by his horrible boss and almost died trying to escape. That’d go over really well.

“I don’t know, what do you think?” Emerson breaks into my thoughts as we walk down the hallway to our lockers.

“About what?”

She sighs. “Where Kade’s taking me tonight. Girl, you are not with it today, are you? Are you doing anything tonight?”

“My grandfather’s taking me to dinner.”

“Sweet. Not so romantic, but sweet.”

I smile. “Yes, he’s sweet. But a little over the top on gifts sometimes.” Even after eight months of living the wealthy life, I’d be happier if he gave me a gift card to a bookstore instead of extravagant jewelry I rarely wear.

My phone starts buzzing, and I pull it from my pocket. Grandfather’s text reads: What gift?

I frown, typing, The bracelet you left in my car. I snap a quick picture of the bracelet on my wrist and send it to him. Maybe his text was a hint to send a picture, though I doubt it. He’s usually pretty direct about things.

“What’s up?” Emerson asks.

“Looks like Grandfather forgot he left me the bracelet.” But even as I say it, it doesn’t sound right. He’s one of the sharpest people I’ve ever known, and he runs a financial institution.

“Maybe he gave it to one of his staff to put in your car.” Her voice has the usual bitter tone whenever she’s thinking of her parents. They’re hardly ever around, and when they are, they don’t pay much attention to her.

“Yeah, you’re probably right.” I don’t believe that, though. Even though it’s possible Mrs. Bedwin did put it there, I doubt it. Grandfather is the type to handle things himself when it comes to me. But Emerson’s parents travel so much for their business that they often let their staff handle things like birthdays and other events they think aren’t important. So as grateful as I am that Grandfather’s always there for me, I don’t like to rub that in Emerson’s face.

“Maybe you really do have a secret admirer,” she says hopefully.

I roll my eyes.“I doubt that.”

“Oh, really?” She stops in her tracks, her eyes fixed straight ahead. I follow her gaze, a sharp sense of dread creeping down my spine. A white rose is dangling from the vent in my locker.

A rose I know wasn’t placed there by my grandfather.

Read below for an author interview with Vivi Barnes:

Can you tell us about your newest book, Olivia Decoded, in 40 words or less?

After eight months apart, Liv and Jack find themselves thrown together to figure out who is stalking her and stealing from him.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Any of the romance scenes between Jack and Liv – for sure. Those are always my favorite. There is also one scene where Liv tells her best friend about her past – that one was a very emotional one for me to write.

What was the hardest scene to write?

Tying together the mystery of who is after Liv and Jack and making sure I didn’t leave any open holes – that was definitely the most challenging. My dear friend Marlana helped me do this and I dedicated the book to her.

What theme song would you give Olivia Decoded?

I’d give it Breathe No More by Evanescence because I listened to it over and over when writing that story. Haunting and beautiful. I gave Olivia Twisted Tainted Love (the version sung by Marilyn Manson) because I thought that was very fitting for that particular story.

Is this the last book in the series or will there be more?

I think it’s time to let Liv and Jack enjoy their lives (I’ve meddled with them enough, I think), so this will be the last story in the series.

What made you decide to write an Oliver Twist retelling?

I loved Oliver Twist as a child – more specifically, the movie Oliver!. I was going through a difficult time with scoliosis, and watching that movie helped because I thought “now there’s a kid with real problems!” Later, I thought it’d be cool to do a retelling, but instead using a female lead who falls in love with the Artful Dodger. And, of course, using hackers made more sense as a contemporary novel than pickpockets. Pickpockets are so 19th century! 😉

What else are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing a humorous middle grade novel about a boy whose parents own a movie theater. Hoping to finish that one soon!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I absolutely loved Every Falling Star by SunJu Lee and Elizabeth McClelland. It’s a haunting memoir about a boy’s life in North Korea and his subsequent escape. I’d say it’s my favorite recent book. Right now I’m thoroughly enjoying The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts–it’s so adorable and fun!

What top 3 books are in your TBR pile?

Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

A Princess of Landover (it’s a final book in the “Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold” series by Terry Brooks. I read the series a long time ago and never realized there was this last one available!)

Author Interviews
August 31, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana

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wake the hollowWake the Hollow by Gaby Triana

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on August 2nd, 2016

Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller





Forget the ghosts, Mica. It’s real, live people you should fear.

Tragedy has brought Micaela Burgos back to her hometown of Sleepy Hollow. It’s been six years since she chose to live with her father in Miami instead of her eccentric mother. And now her mother is dead.

This town will suck you in and not let go.

Sleepy Hollow may be famous for its fabled headless horseman, but the town is real. So are its prejudices and hatred, targeting Mica’s family as outsiders. But ghostly voices carry on the wind, whispering that her mother’s death was based on hate…not an accident at all. With the help of two very different guys—who pull at her heart in very different ways—Micaela must awaken the hidden secret of Sleepy Hollow…before she meets her mother’s fate.

Find the answers.

Unless, of course, the answers find you first.

About the Author:

Gaby Triana

GABY TRIANA is the award-winning author of six YA novels—Wake the Hollow (Aug. 2016, Entangled), Summer of Yesterday, Riding the Universe, The Temptress Four, Cubanita, and Backstage Pass, as well as thirteen ghostwritten novels for best-selling authors. Originally a 4th grade teacher with a Master of Science in Elementary Education and ten years teaching experience, Gaby earned Teacher of the Year in 2000, wrote her first novel, Freddie and the Biltmore Ghost, then left teaching to launch a full-time writing career. She went on to publish young adult novels with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, win an IRA Teen Choice Award, ALA Best Paperback Award, and Hispanic Magazine’s Good Reads of 2008. She spends her time obsessing about Halloween, Christmas, and Disney World, as well as hosting parties, designing mugs, making whimsical cakes, and winning costume contests. When she’s not writing, she might also be watching Jurassic Park movies with her boys, posting excessive food pics on social media, or helping run the Florida region of the SCBWI. Gaby lives in Miami with her three sons, Michael, Noah, and Murphy. She has one dog, Chloe, and two cats—Miss Daisy, and the reformed thug, shooting survivor, Bowie.

Visit her at and @GabyTriana on Twitter.

Read below for a special author interview with Gaby!

Can you tell us about your book, Wake the Hollow, in 40 words or less?


Re-imagining of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with a Cuban-American main character. Part paranormal thriller, part historical fiction, with a touch of romance thrown in. Halloween book candy.


What was your favorite scene to write?


There were several, but I’ll say the scene where Mica breaks into her childhood home and retraces her steps throughout the house, feeling deep emotional pain within the walls themselves. Wrestling with guilt, she was so sure her mother would’ve erased the memory of the daughter who once lived there, so finding her bedroom intact, holographic stickers on the wall and all, made a huge impact on her, setting her on the course to empathy over her mother.


What was the hardest scene to edit out?


Originally, the book was written for a NA audience. Micaela was in college, so her scene with Abraham (Bram) after one of her night terrors, where Bram is trying to console her in the middle of the night, was originally a lot sexier and explicit. Though I loved how it read by itself, within the context of the story, it didn’t fit. First of all, Mica wouldn’t have gone that far with Bram in the middle of the crisis over her mother and second, the story was now YA, so I didn’t feel right leaving in something so high on the heat level.




Oh, man. The million dollar question! I’ve already begun plotting out a sequel in my mind and very roughly on paper. I guess it all depends on how much interest there is from readers. I, for one, want to see what happens to Mica after her time in Sleepy Hollow.


What made you want to write about Sleepy Hollow?


When I was in 3rd grade, someone gave me a record (yes, a record) with tracks of narrators telling different ghost stories. On there was Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The part of the Headless Horseman was told with such suspense and horror, I could see it in my mind. I also loved the Disney short film, Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, because I loved Bing Crosby’s voice (still do) and could listen to him narrate all day long. Also, you guys know I live in Miami. I have all my life, so I’ve always loved the idea of fall and winter, two seasons we don’t experience here, and Sleepy Hollow always represented autumn, fall foliage, and the changing of the leaves to me.


What theme song would you give Wake the Hollow?


Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life.” The song is about waking up emotionally after being dead inside for so long, and that’s Micaela for you. She’s been jaded and numb living in Miami, but she liked it that way—anything so she wouldn’t have to relive the pain of Sleepy Hollow. If she wanted to grow and “wake up inside,” though, she’d have to face her past and all that was painful to her. Her presence there also stirs up the sleepy little town, so everyone experiences an awakening, from Mica to the townspeople to the spirits around them.


Are you working on anything else that you can tell us about?


Right now, I’m working on some short middle grade and YA novels for an educational publisher, but soon, I’ll be working on a new romance series for my adult romance audience, and the other…well, I can’t tell you, but it rhymes with “veequel.” I have no clue what veequel is.


What is the best book you’ve read recently?


A Work of Art, by Melody Maysonet is hauntingly beautiful, as is The Sister Pact, by Stacie Ramey.


What top three books are on your TBR pile?


Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

The Great American Whatever, by Tim Federle

Highly Illogical Behavior, John Corey Whaley

Check out the Book Trailer here:


Read Below for an excerpt from the book:

Chapter One

“A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere…” — Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Follow me, please. The woman’s smoky silhouette hovers over me again.

Leave me alone. I cover my eyes, though I can still see her swirling shape through my fingers.

She floats closer, wringing her misty hands. You mustn’t ignore me, Micaela. You must come with me.

Stop, I won’t go with you! I hate that I can never see her face clearly. Why won’t she leave me alone? Wake up!

A long screech rips me from the hazy dream. My eyes fly open, and my hands grip the first thing ahead of me for balance. Seats. Plastic. Brakes hiss to a stop. A drunk old man asleep in a window seat opposite mine stirs. Where am I? The Metro-North train…that’s right. We’ve pulled into Tarrytown station. 11:28 p.m. I almost slept through my stop.

Hurrying, I stand to gather my bags, try to shake off the haunting image of the faceless woman. But her voice rings through my brain fog one last time…need to face the inevitable

She got that right.

As difficult as this is for me, I have to do it. For my mom. And my sanity.

The train doors slide open, and I stumble through them onto the platform. The sweet smell of the river mingled with cold, fresh air hits me. I’m transported six years back, waiting for my southbound train to the city, for my plane out of this forsaken place to go live with Dad in Miami. Don’t think about it, I remind myself. Just do what you came to do, then get back home.

The valley hasn’t changed much in six years. The station is still the same old cabin from when I was twelve. Boxy, old houses still sit across the street, and behind me, power lines still ruin the view of the Hudson’s palisades.

Lumbering into the station with all my stuff, I see the building is empty except for a woman using the ticket machine, in a hurry so she won’t miss the train. Her little girl has a teddy bear in the crook of one arm and a jacket in the other, all while trying to play a video game on her handheld. “Let’s go, baby.” The mother tugs her child by the elbow clutching the teddy bear. The bear drops to the ground without the girl noticing, and the two move on.

I reach down to grab it, my bags slipping off my shoulders and hitting the ground. “Ma’am.” I run over and hand the mother the little girl’s bear.

“Oh, thank you so much! She would’ve freaked.” The mom smiles at me.

The little girl takes her bear, gives me a shy glance with big brown eyes, and together, they hurry across the platform, jumping onto the train just in time.

The doors slide closed. The train slips into the night.

She almost left her bear.

The very memory I told myself to avoid at all costs comes barreling in—my last day here six years ago. The station’s honey wood paneling, the lines on my mother’s face, how she looked so worn. She’d held a tissue to her stiff lips.

Then the worst part—I’d pushed Sofia, the doll she’d made me when I was little, into her hands. “Take care of her for me,” I’d said, though I knew she wouldn’t. Just like she hadn’t taken care of me.

Her gaze had gripped me, hazel eyes welling up, burning through pain. “Selfish, like your father,” she’d said. “Go. You two deserve each other.” Then she’d turned and left.

I remember standing there shaking, not knowing what to do, what to think, whether I was making a mistake by leaving. But I needed to go. I needed a parent. Sorrow crushing me, I stepped onto the train, and when I reached my father’s arms three thousand miles later, I cried for days.

Yet, despite it all, I’m here. Because she asked me to come. Because I want to make things right with her.

Because I need closure before I can move on with my life.

I wipe my eyes with my sleeve and head outside to find Abraham Derant, my best friend from Sleepy Hollow Past. He’ll probably be the only person happy to see me back. We reconnected online recently, where I had the chance to browse through his selfies and discover that everyone now calls him “Bram,” which makes me laugh, because he always hated his name. But it suits him, too. He’s changed a lot since we were twelve—now he’s big and brawny and athletic—a fact that knots my stomach. I can’t start anything romantic with him, though. One, he’ll always be just Abraham—the boy who grew up with me at Sunnyside, the historic home in town where both our moms worked. He did always try too hard, joke too much…plus he didn’t bathe every day. So, yeah.

And two, I won’t be staying long anyway.

Get in, get out, go home.

All around me, trees rustle in the feisty October breeze. I close my eyes and take in the sounds, breathing deeply. When I reopen them, I spot headlights coming down the hill, then a car turns out of my view and heads into the adjacent parking lot. Nerves flutter in my stomach. In a minute, Abraham—Bram—will be live in front of me again after all these years.

Around the corner of the station, a car door slams shut, and heavy boots step onto the wooden walkway leading to the building. I get my friendliest smile ready. “Hey, you.”

The sound stops. No one appears. But I heard someone. I know I did. “Hello?”

With my bags, I trudge to the other side of the station where the parking lot is. There’s an old blue Eclipse, ticking as its engine cools off in the chilly night, but no Bram. Maybe I should’ve asked what car he’d be driving. I call him, but it goes straight to voicemail—Greetings, I’m being held captive by an army of Amazons. Don’t try to find me. Beep…

“Hey. I’m at the station. Call me.” I hang up, about to text him, when another text comes in from Nina, my dad’s assistant, telling me the townhouse key won’t be available until tomorrow, so I should check into a Days Inn instead.

“Ugh.” Hell no. I’ll ask Bram if I can stay with him before I stay in some cheap motel by myself.

I’m a few letters into my reply when I hear it— “Lela.” A whisper.

Nobody calls me that anymore. Only Mami—my mom. Sometimes Bram did, a long time ago. To everyone else, I’ve always been Micaela or Mica. The chill in the air deepens. I pocket my phone and hug my bags tightly to fight off the cold. Suddenly, I hear something even weirder than the whisper—the clop of a horse’s hoof.

But why would… I smirk. Sleepy Hollow, boots, horseman. Okay, I get it.

“Cut it out, I know it’s you,” I tell the emptiness. It’s a small town. In small towns, people make up their own entertainment. And Bram Derant has always been king of entertainment around here. “Where are you?”

I head to the shadowy recesses behind the station, bracing for his surprise attack, but I don’t see him. Then, in on the breeze comes mumbling near my ear. I can’t understand what it’s saying. I swallow softly. The voices are back, torturing me again. Jesus, I’ve been here less than five minutes, and already, this town is haunting me.

“Bram?” I call out, even though I know it wasn’t him.

Nothing. Just wind, crickets, and tinkling chimes from somewhere nearby.

“Fine, I’m leaving, then.” I spin and hurry across the road toward Route 9. I still know my way around and will walk to Bram’s apartment if I have to, I don’t care. I think I hear soft footsteps behind me, but when I glance over my shoulder at the army of shadows I’m leaving behind, there’s no one.

Faster up the hill, away from the riverbank, I walk in the middle of the street. Visibility is higher here, away from stalkers in bushes and other hiding places. Wow. I’m really thinking like the city girl I’ve become. No one ever gets attacked in Sleepy Hollow in real life.

The smell of lavender, my mother’s favorite, fills my senses. I stop in my tracks. Mami? My ears strain to hear. On the street, a crumpled gum wrapper rocks in the wind. Moths dance beneath the dim street lamp, and assorted pumpkins sit on front porches like families gathered in the dark, telling ghost stories.

“Come out already!” I cry aloud.

In the distance, a dog howls a sad reply.

Then, from a side street, a low voice emerges. “Micaela Burgos, as bossy as ever.”

Even in the dark, I make out his wide smile, as mischievous as the day he sat in the corner of Ms. Sanstet’s Pre-K class for putting sand in my shoes. His hair has darkened since I last saw him, short on the sides, long on top. “God, you scared me.” My hand presses against my chest. Because he startled me, or because I’m seeing him again after six years? Not sure.

“Sorry. But finally, you’re here!” He pumps his fist in the air and emerges from the shadows into the cone of light cast from a nearby lamppost. I’m hit with the full picture I can’t quite get from his pics online. Wearing jeans and a black sweater, keys in hand, Bram makes his way down the street. He’s super gorgeous with wide shoulders, over six feet tall, and sigh, this will be tough.

“Thank you, thank you. My flight got in late, then I had to wait to take the next train, and…”

His dark brown eyes soak me in underneath heavy brows. He shakes his head.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?” I ask.

“Nothing, you just…” He blinks a few times. That rascal smile.

I cock my head. “I just what?”

“You don’t look twelve anymore.” He laughs, letting out a low whistle. “Holy shit, Mica. You are one fine woman.”

I grin in spite of myself. Apparently, someone learned to flirt while I was away. “Uh, thanks.”

“You’re so welcome. And what’s this?” He gestures to my clothes and purse. His eyes land on the tag hanging from it. “MK? Code for Micaela?”

“Wow, really?” I shake my head. “Michael Kors?”

“Forgive me, Miss Burgos. I keep forgetting you’re a Miami girl now.” He glances down at his clothes. “And me in my Gap jeans and ten-dollar sweater.”

“Stop, you look fine.” Way more than fine. Hot. Pick-me-up-and-carry-me-straight-into-hell hot. But no. God, no. I can’t tell him that. I shouldn’t even think that. He’s good ol’ Abraham from back in the day, nothing more, nothing less. “You look…uh…great!” I say instead. “Just like your thousands of selfies.”

“Oh? I post too many, do I?” He clucks his tongue and makes silly duck lips. “As if you don’t post pics every day from your gleaming white mansion.”

Is that all I’m going to be while I’m here? The holes-in-her-Payless-shoes-turned-rich-girl? “Not a mansion. Just a house.”

“It’s nicer than where I live.” He raises an eyebrow, the funny-faced kid I remember poking through.

Ugh, I should’ve left the bag at home. Then again, it feels strangely satisfying being able to show that we’ve come such a long way. “Anyway…” I try not to feel his resentful jab. “Come help me with these bags already.”

His eyes chastise me.


“Hmm, I was waiting for the magic word.” Bram grabs my bags out of my tired hands, but instead of carrying them off to his car, he places them at his feet. Suddenly, his arms are enveloping me, my cheek against his broad chest. Bone-crushing, heartbeat-skipping, a nice…really nice hug. And hey, how about that? He bathes now.

God, he smells good. Like the woods by my old house after an autumn storm.

Still, it takes me a moment to melt into him. I’ve pushed this corner of the world out of my mind for so long, tried forgetting the pain, that I almost can’t give in. But some things are worth remembering. I allow my arms to wrap around him and lean into his solid body.

“There you go,” he whispers. Do not cry, I tell myself. Do not. “Sorry, Mica.”

“No, don’t. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Okay.” His clean scent is laced with underlying familiarity. Another memory—us at Kingsland Point Park, by the lighthouse, the day I left. He’d told me he loved me, a pretty bold move for a twelve-year-old. It shocked me at the time. I’d pushed him away gently, not ready to feel that way, but now…

I pull back, reeling, pressing my sleeve against my eyes. “Were you the one sneaking around back there, scaring the crap out of me?”

“Me? I sneak not.” He lifts my bags again and hoists them onto his new muscle-man shoulders.

“Over there?” I point toward the station. “You weren’t going, Lellaaaa?”

“Nope, I just got here. They close the pickup/drop-off area after eleven, so I parked over there.” He points down a street. “Voices still torturing you, Mica?”

He always loved teasing me about my peculiar “talent.” I guess he still doesn’t believe I can hear them, whoever they belong to. “You’re in a blue Eclipse?”

“Black Accord. Mom’s old car. Everything okay?”

Black Accord? But then…who was walking around? I could’ve sworn… I rub my eyes and suck in a deep breath. After the sleepless nights I’ve had over the last month, it’s not hard to believe I might’ve imagined it all. “Fine. I’m just exhausted. Hey, is it okay if I stay with you tonight? Change of plans. My townhouse key isn’t ready for pickup.”

“Of course, Princess, you know you can. You’ll get to see our amazing palace. Let’s get thee off to bed! Your chariot awaits.” He struts off toward his car.

Princess. I say nothing about his new nickname for me, but he knows he’s hit a nerve.

He cocks an eyebrow back at me. “It was just a joke, Mica. I know you can take the girl out of Sleepy Hollow but not Sleepy Hollow out of the girl. Face it. This town is, and always will be, your home.” He pops the trunk and tosses my heavy bags inside like they’re filled with nothing but feathers. Then he rounds the car to open the passenger door for me. Before I have the chance to sit down, he kisses my cheek. “So welcome home.”

I give him a half smile then stare out at the quiet, sleeping town. Home. I don’t have the heart to tell him I stopped thinking of this place as home a long time ago. But if anyone can make me think of Sleepy Hollow that way again, it’d be Bram.

Especially now that Mami is dead.

The Tour:

August 29th

PBC – Promo Post

Never Too Many To Read – Review

August 30th

Kimber Leigh Writes – Guest Post

Book Wish – Review

August 31st

A Literary Potion – Review

YaReads – Author Interview

September 1st

A Leisure Moment – Character Interview

Books,Dreams,Life – Promo Post

September 2nd

The Book Beacon – Review

The Hermit Librarian – Review

September 3rd

Literary Meanderings – Promo Post

Ginger Night Owl – Review

September 4th

Bookish Escapes – Review

Pandora’s Books – Promo Post

September 5th

Daydreaming Books – Review

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

September 6th

Smart Girls in the YA Stacks – Review

Reader Girls – Review

The Book Cellar – Promo Post

September 7th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

Book Lovers Life – Promo Post

September 8th

RoloPoloBookBlog – Promo Post

Bookish Wanderlove – Review

September 9th

With Love For Books – Review

Elizabeth Delana Rosa – Promo Post

Read Love Blog – Review

Folded Corners and Smudged Screens

September 10th

The Broke Book Bank – Review

Angel Erin’s Book Obsession – Review

September 11th

books are love – Review

Dana’s YA Bookpile – Guest Post

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interviews
August 23, 2016 posted by Nichole

Author Interview with Joshua David Bellin


Scavenger of Souls (Survival Colony 9 #2) by Joshua David Bellin

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published on August 23rd, 2016

Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopia


Querry Genn must face the truth about the past and fight to save humanity and the future in this stunning sequel to Survival Colony 9, which New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “a terrific novel.”

Querry and the members of Survival Colony 9 have defeated a whole nest of the creatures called Skaldi, who can impersonate humans even as they destroy them. But now the colony is dangerously low in numbers and supplies. Querry’s mother is in command, and is definitely taking them somewhere—but where? Some secret from her past seems to be driving her relentlessly forward.

When they do finally reach their destination, Querry is amazed to discover a whole compound of humans—organized, with plenty of food and equipment. But the colonists are not welcomed. Everything about them is questioned, especially by Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen—and a girl as impetuous as Querry is careful. But the more Querry learns about Mercy and the others, the more he realizes that nothing around him is as it seems. There are gruesome secrets haunting this place and its people. And it’s up to Querry to unearth the past and try to save the future in this gripping conclusion to the Survival Colony novels.


Hi, Joshua! Welcome to YaReads!

Hi Nichole! Thanks for having me!

Can you tell us about your newest book, Scavenger of Souls, in 40 words or less?

Scavenger of Souls completes the story of Querry Genn, a fifteen-year-old boy living in a future world destroyed by war, as he fights to save his colony, discover his past, and defeat the creatures called Skaldi, monsters that consume and mimic human hosts.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Any scene that included the character Mercy, a feisty 18-year-old girl who matches wits with Querry, was a joy to write! Mercy was one of those characters who seemed like she was writing herself–she was such a natural, I felt I couldn’t make a false move when I was constructing her action and dialogue!

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

At one point, I had a lengthy scene where Querry visits a city infested by Skaldi. It was really cool in itself, but it detracted from the forward movement of the plot. That happens to me sometimes: I get an idea that seems so visually arresting I want it in the story, but I don’t always think about whether it serves the story I want it in. Thank goodness for my editor!

Does Scavenger of Souls take place directly after Survival Colony 9 or is there a time gap?

There’s about a one-week time gap between the end of Survival Colony 9, where the remains of Querry’s colony set off into the desert, and the beginning of Scavenger of Souls. Just enough time for the colony to get lost and run into more trouble!

Scavenger of Souls is the last book in the Survival Colony 9 series, correct? Do you have anything else planned or are you currently working on anything else that you can tell us about?

Scavenger of Souls is the final book in the series in the sense that it concludes Querry’s story. I’ve flirted with the idea of a prequel, set long before Querry’s birth and telling the story of the wars and the rise of the survival colonies, but we’ll have to wait and see about that. In the meantime, I’ve just completed a stand-alone YA science fiction novel titled Freefall, a deep space action/romance set to release in 2017.

If you had to give Scavenger of Souls a theme song, what song would you choose?

Probably “Beds are Burning” by Midnight Oil. Great apocalyptic song. And I’m an 80s guy!

What has been your most memorable experience with the Survival Colony 9 series? This could be while writing the book, promoting, interacting with fans, etc.

I have absolutely loved going on school visits. Sometimes they’ve been small and face-to-face, like the time I met with a class of about 25 and one girl gave me a picture she drew for me. Other times, I’ve addressed large assemblies (the largest being a multi-school event where there were about 1000 students in the audience!). But whatever the form, the chance to talk to young people about my book, to hear their questions, and to learn about their own writing has made me so happy I chose to write YA!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I loved Eliot Schrefer’s book Rescued, which is the third in a four-part series of YA novels about great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas). Rescued is about an American teen who tries to return his pet orangutan to the wild, and it was awesome (as were the first two books in the series). But then, I’m an ape fan!

What are the top 3 books in your TBR pile?

I’m reading Erica Cameron’s Island of Exiles, a YA fantasy that comes out next year (I was lucky and got my hands on a review copy). I’m also reading Chris Howard’s The Reckoning, the third book in a YA science fiction trilogy about a future Earth without trees. Finally, I’m reading a book by the North Pole explorer Robert Peary in preparation for a YA historical novel I’m planning titled Polar.

Thanks so much for stopping by YaReads!

Thanks again, Nichole!


I’ve been writing novels since I was eight years old (though admittedly, the first few were very, very short). I taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to writing fiction. SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is my first novel, and the sequel, SCAVENGER OF SOULS, is due out in August 2016!

I love to read (mostly YA fantasy and science fiction), watch movies (again, mostly fantasy and sci-fi), and spend time in Nature (mostly catching frogs and toads). I’m the world’s worst singer, but I play a pretty mean air guitar.

Oh, yeah, and I like monsters. Really scary monsters.


Twitter: @TheYAGuy


Author Interviews
August 18, 2016 posted by Nichole

Author Interview with Andrea Pippins

becoming meAdult coloring books are definitely becoming the new “in” thing. I can honestly tell you that I have about seven of them scattered about my living room. Why did you decide to create the adult coloring book, Becoming Me: A Work in Progress and what do you hope that fans/readers/future colorers take away from it? Yes adult coloring books continue to be a big hit among readers. The beauty of Becoming Me is that it takes the idea of a coloring book a step further. With tips, tricks, exercises, and yes a bit of coloring as well, I was looking to create a resource to encourage readers to live a creative life. Even if you’re not a visual kind of creative person (painting, drawing, etc.), Becoming Me is a great space for collecting your ideas and inspirations. It also shares techniques for generating and capturing thoughts and ideas, all of which are necessary for any creative process.

Did you create all of the illustrations in Becoming Me: A Work in Progress?

Yes I did. All of the illustrations, lettering, and words are by me.

Do you intend to create more adult coloring books in the future?

I hope to make many more books in the future, whether or not they are coloring books, I’m not sure. Doing work that challenges me is important, so hopefully I’ll continue to build on the idea of making spaces for others to be inspired to create.

Do you find that coloring helps you relieve stress or just relax in general?

Drawing and creating space for others to create is to me what coloring is for others. I love sitting down with a cup of tea, have a candle burning, and drawing for hours. That is very therapeutic for me.

Be honest, do you also have a collection of adult coloring books? Do you have a favorite one?

I don’t have a coloring book collection but I do have two coloring books that I love, Nina Chakrabarti’s My Wonderful World of Fashion is a favorite—she really took coloring and activity books to a funky level. And my friend, Sarah Walsh’s, Just Add Color: Carnival, which she gave to me as a gift is super special. We used to work together at Hallmark Cards where both dreamed about becoming full-time illustrators. And we’re both now living that dream. Her book is a great reminder of how important it is to dream and to take action towards making those dreams come true.

Thanks for stopping by YaReads!!


ANDREA PIPPINS is the creator of the adult coloring book I Love My Hair, which was featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, Family Circle, the Huffington Post, Bustle, and more. Her new book BECOMING ME is a simple, motivational guide to nurturing self-expression through art. She is an influencer, a designer, and an educator. Her work can be seen in magazines and on TV as well as on clothing and stationery. Andrea teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art and curates her fashion, art, and design blog, Fly, a weekly resource to inspire young women to pursue their creative passions. She also produces digital and screen-printed artwork while interpreting her personal experiences as an African American woman. Andrea lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where you can often find her dancing in her living room with the samba music way up. Learn more at and follow her on Twitter at @andreagpippins.

Author Interviews
August 13, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Author Interview with Bridget Hodder

Book of the Month
bridgetI’m a dreamer and a do-gooder. When I realized (around age 9) that my efforts to make this world a better place were falling pretty flat, I decided to make up entirely different, better worlds of my own, and ask readers to join me there.

Can you tell us about your debut, The Rat Prince, in 45 words or less?

The dashing, unstoppable Rat Prince is turned into Cinderella’s coachman for one night, to help save her family. At the royal ball, he and Cinderella discover the kingdom itself is under threat. What can they do?  And this is a fairytale…so, what about a happy ending?

What was your favorite scene to write?

Hmm, that’s a hard choice!

I wrote the fairy goddess scene in a summer loft in Provence, and the lavender-infused magic of the place just shimmered through it. I can still feel that enchantment whenever I go back to read it.

But I particularly loved the final scenes in The Rat Prince, with the duel (I won’t give away who’s fighting who) and justice being done, and…I’d better stop right there! I love happy endings, and this one had many levels to it!

Do you have a favorite quote from the book?

“… I am always truthful, unless it is not to the purpose.” — Prince Char


“The Rose of those idyllic days had been thrust aside to make way for a new girl named Cinderella. She was stubborn, watchful, desperate. But she was not yet defeated.” — Lady Rose (Cinderella)

What theme song would you give The Rat Prince?

There are two vintage, gorgeous songs, actually.

For Prince Char:

Northern Sky by Nick Drake

For Cinderella:

Somewhere Along the Road (by Rick Kemp, sung by Maddy Prior)

The links are just YouTubes; close your eyes and listen

What made you want to write a Cinderella retelling?

I know it sounds strange, but I was thinking about the tale of Cinderella, and how dissatisfied I was with the whole thing… then I felt like I heard the voice of the Rat Prince in my head, telling me the original tale didn’t make sense simply because it wasn’t the real story!

So I had to get the “true” story out there.

It basically took over my life for several months. As in, I did nothing else. Not even sleep. (Well, not much, anyway.)

How many similarities are there between The Rat Prince and Cinderella?

I set myself the challenge with this book to keep the outline of the old “Cinderella” plot while turning the whole thing sideways. So don’t expect this to take place on an interstellar ship, or to find out that “Stepmother” is really a code word for a hallucinogenic drug that brought this all on in a vision. We’ve got a castle, a ball, a real, live stepmother…a traditional framework for a very non-traditional version!

Equally important: The original “Cinderella” tells us that beauty and riches are what we should value. My story challenges that notion head-on. And along those lines, if you look closely at the old Cinderella story, it’s not even romantic. My version puts love back into the story, on all levels (where I think it belongs).


It is definitely complete as a standalone. But there may be some companion stories coming out in this same universe… I may even have written a couple of holiday short stories with the same characters…stay tuned!

What is the best book you’ve read recently? What is your most anticipated 2016 debut?

So, I’ve read about 50 books so far this year, and I can’t choose among the new debuts. They’re all amazing. I will say that I’ve been re-reading Sharon Shinn’s “Safe-Keeper” Middle Grade novels– beautiful, quiet, satisfying gems. They refresh my spirit.

the rat prince

The dashing Prince of the Rats–who’s in love with Cinderella–is changed into her coachman on the night of the big ball. And he’s about to turn the legend (and the evening) upside down on his way to a most unexpected happy ending!

Buy the Rat Prince Today!

Barnes and Noble:


Author Interviews
July 18, 2016 posted by Nichole

Gemini Blog Tour: Author Interview with Sonya Mukherjee

Gemini Banner


In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary.

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence, and they’re slowly becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person.

Told in alternating perspectives, this unconventional coming-of-age tale shows how dreams can break your heart—but the love between sisters can mend it.


LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository




Sonya Mukherjee

I grew up in California’s Gold Country, where I spent a lot of time sitting in trees, reading books and writing stories in my head. Now I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I spend a lot of time sitting in coffee shops, reading books and writing stories on my laptop. I like to play board games with my husband and kids, watch the kids’ soccer games, and scare them with my terrible dancing. 


LINKS: Website | Twitter | Instagram



Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
Week 2:



3 Finished Copies of GEMINI (US Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Read below for an author interview with Sonya:

YA Reads – Q&A


Can you tell us about your debut, Gemini, in 45 words or less?


Gemini is the story of conjoined twin sisters who have always happily shared their lives, despite having contrasting personalities, interests, and dreams. But as high school graduation approaches, their separate desires for the future—and for romance—begin to drive a wedge between them.


What was your favorite scene to write?


Probably the final scene of the book. I wrote several different versions of it as I revised the novel, and a lot of important elements kept changing, but the final paragraphs always stayed the same. I always knew that part felt exactly right to me. And in the version of the scene that I ended up keeping, I had a lot of fun bringing back some elements from earlier in the book, and sort of turning them on their heads a little bit.




It’s a standalone.


What theme song would you give Gemini?


It kind of has a secret theme song that might be a little bit of a spoiler to mention. I think people who have read the book will know what I mean. But my backup theme song is “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. I like to deliberately misinterpret the lyrics a little bit, so I can hear them as a kind of dialogue between the two sisters.


How difficult was it to write this story in alternating perspectives?


It was definitely a challenge! Hailey and Clara are very different from each other in some obvious ways, but as I worked to make their voices and perspectives distinct, I realized how much they also have in common. It’s hard not to when you share both identical genes and a virtually identical set of experiences. It took some time to get that balance right.


What do you want readers to take away from Gemini?


I really hope that people enjoy reading this book and feel some connection with the characters. Beyond that, I feel like what each person takes away from a book, or doesn’t, is so personal. I guess I feel like my job is just to put the story out there, and let the readers decide what they want to take from it.


Are you working on anything else?


I’m working on a YA novel about a girl who lives in a partially secluded place, with a small group of people who have a very unusual belief system. When things start to go wrong, she’s eventually forced to grapple with the possibility that everything she believes in might be wrong.


What has been your most favorite part of being a 2016 debut author?


Sharing the experience with other writers! Whoever thought of creating debut groups for new authors deserves some kind of prize, because I can’t imagine how different this experience would be without that supportive community. Also, because I want to read a lot of debut books, I’ve been reading a greater variety of YA fiction than I typically would. That’s been really fun.


What 2016 debut are you most looking forward to (or have you loved the most if it’s already released)?


I’ve seriously read such a wide variety of amazing debuts, it would be impossible to pick a favorite. One that I’m especially looking forward to, which I haven’t read yet, is Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh. The book’s description sounds absolutely haunting, the cover alone is enough to give me chills, and I’ve been hearing incredible things about it from friends.


Thanks so much for stopping by YaReads!