Blog Tour: Girl Divided Two by Suzie T. Roos (Excerpt + Giveaway)

GDT_TourBadge Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Girl Divided Two by Suzie T. Roos. Today, I have an amazing excerpt to share with you! First, here’s more information about the book:

Title: Girl Divided Two
Author: Suzie T. Roos
Author Location: St. Louis, MO
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Spoken For #2
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Jacques Day Publishing
Format: Digital eBook
ISBN: 978-0-99629-423-2


Life was supposed to get easier…

At least that’s what Tatum had hoped. New school year, great boyfriend…and things with her and Zach were supposed to be wonderful. Fairy tale wonderful.

They aren’t.

Zach’s overbearing family controls his every move—and worse, they want to control Tatum. Now Zach is pressuring her to ‘speak for him’, which means she’ll not only be committed to him but also his mob family. Where’s the guy she fell in love with? To make matters worse, her friends introduce her to Nigel, the new guy who is more tempting than Tatum wishes.

So which will Tatum give in to … coercion or temptation?

Find out in GIRL DIVIDED TWO, the newest installment in Suzie T. Roos’s exciting series that blends edgy with a splash of innocence and a smidgen of humor, releasing October 20, 2015.

Goodreads | Amazon

And now here’s the excerpt. Enjoy!

One of the attorneys turned around and stopped the media from following farther. The reporter shoved a microphone in his face.

“Does Mr. Bertano have connections to Switzerland?” one newswoman asked.

“What evidence do they have against your client?” another reporter shouted out.

That got the lawyer’s attention. “None. They have no evidence against Mr. Bertano. He has not been arrested, nor has he been charged. Now . . . if you could give Mr. Bertano the courtesy of not being treated like a criminal, we’d appreciate it. Thank you.” He walked off, even more pissed.

The camera cut back to the first reporter. “Reporting live from the federal courts downtown, I’m Laurie Summers. John, Spencer . . . back to you in the newsroom.”

“Thanks, Laurie.” The camera focused on one guy behind the desk. “We’ll keep you posted on any development in that story.”

They moved on to weather.

What a relief Zach wasn’t there. If he had been, I hadn’t seen him in the dark.

“Tatum, we should talk,” my dad said.

“About what?” I replied, still not taking my eyes off the TV. For some reason, my imagination was scanning all of Sergio’s features.

Mother let out an obnoxious huff. “About your boyfriend. Now, he wasn’t on TV, but that appeared to be his family. Tatum, we do not need to get wrapped—”

“We don’t know who that was.” I jerked my head toward her. I felt my nostrils flaring as I continued to yell, “Bottom line. Did you see Zach? No.”

“Tate, calm down. What your mother is trying to say—”

“I heard what she said.” I damn near snapped my neck by whipping my head from side to side so fast. “She’s going to make me break up with him because that may—or may not—have been his uncle. So what if it was? What if he never talks to him? You and Mom both have family you don’t talk to. So don’t—”

“Tatum. Calm down. And stop yelling at us.” My dad took a deep breath and relaxed his shoulders. “Look . . . find out what’s going on. I’m pretty sure that’s an uncle of Zach’s. What they’re taking him in for is very serious, Tate. Very serious. But you know that.”

“I know.” Another hushed response.

“Have you even considered how this affects you?”

“Me? No. What do you mean?” I wasn’t sure what Dad was getting at, but by his heavy breathing and sighing, his patience was wavering.

“Since you’re dating one of them, the police could pull you in for questioning. That’s how they work. They question everyone in the suspect’s circle.”

“I don’t know anything. I’ve never even met them.” My heart pounded so fast it hurt my chest. The police? Questioning? My thoughts went straight to a small, dreary-looking room with a one-way mirror.


And now for the giveaway! Suzie is offering visitors three awesome prizes during her Girl Divided Two Tour event! One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, and two (2) Runners-up will receive an eBook copy of Girl Spoken For in the format of their choice. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


DSCF9943 (3)-2 About the Author:
Suzie T. Roos is from, and has settled in, St. Louis with her husband, two children and a number of foster pets at any given time.

She and her husband have lived everywhere from Philadelphia, PA to out West in Santa Monica, CA. They’re thankful they could expose their children to different American lifestyles and cultures.

Besides writing, Suzie’s hobbies include movies, traveling, and especially concert going with her husband and friends.

She’s always been an animal lover and animal rights advocate. She is certified by FEMA in IS-00011.a Animal in Disasters: Community Planning. She’s also an active volunteer at the Humane Society of Missouri.

Connect with Suzie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Blog Tour: If You Wrong Us by Dawn Klehr (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Hey everyone! Today I’ve got a spotlight post, plus an awesome excerpt, for If You Wrong Us by Dawn Klehr to share with you for the blog tour! Plus, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for the chance to win some awesome prizes!

If You Wrong Us final
Title: If You Wrong Us
Author: Dawn Klehr
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: October 8, 2015
Length: 240 Pages
ISBN: 9780738745992

If You Wrong Us is “an intricate psychological page-turner that explores the darker side of vengeance and reads like *Gone Girl* through a teen lens.”Kirkus Reviews.


Becca and Johnny become entangled after a car crash steals the lives of two people they love. Officially, the crash is an accident. But Becca and Johnny are convinced: someone did this.

As they plot revenge against the person responsible, a bond—intense, unyielding, and manic—takes hold of them. And in an unexpected turn of events, they fall for each other.

Or so they think.

In an upside-down world where decay is beautiful and love and hate become one, Becca and Johnny find themselves grappling with reality. Nothing is exactly what it seems, including what they’ve come to believe about the crash. Question is: will they learn the truth before it’s too late?

No. The question is: when they learn the truth, will they care?


Add to your TBR List: Goodreads

Buy If You Wrong Us on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

And now here’s the excerpt! Enjoy!

I left the room first. I couldn’t stand to be in there any longer. The florescent lights; the stale ammonia scent; the look on my parents’ faces.

Down the hall and around the corner, the special waiting room was empty and the refrigerator was full of juice boxes. They’d become a comfort for me in here—something sweet to coat all the bitterness rotting my insides. I closed my eyes and tried to block out everything. I tried to forget, until light footsteps caught my attention. I kept my eyes closed because I didn’t want anyone to bother me.

Please, please just go away.

“Becca?” a small soft voice called out. It was a voice in between—deep and crackling, yet still high enough to sound feminine.

Ethan Kent.

He walked over to me carrying a bouquet of daisies. It was like a scene out of a Disney movie: a just-pubescent boy with short sandy hair and proper manners making a kind gesture to set everything right.

“I brought these for your sister,” he said.

He handed the flowers to me; I didn’t take them. They were bundled together in that cheap plastic wrap, devoid of all smell. They reminded me of Travis. Appealing on the outside, but nothing of value on the inside.

“I’ll just set them here,” he said, putting them on the seat next to mine.

“Is this some kind of joke?” I asked him. “Did your perverse brother put you up to this?”

Ethan didn’t need to answer. I knew Travis had sent him here to show me he was in control, that he could do whatever he wanted. But this time, he’d messed with the wrong person. I’d been under my sister’s thumb for as long as I could remember, and I wasn’t about to be controlled again. Never again.

That day, a fire ignited in me. Heat that had been there under the surface, waiting. This move by Travis was the match that set it ablaze.

“What do you mean?” he asked, taking a step backward.

“She’s dead. She’s dead! ” I jabbed his chest with my finger.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “We didn’t know. Travis didn’t think you’d see him, so he sent me.

He’s worried about you.”

“He should be worried about me.” I stood up, physically unable to be still. “He should be very worried.” Ethan’s face twisted into something less Disney and more Stephen King. He trembled as his eyes cast down.

“Don’t say that,” he said.

I smiled. Ethan was scared of me. I stood a little taller, taking up more space in the room. He took another step back. I put on this new role like a welcome down jacket in a frigid Detroit winter. It was warmth and safety. I was finally the person on the offense rather than defense. I was in control and it was a heady feeling. One I’d eventually become hooked on.

And now for the giveaway! Dawn is offering up some fabulous prizes during her If You Wrong Us Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky grand prize winner will receive a $25 Gift Card for Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) and two (2) runner-ups will win an eBook copy of Dawn’s young adult psychological thriller The Cutting Room Floor! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


dawnklehr About the Author:

Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.

She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories – in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.

Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog. You can find her at:, @dawnklehr, or

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Review: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis (Blog Tour + Giveaway)Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 6th 2015
Pages: 336
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.

Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?

Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.


Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis! I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


According to the synopsis, Spinning Starlight is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans. I’ll admit, I haven’t read that one and have no idea what it’s about. But I’ll say this: In my opinion, Spinning Starlight was The Little Mermaid meets These Broken Stars and full of awesome. With intriguing characters, epic world-building and Lewis’ signature writing, this companion to Stitching Snow (one of my top reads of 2014) will take you on a wild ride!

I really liked Liddi. She’s burdened with a heavy responsibility from a young age, yet it never really goes to her head. In fact, it has the opposite effect and she actually doubts herself and her abilities. She puts a lot of pressure on herself to live up to other people’s expectations. She’s incredibly loyal to family and the love she has for her brothers – and the love they had for her – was amazing. Often, you see siblings fighting in YA and not getting along, so this was a very refreshing change of pace. I would have loved to get to know her brothers more, though. We definitely didn’t get to see enough of them and their interactions with Liddi!

In the journey to save her brothers, Liddi ends up being in a constant state of danger. She was almost always in an unknown place or situation and, without an easy means of communication, she had to fight to be understood and to survive. In my mind, that makes her brave, loyal and fierce.

The only thing that annoyed me, in regard to Liddi, was the process by which she and Tiav communicated in the beginning. Deciphering the weird syllables of Liddi’s robotic/computerized voice was a bit annoying and it often slowed down my reading pace.

I liked Tiav for the most part, especially in the beginning and end – though he lost some brownie points in the middle for some of his behavior! But in the beginning, when he first met Liddi, he was very level-headed and open-minded. He was quick to trust Liddi, though he remained cautious, but he was kind and very protective and accepting of her. Like I said, his behavior in the middle portion of the book kind of ticked me off, but from his perspective, I get why he acted the way he did, so I won’t come down too hard on him for it. And he definitely redeemed himself in the end.

There were a LOT of secondary characters in this book. As with Stitching Snow, I admired Lewis’ ability to make us care for characters that we didn’t really have a lot of time to get to know. Some note-worthy characters (for both good and bad reasons) are Garrin, Quain (who I liked but didn’t always trust), Shiin (again, liked her but didn’t trust her), Minali (don’t even get me started), Dom and Kalkig. But they are/were all wonderful characters that I loved reading about and, in some cases, would have liked to read about more and get to know better.

The Spinning Starlight world was WAY more elaborate than the Stitching Snow world – which is weird to say because I know it’s supposed to be the same world, since this was a companion novel. But Lewis definitely upped the world-building in this book and I love how detailed it was. At the same time, there was more action in Stitching Snow versus this book and the pacing of Stitching Snow felt faster, though I still read this book pretty quickly. The ending for both books felt slightly rushed, but I noticed it more so in Spinning Starlight. I really would have loved an epilogue, something to make the ending feel more complete.

The only two complaints I really have are with the flashbacks at the end of each chapter and some of the tech talk. The flashbacks were a bit confusing because they felt very random and I couldn’t figure out what they had to do with the chapter they proceeded. The formatting of this eARC was a bit off, though, so I’m wondering if they make more sense in the finished copy of the book. As for the tech talk, I really felt very lost and confused with a lot of the technology and the explanations for the Khua, conduits, etc. And not understanding a lot of that meant I was confused for a good portion of the book, so that took a bit of enjoyment away from reading.

But overall, this book was epic and a fun read. I love Lewis’ writing. I love the worlds she creates. I love the characters she develops. I just really love her books and can’t wait to see what she does next! And, of course, I highly recommend this book!


And now for the giveaway! 1 winner will receive a signed finished copies of STITCHING SNOW & SPINNING STARLIGHT. US Only. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

R.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Instagram | Goodreads | Tumblr



Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/28/2015 – Fangirlish – Interview
9/29/2015 – A Backwards Story – Review
9/30/2015 – Supernatural Snark – Guest Post
10/1/2015 – YaReads – Review
10/2/2015 – Two Chicks on Books – Interview

Week Two:
10/5/2015 – Pandora’s Book’s– Review
10/6/2015 – Bookhounds ya – Guest Post
10/7/2015 – Just Commonly – Review
10/8/2015 – Mundie Moms – Interview
10/9/2015 – Please Feed The Bookworm – Review


Blog Tour: The Detour by S.A. Bodeen (Interview)

Hey everyone! I’m really excited to be on the blog tour for The Detour by S.A. Bodeen (October 6th 2015, Feiwel & Friends) and to have Stephanie here for an interview! First, here’s more about the book:

On her way to a writer’s conference, a bestselling teenage author takes a detour that has been deliberately set up by her biggest fans—a mother and daughter who kidnap her.

Livvy Flynn is a big deal—she’s a New York Times-bestselling author whose YA fiction has sold all over the world. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s gorgeous, and she’s full of herself.

When she’s invited to an A-list writer’s conference, she decides to accept so she can have some time to herself. She’s on a tight deadline for her next book, and she has no intention of socializing with the other industry people at the conference.

And then she hits the detour. Before she knows it, her brand new car is wrecked, she’s hurt, and she’s tied to a bed in a nondescript shack in the middle of nowhere. A woman and her apparently manic daughter have kidnapped her. And they have no intention of letting her go.

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Depository | IndieBound | Kobo

And now for the interview! Enjoy!

Question: Congratulations! The Detour will be out in the world soon! How does it feel?
Answer: Thank you! Like with every book, it feels a little surreal. And terrifying. But mostly, I’m just happy because it means the book is done and I don’t have to work on it any more.

Question: The Detour sounds creeptastic! Where did the idea for the story come from?
Answer: The initial inspiration struck when we dropped my youngest off at college in Eugene and were driving home on a two-lane highway lined by trees and houses. We passed a girl, standing on a log, playing a flute. For several months, I walked around with that image in my mind before I figured out how to use that in a story…

Question: Your main character is a bestselling teenage author. As an author yourself, did you find it easier or harder to create this character and this world?
Answer: Livvy had a much easier road, publishing-wise, than I did. It was a bit of a fantasy for me to write that part of it, how she got the huge deal and tour, etc. She experienced some things as an author that I still only dream about, so that part was fun to imagine.

Question: Can you discuss the similarities and differences from this book to your others?
Answer: Like so many of my others, this one has a twist or two, which I won’t reveal here. And this one definitely has some unhinged characters, like some of my others. Differences? This one is much more contemporary, in terms of dealing with social networking and the dangers there. My other books were a bit more isolated, and didn’t deal with modern realities so much.

Question: In The Detour, Livvy is dealing with a manic mother and daughter. Have you ever had any crazy reader experiences?
Answer: I was in a town, doing a keynote event at a young reader festival. A retired professor on the committee was tasked with driving me to the after party and took a very circuitous route, shall we say. We ended up back at his house, where his wife was fairly surprised to have an unannounced guest, and it was quite awkward. I was very glad when we finally arrived at the party.

Question: If you were placed in Livvy’s position, what would you do? How would you escape?
Answer: I don’t even like to think about it. Let’s just say that I try not to take road trips on my own.

Question: Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a WIP?
Answer: It’s in a future book, so I don’t want to say :)

Question: Are you working on anything new?
Answer: Yes, another YA thriller, more middle grade adventures, and even a YA contemporary or two…


BodeenAbout the Author:
S.A. Bodeen grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in Secondary Ed., then joined the Peace Corps with her husband and went to Tanzania, East Africa. Her first picture book, Elizabeti’s Doll (written as Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen) was published in 1998, followed by six other picture books.Her first YA novel written as S.A. Bodeen, the award-winning The Compound, came out from Feiwel and Friends in 2008. The novel count is up to five, with two more releasing in 2015. She has lived in eight states, two African countries, and an insular possession. Currently, she lives in the Midwest with her husband and two daughters.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Blog Tour: Brazen by Christina Farley (Dream Cast + Giveaway)

Blog Tour Banner-2 Hey everyone! I’m really excited to be on the blog tour for Brazen by Christina Farley (September 29th 2015, Skyscape) and to have Christina here with her Dream Cast for the Gilded series!

To learn more about this series, visit the Gilded Series website. Watch GILDED’s book trailer here!

Be sure to pick up the letter for this stop at the end of this post to earn extra points in the Kindle Fire & $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! Collect all the letters during the blog tour to spell out the secret message to earn more points.

So, before we get into the Dream Cast portion, here’s more about the book:

BRAZEN cover
Sworn to an ancient god of darkness, Jae Hwa fights to gain her freedom and restore the balance of Korea… but first she must gain back the trust of her loved ones.

Jae Hwa Lee spent her sixteenth year in Seoul, trying to destroy the evil immortals who had been torturing her family for centuries. The last thing she expected was to be forced to become their assassin. Trapped in the darkest part of the Spirit World as a servant to the Korean god Kud, fighting to keep her humanity, and unable to contact her loved ones, Jae Hwa is slowly losing hope. Kud, god of darkness, will do anything to keep her as a pawn in his quest for power over all of Korea, her entire family thinks she’s dead, and Jae’s true love, Marc, believes she is lost to him forever.

When Kud sends Jae to find and steal the powerful Black Turtle orb, Jae sees an opportunity to break free and defeat Kud once and for all…but first she needs to regain Marc’s trust and work with him to vanquish the darkness that threatens to overwhelm Korea. There’s much to lose as Jae struggles to save the land she’s come to call home.

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Depository | IndieBound

And now here’s the Gilded Series’ Dream Cast!! Enjoy!

Hey guys! This is Christina! GILDED as a TV series or movie would be completely amazing, don’t you think? For a complete listing of all the characters and a chance for you to show your support is to go to The Imagine Film List here.

So you’re wondering what my dream cast would be? Here it is!

Dream Cast

For Jae Hwa Lee:
Alise Quyh
Follow her YouTube channel or on Twitter

Or Megan Lee
Follow her on YouTube channel and website

For Marc Grayson:
Douglas Booth
Follow him on Twitter or his website

For Haemosu:
Seung-ho Yoo
Follow him on Twitter.

For Michell Myong:
Jessica Jung
Follow her on Twitter.

For Lily Sweetman:
McKaley Miller
Follow her on Twitter.

For Kumar Singh:
Avan Jogia
Follow him on Twitter and website.

For Jung:
Kim Soo Hyun
Follow him on his website.


To celebrate the release of BRAZEN, Christina is giving away a Kindle Fire (US only) and a $50 Amazon gift card (international).

The letter for this stop is I. Collect all the letters from the blog tour to earn more points!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter here!


Author Christina FarleyAbout Christina
CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea. GILDED was nominated for Korea’s 2014 Morning Calm, Ohio’s 2015 Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. Christina’s adventures sparked her to write stories, infusing the real world with fantasy. Currently she writes from home in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown.

Website | Twitter | Facebook
Goodreads | YouTube | Tumblr | Instagram

Blog Tour: The Girl at the Center of the World by Austin Aslan (Interview)

Hey everyone! I’m really excited to have Austin Aslan , author of The Girl at the Center of the World (August 4th 2015, Wendy Lamb Books), here for an interview. First, here’s more about the book:

Girl at center of world As sixteen-year-old Leilani and her family learn to live without electronics, farming the land as her ancestors did, she finds strength in her relatives, her friendships, and her strange connection to the Emerald Orchid–the force whose presence caused global devastation–but suffers regret over what she must do to survive.

An exciting and satisfying sequel that continues the thrilling ideas and adventure of THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD.

Native Hawaiian mythology and history is beautifully intertwined in the story.

An eco-thriller by an expert: great choice for dystopian fans who want a new spin. The author has a masters in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo

And now here’s the interview! Enjoy!

Question: Congratulations! The Girl at the Center of the World released a little over a month ago! What has the response been like?
Answer: Thank you! I’ve been very pleased with reader reaction to the second book in the ISLANDS series. A number of folks genuinely like Book Two even more than they enjoyed Book One. I’m flattered that so many readers are caught up in the series. Two things I keep hearing over and over that thrill me to no end are that readers love my main character, Leilani, and deeply appreciate the strong bond she shares with her family. Boom. Mic drop. Mission accomplished. This past month has been a very wild and satisfying ride!

Question: The Islands at the End of the World was your debut novel. How was the process of writing the sequel similar? How was it different?
Answer: You’d think one of the most significant differences between a debut novel and its sequel would be the fact that one of them was written before knowing the book would ever get published and the other was written as a contractual obligation. But I’ve found that this hasn’t impacted my writing landscape at all. The process for each book remained largely the same. Both novels were extremely fun and satisfying to write, and somehow I was able to sit down with The Girl at the Center of the World and focus on Leilani and her story rather than pesky peripheral things like deadlines and industry reviews and Goodreads noise, etc.

Question: The concept for this series is absolutely fascinating! Where did the idea for the plot come from?
Answer: I lived in Hilo (pronounced HEE-lo), on the Big Island, when I was getting my masters degree in Tropical Conservation Biology. My field sites were high up on the forested slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano. I was coming home from a rainy day of doing pollination experiments with rare Hawaiian flowers and I drove down through the clouds and suddenly had a great, clear view of the ocean surrounding the island. I was struck by how alone and isolated the Hawaiian Islands were (this is something that people in Hawaii think about frequently, and it wasn’t a new thought for me, either).

At that time, I happened to be thinking about a haunting post-apocalyptic book by Cormac McCarthy called The Road. The idea popped into my head that it would be really interesting to set a post-apocalyptic story on the isolated Hawaiian Islands, and the story and characters just started flowing out of me like lava! I thought to myself, Everybody know what happens at the end of the world in New York and LA, but what would a global disaster mean for Islanders? 95% of Hawaii’s food is imported every day. The islands are home to 1.5 million people. If things got tough there, where would all those people go? There are no mountain ranges or Great Plains to escape to. Everyone is stuck. Hungry. No way to escape. When I arrived home at the end of my drive, I started writing the book immediately, that night, and I had my first draft finished 83 days later—all while going to class and doing field work for my degree!

Question: What do you hope readers take away/learn from reading your books?
Answer: Well, first and foremost, I aim to entertain and provide readers with an exciting story and memorable characters. But writing for me goes deeper than that. I do hope to leave my readers with some food for thought, and ultimately my dream goal is for this series to inform conversations among Islanders and community leaders and everyone everywhere about how we should treat and care for ourselves long term. My masters program and my background in science helped me immensely in the writing of the series, mostly in terms of identifying the powerful themes of interdependency and sustainability, which undergird the entire story. We live in a fragile world, and the way that we plan for our future will have consequential impacts.

After writing the novel, I begin to hear a new phrase bandied about: “Cli-Fi.” Climate fiction. The ISLANDS series has often been lumped into this category. Climate and weather and global warming and climate change have nothing to do with this story. However, at its heart, my series is a cautionary tale about human hubris and too much reliance on technology and globalization to make our world work, and it begs for a new vision for a Hawai`i that is much more self-sustaining and locally-operated than it currently is.

But it’s worth repeating: this is a story about a girl struggling to define herself in a crazy, messed up world, and to the extent that I’m able to touch readers on that level alone, I’ve succeeded.

Question: Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for one or both of these books?
Answer: This is a super fun question. I imagine it comes out of having many conversations with authors who worry that the NSA has taken an interest in their Internet search patterns! It’s amazing and hilarious to think about how crazy book research can get! Wouldn’t it be funny if government secret agents have flagged my Google results for research related to these books? (Hi, Uncle Sam!) I’ve done extensive research on how nuclear power plants operate, and more concerning, mapped out the location of each nuclear power plant throughout the U.S. and around the world! I’ve never been to the Marine Corps Base on O’ahu, but thanks to Google Earth, I’ve been able to explore it with enough resolution to write about it with plausible expertise. Combine those searches! Am I on a government watchlist now? Probably not. I’m not remotely paranoid in that way. Nor am I important enough or interesting enough to actually garner that kind of attention. But it’s fun to speculate, yeah? The NSA has probably been less concerned with my inquiries about the native Hawaiian names for exotic fruits and fish.

Question: According to your bio, you’ve done a LOT of amazing things – You were in two movies, you were in the Peace Corps, you were an EMT and a campaign manager, and you’ve traveled the world, from Arizona to Hawaii and Honduras, to name a few. How have all these things shaped your life? How have they affected your writing and the stories you want to tell?
Answer: Setting is put forth as an important character in all of my novels. I’m even sitting on a high fantasy epic that basically takes place not in medieval Europe, but in varied landscapes of colonial Central America. The places and the cultures and the cuisine and the climate all very much mirror my experiences as a Peace Corp Volunteer living in an isolated, high-elevation Honduran cloud forest from 2001-2004. The natural world really does come alive in all of my projects, and while this pattern was never intentional or deliberate, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that it has become a constant thread in my writing.

And my various crazy adventures definitely inform my plot lines! I’ve done so many of the things my characters do! I’d end up boring you with a list, but as an example, one of my favorite scenes in The Girl at the Center of the World takes place along Hilo’s two-mile long breakwater, in which Lei and her friends dive for lobsters. Ninety-nine percent of the sensory details and experiences in that scene (minus the eventual gunfire!) mirror my real-life encounters while lobster diving in those very spots.

Question: Of everything you’ve done, what was your favorite and why?
Answer: My three years as a Peace Corps volunteer located in a cloud forest in Honduras shaped me profoundly and has inspired so much of my writing. I’m super excited about my latest upcoming adventure, too, which I anticipate will touch my life in many substantial ways. Starting in just a couple weeks I’m going to thru-hike the entire Arizona Trail, all 800 miles of it, from the Utah border to the Mexico border. I’ll be setting out on my own, though my wife is making it all possible. She will be my trail manager and will resupply me throughout the adventure. I expect the journey to take around six or seven weeks, and I’ll be posting pics and updates as often as reception allows. So please be sure to follow me on twitter: @Laustinspace, and on Facebook at /Laustinspace!

Question: Working on anything new?
Answer: As a matter of fact, yes! Several projects. Different genres. I mentioned my fantasy project earlier. I recently finished a draft of a new disaster adventure set later in the 21st century. I’m very fond of that project. I’m also developing a series of chapter books with an environmental theme. I have a second fantasy project in the works, as well. In this industry, the key is to keep writing, and I plan to continue doing just that for the foreseeable future.


AustinAbout the Author:

I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 with a degree in Wildlife (seriously…Wildlife Biology). Later that year I successfully appealed my only parking ticket. David Copperfield once disappeared me in front of 2,000 people at Caesar’s Palace, but I found my way back. I have appeared in two movies: The Getaway with Alec Baldwin and The Postman with Kevin Costner (Huzzah!). After college, I briefly drove ambulances way to fast as an EMT. Starting in 2001, I served a three-year stint in the Peace Corps in Honduras. While saving the world, I freaked out way too much about colorful birds and made lots of hideous tortillas. Upon returning to the States in 2004, I served as the campaign manager for a U.S. Congressional bid in Oregon.

From 2004 – 2011 I worked as a professional community organizer in Sacramento, California. I spearheaded several comprehensive strategies to reduce youth violence in the Sacramento region. Out of many worthwhile accomplishments, I’m particularly proud of a successful campaign to remove the name of a sordid Sacramento eugenicist from a county park and a middle school (the school was renamed Rosa Parks). There’s a great Wall Street Journal article about that campaign here. Once my wife completed her PhD in Ecology at UC Davis, we quickly vacated to the Hawaiian Islands, where we set up shop in the rainy town of Hilo on the Big Island.

In Hawaii, I completed a master’s degree in Tropical Conservation Biology. In the spring of 2012, I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship for my research on rare Hawaiian plants. While in Hawaii, I penned a YA disaster/survival novel with sci-fi elements and slowly polished the book to a nice glossy sheen.

Then came 12.12.12. The day I got “the call.” ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, sold, to Wendy Lamb of Random House, in a two book deal.

These days, I spend my time between Tucson, Arizona, deep in the Sonoran Desert, where I pet scorpions and hug saguaro cacti with my high-school-sweetheart wife and our two young children, and exploring the wilds of northern Arizona while camping in a tent on a punctured air mattress and taking complicated photos of sunsets and the stars.

My writing journey toward publication was tough. I know how heartbreaking the quest for publication is, and in addition to promoting my works, one of my principal aims with this blog is to be a guiding light for other prospective authors out there. I made a lot of mistakes that unnecessarily lengthened my time in the wilderness, and I’ve learned so much along the way. I hope I can pay this knowledge forward as I enter this exciting new phase of my writing career.


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Blog Tour: Entrusted by Allegra Gray (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Entrusted by Allegra Gray (September 8, 2015, Silverthorne Entertainment). Today, I have an awesome excerpt and a fun guest post to share with you, plus a giveaway! First, here’s more about the book:


To protect her country’s future, she’ll have to commit treason…

ENTRUSTED by Allegra Gray is a stunning historical Young Adult masterpiece of suspense, hope, and determination. This story follows orphaned Audrey as she’s tasked with keeping ancient relics safe from tyrannical hands and their unholy deeds. With the help of a charming adventurer, Tobias, Aubrey must do all she can to protect the relics she’s been entrusted to guard…even if it costs her life.


Orphan Audrey Thorndale longs for the peaceful life of a convent, but with a younger brother to care for and England’s religious houses falling one by one to Henry VIII’s Reformation, she’ll have to find another way to serve God and country. The Abbot of Glastonbury, aware of Audrey’s dilemma and loathe to see the great treasures of his abbey looted and destroyed, suggests a plan that could save Audrey, the relics, and even the future of Britain…but if she agrees to it, she’ll have to commit treason.

Second son and sometime adventurer, Tobias Seybourne has never left an opportunity unexplored. He’s won the favor of the king, and is aiming for knighthood, when Abbot Whiting offers him the chance of a lifetime—partner with Audrey, and protect England’s greatest legend. Most importantly? Do it without ever giving the king a reason to suspect more devious purposes simmer beneath Tobias’s charming façade.

With help from the abbot, Audrey and Tobias set in motion a plan to ensure that when the abbey walls crumble, one particular treasure will be safely hidden elsewhere.

But as the abbot points out, the king’s minions keep close account of their plunder, and the contents of Glastonbury’s repository are well documented.

With the king’s men bearing down fast, someone must take the fall…

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And now for the excerpt! Enjoy!

“You are worried that Glastonbury is in peril, and the treasures it holds will end up in the king’s coffers.”

“Yes—and no.” He eyes me. “It’s more complicated than that. You must not repeat anything you are hearing right now.”

“No, Father Abbot. Never.” If there is one thing I am, it is loyal.

“When I combine what I know—what I, myself have seen and heard—with what the monks who have already lost their homes tell me, I see a future in which certain relics of Glastonbury never make it to the king’s coffers, but are destroyed instead.” He shakes his head sadly. “The idea that the holy relics would go into the king’s hands was disturbing enough, but to destroy them? Sacrilege.

“Again, I must emphasize the importance of not repeating this conversation—to anyone. Not even Sam. The Treason Act is too loosely interpreted these days to take chances.”

I gulp, cursing myself for giving in to curiosity. Now it is my hands that tremble. I should tell him to stop, that I don’t want to hear any more, but my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I should never have asked what was troubling him. And yet, I have the sense we have set on an irrevocable course, and I must see it through.

Finally, I pry my tongue loose. “I appreciate your honesty, Father Abbot.”

“Should Glastonbury fall, the treasures that can be measured in gold and silver will most certainly find a new home—whether it be the royal treasury or a pilferer’s stash. It is the others that trouble me.”

He rubs his temples, as though even thinking hurts. I begin moving about the room again, straightening things, dusting surfaces…the little, normal, everyday movements that I know, somehow, provide the backdrop of comfort that Abbot Whiting needs right now.

“You remember those visitors from Walsingham? They informed me that the shrine there, the shrine to the Virgin, which the king himself has visited, has been destroyed. The statue of the Virgin removed, the shrine itself despoiled, and the buildings looted. The same happened at Roche Abbey this summer.”

Finally, it sinks in, and I know exactly which of Glastonbury’s relics—one with no value in gold, but still of immeasurable worth—is troubling him so.

I stop dusting. My tongue, now loosened, does not have the sense to stop.

“If Glastonbury falls, what will become of King Arthur?”

And now for the guest post! Enjoy!

Fiction, History, and the Tower of London

Warning / (*minor spoiler alert*): The post below does contain some references to events that happen in Entrusted, Book 1 of the Relic Guardians series. There are NO major plot reveals, but I do talk a little bit about what I envisioned was going on “behind the scenes” when I was researching and writing the book.

Entrusted GP 1 

In Entrusted, the main character, Audrey, is held prisoner for a few weeks in the Tower of London. This is, of course, the same place where many of England’s most notable prisoners have been held—often because they posed a threat to the ruler at the time, regardless of whether proof existed that they’d committed any crime.

In the days before forensics and paper trails (or digital trails), a few whispers and rumors could constitute treason, if the monarch had reason to suspect. Prisoners could also be used as leverage…e.g., by holding an innocent wife or child, they might eke a confession out of the husband, in exchange for the promised release of his loved ones. Although it’s not explicitly used as a plot device in Entrusted, I kind of envisioned that this would be one reason they would hold Audrey—in the hopes that one of the other key characters would be arm-twisted into saying something they otherwise wouldn’t.

If you’ve had the good fortune to visit the Tower of London, you might think of creepy stone passages and torture devices. I first visited at the age of 13, and that is definitely what made an impression on me—not the crown jewels, or the impressive suits of armor (well, those were pretty cool, too). I’m not the only one… see the still below from the movie “The Tower of London” from 1962, in which “The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.” (

Entrusted GP 2 

However, the reality is that the Tower of London was not originally built to be a prison, and not all of its “prisoners” were treated equally. In fact, it was a royal residence for many years, and had buildings for a number of administrative functions. Thus, when it was used as a prison, the prisoners were accommodated wherever it was convenient to put them at the time, and also befitting their station. There was a certain prestige that came with nobility, and some prisoners had suites of rooms, family members, and even servants to join them. For these “lucky” ones, their stay was like being under a modern-day house arrest.

Of course, being of noble blood was no guarantee you wouldn’t eventually lose your head on the executioner’s block. But some, such as Henry VIII’s first wife, were eventually released and allowed to retire in the countryside. As for torture, the Privy Council had to sanction the use of torture, so it was not used indiscriminately; between 1540 and 1640, the peak of imprisonment at the Tower, there were 48 recorded cases of the use of torture. That’s not to say there weren’t some unrecorded cases…

One the most infamous and chilling tales of the Tower of London is that of the two young princes who “went missing” while there. (If you are a fan of Philippa Gregory’s books, you’ll recognize this event in The White Queen).

Shortly after the death of Edward IV in 1483, the notorious murder of the Princes in the Tower is believed to have taken place. Edward V’s uncle, Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, was declared Lord Protector because Edward was too young to rule. Traditional accounts have held that the 12-year-old Edward was confined to the Tower of London along with his younger brother Richard. The princes were last seen in public in June 1483, and many historians suspect they were murdered later that summer. At any rate, they were never seen again, and the Duke of Gloucester was proclaimed King Richard III in July. Bones thought to belong to the two princes were discovered in 1674 when the 12th-century forebuilding at the entrance to the White Tower was demolished; however, the reputed level at which the bones were found (ten feet) would put the bones at a depth similar to that of the recently discovered Roman graveyard found a few hundred yards to the north. No one can say for certain what happened. (You can find more detail at

A blog post is not the place for a full accounting of all the interesting historical events that occurred at the Tower of London, but there are many books and websites devoted to the topic for those who wish to know more. (And if you’re in the area, by all means, take a tour!).

I’ll conclude by saying that when I sat down (okay, flopped down on my office rug) to research the Tower of London for the scene(s) in Entrusted, I definitely got sucked in to the vivid history and speculation surrounding this famous landmark.

The more I read, the more I was reminded of the phrases “truth is stranger than fiction” and “you can’t make this stuff up.” Of course, being a fiction writer, I have to try… :)


Join the Entrusted Blog Tour September 7th to 18th! One grand prize winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Enter HERE or through the form below!

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Visit any or all of the following blogs for your chance to win!


Coffee Books & Art

Reviews by Crystal

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!


Fresh Fiction Blog

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Hope to Read


Avid Reader Musings

My Reading Reality

Mommabears Book Blog


StoreyBook Reviews

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The Paperback Princesses


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Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!



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AuthorAbout the Author:
Allegra Gray grew up with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds—that is, when she wasn’t focused on more practical things like, say, learning calculus. Perhaps all those stories inspired a spirit of adventure, because at the age of seventeen she embarked on a career journey that has (so far) included serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, grad school at Virginia Tech, teaching English, and managing defense contracts in the Middle East. The best thing about this breadth of experience? When she tried her hand at writing novels like the ones she’d always loved, she recognized at once that she’d found a true passion. Her forthcoming series, The Relic Guardians, is genre-bending mainstream/historical suspense, inspired by her long-held desire to unveil things obscured by the mists of time. Allegra is also the author of four historical romances, including the “Daring Damsels” trilogy of Nothing But Scandal, Nothing But Deception, and Nothing But Trouble.

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Blog Tour: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell (Spotlight + Giveaway)

Hey everyone! Today I’ve got a spotlight post for A Whole New World by Liz Braswell to share with you for the blog tour! I enjoyed this book and I’m very excited to share it with you!

A Whole New World 
What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney’s Aladdin.

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

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And now for the giveaway! 5 winners will receive a finished copy of A WHOLE NEW WORLD. US Only. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below!

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LizBraswell_HDAbout the Author:
After the sort of introverted childhood you would expect from a writer, Liz earned a degree in Egyptology at Brown University and then promptly spent the next ten years producing video games. Finally she caved into fate and wrote Snow and Rx under the name Tracy Lynn, followed by The Nine Lives of Chloe King series under her real name, because by then the assassins hunting her were all dead. She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish and five coffee trees she insists will start producing beans any day.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:
8/24/2015 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Interview
8/25/2015 – Book Briefs – Review
8/26/2015 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
8/27/2015 – Addicted Readers – Review
8/28/2015 – Me, My Shelf and I – Interview

Week Two:
8/31/2015 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review
9/1/2015 – Nerdophiles – Guest Post
9/2/2015 – Pandora’s Books – Spotlight
9/3/2015 – Novel Novice – Interview
9/4/2015 – A Backwards Story – Review

Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender (Blog Tour + Giveaway)The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Published by Point on August 25, 2015
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Asylum meets Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, in this riveting tale of ghosts, secrets, and family, from master of suspense Katie Alender.

Delia's new house isn't just a house. It used to be an insane asylum, a place to lock up "troubled" young women long ago. And a restless, wicked spirit is still at play--and it doesn't want defiant girls like Delia to go anywhere.

So the house kills her.

Now Delia is a ghost, trapped in her creepy home forever. As she meets the other ghost girls who haunt the narrow hallways, as well as the handsome ghost boy on the grounds, she learns shocking truths about the house's history. Delia also realizes that her alive and grieving sister might be the house's next target. Can Delia unlock the mystery of the old asylum, save her sister, and free herself?

Kirkus (starred review): "This superior ghost story keeps the creep factor high… A really scary and original ghost story, well told. Read it with the lights on."

School Library Journal: "Alender has created a chilling tale of forgotten tragedies and family secrets. A great choice for fans of horror or suspense novels."


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Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender! I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


As a lover of all things horror, I’m always keeping an eye out for creepy YA novels. Sadly, most of them don’t live up to my expectations. But The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall was full of epicness and creepiness! From the great writing to the awesome characters and the suspenseful plot, this book is definitely up there on my favorites list!

Before I get into the heart of this review, a little side note: This book sucked me in so much, I had trouble keeping detailed notes because I just read and read and read and didn’t want to stop reading long enough to jot down notes. So if some of this is really vague, it’s because I’m avoiding spoilers and also because I don’t have detailed notes to refer to, hehe :)

Delia was an intriguing character. She starts off a bit stubborn and – I want to say self-absorbed, only because I can’t think of a better word, but that’s not quite right. She loved her family, but they didn’t always get along. She was in complete denial when she first became a member of the undead population of Hysteria Hall and her attitude was very self-pitying – but who can blame her, right? Her character growth, as she began to accept her death and embrace her path in (the after)life, was great.

I didn’t like nor dislike Janie in the beginning. She was the stereotypical, annoying kid sister who did whatever she could to get Delia in trouble. But as the book progressed, the changes in her character were unbelievable, fueled mostly by the guilt she felt over Delia’s death. My heart was in my throat at the end of the book, awaiting her fate. I’m not even going to talk about Delia and Janie’s parents because there would be too many spoilers involved and I’d get ragey about sooooo many things!

I really liked Florence in the beginning. She reminded me of Daisy from Dead Like Me, but by the end… Wow. Did NOT see that coming! I never really trusted Eliza or Theo – I was always waiting for something to happen or for them to backstab Delia. I was pleasantly surprised with the way their stories ended, though. As for Maria, I had mixed feelings about her, but I really liked how her story ended, as well – maybe more than anyone else’s. I didn’t like nor dislike Penitence, though I had my suspicions about her from fairly early on. Her story was very intriguing, though!

As someone who loves being scared, this book could have been a touch creepier. However, it absolutely had its moments where I was like, “Okay, I need to put this book down or I’m not going to be sleeping tonight.” It reminded me of a less creepy teen version of House on Haunted Hill (the remake). There was also a lot of foreshadowing, which added to the creepiness. The ending wrapped up a little neater than I expected – almost like a Horror Movie Happily Ever After. I expected more of a creepy, twisty ending. But maybe that’s Alender’s signature move – I haven’t read anything else by her yet to know, but I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books now!

Overall, though I could have done with a little more creep factor, this book was epic. Then again, I’m not one to scare easily, so this book certainly has the potential to scare the crap out of people who DO scare easily. The Creepy Level didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, though. Alender is an amazing writer with a knack for suspense and horror. If you’re looking for a twisty ghost story, I highly recommend this book!


And now for the giveaway! 3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE DEAD GIRLS OF HYSTERIA HALL. US Only. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below!

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Katie Alender author photo 300x375About the Author:
Katie Alender is the author of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, Famous Last Words, Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer, and the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. She is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. When she’s not writing novels, she can usually be found quilting, reading, eating delicious high-calorie foods, and hanging out with her friends (on very special occasions, she manages to do all of those things at once).

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Tour Schedule

Week One:
8/17/2015 – The Cover Contessa – Interview
8/18/2015 – Twisted Book Junkie – Review
8/19/2015 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
8/21/2015 – Mundie Moms – Guest Post

Week Two:
8/24/2015 – The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Interview
8/25/2015 – Pandora’s Books – Review
8/26/2015 – bookaholics anonymous – Interview
8/27/2015 – A Dream Within A Dream – Review
8/28/2015 – Such a Novel Idea – Guest Post


Blog Tour: Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson (Interview & Giveaway)

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson! I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! Today, I have an awesome interview with Elizabeth to share with you! First, here’s more about the book:

DeadUponaTime_hires_cover About the Book
Author: Elizabeth Paulson
Pub. Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 224
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

It’s a fairy-tale nightmare . . .

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she’s given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles — and if she pricks her finger, she’ll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .

A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate’s world. She’s not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother’s house in the woods — and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can’t get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what’s happened.

Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention — even though the girl’s stepmother would rather he didn’t. It’s up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that’s far from happy.


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And now here’s the interview! Enjoy!

Question: Congratulations! Dead Upon a Time will be out in the world very soon! How does it feel?
Answer: It’s a wonderful, nervous feeling to anticipate a book’s release. It’s a bit like that last hour before a first date.

Question: Dead Upon a Time sounds AMAZING! What inspired the plot?
Answer: I really wanted to create an adventure story focused on a brave girl surprising herself. The world of fairy tales seemed to provide an ideal backdrop for that. And I hoped to explore the idea of rescuing. I won’t give anything away, but in this book, lots of different people rescue each other. I think that happens in real life too.

Question: Why do you think we’re fascinated with fairy tales? And with dark fairy tale retellings?
Answer: That’s a really interesting question. As I grew up, the first stories I remember captivating me were fairytales and biblical tales. (I was raised a Catholic and my mom taught Sunday school in our home.) Both those worlds contain violence, love, vengeance, and miracles. I think we teach children about morality through both of those traditions. As we learn more about the world and the nuances of morality, we keep going back to those first lessons and reexamining them. It’s a more challenging different exercise to revisit biblical stories; they are the foundation of some people’s faith. But fairy tales allow more room for reimagining.

Question: What’s your favorite fairy tale? Which fairy tale do you hope to one day write a retelling of?
Answer: I love the story of Rapunzel which is, at its heart, a tale about isolation—so much a writer could do with that!

When I was little, my favorite fairy tale was the story of Snow White and Rose Red. Snow White and Rose Red are sisters who are devoted to each other. They befriend a bear and find themselves helping a particularly ungrateful dwarf. In the end, the spell breaks and the bear becomes a prince who marries Snow White. And of course the prince has a brother for Rose Red. The part of me that loves this story is the same one that roots for Pippa Middleton to marry Prince Harry.

Question: The title and cover for this book are epic! Who came up with them? Do you feel they fully represent the story?
Answer: My editor, David Levithan, and I debated a few different titles for the novel, but kept coming back to this one. Justin Metz created the jacket art and Nina Goffi designed the jacket. I love how arresting the images are. The apple references the action in the book, but just as a snapshot and I really appreciate that the cover offers this spooky glimpse into the story.

Question: What scene do you most regret having to cut?
Answer: I cut down the scene at Wilhelm’s castle for the sake of pacing and that was necessary. However, I lost some of the antagonism between Jack and the king. I loved that conflict because it showcased Kate’s gift of diplomacy. Ultimately, though, the scene felt like it was getting in the way of Kate’s story.

Question: On the flip side, what was your favorite scene that got added during edits?
Answer: After writing the book’s conclusion, I added Kate’s visions of the victims’ experiences. Those were so much fun to write and they helped hint at Kate’s emerging powers.

Question: Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
Answer: Currently it’s a tie between the court documents related to a famous murder in a nearby town and techniques for removing copper from electronics.

Question: I know Dead Upon a Time hasn’t released yet, but I still have to ask: working on anything new?
Answer: I am! I’m actually moving back and forth between two projects right now—a sort of non-traditional ghost story and another mystery that has more comedic elements. I’m sorry to be so vague—I get superstitious about talking about books before writing them. But I’d love to write a sequel or prequel to Dead Upon a Time. I can be specific about that!


And now for the giveaway! 3 winners will receive a finished copy of DEAD UPON A TIME. US Only. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below!

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About Elizabeth Paulson:
Elizabeth Paulson lives on the edge of the woods somewhere in America.


Tour Schedule:

Week One:
8/17/2015 – Bookhounds ya – Interview
8/18/2015 – a GREAT read – Review
8/19/2015 – Chapter by Chapter – Guest Post
8/20/2015 – Book Briefs – Review
8/21/2015 – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

Week Two:
8/24/2015 – Pandora’s Books – Interview
8/25/2015 – Books à la Mode – Review
8/26/2015 – A Backwards Story – Interview
8/27/2015 – The Best Books Ever – Review
8/28/2015 – Fiktshun – Guest Post