Saturday, April 30, 2016

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Suffer Love
by Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Hadley St. Clair's life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.

Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably "feels like home" to Hadley. Hadley and Sam's connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.

Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.

Suffer Love tackles some heavy topics involving child-parent relationships, adultery, and the subsequent consequences of it on a family. What inspired you to write about these serious issues? 

A: When I first got the idea for the book, I had this picture in my mind of a boy sitting in a classroom. A girl walked in—a girl he shouldn’t know, but does—and he immediately knew he was in for some serious trouble. From that point, Hadley and Sam’s story grew. I knew their parents had an unfathomable connection and I wanted to explore what might happen when one tells a lie with good intentions. Most of the stories I’ve written so far have to do with teens dealing with pretty heavy family matters and I think that’s just something that fascinates me. My parents divorced when I was sixteen and while both of them loved me and I never doubted my place in my family, I’m still unpacking a lot of who I am because of my family and upbringing as a kid and teen—both the wonderful and the more difficult experiences.

Your book is written from both Hadley and Sam's perspectives. What was it like to write from both male and female POVs, and did you have to do anything special to get "in-character" before switching between them?

A: When I first started the book, I did not want to write the book dual POV. I fought it, because it terrified me, to be honest. I’m a big believer that one should only write dual or multi POV if it is absolutely crucial for the story and only if the voices are very distinct. I doubted I could do that. But after I finished Hadley’s first chapter, I knew I needed Sam’s perspective—the story wouldn’t be complete without it. I decided to try it out and just see what happened. Well, what happened was Sam’s voice came so easily. He literally wrote himself and I totally adored him. Because his voice was so clear and distinct to me, it was pretty easy to switch between him and Hadley while drafting.

What are some of your personal favorite scenes or quotes from Suffer Love, and why?

A: My favorite scene is the cupcake scene, hands down. I love how fun and lighthearted it is, but still tinged with some of the sadness and angst both Sam and Hadley are dealing with. And, you know, kissing. There are so many sentences that I really love throughout the book, but one of my favorites is this, “In Romeo and Juliet, stars didn’t cross. They collided.” I just love that because I think it really captures what Sam is feeling at that moment.

What are some things that would make you automatically DNF a book? Do you have any book-related pet peeves? (ex: love-triangles, romanticized villains, etc)

A: I have a very hard time DNFing a book. Once I start, it’s almost like a personal challenge to persevere. That being said, there are so many books out there and I want to read a ton of them, so lately, I’ve given myself permission to not finish a book if that’s what I need to do. Time is precious, after all. I think the number one thing that makes me DNF is simply not caring. I can persevere through anything—even less than alluring prose—if I care about the character. I don’t have many peeves, because I think even the most common tropes can be done well. As the saying goes, anything works if it works. That being said, probably my least favorite trope is the girl with the hidden power or the prince in disguise. But again, if it works, it works.

When you read for pleasure, what genres do you normally find yourself reaching for? And furthermore, do you have any favorite books that you find yourself wanting to re-read?

A: My favorite genre to read is my own—realistic contemporary. I am an absolute sucker for YA romance that is both light and heavy all at once. Books by Corey Ann Haydu, Katie Cotugno, Sarah Ockler, Melina Marchetta, and Jandy Nelson are some of my favorites. I’m not a huge rereader, because I have so many books that I haven’t read, but one that I do feel like rereading often is Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere. And, of course, Harry Potter.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Ashley Herring Blake is a poet, teacher, and YA novelist. Her debut novel, SUFFER LOVE, follows two teens as they attempt to wade through an intense relationship complicated by their parents' infidelities. Ashley lives in Nashville, TN.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Night Speed by Chris Howard Blog Tour: Interview

Night Speed by Chris Howard
Paperback ARC, 410 pages.
Published by Katherine Tegan Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound | iBooks
Only those young enough can survive the pulse-pounding rush of tetra, a dangerous and addictive new drug that fuels a nine-minute burst of superhuman strength and speed. Alana West has been trained to use the drug so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power—criminals like the breakneck who nearly killed her kid brother.

On tetra, Alana is unstoppable. The rush makes her an explosive blur as she surges through New York City, battling to bring down breaknecks before they leave more people dead or injured in their wake. But with the clock ticking down to her eighteenth birthday, Alana will soon be too old for the rush...when just one more dose will prove deadly.

Supported only by her strong and steady handler, Tucker, Alana goes undercover, infiltrating an elite gang of breaknecks to stop the supply of their drug. But when Alana gets trapped on the wrong side of the law, she learns the breaknecks are not quite what they seem—especially Ethan, the artistic boy whose bottomless brown eyes seem to see the truth inside her. With her own dependency on tetra increasing, Alana must decide where her loyalties lie before the rush ends. Forever.

Chris Howard was born and raised in England, and it was there he first began writing stories and songs. He now lives in Denver, Colorado, where he and his wife enjoy mountains, music, and mugs of good coffee. Chris is also the author of the Rootless trilogy. Connect with him online at
Connect with Chris: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

Are you a planner or a pantser?

Chris: I go on instinct for the beginning, then make a plan for the end, and then I see what happens in-between :)

Which of your characters do you relate to the most, and why? 

Chris: My protagonists! I love to write in the first=person so they really get in my head… or I get in theirs?!

What is your favorite non-spoilery quote or scene from your book and why?

Chris: I love the last line the most… I won’t spoil it here, but it speaks best to what I think the book is really about.

How much, and what kind of research did you have to do in order to write Night Speed?

Chris: I wanted to make sure the geography of NYC stayed close to how it is in the real world - which is hard when your characters are navigating the city streets at super-speed!

Are there any particular scenes that were removed during the revising and editing process that you wish had made it to the final version of the book?

Chris: Early on I had a scene that took the characters underwater… Superhuman strength and speed… underwater! Yeah! It was awesome! But it didn’t serve the story, so I cut it out. Spoiler alert - there is no underwater scene in this book!

What was the most challenging part of writing Night Speed?

Chris: See my answer to #4!! :)

Do you have any unconventional writing habits?

Chris: I like to work at my treadmill desk, which I guess is a little unconventional. When drafting some of the chase scenes for NIGHT SPEED I would crank the speed up and get that feeling my characters have when they’re so fast, they’re barely hanging on.

What would make you automatically stop reading a book?

Chris: If I was sure I wasn’t going to connect to the characters and their story.

What is your most memorable moment as an author?

Chris: My favorite moments have all been during the writing process itself. I love creating and communicating and I get lost in my work :)

What is the one thing you’d like your readers to take away from Night Speed?

Chris: Peace begins within.

Week 1

4/25: Pageturners Blog – Playlist
4/26: Ex Libris – Review
4/27: The Reader Bee – Review
4/28: Icey Books – Review
4/29: Brittany’s Book Rambles: Review and Q&A

Week 2

5/2: Cuddlebuggery – Review
5/3: Sci Fi Chick – Author Guest Post
5/4: Forever Young Adult – Review
5/5: The Irish Banana – "Alana West's French Press Coffee Brewing Tips"
5/6: Novel Novice – Flash Q&A

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brittany: I hope that you guys enjoyed this interview! If you need more convincing to read Night Speed, check out my review HERE.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Replica by Lauren Oliver

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!

Two girls, two stories, one epic novel.

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book” that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.

Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork. 

The format of this book is especially intriguing! When it comes to Lauren Oliver, I know the writing of her book will be whimsical and beautiful. I truly love her Delirium trilogy, the first of the trilogy being one of my favorite books. 

I have never read a book where you can flip it over and be reading from a different POV, so I'm really excited! 

Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.

She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.
Connect with Lauren: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads | Youtube

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey Blog Tour!

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey 
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

Could you tell us why you wanted to write about London in the nineteenth century? Did you always know that Love, Lies and Spies was going to be set there?

Cindy: I am fascinated by the 19th century; in England it opened as a rural based society where travel involved long (uncomfortable) coach rides and it closed as an urban centered society, zipping from one part of the country to the other via the train. It was an amazing transformation.

I knew the type and tone of the book I wished to write before the plot waved and did a little dance to get my attention (the quadrille). I like exploring the contradiction between a character’s thoughts and his or her behavior; the traditional Regency romance —the comedy of manners type—is a perfect vehicle to do just that.

What kind of research did you have to do for Love, Lies and Spies?

Cindy: I bought countless books and spent many hours in the library concentrating on social and cultural history of the Regency period. I also read the fiction of the time—Jane Austen, of course, but also Ann Radcliffe etal. Touring various country manors and museums in the UK was also extremely helpful. Only a fraction of what I have learned made into the book.

What material possession could you not live without? 

Cindy: When you move across oceans, everything you possess is placed in a container to be shipped; you say goodbye… hoping to see it on the other side. As a result, I have come to realize that I can replace or do without almost everything I own—except photos; they are irreplaceable.

Which of your characters do you most identify with, and why?

Cindy: Probably Juliana. I was quite accident prone when I was her age; I didn’t actively write her that way, it just… well, happened.

Are any of your characters based on real people?

Cindy: No, not really. Though I have instilled my characters with a lot of what I have observed and experienced—and not always intentionally.

What is your favorite non-spoilery line from your book?

Cindy: “I shall be considered completely beyond the pale if I am dashed upon the rocks. Aunt will be so uncomfortable. Most inconsiderate of me.”

Were there any scenes cut from your book during the editing process that you wish had made it to the final product? 

Cindy: There was one scene in which Juliana fainted. I had fun writing in a completely incoherent manner… but since the lead up was changed and Juliana no longer fainted, I had to paste that scene into my ‘obsolete’ file.

Do you have any habits or rituals that you have or need to do when you’re writing? (Such as always needing chocolate on hand, or needing to listen to music, etc...)

Cindy: I would love to say something truly odd. Perhaps, I have to turn around twice before sitting, or place my coffee perfectly in line with my mouse or pens, or listen jazz for 30 minutes and then switch to classical. Sigh. No rituals…unless the need to have a coffee before I sit down counts.

What would make you automatically stop reading a book?

Cindy: There are a few things that would do the trick: inaccurate language (modern idioms in a historical novel) and inconsistencies but my ultimate bug is the overuse of coincidences. Bam! I’ll pitch the book across the room.

A lot of aspiring authors have trouble telling others they have to write at that moment  (instead of later) when friends or family want them to do other activities. Have you ever had this problem? If so, could you tell us how you protect your writing time, or maybe give some advice to writers on the topic?

Cindy: I am very fortunate; I have always had a separate space in which to write. Merely closing the door usually did/does the trick. I work set hours—taking breaks to check in with everyone. Naturally, I have to allow for occasional interruptions but then I refocus and get back to work. Family dynamics are complicated and unique—I would not like to offer advice blindly.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.
Connect with Cindy: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

April 25th
Total Book Geek >> Review
Free-Bird >> Review
the bookdragon >> Review

April 26th
SERIESous Book Reviews >> Review
Brittany’s Book Rambles >> Interview
Quite the Novel Idea >> Review
Crazy for YA >> Review

April 27th
Book briefs >> Review
Book Is Glee >> Review + Interview
That Artsy Reader Girl  >> Excerpt
Dani Reviews Things >> Review

April 28th
In Love With Handmade >> Review
What’s She Reading? >> Review
Princessica of Books >> Guest post

April 29th
Always Books >> Review
G. Jacks Writes  >> Excerpt
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
The Bookish Thought >> Review
Reading In The Rain >> Review