YALLFest Author Interview: Kami Garcia

Hey Swooners!

Today YALLFest author interview we have the lovely Kami Garcia, co-author of the bestselling Beautiful Creatures series and her new solo work Unbreakable, out on October 1, 2013. I am so excited about being able to meet Kami in November, she's one of my must-meet authors. I can't wait to read Unbreakable.
Here's what she has to say:

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.
Describe your book in 5 words
Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies.
Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1. I don’t know how to ride a bike. 2. I used to be an artist (a painter). 3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing. 4. I believe in ghosts. 5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.
What are you working on now?
I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and surprising than the first book.
What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal, but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kami and I can't wait to meet you on November 9th!
For more information about YALLFest, visit their website: YALLFest.org

Book Blitz and Excerpt - Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair

Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read.

Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in piece, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is on of the best parts of her new life, the only person who's ever made her feel safe. And now that she's found him, there's no way she can tell him the truth.

Her name is Faith, not Leah. She's seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn't hers - Faith kidnapped her.

Faith's history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris's aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it's time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she'll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

“I’m Chris.”  His eyes are hazel.  They’d be bluer or greener depending on what he wore.  His gray shirt keeps them the in-between shade.  He plays a few more chords and sets his guitar on the couch beside him.  “Well?  What do you think?”
I glance around.  There’s not much to it, but it works.  “How much?”
He rubs his chin.  It’s covered in stubble.  I imagine how it would feel against my cheek, and my face gets hot. 
Addy squirms and lets out a small shriek.  Chris’s eyes dart to her.  This could be the deal breaker.
She squawks again.  “What time is it?” I ask, realizing she’s probably hungry. 
He shrugs.  “Around five or six.  She need to eat?”
“Yeah.  Guess I better go so I can feed her.”  I take a step toward the door.
“Here,” he comes forward, reaching his arms out.  “I’ll hold her.  Go on out and get her a bottle.  You have one with you, don’t you?”
I nod, watching him take Addy out of my arms, place her against his chest, and rub her back.  “Do you have kids?”  It seems like a dumb question, but he’s a natural with Addy.
He laughs.  “No.  Fortunately, I’ve never been in that predicament.”  He looks from Addy to me, and his face falls.  “I mean…” 
Right.  He thinks I got knocked up.  I’m a teen mom.  “It’s okay.  Don’t worry about it.”  I smile, trying to put him at ease.  “I’ll be right back.”
After opening the door to the stairs, I glance over my shoulder.  He’s running his fingers over the top of her head and bouncing her gently.  “Shh, baby, don’t cry.  Mommy will be right back.”  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author:
Jamie Blair spent most of her teen years choreographing moves for her dance team routines, kissing boys on the couch after her mom went to bed, and pondering the mood enhancement qualities of Lemon Heads when consumed with Diet Coke. Writing under Kelli Maine, she's the USA Today Bestselling author of TAKEN. LEAP OF FAITH is her debut New Adult novel.
Author Links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook

Quotes (#28)


It Monday and it sucks just on principle. I hope your Monday goes a lot better than mine.

"It isn't ever delicate to live." - Kay Ryan

"Many people, myself among them, fell better at the mere sight of a book." - Jane Smiley, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel

"Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead." - Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

"Love can make even nice people do awful things." - Jude Deveraux

"Each person has a literature inside them." - Anna Deavere Smith

"She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape." - Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

"One day might be different from another, but there ain't much difference when they're put together." - William H. Armstrong

"She sat still, trying to hush her secret heart." - Margaret Landon

"Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create." - Maria Montessori

"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." - John Locke

I hope everyone has a great week!

Review: Fangirl by Ken Baker

Fangirl by Ken Baker
Release date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Source: ARCycling
Reviewed by: Nahomi
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

My rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars

While staring you straight in the eye, far above the tips of her Toms, Josie Brant would swear that she does not like Peter Maxx, the teen sensation who causes every girl within a 100-foot radius to scream at ear-shattering decibels. Even if Josie may completely, totally, and unequivocally be his biggest fan.

So when Josie finds out her best friend has won a contest to meet Peter by stealing one of Josie's songs, Josie is overwhelmingly shocked and upset--some of which flies out the window when Ashley introduces Josie to Peter as well. And suddenly, in a whirlwind of Tweets, IMs, texts, and phone calls, Josie finds herself in the middle of a flirtatious friendship that has the potential for complete harmony. But just when everything seems pitch-perfect, the paparazzi flashbulbs explode, along with any notion of a fairy-tale romance.

          Fangirl is cute story, which I believe is geared towards a younger audience. It’s full of pop-culture, abbreviations and hashtags. This story is told from both Josie and Peter’s point of view which give the reader a better general picture of what is going on in the story. Overall it was an easy read, and it contained some plot twists that I wasn't expecting and kept me turning pages.

Josie, our main character, is the typical teenage girl who is shy and artistic. She prides herself in not being like everyone else. I like that after Peter realized his mistake, and comes back asking for Josie’s forgiveness she didn't just give in because he’s a super star. Josie is a little stubborn and immature but through the book there is definitely some character growth.

Peter is the stereotypical pop super star (That sounds so cheesy), who is going through an unhappy stage in his life. Even though he knows he should be thankful for all that he has, Peter often feels lonely and wishes he could have a normal life. When he meets Josie at a school appearance he is intrigued by her and is determined to get to know her in hopes of finding a connection and some normalcy. 

There were a few narration issues here and there in the book which was a little distracting. Also in the chapters that were from Josie’s point of view and issue of the hashtags after certain phrases that I couldn't really get into. Other than that, it was a decent story with a happy ending.

Bottom line:
I would recommend this story to readers between the ages of 12 and 15. If you are interested in a easy read, and have every fantasized about being with a pop-star this maybe the book for you. 
Until next time...

YALLFest Author Interview: Veronica Rossi

Morning Lovelies!

I'm super excited about today YALLFest author interview because it is the awesome Veronica Rossi. I've had the pleasure of meeting Veronica twice and both times have been a blast. And I'm a huge fan of her Under the Never Sky trilogy and I'm eagerly anticipating the last book of the series, Into the Still Blue. January can't come soon enough. I may have already met her but I'm still looking forward to YALLFest to seeing her and every other author. 

Here's what she had to share with us:

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
     Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?
      $5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.    

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1.       In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts
2.       I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.
3.       I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.
4.       My favorite animals are elephants.
5.       Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where's your favorite place to write?
     I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now?
    Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.

Thanks so much for stooping by, Veronica! I argue with myself more often than I care to admit myself. (Let's ignore that part, yea?)

For more information about YALLFest, visit their website: YALLFest.org

Cover Reveal - RecruitZ by Karice Bolton

Expected Release Date: October 2013
Cover Designed: PhatPuppy Art
Cover reveal organized by: BB Tours

Scientists are the new rock stars. The infection has been contained for nearly three months, and the world is celebrating. But humans are still dying. Rebekah Taylor has seen it firsthand. Her husband was killed right in front of her by the very creatures that humans were told they no longer had to fear.

Rebekah is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of her husband and the obvious cover-up. Fueled with revenge, she begins to find answers that lead to one frightening conclusion. The apocalypse might be over, but the battles are just beginning.

About the author:
Karice Bolton is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author living in the Pacific Northwest. All three books in The Watchers Trilogy are available now, Awakening, Legions, and Cataclysm. Lonely Souls, which is the first book in her new series Witch Avenue, was released in June 2012!

Author Links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

Review: Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance

Release Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Source: EgmontUSA via NetGalley
Reviewed by: Jenn

My rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars

Field's Rule #1: Don't fall for the enemy.
Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She's busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she's sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.
So when arrogant - and gorgeous - Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her "nothing amazing," it's no loss for Berry. She'll forget him in no time. She's more concern with the questions surfacing about her mother's death.
But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can't Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?
With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

        Spies and Prejudice was a quick and easy read but once it’s over, it isn't very memorable. I did enjoy the story, however.

Berry is a kick ass characters and she’s very resourceful. She doesn't take any sort of nonsense from anyone the story behind the pepper spray incident and no boy wanting to date her is the best ever. Talia Vance managed to create a very real character. But my favorite thing about Berry is her name, Berry Fields, hehe. It’s just so unique and strange. I wouldn't have been able to live with it as well as she does.

I did find the storyline to be a bit predictable at times. For example, with Tanner, the love interest, I figured him out right away. However, he was very cute and he did remind me of Mr. Darcy at the beginning, being all indifferent and judgmental towards Berry. And like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, they both learn that there is more to other than meets the eye.

Overall, Spies and Prejudice was a cute story and had a nice twist to it. There was nothing new and surprising about the story that I can take with me. However, if you want a really fast and enjoyable read, I'd recommend this one. 

Swoon Thursday (#8) - Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren

A weekly meme from YA Bound.

From the book you're currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What  got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog. The awesome girls over YA Bound and I want to know!

Good morning, lovelies. One more day for the weekend! Yes! And what a better way to prepare for the weekend with some swoons and some sexy times? Hmm? Here's what I have for you:

"That's what I'll like. When you're out there, sitting with the boys, or at dinner later, you'll be thinking about how I can still feel you."
With a smile, I leaned in to kiss her, letting her deepen it with her hands on my face, sliding into my hair around the back of my neck. "I feel like I could fuck for hours," she whispered into my mouth, and I almost lost it right then; Sara rarely swore, and when she did, it always made me hard. "I just feel a little hollow with how much I want you tonight."

Yea, I'm sure I don't need to explain why I love this book so much. What are you swooning about?

YALLFest Author Interview: Ransom Riggs

Hiya Swooners!

For today YALLFest interview, we have Mr. Ransom Riggs, author of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Childrenon the blog. I haven't had the chance to read Riggs' book but I do have it on my TBR list. I'm very excited about meeting him in November.
Here is what he had to say:

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself:
I’m six foot four. 
I lived on a working farm until I was five. 
I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten. 
I love documentaries. 
One day I will conquer the moon.

What are you working on now?
A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.

Thanks so much for stopping by Ransom! I can't wait to finally meet you in November.

Swooners, be sure to stop by on Friday so see which author we are hosting!

For more information about YALLFest, visit their website: YALLFest.org

Waiting on Wednesday (#27)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:

Expected Release Date: October 22, 2013
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

I am so excited for this one, October 22 can't come fast enough! So, what are you "Waiting on"?

Book Blitz - Beautiful Broken by Nazarea Andrews

Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: A&A Literary
 Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads
She's been broken by her past. He's been breaking for as long as he can remember. Together, they can make each other whole--or destroy each other.

When his best friend asks for something, Dane rarely says no. But babysitting a newly sober Scout Grimes for three weeks isn't exactly a normal request. And with their history, it's a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, she's drop dead gorgeous and he can't touch her.

There are few people Scout trusts as much as Dane Guillot. He's always been her safe place, where nothing can hurt her. He's also been the only man she's never let herself want--screwing up their friendship isn't worth one amazing night together.

They have too much history, and too much personal baggage to ever work. But if they are willing to take a chance on love--it might be worth the risk.

About the Author:
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

Author Links: 
Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Book Blitz and Excerpt - Hopeless for You by Hayden Hill

Release Date: September 23, 2013
Publisher: Hayden Hill
Links: Goodreads
"If I am more alive because love burns and chars me, as a fire, given wood or wind, feels new elations, it's that he who lays me low is my salvation, and invigorates the more, the more he scars me." - Michelangelo

Ash Jensen, a squeaky-clean sophomore at the University of Tennessee, has a trail of baggage a mile long - she buried her fiance only a year and a half ago. She swore she'd never love again but when she finds herself interned to a yummy Canadian conservation officer that promise is tested big-time. Kade Gyllenhaul sports wild tattoos, a rebellious attitude and a fohawk to die for. He's definitely the wrong man for and she knows it.

Kade doesn't have time for a girl like her. She's a pretentious, unreadable princess who lives her life by her parents' rules. Kade knows nothing about her past and he'd prefer to keep it that way. Besides, he'll lose his job if he sleeps with Ash. Now if only he could get his mind off her.

When the two of them end up alone and isolated on a routine field trip int he woods, things get a little complicated...

One man afraid of commitment.
One woman afraid to love again.
Two lives.
Two hearts.
One life-changing journey.

"You like vodka?" Kade said.
"What?" I glanced at him uncertainly. "That's kind of an odd question. From way out in left field."
"You're half Russian." He was staring at me intensely. "You must like vodka."
"Oh, no." I returned his gaze with equal intensity. Had he felt that tingle when our hands touched, too? Our conversation was all innocent on the outside but I could sense the sexual tension seething on the inside. Neither of us broke eye contact. He wasn't sitting all that far from me. It wouldn't take much to close the gap and wrap my lips around his. "I had vodka once when I was in tenth grade. Almost threw up. Scotch is more my thing."
"Scotch? That's a man's drink."
I shrugged, but didn't break eye contact. "Not really."
"Any preferred brands?" His voice sounded deeper, more sexual. I was starting to lose myself in those eyes.
"I don't know." My voice sounded strange, too. A little breathy. "All kinds of brands. I don't like Jack Daniels, though."
"That's not even scotch. That's whiskey."
"Same thing."
Kade stood up now and edged a little closer. His eyes never left mine. "How can you not like Jack Daniels? That's, like, a Tennessee institution. They make it there, don't they?"
"They do." My heart was beating fast. "But Collier and McKeel is more my thing."
"How do you know so much about all these drinks, anyway?" he said in that deep, slow voice. "The legal age is twenty-one in Tennessee."
I knew my eyes were broadcasting sheer want. He felt it. I'm sure he did, because his eyes fed that want right back at me. "I'm a delinquent."
"You are." He took another step closer. I could hear his breathing now. Deeper. Faster. "Collier and McKeel... remind me to let you try Seagram's 83 sometime. Canadians make the best whiskey. Perfect for a delinquent like you."
"I'm actually more of a wine person. At least I used to be." We were so close now, barely a hand-span away. Those green eyes never left mine, and consumed me.
"Wine? I can see that. I'd peg you as a fan of white. You speak Sauvignon Blanc?" The way he said those French words sounded so sexy.
"I speak champagne," I said huskily. "Dom Perignon makes the most amazing Cristal. White Gold is--" I choked off the words, feeling suddenly like I was drowning, and I turned away from Kade. I couldn't hold back the sudden tears.
After all this time, something so simple as the name of a drink still affected me. I almost hoped Kade would wrap his arms around me and carry me away from the horrors of the past and save me from the guilt, but when I looked at him I saw he'd retreated to the shade again. He was sitting on the log with his arms crossed, facing away from me, staring at the river.

About the author:
Hayden Hill is a New Adult Romance author. Her debut novel, HOPELESS FOR YOU will be released on September 23, 2013.                         Writing HOPELESS FOR YOU was an emotional rollercoaster for Hayde. It started out as a rosebud of an idea which grew into this all-consuming tree. She poured everything into the book, heart and soul. It was a labor of love that's for sure. They say that great art comes from pain. Well then HOPELESS FOR YOU is her greatest work yet.
Author's Links: Website / Twitter

YALLFest Author Interview: Rainbow Rowell

Hi Swooners!

The YALLFest author we have stopping by today is Rainbow Rowell for our weekly interview! I absolutely love Rainbow and I'm so excited to have her on the blog and to be able to meet her (again) in November. She is the YA author of Eleanor & Park and of her latest book Fangirl. I recently reviewed Fangirl which I really enjoyed and I hope everyone is out getting their own copy of the book.
Here is what she had to say:

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
            Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.
             Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
             THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end up rewriting it.

Best writing tip you ever received?
             “Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
             Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.

Where's your favorite place to write?
             At coffeeshops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

What are you working on now?
             I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
             I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?
             All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Rainbow! Go out and pick up your copy of Fangirl, you will love it, trust me.

And stop by this Wednesday to see who we have stopping by the blog.

For more information about YALLFest, visit their website: YALLFest.org

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine 
By Trish Doller
Expected Release Date: Sept. 24, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children
Source: Bloomsbury through NetGalley
Reviewed by: Jenn
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

My rating: 5 stars out 5 stars

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she'd like to forget completely. But when Callie's mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie's real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love - even with someone who seems an improbably choice - is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

- I thought that she was a very strong female character. She has this fight for survival in her.
- Like her mom said, she could have turned out to be a jaded, hard person, but she didn’t.
     -She’s just a really nice person. She could have turn Kat away and she could have been a bitch to Phoebe but she wasn’t.
- I just didn’t like how she continued to lie and lie. I understand she’s not used to trusting people or depending on them, I just wanted her to stop lying.
- Her slow relationship with Greg, her dad. Love. She slowly trusted him and he never pushed. Just waited for her to be ready.

- Nicely paced
- So wonderful, and gritty, and well done. I’ve seen some books that have similar storyline but they didn’t pull it off like this one. It seems more real and the characters are redeeming.
- And the wonderful writing definitely helps the book.

Secondary Characters:
- Kat is wonderful best friend. Although pushy at times, she just wants her best friend to be happy, and feel like she’s loved and she has all the qualities that remind me of my own best friend.
- Greg/dad is perfectly written. He gives Callie the space and love that she needs as she gets used to having a family again, as she deals with learning how to have healthy relationships.
- Callie’s grandmother, or Yiayoula, is one kick ass lady and I love how fierce she is towards anyone hurting Callie. And I love that she doesn’t even let Callie get away with thing Greg lets her get away with. While Greg gives her times, she goes straight for Callie and has her deal with things as they happen. And she was very intuitive when noticing how Callie ran away but not because she doesn’t care, but that she was running away to someone.

- Oh my. Alex certainly is a unique love interest for me. Callie and Alex didn’t start out as insta-love (and for that I’m forever grateful) but they were attracted to each other.
- I really like how their relationship slowly progressed. It was nicely done and slow that it totally snuck up on me just like Callie. It sort started off with a few hangouts and then a conversation here and there. Telling of secrets and before you know it, Callie was telling Alex her biggest secrets.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be such a good and touching read and I just fell in love with the characters. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a sad but touching story and I can’t wait to get my own copy.

Book Blitz & Interview - This Much is True by Katherine Owen

Release Date: August 11, 2013
Fate brings them together
Fame & lies keep them apart
One truth remains...

She becomes the Paly High girl with the most tragic story...
At 17, Tally Landon  just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party - a college party - where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about her heartbreaking loss of her twin that follows her everywhere she goes. She meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford's famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense - when lies about her age and who she really is - intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.

His only focus is baseball, but he can't forget the girl he saved on Valentine's Day...
At 22, Lincoln Presly's star is on the rise - about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball's upcoming draft - his cousin's party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine's Day that he  saved from that horrific car accident and can't quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What's the harm at getting to know this girl? What's the worse that can happen?

They share this incredible connection, but fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of way... And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they've come to trust the most: one truth remains.

This much is true.

Author Interview:

Where does the story come from?
I’d been taking classes with The Writer’s Studio a few years ago and this novel developed from a two-page assignment we did for one of my advanced fiction classes. Tally Landon evolved over time. Lincoln Presley was set in my mind from the beginning as this star athlete on the verge of fame and the girl he meets who mirrors his dedication and intensity in her own right for her artistic talent. And yet, their passion tests them both in different ways along with everything else that transpires in the story.

How is this a story that only you could have written?
I created this entire story in my mind. I started out with the what-if questions. What if you had everything? Or thought you did and then life happened and changed up everything in a single instant? This happens to both of these characters in different ways more than once. One of the things that I came to realize with this novel—my fourth one—in which I think I finally got it—my process—is that I live and breathe with these characters for so long that I really do know them by the time I’ve completed the story. It’s true. I know how they would say things and think about them and what they would and would not do. It’s uncanny. When I’m finished, I miss all these characters because they’ve been such an active part of my psyche for so long.
This story took a year and a half to write. I’m pretty sure my writing process drives my family crazy because I am in another world much of the time while writing and thinking through the story line.  So? Who else could have written it when it comes together like that?

What was the hardest thing about writing This Much Is True?
I battled a lot of self-doubt with this one. I thought writing When I See You was hard but This Much Is True was harder still. Part of it is me with some noticeable perfectionist tendencies. I put pressure on myself to ensure the story was better than my last which WISY was pretty damn good and my readers were anxiously awaiting another book and I still wasn’t done with This Much Is True. The story was going long and I debated upon doing two books which would have been the easy way out but I really felt committed to telling their whole story in one. So it’s two books in one, literally. Still the other day one of my newest readers on Goodreads took a star off of her 5-star rating of TMIT because she wanted a longer ending. It’s 432 pages already; go figure that one out.

What do you LOVE about This Much Is True?
This is a great story. It has everything in it from the coming of age angle with Tally starting out at seventeen to the older amazingly talented baseball player in Lincoln Presley and these two confronting and battling the trappings of fame and lies and what love is really all about. It’s a masochist read as one reviewer put it. The truth is I’ve had some AMAZING reader reactions to this book that have put me in tears because they get me and this book. It is the ultimate gratifying experience for this author, let me tell you.

Give us your favorite passage from the story:
I love this one because it is the epitome of Tally and what she struggles with within herself…
Tally Landon’s POV
Marla announces she wants babies. Three babies in five years. She looks at me. I start to feel nauseous and must turn a little white. I look away from her and allow myself to think all these nasty thoughts. Three babies in five years with Charlie? Are you fucking kidding me? That doesn’t add up on any girl’s wish list. Charlie Masterson. A father? Say it isn’t so.
Yet she lays out this family plan the way you’d say, “After yoga, I’ll go to Lia’s for the mani-special and then wax on about hairstyles and hemlines until dinner.”
If I were gifted at making long-term plans, which by now we all know I’m not, and if I was at all hopeful, which we all know that I can never be, although it crosses my mind that it’s entirely possible these are all just huge, fucking, temporary setbacks and nothing more, even though it’s been going on for over three years now, since Holly died, and I met Lincoln Presley. Events that could be construed as somehow inevitably related. Yes, perhaps there’s an expiration date on the said pursuit of unhappiness. Perhaps, things will eventually go my way after I actually discover what that way is supposed to be.

And this one because it is the epitome of Lincoln Presley and my writing of him.
Lincoln Presley’s POV
Yet, in the light of day, at half past eight, all I have left of her is this note. Her fucking note. A note that doesn’t tell me anything and simply thanks me. Thanks me. She didn’t even sign her name. For some reason, this bothers me on a whole separate level. I stand still for a long time, holding the note, and let it all sink in. Her leaving is almost palpable like a gale-force wind that’s rolled into my life in the span of a single evening and left behind all this incalculable destruction, both inside and out. Yes, the tempest has passed, but the air around me feels different. I can hardly breathe. Nothing is the same without her. As the lone survivor of her particular storm, I begin to wonder just exactly what I’m supposed to do now.
It’s only later, after wandering listlessly around the guest house for another hour, after I eventually resign myself to the unenviable task of cleaning everything up and throwing away the empty champagne bottle we shared; after I wash the wine glass smudged with her lipstick; after I purposefully pick up and look through each and every one of the DVDs she touched and so casually left in a forsaken heap stacked precariously at the edge of the great room rug so clearly forgotten by her, which seemingly represents this wry reflection of myself that even I can admit to; it’s only after I pushed the heavy furniture pieces back into place and, in essence, effectively erase all genuine evidence of her incredible presence from the night before; yes, only after all of that, do I realize I have absolutely no way to get in touch with her.
I’m practically paralyzed with equal doses of disappointment and despair at the cruelty of this one indelible fact. Yes, this hits me hard because I want to see her again, need to see her again; and yet, I have no way to get in touch with her. I begin to wonder if that was her intention with me all along.

What’s next for you as a writer?
I have two different WIPs going on in my mind competing for thoughts and time. Saving Valentines which I hope to finish by the end of the year and another yet-to-be-named WIP that is about four girls graduating from high school and reuniting years later and seeing the unexpected changes in all of them and how tragedy unites them, changes them and threatens to tear them apart in different ways. All complex stuff told from multiple POVs and gender. Damn. Why do I come up with this stuff?

About the Author:
Dark. Edgy. Contemporary. Romantic.              
Were we describing me? Or my fiction? Sorry. I drink too much...coffee, not enough water.
I swear too much for God and my mother, and I slip these into my fiction. Sorry.
I'm impatient, a perfectionist, a wordsmith, a dreamer, which ends up being good and bad. I'm a workaholic; ask my fam-dam-ily.
I've written four novels in as many years: SEEING JULIA, NOT TO US, WHEN I SEE YOU, and my latest release THIS MUCH IS TRUE.
If you love angsty, unpredictable love stories, I'm yours.

Author Links: GoodreadsTwitter / Facebook / Website

Review: The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton

The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Minotaur Books / St. Martin's Griffin
Source: BEA 2013
Reviewed by: Jenn
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

My rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
In many ways, Reeve LeClaire looks like a typical twenty-two year old girl. She's finally landed her own apartment, she waitresses to pay the bay, and she wishes she wasn't so nervous around new people. She thinks of herself as agile, not skittish. As serious, not grim. But Reeve is anything but normal.
Ten years ago, she was kidnapped and held captive. After a lucky escape, she's spent the last six years trying to rebuild her life, a recovery thanks in large part to her indispensable therapist Dr. Ezra Lerner. But when he asks her to help another girl rescued from a similar situation, Reeve realizes she may not simply need to mentor this young victim - she may be the only who can protect her from a cunning predator who is still out there, watching every move.
From the author of the #1 non-fiction bestseller Perfect Victim: The True Story of the Girl in the Box comes a novel that draws you into a chilling and engrossing world. With powerfully gripping characters and an ending that is a masterpiece of deception, Carla Norton's The Edge of Normal is a stunning debut thriller.

        It had been a while since I've read a mystery/crime fiction novel, so The Edge of Normal was a really quick read. But I have to admit that I found myself unable to read while after dark and/or in bed. It was a little frightening by the topic and how the villain stalked his victims so I was only able to read in daylights.

Reeve is not your typical girl. She was kidnapped and held hostage for four years. She has managed to slowly build her life again but then she’s asked to help a victim that was in a similar situation. She then becomes tangled up in the happenings of the case and is forced to confront a predator who is still out there watching her every move.

I found the overall story line of the book to be really well done and believable. It was nicely paced and I found myself wondering who exactly the bad guy. It wasn't necessarily to know but more along the lines to confirm my suspicions (it didn't). However, the villain certainly lived up to my expectations. I was really impressed with the way he was so meticulous and how he had everything so thought out. Again, it was a little disturbing for me because we knew what he was planning but we still had no way of knowing how he was going to implement his plans.

My only complaint with the book was how Reeve sort of became tangled up in the case of Tilly Cavanaugh. I can see how much strength she has but the way she was the only person to see that there was something else missing or that was wrong? I find that a little hard to believe. Other than that, I found her character growth to be, a little fast, but on point. She does a lot of for Tilly and it did her some good in order for her to move on.

All in all, I found The Edge of Normal to be a really good, at times, creepy, read. Carla Norton did a wonderful job at telling us a gritty story without the actual gritty details. I can’t wait to read from her.

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