Apr 30, 2013

BEA Blitz in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Tomorrow launches the kick off of something I have been working on with Lexie from Poisoned Rationality and Nicole from Paperback Princess for about two months. We teamed up and are doing an entire series of interviews about BEA.

We've interviewed authors, editors, publicists, bloggers, librarians, and book sellers about their experiences, which they all graciously shared with us so we can share with you. We have everything from books and authors that will be available at BEA 2013 to how to avoid getting bitten.

We'll be alternating blogs for the posts, and there will be a linked list of the interviews as we posted them, so stay tuned!

Apr 29, 2013

New blog design!

Welcome to the new and improved Irish Banana Review! I am so freaking happy about this blog I could dance.

OK, maybe I already did dance a bit.

It was done by the amazing Lori @ Imagination Designs.

What do you think?!

Apr 28, 2013

Review: The Rules by Stacey Kade

Title: The Rules
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: 4.23.2013
Pages: 416
Genre: SciFi
Series: Project Paper Dolls #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…

I’ve been itching to get my hands on The Rules by Stacey Kade since I heard about it in late 2012. Genetically engineered characters are a fascination of mine, and this book was a bright beacon on my radar for a long while. I’m so glad it was as good as I was anticipating.

I loved Ariane from the beginning. I loved her heart and the way she internally battled with following the rules and protecting those she loved. She is a character with so much heart and integrity, it’s hard to believe she isn’t completely human. Then again, maybe she’s as kind and protective as she is because she isn’t human. Regardless, she is fantastic and one of the better YA heroines I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long time.

Zane was another matter. His apathy and willingness to simply accept what his friends did infuriated me. Yes, I understood some of the rationale behind it later on, but it took a while for my initial distaste to quit lingering. He may not have been a big participant when it came to the cruel pranks his “friends” engaged in, but he let things slide and sometimes that’s just as bad. The “we’ve been friends since kindergarten” excuse was thin and pathetic. It took a while for him to earn my (and Ariane’s) trust.

It would have been so easy for Kade to slip into the insta-romance trap here, but I love that she made Zane work to regain the respect of Ariane and the reader. Ariane is no one’s fool and she made sure she knew where Zane’s loyalties lay before engaging in any sort of smexy shenanigans.

Of which there were plenty.

Be prepared to get annoyed with yourself and your inability to read any faster. The story moves quickly, pushing to a stunning climax that I just couldn’t get to fast enough. There are still so many unanswered questions I cannot wait to get to in the next book, but if the rest of the series is half as good as The Rules, I’ll be more than satisfied. SciFi fans won’t want to miss out on this book.

Reviewer: Hannah

Apr 26, 2013

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Title: Reboot
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 5.7.2013
Pages: 352
Genre: SciFi
Series: Reboot #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A-

Summary (from Goodreads):
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Hold onto your seats kids, because this is one of the best rides I’ve been on in a long time. In her debut novel, Amy Tintera blew me away. Reboot is the book I feel like I’ve been searching for, and now I finally have it. I’m kind of in love with the (fictional) idea of super soldiers and have been for quite some time.

Wren took a bit of getting used to. I warmed to her as she warmed as a person. Rule of thumb is that the longer you’re dead (Wren was dead 178 minutes) the less human you are when you reboot. Wren is the soldier with the longest reboot time and believes herself to be almost completely inhuman, without emotion or empathy. Watching her discover she not only feels but feel intensely and deeply was fascinating and wonderful.

And Callum. How I love Callum. This is the boy that makes Wren realize she isn’t a mindless soldier, but still a person with opinions and morals and feelings. He is painfully, beautifully, still human and I was immediately drawn to him and his dual strength and compassion.

Tintera does a superb job of revealing enough information to keep the reader satisfied while simultaneously piquing their curiosity about the reboots and the facility their housed in. She sets up the entire series in book one, and I cannot wait to see how everything unfolds for the rest of the series.

While the end might be construed as somewhat of a cliffhanger, it felt more like a solid end of book 1. I could almost hear a director yell, “Scene!” from the sidelines as the curtain shut. This story is far from over, and I cannot wait to see where this goes next and what happens to the Reboots. Thankfully I didn’t have the same sharp sense of panic I frequently have at the conclusion of the first book in a series. Tintera clearly cares about the sanity of her readers and I love her all the more for it.

Reviewer: Hannah

Apr 23, 2013

Review: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Title: Life After Theft
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 4.30.2013
Pages: 352
Genre: Paranormal
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B

Summary (from Goodreads):
Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto. 

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Hello high school drama, with a twist! I laughed and gasped and felt right along with Jeff and Kimberlee.

Great characters. Aprilynne Pike nailed this on the head. Being the new guy, Jeff cannot be anymore different. You get a glimpse of the life he left behind while seeing his new life unfold in ways he could never imagine. I always like having a character you can relate to. Kimberlee seems like the typical popular girl. But even she has secrets. Learning about Kimberlee definitely made you gasp. Even though these were two people were the main focal point, Pike lets you see into a few others and through it all connects them.

The thing I think I liked most was the little lessons you learn on the way. Not necessarily you the reader, unless you got into this as much as I did.

Pike did an amazing job delivering this funny, heartfelt, tragic twist on the usual high school drama scene.

Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository
Reviewer: Gabrielle

Apr 21, 2013

BEA Tips & Tricks: Part 7

BEA 2013 Tips & Tricks
Part 7: Totes, Y'all!

So a few people have been asking me about what to bring to BEA (as in what to bring inside on the floor with you). I made a vlog that highlights the bag I'm using and what I'm bringing inside. For those who can't watch the blog, I have pictures and a quick summary of what the vlog basically says.

* the last like 6 seconds of the video cut off, but all you missed was me saying BYE!*

The Bag:
This year I went with a slightly bigger bag than last year. I wanted something that had structure to it so all my stuff wouldn't jumble into the bottom forcing me to host a digging expedition in the middle of BEA for my camera. I picked the Cindy Tote from Thirty-One. It's a great bag with an optional shoulder strap I can use to keep my hands free and plenty of space for everything I need, plus room to stash a book or two if need be.

The Essentials:
-Makeup bag
-Snacks (go with something simple like Goldfish, animal crackers, pretzels, etc.)
-Case for business cards
-Medications (tylenol, ibuprofen, pepto bismol, immodium, etc.)
-Portable batter charger*
-Water bottle*
*Not pictured

Again, these are just my suggestions and things I found helpful last year. I put all this stuff in my bag and was easily able to carry it. The idea isn't to weigh yourself down, but to help you have an easier, better experience.

Let me know if you have any questions, and also keep an eye out for THIS:

Starting May 1!

Previous BEA Tips & Tricks Posts:

Tips & Tricks - Part 1: As a Matter of FAQ (The BEA basics for beginners)
Tips & Tricks - Part 3: Make the Most of It (There are things to do besides BEA)
Tips & Tricks - Part 4: The Art of the Business Card (Keys to designing a business card)
Tips & Tricks - Part 5: Bring It On ... Or Not (Things to bring, leave & consider)
Tips & Tricks - Part 6: Power Up (A Power Readers guide for BEA)

Apr 19, 2013

Review: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Title: Dead Silence
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 4.16.2013
Pages: 336
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Body Finder #4
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

Anytime someone asks me for a book reference, Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder series is one of my first recommendations. In the fourth installment, Dead Silence, Derting brings in some much-needed backstory about Violet’s abilities and a whole new big bad that gives our favorites a run for their money.

The love of Jay and Violet is quite possibly my #1 favorite pairing in fiction. Ever. And it keeps going strong here. I love that they were best friends who became a couple, and that they are a couple that doesn’t get stale. These two don’t play games with each other—they know their love is the real deal. They also know when to call each other out. Violet makes several mistakes and at one point Jay walks away. I like that they don’t just suddenly get back together … This is a couple that works at their relationship.

There’s a natural evolution to this series that unfolds throughout all four books. With each book Derting delves deeper and deeper into Violet’s world. What once started out as a small core group that knew about her abilities has expanded significantly to include more members, who each have their own agenda. The key is none of these added characters have ever felt forced in the story.

Except Rafe. But it might just be my intense hatred of anyone who threatens the Jay/Violet dynamic.

Sadly I’ve heard this is the last book in the series and it breaks my heart. The book is left on a really open note with several lose ends I would have much rather seen tied up. Regardless, this is an amazing series that is a gem in the YA world.

Reviewer: Hannah

Apr 18, 2013

Review: Pulse by Patrick Carman

Title: Pulse
Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 2.26.2013
Pages: 384
Genre: Dystopian
Series: Pulse Trilogy #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B

Summary (from Goodreads):
The year is 2051, and the world is still recognizable. With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters so powerful they will flatten their enemies by uprooting street lights, moving boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with great talent, the mind—and the heart—can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.

Patrick Carman did an amazing job of writing not only a believable story but amazing as well. With its time frame only 30 years from now, you could actually imagine a world such as this. It's a little scary to think about.

Faith is one of a kind. I loved how you were thrown in her "normal" life only to watch it get turned upside down by the unthinkable. You really got to know her and understand her need for Liz and then Hawk.

Tablets and natural disasters? Sounds familiar. I think that was the best part of this book. The similarities you can pull from to our own modern way of life. The believability here is what makes this story. The only twist on reality is the Pulse.

The only thing I wasn't quite sure about was how he went about it. You were like clueless up until the end. Secrets and half-truths left you needing to read more. Which is why I came to like this book. The mystery and suspecting left you with only glimpses of what was going on but in the end it was totally worth it. I cannot wait for the next installment to find out more about this cataclysmic world so close to what could actually happen.

Carman definitely delivered with this adventurous, suspenseful tale of great characters and evolving relationships. If you haven't read it, do it.

Reviewer: Gabrielle

Apr 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly waiting to get into our hands.

This week I'm waiting on....

By: Abigail Haas


Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined...

Why I Want It: 
It does sound like something ripped from the headlines and I can't help admitting I'm curious. It seems like this will be a great psychological thriller. Can't wait!

Dangerous Girls will be released 7.16.2013 by Simon Pulse

Apr 16, 2013

Author Interview: Katie Sise

I am so excited to have Katie Sise, author of The Boyfriend App, here today! Not only am I a huge fan of her fiction debut, but after chatting with her on Twitter and emailing, she seems like an awesome girl I would love to hang out with. And did I mention she's also on TV and a jewelry designer? 

Check out what Katie has to say about her new novel and what she's looking forward to this year!

1. Where did you come up with the idea for The Boyfriend App?
The Boyfriend App evolved over the course of several brainstorming sessions with literary agents Brenda Bowen and Dan Mandel. At first we thought the Boyfriend App could be simple: a way to match up guys and girls, like an ordinary dating app. But then we realized that it would be a lot more fun if Audrey, the main character, uncovered some very secret software to enhance the Boyfriend App...and then to watch the chaos that would ensue when it was unleashed. 

2. There's quite a bit of technical jargon in here - are you proficient at techie things, too, like Audrey?
Not at all! I was very lucky to have programmers teach me as I went. In particular, a programmer named Jason Scalia really opened up this world for me. He explained very complicated things in a way I could understand, but in so much detail that he made me feel like I was a hacker too! (I still get frustrated when I can't figure out how to download my photos into an album, so I guess, technically, I'm not a hacker yet...)

3. In addition to being a writer, you're also an awesome jewelry designer and have a television career! Why the jump to YA novels? 
I've always loved writing, even when I was very young. It was my dream to become a fiction writer, so even while I was designing jewelry and working on TV, I always wrote on the side! I wrote many, many stories...and then this one clicked. The wonderful thing about designing jewelry and doing TV was that I had a flexible schedule where I could sneak in some writing. That's how I wrote my first book, called CREATIVE GIRL, which is a nonfiction guide to making a living creatively. But fiction is even more fun than nonfiction! I had to write several novels to really figure out how to do it. Each one got better and better. (I think!) That's my best advice for anyone who wants to write! Just keep writing, and writing, and writing.

4. What books are you most excited about in 2013? 
I love the EVE trilogy by Anna Carey, and the final installment is coming soon. I've just started Nova Ren Suma's 17 & Gone, and it's excellent. Also excited for Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park. 

5. What comes next for you as a writer? 

I'm writing the followup book to THE BOYFRIEND APP, which I'm really excited about! I also like to work on new novel ideas on the side. It really helps my mind stay fresh if bounce back and forth between genres. So while the next book will be contemporary, like The Boyfriend App, I like to have another project going that's totally different (like dystopic, or paranormal) just to keep myself coming back to the computer each day. Writing is like a muscle to me, it feels good to stretch in different directions, and to work it every day. 

Thanks, Katie!

Make sure you follow Katie:
Twitter | Website
Check out my review of THE BOYFRIEND APP!
Also, Katie will signing copies of The Boyfriend App at BEA this year, so make sure to see her and say hi if you're going!

Apr 15, 2013

Annapolis Book Festival 2013

This weekend I had the chance to go the the Annapolis Book Festival where I got to meet Jon Skovron, Jessica Spotswood, Brigid Kemmerer, and Lea Nolan. I am currently lamenting the fact that I did not take more pictures, so this will (unfortunately) be a limited pics post. I got so caught up listening and talking I forgot about my camera.

I arrived early (with my mom and sister) and immediately found Liza from Reading with ABC. Liza is an awesome girl who I've really only had the chance to chat with online, so getting to spend some quality time with her beforehand was fantastic. 

We entered the hall for the World of Fantasy in Young Adult Fiction panel. We snagged front row seats (because we're cool like that), and it wasn't long until I spotted Jen from Jenuine Cupcakes & YABC. After chatting with her, I realized we lived in the same city. Crazy. We were also joined by Stephanie from the Cuddlebuggery (another blogger I regularly chat with) and Jenn from The Bawdy Book Blog.

Jon Skovron kicked off the event as the moderator, and let me say, he was such an absolute joy to listen to. He was engaging, funny, occassionally self-deprecating, and all-around awesome. He kept things moving and even read a part of his upcoming book, Man Made Boy, which I am now desperate to read. But Jon needs to moderate more events. He was fantastic.

I had previous listened to Lea Nolan at the Baltimore Book Festival (before her debut novel, Conjure, had come out), and she is simply fantastic. Always smiling and aided by her assistant/son who called out helpful tips from the sidelines. And did I mention she has one of those voices made for reading aloud? There's something about her that makes me want to listen to her speak over and over. I'm hoping I get to see her at more events and I vow to read her novel in the next few months. It's about hoodoo (totally different from voodoo, guys) and I love books that entertain and educate.

Brigid Kemmerer spoke about her Elementals series, a personal favorite of mine. I was so excited to finally meet her in person and get a chance to chat with her. It was a shame timing didn't allow for more than a, "Hey, Brigid! I can't wait to read Spirit!" and getting
my books signed. She did, however, pick me out of the crowd and recognized me which, I'll admit, made me feel kinda special.

And lastly, but definitely not least, was Jessica Spotswood who is freaking adorable. Seriously, this girl is so cute and tiny! I loved hearing her talk about the Cahill Witch Chronicles. She was so gracious and fun. I hope I get to see her at a lot more events in the next coming months.

I feel like I should also mention that the bloggers I met and myself are all part of the YADCers group on Facebook. Basically a bunch of bloggers and authors that are in the DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area that get together for signings and festivals founded by Andye @ Reading Teen (who was going to come, but got stuck in traffic). I adore this group. Had I not been a part of it and able to connect with bloggers in my area, I likely wouldn't have had nearly as much fun. I would've sat with my mom and sister like a bump on a pickle and not spent 30 minutes after the panel talking with these ladies. And eating Jen's cupcakes.

Point is: I highly recommend finding a group of bloggers near you (you will be shocked at how many there are) and find ways to connect and meet up. I can't wait to see these girls at upcoming events and festivals.

Review: The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 4.30.2013
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

You know that mind numbing feeling you get after finishing an intense book and you just don’t know where to go next? The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise is your new go-to book for that. Fun, fresh, and totally adorable, The Boyfriend App is a light read that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Audrey has had her share of issues, but the entire time she still comes off as a very normal teenager. This a girl I would have been friends with in high school. She’s funny, self-deprecating, and unsure. So frequently YA books throw out these kick ass heroines that while awesome to read don’t inspire a sense of camaraderie in younger readers. Audrey is that girl you know in high school and can easily relate to.

Sise amazed me to no end with her technical know-how in this book. From the way she makes is seem like she’s writing code when is isn’t writing novels (which, she assured me she doesn’t) to the way she deftly explains complicated things, it was refreshing. And kinda made me want to turn on my computer and flex my nonexistent computer skill muscles.

I’m not gonna lie—parts of this book seemed more than a little far-fetched. My eyebrows frequently rose at some of the outright ridiculous moments in this book, but take them for what they are—funny and amusing. The romance wasn’t anything overly new and I could see the end coming from the middle of the book, but I was still engaged and interested the whole time.

The Boyfriend App isn’t a book that will revolutionize the way you view literature, but Sise has put together a book that is just flat out fun. Like the feeling you get when you’re flying through the air on a swing and let go to hit the ground and roll into the sand with your best friend. This book will make you smile and chuckle, and any book (and author) that can do that are noteworthy in my book.  Make sure you check this one out.

Reviewer: Hannah

Apr 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Tremble by Jus Accardo


Dez Cross has problems. She’s almost eighteen and on the verge of losing her mind thanks to the drug the Denazen corporation used to enhance her abilities. People close to her have turned their backs on the underground and are now fighting for the wrong side. And then there’s Kale... Things couldn’t get any worse.

Until, of course, they do. Denazen is about to start a new trial—this one called Domination—and it works. But that means out with the old and in with the new. The order has been given to terminate all remnants of the second trial—including Dez. The good news is that there’s a survivor from the original trial. A woman whose blood may hold the cure for the second generation of Supremacy kids' defects. But the underground Sixes aren’t the only ones who know about her.

Dez's father is willing to throw away everything he has to keep Dez from getting the cure—including the one thing that might tear her apart from the inside out.

Exclusive Excerpt

“I told them you wouldn’t come alone. Yet here you are,” Kale’s dark voice said from the doorway. “You’re an odd one.”
“You don’t realize it, but coming from you, that’s kinda funny,” I said, swallowing hard and turning to face him. The light from the hall lit the entire right side of his face, leaving the left cloaked in darkness. Two sides of the same dangerous coin. I wanted to back away but resisted, meeting his gaze straight on. My Kale was in there somewhere—and he could sense weakness. “Did you kill her?”

            “She’s dead.”
“I figured as much,” I said, jaw tense. Another step closer. “But I’m asking if you did it.” 

            He cocked his head to the left and I could see his expression. Confusion. “You asked the same thing about the other girl. Why does it matter?”
            “Because it does. It matters to you, too. You just don’t remember.”
            He took another step. Inches. He was inches from me now, the warmth from his body radiating like the sun. Every one of my muscles plunged into an all-out war with my heart. Common sense screamed for me to match his steps forward with ones away. Keep your distance—he’s dangerous!
My heart wanted to move closer. I wanted this to all be nothing more than a bad dream.
            “I feel like...when I look at you—” He shook his head and placed a hand on either side of me, up against the mattress, and brought his face close to mine. For the longest moment all he did was stare. When he did speak, there was so much rage in his voice. “You stabbed me. When that didn’t do the trick, you pushed me from the bridge. I’m asking you why?”
            “I never did that, Kale. No one’s ever pushed you from a bridge as far as I know. I promise. As for the scar, yeah. You were stabbed. Alex did it.”
            “You’re lying, Kiernan.”
            “I’m not. And my name is Dez,” I said, voice cracking under the weight of his words. “Deznee.” I wasn’t ready to give up, so I went with what had always worked for me. Something insane.
            Pushing forward, I crushed my lips to his, wrapping both arms around his neck to lock him in place. He didn’t resist and, to my surprise, didn’t shove me away. Instead, after a moment, he responded, his lips moving fervently with mine.
            The kiss only lasted a few moments. I was the one who broke it, pulling away as the clouds passed, allowing the moonlight to shine through the bedroom window once again. For a second, neither of us said a word. His cheeks glistened with my tears, making it look like he’d been crying, too, as he stared—eyes wide and mouth agape—like he’d never seen me before.
            For a crazy, insane moment, time froze. I thought maybe the kiss had done the trick. That this time the princess had woken the prince. He looked at me with a mix of shock and awe, the tiniest hint of my Kale gleamed through. My heart pounded so loudly I could barely hear anything else. It was there. I could see the spark in his eyes. “Kale?”
            But it didn’t last. Or maybe it hadn’t been there at all. Maybe I wanted to see it so badly that I imagined the whole thing.
            His lips parted and the corners tilted upward just a hair. “Roz is right. You are crazy.”
Find Jus Accardo

Find Tremble

Author Bio

Jus Accardo spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing.

Jus is the bestselling author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction.
A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book, Touch was released in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is currently working on the next book in the Denazen series.

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Apr 11, 2013

Author Interview: Molly Cochran

Today the awesome Molly Cochran has stopped by to talk a little bit about her Legacy series (a new favorite of Gabrielle's)!

1. Who was is/was your favorite character to write?
                In the Katy books (what I call LEGACY, POISON, and the soon-to-be-published SEDUCTION), of course I like to write Katy. She is me, my real voice, the way I talk most of the time. I’m a long way from high school, but I remember how I always seemed to be in trouble for being nosy and talking too much. In my other books (the Katy books are my first YA novels; I’ve written a number of adult books), I think my favorite character was Merlin in THE FOREVER KING—in which King Arthur is reincarnated as a 10-year-old boy in Chicago. Merlin is the grandfather I always wished I had. I guess that’s why I made him up.

2. What do you have planned in the sequels? Without spoiling of course.
                Since SEDUCTION is nearly ready for publication—I’m doing the final rewrite now—I know pretty much exactly what’s in store. Katy goes to cooking school in Paris, where she encounters a coven of beautiful witches who want Peter, hate Katy, and harbor a deep secret that’s hundreds of years old. I love this book!

3. What inspired you to write this series?
                I’ve always liked witches, at least the way I see them—as ordinary people with special extrasensory abilities, not as creepy devil-worshipping hags. So I was thinking about what would happen if a girl came to a town filled with witches, and then discovered that she was one of them. Katy was originally older, in her twenties. But as I wrote it, it became clear to me that she had to be younger, so that she could discover her own paranormal abilities in the nurturing  atmosphere of Whitfield, Massachusetts, aka Witch Central.

4. What is your favorite book?
                Hmmm. I have so many. Jennifer Egan’s A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD is great. Another novel I love is Jennifer Donnelly’s REVOLUTION. I’m reading LUCIA,LUCIA now, and love it. And there’s a young writer who lives in my area, Jennifer Murgia (Jennifer must be a writer’s name!), whose novels ANGEL STAR and LEMNISCATE knock me out.

5. Do you need anything when you write? (Food, music, drink, etc)
                Silence. I wish I could write to music, but I can’t. It’s like I fly off somewhere when I’m writing, and I can’t have anything holding me back. I’m always surprised how fast time passes.

6. Is there anything you’re excited about this year?
                Well, no major events, but I’ve been exploding with ideas lately, mainly about reincarnation and time travel (which, when you think about it, are pretty similar). I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks, Molly!

Molly Cochran, author of the teen paranormal romances LEGACY and POISON, has written 26 published novels and four nonfiction books under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her books include New York Times bestselling novels GRANDMASTER and THE FOREVER KING, coauthored with Warren Murphy, and the nonfiction DRESSING THIN, also a NY Times bestseller. She has won awards from the Mystery Writers of America (Best Novel of the Year), the Romance Writers of America (Best Thriller), and the New York Public Library (Outstanding Books for the Teen Age).

SEDUCTION, the third installment in the LEGACY series, is scheduled for release later this year through her publisher, Simon & Schuster.

Two eBooks, THE TEMPLE DOGS and THE FOREVER KING, are currently available through online retailers. A third, GRANDMASTER, will be available soon.

Molly has lectured extensively and has taught writing at the college level as well as at a women's prison (where she was NOT an inmate). She also writes a blog on writing technique which appears on her website, MollyCochran.com. She is also on Facebook at facebook.com/molly.cochran1 and Twitter at Twitter.com/mollycochranYA.

She lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Apr 10, 2013

Review: Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss

Title: Passion Blue
Author: Victoria Strauss
Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing
Publication Date: 11.6.2012
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy
Series: No
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
"Be sure you know your true heart’s desire, or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive."

This is the warning the Astrologer-Sorcerer gives Giulia when she pays him to create a magical talisman for her. The scorned illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, Giulia is determined to defy the dire fate predicted by her horoscope, and use the talisman to claim what she believes is her heart’s desire: true love and a place where she belongs–not likely prospects for a girl about to be packed off to the cloistered world of a convent.

But the convent of Santa Marta is full of surprises. There are strict rules, long hours of work, and spiteful rivalries…but there’s also friendship, and the biggest surprise of all: a workshop of female artists who produce paintings of astonishing beauty, using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion blue. Yet even as Giulia begins to learn the mysteries of the painter’s craft, the magic of the talisman is at work, and a forbidden romance beckons her down a path of uncertainty and danger. She is haunted by the sorcerer’s warning, and by a question: does she really know the true compass of her heart?

At 17 did you know your place in the world or what you wanted or what u though was your hearts desire? I know I hadn't the faintest idea. I still don't think I do. This captivating story gives you a glimpse into the mind and heart of a confused yet determined young woman.

I'm not quite sure where to start. The setting was stunning. Set in the old Italian Renaissance, it trapped you into this different yet amazing place. I can only imagine the palazzos and the convent of Santa Marta. So full of color, alive yet also still in the paintings. I was amazed at how detailed and descriptive Victoria was with this novel.

Giulia was amazing. I loved how Victoria threw you into her life. So much that I was actually thinking like Giulia. You actually understand her wants, desires, and determination to belong and be loved. Not only did I love Giulia, I loved the other nuns, novices, and even Ormanno in his own right.

This has got to be the best book I have ever read thus far of the original life question: Where is my place in the world. I cannot praise Victoria enough for this heartfelt, soul-searching and riveting novel of a strong willed, determined young woman who anyone would be enthralled by.

Reviewer: Gabrielle