Tag Archives: Recommendations

Book Recommendations | The 4th and Fireworks

Happy Independence Day! Hope everyone is having a great day celebrating the 4th of July… or just having a good day if you’re in another country! I thought it would be fun to gather up some books that have scenes on the 4th of July or involve fireworks! Here are a few of my favorites (which all happen to be some wonderful summery books too!)


26 KISSES by Anna Michels | Noted: fireworks | Review

26 kisses anna michels


FIREWORKS by Katie Cutugno | Noted: fireworks | Review


NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland | Noted: 4th of July AND fireworks | Review


PAST PERFECT by Leila Sales | Noted: 4th of July | Review


THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS by Sarah Ockler | Noted: fireworks and 4th of July | Review


OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord | Noted: fireworks | Review

open road summer


Which 4th of July and Fireworks books are your favorites? Happy 4th!

Fast Five Friday | Geek Chic

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | GEEK CHIC

Geek is in, my friends, and I love reading fantastically nerdy books. I even made a shelf on Goodreads for geeky reads (I may be a tad obsessed with creating shelves) and since I’m in the middle of QUEENS OF GEEK right now, it seemed like the perfect time to share some quick recs! (See my shelf for the rest!)

What: The Summer I Became a Nerd
Who: Leah Rae Miller
Why: From cheerleader to LARPer in one book, this adorable read is about being true to yourself and allowing your inner-nerd to shine!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Ready Player One
Who: Ernest Cline
Why: Virtual Reality, video games, 80s references… this book has it all. Plus, you can get even geekier by listening to the audio, narrated by the awesomely well-spoken Wil Wheaton. His narration brings this book to life!
Where: Goodreads| Review

What: Illuminae
Who: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Why: Teens in space! Space battles, rocket ships, intergalactic politics… all documented in the form of emails, instant messages, and records. Oh yeah, and an evil computer robot.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love
Who: Sarvenaz Tash
Why: It takes place at Comicon!! Do you get much better than that? The two main characters are huge fans and write a comic together as well. It’s geeky perfection.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Geekerella
Who:  Ashley Poston
Why: Another book at a con! The main character’s father started a con based on a favorite space TV show and a Cinderella adaptation to boot. Just adorable. Texts are prominent in this romance.
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! Have you read any of these gloriously geeky books? Do you have any more recommendations? There are a few coming out in 2017 and 2018 I can’t wait for as well!

Fast Five Friday | Authors I Wish I Was Hanging Out With at #BEA17

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | AUTHORS I WISH I WAS HANGING OUT WITH AT #BEA17

I had website issues for the past couple days and totally forgot about a post for the rest of this week! Fast Five Friday seemed like the perfect option.

For the first time in five years, I’m not attending BEA — wahhh! With taking off two months while my husband was in the hospital, I don’t have any vacation time left to take off the week that you really need to go to BEA so alas, not this year for me. I’m missing my bookish friends fiercely and bummed I won’t get to see some of my favorite authors again so here are my top five authors that are at #BEA17 that I wish I had been able to see this year!

Who: Kerri Maniscalco
What: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Hunting Prince Dracula
Why: Kerri is SO AMAZINGLY NICE and I’ve absolutely loved working with her bookish candles! I actually met her super duper briefly at BEA last year but was too much of a chicken to strike up a full conversation. I… accidentally stole an ARC of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER because they were on the floor before her signing and we didn’t know she was signing, so not only did I miss the autographing and miss talking to Kerri, I’m also a thief. I REALLY wanted to be able to say hi in person this year (especially now that we “know” each other) but alas. Maybe a book event in Chicago or another conference! 

Who: Marissa Meyer
What: The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, Renegades
Why: I’ve been a Marissa Meyer fangirl since The Lunar Chronicles and she hadn’t come to Illinois for a very long time! I finally got to meet Marissa back in 2014 and then a few other times at book conferences. I’m sad to miss her this year at BEA because it’s always a delight and I’d love to know more about RENEGADES too! 

Who: Leigh Bardugo
What: Shadow and Bone trilogy (new series name!), The Dregs, Wonder Woman, Language of Thorns
Why: Leigh Bardugo is a queen. I adore her books, she’s a wonderful human, so kind, and always so much fun to meet/hang out with! (Not like we’ve “hung out” but you know… saw each other at events and the pub parties at BEA…) I’m always sad to miss her events because every one of her books is amazing and she’s one of my favorite authors to see in person! 

Who: Maggie Stiefvater
What: The Shiver series, The Raven Cycle, The Scorpio Races, All the Crooked Saints
Why: Magie Stiefvater is also one of my favorite authors to meet and see in person. She has such personality and she’s so much fun! I love seeing authors who are truly themselves and she’s not afraid to shy away from anything that makes her her. Super bummed I’m missing ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS but I know I’ll get to read it eventually and Megan is bringing her a Blue & Her Boys candle for me so I’ll be there in spirit!! 

Who:  Laini Taylor
What: Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, Strange the Dreamer
Why: I am actually being greedy because I JUST saw Laini Taylor in April but it was the first time I ever got to meet her! I briefly got to say hi at BEA last year and get a STRANGE THE DREAMER sampler signed but that was it and I finally got to see her at an event a couple months ago. She as SO nice and gracious and just a joy to listen to. I would love to see her again!


Put me in a room with all of these authors and I would be one happy reader! I think they probably would/do get along super well too, don’t you think!?

Fast Five Friday | Historical Fiction With a Twist

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | HISTORICAL FICTION WITH A TWIST

I’m currently reading HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA, the sequel to STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco and loving it! I’m not really a big historical fiction person but I have found that I’ve been loving historical fiction with a twist of its own. Whether it’s the addition of magic, a brand-new mystery, or an alternate timeline, historical fiction with a twist has really been grabbing me lately and I’m loving the intrigue of true life meets fiction!

kerri maniscalcoGrave Mercy

What: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Who: Kerri Maniscalco
Why: Audrey Rose is all thorns and roses, feminine and yet tough, and she starts on the Jack the Ripper murders while apprenticing for her uncle as a forensics student.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Crown’s Game
Who: Evelyn Skye
Why: Imperial Russia takes a twist with the introduction of a history of magic. A battle to the death arises as two enchanters fight to become the right-hand magician of the Tsar of Russia.
Where: Goodreads| Review

What: Born Wicked
Who: Jessica Spotswood
Why: Historical fiction meets magic again, this time with more witchy involvement in our past. An alt-history take on the Salem Witch Trials. Are these books good on audio? I desperately need to finish this series!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Grave Mercy
Who: Robin LaFevers
Why: Grave Mercy is some serious historical fiction complete with wars, tactics, and actual historical figures. There’s a lot of history in these books but I didn’t feel bogged down with facts and data. The story was fantastic, plus, assassin nuns. Nice mythology twist to bring a dark and mystical side.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Who:  Rae Carson
Why: I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of this book because for as much as it was advertised as historical fantasy, there wasn’t a whole lot of magic in this first book, BUT I did love that it focused on a time/place that isn’t often covered — the Gold Rush.
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! Do you have any other favorite historical fiction novels with a good twist to them? I’m totally in the mood for these right now and always up for more!

The Book Addict’s “GUIDE”… to Queens of Contemporary!

My reading tastes have changed a lot over the past few years, especially since I started blogging, but I still have a big place in my heart for contemporary romance and realistic fiction in my heart! I’ve been picking up a lot more light & fluffy contemporary stories lately, more so than the serious realistic fiction, but this compilation of Contemporary Queens includes a little of both!

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all of my favorites but it includes many of my favorite authors who currently have multiple books out, and I left a few off the list who I loved but I hadn’t read the majority of their current contemporary releases (like Elizabeth Eulberg and Robin Benway)! It also doesn’t include books of different genres from the authors listed below (like Kasie West’s paranormal duology and Rainbow Rowell’s dip into fantasy) to keep the list strictly contemporary!

The guide is mainly geared toward young adult authors and novels but also includes any “crossover” books by the same authors including Rainbow Rowell’s adult novels and Liz Czukas’s novels as Ellie Cahill for her new adult releases! Lastly, it also only includes full-length novels so any novellas or extras have not been included here (but you should totally check those out too)!


young adult contemporary

BOOKS MENTIONED

  1. Sisters In Sanity by Gayle Forman | Amazon // Goodreads
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  5. Just One Year by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  6. I Was Here by Gayle Forman | Amazon // Goodreads
  7. Leave Me by Gayle Forman | Amazon // Goodreads
  8. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  9. On The Fence by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  10. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  11. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  12. By Your Side by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  13. Lucky In Love by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  14. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  15. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  16. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  17. Landline by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  18. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  19. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  20. When We Collided by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  21. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  22. Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas | Amazon // Goodreads
  23. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas | Amazon // Goodreads
  24. Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas | Amazon // Goodreads
  25. When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill | Amazon // Goodreads
  26. Call Me Maybe by Ellie Cahill | Amazon // Goodreads
  27. Just A Girl by Ellie Cahill | Amazon // Goodreads
  28. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  29. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  30. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  31. My True Love Gave to Me curated by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  32. Summer Days and Summer Nights curated by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  33. Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon // Goodreads
  34. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon // Goodreads
  35. The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon // Goodreads
  36. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads
  37. Nantucket Red by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads
  38. Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads

Who are your queens of contemporary? I also love Elizabeth Eulberg, Robin Benway, and Lauren Morrill but I need to catch up on some of their earlier books or latest releases!


Looking for more reading recommendations?
Here are some more posts to check out!

If You Liked… Gilmore Girls

One of my favorite parts about being a book blogger is sharing the books that I love with others. I absolutely love sharing my favorite reads and recommending them to others who are looking to fall in love with a new book!

12 YA BOOKS FOR GILMORE GIRLS FANS

It’s almost time for new Gilmore Girls!!! Are you so excited!? I usually do these book recommendation guides for other books but with new episodes of Gilmore Girls coming out, I thought this would be a fun opportunity to make some book recommendations based off of the show! I decided to stick to strictly young adult book recommendations since I don’t read a lot of adult outside of fantasy and I came up with some unexpected recommendations but for good reasons! Check out what I picked below!


books for gilmore girls fans


IF YOU LIKED GILMORE GIRLS

The Distance Between UsTry… THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I love all of Kasie West’s books but I think this is a great one for fans of Gilmore Girls! Main character Cayman lives with her mom and together they run a doll shop. I love the mother-daughter relationship in this book! I think Gilmore Girls-fans would appreciate the relationship that Cayman has with her mom and really the overall story is a lot of fun too. The book explore family, friendships, first loves, and more, PLUS this book was the whip-smart sass that I think Lorelai and Rory possess. What more could you ask for in a reading recommendation?

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill cover
Try… MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I like MEANT TO BE as a recommendation because it’s just plain fun on so many levels and I think main character Julia has a lot in common with younger Rory. Julia loves her pocket Shakespeare and Rory has an appreciation of all books but also the classics. I think Julia appeals to the nerdier side of Rory and holds some of the same naive ideals that season one Rory had. Julia may be a little bit more naive than Rory but I still like that little nerdy bookish side to her! I also love the hate-to-love romance in MEANT TO BE which is something that Rory also sees in a couple love interests throughout the show!

the start of me and you emery lord
Try… THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This is another intellectual-type comparison and I actually think Paige and Rory are a lot alike in many ways. I can see them sharing a lot of the same interests and even participating in things like Quiz Bowl. I also really like the friendships that Paige makes and maintains throughout the book. She has some amazing friends with her core friend group (like Lane), meets a new love interest that she wasn’t expecting, and also finds unexpected friends with her Quiz Bowl team, including a girl that she finds hard to understand and get along with at first who kind of reminds me of Rory’s frenemy relationship with Paris in a way!

my life next doorTry… MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
Want a book in another Connecticut town? MY LIFE NEXT DOOR takes place in the Connecticut suburbs! It’s not as small town as Gilmore Girls but it does feature many local businesses and a variety of families. While the Garretts are a much bigger family than the twosome of Lorelai and Rory, they have an amazing family dynamic that totally makes the book. I don’t usually like books with so many younger kids but even the youngest characters came alive here. I also love the budding relationship between Jase and Samantha and how it not only affected them but also their families. Rory is so close with her mom that her relationships are also important to the family dynamic and the same goes for Jase and his family!

since you've been goneTry… SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE isn’t so much of a direct comparison to the TV show but I think it’s a fun read for Gilmore Girls fans! I love the little missions that Sloane leaves for Emily and I think it feels like the same fun and fierce atmosphere that Gilmore Gils has. You see Emily learning about herself through her family and friends, pushing outside of her comfort zone, and really putting herself out there. I just think this book has the same sort of vibe and Gilmore Girls fans could appreciate it!

THE CONSPIRACY OF US
Try… THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
THE CONSPIRACY OF US isn’t a book one might normally pick as a Gilmore Girls comparison but it has a lot of the same elements that I love about the show! Avery has such a tight relationship with her mom and I really love their relationship. Although you might not think that an international, jet-setting, multiple country thriller fits with the show and it doesn’t exactly in feel… But there’s also no shortness of sass, sarcasm, and wit that I always enjoy from Lorelai and Rory! I love the team of strong and intelligent people in this book and I think that’s something to be appreciated. There’s also a bit of some head-butting between the boys and I can relate with the guys having some fights over Rory! Plus, I can’t recommend ALL contemporary books. We want to get a little variety to our reading, right?

Try… NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This is a book I recommend quite a bit. Cricket is a character who I feel such a connection to in the sense that she’s like the girl next door. She has a good relationship with her family, even if she does get a little pressure about school sometimes, and a best friend who becomes extended family. She’s a very hard-working and loyal person which I think are qualities always appreciated in the Gilmore realm and I actually think she’s a lot like Lorelai in her determination to work and really earn her way for what she wants. I think the overall vibe is there as well, although NANTUCKET BLUE may be a bit more on the serious side with a little less witty banter!

Confessions of an Angry Girl Try… CONFESSIONS OF AN ANGRY GIRL by Louise Rozett.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

This is another book I recommend quite a bit because there’s a whole lot of important things going on here. There’s the loss of a father and how the family handles this loss. There’s a mother-daughter relationship which may not always be as tight as Lorelai and Rory but I really appreciated seeing them work on it. And there’s, of course, Jamie Forta (swooooooon). Jamie is a little bit of a bad boy and just from his description, he REALLY reminds me of Jess Mariano. He may not have an uncle Luke but just his overall vibe and the way he interacts with Rose somehow really reminds me of Jess!

The Raven Boys - Maggie SteifvaterTry… THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

If you’re up for a bit of magical realism and borderline paranormal, THE RAVEN BOYS has some really, really, really amazing relationships and that awesome small-town feel. Main character Blue (yes, that’s her real name) has an amazing relationship with her mother Maura and becomes friends with some local Raven Boys (the boys that attend the private school in town) despite how much she had previously tried to avoid them in the past. The town of Henrietta is small and has such personality — not in the same way that Stars Hollow does but in its own special right. I also love the addition of the other secondary characters of the series who add such vibrance to these books. Blue and Maura live with friends and fellow psychics who are like family to Blue and I love the camaraderie of all of the Raven Boys as well. I think they bring the same feel to the series that characters like Sookie, Miss Patty, Babette, and Kirk bring to the Gilmore Girls atmosphere. It’s a wonderful mix of personalities that really bring the book to life much like the fun cast of characters adds that extra layer to Gilmore Girls!

26 kisses anna michelsTry… 26 KISSES by Anna Michels.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This another cutesy sort of book but I really enjoyed so many things here. Veda’s split from her serious boyfriend kind of reminded me of Rory’s relationship with Dean and although they may not have taken the same approaches post-relationship, I liked how they both got a little surer of themselves and ended up discovering a new piece of their life independently from their relationships. I also liked the lighter feel of this book and how it was just a feel-good sort of story!

my lady janeTry… MY LADY JANE by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

MY LADY JANE is really nothing like Gilmore Girls in content but it’s the same sort of humor that I think GG fans would love! It’s a historical fiction account of Lady Jane Grey but think of The Princess Bride meets Monty Python. The book is clever through and through and there are so many witty moments, anachronisms, and pop culture jabs that really make the book laugh-out-loud funny. Although I wouldn’t say it’s normally a book I’d recommend as a “read alike”, I think the humor would really appeal to fans of Gilmore Girls!

The Scorpio Races paperback cover
Try… THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I accidentally ended up with two Maggie Stiefvater books on this list (what can I say? They’re amazing). This one is quite different than THE RAVEN BOYS but actually the reasons I selected it are similar, the first being the small-town sense of community. THE SCORPIO RACES takes place on the island of Thisby which is a fictional island of unknown origins but seems to be somewhere off the coast of the UK. Everyone knows everyone on the island. The families are very tight and the townspeople really bring a lot to the story. I love how the main characters interact with the town and how the small-town feel really affects every person as well. It may not be another Gilmore Girls feel but this is one book that I really love for its sense of community, even if the community is not always on the side of the main characters.


I always have a blast picking out recommendations and I hope Gilmore fans agree with these! There are some recommendations that are a little outside of the box but I like the elements that connect to some fundamental Gilmore themes!

Looking for more recommendations? Check out my previous list of recs below!

 

 

Fast Five Friday | Witchy Reads

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | WITCHY READS

Halloween may be over but I’m joining my two best friends in Salem this weekend and I thought it would be fun to share my favorite witchy reads this Friday! I’m so excited to see all of the Salem sights and maybe even delve into some spooky spots, even though i’m a total chicken!

I actually haven’t read as many witchy books as I thought I have but I’m really loving how different each of these books is from the next! It’s really neat to see the different settings and plot selections for these types of characters!

adriana mather how to hang a witchBorn WIckedHeir of FireHarry Potter and the Sorcerertrial by fire book cover

What: How to Hang a Witch
Who: Adriana Mather
Why: Salem Witch Trials in a modern day setting, with some real and some made-up history to tie it all together! Also has a Hocus Pocus meets The Craft feel. And the author is a real descendant of some of the people involved in the witch trials!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Born Wicked 
Who: Jessica Spotswood
Why: The first in a witchy, alt-history trilogy. This book was so interesting and I don’t know why I STILL haven’t read more of this series but I really need to!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Heir of Fire
Who: Sarah J. Maas
Why: I’m sure most of us are no strangers to this series but I really loved the addition of Manon and the witch clans to this saga! It’s neat to see witches in a high fantasy setting instead of urban fantasy.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Harry Potter
Who: J.K. Rowling
Why: How can we talk about witches and not talk about Harry Potter? It’s truly a classic in so many ways and I love that the world is still growing so many years later.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Trial by Fire
Who:  Josephine Angelini
Why: Another first in a trilogy, TRIAL BY FIRE is a fantas-sci collection, meaning that it’s fantasy as in witches, but sci-fi as in other dimensions. Very cool.
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! What are some of your favorite witchy reads? Which witchy books should I read next??

Fast Five Friday | Sports Themes

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | SPORTS THEMES

I was born and raised and still live in the Chicago suburbs so the Cubs’ World Series win is so exciting for me! I haven’t read a lot of books with sports themes/revolving around sports but I thought it would be fun to pick a handful of books that could fit the theme — and you can always recommend more to me when I’m out!

on the fence kasie westBeing Sloane JacobsFirst & ThenThe Scorpio Races paperback coverthe distance from me to you

What: On the Fence
Who: Kasie West
Why: Charlie is a tomboy and has a family full of brothers. I love the scrimmages and skirmishes they get into throughout the book and it’s so much fun to read about a tomboy! 
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Being Sloane Jacobs
Who: Lauren Morrill
Why: This wasn’t my favorite of Lauren Morrill’s but I liked the Parent Trap-type feel and the switcheroo between hockey player and figure skater!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: First & Then
Who: Emma Mills
Why: This debut from Emma Mills has a heavy football theme and it brought me back to my high school days of watching games under the lights!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Scorpio Races
Who: Maggie Stiefvater
Why: This may be stretching it but horseback riding and racing is a sport, right?
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Distance Between Me and You
Who:  Marina Gessner
Why: An unconventional sport involving hiking the Appalachian Trail!
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! My sports books are far more lacking than I realized… What would you recommend I read next?? I’m thinking… Miranda Kenneally?

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Q&A With Stalking Jack the Ripper Author Kerri Maniscalco!

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

I’m so excited to share a fun Halloween Q&A with Stalking Jack the Ripper author Kerri Maniscalco! Kerri is such a lovely person and she was gracious enough to participate in a Fortnight of Fright even though it was RIGHT after her book launch. Check it out below!


I’m a total chicken when it comes to horror and yet Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! What’s your favorite part about Halloweentime?

Is it cheating if I say EVERYTHING?! I grew up in New York and absolutely *love* the fall and changing leaves. Running around in costumes, crunching fallen leaves and breathing in the scent of leaves and firewood—it’s as if the whole earth is celebrating before the winter rolls in. So yeah, the entire season in general—the fun/creepy movies and shows on tv, and books that make me want to snuggle up with tea and fuzzy socks. Those are part of my favorite Halloweentime things 😀

STALKING JACK THE RIPPER is such an excellent, atmospheric read for Halloween. Did you always feel drawn to write horror?

Aww thank you so much! I’m glad you think so! I am a giant fan of mysteries and thrillers and grade B horror movies. So when I set out to write this book, I wanted to take elements of my favorite fall things and sort of combine them together. I love Poe’s brand of horror—horror that borders more on the psychological uncertainty than the gross-out variety—and wanted to weave shades of horror throughout, but not be too heavy-handed with it. My favorite reads are the ones that treat atmosphere and setting as if they were unsettling characters themselves, and hope readers who enjoy that find those elements in SJTR.

I read in your bio that you grew up in a semi-haunted house! What’s the creepiest thing that ever happened there?

Oh my gosh, how much time do we have?? I think one of the creepiest things that ever happened was when my best friend and I were in the kitchen getting an after-school snack and heard this little kid laughing uncontrollably in the foyer. It was on the opposite end of the house and we thought my mom and younger sister had just come in and ran to go help them with groceries…only no one else was home. The tv wasn’t on. The radio wasn’t on. No open computers or electronics in any way. We went through the whole house, CONVINCED my sister was home and was messing with us. When my mom pulled into the driveway several minutes later and my sister got out of the car we were so freaked out! We later found out through old documents that a child had lived and died in the home a long time before then.

Do you think your experience with the haunted house started your love for the delightfully spooky?

I think it definitely helped my muse form its admiration for the creepy and unusual! It also really helped form my love of history because parts of our house were dated to the Revolutionary War era and other sections were added on in the 1800s. We were always finding cool things on the property and in the walls whenever we’d do a renovation. Old toys, vintage marbles, really cool and weird things. They were like little treasures growing up. I loved making up stories of who they could have belonged to and what their life might have been like.

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? (Movies? TV episodes? Haunted houses?)

When I still lived in NY I really loved traveling up to the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride in Ulster Park, but really I enjoy any corn maze or haunted house. I also love going to pumpkin patches and searching for the perfect gourde to carve up. Much like my main character enjoys carving corpses, I think 😀

What’s the best Halloween costume you ever had? (Or have ever seen?)

My mom used to make all of our costumes and I’d be hard pressed to choose my favorite. One year I was a mermaid. Another I was a butterfly. Actually…maybe this year is one of my favorite costumes…I bought this Rey (from Start Wars) cosplay outfit and I am SO EXCITED to wear it out! I will be posting a bunch of embarrassing pictures all over the interwebs, for sure.

I always love reading spooky or atmospheric reads around Halloweentime! What are some of your go-to recommendations for readers looking for the perfect Halloween novel?

Me too! They are The Best! Classic-wise I always say Poe. I love The Fall of the House of Usher or A Cask of Amontillado. More recent? I cannot get enough of Cat Winters’ work. IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS and THE CURE FOR DREAMING are FULL of atmosphere and are beautifully written. I’m DYING for ODD AND TRUE. I mean…here’s the pitch for that and I seriously cannot wait to see what she does with it:  “A dark Edwardian tale involving two sisters, American monster legends, family secrets, and the war between reality and imagination.” YASSSSS, PLEASE.

If you could hang out with one creature/ghost/monster/witch/villain, who would you want to get to know better and why?

Ooooooh GREAT question! I really love villains, especially ones who are more or less in that gray area as far as their evil deeds are concerned. I absolutely ADORE the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy. He was definitely a villain, and yet his backstory and the way he really believed he was protecting the Grisha was fascinating to watch unfold. I always hear the song “Sympathy for the Devil” in my head when thinking of favorite villains, and think that’s the quality in a nutshell that I gravitate towards. Dark characters who are still relatable and sympathetic as opposed to full-out evil.


Thanks so much to Kerri Maniscalco for this awesome and fun interview! Her book, STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, is on sale now (and I personally enjoyed it so much!) – check out some book details below!

BOOK INFO

kerri maniscalco

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Buy links:

Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |  Indiebound

AUTHOR BIO

kerri maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, a #1 NYT Bestseller, is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

 

Social media links:

Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Website   |   Tumblr   |   Pinterest

Fortnight of Fright 2016 | Not-So-Scary Villains (April from Between the Pages)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2016

Thanks for checking out the FIFTH annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, April from Between the Pages is sharing some not-so-scary villains!


So I am super excited to be participating in the Fortnight of Fright hosted by On The Same Page and share my Not So Scary Villains with everyone.  I know, I know its Halloween and Fortnight of Fright, and I choose something not scary, well I’m a big fat chicken and don’t do scary AT ALL!!!  

My Not So Scary Villains

TV/Movie Villains:

Hook | I mean I know he’s supposed to be a bad guy, but he is way too cute for anyone to really be afraid of him.

Evil Queen | Maybe it is the way they portray her on TV, but I’ve never actually thought of her as scary.

Loki | He may be my favorite movie villain of all time. He’s more mischievous than scary, and well he is kind of cute too, which helps.

Darth Vader | I admit he is a tiny bit scary, well at least he was to me as a child, but now, nope just a misguided dad who needs a hug.

Voldemort | What freaks me about him was his lack of nose, and yes I know snakes do not have a nose, but it creeped me out.

Dracula | Dracula Untold….It’s Luke Evan, and no matter what character he plays, he is way too cute to be scary…

Book Villains:

Warner | Shatter Me Series | yeah loved him from the start. He tried to be the bad guy, but did not succeed. At least he was not a scary bad guy.

Levana | The Lunar Chronicles | She could have been scary, but to me she just seemed desperate.

President Snow | The Hunger Games Trilogy | He’s like Levana –  he was desperate to have things his way and when it did not work out that way, he decided to kill everyone. Not scary, more pathetic.


So there they are my picks for Not So Scary Villains. I know there are more out there, who would you pick?

Thanks, April! I love your choices and totally agree. Those are some amazing villains there!