Category Archives: Contests

Blog Tour
February 5, 2014 posted by Nichole

2014 YA Heartbreakers Day 5: Kasie West

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Hey, everyone! Welcome back to Day 5 of the 2014 YA Heartbreakers. Today I am so excited to be hosting Kasie West, author of Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us. I just received my ARC of Split Second, and I AM SO EXCITED to do a Kasie West book binge. If you’re looking for the perfect Valentines Day author, Kasie should be at the top of your list!

5027236I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT, its sequel SPLIT SECOND (Feb 2014), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US (a contemporary novel). I also have two more contemporaries, ON THE FENCE coming out July 1, 2014, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND coming out the summer of 2015. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

 

My top 5 books to read during the month of February

February is the month of romance (or so St. Valentine tells me….or is it Cupid?) so it is no surprise that my top five picks to read this month are contemporary romance.

1. THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen

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This book was my introduction to YA contemporary romance. And what an introduction it was. It is amazing. Macy and Wes are the cutest couple ever. It features one of my favorite types of romance too—the slow build. The “I’m going to get to know you through the cutest game of question and answer ever” type! If you don’t get that reference, read this book. Even after now having read many many more contemporaries, it still holds the top spot for me. (This may have something to do with the magic of first-loves but think it’s much more than that)

2. FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

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This book. This book. I wish that was all I had to say about it and it would convince you of how awesome it is. I love it so much. Levi and Cath are another example of the slow build type of romance. They get to know each other through the course of the book and as they do I so do I. And the more I get to know them the more I need them to be together. This book features some swoony scenes where she is reading to him that I love so very much. Because come on, what book lover doesn’t swoon when couples are reading books to each other?

3. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

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Foreign country, cute accent, witty banter. I adore this book. I think I read the whole thing with a cheesy smile on my face. Anna and St. Clair are the cutest couple ever. I loved how they were with each other.

4. AMY AND ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson

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This is a super cute romance that features the couple—Megan and Joe. Just kidding, as you might suspect from the title. This is a story about Amy and Roger. And lest you think I’ve been a broken record about my slow building romance preference, this has another type of romance I like—the “you bug me so bad and I want to murder you but as I get to know you I realize I may have misjudged you” romance. So maybe they didn’t want to murder each other at first, but they definitely weren’t fans of one another. And that slowly changes as (which the title also suggests) they are forced to travel many miles together in a car. It’s quite epic.

5. EXILE by Kevin Emerson

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So you might kill me because this doesn’t come out until April and really you can’t read it this month. BUT, you can read it next February. Read it before then though, you’re going to want to. It is amazing. Summer and Caleb are adorable. He’s the misunderstood rock star, she’s a ready-to-quit band manager. There’s music and mystery and of course, romance. I love this book.

6. THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by…oh wait, I’m done with my list? Now I’m just shamelessly self promoting??

I hope you all have a fabulous February filled with lots of romantic reads. And I guess it doesn’t hurt to have some romance in real life too.

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Author Interviews
February 4, 2014 posted by Nichole

2014 YA Hearbreakers Day 4: Katie McGarry

ya valentinesHey everyone! Welcome back to day 4 of the 2014 YA Heartbreakers! Today we are featuring Katie McGarry, author of the Pushing the Limits series. We reviewed Pushing the Limits in 2012 and featured it as our Book of the Month in July, 2012. This is a hugely popular series that I always hear people talking about. If you’re looking for the perfect Valentines Day read, this is definitely a book for you. Read below for a interview with Katie McGarry!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

All of your books are contemporary and have powerful romances. How difficult is it to create a believable romance between two fictional characters?

The romance is my favorite part of writing. I love the interactions between the characters and the sparks that are created. Sometimes what’s difficult for me is when I have to introduce conflict to propel the story along. When I have characters like Echo, Noah, Beth, Ryan, Isaiah, and Rachel who already have hurts before the story begins, I have to fight the urge to write happy scene after happy scene. What keeps the reader turning the pages is the conflict and plot.

Who is your favorite YA couple from a different series/book that’s not yours?

I love Ali and Cole from the Alice in Zombieland series.

Who is your favorite couple from one of your own books?

10194514That’s a tough question as it’s like asking which one of my children I love more.

Echo and Noah have a special place in my heart because they were my first published novel.

Beth and Ryan have sentimental value to me as it’s loosely (extremely loosely) based on the first several months of my relationship with my husband.

Isaiah and Rachel just make me happy. Unbelievably happy and I just wanted to squish them together like two cuddly bunnies.

I felt very raw writing Take Me On (May 2014) because the couple, West and Haley, share some of my very deep hurts.

Because of all that, it’s hard to choose.

Do you have any Valentines Day or February traditions?

My husband and I will go out to dinner, but we have a lot of birthdays in that month so we spend most of our time focusing on those. 

What is the most heartbreaking scene that you have personally written?

When Noah has to talk to his brothers at the end of Pushing the Limits—that scene tore my heart out.

I can’t talk about it much, but there is a scene in my upcoming novel, Take Me On, that caused me to weep and just broke me for a 17233800couple of days.

What is the last book that made you cry?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

What are you currently working on?

I’m finishing up revisions for Take Me On which will be released in May 2014.

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Author Interviews
February 3, 2014 posted by Nichole

2014 YA Heartbreakers Day 3: Katie Sise

ya valentinesHey everyone! Welcome back to day 3 of the 2014 YA Heartbreakers. Today we are hosting Katie Sise, author of The Boyfriend App. I have heard SO MANY good things and feels about The Boyfriend App. Very fitting for Valentines Day! Read below for an interview with Katie.

 

portrait2Katharine’s first novel, The Boyfriend App, was published by HarperCollins Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013. The Boyfriend App tells the story of a girl who, in order to win a scholarship offered by a secretly-evil global computing corporation, invents an app that makes any boy fall madly in love with her, with chaotic results. The Boyfriend App has received rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, and VOYA.

Katharine has a BA in Film, Television and Theater from The University of Notre Dame. She lives in New York City with her family.

 

Can you tell us about your book, THE BOYFRIEND APP, in 10 words or less?
App gets a girl any guy she wants….chaos!
Will there be a companion novel to The Boyfriend App or are you working on anything else atm?
Yes! THE PRETTY APP is coming out next year. I’m very excited. It’s a companion novel told from Blake’s perspective. Since Blake is 9780062195265-198x300the “mean girl” in The Boyfriend App, this one was very interesting to write!
As a contemporary author how important do you think romance is in a YA book?
I gravitate toward books with a romance element, so for me, it’s important. And I love writing romance. But there are certainly incredible YA books out there without it.
Who is your favorite YA couple from a different series/book that’s not yours? 
There are too many! But right now I’m reading The Eve Trilogy by Anna Carey, and I love Eve and Caleb. And who didn’t fall in love with Eleanor and Park this year?
Do you have any Valentines Day/February traditions?
I always call my dad, my mom, and my siblings, and send them cards. We had so much fun on Valentine’s day growing up. And now I celebrate with my husband and my family, too, usually with cards and small gifts.
What YA book would you LOVE to see transformed into a movie?
EVERY DAY by David Levithan
What is the most heartbreaking book that you have read?
NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

Giveaway:

I have 5 signed stickers to give away to U.S winners. Leave a comment with your email for a chance to win!

Blog Tour
February 2, 2014 posted by Nichole

2014 YA Heartbreakers Day 2: Liz Coley

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Hi everyone! Welcome back to the second day of the 2014 YA Heartbreakers! Today I am very excited to introduce you to Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl 13. I have to be honest and admit that I still have not read this book. I own it. I can’t wait to read it. But….I have not read it. Today I am featuring Liz Coley for a few different reasons. 1) I have heard a lot of comments and read a lot of reviews that detail how heartbreaking Liz’s writing style is. 2) I just know how heartbreaking this book is going to be. The description and the cover just kill me. I really can’t wait to read it. 3) Finally, I have mad respect for anyone who can write books about kidnapping and psychological damage. I love those types of books, but OMG….they KILL me. The waterworks start up and I just become a total mess. I don’t know how Liz was able to write such a book….but that alone makes her a heartbreaker in my eyes.

4750818Liz Coley writes fiction for teens and for the teen in you.

Her first published work was science fiction short stories, published in Cosmos magazine and several anthologies.

Self-published YA novel Out of Xibalba features a contemporary teenager thrown back to ancient Mayan times.
The story starts when the world ends.

Pretty Girl-13 from HarperCollins will be released in at least ten languages on five continents, in print, ebook, and audiobook.
There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself. 

Liz lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, her teenaged daughter, 18-year-old Tiger the cat, and kittens Pippin and Merry. When she’s not involved in writing-related activities, she can be found sewing, baking, shooting photos, playing tennis, and singing.

Liz loves reading aloud.

The Most Important Book Ever – Jennie by Paul Gallico

To my series of essays about the most influential books in my life, I must add a fifth, which recently came to my attention in a funny way. My agent and I were talking about introducing a pair of kittens to my old cat, and she mentioned that our grown cat could teach the kittens how to be cats. In the same breath as she began to ask, “Have you ever read….” I interrupted with, “Yes! I loved that book610718 so much.” What we were both talking about was Jennie, a novel for children, written in the fifties by Paul Gallico. I first read it about age ten on a trip to visit family in England. I was permanently marked by the reading, more than I appreciated. Many years later when it was out of print, I ordered it from a rare book shop in England for thirty pounds so my kids could enjoy it. I must have lent it to a scoundrel, because when we moved, to my dismay, it was no longer among the books on my shelves. After the recent conversation with my agent, I hopped onto Amazon, which had now been selling used books for several years, and found a copy for six dollars plus shipping. This is a book I must own forever, no matter how many times I have to re-buy it. It’s a heartbreaker in a very special way.

A couple of weeks ago, an author friend quizzed me about my favorite Star Trek and Star Trek Next Generation episodes. The original series episode that immediately leapt to mind (Tribbles aside) was “The Paradise Syndrome,” in which Kirk loses his memory and lives a peaceful, happy life for months with Miramanee, a pseudo-native-American on an unspoiled planet in the path of an asteroid. They fall in love, they marry, and they almost have a child before tragedy strikes and the ship returns for Kirk. My favorite Next Generation episode was “The Inner Light,” in which Picard falls into a coma on board and mentally awakes on the planet Kataan, where people insist he is a man named Kamin. As Picard lives for years on this planet, he falls in love with the woman who calls herself his wife, fathers a girl, watches her grow to adulthood, and learns to play the Ressikan flute. Inevitably, he awakens on board from his 25-minute coma to find the terrible and beautiful memories of the past forty years were caused by a special mental probe of sorts from an extinct people. He retains the ability to play the flute. Every time I hear that piping theme, I cry for the world and the love he knew both for a lifetime and for only twenty-five minutes.

13450398What do these stories have to do with Jennie? In that novel, a young boy named Peter, much neglected by his busy parents, darts away from nanny in front of a carriage and is run over. He awakens as a white kitten, immediately to be tossed out of his London townhouse and onto the cruel streets of London. Adopted by a sweet, knowledgeable tabby named Jennie, he learns how to survive as a homeless stray, travels to Glasgow and back, and blossoms into a big, strong cat under her intense loving care. Eventually he challenges a bully tom cat to a death fight to save Jennie from being “claimed” by him. I won’t spoil the ending. Suffice it to say, this story about someone who escaped a mundane, troubled life and lived an entire lifetime as another before returning. The poignancy of all three of these stories hits the same achy spot in my heart, but I had no idea until I reread it, that for ten-year-old-me, Jennie had been the foundation, the model, the prototype, even the archetype for this kind of heartbreaking, bittersweet story.

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Author Interviews
February 1, 2014 posted by Nichole

2014 YA Heartbreakers Day 1: Lauren Oliver

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Hi everyone! Welcome to the 2014 YA Heartbreakers! I wanted to host an event that really focused on those authors that we love and those characters and books that just break our hearts in so many different ways. Today, I am so excited to feature Lauren Oliver, author of the Delirium series. Lauren Oliver is the perfect author to feature for the first day of the YA Heartbreakers. Her writing and her books have broken my heart over and over again. And if you finished Requiem, then you should know what I mean. I read everything that this lady creates. I’m so honored to be featuring her for the 2014 YA Heartbreakers. Read below for a special interview with Lauren Oliver!

 

2936493About the author

Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.
She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.
She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.

 

Pretty much all of your books (at least the YA ones) have some sort of romance. Do you think that romance is key to a good YA book?

I think romance is a good way to raise the stakes in a story, or to make a situation personal, and I LOVE a good romance, but no, I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s very difficult to find young adult books without any romance in them, but I have no doubt that it could9593911 be done, and I would be very interested in reading it!

You have two books coming out in 2014, PANIC and ROOMS, can we expect a lot of romance in those? Or maybe some hunky guys? [;

Not only does Panic have hunky guys, one of them is the narrator! Dodge is one of two narrators of the story, the other one being a girl named Heather.

Who is your favorite YA couple from a different series/book that’s not yours?

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice!

If you could marry anybody from any series, or just kidnap them and keep them with you forever, who would you choose?

Well, I wouldn’t want to marry them, but if I could kidnap Bundle from my book Liesl & Po and keep it with me forever, that would be great. Bundle is a ghost pet who is all the best parts of both cats and dogs and is basically the cutest thing ever.

Do you have any Valentines Day/February traditions?

Just to stay warm and make as many fires as possible!

Out of all of your books which one was your favorite to write?

All books have their own joys as well as their own challenges. I really enjoy writing my Middle Grade books, because they go to such fantastic worlds.

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddOut of all of your books what was the most heartbreaking scene to write?

Without too many spoilers, there was a certain character death at the end of Requiem that was heartbreaking. Liesl & Po was also a very emotional book for me.

What genres do you typically read when you’re not writing? Do you stick with contemporary for the feels or do you read more paranormal types for the thrills?

I try to read as broadly as possible. I love fiction obviously, but I also love reading books about science and math!

What YA book would you LOVE to see transformed into a movie?

I’m so excited to see Divergent, there’s so much action and exciting visuals!

What is the most heartbreaking book that you have read?

The end of The Amber Spyglass, which is the last book in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, gets me every time. It is TRAGIC.

 

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Blog Tour
January 31, 2014 posted by Nichole

The Howling Heart Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway

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The Howling Heart by April Bostic
Publication date: August 8th 2013
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
SONY DSCSynopsis:

Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.
Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv—wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.
Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO
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April Bostic is a New Jersey-based, Adult Romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled “A Rose to the Fallen”.
Her first short story, “Right Here, Right Now”, released in January 2012, is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled “Eros, My Love”, and a sexy romantic comedy entitled “Love Addiction”.
After five years, she released her second novel, “The Howling Heart” in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods. To end her busiest year in publishing, April will release her fourth short story in December 2013, a historical paranormal romance entitled “A Dark Scandal”.
Author Links:
The Howling Heart Excerpt:

I stood in the hardware section looking at flashlights, when I suddenly felt someone staring at me. I tried to remain inconspicuous as I glanced to my left without turning my head. At the end of the aisle stood a slender, young man at least six feet tall, wearing a red and black plaid, flannel shirt with cut-off sleeves. Lean muscles flexed on his bicep as he grabbed something off the shelf. His bare arms revealed a tattoo on his right shoulder, but I wasn’t close enough to read it.

He must’ve felt my gaze on him, because he looked over at me. The sun gently kissed his skin with a golden tan, and his full lips spread into a charming grin. He had a clean-shaven, square jaw and sharp cheekbones that would make any woman envious. His sandy blonde hair flowed like waves and curled softly on the ends, brushing his ears and collar. A few, untamed strands fell in his eyes, making his hair appear disheveled. There was no doubt in my mind he was handsome.

Immediately, a heat wave crashed beneath my skin…and I knew it wasn’t due to the summer weather. I blushed under his steady gaze and looked away in an attempt to ignore him. For some reason, I couldn’t control myself. My gaze kept finding his. A smirk played on his lips—the color of a summer peach—and I wondered if they tasted as sweet.

Giveaway:
Tour wide giveaway
Prize (US only):
A pandora bracelet designed by Terri Davis at JewelryforPaws (picture attached), and a signed paperback of The Howling Heart.

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Blog Tour
January 24, 2014 posted by Nichole

The Merchant of Venice Beach Blog Tour + Giveaway

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unnamed (1)The Rollicking Bun–Home of the Epic Scone–is the center of Suzanna Wolf’s life. Part tea shop, part bookstore, part home, it’s everything she’s ever wanted right on the Venice Beach boardwalk, including partnership with her two best friends from high school, Eric and Fernando. But with thirty-three just around the corner, suddenly Suzanna wants something more–something strictly her own. Salsa lessons, especially with a gorgeous instructor, seem like a good start–a harmless secret, and just maybe the start of a fling. But before she knows it, Suzanna is learning steps she never imagined–and dancing her way into confusion.

Release date: August 1st 2013
Publisher: eKensington
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
unnamed (2)ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Currently a Field Producer on HGTV’s House Hunters, Celia Bonaduce’s TV credits cover a lot of ground – everything from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone. An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been always a lifelong ambition.
The Giveaway:

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