Debut Author Challenge 2016: December Review Link-Up

December 1, 2016 Debut Author Challenge 0

DAC2016S

Guys, we did it! It’s the last and final month of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge. I can’t believe it! We’ve got two Debut Dish posts left and then we’re DONE. This has been an amazing year for the challenge!

Just a few stats for you:
– 104 debut authors were interviewed as part of the Debut Dish series.
– 414 (and counting) debut book reviews were linked up this year (and those are just the ones you remembered to link up! lol.)! These reviews were from readers across the entire world, and in multiple different languages.
– 171 people participated in the challenge across Goodreads, blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Amazon, and Facebook.

I’m so proud! I’m SO happy that so many people came together this year to celebrate and promote all these brand new authors and their books. I’ve heard from many of them than you all made a difference, and that warms my heart. Keep up the great work during this final stretch of the challenge! Who achieved the goal of reading 12 debuts this year? Who surpassed it? Tell me how many you read in the comments below. :)

Sign up for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge!

Have a wonderful holiday season, and a very happy new year!

Some things to remember:

– It’s never too late to join the fun! If you’d like to join or make sure you’re signed up, there is a sign-up list and list of participants located in the Debut Author Challenge tab at the top of my blog.

– In order to get credit for your review, you must have read the book in 2016. If you read an ARC of a 2016 debut in 2015, it does not count. (I don’t want people with access to ARCs to have an advantage over those who don’t.)

– I’m here if you have any questions at all, so don’t hesitate to shoot me a message via Twitter or comment or homing pigeon.


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2017 Debut Author Challenge Sign-Ups

December 1, 2016 Debut Author Challenge 6

Are you a 2017 debut author who would like to be featured in the challenge’s bi-monthly feature, the Debut Dish? Please fill out this form.

dac2017mainbuttonIt’s that time of year again! We’re about to wrap up the 2016 Debut Author Challenge, and it’s time to start thinking about 2017! Our new authors have some pretty amazing-sounding books in store for us next year, and I can’t wait to dive in to a bunch of them! The rules are exactly the same as this year’s challenge, and I hope you’re excited to join us for 2017!

What’s changed from last year? Instead of monthly review link-ups, we’re doing quarterly review link-ups! This makes things easier on everyone involved.

Sign up below, grab one of the buttons (who doesn’t like options?), and start building your TBR! Make sure you tell all your friends to sign up with you, and it might be nice to share this challenge with all your 2017 debut author friends so I can get them scheduled for the Debut Dish series!

Challenge Objectives:

  • To introduce readers to this year’s wonderful group of debut authors.
  • To challenge readers to read 12 or more (or less! It’s up to you!) middle grade, young adult, and new adult debuts this year.

Challenge Rules:

  • You must post your thoughts on each debut book you read in order for it to count towards the challenge. You can post anywhere: your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. If you can link it up, it counts!
  • You can join the challenge whenever you want.
  • The debuts must have a publishing date in 2017 and must have been read between January 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018 (this extra month allows readers adequate time to read December debuts) in order to count.
  • Each review gives you an entry into the quarterly (four times a year) prize pack drawings. Make sure you post the links to my quarterly link-ups. I will post these link-ups on the first day of January, April, July, and October.
  • This challenge is open internationally, as are the quarterly prize packs.
  • I don’t care what language you write your reviews in, I just need to know which book you have reviewed so I can verify your entry. When you post your link in the Linky, please include the title in English.
  • Use the hashtag #2017DebAuthC so we can all see what everyone’s up to!

Which Books Count:

  • The book must be classified as middle grade, young adult, new adult fiction.
  • The book must be a full-length novel and not a novella.
  • The book must be the author’s MG/YA/NA 2017 debut. (If the author has published adult fiction before, but this is their first MG/YA/NA book EVER it still counts. If the author has published a YA book before and this is their first MG or NA book, it does not count. We are reading the author’s first book for young people, excluding picture books.)
  • Self-published books do not count, so if the author has self-published a MG/YA/NA book before and this is their first book published by a traditional publisher it counts toward the challenge.
  • ARCs are fine, but only if you read them the year they are published. (If you read a 2017 debut in 2016, it does not count. If you read a 2018 debut in 2017, it does not count. This way, participants who do not have access to ARCs are not at a disadvantage.)
  • Since this challenge is international, some books will be debuts in some countries and not in others. This can be tricky and put some books into a gray area, so here’s what we will do. If the book came out this year in your country for the first time, even though it was available elsewhere, then you can count it. I’m going to trust you, so please be honest.
  • Please feel free to tweet, email, etc. me if you do not know if a book counts or not. I am happy to help you.

Helpful Links:

Challenge Buttons:

That Artsy Reader Girl
That Artsy Reader Girl
That Artsy Reader Girl
That Artsy Reader Girl

Participants List (and Sign-Ups):

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

November 24, 2016 Personal 1

thanksgiving-happy-thanksgiving-colorful-facebook-timeline-cover

 

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the USA, and I love this holiday almost as much as Christmas (if you know me at all, you know that’s a LOT). I love that there’s a holiday devoted to being thankful for my many blessings. I may not have everything I want/need in my life. I’ve got struggles like everyone else does, but I have so much to be thankful for as well.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today, I hope it’s a wonderful day for you, filled with family, food, laughs, and reflection. I’m so thankful for you. Thank you for being a loyal reader of my blog. :)

How are you celebrating today? What are you most thankful for?

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The Debut Dish: November 2016, Issue #1 (+ Giveaway)

November 20, 2016 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 3

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 Jill MacKenzie (Spin the Sky), Kara Bietz (Until I Break), Janet McNally (Girls In the Moon), and Tara Sim (Timekeeper).


Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie
November 1, 2016 from Sky Pony Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to get her and her sister, Rose, out of the pitifully small, clamming-obsessed Oregon town that hates them—she just doesn’t know how. Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks the townspeople throw at them, Mags thinks she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that she’s left her and Rose to deal with—until the day she dies.

But when a nationwide televised dance competition posts tryouts in nearby Portland, Mags’s best friend, George, says they have to go and audition. Not only have they spent the past fourteen years of their lives dancing side-by-side, dreaming of a day just like this, but also it could be Mags’s chance of a lifetime—a chance to win the grand-prize money and get her and Rose out of Summerland, a chance to do the thing she loves most with everyone watching, a chance to show the town that she’s not—and has never been—a “no-good Woodson girl,” like her mother. But will the competition prove too steep? And will Mags be able to retain her friendship with George as they go head-to-head in tryouts? Mags will have to learn that following her dreams may mean changing her life forever.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Dancing. Reality TV. Betrayal. Heartbreak.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I think my favorite scene in my book is the final scene. It makes me happy. It makes me cry, too. Mags on her beach and Rose and clamming and the promise of dance in her future and the possibility of forever goodbyes and then George, always George, by her side.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At home. At my desk. Writing something new. :)

What’s your favorite junk food?
Hershey’s Kisses. I eat about twenty bags per book. That sounds disgusting, I know, but if you figure it takes me about a year to write one, then it seems less revolting (I hope.)

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Oddest thing. Hmm. Three hair ties? Why anyone would need three on their desk, I’ll never know. The CUTEST thing on my desk right now, however, is my six-week old kitten, Jasper. If only you could see his photo. *Swoon.*


Until I Break by Kara Bietz
November 1, 2016 from Albert Whitman & Company
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Two boys: One, a star athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The other, a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High School, whose finger is on the trigger?

A year before the shooting, Sam North has a bright future as a well as a problem that nobody else seems to see—Ace Quinn, his neighbor and teammate. For years, Ace has been bullying and harassing Sam, yet he’s managed to deftly conceal his actions and threats from the rest of the world. As Ace’s secret rage intensifies, Sam becomes more desperate to stop him. But how far will he go? And what if Ace takes his threats even farther?

Describe your book in five words or less.
Bullies and bad decisions.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene in Until I Break is during a big basketball game. Writing through a very active scene like that was a challenge, but it was so much fun!

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was at work in the guidance counselor’s office of a high school. It was after the school day had ended, thank goodness. My agent called to give me the good news and I danced around and around the office with my coworkers. We had a mini celebration!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Hands down, Doritos. Not the fancy flavors, either…I like the plain, old school nacho cheese kind.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
It’s a toss-up between my Edgar Allen Poe action figure (complete with raven!) or the Hufflepuff-colored yarn and knitting needles I bought today.

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Girls In the Moon by Janet McNally
November 29, 2016 from HarperTEEN
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

An exquisitely told, authentic YA debut about family secrets, the shadow of fame, and finding your own way.

Everyone in Phoebe Ferris’s life tells a different version of the truth. Her mother, Meg, ex–rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister, Luna, indie-rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the cofounder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago.

But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and to maybe even continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months. Told in alternating chapters, Phoebe’s first adventure flows as the story of Meg and Kieran’s romance ebbs, leaving behind only a time-worn, precious pearl of truth about her family’s past—and leaving Phoebe to take a leap into her own unknown future.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Sisters, secrets, rock and roll.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I have several favorites, but some of them are spoilers, so I’ll choose one that doesn’t reveal much of the plot. Phoebe is in a club watching her older sister Luna sing with her band, and she’s able to see her sister the way the rest of the world does: as beautiful, talented, a little bit magical. Later Phoebe watches her father sing on a different stage and experiences that same magic, plus the feeling that, because he’s famous, he belongs to so many other people almost as much as he does to her.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
During one part of the process, I remember that I was visiting my great aunt Rosemary, who had just turned one hundred. She can’t see well enough to read now, which makes me really sad, but she just tore through books when she was younger. She’s always loved stories. It was fun to tell her that I was going to have a novel published. She was excited.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Dark chocolate. It’s such a necessary part of my day it’s like a vitamin. Though maybe it doesn’t even count as junk food because studies have shown the benefits of dark chocolate. Or maybe I’m delusional.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I have a standing desk, and it’s cluttered: orchids, stacks of books, expensive headphones I got for free. The strangest thing right now is probably a small stuffed sheep that someone brought me from Ireland when I was a baby. It’s missing an eye, but I still like it.


Timkeeper by Tara Sim
November 8, 2016 from Sky Pony Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Time, boys, clocks, magic, London.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene is when my main character, Danny, learns something shocking about his strange clock mechanic apprentice. It was such a fun scene to write, mostly because I was laughing at Danny’s reaction, and it tilts that particular character relationship in a new direction. I still grin when I go back and read it.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I’d just sat down to check my email when I saw that we had an offer for the trilogy. It was an utterly surreal moment. I didn’t even jump up and down like I thought I would–I just sat there with my mouth open for a long time! But it seemed fitting to be told my book would be published while I was sitting in the exact location where I had written it.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pizza rolls! And candy.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A small clock cog.

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Heather Graham | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour (+ Giveaway)

November 14, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway 0

apollyconblogtour

 

Woohoo! Today I get to spotlight the amazing Heather Graham, who will be joining us at Apollycon in Orlando next year! Heather has a TON of amazing sounding romance and romantic suspense novels, several of which are on my TBR, so I’m excited to introduce you to her today! Take a look at a few of her books I’m excited to read (please keep in mind that I have Christmas on the brain) and get to know Heather a little better!


Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham
Krewe of Hunters #18
Add to Goodreads

Between the evil and the deep blue sea… 

A historic cruise ship, a haunted ship, the Celtic American Line’s Destiny, sets sail from the Port of New Orleans—with a killer on board. He’s known as the Archangel Killer because of the way he displays his victims in churches. And how he places a different saint’s medallion on each body. No one knows exactly who he is or why he’s doing this.

Jackson Crow—head of the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters, a special unit of paranormal investigators—is assigned to the case, along with local agent Jude McCoy. Then Alexi Cromwell, who works in the ship’s piano bar, is drawn into the situation when a victim’s ghost appears to her—and to Jude. She and Jude share an attraction, and not just because of their mutual talent.

There are many suspects, but one by one they’re ruled out… Or are they? In the end, Jude and Alexi have to rely on each other to catch the killer and escape his evil plans for Alexi.

I don’t usually gravitate towards paranormal stuff… and I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but I LOVE books that take place on cruise ships so I’m all over this!

The Last Noel by Heather Graham
Add to Goodreads

It’s Christmas Eve, and all is neither calm nor bright

With a storm paralyzing New England, the O’Boyle household becomes prey to a pair of brutal escaped killers desperate to find refuge.

Skyler O’Boyle is convinced the only way they can live through the night is by playing a daring psychological game to throw the convicts off their guard. Threatened by a pair of Smith & Wessons, she has to pray that the rest of her family will play along, buying them time. Her one hope for rescue is that the men are unaware that her daughter, Kat, has escaped into the blizzard. But as the wind and snow continue to rage with all the vehemence of a maddened banshee, her prayers that Kat can somehow find help seem fragile indeed.

When Kat stumbles on a third felon, half-frozen and delirious, her shock deepens, because she recognizes Craig Devon immediately. What is the onetime love of her life doing back in town-and in such company? With the threat of death hanging over the O’Boyles, Craig is desperate to unload a vital secret that could change their destiny. But can he trust Kat with the truth? Because one false move and everything he’s sacrificed will shatter-and this could be everyone’s final Christmas alive.

I read a LOT of Christmas novels, but most are straight up romance. I love the sound of a Christmas thriller!

The Island by Heather Graham
Add to Goodreads

On a weekend vacation Beth Anderson is unnerved when a stroll on the beach reveals what appears to be a skull. As a stranger approaches, Beth panics and covers the evidence. But when she later returns to the beach, the skull is gone.

Determined to find solid evidence to bring to the police, Beth digs deeper into the mystery of the skull–and everywhere she goes, Keith Henson, the stranger from the beach, seems to appear. He claims to be keeping an eye on her safety, but Beth senses other motives. Then a body washes ashore, and Beth begins to think she needs more help than she bargained for. Because investigating is a dangerous game, and someone wants to stop Beth from playing.

I really have a thing for island stories… lol.


About Heather Graham

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Heather was a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children’s charity. She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty languages, and to have been honored with awards from Waldenbooks. B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, and more. She has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, People, and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including local television and Entertainment Tonight.

Heather loves travel and anything have to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


All 2017 Apollycon attendees are eligible to win one of these awesome prizes! Gift Cards will be distributed to the winners at Apollycon 2017 to be used within the Apollycon bookstore. The passes will allow you to skip to the front of one author’s signing line (your choice).

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Love Between the Lines: An Adult Coloring Book for Book Lovers | Coloring Book Review (+ Giveaway)

November 8, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway 0 ★★★

Love Between the Lines: An Adult Coloring Book for Book Lovers | Coloring Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Love Between the Lines: An Adult Coloring Book for Book Lovers | Coloring Book Review (+ Giveaway)Love Between the Lines: An Adult Coloring Book for Book Lovers by Christina Collie
Published by Forever on November 8, 2016
Genres: Coloring Book
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback
Source: From the Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBound Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
Fall in love all over again with this adult coloring book featuring 45 hand-drawn illustrations inspired by romance novels from bestselling writers Colleen Hoover, Anna Todd, S.C. Stephens, Abbi Glines, K. Bromberg, Jodi Ellen Malpas and more. Sit back, grab your pens and markers, and get ready to explore LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES.

In the pages of this book you will find:
· Designs to help you relax and reduce stress
· Hidden images and book quotes
· Each design printed on a separate page
· Elaborate drawings s as well as quickie pages for when you just have a few minutes to color

Illustrations inspired by the works of:

Anna Todd, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Colleen Hoover, S.C. Stephens, Abbi Glines, K. Bromberg, Claire Contreras, Jillian Dodd, Amy Harmon, Tiffany King, R.K. Lilley, Molly McAdams, Tara Sivec, Alessandra Torre, Mia Sheridan, J. Sterling, Katy Evans, Emma Chase, S.L. Jennings, K.A. Linde, Beth Ehemann, Tarryn Fisher, Karina Halle, Helena Hunting, Leisa Rayven, Madeline Sheehan, and K. A. Tucker

I really love coloring books, and have a pretty sizable collection of my own. I’ve done a lot of research on coloring books, always on the lookout for ones I think I’ll love. While I love the idea of Love Between the Lines, it’s not my favorite. Perhaps if I had read any of the books that these pages are inspired by I’d feel differently, but I was hoping for something more bookish. There’s a huge variety of things to color, though, and that’s a lot of fun. I think it would be hard to get bored coloring in this. Many of the pages remind me of pages in an I Spy book. You know, lots of hidden images all centered around a central theme. There’s so many little details and the pages are nice and big, so it’s not hard to stay in the lines. My markers did bleed through onto the next page, though, so be careful.

I’d certainly recommend this coloring book to lovers of romance novels, especially if you’ve read and loved books by the authors that inspired these illustrations. I find coloring to be incredibly relaxing, and this book has a little something for everyone. Here are a couple os the coloring pages:

love-me-with-lies

 

thoughtless

About Christina Collie

Christina Collie is a twenty-eight-year-old Tennessee native who began doodling images inspired by her favorite books almost four years ago before launching Doodles by Christina. Since then she has doodled over 50 images and has sold prints around the globe. Outside of being a huge bookworm, she enjoys watching LSU football, playing with her dog Nola, and hanging out on her best friend’s farm. This is her first coloring book.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Enter to win a copy of your own!

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Cristin Terrill | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour

November 7, 2016 Author Interview, Blog Tour, Book Spotlight 2

Cristin Terrill | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour

Woohoo! Today I get to spotlight the amazing Cristin Terrill, who will be joining us at Apollycon in Orlando next year! Cristin’s book, All Our Yesterdays, is one of my FAVORITE books ever (so sad about no sequels!). I reviewed it on my blog many moons ago, and here’s some of the highlights of that review:

“Your mind will be blown, and your eyes will get huge, and your brain will try to comprehend it but it’s really wacky. And amazing.”

“I loved the sweet relationships between Marina and James. To me, it kind of felt like Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World.”

“Romance blooms, romance fades, new feelings grow, old feelings are explored. People flip flop. Lots happens. In the midst of all of it, the characters learn a lot about themselves.”

Yeah. I loved this book. So I’m super excited to feature Cristin today!


The Fast Five Q&A with Cristin

Thing you’re most excited about for Apollycon 2017:
Getting to hang out with all the other authors and readers!

Last book you read:
The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle. Just a bit of research for something I’m toying with at the moment (and an interesting examination of Jane Grey’s less famous sisters).

Best moment as an author:
Probably my first real book signing at BEA a couple of months before ALL OUR YESTERDAYS released. It’s all a bit of a haze but I think that was when I really realized that my book was going to be published and people were going to read it and my life was going to change.

Last thing you treated yourself to:
A chocolate frozen custard for surviving a miserable day without hurting anyone.

Last thing that made you laugh:
While typing my previous answer, my cat jumped for a bookcase and totally missed and I evil cackled. Maybe not very nice, but true.

Cristin Terrill is a young adult author and aspiring grown-up. She grew up semi-nomadic and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in drama. After getting her masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, she lived in London, Austin, Boston, and Washington, DC while working as a theatrical stage manager. Now she writes and leads creative writing workshops for DC-area kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


All Our Yesterdays

What would you change?

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it… at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


All 2017 Apollycon attendees are eligible to win one of these awesome prizes! Gift Cards will be distributed to the winners at Apollycon 2017 to be used within the Apollycon bookstore. The passes will allow you to skip to the front of one author’s signing line (your choice).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Debut Author Challenge 2016: November Review Link-Up

November 1, 2016 Debut Author Challenge 0

DAC2016S

Happy November! I hope everyone had a save and magical Halloween yesterday, and that you’re filled with candy and smiles!

November 1st is one of my favorite days of the year because, to me, it’s the first day of the holiday season! I can’t wait for Thanksgiving, decorating for Christmas, and graduating with my MLIS next month! Busy, exciting times are ahead and I love that! I’m gearing up for my huge Christmas event on the blog next month. If you’re at all interested in writing up a holiday/bookish guest post for this event, please email me! I’m featuring Christmas around the world, bookish Christmas posts, holiday book reviews, and discussions about other winter holidays as well. It’s going to be fun!

Also… In a few weeks I’ll be posting sign-ups for the 2017 Debut Author Challenge, so keep a look out for that! I’d love to have you back next year! Can you believe we’re wrapping things up soon!? I can’t! Happy reading this month!

 

Some things to remember:

– It’s never too late to join the fun! If you’d like to join or make sure you’re signed up, there is a sign-up list and list of participants located in the Debut Author Challenge tab at the top of my blog.

– In order to get credit for your review, you must have read the book in 2016. If you read an ARC of a 2016 debut in 2015, it does not count. (I don’t want people with access to ARCs to have an advantage over those who don’t.)

– I’m here if you have any questions at all, so don’t hesitate to shoot me a message via Twitter or comment or homing pigeon.


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Author Molly Booth’s Love of Shakespeare | Saving Hamlet Blog Tour

October 25, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post 2

Author Molly Booth’s Love of Shakespeare | Saving Hamlet Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for debut author Molly Booth’s Saving Hamlet, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! I’m so excited to have Molly here today! She’s here to talk about her discovery of Shakespeare, and how hard she fell for him! After her post, read more about the book, Molly, and enter to win a copy of Saving Hamlet!


Jana’s Question: 

Tell us about your love of Shakespeare and what it was like discovering him.

Molly:

I didn’t fall in love with Shakespeare until college, but when I did, I fell hard. Right through the stage, down to the basement.

At Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA, spring semester of my sophomore year, I signed up for a literature course called Shakespeare and Sophocles. I was super intimidated by the reading list, but I’d heard awesome reviews about the professor, Lucius Salisbury. He immediately assigned us Hamlet, and I was scared. I’d only read some of Romeo and Juliet in high school; I’d skimmed it for the origins of West Side Story. Reading a Shakespeare play, eek especially Hamlet!, and writing a paper about it was a totally different ball game. (Professor Salisbury loves using baseball metaphors.)

I had a long commute to the campus, so I did a lot of homework on the train or on the bus. One afternoon, on the blue line train, I’d cracked open my well-worn, used copy of the play, and braced myself to not understand a word.

Who’s there?

Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.

Long live the king!

Those first lines hooked me, and I fell into the play. My mind swirled with the beautiful text, the supernatural (ghost dad) plot, and the connection I felt to the main character. I was in the middle of applying to transfer schools, and a little depressed, so Hamlet’s identity struggle really pulled me in. I’d never encountered anything that described being a human better or more eloquently. I was so into Hamlet that I almost missed my transfer to the orange line.

And I’ve been obsessed ever since! I went on to Marlboro College, where I studied Shakespeare and Elizabeth history, and along with my creative writing courses, this passion evolved into writing Shakespeare-oriented YA novels. Like Saving Hamlet, which is a historical time travel Shakespeare YA, and Nothing Happened, my spring 2018 book, which is a YA retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. I’m also about to start graduate school in Boston to continue my Shakespeare nerdiness in academia.

And this school year, I’m directing a Shakespeare play with a student theatre company in Massachusetts, All the World’s a Stage Players. We’re doing TWELFTH NIGHT, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had!! A stormy shipwreck, mistaken identities, a prank with yellow socks — I’m thrilled to be directing it, especially with such a wonderful group of young actors.

So yeah, once I discovered Shakespeare, there was no turning back for me. I turn to Shakespeare for advice, for comfort, for direction, and for creativity. In a recent interview, author Patrick Rothfuss said: “When you’re a geek for something, it means you love it beyond all sense.” I am a total Shakespeare geek. I don’t exactly know why, but my life revolves around these texts and this history, and I couldn’t be happier about it.


Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth
Published by Disney Hyperion on November 1, 2016
Genres: Time Travel, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads • Amazon • B&N

Emma Allen couldn’t be more excited to start her sophomore year. Not only is she the assistant stage manager for the drama club’s production of Hamlet, but her crush Brandon is directing, and she’s rocking a new haircut that’s sure to get his attention. But soon after school starts, everything goes haywire. Emma’s promoted to stage manager with zero experience, her best friend Lulu stops talking to her, and Josh–the adorable soccer boy who’s cast as the lead–turns out to be a disaster. It’s up to Emma to fix it all, but she has no clue where to start.

One night after rehearsal, Emma stays behind to think through her life’s latest crises and distractedly falls through the stage’s trap door . . . landing in the basement of the Globe Theater.

It’s London, 1601, and with her awesome new pixie cut, everyone thinks Emma’s a boy–even Will Shakespeare himself. With no clue how to get home, Emma gamely plays her role as backstage assistant to the original production of Hamlet, learning a thing or two about the theater, and meeting an incredibly hot actor named Alex who finds Emma as intriguing as she finds him. But once Emma starts traveling back and forth through time, things get really confusing. Which boy is the one for her? In which reality does she belong? Will Lulu ever forgive her? And can she possibly save two disastrous productions ofHamlet before time runs out?


About Molly Booth

Molly Booth grew up homeschooled in Massachusetts with her four boisterous siblings. She stage managed for three different community theatres in high school. Her first college was Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA; she then went on to study writing, literature, and Elizabethan history on a very cold hill at Marlboro College in Vermont. There, she wrote the first drafts of Saving Hamlet, her debut novel, coming 11/1/16 from Disney Hyperion. Her second book, Nothing Happened, will be coming spring 2018.

Molly also writes for The Mary Sue, and sometimes other sites like HelloGigglesThe Tempest, and McSweeney’s.  She spends most of her time snuggling her adorable dog Suzie, pet rats Meg and Marigold, and Harriet the queen cat.

She’s represented by Alex Slater at Trident Media Group, and edited by Kieran Viola at Disney Hyperion.

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Tour Schedule:

10/24: Fiery Reads – Review
10/25: That Artsy Reader Girl – Guest Post
10/26: The Young Folks – Review
10/27: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
10/28: The Book Cellar – Review
10/31: The Irish Banana Review – Top 10
11/1: The Plot Bunny – Review
11/2: Adventures of a Book Junkie – Q&A
11/3: Betwixt the Pages – Review
11/4: Princessica of Books – Guest Post

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Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz | Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)

October 19, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 1 ★★★

Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz | Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 18, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
AmazonBarnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
THE FACTS
• Julian Roman, age sixteen, is an escapee from the Fairmount County Juvenile Detention Facility.
• His parents, Michael Roman and Jennifer Roman, are dead.
• Julian is wanted for murder.

THE QUESTIONS
• Why is Julian Roman on the run?
• Just how dangerous is he?
• And who did kill Michael and Jennifer Roman, if not Julian?

Seventeen-year-old Day Baker views life through the lens of her camera, where perspective is everything. But photographs never tell the whole story. After Day crosses paths with Julian, the world she pictures and the truths she believes-neatly captured in black and white-begin to blur.

Julian is not the "armed and dangerous" escapee the police are searching for, but his alibis don't quite add up, either. There is more to his story. This time, Day is determined to see the entire picture . . . whatever it reveals. Did he? Or didn't he?

Day digs deeper into the case while Julian remains on the run. But the longer her list of facts becomes, the longer the list of questions becomes, too. It's also getting harder to deny the chemistry she feels for him. Is it real? Or is she being manipulated?

Day is close to finding the crack in the case. She just needs time to focus before the shutter snaps shut.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master of suspense and romance. In this page-turning thriller, Stolarz tackles dark truths with a powerful, contemporary voice. Shutter will keep readers guessing until the very end.

Welcome to my stop along the Shutter blog tour, hosted by the Irish Banana Review! Doesn’t the book synopsis sound awesome? I was totally on board as soon as I read about it, as I love reading mystery-type books in October. Shutter takes place during the exact same time of year as I read it, which I thought was a lot of fun. It got me so excited for fall and colder weather. I love this time of year, and the author did a great job of really capturing the season.

I liked Day a lot. Her obsession with photography was unique and fun to read about. I saw a lot of myself in her. I’ve always had an artistic outlet in my life, so I understood her passion and desire to always keep it close to her heart. I also understood her desire to help Julian. I would have wanted to do the same thing, especially since Julian is such a nice guy. I actually found him to be more interesting to read about, though. The chapters alternate between Day’s narration and Julian’s journal entries, and I liked getting more insight into Julian’s past and how he got to where he was even though some of it was very heartbreaking. He had a horrible family life as a child, and I really felt for him.

The story itself was very interesting, but not as mystery/thrillery as I expected it to be. I wasn’t biting my nails or wishing I could sleep with the lights on. It was a slower, more controlled mystery. Day goes on a hunt for the truth while hiding Julian in her barn in the backyard. It enjoyed reading his story and what other people had to say about him. His story never quite added up, so I wasn’t really sure I could trust him… and I wanted to slap Day for being SO trusting. He’s a wanted murder suspect! I could have done without the romance… I liked the story more before that happened, but it did add a complicated layer to things and that’s always entertaining. I was definitely eager to get to the end to see how everything turned out.

If you’re in the mood for a whodunit with a Nancy Drew-type detective, some heavier subject matter and a good dose of autumn, give this book a try!


About Laurie Faria Stolarz

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. 

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list.

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Tour Schedule:

10/10: Pretty Deadly Reviews – Review
10/11: The Irish Banana Review – Q&A
10/12: A Writer Named Charley – Review
10/13: Novelgossip – Guest Post
10/14: The Worn Bookmark – Review
10/17: Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review
10/18: Bibliobuli YA – Guest Post
10/19: That Artsy Reader Girl – Review
10/20: In Wonderland – Top 10
10/21: Stuck In Books – Review

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