Jaime Questell’s Mood Board for By a Charm and a Curse | Guest Post

Posted March 8, 2018 by Jana in Debut Author Challenge, Guest Post, Mood Board / 1 Comment

I’m excited to welcome 2018 debut author, Jaime Questell, to the blog today to share with us her mood board for By a Charm and a Curse! She chose some really pretty pictures, and I love her reasonings for choosing them.

 

Jaime Questell’s Mood Board for By a Charm and a Curse

I’m the kind of writer who finds mood boards incredibly helpful when writing. If I feel a little stumped or unsure what to write next, then I go back to my mood boards to try to recapture that feeling the picture inspired. So here are a few of the photos that I collected while writing By a Charm and a Curse.

To start, obviously, a Ferris wheel. That was one of the first images I had in my mind when I came up with the story and one of the first I found for my mood board. I love the glowing lights and the rickety little cars. And this photo of a Ferris wheel against a twilight sky, feels exactly the way I wanted the start of my novel to feel.

One of the next photos I found was this vintage photo of three tumblers. As someone who is very uncoordinated, I was immediately taken in by how in control these three are, and how each is dependent on the other. The Moretti brothers, for all their faults, operate under that inherent trust and belief in each other.

The Dresden Dolls were a big inspiration for this novel, and this photo of their drummer, Brian Viglione, helped shape my early imaginings of Sidney into a real character. I love how in this pic, Viglione is wearing vintage clothes but seems completely modern, like a person stuck in time. And while the Sidney on the page doesn’t match up exactly with Viglione in this photo, I think the spirit is still there.

Much like the vintage photo of the tumblers, when I came across this vintage photo of a young equestrian being trained by (in my imagination, if not in fact) her dad, I knew I needed characters like this.

Anyone who’s read the book knows that a pivotal scene takes place on a carousel, and I took that opportunity to fill the ride with as many fantastic creatures and bright colors as I could, all while coming back to the soft glow of this photo. I have always loved carousels (my husband and I even took our engagement photos on one!), especially the art of them, the deeply saturated colors and movement captured in the figures.

This photo of a woman in a modified ringmaster’s costume always made me think of Leslie. The confident way she’s holding herself, the sense you get that, even though she’s not looking at the camera, she’s surveying that which belongs to her. All that’s missing to really make her Leslie is blond curls.

And finally, this photo of a carnival as seen from above, in the early morning. Or at least, what I’m choosing to believe is early morning and not sunset. That was a feeling I wanted to capture: what does a carnival feel like when it’s not teeming with people? I hope I succeeded, at least a little.


By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell
Published by Entangled Teen on February 6, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Editorial Reviews for By a Charm and a Curse

“A dark idea for a YA story, executed deftly and with feeling.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A real page-turner! I was so charmed by this book filled with mystery and magical mayhem that I wasn’t able to put it down until the end.” — Brenda Drake, New York Times bestselling author

“What a ride! From the very first page, By a Charm and a Curse took me on a roller coaster of emotions—and I never wanted to get off!” — Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author


About Jaime Questell

Jaime Questell is a writer and graphic designer from Houston, Texas. She has also been a bookseller, a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and an administrative assistant. None of these jobs involved wrangling corgis, which is quite sad. She lives in the ‘burbs with her husband, children, and pets.

Author Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

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First Look: Beneath by Maureen A. Miller

Posted March 8, 2018 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight / 1 Comment

First Look: Beneath by Maureen A. Miller

Today we’re getting a first look at Maureen Miller’s upcoming YA book, Beneath. I’m super excited about this book because yay survival stories! Read a little bit about it, check out the excerpt, and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

Beneath by Maureen A. Miller
Self published on March 26, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Survival, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

An overnight fishing trip on the Atlantic Ocean…

It was Stella Gullaksen’s final break before starting her freshman year at college. Joining her best friend, Jill, and Jill’s family aboard the STARKISSED, Stella wakes to a violent storm that capsizes the boat over a hundred miles off the New Jersey shore.

As the waves haul her under Stella knows that she is going to die. Instead, an unusual current drags her deep into the underwater canyons of the Atlantic Ocean. Powerless against the raging waters, she is suddenly sucked into a ventilated cave. One by one, Jill and her family also emerge in the sunken cavern.

With only a faulty diving flashlight to keep oblivion at bay Stella and her best friend’s brother, Colin, search the cave in hope of finding a way back to the surface. What they discover, however, is that they are not alone. There are other survivors in this subterranean grotto–survivors spanning decades of maritime disasters.

Will this discovery prove salvation, or have they all been condemned to the same fate? A grim finale at the bottom of the sea?

On an alliance forged by friendship and attraction, Stella and Colin battle to escape the danger that lies beneath.


Excerpt of Beneath by Maureen A. Miller

Colin moved, shaking Stella from her daydream.

“Come on. Stay close,” he instructed.

Close. There was no problem with that command. There was no way she was being left behind in this subterranean abyss.

As they started forward, her toe clipped Colin’s heel causing her to stumble and plant a palm on his back for support.

“A little too close,” Colin muttered over his shoulder.

Stella’s hand snapped back. It wasn’t the first time she had inadvertently touched her best friend’s older brother.

In high school, she had taken many fishing trips with the Wexlers. It was common for them to spend the night out at sea so that Jill’s dad could reach the best fishing spot. The cabin was tight on the STARKISSED, and normally Colin would sleep on the bench seat beside the kitchen table while the three females monopolized the v-shaped bed.

On one occasion she, Jill, and Anne Wexler retired into the cabin for the night, while Colin and his father remained up on deck. Stella and Jill took the bunk on one side of the V, and Anne slept on the other. At some point the boat pitched slightly on a wave and Stella rolled off her tight perch into the gap between the mattresses. Expecting to hit the floor she instead landed on something pliant. Something strong. Something that smelled like the sea and Irish Spring.

Stella was a junior at the time. She had already been kissed and maybe pawed a little, but she still had very little knowledge of what a man felt like. Now she was pinned to a wide chest with her legs twined between his. Planting her palms on the carpet, she clambered for balance. Heat rushed to her cheeks and it seemed every move she made to dislodge herself only made matters worse.

Colin didn’t say a word. Powerful arms hefted her back onto the mattress and just like that, his silhouette climbed through the hatch and back onto the deck.

Ever since that incident she had a tough time looking him in the eye. It wasn’t just because of the awkwardness of the situation. The truth she concealed was that she had a big-time crush on her best friend’s brother.


About Maureen A. Miller

USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.

Maureen’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. After that she became hooked to the genre. In fact, she was so hooked she is the founder of the JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE website.

Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with the popular BEYOND Series. To her it was still Romantic Suspense…just on another planet!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub | Instagram

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Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes (version 2.0)

Posted March 5, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 31 Comments

So we first did this topic on The Broke and the Bookish back in 2013. Check out my favorite quotes back then! I still love all of those quotes, but today I get to share 10 more that I love! I’m excited to see yours!

1. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

2. “…she made her home in between the pages of books.”
― Maggie Stiefvater, Linger

3. “If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

4. “There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

5. “I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

6. “If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”
― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

7. “Even in that time of utter darkness, somewhere deep inside me the memory of love and goodness had stayed alive.”
― Juliet Marillier, Heart’s Blood

8. “As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”
― Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

9. “Stories are lights. Light is precious in a world so dark.”
– Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

10. “When the paintings come out for you, it’s what people have meant all along when they talk about artists being immortal. In a way, their work can live forever. When the art comes alive it’s like the immortal version of the painting, like a little bit of the person painted has gotten to live forever.”
– Daisy Whitney, Starry Nights

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My 13 Favorite Quotes from A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle | Blog Tour

Posted March 5, 2018 by Jana in Blog Tour, Bookish Quotes / 2 Comments

My 13 Favorite Quotes from A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle | Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the official A Wrinkle In Time blog tour, hosted by Macmillan Children’s, in honor of the upcoming theater release of the A Wrinkle In Time movie (March 9, 2018!


I read A Wrinkle In Time just a few years ago as an adult in library school, so I don’t have the nostalgia surrounding the story like so many readers have. I did really enjoy it, though, and can totally see why it has become such a beloved classic. I’m excited to see the movie!

Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite quotes from the book, which is going to be a bit of a daunting task because A Wrinkle In Time is SO quotable.

My 13 Favorite Quotes from A Winkle In Time

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

“Just relax and don’t worry over things that needn’t trouble you.”

“Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.”
– Mrs. Who, quoting Euripides

“People are more than just the way they look.”

“‘We do not know what things look like, as you say,’ the beast said. ‘We know what things are like. It must be a very limiting thing, this seeing.'”

“Maybe if you aren’t unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy.”

“I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.”

“We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things which are not seen are eternal.”

“But of course we can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.”

“To love is to be vulnerable; and it is only in vulnerability and risk—not safety and security—that we overcome darkness.”

“We have to make decisions, and we can’t make them if they’re based on fear.”

“The more a man knows, the less he talks.”

“The most memorable books from our childhoods are those that make us feel less alone, convince us that our own foibles and quirks are both as individual as a finger-print and as universal as an open hand.”


A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Series: Time Quintet #1
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on November 7th 2017 (first published in 1962)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Time Travel
Add to Goodreads
Buy from Amazon

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Visit the other tour stops!

February 21st | YA Bibliophile
February 22nd | Adventures of a Book Junkee
February 23rd | Falling For YA
February 23rd | Fiktshun
February 26th | Addicted 2 Novels
February 27th | Swoony Boys Podcast
February 28th | Book Nerds Across America
February 28th | YAWednesdays
March 1st | Fiction Fare
March 2nd | Bookish Lifestyle
March 3rd | Forever Young Adult
March 5th | That Artsy Reader Girl
March5th | Hello, Chelly
March 6th | Book Briefs
March 7th | Ex Libris
March 8th | Reading Teen

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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
Add to Goodreads
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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

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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?

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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
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

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
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

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
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

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
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

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
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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

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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!

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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
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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.

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