Posts Categorized: Giveaway

Holly Schindler Guest Post | Spark Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

May 16, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post 2

Holly Schindler Guest Post | Spark Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to my spot along the Spark blog tour, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! I’m pleased to turn the blog over to the author of Spark, Holly Schindler, for a guest post.

I asked Holly:
If you could write yourself into Spark,
what kind of character would you be and why?

Following her post, read all about Spark and enter to win one of three finished copies of the book!


Holly Schindler on Her Place in Spark

In many ways, I did write myself into SPARK. I’m a little bit Quin—I’ve worn glasses since I was nine, and I’ve always been a giant reader, always written. (I was writing stories at my child-sized rolltop desk when I was a little girl!)

I’m also a little bit Cass—I’m a music junkie, and have always loved anything vintage. In high school, I wore more vintage clothes than new.

And I’m a little bit Dylan—I was a really shy kid. You definitely didn’t hear my voice much in class. I’m not a stutterer—I didn’t have the same reason not to be a big talker—but I do know what it’s like to feel like the quiet one in a giant group of more extraverted classmates.

…And that brings me to one of the central themes of SPARK: Growing up, I also felt, just like all the kids in Advanced Drama, what it was like to be full of flaws. But the thing is, we ALL have flaws. Or at least, perceived flaws, both internal and external. We all have that voice inside our head that says we’re not quite good enough—that’s constantly musing about how great it would be to snap our fingers and fix our shortcomings.

SPARK encourages readers to imagine what it would be like if you could magically erase your flaws…as the video below explains:


Spark by Holly Schindler
Published by HarperTeen on May 17, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism
Add to Goodreads
Amazon • B&N • IndieBound • iBooks • Book Depository

The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her the tragic love story of Nick and Emma that played out on the theater’s stage all those years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to rewrite for her drama class, but when she goes searching for more information, she makes a startling discovery—the Avery is rapidly regaining its former splendor and setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive Nick and Emma’s romance. Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.


About the Author:
Holly Schindler

I’m a hybrid author of critically acclaimed traditionally published and Amazon bestselling independently published works for readers of all ages. My previous YAs (A BLUE SO DARK, PLAYING HURT, and FERAL) have received starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, won silver and gold medals from ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, been featured on Booklist’s First Novels for Youth, School Library Journal’s “What’s Hot in YA,” and been selected as a PW Pick.

Going hybrid means that I’ve been able to explore all sorts of new avenues—short fiction, sequels, I’m even going to be branching out into doing some illustrative work. Throughout 2016, I’m releasing one short story a month in the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle. The cycle begins with “Come December”.

HollySchindler.com
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PlayingHurtMashup

 

Also, in honor of SPARK’s release, Holly is holding a sale on PLAY IT AGAIN, the sequel to her YA romance, PLAYING HURT. For a limited time, PLAY IT AGAIN is $.99.


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Follow the rest of the tour!

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

The Debut Dish: May 2016, Issue #1 (+ Giveaways)

May 8, 2016 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 5

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 Erin L. Schneider (Summer of Sloane), Lindsey Klingele (The Marked Girl), Jenna Evans Welch (Love & Gelato), Sarah Jude (The May Queen Murders), Sarah Alexander (The Art of Not Breathing), Mia Garcia (Even if the Sky Falls), and Darcy Woods (Summer of Supernovas).


Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
May 3, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Heartbreak, possibilities, self-discovery, friendship, forgiveness.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Finn takes Sloane to spend the day at a waterfall, and convinces her to jump — it actually ended up becoming the excerpt for the back of my book cover!

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
It all happened so fast – 17 days to be exact. And I was at home when my agent let me know…good thing too, as I’m pretty sure you could hear me squee all the way to Hawaii!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Haribo gummi bears – but only the red and the green ones!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A half eaten Vosge’s Mo’s Milk Chocolate & Bacon bar. Yum. :)

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The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
June 7, 2016 from HarperCollins
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…

When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…

Describe your book in five words or less.
Fantasy tale turned upside-down.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I love the scenes that take familiar fantasy tropes and drop them in the Los Angeles setting. In the ‘Storming the Castle’ chapter, the main characters have to get past obstacles (a Hollywood sightseeing bus), climb the gates (a fancy Beverly Hills hedge) and make their way to the ‘castle’ (a movie star’s mansion).

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was on vacation, actually! A weekend getaway to Catalina Island was made a zillion times cooler when I got that call.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Does ranch dressing count? It’s good on so many things…

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
My mom just sent me a little book that I wrote in second grade and had totally forgotten about. Weirdly, it’s also a portal fantasy (so maybe I’ve just been holding onto the same idea for 20 years…?)

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Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
May 3, 2016 from Simon Pulse
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Love and mystery in Italy.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
The final scene! I don’t want to give too much away, but it takes place in an Italian cemetery on a summer night.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At my son’s first birthday party. He’d just blown out the candle and I was surrounded by people I love.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Ice cream!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I never seem to work at my desk, so I don’t even know! There is a toy snake sitting next to me on the couch.

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The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
May 3, 2016 from HMH Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Murder, mystery, love, and madness.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
There’s a scene wherein Ivy is awakened early in the morning by her cousin Heather. The girls sit on the steps outside the farmhouse while Heather tells Ivy a secret. It is such an intimate moment yet also painful for Ivy as she realizes she is being left behind.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In Target, with two of my kids on my niece’s birthday. My cell phone rang with my agent’s number as we were walking into the store, but I couldn’t hear her because of heavy wind. So we got inside to the food court where my daughter starts yelling at her brother and I promptly turned red and teary, which caused a woman to ask if I was okay. I was very okay.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Reeses’ peanut butter cups. Always.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
An antique poison bottle and a miniature jar of wishbones.

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The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
April 1, 2016 from Usborne (UK)
April 26, 2016 from HMH Books for Young Readers (USA)
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Girl meets ocean and finds…

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I love all the underwater scenes, and the ones with Eddie, but my favourite scene is the one in the garden with the paddling pool and the boat because it’s full of so much hope – a little glimpse of light in between all the shades of sadness.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Getting married! Yep, I found out on my wedding day that I’d had an offer. Best day ever.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Bacon, bacon, bacon. Cheese.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Nothing odd, only really cool stuff – like a calendar of all the 2016 debut releases and lots of coloured pens.

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Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
May 10, 2016 from Katherine Tegen Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

All she needs is one night to be anyone she wants.

Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. But between her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions, Julie feels more trapped than ever.

In a moment of daring, she ditches her work clothes for DIY fairy wings and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they dance under the stars, share their most shameful secrets, and fall in love.

But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.

Describe your book in five words or less.
24-hour romance set NOLA.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I loved every time I got to describe how my protagonist, Julie, felt like she dancing among the stars during Mid-Summer.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At work, most likely avoiding looking at that particular email just in case it said something else.

What’s your favorite junk food?
I have re-discovered Cheetos.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
An empty Honeydukes jar. It’s odd because it is never empty, until today.

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Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
May 10, 2016 from Crown Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.

When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.

But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Astrology
Swoon
Loss
Humor
Heart

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Hands down, the opening scene. If you want a sense of the quirky, adventurous spirit that is Wilamena Carlisle (the main character) this is Wil at her best! Plus it involves a water tower, an adorably misguided boy, a thong flash (Wil’s not the boy) and an emergency rescue team. There’s no shortage of action or absurdity. ;)

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was visiting with my dad when my agent Catherine Drayton called. Pretty sure I broke all the glass with my shriek, and then I did this insane vacillation between laughing and ugly crying. I will never forget Catherine saying, “Darcy, you’re going to be a published author!” I emote out my eyes every time I think of the moment.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Trader Joe’s Creamy Spinach & Artichoke dip. The box says it allegedly serves eight but this is a lie. It serves ONE. *drops the mic*

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
My tuxedo cat Ceedo Bandito. She’s a marvelously strange hybrid of aquatic feline and heart thief.


Apollycon ’17 Author/Vendor Line-Up & Registration Options (+ Giveaway)

May 6, 2016 Bookish News, Giveaway 1

Apollycon Header

 

Hey there! I’m one of 25 official Apollycon 2017 bloggers so over the next year I’ll be giving you all the information on the conference so you know exactly what’s going on.


Today is the magical day of the unveiling of the Apollycon author and vendor line-up! It started at 9AM EST this morning on the conference Facebook page, and was revealed in three parts (hourly) on the Apollycon Twitter and Instagram accounts. In case you missed it, here’s that list of gold:

AppolyconAuthors
Vendors-Apollycon

Follow the Apollycon social media pages so you don’t miss anything important!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
(and it’s a good idea to sign up for the Newsletter too)

Ok, so also… Today is the day we tell you all about Apollycon registration options and the different passes you can purchase. There are four: Titan, Apollyon, Demi-god and FAST PASS. Each one is different and provides you with different opportunities, so make sure you read carefully and pick the one that works best for you.

APOLLYCON 2017 REGISTRATION WILL OPEN UP ON FRIDAY, JUNE 3rd!

And here are the conference pass options:

apollycon titan pass

Apollycon apollycon pass

Apollycon demigod pass

 

IMPORTANT: “GENERAL” TICKETS FOR THE SATURDAY SIGNING ARE FREE!

You will still need to register through the Eventbrite page, but there will be no cost for your general signing ticket. This will grant you entry to the Saturday signing, and all authors and vendors in attendance.

Woo! So exciting! Which pass do you want to buy when the time comes?

Giveaway

Of course, we have a giveaway for you! One winner will receive a “Front of the Line” pass for Apollycon which they may redeem during one of the Apollycon signings to jump the to the front of one line. It is a one-time use pass. ID must be presented when claiming the pass. It is transferrable. If you win and later find you cannot attend, you may transfer the pass once to another attendee.

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Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

April 27, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway 2

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Excerpt | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Published by Swoon Reads on April 19, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Pages: 368
AmazonBarnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

Welcome to my spot along the blog tour for Love, Lies, and Spies hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Cindy Antsey is a 2016 debut author (yay Debut Author Challenge books!), and I have an excerpt that is sure to get you excited to grab a copy soon. Make sure you enter to win a print copy of the book as well!

“Oh my, this is embarrassing,” Miss Juliana Telford said aloud. There was no reason to keep her thoughts to herself, as she was alone, completely alone. In fact, that was half of the problem. The other half was, of course, that she was hanging off the side of a cliff with the inability to climb either up or down and in dire need of rescue.

“Another scrape. This will definitely give Aunt apoplexy.”

Juliana hugged the cliff ever closer and tipped her head slightly so that she could glance over her shoulder. Her high-waisted ivory dress was deeply soiled across her right hip, where she had slid across the earth as she dropped over the edge.

Juliana shifted slowly and glanced over her other shoulder. Fortunately, the left side showed no signs of distress, and her lilac sarcenet spencer could be brushed off easily. She would do it now were it not for the fact that her hands were engaged, holding tightly to the tangle of roots that kept her from falling off the tiny ledge.

Juliana continued to scrutinize the damage to her wardrobe with regret, not for herself so much as for her aunt, who seemed to deem such matters of great importance. Unfortunately, her eyes wandered down to her shoes. Just beyond them yawned an abyss. It was all too apparent how far above the crashing waves of the English Channel she was—and how very small the ledge.

Despite squishing her toes into the rock face as tightly as possible, Juliana’s heels were only just barely accommodated by the jutting amalgamate. The occasional skitter and plop of eroding rocks diving into the depths of the brackish water did nothing to calm her racing heart.

Juliana swallowed convulsively. “Most embarrassing.” She shivered despite a warm April breeze. “I shall be considered completely beyond the pale if I am dashed upon the rocks. Aunt will be so uncomfortable. Most inconsiderate of me.”

A small shower of sandy pebbles rained down on Juliana’s flowery bonnet. She shook the dust from her eyes and listened. She thought she had heard a voice.

Please, she prayed, let it be a farmer or a tradesman, some-one not of the gentry. No one who would feel obligated to report back to Grays Hill Park. No gentlemen, please.

“Hello?” she called out. Juliana craned her neck upward, trying to see beyond the roots and accumulated thatch at the cliff’s edge.

A head appeared. A rather handsome head. He had dark, almost black, hair and clear blue eyes and, if one were to notice such things at a time like this, a friendly, lopsided smile.

“Need some assistance?” the head asked with a hint of sarcasm and the tone of a . . .

“Are you a gentleman?” Juliana inquired politely.

The head looked startled, frowned slightly, and then raised an eyebrow before answering. “Yes, indeed, I am—”

“Please, I do not wish to be rescued by a gentleman. Could you find a farmer or a shopkeep— anyone not of the gentry—and then do me the great favor of forgetting you saw me?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I do not want to be rude, but this is a most embarrassing predicament—”

“I would probably use the word dangerous instead.”

“Yes, well, you would, being a man. But I, on the other hand, being a young woman doing her best not to call attention to herself and bring shame upon her family, would call it otherwise.”


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Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun | Blog Tour Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)

April 26, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 8 ★★★★

Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun | Blog Tour Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 26, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBound Add to Goodreads
4 Stars
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

Welcome to my stop along the Heir to the Sky blog tour, hosted by Hannah at The Irish Banana Review! I’m so happy to review this book today because I really enjoyed it! I guess I had been needing a really good dystopia because I ate this one up! I’m really at a loss for words, and am having a hard time coming up with a coherent review. So much happens in the book and it is so well done. I love that it’s a standalone, as it is super refreshing to read a fully fleshed-out story for a change. Anyway, I’m going to keep my review short and sweet so as not to give too much away.

The premise of the story is really interesting, and I was immediately intrigued even though I was a little worried that the floating continents aspect would be too similar to Lauren DeStefano’s Perfect Ruin. The bulk of this story takes place on Earth, though, so everything ended up feeling unique and fresh. And really, the story picked up for me after Kali fell and was literally thrown from her extravagant life as a royal to surviving a cold, dirty, scary life. Her first night on Earth was really exciting for me, and I loved reading about her experiences with the crazy beasts and dragons. But Griffin. Oh, Griffin. I LOVE him. He definitely made this story for me. I loved the bond that he and Kali formed, and I loved how sweet he was to her as he protected her and tried to get her back home.

This story is surrounded by a lot of legend and secrecy, and I enjoyed watching the mystery unfold regarding how the islands really ended up in the sky, what Earth is really like, and who these people really are. Kali has been lied to her whole life, and falling to Earth gave her the awful truth very quickly. She no longer wants to get home for selfish reasons, she wants to get home to save the world. She learns a lot about herself in the process and what she is capable of. She also meets a lot of people, makes some friends, falls in love, and experiences some very dangerous and life-changing things. I enjoyed watching her grow and become more aware and fierce.

I loved Sun’s writing style and the details she provided. Earth is portrayed in vivid detail, with lots of colors and ferocious beasts. I felt like I was there. I loved the characters and all the little secrets to society and politics and ways of life that shaped the story. Heir to the Sky is a fast-paced, action-packed read that had me turning the pages as quickly as humanly possible. I’d definitely recommend it to people who are looking for an interesting dystopia/fantasy mash-up.


About Amanda Sun

I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


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Tour Schedule:


The Debut Dish: April 2016, Issue #2 (+ Giveaways)

April 17, 2016 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 4

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 Meghan Rogers (Crossing the Line), Kristy Acevedo (Consider), Wendy Spinale (Everland), Shari Schwarz (Treasure at Lure Lake), and Cindy Anstey (Love, Lies, and Spies).


Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers
April 12, 2016 from Philomel Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

If Jason Bourne were a teenaged girl…

Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and raised in North Korea as a spy. When her agency sends her to the U.S. to infiltrate the very group her parents once worked for, Jocelyn jumps at the chance to turn double agent and finish off her kidnappers once and for all. She convinces the head of the American spy agency to trust her, but it’s not quite as simple as that: Jocelyn has to fight the withdrawal symptoms from the drug that the North Koreans used to keep her in line, and her new fellow spies refuse to trust their former adversary. Worst of all, there might be some new information to uncover about her parents – if she even wants to find out.

This action-packed spy thriller is part Gallagher Girls, part Alex Rider, and part Bourne Identity.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Teen spy thriller.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
It’s really hard to pick a favorite, but I love any scene where my two main characters are pushing each other.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At home.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Cheesy fries (which make an appearance in the book).

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
The baseball that I cut open and tore apart in an attempt to make a pinterest style baseball lace bracelet. (It didn’t work–or maybe I’m just not very crafty…).

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Consider by Kristy Acevedo
April 19, 2016 from Jolly Fish Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

As if Alexandra Lucas’ anxiety disorder isn’t enough, mysterious holograms suddenly appear from the sky, heralding the end of the world. They bring an ultimatum: heed the warning and step through a portal-like vertex to safety, or stay and be destroyed by a comet they say is on a collision course with earth. How’s that for senior year stress?

The holograms, claiming to be humans from the future, bring the promise of safety. But without the ability to verify their story, Alex is forced to consider what is best for her friends, her family, and herself.

To stay or to go. A decision must be made.

With the deadline of the holograms’ prophecy fast approaching, Alex feels as though she is living on a ticking time bomb, until she discovers it is much, much worse.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Girl–anxiety–holograms–apocalypse–family drama.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I have many favorite scenes, but as River Song would say, “Spoilers.”

There’s a riot scene at a Stop & Shop over food shortages that resonates with me. Lots of tension and drama happening at once with great character interactions so true to the moment.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I had to return the call from my soon-to-be editor, so I shut myself in my bedroom. We spoke for almost an hour since it was for a two-book series deal and he asked about my ideas for book 2.

After the call, I opened my bedroom door, and my husband and daughter were waiting on the other side. Of course, then we screamed and jumped around like idiots.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Coffee ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. Pizza is always good, too.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A framed picture of my old cat watching me write. (R.I.P. Theodore)

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Everland by Wendy Spinale
May 10, 2016 from Scholastic Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders — the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

Describe your book in five words or less.
Steampunk Peter Pan.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
When Gwen Darling arrives in the Lost City where Pete and dozens of other orphaned children live, she encounters a sweet boy named Gabs who earned his name rightfully so. Gabs bring innocent humor to underlying darkness that is EVERLAND.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Building legos with my son on his bedroom floor.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Anything that involves salted chocolate caramel.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A blue mechanical bug that walks when you turn it on. It’s fairly steampunkish now that I think about it.


Treasure at Lure Lake by Shari L. Schwarz
April 12, 2016 from Cedar Fort Publishing and Media
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

An epic adventure—that’s all Bryce wants this summer. So when he stumbles upon a treasure map connected to an old family secret, Bryce is determined to follow the clues to unearth both, even it means hiking in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere. Bryce must work with his bickering brother, Jack, or they may never see the light of day again!

Describe your book in five words or less.
HATCHET meets IF I STAY.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
One of them is when one of the brothers in the book is sleeping out under the stars and wakes to an ice storm plus a smell that reminds him of being in one of the enclosed animal houses at the zoo, and a scuffling noise right next to his head. He’s sure he’s going to be mauled by a bear…but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens!

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Checking emails in my kitchen in the middle of the day when no one was there to hear me freak out!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Lately? Tortilla chips and guacamole.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I actually don’t have a desk. But, I often type standing up at our kitchen bar and…on there is a Lego Stormtrooper.

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Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey
April 19, 2016 from Swoon Reads
Add to Goodreads | Author Twitter

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Regency. Romp. Bluestocking. Spy.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I love the very first scene of the book where Juliana is hanging off the side of a cliff in desperate need of help… but asks her rescuer to find someone else to aid her.

–“Please, I do not wish to be rescued by a gentleman. Could you find a farmer or a shopkeep—anyone not of the gentry—and then do me the great favor of forgetting you saw me?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I do not want to be rude but this is a most embarrassing predicament—”
“I would probably use the word dangerous instead.”
“Yes, well, you would, being a man. But I, on the other hand, being a young woman doing her best not to call attention to herself and bring shame upon her family, would call it otherwise.”

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At home, sitting in the front room–our library. Fortunately it has a carpet, so my jaw wasn’t damaged when it hit the floor.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pastries. We lived in Belgium for eight years and I fell in love with their bakeries.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Camera? Not really odd, but the pens, coffee mug and mouse would definitely not fall into that category.


Giveaway: Journey to Death by Leigh Russell

April 8, 2016 Book Spotlight, Giveaway 0

I don’t know about you, but right now I’d rather be anywhere than sitting at my desk working on my final projects for this semester of grad school. Seriously. Anywhere. When Journey to Death was pitched to me, the first thing I thought was “SEYCHELLES! Tropical paradise! A Thriller!” Basically, it has all the makings of a pretty awesome beach read, and I can’t wait to read it. Wunderkind PR agrees with me, so they are offering up a print copy to one of my readers in the USA! Read a little more about the book and enter to win a copy!

Journey to Death by Leigh Russell
Published by Thomas & Mercer on February 9, 2016
Genres: Adult fiction, contemporary, thriller
Add to Goodreads • Amazon

Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.

As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realises that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.

A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.

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The Debut Dish: April 2016, Issue #1 (+ Giveaways)

April 3, 2016 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 4

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 Laura Shovan (The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary), Janet Sumner Johnson (The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society), Dana Elmendorf (South of Sunshine), and Brooks Benjamin (My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights).


The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
April 12, 2016 from Wendy Lamb Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Eighteen kids,
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers
crouched outside,
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.

But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class
has plans for you.
They’re going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.

Laura Shovan’s engaging novel is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. The students grow up and move on in this big-hearted debut about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Kid poets protest school closing.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
While Ms. Hill’s fifth grade poets stage a sit-in at the board of education, they sing protest songs and argue that their school is the backbone of their community.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
On the way to an Orioles baseball game.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Chocolate chip cookies.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A bright yellow business card holder shaped like a hedgehog.

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The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson
April 1, 2016 from Capstone Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Some things are better together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Or Annie and Jason. So when her best friend’s house is threatened with foreclosure, Annie Jenkins is bursting with ideas to save Jason’s home. She could sell her appendix on eBay. (Why not?) Win the lottery. (It’s worth a shot!). Face the evil bankers herself. (She’s one tough cookie, after all.) Or hunt down an elusive (and questionably real) pirate treasure. Whatever the plan, it has to work, or this is undoubtedly THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Wow, this is hard!

Friendship cemented through PB&J.

or

No! You can’t move.

or how about:

Crazy plans to avoid moving.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Annie, my main character, is deathly afraid of turkeys. So when I tell you that there is a scene involving a bunch of turkeys and a pile of turkey poop, you know it’s going to be epic. I’d love to say more, but spoiler-alert!

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was at my daughter’s gymnastics class. The moment is ingrained in my mind!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Twix. Not even a contest!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I have an unopened Playmobil toy of a crocodile trainer and crocodile. Yeah, I don’t know why either.

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South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf
April 1, 2016 from Albert Whitman
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love?
And what will she risk for acceptance?

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.

Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

Describe your book in five words or less.
lesbian romance southern setting

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Chapter 7 – I call it the “Super Secret Library Meeting” where the MC, her gay best friend and the love interest are planning how to decorate the homecoming float and the MC and gay friend have the love interest take “The Oath.” I think it’s a funny, cute scene where the MC realizes she has a crush on the new girl.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In the middle of the grocery store on a Friday afternoon. My agent called me. The ONLY other time she has called me was to offer representation. I started balling like a baby. People were walking by me, scared. I kept saying, “I’m ok. It’s a happy cry.”

What’s your favorite junk food?
Chips but mostly the kind you have to lick the flavoring off your fingertips, like Cheetos. Or Funions…mmm, Funions are good.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
My dear writer friend Kathryn Rose drew me an “Edward Cullen Owl.” It’s framed, sitting on my desk. He’s holding a little red apple too. Next the sketch it says, “Edward Cullen Owl want to be the lion to your lamb.” Kat knows what a Twilight dork I am. #Twihard 4lyf!


My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin
April 12, 2016 from Delacorte
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

LIVE IT.

All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are.

WORK IT.

At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship?

BRING IT.

Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Total dance anarchy.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene is where the Dizzee Freekz (my main character’s dance crew) perform at a mall and everything that could possibly go wrong in a dance routine goes wrong.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In my classroom eating lunch. I nearly choked on an olive when I read the email.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pizza, although there is nothing junky about it. It is a glorious food that I can’t live without.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A stack of tarot cards. I wish this was because I happened to be a genius tarot-card reader, but I’m not. These are for book research only. But maybe one day…

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Have you heard about Furious by T.R. Ragan? (+ Giveaway)

March 25, 2016 Book Spotlight, Giveaway 0

I’m happy to spotlight a book today that I’m pretty excited to read! Furious sounds like my favorite Liam Neeson movie, Taken, so I’m sold. I can’t wait to read it! Read a little about the book and enter to win a copy!


Furious by T.R. Ragan
March 22, 2016 from Thomas & Mercer
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance.

Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy.

The forces she’s up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there’s nothing they won’t do to turn Faith’s crusade into a suicide mission. But they’re about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who’s earned the nickname Furious.

Early Praise

“Faith McMann, heroine of this gripping novel, is a Sacramento schoolteacher, wife, and mother who comes home just in time to witness her husband’s throat getting cut and her two children hauled away. The attempt on her life is botched—the killers were in a hurry—and as she recovers, she’s convinced the police are brushing her off. So she whacks a detective with his computer keyboard and gets sentenced to anger management sessions. If this were a cookie-cutter thriller, the male hero would be tracking the killers with an automatic weapon and maybe a major babe beside him. But our hero is smarter than that, and her revenge is a product of relationships, not bullets. In classes, she meets other victims as angry as she is, and, together, in fine scenes of action and suspense, they seek explanations and vengeance as well as the children’s rescue, which takes them into a slimy world of human trafficking. Learn here about “lot lizards” and “kiddie strolls” on the way to a wild finale. Suspenseful and smart, in equal measure.” —Don Crinklaw, Booklist

“Searing…Readers with strong stomachs will eagerly await the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

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The Debut Dish: March 2016, Issue #2 (+ Giveaways)

March 20, 2016 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 7

The Debut Dish, a 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 week’s issue of The Debut Dish features Elizabeth Briggs (Future Shock), Everly Frost (Fear My Mortality), Kurt Dinan (Don’t Get Caught), Christy Lenzi (Stone Field), Kim Savage (After the Woods), and Amber Smith (The Way I Used to Be).


Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
April 1, 2016 from Albert Whitman & Company
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life.

Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.

Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Twisty, romantic, thrilling, futuristic, diverse.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
The first kiss scene – it’s in the rain and comes after the two characters have finally opened up a little and decided to trust each other.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At my desk, writing another book!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Anything with peanut butter. Sometimes I eat it straight out of the jar. Yes, it’s weird.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Green lightsaber sunglasses.


Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost
April 5, 2016 from Month9Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

The future is bright for 16-year-old Ava Holland and the residents of Evereach. They don’t have to worry about old age or even getting sick. In their world, humans regenerate, heal, and live for hundreds of years. Mortality isn’t something to fear. Disease has been all but eradicated. Everything changes when Ava watches her brother die and he doesn’t regenerate. Ava’s genetics are called into question by the government, scientists, extremists, and Ava herself. Could her genes hold the answer to mortality? Is she an anomaly or something to be feared? Determined not to become anyone’s guinea pig, Ava doesn’t stick around to find out. She wants answers too, but the only person who can help her is 17-year-old Michael Bradley, the boy who killed her brother. If either of them have even the slightest chance of survival, they must find the genetic keys hidden in Ava’s DNA before it’s too late.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Immortal world’s first mortal girl.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
When Ava dances in the park. Actually, it’s who she dances with and the way they start to connect that I love, but I don’t want to include spoilers.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was at work. In a quiet, open plan office. It took every ounce of self-control not to shoot out of my chair, whoop, and do a happy dance on the spot.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pizza.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A bright pink hairbrush.

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Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
April 1, 2016 from Sourcebooks
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Pranks, anti-authoritarianism, & juvenile humor.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
The book is filled with elaborate pranks, my favorite of which consists of the main characters orchestrating 1000 students to form…well, let’s just say something completely school-inappropriate…on the football field for an aerial photo.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I’d just gotten back to my car after a run at the YMCA and my agent had left me a message saying we had an offer. One of my first thoughts was, “Well, I guess exercising actually paid off for once.”

What’s your favorite junk food?
Oh man, mark my words–buffalo dip and chips will be my downfall.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
My 20+ year old college ID back when I had hair!

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Stone Field by Christy Lenzi
March 29, 2016 from Roaring Brook Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

Describe your book in five words or less.
American Wuthering Heights with bushwhackers.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
There’s an early scene when Cat, in a frantic state, runs to her best friend, Effie’s house. Up in the attic, Cat finds Effie calm and thoughtful even though her heart is torn. I love the interaction between them there, because we see the two women’s very different personalities—passionate in their own ways—and the dynamic of their friendship, which is an important part of the book.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was in my cubicle at work when I got the call from my agent. I grabbed my phone and shut myself in the office supply room. My heart was pounding so hard and I could barely say hello. It was such wonderful news. When I hung up, I gave a sort of yelp-scream and bounded out of the supply room and proceeded to bounce around the office, squealing and shrieking. My co-workers thought I was losing my mind. I floated through the rest of the day on a little puffy cloud, occasionally emitting a squeal of delight and pinching myself. It was one of the best days of my life.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Trader Joe’s Fireworks Chocolate Bar—dark chocolate with Red Hot Pop Rocks in it. I want one right now!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
There’s an old-school hand-held cb radio here on my desk at work. I don’t really know what we used them for in the past, but now they’re surplused. My boss has the other one on his desk. We went back and forth with the trucker lingo for a while, and I was getting pretty good at it, but he’s turned his off, now. Probably so I don’t radio “Breaker, Breaker, good buddy. Comin’ in loud and proud. Catch ya on the flip-flop!” during a meeting…

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After the Woods by Kim Savage
February 23, 2016 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Survival is hardest of all.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
When Alice–who doesn’t run–is running around the track, pretending to be casual, trying eavesdrop on Julia and Paula’s conversation.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Working in the library. My agent called. I went cold all over.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Cheese. Don’t judge.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A pimped out label-maker. I’m an organizational freak.


The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
March 22, 2016 from Margaret K. McElderry Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year.

Describe your book in five words or less.
betrayal, secrets, lies, trust, hope

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I have a lot of favorites, but the scene I’m thinking of is one that takes place toward the end of the book. So without giving too much away, all I will say is that it involves the main character Eden, a former love, an intense conversation, and a monumental moment of truth…all of which happens at an IHOP (while ditching school).

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was sitting at my desk at my day job when my agent texted, asking me to call her. So I went outside and stood on a busy downtown street, and tried to breath (and block out the street noise) while I called her back. She said, “Are you sitting down? Really, are you sitting down?” And I don’t really remember the next part because I was so deliriously happy, except I think I shouted “Omigod, seriously?” after every piece of information I was given! I’m pretty sure I didn’t get any work done the whole rest of the day.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Anything dark chocolate covered…or anything peanut butter…or better yet, something that involves both dark chocolate and peanut butter!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A small ceramic dish filled with some of my favorite stones: rose quartz, lapis, blue tiger’s eye, moonstone, black tourmaline…and a miniature bronze statue of Buddha.

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