Month: February 2018

Keeping Up With the Debuts: Tricia Levenseller | Daughter of the Siren Queen Blog Tour

Posted February 28, 2018 by Jana in Blog Tour, Guest Post, Keeping Up With the Debuts / 2 Comments

Keeping Up With the Debuts: Tricia Levenseller | Daughter of the Siren Queen Blog Tour

Keeping Up With the Debuts is an original That Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I bring back former debut authors and give them the opportunity to talk about what they learned from their debut novel and what’s next for them!

I’m so excited to welcome Tricia Levenseller to the blog today as part of the official blog tour for her sophomore novel, Daughter of the Siren Queen! Tricia’s debut novel, Daughter of the Pirate King, came out exactly one year ago today on February 28, 2017. What better day than today to invite her back to the blog to tell us what’s she’s been up to over the last year, and what’s on the horizon!


Keeping Up With Tricia Levenseller

Guest post by Tricia Levenseller

Being a debut author was, in a word, magical. It was unreal having complete strangers read my work for the first time, and it was even more surreal when they wanted to discuss themes and topics that I hold dear. I’ve loved getting to know so many bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers. The book community as a whole is very welcoming and fun.

Doing book events was a new experience. I loved being able to connect with readers directly, instead of solely over the internet.

In some ways, however, being a writer was exactly the same. I was working on my next project as soon as DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING released. The sequel, DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN, was already done, and so I had to be thinking about the next project I wanted to try to sell to my publisher.

I’m excited to share that I have sold two new books! The first of which is a Viking fantasy titled WARRIOR OF THE WILD, which will release in 2019. It’s about a teen warrior who is banished after failing her coming-of-age test. With only two boys who were banished the previous year for company, she must survive the monster-filled wild and kill her village’s oppressive deity if she is ever to return home.

My current task is my first round of edits on WARRIOR OF THE WILD. It’s been a fun break from pirates, and I’m excited to for readers to get to read Rasmira’s story next year!


Daughter of the Siren King by Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #2
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 27, 2018
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.


About Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller writes historical fantasies for young adult readers. Her debut, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING, is set to release Feb. 2017 from Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Visit the other tour stops!

2/20  Love is Not a Triangle – Guest Post on research about lady pirates
2/21  Page Turners Blog – Moodboard
2/22  Fiction Fare – Author Interview
2/23  Avid Reader – Fancast
2/24  Mundie Moms – Character Interview
2/25  Stories & Sweeties – Quote Highlights
2/27  Moonlight Rendezvous – Playlist
2/28  That Artsy Reader Girl – Keeping Up With the Debuts


Top Ten Books I Could Re-Read Forever

Posted February 26, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 36 Comments

I’m not one to re-read many books because I have SO many books to read that I find I have a hard time justifying re-reading. I have many books that I absolutely love, though, and would be happy to read again and again if I had the chance. I’m also thinking that these are probably the 10 books I would choose to take with me to a deserted island, or they are the 10 books I would choose to hide if we had a Fahrenheit 451 situation… the books I’d steal if I were The Book Thief. You get the idea! And of course there’s romantic elements in all them because I’m Jana.

 

1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Swoony, hilarious office place romance.

2. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Exciting, enthralling, forbidden romance between two people stranded on a deserted island.

3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Whirlwind romance that happen in Paris, in one day.

4. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Girl ditches art program to travel solo in Italy, continually running into swoony guy.

5. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Rhysand. Enough said.

6. Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
The perfect historical romance with tons of amazing banter and a really swoony scene involving cake.

7. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Popular girl embraces her inner nerd one summer, falls for the comic book boy, and never turns back.

8. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Sexy, swoony, dangerous, dark, and truly captivating.

9. Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Girl backpacking through Florence, Italy falls in love with the street musician as well as the country.

10. Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
Christmas love story that takes place under the Northern Lights in the Alaskan bush with a reclusive, husky, cold teddy bear of a man and his really huge, really lovable dog.

 

Which books could you reread forever?


The Debut Dish: Tanaz Bhathena, T.E. Carter, Tomi Adeyemi, & Brenda Rufener (+ Giveaways)

Posted February 25, 2018 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 7 Comments

The Debut Dish, a bi-monthly Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?

This issue of The Debut Dish features Tanaz Bhathena (A Girl Like That), T.E. Carter (I Stop Somewhere), Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), and Brenda Rufener (Where I Live).


A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
February 27, 2018 from Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
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A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Jeddah: Girl dies. Chaos ensues.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
The very first one, where my main character, Zarin, is dead and looking down at the scene of her accident. That scene hasn’t really changed since I first wrote it in 2006.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was eating pizza and wallowing over a short story getting rejected.

What’s your favorite junk food?
I can’t resist chocolate!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A measuring tape. And I have no idea why I put it there!


I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter
February 27, 2018 from Feiwel & Friends (USA)
April 19, 2018 from Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
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Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But when the unthinkable happens, Ellie finds herself trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim, and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture, but it also reminds us what it is to be human.

Describe your book in five words or less.
We need to believe girls.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Strangely, my favorite is actually a moment where the main character stops and observes the daily routines around her at school. She talks about how everyone interacts, but doesn’t realize it, and I like that. I like the recognition of how we affect each other without realizing it.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was at home. I wish I had a more exciting story!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Probably vegan chocolate chip cookies from Whole Foods

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
The WoW game collection.

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
March 6, 2018 from Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
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Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

Describe your book in five words or less.
African: The Last Airbender (or “Black Girl Magic!”)

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I know you’re only supposed to have one favorite, but I have a few! Though if I really had to narrow it down and not give away any spoilers, there’s one scene at the end of the book that just gets me riled up, excited, and cheering every single time (which means something since I’ve read my book 100+ times lol). It features a character named Amari!

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was actually in Hawaii! My boyfriend’s grandmother had a timeshare that she couldn’t use, so she asked us if we wanted it (and of course we were like “yeah!”) I’m surprised no one called the police or at least sent someone to check on us because I was screaming and sobbing very loudly (lol).

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza, pizza. I spent most of my childhood eating pizza every single day. As an adult I’m trying not to eat it every single day (but the struggle is real).

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I have friends that bring me cool trinkets for my desk when I’m writing, so I have a little copper owl from Greece, a decorated, heart-shaped rock from Tanzania, and a glass turtle from Hawaii!


Where I Live by Brenda Rufener
February 27, 2018 from HarperTeen
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Linden Rose has a big secret–she is homeless and living in the halls of her small-town high school. Her position as school blog editor, her best friends, Ham and Seung, and the promise of a future far away are what keep Linden under the radar and moving forward.

But when cool-girl Bea comes to school with a bloody lip, the damage hits too close to home. Linden begins looking at Bea’s life, and soon her investigation prompts people to pay more attention. And attention is the last thing she needs.

Linden knows the only way to put a stop to the violence is to tell Bea’s story and come to terms with her own painful past. Even if that means breaking her rules for survival and jeopardizing the secrets she’s worked so hard to keep.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Homeless teen lives at school.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
There’s a scene in WIL where Linden and her friend, Seung, get ready for homecoming. Seung’s mother does Linden’s hair and the moment evokes emotions Linden has carefully stuffed away. When she feels the tender touch of a mother, she can’t help but think about her own. The moment has always tugged at (okay, yanked) my heartstrings.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In my home office. My agent called and said we had two offers at the same pub house. There were lots of tears after the call and a lot of trembling during.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Is cheese a junk food? If so, it’s my favorite. But it has to be good cheese, not large blocks of yellow cheddar. Aged, white, and the sharpest of sharps.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A small bottle of vitamin D*. Think I need to venture outside more.

*Obviously, I’m not eating nearly enough cheese.

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Q&A with 2018 Debut Author A.M. Rose on Road to Eugenica

Posted February 22, 2018 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge / 1 Comment

I’m happy to welcome 2018 debut author A.M. Rose to the blog today to talk to us a little about her new book, Road to Eugenica! A.M. Rose was featured in the Debut Dish earlier this month, and she’s back to share even more!


Q&A with A.M. Rose

1. Tell us about your experience as a debut author or what it’s been like being published for the first time.

So you know that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and it’s making the climb toward the first hill? For whatever reason this part seems to take the longest. Your heart is pounding and your stomach is starting to roll around a little. This hill, this climb, is like the first stages toward publication all the way through the editing rounds. It’s this constant, am-I-doing-the-right-thing feeling. You’re all nervous and excited, and it seems to take forever. Then the coaster makes that audible click, your body jerks to a stop and you’re staring down hundreds of feet to the ground. This is how it feels during release time. All this momentum and everything you’ve been doing finally starts spinning into motion, and you’re whipping around turns, and writing blog posts, and being tagged in things on social media. And then, just like that it’s over. And it’s time to get back in line again.

2. Tell us 10 things you didn’t know about writing a book, or 10 things you learned while writing. Or give us 5 of each!

Oh, I love this and think I’ll do five of each. Here goes:

Things I didn’t know about writing a book:

1. It isn’t just writing a book – it’s rewriting a book -over and over and over.
2. When people talk about “the rules” they are real, and they’re there for a reason.
3. Critique groups are a must. Find your people and keep them close.
4. There are so many moving parts to keep track of: plot points, character arcs, goals, motivations, conflict. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
5. First drafts suck, but they can be worked into something readable (don’t stress).

Things I learned while writing a book:

1. Commas are evil and no one can agree on where they go.
2. Critiquing is an art (I know now how horrible I was at it in the beginning and feel horrible about it to this day.).
3.  I love writing.
4. Thick skin is a must. Sometimes people can just be mean.
5. Reading is just as important as writing if you want to get better.

3. How did you bring your book’s world or characters to life?

When I’m writing it’s almost like there’s a movie playing in my head. I can visualize exactly where everyone is what they are doing. For aspects of the story I wasn’t sure of, like when Drea busts out with some Kung Fu. I spent time watching YouTube videos of people actually doing it so I could describe exactly how it looks with accuracy.

4. Paint us a picture of the book’s setting.

Road to Eugenica takes place in the modern world and we get glimpses of this other place, Eugenica. While the story is about Drea’s journey to understand how she fits into both worlds there are other issues she’s dealing with. While there are light hearted moments, there is also grief, and a little mystery.

Check out this mood board to get a better idea of what I mean.


Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose
February 6, 2018 from Entangled Teen
Add to Goodreads
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Two dimensions – And the girl who connects them.

Yesterday, Drea Smith couldn’t do anything spectacular—even walking and texting at the same time was a challenge. But today, she suddenly has more answers than Google, can speak and understand numerous languages, and she can fight. Like a boss.

Super freaky.

Drea has no idea where her encyclopedic knowledge has come from, but she’ll take it when she discovers someone out there knows her secret and wants her badly. And that they’ve been searching for her since she was born.

Since she was created.

With the help of her best friend Dylan, who just wants to keep her safe, and Maddox, a mysterious new boy who is prepared to get her answers, Drea will have to push her new skills to their limit as she uncovers nothing is quite what it seems.

As she uncovers…Eugenica.


About A.M. Rose

A.M. Rose is the author of Road to Eugenica, and writer of young adult novels of all genres as long as they have a hint of romance, the drinker of too much coffee (with way too much coconut creamer), and lover of all carbohydrates.

Currently, she lives in Houston, TX with her three boys (yes, her husband is in that count) and three cats. When she isn’t writing about swoony boys or ways for her MC to get into trouble, she is an avid reader, critiquer, (is that even a word?) and trampoline enthusiast.

A.M. Rose is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication and a minor in underwater basket weaving. (Okay, maybe not the basket weaving part.)

Author Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads
Snapchat: @ttly_anntastic


Top Ten Books I’ve Lost Interest In

Posted February 19, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 29 Comments

This week’s topic is about the books you used to be interested in but have changed your mind about, for one reason or another. Perhaps your reading tastes or personal interests have changed. Maybe you read things in reviews that made you decide it wasn’t a book for you. Who knows why we change our minds on books like these?

Today I’m sharing some of the more popular books I once wanted to read, but have changed my mind about. Feel free to talk me out of my decisions and pitch these books to me if you think I need to read them! Most of these I lost interest in for no real reason other than I no longer liked the sound of the synopsis. If there was a deeper reason I’ll include it. lol.


1. In Honor by Jessi Kirby

2. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I heard where the series went (mainly a spoiler for how the final book ends), and it killed any interest I had in continuing.


4. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Too heavy for me. It sounds really depressing and I read to be happy.

5. Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
I picked this up at ALA and had not heard anything about it. There was no series title, and the synopsis was vague. I’m not a fan of paranormal, and I’ve never liked afterlife storylines either. I didn’t realize until reviews started surfacing that these elements are a part of the story, and I kind of deflated. I never would have picked this up if I’d known. lol.

6. My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill
I loved Meant to Be, but then I did not like Being Sloane Jacobs and The Trouble with Destiny was horrible. I’ve kind of given up on the author, and it makes me really sad.


7. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

8. The Body Electric by Beth Revis
I’ve gotten pretty picky with my sci-fi.

9. Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton


10.
Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
It just sounds like it’s full of too many deep issues…

Ok, there you hate it… Have I lost interest in a book you love? Tell me why I should read it! Am I better off without any of these? Throw your opinions at me!


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | Book Review

Posted February 16, 2018 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 8 Comments

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak | Book ReviewThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 14, 2006
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 552
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the publisher at ALA
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery ...

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I read this book over the course of almost two years in the hopes that I would not get attached and that I would not cry. I was unsuccessful on both accounts. There’s not much to say, really. It’s a beautiful story that is beautifully told.

The Book Thief, narrated by Death himself, tells the story of Liesel who discovers her very first book at her younger brother’s graveside after being put into foster care by a mother who could no longer take care of her. Her foster father teaches her to read, and she discovers her love of books as the Nazis run rampant through her country, reeking havoc on those just like the Jewish man hiding in her basement. She learns about love, life, and loss.

This book is probably the best book I’ve ever read in terms of writing, message, creativity, and thought. The writing style is immaculate in a way I can’t even explain. Emotions and feelings jump off of the page and into your soul. The story is true and heart wrenching, yet I smiled so many times. Death’s voice is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. He is cynical and caring at the same time, and is more grandfather than Grim Reaper. The characters are perfectly flawed and hopeful.

I think the most wonderful thing about this book is that it has teen appeal as well as adult appeal. We get to watch Liesel grow up, and even though she is younger than most readers, her maturity shines through because of her experiences. She could be 10, 17, 25, or 80 and each reader could identify with her and appreciate her voice. The themes of death, the importance of literature, friendship, family, love, and loss are so beautifully conveyed. It’s such a unique take on the Holocaust, and one that really spoke to me. I can see The Book Thief becoming a classic that is read for generations and generations because it is timeless and beautiful. Even though it is a very heart-wrenching and difficult book to read, I would recommend it to any and every reader. It’s so important that this event in history never be forgotten.


Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison | Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Posted February 14, 2018 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult / 10 Comments

Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison | Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison | Book Review (+ Giveaway)Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison
Series: Secrets of Itlantis #1
Published by Self on February 2, 2014
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: From the author
Amazon Amazon UK Barnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
Aemi lives in a village carved from stones and surrounded by sea. She wins spear-throwing competitions in disguise and earns slaps from her spoiled mistress by talking back. She hates being a slave. She survives by remembering her mother's tales of home, a paradise called Perilous.

Aemi intends to find it.

But then, black ships rise from the sea in the night. Aemi is captured and taken to Itlantis, an underwater world of cities and gardens encased in glass, dazzling technology. and a centuries-long war.

She is determined to escape, even if it means conspiring with fellow prisoner Nol, who fills her with equal parts anger and desire. Even if it means impersonating her mistress. Even if it means fleeing into the territory of the Dron, the bloodthirsty barbarians of the deep.

But when Aemi witnesses firsthand an attack by the Dron, she realizes not all is as it seems below the sea.

And Perilous might be closer than she thinks.

I love everything Kate has written, so I was very eager and excited to read Of Sea and Stone. I’m happy to report that I’m still a Kate Avery Ellison fangirl, and absolutely loved Of Sea and Stone! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I love the world of Itlantis. It’s beautiful! There are different underwater cities spread across the ocean, each one special in its own way. Aemi has been captured from her village at the surface and taken to the city of Celestrus. This city has, what I can only describe to be, glass spheres that are suspended in the water. Each sphere is a library dedicated to each of the different cities of Itlantis. You can see sea life swimming by and light from the surface dancing. The libraries are filled with books, foliage, sculpture, fountains, and walkways. I’d LOVE to visit!

2. Kate’s writing is so beautiful. She describes things as if you were right there! I kept wanting to highlight all the descriptive passages because I loved them so much.

3. I really liked Aemi. She’s strong, versatile, brave, smart, and level-headed. She takes her kidnapping very well. Haha. She adapts well to her new home, but she’s got plans to escape. She’s assertive and makes people fall for her, whether it be in love or in friendship.

4. Nol is pretty swoony. In the beginning he was a very cocky, jerky guy who Aemi loved to hate. But they are the only survivors (that we know of) from their village, so they learn to work together. And I loved watching him grow from such a jerk to such a caring, selfless person.

5. There’s a little mystery, a little romance, and even some action! It’s the perfect blend of everything I love.

6. Holy cliffhanger. I can’t WAIT to buy the second book!

All in all, Of Sea and Stone pulled me out of a deep reading slump. I loved everything about it, and I love Kate’s storytelling and writing style. This is a wonderful fantasy/dystopia, and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone!


About Kate Avery Ellison

I’m the author of the Frost Chronicles, an Amazon bestselling series and source material for the adventure app game Frost by Delight Games, as well as numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I love putting a dash of mystery in everything I write, an ode to a childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. I can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever I can.

I wish I could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, I make my home in humid Atlanta with my husband, children, and two spoiled cats.

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebookAmazon Page

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Top Ten Romantic Things Book Characters Have Said

Posted February 12, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 34 Comments

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow this week’s topic is a love freebie! I’m so excited to see what you chose to write your list on.

I love swoony romances. I can’t help it! I am a hopeless romantic, and I love reading about people in love. Today I’ve chosen to share some of the swooniest, most romantic, most lovey dovey things that book characters have said to each other. I’ve limited the list to books I’ve actually read and can vouch for.

1. “You’re like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again.”
― Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

2. “For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.”
– Kerri Maniscalco, Hunting Prince Dracula

3. “I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belong to you.”
– Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

4. “I think I died to be reborn with you”
― Jodi Meadows, Incarnate

5. “There is no end to our story.”
― Leigh Bardugo, Siege and Storm

6. “I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again  just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me we don’t belong together.”
― Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

7. “I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you.”
— Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

8. “Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens.”
— Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

9. “I have no need for a world without you in it.”
— Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You

10. “How could you not know?” His voice was full of wonderment. “You changed me utterly. You were like a…like a bright, wonderful bloom in a garden full of weeds. Like a graceful capital on a page of plain script, a letter decorated with the deepest, finest colors in all Erin. Like a flame, Caitrin. Like a song.”
― Juliet Marillier, Heart’s Blood

What’s your very favorite romance novel? What about your favorite romantic quote or scene? I’d love recommendations, or to hear your thoughts on the quotes I shared!


The Debut Dish: Rebecca Ross, Farrah Penn, Adrianne Finlay, & Deborah Schaumberg

Posted February 11, 2018 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 5 Comments

The Debut Dish, a bi-monthly Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?

This issue of The Debut Dish features Rebecca Ross (The Queen’s Rising), Farrah Penn (Twelve Steps to Normal), Adrianne Finlay (Your One & Only), and Deborah Schaumberg (The Tombs).


The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
February 6, 2018 from HarperTeen
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Describe your book in five words or less.
Girls overthrowing kings.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene is a HUGE spoiler, so I’ll go with my second favorite, which is when Brienna is about to ride out into battle. There is this moment of peace that comes over her, even though she doesn’t know what’s about to unfold. We truly see her transform from an uncertain young girl into a brave woman dressed in armor who is about to wage war.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I had just clocked out at work and was walking to my car in the parking lot when my agent texted me, asking if she could call me. I was like, YES, call me! And then I sat in my car and waited a moment for that phone call, thinking I probably shouldn’t attempt to drive just yet. So I was sitting in my car when it happened :)

What’s your favorite junk food?
I have a terrible weakness for Sour Patch Kids.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A jar of Kombucha. I drink this nearly every day.


Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn
March 13, 2018 from JIMMY Patterson Books/Little, Brown
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

James Patterson presents this emotionally resonant novel that shows that while some broken things can’t be put back exactly the way they were, they can be repaired and made even stronger.

Kira’s Twelve Steps To A Normal Life

1. Accept Grams is gone.
2. Learn to forgive Dad.
3. Steal back ex-boyfriend from best friend…

And somewhere between 1 and 12, realize that when your parent’s an alcoholic, there’s no such thing as “normal.”
When Kira’s father enters rehab, she’s forced to leave everything behind–her home, her best friends, her boyfriend…everything she loves. Now her father’s sober (again) and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal…exactly as it was before she was sent away.

But is that what Kira really wants?

Life, love, and loss come crashing together in this visceral, heartfelt story by BuzzFeed writer Farrah Penn about a girl who struggles to piece together the shards of her once-normal life before his alcoholism tore it apart.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Love, loss, and repairing relationships.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Oh man, I am a big fan of kissing scenes. My book is set during the school year, and one character is working on building an enormous Audrey II puppet for the upcoming musical, Little Shop of Horrors. This might be a mild spoiler, but there’s a kissing scene that happens inside the giant Audrey II that was fun and swoony to write.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I’d left work on my lunch break to run an errand and my agent called me when I was driving. I pulled over into a gas station after she told me the news because I was so shocked and overwhelmed with excitement. I think I kept repeating, “What? Oh my god!” That lunch break lasted longer than I intended because I also had to immediately call my mom and sister—but I don’t think anyone at work noticed, haha.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pirate’s Booty, cheddar cheese and Wheat Thins, Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Carmel, warm chocolate chip cookies are all tied for first place.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Pencils that have food puns written on the side and a coffee mug that says “Luke’s Diner” on the front. (I love Gilmore Girls)


Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay
February 6, 2018 from HMH Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?

While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Describe your book in five words or less.
The future, clones, love, humanity

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
This is a tough question! Some of my favorite scenes give a bit too much away and would probably be called spoiler-y, so I’ll choose the scene where Althea-310 and Jack kiss. It’s not a first kiss for either of them, and their past experiences make them wary for different reasons, but they’re still willing to risk their emotions. It’s complicated for both of them, but I love the way Jack handles his need to be cautious.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In a home improvement store near a display of sinks. It felt pretty random, but a lot of the time big news feels that way regardless of where you are when you hear it.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Potato chips with french onion dip. Crispy, salty, creamy–what else could you want? I can’t have it in the house or it’ll be gone and I’ll have regrets.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A shrimp bubble. It’s a glass globe self-contained ecosystem with 5 little shrimp swimming around in it. It’s the best I can manage for a pet, only because it requires zero effort on my part.


The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg
February 20, 2018 from HarperTeen
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Gangs of New York meets Cassandra Clare in this debut YA fantasy set in 1882 Brooklyn

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Aura seers – sinister underground asylum.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
So hard to choose, especially without spoilers! There are two that come to mind – one where Avery and her drunk father reminisce about a happier time before her mother was taken. And another when Avery stumbles upon a greenhouse in The Tombs, an enchanting place inhabited by one of my favorite characters.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Wednesday, 3/16/16 at 5:09 pm. I was home, after a long, very ordinary day. I checked my email and the day became magical! My agent informed me that Kristen Pettit at Harper Collins was prepared to make an offer; but she wanted to speak with me first! After an agonizing, jumping-out-of-my-skin, two-day wait, we talked on the phone, and our vision of the book was in perfect alignment! She said she would make the offer! Needles to say, my family and I celebrated that Friday night!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Ice cream, especially anything chocolatey and peanut-buttery! I can eat it every night.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Hmmm…what’s not odd on my desk? I tend to collect odd things! Right now there is a vertebrae of some animal, fossils, crystals, used bullet cartridges, a naked troll doll from my childhood…I could go on.


A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare | Mini Book Review

Posted February 8, 2018 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 1 Comment

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare | Mini Book ReviewA Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Series: Spindle Cove #1
Also in this series: Once Upon a Winter's Eve
Published by Avon on August 30, 2011
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Pages: 372
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle... but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?

It goes without saying that I love Tessa Dare. She’s amazing, and always delivers when I need a good dose of historical romance filled with swoons, banter, and warm fuzzies. I discovered her Castles Ever After series and devoured those quickly. Then I decided to read her backlist starting with Spindle Cove. Guys, Spindle Cove is this adorable, quaint little seaside hamlet that I completely fell in love with and the people there have really big hearts.

Susanna and Bram are such a fun couple. They are one of those hate-to-love duos that I so enjoy. She’s in Spindle Cove to build it up and take care of the other ladies who society has kind of rejected for one reason or another. Bram is there to infiltrate their leisurely lives and build a volunteer militia from the town’s citizens (honetly, what were they thinking sending him to a town like this?). Luckily the ladies in Spindle Cove are no strangers to weaponry, as they shoot on Thursdays. Why not build a militia of spinster women? Susanna and Bram butt heads like you wouldn’t believe, but that passion ignites a romance that gave me all the swoons. The supporting characters are all wonderful, and it’s exciting to think about returning to visit them and read their love stories as well. While this is not my favorite romance, it definitely sets the tone for a series that I’m sure will continue to get better and better.

Dare’s writing is wonderful. She’s so great at capturing humor and romance and hatred and rolling them together into a romance filled with sparks and tension and excitement. This is a very sweet story that I’d definitely recommend.

 

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