Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rock This! Thursday with My Girl Friday

Hi! I'm Steph from My Girl Friday and am absolutely thrilled to be guest-posting for Rock This! Thursday. I'm a huge fan of this feature because it combines a few of my favourite things (and yours as well, I'm sure) - music and books.

Recently I read Lish McBride's debut novel Hold Me Closer Necromancer. Without going into a complete re-hash of my own review, I adored this book! Lish puts a fresh spin on the paranormal genre, writes well-developed characters and has this awesome balance of snark and smarts. One of the other aspects I loved of the novel was that every chapter was named after a song title (or was part of a song lyric). Now I know sometimes this device can be a bit corny, but in Necromancer it really worked and each song is kind of perfectly selected and really capture the 'feel' of the novel. So I thought creating a blog-mix-CD would be a fun way to share some of my favourite song picks from Hold Me Closer Necromancer (and with a mix of rock, alternative rock, new wave, hair metal and country, hopefully there's a little something for everybody). Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.


Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious

Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Father of Lies by Ann Turner

That's it for me! What did you guys get this week? 


Character Interview: Grace from Like Mandarin

The stunt you pulled at the pageant that made your mother flip her lid was hilarious to read! Do you wish you would have done anything else?
Well, it's been awfully hard to live down what I did do. Maybe I should have, like, smashed the tape deck on the stage in a rock star explosion. Or on top of Alexis Bunker, except we were friends then. And I would never, ever do something like that.

How different do you think things would be if you had befriended Mandarin at the beauty pageant all those years ago, rather than in high school?
I want to think we would have had this long, incredible friendship. But who knows? I was so much younger. Of course, she was too, but three years is even further apart when you're six and nine. And I was different then, and so was she. And we'd have turned into different people, if we'd been friends all that time. Or maybe we wouldn't have been friends. Maybe we'd have been enemies. In the end, I think…. I think we came together exactly when we needed to.

What's one thing about yourself you want to change?
I wish I didn't care so much about what everybody thought. Everybody in town, I mean, and Momma, but especially the kids at school. Sometimes it's almost like, the more I try to pretend I don't care, the more I really do care. It makes my head hurt.

Looking back at it now, what would say about you and Mandarin's friendship?
Wow. Um, let's see. It’s still kind of close to home, if you know what I mean. A little too close to fully make sense of it. I'm glad, though. I'm glad we were friends. Before we got paired for that project, I imagined lots of times what it would be like – to be friends with Mandarin Ramey. It wasn't what I expected. It was better. And worse. Much worse. It was more, in every possible way.

One thing's for sure: no matter how well I thought I knew Mandarin, she never stopped surprising me.

Is there anything you regret?
I shouldn't have trusted her. I should have known better.

But I can't regret our friendship.

Thanks for stopping by, Grace! If you would like to read more about Grace, don't forget to pick up a copy of Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

Released: October 2008
Publisher: Anderson Press Ltd.
Genre: Young Adult - Thriller
Pages: 180
Source: Teen Book Scene

Rating: ♥♥♥

11-year-old Sam has moved to a new city, something he's very used to and starts to hang out with Lloyd. They haven't been friends for long, but after they get into a car that they've both mistaken for one another's, both of their worlds are about to change drastically.

One minute one thinks everything will be okay while the other one is in fear. Before the end of the night, they both realize that the man driving the car isn't setting anything up for Lloyd's father like they assumed. They've been kidnapped, and now it's a fight for survival. Sam was definitely the strongest character in the story, trying to make sure him and Lloyd both get out of this alive.

Savita Kalhan did a wonderful job of writing something that will give most people chills due to the fact that kidnapping is a realistic issue and a very scary one. I never really felt like I got to know the boys that well though. The book is mainly plot driven and does make for a quick read.

Even though both boys are 11, this book might not be suitable for a younger crowd. I, on the other hand, thought I would be a bit more creeped out by it. I can't exactly pin point why this didn't really win me over, but all in all it was still a pretty good read.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rock This Thursday: How Books and Music Go Hand-In-Hand

Chelsey from Sense and Disability has swung by today to discuss her thoughts on music and books. Chelsey is also a young adult writer and you can check out her blog here!

Music and books suck all the money from my wallet. I spend half my life in Harvard Square, buying CDs and paperbacks. These are the things my iPad and iPod should render obsolete, but they don’t. Probably they won’t. But I’m not here to talk about the impending death of bookstores, or the fact that we’d all be better off if the discs in the jewel-cases went away. (I hate jewel-cases, but that’s another story). I’m here to talk about discovery.

To me, literature, music and discovery are all tied together. Art is self-referential, and I love that. This year, I discovered great music through the books I read. Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution is a treasure-trove of musical gems, and Antony John’s Five Flavors of Dumb mentioned a Nirvana video that changed the way I thought about musical legacy.  Sometimes I’ll read a book because it’s mentioned in a song (that book by Nabokov). I go to concerts and my brain tosses up ideas, inspired by the lyrics, the chords or another artist’s passion. The most powerful scenes I’ve written, or read, have threads of music running through them, whether ostentatiously or suggested in the rhythm of the words.

Songwriters create images with words, like writers do. They mix in instruments, microphones and amps like publishers and authors toss in plot, cover-art, character. All the little things that make up one bigger thing, but the pith of both arts is the same. Feeling, emotion, describing a way of being in the world. The arts are tied. That creating soundtracks for books, and writing books based on a song are things that happen necessarily, and I love the art that comes from them.

What are some of your favorite musical books and literate songs?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders: Did your store make the list?

I'm sure many of you are well aware that today many Borders stores were going to be closing down. To see the full list, click here.

I live in what a lot of people like to call the boonies, the boothill, or my favorite BFE. Basically I am small town. Most of my book buying comes from ordering online or Wal-Mart. (And my Wal-Mart sucks, by the way.) The closest Borders or other bookstore is in a city located about an hour away from me. I do make trips up to this city once or twice a month, and always stop by Borders because an actual bookstore is a treat for me. Some of you may think this is very odd, but it's true. Try going without a bookstore near you for most of your life, and you'll soon figure out why it's so awesome to walk into one. To be surrounded by books that you can pick up and look through.

Today I found out my store will be closing and it really bummed me out. I feel worse for all the people who are now loosing their jobs. So what I'm saying to everyone is that if you can get to a Borders: Go buy a book! Help save the other stores that are still opened so they can get passed this.

And if you happen to live in Pennsylvania and are around Exton, you should swing by the mall and go to the Borders Express. (Check them out on facebook!) That's where two of my friends work and they are big advocates for Young Adult. It seems like once a month they have an author in there (past events include: Cassandra Clare, A.S. King, Michelle Zink, Rachel Caine) and if you check out their facebook page you can see they really know how to throw an event! I wish I lived closer because I'd be hanging out in their store all day.

Now I know some of you are probably going to say something about shopping Indie Bound. Please don't think I don't support that in any way because I do. I think it's awesome bookstores that aren't a chain are open, host events, etc. But like I mentioned, I live in the middle of nowhere and there aren't any Indie Bound stores remotely close to me. I think the last time I did a search the nearest one was almost 5 hours away.

So basically, go support your local Borders this month!


Author Interview: Suzanne Selfors

With Mad Love being your sixth release, has the writing process gotten any easier?
It never gets easier. Isn't that crazy? You think it will but every novel comes with its own set of problems. What does get easier, however, is accepting the fact that not everyone is going to love every word you write. And some will like one book but not the other. That's how it works and it's all good.

I know characters are like your children, but do you have one you favorite a little bit more than the rest?
Yes. I adore Isabelle from my kids' book Fortune's Magic Farm. I based her on my daughter, Isabelle, and she's about the most hopeful, wonderful, beautiful person I've ever written and have ever known.

Is there any topic or genre you don't think you'll ever write?
I'm not into crime stuff. Don't watch CSI or any of those shows that open with a gruesome murder and then they start picking at the dead body to determine the cause of death, which is always something beyond disgusting. Not my thing.

I'm always curious of what the first idea was to spark a novel. What idea turned Mad Love into what it is now?
I love Greek and Roman Mythology. I'd just finished my book, Coffeehouse Angel, in which I reimagined the messenger god, Hermes. So I knew I wanted to do something with Cupid. That's how it began. But what could I do with Cupid? What if Cupid was walking around amongst us? So the idea emerged to turn Cupid into this eternal 17-year-old teen who has a final mission, and that is to tell his true love story. But he's not a writer and he needs someone to help him tell his story. That's when Alice Amorous, daughter of a famous romance writer, popped into my head.

Do you base your characters off of anyone you know or even yourself?
It's not possible to write a story and keep yourself completely out of it. Bits of my personality will always seep into my books. I see parts of myself in many of my characters. I have, however, based a few of my characters on real people. My father has appeared in many disguises, as have my kids.

Why Cupid?
See #4

What is one thing you want readers to take away from Mad Love?
Alice, the main character, believes that she's unloveable. She feels abandoned by love. What she learns is that love never left, it was always swirling around her. She just had to open her heart to it.

If you were in Alice's shoes, meeting Cupid and all, what do you think your reaction would be?
Same as hers. I'd think he was a lunatic.

What are some of your favorite young adult books?
Hunger Games, The House of the Scorpion, Catcher in the Rye.

Lastly, tell us five random things about you:
I draw cartoons, I love dark chocolate, I live in a hundred-year-old farmhouse, my best friend is a bellydancer, and I'm so grateful that I get to make my living as a writer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Release Date: October 2011

A modern retelling of the German legend "Tristan and Isolde", "Tris and Izzy", is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until-- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

I won't deny it. The real reason why I want to read this book is because of that beautiful eye-popping cover! And ya know, the whole witch thing sounds pretty cool too!


Sweet Venom Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Release Date: October 2011

Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

To learn more of Tera Lynn Childs' new series click here. Don't forget to add it to your goodreads list!

 I also have some signed swag to give away! If you'd like to enter, just leave your e-mail address in the comments! This will be international too :) I will contact the winners via e-mail next Wednesday (23rd). Good luck!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Guest Post: Laura Kreitzer on Phantom Universe & Human Trafficking‏

Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”
Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website
I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox

Since the snow is melting, my back lot is now turning into a skating rink which means I don't feel like busting my butt so moving has came to a stand still for the day. The good news? I can catch up on blogging! Here's what I've gotten over the past couple weeks.

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Coffee and Fate by R.J. Erbacher

Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers (Review)
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Review)
Torched by April Henry
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

That's it for me! What did you guys get?

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi and The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie.


Saturday, February 12, 2011


Holy crap on a cracker did I get behind with all the contests here! I do apologize, but life has been crazy than you can imagine for me right now. Here are all of the winners for all the past couple months (yes MONTHS!). I'll be sending out e-mails shortly.

And hopefully by next week JYTBB will go back to its regular scheduled programming :)

600 Follower Giveaway.....


JYTBB turns 2 Giveaway....


Coffee and Fate Giveaway....

Jessica W 

Bonded by Blood Giveaway...

Tracey D

The Long Weekend Giveaway....


Congrats, guys! 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

More News for JYTBB........

So, I'm about 99% positive I'm getting out of the lease at my new place, and hopefully will be moving again next week. That means I have to put JYTBB back on a slight hiatus until my living situation gets figured out (again). It sucks, but life happens.

Until then I hope you all have a fantastic week and read many books!


Rock This! Thursday with Harmony Book Reviews

For this week's edition I have the awesome Harmony from Harmony Book Reviews hanging out with us to discuss some kick butt music and awesome books!

I saw you celebrated 3 years of blogging! Congratulations! Can you tell everyone a little bit about our blog? 
Thank you! Well, I started back blog back in January of '08 and switched to Blogger about a year ago. I review YA and MG, mostly, and do giveaways and interviews on occassion - the basic book blog, basically!

You're walking down the street - what song is following you?
Alive-Superchick. I decided that was my theme song for 2011 - it's just a very upbeat, take the world by storm song. I love the lines "I need to live my dreams, not just in my sleep. I've been holed up here, but it's time to leave. I need to make my move while I've air to breathe."

What is your favorite read that is about or centered around music?
BALLADS OF SUBURBIA! Oh my god, I love that book. It's so emotional and honest and just amazing. Music plays a pretty big role in it too and I love how Stephanie chose a few lyrics to open each of the character's ballad. (Plus, without that book, I wouldn't be addicted to Tori Amos, Nirvana, or Social Distortion.)

Excellent choice! That's one of my all-time favorite reads and Stephanie is so awesome! If you could live one character's life, who would you choose and why? 
This is so hard because all of my favorite characters have really hard lives and I don't necessarily want to become a drug addict or have my heart smashed to pieces. So, I think I'll go with Tonks from Harry Potter, but pre-Deathly Hallows. :)

Ha! I love the 'social issues' books, but like you, I don't really want to have all those problems. You've been given 2 golden concert tickets to see any band from any decade. The only catch is that you have to take an author with you. Who is it going to be and who are you guys going to go see? Ooh, well, since it's from any decade...I'm going with Nirvana! And I'll drag Stephanie Kuehnert along with me, since she's the one that introduced me to them. I think that would be one AWESOME concert.

Did I say 2 tickets? I meant 3 because I am so tagging along! What's a song you think would make an awesome novel?
Are people going to laugh at me if I say "Mine" by Taylor Swift? Because the first time I heard that song, the story ideas started flying through my head and I think someone could write a really awesome novel based off the lyrics.

What are subjects you would like to read more about in Young Adult?
I want more gritty, REAL YA. I love my fluff, I do, and paranormal will always have a soft spot in my heart...but I want more cutting, more drugs, more relationships gone REALLY bad, diseases...things like that. That probably makes me sound horrible but I think novels like that can really make a difference - think about Speak or Ballads of Suburbia or Go Ask Alice or Tell Me a Secret. Those are the books that get people talking and thinking and you know, the lives are teenagers aren't always pretty. Oh, and some more music-centered novels would be cool too!

Amen! Has blogging changed your views on reading? 
I think so. I definitely analyze and think about what I'm reading more. I pay more attention to what I buy. Before, I'd just pick up things because they looked good. Now, it's all based on where I got it and when it releases and I find myself getting completely lost in the book less and less.

I'm always on the hunt for the next best song. Suggest 5 songs that all of us need to listen to.
Just 5?! Ahh. Okay. This is going to be hard...I'm going to skip over all the popular songs and try to pick out some I hope not everyone already loves...

1.) F**kin Perfect - P!nk. Okay, this one is on the radio but I couldn't not list it. EVERYONE needs to listen to this song. If you can't handle the f-bomb, listen to the radio edit. My best friend and I text each other the lyrics to this song whenever we're having a bad day.

2.) The Last Night - Skillet. This song saved my life. I bawled when I saw it performed live and it's just an amazing song. Skillet is my all-time favorite band because of this song.

3.) Don't Fall Asleep at the Helm - Sleeping with Sirens. My best friend just introduced this to me and I love it. It's original, kind of hypnotic, and I just love it.

4.) Fiction - Kids in the Way. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite FAVORITE songs. When I bought it, I literally put it on repeat and listened to it 60 times straight. Kids in the Way are my current addiction, I can put their music on and just kind of forget the world.

5.) About a Girl - Nirvana. I love Nirvana. Most adults love Nirvana. 99% of the people my age have never actually heard a Nirvana song, which saddens me, because they are not THAT old. So if you haven't listened to one, listen to About a Girl. It's my favorite. (Come As You Are is also rather awesome as well.)

That was too hard...some honorable mentions: Alice - Avril Lavigne, Like Suicide - Seether, I'm Going Down - Vampire Weekend, The Middle - Jimmy Eat World, Fall Back Down - Rancid, Savior - Rise Against, and Have Faith in Me - A Day to Remember.

You do know if you  mention Seether (aka my favorite band in the entire universe / my music muse) you instantly become one of my favorite people, right? Have you experienced any 'rock star blogging' moments?
I guess it really depends on what you call a "rock star" moment. To me, any time I meet an author and they actually recognize me, I get overly excited. I think the 2010 PAYA Festival was kind of a "rock star" moment for me too.

Thanks so much for swinging by today, Harmony! Don't forget to check out Harmony's blog here

Author Interview: Kimberly Derting

Have you always written suspense type novels?
I’m not sure exactly which category the first novel I wrote fell into, mostly because it was a mess, but I do remember there was some suspense in it! Thankfully for readers, this novel remains locked away forever. :)

One thing that I loved about The Body Finder was seeing the point of view from the killer. (And sure, it pretty much creeped me out but in a good way.) Are we going to see anything similar to that in Desires of the Dead?
There are some chapters from another POV, but it’s very different from TBF. I don’t want to say too much, so I’ll just leave it at that!

How much has Violet's life changed since the events that happened to her in the first book?
Actually, I think it’s changed pretty dramatically. Not only is Violet now dealing with her best-friend-now-boyfriend changes, but she also has to decide what to do with her ability, which is weighing heavily on her.

What was the first idea that sparked Violet's story?
My husband contributed the following sentence to TBF: “What if there was a boy who could find dead bodies?” Of course, the longer it’s been since that day, the more his version of his contribution seems to change. Now when our friends ask us this same question, he will tell them (jokingly, I hope!) that he practically co-wrote it!

Violet and Jay definitely became one of my favorite couples through The Body Finder. Will be seeing more of their relationship in the sequel?
Yes, we will definitely see more of their “relationship” in the sequel.

How’s that for a teaser? ;)

A good one! What are some of your favorite young adult reads?
OMG, this is always the hardest question because there are SO MANY!!! I just recently discovered City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, and am reading City of Glass now (love it!). But I also loved Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, and the upcoming A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young.

Have you experienced any 'rock star' writing moments?
Yes! So, I was fortunate to get to go on the Supernatural Summer tour for HarperTeen last year, and when I arrived at the airport in Dallas, HarperTeen had a driver waiting with a cardboard sign that said “Derting”. Not only did I feel like a rock star when I saw it, I asked the driver if I could keep the sign. It was very exciting, although I’m pretty sure that real rock stars wouldn’t ask to keep the sign, LOL!

Lastly, tell us five random things we'd never know about you:
  • For many years, I would only eat chocolate on Christmas day.
  • When I was kid, our house was the target of a drive-by shooting.
  • I have an unhealthy addiction to a snack called Pirate’s Booty (it is pure, cheesy deliciousness in a bag).
  • I don’t like to be barefoot, even in my own home.
  • I do this weird thing with sandwiches and burgers, where I almost never eat the last bite. It isn’t a “crust” thing, it’s just a “Kim” thing.

Thanks for stopping by, Kimberly!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Locket by Stacey Jay

The Locket by Stacey Jay

Released: February 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 288
Source: Teen Book Scene

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

On her seventeenth birthday, Katie discovers a locket and decides to wear it for good luck. But when her boyfriend Isaac finds out she cheated on him— with their mutual best friend Mitch, no less—he dumps her, leaving her devastated.

And then a miracle happens. The locket burns on Katie's chest and she feels herself going back two weeks in time, to the night she cheated with Mitch. At first, Kate is delighted to be a better girlfriend to Isaac this time around. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that changing the past may have had a dangerous effect on her present.

Can she make things right before the locket destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?


Stacey Jay is the first author who gave me zombies. So when I saw she had something completely different coming out, I was pretty interested. I have to say, I think I like her writing more 'contemporary with a twist' better than the whole paranormal world.

I love stories that are based on the what ifs. What if I could go back in time and change a moment where I screwed up? Right now mine would be signing the lease on the apartment I hate. But for Katie, it's going back to the time where she made the mistake of cheating on her boyfriend, Issac, with her and his best friend, Mitch.

Katie was a character that you could easily slip into her voice. My only problem with her was her boyfriend, Issac. I really didn't care for Issac at the beginning, and throughout the novel kept wondering why this chick kept changing the course of events for him. A lot of the book and moments seemed to revolve more around her and her best friend, Mitch, so in some ways I wasn't exactly able to get the chance to like him. The friendship between Mitch and Katie was very genuine and written well.

Regardless of that, I loved how Katie never knew what was going to happen when something changed. Things were sometimes a bit slow paced, but The locket took her wherever it felt the need to take her.  At first it was just little things that started to change around her, but soon she noticed that by trying to change her big mistake she was alternating people's lives. And soon a domino effect happens, and one massive alternation that had my jaw dropping!

I would recommend The Locket for those that like the Groundhound Day effect or are wondering what it would be like to go back and change a mistake they've made.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rock This! Thursday with Savita Kalhan + Giveaway

Just by reading the synopsis of The Long Weekend, I know that I’m going to be on edge while reading it. Have you always written thriller-type stories?
No, I haven’t. The first think I wrote was an epic fantasy trilogy, which took a few years to write, but I did have a baby in that time and move across continents! Then I started writing more of a contemporary novel, which had its core a darker theme. Gradually the monsters of the fantasy trilogy were replaced by real ones. Then I wrote The Long Weekend.

What were some of your favourite books to read while growing up?I actually read the entire contents of the children’s library when I was growing up, so this is such a difficult question for me to answer. I had so many favourites at different stages of childhood. I loved Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. I wanted to be Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery, and Jo March of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read all the fairy tales, myths and legends and folk tales from all across the world. I loved folk tales from Scandinavia.

I was lucky because my town library was so well-stocked. That may be changing with all the cuts the government is now making in libraries in the UK and it’s terrible and despicable and criminal, but don’t get me started on that...

You’re walking down the street – what song is following you?There is a Nina Simone song, which I’ve always loved. It strikes a chord somewhere deep in me and I can often hear it playing in the background. It’s called I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free.

What was the publishing process like for you?It was an eye-opener! I wish I had known a published writer then as I didn’t have much of a clue as to how it all worked. I was so naive. Beyond what was written in The Writers and Artists Yearbook, I didn’t know much else. It was a long slow learning curve for me, and eventually, I did find out, but I lost so much time and made so many mistakes.

Is this your first finished novel or have you written other stories?The Long Weekend is my first published novel. I have three finished teen/YA stories, still in manuscript form at the moment, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will eventually find their way into a bookshop!

If The Long Weekend was turned into a movie, and let’s pretend you can pick the cast, who do you see playing Sam and Lloyd?
This is such a tough one! At the moment I can’t see anyone, but if your readers would like to give you suggestions, I’d happily look at them before I decide!

Is there a genre out there you don’t plan on ever writing?Hmm, I wouldn’t like to say – when I was writing the fantasy trilogy I didn’t think that I would ever write a thriller, and certainly not one that scared the life out of everyone! I suppose there are some genres that I don’t think I would ever write: I’d love to write humour, but I’m not sure it’s my thing, and bodice-ripping yarns are definitely not for me!

When you’re not writing, what are some of your hobbies?Writing is pretty consuming, and all the other stuff that surrounds the profession of being a writer in today’s world can be just as time-consuming! But I do make time for my hobbies! I love running and boxing, and I try to go to the gym most days. Writing is such a sedentary business and an early morning gym session really sets me up for the day. I also like gardening and dabble at growing things – my best successes are tomatoes and chillies, which are a great combination! I also play lots of tennis, and I love reading.

Did you base any of your characters off of people you know yourself?No, I didn’t, not at all. In some of my work, I have based characters on people that I have known – usually very loosely based, or just in even a trait that they possess may find its way into a character, but not with The Long Weekend.

Have you experienced any ‘rock star’ writing moments since your book has been out?The Long Weekend was shortlisted for the Fabulous Book Award 2010 and I was asked to attend the awards ceremony. It was to be a whole morning event with two other authors, Rachel Ward and Alexander Gordon Smith, also attending, and lots of teens from different schools in south London. When I walked into the hall a cheer went up – the kids had all read my book and had obviously checked me out on the internet as well, and so they knew what I looked like. For me, that was a real ‘rock star’ moment!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guest Post with Stacey Jay

Today I'm excited to have Stacey Jay here at JYTBB as part of her tour for her new book, The Locket!

Everyone has those moments in life where they wish they could go back and change something. Then there are some of us that don't want to undo a thing in our past. I asked Stacey if she could go back in time, what would she undo?

Wow. That’s hard. I’ve made so many mistakes…


No, but really, it’s true. I have made a lot of mistakes, but many of those mistakes have lead me to amazing things/people/truths that I would never want to live without. My mistakes have made me a better person, without a doubt.

But if I had to go back and change one thing, I’d go back to when I first married my second husband and became a full time stepmother to his two girls—then 11 and 7 years old—and get us all in a support group. Creating a harmonious, blended family is very hard and we had a lot of challenges to overcome together. I think we could have avoided a lot of angst by having other stepfamilies to talk to, and knowing that the growing pains we were experiencing were completely normal.

Want to learn more about Stacey and her books? Check out the links below!

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
(Book #2 in the Body Finder series)

Released: February 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal - Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 368
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well.


Kimberly Derting is a wonderful writer. I'm always amazed by her descriptions and the simplistic eeriness The Body Finder series has. I haven't ran across many good mystery type of books in young adult. I'm sure there are probably a lot out there, maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. But if you love a more mystery thriller then you do need to check this author out.

In Desires of the Dead, we're back in Violet's life after she escaped a near death experience with a serial killer. Even though a bit shaken, Violet is still enjoying her life with her yummy new boyfriend, Jay. I was so excited to see Jay again. Their relationship is such a deep one seeing as these two have been friends since they were children, and truly do care and love one another.

Violet's sense of echoes and the secret she has kept well hidden captures the interested of a woman named Sarah from the FBI after Violet places an anonymous call about a body she had came across. I was all very interested in how this plot would leave, but I didn't really enjoy it as much as I did in the first book.

My main problem was Violet not really telling anyone about what was going on. I know the book gave it explanations and obviously if she would have told Jay or anyone in her family about everything right off the bat then the book wouldn't have been the way it was, but it just seemed out of character. And while the first book had me always guessing, this one didn't as much. It felt more like it was setting up for something a bit bigger to go down in the third installment.

In the end I did enjoy this book, and if you've read the first book (why haven't you read the first book yet?), you'll want to read this one too. I'm very curious of where Kimberly Derting plans on taking this series, and of course, I'm always excited to see more of Violet and Jay.

Kimberly Derting lives in the Pacific Northwest, which is the ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children, who serve as an endless source of inspiration for her writing.

Webpage | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Contemps Challenge: Post Your February Reviews!

January's Winner: 
Bloggin' bout Books
Jenny C

What is the Contemps Challenge? Click here to find out more details!

Remember: This challenge is ONLY for the 20 books released by The Contemps. Click here for a full list of all 20 books. You can also post any reviews you made in 2010 :)

Prize: 3 surprise books and/or ARCs and swag!

Open to US addresses only! There is no official sign up so no need to worry about that - just link those reviews up!

Notice: Linky Tools is not my friend this month so all reviews will be linked up on a google doc.


Waiting on Wednesday

With a Little Luck by Caprice Crane
Release Date: July 26, 2011

Once upon a time I saw a short snyposis for this book somewhere. For the life of me, I cannot find it again so whatever the heck this book is about I AM PUMPED! Why? Because it's written by Caprice Crane, and she's a mother freaking genius. 

Oh, you haven't read any of her books before? ARE YOU CRAZY?! Not only is she hilarious, but her stories always have a great voice. So even though it's not a young adult novel, I highly-highly recommend you read this author. With a Little Luck is her fourth novel and I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait until July to read this, but somehow I'll find a way.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Release Date: February 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal - Fantasy
Pages: 464
Source: Around the World Tours

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.


The concept of good vs. evil always fascinates me. Here lately I've came across some authors who just could not pull it off as well as I hoped they would. That's not the case with Courtney's writing. She won my heart over with her in-depth storyline of what Ellie is, what she's done in her past lives, and what her and Will both will be facing.

You are first thrown into Ellie's life. Which I won't lie - I wasn't exactly ecstatic when I first started reading. The narrative didn't really grab me, and I felt that Ellie's 'normal life' sometimes lagged. I wasn't a huge fan of Ellie's circle of friends. (Go away, Logan!) The only one I enjoyed was Kate so this could be why I was a bit iffy on the intro. Then Ellie's dreams started happening. I suddenly was sucked into this world of this bad ass girl who fought off hideous creatures, and a guy who was by her side. 

One thing I LOVED was when Will's character was introduced, Ellie didn't swoon at her feet and instantly want him in her pants. I think we can all agree that type of storyline is way over-played lately. Will was fantastic. He is who he is. He's sarcastic, grumpy, and has a mind set of what needs to happen. Acting like a human as Ellie drags him along with her isn't exactly in his plans. This why I loved these two characters together. I felt like I got to know Ellie so much better when she was with Will and vice versa. They really brought out each other.

The background story and pace of this novel is worth the four hundred and some odd pages that it is. The action - oh the action! I couldn't read it fast enough. When I thought nothing else could happen, Courtney threw a whammy that has me so intrigued to get my hands on the second book. I want to know more about this Cadan fellow, and especially what is going on with Ellie's father who I can't decide if he may possibly be evil or just a real jerk.

All in all, Angelfire is the start of a fantastic new series that all paranormal and fantasy lovers should not miss out on!

Courtney Allison Moulton lives in Michigan, where she is a photographer and spends all her free time riding and showing horses. Angelfire is her first novel.

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads