Friday, July 21, 2017

Blog Tour: The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash Author Q&A!

Hi guys! Today, Candace Ganger is on Brittany's Book Rambles to share the interview I had with her for The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash blog tour! I hope you enjoy it ^_^

The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash: A Novel
By Candace Ganger
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository 
Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together, to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad. And to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy links Birdie and Bash together – yet neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall – hard – the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. Told in alternating perspectives full of the best nerdy banter this side of Ohio, some seriously awesome skate moves, and the promise of a kiss destined to make the world stop turning, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash will break your heart and put it back together again.

CANDACE GANGER is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. Candace—aka—Candyland—has a severe Milky Way latter addiction + eats way too many donuts/doughnuts but all things in excess, amiright? FYI: She’s TOTALLY awkward in person (#sorrynotsorry). She lives in Ohio with her family.
Connect with Candace: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook   

What's your writing process like? Do you have any fun or unique habits?

I’m a perpetual procrastinator when it comes to diving into a book project. Ironically, I also have OCD, and part of my obsessions stem from checking all social media pages a certain number of times between pages. It sounds time-consuming, but it actually helps me stay on task. I also have Food Network playing in the background (any show) and typically sit on my uncomfortable couch as opposed to my nice desk! I’m a complex creature.

What are your favorite and least favorite types of scenes to write?

I love to write the scenes with romantic tension. I want readers to want Birdie and Bash together, but I’m not going to give that to them without making my characters earn their right to be together first. Kind of like life, am I right?

I didn’t love writing the trauma scenes, because the accident is loosely based on true events circa 1979. I wanted to handle them the right way, while fictionalizing them just enough. It’s a delicate balance, but my family’s feelings were all I thought about with those. It’s always been my intent to give them the ending they deserved, but never had.

Who are some writers you'd love to collaborate with?

I’d love to work with Nicola Yoon, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli, Emery Lord, A.S. King, Nova Ren Suma, Jodi Picoult—SO MANY MORE! I’d actually just love to keep working, period. With anyone.

Who is a fictional character that you relate to the most, and why?

While a totally common answer, I think Hermoine Granger so closely resembles some bigger pieces of me with her immense fear of failure and deep insecurities. Though, I wasn’t constantly brimming with knowledge to the annoyance of my friends (I wish I had been!). I’m also slightly a Katniss Everdeen, in that I’ll do whatever I have to, to protect those I love. There’s many strong female characters I relate to for different reasons because they’re all different parts of me.

What inspired you to write this book?

The central tragedy, as I mentioned, is something I knew I had to write about because I always felt my family deserved a better ending than the one they got. I hope, in some way, I could give them that through these characters and their stories.

Do you have any favorite fictional couples/OTPs, and what about them makes you love them so much?

Is it weird that I don’t have any absolute favorites? I’m particular about my fictional romances, because I’m so hesitant about love in the first place (aka Birdie). In fact, Birdie & Bash originally had a different ending altogether because of this!

If you could describe THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH in five words, what would they be?

Collision, Lies, Loss, Heartbreak, Hope.

What are you working on now? Can you share any details about your upcoming project(s)?

I’m working on a second YA contemporary for St. Martin’s (Wednesday Books), titled FALLEN LOVED ONES AWAITING TRANSFER (#FLOAT) about a girl dealing with the death of her father who was killed in combat, overseas. This one is really close to my heart, as my main character, Naima, is on a painful journey of healing—much like the one I’ve been on since learning of my father death from cancer in 2004. I’ll have more details on this soon enough.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Batman: Nightwalker & Ice Wolves

My TBR list is always growing and I thought it would be fun to share my anticipation for those books with all of you. This is not my own original meme; it belongs to Breaking the Spine. It specifically spotlights upcoming releases. As it implies in the title, I'll be posting this meme on Wednesdays. Please feel free to comment and let me know what books you guys are waiting on as well!

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date:  January 2nd, 2018
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Out of all the DC icons books, Batman is the one I was looking forward to the most. I love Marie Lu and I really believe that she is the perfect author for this story.

Also, how awesome is it that the villain is a woman? I can't wait for all the brooding intensity that's bound to be in this book.

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.
Connect with Marie: Tumblr | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

Ice Wolves (Elementals #1) by Amie Kaufman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub. Date:  March 27th, 2018
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he has to question whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Anders knows that Rayna is his best and only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

To learn what he needs to rescue her, Anders will have to enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than blind obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shape-shifting force of all.

New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman delivers heart-pounding adventure and breathtaking magical inventions in this unforgettable story about finding one’s place in a sharply divided world.

First of all, it's Amie Kaufman. Secondly, there are dragons

Also, I haven't picked up a middle-grade novel in ages and this one sounds delightful, magical, and intriguing, so obviously, I need to read it xD

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.
Connect with Amie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

Are these two 2018 novels on your TBR? Or is this the first time you're hearing about them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Defiant & The Wicked Deep

My TBR list is always growing and I thought it would be fun to share my anticipation for those books with all of you. This is not my own original meme; it belongs to Breaking the Spine. It specifically spotlights upcoming releases. As it implies in the title, I'll be posting this meme on Wednesdays. Please feel free to comment and let me know what books you guys are waiting on as well!

The Defiant (The Valiant #2) by Lesley Livingston
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date:  February 13th, 2018
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 
Be brave, gladiatrix… And be wary. Once you win Caesar’s love, you’ll earn his enemies’ hate.

Fallon was warned.

Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.

In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart – and her love for Roman soldier Cai – but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.

When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors.

The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.

I love The Valiant, it's definitely one of my favorites of 2017. Everything about this book is fantastic, and when I found out there was going to be a sequel, this was me: 

And there will be Amazon warriors in The Defiant?

Lesley Livingston is the author of Once Every Never, winner of the inaugural Copper Cylinder Award and shortlisted for the CLA Young Adult Book Award and the BC Stellar Book Award. She is also the author of the Wondrous Strange and Starling trilogies. She lives in Toronto. 
Connect with Lesley: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date:  March 6th, 2018
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge—and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

"Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials"

Seriously, this book is like . . .

Why is 2018 so far away? *sobs*

Shea Ernshaw is an Oregon native and YA author. She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes. She drinks loads of tea and believes sunrises are where unicorns hide.

She lives with her two cats, a dog, a husband, and a stack of books beside her bed she still needs to read.

Her debut THE WICKED DEEP will be published by Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse in 2018.
Connect with Shea: Website | Twitter | Pinterest

Are these two 2018 releases on your TBR? Or is this the first time you're hearing about them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Inspiration Behind First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

Hey guys, the review tour for Alexandra Sirowy's First We Were IV has begun! Yesterday, Evie Seo shared her awesome tote design that is part of the giveaway for this tour, and her wonderful review. Today, Alexandra is on the blog and sharing her inspiration behind First We Were IV. Be sure to check out all of the fun posts on this tour along with our outstanding giveaway!

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades getrecognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.
Alexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker Award® Nominated THE TELLING, and the upcoming FIRST WE WERE IV. Alexandra attended a women's college as an undergrad and received her graduate degree in International Studies. When she isn't writing, she loves to travel, read, eat, and get into mischief. She lives with her husband in Northern California.
Connect with Alexandra: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest
Inspiration Behind First We Were IV
by Alexandra Sirowy

FIRST WE WERE IV is the story of four best friends who invent a secret society and try to use it to get justice for an unsolved murder in their town, until justice turns to revenge, secrets unravel, others want in, a rebellion is sparked, and the secret society gets beyond out of control, ultimately costing one of the friends their life.

Opening with the arrival of the police, evidence of an accident or murder, witnesses with conflicting accounts, and the statement “First we were four. Now we are three,” the story jumps back to relate how the secret society took on a life of its own, leaving the mystery of what happens to one of them (and to which one) to pull you through the book.

The inspiration for writing FIRST WE WERE IV occurred to me gradually and then all at once. Here’s how it started almost ten years ago.

Back when I was an undergrad in college, I came across this blurry black and white photo of girls surrounding a lake, lighting paper boats on fire, and sailing them out to burn. The photo was from decades before, and it was captioned Midnight Lake Ritual. From the instant I saw it, I had questions. Ritual of what? Was this an all-girls secret society on campus and did it still exist? Secret societies wormed their way into my consciousness, where they waited for the other pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.

A few years later, I was at an outdoor market in Vietnam where I found this little wooden statue – the carving of a woman, hawkish nose, eight inches tall, eyes closed, mischievous smile, and palms tented. She’s wearing a long cloak engraved with stars and there’s a big half-sun or starburst arching over her head. A crescent moon on its back is at her base, along with a few words scratched in Latin.

The woman selling her didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Vietnamese, so I couldn’t ask where the statue came from. Her origins are a mystery. I brought her home with me and she sat on my desk for a couple of years, smiling this dangerous smile, daring me to tell her story. In FWWIV, Graham’s mom brings home a similar mysterious idol for him. She is the inciting spark for Izzie, Graham, Viv, and Harry inventing a secret society – and she was my initial spark for writing FWWIV.

The next bit came when I was scanning an entertainment blog. A short post about celebrity kids using crystals to start their own religion snagged my attention. I couldn’t get the image out of my head: a few teenagers in the hills behind their Los Angeles homes, inventing something big and bonding over shared secrets.

The last bit snapped the others into place. My dad grew up on a farm in Iowa, and on the farm is a giant rock smack in the middle of a corn field. My sister and I visited and we stood in front of the rock – tall as a house, flat as a stage – and we talked about all the games we would have played growing up if we’d had a rock like that in our backyard. But then, one of us said, “I bet someone died up there a really long time ago.” And the other said, “I bet someone was sacrificed on top.” Yep, sisters in morbid imagination.

When I got home, FIRST WE WERE IV wasn’t just a collection of ideas, it was a book. It just needed to be written.

Week 1
July 10: Bookish Lifestyles - Tote Design + Review
July 11: Brittany's Book Rambles - Guest Post
July 12: Emily Reads Everything - Review
July 13 Biscotto's Books - Moodboard
July 14: Forever Lost in Literature - Review

Week 2
July 17: My Friends Are Fiction - Guest Post
July 18: Literary Legionnaire - Review
July 19: The Reader and the Chef - Review
July 20: Novel Novice - Guest Post 
July 21: Dark Faerie Tales - Interview

Week 3
July 24: YA and Wine - Review + Guest Post
July 25: YA Book Central - Spotlight
July 26: Tales of the Ravenous Reader - Review 
July 27: A Perfection Called Books - Guest Post

FTC disclaimer: US entires only. No purchase necessary to enter, giveaway items provided by Alexandra Sirowy.

One winner from the US will win the following:

-1 signed hard cover copy of FIRST WE WERE IV
-Fujuifilm instax mini 9 Polaroid camera in smoky white (& film) like the one in the book!
-Strand of gold stars
-FIRST WE WERE IV swag (temporary tattoos & bookmarks)
-Evie Seo designed tote bag

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: July 18th, 2017
Pre-Order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 
Enter the gates of Witchtown to find a mischievous coming-of-age story for fans of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic and the Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series.

When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth.

But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye.

Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown.

Secrets have their own power.
Cory Putman Oakes was born in Basel, Switzerland, but grew up in Novato, California and attended Marin Catholic High School. She then spent three fantastic years at the University of California at Los Angeles before graduating in 2001 with a B.A. in Psychology. In 2004, Cory graduated from Cornell Law School with a Juris Doctorate Degree and her husband, Mark (the first was the intended consequence of attending the school, the second was a bonus). Since then, she has been an associate at a big law firm, taught business law to undergraduates at Texas State University and written several books for young people.

Cory now lives in Austin, Texas with Mark and their two kids. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys reading, cooking, running, and hanging out with her family and pets.
Connect with Cory: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Where did you get the inspiration for WITCHTOWN?

A lot of different places! Once I got the initial idea to write a book about witches who live in a witch-only town, and once I decided that my main character was going to be a reluctant thief, I suddenly had a whole lot of things to research; witchcraft, herbs, lock picks, raw veganism, town municipal codes – there was so much I needed to learn! I know that some people question the need for doing tons of research in fiction, but I really feel like every piece of knowledge I picked up along the way enriched the book, even if it wasn’t in a super obvious way. My family and I kept the pagan calendar for a year (we celebrated the solstices and the equinoxes); I went raw vegan for a week (I documented it on my blog if you’re interested – it was quite a week!); I started hanging out in my local herb shop a lot; I did a lot of reading and spoke to truly wonderful, generous people about their beliefs and practices; I did a lot of suspicious Google searches like “how to break into a building” “how to bump a lock,”; and I did a lot of baking and consulted with a wonderful pagan food blogger so I’d have firsthand knowledge of the kind of treats the Witchtown bakery would have. It was all very fun and interesting and hopefully it helped to make the town in the book feel more real.

What are some of your favorite witchy books or movies?

I’m a big fantasy nerd and I love any story with magic in it. THE WITCHES (by Roald Dahl) was one of my favorite books growing up, and I love PRACTICAL MAGIC (by Alice Hoffman). What I love about books with witches in them is that they are often contemporary stories with magical flair – the idea that there is something secret and magical going on beneath the surface of ordinary life is really intriguing to me.

If you could collaborate with any author (living or dead) who would it be, and why?

Ohhhhh this one is hard. I guess if I have to pick one, it would be Tamora Pierce. I’ve been a huge fan of her books ever since I was assigned to read Alanna: The First Adventure in sixth grade. Hers were the first books I ever read that made me want to look past the finished book itself and wonder about the actual writing process. They were the first books that made me ask questions like, “why was this character introduced here, and not there?” “why is there a chapter break here?” and “why is this scene important to this particular character?” Her books are so awesome that they inspired me to want to figure out how to write something awesome of my own. Being able to see her process up close and personal would be amazing!

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits or rituals?

I get very superstitious about my writing locations. If I have a good writing day somewhere, I feel like I have to go back there and write again the next day or the spell will be broken and I’ll lose my writing mojo. So once I get on a good roll I’ll go back to the same coffee shop (or the same chair at the my kitchen table) day after day.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world for free for writing inspiration, where would you go and why?

Ohhhhh that’s hard! Wait, no it’s not! London. I love London. I have a lot of wonderful memories there and I find it very inspirational.

What are your favorite types of scenes to write? What are your favorite types of scenes to read?

I love when I’m reading a book and I come across a scene that I wouldn’t have thought possible based on the beginning of the book. Like, when a character is doing something that they never in a million years would have done in Chapter 1. Or two characters have gotten connected in a way that seemed unlikely but now, suddenly, works. That’s when I really feel like I’ve been drawn into a story and like I’ve really been on a journey with the characters (as opposed to just watching from a distance and seeing how things play out). These are also my favorite types of scenes to write.

What are some 2018 books that you're excited for?

Man, I’m so behind on my 2017 reading list that at this point, I may never even get to 2018! But there are a few series I’m looking forward to continuing in 2018 - the 7th THRONE OF GLASS Book (Sarah J. Maas); the 3rd THE EMBER IN THE ASHES book (Sabaa Tahir); the third book of THE GLITTERING COURT (Richelle Mead). I’m psyched for Tamora’s Pierce’s new series which starts with TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER. And I’m particularly looking forward to HOW TO END A DATE (Cynthia Leitich Smith); THE PARKER INHERITANCE (Varian Johnson); THE CAMELOT CODE – THE ONCE AND FUTURE GEEK (Mari Mancusi); WAKE (Samantha M. Clark) - oh there’s just too many great books and not enough time!

Can you tell us anything about your future projects and writing plans? What are you working on currently?
I don’t like to jinx myself by talking about things before they’re published, but right now I’m working on another YA and another MG – I’m super excited about both of them! Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more about them soon!

Week One:
7/10/2017- Brittany's Book Rambles - Interview
7/11/2017- Book Briefs - Review
7/12/2017- Always Me - Guest Post
7/13/2017- The Blonde Bookworm - Review
7/14/2017- YA and Wine - Interview

Week Two:
7/17/2017- Savings in Seconds - Review
7/18/2017- Wandering Bark Books - Guest Post
7/19/2017- Eli to the nth - Review
7/20/2017- Don't Judge, Read - Review
7/21/2017- YA Book Madness - Interview

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