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Novel Secrets: Violent Ends – Edited by Shaun Hutchinson
Sep 24th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

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VIOLENT ENDS

Edited by Shaun David Hutchinson including authors: Kendare BlakeSteve BrezenoffDelilah S. DawsonTrish DollerMargie GelbwasserE.M. KokieCynthia Leitich Smith , Tom LeveenHannah MoskowitzElisa Nader , Beth RevisMindi ScottNeal ShustermanBrandon ShustermanCourtney SummersBlythe WoolstonChristine Johnson 

Published by: Simon Pulse23341259

Pub. date: September 1, 2015

About:

It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn’t a story about the shooting itself. This isn’t about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy—who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before—became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different victim’s viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he’d become. Some are sweet, some are dark; some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties.

This is a book of perspectives—with one character and one event drawing them all together—from the minds of some of YA’s most recognizable names.

NOVEL SECRET: “In Memory of Aunt Debbie”

By Shaun Hutchinson

Violent Ends is an anthology that’s not an anthology. It’s a book about a school shooter, with each chapter written by a different author from the point of view of someone connected to the shooter.  Because all of the characters live in a shared world, I created some characters, places, and information about the shooter before the authors began writing their stories.  As we moved forward, the other authors also added characters and places to the world.
One of the first characters I created was a teacher named Mrs. Recupido.  In the story, she’s an art teacher who interacts with a character in the story I wrote, “The Perfect Shot,” but winds up appearing in or is referenced in a few of the other stories.  In the stories, Mrs. Recupido is an inspiration to her students; the kind of teacher who goes out of her way to help and is genuinely interested in her students’ lives.  I based that character on my Aunt Debbie, who passed away suddenly when we were beginning to write these stories.  When I attended her funeral, hundreds of students—past and present—showed up to honor Aunt Debbie.  And including her in this book full of dark stories as an inspirational figure is my small way of honoring such an amazing person who was lost too soon.

Giveaway (US Only)

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Blog Tour: ONE by Sarah Crossan – An Amazing Q&A and Giveaway
Sep 18th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

ONE by Sarah CrossanOne Cover

Published by: Greenwillow Books

Pub. Date: September 15, 2015

Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.

 

LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository

 
Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan

ABOUT SARAH CROSSAN:

Sarah Crossan is Irish. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature before training as an English and Drama teacher at Cambridge University and worked to promote creative writing in schools before leaving teaching to write full time.

She completed her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick in 2003 and in 2010 received an Edward Albee Fellowship for writing. She spent several years living and teaching high school in New Jersey before moving to London.

She currently lives in NYC.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

TOUR SCHEDULE:

Q & A:

  1. What kind of research did you do for ONE?

I did ALL the research! This means I didn’t use the internet because, as anyone who has done proper research knows, the internet is actually pretty useless when it comes to accurately depicting a picture of reality! Instead I went to the British Library and trawled the shelves for books and periodicals to find out all I could on the subject of conjoined twins. I spoke sweetly to a friend of mine at the BBC, and he managed to retrieve lots of documentaries for me from the TV archives. And finally, I spoke to medical professionals including Edward Kiely, the leading separation surgeon for conjoined twins in Europe. All in all, my research lasted about a year.

  1. What surprised you the most about writing ONE?

I was surprised that it ended up in verse. It began life as a prose novel. In fact, I wrote thirty thousand words of the novel in prose, but it just wouldn’t come together. I spoke to my agent, who suggested I start again. This idea horrified me. Delete thirty thousand words? “Yes!” she said. So I did, and when I went back to the novel, it was in verse. And everything fell into place.

  1. Tippi and Grace face a difficult decision of going through separation surgery. Most people don’t ever have to face such a challenge. But given what they went through, what lessons can people take away from Tippi’s and Grace’s experience?

Tippi and Grace show us what it means to love, which is allowing oneself to be happy in order to honor another person. Let happiness be your gift to others.

  1. Do you have siblings? If so, how did you draw upon your own relationships to write this novel?

I have three brothers, but I didn’t really draw on those relationships at all for this novel. Instead I focused on my relationship with my daughter, who was an infant when I was writing the book, and thought about the physical closeness of mother and child and how no one ever questions the importance or the normality of that.

  1. ONE is in free-verse poetry. How was the writing process different from the other books you’ve written?

Writing in verse is a waiting game! You can’t sit at a computer and rattle out one thousand words a day. You have to (pretentiously) wait for the words to come to you, and that can be very frustrating.

  1. Who has been your biggest writing influence and why?

I’m influenced all the time by different things I read, but Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust made me fall in love with verse novels. I don’t believe there is a verse novel that can compare to this masterpiece. Everyone should read it. NOW!

  1. How did the idea of writing about conjoined twins come to you?

I saw a documentary about Minnesotan twins Abby and Brittany Hensel and was completely captivated by how happy and successful they have made their lives despite sharing a body. I knew I had to write a novel on the subject, so I started my research the very next day.

  1. If you could become one of your characters from ANY of your books for a day, which character would you choose to be and why?

If it’s only one day, I would become Grace, so I could know how it feels to live in one body that has two minds. I’m sure I would find all the stares difficult, but it would be worth it.

GIVEAWAY: (US Only)

 

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BOUNCE by Noelle August – Review (3rd NA novel in the Boomerang Series)
Sep 16th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

BOUNCEBounce Cover

—a Boomerang novel—

By Noelle August

Buy it here: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Two aspiring musicians must choose between their careers…and their sizzling attraction for each other in the final Boomerang novel.

Praise for NOELLE AUGUST

“Boomerang, the first book in a new series by August, is a flirty, hilarious read. New Adult readers will devour this book, loving its rapid-fire witty dialogue and engaging characters.”

  • Booklist, STARRED Review
  • “August…delivers a solid new adult trilogy launch.” Publishers Weekly
William Morrow is thrilled to publish Noelle August’s much-anticipated novel: BOUNCE (William Morrow Trade Paperback, On-sale: August 25th, ISBN: 9780062331113; $13.99).  Noelle August is an incredibly fresh and welcome voice in New Adult, and readers can’t wait to revisit favorite characters and fall in love with new ones in the final book of this beloved trilogy!

Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part. Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the starring role—or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss she shares with her nineteen-year-old audition partner, Grey Blackwood.

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.

Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series. You can visit them at NoelleAugust.com@Noelle_August,

Additional Praise for NOELLE AUGUST

“This debut entry for August in the new adult genre is refreshingly charming. Absent are the tortured baggage tropes that permeate the category, which is a welcome change. Readers who enjoyed Megan McCafferty’s “Jessica Darling” series (especially the later ones set in college) will want to read this.”
   — Library Journal on BOOMERANG

“…your summer fling in paperback…”
   — WomensHealthMag.com on BOOMERANG

“Boomerang is a novel with substance, fabulously detailed, and August is a fine writer — able to draw a nuanced character. Ethan is a dream, but still realistic, and Mia is every girl’s best friend. Interesting plots, dynamic characters and, of course, scintillating sex make this a new adult title to emulate.”
   — RT Book Reviews on BOOMERANG

“Readers will enjoy seeing more of the mental and emotional level of the relationship being developed, in addition to the physical — a nice change of pace for the genre.”
   — RT Book Reviews on REBOUND

Don’t miss the first two in the series!

My review:

Bounce by Noelle August

BOUNCE sucked me in and tugged at my emotional heartstrings. For anyone looking for a romantic and meaningful NA contemporary series, BOOMERANG definitely fits those qualifications.

When Skyler and Grey are paired together to read a scene for Blackwood Entertainment, sparks fly. The only problem is that Sykler wasn’t planning on getting the role she was playing and Grey was only there as an audition partner because he owed Adam, his brother, big time for trashing his condo. Two completely unexpected circumstances brings on an attraction that’s hard for either one to resist.

Here’s what I loved:
1. The complexity of the characters.
2. Friendship and loyalty. I was really happy to see family loyalty and loyal friends.
3. Characters from the pas.t
4. Grey having to face his demons.
5. Skyler sticking up for herself with her dad and her mom.
6. Grey making Skyler a priority in his life and really thinking about what she means to him.
7. Skyler playing the lead role in a film with very little acting background. I love that dreams can come true.
8. Pineapple on pizza?!?!
9. What pushed Grey over the edge to leave home and to go live with his brother, Adam!
10. This wasn’t a novel that was loaded with sex scenes for the purpose of being gratuitous. The relationship seemed natural and real.
11. Grey’s persistence of his dream. It made me really happy to see that he kept at it, even when family didn’t always seem to approve.
12. Grey’s younger than Skyler, but it wasn’t a HUGE ISSUE! After high school, it seems to me that younger or older by a few years no longer matters. I liked this aspect of this novel!

Another winner in the series! Definitely recommend.

Thank you so much to the publisher for the review copy!

View all my reviews

Waiting on Wednesday: UNTIL BETH by Lisa Amowitz
Sep 16th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

WOW

 

Until Beth

By Lisa Amowitz

Pub. Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo | Book Depository

 

Synopsis: She doesn’t just play, she kills it.UntilBethfinish2COVERcrop

Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good.

Then she’s accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they’re also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who’s so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who’s trying to tell her something but is hiding even more?

And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?

 Why I want to read this: 1. The cover is so cool! Guitar case and grave? Hmmm! Definitely a very intriguing premise! 

Lisa AmowitzAbout the author:

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.

Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at  Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.

BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first book in the Finder Series, released September 9, 2014 and its unnamed sequel will release winter, 2016. UNTIL BETH, a YA urban fantasy, will release September 2015.

Author Social Media Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Instagram

 

Real Book Challenge, August 2015
Sep 3rd, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

15realbookchallengenewsletter

Real Book Challenge is hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

So I read 10 books this month for the REAL BOOK CHALLENGE. And it was a real eye-opener to look at my recap! I finished the IN DEATH series by J. D. Robb in August. Normally, I’m all about YA, but this series grabbed hold and it became an addiction. (I didn’t completely forget about YA, but those were Ebooks and audiobooks, so they don’t count for this challenge!

I did read an exceptional, award-winning MG historical novel: ODIN’S PROMISE by Sandy Brehl

Odin's PromiseOdin’s Promise by Sandy Brehl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ODIN’S PROMISE is a must for a MG schools/readers!

From the very first page, I was swept up in this WWII story about an eleven-year-old Norwegian girl named Mari and her dog, Odin and the invasion of Nazis into her village.

ODIN’S PROMISE is a riveting and beautiful story about courage, sacrifice, defiance, family, and love that will sweep readers up and transport them to Norway. The scenes are vivid and realistic, yet perfect for MGers. Students will feel deeply for Mari, and even though this novel is set during the Holocaust, this tells a different side—what life was like for a Christian family with Jewish friends and how the Nazis treated the Norwegian people and the land they invaded.

This is an important story. The acts of defiance, the sense of pride and community by the Norwegians during WWII will open readers’ eyes. The descriptions of community, faith, and love are inspiring.

Told through Mari’s eyes, she experiences the terror of watching a Jewish neighbor being led away by Nazis, the defiant acts of her family, and also the love/protection of her dog, Odin.

I really want to see this in every MG school! Teachers, parents, please pick this book up!!!!

Brava, Sandy!!!! Can’t wait for your next one!!!!!!

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