Monthly Archives: September 2013

Five Minute Friday: Coraline

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Coraline

by Neil Gaiman (Goodreads Author), Dave McKean (Illustrator)

Hardcover, 162 pages

Published August 4th 2002 by HarperCollins

 

Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house–a house so huge that other people live in it, too… round, old former actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and their aging Highland terriers (“We trod the boards, luvvy”) and the mustachioed old man under the roof (“‘The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,’ said the man upstairs, ‘is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed.'”) Coraline contents herself for weeks with exploring the vast garden and grounds. But with a little rain she becomes bored–so bored that she begins to count everything blue (153), the windows (21), and the doors (14). And it is the 14th door that–sometimes blocked with a wall of bricks–opens up for Coraline into an entirely alternate universe.

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I’m a little late to the party here, but I finally sat down and read CORALINE. It’s not my favorite book ever, but I do respect the heck out of Neil Gaiman for writing something truly scary for children.

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Thoughts of an Unknown Writer- Late Bloomer

That’s what my grandfather, aka Grumpy, always called me. A late bloomer.

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I went to a community college right out of high school and after two years, quit. I quit and I went to work. Why? I went to college really not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up. So, I took time off to figure that out. You see everyone in may family is either a teacher or a lawyer. And I KNEW I didn’t want to be a lawyer.

So, I got a job working as a teacher’s aide in a very low functioning special education class. I worked one-on-one with a very difficult student and LOVED IT! So much so, that two years later I was putting myself through college. Three years later, I graduated and immediately got a job, got married, and was pregnant with my first child.
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Lots of other things have happened since then–that was 14 years ago, but I’ll never forget what Grumpy would say to me.

“Took you long enough to get there, but I’m proud of you.”

That’s how I feel about my writing. Without divulging my age, it did take me a long time to figure out that I am a writer. I am a late bloomer. And I’m very proud of that. Lately his words have been swirling around in my mind, especially since I’ve been busy querying my manuscript. My Grumpy, how I miss you so, but your words will inspire me always.

Cover Reveal: BITTER PILL by Stacey Kade

I am absolutely thrilled to premiere the cover to Stacey Kade’s latest NA novel here! Love her! Please share the love and add BITTER PILL to your Goodreads TBR shelf:)

Kade - Bitter Pill

The truth is a bitter pill…

Rennie Harlow is having a bad year. She had a handsome husband, a good job, and a renovated condo in Chicago. Now, thanks to one “exotically beautiful” paralegal, she’s divorced, faking her way through a writing career, and living above her hypochondriac mother’s garage back in Morrisville, the small town she couldn’t leave fast enough at eighteen. On top of all of that, she just found Doc Hallacy, the local pharmacist, dead behind his counter. And the worst part is, he’s the third body she’s stumbled across this year.

Jake Bristol has lived in Morrisville his whole life. A former bad boy turned sheriff, he doesn’t believe it’s just Rennie’s luck or timing that’s the problem. He thinks she’s too nosy for her own good. The last thing he needs is her messing around with his murder investigation so that she can freelance for the Morrisville Gazette.  But as they both delve deeper into Doc’s death, they find that things don’t add up. This isn’t a robbery gone wrong or the work of a desperate junkie. Someone has a secret they’re killing to keep. The only question is—who’s next?

Stacey Kade on BITTER PILL

Thank you so much for participating in the reveal for Bitter Pill. I’m so excited to be able to share it with you guys! It is one of those incredibly rare books where it almost felt like it wrote itself, and I just had to keep up. Well, the first draft anyway! 😀

When I wrote this story, I was desperately homesick for the very tiny town where I lived in junior high. As some of you know, my dad is a Lutheran pastor, so we moved quite a bit during my childhood. For whatever reason, that small town in Southern Illinois really stuck with me. Morrisville is a (very) fictionalized version of that place.

There’s an odd mix of intense gossip and deep reserve that seems inherent to small towns. It’s part of the culture—“We know everything about everybody, but we don’t talk about that.” Certain things were just not discussed, which makes small towns a prime environment for secrets. And secrets are at the heart of every mystery.

So, when I sat down to write this story, that element of knowing someone well but not really knowing what they might be capable of intrigued me.

Rennie Harlow is my grown-up version of Nancy Drew, I suppose. Except, unlike cool, calm and collected Nancy, Rennie’s life is a disaster. She’s trying to make it through a particularly rough patch, but she’s flailing and fumbling, and I can so relate to that.

As for Sheriff Jake Bristol…well, what can I say, there’s something about an honorable man in a tough situation that’s pretty irresistible. 😀

Thank you again for checking out Bitter Pill, and I hope you’ll give it a try!

Want more? No? Need more? Check this out!

Here is the rafflecopter link for the giveaway (3-e-arcs, $25 gift card to the e-retailer of the winner’s choice, annotated ARC of Bitter Pill):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And here’s a link to the book on Goodreads:
Goodreads: BITTER PILL

BEA Spotlight: Veronica Roth

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Veronica Roth is beyond talented. I was beyond lucky to attend the author’s breakfast where she spoke about writing and meet her during a poster signing. Her Divergent series is one of my personal favorites and I cannot wait until October to finally read Allegiant!!

2014 will bring this thrilling series to the big screen. I just hope that it is true to the book.

13335037Divergent (Divergent #1)

by Veronica Roth (Goodreads Author)

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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11735983Insurgent (Divergent #2)

by Veronica Roth (Goodreads Author)
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One choice can transform you, or destroy you.Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
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10616322Allegiant (Divergent #3)

by Veronica Roth (Goodreads Author)
One choice will define you.What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

**Thank you to GoodReads for the summaries and book cover photos.

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