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A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
LINKS: Amazon | B&N
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This NOVEL! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! My acrostic poem below.
GAH! I loved it. It’s definitely one of my top reads of 2016! Thank you so much to the publisher for providing an ARC
Humans, humanoids and
It’ll hold your
Blow you away with fascinating characters and
Open up a universe filled with betrayal, murder,
Love, danger, humanity and
Cheers, S.J. Kincaid!
Note from Liza: I LOVE THIS! Yes, you know I read The Diabolic, so I totally get it! I wouldn’t want to imagine this male main character any other way! Read on…
A SECRET OF THE DIABOLIC:
My male main character went through several iterations. In the very first, seen-only-by-me draft, he was unquestionably a bad dude. A bad dude who quite enjoyed the main character, but he did bad stuff. He manipulated, he engineered an innocent person’s death without blinking, and there is a great crime in the book which he originally did.
But I never liked that. Never. And I wanted this to be a full stand-alone story arc and I couldn’t really end it on the note I was ending it on. I knew the ending I really wanted to write, so I decided to scale back the bad dude part, and maybe make him more of a manipulative, ambiguous product of his upbringing. That’s what I did originally, and even then, I scaled it back a bit more after my first reader (my sister) noted that a particular part seemed a bit sociopathic.
Then after the book was acquired, a few other things the character did were questioned as particularly douchey and wrong. I balked at first at the idea of removing these, because I knew as soon as I did, I had to reconceived of this character on a rather fundamental level. it meant seeing him through a new lens in my own mind, and then incorporating that in the text.
But I did it, and I’m really glad I did, because it gave me a new vision of the character that I feel better about… And surprisingly, some people still pick up on a few of those undertones I thought I’d removed.
You will have to read it to see who I am talking about.
(Okay, it’s Tyrus).
S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.
LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram
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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Mention blood, and I get woozy. Mention needles, and there is a chance I’ll need to get horizontal before I pass out. But for some glorious reason, I wasn’t bothered one bit from all the blood and gore and even needles mentioned in THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. As a matter of fact, I became completely wrapped up in listening to this audiobook that I decided to take a long afternoon drive to enjoy the fall colors in the country and listen to the novel. After I returned home, I dragged an old CD boom-box in from the garage just to finish listening to it while I cooked dinner, and then folded laundry.
I freakin’ loved a novel about VAMPIRES!
Listening to a novel is most definitely a different experience than reading it. Christine Lakin’s performance took Holly Black’s rich, detailed, vibrant story and brought these characters to life. The key to this book is buying into the fact that vampires are real. (Yes, I know they are not real.) They’re out there and if you’re bitten, then you’ll be infected. Once infected, the only way to not turn into a vampire is isolation for eighty-eight days. There is a near unquenchable thirst for human blood and if the infected give in to that thirst, they’ll turn into vampires.
The story opens with Tana waking up in a bathtub at a farmhouse where she attended a party. Soon, she discovers that almost all of her friends were massacred by bloodthirsty vampires. She finds her ex-boyfriend Aiden still alive, but infected, tied up in a bedroom. Across the room is Gavriel, a vampire in chains. Tana decides to rescue them both.
Tana’s journey with Aiden and Gavriel is absolutely fascinating, dangerous, and unapologetically violent, but not over-the-top scary. THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN will make readers think about the power of TV and the Internet and how some sensationalize and embrace the underworld. Vampires were revered by some in a sick, fascinating, cultish way. YA blogged about them, emulated them, wanted to become them. With this desire, the reality and fantasy were too different worlds and Holly Black did an exceptional job of showing the two.
Tana is a heroine of heroines. She’s imperfect, struggles with her own demons, loves those who may not deserve it and goes to extraordinary lengths to protect the people she cares about. Sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes she doesn’t.
THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN was my surprise read of the year. I never expected to love it. I did! I never expected that it would make my “top reads list for 2013.” But it did.
Thank you so much, Holly for writing such an unexpected and gripping vampire novel!! And thank you Christine Lakin for a captivating performance that brought Holly’s characters to life.
View all my reviews
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Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
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BJORN’S GIFT is a sequel to Odin’s Promise, which was awarded the 2014 Midwest Book Award for Children’s Fiction. Set in Norway during World War II, Bjorn’s Gift continues the adventures of Mari, a young Norwegian girl who faces growing hardships and dangers in her small village in a western fjord. German occupation troops and local Nazi supporters move closer to her family’s daily life, and her classmate Leif becomes active in the Norwegian Nazi youth party. Mari struggles to live up to her brother Bjorn’s faith in her, as she becomes more involved in risky resistance activities, trusting only her family and a few close friends. Across Norway, oppressive laws are imposed in the months from Fall 1941 to early 1943, with dire local consequences. Difficult decisions force Mari to admit that many things in life are not easily sorted into good or bad, and she begins to wonder if Hitler will ever be defeated and . . . whether the occupation of Norway will ever end.
In the earliest pages of the original novel, ODIN’S PROMISE, eleven-year-old Mari became aware that the German occupation/invasion of Norway resulted in countless secrets. Kathleen Spale’s beautiful cover art for BJORN’S GIFT shows Mari using an attic space to put some of those secrets and worries on paper. Revealing more would require a spoiler alert, so instead I’ll share a story of my own about secrets in attic spaces.
I grew up in a three-story Tudor-style home. The staircase to that top level had a landing. There you could turn right and continue up a few steps to my brother’s bedroom, or turn left, facing a door. Behind that door was a storage space, always filled to bursting with the seasonal detritus of a large family. On one wall was a raised half-door we were told never to open or enter.
The reason wasn’t as sinister as that sounds. Behind the door was a small crawlspace with a plywood floor and beams only a few feet overhead, stuffed with pink insulation. I vividly remember being warned NOT to go into that space, that fiberglass was dangerous.
For most of the year the heat and prickly sensations that cramped space produced made rule-following easy. But winter weather, with its covered-up clothing, brought an instinct for hibernation. I’d lean against a wall, tug on the string attached to a low-watt bulb, and settle in to read, in private.
No, in secret.
But secrets can be dangerous.
On a weekend after Thanksgiving Mom and Dad took us kids to shop for winter coats. We each had the luxury of choosing our preferred styles, then learned the hard truth: the coats wouldn’t come home with us. Instead Mom had recorded all the details for us to include in our letters to Santa Claus.
One Saturday afternoon between that shopping trip and Christmas Eve I opened that little half-door to read for an hour or two. My tug on the light string showed that my space filled with bags and boxes.
Come on, now, you know what I did.
I looked inside.
Box after box revealed the exact coats we had selected. I stopped then, immediately certain that I didn’t want to see any more.
Christmas morning we found, as usual, that Santa had provided what Mom and Dad couldn’t afford. For the sake of my younger sister I didn’t say anything about my discovery, to her or to my parents. Instead, I scoured the faces of my older brother and sister, certain that they knew the truth, even while we stood in that store. They feigned surprise and excitement. They had written and mailed their own letters to Santa, including coat details. What other secrets were they keeping from me?
The stakes for me were drastically different from Mari’s, and yet I’m convinced that the confusion and distress I felt were similar to her reactions.
Who can you trust? Why so many secrets? What is the truth?
Sandy Brehl grew up in Ohio and has lived in Wisconsin for many years. As a longtime educator. Since retiring a few years ago she reads, writes and conducts literacy workshops for professionals. She’s been writing picture book text, poetry, professional articles, and longer works for years. She credits joining SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) after retiring as a major factor in developing her debut middle grade novel and this trilogy. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys gardening, art, and travel.
Twitter: @SandyBrehl and @PBWorkshop | Facebook | Goodreads
Also blogs about picture books for all ages at
and shares a blog about middle grade historical books with three other authors:
September 1– Interview with Todd Burleson at http://groggorg.blogspot.com
Launch book giveaway raffle at
September 7 Review: Stephanie Lowden at golowd
September 11 Guest post Unleashing Readers at http://www.unleashingreaders.com
September 14 Review by Erik at This Kid Reviews Books, https://thiskidreviewsbooks.com
September 19` Review, Suzanne Warr, at Tales from the Raven: http://suzannewarr.com
September 20 Olivia and Oscar- review of ODIN’S PROMISE at Kid Book Reviewer: http://www.kidbookreviewer.com
September 27 Olivia and Oscar- review of BJORN’S GIFT at Kid Book Reviewer: http://www.kidbookreviewer.com (reminder- giveaway ends Sept. 30.
September 29 Alex Baugh review at Children’s War https://thechildrenswar.blogspot.com
October 3 Jenni Enzor MMGM with review and interview http://jennienzor.blogspot.com
October 5 MomReadIt- review https://momreadit.wordpress.com
October 7 Trisha Perry Mindjacked https://momreadit.wordpress.com
October 11 Guest post Rochelle Melander http://writenowcoach.com/blog/
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
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.
Illusion by Martina Boone
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!!!!
ABOUT THE LOST AND THE FOUND:
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Roo-all. The ‘d’ is silent.
Roald loved making a treat that he learned about from his own mother. He would take a banana and mash it up with a few drops of olive oil. The olive oil heightens the flavor of the banana and turns it into a delicious syrupy paste.
When he was first flying in Africa, Roald Dahl wrote to his mother telling her how lucky he felt to be flying. But Roald Dahl nearly lost his life when his plane crashed in the Libyan desert and burst into flames. He managed to drag himself out before the plane blew up and he sustained a fractured skull and temporary blindness.
When his children were falling asleep, Roald Dahl would climb up the ladder and stand next to their windows. Then, he’d push a bamboo cane through and act as the BFG, the Big Friendly Giant.
After dinner, guests were offered a red plastic box made up of all Roald Dahl’s favorite candies: Twix, Kit Kats, Rolos, Smarties, Flakes, and Maltesers
In an essay for ROALD DAHL’S COOKBOOK, Roald Dahl wrote a history of the great chocolate bars, waxing lyrical about the “seven miraculous years” between 1930 and 1937 when the greatest chocolates—including Mars, Kit Kat, Aero, Maltesers, Rolo and Smarties—were invented.
The beloved brown and white Jack Russell Terrier was fed oysters, caviar, Smarties, and sometimes dog food. Chopper was the last dog that Roald Dahl owned and the pair even appeared on TV together. Chopper lived to the ripe old age of sixteen.
In 1960, the carriage carrying Roald Dahl’s son, Theo (just four months old) was hit by a cab on the corner of a New York street and crushed against the side of a bus. Theo underwent several operations to drain fluid from his head. However, the valve used to drain the fluid kept blocking and clogging. With Theo’s life at stake, Roald joined forces with Stanley Wade (a toymaker, who specialized in model aeroplane engines) and Kenneth Till (a pioneering pediatric neurosurgeon). Together, they created the Dahl-Wade-Till valve, which not only saved Theo’s life, but also those of almost three thousand children affected by similar conditions worldwide.
Roald Dahl mixed amazing bedtime drinks for his children and called them “witches potions.” They contained ingredients such as canned peaches blended with milk and pink, blue or green food coloring.
He loved to go out early in the morning with his dog Chopper for company, to gather mushrooms hidden in the local field.
When he was in school, Roald was considered a terrible writer by his teachers. One teacher described Roald as being “quite incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper.” Later, when he wrote a story for his daughter Lucy to hand in as part of her English homework, the paper received a “C–you could do better.”
For more fun facts about Roald Dahl check out:
D is for Dahl: A gloriumptious A-Z guide to the world of Roald Dahl Compiled by Wendy Cooling; Illustrations by Quentin Blake
Puffin Books; $5.99; Available now!
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. In 1951, Roald Dahl met his future wife, the American actress Patricia Neal, who starred in films including The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Hud, for which she won an Oscar. After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 and wrote two of his best-known novels, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the U.S.
In September 1964, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published initially in the U.S. with the U.K. following a few years later. It would go on to become one of the most famous and best-known of Roald’s stories. The idea for the story grew out of his own well-documented love of chocolate and his school-day memories of acting as a taster for a famous chocolate factory. These first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and have sold more than 200 million books. With more than 40 million Roald Dahl books in print in the U.S. alone, Dahl is considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time and his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
Entitled Roald Dahl 100, 2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl—the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.
Roald Dahl said, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
The Roald Dahl Literary Estate believes in doing good things. That’s why ten percent of all Roald Dahl income* goes to our charity partners. We have supported causes including: specialist children’s nurses, grants for families in need, and educational outreach programs.
The Roald Dahl Charitable Trust is a registered UK charity (no. 1119330).
* All author payments and royalty income net of third party commissions.
A percentage of proceeds from some of the Roald Dahl 100 events planned for this September will be donated to Partners in Health, a charity co-founded by Ophelia Dahl, Roald Dahl’s daughter. Partners in Health works in partnership with local governments and health providers to bring high-quality health care to poor communities in ten countries.
PIH believes that health is a human right and that a person’s ability to pay for treatment should not determine their access to health care. For nearly 30 years, PIH has shaped discourse among global health policymakers and proven what is possible in making health care accessible to all people.
PIH trains local health workers, nurses, and doctors in order to raise the standard of care for poor people. In partnership with the world’s leading medical and academic institutions, PIH aims to build workforces of local health professionals to strengthen and sustain public health systems.
Our achievements are based on our philosophy of accompaniment. To us this means working beside and learning from people in the countries where we work. We share experiences and goals, partnering to bring care where it is needed most.
For more information, visit www.pih.org.
Penguin Young Readers
Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Viking, Razorbill, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Ally Condie, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, Gayle Forman John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, B.J. Novak, Richard Peck, Judy Schachner, Jacqueline Woodson and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi Longstocking, among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House company.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
This series? Um, then I’m for sure going to have to say Charlie. Reason … have you met Deacon? 😉 That’s what I thought.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That it’s always worth it to write what you believe in, over what you think everyone else will want.
Author 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.
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Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way.
So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with).
As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year.
Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.
A huge number of things were taken from my real life as a sixteen and seventeen year old for How to Make Out. The thoughts Renley has during her first kiss in the novel are an EXACT transcript of mine during my first shocker of a French kiss (odd gum flavor choice included), the bikini wax scene was indeed inspired by real-life events, and Drew’s car is my friend Jeremy’s, from high school. Man was that thing a death machine.
Brianna Shrum is the author of NEVER NEVER and lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and two uber-hyper, superhero-obsessed little boys. She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. She’d totally love to connect with you, so you can find her online at briannashrum.com or saying ridiculous things on Twitter @briannashrum.