Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Jacqueline Green (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Check out what Jacqueline Green, debut author of Truth or Dare, loves, addicted to, obsessing, or bad at on her 13 random facts (or confession!). ;)

Jacqueline Green

13 Random Facts

1. I have a life-long love of pigs. It’s my (not-so-secret) dream to own a pot-bellied pig. 

2. I have a dog who is so tiny that I refer to her as a dog-hamster hybrid—which I have officially coined a Dogster.

3. I am addicted to vanilla chai lattes. Only the super-sugary powder kind will do.

4. I was a vegetarian from the age of ten to twenty-five.

5. I am obsessed with all-things Christmas, even though, technically, I don’t celebrate Christmas…

(Sidenote: Now you got me curious. Why??)

6. …So much so that the manuscript I wrote in my MFA program took place in The North Pole.


8. I am a terrible cook. Luckily, I married an amazing cook.

9. My guilty pleasure is watching the Disney Channel.

(Sidenote: Ah, yes. Especially DCOMs! Love.) 

10. I am a tea addict, and have been known to bring my own tea with me to restaurants. 

11. Walking is my favorite mode of transportation. I would walk everywhere, if I could. (And as my husband will bemoan, I try.) 

12. My favorite punctuation mark to use is the em-dash.

13. My first YA novel debuted in 2013, which made it a pretty amazing year. After a lifetime of writing and writing and studying writing, to see MY book on a shelf in a REAL BOOKSTORE was so surreal and crazy and AWESOME. 

(Sidenote: Congratulations!)


More about Jacqueline!

Jacqueline Green is the author of Truth or Dare, the first book in a YA thriller trilogy. Its sequel, Secrets and Lies, comes out in May. You can visit her website at www.jacquelinewrites.com, or follow her on twitter at @jacqwrites or on tumblr at notyourteachersreadinglist .

Check out Jacqueline's debut novel!

Truth or Dare
(Truth or Dare #1)
by Jacqueline Green

Published May 14th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Blurb (Goodreads):
When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die.

It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets.

How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

Set against the backdrop of Echo Bay, an isolated beach town haunted by misfortune, Truth or Dare is a highly charged debut that will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.

The Escapist

Head over to Oops! I Read A Book Again for debut author Robin Constantine!

Yesterday: Jen McConnel (The Secret of Isobel Key) and Emil Ostrovski (The Paradox of Vertical Flight)
Tomorrow: Aubrey Rose (Me, Cinderella?) and Anne Plaza (In Over Her Head)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

- SIGNED postcards
- open to US only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Mila 2.0
by Debra Driza

Series: Mila 2.0 #1
Genre: YA, sci-fi, dystopian
Published March 12th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Local purchase: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

My Thoughts:

I never expected anything from Mila 2.0. I thought it had a nice cover and an interesting blurb. So yeah, I'm definitely adding it on my to-read shelf and request it. I didn't expect anything but I hoped that it will turn out as bad-ass as the dystopian books I loved. What I didn't expect was that it was so thick! The book, I mean. It had 469 pages (not the longest, but still) and is hardbound. I kind of freaked out the time I received it since my reading progress is in not so good condition and I just got a thick book and that's when I wished it should be fast-paced, good story and worthy.

Mila lived like a real girl, a human being. She laugh, she cry, she have friends, and even develop feelings for real men, real human being--even if she's just an invention, where she doesn't have an idea about. I think that alone is a good start of the story until I read the real story.

Mila is a whiny, self-pity, sometimes-selfish, sometimes-not selfish kind of girl--or robot. I didn't liked the sound of her on the first few chapters, add the events on it, and I'm pissed. Honestly, I didn't liked it. It annoyed me. The characters, the pace, the events. Almost everything. Although sometimes I pity her mom. 

If not for the second half of the book, I don't think I would finish this. The part two (or in the middle of it) picks up the pace. It became more sci-fi-ish, dystopian-ish, James Bond-ish, or whatever you call it. The story became more interesting and answers start to unravel. The pace improved but not fully until the near-ending. I liked parts three and four better because it was easier to read and I saw the improvement in the series of events (though I still don't like Mila). 

The scenes overall turned out nice, but there are just things in this book that is unrealistic--one of these is the love story and the love interest--that made me don't like Mila 2.0 that much. I don't think this book caught my interest completely but give it a try. You might see something that I didn't saw in this book that you'll like/love. Just wanted to remind that you have to have the patience in reading this.

*Thanks to Megan and HarperCollins International for a print copy of this book in exchange of honest review!


Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Jen McConnel (Interview)

Debut author Jen McConnel shares her excitement about her novel, The Secret of Isobel Key, future projects and more on this interview!

Jen McConnel

1. What do you feel about the number '13'?

Absolutely love it.  I actually met my husband on Friday the 13th many years ago, and ever since, I've considered 13 one of my lucky numbers!

2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published?

It's not out yet, so I'm not sure! But the whole process has been amazing, and I'm so excited to see ISOBEL out in the world.  Probably the best part so far is simply seeing this book move from being self-published to released by Bloomsbury Spark; I love the way the story has changed, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of such a wonderful new imprint.

3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?

We popped the champagne after I signed my contract, and I'm hoping to celebrate on the launch day with a fancy dinner with my sweetie.  I'd like to have a party with some of my friends, too, after the holidays.

4. Do you read reviews of your book?

Sometimes.  I say I'll only read the ones that are three stars and above, but it's hard not to look.

5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?

I met a young reader a few years ago, and we snapped a picture of us together.  When she heard about this first book, she sent me an awesome letter with a copy of the picture.  Her enthusiasm was totally contagious, even when we met and I was still unpublished.  It was great to hear from her again and to know that she was excited for my story.

6. Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2013 that you loved? 

There are so many amazing new books this year, but the one I can't stop thinking about is THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd.  It was haunting, and I can't wait for the next book in the series!

7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?

Yes! Although THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is NA, I also write YA. I love paranormal and contemporary stories.  My writing is as eclectic as my reading tastes, and I love exploring different genres.  

8. Share us one embarrassing moment you've had.

I don't know how many times I've taught a class with food in my teeth, but the worst was spending a whole day in front of my students (and I teach adults, so you would think someone would mention this) with the price and size sticker prominently displayed on the back of my new pants. *facepalm*. 

9. Favorite color? Today? Orange!
Favorite movie? Practical Magic
Favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip
Favorite song? "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel

Ultimate celebrity crush (dead or alive)?
Harrison Ford in the INDIANA JONES era.

10. What's next for you?

I'm gearing up for the release of ISOBEL in December, and then I'm shifting gears and getting ready to celebrate the launch of my first YA novel, DAUGHTER OF CHAOS, coming in March 2014 from Month9Books.  It's going to be a busy a year, and I can't wait!


More about Jen!

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Her debut NA novel, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY, is coming December 2013 from Bloomsbury Spark . Visit www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.

Check out Jen's debut novel!

The Secret of Isobel Key
by Jen McConnel

Published December 2013 by Bloomsbury Spark

Blurb (Goodreads):
Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

Flashing between seventeenth century Scotland and a contemporary romance, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.

The Escapist

Check out debut author Emil Ostrovski on Oops! I Read A Book Again!

Yesterday: Christa Desir (Fault Line) and Heather Reid (Pretty Dark Nothing)
Tomorrow: Jacqueline Green (Truth or Dare) and Robin Constantine (The Promise of Amazing)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Christa Desir (Interview + Giveaway)

Let's welcome on the blog the debut author of YA contemporary, Fault Line!

Christa Desir

1. What do you feel about the number '13'?

It's always been lucky for me. Even before I became a 2013 debut author. I think it's because I got my first kiss on my 13th birthday:)

2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published?

I've gotten beautiful letters from people about what the book meant to them. Particularly survivors.

3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?

I had a book launch party at my local indie. It was super fun. Lots of friends and family. It meant so much how many people were there to support me. 

4. Do you read reviews of your book?

I did at the beginning but had to stop. Some of them hurt a lot and I found a few of them difficult to read as a survivor. 

5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?

I'm not sure I have fans. Not in that way, anyway. I wrote a difficult book. I talk about difficult things. I challenge people. I'm not exactly an author that people squee over:) But then again, I think I've written something that means something to people. And when they tell me that, it makes my heart beat and makes me feel like I did something good. 

6. Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2013 that you loved?

Several. The debut authors were a formidable group this year. But I think Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian was the book I connected with more than any other. 

7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?

I edit romance novels for my day job, but don't think I could ever write them. I'd like to do adult literary fiction, but only when I'm done with YA. I suspect it will take me a long time to get adult literary fiction right. 

8. Share us one embarrassing moment you've had.

My J was out of town and I texted him, "I missed sleeping next to you last night". Only I pressed the wrong button and accidentally texted my pastor instead. She was very funny about it though:)

9. Favorite color? Black

Favorite movie? Amelie, Harold & Maude, Stand by Me, Blast from the Past...gah, I have too many.
Favorite ice cream flavor? pistachio
Favorite song? This changes...but currently "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles
Ultimate celebrity crush (dead or alive)? Jesse Williams

10. What's next for you?

BLEED LIKE ME comes out in October 2014 from Simon Pulse. 


More about Christa!

I’m Christa Desir and I write young adult novels. I am an avid reader and have been in love with YA books ever since reading Judy Blume’s FOREVER (while hiding between the stacks in the library).  

My first success with writing came at the age of five when I wrote a story about my sister and our neighbor Andy “kissing in the dushes.” My parents were so proud of this work, they framed it and showed it to every visitor who came to our house. My sister still has not forgiven me.  

I live outside of Chicago with my awesome husband, Julio, and our three children. When I'm not writing, I am an editor of romance novels. (This job rules.) I am also a feminist, former rape victim advocate, lover of coffee and chocolate, and head of the PTA. It is a rare day when I don’t humiliate myself somehow, and I frequently blog about my embarrassing life moments. 

Find her: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Take a peak on Christa's debut novel!

Fault Line
by Christa Desir

Published October 15th 2013 by SimonPulse

Blurb (Goodreads):
Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

The Escapist

Head over to Oops! I Read A Book Again for debut author Heather Reid!

Yesterday: Kelsey Sutton (Some Quiet Place) and Piers Torday (The Last Wild)
Tomorrow: Jen McConnel (The Secret of Isobel Key) and Emil Ostrovski (The Paradox of Vertical Flight)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

- $10 Amazon GC
- open internationally
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Kelsey Sutton (Interview)

Check out my interview with Kelsey Sutton, the debut author of Some Quiet Place!

Kelsey Sutton

1. What do you feel about the number '13'?

It has become one of my favorite numbers, considering it's the year my first book came out and the dream I've had since a child finally came true. No matter what happens from this point, it will always have a special meaning for me.

2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published? 

Probably getting my first fan e-mail. It was astounding and humbling, the fact that something I wrote affected someone so much that they took the time to tell me about it. It made all the hard work worth it. 

3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?

You know, I got the contract in 2012, and that time is so hazy that I'm having trouble remembering! I know my cousin took me out to dinner, and I told everyone who would listen. It felt unreal and I may have been in shock. On the day itself, July 8th, I took the day off and just basked in the miracle of it.

4. Do you read reviews of your book?

I do, for the most part. In the beginning, I read all of them. The good and the bad. I figured the bad would tell me what I could focus on or try to improve in the future. Eventually I realized that I have enough insecurities and fears without adding those reviews to them. So now I trust the word of my agent and editor on what needs work, and I'll read a good review now and then. 

5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?

Well, I did a signing in my hometown this summer, and word got around. A girl had apparently read my book and had no idea that we lived in the same state, much less the same city. So she came to the coffee shop, and she was so excited that it touched my heart in a way it never had been before. She couldn't stop smiling and staring and she talked about how much she loved the book. I'll never forget it.

6. Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2013 that you loved?

Oh my goodness, SO many amazing books came out this year. Some standouts are BRUISED by Sarah Skilton and THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd. Two completely different stories but equally well-written and addicting. I highly recommend them!

7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?

Definitely. I'm dabbling in several genres right now. Your guess is as good as mine which one pulls ahead, though! Right now I'm just having fun with it.

8. Share us one embarrassing moment you've had.

Mean! Well, the first one comes to mind is the day that I walked into a café and my ex was on a date with someone. I was so flustered when I saw them that I ran smack into a magazine rack. There's really no recovering from that.

9. Favorite color? Blue
Favorite movie? Chocolat
Favorite ice cream flavor? Cookie dough
Favorite song? It's Time by Imagine Dragons
Ultimate celebrity crush (dead or alive)? Johnny Depp.

10. What's next for you?

Well, I'm working on a new idea for the SOME QUIET PLACE series, but I have no idea if anything will come of it. I've finished two other manuscripts that I have hopes for. Only time will tell!

(Sidenote: Good luck!)


More about Kelsey!

Kelsey Sutton has done everything from training dogs, making cheeseburgers, selling yellow page ads, and cleaning hotel rooms. Now she divides her time between her college classes and her writing. Kelsey lives in northern Minnesota with her dog and cat, Lewis and Clark.

Find her: Blog * Twitter * Goodreads

Here's Kelsey's debut novel!

Some Quiet Place
(Some Quiet Place #1)
by Kelsey Sutton

Published July 8th 2013 by Flux

Blurb (Goodreads):
I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

The Escapist

Check out debut author Piers Torday on Oops! I Read A Book Again!

Yesterday: Jessica Young (My Blue is Happy) and Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing)
Tomorrow: Christa Desir (Fault Line) and Heather Reid (Pretty Dark Nothing)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Jessica Young (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Let's welcome the first picture book debut author to feature for Celebrating Debutantes on the blog!

Jessica Young

13 Random Facts

1. I've planted over one thousand trees in a day.

2. In 7th grade I dressed up as a giant carrot for Halloween. (What was I thinking?)

3. I love black licorice and salt and vinegar chips.

4. When I was young, I wanted to live in a house with no furniture – just styrofoam packing peanuts that I could rearrange into "beds" and "chairs."

5. The only phrase I remember from my high school Italian class is: "Io sono tanto innamorata di te." (I am madly in love with you.)

7. I love trying to play fiddle and guitar, and I sing loud while I'm driving.

8. I'm scared of lightning (unless I'm inside, away from windows and plumbing, in which case I like it).

9. Some of my favorite smells are woodsmoke, rosemary, tomato leaves, pine needles, and bread baking.

(Sidenote: Mmm, yes.)

10. The first book I remember making was a collection of animal traps when I was about five or six. One trap had an upside down box with straws going into it and a sign on a toothpick that said: "Ants, there's sugar in here."

11. When I was little, the snowbanks in front of our house were sometimes as tall as my dad. I used to make tunnels and forts in them, digging out the softer snow and leaving the hardened crust on top.

12. My favorite childhood book was a Helen Oxenbury-illustrated version of Edward Lear's The Quangle Wangle's Hat. I loved the parade of fantastical creatures, including the Attery Squash, the Pobble Who Has No Toes, and the Dong with the Luminous Nose: http://www.somethingimade.co.uk/2012/05/well-loved-books.html

13. Growing up, my special place was a good climbing tree in the park down the street.


More about Jessica!

I grew up in Thunder Bay, a small Canadian city on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was a wee bit chilly but really beautiful.

Somehow I made it through high school, college, and a Master’s degree without realizing how much I loved writing. It wasn’t until I had my first child and wrote a picture book for him that it occurred to me I might want to be an author.

Find her: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Check out Jessica's debut [picture] book!

My Blue is Happy
by Jessica Young

Published August 6th 2013 by Candlewick Press

Blurb (Goodreads):
What is your blue like? A lyrical ode to colors — and the unique ways we experience them — follows a little girl as she explores the world with her family and friends.

Your neighbor says red is angry like a dragon’s breath, but you think it’s brave like a fire truck. Or maybe your best friend likes pink because it’s pretty like a ballerina’s tutu, but you find it annoying — like a piece of gum stuck on your shoe. In a subtle, child-friendly narrative, art teacher and debut author Jessica Young suggests that colors may evoke as many emotions as there are people to look at them — and opens up infinite possibilities for seeing the world in a wonderful new way.

The Escapist

Head over to Oops! I Read A Book Again for debut author Lindsay Ribar!

Yesterday: Rachel Waxman (The Crickhowell School for the Muses) and Mindee Arnett (The Nightmare Affair)
Tomorrow: Kelsey Sutton (Some Quiet Place) and Piers Torday (The Last Wild)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

- copy of My Blue is Happy
- open to US/Can only
a Rafflecopter giveaway