»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
Blog Tour: ILLUSION by Martina Boone – 5 star review & #giveaway
Oct 5th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

illusion-banner

ILLUSION

by Martina Boone

Published by Simon and Schuster

 

ABOUT ILLUSION:illusion

Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

 

ABOUT MARTINA BOONE:martina-boone

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. Her first teacher in the U.S. made fun of her for not pronouncing the “wh” sound right, so she set out to master “all the words”—she’s still working on that! In the meantime she’s writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit.

If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you’ll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

 

Illusion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #3)Illusion by Martina Boone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magic! Swoon-worthy romance between Barrie and Eight. History not found in high school textbooks revealed! Stereotypes SMASHED! This is a series YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS. 🙂
Martina Boone does a phenomenal job bringing The Heirs of Watson Island trilogy to a magical conclusion with a heart pounding end!

Here’s what you need to know…

The romance between Eight and Barrie is SMOKIN’ HOT!

The magic is BREATHTAKING:

And the search for treasure leads to discoveries:

Ghosts are vanquished:

Lives are changed FOREVER & hopefully a…

Get ready for answers to all the questions you have about the yunwi, the Fire Carrier, Obadiah, and the curse. Mythology abounds, this is a series that goes beyond the magic, fantasy, mystery, and romance. Martina’s research into history and folklore from many cultures is done with eye-opening compassion and understanding. Readers learn as Barrie and Eight learn. And oooooh my, those swoon-worthy kisses! Once again, Watson Island comes alive for the reader. You’ll feel the beat of the music, want to dance along with Barrie and Eight, drool over the food, and rock in the Away, Eight’s boat. You’ll cheer for Pru and Seven as they figure out their relationship. Martina’s writing is brilliant. There are so many lines you’ll want to quote. So much wisdom, so much heart. And the ending. Such an ending!

This is a series you’ll want to read from beginning to the very end. I LOVED IT! Don’t miss it!!!!

View all my reviews

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

2 Complete Sets of the Heirs of Watson Island series (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: THE LOST AND THE FOUND by Cat Clark – Novel Secret & #Giveaway
Sep 15th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

Blog Tour: THE LOST AND THE FOUNDthe-lost-and-the-found-low-res

by Cat Clark

Novel Secret & #Giveaway

ABOUT THE LOST AND THE FOUND:

LOST.

When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.

FOUND.

Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

ABOUT CAT CLARKE:cat-clarke

Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.

Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter 

NOVEL SECRETS:

The Hungry Writer – by Cat Clarke

Food often works its way into my stories (often when I make the critical error of writing while hungry!) but in The Lost and the Found a particular type of food has an important role. One of my characters is a particularly lovely Frenchman called Michel, who is a sort of step-father to the main character, Faith. Michel is a veterinarian, but on the weekends he likes to make macarons and sell them at the local market. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying one of these delicious morsels, a macaron is a tiny hamburger-shaped sweet treat, made from almond meringue and filled with ganache or jam. They are good. Really, really good.

Mmmmmm macarons.

Mmmmmm macarons.

I didn’t plan on making Michel a master macaron-maker (try saying that three times really fast!) but at the time I’d recently discovered a macaron shop in my hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mademoiselle Macaron makes THE best macarons this side of Paris, and I became ever so slightly obsessed with the salted caramel ones. So when I was trying to come up with something fun for Michel and Faith to do together at weekends, macarons popped into my head.

 

For the UK launch party of The Lost and the Found, Mademoiselle Macaron made the most spectacular macaron tower, which the guests proceeded to demolish in a matter of hours. Here’s a picture of me, sampling the macarons just to make sure they were good enough for the guests. I only had one or two. Honest. Please ignore the tiny cheeses on the table in front of the tower. Cheese appears in lots of my novels, but that’s another story for another day.

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of LOST & FOUND (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: ASSASSINS: DISCORD by Erica Cameron – Novel Secrets & Giveaway
Sep 8th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

AssassinsDiscord_TourBanner

ASSASSINS: DISCORD

by Erica Cameron

Purchase at Riptide

I absolutely adore Erica Cameron. And when it comes to her writing, what an imagination! Her stories are memorable, filled with intense action, and relatable characters! So it’s with great pleasure that I am featuring her latest YA novel on my blog. I’ve just started it, but from the very first line I was hooked: “Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief.” Scroll down for the “Novel Secrets” and giveaway. You definitely want to have this book in your library!

About Assassins: DiscordAssassinsDiscord_600x900

Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks ranks for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.

Novel Secrets!

There is a lot that goes on around a book or behind the scene of a making of a book that most readers never know. I’m always one to watch the “making of” featurettes of my favorite movies, so here are five secret facts about DISCORD:

1- The idea for the book actually came from my former agent and her boss. They proposed a scene: a guy tied to a chair and a girl with a knife contemplating whether or not to kill him. The entire book spawned from that scene.

2- The first line of the book never changed. It was the very first thing I wrote in the draft, and it never changed.

3- I named everyone with purpose, but Kindra and Seraphina’s names are the most symbolic. Ten points to anyone who can figure out why I named them each that. A hint? One is ironic and the other one is metaphorically literal.

4-The saddest part of the book is Tristina Wright’s fault. I asked for advice while writing that scene, and what happens in it was her idea. Blame her. Somehow, though, she still manages to blame me. 😉

5- Thirteen months before this book was published, I did not think it would ever be published. Or at least not anytime soon. Everything between the contract and publication happened suddenly and at lightning speed. It was a delightful surprise in a lot of ways.

About Erica Cameron

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Connect with Erica:

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Assassins: Discord, one lucky winner will receive $30 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

Blog Tour: SHOW ME HOW by Molly McAdams Q & A and #Giveaway
Sep 2nd, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

SHOW ME HOWShowMeHow HiRes

by Molly McAdams

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

I adore Molly McAdams’ novels and so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. Make sure to check out ALL her books. You can find the entire list on her website.

ABOUT SHOW ME HOW:

After her first love was ripped from her grasp four years earlier, Charlie Easton was sure she would never be able to trust anyone with the shattered pieces of her heart again. That is, until Deacon Carver forces himself into her life, and makes those pieces swirl in chaos. But Charlie doesn’t know how to let him in… until a stranger stumbles upon a notebook filled with her innermost secrets, and shows her how.

Deacon Carver is known for sleeping his way through the town of Thatch, as well as the surrounding cities—something he used to take pride in. But that persona has haunted Deacon ever since he decided to leave that life behind for the girl he wants more than anything: Charlie Easton.

But when another girl falls into Deacon’s life, allowing him to be himself without judgment for his past, will their conversations hinder his relationship with Charlie … even if he’s never seen her?

Q&A:

  1. If you could trade places with one of your characters for a day – anyone in this series, which one would it be and why?

This series? Um, then I’m for sure going to have to say Charlie. Reason … have you met Deacon? 😉 That’s what I thought.

 

  1. How did you choose the name(s) of your character(s)? Feel free to choose just one to save time! 🙂 

I actually take forever to choose the names for my characters. It’s a good three-hour process for each one of my stories. Once I have the characters in mind, then I sit there scrolling through name sites for hours and hours until I find the names that fit them. I have a list of names that I absolutely love just sitting on my computer, and I have yet to use any of them because they haven’t fit the characters.

 

  1. Did you have any scenes you found difficult to write? If so, how did you get through it?

Yes, all of the scenes that involved Collin and Harlow in To The Stars. Not sure how I got through the actual writing of the scenes—actually I’m pretty sure I didn’t breathe while I wrote them. But as soon as I finished just one Collin scene, I would have to walk away from my computer and go lie down because I would feel so emotionally and physically exhausted, and would be shaking too hard to continue.

 

  1. What lesson or message would you hope readers would take from this book or series and why?

Oh my goodness, there are so many. The biggest one from this series; is that no one has to continue living with domestic violence. There are ways to get help if you feel like you can’t get out. The other main one; is that moving on with your life doesn’t mean you’re forgetting or leaving behind whoever passed away. Remember that they would want you to continue living.

 

  1. What qualities do you feel are important in building a long lasting relationship that you feel your characters needed to learn?

Trust. Trust, trust, trust. So much trust. That was a huge one in Letting Go and again in Show Me How, and in a way it was there—just a tad different—in To The Stars. In Show Me How, for example, Charlie wanted to believe that Deacon could change, but in the back of her mind, she kept waiting for the day when he would revert back to the old Deacon. And I think that if Deacon really thought that Charlie knew him and who he wanted to be, he would’ve never continued speaking to Words.

 

  1. Do you have any writing habits that are critical to your process? If so, what are they?

When I’m first getting into a story, I have to spend a lot of time just thinking about the story, and letting it develop. It has to be quiet, and it has to be dark, so I usually lay in bed. But when I actually start writing, I have to have music really loud, or else I can’t concentrate.

 

  1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your journey as a published author?

That it’s always worth it to write what you believe in, over what you think everyone else will want.

 

Author Molly McAdams

Author Molly McAdams

ABOUT MOLLY MCADAMS:

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter |Facebook |  Goodreads | Google+ | tumblr

 

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

Giveaway:

$25 (USD) gift card to the ebookseller of choice for 1 winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UNKNOWN by Wendy Higgins & #Giveaway
Aug 16th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

UNKNOWNUnknownHighRes

by Wendy Higgins 

About UNKNOWN:

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.

 
Wendy Higgins

Wendy Higgins

About Wendy Higgins: 

Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NY Times bestselling author of the SWEET EVIL series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology THE GREAT HUNT, and her independently published Irish Fantasy SEE ME.
After earning a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until achieving her dream job as a full-time writer.
Wend lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.
 

Giveaway: Open International

 
Grand Prize: Signed Paperback copy of Unknown with Poster, bookplate stickers, and bookmarks
1st & 2nd Prize: digital copies of Unknown (has to be B&N or Amazon user – will be gifted via their email address) plus signed bookmarks and bookplate stickers

IMG_4743

a Rafflecopter giveaway

YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott, Review, Q & A & #Giveaway
Jul 26th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

YOU WILL KNOW ME99fee1bebe88ef251202acc739ab7ccf

by Megan Abbott

Published by: Little, Brown & Company

Pub date: July 26, 2016

Buy: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible

Review, Q &A and Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The audacious new novel about family and ambition from “one of the best living mystery writers” (Grantland) and bestselling, award-winning author of The Fever, Megan Abbott.

How far will you go to achieve a dream? That’s the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits — until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers — about her daughter’s fears, her own marriage, and herself — forces Katie to consider whether there’s any price she isn’t willing to pay to achieve Devon’s dream.

From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl” (Janet Maslin), YOU WILL KNOW ME is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition.

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR YOU WILL KNOW ME:

“Almost unbearably tense, chilling and addictive, YOU WILL KNOW ME deftly transports the reader to the hyper-competitive arena of gymnastics where the dreams and aspirations of not just families but entire communities rest on the slender shoulders of one teenage girl. Exceptional.” — Paula Hawkins, author of the #1 bestseller The Girl on the Train

“Abbott has a knack for dissecting the dark, beating heart of the most all-American activity…It’s vivid, troubling, and powerful—and Abbott totally sticks the landing.” — Booklist, STARRED Review

“Abbott proves herself a master of fingernails-digging- into-your-palms suspense.” – Kirkus, STARRED Review

“In true Abbott style, nothing is predictable here; the plot consistently confounds expectations with its clever twists and turns. Admirers of Patricia Highsmith, Laura Lippman, and Kimberly Pauley are in for a treat.” — Library Journal, STARRED Review

“Thriller Award-winner Abbott (The Fever) takes a piercing look at what one family will sacrifice in the name of making their daughter a champion…Abbott keenly examines the pressures put on girls’ bodies and the fierce, often misguided love parents have for their children.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED Boxed Review

“Abbott is working at the top of her craft, and YOU WILL KNOW ME is a crime novel where the crime is only a catalyst for an accomplished exploration of ordinary people’s unraveling when they become obsessed with the extraordinary among them.” — Shelf Awareness

“[Abbott] does killer teens better than anyone… Menace and more menace.” — New York Daily News

“[A] superb new book” — The Atlantic

“Present-day fiction’s most terrifying chronicler of the inner lives of teenage girls” — Chicago Reader

“Abbott’s ability to build suspense and feed on readers’ fear is nearly unparalleled… It’s both terrifying and gripping.” — Elle.com

“[Abbott] returns to the subject she always captures so intensely: the private desires of teenage girls.” — Entertainment Weekly

“Is there anything Megan Abbott can’t do? We will have to wait for the answer to that question because YOU WILL KNOW ME continues her formidable winning streak. This story of an ordinary family with an extraordinary child is gorgeously written, psychologically astute, a page-turner that forces you to slow down and savor every word… And, yes — please forgive me — she totally sticks the landing.” — Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Hush Hush

“Megan Abbott’s latest thriller plunges readers into the shockingly realistic life of young, female gymnasts whose severely regulated lives come with unthinkable consequences. Gritty, graphic, and yet beautiful and dreamlike in the way the story unfolds, YOU WILL KNOW ME comes barreling at you with all the power and urgency of a high-speed train, as Abbott asserts herself as one of the greatest crime writers of our time.” — Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

“That rarefied sweet spot between unnerving psychological suspense and a family drama with heart, YOU WILL KNOW ME induces equal parts dread and unease, empathy and warmth. The pages couldn’t turn fast enough as I dug deeper into the peculiar and fascinating Knox-family world, trying to figure out who was lying, who was telling the truth, and who was dangerous. Luscious writing, a timely and unique premise, and an ending that will haunt you all summer long.” — Jessica Knoll, author of the New York Times bestseller Luckiest Girl Alive

YOU WILL KNOW ME takes you into the dark heart of family, a journey that feels more menacing with every page. Abbott cranks the tension up in this disturbing tale of exactly what we are prepared to do for our children — I was reading compulsively into the night. A beautifully written, gripping read that feels unshakeably real.” — Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

 

My review:

You Will Know MeYou Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hold on to the edge of your seat, because this is one heck of a ride. You Will Know Me is the kind of novel you won’t be able to put down. Each page will draw you in deeper and deeper until you’re entangled in the suspense, family drama and sacrifice, murder and mystery. Unforgettable and chilling, readers will never look at the quest for Olympic gymnastic’s gold without wondering if the price—spiritually, physically, emotionally—was too much to pay.
Though I don’t read suspenseful thrillers on a regular basis, Abbott has become an auto-read. She takes headline news and makes the stories her own. She creates compelling novels that will test boundaries and values, forcing you to think about personal lines and where to draw them.

This was my reaction:

Megan Abbott, once again, created a crossover novel—written for adults, but appropriate for YA—that’s filled with mystery, intrigue, and tension.

In YOU WILL KNOW ME, the obsession is gymnastics and what a family will or won’t do for their gifted daughter. What is the moral code? Responsibility of coaches, parents, athletes, and even neighbors and extended family?

Abbott will have readers needing to turn the pages. I often correctly guess who the guilty party is or I figure out the major plot twists in novels before they unfold on the page. But not this time, and I loved that!!! So if you’re even a bit intrigued by the premise of the novel and are high school age +, I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to Tandem Literary for sending me a review copy.

View all my reviews
;

Megan-Abbott-Collage

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 Website | Twitter

Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels Queenpin, The Song Is You, Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me, and The Fever, which was chosen as one of the Best Books of the Summer by the New York TimesPeople Magazine and Entertainment Weekly and one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon, National Public Radio, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times.

Her writing has appeared in the New York TimesSalon, the GuardianWall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times MagazineThe Believer and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.

She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Awards, Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.

 

YOU WILL KNOW ME TOUR DATES:

7/26: Book Court, Brooklyn, NY—7:00pm

7/27: St Louis County Library, St. Louis, MO—7:00pm

7/28: Watchung Booksellers, Montclair, NJ—7:00pm

7/29: Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY—7:00pm

8/1: Brookline Booksmith, Boston, MA—7:00pm

8/2: Book People, Austin, TX—7:00pm

8/3: Murder by the Book, Houston, TX –6:30pm

8/4: Square Books, Oxford, MS—5:00pm

8/9: Book Passage Corte, Madera, CA—1:00pm

8/9: Books Inc. Opera Plaza, San Francisco, CA – 7:00pm

8/10: Book Carnival, Orange, CA—7:30pm

8/11: Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA—7:30pm

8/20: Mississippi Book Festival, Jackson, MS

9/15-9/18: Bouchercon 2016, New Orleans, LA

A CONVERSATION WITH MEGAN ABBOTT:

What was the inspiration for You Will Know Me?

I’ve always been interested in families of prodigies. How power operates in those families, how ambition does. Then, during the London Olympics four years ago, I saw this video of the parents of American gymnast Aly Raisman watching their daughter’s uneven bar routine and it kind of blew me away. They were so invested in it, so connected to her. They moved as she moved. They knew every beat of the performance. The footage went viral and the response to it was tricky. Some people found it funny, others found it problematic and there was some finger pointing. I think we all struggle with how invested parents should be in their children’s development, but with exceptionally talented children, all that is thrown into high relief.

I could just feel the book taking shape after that. How does that kind of intense focus on a child’s talent affect a marriage, for instance? What about siblings? And families in general fascinate me—the place of the greatest darkness and the greatest light.

 

You are known for writing shockingly accurate portrayals of teen angst and an uncanny ability to get inside the heads of teen girls. Why are you so drawn to this subject matter?

In some ways because teen girls are still so often dismissed or condescended to. But every woman I know is haunted in some ways by their teen years, by the choices they made then and the way they crafted their identity and developed their sense of self.

And, as a writer, it’s such rich terrain. Everything is in such high relief during those years. All the big emotions of life seem to storm through us every day. When I remember myself at that age, it was like my nerve endings were all exposed. It’s when you’re both at your most curious (and, potentially, risk-taking) and also at your most vulnerable—especially to disillusionment. And when you’re a mom, like the main character in You Will Know Me, you’re in some ways living through it all again through your daughter, which is incredibly complicated.

 

You Will Know Me is a bit of a departure in that it focuses more on the parents’ perspective. Why did you choose to shift gears in this way?

My last book, The Fever, had three viewpoints, one of whom was the father of two teens, and I really loved it. Exploring the gap between how parents view their teens and how teens view themselves, and vice versa. But it seemed thrillingly different in the case of You Will Know Me. Katie, the protagonist, is so close to her daughter, Devon, because of the way the family has circled itself around Devon’s extraordinary talent. And that closeness fascinates me.

At what point does your child become a stranger to you? Because all children need to break apart from you to become themselves, but is it slower to happen in the case of a prodigy? A case when the parent, like Katie, is so tied up in her daughter’s everyday life?

 

What research did you do into the world of uber-competitive youth gymnastics when writing You Will Know Me?

Gymnast memoirs were a huge help. I read almost every one I could get my hands on. Both the flag-waving sports ones and the tougher ones too, the exposés. The one that had the biggest impact for me was Nadia Comaneci’s Letters to a Young Gymnast, which is a brilliant book on many levels (foremost her strong voice), and is such a keen distillation of what seems a pure, fire-hardened ambition. I also talked to former gymnasts and had one of them read the manuscript.

And, I confess, watching a lot of YouTube, and diving into online chat rooms, especially those devoted to parents of gymnasts. But the book’s title comes from Nadia, who tells her reader, “I don’t know you, but you will know me.” What could be more enticing to a reader?

 

What did you learn about this world that surprised you?

Everything! I became very fixated on the mental control and struggles the gymnasts faced. How much it is a head game. And then the sport’s impact on girls’ developing bodies. It is not a universal experience, but for many girls it halts their adolescence in certain ways, or it threatens to, and this prospect fascinated me and worked its way into the novel. Your body is both your greatest gift and your worst enemy. Maybe we all feel that, in a way.

 

Have any gymnasts or parents of youth athletes read and responded to You Will Know Me yet? 

I’ve had a few early gymnast readers who’ve been very supportive. In particular, they’ve responded to the parent-booster culture in the book, the way parents invest in a gym and insert themselves into gym politics. The hothouse environment that the parent viewing area can take on. Or, “gym drama,” as it’s called. Which seems to have all the hallmarks of a great reality TV show, or a Shakespearean play.

 

After being so close to this world while researching and writing You Will Know Me, will you view the Olympics in Rio this year through a different lens?

I love watching gymnastics and this book reflects a love of, and immense respect for, the sport and the art. But in the end, I think the book is more about family and parent love than gymnastics, so probably my eyes will be more on the families than in past years. More on what it takes for a family to help make an Olympic medalist.

 

You’re working on TV scripts for your novels Dare Me (for HBO) and The Fever (for TNT). What is it like to adapt your own work for the small screen?

As much as people like to say that TV is the new novel, the two are so very different. By the time you sell it, it’s changed so much from the book—the world has gotten so much larger, you’ve had to create ways to make the story possibilities expand indefinitely—you lose all vanity about your own book. Instead, it’s something entirely new. But the biggest difference is how collaborative it is. Writing a novel, until the last stretch, is utterly solitary. Writing for TV is a cacophony of voices. Sometimes noisy, but never, ever lonely!

 

You recently joined the writing staff of David Simon’s (“The Wire”) new HBO drama “The Deuce.” How does that work differ from writing a novel? How did your career in fiction inform your work in the writers’ room? When can we see “The Deuce?”

Different in every way. I’d say apples and oranges, but maybe it’s more like apples and a large, cunning mountain lion! As collaborative as developing your work for TV is, being on staff for a show in production is a thousand times more so. You’re there to help in every way you can to bring the showrunners’ ideas to life. I think there are so many crime novelists writing for TV now because we bring a certain facility with plotting, but in the end what’s most exciting in the writers’ room is how different everyone is, how differently we see the world, and yet how we all value the same things: character, story, meaning.

And “The Deuce,” which stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, will be on HBO next year. I’ve seen the pilot, and it’s incredible.

 

Do you have time to work on another book with all of your TV project in the works? What’s next and when from Megan Abbott?

Somehow, I do! I have a new novel in the works called Give Me Your Hand, which will come out in 2018, I think. It’s about two ambitious female scientists who share a secret from their past. Very Hitchcock-inspired, this one.

Giveaway: 1 Hardcover (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: SMASH & GRAB by Amy Christine Parker, Novel Secret & #Giveaway
Jul 11th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

S&G Banner

 

Buy Links: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N

ABOUT SMASH & GRAB:27272262

Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story.Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

NOVEL SECRETS: (Authors are thieves…?)

by Amy Christine Parker


Novel Secrets

By Amy Christine Parker

Writers are thieves. Everything we put into a novel is stolen: research, our personal lives, things we over hear, other forms of art we’re exposed to. Okay, okay, I know. I’m being a bit overdramatic here—maybe borrowed or inspired is more accurate than stolen—but it just sounds cooler (and we are taking about a heist book here), so I’m rolling with it. When you spend most of your day drinking tea and typing on a computer in a bathrobe while mumbling to yourself, you have to grab the cool where you can. But now that you know I don’t come up with story details straight out of thin air, you probably have questions, like how much of what I wrote in Smash & Grab about the characters or the plot was directly inspired by true events and stuff from my personal life?

Well, that’s my secret.

…Or it was until today.

I’m about to confess.

But let’s keep this between us.

Here, in no particular order are six secret, stolen inspirations for Smash & Grab:

Christian and the Romero Robbers plan to tunnel under the bank: A group of thieves actually did tunnel under a bank in LA years ago. They were never caught.

The movie dumbwaiter in the bank building: the woman who let me tour her bank talked about another, historic bank she used to work for years ago and mentioned that it had a dumbwaiter so that cash from the teller floor could be transported directly to the vault. I loved the idea of it so much, I knew I wanted to have one in Smash & Grab. You can watch someone investigate an old, historic bank in Philly that has a dumbwaiter here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drRB_J5T12E

The dumbwaiter shows up at about 4:10.

The doughnut date scene in the book came about because my husband has two customers who recently opened a doughnut shop here in Tampa called the Mini Doughnut Factory. Yes, their maple bacon one is my favorite!Donuts

I chose to name Christian’s group of thieves the Romero Robbers because Night of the Living Dead was the first movie that made me stay up all night and I am a huge Walking Dead fan. They needed masks, why not zombie ones?

Nightofliving

Lexi’s fish tattoo was borrowed from a short story I did a long time ago before I was published. The girl in that story had a goldfish tattoo that peeked over the top of her sock. I’ve always liked the image and wanted it to be in something that would be more widely read then that first story. This book was the perfect opportunity!

The character Leo—my main character Lexi’s best friend—has a photography hobby that was inspired by my oldest daughter who is fourteen. She is an amazing photographer and is always documenting our family outings the way Leo does. She discovered her passion for taking pictures while I was writing this book and so into the story it went! Here is one of her photos of her younger sister:

Smashngrab

And there you have it, the inside scoop on all the things that came together to make Smash & Grab a reality. Zombies, doughnuts, and dumbwaiters, oh my!

 

ABOUT AMY CHRISTINE PARKER:Amy Christine Parker

AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at amychristineparker.comand follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
7/11: Who R U Blog – Novel Secrets
7/12:  Fiction Fare – My Heist Crew
 
Week 2:

GIVEAWAY: (3 Finished copies – US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: DEFENDING TAYLOR by Miranda Kenneally, Review, Excerpt & #Giveaway
Jul 7th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

DT Banner

Defending Taylor

By Miranda Kenneally

July 5, 2016; Tradepaper, ISBN 9781492630081

Praise for Defending Taylor

“I can’t quite put my finger on what is so enthralling about Kenneally’s newest novel, but it totally sucked me in. I loved that Kenneally didn’t go with an easy, traditional happy-go-lucky ending. I also enjoyed the flawed nature of the characters, which made them feel more relatable. This is a great summer read and my favorite novel by Kenneally so far!” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Summary:Defending Taylor Cover

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

My review:

Defending TaylorDefending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

I really loved the chemistry between Taylor and Ezra! This novel does a great job of sending a message about protecting your friends and what it might cost you. Living life and setting personal goals based on your passions instead of trying to please others, like parents, is a major theme of this novel. Friendship, teamwork and soccer, mean girls, family, relationships and making choices all interweave together in a wonderful, heartfelt, fast-reading YA contemporary with plenty of swoony scenes that will leave you smiling!

A perfect novel for anyone who loves YA contemporary novels.
View all my reviews

 

EXCERPT:

Modeling Integrity

Ezra is at the sugar station, pouring half-­and-­half into a steaming cup of coffee. The sight of him turns my knees to JELL-­O. Dark, cropped hair. Serious green eyes that glance away from mine to make sure his coffee isn’t overflowing. The way he licks his lower lip when he’s concentrating. I’ve rarely seen Ezra out of a white button-­down Oxford shirt, khakis, and blue plaid tie, which is the dress code for guys at St. Andrew’s. Now he’s wearing holey jeans spotted with paint and a bright-­white T-­shirt that is magnified by his warm tan. He’s carrying a construction helmet under his muscled arm.

“What are you wearing?” I blurt.

His cheeks flush at my outburst. “What are you wearing? Where’s your uniform?”

I look down at my jeans and cardigan. It’s been weird trying to figure out what to wear—­I’ve never had to pick out school clothes before. I own one pair of jeans, because when I’m not at school or soccer practice, I wear dresses and skirts to parties and political events.

“I don’t need the uniform anymore,” I finally reply.

“But you’re a senior.”

“I am, but I’m going to Hundred Oaks now…”

His eyes go wide. “Why?”

“You don’t know?”

“Should I?”

“I figured everybody knew. I bet the guys on the International Space Station even know.” Ezra’s face is blank. “It was all over Facebook,” I tell him.

“I didn’t see anything, I guess,” he says quietly. This is not a surprise to me. He doesn’t have a Tumblr or Twitter account. He never posts anything on Facebook. At least not in the past several months. Not that I noticed or anything. I’m no stalker. Well, not all the time.

It’s weird that he’s never online. My brother’s phone is practically fused to his fingers.

“Are you home for fall break already?” I ask.

He rubs the back of his neck, meeting my eyes for a long moment, and just as I’m asking why he’s holding a construction hat—­“Isn’t it a little early for Halloween?”—­an older man dressed in a T-­shirt and dirty jeans comes into the diner and waves at him.

“Ezra, man, let’s go!”

“Take care, Tease,” he says, then hurries out the door and jumps into a truck with a construction logo on the side. As they drive away, he stares at me through the window.

Okay. So that was weird.

 

 

Add DEFENDING TAYLOR to your TBR list: Goodreads 

Buy Links:

Amazon | Apple | Barnes&Noble | BooksAMillion | Indigo  |Indiebound

Miranda Kenneally

Miranda Kenneally

About the Author:

Growing up in Tennessee, MIRANDA KENNEALLY dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit mirandakenneally.com

Social Media Links:

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

6/27: Bookiemoji

6/28: YA Bibliophile

6/29: Lost In Lit

6/30: A Backwards Story

7/1: Swoony Boys Podcast

Week 2:

7/4: Andi’s ABCs

7/5: Undeniably Book Nerdy

7/6: Jenuine Cupcakes

7/7: Who R U Blog

7/8: Stuck In Books

Giveaway:


3 Finished Copies of DEFENDING TAYLOR (US/Canada Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE by Christine Heppermann, Novel Secrets & #Giveaway
May 9th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

AMHIGH Banner

LINKS:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE:ASk Me How I Got Here Cover

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places.

ABOUT CHRISTINE HEPPERMANN:

Christine Heppermann

Christine Heppermann

Christine Heppermann writes fiction, poetry, and criticism. Her books include Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty (2014), City Chickens (2012), and Backyard Witch (with Ron Koertge, 2015). She currently reviews young adult books for the Chicago Tribune.

Christine grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended an all-girls Catholic high school. As an undergraduate she studied philosophy and literature at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Christine lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her two daughters, two cats, and one husband.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

 

NOVEL SECRETS:

https://soundcloud.com/eric-hinsdale/sets/the-militia

https://soundcloud.com/eric-hinsdale/sets/the-militia

Addie’s boyfriend Nick plays bass in a band. Milo, the lead singer, writes all of the band’s songs and tends to get a little too creative with his lyrics. In short, he sucks. I had a lot of fun making up ridiculous titles for Milo’s songs, but I stole one title from real life! “God Eats at Denny’s” is a song my bass-player husband Eric wrote for The Militia, his high-school “band” (the loose term for him and his friends messing around in somebody’s garage). A sample lyric: “God eats at Denny’s. He really likes their food. He doesn’t always leave a tip because the service is seldom good.” Classic, right? The difference between Eric and his friends and Milo is that they knew they weren’t creating Great Art. They just wanted to make themselves laugh. Other Militia “hits” include “Goats on the Moon,” “Hulk Smash Puny Humans,” and “Pepe Romero and the Steamy Hot Love Bath.” I could have chosen any one of those for the book, but, in the end, “God Eats at Denny’s” won; it’s always been my favorite.

(Here’s a verrrrrrrrrrry old photo of Eric playing in a different-but-related band in college. You could caption it, “Nick and Milo? No, Eric and Snake!”)

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

 

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: NEW CHARITY BLUE by Camille Griep, Novel Secrets
May 8th, 2016 by Liza Wiemer

NCB Banner

LINKS:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository

ABOUT NEW CHARITY BLUE:New-Charity-Blues Cover

In the wake of a devastating plague, two communities emerge as bastions of survival. One is called the City, and its people scrabble for scraps in the wasteland. The other, New Charity, enjoys the bounty of its hydroelectric dam and refuses City denizens so much as a drop of precious water. When City-dweller Cressyda inherits her father’s ranch within New Charity, she becomes intent on opening the dam to all—no matter the cost.

But when Syd reunites with her old best friend, Casandra, a born seer and religious acolyte, she realizes that her plans could destroy the fragile lives they’ve built in order to survive. What’s more, the strange magic securing the dam’s operations could prove deadly if disturbed. Yet when Syd discovers evidence that her father might have been murdered, she is more determined than ever to exact revenge on New Charity’s corrupt.

Pitted against Cas, as well as her own family, Syd must decide how to secure the survival of both settlements without tipping them over the brink to utter annihilation. In this intense and emotional reimagining of the Trojan War epic, two women clash when loyalty, identity, community, and family are all put to the ultimate test.

NOVEL SECRETS:

Little Bramble House on the PrairieWho R U Blog - Novel Secrets Post Photo

Growing up, our house sat in the hills of eastern Montana, about 15-20 minutes east of “town.” As such, a little girl like me made her own adventures – on foot, on a bicycle, or – most commonly – on horseback. I had big dreams about riding beyond the horizon, loping over the brown velvety hills to see whatever was on the other side – presumably more velvety hills, or a mountain, or a river, or some wild, green, oasis in our northern desert.

My favorite spot was a clubhouse of sorts in the ravine behind the barn. A cluster of mature juniper bushes had grown into one another, forming a two-room shelter. Shaped not unlike a figure eight, the Bramble House, as I named it, is the basis for a setting in New Charity Blues. Troy’s shelter in the ravine, where he takes Cas after the chaotic Goodwill Dinner, is an extension of the dreams I once had for decorating and adorning my secret hideout. I had hoped for furniture and candles, but what remained was a broom like branch I used for clearing the soft needles from the ground so as to keep them from getting inside my peanut butter sandwiches.

At night, I visited my other favorite spot. I would take my Walkman and hike out to a sandstone outcropping that overlooked the lights of the town in the distance. I wanted to be home with my horses but I also wanted to know what was in those lights.

By the time I left for college, the lights had won the battle. I fell in love with Los Angeles – the way the city grew together, the low hum of energy 24-hours-a-day. I loved how orange the light was, the tiny lizards in the bushes, the smell of the eucalyptus trees.

These memories – these strong bonds to the places I came of age – both as a child and as a young woman – begged me to remember them as I wrote about Syd, a woman torn between love for the City and love for the rugged hills of New Charity. Sharing my secret bramble house was the best way I could think to invite readers into the life of those of us who grew up dreaming horses into unicorns, sandstone into thrones, and trees into castles.

Camille Griep

Camille Griep

ABOUT CAMILLE GRIEP:

Camille Griep lives just north of Seattle with her partner, Adam, and their dog Dutch(ess). Born in Billings, Montana, she moved to Southern California to attend Claremont McKenna College, graduating with a dual degree in Biology and Literature.

She wrote her way through corporate careers in marketing, commercial real estate, and financial analysis before taking an extended sabbatical to devote more time to her craft.

She has since sold short fiction and creative nonfiction to dozens of online and print magazines. She is the editor of Easy Street and is a senior editor at The Lascaux Review. She is a 2012 graduate of Viable Paradise, a residential workshop for speculative fiction novelists.

Her first novel, Letters to Zell, was released in July 2015 47North. Look for New Charity Blues in April of 2016.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:

»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa
© Copyright 2012 Liza Wiemer