Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Blog Tour: A Tyranny of Petticoats | Guest Post

I don’t know if you guys have noticed but my rating system is shoes.  I have a thing for shoes.  (Some might call it an unhealthy obsession and those people are entitled to their wrong opinion.)  My love for shoes means I’m extremely excited to share with you this awesome guest post from Jessica Spotswood that just happens to be all about shoes!

Everyone welcome to wonderful Jessica Spotswood!


Hi! I couldn’t help noticing that Katie uses shoes to rate books, so I thought for this stop on the TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS blog tour, I’d share some crazy historical shoes that our 15 heroines might – or in some cases definitely would NOT – have worn!

In J. Anderson Coats’s “Mother Carey’s Table,” a runaway slave girl poses as a sailor boy – but the truth is exposed, with devastating consequences, when she tries to sink the Spanish warship threatening her crew (1710: British North America)


Would these men’s boots, circa 1700-1710, help convince Half-Hanged Henry (the pirate captain) that Joe is a boy?


In Marie Lu’s “The Journey,” Yakone, a young Inuit girl, flees across the frozen tundra after the murder of her parents and the destruction of her family’s village by white traders. (1723: The Great Land)


These European shoes from 1720 are made of wool, but I don’t think they’d be nearly warm (or practical) enough as Yakone drives her father’s dogs across the frozen tundra!


In Jessica Spotswood’s “Madeleine’s Choice,” a free girl of color seeks advice from voodoo queen Marie Laveau to choose between the longtime family friend, a respectable middle class man of color, who has offered her marriage — and the romantic, wealthy white planter who cannot. (1826: New Orleans)


These red French satin shoes from the 1820s would definitely turn Maddie’s head, much like wealthy planter Antoine!


In Leslye Walton’s “El Destinos,” the Three Fates are reborn as a trio of Mexican American sisters whose responsibility to control the threads of life and death is tested when two of them fall in love with the same man. (1848: Southwest Texas)


Would these delicate Italian slippers, made of silk satin, sueded leather, linen, kid leather, brass, and pearls, be something like what Rosa would wear for her wedding?


In Andrea Cremer’s “High Stakes,” a supernatural assassin is hired to protect a powerful player in the poker game that will determine which side the supernatural world will take in the Civil War. (1861: Boston, Massachusetts, and Natchez, Mississippi)


How gorgeous are these red leather boots from around 1865? I can picture deadly Klio wearing them as she boards the steamship.


In Caroline Tung Richmond’s “The Red Raven Ball,” a bluestocking debutante is tasked with finding the Confederate spy at her formidable grandmother’s annual ball – with surprising results. (1862: Washington, DC)


These gorgeous embroidered slippers from the 1860s would be perfect for the annual ball!


In Beth Revis’s “Pearls,” a privileged young woman flees a forced marriage to become a schoolteacher in the rough Wyoming Territory and learns courage from her ragtag band of students.  (1876: Chicago, Illinois, and Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory)


These bright purple “boudoir slippers” from the 1870s were basically loungewear. Would Helen leave behind fancy shoes like this when she flees Chicago?


In Marissa Meyer’s “Gold in the Roots of the Grass,” Fei-Yen, a Chinese American medium, helps a young prospector’s spirit find justice for his murder. (1877: Deadwood, Dakota Territory)


Would Fei-Yen wear black boots like these from the 1870s as she tries to fend off greedy prospectors hoping for clues about where to find gold?


In Y.S. Lee’s “The Legendary Garrett Girls,” two sisters fight back against the unscrupulous con man, Soapy Smith, who tries to take over their prosperous frontier saloon. (1898: Skaguay, Alaska)


Okay, I don’t see either Lily or Clara wearing these fabulous gold evening shoes from 1898…but they seem perfect to represent the story, considering how mad people went in the Alaskan Gold Rush!


In Elizabeth Wein’s “The Color of the Sky,” Antonia meets her hero, aviatrix Bessie Coleman; bears witness to Bessie’s death in a tragic flying accident; and finds herself in possession of the plane’s flight record. (1926: Jacksonville, FL & Dallas, TX)


I can’t quite see sensible middle-class Tony wearing these black and gold heels from 1926, but perhaps Bessie would at some fine dinner, while fundraising for her flight school?


In Saundra Mitchell’s “Bonnie and Clyde, ” Marjorie May Johnson doesn’t see any conflict in running from the law as Baby Boy Wabash, the Most Wanted bank robber in Posey County, and later snuggling up to the same lawman, who just happens to be her beau. (1934: Indiana)


Great Depression? What Depression, asks these crazy Ferragamo sandals from 1938?


…I don’t even know what’s happening with these furry Schiaparelli boots but I couldn’t resist including them.


In Katherine Longshore’s “Hard Times,” Rosie “Curls” Weaver hops trains toward the coast in search of a better opportunity – and may find one when she meets a journalist searching for the truth about hobo camps. (1934: Washington State)


Would Rosie wear this pair of men’s black and white brogues, circa 1930-1935, as she jumps trains?


In Lindsay Smith’s “City of Angels,” an aspiring screenwriter falls in love with a fellow Rosie the Riveter who’s an aspiring actress – but things change when the men return from war. (1945: Los Angeles, CA)


How gorgeous are these purple silk heels from 1945? I can totally see aspiring actress Frankie coveting them!


In Kekla Magoon’s “Pulse of the Panthers,” Sandy’s worldview is changed when the Black Panthers hold a meeting at her family’s farm and she learns secrets about her own family’s history. (1967: California)


These…uh…whimsical sandals from 1968 are in no way practical for Sandy’s work cooking up breakfast and supper for the Black Panthers, but I couldn’t resist including them!


Same with these, but I’d totally wear them!


In Robin Talley’s “The Whole World Is Watching,” Jill, a Black college student, questions her relationship with her girlfriend as they get caught up in the riots and police brutality of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.  (1968: Chicago, IL)


These 1968 boots are fit for a superhero, but I don’t think they’re quiiiite what Jill would be wearing to run from the cops and tear gas in Grant Park!


What do you think, readers? Which pair of shoes is your favorite?

Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for more amazing posts!

March 8 Katie’s Book Blog www.katiesbookblog.com
March 9 The Book Cellar X http://www.thebookcellarx.com/
March 10 Forever Young Adult http://foreveryoungadult.com/
March 11 The Book Smugglers www.thebooksmugglers.com
March 12 Please Feed the Bookworm



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Blog Tour: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | Playlist

Blog Tour: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | Playlist

Blog Tour: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | PlaylistThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House on March 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.
He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.
Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.


A playlist for DILL, one of the three main characters in The Serpent King


Dill would love this song because he would find very resonant the idea of wondering if he’ll ever get away from a place that’s got him tethered. The energy and intelligence of Chvrches’ lead singer would remind him of Lydia, so he would have a crush on her. And their sound would remind him of the 1980s goth music that Lydia loves.

 Sharon Van Etten—Serpents

Dill would love this song because it’s about personal demons and they just happen to take the form of serpents, just like his. Sharon Van Etten got her start in Murfreesboro and is one of the real-life models for Dill. I imagine his songwriting being similar to hers in its nakedness and vulnerability.

Strand of Oaks—Wait for Love

Dill would love this song because it makes beauty out of waiting to be loved, which is a struggle Dill knows intimately. I picture Dill’s voice having the same soaring quality as Timothy Showalter’s.

 Joy Division—Love Will Tear Us Apart

Dill loves this song because it’s Lydia’s favorite song. Period. But he also loves it because it’s gloomy and poetic and Dill loves gloomy and poetic things. Also, there’s a strangely hopeful lilt in the song, the way Dill holds onto hope even when he doesn’t know he is.

New Order—True Faith

Dill loves this song because it talks about destiny and coming of age. It talks about unexpected turns in life. And plus, when Dill’s mom asks the title of one of New Order’s songs after Dill’s told her that they’re a Christian band, it sounds great for him to say “True Faith.” That goes over well in the Early household.

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

Monday, February 22: Jenuine Cupcakes, Kickoff Blog Tour Post
Tuesday, February 23: Book Hounds, Review
Wednesday, February 24: Mundie Moms, Review
Thursday, February 25: Curling Up With a Good Book, Review
Friday, February 26: To Read or Not to Read, Annotate a Scene Guest Post

Monday, February 29: Bookish Lifestyle, Review
Tuesday, March 1: The Book Swarm, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Katie’s Book Blog, Playlist Post
Thursday, March 3: Paperback Princess, Guest Post: Writing a Character with a Parent in Prison
Friday, March 4: Who R U, Behind the Scenes Book Secret Guest Post

Monday, March 7: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, March 8: Stories & Sweeties, Author Interview
Wednesday, March 9: LovingDemBooks, Review
Thursday, March 10: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, March 11: Good Books And Good Wine, Review

Monday, March 14: Winter Haven Books, Review
Tuesday, March 15: Me, My Shelf and I, Review
Wednesday, March 16: Novel Novice, Review
Thursday, March 17: Lili’s Reflections, Review
Friday, March 18: A Reader of Fictions, Author “Don’t Miss” in Nashville Guest Post

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog Tour: High School Horror + Giveaway

Blog Tour: High School Horror + Giveaway

Blog Tour: High School Horror + GiveawayTeen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 12th 2016
Genres: Horror
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon

High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost--Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life...

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Hey guys! I’m super excited to be part of the High School Horror blog tour for Chandler Baker’s new novel, Teen Frankenstein.  I’ve got an awesome guest post from one of the team members over at Macmillan and stick around until the end to win a copy of the book.


High School Horror Guest Post


This is a cautionary tale about underage drinking. I’m not referring to the associated health risks, driving dangers, and potential negative impact on grades. I’m referring to the potential to embarrass yourself in the WORST WAY HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

I did not grow up in a family where alcohol was a major part of family gatherings. My primary knowledge of alcohol in any capacity was based on Donna Martin’s ill-fated experience at the prom on 90210. So when I went to the sleepover at my new friend Alice’s and someone brought out a giant bottle of (what I now know to have been) extremely cheap gin, I had no idea what to do with it. I just knew that it was ninth grade, these were new friends, and I wanted to seem cool.

And it turned out that these friends weren’t actually much more daring than me- they wanted to ‘live on the edge’ by drinking gin too, but also didn’t know what to do with it. I did vaguely recall (from Snoop Dogg) that gin was supposed to be mixed with juice, so I grabbed a bottle of fruit punch and decided to take over as chief mixologist. Except I didn’t realize that the ratio of alcohol to mixer was NOT supposed to be 1:1. And I poured each of us a glass that was exactly one half gin, and one half punch. And then we drank them.

At first, it was all fun and games and sing-alongs. And then we started talking about crushes. And when I confessed mine (Alex Green),  I learned that he happened to work at a crab shack that was walking distance from Alice’s house. You see where this is going…

We decided to sneak out and walk (stumble) to the crab shack, in hopes that he’d be finishing his shift. What we actually expected to accomplish was a bit unclear (as are my memories of that night), but I believe the end goal was for us to fall in love. And as luck would have it, he WAS there, and he was just getting ready to ride his bike home when we approached. He looked at us as if he was wondering what we were doing there and then suddenly, my friends were gone. They’d left me there alone (in reality, they were hiding behind an SUV, giggling at me). I opened my mouth to attempt to spit some game…and that’s when it happened. Full-on, projectile vomit. The kind you don’t even see coming, so you can’t find a covert way to do it. And thanks to the laws of science, it landed ALL OVER poor Alex Green, who was horrified, and who avoided me the entire remaining time we were in high school.

So there you have it, kids. Not only is underage drinking foolish for any number of other reasons, it can also kill your game…forever.

Author Links/Info

Add High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to your to-read list on Goodreads.

Join in on social media with #HighSchoolHorror

Visit Chandler’s website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

Full Blog Tour Schedule
Fierce Reads
12-Jan Good Books and Good Wine
13-Jan Jana’s Book List
14-Jan Booki Emoji
15-Jan Sci Fi Chick
16-Jan Novel Novice
17-Jan Word Spelunking
18-Jan XPresso Reads
19-Jan Working for the Mandroid
20-Jan Katie’s Book Blog


One US/CA reader will win a copy of Teen Frankenstein

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys Blog Tour | Guest Post with Carrie Ryan

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. Welcome Carrie Ryan to the blog today to talk about the inspiration for her short story in this creepy collection!

My Inspiration

I was on the edge of sleep when an image popped into my head. In it, several young girls sat around a rustic table in the tree-shaded clearing of a forest. A tea party was laid out in front of them with mis-matched cups and chipped saucers. And the girls were all dead — had been for days. Except for one. She sat at the head of the table as the guest of honor. When she lifted her cup, the other girls mimicked her, their motions controlled by fishing line tied around their wrists, turning them into gruesome marionettes. The March Hare, a man-sized rabbit, watched from the trees, his tall ears a white slash against the shadows.

The tea party was his gift to the girl and she accepted it without hesitation.

This image became the inspiration for “In the Forest Dark and Deep,” my short story for the Slasher Girls and Monster Boys anthology. I wanted to know what kind of child would come to this clearing day after day while her dead friends’ bodies grew bloated in the heat (I once worked for the Coroner’s Office and have first hand experience with rotting bodies; I knew well what they would look and smell like). I wanted to know what happened to her as she grew older.

But most of all, I wanted to learn more about the March Hare — a creature the size of a man, with the proportions of a man, yet still somehow not a man but a white rabbit with ears that stood out against the darkness. I wanted to know what his relationship was with the girl — what tied them together. And the only way for me to figure that out was to write the story and see where it took me.

“In the Forest Dark and Deep,” is perhaps one of my favorites stories because its origin is rooted in such a disturbing and gruesome scene that’s complicated by the deep undercurrent of connection between the girl and the March Hare. It’s a story about friendship and understanding, monsters and darkness, and whether the two are irrevocably intertwined.

– Carrie Ryan

19364719For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

Order your copy now!
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer of Jinn Blog Tour: Lori Goldstein Guest Post + Giveaway

Summer of Jinn Blog Tour: Lori Goldstein Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Summer of Jinn Blog Tour.  I don’t know about you guys, but I love learning more about the processes authors go through when writing their books.  Lori Goldstein, author of Becoming Jinn, was nice enough to write a guest post about revising and her personal struggle with her stubbornness.  🙂

Overcoming the Stubborn Gene: A Revision Lesson

“So, I’ve been thinking about the ending of Becoming Jinn,” my stellar agent says one day on a phone call prior to submission.


The ending of Becoming Jinn is a bit controversial. Readers would either love it or hate it. I loved it. And I wanted to keep it as much as I feared I wouldn’t be able to.

This particular call with my stellar agent came after a two-month revision of the manuscript in preparation for submission. Now, mind you, stellar agent’s suggestions had involved some intense reworking—moving things from the third act to the first, from the second to the third, changing a character’s role from a friend to a brother, beefing up scenes and magic rules. It was a lot of work. It was also 100 percent necessary. Her suggestions were spot on and helped me to create a strong manuscript I loved more than the original. But her initial feedback never touched the ending. I thought I was safe. The ending I Ioved, the ending some people told me I should change, was going to stay.

*happy dance*

Until, one day, on the cusp of submission, she calls with one final thought: to change the location of the ending scene.

My initial reaction was, “I’m not changing the ending, no how, no way!” My next was, “No more revisions! I’m done!” And here you are getting a glimpse into the Lori who has three-quarters Italian blood, meaning she can be a tad stubborn.

Which is why it’s a very good thing she has critique partners willing to call her on it. My good friend and CP listened to my whining and then, tactfully, said, “I hear you, but what can it hurt to try? You don’t have to use it.”

She was right. My agent said this was up to me. It was my call. So what could it hurt to try? The setting my agent had suggested didn’t feel right, but her questioning the location set my brain a’ storming and the one I came up with felt and still feels—two years later—like the perfect one. It completes the arc of the book and the character.

And this is why writing a book is very far from a solo endeavor. We need people around us who will not only spark our creativity, but help us overcome our own DNA.

Lori Goldstein Author 5My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.

Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog atwww.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.

Twitter Tattoo promo photo 2

Click here to enter the SUMMER OF JINN Blog Tour Giveaway! Lori’s giving away two $20 gift cards: one to her local indie Harvard Bookstore and one to B&N! Redeemable in person or online. Open internationally. And she’s also running a special promotion in honor of the summer season. Buy #BecomingJinn by July 30 and receive free bracelet temporary tattoos. More info on Lori’s blog: http://www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com/2015/06/30/beach-read/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A.C. Gaughen | Guest Post + Giveaway

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably seen my gushing reviews for Scarlet and Lady Thief.  If not, here is the first and the second.  I’ll give you a second to go check them out.

While I haven’t had the chance to read Lion Heart just yet (it’s on the TBR for this month!) I pretty confident that I will love it.  When I was asked to be part of the blog tour, I jumped at the chance.  I’ve got an awesome guest post and giveaway for you guys so check them out and get started on this trilogy if you haven’t already!

Lion Heart
Goodreads Add

The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince’s clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?


Top 10 Favorite Songs

Let’s talk methodology.  My first attempt was to look at iTunes and see how many times I’ve played every song, and pull the top ten out of that.  But I think that’s very weirdly weighted, because there’s no way all these recent songs are my top 10 all time plays:

top 10

Not that it’s wildly off base—I do love songs that feature my name (Sweet Annie), and Taylor Swift, and OMG that remix of Seven Nation Army is DEFINITELY one of my all time favorites.  But Battleships?  That’s pretty new and not one of my go-tos.  What’s going on here? 

So now I think I’ll have to try harder and give you my ALL TIME TOP TEN.  I think that rather than songs that make me feel a certain way, these are songs that actually kind of get to the core of ME—who I am as a human. 

Kryptonite, by 3 Doors Down

This song is literally my favorite love song of all time.  This is my kind of love—“if I go crazy then will you still call me Superman?”  #ThisIsWhyI’mSingle…

Far Away by Ingrid Michaelson

This is legitimately my fantasy of happiness, living on an island in the ocean and having babies with strawberry curls and a husband that smells like the ocean.  It makes me feel like I’m folded in my favorite sweater.

Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

God, this song is just emotional.  This is the song I turn to when I’m a little bit broken—it feels so jagged and raw, and the weird contrast of how stark and also how digitized her voice is just cuts me.  It makes me feel like it’s ok to break down a little.

Demons by Imagine Dragons

I’ve always felt like I have a lot of darkness inside of me—and you can definitely see some of my feelings about that reflected in Scarlet, particularly in her journey during Lion Heart.  There’s a scene when Margaret is talking to her in a graveyard about how Scarlet chooses her darkness over her light, and I’ve felt like that so often.  Even though sometimes I feel like that darkness and anger is one of the only things that’s truly mine and no one else’s, this song reminds me that I don’t have to hold on so hard to that.

All About Your Heart by Mindy Gledhill

Ah—okay, I do have a sweet side, despite everything above!  This song is just beautiful and sweet and lovely and makes me feel like a pretty girl in a pretty dress.  “Oh/I’ve loved you from the start/In every single way/and more each passing day/you are brighter than the stars/believe me when I say/it’s not about your scars/it’s all about your heart.”  <3 <3

Famous Last Words by My Chemical Romance

“I am not afraid to keep on living/I am not afraid to walk this world alone”—Preach, MCR.  Preach.  Like I said, guys, I have an angry side!  One that I usually like to indulge alone in the car with loud music while I’m mentally cursing at bad drivers.

You May Be Right by Billy Joel

“Remember how I found you there/alone in your electric chair/ I told you dirty jokes until you smiled?” Dude, this is my personality down to a T.  Give me a crisis, and I will not only be steadfast by your side, but I will be making that’s what she said jokes right up until go-time.   Plus, Billy Joel, guys.  What’s not to love?

The Fire by the Roots

So, about two weeks before I got The Call, my friend Alex sent me a message and said “I think you’ll like this song.  It reminds me of you”.  I started listening to it non-stop, became totally obsessed with it, and when I was crying in the car after receiving The Call that Scarlet was going to be published, this was the first song that came on.  “You don’t say good luck/you say don’t give up”—yeah, I was pretty touched that this made my friend think of me, and I continue to keep it as my spirit animal song.   And actually, I don’t think fans of the series will be even a tiny bit surprised to find that language very strongly mirrored throughout the Scarlet Trilogy.

Life Less Ordinary by Carbon Leaf

All of my hopes and dreams in a single song.  Though it was a pretty close choice between this and their songs “Grey Sky Eyes” and “Shine”, for similar reasons.  But this one is just pretty and happy—“live a life less ordinary, live a life extraordinary with me”.  That’s all I want—not much to ask for.  Just an extraordinary life.

Run by Snow Patrol

I actually can’t really talk about how much this song means to me without getting insanely emotional.  Do you ever feel like someone gave you a song as a gift?  A friend introduced me to this song—long before Snow Patrol made fetch happen and they were just an unheard-of band in her hometown—and died soon after.  “Light up, light up, as if you had a choice”—every time I hear this song I remember her, and I associate other loss in addition to hers, and I remember to fight.  You have to fight to be happy—you have to light up.  Because you’re stunning, and the world is just waiting for you to show it.

AC Gaughen

I am shamelessly addicted to staying up far too late (it feels like stealing time), diet coke (it burns so good), Scotland (stupid country stole my heart and won’t give it back. Interpol has been ineffective for prosecution) and thieves (so I guess I’m not that mad at Scotland).




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Guest Post from Nikki (Fiction Freak) | Birthday Bash

The absolutely wonderful Nikki from Fiction Freak is on the blog today with a list of her favorite spooky books.


First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIEEEEE!!!!!! May ghosts not try to kill you.

Books That Freaked Me Out

Disclaimer: I am an absolute wimp and if you watch shows like Supernatural then these books may not creep you out. I, however, get creeped out by Doctor Who (BUT MATT SMITH AND DAVID TENNANT ARE AWESOME.) So. Yeah.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs

This one I read when it first released and the pictures + the atmosphere was just creeeeeeeeepy. I mean I LOVE LOVE LOVED the story. But those guys that had like octopus tentacles coming from their mouths? Yeah that sort of freaked me out. (And the pictures. THE PICTURES. THOSE ARE REAL VINTAGE PHOTOS. CREEPINESS.)

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Okay so I loved this one when I read (although I have yet to read Girl of Nightmares). It wasn’t ABSOLUTELY FRIGHTENING until the end. THE FREAKING END OH MY GOSH. I’m assuming most of y’all have read it so, SPOILER: When he comes from the attic that was literally THE MOST TERRIFYING THING I’D EVER READ. I LIVE IN MY ATTIC. (Well attic turned bedroom) DO YOU KNOW HOW FREAKING THAT WAS. Very. It was very terrifying.

The Light by DJ MacHale

Okay ultimately the most terrifying book I’ve ever read (or at least the most terrified I remember being.) I read this some 4 years ago so I can’t remember much except guys, there was a floating ball made of blood and an absolutely horrid, sickeningly terrifying ghost that freaked me out to no ends. I can’t guys. I can’t. I just. It was so so creepy.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

AGAIN WITH THE PICTURES. Also, an abandoned asylum? Those always creep me out (and if I was less of a wimp I’d totally want to explore one.) The pictures though. My god. I read this one at about 1 AM which WAS NOT COMFORTING. I would turn the page slowly and peek at the picture. I’m ashamed to say that if it looked especially creepy in that one glance I’d skip the facing page. Those were creepy man.

Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Stolarz

Teens stuck in a house with a possible murder. Also an abandoned amusement park. Psychopaths. Psychopaths called THE FREAKING NIGHTMARE ELF.

White Space by Ilsa J. Bick

Okay honestly I had no idea what was happening in this book but the POV with them stranded on a mountain in a snowstorm? Holy shit that part was creeeeeeeeepy. Honestly. Blood in the car, blood in the snow, dead bodies everywhere. *Shudders*

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

Who doesn’t love this series, honestly? But holy crap there are some CREEEEPYYYYY parts. Psychological thriller at it’s best, honestly. (EVOLUTION creeped me out so much. A freaking clown doll. My god.)

Make sure to check out Fiction Freak if you haven’t already and follow Nikki on Twitter!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This or That with Meredith from Pandora’s Books | Birthday Bash



Today I have Meredith from Pandora’s Books on the blog with a Halloween themed This or That list!

Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown?

Ouch, this is a tough question!!! Can I cheat and say both?!? Because I really don’t think I could pick between the two! They’re two of my favorite childhood Halloween movies and I could watch them over and over and over and never get bored! The only thing that puts Halloweentown slightly ahead of Hocus Pocus is that there are three movies (I don’t count the fourth one.. Sara Paxton was NOT Marnie! Kimberly J. Brown FTW!!) to watch, so you really never get bored and can watch just one of them or binge them all! 🙂

Caramel Apples or Candy Corn?

I’m actually not a huge fan of either. I’m a chocoholic! But since I really can’t stand caramel, I’ll go with Candy Corn!

hauntedHaunted Houses or Hay Rides?

Haunted Houses, no contest! I looooove Haunted Houses! Hay Rides can be boring.. I mean, they TRY to spook you, but it can’t beat a good haunted house!

Trick or treating or handing out candy?

Trick or Treating!! Duh!! Why GIVE AWAY candy when you can GET candy?!? Yum!

Simple or elaborate costumes?

I always went for simple – I actually did homemade costumes a lot. I went as a ballerina until I was 10-years-old because – for some odd reason – I had a pink leotard, handed down to me from a cousin or something. I also went as Pokémon trainer one year.. That meant strapping Beanie Babies to a baseball hat and shoulders and carrying around a backpack. Yeah, I was cool, wasn’t I? Haha. HOWEVER… I admire people who can put together elaborate costumes! I’ve always wanted to do that and one of these years, I will!

Zombies or vampires?

Is this even a question? Vampires, forever and always! I’ve loved vampires since I was eight-years-old and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I keep hoping vampires will make a comeback in YA!

Orange or black?

Black! Black is creepier and makes it easier to hide and scare people! Haha

Pumpkin carving or bobbing for apples?

Bobbing for apples! Totally hilarious and fun. I’m awful at pumpkin carving…. Though I do love pumpkin cheesecake! Mmm, yum!

Horror movies or ghost stories?

Horror movies! I’m a huge horror movie fan. I like some of the classic 90’s horror movies, like Scream (and its sequels… though Scream 3 was pretty bad and my least favorite) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (plus its sequel). Ghost stories are fun but horror movies are one of my favorite things. I’m excited for October to get here because it means places like Walmart and Target will have horror movies on sale! Also, ABC Family’s Thirteen Nights of Halloween!

Make sure to check out Meredith’s blog and find her on Twitter.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Compulsion by Martina Boone | I Have A Compulsion For Magic Blog Tour

Compulsion by Martina Boone | I Have A Compulsion For Magic Blog Tour

Hello & welcome to the I Have A Compulsion for Magic blog tour!

I’m so thrilled to be apart of the tour to celebrate the upcoming release of Martina Boone’s debut, Compulsion. You can follow the entire tour. Trust me, you don’t want to miss the author guest posts, the excerpts, and the massive giveaway going on with the tour.

Guest Post!

Paula Stokes is today’s guest author on the Compulsion for Magic tour, and she’s a pro at writing books about characters in conflict between want and need. (That’s something Barrie in Compulsion has a bit of trouble with too.) Like Compulsion also, The Art of Lainey has a strong heroine who doesn’t need a sword to go after what she wants. In fact, Lainey arms herself with a book instead, and as we all know, books are the best form of everyday magic.

Paula is going to tell us a little about what she, and Lainey, think about double-edged magical gifts.

But first . . . 

What about you? For a chance to win the HUGE tour mega prize of books and the $100 gift card, tell us about the magical gift you’d like to have—but remember, as it does on Compulsion’s Watson Islandall small magic has a downside. Think a little about living with the consequences!

Now here’s what Paula had to say . . .

If you could have any “everyday” magical gift, like finding lost things or knowing what people want, what gift would you want and why?

I would want to have super-remembering power. I want this because right now it seems like I have super-forgetting power. If someone says “Remind me to do the thing when we get to the place” and the place is more than five minutes away, I’ll forget. I forgot to go to class when I was in grad school…more than twice. The only reason I never forgot to go to work is because I always wrote my shifts down on a piece of paper, then transferred them to a calendar, then transferred them to my daily to do lists. If I had super-remembering power, I could spend a less time writing things down and spend more time on crucial tasks, like cupcake eating and playing with my cats 🙂

What everyday magic would your characters wish they had and why?

I think Lainey would want magic that made her a better soccer player, either that or magic that made her hair naturally straight without needing a flat iron. For obvious reasons!

Eight, Barrie’s love interest in Compulsion, has inherited his family’s gift of knowing what people want and feeling compelled to give it to them. What’s one gift you’re glad you don’t have? Or your characters would be glad they didn’t have?

I am soooo glad I can’t read minds. It seems like it would be cool, like knowing everyone’s secrets, but then you’d also know what they were thinking about YOU all the time. No thanks.

Barrie is tied to her family’s plantation, Watson’s Landing, in a magical way, and the whole landscape becomes magical for her. What’s the one place in your book that you wish you could bring to life?

Clearly, CLEARLY Mizz Creant’s House of Torture (and Pancakes.) Delicious breakfast food served in a somewhat deviant and macabre environment? What’s not to love about that?

If you were going to a Halloween party and you had to dress as a character from a Southern Gothic or a Gothic romance, what would your costume look like?

Um…does True Blood count? I’d kill for an excuse to dress up like Pam, Eric’s leather-sporting, no-nonsense progeny who is one of the most flawed yet likable characters I’ve ever come across. (Sorry, I haven’t read a lot of Gothic books so I had to cheat with TV :D)

* * *

What do you say, Sookie Stackhouse fans? Obviously, that totally counts!

Your turn! Leave a comment.

And/Or . . .

Bonus option: If you’ve already done that elsewhere on the tour or just want to do something different for extra entry points, show us your magical, gothic, or romantic Halloween costume! What character from a Gothic or Southern Gothic romance would you dress as? Or how would you show an “everyday magic” as a Halloween costume? Post a comment with the URL to your photo and we’ll share it. Use tag #CompulsionMagic.


About the book:

Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse

Hardcover, 10/28/14 ISBN: 1481411225

Three plantations. Two gifts. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who somehow seems to know what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Pre-order Compulsion

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

Add to Goodreads

Signed copies are available for pre-order from One More Page Books. You can also pre-order with the special “I have a Compulsion for reading” bookplate from Eight Cousins. Pre-Order Incentives Going on here.

Early Praise for Compulsion

“Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you’ll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series.”

— #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic — haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.”

— Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A Thousand Pieces of You and the Evernight and Spellcaster series

“Compulsion is a stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!”

— Wendy Higgins, USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy from HarperTeen


About the author:

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.

She’s the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all things YA Series.

From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Website | Blog | Tumblr | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter




Do you have a Compulsion for Reading? Then you don’t want to miss what Martina Boone is giving away! 5 lucky winners will each win the following:

Grand Prize Winner – will win EVERYTHING pictured above! That’s the right! That entire bag of books will go to 1 reader!! *US residents only

Next Winner – will win a $100 gift card to the book store of their choice! *open internationally

3 Additional winners will each win a Compulsion prize pack which features a signed copy of Compulsion, a Compulsion necklace and bookmarks. *open internationally

To enter to win, please fill out the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back To School with Jessica Darling | Guest Post + Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Jessica Darling’s It List #2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends I have a wonderful back-to-school tip from Megan McCafferty.

Jessica Darling

The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends by Megan McCafferty on September 16, 2014
Buy the Book | Goodreads

 Jessica Darling is getting the hang of seventh grade — finally! While her old BFF, Bridget, is busy talking (nonstop) about her new boyfriend, Burke, Jessica tries to fit in with her new friends, Sara, Manda, and Hope. The IT List instructions from her sister, Bethany, and an epic slumber party may help Jessica secure her spot in the cool clique, but does she even want it?

Megan McCafferty’s It List series introduces readers to Jessica Darling, an unabashedly brainy seventh grader who stays true to herself, even if it means being (totally not) cool.




Want to know what Megan has to say about going back to school?

Trust me when I say there’s not enough room in this or any blog to thoroughly catalog the myriad ways I was a mess in middle school.  So when I was first asked to offer back-to-school advice, my gut reaction was something like, WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? I WAS A CATASTROPHE. DON’T TAKE ADVICE FROM ME.

And then I remembered: I have a kid. He just started junior high. And I probably gave him some back-to-school advice because that’s part of my job as a parent, right? At breakfast this morning I asked him.

“What’s the best advice I gave you about starting sixth grade?”

“You didn’t give me any advice.”

“I didn’t?”



“I already know to work hard in my classes.”

“Right. Of course.”

“And have fun. Though fun is different now. “

“How so?”

“When you’re a little kid, having fun is your only job. But in middle school you get more responsibilities so you have to find the fun. That’s why I’m gonna run cross country and do choir and drama.”

“Because those activities are fun for you.”

“Well. Yeah. Duh.”

“So work hard and find the fun. That’s it.”

“That’s it.”

That’s it.


Little, Brown and Megan McCafferty have been kind enough to offer one signed copy of Jessica Darling’s It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends to one US resident!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to know more about the first book in the series?

Jessica Darling 1
Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection by Megan McCafferty
Buy The Book | Goodreads

Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty’s bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.

I hadn’t even gotten to homeroom yet and I’d already discovered five hard truths about junior high:

1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn’t know it yet.
3. It wouldn’t be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

It’s the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty’s hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day.

Jessica Darling’s IT List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness and Perfection is the first in a new middle grade series on sale now. Megan McCafferty is also the New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series for teens and adults, Bumped and Thumped. Her work has received honors from the ALA and the NYPL and has been translated into eleven languages, including Chinese, German and Indonesian. Megan is a Princeton University Community Fellow for Mathey College.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads