Category Archives: Author Interview

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Paul Krueger

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

Today I have author Paul Krueger on a special author edition of Book and a Beverage! I’m in the middle of his book, LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE, right now and it’s so much fun! Mixology meets magic is tickling my fancy and the characters are just great. Check out Paul’s Book and a Beverage guest post below and give him a warm welcome!

Give a big welcome to author PAUL KRUEGER!

author

Name: Paul Krueger
You know him best as the author of… LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE (6/7/16)Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

AMAZON | GOODREADS

2

READING

What are you reading? Right now, I’m catching up on the comic series Monstress, by Sana Takeda and Marjorie Liu.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? Oh man, where to begin? How about the fact that Liu and Takeda have made the best Asia-inspired fantasy world since Avatar: The Last Airbender? Or that the book demolishes the “male as default” trope, and you can go an entire issue without seeing a single male character? Or that it’s got the best talking cat since Garth Nix’s Mogget? Or that Liu’s words and Takeda’s art are both independently gorgeous and complement each other perfectly? Yeah, I absolutely recommend Monstress
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex, which is a superhero novel set to come out next month and set the world on fire when it does. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because we should still be fostering an appreciation for the classics. And I’ll say Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which I read months ago and still catch myself thinking about.

WRITING

What can you tell us about your current work in progress? Not much yet, I’m afraid; I’m still discovering it myself as I write.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Pantser, through and through. When I have an outline to work off of, I just get bored. I need the flexibility to surprise myself. That’ll often slow me down when I’m writing, but it seems to be the only way I can finish a book.
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? Nah. I’m like my cat: I can find comfort in almost any old spot. But I’ll say this: I’m never more productive than when I’m on an airplane.

3What are you drinking? Tonight: a glass of neat bourbon, in honor of National Bourbon Day. It’s one of those fake holidays I can get behind.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? Black coffee, preferably by the bucket. I tried to be writerly once and drink whiskey while I wrote, but all I ended up doing was just drinking whiskey and staring at my laptop.

thoughtprovokingWhich character from a book would you say you’re most like? I identify pretty closely with Arthur Dent from Hitchhiker’s Guide. Like him, I often find myself the least interesting person in a room full of very interesting people, bewildered and just trying to keep up. And also like him, I’ve never quite gotten the hang of Thursdays.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions? I don’t have any specific ones myself, but my cat has unilaterally decided that I write better with her sitting in my lap, and takes it upon herself to carry out that ritual at every opportunity.


 A thank you to Paul Krueger for this fun get-to-know-you Book and a Beverage post! His debut full-length novel, LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE, is out from Quirk books now so don’t miss it! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Krueger is, down to the very bottom of his black little heart, a city rat. Raised in and around Chicago, he got his learning on in New York before scuttling off to Los Angeles, where Krueger Paul 2_Credit Canaan Tripletthe lives now.

His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies SWORD & LASER and NOIR RIOT. His debut novel, LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE, is due out in June of 2016 from Quirk Books. It’s about a secret society of bartenders who fight demons with alcohol-magic, and yes, it’s very much autobiographical.*

His non-writing hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, Pathfinder, and boring strangers with long, involved stories about his cat. He’s also a musician, singing lead for the Adventure Time-themed punk band Lemonbadd.

If found, Paul should be returned to Ms. Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary, who is very patient with him.

*for a very loose/nonexistent value of “autobiographical”

bio from Paul Krueger’s website

 

Connect With Paul
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour: The Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern | Author Interview + Giveaway!

5050_blogtour

Welcome to the blog tour for
The Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern!

Today I’m on the blog tour for THE RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES, hosted by Macmillan/Fierce Reads!! I’m really excited to share an interview with author Kate McGovern on today’s post! We’ll talk about the book, Kate’s personal experiences, and more! Before we hop into the interview, let’s have a refresher on the book first!

Blog Tour: The Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern | Author Interview + Giveaway!Title: The Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern
Publishing Info: November 24, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 27, 2015
Related Posts: The Rules for 50/50 Chances

A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.
Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

INTERVIEW WITH KATE MCGOVERN

Brittany: The Rules for 50/50 Chances is your debut novel — congrats!! How did you choose Rose’s story for your first book? 
Kate McGovern: ​Thanks! RULES is a story that sat with me for years before I wrote it. I read an article about a young woman in a similar situation, and I couldn’t get her story out of my head. My college playwriting professor, who is still a mentor to me, always said to “write the things you obsess over,” and I think that’s very good advice. Rose’s voice came into my head fully formed–she was always herself, right from the first page–and I think it’s because her story just haunted me from day one. I needed to write this book.

B: The book follows Rose who has a 50/50 chance of inheriting Huntington’s Disease from her mother. The main thing she struggles with is when to take that test that will tell her how the rest of her life is going to go. What’s the biggest decision or event (that you’d like to share) that’s changed the course of your life?
KM:
​Ooh, tough one. This is cheating a bit, but I’d say that each of the major moves in my life was a defining experience: first when I moved to New York City after college, then when I moved to the UK at 26, then when I moved home and settled down in Cambridge, which is my hometown. The New York years were very formative for me as a writer–I had my first full-length play professionally produced, and I was published for the first time, although I didn’t write fiction yet at that point. And I also started working in education, which is my other passion (I now for an awesome education non-profit organization). Living in the UK for three years took me completely out of my comfort zone in all the best ways. There’s something about being an outsider that is ​indispensable for a writer. I loved it. After I finished grad school at Oxford, I taught in an elementary school in very, very far West London, which gave me a fresh perspective on public education in the U.S. And moving back to Cambridge was the start of a new phase of my life, where I feel much more settled and finally “grown up,” in a way. (It only took me until my 30s :))

B: I really admired Rose’s strength and how she was trying to find a perfect blend of head and heart when it came to the really tough decisions and moments with this disease. What do you hope readers take away from Rose’s experiences?
KM: Dealing with a parent’s illness of any kind is a singular, unbelievably difficult experience. Rose has to grow up in some ways before she should. I’ve had a lot of readers ask me what I would do in Rose’s position, and the truth is, I just don’t know. In some ways, I’m in awe of Rose, and of others who are in her shoes (including readers who have experienced similar circumstances). I hope readers empathize with her, and take away from her that it’s possible to live well and fully even in the midst of incredibly challenging and destabilizing circumstances. Rose might seem indecisive, but I think she’s just scared, and rightly so. She’s doing her best with the hand she’s been dealt, which is all any of us can do.

B: I read on this “Meet the Newbies” post from Dana Square and A Perfection Called Books that there are a lot of personal tidbits and likes from your life that appear in The Rules for 50/50 Chances! (I love when this happens. It’s so fun to identify!) How did you decide which favorites to include in the book?
KM: My cousin described reading the book as a “treasure hunt” because she could see the little bits that were taken from real life in the midst of all the fiction, and I love that. The truth is, it’s all fiction–because even the pieces that are based on my real experiences are taken out of context, mixed up, changed to fit the story, etc. Nothing in the book is taken directly from my life. But ​​I did have fun using some things in particular: Rose’s best friend, Lena, has pieces of several of my closest friends, but especially one of my college roommates/BFFs. So she was really fun to write. Rose’s mom is not like my mom much at all, but my mom does love trains, and so do I, so that’s where that detail comes from. The cross-country train ride Rose takes is based on my own experience–I rode the California Zephyr in 2012, and it was such an unbelievable experience that I knew I had to write about it somehow. I enjoyed reliving that train ride by writing those scenes.

B: What has been your favorite experience so far about being a debut author? Has anything really surprised you?
KM: ​This is going to sound obvious, but I was really surprised when I suddenly realized, “OH, now people are going to READ THIS.” I hadn’t really thought about that part, but it’s very exciting (and scary)! Beyond that, one of the best parts has been the incredible support I’ve received from my community, near and far. My family, my friends, my colleagues at my day job–everyone has just backed me up, and been so excited, which has been really humbling and wonderful. I’m very grateful for that. I’ve always, always wanted to write a book. So I’m just trying to soak up everything about this experience, because it really is living a lifelong dream.

B: We always like to know what else authors have in the works! Do you have any other projects you’re working on next? Are there other genres you’re considering or is contemporary/realistic fiction where your passion lies?
KM: I’m working on another book in the same genre–YA contemporary. I think that’s where I’ll stay for now, but I might branch out eventually. I love mysteries and thrillers–I don’t know if I’d be very good at writing them, but I’d love to give it a try at some point. My current work-in-progress is really a love story at its core, but it also deals with race and violence–some big stuff. As with RULES, I really started from the characters’ voices, and I’m just trying to do their stories justice.

A big, big thank you to Kate McGovern for this wonderful interview! It was an absolute pleasure and I loved hearing more about THE RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES!

GIVEAWAY

There is also a giveaway! One Winner receive a copy of THE RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. US residents only, please

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Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Becky Wallace

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

I am SO thrilled to have Becky Wallace on the Book and a Beverage feature today! If you don’t know her debut, THE STORYSPINNER, then get thee to a bookstore or a website where they sell this book ASAP because it was one of my favorites of 2015 and I am so incredibly excited for its sequel THE SKYLIGHTER that comes out in March 2016! I hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more about Becky Wallace and her books today on the feature — and don’t miss the giveaway for THE STORYSPINNER at the end of the post!

Give a big welcome to author BECKY WALLACE!

author

Name: Becky Wallace
You know her best as the author of… THE STORYSPINNER (3/3/15), THE SKYLIGHTER (3/22/16)

The Storyspinner (The Keepers' Chronicles, #1)          The Skylighter (The Keepers' Chronicles, #2)

THE STORYSPINNER: Amazon // Goodreads
THE SKYLIGHTER: Amazon // Goodreads

2

READING

What are you reading? I just borrowed a HUGE stack of books from a friend, and the book on top is Truthwitch.  So I think I’ll dive into that first. I can’t wait! I’ve heard a lot of good things 20150930_145030about it.  Other than that, I just finished re-reading Rae Carson’s The Bitter Kingdom series. It had been a long time since I’d read all the books, and I really wanted to jump back into Elisa’s world.
What’s important that we should know about this book?
Two things: First, the world building is fantastic. From the varied landscapes, to the different personalities of the cities, to the type of food, it’s all brilliantly realized.  And second,The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3) HECTOR. If I say anything else, it will be spoilery.  I don’t want to spoil Hector for anyone.  Would you recommend it? For fantasy lovers, most definitely!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Hmmm…it really depends on who is asking. For fantasy lovers who want a strong romance, I always suggest The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.  For readers who want a thrilling ride, I’d say Tracked by Jenny Martin and Nil by Lynne Matson.  And for contemporary folks, I always, always suggest Stephanie Perkins’s, Anna and the French Kiss.

WRITING

What can you tell us about your current work in progress? It’s very different from anything I’ve written before, while still being fantasy. The main character is not a particularly nice person….but I love her!  She’s a little manipulative, crafty, flirtatious, and smart. She has a tendency to do awful things for completely logical reasons. Her love interest is her perfect foil. He’s patient, kind, and thoughtful. He’s passionate about solving a family mystery, and the main character is standing in his way. I love it. I just hope the rest of the world will too!
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I’m an uncomfortable hybrid. I tend to write the stuff that pops into my head, but my agent and editors need to see outlines and proposal. So I do a bit of both!
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? Honestly, I love to write in my kitchen, but it’s been invaded by a baby monkey (or my two-year-old daughter), who climbs on the counter and pounds on my laptop. Sadly I’ve been relegated to using the office I share with my husband.  My view is not fabulous. I get to stare at the back of his monitor.  

3What are you drinking? A dirty Diet Coke (Diet Coke with coconut syrup). It’s fabulous and
refreshing, and the only way I can stand Diet Soda. When it’s empty there’s all that delicious ice to chomp on. Bonus!

What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? When I can’t get to Sonic, which is far too often, I really like drinking water with an obscene amount of lemon slices or Mt. Dew Kickstart.

thoughtprovokingIf you could co-author a book with someone (anyone!), who would it be? Nicole Castroman (author of Blackhearts out February 9, 2016!) is one of my best friends and critique partners. We’ve been bouncing some ideas around about coauthoring, but we’re always stuck between deadlines and life. Someday a Light Fantasy (Historical Fantasy, if that’s a thing??) based loosely on the German Feudal system will make its way onto the page.
Which character from a book would you say you’re most like? Growing up, I was 100 percent Hermione. Super student, super bossy, super bad hair?? Yes. That was me. Maybe still is. Sigh.
If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? Of my own characters?  It would, without question, be Dom. I could write a whole book of that slightly naughty, work avoiding, guilt-ridden character. He is so much fun!
What type of scene is your favorite to write? Kissing scenes! I could write kissing scenes all day long. Sometimes when I get stuck in a story, I fast forward to the next kissing scene and write that to get my brain functioning.  I have sooooo many make out scenes that will never see that light of day. Sad face.  


 A huge, huge thank you to Becky Wallace for being on Book and a Beverage today! I’m so thrilled and honored!
Pretty much a big fat YES to all of your recommendations (and those that I haven’t read are going on my TBR because I’ve loved every other one!) and that dirty diet Coke sounds delicious!!
And of course, I am all for more stories about Dom. Love him. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Becky Wallace
is the author of THE STORYSPINNER and its sequel, THE SKYLIGHTER (available March 22, 2016from Simon & Schuster). She lives in a happy little village in Texas with her own real-life Prince Charming and their four munchkins.

View More: http://ampersandphoto.pass.us/becky-headshots

Connect With Becky
| Twitter | Goodreads | FacebookPinterest | Instagram |


GIVEAWAY

Would you like to win a copy of THE STORYSPINNER by Becky Wallace? (The answer is yes, YOU DO!) Just enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter! Becky is generously giving a book away to one lucky winner! US residents only, please. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. 

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Blog Tour: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis | Author Interview + Giveaway!

Madness Tour Banner

Welcome to the blog tour for
A MADNESS SO DISCREET by Mindy McGinnis!

Today I’m on the blog tour for A MADNESS SO DISCREET hosted by Irish Banana Tours and Harper Teen! I am SO excited to share my interview with Mindy McGinnis with you today and talk to you about A MADNESS SO DISCREET! Before we hop into the interview, let’s have a refresher on the book first!

Blog Tour: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis | Author Interview + Giveaway!Title: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Publishing Info: October 6, 2015 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 29, 2015
Related Posts: A Madness So Discreet, The Female of the Species, This Darkness Mine

Grace Mae knows madness.
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBook | The Book Depository

INTERVIEW WITH MINDY MCGINNIS

Brittany: I really enjoyed that A Madness So Discreet is a historical horror/thriller novel! Did you have any specific references or influences from history when creating the setting and characters?
Mindy McGinnis: Yes, definitely! For setting I was relying heavily on the history of the Athens Lunatic Asylum in Athens, Ohio. It was a beacon of moral treatment in the late 1800’s for the insane. Characters I always allow to grow and inform me on their own time. I start with a shell and let the story make them, so, no historical influences there.

B: I just loved the gothic horror feel of the book. Did you have any specific inspirations for this time period while writing Madness
MM: Not necessarily. I love the 1890’s because it was a huge cultural change for a lot of people. Technology was moving forward in leaps and bounds, medicine was changing, schools of thought across the board were morphing constantly. There was a lot of quiet upheaval going on, which relates well to the book.

B: Are there any awesome trivia facts or anecdotes about the writing and creation of Madness (I recently read that you wrote it in three weeks!)? 
MM: Ha! Yeah, I did write the majority of it (probably 90%) in three weeks. I was confused about when my deadline was, and writerare better at procrastinating than actually writing. So… that was interesting. I don’t recommend it, although I was immersed in the world.

B: What did you find the most challenging about writing a historical fiction piece?
MM: I researched for an entire year before writing a word of this book. There was much to learn – the beginnings of criminal psychology, the history of asylum medicine (both the good and the bad), and of course historical details in general. What kind of lighting would be in a room in 1890? What would an asylum inmate be wearing? I’m very particular, and there were days when I couldn’t finish a sentence without doing half an hour of research in order to make sure I got it (hopefully) right.

B: The different locations throughout the book were so vivid for me! Did you have a favorite setting within the book or one that was exciting to have the characters explore? 
MM: The Athens Lunatic Asylum in Ohio has an amazing history. You can do a quick Google and learn about how it’s one of the most haunted places in the world and hear horror stories about the graveyard. And while I’m a fan of the supernatural, I’m also a fan of data. That type of history doesn’t interest me, because most of it quite frankly, just isn’t true.
I toured the buildings, which are now part of the Ohio University campus. You can’t go into the patient wards for safety reasons (they are literally crumbling), but some parts of the building are currently in use as staff offices as well as an art gallery. The gallery is open to the public, and when you visit you can see original floors, staircases and woodwork from the insane asylum years. Definitely hit up my Pinterest board if you want to see some pics from my tour!
You can most definitely repost some of my pics from Pinterest, just make sure if you use any of the older ones that you use the attribution that I did, b/c some of those actually belong to University Archives.

B: Is this book the start and end of A Madness So Discreet or do you think you will revisit it somehow (novella? Companion? Inspiration for another historical novel?) at a later date?
MM: I would love to write more in this series. I have an outline for another Grace / Dr. Thornhollow adventure, but it is unsold, as of this interview. If Madness does well, that could change!

ABOUT MINDY McGINNIS

Mindy McGinnisMindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

A big, big thank you to Mindy McGinnis for this awesome interview! I had an absolute blast and it’s always so neat learning more about the writing process and inspiration before and after reading the book! 


Be sure to check out all of the other awesome blogs and post on this tour! There are some truly great posts in store for you!

GIVEAWAY

There is also a tour-wide giveaway! One Winner Will Receive a Harper Teen Horror-themed prizepack! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. US residents only, please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: The Detour by S.A. Bodeen | Author Interview + Giveaway

Welcome to the blog tour for
THE DETOUR by S. A. Bodeen!

I always love a good YA mystery/thriller and I feel like there has finally been a surge in thrillers for YA. When I heard about THE DETOUR, I knew I had to read it! Plus bonus points: the main character is also a YA author! It was really fun to read the book from her point-of-view and combine the world of books and YA in there too. I really enjoyed the book from start to finish and after checking out my stop on the blog tour today, I hope you will too! Before we hop into the interview, here’s a bit more about THE DETOUR:

Blog Tour: The Detour by S.A. Bodeen | Author Interview + GiveawayTitle: The Detour by S. A. Bodeen
Publishing Info: October 6, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 13, 2015
Related Posts: The Detour

On her way to a writer’s conference, a bestselling teenage author takes a detour that has been deliberately set up by her biggest fans—a mother and daughter who kidnap her.
Livvy Flynn is a big deal—she’s a New York Times-bestselling author whose YA fiction has sold all over the world. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s gorgeous, and she’s full of herself.
When she’s invited to an A-list writer’s conference, she decides to accept so she can have some time to herself. She’s on a tight deadline for her next book, and she has no intention of socializing with the other industry people at the conference.
And then she hits the detour. Before she knows it, her brand new car is wrecked, she’s hurt, and she’s tied to a bed in a nondescript shack in the middle of nowhere. A woman and her apparently manic daughter have kidnapped her. And they have no intention of letting her go.

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR S. A. BODEEN

I was lucky enough to be able to interview author S. A. Bodeen for today’s tour stop and I had a lot of questions for her! It was a really fun interview for me. Check out her answers below! 

Brittany: I’ve always been a big mystery/thriller fan and often wonder how I would handle the situation if I was in the same circumstance. Would you have had the same strategy if you were in Livvy’s place?
S. A. Bodeen: I am about the most risk
averse person I know. My husband always tells me that I should work for OSHA. So I probably wouldn’t have been on my own in the first place, let alone taken that turn-off…

B: THE DETOUR’s main character is also an author. Did any part of Livvy’s story parallel a personal experience in your life as a writer? (Hopefully not the scary ones!!!)
SAB: There wasn’t really anything about her writing life paralleled my own. She had a much easier time selling her first novel than I did, for sure. And she has far more zeroes in her bank account.


B: In the book, an author is mentioned who was ridiculed and reamed out by Livvy’s fans. That really hit home for me having seen this very thing happen on blogs and social media and seeing how devastating that can be for a person. Was there any sort of message or extra weight tied to this situation for readers to pick up on?
SAB: Not a message at all. More like it was something I had seen happen and realized it would not be a leap at all to put it into the story and have readers believe that it was possible. The pitfalls of social media were a big inspiration for me while writing this book, because there are so many things that can happen.


B: I’m always fascinated how mysteries & thrillers come together in the end and how many clues there are along the way! Did you always know exactly how the book was going to tie up?
SAB: Not at all. I knew how the twists would turn out, but not the very last page. The epilogue didn’t end up that way until the final round of editorial revisions.

B: Without giving anything away, will we see more of Livvy in future books or was this a definite stand-alone?
SAB: I wrote it as a stand-alone, but that door was left wide open at the end, I think…


A big thank you to author S.A. Bodeen for the enlightening interview! It’s always so much fun to learn more about the book after I’ve read it. I hope the last question & answer made you EXTRA curious! 

Don’t miss my review for THE DETOUR! It was supposed to be a video review but errrr… the video didn’t work so catch this special AUDIO review! ;D

GIVEAWAY

I hate to let you go without a giveaway so I’m offering up my ARC to one lucky winner! Just enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! US residents only, please. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. 
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Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Cara Bertrand

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

Give a big welcome to author CARA BERTRAND!

author

Name: Cara Bertrand
You know her best as the author of… LOST IN THOUGHT (4/15/14), AFTERTHOUGHT (5/27/14), SECOND THOUGHT (10/1/14)

Lost in Thought (The Sententia, #1)     Afterthought with Bonus Content (The Sententia, #1.5)    Second Thoughts (The Sententia, #2)

LOST IN THOUGHT: Amazon // Goodreads
AFTERTHOUGHT: Amazon // Goodreads
SECOND THOUGHTS: Amazon // Goodreads

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READING

What are you reading? To maximize my reading time, I’m almost always reading three books in three formats. Right now I’ve got The Book of Speculation in print, Conversion on Kindle, and Princess of Thorns on audio.

What’s important that we should know about this book?
Would you recommend it?
Princess of Thorns is a Sleeping Beauty retelling with a strong heroine and a tortured hero (my favorite kinds). The audio is well-done and compelling enough to hold my attention while I walk or do chores, which is always my challenge with audio books. Conversion I just finished today—bertrand- BandaBthis book is a great example of voice and, since it’s a sort of dual narrative, there are two of them to enjoy. It’s a fictionalized account of a modern occurrence paralleling an historical one, which I was most surprised to learn at the end was inspired by a real event that happened in 2012. The book is set on the North Shore of MA, a place very familiar to me and richly drawn in the story, but the actual 2012 incident happened just a few towns over from where my family lives in Western NY. I loved this one and zoomed through the last half. An important thing to know is that the cover—while intriguing and definitely related to the book (which you’ll understand if you read far enough)—doesn’t quite…fit the feel of it, in my opinion. Don’t judge, or misjudge!, it by the cover, is I guess what I’m saying. The Book of Speculation just came in (I was hold #80-something at the library!), so I’ve only read about two chapters. It’s got a unique voice and a compelling opening, so I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Wow, what a tough question! Recommendations are so dependent on the person and what they’re looking for, but three books I love enduringly and unerringly: Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, and Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.

WRITING

What can you tell us about your current work in progress? Well, it’s the final book (#4) in the Sententia series, so I can’t tell you much! 🙂 I’m also finishing up a series novella to be released this fall, that takes place during the summer between Second Thoughts and Book 3 (coming Spring 2016). In the novella, Lainey and Amy have a crazy “Yes Day” that’s a sort of spontaneous local road trip. A lot happens—including a trip to a cemetery, and dancing, and kissing. And Carter.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Panster, for the most part. Sometimes I call myself a “pointer” but that sounds rather canine. I typically have in mind a beginning, an ending, and a few points along the way, and I pants my way between them. I’ve tried to become a plotter, Lord have I tried, but I just can’t seem to make it work with my brain. Kind of like when I’m painting a room—I know that the actual painting would go faster if I did more prep, like taping the edges and putting down drop cloths, but I prefer to just get to work and take my time.
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? My favorite place to write is in a cabana on the beach in Mexico, but that only happens ~once a year if I’m lucky. Other than that, I write all over the place. In the early mornings, I write in my office. Afternoons, I write at my FitDesk. Evenings on my couch, usually with a dog’s head in my lap. A lot, maybe most, of Second Thoughts was completed at my local coffee shop, and a good portion of Sententia 3 was written sitting in the back of my boat!

3

What are you drinking? Well. Most everyone seems to be drinking coffee, or tea, or water—and I drink a lot of those things—but I’m doing this at night, after my daughter has gone to bed, so honestly, I’m having a glass of wine. Tonight is a Rioja.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? Coffee or water while writing. Tea or wine while reading!

thoughtprovoking
If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? If I were to write a Sententia spin off—and I’m definitely not saying I’m going to!—it would feature Alexis Morrow and a character from Sententia 3 and be called Charmer. But I’ve only thought about that far.
What type of scene is your favorite to write? I mean, honestly, it’s kissing scenes. Who doesn’t like those? 🙂 I write completely out of order, and in almost every book I’ve written/started, the progression goes something like this: write the beginning/inciting incident, write the ending/climax, write a kissing scene. Or two.


 Thank you so much to Cara Bertrand for taking part in Book and a Beverage today!
One thousand percent YES to your Scorpio Races recommendation (I listen to the audio every year now!) and you are a woman after my own heart with your reading formats!! I’ve always got a physical book and audiobook going, usually with a Kindle book in between! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cara Bertrand-authorCara is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter, and lots of words. Her first novel, Lost in Thought, was one of three finalists for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult category.

Connect With Cara
| Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Website |

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Jen McConnel

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

Give a big welcome to author JEN MCCONNEL!

author

Name: Jen McConnel
You know her best as the author of… DAUGHTER OF CHAOS (3/25/14), GODS OF CHAOS (3/31/15), TRIUMPH OF CHAOS (3/2016)

Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic, #1)    Gods of Chaos (Red Magic #2)   Triumph of Chaos (Red Magic, #3)

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS: Amazon // Goodreads
GODS OF CHAOS: Amazon // Goodreads
TRIUMPH OF CHAOS: Amazon // Goodreads

Also by Jen McConnel:

The Secret of Isobel Key  Her Secret Inheritance

What Happens in London (Adventures Abroad)  What Happens in Paris  What Happens in Berlin (Adventures Abroad)  What Happens Abroad

2

READING

What are you reading? Right now, I’m enjoying Katie Bolick’s book, SPINSTER.
book and beverageWhat’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? It’s part memoir, part literary biography of some awesome writing women, and I’m really enjoying it. I don’t usually read nonfiction, but I’m glad I picked up this book. I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone interested in feminism, writing, and literary biography.
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? There are so many books I absolutely adore, it’s hard to narrow it down to just three recommendations, but I’ll try. The Violet Eden Chronicles by Jessica Shirvington, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. (I lean toward fantasy, if you couldn’t already tell!)

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What are you drinking? I mostly quit coffee when I had my little one, but every now and then, I want a treat, so today I cracked open my “emergency stash” (AKA an iced Starbucks coffee).
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? Coffee or tea, preferably iced. I tend to lose track of the real world when I’m writing (and reading, come to think of it), and there’s nothing worse than taking a sip of lukewarm tea to pull me right out of my head and back into reality in an unpleasant way.

thoughtprovoking

If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? I love this question, because it’s something I’m actually considering. I’d love to explore things from Justin’s POV (Darlena’s sort of ex in the Red Magic series). Once the trilogy is done, I might see what he has to say!
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions? Writing IS my ritual! When I’m drafting, I don’t feel human until I’ve written my minimum of two thousand words a day, but before I sit down to write, I usually load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen. I mostly work at the dining table now, and having a messy kitchen behind me makes it hard to concentrate. (Although I have to be careful not to get carried away, like I did yesterday: I cleaned the bathroom, too!)


 Thank you so much to Jen McConnel for taking part in Book and a Beverage today! I absolutely MUST know more about her Red Magic series now! What do you guys think?? It sounds great!
LOVE the book recommendations. Always Sarah J. Maas and Neil Gaiman! I need to look into Jessica Shirvington too! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Michigander by birth, Jen McConnel now makes her home in the beautiful state of North
Jen McConnel-0034Carolina. She writes NA, including the recently released Adventures Abroad series (Bloomsbury Spark), the award winning YA novel Beautiful Curse (Swoon Romance), and various other works. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Visit www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!

Connect With Jen
| Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Facebook | Blog | Website |


GIVEAWAY

Would you like to win a giveaway of Jen McConnel’s DAUGHTER OF CHAOS? Enter the Rafflecopter entry form below for your chance to win! (Thank you to Jen McConnel for providing this giveaway!)

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Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Rachel Shane

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

Give a big welcome to author RACHEL SHANE!

author

Name: Rachel Shane
You know her best as the author of… ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH (4/18/15), KASEY SCREWS UP THE WORLD (9/8/15), PREMATURE EVACUATION (9/29/15)

  Alice in Wonderland High    Kasey Screws Up The World    Premature Evacuation

ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH: Amazon // Goodreads
KASEY SCREWS UP THE WORLD: Amazon // Goodreads
PREMATURE EVACUATION: Amazon // Goodreads

2

READING

What are you reading? I am reading and adoring THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren Gibaldi.
RachelShane_drinkWhat’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I’m a huge fan of dual timeline narratives and I love how this one follows the same characters throughout a pivotal night in their lives and then again a year later as they recreate it. I would definitely recommend it!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? The top 3 books I find myself recommending are ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins for the swoony love story, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER which is my favorite of Sarah Dessen’s, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater because…Ronan.

WRITING

What can you tell us about your current work in progress? My current work in progress, in very vague terms, is a contemporary YA in which a girl teams up with her enemy—the guy who got her expelled from school–in order to solve a mystery. There’s lots of witty banter, criminal activities, and a really epic kiss or two. That’s all I’m allowed to share at the moment!
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I am a huge plotter. I’m a Project Manager in my day job, so organization and careful planning is very important to me. My outlines are long and super detailed and if I start to stray from them while writing, I stop and re-outline to get back on track.
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? I do most of my writing on my train commute into NYC. I wouldn’t say it’s a favorite spot, it can get kind of… awkward when I’m revising a sex scene for my NA series while sitting next to a stranger. Otherwise I usually just end up writing in my bed.

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What are you drinking? I’m boring. Water!
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? On my morning commute I always get a medium-sized Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with Chips Ahoy flavor and cream. YUM.

thoughtprovokingIf you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? The antagonist in ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH would be super fun to write a book about. I’ve heard from a lot of readers that he was their favorite part of the book. His voice would certainly be a challenge to tackle in narrative form—he’s based on the Mad Hatter from the original so he says some crazy things—but I’d love to explore his story more if I ever got the chance.
What type of scene is your favorite to write? My initial gut instinct to this question was KISSING! But that’s not exactly true. What I really love is writing witty sparing banter between a protagonist and love interest who totally hate each other but will clearly fall in love over the course of the novel.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions? Not writing rituals or superstitions per se but I do seem to have a habit of naming characters after future relatives. I named my daughter Quinn and there’s a villain named Quinn in ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH. The book came first but I liked the name so much that I still used it. Then my sister named her son Casey several years after I wrote the first draft of KASEY SCREWS UP THE WORLD. Can’t wait to see who names a child after my current WIP!


 

 Thank you so much to Rachel Shane for the interview today! I LOVE your book recs! YES for ANNA! Yes for The Raven Cycle! (Ronan!) Your WIP sounds amazing too! Teaming up with the enemy + witty banter = calling my name!

There’s also a giveaway open on Goodreads for a copy of KASEY SCREWS UP THE WORLD so go forth and enter!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rachel_shane-Alice_in_wonderland_highRachel Shane is the author of YA books ALICE IN WONDERLAND HIGH and KASEY SCREWS UP THE WORLD plus the New Adult Romance series that begins with PREMATURE EVACUATION (out Sept 29th). She’s been a computer animator, an ebook creator for a publisher, and now she works as a Project Manager for a software company where she enjoys telling people what to do. She lives in NJ with her husband, young daughter, and a basement full of books.

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Stephanie Diaz

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

Book and a Beverage was a featuring originally designed to spotlight book bloggers but I’m thrilled to extend the feature to interview authors and highlight their works as well! This is a special Author Edition of Book and a Beverage. 

Give a big welcome to author STEPHANIE DIAZ!

author

Name: Stephanie Diaz
You know her best as the author of… EXTRACTION (7/22/14), REBELLION (2/10/15), EVOLUTION (9/8/15)

        

EXTRACTION: Amazon // Goodreads
REBELLION: Amazon // Goodreads
EVOLUTION: Amazon // Goodreads

2

READING

the witch hunterWhat are you reading? I’m currently devouring The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I HIGHLY recommend this book. Witches, wizards, sorcery, pirates, adventure…31what more could you ever want?
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.

WRITING

What can you tell us about your current work in progress? It’s a YA fantasy that’s a blend of Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones. I’m super excited about it.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I’m a mix of the two, though I’m trying to get better at plotting to avoid the ruts I hit when I don’t know what’s happening next in a story. But I always go into a story knowing the beginning, ending, and the key turning points, no matter what.
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? I write and read the most in my bedroom, just chilling on my bed or in my saucer chair. When I need a change of scenery I head to the nearby lake or library. My absolute favorite spot to write is surrounded by forests, though, but I don’t get to do that too often.

3

What are you drinking? Adagio’s Beerbutter tea. (Inspired by butterbeer of course.) 
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? I’m usually a water kind of girl, but if I need a treat to spice things up I’ll brew some hot tea or indulge in a peanut butter milkshake.

thoughtprovoking

If you could co-author a book with someone (anyone!), who would it be? It would be the coolest thing ever to get more of a glimpse into the working brain of the woman who wrote the Harry Potter books, so J.K. Rowling.
Which character from a book would you say you’re most like? Hermione Granger, hands down. (Can you tell I adore Harry Potter?) In school I was as concerned with getting high grades and staying at the top of my class as her. I still have a lot of her stubbornness and general desire to be right about everything (though I’ve realized now I’m definitely not).


 Thank you so much to Stephanie Diaz for a fantastic interview! Holy holy holy cow, this WIP sounds amazing. Pirates meets Game of Thrones? I cannot wait! Always a pleasure to host a fellow Harry Potter fangirl! (Though aren’t we all?)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Diaz author photoTwenty-two-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her first novel, Extraction, while studying film at San Diego State University. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows. Visit her online at www.stephaniediazbooks.com.

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // Goodreads

Book and a Beverage Author Edition | Dawn Metcalf

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

It’s been a while since I’ve hosted an author edition of Book and a Beverage but I am SO excited to be getting back into the swing of things! I had an overwhelmingly wonderful response from authors who were interested in participating so keep an eye out for even more author posts within the next few months!

Give a big welcome to author DAWN METCALF!

author

Name: Dawn Metcalf
You know her best as the author of… INDELIBLE (7/30/13), INVISIBLE (9/30/14), INSIDIOUS (9/1/15)

        

INDELIBLE: Amazon // Goodreads
INVISIBLE: Amazon // Goodreads
INSIDIOUS: Amazon // Goodreads

2

READING

What are you reading? Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? It’s Neil Gaiman so it’s dark and haunting and beautiful with just the right word choice to paint a mood that’s captured a memory like an old photograph of a forgotten time and place that is just south of magic. Would I recommend it? Hell yes!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Depends on their tastes, but if they’re like me…
1. Mindkiller by Spider Robinson
2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
3. Feed by M.T. Anderson

WRITING

What can you tell us about your current work in progress? Well, I can’t tell you anything about INVINCIBLE, Book 4 of the Twixt, since Book 3, INSIDIOUS, isn’t out yet — unless it’s the continuing adventures of Joy and Indelible Ink as they pursue life, liberty, and inter-world happiness. But my other WIP is a near-alt-future story about sex, gender and life beyond the binary. I have been working on this book for a while now and am finally feeling up to the challenge. This is the book that I feel I was meant to write, so wish me luck!
Are you a pantser or a plotter? I was an avowed pantser, knowing the beginning and the end and a bunch of scenes in the middle but constantly surprised at what popped up along the way. Now having written the Twixt series, I had to learn to love plotting, outlines, timelines, character bibles, note cards, sticky notes, etc. in order to keep tabs on everyone and the larger plot arcs in mind. I have new respect for authors who do multiple-book series and I’ll be glad to get back to stand-alones!
Do you have a favorite spot to read/write? In my office amidst the clutter.

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What are you drinking? Unsweetened herbal tea.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading/writing? Water or aforementioned herbal tea. Caffeine and I are a hilarious combination reminiscent of a cat sunk claw-deep into the ceiling.

thoughtprovoking

Who would be your literary BFF? I could listen to M.T. Anderson all day. Ditto Holly Black. Ditto Nova Ren Suma and Maggie Steifvater. I’ve never met Laini Taylor or chatted with Neil Gaiman, but boy, would I like to! These are all incredibly intelligent, gifted, insightful, generous and thought-provoking people and I only wish I was among their posse because–as people and authors–they just blow me away!
If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be? Oh boy… Honestly, Graus Claude is one of my favorite characters and I can only imagine what *his* story would be like, but there are actually three second-tier characters in the Twixt who have–at least in my mind–their own stories that I’ve already fleshed-out, although no one will likely know about them but me: Invisible Inq, Stef & Dmitri and Avery. I could easily write a novella for each of them.


 Thank you so much to Dawn Metcalf for being a part of Book and a Beverage today! I recently got into Neil Gaiman thanks to one of my best friends (she just adores him!) and I’m so excited to read more of his books!
I would LOVE to be BFFs with Maggie Stiefvater! I’ve met her a couple times now and she is just so much fun!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dawn_MetcalfBIO (Short Version)

If you want to know about me, read one of my books.
Or ask my mom, she’ll tell you.
BIO (Medium Version)
I have no good excuse for the way I write. I lived in a normal, loving, suburban home, studied hard, went to college, went to graduate school, got married, had babies, and settled down in northern Connecticut. Despite this wholesome lifestyle, I was clearly corrupted by fairy tales, puppet visionaries, British humour and graphic novels. As a result, I write dark, quirky, and sometimes humorous speculative fiction.

Website // Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Facebook // Tumblr // Instagram