>Author Interview and MORE with Jackie Morse Kessler

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“Fast-paced, witty, and heart-breaking! Jackie Morse Kessler is one of the most talented authors I know.”—Richelle Mead, author of Vampire Academy

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Morse Kessler, author of several successful series including the new YA Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Her newest book release is RAGE (review to follow) So, please sit back, relax and join me as we get to know Jackie a little better.

RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler
April 2011 from Harcourt Graphia

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.
REVIEW

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it’s awesome” This blog post is to alert those that visit about “the” book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This book cover caught my eye because It reminded me so much of The Immortal Instrument series and then once I read the snyopsis I was more than intrigued, that is why it is my WOW choice for this week. Beautiful cover, amazing concept. I’m there.

THE MAP OF TIME
6/28/11

Published to massive acclaim in Spain, Félix J. Palma’s rollicking page-turner boasts a cast of real and imagined literary characters and cunning intertwined plots, as a skeptical H.G. Wells becomes a time-traveling investigator in Victorian London.

Jack the Ripper, Allan Quartermain, Dracula author Bram Stoker, the Elephant Man, and Jules Verne are among the players in Félix J. Palma’s captivating and ambitious novel. To save innocent lives—including that of his own wife—H. G. Wells the author of The Time Machine must discover the truth about purported incidents of time travel. The mysteries involve an aristocrat in love with a murdered prostitute from the past; a woman bent on fleeing the strictures of Victorian society by searching for her lover somewhere in the future; and a fourth-dimensional plot to murder celebrated authors in order to steal their fictional creations.

Awarded the 2008 XL Ateneo de Sevilla Novela Prize and lauded as “a miracle from beginning to end…a masterpiece” ( Qué Leer ) on its original publication , The Map of Time is an audacious historical fantasy executed with uncommon skill. It is a story full of love, adventure, and extraordinary imagination.

See Cassandra Clare and Holly Black at the Underworld Ball with Books INC>

click on the ticket to purchase a ticket

The Underworld Ball Featuring authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Not Your Mother’s Book Club
Start: 04/11/2011 7:00 pm
Not Your Mother’s Book Club Presents
The Underworld Ball
Featuring authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Tickets are $5 with the purchase of ANY of either Holly’s or Cassandra’s
Books
Otherwise they are $10
Come in Masquerade Garb!
Food, drink, giftbags included in ticket price

Enter the THROUGH HER EYES GARGANTUAN GIVEAWAY!!!!!

Author Jennifer Archer is hosting a GARGANTUAN GIVEWAY on her blog beginning today, March 1, 2011 and it will run until April 4, 2011. This contest is wicked amazing because you can win several out-of-this-world prizes like: a Kindle, or iPod Shuffle, a bound leather journal or even signed copies of THROUGH HER EYES.

All you have to do is go to her website HERE follow the contest rules and enter. Easy-Peasy! Good Luck to those that enter.

THROUGH HER EYES
Harper Teen
April 2011

Every ghost has a story to tell

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But its the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar–a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal–that have the most chilling impact on her.

Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry’s dangerous reality– before she loses touch with her own life forever.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra clare

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you “peek” into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and maybe less, either way it is an amazing opportunity that I enjoy sharing.

This week I have the extreme pleasure of showcasing CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS by Cassandra Clare. I am torn about this new trilogy series because I adored CITY OF GLASS and was very happy with the ending, but how can I deny myself the undoubtedly wondrous pleasure of Cassandra’s newest endeavour. I cannot, so here I am deep in the wants for this new book that will come out next month. For those that have not read the first chapter, here is your chance.

Just click on the book cover and enjoy.

 CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare

Who will fall in love, and who will find their relationship torn apart?

Who will betray everything they ever believed in?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.

In the heart-pounding fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series, the stakes are higher than ever.

COVER LOVE! Gorgeous Covers to Covet part duex

Last week I presented some beautiful new covers and this week I have even more to showcase. I believe this week may have even surpassed last week with it’s awesomeness.

LOST IN TIME by Melissa De La Cruz
A Blue Bloods Novel

THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET by Kate Cross
POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil
VANISH by Sophie Jordan
 UNFORSAKEN by Sophie Littlefield
A BEAUTIFUL DARK by Jocelyn Davies

>REVIEW: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (April 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373210264
Source: Net Galley
Rating: YYYY

It’s always been just Kate and her mom–and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld–and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy–until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails…

REVIEW

With THE GODDESS TEST I have finally encountered a novel that is a fantastic pairing of Greek Mythology (Persephone and Hades) intermixed with a unique and romantically mysterious tale.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter is a story centered on a protagonist who has been saddened by life; her mother is dying, she has no true friends to lean on and has never been on a date in her life.Yet, soon after Kate and her mother arrive in Eden events begin to change for them both, but non so much as with Kate. After a tragic event occurs Kate makes a promise that she could have never imagined would eventually lead her to become a willing captive in Hades lair.

As I read THE GODDESS TEST, I began to question certain points of the story line, but although those questions were not answered right away, most of them were worked out before the end of the novel giving the story a bit more of a mysterious edge. I really enjoyed seeing Kate grow out of her doomed existence and blossom into a character that was worthy of becoming a member of the immortal court. And although I knew Kate promised to stay with Henry for her allotted time by the end of the book I did not want her to leave *sigh* I adore a good love story. Yet, those moments with Henry weren’t the only ones that did a number on my heart I was also left misty eyed by her special moments with her mom and friend James.

THE GODDESS TEST ends on a questioning note that now leaves sitting on pins and needles until the next installment, GODDESS INTERRUPTED, hits the bookshelves next year.

>REVIEW: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher

 

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Razorbill; 1st edition (October 18, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595141715
ISBN-13: 978-1595141712
Source: Audiobook
Rating: YYYYY

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the
list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply
affect teen readers.

REVIEW
 
WOW! What can you say when you just have read something that is so profound and moving that you cannot believe what has just transpired: that with each breath you take it brings forth a little more understanding, a little more pain and despite that pain you’re glad that you experienced it. That is exactly how I felt after reading THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher and I am so kicking myself for not reading this amazing book years ago.
 
The book starts out like any other day for Clay Jensen, until he receives a box of tapes that unveil the startling and painful confession of Hannah Baker, former classmate and suicide victim. It is at this point that the story takes on it’s alternating POV with Hannah slowly and methodically explaining her thirteen reasons why and Clay trying to understand and question why he is given these tapes. As each reason floats into Jensen’s ears he is filled with sadness and hatred for those that hurt Hannah, but mainly for himself for he saw all the signs and he stood by and did nothing. A fact that these tapes confirm but that he is powerless to change.
 
As Hannah’s story came to light I understood her feelings of betrayal, her loneliness and sadness and my chest would get so heavy, I couldn’t breathe. Her pain was so raw and real that I would have to step away and stop so that I could process everything. I consider myself lucky to have an amazing support system so that if I had a bad day I would have many to help me, but what if things were different? That is when I see this story being a reality for many and it breaks my heart.
With THIRTEEN REASONS WHY I suspect that, despite some heartbreaking touches, it isn’t purely fiction. Blowing through Asher’s vision of a lonely and misunderstood girl is the bone-chilling wind of truth; that words and actions have repercussions that cause a ripple that fan out and effect everyone around us. I highly recommend this read to everyone, but be forewarned because you will never forget it.
 
favorite passage…
“You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything.”
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
 

>REVIEW: What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (November 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439903467
ISBN-13: 978-0439903462
Source: Audiobook
Rating: YYYYY

When Evie’s father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe’s company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.
As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty
to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be
betrayed. The question is . . . who?

REVIEW

In Writing What I Saw and How I lied, author Judy Blundell has created a taut mystery that is showcased in the classic film noir style. A story interlaced with deception and pretense and at it’s heart is a young girl who is desperately trying to uncover the truth.

It’s 1947 and Evie is a 15-year-old girl enjoying her teen life post WWII. Her stepfather, Joe has come back from the war and their lives soon turn into the American dream. Before Summer ends, Joe decides on a family vacation to ritzy Palm Beach, little did he realize that running never solved ones problems.

While in Palm Beach, Evie and her parents encounter several patrons at their hotel, but one particular couple quickly becomes fast friends with them and soon they are all inseparable. Then one dance with a handsome stranger turns their cozy group into something else all together. Evie begins to feel the first stages of young love and maybe it is because of this fact that she does not realize the web of lies and ultimate treachery that will soon complicate her life. When an unimaginable tragedy occurs Evie’s world and the house of lies that it was built on begins to crumble and she must decide on which truths to bring forth and what lies to keep hidden thus signaling the end of her innocence.

While reading WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED I became completely absorbed with this story and within a few pages I was that girl in 1947. I fell in love with the style and ambiance of that time period for it was well detailed and described in this story. Judy Blundell did an amazing job of showcasing a time period that had an air of romance to it while bringing forth some of the ugly truths. One of the most disturbing moments to witness was the anti-Semitic treatment of the Jewish population in the united states during that time period along with the unspeakable crimes that were committed by some US soldiers during WWII. Yet, while this subject matter was harsh to digest it was secondary to a mysterious tragedy whose truthful unveiling will forever remain unanswered.

Although I could see some of the plot lines that were coming before they solidified before my eyes I still could not believe it. And unlike Evie I am not sure that I would want to know what exactly happened, for it would surely not bring forth any peace. I admired her strength and resolve and was left hopeful that her newfound knowledge would provide a change for the better.

After reading this novel I could not stop thinking about it. I understood Evie and her reasons for what she did but was haunted by that choice. Would I have done the same thing and what truly occured that tragic day? I will always wonder.

One of my favorite moments…“This could be the worst thing, even worse than everything that came after: Even now, if I could go back to that moment–I wouldn’t change a thing”

Author Interview with Clare B. Dunkle

“Former librarian Clare B. Dunkle is a writer worth watching. Gifted with the ability to create unique historical fantasy novels with a narrative pull like a Hoover, she wins fanatically dedicated readers right and left.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing with Clare B. Dunkle, author of serveral books including BY THESE TEN BONES. Besides this recent re-release Clare has also written THE HOLLOW KINGDOM TRILOGY, THE SKY INSIDE, THE WALLS HAVE EYES and recently THE HOUSE OF DEAD MAIDS. So, Please sit back and relax and join for a spell.
RR: Upon reading about your background I noted that you lived in Europe for several years. Did that experience influence your writing?
CBD: Oh, yes, tremendously. When we arrived in Germany, I hadn’t written a word of fiction since seventh grade creative writing class. When we came home seven years later, Holt had already published my first four novels. I think it was partly the isolation that did it: I honestly didn’t have a lot else to do with my time. But it was also that feeling of being at the heart of it all. I’d read folktales and history about Europe since childhood. Now, here I was, driving through dark German forests that looked like they could hold a gingerbread house or two and walking through crypts beneath the great cathedrals of Europe. The ancient buildings and landscape there really got into my blood and strongly influenced books like BY THESE TEN BONES.

RR: BY THESE TEN BONES was originally released in 2005 before the recent craze of werewolves that have now became mainstream in today’s YA literature. How do you feel about that?
CBD: Well, I’m delighted that it’s encouraged my publishing house to release a paperback edition. BY THESE TEN BONES is a favorite of mine. And I’m glad YA werewolves are getting their time in the sun—or, rather, moon. I prefer them to vampires.


RR: What is your book BY THESE TEN BONES about?
CBD: The story is set in the medieval Highlands of Scotland, a time and place when everyone believed in werewolves and knew to kill them on sight. Maddie, the town weaver’s daughter, becomes interested in a reclusive young woodcarver named Paul who comes to their town, but she can’t persuade him to speak to her. When a hideous creature almost kills the carver, Maddie becomes entangled in a life-or-death secret that could destroy her entire town.

RR: What kind of research did you have to prepare for BY THESE TEN BONES?
CBD: I was obsessive about my research for this book. Several of my ancestral lines are Gaelic, and my maiden name is Scottish, so I didn’t just want to stick characters in plaid and give them funny accents. I did quite a bit of nonfiction reading, took the family on a long Highland road trip with stops at all the living history museums we could find, and finally invited one of the world’s foremost experts on the medieval Highlands, Mr. R. Ross Noble, to read the manuscript and give me his comments.
It was an honor to work with Mr. Noble on the book. At the time, he was just retiring after twenty-five years of curating the Highland Folk Museum. Now he’s helping out UNESCO as a member of the Scotland Committee. I prepared him a special annotated copy of the manuscript, with the story in one column and my historical research pertaining to the text in another. He read the manuscript several times and was very supportive and helpful.

RR. Who was your favorite character in BY THESE TEN BONES and why?
CBD: Wow, that’s a hard question. I don’t think I can choose between Maddie and Paul. I love Maddie’s enthusiasm and optimism. It takes a lot to slow her down. But Paul has been through so much, and he feels things so deeply. Really, they’re so sweet together that I love them both.


RR: What do you want your readers to take away from your book?
CBD: You know, I never do write a book to try to get readers to take away a certain message. I feel strongly that that’s not what fiction should be about. Fiction is a chance for readers to have a new experience—a safe, risk-free experience—and I do hope that each reader takes away from my books something of value to him or her. But since each person’s experience coming into the story is different, I can’t predict what that person’s experience will be on the other side of the story either, and I think that’s as it should be.

RR: What was your favorite book that you read as a teen and why?
CBD: Sad to say, I read fewer books as a teen than I’ve done at any other stage of my life. School and university were so demanding! Fortunately, the books that were assigned in class were very worthwhile. Two books in particular have stayed with me as favorites, although you’ll wonder why because both of them were grim. The first was ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. That’s a fictionalized account of exactly what the title states: one day in the life of a prisoner in Stalin’s gulags. It’s surprisingly cheerful—just business as usual. And it’s so real. The first time I read it, I couldn’t put it down; I especially couldn’t stop to eat because that seemed like an insult to the prisoners. I don’t know how they had the strength to keep going. I know I wouldn’t have.
The other book is ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, by Erich Maria Remarque. It’s about life in the trenches in World War I, and again, it’s just so real. It’s amazing how humans can adjust and keep going in the middle of carnage and chaos. It’s almost unbelievable, really.

 
RR: What are you in the process of writing next?
CBD: My daughter and I have just completed a revision of her anorexia memoir, VANISHING GIRL. We’ve gone through trauma and heartache together, and I’m very proud of her for speaking out.


RR: What is on your nightstand now?
CBD: P.T BARNAM: AMERICA’S GREATEST SHOWMAN, by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., et al. It’s a fascinating read; that’s a slice of Americana I had no inkling of. Also THE GREAT CIRCUS TRAIN WRECK OF 1918, by Richard M. Lytle. It sounds like a joke, but what a tragedy! Eighty-six people were killed.


RR: With all the YA novels that are coming out this year, besides BY THESE TEN BONES, what are you most eager to read?
CBD: I can’t wait for my friend Jennifer Ziegler’s new novel, SASS & SERENDIPITY. It’ll be out in July from Delacorte, and so far I haven’t been able to wheedle a galley out of her.


RR: What is the best way for a reader to find you i.e. facebook/twitter/blog?
CBD: I am on Facebook, so that’s a good way to reach me. Also, I run my own website, http://www.claredunkle.com, and readers can find a web form there if they want to ask questions. I’ve posted photos there from my Highlands trip and other background information about BY THESE TEN BONES, as well as information about my other books.

RR: Thank you, for this great interview and I hope to see you again. It has been a pleasure as always.
CBD: Thank you for having me! It’s been great fun.

If you liked this interview and want to find out more about Clare please follow her to TEMPTING PERSEPHONE on Thursday. BY THESE TEN BONES by Clare B. Dunkle
February 15, 2011

A mysterious young man has come to a small Highland town. His talent for wood carving soon wins the admiration of Maddie, the weaver’s daughter. Fascinated by the silent carver, she sets out to gain his trust. But there is an evil presence in the carver’s life that cannot be controlled, and Maddie watches her town fall under a shadow. One by one, people begin to die. Caught in the middle, Maddie must decide what matters most to her—and what price she is willing to pay to keep it.