Category Archives: Feature

Month9Books Holiday Gift Blitz & Giveaway

Holiday Gift Blitz copy
From our friends at Month9Books:

Welcome to Month9Books’ gift blitz for our amazing winter titles: CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil, PRAEFATIO by Georgia McBride, ENDLESS by Amanda Gray, A MURDER OF MAGPIES by Sarah Bromley, DEAD JED (1 & 2) by Scott Craven, and TRACY TAM by Krystalyn Drown! Are you looking for the perfect winter/holiday read? Then these are the titles for you! Oh and as a thank you to our readers we have an amazing giveaway for you!

Crown of IceCrown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.

Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal.

A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

Purchase Links

Month9Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | iBooks

PraefatioPraefatio by Georgia McBride

Seventeen-year-old Grace Ann Miller is no ordinary runaway. After having been missing for weeks, Grace is found on the estate of international rock star Gavin Vault, half-dressed and yelling for help. Over the course of twenty-four hours Grace holds an entire police force captive with incredulous tales of angels, demons, and war; intent on saving Gavin from lockup and her family from worry over her safety. Authorities believe that Grace is ill, suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, the victim of assault and a severely fractured mind. Undeterred, Grace reveals the secret existence of dark angels on earth, an ancient prophecy and a wretched curse steeped in Biblical myth. Grace’s claims set into motion an ages-old war, resulting in blood, death and the loss of everything that matters. But are these the delusions of an immensely sick girl, or could Grace’s story actually be true? Praefatio is Grace’s account of weeks on the run, falling in love and losing everything but her faith. When it’s sister against brother, light versus darkness, corrupt police officers, eager doctors and accusing journalists, against one girl with nothing but her word as proof: who do you believe?

Purchase Links

Month9Books | AmazonBarnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD | IndieBound

EndlessEndless by Amanda Gray

Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble onto an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought—like a past life! Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her dreams who has now appeared next door, was there, too. Jenny is forced to acknowledge that Nikolai has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny, and Nikolai race against the clock—and the Order—Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life and beyond death.

Purchase Links

Month9Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | IndieBound

A Murder of MagpiesA Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley

Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vadya and her family at risk.

Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.

Purchase Links

Month9Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound

Dead Jed 1Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie by Scott Craven

The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his undead pet. When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the shadowy group. Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school, Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more duct tape and staples than usual.

Purchase Links

Month9Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo! | Kobo

Dead Jed 2Dawn of the Jed (Dead Jed #2) by Scott Craven

As the fall semester ends and kids head home for winter break, Jed and his parents gather for the annual exchanging of gift lists. Once again, Jed asks for a dog, leading to a heated argument and a firm “no.” But when Jed spots a stray, he chases it until the dog darts into the street where it is struck and killed by a car. Grief stricken by what he’s done, Jed cradles the dead dog in his arms. Soon, ooze from the dog mixes with teardrops from Jed, creating Tread the zombie dog. Finally getting his wish, Jed must convince his parents to let him keep the undead dog. But a zombie dog turns out to be the least of Jed’s issues. It seems some parents don’t want Jed attending school with their kids. Enter the mysterious NZN Network. They’ve been distributing anti-zombie propaganda in an effort to get Jed expelled. But Jed wonders if the creation of Tread has caused his relationship with Luke to sour. And why, just as he seems to need them the most, have his best friends abandoned him? Could they have bought in to the anti-zombie way of thinking? Was creating Tread a mistake Jed will live to regret? When Tread goes missing, and with his very existence at stake, Jed must rely on his instincts, team up with an old nemesis, and fight for his right to have just as miserable a middle school existence as any other student—undead or alive.

Purchase Links

Month9Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | TBD | Chapter Indigo! | Kobo

Tracy TamTracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown

Tracy Tam doesn’t really believe in Santa Claus, at least not like the rest of us do. She also doesn’t believe that Santa can possibly deliver all of those presents in one night, to children around the world, without a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, after all, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. How else could he know what every little girl and boy wants for Christmas and who has been naughty or nice? In order to test her theories, Tracy sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh then ends up at Santa Command, where a team of (gasp!) humans monitor Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus into the system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world (oops!). Santa won’t be able to deliver all the presents in time! Now, Tracy must fix time and help Santa, but she has no idea how. How can a girl who doesn’t believe help Santa and save Christmas before it’s too late? With a little Christmas magic, of course!

Purchase Links

Month9Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound | iBooks

Basket Prize

Giveaway Details:

 1 Winner will receive A Taste of Christmas Gift Basket (US Only)

3 Winners will receive eBook bundles of 5 Month9Books (International)

Enter to win HERE!

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Ultimate Gift Ideas & Where to Shop for Book Lovers

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With the holidays upon us, it’s time to start shopping for the fellow book lovers in your life — and to pass along your wish list to loved ones, too!

We all know that it is dang-near impossible to buy books as a gift for book lovers … because you never know what’s already in their collection! But there are some fabulous, gorgeous gifts that book lovers will adore — and that make perfect gifts, too. Here’s a round-up of our favorite places to shop for book lovers & some of the goodies you’ll find at each place.

I’ve even highlighted some great stocking stuffer ideas, too!001Special Offer

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for this symbol to get special offers & discount codes just for Novel Novice readers at some of the retailers mentioned below!

GoneReading.com

We LOVE this website for shopping for fantastic book-ish goodies — from book-shaped plates, to scented candles inspired by famous authors, to reading accessories you didn’t even know you needed! We reviewed this site and some of their fantastic offerings earlier this year — and I even built my own holiday wishlist from their pages. (My husband shopped there for some of my gifts, and was VERY impressed by how quickly everything arrived!)

Plus, if you’re a new shopper, join their email list for a 10%-off coupon!

Here are some of the items from GoneReading.com that we adore for holiday gifts:

Bamboo Bathtub Caddy

bamboo bathtub caddy

Book Plates & Serving Platters

book plates(There’s even a cup & book-shaped saucer for drinking tea or coffee while you read!!!!)

Personal Library Kit

personal library kit

“Take Me to Your Reader” & Other T-Shirts

take me to your reader tshirt

Book Holder & E-Reader Stand

book and e-reader holder

stocking stuffers

001Special OfferGoneReading.com is offering one of YOU lucky readers a chance to win a $40 e-Gift Card to help with your holiday shopping. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form HERE to be entered in the drawing. Contest is open worldwide!

Novel Novice CafePress Shop

Okay, so we’re a little biased here – but we DO love the fun products in our own Novel Novice CafePress shop, each of them designed with our fellow fanatical readers in mind. Most of the items feature our signature “Book Nerd” and “Keep Calm & Read a Book” designs, which were created exclusively for Novel Novice.

Here are some of our favorite goodies:

Shirts & Hoodies

book_nerd_mens_tank_top book_nerd_racerback_tank_top book_nerd_womens_hooded_sweatshirt keep_calm_and_read_a_book_womens_tshirt keep_calm_womens_hooded_sweatshirt read_past_my_bedtime_womens_vneck_dark_tshirt

Accessories

book_nerd_clutch_bag book_nerd_flip_flops keep_calm_15quot_laptop_sleeve

Jewelry

book_nerd_earring_circle_charm novel_novice_charm_bracelet_one_charm novel_novice_silver_square_necklace_necklaces

Bags & Totes

book_nerd_messenger_bag keep_calm_novel_novice_beach_tote

PJs

past_my_bedtime_mens_dark_pajamas past_my_bedtime_womens_light_pajamas

Stuff for Your House

book_nerd_queen_duvet keep_calm_wooden_wall_clock

Drinkware

book_nerd_drinking_glass keep_calm_sigg_water_bottle_10l past_my_bedtime_mug_mugs past_my_bedtime_tea_tumbler

stocking stuffers

PosterText

Amazing poster designs created using the actual text of the books that inspired each illustration. PosterText offers these gorgeous pieces printed on high-quality paper, all of which would make beautiful, statement art for any book lovers’ home. Browse all of their designs here, and check out some of our favorites below:

24x30-Peter-Pan-old-column-SD_large 24x30---The-Great-Gatsby-BW-SD_large 24x30-Three-Musketeers--old-column-SD_large 24x36-Adventures-of-Sherlock-Holmes-2-SD_large

001Special OfferPosterText.com is offering Novel Novice readers 20% off purchases made online through the end of the year. Just enter the code NN09871 at check-out. Coupon code is good through 12/31/2014.

Litographs

Much like PosterText, Litographs features art prints with designs created using the text of a book. But Litographs has also gone beyond just prints, adding their designs to high-quality dye-sublimated t-shirts and tote bags. They’ve also just recently released a collection of adorable lit-inspired temporary tattoos — which would make fabulous stocking stuffers!

Here are some of our favorites from each category:

Posters

emma-4_1024x1024 gatsby-2_1024x1024 moby-2_1024x1024

T-Shirtseyre-tee-6_1024x1024 gatsby-tee-6_cd53e4a6-5971-48e7-aaf2-bb6a9b9a78c1_1024x1024 hamlet-tee-6_1024x1024 sherlock-tee-6_74149285-37f3-47ff-8811-27ffc7913b62_1024x1024

Tote Bags alice-tote-2_405a51ce-df5f-47bd-8113-d90eead71550_1024x1024 persuasion-tote-2_6c0c0f95-d258-44af-8a12-b43b06a23906_1024x1024 pride-tote-2_78d3e6fc-ade0-44a8-aad1-a69238d1016f_1024x1024Temporary Tattoos (Great Stocking Stuffers)
stocking stuffers

earnest-photo_4da096d4-d1c2-43a9-bcda-94e62e43817c_largepeter-photo_cb9e57c5-367e-4c0e-8fc4-9b34f6bb7702_large treasure-photo_8ffe87be-072e-45ab-a107-6ef091aa7bc5_large unicorn-photo_6e9c3f1c-b051-41f6-8109-a65fcf5adb47_large walden-photo_049faaf1-326b-4098-8765-a424142d8f6f_large

 

001Special OfferLitographs.com is offering Novel Novice readers 10% off purchases made online through the end of the year. Just enter the code NOVELNOVICE10 at check-out to receive the discount.

Storiarts

The perfect way to stay warm this winter is with a book scarf and fingerless gloves (perfect for reading) from Storiarts! This hand-crafted Etsy artist is the creator of the original Book Scarf — and I have to say, I’m a huge fan. I’ve had my Sherlock Holmes scarf for a couple years now, and it is one of my favorites. It’s very comfy and cozy, and it is super cute. (Bonus: reading material on the go!)

Storiarts offers a variety of designs from assorted authors, so there’s sure to be soemthing to suite everyone’s tastes. Beyond the scarves, also check out the coordinating fingerless gloves, headbands, and throw pillows.  Here’s a peek at some of the goodies:

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001Special OfferPORTLANDERS! Look for Storiarts at Crafty Wonderland, December 13-14th. In addition to their regular products, they’ll also have an assortment of discounted items available for purchase!

Hebel Design

Love YA fantasy? Then Hebel Design has something for you to love. High-quality, hand-crafted jewelry inspired by some of the hottest YA fantasy and paranormal series around, all with the authors’ seal of approval! Featured series include The Mortal Instruments, The Grisha Trilogy, The Selection Series (JUST released!), The Lynburn Legacy, The Lux Series, and many more! Here are some of our favorites:

Morozova’s Collar (from The Grisha Trilogy)

morozova's collar

Tessa’s Clockwork Angel

clockwork angel

(On a budget? Try the replica Clockwork Angel necklace for a great bargain.)

America’s Songbird Necklace

SongbirdRebel Symbol Necklace

RebelSymbol

Golden Snitch Bracelet

golden snitch bracelet

001Special OfferUse the promotional code NovelGift at check-out to receive a 15% discount off one item on all orders through the end of the year at HebelDesign.com

Out of Print

Amazing designs and fun products abound at Out of Print Clothing, where much more than clothing is offered. Their incredible book-inspired jewelry line is brilliant and gorgeous, their t-shirt and tote bag designs are delightful, and their ever-expanding collection of accessories and other items continues to charm. Here are some of our favorites:

“So It Goes” Slaughterhouse Five Necklace

so it goes

The Great Gatsby West Egg Pennant

west egg penant

Composition Book Tote Bag

comp book bag

Library Card Pouch

library pouch

The Great Gatsby Sweater

gatsby sweater

Where the Wild Things Are Onesie

wild things onesie

Library Stamp T-Shirt

library stamp tshirt

stocking stuffers

The Literary Gift Company

The Literary Gift Company has an amazing variety of products, all suited to any book lovers tastes. Their offerings include products made from old, up-cycled books, adorable mugs for sipping tea or coffee while you read, cool book-ish jewelry, and other unique book-ish accessories you didn’t even know you wanted, but now you totally do. Then wrap-up all your gifts in their incredible literary wrapping paper! Here are some of our favorites:

Bookshelf Tie

SONY DSC

Young Banned Books Bracelet

young-banned-books-bracelet-177-p[ekm]250x250[ekm]

Book Handbags

pride-and-prejudice-book-handbag-48728-p[ekm]250x250[ekm]

Doodle & Stitch Duvet Cover

doodle-stitch-double-duvet-cover-[2]-48388-p

Jane Austen Scarf

jane-austen-jersey-scarf-10592-p

Typewriter Satchel

type-write-satchel-15534-p

stocking stuffers

DFTBA

So you’re a John Green fan? You like proclaiming your love of all-things nerdy? Then check out the DFTBA shop for John Green-approved merchandise and goodies, created by an amazing group of fandom artists. There’s lots for John Green books, Harry Potter and other fandoms, even some not based on books. (Gasp!) Here are some of our favorite goodies:

Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards T-shirt
(I have this shirt & it’s one of my favorites. Super comfy & soft, plus fabulous design!)

books-muggles-1_large

The Fault in Our Stars Hazel & Gus Phone Case

hazel-gus-case-1_large

Ampersand Necklace

ampersand_group_large

Could Be Buying Books Poster

buying-books-1_large

Ampersands Poster

ampersands-1_large

stocking stuffers

Black Milk Clothing

For the fashionable book nerd, Black Milk offers a few collections inspired by some of your favorite book fandoms, most notably Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and The Lord of the Rings. Here’s a few of our favorite styles they offer:

Daily Prophet Bomber Jacket

LC-HP01-DailyProphetBFBomber-1-WEB_grande

Marauder’s Map Dress

HP08-MaraudersMapSkater-2-WEB_1024x1024

Middle Earth Leggings

middle-earth-leggings-1369790281_1024x1024

Game of Thrones Skater Dress

LC-GOT-27-ClashofKingsSkater-6-WEB_grande

More Great Ideas

Still wanting to flesh out your wish list, or get other gift ideas? Here are some other products we LOVE for gifting to book lovers:

My Weekend is All Booked Sweatshirt
Also available in other styles. 

my-weekend-is-all-booked

Mini Book Necklaces
Browse a variety of mini-titles at the Miniature Literature Etsy Shop

mini book necklace

Book Shelf Phone Cases

book shelf phone case

Book-Shaped Pillows

book pillows

Daily Prophet Hobo Bag

10159708_hiI Married Adventure Book Clutch from kate spade new york

i married adventure

“Archive Your Accessories” Wall Hooks

accessory hooks

Dictionary Wallet

dictionary wallet

Katniss Everdeen Poster

katniss poster

stocking stuffers

For the comments: What’s on your wish list? Any other great ideas you’d add to this list?

GoneReading.com: The Perfect Place to Shop for Book Lovers

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Most reviews here at Novel Novice are for books — but let’s face it. Even the most diehard reader needs to surface from the pages of a book sometime. And when we do return to the real world, we want to cling to our love of books and share it with the world.

That’s where GoneReading.com comes in — the perfect online place to shop for book lovers everywhere.

book plattersWhat’s that? You’re in need of a snack? Why not dish up a tasty treat on one of these adorable book-shaped plates. Made of bright-white porcelain, these plates and platters are sturdy and solid. Not only perfect for dishing up snacks for your book club meeting, the smaller pieces are also great as valet trays or a place to hold assorted nick-knacks, like paperclips, loose change, etc.

Mark-Twain-Travel-Tin-Candle-300x300Maybe you long for the smell of the library when you’re cooped up at home reading? GoneReading.com has a fabulous collection of literary-inspired candles and scents. Don’t worry, the candles don’t actually smell like unwashed old men … I received a sample of the Mark Twain candle, and it’s divine. (My husband loved it, too!) A blend of tobacco flower and vanilla, it’s a unique but lovely scent and not at all overpowering. I’m eager to try out more of this collection, too … I think Oscar Wilde is next on my wish list!

My-Bibliofile-300x300GoneReading also has a great assortment of book journals, for you to keep track of your reading habits offline. (I know, what a concept, right?) As much as I love blogging and social media, there is something so lovely about hand-writing lists and notes and details about things you love — especially when it’s on nice paper in a pretty, bound journal. GoneReading’s assortment includes “My Bibliofile,” which is a wonderful diary-type book for folks who want to keep track of their thoughts on the books they read offline. It features many pages for writing reviews (complete with the option of filling out how many stars), interspersed with fun interactive pages where you can answer questions about things like your favorite authors, favorite quotes, and travel destinations inspired by books you’ve read. As an avid gone reading review itemsbook blogger, I can’t see myself using this particular journal much, since it would be like rewriting all my blog posts by hand! But for non-bloggers, it’s a great template for keeping track of what you read and your thoughts on each book. (The “Books to Check Out” journal would probably be a better choice for me, since I’m always making lists of books I want to buy/borrow/request/read.)

Besides these three items (which I received for review), GoneReading.com offers plenty more for book lovers to drool over. I’ve already added a ton of items to my “wish list” board on Pinterest (where my husband looks first when he’s shopping for my birthday, Christmas, or other gift-giving occasion). There are cute t-shirts, an assortment of adorable bookmarks and bookplates, unique bookshelves, book-ish home decor, and more.

So if you love reading and love telling the world about your love of reading — check out GoneReading.com and start making your OWN wish list.

Contest: Win a copy of Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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As we wrap up our week-long feature on the magical middle grade novel Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy, we want to give some of you lucky readers a chance to win your own copy!

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverThe Prizes:

One winner (U.S. only) will receive a signed paperback of Deadly Delicious

One winner (Int’l) will receive an e-book of Deadly Delicious

(All prizes courtesy K.L. Kincy)

How to Enter:

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form here. You can gain add’l entries by following Novel Novice & K.L. Kincy on various social media, and by commenting below.

Just tell us in the comments below … what is one magical ingredient you’d add to your own baking!

The Deadline:

This contest will run through midnight (PT) on Friday, August 1st.

Questions? Leave ‘em in the comments & we’ll reply!

Exclusive Excerpt from Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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Today we have an exclusive excerpt from Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy:

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverI bound up the crooked stairs and slip into the kitchen. “Mama?” I call.

No reply.

Cooling on top of Mama’s prized pink appliances, her secret-recipe DeLune DeLuxe doughnuts perfume the air with the aromas of happiness, confidence, and good luck. My head gets all whirly as I breathe in deep.

These doughnuts are pretty enough to be hanging on a Christmas tree. They’re all twinkly with sprinkles, and plump enough that I’m just itching to squeeze them. Oh, look, chocolate filling leaking from the good luck doughnut. I glance around the kitchen. The coast’s clear, so I dip my pinkie into the chocolate.

A stinging blow lands on my knuckles. Mama’s choice walnut-wood spatula.

Even though she can’t actually poof from a cloud of smoke, it still scares the bejesus out of me when she pounces like that. She’s wearing her favorite coral pink suit and pillbox hat, her hair all glossy—she must have just drove up.

“For customers only,” Mama says.

Like I don’t have any wishes of my own.

Check out more & order your copy of Deadly Delicious here!

Exclusive Q&A with Deadly Delicious author K.L. Kincy

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As part of our week-long feature on Deadly Delicious,today we bring you an exclusive Q&A with the author, K.L. Kincy!

Karen - author photo2DEADLY DELICIOUS was your first foray into middle grade. Did anything surprise you while writing MG?

Deadly Delicious was supposed to be a young adult book, actually! When I started writing it, I realized that Josephine was younger than I’d thought. Then I revised the book to make Josephine officially 12 years old. Everything started to click after that. The sweet romance, the friendship drama, and the growing pains of a witch.

I love the idea of mixing magic with cooking … I mean, a good recipe really CAN taste like magic! If you had powers like Josephine and her mom, what sort of conjure would you cook up for yourself? 

I would totally bake some DeLune DeLuxe doughnuts. Who wouldn’t want happiness, confidence, and good luck in a delicious doughnut?

The setting for DEADLY DELICIOUS is really great, and your descriptions of it are so vivid. Have you traveled to those areas? Did you research the locations? How did you bring them to life? 

My grandparents live in Sikeston, Missouri, and I know the Kincy family has lived in the area for over a hundred years. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by all the katydids, Osage oranges, stick insects, and magnolias. While writing Deadly Delicious, I also collected inspirations on a Pinterest board.

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverI adore your cover. How did you get such an awesome cover? 

My cover artist, Kirbi Fagan, did an awesome job. You can see some of the earlier drafts of the cover on her website.

What are you working on now? 

I’m writing dieselpunk romance for adults, and I’m also drafting a young adult regency that involves ladies with a tendency to transform into cats.

FLASH QUESTIONS:

Favorite decade?

I’d say the 1950s, for writing this book. ;)

Must-have writing snack?

Cherry cream cheese danishes at a local cafe, but sparingly!

Favorite Disney movie? 

Aladdin. I loved that movie when I was a kid, and watched the old VHS tape almost to death.

The beach or the mountains? 

Beach! Mountains involve climbing and panting for breath.

Song that can always get you dancing? 

“Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk, with Pharrell. Once I was getting ready to run a 5K race and the song came on, so my whole running group started skipping to the song.

Name 5 things currently on your desk (or in your writing space), and share a photo, if possible

I have my writing notebooks by my computer and a few toys. The hedgehog came from a Japanese bookstore in Seattle. The stingray came from the aquarium in Denver. I got to pet and feed real stingrays there, and they felt like wet mushrooms!

 Karen's writing stuff

Book Review: Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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One spunky heroine. A dash of romance. A sprinkle of magic. And one horde of cake-craving zombies. Those are the winning ingredients to K.L. Kincy’s charming and delightful new middle grade novel, Deadly Delicious.

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverTwelve-year-old Josephine DeLune can’t take the heat this sweltering summer of 1955, and she was out of the kitchen long ago.

An awful cook, she ruins recipes left and right, and she certainly can’t compete with her family’s reputation for extraordinary food. Her daddy’s parents ran one of the best restaurants in all of Paris, but Josephine lives in Paris, Missouri. On her mama’s side, she’s up against a long tradition of sinfully delicious soul food. Rumor has it, her Creole ancestors cooked up some voodoo to make tasty even tastier. Josephine knows the secret ingredient: she comes from a long line of conjure witches with spellbinding culinary skills.

Disenchanted, Josephine works as a carhop at Carl and Earl’s Drive-In. Just plain old hamburgers, hot dogs, and curly fries, nothing magical about them. She’s got bigger fish to fry, though, when a grease fire erupts into a devilish creature who hisses her name with desire. Turns out he’s the Ravenous One, the granddaddy of all voodoo spirits, and he’s hungry for her soul. Josephine thinks he’s got the wrong girl—she’s no witch—but a gorgeous, dangerous night-skinned lady named Shaula sets her straight. Josephine is one of the most powerful witches alive, so overflowing with conjure that her out-of-control cooking simply catches fire.

Josephine would love to laugh this off, but Shaula warns her that she must learn to master her magic before the Ravenous One devours her soul. Spurred into action, Josephine breaks out her grandma’s old conjure cookbook and starts cooking. Nothing grand, just the usual recipes for undying friendship and revenge. But soon Josephine can’t escape the consequences of her conjure. When the people of Paris start turning into zombies with a strange fondness for cake, Josephine looks pretty responsible for their undead reawakening…

I was charmed right away by Kincy’s voice in Deadly Delicious – with a slow drawl inside my head as I read the narrative of young Josephine. I was transported to the South — hearing the cadence and rhythm of people’s speech, feeling the clammy heat, and soaking up the atmosphere. Every time I picked up this book to continue reading, I found myself happily whisked away to Josephine’s world.

The whimsical storyline is also equally enchanting, and it’s fun to see how Kincy has crafted this particular brand of magic — using recipes to conjure spells. A colorful cast of supporting characters add to the magic of Deadly Delicious, and really bring Josephine’s story to life.

At first, I wasn’t 100% sure the romance was necessary to the story — and it certainly takes a backseat to the main plot, and Josephine’s growth as a character. But the blossoms of first love, as Kincy has so lovingly captured them here, add a nice finishing touch — like the frosting to the cake that is the rest of the story. And while younger readers may not connect to this aspect of the story, there’s nothing that will stop them from enjoying Deadly Delicious on the whole.

Deadly Delicious is available now.

Introducing Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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Today, we’re kicking off a week-long feature for the fun middle grade fantasy, Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy. All week, we’ll share our thoughts on the book, a sneak peek, a Q&A with Karen, plus give you a chance to win your own copy! But for now,we’re starting today off with all the basics. Here’s what the book is about:

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverTwelve-year-old Josephine DeLune can’t take the heat this sweltering summer of 1955, and she was out of the kitchen long ago.

An awful cook, she ruins recipes left and right, and she certainly can’t compete with her family’s reputation for extraordinary food. Her daddy’s parents ran one of the best restaurants in all of Paris, but Josephine lives in Paris, Missouri. On her mama’s side, she’s up against a long tradition of sinfully delicious soul food. Rumor has it, her Creole ancestors cooked up some voodoo to make tasty even tastier. Josephine knows the secret ingredient: she comes from a long line of conjure witches with spellbinding culinary skills.

Disenchanted, Josephine works as a carhop at Carl and Earl’s Drive-In. Just plain old hamburgers, hot dogs, and curly fries, nothing magical about them. She’s got bigger fish to fry, though, when a grease fire erupts into a devilish creature who hisses her name with desire. Turns out he’s the Ravenous One, the granddaddy of all voodoo spirits, and he’s hungry for her soul. Josephine thinks he’s got the wrong girl—she’s no witch—but a gorgeous, dangerous night-skinned lady named Shaula sets her straight. Josephine is one of the most powerful witches alive, so overflowing with conjure that her out-of-control cooking simply catches fire.

Josephine would love to laugh this off, but Shaula warns her that she must learn to master her magic before the Ravenous One devours her soul. Spurred into action, Josephine breaks out her grandma’s old conjure cookbook and starts cooking. Nothing grand, just the usual recipes for undying friendship and revenge. But soon Josephine can’t escape the consequences of her conjure. When the people of Paris start turning into zombies with a strange fondness for cake, Josephine looks pretty responsible for their undead reawakening…

Karen - author photo2About the Author:

K. L. Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) loves zombies, though she hopes to meet only the cake-eating kind. Deadly Delicious is her first book for children. She has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.
K. L. Kincy also writes for teens and adults as Karen Kincy.
Find her online at:

Best Ideas for a Literary Bridal Shower

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I was SO so lucky last November to have the most amazing literary-themed bridal shower. My bridesmaids (with the help of my mom) put together the most fabulous party featuring book-inspired decorations, food, and activities for my bridal shower.

Because it was SO much fun, and perfect for any book-loving bride, I wanted to share some of what they did — as we all as more inspiration from Pinterest — right here for all of you!

Book-ish Bridal Shower Decorations

The decorations started with a bridal “throne” — which my bridesmaids surrounded with stacks and stacks of books. The tissue-paper flowers over the window (below) were hand-crafted by my mom, and include tissue paper she printed with scans from old fairy tale books.

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My bridesmaids hit up thrift shops for old, falling-apart books and used them to craft some fabulous decorations. They used the old pages to make garlands to hang from the fireplace mantle, and glued together a runner for the table.

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Here are some other pretty book-ish decoration ideas we found on Pinterest:

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Book-Themed Party Foods

The menu for my bridal shower included:

  • Count of Monte Cristo Sandwiches
  • Harry Potter’s Chocolate Pretzel Wands
  • Oliver Twists (pretzels)
  • Great Eggspectations Deviled Eggs
  • Dr. Seuss Fruit Skewers (slices of strawberries & bananas)
  • Lemony Snicket’s Lemon Meringues

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My mom also hand-crafted these beautiful cupcake liners, that she had printed with our wedding illustration and scans from old fairy tale books.

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Here’s where she got her inspiration from:

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Literary-Inspired Bridal Shower Games

No bridal shower is complete without a few games. My bridesmaids had the perfect word-games for my book-themed shower, as well as some more traditional shower games. We played:

- Wedding Vow MadLibs

- Bridal Scattegories

- Guess What the Groom Said (in which I had to guess his responses to a set of questions, and the guests had to vote whether they thought I’d get the answer right or wrong.)

- Pin the “ring” on the hand:

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During all of the games, my Maid of Honor kept score (having assigned everyone a “District,” Hunger Games-style). The guest with the highest score (my mother-in-law) took home the grand prize, a copy of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield, the book I was buying when my husband proposed.

More Ideas:

Another fun bridal shower game is “Literary Lovers Match-Up” — in which your guests must correctly pair up each literary couple.

Favors

For favors, my mom hand-crafted these beautiful bookmarks. The front includes our wedding illustration and scanned pages from a fairy tale book, and the back is made from glitter scrapbook paper.

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You can see more ideas that inspired my bridesmaids on my bridal shower Pinterest board.

14 Ultimate YA Summer Reads for 2014

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Summer is HERE, and that means it’s time to grab some shades, a picnic blanket, and your best beach read for some outdoor reading time in the lovely warmth and sunshine.

As far as I’m concerned, ANY book can be the perfect summer read, as long as you enjoy reading it. But if you really want something with a beachy, summery feel to it, we present to you our list of the 14 Ultimate YA Summer Reads for 2014. (Get it? 14 books for 2014!)

The Sound by Sarah Alderson

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A sleepy beach-town. A nanny from the UK. Sexy bad boys. And a crowd of rich kids with some seriously dark secrets. This book has EVERYTHING I love about a summer read, and it’s basically the perfect book to read this time of year.

The Summer I Turned Pretty (series) by Jenny Han

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Perhaps one of the most quintessential summer reads — Jenny Han’s Summer I Turned Pretty Series offers readers a rich trilogy of romance and love triangles and coming of age, spanning multiple summers over three whole books. Pick up all three books in this series for some serious binge-reading.

Inland by Kat Rosenfield

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A mysterious call to the sea is at the heart of this creepy and moody thriller, that walks along the genre lines between contemporary, magic realism, and paranormal. You may never be sure where along those genres Inland falls, but you won’t care because it’s just so damn gorgeous.

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

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The mysterious murder of a young woman captivates the people in a small town, during a pivotal summer in one girl’s life. A sort of un-coming of age saga unfolds, as life in this sleepy town is turned upside down by unexpected violence.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

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A coming-of-age story with elements of John Green, J.D. Salinger, and Stephen Chbosky, Schneider’s story is just the sort of book you want to read about during the long, hot summer days. This book perfectly captures all the anxieties and angst of high school, packaged prettily in a set of quirky characters and charming plot points.

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

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One incredible day at the beach, and two lives forever changed. Lisa’s beautiful novel-in-prose is a captivating story about facing our fears, and making peace within ourselves — and finding romance at the same time. A quick, lovely read, The Day Before is the perfect book to take with for a day trip to the coast.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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The perfect summer plans are shattered when Emily’s best friend Sloane disappears without a word. Fortunately, Sloane has left behind a bizarre to-do list, which Emily is sure holds the key to finding Sloane, if only she can cross everything off the list. Not too hard, right? Sure … as long as you don’t mind kissing strangers and skinny dipping.

Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael

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Set on the North Carolina coast, this book follows the unfolding saga of one teen boy and the twin brother he never knew about — who also just so happens to be the son of a powerful senator. What happens when he goes in search of this long-lost family sets the stage for this moody and beautifully-written character examination.

Clarity by Kim Harrington

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The Cape Cod setting in this paranormal thriller takes center stage, as clairvoyant teen Clare tries to piece together the murder of a tourist in her sleepy seaside town. A sequel, Perception, is also available.

The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan

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A surfer girl on the California coast has her world turned upside down by the discovery that her mother was a mermaid. Madigan’s take on the mermaid mythology is lovely and captivating, but her characters’ lives on land is perhaps even more compelling. I loved every page of this book.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

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A tiny tourist town in Maine is turned upside down by the arrival of a movie crew — but that’s nothing compared to the upheaval in Ellie’s life, when she learns that the hot teen star of the film is also the secret pen pal she’s been corresponding with. With her own secrets to protect, their turbulent romance is a delightful summer saga to read about.

Sea by Heidi R. Kling

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Taking place in Indonesia following the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, Sea is an achingly beautiful portrait of love and survival, and moving on after the most horrific devastation. Kling wrote the novel based on her husband’s first-hand accounts of recovery work in Indonesia following the tsunami.

The Summer of Skinny-Dipping by Amanda Howells

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Don’t let the cute title and breezy cover fool you – this book is full of intense feels and heartache. A gut-wrenching novel, I devoured this book in one sitting when it first came out, and I still think about it every summer.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

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A gripping story about finding your place in the world, and learning to stand still after a life of running, Where the Stars Still Shine is one of those books that grabbed me from page one and never let go. The touristy Florida beach town setting just adds to this book’s mood, making it a perfect summer read.

For the comments: What other books would you consider the perfect summer read? Tell us below!