2/6: The Irish Banana Review – Excerpt
2/7: Books, TV, and More … Oh My! – Spotlight
2/8: Fiction Fare – Q&A
2/9: Lisa’s Loves (Books Of Course) – Casting Couch
2/10: Resch Reads and Reviews – Guest Post
2/6: The Irish Banana Review – Excerpt
2/7: Books, TV, and More … Oh My! – Spotlight
2/8: Fiction Fare – Q&A
2/9: Lisa’s Loves (Books Of Course) – Casting Couch
2/10: Resch Reads and Reviews – Guest Post
Hi Everyone! Today I’m featuring the 10th anniversary edition of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I was given this book by my #TBTBSanta last year and loved it. It’s so moving and really makes you open your eyes. I’m so glad she gave it to me to read. I hope you you give this book a shot if you haven’t read it yet. If you have read it, go get this new and wonderful edition! Below is a little synopsis, the extra content in the 10th anniversary edition, and a giveaway!
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
Oh hey blog! Bet you thought I forgot about you. Nope, just that time of year where I have no spare time. In light of today’s horribleness (election woes), I’m going to try to do something positive about next year. I’m going to join two reading challenges hosted by some lovely ladies.
First up, Rock My TBR, hosted by the amazing Sarah over at The YA Book Traveler. For this challenge, the goal is to read 1 book a month that is already on your TBR. No ARCs allowed. My TBR is a mile long, so I don’t think this will be a problem. I’m really excited about this challenge and hope to have fun with it. Now I’ve seen a lot of people post the books they plan to read, I’m not going to do that. Mostly because I have over 150 books I’d like to read and narrowing it down now is just too hard. If you’d like to join here’s the link!
The second challenge I plan on participating in is, Flights of Fantasy, hosted by the wonderful Alexa & Rachel. I never thought I was a big fantasy reader, but after looking at my shelves I discovered I actually have a lot of books that would classify as fantasy! So I’m going to pledge to read 10 fantasy books this year. Being as I only read about 50 books a year I think 20% is a big chunk to carve out for fantasy. The only bonus about this challenge is that those 10 books will count to Rock My TBR! You too can join Flights of Fantasy here!
Well, here’s to 2017 being a better year than this sh*tshow of a year and to reading more books already on my shelf!
Trouble Makes a Comeback is being released today!!! I haven’t had the chance to read my ARC of the book yet, but I did read book one in the series and really enjoyed it. Below I tell you why! (spoiler free)
I recently read Trouble is a Friend of Mine which is the first book in Stephanie Tromly’s Trouble series. I was told it had hints of Veronica Mars, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, & Sherlock Holmes. It certainly didn’t disappoint in those aspects. I loved the overarching mystery of who kidnapped Digby’s sister & the main mystery of who kidnapped a local teen. Digby reminded me of Sherlock in how he processes information and interacts with others. Zoe is the new girl in town who just wants to leave. Digby is the only person who will talk to her, so she quickly gets wrapped up in his antics. I enjoyed most of the secondary characters as well, Henry was my favorite of them all. He’s Digby’s childhood friend and current high school football star. I loved the dynamic between all the characters, but mostly Digby, Zoe, and Henry. Overall I thought Trouble is a Friend of Mine was a great book and it really made me look forward to book 2, Trouble Makes a Comeback! I can’t wait to dive back into the mystery of Digby’s sister & meet up with Zoe, Digby, & all the other characters.
Below is the synopsis:
A whip-smart, screwball noir mystery—with snappy prose, wry humor, and breakneck dialogue—this sequel to Trouble Is a Friend of Mine is perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, Sherlock, John Hughes, and Carl Hiassen.
After a fall semester of fiascos: getting arrested, then kidnapped, then blown up in an explosion (all thanks to the weird but brilliant Philip Digby), Zoe Webster is looking forward to a quiet spring. Now that Digby has left town, she’s finally built a regular high school life for herself. She’s dating Miles, the alternate QB; she knows girls she considers friends; she’s learning to enjoy being normal and semi-popular. Which of course is when Digby comes back: He’s got a new lead on his missing sister and he needs Zoe’s help.
Suddenly Zoe is tussling with a billionaire arch-villain, locking horns with armed goons, and digging into what makes the Digby family tick, even as she tries to navigate the confusing and emotionally fraught world of high school politics and locker-room drama. After all, it’s hard to explain Digby to a boy like Miles, especially when Zoe isn’t sure how she feels about Digby herself—or how he feels about her.
Now that Digby’s back, get ready for another hilarious whodunit filled with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic, dynamic duo you’ve ever met. And just try to stay out of trouble.
We dare you.
I have to say, this project sounds so amazing. I really look forward to participating and sharing my stories. I hope everyone that does participate finds solace and sees that they are not alone. A more detailed description of the project is below.
I HOPE YOU FORGIVE ME, is the newest project by the author of Hello, Liza Wiemer. IHYFM is a website that asks teens and adults to anonymously share moments from their teen years they wish they could ask forgiveness for but have never had the courage to, until now.
Synopsis: Rebellion has always been in the O’Reilly family’s blood. So when faced with the tragic death of her brother during Northern Ireland’s infamous Troubles, a teenage Nora joined the IRA to fight for her country’s freedom. Now, over a decade later, Nora is haunted by both her past and intense dreams of a man she has never met.
When she is given a relic belonging to Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, the mystical artifact transports her back to 1923—to the height of Ireland’s brutal civil war in. There she meets the fascinating stranger from her dreams, who has his own secrets—and an agenda. Ripped from her own time, Nora now has the chance to save the ones she loves… and to alter the entire future of Ireland.
1: You’ve written books in a range of genres; which is your favorite and why?
I wish I knew – then maybe I could stick to one! I do have to say I’m in love with historical fiction at the moment. I adore doing research and finding out about lives lived long ago. Sometimes I wish I could just research for a living.
2: I love that Bury the Living is set in Ireland, how much research did you have to do for it?
So. Much. Research. I read every book I could get my hands on, obviously. (Thank goodness for inter-library loans). I also watched documentaries and movies and listened to Irish history podcasts. I interviewed Irish Catholic women who had grown up in Belfast during the Troubles to get a better understanding of what it must have been like for Nora. I talked to humanitarian aid workers who had worked in Sudan (Nora grows up to become a relief worker in Darfur), and poured over UNHCR manuals about how to properly set up a refugee camp. I asked experts in the Irish Civil War to read my early drafts and correct my errors. And, best of all, I spent two weeks in Ireland doing on-the-ground research, including an amazing tour of Kilmainham Goal
3: What made you want to write a historical fiction/time travel book?
My first series, The Thin Veil, is based on Irish mythology. While researching those books I couldn’t help but learn more about Irish history, and I was completely drawn in. The more I read, the more I wanted to write about it, but I couldn’t nail down a particular time period. And so I decided to write a time travel series so that I wouldn’t be limited to just one era. At first I planned to start the series with the Easter Rising of 1916, but then I saw the heartbreaking film The Wind that Shakes the Barley and was so moved that I decided to focus on the Irish Civil War instead. The more I dug into it, the deeper I wanted to go. I wanted to tell the stories of these people and make them come alive. Besides, the Civil War is a perfect launching pad for a time travel series because it has its roots in the centuries-old conquest of Ireland by England, but also reaches into the future as the instigation behind the modern-day Troubles in Northern Ireland.
4: What is your writing process and how long did it take for your first draft of Bury the Living to be completed?
I start with the germ of an idea, and then hit the research. This usually helps me nail down what exactly I want to write about and come up with plot and character ideas. After I have a pretty good understanding of the time period or situation, I start outlining. Every scene goes on a Post-It note and up on my office wall until I have the book roughed out, then I use the software Scrivener to start writing! Because I outline pretty thoroughly, my first drafts don’t take very long. I think I wrote Bury the Living in under three months. But then there are a few months of edits!
5: Where do you like to read and write?
I have an office in my home that I work in every day. In the mornings I work at my standing desk, then in the afternoons I move to my sitting desk if my legs are tired. As for reading, I love curling up in the corner of my sectional sofa, a cup of tea balanced precariously beside me.
Quick Fire Questions:
Favorite color? Green.
Favorite band or artist? U2.
What book are you currently reading? Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.
Ice cream or cake? Ice cream.
Favorite fall drink (or drink in general)? Hot rum Canadienne. Mmm.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Already an accomplished writer, Jodi McIsaac is the author of several novels, including A Cure for Madness and the Thin Veil Series. She grew up in New Brunswick, and after abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a politician, earned a graduate degree in global studies, spent a few years as a fundraising and marketing executive with non-profit organizations in Toronto and Vancouver, which then morphed into her own copywriting business.
On Monday morning Nora walked to school with a couple of friends. She tried to nod and laugh in all the right places as they nattered on, but her mind was fixated on the bags of cocaine stuffed deep into her rucksack. She’d decided there was no point in dumping it, not when she could still make a fair sale of it. Then her family wouldn’t have to wait to leave town. She’d sent a message to Ernie Farrell, saying she’d sell him the lot at half price. He’d been Robbie Grady’s only competition in this part of town. There was no way he would say no. Then it would be out of her hands.
At the lunch break she waited in the stacks at the library, just as she’d promised to do in her message. The Irish-history section, which was always empty. She read the titles with interest while she waited. Her school, like many others, preferred to focus on European and world history. Irish history was too controversial, to close to home. But Eamon’s love for it had rubbed off. He was always throwing obscure bits of history into their conversations or telling her about great battles and chieftains who’d lived hundreds of years ago. She’d soaked it all in—a sparkling vision of Ireland that was a sharp contrast to her own bleak reality.
Nora waited the entire lunch hour, but Ernie never came. Had he even been to school that day? She hadn’t seen him. Maybe he was sick. Maybe he’d chickened out after hearing about Robbie.
She left the library and headed back to class. She was late enough that the hallways were empty. Then she heard heavy footsteps behind her. She glanced back and stopped dead in her tracks. Paddy Sullivan was standing in the hallway, grinning at her.
“Hiya, Nora,” he said.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“Ach, don’t be like that, Nora. We’ve some more questions for you.” He jerked his head toward the front door.
“I’ve answered your questions,” she said, clutching her rucksack close to her stomach. “Youse said you’d leave me alone.”
“Things change. C’mon. Let’s go.”
“I’ve got to get to class. I’m late.”
“We’re on the way to see your brother. Don’t you want to come?”
Nausea swept through her. He was bluffing, sure he was. But what if he means it? “I told youse to leave Eamon out of this! What do youse want him for?”
“Ernie never showed up to your little meeting, did he?”
Nora felt faint. “I just…wanted to talk to him.”
“Uh-huh. Seems you didn’t take our warnings seriously. Now come on. We don’t want to make a scene here in the school, do we?”
Nora felt as though her legs were embedded in the ground. All she could do was stare at Paddy, unable to move, while the world spun around her. She had to ditch the bag, somewhere, somehow.
“I…I just have to…I have to use the bogs first,” she stammered.
“I’m sure you can hold it,” he said. His hand clamped on to her arm, and he marched her out of the side door, where a car was waiting. She shifted her rucksack to one hand and prepared to drop it in the bushes, but he grabbed it.
“For a petty criminal, you’re pretty daft, Nora.”
“Wait, please, you don’t understand— ”
“You’ve got balls, I’ll give you that. Thought you’d just pick up where Robbie left off?”
“No! I was just trying to get rid of it, I swear.” Nora tried to wrestle herself from Paddy’s grip, panic building in her like a smoking volcano. “Don’t take me to Mick. You can have the coke—it’s worth a lot of money.”
“Mick’s interested in something far more useful to him than coke,” Paddy answered as he stuffed her into the back of the car. He got in the front seat, then turned around. “I think he’ll be wanting to make a deal.”
Nora drew back against the upholstered seat, horror spreading across her face. “He’ll not…be wanting…”
Paddy grinned again. “To pimp you out? Is that what you’re afraid of? You’re an attractive girl, Nora, but Mick’s not like that. He’s a decent lad.”
“You’ll find out.”
ABOUT PUSHING PERFECT:
A girl’s quest for perfection results in dangerous consequences in this layered, suspenseful YA novel by the author of Playlist for the Dead.
How far would you go to be perfect?
Kara has the perfect life. She gets perfect grades. She never messes up. Until now. Because perfection is an illusion, and Kara has been struggling to maintain it for as long as she can remember. With so much pressure to succeed, it’s hard not to do whatever it takes.
But when Kara takes a new underground drug to help her ace the SATs, she doesn’t expect to get a text from a blocked sender, telling her to follow a set of mysterious instructions—or risk her dark secret getting out. Soon she finds herself part of a group of teens with secrets of their own, who are all under the thumb of the same anonymous texter. And if they don’t find a way to stop the blackmailer, their perfect futures will go up in flames.
This dark, emotionally resonant contemporary YA novel is perfect for fans of We Were Liars and The Secret History.
I really enjoyed this book. I identified with Kara to a certain extent. I was always a good student and never did anything bad. I too had issues taking standardize tests, but unlike Kara, I never turned to drugs. The mystery behind who is blackmailing her and the others was exciting. I love trying to solve mysteries while reading, and this one was no exception.
ABOUT MICHELLE FALKOFF:
Michelle Falkoff’s fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law.
Giveaway: 3 Finished Copies of PUSHING PERFECT (US Only)
Hi everyone! I’m here today to talk about Glitter by Aprilynne Pike. I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions and they’re below along with a giveaway!!!
Synopsis: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.
Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.
1) How did you decide (come up with the idea) to combine 18th century France with the modern day?
Oh boy, that was a long process, actually. Originally this book was … wait for it … set in space with a culture that mimicked 16th century England. I had an agent suggest I bring it back down to earth, and I looked around at how much literature there was set in England during that time, and I decided to do something a bit different.
2) Which character did you have the most fun writing?
Oh, Danica’s fiance, Justin Wyndham, is so much fun to write! He is so unabashedly bad!
3) Did you draw inspiration for any of your characters from family, friends, or acquaintances?
I actually avoid doing this ever because I’m awful with names and start using them interchangeably both in real life and in the book! It makes my copy-editors hate me!
4) Do you plan on going on a book tour for Glitter, and if so can you tell us where?
Yes! I will be launching in Phoenix at Changing Hands, and I have an event in Provo, UT, Idaho Falls, ID, and Tucson, AZ. I am also going to the inaugural NOLAStoryCon just before the book comes out, and I’ll be attending YALLFest just after.
5) If you could live in any time period, but have modern day technology, when would it be?
Oh, I would SO live exactly like they do in GLITTER if I could! 1600s and 1700s in France, with all of the glorious excesses of the Baroque era!!
6) Where would be your #1 place to visit if you could go anywhere in the world?
I actually haven’t been to France and so very badly want to go!!! I also want to visit Japan, which is a goal with my family in the next few years.
7) What would you like least about living in 18th century France?
No running water!!! Modern plumbing!!!:D
8) Have you ever been to France and if so, what was your favorite part of it?
I have been to the airport! (And it’s a cool airport!) I would really love to visit the catacombs, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and of course the Palace of Versailles! And ZOMG french food! My next favorite part!
About the Author: Critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times best-selling author Aprilynne Pike has been spinning tales since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.
An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and to be rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy about money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city.
One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.
About the Author
Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace thriller series. Before writing full time, James lived in the U.S. for a number of years, producing films including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with James overseeing all aspects, including scriptwriting.
James’s novella ‘The Perfect Murder’, started its world stage premiere in 2014, and his first Roy Grace novel Dead Simple has now been adapted for stage, and will tour the UK in 2015. In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, James’s novel Host was published on two floppy discs and is now in the Science Museum as the world’s first electronic novel.
Famed for his in-depth research, in 2009 James was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, and in 2013 he was awarded an Outstanding Public Service Award by Sussex Police with whom he rides along regularly. He has also been out many times with the NYPD and the LAPD in the US and with many other police forces around the world, as well as doing extensive research with offenders in prisons and psychiatric institutions. He has served as two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and is a board member of the US International Thriller Writers.
He has won numerous literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Perfect People in 2012. James’s novels have been translated into thirty-six languages and three have been turned into films.
All of his novels reflect a deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in–depth research and has unprecedented access, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal. A speed junkie, who in his teens was selected to train for the British Olympic Ski Team, he holds an international motor racing license and switches off from work by racing his classic 1965 BMW. James divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and near Brighton in Sussex.
Visit Peter James’s Website: http://www.peterjames.com
Visit Peter James on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace
Visit Peter James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/peterjamesuk
Other novels in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series
DEAD SIMPLE * LOOKING GOOD DEAD * NOT DEAD ENOUGH * DEAD MAN’S FOOTSTEPS * DEAD TOMORROW * DEAD LIKE YOU * DEAD MAN’S GRIP * NOT DEAD YET * DEAD MAN’S TIME * WANT YOU DEAD * YOU ARE DEAD
The giveaway is for all 12 of Peter James’ books!