Category Archives: Blog tour

The Originals: The Rise Exclusive Sneak Peek & Blog Tour Contest

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Today, I’m super excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for The Originals: The Rise created by Julie Plec.

From the creator of The Originals, the hit spin-off television show of The Vampire Diaries, come three never-before-released prequel stories featuring The Original vampire family.

Today is the LAST STOP on the blog tour, but check out the tour page to see all the other fabulous content about The Originals: The Rise. Today, we’ve got an exclusive quote from the book just for you — but be sure to keep reading to learn more & enter to win a fabulous prize pack!!!

Originals Quote Image 20 - Jan.30

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The Originals: The Rise
Author: Julie Plec
Series: The Originals, book 1/3
Release date: Tuesday, January 27
See it on GoodReads

The Originals_The Rise_book 1_coverAbout the Book:

Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you’re immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they’ve escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus’s attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus’s volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

JuliePlec_AuthorPhotoAbout the Author:

Julie Plec is the co-creator & executive producer of The Vampire Diaries & the creator of The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. Plec got her start as a writer and producer on the ABC Family series Kyle XY. She also collaborated on the CW drama The Tomorrow People. Her screenplay adaptation The Tiger’s Curse is in development at Paramount, and she will produce the feature @emma with Darko Entertainment. Past feature production credits include Scream 2 and Scream 3.

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Enter to win one of 15 prize packs including: A copy of The Originals: The Rise and a copy of The Originals season 1 on DVD. US/Canada only. Ends Feb. 4, 2015.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

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Playlist for the Dead Blog Tour: Guest Post + Contest

playlist for the dead blog tour
Today we are excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff. (See our review here!) Be sure to keep reading to learn more about the book, the author & a great contest. But first, here is our exclusive guest post from author Michelle Falkoff.

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On Patience, and Work
A Guest Post by Michelle Falkoff

playlist for the deadWhen I was a kid, I thought writers were people filled with magical ideas who just sat down whenever they felt like it and wrote them down. In one draft. With a pen. (This was a while ago.) Because that seemed impossible to me, I decided I would never be a proper writer; I’d have to settle for remaining a very committed reader who sometimes wrote for fun, on the side, just for myself.

In college, I focused mostly on the reading part, with an eye toward my future career, which was in a field I considered more practical than writing: law. I took some fiction workshop classes to keep the whole “on the side” thing going, and they were fun, but they made me realize that I still didn’t have it—there were no magical ideas, no sitting down at a computer and having the words just flow out (I updated my imagination here). So I headed off to law school.

Fast forward a few years, and being a lawyer was starting to wear on me. I missed writing, even if I didn’t think I was very good at it, even if it wasn’t effortless. I decided to take some night classes, just to give myself something to look forward to at the end of a long workday.

You know how they say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear? I introduced myself in my first night class as a lawyer who’d always wanted to be a writer, and my professor basically said, “Yeah, I did that too.” It turned out he’d gone to law school and decided he’d rather write, so he’d skipped practicing and went straight to get an MFA in fiction writing. Because writing was something you could study, and get better at, with work.

Work! I could do that. Was he sure magic wasn’t necessary, though? He was. As were my other teachers, one after the next, all of whom were all about work. With work, they said, the magic would come. Not the other way around.

With that, I quit my job and went back to grad school and worked. And worked and worked and worked. I realized quickly that I was too old to be a wunderkind—some of my colleagues had just graduated from college—but I could fix that, I thought. I’d just write a book while I was in school and get it published and it would still be fast! I could make up for lost time! No “novel in a drawer” for me.

Except that wasn’t how it went. There’s no skipping the work, and I needed more of it. Many years have passed, and there are a couple of novels in the drawer now, but I’m finally seeing the thing happen that I never even thought it was reasonable to dream about: pretty soon, I’ll be able to walk into a bookstore and see something I wrote. (If they carry it. Fingers crossed!) Because I kept working.

Which I need to go do now. I’ll let Axl have the last word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErvgV4P6Fzc

about the book
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
In stores January 27th

A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend’s suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you’ll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it’s only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular NowPlaylist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that’s always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it’s about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound | HarperCollins | Goodreads

about the authorMichelle_FalkoffMichelle Falkoff’s fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law. This is her first novel.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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There is a tour-wide giveaway for 3 copies of PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD (US/Canada ONLY)

Giveaway ends on February 10th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

Enter using the Rafflecopter form HERE!

Here’s a look at the rest of the blog tour schedule:

Week One

Week Two

Memory of Water Blog Tour Contest & Top Ten List

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Today, I’m excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta. Be sure to keep reading to learn more about the book & enter to win a fabulous prize!

For today’s stop, Emmi join us with her top ten favorite types of water (in no particular order):

  1. A hot bath on a cold winter morning.
  2. The sound of rain against windows.
  3. A lake reflecting forest and sky.
  4. Light snow glittering in sunlight, before it lands on your palm and melts into water.
  5. Any water in moonlight.
  6. A waterfall, so near that you can feel the mist on your skin.
  7. Water turning into steam in a sauna as it hits the hot stones.
  8. Water seeping onto melting ice on a lake in spring.
  9. Steam rising from half-frozen rapids surrounded by frosty trees in midwinter.
  10. Hot water in a mug, slowly turning tea-coloured.

memory of waterHere’s more about Memory of Water:

An amazing, award-winning speculative fiction debut novel by a major new talent.Global warming has changed the world’s geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets. Tea masters alone know the location of hidden water sources, including the natural spring that Noria’s father tends, which once provided water for her whole village.

But secrets do not stay hidden forever, and after her father’s death the army starts watching their town-and Noria. And as water becomes even scarcer, Noria must choose between safety and striking out, between knowledge and kinship.

Imaginative and engaging, lyrical and poignant, Memory of Water is an indelible novel that portrays a future that is all too possible.

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Enter to win a copy of MEMORY OF WATER + a $25.00 Gift Card to the eTailer of your choice! Contest is U.S. only. Enter using the Rafflecopter form HERE!

Check out the rest of the blog tour here:

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black + Contest

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Today’s book review is part of the official blog tour for The Darkest Part of the Forest. Learn more about the tour & enter to win a finished copy of the book after our review, below!

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darkest part of the forestA seductive, dark fairy tale set in a magical twist on the modern world awaits readers within the pages of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Even as someone who doesn’t normally like books about fairies (or faeries), I was seduced by Black’s story and swept away into this world where our world meets the magic world. For starters, Black’s writing is just lovely — but isn’t it always? — and so the prose alone is enticing. But then her characters come to life, their personalities brought to life anecdotally as the bigger plot unfolds.

I was continually surprised and enchanted by this book — The Darkest Part of the Forest has plenty of twists and turns, and really gives readers something delightfully surprising and wholly satisfying in ever aspect. Writing, plot, characters, etc. … each element of the book stands up on its own, but when brought together here with Black’s skills, the end result is just a masterpiece.

Look for The Darkest Part of the Forest in stores now.

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Title: THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST
Author: Holly Black
Pub. Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

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Ten winners will each receive a finished copy of The Darkest Part of the Forest. Enter to win HERE!

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about the authorHolly BlackHolly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. She has been a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award and for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of both an Andre Norton Award and a Newbery Honor. Her new books are The Darkest Part of the Forest, a return to faerie fiction, and The Iron Trial, the first book in a middle grade fantasy series, Magisterium, co-authored by Cassandra Clare. Holly currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door.

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads/Pinterest/Tumblr

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Blog Tour Schedule

Week One:

Week Two:

 

Hellhole by Gina Damico: Guest Blog & Contest

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I’m so thrilled to be part of the official blog tour for Hellhole by Gina Damico, a HILARIOUS new YA book about one boy and the devil who plunks himself down in his basement and starts demanding snack foods. (Be sure to check out our review here.)

Today, Gina stops by to guest blog about her favorite writing spot. Check it out below, then keep reading for your chance to win a copy of Hellhole!

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hellholeFor the longest time, I wrote on my couch—the very first piece of furniture that my husband and I bought for our lives as Adults. And proud as we were of this purchase, it wasn’t a particularly comfy couch—it quickly lost its fluffiness, it wasn’t very big, and the cushions tended to migrate over the edge after only a couple of tosses and turns. But since we were living in a tiny box of an apartment in New York City at the time, my desk was too cramped and stuffed into a corner and piled up with stuff, and the idea of having a separate office space was laughable. So I always ended up on the couch in the kitchen (the kitchen was also our living room), banging out word after word, hoping and praying that this would all pay off someday.

Then, we moved to Boston. To a much bigger apartment. I finally got an office! But it was a tiny office. Not that I particularly need that much room to write—it’s not like it involves jumping jacks or anything—but it was also a very cold room, and dark, and wasn’t exactly a welcoming, creative environment. But! We had also recently bought a new couch! So back to the couch I went, this time with no wandering cushions.

gina damicoMy husband (who also works from home) would often come out of his own office to find me hunched over my little beanbag laptop desk, curled up into a ball, pecking away.

“You know,” he said, “you have an office.”

“Shut up,” I replied. “I have creative needs. Pajamas help me think. You’ll never understand the life of an artist and so forth.

Recently, we bought a house. A nice, spacious thing out in the country. I finally have an amazing office, complete with two desks (regular and standing), a giant dry erase board for me to storyboard ideas, colorful walls, plenty of light, and a big comfy beanbag chair. It’s the perfect room to craft a story. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the couch to write.

Thanks for having me!

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We are giving away a Hardcover copy of HELLHOLE to TWO WINNERS

Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships.

Giveaway ends on January 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form here to get started!

More chances to win!

Here’s a quick note from Gina about a contest she’s running, too:

Hey there book fans! I’m running a Follow Frenzy giveaway over the course of this blog tour, and the prize is pretty neato: a signed copy of HELLHOLE wherein each chapter will have a little bit of trivia and/or a doodle handwritten by yours truly. (Gina) (Damico) To enter, all you have to do is follow me on one or more of my various social media outlets (TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagramYoutube), then fill out this adorable little form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MbfSsZCiALw_I_C7WpI0d71hPNe0b94Ot89sxFesUzM/viewform . That’s it! The more things you follow, the more chances you will earn to win. Good luck!

about the bookRelease date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

about the author
Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.

WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Week One

Week Two

Tuck Everlasting: 40th Anniversary Blog Tour

TuckEverlasting-BlogTour
What if you could live forever? That’s the question at the heart of Natalie Babbitt’s beloved classic, Tuck Everlasting – which celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this year.

Tuck Everlasting 40th Anniv_Cover ImageTo mark the milestone, Macmillan is releasing a special 40th Anniversary Edition of Tuck Everlasting, with a special introduction by Wicked author Gregory Maguire — in stores January 20th. (Pre-order it HERE!)

I remember reading Tuck Everlasting when I was a little girl — and to this day, the question posed by Babbitt — What if you could live forever? — is a haunting one. It’s hard, for me at least, to give a solid yes or no answer to such a deep question. So for today’s blog tour, I give you some reasons to consider both options:

5 Reasons to Live Forever

1. Unlimited time to read books. As a passionate reader, I’m always faced with the difficult choice of which books to give my limited reading time to … and which books to put off for another time, or possibly skip altogether. I often joke that I’d love to (a) put my life on pause for more dedicated reading time or (b) ask publishing to take a year off of releasing new books so I can have time to catch-up on my ever-expanding TBR pile. If I lived forever, this wouldn’t be a problem anymore.

2. See the world. The world is a vast place, with so many wonders — both big and small. Recently, my husband and I sat down and sort of prioritized our list of travel destinations we want to see — and as excited as I am about these possible future adventures, I know it’s a limited list. We only have so much time and so much money to see and do all the things we want. If we lived forever, we’d have all the time in the world to see and do everything.

3. More time for everything. I’ve specifically talked about having more time for reading and for seeing the world — but really, living forever would give you endless time for anything and everything. Think of the possibilities! Learning new skills, writing an epic novel, composing a symphony, hiking every mountain in the world, exploring the farthest reaches of space … the list is endless, and full of temptations.

4. No more scary middle-of-the-night “death” panic attacks. Maybe I’m the only one who has these, but I doubt it. We all, at one time or another, think about our own mortality. And I’ll go ahead and confess here that if I think about it too hard, I’m overcome by a crippling fear about the great unknown of death. (Usually at night, when I’m trying to fall asleep.) They are terrifying moments — and I think not just about my own death, but the deaths of my loved ones — my husband, my parents. Heck, I’ve been contemplating my dad’s mortality since I was 11, and he was diagnosed with cancer. (He’s a survivor, thank goodness!) If I could live forever — and hopefully, if my immediate family & my husband could live forever with me, like the Tuck family — these fears would be much assuaged.

5. Fearlessness. If you couldn’t die, think of what that would do to your inhibitions. Knowing you can live forever is a certain kind of freedom — freedom to do and try anything; to take risks, knowing you can try again if you fail.

3 Reasons NOT to Live Forever

1. Loneliness. I mentioned earlier that I’d want my immediate family & my husband to live forever with me. But if it was just me? I’m not sure I’d want to (1) face their deaths, knowing I’d never join them and (2) live forever without them. Even if I was able to find new friends throughout my never-ending life, I’d always be losing them. And that would lead to lots of sadness and, inevitably, loneliness. And as much as I enjoy my alone time, I wouldn’t want it to last forever.

2. Loss. As I mentioned above — living forever means you’d likely witness the loss of family and friends. And while we face loss in our everyday lives already, I can’t imagine doing it over and over and over again, endlessly into eternity. I would probably go insane.

3. Boredom. Sure, living forever means endless time to see and do everything … but eventually, wouldn’t you get bored with it all? I mean, if you’ve read every book, seen every site the world has to offer, tried every activity. Eventually, an endless life would get very boring.

So now I ask you … would YOU want to live forever?

See what other bloggers have to say about the subject by following the Tuck Everlasting 40th Anniversary Blog Tour using the hashtag #Tuck40th on social media. And remember to check out the 40th Anniversary Edition of Tuck Everlasting, in stores January 20th.

about the book2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Natalie Babbitt’s celebrated, ground-breaking title Tuck Everlasting (Anniversary edition on sale January 20). In celebration of the anniversary, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will publish a special anniversary edition featuring an introduction from Wicked author Gregory Maguire.

Tuck Everlasting asks readers “What if you could live forever?” Doomed to, or blessed with, eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Then complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

Upon the book’s publication in 1975, Natalie was greeted with concern from parents and educators who were stunned to read a book about death written for children. She is an author who challenges her readers and thinks the best questions are the ones without answers.

This 40th anniversary will introduce a whole new generation to this timeless classic. The book has sold over 3.5 million copies in the US alone, and has never been out of print since publication.

about the authorNATALIE BABBITT is the award-winning author of Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Knee-Knock Rise, and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-Ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Knee-Knock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Connecticut, and is a grandmother of three.

The Wolf Chronicles Blog Tour: Guest Post & Contest

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Today, we’re excited to be kicking off the blog tour for The Wolf Chronicles by Dorothy Hearst. The first book was published by Simon & Schuster’s adult division in 2008, but over the years the series’ younger audience has grown considerably!

Book 3, Spirit of the Wolves, hits store shelves this month, but we’ve got a chance for you to win all three books in the series! Keep reading for details, but first check out this exclusive guest post from Dorothy:

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Writing the Wolf’s Eye (Nose) View
by Dorothy Hearst

Promise of the Wolves coverWhen I got the idea for The Wolf Chronicles, I knew that I wanted to tell the story of how the wolf became the dog from a wolf’s point of view, but had no idea how to do so. The challenge ended up being a blessing in disguise. Writing from a wolf’s perspective made me look at the world afresh, and pushed me to develop my writing voice. =I couldn’t take anything for granted, and ended up avoiding some clichés and other first-time author mistakes I might have made. For example, I started to write “leaves blanketing the ground,” and realized that wolves don’t have blankets. So I ended up finding the phrase “a pelt of newly fallen leaves,” which was so much better.

Secrets of the Wolves coverKaala’s voice was very strong as soon as I started writing; I knew exactly who she was and how she sounded. Yet I understood that I had to make her a believable wolf to make the story work. I also knew that I didn’t want a book that was cutesy and condescending to animals. I wanted the wolves of the Wide Valley to have complex and believable lives, thoughts, and emotions.

I started by thinking about books that portrayed animals really well. The first that came to mind was Watership Down, which I read when I was about eleven. Though I hated that the female rabbits were so passive, I loved how Adams portrayed rabbits not as cute little bunnies, but as complex characters with needs consistent with a rabbit’s life. I was also inspired by the dragons in Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books. I was enchanted with how the horses, dogs, and mythical creatures in Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books were absolutely convincing, and very real forces in the stories.

Spirit of the Wolves coverI realized that one of the things these books had in common was that the animals had very specific drives, wants, and needs that were shaped by what that sort of animal would value, and by the animal’s biology and behavior.

I did my first rounds of research into wolves’ lives, and then developed Kaala’s world view around what would be most important to a young wolf: getting enough to eat, earning a place her pack, success in the hunt, love and acceptance.

Then I turned to the specifics of how wolves perceive the world. One of the biggest challenges was anthropomorphizing the wolves enough but not too much. If I had been completely accurate in showing how wolves perceive the world, the books would have been incomprehensible to my human readers, because wolves rely so much on scent and sound. But I didn’t want the wolves to come across as people in wolf suits. To get the right balance, I just wrote and rewrote until I was happy with Kaala’s wolfness.

Once I got the wolf’s point of view, it ended up being very easy to think like a wolf, and I often felt like I was a wolf when I was writing. The only thing is that that I now often think like a wolf when I’m not in the Wide Valley and sometime growl at inappropriate moments. The wolf perspective will probably be with me for a long time.

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We’re giving away a set of all three books in the Wolf Chronicles series, thanks to Simon & Schuster. Contest is open to the U.S. only, and runs through midnight (PT) on Monday, December 8th.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form here to get started on entries!

about the bookInspired by the theory that it was wolves, and later dogs, that made humans the dominant species on earth by teaching mankind to hunt cooperatively and form complex societies, The Wolf Chronicles begins 14,000 years ago with Promise of the Wolves. It is told from the point of view of lovable Kaala—an outcast young wolf who has been charged with watching over humans in order to prevent them from losing touch with nature and thus destroying the world.

about the author

Photo credit: The Pet Photographer

Photo credit: The Pet Photographer

Before the wolves barged in the door, demanding that their story be told, Dorothy Hearst was a senior editor at Jossey-Bass, where she published books for nonprofit, public, and social change leaders. She currently lives, writes, and plays with dogs in Berkeley, California. Spirit of the Wolves, the third and final title in the Wolf Chronicles, will be released December 2. For more information, and to download free CCSS-aligned discussion questions for all three novels, visit her website.

For the comments: Tell us why you want to read The Wolf Chronicles!

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – Exclusive Excerpt & Contest

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We are BIG big fans of Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles here at Novel Novice, so obviously we’re super excited about the January 6th release of book 3, Dead of Winter. But if you’re like us, and you just can’t wait until January to get started, you’re in luck … because today, we have an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at the book!

We’re part of the Dead of Winter Chapter 1 Blog Tour Reveal, and today we’ve got your look at the second excerpt. Plus, keep reading for your chance to enter an AMAZING giveaway!!!

excerpt

A wolf’s howl pierced the night.

 

I jolted awake in the saddle. The rain had dwindled to a foggy drizzle. How long had I been out?

I rubbed my gritty eyes. Almost screamed. I was surrounded by shadowy figures.

Wait, not figures. All around me were towering stacks of rocks, placed like logs for a bonfire. There were so many stacks the area resembled a forest. The stone forest.

Who would waste calories to assemble these? And why did I find them so chilling?

Matthew, are you there?

At last, I felt his presence in my mind! —Empress!—

Has Violet joined her brother yet?

—The Violet is not there.—

Oh, thank God.

—Soon.—

Shit! You told me Vincent camped within days of Death’s castle. I’ve ridden for DAYS.

—Arcana all around.—

I heard their calls, as if from a sound-out. . . .

—Eyes to the skies, lads!— Joules.

—Trapped in the palm of my hand.— Tess.

—I watch you like a hawk.— Gabriel.

—Behold the Bringer of Doubt!— Selena.

—Don’t look at this hand, look at that one.— Finn.

—Crazy like a fox.— Matthew.

—We will love you. In our own way.— The Lovers.

So many Arcana were close. Which meant I was close.

—Terror from the abyss!— Huh?

Before I could ask about the new call, my sense of being watched returned. I jerked my head around.

—Empress, you’re one stone forest and one clearing away. Some . . . obstacles between us.—

Movement. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man skulking from one stack of rocks to the next.

Another man loped to join the first. The armed pair wore fatigues and creepy night-vision goggles. Soldiers of the Lovers’ army?

The stones were for cover, staged as if for a paint-ball course! How long had those men been lying here in wait?

Matthew, I’m in trouble! I slapped the reins against the mare. She whinnied a protest, but increased her speed. Chest heaving, she wound around the stacks.

I craned my head back. Two soldiers had become ten, all with rifles at the ready. Now they walked in plain view. Because I was already surrounded?

As the ground began to flatten, those stacks grew fewer. I raised my hand above my eyes, straining to see. Ahead—the clearing Matthew had spoken of !

My face fell. With no vegetation, it was a quagmire, water and muck pooling in huge craters.

Past that, a wall towered, must be thirty feet high. What lay behind it?

A shot rang out; a bullet whizzed by my head. My mount fled from the sound. “Go, GO!”

In my panic, my nails morphed into thorn claws. The razor-sharp edges sliced through the fingers of my gloves. My glyphs stirred, moving over my skin.

A second gunshot. The near-miss bullet pitted the mud beside the horse’s hooves. She shrieked, trotting faster.

The shooters missed on purpose. They would want me—and the horse—alive.

Women and horses were two valuable A.F. commodities.

Desperate for safety, I squinted at the wall. Men guarded a brightly lit gate.

—Head there, Empress.—

My mare would have to slog through the clearing. It was like a moat fronting that wall. The soldiers would catch me long before then.

A bright color drew my attention. Attached to a post was a handcrafted sign emblazoned with a red skull and crossbones—along with the warning: DANGER! MINES!

And that explained the craters.

Are you kidding, Matthew? Soldiers trailing me; mines ahead. How do I get past a minefield?

An agonized yell sounded behind me.

I dared a glance back. Only nine soldiers followed. They ran toward me at a faster clip. The ones at the edges aimed their guns—off to their sides.

Another horrified yell.

And another.

Open gunfire erupted. Muzzle flashes warred with fog; I couldn’t make out anything.

I turned forward. Screamed.

Three soldiers stood before me, rifles trained on my face. The mare reared, punching hooves at them.

The other gunmen had been pushing me toward these!

Yet behind them, a black beast melded with shadow. One brilliant golden eye gleamed like a lantern.

Cyclops! Had Lark sent her one-eyed wolf to protect me?

Baring dagger-size fangs, the massive beast gave a spine-chilling snarl. The men twisted around—

Cyclops launched himself at the panic-stricken soldiers, knocking them to the ground. His mighty jaws clamped down on limbs and rifles, snapping through bone and metal.

Body parts sailed into the air. Blood spurted like a mall fountain. I winced, though I should be used to seeing stuff like this.

The wolf lifted his head from the carnage and growled at the stupe­fied soldiers positioned behind me. Those bastards had driven me into a trap; Cyclops ate the trap.

Faced with the beast’s dripping maw, they fled headlong.

For me, Cyclops wagged his scarred tail. “Good damn wolf. Good boy.”

Matthew said: —Ride for the fort! You have to make it to the wall.—

What’s behind the wall? For all I knew, Matthew was sending me into the Milovnícis’ camp.

—RIDE!—

Into mines? We’re going to get blown away! Forget my self-healing powers; I couldn’t regenerate from decapitation.

—Go left.—

Directing me around the danger?

I turned to Cyclops. “I don’t know if you can understand me, or if Lark is steering her familiar. But follow my mount carefully unless you want to regrow limbs.” He was still limping from our battle with the Devil Card.

He chuffed, and bubbles of blood formed over his snout. With a swish of his tail, he defiantly snapped up a dismembered arm, carrying it like a chew toy. But he did move behind me.

I’m trusting you, Matthew. I swallowed and guided my horse left.

—MY left!—

Quick correction. Cyclops followed.

—Faster, Empress. Or the Azey will figure out our mine moat maze.—

Your what? Who are the Azey?

A.S.E. Army of the Southeast. Go right for three seconds. Then left.—

Holding my breath, I slapped the reins yet again. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. I tugged the reins to my right.

—Faster!—

Soon I was galloping through a minefield, a telepathic Arcana in my mind and a giant wolf at my heels.

I could hear those same wet breaths. The wolf had been following me! If I lived through this night, I was so going to owe Lark.

The gate creaked open ahead. I spurred the mare, racing to reach the fort.

With no idea what awaited me . . .

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One lucky winner will receive an Amazon Kindle, pre-loaded with Poison Princess, Endless Knight, and an advanced e-copy of Dead of Winter.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

Contest is open to the U.S. only. Contest ends at midnight (PT) on Friday, November 21st.

See more chances to win, and get more sneak peeks from Dead of Winter by visiting all of the blog tour stops this week:

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Here’s more about Dead of Winter:

dead of winterCan Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her, until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

Pre-order Dead of Winter here and check out the official website for the Arcana Chroincles.

For the comments: Tell us why you’re excited about Dead of Winter!

Blog Tour Guest Post + Giveaway: Induction Day by P.K. Hrezo

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Today, we’re excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Induction Day by P.K. Hrezo, the sequel to Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. We’ve got a guest blog from P.K. and a contest, so be sure to check out the entire post for details!

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Butterman Travel, Inc., Code of Ethics

We at Butterman Travel, Inc., are committed to providing a level of service to our clients that makes us a leader in time travel. We understand you have a choice in agencies, and that’s why we observe and adhere to a strict code of ethics, so you can rely on us for a safe, professional time trip.

Our goal is to make every trip a positive experience so that we can continue a high level of performance and improve wherever possible.

  1. We will always offer you the lowest possible trip fare for the desired time window.
  2. We will do our best to ensure you get the maximum experience, at the maximum time window created for your trip.
  3. If we must cancel your trip due to time-craft maintenance, we will provide you with a prompt ticket refund.
  4. We will strive to ensure our time-craft is always in optimum working order and meets the DOT code and regulations.
  5. A complimentary time travel handbook will be provided to every new client.
  6. We will strive to avoid any paradoxical factors, for the safety of our passengers, as well as the present timeline.
  7. Every time trip will be guided by a certified and knowledgeable time travel pilot.
  8. Protection plans will be offered for every time trip, in case of unexpected diversions and/or aborted trips.
  9. Disclose any and all information regarding desired time trip, and answer any questions in a timely manner.
  10. Any DOT fines cited to Butterman Travel, Inc., will be the sole responsibility of said agency, and not expense of client, unless otherwise noted by the DOT.

Thank you so much for featuring me here today, Novel Novice!

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about the book

Induction Day CoverInduction Day (Butterman {Time} Travel, Inc #2)  by P.K. Hrezo
(Ages: 16+)

The year 2069 is coming to a close, and eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman’s time-craft license is finally official. She’s ready for the Induction Day she’s waited for since she was a kid—the one that will secure her name on the Butterman family tree of time travelers. But ever since the media discovered Bianca is pop superstar Tristan Helms’ latest new honey, everything Bianca does or says becomes a target of criticism. Having her professional credibility topping the gossip sites across social media is an open invitation for the government to step in and regulate Bianca’s Induction. Now she will have to ask herself if saving 1500 people from drowning is worth losing everything she’s ever worked for, including the Butterman family biz.Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated; a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. We’re a family owned and operated business with one hundred years of experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend some special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Use our Web conferencing to contact our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, who will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.

We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

Goodreads | YouTube

pk hrezoAbout the author:

PK Hrezo is a native Floridian whose life could easily be a Jimmy Buffet song. She shares her home with her firefighter husband and their two children. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling, are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss.  She blogs regularly at PK HREZO: Fearless Fiction http://pk-hrezo.blogspot.com/

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

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To be entered into a special giveaway, copy one of these ready-made posts and share it. Make sure PK’s name is tagged so she can see it and enter your name into a giveaway. The more you share, the more entries you receive. Five winners will receive a time traveler book thong:

TWEETS:

Induction Day by @PKHrezo is a #timetravel #mustread. Retweet this to be entered into a special #giveaway. Add it to #AmazonCart here.

FACEBOOK:

Induction Day is here! A taut, fast-paced, engrossing read by PKHrezo. Find it on Amazon here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G9ADV2O

Share this post for an entry into a special giveaway.

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Induction Day by #PKHrezo is a #timetravel #mustread. Retweet this to be entered into a special #giveaway. A taut, fast-paced, engrossing read. Find it on Amazon here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G9ADV2O

Share this post for an entry into a special giveaway.

Blog Tour Guest Post & Contest: Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta

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Today, I’m excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta, which just came out in paperback. This fantastic YA science fiction adventure has a sequel, too — Unmade, which comes out in January. So now is definitely the perfect time to catch up on Entangled!

We’ve got a blog post from Amy below, but keep reading for more on both books AND an exciting contest!

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EntangledCoverFinalHere’s a secret: my favorite character in my own book isn’t a person.

It’s a spaceship.

Okay, so the spaceship is actually a character, and A LOT like a person. Really, she’s a person and a pet and a floating home, all rolled into one. She’s also the other (better) half of one of my characters.

Of course, we all know that a setting is never just a setting. It exerts an active force on the book, it causes trouble, and it has a sort of personality that the other characters have to interact with. So I want to talk about spaceships today, but what I’m really getting at is a very active way of thinking about setting. A way that intertwines it so completely with characters and plot that it really can’t be disentangled. (Oh god, title puns, I’M SO SORRY.)

When an author sets out to write an off-planet sci-fi novel, she has both an awesome opportunity and a HUGE challenge. She has to come up with a setting where a large part of the story is going to take a place—one that is going to shape the lives and actions and abilities of the characters inside of it, not to mention the tone of the entire book.

ARCAuthorPhotoThink about the Millennium Falcon, the Starship Enterprise, the Serenity. Each one tells you so much about the story that you’re in—and each one is as memorable and beloved as the rest of the cast. I knew that I wanted that for Entangled.

So, how does a writer do that?

First, she has to think about this as an extension of the world-building of the rest of the story. Who owns the ship? What kind of travel is it designed for? What is its intended use?

Then, she has to think like an architect. What is the spaceship’s design? How many rooms should there be—and what are their functions? How does the spaceship fly? What does it run on? Does it have any special features?

And last (my favorite one!) the writer has to be a tyrannical dictator of emotions. How is this spaceship going to cause problems? What sorts of unique obstacles does it create for the people who live on it? How is it going to limit or mess up or even entirely RUIN lives?

When I finished with these questions, I knew I was looking at a ship that could smuggle human contraband, since humans are treated terribly in my world, and they wouldn’t have clearance to fly. I knew I wanted a very small ship, because my teenage misanthrope main character needed to be in close proximity to the other characters at all times. It would create discomfort and tension for her, and that made me (sadistically) delighted.

UNMADEcoverOn top of all of this, I wanted my spaceship to be a reflection of the story that I was telling. Entangled is all about connection—which meant that my vessel had to be more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. It had to do more than hulk and loom around my characters and create atmosphere. So I made it more than just a setting-slash-character. I made it a character-character. Alive. With an organic link to one of the other non-human characters. And plenty of personality—maybe an excess of personality.

When I was done with all of that? I had Renna: a moody, loyal, hard-flying ship that completely won my heart. She’s an important character in Entangled—and even more so in the sequel, Unmade (which is coming out on January 13!)

Want to see an EXCLUSIVE clip about Renna? Just watch:

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about the bookEntangled is the story of seventeen-year-old Cade, a fierce survivor who lives solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar until she finds out she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

The rest of Cade’s story is coming in Unmade, which hits shelves January 13!

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Enter to win one of five signed copies of Entangled , which includes a special note about Unmade!

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

EntangledCoverFinal UNMADEcover