Posts Tagged ‘YA Author’
For today’s Bookanistas Review, I have fellow Bookanista Tracy E. Banghart and her very intriguing YA novel BY BLOOD.
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.
Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.
But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom…and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.
Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.
By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.
Kimberly’s Review of BY BLOOD:
I really enjoyed BY BLOOD because it walked the line in several unique and wonderful ways. So many books tend to sit in a predictable pocket, but this one did several things I really, really enjoyed.
*My favorite thing about BY BLOOD was that Banghart wrote an ethnic MC that was subtle and natural. We often talk about not just raising kids who are accepting of differences, but rather raising kids who are color blind because they look deeper into a person to discover who they are. In my opinion, Emma Wong was written from that beautiful color blind perspective. Banghart created a feisty, fun and flawed character that carried me through the whole story because she was simply a great character.
*Another thing I really enjoyed about BY BLOOD, was how it was a contemporary novel with a paranormal feel. I think it was very innovative for Banghart to have the depth of an emotionally darker contemporary, the heat of a steamy romance, and the magic, intrigue and mystery of a paranormal through the exploration of the druids. I would consider this a great hybrid read.
*Lastly, the setting was fabulous. You can’t read BY BLOOD and not want to go to England immediately. I wanted to visit pubs, eat the food, see the art and just walk the cobblestone streets.
Can’t wait for MOON CHILD (By Blood 2)
Coming August 2013!
Before Emma’s adventures in Oxford, her best friend Diana came face-to-face with a killer…
Diana Calvert is so over high school. Who cares if Olivia hates her? And David needs to forget about having a crush on her STAT. Even Emma’s crazy fashion choices can’t keep Diana entertained. All she can hope for is a dance scholarship to a college as far away as possible from too-small, too-boring, too-nothing-ever-happens New Freedom, PA.
Then Diana meets Nicholas Woodhaven. He’s pale, angry…yet weirdly charming. The more time they spend together, the more she wonders who – or what – he really is. Because he isn’t anything like the other guys she knows. Not with the whole only-going-out-at-night thing. And living with his creepy aunt. And not going to school.
Just when Diana thinks she’s got Nicholas all figured out, people in her small, nothing-ever-happens town start dying. She has to wonder – can she trust him? And even more alarming – could she be next?
A murder mystery with a paranormal twist, Moon Child is best read under the covers with a flashlight…if you dare!
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.
You can find out more about Tracy E. Banghart and BY BLOOD here…
Where to Purchase:
Barnes & Noble
And for your reading pleasure, here are more of this week’s Bookanistas Reviews…
After reading the BY BLOOD summary and my review, what intrigues you the most about Banghart’s book? How do you feel about hybrid style books that are putting a twist on some of our favorite things. What other books have you read that have ethnic characters that in your opinion do it right?
Can I just say, I was thrilled when I was asked to be part of The Official Blog Tour for WHEN YOU WERE HERE by the lovely and talented Daisy Whitney.
There is nothing I love more than promoting books and authors that I love.
Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.
Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.
Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.
When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
And because I love love you, dear blog reader, you get an exclusive (never before seen) video of Daisy in Japan!
And want the inside scoop on Laini, Danny’s sister? Here it is…
One of the things I really enjoy, as a reader and writer, is a character that is sometimes hard to love. I usually find these characters to have the most epic internal journeys and growth, which makes them really interesting to me. For me, Laini was that character in WHEN YOU WERE HERE. Yet, despite my frustration with her (and it got ugly at times LOL!) I couldn’t let her go. But I’m so glad i didn’t it. She had her own pain and she reminded me that I shouldn’t judge until I’ve walked two moons in someone else’s moccasins. Did you plan on having Laini turn out the way she did or was she a force of nature that simply took over when you were writing?
Yes! Thank you! Laini was always a bit cold, and she had her reasons. Being hard to love was a part of her character makeup from the start. She has a chip on her shoulder and she believes she has reasons for it. As such, she was a hell of a lot of fun to write with her sternness and self-righteousness! But I also think her relationship with Danny shows that while you might not ever be close with a sibling, you can at least respect and understand their choices. And though she’s nearer to brittle than not, I think Danny ultimately “gets” her.
If Laini could relive the last several years of her life, would she do anything differently?
She wouldn’t have left the family the way she did. She would have gone back and said the things she needed to say to their mom sooner. But she’s glad she eventually said them.
Family is a strong theme in WHEN YOU WERE HERE, the presence and the absence of it. What would Laini tell readers about family?
Embrace them. Love them. Don’t run from them. Don’t assume you know everything.
Daisy, you wrote a book that crosses cultural barriers in a wonderful way. As our world shrinks and becomes more and more interconnected, books like this become even more important. What do you think was Laini’s most important contribution to the cultural theme in WHEN YOU WERE HERE?
While I didn’t intend this as I wrote her, I would say she typifies how families today are created. She’d an adopted daughter from a foreign country, and the identity challenges she faces are ones other adopted children may confront. But she also feels an intense, deep-seated love for her homeland, and I think the depth of her love for China – a complex and fascinating country – is important to consider in our global world.
If WHEN YOU WERE HERE were a television series, Laini and Kana would be the characters I’d most like to see in a spin off series. Have you written the rest of their stories in your head? Would you ever consider giving us more Laini?
I have considered writing a story for Kana! I thinks she would be a fascinating main character. I often imagine a handsome British boy sweeps her off her feet. Perhaps that’s because I like British boys.
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I know, I know–there can’t possibly be more to this awesomeness. But there is. I have FIVE copies of WHEN YOU WERE HERE to giveaway to some very lucky readers!!!!! *fist pump*
I’m off and running–literally. I’m taking my 12yo for his first run. SQUEE! He came in 2nd place at a 5k at his school the other day and now he wants to run with me. So much fun!!!!! But I thought I’d pop in and let you know that I was invited to join the Bookanistas. I’m so excited…
Who are the Bookanistas?
Who We Are
We are a group of writers in various stages of the publishing process who have banded together to recommend/review the special books of our peers.
Combined, we reach over 10,000 followers
We recommend and review all kinds of children’s books, but focus mainly on YA, middle grade and now, picture books. (yes picture books too! Shocker!). As fellow writers, we have decided to only recommend books we absolutely LOVE, therefore, we do not post anything negative!
Yes, that’s right! We give nothing but love! There’s enough negativity in the world.
We post every Thursday covering a variety various book topics– upcoming ARCs, books we love, diamonds in the rough, classics, and even dish out some cover love from time to time.
Come join us on Thursdays and you can be be fashionable, too.
Because The Bookanistas think books are the new black!
You can check out my warm welcome to the Bookanistas and our prayers going out to Boston HERE
. And I’ll be posting my first Bookanistas Review on 4/25. Okey dokey…NOW I’m off and running LOL! Have a great weekend.
I have a new addiction and it is so much healthier than the chocolate covered potato chips from the alps.
And yes, I sampled them when I went down to take the picture. Wouldn’t you? LOL! But hey–back on task–let’s talk about my other addiction. Squee! It’s school visits. Seriously people, they make me very, very happy. I’ve mentioned before that I was a teacher and that I was ok leaving the profession because it wasn’t a perfect fit for me. But author visits–It’s like taking a salty potato chip and dipping it in your favorite chocolate. It just works. It feels really good. I get to take the best parts of me (that I brought to the table as a teacher) and combine them with the heart and soul work I’m doing as a writer. Seriously, I could go on and on ad nauseam, but vomit isn’t pretty, so I’ll stop right after I tell you about the middle school boy who asked me to sign his arm yesterday. He mumbled something about not realizing he should have gotten the book. *heart squish* The thing is, there is more than one amazing thing going on when you’re an author for young adults. You have the potential to connect thorough your book, but you also have the weird ability to connect outside of your book. When you talk to a classroom of students, there may be kids who don’t pick up the book you’ve written, but they still hear what you say. And those words might be the right words at the right time. The possibilities and the potential are endless. But I promised to stop babbling. *covers mouth with hands*
Did you really think I’d shut up? Silly you. If you are located in the Hudson Valley area, I would love to arrange a visit to your local school. If you’re interested, let a teacher or librarian know that I’m available and how to contact me.
And because not everyone is close enough for me to stop over while my kids are in school, I’m doing a TOUCHING THE SURFACE giveaway for your favorite middle school or high school. Anyone can enter and the contest details are below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And in case you still want to chat, I was wondering if any of you have stories of influential guest speakers visiting you in school. Did they make an impact on you? Didn’t have any guest speakers or they were duds? What author would you have loved to come and speak to you?
Thanks so much for spreading the word!
It’s your lucky day! I’m having a creepy giveaway. I’ve got two books here that will make your hands sweat while you’re reading them. First up is DISPIRITED by Luisa M. Perkins…
Cathy sees things that are invisible to everyone else. Her new stepbrother’s bizarre behavior. A ghostly little boy. An abandoned house in the woods. But she doesn’t see how they’re all connected. And what she doesn’t see might just kill her.
READ AN EXCERPT HERE.
Luisa M. Perkins is the author of Dispirited, published by Zarahemla Books in March 2012, and co-author of the novel The Book of Jer3miah, forthcoming from Shadow Mountain in August 2012.
Past publications include the cookbook Comfortably Yum and the LDS YA novel Shannon’s Mirror. She has had numerous short stories and essays published in print and online. She has been a member of the Whitney Awards Committee for the past two years. She and her husband Patrick live with their six children in New York’s Hudson Highlands.
Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of DISPIRITED…
DISPIRITED is one little creeper of a book and I mean that in the very best of ways. What I loved about it was that Perkins made reality, myth and the paranormal seamlessly blend in a way that captured my attention and made me wonder if there was really a lot more going on under my day to day reality. If you’ve ever had a chill run down your spine for no reason–DISPIRITED will make you wonder if perhaps you weren’t just being perceptive.
Bonus love for this book because Perkins wrote this while living in my area and her writing was peppered with local references making the story even more believable and interesting for me. If you like IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma or a darker story that makes you think AND shiver…DISPIRITED is a perfect choice for you.
The second book you have a chance to win is WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND by Tracy Bilen.
“Don’t even think of leaving…I will find you,” he whispered. “Guaranteed.”
Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it. Each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.
Tracy Bilen is a high school French and Spanish teacher in Michigan where she lives with her husband and two children. Before moving to Michigan, Tracy taught at a ski school for high school students in Vermont (Spanish, not skiing!). In college she spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris where she lived in a dorm run by nuns (and where she had to run down four flights of stairs to take a phone call). She enjoys cross-country skiing and walks in the woods. Her debut young adult novel, What She Left Behind, will be released by Simon Pulse on May 1, 2012.Tracy Bilen is a high school French and Spanish teacher in Michigan where she lives with her husband and two children. Before moving to Michigan, Tracy taught at a ski school for high school students in Vermont (Spanish, not skiing!). In college she spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris where she lived in a dorm run by nuns (and where she had to run down four flights of stairs to take a phone call). She enjoys cross-country skiing and walks in the woods. Her debut young adult novel, What She Left Behind, will be released by Simon Pulse on May 1, 2012.
Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND
If you like Elizabeth Scott, I think you’ll absolutely adore Tracy Bilen. WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND is one of those stories that is morbidly beautiful. It is the harsh reality of a less than ideal life, threaded with moments of love and hope. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from what was unfolding on the pages. I immediately connected with Sara and I adored the healthy relationships in her life. I read this story with a rapid pulse and sweaty palms–praying that the last page would be just as good as the build-up. I wasn’t disappointed.
Oh, and bonus–both books will be shipped to you directly from the authors so you’ll get to have them signed!! What do you have to do to enter this giveaway? Tell me what piece of reality you find scarier than fiction. Or you can tell me the creepiest thing that’s ever happened to you. Or you can just gush about how much you want both of these books. BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IN THE COMMENT SO THAT YOU CAN WIN!
Thanks to the lovely and generous Daisy Whitney, author of THE MOCKING BIRDS and THE RIVALS, I was able to read an ARC of SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by my fellow Apocalypsie–Trish Dollar. And because I *love* you, I’m going to have a contest and give someone else a chance to read it too. Before I explain how you can win this amazing book, let me tell you a little bit about the SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, Trish and my response to her debut YA novel.
SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller
When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.
You can Pre-order SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL here…
*Barnes & Noble
Kimberly’s Review of SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL…
It seems like every writer’s conference I attend, someone is always trying to pin down what is meant by that wonderful, but hard to define thing called VOICE. In my opinion, the best way to explain the magic of voice is to have a list of books that contain a distinct and powerful one. Trish Doller’s SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL would absolutely go on my “voice list.” I’m in awe of what she did here.
I’m not sure where to start, because this book has endless depth and layers, but what I do know is that it’s going to be one successful debut. Doller’s knowledge of the military, the amazing nuanced relationships between all the characters, the internal and external struggles, the friendships and the love–It’s all here and I adored every minute of it. There are certain books that I read, where I connect very deeply to the story and the characters because the author has stripped down to his or her vulnerable parts and risked a lot to put a kind of truth down on the page. This is one of those books and Trish Dollar is one of those authors. I am officially a fan-girl for life.
About Trish Doller…
I’ve been a writer as long as I’ve been able to write, but I didn’t make a conscious decision to “be” a writer until fairly recently. For that you should probably be thankful.
I was born in Germany, grew up in Ohio, went to college at Ohio State University, got married to someone really great, bounced from Maine to Michigan and back to Ohio for awhile. Now I live in Florida with my two mostly grown kids, two dogs, and a pirate. For real.
I’ve worked as a morning radio personality, a newspaper reporter, and spent all my summers in college working at an amusement park. There I gained valuable life skills, including counting money really fast, directing traffic, jumping off a moving train, and making cheese-on-a-stick. Also, I can still welcome you to Frontier Town. Ask me sometime.
These days I work as a bookseller at a Very Big Bookstore. And I write.
You can find out more about Trish Doller and SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL here…
Now that I’ve got your interest, I bet you’re wondering how to win this ARC. Easy-peasy! In the comments section, please tell me something about yourself that makes you feel less than normal. Don’t be shy, I’ve got a list of things as long as my right arm. Feel free to share them all or just tell me one. And remember… “like normal” is the new normal–so you’re in good company. Don’t forget to leave your contact information in your comment. You can’t win this amazing book if you I can’t reach you. And trust me, you want to win this book. Yup.
I just found out yesterday that TOUCHING THE SURFACE is now available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble and I’m crazy excited!!!! I thought that I’d celebrate by giving one lucky winner a pre-order of the book. I know–you won’t get your prize until October 30th, but I will send ahead some SURFACE swag along with your preorder confirmation.
What do you have to do to win?
1. Please check out my the book on Barnes & Nobel and click on the section that says… Nook Books: Want to read this on your NOOK? Request as NOOK Book from the publisher. And while you’re there feel free to hit any LIKE buttons that you come across.
2. Second, leave a comment telling me what has captured your attention about TOUCHING THE SURFACE. Is it the cover? Synopsis? Is it because we know each other? There’s no wrong answer–I’m just curious to know what has drawn you to the book.
*Please make sure that you leave a contact email address in your comment so I can get in touch with you if you are a winner.
And how about a bonus? Stop by my Amazon page and hit the LIKE button and I’ll throw in a couple extra swag bag winners too!!!! Or if you have a Kindle and would like an ebook you can exercise your finger here.
Want to find out what people are saying about TOUCHING THE SURFACE? I have one of my very first early reviews…Check it out!
Titles of books change all the time. It’s a fact. Period.
As an writer, I’m well aware that when a story is “adopted” by a publisher, they might want to change the name of their new child. Of course, their intent is to give each book the best life it can have. I was very lucky with TOUCHING THE SURFACE–Simon Pulse kept my original vision. This was a huge relief because I loved it–I was attached. But also because my titles play a very large role in the story I am trying to tell, in fact I can’t even begin to write a new book if I don’t have that key piece of information. I need a title to anchor my thoughts. Then it must grow and twist through the story like a vine, with the weaving of the theme being strong enough to support just about anything else I throw into the story…
Now that’s good weaving LOL!
But wait! I must have a reason for all this title talk, right? Of course I do. I’m approaching the end of my first draft to THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY which means 90% of my brain is in complete obsession mode. All I can think about is THAT STORY!!! But…the final 10% is thinking ahead, starting to mull over the next book. Getting to know new characters. Thinking about new questions that I need answers for. So, since book three is starting to tickle my brain, I thought I would share my title with you. Who knows if I’ll get to keep it, but for now…Book Three is called CHASING ADAPTATION. It just feels right.
How do you pick your titles? What are some of your favorites? What do you think makes a good title?
I’m a little lost in the ending of THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY right now–unable to even listen to audiobooks because I’m drowning in the songs that I associate with this WIP. I play them over and over and try to let my mind dance with the words and go to the place it needs to go in order to write it right. There are the songs that now remind me of the early chapters and there are the recent songs that have just helped the story take shape and now there are the songs that I’m running to get close to–so they can whisper in my ear. Here’s one of them…
My wish? That I never stop being this vested in what I write. What are you chasing right now?
In a weird coincidence, I’d just cracked the spine on my very own copy of THE GATHERING STORM by my Class of 2k12 sib Robin Bridges, when the ARC Tour copy showed up in my mailbox. Guess I was reading the right book at the right time. I love it when the universe sends me cosmic confirmation signals. Here’s a little bit about THE GATHERING STORM in case you have had the chance to drool over it yet…
In superstitious 1880’s Russia, Katerina of Oldenburg hides a dangerous secret: she can raise the dead.
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.
An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.
The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?
THE GATHERING STORM can be purchased at…
Barnes and Noble
Click HERE for a list of other available booksellers
Kimberly’s Review of THE GATHERING STORM
The absolute coolest thing about this book was the melding of paranormal and historical. And what really intrigued me most was that this wasn’t your “typical” historical era that we so often read about–this was Russia!!! The story was filled with all kinds of new and unique things that I’d never read about in a YA book before. Obviously, there was a mind boggling amount of research that must have gone into THE GATHERING STORM and that’s what I loved about it. It felt authentic–which meant that when Bridges introduced her paranormal elements into the story–the lines between reality and fiction were often blurred, making for fantastic story telling.I also really loved Katerina’s drive to be a doctor and her own person and more importantly, I adored her father. He only wanted the best thing for his daughter, even if it defies convention.The Gathering Storm had love, intrigue, history, magic and all of my attention. I can’t wait until the next installment of the Katerina Trilogy!!!
By day, Robin is a mild-mannered writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction for young adults. By night, she is a pediatric nurse. Robin lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, one soon-to-be teenager, and two slobbery mastiffs. THE GATHERING STORM is her first novel.
And if I haven’t already sold you on Book One of the Katerina Trilogy, check out Book Two…
THE UNFAILING LIGHT is now available for Pre-order!!!!
Available October 9, 2012
Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She’s about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia’s arch nemesis–who she thought she’d destroyed–is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She’ll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina’s horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.
You can find out more about Robin Bridges and The Katerina Trilogy–THE GATHERING STORM and THE UNFAILING LIGHT here…