Tag Archives: Book of the Month

Book of the Month
August 27, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Guest Post from Bridget Hodder:

Book of the MonthbridgetI’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.

“WHY RATS?”

I didn’t add a “rat” dimension to the story simply to tweak the original, or for sheer enjoyment of their unexpected situations and witty dialogue.

The rats allow us to explore what it really means to be human. Is humanity a birthright, or a way of being? At some point, if “humans” behave monstrously enough, do they forfeit their humanity?

My all-time favorite Middle Grade books had some pretty deep philosophy at the core, while entertaining me so much I hardly noticed the depth until I thought about it afterwards. Then I would go back and read those books again, to put it all together. That’s what I wanted to do in THE RAT PRINCE. It flowed naturally from my beliefs about respect, love, courage and the worth of striving even when there seems to be no chance of success.

We all fight the same existential battles, and the books that stay with us are the ones offering insight or hope, reminding us we’re all in this together.

THANKS, NICHOLE!!!


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: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rat-prince-bridget-hodder/1122087547?ean=9780374302139

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rat-Prince-Bridget-Hodder/dp/0374302138

You guys, this book sounds SUPER CUTE! I love that this is an MG Cinderella retelling. I LOVE the cover. I just love it all!

Book of the Month
August 20, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder Giveaway

Book of the MonthHi, everyone!

I’m super excited to be able to offer all of you the chance to enter to win our August Book of the Month, The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder. This giveaway will run until the end of August and is open to US residents only. Good luck!!!!

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!

the rat prince

Buy the Rat Prince Today!

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rat-prince-bridget-hodder/1122087547?ean=9780374302139

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rat-Prince-Bridget-Hodder/dp/0374302138

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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

And:

“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).

Series/standalone/companion?

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: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rat-prince-bridget-hodder/1122087547?ean=9780374302139

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rat-Prince-Bridget-Hodder/dp/0374302138

Author Interviews
June 6, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Author Interview with Nalini Singh

 

Book of the Month

allegiance of honorThe “unparalleled romantic adventure”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as a new dawn begins for the Psy-Changeling world…

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?


 

Can you tell us about the newest Psy-Changeling book, Allegiance of Honor, in 40 words or less?

 

It’s a book about family, about friendship, and about holding on to honor and what is right even when evil and darkness attempt to shatter those bonds.

 

This next book will feature everyone, not just a main “couple,” correct? Will everyone make an appearance or will certain favorite couples have more page time?

Everyone will make an appearance, but I realized as I was writing this book that certain people needed to “anchor” the story so that the story threads remained strong even as we caught up with different people. As a result, the anchors naturally get more page time, but I did my best to make sure we got a peek into everyone’s lives!

Do you know how many books will be in the Psy-Changeling series? Is it something you intend to end in the near future or can we expect several more books from this world?

 

I generally tend not to know how many books there will be in a connected series – I think more in terms of how much story there is left to tell. And in the case of the Psy-Changeling series, there is so much more of the story yet to tell—and there are so many characters who I can’t even bear to think about leaving behind. I’ll be writing this series for a number of years yet.

 

By far, my favorite couple is Hawke and Sienna. Do you have intentions of ever giving them another book or possibly featuring them in a novella?

I don’t have any plans in that direction at this point in time—but they will continue to show up in the books as needed, and so we’ll see them growing together as a couple.

I just finished Wild Invitation and loved all the side stories that didn’t have their own novel. Do you have intentions to write another full length novella with several different stories?

WILD EMBRACE comes out in August.  It features four new Psy-Changeling novellas. You can read an excerpt here. More excerpts to come soon! (Incidentally, if any of your readers are new to the series and would like a taster, WILD EMBRACE would be a good choice.)

I’m so curious of Kit will get his own book? I had originally thought that you were going to pair him with a certain someone, but that didn’t end up happening since she’s mated to someone else…. Do you know who he’s going to end up with?

Kit is very young yet. As a young male with the potential to be alpha, he has to grow into his skin even more than other men his age. He’ll choose his heroine when he’s ready, and then I’ll write their story – it may not be for a while yet, given his age.

Out of all of the couples/characters in the Psy-Changeling series, do you have a favorite?

No, I really don’t. They’re like family and friends to me. I adore them all in different ways.

Out of all the books, do you have a favorite?

I always say it’s the one I’m writing at any point in time, as that’s the one that has my total focus and attention—and that answer is the absolute truth. I am totally into whatever book I’m working on at the time. I live it. Breathe it. Dream it.

If you twisted my arm for a more specific answer, I’d say Slave to Sensation – it’s where the entire Psy-Changeling series began. STS led me into this incredible world that I cannot imagine leaving.

If you could give Allegiance of Honor a theme song, what would you choose?

I often (but not always) get obsessed with a song for a book. For example, it was Beyoncé’s Halo for Shield of Winter, Adele’s Skyfall for Heart of Obsidian, and Imagine Dragons’ Demons for Rock Redemption.

I didn’t have a song obsession while I was writing Allegiance of Honor, but afterwards, I heard Rachel Platten’s Stand By You and I think it’s a great song for this book—because the story is all about standing by each other no matter what.

What series’ would you recommend for readers who love the Psy-Changeling series?

I tend to recommend more on the emotional “feel” of a book or series than because of similarities in story themes, so while not all of these books are paranormal, I think they give the reader the same happy book feeling that I hope my books inspire.

 

Trilogy: Orchid, Amaryllis, Zinnia by Jayne Castle (I love JC’s futuristic paranormals, but this trilogy is among my favorites of her work).

The Elder Races series by Thea Harrison (kicks off with the wonderful Dragon Bound)

La Vie En Roses series by Laura Florand (Once Upon A Rose is my favorite in the series so far)

The Chronicles of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (This is a classic sf series that first showed me what it is to build a world that feels so real I wanted to visit. If you haven’t read it, do!)

In Death series by JD Robb (One of my favorite series of all time.)

Envy Chronicles by Joss Ware (A different kind of zombie apocalypse! This is an excellent series that seems to have flown under a lot of people’s radar.)

The Iron Seas series by Meljean Brook (Meljean has such an amazing imagination and I love this steampunk world of hers).

 

I think I’ll stop there, because I could definitely keep going!!

 

Thanks for stopping by YaReads!

Thank you for the interview.

 

 

Below are some additional interview questions provided by the publisher:

Is Allegiance of Honor the end of the Psy-Changeling series?

 

No, it’s not. :) I ADORE this world and the characters and I have so many Psy-Changeling stories yet to tell. (I’ve often joked that I’ll be writing this series until I’m ninety-eight!)

 

 

Where do you see the Psy-Changeling world going from here?  Who is the next book about?

 

(Slightly spoilery answer to follow if you’re just starting the series).

 

Allegiance of Honor sets up a lot of possibilities for the future. There are many avenues I could take. However, for me, this arc is all about what happens not just to the Psy, but to the world, now that Silence has fallen and all the rules have changed.

 

We’ve had the immediate aftermath books, both of which focused on the Psy race (Shield of Winter & Shards of Hope), but what about the wider long-term future? Because Silence existed for a reason. The Psy still have these incredible abilities that have the potential to drive them murderously insane, and the world is still a fractured triumvirate. And there are players about whom we know very little, like the falcons and BlackSea.

 

As for who’s book is next, I’m not ready to announce it yet because I want to be certain this character is ready – but I think you’ll be pleased. 😉


NaliniI’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

 

Read below for an excerpt from Allegiance of Honor:

Excerpt from Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

 

Lucas had had to chase Naya around the aerie at bedtime last night—her walk might still be a little shaky, but she was a rocket when it came to crawling. Dressed only in a diaper, she’d laughed uproariously and said a loud, firm “No” each time Lucas caught her and put her in her crib.

After which she’d clamber out—she’d figured out how to escape a month earlier—and the game would begin again. Of course, since Lucas was a cat, he’d been having just as much fun as their daughter. Sascha, meanwhile, had sat in the living room with a cup of hot chocolate and just indulged in the sight of her mate playing with their cub.

She’d had to pretend to be stern when Naya ran over and pleaded her case with loud sounds and wild gesticulations of her hands. “No, Naya,” she’d said, biting her tongue in an effort not to laugh. “It’s time for bed. Go with Papa.”

At which point, Naya had growled at her, eyes sparkling with mischief.

And Sascha had cracked, laughing so hard she’d had to put down her hot chocolate before she spilled it. Lucas had shaken his head as Naya plopped down on her diaper-covered butt and joined in, clapping her hands at having made her mommy laugh. “No discipline.” Lucas had mock-growled at her before picking up their misbehaving baby. “And you”—a growly nuzzle that made Naya laugh harder and pat his stubbled cheek—“time for bed.”

He’d finally got her to sleep—by walking around with her pressed up against his bare chest.

Today, their cub was playing in the living area just outside the kitchen nook. Sascha had locked the aerie door to ensure Naya wouldn’t undo the latch and go out onto the balcony, and Lucas had childproofed the entire main area of the aerie, so Naya was free to roam as she liked. A lot of the time she practiced her walking skills. And no matter how often she fell down, she started back up again after a little break.

Stubborn, determined baby.

Peeking out from the kitchen, Sascha found her concentrating on stacking the colored alphabet blocks Faith and Vaughn had given her as a gift. Beside her sat a more than slightly ragged wolf plush toy, aka “The Toy That Shall Not Be Named.” Hawke had given that to Naya when she was a newborn, and it remained her favorite snuggle toy, much to her father’s despair.

Though Lucas did enjoy it when Naya went leopard on the toy, growling and “fighting” with the wolf. Then he’d smile and say, “That’s my girl.”

 

Find Nalini online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2016.

 

 

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Book of the Month
May 26, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Playlist for Vernal by Randi Cooley Wilson

Book of the Month

randiRandi Cooley Wilson is a “New Adult” Paranormal/Fantasy and Contemporary Romance author. A resident of Massachusetts, she makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets. For more information visit:http://randicooleywilson.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/R_CooleyWilson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorrandicooleywilson

 

 

 

Author Interviews
May 13, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Author Interview with Randi Cooley Wilson

vernalSerena has a bright future etched in stone.
Tristan has a dark past that haunts him.
Together, they have a love that can never be.

Sheltered, and unable to escape her bloodline, Serena St. Michael has spent the last two years training at the Royal Protector Academy. Struggling with a dark past, Tristan Gallagher’s current assignment is to protect a lifetime of secrets. One chance encounter will change everything. Serena must decide if she will follow her heart, forsaking all she’s ever known and risking a future worse than non-existence. Tristan will break every rule to save Serena, even if he can’t keep her. In their world of darkness, one love will ignite an ancient war. When pasts collide with the present, and secrets are revealed, will love be enough? Or will one lie destroy it all?

When you’ve hidden behind a mask for so long, would you reveal yourself for love? Vernal, the first novel in The Royal Protector Academy series is a dangerously exciting and darkly romantic tale that will take your breath away.

Book of the Month
September 15, 2014 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Ten things you didn’t know about Gretchen McNeil

Book of the Month

get evenThe Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process. 

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

 

 

 

About the Author:

gretchen mcneil

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for the 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012” by Romantic Times. Gretchen’s 2013 release is 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places. Gretchen’s novels have been optioned by Hollywood production companies, and have sold internationally in Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish.

In 2014, Gretchen debuts her first series, Don’t Get Mad (pitched as “John Hughes with a body count”) about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school. The Don’t Get Mad series begins September 16, 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in the summer of 2015, also with Balzer + Bray. In addition, Gretchen has contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and was a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.


You can find Gretchen on Twitter, Facebook, and on her blog.

 

Ten things you didn’t know about Gretchen McNeil

1. I gag when I try to eat raw tomatoes.

tomato

2. I was a tomboy until high school. You couldn’t pay me to wear a dress.

tomboy

3. My favorite movie is Clue.

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4. My least favorite movie is Titanic.

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5. There is a collection of animal skulls in a curio cabinet in my living room.

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6. I’m a sucker for electronic gadgets. I always want the newest phone, tablet, Fitbit, whatever.

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7. I’m really short – only 5’2″. But no one knows that because you’ll never see me in a pair of flats except at the gym. Do not stalk me at the gym. It’s…ugly.

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8. I’m an excellent cook and a horrible baker. Improv good. Rule-following bad.

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9. If I had to give up either coffee or wine, I’d probably choose DEATH.

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10. I’m a sucker for snappy romantic comedies starring Meg Ryan.

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