Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blog Tour: The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman | Review

Blog Tour: The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman | ReviewThe Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
Published by Delacorte Press on February 11, 2014
Genres: Horror
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

Death hasn't visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders' bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.

Rowan's village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan's door once again.

Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.

Last year I was really tempted to read McCormick Templeman’s debut novel, The Little Woods, but for some reason, I put it off. I’m glad I didn’t do the same thing with The Glass Casket. After reading this one, I’m definitely going back and reading The Little Woods because The Glass Casket was fabulous.

The Glass Casket is a chilling, atmospheric read that captivated me from the start. Admittedly, it does not have the quickest start but if you’re willing to get past that (and you should be) the story that’s held between these pages is worth it. The story is the perfect mix of fantasy, romance, and horror. It’s easy to see from the very first pages that The Glass Casket is not your typical fantasy story. While I wouldn’t compare it to The Near Witch in the typical way, it has a similar feeling to it, if you get what I mean.

The writing is fabulous. It’s probably one of my favorite parts about the book and the reason that I definitely will be checking out more from McCormick Templeman. It’s not overly descriptive but definitely is not lacking in that department. It’s the perfect style of writing for this kind of story. It gives the book an added sense of creepiness and mystery.

The characters were amazing. Rowan is not the easiest person to like at the start and neither are Tom and Jude but they did grow on me. The interactions between all of them were wonderful and it’s easy to see the relationships between them all. No matter what the relationship was, they all had a certain chemistry to them.

Overall, I would definitely recommend The Glass Casket to fans of fantasy with a hint of horror. McCormick Templeman does not hold anything back with this book.

What others are saying about The Glass Casket:

The Book Smugglers’ review: “The Glass Casket is not an easy story, nor is it one that leaves you feeling giddy and put in the mind of happily ever afters with rosebuds and rainbows.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “Is The Glass Casket a novel worth reading and thinking about? Definitely.”

Book Swoon’s review: “If you are a fan of darker, fairy tale inspired retellings, then this book is for you.”

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour!
January 31st – Bookish
February 1st – Katie’s Book Blog
February 3rd – I’d so Rather be Reading
February 4th – Forever YA
February 5th – Wastepaper Prose
February 6th – Stories & Sweeties
February 7th – Peace Love Books
February 8th – The Hiding Spot
February 10th – Children’s Book Review
February 11th – The Midnight Garden  
February 13th – Dear Teen Me
February 17th – The Midnight Garden
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blog Tour: Interview with J.A. Souders + Giveaway!

book cover of Revelations by J.A. Souders

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I can’t believe it’s time for the 2nd book to hit the shelves! Whee!
Describe The Elysium Chronicles in 140 characters or less!
I hate this question. LOL. How can I possibly explain my story without going on and on and on?! 😉 I guess the simplest answer is just to say that the heart of the Elysium series is a story about finding one’s true self and realizing that perfection is overrated and what’s makes you different is what makes you awesome (by way of the Bourne Identity meets BioShock).
How was writing a sequel different from writing the first book in the series? Was it easier or more difficult?
Writing the sequel was extremely different from writing book 1 and it was definitely harder. I ended up rewriting the story 3 times before I got it where I wanted it and that was mostly because of the way I ended RENEGADE. In any series you always end up trying to find a way to make each book better and more exciting than the last and you don’t want to repeat the same things you did in the previous books. Because of this and the completely different setting, I didn’t just want the thriller-esque feel to it that RENEGADE had. I wanted it to be more of an adventure since in RENEGADE she knew Elysium really well and (*SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T READ RENEGADE*) now on the Surface she has to essentially start over; figuring out who she is and how she belongs and dealing with new people and a new way of life. I really wanted to show off this new world. There’s more outside dangers than there were in RENEGADE. Right from the start we can see that the Surface is a dangerous place to live just as Elysium was, just in a different way. And that while Gavin feels the lack of rules and regulations that they have as opposed to Elysium is better, I also wanted to show it’s “bad” side, too and that nothing is ever “perfect”, no matter how much we see it that way.
Which of your characters would be the hardest for you to kill off? Which would be the easiest?
Well, I definitely subscribe to the theory of no character is sacred and I wouldn’t and haven’t hesitated to kill important characters off, I would say the hardest would have to be Evelyn. She has a grip on my heart like no other character has or probably will. She’s just so broken that I can’t help but want to give her a big giant hug. The easiest to kill off for me would be a toss up between Dr. Friar—the therapist in RENEGADE—and a new character introduced in REVELATIONS, Mayor St. James. They’re both really evil men that right now I can’t see they have any good reason for it at all. Even Mother for all her horrible ways, makes me feel a bit sorry for her, but not either of those two characters.
What is your favorite part of being a writer?
My favorite part is I feel I get to be an archeologist or anthropologist. While I do plot out certain parts of my story, I feel that my characters are the ones telling me their story. And I’m sort of like their biographer. I just have to dig a little sometimes and brush off the dirt to get to it. Also, I love how readers will write to me saying how much they loved my story(ies) and how it’s causing them to think about some of the things that are happening in their life and see it from a different POV then they had. It makes me feel that I’m making a small difference in the world, no matter how tiny the effects are.
I love the covers for Renegade and Revelations. Are they what you pictured? What was your reaction when you first saw them?
Thank you! I love them too! Aren’t they fantastic?! They weren’t exactly what I had pictured, but they are absolutely everything I’d hoped for. They’re so symbolic and emotional that I knew they told the story maybe even better than I had.
I cried when I saw them, then immediately bragged about how awesome they were. Who could blame me? 😉
Will Revelations be the conclusion of Gavin and Evelyn’s story? If so, can you tell us anything about what you are working on now?
Nope! Revelations is only the middle. Right now the Elysium Chronicles is a trilogy. There is at least one more journey for them to go through before we get to the end and that means I’m currently working on the next chapter of their story, which I think will blow all the other books in the series out of the water, but that’s just me. 😉
Although I am also working on a new contemporary YA story about a teen girl who secretly “moonlights” as a stunt girl (think NITROCIRCUS) and a hot cowboy named Sloane, and a New Adult post-apocalyptic story about a woman who’s a thief who, after a job gone bad, gets tossed into the “roach motel”—a prison that uses it’s inmates as test experiments.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Thank you so much for having me!
About the author:

J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.

Where to find J.A. online:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Giveaway (US Only!):

Grand Prize- 1 Signed set of Renegade and Revelations, 1 scrabble tile pendant with covers of both books, and a $25 gift card to Amazon or B&N!

Second Place- 1 Signed set of Renegade and Revelations and 1 set of scrabble tile pendants with covers of both books.

Third Place- 1 set revelations themed swag

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour stops!

Week One:
10/28/2013- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post
10/29/2013- Katie’s Book BlogInterview
10/30/2013- The Book LifeReview
10/31/2013- Curling Up With A Good BookGuest Post
11/1/2013- That Artsy Reader GirlReview

Week Two:
11/4/2013- BookishInterview
11/5/2013- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
11/6/2013- Supernatural SnarkInterview
11/7/2013- Book Haven ExtraordinaireReview
11/8/2013- Jenna Does BooksReview
Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog Tour: How To Love by Katie Cotugno | Review

Blog Tour: How To Love by Katie Cotugno | Review

Blog Tour: How To Love by Katie Cotugno | ReviewHow To Love by Katie Cotugno
Published by Harper Teen on October 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 389
Format: ARC
Source: BEA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

How To Love is by far one of the best debuts I’ve ever read. I truly had no idea what to expect from Katie Cotugno and I was completely blown away.

How To Love almost fits into the new adult category rather than young adult. It’s a much more mature story than normal YA books and I loved it. Younger readers can certainly get away with reading it (although there is drug use/alcohol use/sexual content) and older readers such as myself can truly enjoy it. While Sawyer and Reena are both in their teens, they are forced to deal with some much more adult issues and it was refreshing to read such a realistic story. There’s college, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and so much more packed between these pages. Katie Cotugno tackles everything head on and doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff. Everything is handled so well, especially the sexual content, and I would love to see more stories like this one in the future.

The story is told from Reena’s point-of-view alone but I really felt like I got to know Sawyer just as well I got to know Reena. Reena is a smart girl. She’s funny (in a very sarcastic way), she’s kind, and she’s definitely a good girl. Sawyer is the opposite of Reena in almost every way. He’s definitely a bad boy. He’s got drug problems, he’s in a band, he’s living in a run down place with multiple other guys, and he’s not good for Reena. That doesn’t stop the two from falling completely in love with each other. This was definitely a case of opposites attracting. Personally I thought Reena and Sawyer were perfect together, at least the second time around.

The story is told in alternating chapters; before and after. It’s easy to see how their relationship isn’t really all that healthy in the before chapters but both of them have changed drastically since then. They’ve matured (especially Reena, having to raise a baby), they’re smarter, and they can see the truth of their relationship. The story is a very unique one and it completely drew me in. There were secrets between Sawyer and Reena that I just wanted to know and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew every last detail. I was captivated from beginning to end.

The last thing I want to mention about How To Love is the writing. It’s gorgeous. I don’t know any other way to describe it. Even if the story had completely sucked I would have kept reading just for the writing. However, seeing as the story was amazing, the writing was just the icing on the cake.

Overall, just go read How To Love. Please. Even if you’re not a contemporary fan, I really think everyone can find something to love about this one. I am highly anticipating Katie Cotugno’s next book.

What others have to say about How To Love:

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “With How to Love by Katie Cotugno, I found a simple yet beautiful story that made me really feel for the characters.”

Enticed By Books’ review: “Anyway, How To Love was a well written book, but my disinterest in the characters and the storyline along with the poor execution of that said story was what made this book a thumbs down read for me.”

Swept Away by Books’ review: “All in all, How To Love wasn’t exactly what I imagined myself getting into, but I did love it all the same!”

About The AUTHOR
Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.
Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.
The great loves of Katie’s life include child’s pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.
You can follow Katie via her: Website | on Twitter | Goodreads
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Monsters & Mayhem Blog Tour: Monstrous Obsession by Ilsa J. Bick

Welcome to today’s stop on the Monsters & Mayhem blog tour hosted by Egmont USA!  I’m beyond excited to be part of this tour and feature the awesome Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick!

Monstrous Obsession
Honestly?  Because we’re continually surprised/appalled/fascinated by how depraved we can be and how dark our fantasies really are (and they are; be honest).  Dealing with all that at arm’s length—say, inventing the monstrous rather than acknowledging that the monsters are already here, and they are us—is the safest way to make believe that we, as a species, are the masters of our monsters rather than the other way around.  And there are some truly monstrous human beings who don’t bother to hide behind masks at all, and I know: I used to consult to a women’s prison.
Look, the reality is that none of us will be particularly well behaved in a catastrophe, and stress brings out the worst in just about everyone.  The patients who came to see me were never thrilled to be there, and they were under tremendous pressures from within and without.  I was always struck by the fact that people can be truly awful to those they profess to love; that families are sometimes bound much more strongly by hatred than love.
It’s the same thing in a disaster.  I truly believe that many otherwise decent people will behave in ways they never dreamed possible.  People routinely do all the wrong things for what they believe are the right reasons.  Why should an apocalypse be any different?  At the end of the world as we know it, I think people will be surprised at the monsters they meet.  Some might even be staring out from the mirror right this very second.
So, concocting stories where we beat/humanize/conquer/sympathize/love our monsters all have one central purpose: to comfort us in the delusion that we can and will control our basest impulses, our most sadistic fantasies, our capacity for selfishness and destruction.  Yes, there are nice folks out there; people act nobly and heroically every day.  But these are the exceptions.  At the end of the world, I think we’ll find that altruism will be in short supply when the monsters come out to play.

About the book:

book cover of Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick

The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The End…is now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn’t get much worse-until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue-on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won’t quit-she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn’t over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And…they’ve had help.

Thanks to Egmont USA I have one set of the Ashes trilogy to giveaway.  US/CA only!
Please visit My Shelf Confessions tomorrow for the next stop on the Monsters & Mayhem Blog Tour.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Blog Tour: A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers | Review + GiveawayA Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far #1
Published by William Morrow on September 17, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

A Little Too Far, Lisa Desrochers’ new adult debut, is by far one of the best new adult titles that I’ve read. I can’t recommend this one enough for new adult fans.

A Little Too Far is one of the steamiest books I’ve ever read. Seriously, you guys. There are some serious sexytimes in A Little Too Far. And they are so perfect! You would think that reading about a girl sleeping with her stepbrother would seem wrong but that was definitely not the case with Trent and Lexie. It’s easy to see how perfect they are for each other, even if there parents just happen to be married. They have serious chemistry but their relationship is just so comfortable. They are friends, above all else. That’s the perfect kind of relationship to have.

Trent isn’t the only romantic option for Lexie though. While studying abroad in Rome, she meets Alessandro Moretti, a soon-to-be priest who is just as off-limits as Trent. He’s smart, funny, kind, and did I mention that he’s a sexy Italian? I must have forgotten that part. He’s the perfect distraction for Lexie because she knows she can’t have him. This really is one book where I was torn between the two guys. Both Trent and Alessandro were good for Lexie in different ways and I loved that Lisa Desrochers didn’t make it an easy choice for Lexie or readers.

I mentioned briefly that Lexie goes to study abroad in Rome. That’s actually where most of the story takes place and let me tell you, Lisa Desrochers did a fabulous job making the setting really come alive. I can’t tell you how much I want to go to Rome now. The food, the people, the places, the art, everything just seems so wonderful. A setting can truly make or break a book and in this case, it definitely made it.

There was one thing that I didn’t totally love about A Little Too Far and that was some of the dialogue. There were some scenes that seemed a little too cheesy. I’ve noticed this in quite a few new adult novels but it seems like the dialogue is always a little too immature for the age group. Most of the time, things were fine with A Little Too Far but there were a couple times where I wanted to laugh at some of the things Trent or Alessandro said.

Overall, A Little Too Far is a great addition to the new adult genre and it gives me hope that this genre might get better for me. Definitely check this one out for a quick, steamy read.

What others are saying about A Little Too Far:

Kimberly Faye Reads’ review: “To say that Lisa Desrochers’ A Little Too Far left me satisfied would be a ginormous understatement.”

The Eater of Books’ review: “I loved the ending of this book. It’s imperfectly perfect, and it’s beautiful.”

About the author:
Lisa Desrochers lives in northern California with her husband, two very busy daughters, and Shini the tarantula. If you’d told her five years ago she’d write a book, she’d have laughed in your face. As it turns out, she’d owe you an apology. Writing has become an addiction for Lisa and A Little Too Far, courtesy of HarperCollins, is her first novel for adults. She is also the author of the young adult Personal Demons trilogy from Macmillan.
When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise. Connect with her online at, on her blog at, on Twitter at @LisaDez, and on Facebook at

Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway!

The Giveaway Prizes:


– An iPad Mini – one winner
A knowledge pendant, tote bag, and tattoos (Trent’s tattoo!) – one winner
A signed copy of HarperCollins’ BETWEEN THE COVERS sampler with the 1st two chapters of A LITTLE TOO FAR annotated, knowledge tote, and tattoos – one winner
A signed copy of BETWEEN THE COVERS with the 1st two chapters of A LITTLE TOO FAR annotated, and tattoos – two winners


The Giveaway Details:


Giveaway is US/Canada ONLY.
There will be FIVE winners total.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Welcome to the Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea blog tour. What better way to ring in the end of summer than this truly creepy (but also steamy!) debut from April Genevieve Tucholke? Follow along on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as April offers insights into her characters, her writing, and bringing gothic horror back again.

book cover of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

You stop fearing the Devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

A gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and F. Scott Fitzgerald, set against a creepy summertime backdrop–a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and Anna Dressed in Blood.

April’s Guest Post:

When writing a book there are parts you love working on. And parts you…don’t. Hands down the easiest bits for me to write are the violence and the steam. Blood, gore, sex, madness. The words fly out my fingers. It almost comes too easily, and I have to watch myself so I don’t go too far. There’s nothing like a neck dripping blood or a pair of lips kissing the soft curve of a belly to get me fired up, writing-wise. I can’t help it.
What are the difficult bits? Everything else. The subtle things. Weaving in backgrounds and settings and atmosphere and motivations and history and world and voice. They take a lot more time. Especially the voice. I essentially had to write Devil once, and then write it all over again in Violet’s voice. She never uses clichés. She’s an original thinker. It’s all delicate and deep and cunning and it takes a lot of time.

About the author:

April Genevieve Tucholke digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She lives in Oregon at the edge of a forest. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Follow along the Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea tour to see all of April’s responses!
Monday 8/19: Jean BookNerd
Wednesday 8/21: The YA Sisterhood
Friday 8/23: Good Choice Reading
Monday 8/26Katie’s Book Blog
Wednesday 8/28Books with Bite
Friday 8/30Alice Marvels
Wednesday 9/4The Midnight Garden

Friday 9/6: Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Reviews 

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Theory of Everything Blog Tour: How To Know When You Have a Shaman Panda + Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be part of Kari Luna’s blog tour for her debut novel, The Theory of Everything.  Check out her guest post on how to know when you have a shaman panda!

In The Theory of Everything, the main character, Sophie Sophia, makes lists. How to survive a new town, a visit to the principal’s office, boys, and yes – shaman pandas. But since they’re kind of a new concept, how do you know when you have one? I asked Sophie, and she made this list exclusively for this blog. May it help you with your own shaman panda challenges. (Tee-hee.)

How To Know When You Have A Shaman Panda
by Sophie Sophia

1. Food starts disappearing. Especially take-out.
2. When your mom hugs you, it feels like nothing. Why are her arms so small?
3. You find bits of chewed bamboo on the floor.
4. What’s that on the couch? Oh! A PANDA BUTT IMPRINT.
5. Things – well, some things – start making sense.
7. Your black and white tights mean more than ever.
8. And deep down, where no one can see, you feel calmer. Like someone’s on your side. Guardian angel, sans the wings. (Unless they’re chicken wings, of course.)

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

Kari Luna is a teen novelist and whimsicologist. Her YA debut, The Theory of Everything, combines string theory, 80′s mixtapes and shaman pandas in one book without making you dizzy. Almost. Oh! And it’s available now. Watch the awesome video below! And find Kari, here: tweet: @wordette tumblr:


If you had a shaman panda, what would you ask him to do? Answer in the comments and be entered to win this super cute TTOE Poster and Button Pack!

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Continue the tour – and get tips from Sophie on what to do when your Mom controls the car radio – Tuesday, July 16th, at The Modge Podge Bookshelf.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Interview With Bethany Griffin + Giveaway!

I am super excited to be part of the Dance of the Red Death blog tour.  I adored Masque of the Red Death and you guys can expect my review of the second book very soon!

Describe Masque of the Red Death in 140 characters or less!

Fast-paced, tragic, filled with adventure, intrigue, ball gowns, bats, and crocodiles. This is Araby’s chance to fight back, and to grow up, and to fall in love.

Since you chose to retell Masque of the Red Death, is that your favorite Edgar Allan Poe story? If not, what is?

The Cask of Amontillado was the first Poe story I ever read. We read it in 4th grade and then had to prosecute or defend the main character for the murder committed. My impassioned speech won first place, and it was maybe the first time I ever felt a sense of accomplishment in school? The Fall of the House of Usher, is my ultimate favorite Poe story, though.

There’s a bit of a love triangle in Masque of the Red Death. I am definitely all for Will but what guy is your favorite and what makes him your favorite? Can you choose between the two?

Who I would choose and the person Araby would choose might be different! (I also had a huge discussion with my writing group years two years ago about who Araby wants and who is best for Araby. We didn’t all agree) I love writing Elliott, he’s definitely the most fun. But I love the Will scenes. I could say that my favorite guy is whichever one I’m writing, but I’m not sure what that says about me. I guess I’ll say that Araby ends up with the person I think she was meant to end up with.

What has been your favorite part of getting your books published?

I never forget the first time I tear into a package with my publisher’s logo, and out comes the first copy of the book, or the first time I see the books on shelves. I was lucky to get beautiful books and covers and it’s just a joy to see them on the shelf in my house, or anywhere else, and know that they are mine It’s easy to get caught up in who is going to what conference and who is getting what award and who has more foreign editions published, but at the end of the day, I can pick up my books and go, ‘wow, these are real, and some people are reading them, and some people are actually enjoying them!)

I completely adore the covers for Masque of the Red Death and Dance of the Red Death? Are they what you pictured? What was your reaction when you first saw them?

Not what I pictured at all…when I first saw the cover for Masque I thought it was WAY too girly. Seeing it in person, the deckled pages, raised lettering, that was when I knew how lucky I was. They are beautiful books (Dance is equally beautiful).

Will there be more books set in this world in the future or is Dance of the Red Death the last we’ll see of Araby and her story?

I have a few snippets of short stories that will probably end up on my blog, but other than that, I think Araby’s story concludes with Dance.

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

Bethany Griffin is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature. She is the author of HANDCUFFS and MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. She lives with her family in Kentucky.


Grand Prize– Poe Nail Decals, Masque of The Red Death inspired bracelet, Hardcover of Dance of the Red Death, bracelet, and a bookmark!

3- Hardcover of Dance of the Red Death, bracelet, and a bookmark!

US/CA only!

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour!

Week One
June 3rd – Fiktshun – Guest Post
June 4th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post
June 5th – Katie’s Book Blog – Interview
June 6th – The Starry-Eyed Revue – Guest Post
June 7th – Burning Impossibly Bright – Character Interview
Week Two
June 10th – Coffee, Books and Me – Guest Post
June 11th – Shelfspace Needed – Review
June 12th – Shortie Says – Character Interview
June 13th – Lust For Stories – Review
June 14th – The Bookish Brunette – Review
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog Tour: Top Ten List with Susanne Winnacker + Giveaway!

I am super excited to be hosting Susanne Winnacker as part of the Impostor blog tour, hosted by Mod Podge Marketing!  

Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

Since the book is about a girl who can impersonate other people, I asked Susanne who the top ten people are that she would like to impersonate!

I had to think very hard about this one, but I finally figured out my top ten people to impersonate. This is in no particular order.

1. a child

Maybe a five-year old. For just a day I’d like to experience the joys of being a young child again. Of course I know that with Tessa’s talent only my body would be that of a child, but I wonder if that would be enough to give the world some of its magic back, its wonder.

2. a teen

It would be great research to be back in a teen’s body and spend time among other teens. And it would be wonderful to experience that exciting period of a person’s life again – even if just for a few days.

3. a man

It doesn’t really matter who he is. I just want to see if people react differently toward a man. Maybe I’d make some kind of experiment out of it. Do something in the body of a man and then the same thing in my body, and see if people would react differently. And of course it would be fun to experience life in the body of the opposite sex!

4. a dictator

NOT because I want to be a dictator for a few days, but I’d like to change things. In some countries people don’t know what freedom is or that they aren’t really free. Maybe I’d use my days in the body of a dictator to tell people about the possibilities and choices they have. I probably won’t stay in power for long with that attitude though. The other members of the dictatorial government will probably remove me quickly from my post, but maybe I’d manage to plant an idea of freedom in the heads of the people.

5. Justin Bieber

Yep. And not because I’m a fan. I don’t know a single of his songs, though I’m sure I’ve heard them in the radio without realizing it. But I know he’s super popular among teenage girls and I think it would be interesting to be in the body of a teenage idol for a few days. It would certainly be fun to make girls scream my name simply by smiling at them.

6. Angela Merkel

I live in Germany, so I’d be interested to get a glimpse into the life of our Bundeskanzlerin. What’s really going on behind closed doors? I’m not sure I’ll be happy about what I’ll find out, but it’s going to be a fascinating experience, no doubt.

7. The pope

I’d really like to know what’s going on in the Vatican!

8. Barack Obama

Or whoever’s president at the time. I wouldn’t want to be him for more than a day though. Too much responsibility. But it would certainly be amazing to stroll the corridors in the White House in his stead for a day.

9. Adele

I’d love to have her voice for a day. Of course I’m not a trained singer, so I’m not sure if I could sing like her even if I was in her body, but I’d love to be her for a concert. I love her music.

10. An actress from one of my favorite TV series

Maybe Kaley Cuoco a.k.a. Penny from the Big Bang Theory, or Jennifer Carpenter a.k.a. Debra from Dexter. That way, at least, I’d know what’s going to happen next. I hate waiting for the next season. Though I have to admit that it might get confusing if I pretend to be Kaley Cuoco pretending to be Penny. Hm. I might mess that one up…

About the author:

Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog that looks like a sheep and three bunnies that have destroyed every piece of furniture she’s ever owned in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.

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Oh and don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour stops!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blog Tour: The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos

book cover of The Planet Thieves by Dan Krokos

Title: The Planet Thieves
Author: Dan Krokos
Release date: May 21, 2013
Publisher: Starscape
Pages: 256
Source: Publisher
Reading level: MG

Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter.

But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.

With the captain and crew dead, injured, or taken prisoner, Mason and the cadets are all that’s left to warn the ESC. And soon they find out exactly why the Tremist chose this ship to attack: the Egypt is carrying a weapon that could change the war forever.

Now Mason will have to lead the cadets in a daring assault to take back the ship, rescue the survivors, and recover the weapon. Before there isn’t a war left to fight.

Dan Krokos’ debut young adult novel, False Memory, threw me for a loop and had me reading late into the night.  The Planet Thieves, his debut middle grade novel, was very similar for me.  I’m pleased to say that while middle grade is not always my thing, Dan Krokos’ future middle grade novels will definitely be on my TBR!
Dan Krokos’ action packed storytelling transfers amazingly well from young adult to middle grade.  The Planet Thieves starts off strong and will have readers on the edge of their seats from beginning to end.  The Planet Thieves is full of twists and turns and things I never saw coming.  Also, while I know there are other space adventures like The Planet Thieves, the story was new to me and it was a really refreshing read.  It’s unique and fun and definitely something different from what’s currently out there.
The characters are pretty easy to love from the get go.  Mason is a thirteen-year-old boy so he is a bit immature but I expected that and it didn’t bother me all that much.  The other cadets are much the same way.  They are young so they can be a little irritating but with the fate of their world resting solely with them, they’re forced to mature a little quicker than most kids.  They all have secrets and they all have flaws and every one of those things is put on display in the battle to save the SS Egypt.  It was a lot more than I expected from The Planet Thieves and I loved that.  
The writing isn’t anything super spectacular but my favorite thing about it was that it wasn’t dumbed down for younger readers.  This may be a middle grade novel but there is nothing to stop older readers (such as myself) from enjoying it.  Dan Krokos has an easy writing style and it helps hook readers in addition to the awesome story.
Overall, The Planet Thieves is a must read for middle grade fans and also for readers who loved Dan Krokos’ young adult book.  Dan Krokos is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine and I look forward to continuing this series!
What others have to say about The Planet Thieves:
Awfully Big Reviews’ review: It’s kinetic and very visual, and any kid who loves science fiction or superheroes is going to adore it.”
Books Aplenty, Books Galore’s review: I absolutely recommend this book!”

Finding Wonderland’s review: THIS is the book guaranteed to reach that elusive band of “reluctant readers.””

The Planet Thieves (#1)

Other reviews for this author:

About the author:

Dan Krokos is the author of False Memory, a young adult science fiction trilogy, and The Planet Thieves, an upcoming middle grade duology. Dan put himself through college by pumping gas for nine years, and now writes full time. When he isn’t writing, Dan enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee.