Announcement: Blogmas 2015!

Montag, 30. November 2015

   It's almost December, a couple more hours, and that means many bloggers like me are getting ready. For what you ask? We are getting ready for the madness that is blogmas. What does that mean you ask? Well, it basically means that starting on December 1st until December 25th we will be posting stuff on a daily basis, much like vlogmas over on YouTube.
   As you guys know I've never done this before, which only makes me more excited to participate this year. I've only found out about blogmas yesterday, meaning that my brain currently trying to figure out all the things I could post about on overdrive, since I didn't have much time to prepare, but don't worry, I have lots of ideas.

   Among the things you can expect will be:
  • Waiting on Wedesnday
  • Cover Lust Friday
  • Ask the Author
  • Three or four giveaways (unfortunately the three main ones will be Germany only since the books are in German)
  • A couple of reviews and possibly recommendations.

   I'm working on planning out more fun things, but if you have any suggestions as to what you'd like to see, leave a comment below (no need to log in or anything) or tweet me @Alice_Reeds.
   To kick off blogmas on December 1st I will post review for "The Awakened" by Sara Elizabeth Santana, so get excited. I hope this is going to be a fun experience and you'll enjoy it just as much as I hopefully will. And wish me luck on actually making it, 25 posts in 25 days!

Review: Nexis by A.L. Davroe

Samstag, 28. November 2015

Nexis by A.L. Davroe CoverNexis by A.L. Davroe
December 1st 2015 by Entangled: Teen

Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Paperback)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Tricksters Trilogy/Series (?)

   In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

   Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.
   But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.
   And it’s been waiting for Ella. (

* Thank you Entangled Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC 
in exchange for an honest review *

   The second I found the e-mail from Entangled Teen sitting in my inbox saying that this book was up for request I knew I had to have it. I mean, how could you not want to read this book and dive straight into its futuristic, almost dystopian like world and lose yourself in the intriguing virtual reality game, Nexis? If you've been around a while you know I really like these types of books so I couldn't wait to dive headfirst time the story, even more after I interviewed the author (Ask the Author coming up December 5th 2015).
   In Nexis we follow Ella, a girl that looses both of her legs and her father and have to find her place in this futuristic world, her city called Evanescence, and find a life for herself. I really liked Ella, she left like a well rounded character with logical trains of thought and actions, which is always a plus in our Mary Sue flooded YA world, isn't it? The was also a dash of humor thrown in, which is always helpful to lighten up the mood a little or loosen up the atmosphere. I also really enjoyed how much of an development Ella went through throughout the entire story, which just added to her level of believability and lovability as character.

   The dialogues felt really natural and organic, not forced and stiff to make the plot go along or throw in some information. I really liked that, and just the author's writing style in general. She did an amazing job in describing the scenery and just how hi-tech the world is around Ella, but also the emotions she felt and the thoughts running through her, but at the same times Ella still sounded like an YA character and not like a very philosophical adult trying to disguise himself as teen, as seen in other novels.

   Lastly I definitely also want to mention the killer ending that A.L. Davroe was presented us with. I won't spoiler any of it, of course, but just prepare yourself. Now all I want is for the sequel just to magically appear or the author telling me all about it. I cannot wait to see how the story will continue and what will happen next.

   All in all I really enjoyed Nexis a lot. It was a very well written and well developed first book in a series/trilogy that will leave you craving for more. If you like sci-fi, futuristic and dystopian type of reads with virtual reality games mixed into it then you should definitely check this one out asap.
I give Nexis by A.L. Davroe 5 out of 5 stars.

Cover Lust Friday: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Freitag, 27. November 2015

Cover Lust Friday Logo

   Cover Lust Friday is a new weekly meme that's all about covers. Pick a cover that stands out to you, add your reason why you've chosen that particular one or what you like about it. Let's have fun with it and share the love for our favorite covers.

   The Cover:

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus
Published: October 6th 2015 by A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
Number of Pages: 288 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.
   Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.
   Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.
   When Summer's behavior manage to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel. (

   The Reason:

   I really, really like this cover. Violet and pink are, surprisingly enough, two of my favorite colors, especially when mixed with black. The cover really reminds me of a evening, sunset sky over Paris, a very beautiful sight, that goes along really nicely with the white writing. The font is really nice and looks as if someone would have just written the words by hand onto the cover design, which is always really nice to see. I am a sucker for unique fonts on book covers.

* * *

Want to join in? No problem! Just follow the 'rules' below:

  1. Write a blog post about a cover you love.
  2. Add your link in the comment section of the original post (click here) so we can have something like a list going on.
  3. And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  4. Check out other posts, and have fun!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Awakened by Sara Elizabeth Santana

Mittwoch, 25. November 2015

   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

The Awakened by Sara Elizabeth Santana cover
The Awakened by Sara Elizabeth Santana
Expected Publication:  December 1st 2015 by Oftomes Publishing
Series:  Yes, #1 in The Awakened Duology

   Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take and avoiding Ash Matthews.
   That is, until the Z virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They're faster, smarter, and they work together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh.
   The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with the awakened.
   Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country. (

   My thoughts:

   I don't know about you guys but I think this book sounds amazing! Besides, it's being published by Ben's (Benjaminoftomes) publishing company, Oftomes, which only makes it more exciting. It sounds like a fun zombie survival type of read with a dash of romance. Fun times!
    Confession: I'm actually currently reading this book and it's really good! Nonetheless I can't wait for it to come out so I can get my hands on a physical copy and place it on my shelf. 

   Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which books you're waiting for this Wednesday!
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown Cover

Ask the Author: Dahlia Adler (Just Visiting)

Samstag, 21. November 2015

   For todays Ask the Author I'm bringing you the marvelous Dahlia Adler, author of Just Visiting and other amazing YA and NA novels. I'm incredibly happy that she agreed to answer eleven of my questions for you guys. I think her answers are brilliant and only made me want to read her books more. Hopefully you'll feel the same!
   Here is Just Visiting and her awesome answers:

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler cover
Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Published: November 17th 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Number of Pages: 348 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.
   Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican.
   One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave.
   As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future. (

Interview with Dahlia Adler

   1 – Describe Just Visiting with a haiku.
   two girl BFFs
   road tripping to colleges
   much s*** hits the fan

   2 – What sparked the idea for Just Visiting? The simple idea of a friendship between two completely different girls or something entirely different?
   It was that simple idea, yeah. I read a whole rash of YAs where every BFF was more like a frenemy, and then I read one called Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway, and I realized I'd been bracing myself the entire time for a nasty moment between the friends that never came. And I was horrified that I expected terribleness to arise, especially since half that friendship pair was in a position of power. And I knew then I wanted to write a book where the friendship took center stage.

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Just Visiting and which scene was the most fun to write?
   A bunch of things were really challenging because everything was outside of my lane - Kansas, poverty, being Mexican-American, Deafness/ASL...even college visits; I only went on one! But for me, hurting my characters emotionally with things that are really beyond their control is the hardest, so that first scene between Reagan, her mom, and a neighbor was particularly hard. As for the most fun... my favorite scenes to write are always romantic ones, so there's a tie there between my favorite one of Vic's with a guy she meets on a visit and my favorite one of Reagan's, which I won't spoil but I imagine anyone who's read it can guess.

   4 – Throughout the novel you discuss many different and important topics. Which are they and why do you think it’s important to talk about them?
   There's a lot I think we don't talk enough about in YA, especially when it comes to girls and their control over their own choices and bodies. I wanted to acknowledge how much power is actually out there for them, what they might not realize is or should be in their grasp, whether that's financial options for college, or alternative plans to college, or all matters of consent and contraception and sexual ownership... I hate that we're so silent about these things in YA, because they're all things that give teens power, and that's something I firmly believe YA should do.

   5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   Ha, it's a very dangerous road for an author to go down to think about what they'd do differently. But the truth is, I am happy with how it turned out. And glad to be able to say that.

   6 – Like many of us you stand behind the fact that we need more diverse books. Why do you think diversity is so important especially in YA?
   Everyone needs to see themselves in stories, to see that they have a place in the world and experiences worth knowing. I think we've been underestimating the value in that for too long, and the power diverse books have not only to increase empathy but to make people who might've seen like they're from a different world more familiar. Less Othered. People's bigoted opinions often do a total 180 as soon as they learn how that opinion actually affects someone close to them. Get them close to a book character who isn't like them as a teen, and maybe they don't grow up to be an adult with that bigoted opinion. It's worth a shot.
 7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same?
   It was really, really nervewracking in ways I didn't expect, when my first book came out into the world. When you've been writing your whole life, but no one has any idea what you're actually working on, people either assume it's amazing, because they like you, or it's amateurish, because they know you. Either way, they're finally seeing inside your head, and that's terrifying. Less so now that I've published four books, sure, but still.

   8 – What do you think about the cover for Just Visiting?
   I absolutely love my cover; I think everything about it is perfect. It's fun and friendship-y, rural and hopeful, golden and open, and I love the road trip detailing. My critique partner Maggie Hall is obscenely talented, and the fact that she can write books as well as she does and make covers this beautiful astonishes me to no end. I'm so lucky to have her.

   9 – What are your five favorite reads of 2015 so far?
   I am really, really awful at answering this question, especially because I think 2015 has been a particularly phenomenal year for books, especially debuts. But five YAs that are definitely contenders are All the Rage by Courtney Summers, Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert.

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Don't do this professionally if you're not willing and wanting to learn and grow at all times. You can't shut everyone and everything else out; it's just not a profession that exists in a vacuum. If you don't respect the advice and edits of other people, and you aren't interested in ever reaching outside your comfort zone, this is going to get really unpleasant for you, really fast. And boring, too.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Teleportation. My closest author friends live all over the country (and in the case of one, in The Netherlands!) and while the Internet is great, a few hours spent talking books over drinks or at Barnes & Noble is even better! Plus, you know, no driver's license.
Dahlia Adler

About the Author

   Dahlia Adler is an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a blogger for B&N Teens by night, and writes Contemporary YA and NA at every spare moment in between. She's the author of the Daylight Falls duology, the upcoming Just Visiting, and Last Will and Testament, as well as over five billion tweets as @MissDahlELama. She lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves.

Cover Lust Friday: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

Freitag, 20. November 2015

Cover Lust Friday Logo

   Cover Lust Friday is a new weekly meme that's all about covers. Pick a cover that stands out to you, add your reason why you've chosen that particular one or what you like about it. Let's have fun with it and share the love for our favorite covers.

   The Cover:

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
Published: December 3rd 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 342 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.
   Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her. (

   The Reason:

   As you guys know I love this book. The story is gorgeous, tranquil and slow with beautifully crafted characters and scenes.
   I think the cover is absolutely perfect for this novel. It perfectly mirrors the story through the subtle pink and violet hue, the snow and this sense of sadness that you get from it, even more through the lone figure sitting underneath the tree. The font fits great and stands out thanks to the white background. The cover is different and stands out from the masses of YA book covers. It immediately caught my attention when I first saw it.
   If you're interest, here you can find my review and my interview with the author, Amy McNamara.

* * *

Want to join in? No problem! Just follow the 'rules' below:

  1. Write a blog post about a cover you love.
  2. Add your link in the comment section of the original post (click here) so we can have something like a list going on.
  3. And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  4. Check out other posts, and have fun!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Mittwoch, 18. November 2015

   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Expected Publication: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 464 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #3 in the The 5th Wave Trilogy

   We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.
   Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series. (

   My thoughts:

   As you guys know I LOVED The 5th Wave and couldn't shut up about it. I anxiously awaited The Infinite Sea, which wasn't really what I had expected, but I have lots of faith in Rick Yancey's abilities as writer and storyteller to wrap this trilogy up with a grand finale.
   One thing that makes me happy is that there have not been any unnecessary cover changes yet and I hope it'll stay that way because all three covers are perfect. I cannot wait to have all three standing on my shelf. Unfortunately for me, and lots of other people who are waiting for this book, it isn't coming out until May 2016. Let's hope it will be worth the waiting!

   Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which books you're waiting for this Wednesday!
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown Cover

Release Day Blast: Mystique by Shari Arnold

Dienstag, 17. November 2015

   I'm super excited to be sharing Mystique by Shari Arnold with you on it's release day! I think this book sounds extremely intriguing so come and celebrate it's with us by checking out the book about the town where people go to die…and be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a signed copy of your very own + a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Mystique by Shari Arnold
Release Date: Novemeber 17th, 2015 by

   Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. But staying dead is another thing entirely. When he wakes up at his own funeral, the town of Mystique calls it a miracle, until it happens again. Something is bringing the residents of Mystique back to life, but what? Presley Caine finds herself caught up in the mystery when Bauer asks her to visit him. Presley can’t figure out why the most popular guy in school is so drawn to her. And when Bauer is kidnapped soon after, she looks to Bauer’s brooding best friend Sam, whose dad works for the powerful Mystique military base, for answers. In her quest to discover the truth, Presley’s relationship with Sam deepens, her feelings for Bauer are tested, and it becomes clear that her own mysterious past is somehow connected to these strange events. But is she strong enough to handle the truth when it is finally revealed? (

About The Author

   Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog


   One winner will get a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card + a Signed Copy of MYSTIQUE

   Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only
   Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are not eligible to participate. Please see Terms & Conditions for more info.

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Cover Lust Friday: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Freitag, 13. November 2015

Cover Lust Friday Logo

   Cover Lust Friday is a new weekly meme that's all about covers. Pick a cover that stands out to you, add your reason why you've chosen that particular one or what you like about it. Let's have fun with it and share the love for our favorite covers.

   The Cover:

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Published: May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Number of Pages: 428 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.
   Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.
   Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up. (

   The Reason:

   I love this cover, and the book it belongs to.
   This cover truly looks like someone actually sat down and put a lot of thinking into what the cover should be like so it would mirror the story perfectly. I really like covers that look like they've been painted and, let's face it, the rain looks amazing! Alex, the protagonist and girl on the cover, looks really cool with that bit of red hair showing and that comfy looking sweater.
   This cover is perfect!

* * *

Want to join in? No problem! Just follow the 'rules' below:

  1. Write a blog post about a cover you love.
  2. Add your link in the comment section of the original post (click here) so we can have something like a list going on.
  3. And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  4. Check out other posts, and have fun!

Waiting on Wednesday: True Born by L.E.Sterling

Mittwoch, 11. November 2015

   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

True Born by L.E.Sterling
Expected Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Paperback)
Series: Yes, #1 in the True Born Trilogy

   Welcome to Dominion City.
   After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated...and their genetics damaged beyond repair.
   The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…
   And then there's Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.
   When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?
   As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood. (

   My thoughts:

   This book sounds amazing!
   I love this type of books where some kind of plague diminished the populations or some kind of virus, and the story set in the world trying to survive the aftermath of it all. Awesome, sign me up asap. The idea of identical twins and one of them having to find the other twin that disappeared sounds intriguing. Besides that I'm curious who there True Borns are and how everything will play together and the story go.
   And let's face it, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, even though it's relatively simple, but I think that's the beauty of it. It definitely caught my eye when I saw its reveal on twitter some time ago.
   Can May 2016 please hurry up?

   Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which books you're waiting for this Wednesday!
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown Cover

Ask the Author: Jennifer Brown (Shade Me)

Samstag, 7. November 2015

For todays Ask the Author I've contacted the very lovely Jennifer Brown, author of Shade Me (and Hate List and a couple of other awesome books that you should check out). Personally I am more then just looking forward to January 2016 when Shade Me will come out so I was thrilled when she agreed to answer a couple of my Qs.
   Here's her book and her As:

Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
Expected Publication: January 19th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 448 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Nikki Kills Series (?)

   Nikki Kill does not see the world like everyone else. In her eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray. Thanks to a rare phenomenon called synesthesia, Nikki’s senses overlap, in a way that both comforts and overwhelms her.
   Always an outsider, just one ‘D’ shy of flunking out, Nikki’s life is on the fast track to nowhere until the night a mysterious call lights her phone up bright orange—the color of emergencies. It’s the local hospital. They need Nikki to identify a Jane Doe who is barely hanging on to life after a horrible attack.
   The victim is Peyton Hollis, a popular girl from Nikki’s school who Nikki hardly knows. One thing is clear: Someone wants Peyton dead. But why? And why was Nikki’s cell the only number in Peyton’s phone?
   As she tries to decipher the strange kaleidoscope of clues, Nikki finds herself thrust into the dark, glittering world of the ultra-rich Hollis family, and drawn towards Peyton’s handsome, never-do-well older brother Dru. While Nikki’s colors seem to help her unravel the puzzle, what she can’t see is that she may be falling into a trap. The only truth she can be sure of is that death is a deep, pulsing crimson. (

Interview with Jennifer Brown

   1 – Describe Shade Me with a haiku.
   Okay, but fair warning…I am the world’s worst poet!
   Nikki’s colors show
   crime and passion and a task:
   Solve Peyton’s attack

   2 – What sparked the idea for Shade Me, and especially the part where Nikki sees emotions as colors?
   I find synesthesia to be fascinating. And I love the idea of having this character, who has never been able to fully appreciate this special part of herself, begin to see it as an amazing tool—in this case, one that can solve a crime. There are lots of ways senses can link with synesthesia, and I chose emotion after I read a case study about a synesthete whose connection was just that. I thought it would give Nikki a sort of ever-changing world of color to deal with. Also, I think it would be cool to understand an emotion as a color. Wouldn’t it be handy to know that the “awkward” you’re feeling around someone is actually the green of mistrust or the purple of shyness or the gray of fear?

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Shade Me and which scene was the most fun to write?
   Integrating the colors in a way that didn’t just laundry list them was quite a challenge. I wanted to be sure my readers “saw” the colors with Nikki and didn’t just know that she was seeing them.
I had such fun writing intense, flirty, sexy scenes, because I never get to write that kind of thing. All of my other YA’s have either had zero sex and romance or doomed sex and romance, so this was a fun change. I also loved writing the fight scenes, because I got the opportunity to act them all out with a couple of black belts before writing them down. Nikki is a badass and I love it!

   4 – What do you like most and least about your main character, Nikki?
   She is bold and fearless, or at least she presents herself that way. She isn’t afraid to follow leads, even if they’re sketchy and taking her to frightening places. She’s all-in with everything she does, and I love that about her.
I wish she was just a teeny bit less closed off, emotionally. But there are still more books to come, so…

   5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   I’m very happy with the way it turned out, and especially since I’ve been working on Book 2 and can see where the story is heading. Will I forever find flaws in it and things I wish I could change? Sure, but I find that in all of my novels. It’s a perfectionism thing. If you gave me 100 years to work on a novel, I would still want “one more day to fix that one little thing...”

   6 - How long does it usually take you to finish a story? Do you have a writing routine or do you write whenever creativity hits you?
   Depends on the story. SHADE ME took me a little longer, because it’s a longer story than I usually write, and a little more complex. And my middle grade novels don’t take anywhere near as long as my YA’s or my women’s fiction, because they’re much shorter. I would say I can comfortably put out a rough (ROOOOUGH) draft in 2-3 months. But I have been known to binge-write and crank out a book in a couple weeks.
   I’m a pretty routine-driven kind of girl. I used to have to write whenever I could get a few seconds of quiet time (rare when you’re a stay-at-home mom of three), but now that everyone’s in school, I write all day long.

   7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same?
   You know, I still don’t think it’s quite sunk in for me. Which sounds silly after six years, I know, but I went for so many years (nine, to be exact) of nobody wanting to read my novels, it still feels strange that anyone is reading them. So it’s always the same feeling of surrealism mixed with excitement mixed with terror and disbelief. I like that mix—I think it keeps me humble.

   8 – What do you think about the cover for Shade Me?
It is so gorgeous! I love the rainbow of colors streaming down her face, and how they pop out against the black and white photo. I don’t know if I’ve ever really seen anything quite like it. I couldn’t have asked for a better cover, and I can’t wait to see the covers of the future Nikki Kill books.

   9 – If Shade Me were to be made into a movie or TV series, who would be your dream cast, if you have one, for Nikki?
   Nina Dobrev would absolutely slay the role of Nikki Kill!

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   I have three pieces of advice for aspiring authors.
   1) Read. All the time. Never skip a day, if you can help it. Read, read, read. This will help you not only understand what good and bad writing looks like, and what’s trending, but will also help you narrow down what you want to write.
   2) Write. All the time. Keep journals and fill them with story ideas, poetry, snippets of essays or short stories, pieces of dialogue, character sketches, whatever comes to your mind. It’s like building a muscle or perfecting a free throw—the more you practice, the better you will get.
   3) Believe in yourself. This is the hardest, and most important, part of becoming a writer. You will get lots of rejections. You will get bad reviews. You will get emails from readers pointing out your flaws. You have to be able to withstand the really low moments by telling yourself that you can do this. Sometimes, the difference between a published writer and an unpublished one isn’t necessarily that the published writer was better at writing…but has just been better at believing in herself.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Invisibility – I’m almost off-the-charts introverted and can be pretty shy. I would wear a cape made out of book pages and hide out in my super secret lair (the library) and call myself Introvertia! My arch nemesis? Super Pushy Party Planning Guy. Ha ha ha.

About the Author

   Two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer's weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist.
   Jennifer's debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association's Thumbs Up! Award, the Louisiana Teen Readers Choice award, the 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association's Taysha's high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association's Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been chosen to represent the state of Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Jennifer's second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha's high school reading list pick as well.
   Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.

Sneak Peak at The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand + his favorite five Zombie movies + Giveaway

Donnerstag, 5. November 2015

   Sourcebooks Fire contacted me recently and asked if I'd want to help them spread the word for The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand and of course I couldn't say no. I mean, that title sounds amazing and I cannot wait to read it. They've provided me with lots of awesome things to share with you guys, thanks again for that, so without further ado, here it is:

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand
Release Date: March 1, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Number of Pages: 272 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it’s time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They’re going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They may not have money or a script, but they have passion. And, after a rash text message, they also have the beautiful Alicia Howtz—Justin’s crush—as the lead.
   With only one month to complete their movie, a script that can’t possibly get worse, and the hopes and dreams of Alicia on the line, Justin is feeling the pressure. Add to that a cast of uncooperative extras and incompetent production assistants, and Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever…

Jeff Strand’s Five Favorite Zombie Movies:

   My five favorite zombie movies are very similar to many other people’s five favorite zombie movies. I could’ve gone the condescending click-bait route and written about “The Five Best Zombie Movies You’ve Never Seen!” but, no, I’m going with my five real favorites….

   #5: DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004 version). I was one of the many people bellowing, “You can’t remake DAWN OF THE DEAD! This is blasphemy! Blasphemy!!!” But somehow this remake to a sequel (but not a sequel to the remake) turned out to be awesome. Not quite as good as the original (SPOILER ALERT: That’s #3 on this list) but one of my all-time favorites.

   #4: RE-ANIMATOR. I’ve now seen plenty of movies that are more over-the-top insane than RE-ANIMATOR, but this was the first movie where I simply couldn’t believe what I was watching. It was hard to believe that a movie so dark and gruesome could be so funny.

   #3: DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978 version). Shameful confession: When I first saw this in high school I thought it was stupid and boring. Fortunately, I matured and accepted that it’s one of the high points of zombie cinema. It’s the reason I know to duck before walking toward spinning helicopter blades.

   #2: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Fast zombies long before 28 DAYS LATER! The first time zombies ate brains! It doesn’t often get the credit it deserves, but this is one of the most influential zombie movies ever.

   #1: SHAUN OF THE DEAD. The greatest zombie comedy ever. The greatest zombie movie ever. The greatest MOVIE ever.

About Jeff Strand:

   Jeff Strand has written more than twenty books, and is a four-time nominee (and four-time non-winner) of the Bram Stoker Award. Two of his young adult novels, A Bad Day For Voodoo and I Have A Bad Feeling About This, were Junior Library Guild picks. Publishers Weekly called his work “wickedly funny.” He lives in Tampa, Florida.

Excerpt from The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever:

   The vampire, whose fangs were too big for his mouth, turned to the camera and hissed.
   "Don't look at the camera," said Justin Hollow, the director.
   "I keep poking my lip on these things," said Harold, spitting the plastic fangs out onto the ground. He hadn't been a very frightening example of the undead before, and he was even less scary with no fangs and a thick line of drool running down his chin.
   "Cut!" shouted Justin, loud enough to be sure that the command was heard by his production crew of two. "C'mon, Harold. Stay in character. We're three hours behind schedule."
   "I don't care. I hate this. You promised that I'd get all the girls I wanted. So where are all of the girls I want?"
   Justin let out his thirty-ninth exasperated sigh of the night. "The movie has to come out first."
   "It's not even a real movie."
Justin bristled. It was a full body bristle, head to toe, which he hadn't even realized was physically possible. Bobby, who handled sound recording, and Gabe, who handled everything else, both stepped back a couple of feet. Neither of them truly believed that they were about to witness a murder, but they wanted to get out of the splash zone, just in case.
   Had this been one of Justin's movies, he would have very slowly lowered his camera, stared directly into Harold's eyes with a steel gaze, and then after an extremely dramatic pause asked ""
   His actual response, delivered in a squeakier voice than he would have allowed from his actors, was: "Huh?"
   "I said it's not a real movie." Harold started to wipe the fake blood off his mouth. It didn't come off, and probably wouldn't for several days. Justin had planned to feel guilty about this later, but now he wouldn't bother. "Nobody's ever going to see it. You probably won't even finish it."
   "I finished my last three movies!" Justin insisted. "I got hundreds of hits on YouTube!"
   That statement was technically accurate, though it was the lowest possible number of hits you could get and still use "hundred" in its plural form. The only comment anybody posted about his latest film had been "This twelve year-old filmmaker sort of shows promise," which really frustrated Justin since he was fifteen.
   Harold shrugged. "This is a waste of time. I've got better things to do on a Friday night."
   "Nobody ever said this was going to be easy," said Justin, who had indeed said that it was going to be easy when luring Harold into the role. "You can quit now, but what are you going to think about your decision ten years from now?"
   "I'm going to think, wow, it sure is nice to be such a well-paid dentist."
   Harold walked off the set. It wasn't an actual set, but rather a small park near Justin's home, where they were filming without a permit. Justin knew he should shout something after his ex-actor. Something vicious. Something devastating. He thought about shouting "You'll never work in this town again!" but, no, it had to be something that Harold would consider a bad thing.
   "Fine!" Justin shouted. "But when we record the audio commentary track for the Blu-Ray, I'm going to talk about how you abandoned us, and how much happier everybody was with the new actor who took your role, and how we all agreed that he should have been cast in the first place, and how he had so many girlfriends that he couldn't even keep track of them, and how they all found out about each other and had a great big awesome catfight in his front yard! And I'll pronounce your name wrong!"
   Harold continued walking, apparently not heartbroken.

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Review: Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling

Dienstag, 3. November 2015

Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling
Published: November 2nd 2015 by Entangled: TEEN
Number of Pages: 350 Pages (Kindle)
Series: No

   The world isn't just black or white. Sometimes it's red...
   They think I'm next. That I'll be the seventh kid to step in front of a train and end my life. With the rash of suicides at my school, Mom's shipped me off to my dad's Wyoming ranch for “my own safety.” They think I’m just another depressed teenager whose blood will end up on the tracks. They don't know my secrets...or what I’ve done.
   I wasn't expecting Dad to be so sick, for the ranch I loved to be falling to bits, or for Jake—the cute boy I knew years ago—to have grown into a full-fledged, hot-as-hell cowboy. Suddenly, I don't want to run anymore, but the secrets from home have found me...even here. And this time, it's up to me to face them—and myself—if I want to live... (

* Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with a eARC in exchange for my honest review *

The moment I received a message saying that ARCs of this book were available I knew I had to have it, even if only because of that brilliantly intriguing title. Unlike me I didn't get to actually read it until the day before yesterday, leaving me with hours before my review was supposed to be online. Curse you, reading slump. But once I started to read it I simply couldn't put it down anymore.
   Paint My Body Red is a brilliant novel with the perfect blend of flawed characters, real life problems solved in real life ways, and a beautifully crafted love story. I want to thank the author for tackling the hard truth that is how robbing a child of its childhood in order of pursuing its parents ambitions can ruin said child. I know there are many children in exactly this position and I think it is very important to talk about this issue because a child needs to have a childhood, needs to have time to play and have friends, and not spend every waking moment studying, practicing and working toward a future that might not even be the one they truly want since its what their parents decided for them.

   I loved the incredibly honest tone of this book and its protagonist, Paige. She didn't hide the fact that she was damaged, didn't hide her feelings and fears, and that was refreshing. At the same time she wasn't a damsel in distress waiting for a strong cowboy to come and save her, no, she found her own way of saving and fixing herself, the cowboy was rather a nice extra that helped.
   Speaking of which, Jake the cowboy was an amazing character. He was honest and true to himself at all times. He seemed much smarter then many 19 years olds, but the book beautifully explained how children that grow up the way he did mature sooner, quicker.
   I also really liked Paige's father and Anna. Both of them were well rounded characters that had a life even beyond the scene when they interacted with Paige, and their story was just as moving as the main one centered around Paige. I loved how important the ranch was to all of them and how far they were ready to go to save it.

   Speaking of ranch, as a kid I loved horses. I used to ride them, I was even pretty good, until I stopped due to personal reasons so reading a book that involved horses and a characters love for them was brilliant. I could really feel how much Paige cared about her horse and the ranch.
   Furthermore I really liked the author's writing style. Ms. Kling has a lot of talent and is able to paint a scene beautifully, make you feel like you are there witnessing it and not just reading about it. The fact that Paint My Body Red was written partially in the now, so the summer Paige was spending at her father's ranch, and in the past, telling the reader about what had happened, what impact the suicides had on Paige and her toxic relationship was amazing. It all unfolded piece by piece, slowly, util it formed a complete horrible picture.

   All in all I think Paint My Body Red is a valuable novel that takes very hard topics and actually talks about them. The author didn't gloss over anything but showed the hard truth of it all, which I definitely appreciated a lot. The characters were fleshed out and the story moving, intriguing, and beautiful. I recommend this book to everybody because I think it's one of those important books that show reality and don't just tell a summer fluff story.
   I give Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling 5 out of 5 stars.