30 May, 2014

June 2014 Events


Hi, everyone! Summer is almost here! I can tell by the warm weather and by all of the awesome author tours happening. June is a packed month and I cannot wait. I hope to go to a couple of the signings below. We will definitely be at Leigh Bardugo's Ruin & Rising release but I am also planning on going to the Summer Lovin' Tour in Glendale and ALA. I am really excited about all of these events and hope that you guys can make it to some of them. If you see us, don't be shy and say hi. :)

Tuesday June 3, 2014 7:30pm
Joanna Philbin, Leila Howland, Morgan Matson

Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Boulevard
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
event page

Monday June 09, 2014 7:00 PM
Girls Gone Sci Fi

Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury, Alexandra Monir, Gretchen McNeil, Lauren Miller
Barnes & Noble Montclair
Montclair Plaza
5183 Montclair Plaza Lane
Montclair, CA 91763, 909-399-1966
event page

Tuesday June 10, 2014 7:30pm
Girls Gone Sci Fi Tour
Jessica Brody, Jessica Khoury, Alexandra Monir, Gretchen McNeil, Lauren Miller
Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Boulevard
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Tuesday June 10, 2014 700pm
Greg van Eekhout
Launch Party for California Bones

Mysterious Galaxy San Diego
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Ste 302
San Diego, CA 92111-1040
event page

Local author and friend of Mysterious Galaxy, Greg van Eekhout is the author of the middle-grade novels Kid vs. Squid and Boy at the End of the World and the mythological fantasy novel Norse Code, as well as about two-dozen short stories. His latest is California Bones, the first in a contemporary fantasy trilogy in which Daniel has ingested kraken spine that affords him magic layered deep within his bones. He and his equally gifted friends are on a quest to retrieve Daniel’s dead father’s sword, an object of untold power. Stop by and help us celebrate this much anticipated book launch with Greg. There will be pizza!

Thursday June 12, 2014 7:30pm
Catherine Linka
A Girl Called Fearless

Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Boulevard
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
event page

Saturday June 14, 2014 2pm
Jillian Cantor
Searching for Sky

Mysterious Galaxy San Diego
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Ste 302
San Diego, CA 92111-1040
event page

Saturday June 14, 2014 10:30am
Drew Daywalt 
The Day the Crayons Quit
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
event page

Monday June 16, 2014 7:30 pm 
Leigh Bardugo
RUIN AND RISING LAUNCH PARTY!!
The Last Bookstore
453 South Spring Street
Downtown Los Angeles, CA
*Champagne! Prizes! Kids & teens welcome!
Click here for details & to RSVP

Monday June 23, 2014 7pm
Summer Lovin' 2.0 Tour
CJ Flood, Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, Jody Casella
Mysterious Galaxy San Diego
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Ste 302
San Diego, CA 92111-1040
event page

Summer Lovin’ and Summer Readin’ go hand in hand as MG hosts a quartet of Simon & Schuster Teen authors!

Tuesday June 24, 2014 7pm
Summer Lovin' 2.0 Tour
CJ Flood, Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, Jody Casella
Barnes & Noble Glendale Americana
The Americana at Brand
210 Americana Way
Glendale, CA 91210, 818-545-9146
event page

Join us for our Summer Lovin' 2.0 Panel Event featuring: C.J. Flood, Suzanne Young, Deb Caletti, Sarah Ockler and Jody Casella. They will be discussing and signing their new books at this exciting, yearly celebration of Young Adult Authors.

Wednesday June 25, 2014 6:30pm
Summer Lovin' 2.0 Tour
CJ Flood, Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, Deb Caletti, Jody Casella

Vromans Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101
event page

June 26, 2014 - July 1, 2014
ALA Annual Conference 
Las Vegas, NV

Super excited to be going to ALA this year! I will be hanging out with lots of good book peeps,authors and pubs and I can't wait!

Save the date:
Tue July 15 at 7 pm - Bryan Lee O'Malley at Barnes & Noble at The Grove
Sat July 19 at 2 pm - Chris Colfer at Barnes & Noble at The Grove
Mon July 28 at 7pm - Maggie Stiefvater at Barnes & Noble at The Grove
Tue July 29 at 7pm - Maggie Stiefvater at Once Upon a Time in Montrose
 



27 May, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Soundtrack Giveaway (US - Ends 6/7)


Hello, friends! I am back this week with another random giveaway. Since The Fault in Our Stars movie is coming out soon, I though it would be fun to give away a copy of the soundtrack album. Looks to be a good one and includes tracks by Ed Sheeran, Birdy, Lykke Li and more. Usual contest rules apply. This is for US residents only and will end the day after the film's release. Good luck!

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open to US residents only.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



22 May, 2014

The Winner's Curse - Review



Publication date: 4 March 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
ISBN 10/13: 0374384681 | 9780374384685
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Young Adult Fantasy
Keywords: Fantasy, Slavery, Ownership, Rebellion
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Source: ARC from Publisher



Kimberly's Review:

The General's Daughter, Kestrel, has every luxury. But even she surprises herself when she bids on a slave for her house. As their friendship grows and feelings deepen, Kestrel is surprised to find Ari, the slave, is maybe her closest friend. But she doesn't really know Ari, or what dangers he brings to her house.

I loved The Winner's Curse and I'm really upset I don't have book two in my lap, ready to go.
There's a lot of wonderfully dark topics explored, such as ownership, unrest and rebellion. Forbidden love, social expectations and female dependency. There are only two roads for Kestrel, to get married or to join the army. I enjoyed exploring Kestrel's social limitations. She is very smart, a good strategist, and loyal friend. But she is also a girl and the double standards that exist in today's society is mirrored in The Winner's Curse.

Ari is a complicated character. Working both sides, equal rebellion leader and traitor to his own cause, he is angry and hurt and vengeful. But he is also soft and as the book moves forward, Ari and Kestrel's relationship shapes into something real--friendship. And then maybe something more. I liked both of these characters for their fierce determination and their struggles in themselves. Because they're both fighting on opposite sides, but above all, their loyalties seem to be for each other.

And by the end, what wins out? How can you get past a girl who represents your home taken away, your life in ruins, your family gone? How can you see past a boy who captures you, betrays you, overthrows the very world you know?

Intriguing and utterly captivating, I loved The Winner's Curse. I read it every chance I got. I had to return my friend's copy to her but don't worry. I went out and bought my own.
 


Visit the author online at www.marierutkoski.comFacebook and follow her on Twitter @marierutkoski


Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here.

20 May, 2014

Trailer Tuesday: Dangerous Creatures, City of Heavenly Fire, Tease & More!

Hello! I found a few fun trailers online this week and thought I'd share some of them with you. Hope you enjoy!



Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - I actually haven't read this series yet but fans of BC will probably enjoy this trailer for the spin off series. The voice over isn't too bad and that font is still gorgeous.



City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - This is another series that I need to catch up on. I am probably at least 3 books behind now. Who is the creepy pale dude? Is that supposed to be Jace? Clearly I need a refresher on this series.



Tease by Sophie Jordan - This reminds me that I have book 1 of this series on my Kindle that I still need to read. This one is alright. I prefer stock images to actors in book trailers usually though I can't even tell if they are using the same couple in this....



Now & Forever by Susan Colasanti - Sorry, but this one is pretty cheesy to me.



Not a trailer but Epic Reads has a new mini web series out following the characters of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page. This is set up like a reality show. I wish Dorothy's costume was a little nicer instead of just using a box Halloween costume. There are more episodes on the Epic Reads Youtube channel if you like this episode.
 
And there you have a fresh slew of bookish trailers. :)




19 May, 2014

Divergent Tote Bag Giveaway (US - ends 5/31)

Hi, everyone. I hope you're all enjoying the warm weather. I realized it's been a while since we had a random giveaway so I dug through my giveaway stores and found this really cool Divergent tote bag. I think I got it at Comic Con last year. It's new and never been used and you could win it. Giveaway is US only and will end at the end of the day on 5/31. You don't have to be a follower to enter but, if you like what you see we hope you'll come back.


Giveaway Rules:
  1. Open to US residents only.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!

  9. a Rafflecopter giveaway
 


14 May, 2014

Ontario Teen Book Fest Spotlight on John Corey Whaley


Thanks to Ontario Teen Book Fest bloggers What a Nerd Girl Says and Fangirl Feeels for inviting us on the OTBF Blog Tour!

Today we're shining the spotlight on John Corey Whaley, author of YA novels Where Things Come Back and Noggin. Check out his Q&A, enter the giveaway, and plan to see him in person at the Fest!


Details

This is a FREE and UNTICKETED event!

When: Saturday May 17th, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.com

The event is sponsored by Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well.

Their website: http://www.mrsnelsons.com/

Confirmed authors

Katie Alender
Elana Arnold
Robin Benway
Livia Blackburne
Jessica Brody
Ava Dellaria
Katherine Ewell
Lauren Kate
Jessi Kirby
Catherine Linka
Lauren Miller
Mary Pearson
Lissa Price
Sarah Skilton
John Corey Whaley

About John Corey Whaley

John ‘Corey’ Whaley grew up in the small town of Springhill, Louisiana, where he learned to be sarcastic and to tell stories. He has a B.A. in English from Louisiana Tech University, as well as an M.A in Secondary English Education. He started writing stories about aliens and underwater civilizations when he was around ten or eleven, but now writes realistic YA fiction (which sometimes includes zombies…).

Q & A

RNSL: Noggin is your second novel. How was it more challenging to write than Where Things Come Back? How was it easier?

JCW: It was a lot more challenging in the sense that, as my editor says, I had been planning and "writing" WTCB in my head my whole life and, with Noggin, I had to start form scratch.  Unlike WTCB, it took a lot more trial and error and a whole lot of patience. Rewrites and revisions were my best friend.

RNSL: If you could pick another author to be your writing mentor, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

JCW: I'd probably pick Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., or Stephen King.  Vonnegut for tips on story and King for tips of productivity.

RNSL: What are you working on next?

JCW: No comment. ha.

RNSL: Is there one person or book who inspired you to write as a younger person?

JCW: As cliche as it sounds, The Catcher in the Rye was a huge inspiration for me from the time I was a teenager and up until I started writing.  I wanted to be able to speak to readers the way Salinger spoke to me when I was a kid, through Holden's story.  It was so personal, even though I was nothing like a private school kid from the East Coast.

RNSL: You didn't originally set out to write for young people--do you think you would switch to writing for a different audience some day (adults, small children)? Why or why not?

JCW: Even though it was never my full intention, it was one of the best accidents of my life.  Honestly, I have little to no desire to write for any other audience at this point. If an idea comes to me that involves a story NOT about young adults, then maybe I'll see what I can do.

Quick-fire questions!

RNSL: It's the middle of the night. You can't sleep! What do you do instead?

JCW: Eat. Watch TV. Surf the internet. All of the above.

RNSL: You find a secret door in the back of a closet--what do you hope is behind it?

JCW: Hmm...a refrigerator with an endless supply of leftover fried rice and iced coffee. Please and thank you.

RNSL: You're in a buffet that claims to serve everything you could ever want to eat. What's on your plate?

JCW: Pancakes. Tiramisu. Fried rice. Ice cream. Pizza.

RNSL: Describe your ideal writing cave in 10 words or less.

JCW: THERE ARE NO PEOPLE AND IT IS COLD.

RNSL: Is there a book out there that you read and then thought to yourself, "I wish I'd written that!"

JCW: GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by ANDREW SMITH

About Noggin

Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he's alive again.
Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

Find out more about Corey here:

Blog Tour Schedule

May 2nd: Spotlight on Jessica Brody -- What A Nerd Girl Says
May 3rd: Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold -- Nite Lite Book Reviews
May 4th: Spotlight on Catherine Linka – Fangirl Feeels
May 5th: Spotlight on Livia Blackburne -- The Thousand Lives
May 6th: Spotlight on Lauren Kate -- She Reads She Blogs
May 7th: Spotlight on Katie Alender -- Movies, Shows and Books
May 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller -- A Bookish Escape
May 9th: Spotlight on Sarah Skilton -- Read Now Sleep Later
May 10th: Spotlight on Lissa Price -- Recently Acquired Obsessions
May 11th: Spotlight on Jessi Kirby -- What A Nerd Girl Says
May 12th: Spotlight on Katherine Ewell -- iFandoms Collide
May 13th: Spotlight on Mary Pearson -- The Windy Pages
May 14th: Spotlight on John Corey Whaley -- Read Now Sleep Later
May 15th: Spotlight on Robin Benway -- Adventures of a Book Junkie
May 16th: Spotlight on Ava Dellaira -- Fangirl Feeels

Giveaway
ends May 20, US only

10 May, 2014

The Secret Hum of a Daisy Blog Tour and Giveaway


Thanks to Tracy Holczer for including us on The Secret Hum of a Daisy Blog Tour! 

Blog Tour Schedule

May 8: Heidi Schulz
May 9: AuthorOf
May 11: Kidlit Frenzy


We have something a little different for you -- a guide to planning your own book club, literacy cafe, or party centered around her debut middle grade novel. I recently had the privilege of attending Tracy's launch party and her friend threw her a beautiful, daisy-filled one. Your own event might not be as star-studded (a ton of our friendly neighborhood YA and MG authors were there) but that doesn't mean it can't be just as fun! Read on for our ideas, info about the book and author, as well as a giveaway!




About The Secret Hum of a Daisy

After the sudden death of her mother, twelve-year-old Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she's never met in a small town she's never heard of. A town Mama left years before--with Grace in her belly and a bus ticket in her pocket--and never looked back. It doesn't take long before Grace desperately wants to leave, too.

Until she finds the first crane.

A mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on, takes Grace on a journey to find home. And it might just be closer than she thinks.

The Literacy Cafe

My good friend Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy and I are in an adult YA book club that meets every month. Sure, we get together because we love discussing books, but we also get together because we love to hang out with friends and eat delicious food. Usually we theme the menu around the book we have read. You can do that with this book, too! You would be surprised how often food helps spark discussion and recall of what happened in the book. This is part of what makes a literacy cafe such an interesting event to host and to attend.

Alyson usually does literacy cafes at schools, and to help students engage with the books they are reading and discussing, they sometimes do a writing exercise or craft activity related to the book. This helps make it not just memorable, but also creative and fun. (Note: I was planning to have photos of all the examples I was going to give, but this week just got away from me! I will add them into the post when I can get around to it.)

For resources, I have linked to websites I think might be helpful in case you want to find out more, or actually want to make my suggestion happen for yourself. If I wrote out all of the info here, this would be a very long post! 

Menu

There are lots of foods mentioned in The Secret Hum of a Daisy. Part of Grace's search for home involves some basic needs: food and shelter. (This would be a great lead-in to a discussion of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.) Here are just a few:


  • Soup (p. 119) - The Spoons Souperie is the diner in the town where Grace's mother grew up. Grace meets and gets to know various people here. Their menu has the usual: corn chowder, matzo ball, and split pea, but you can serve your favorite soup. Mine is beef and cabbage, with lots of pepper! You could also make it a potluck and have everyone bring their own soup to share. Just make sure someone brings some fresh-baked, crusty bread for dipping.
  • Brownies (p. 146) Grace and her neighbor Jo have to bake brownies in the book, but they're not allowed to eat any! You can, though. Here is a basic recipe for brownies, but you can make them how you like: out of the box, with nuts or without, cakelike or fudgy. Blondies instead? I'm an edges kind of girl, myself. Once you know why they bake brownies in the book, you can talk about the choices Grace makes and how they lead up to brownies!
  • Chocolate Toast (p. 210) I know the other one already has chocolate, but someone makes this for Grace. It has something chocolatey (Nutella? Cookie Butter Swirl? It's up to you to choose) and slices of banana on top. This is definitely a "Live to Eat" moment rather than an "Eat to Live" one. While you eat it, you might want to discuss what your favorite comfort food is. Does it remind you of a certain place where you are from, or where you felt at home? Does it remind you of a person who used to make it for you? 
Activities

Poetry and writing figure quite centrally in the story. There are lots of different things you can do depending on the interests your students/guests/group members have.
  • Snippets Guessing Game - Have everyone bring in snippets of their favorite poetry to read out loud, and see if anyone else recognizes the poem or poet.
  • Unsent Letters - Not everyone might want to share this with the group, and that's ok. Bring pens or pencils, paper, and envelopes to the event and have everyone write a short letter to someone else that they have wanted to write, but couldn't write before now. They can choose to share the letter, or keep it to themselves. They can choose to send the letter -- though it won't be unsent anymore!
  • Answer Jars - Late in the story, someone shows Grace their answer jars -- Mason or canning jars filled with bits of words and phrases. When they can't decide on something, they reach into the jars for some answers. You can recycle jars or containers and use magazines or small pieces of paper to add your own answers. 
Art and sculpture also are pivotal to the story. You don't need a lot of fancy equipment, just found objects, scratch paper, and the usual materials (scissors, Mod Podge or Gorilla glue depending on what you're working on, writing/painting utensils).

  • Origami Cranes - The Secret Hum of a Daisy is a story about grief, but it is also about hope. Grace sees origami cranes as clues in a scavenger hunt like the ones her mom used to put together for her. You can learn to fold origami cranes with some patience and some perfectly square paper. While you're folding, discuss: where do you hope your cranes would lead you? (link to instructions
  • Found Objects - Grace's mom sculpts birds out of odds and ends. Maybe birds are not your thing, but what is? What's your power animal? Collect some bits and pieces, odds and ends, things that look interesting but maybe incomplete on their own. Get some Gorilla Glue if you're gluing smooth objects like plastic or metal and sculpt your penguin, bear, meerkat, or whatever you come up with.
  • Self-Portrait - Grace isn't just searching for home, she's searching for her identity. She's trying to define the people around her, and trying to define herself now that her mother is gone. There are some great self-portrait ideas in the book. Try composing a shadow box: what would you put inside? 
  • Another Self-Portrait - Alternatively, start with a sturdy cardboard or masonite surface, then draw an outline or silhouette of your head. Now brainstorm some words that describe you... write, letter, or paste them onto the back half of your head (um, the illustration of it, not your actual head). Now go back to your stash of found objects and compose your face out of items that might fit. Glue them on, then stand back and admire your handiwork. It doesn't have to be perfect, but hopefully it's thoughtful and expressive, which is sometimes the most we can get out of life :)


I hope you enjoyed my ideas for hosting a literacy cafe or book club meeting with The Secret Hum of a Daisy. If you've read the book and would like to share more ideas, please leave a comment. Don't post any spoilers, please! I left out some of my ideas since they might give away some later plot points in the story that are better discovered by the reader on their own.

If you do host one, please take photos and share them! I'm sure Tracy would love to see them, too.




About The Author

Tracy Holczer lives in Southern California with her husband, three daughters, and two rather fluffy dogs named Buster and Molly. She has a deep love for the mountains where she grew up so she writes them into her stories.

A 2014 ABA Indies Introduce New Voices pick, her debut middle grade, The Secret Hum of a Daisy, was written in praise of both nature and family, and all that can be found if you're willing to hunt for treasure. It will be also be published by Konigskinder/Carlsen in Germany, fall 2015.

Find out more:
Follow @tracyholczer on Twitter
Blogging on the 30th of each month at http://smack-dab-in-the-middle.blogspot.com

Buy the book:
Autographed copies (note request on the order or they won't know it needs to be autographed!) available at Once Upon a Time in Montrose, CA

Giveaway
US only, ends May 20

a Rafflecopter giveaway

09 May, 2014

Ontario Teen Book Fest Spotlight on Sarah Skilton


Thanks to Ontario Teen Book Fest bloggers What a Nerd Girl Says and Fangirl Feeels for inviting us on the OTBF Blog Tour!

Today we're shining the spotlight on Sarah Skilton, author of contemporary YA novels Bruised and High & Dry. Check out her Q&A, enter the giveaway, and plan to see her in person at the Fest!


Details

This is a FREE and UNTICKETED event!

When: Saturday May 17th, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.com

The event is sponsored by Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well.

Their website: http://www.mrsnelsons.com/

Confirmed authors

Katie Alender
Elana Arnold
Robin Benway
Livia Blackburne
Jessica Brody
Ava Dellaria
Katherine Ewell
Lauren Kate
Jessi Kirby
Catherine Linka
Lauren Miller
Mary Pearson
Lissa Price
Sarah Skilton
John Corey Whaley

About Sarah Skilton

Sarah Skilton is the author of BRUISED, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and which The Horn Book called, “nuanced and honest.” Her second book, HIGH AND DRY, has been called “A dark, well-constructed mystery with a strong voice” by Kirkus. She lives in southern California with her magician husband and their young son.

Q & A

RNSL: What was the first step you took to becoming a writer? Has becoming a published author been a childhood dream come true or just a recent development for you?

SS: Becoming an author has definitely been a childhood dream come true for me. When I was in elementary school, I wrote letters to James Howe (Bunnicula) and Tad Williams (Tailchaser's Song) and both authors wrote back! That definitely helped inspire me. My sister and I also scripted and recorded "radio shows," including dramas, comedies, game shows, commercials, and talk shows. I've always loved telling stories and reading stories.

- - -

RNSL: Your second novel, High & Dry, has just hit the shelves. What do you like the most about releasing a book out into the world?

SS: It's exhilarating to see a book "in the wild" of brick-and-mortar bookstores, and to speak on panels with other authors because I love hearing about their experiences.

- - -


RNSL: My friend Kimberly @thewindypages recently tweeted: "High and Dry by @Sarah_Skilton is fun noir you don’t want to miss. Makes me want to read some [Raymond] Chandler or watch Brick”. Did either of these actually inspire the book?

SS: Yep! I was a big fan of Brick, and of the TV show Veronica Mars. I also read tons of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett stories and watched my favorite 1940s and 1950s films (such as In a Lonely Place starring Humphrey Bogart, based on the short story by Dorothy B. Hughes) to prepare for writing High and Dry.

- - -

RNSL: What are you working on next?

SS: I've written a third contemporary YA, and I'm also working on an adult book.

Quick-fire questions!

RNSL: It's the middle of the night. You can't sleep! What do you do instead?

SS: I actually sleep very well (confession: I go to bed extremely early!!) but when my son was born, sleep was a laughable concept. To unwind, I would watch episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker or Doomsday Preppers. I inexplicably found them comforting.

- - -

RNSL: You're in a buffet that claims to serve everything you could ever want to eat. What's on your plate?

SS: Nutella and bacon crepes stacked to the ceiling, with a side of strawberries and mangos.

- - -

RNSL: Is there a book out there that you read and then thought to yourself, "I wish I'd written that!"

SS: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

About High & Dry

Framed for a stranger’s near-fatal overdose at a party, blackmailed into finding a mysterious flash drive everyone in school seems anxious to suppress, and pressured by his shady best friend to throw an upcoming match, high school soccer player Charlie Dixon is juggling more than his share of drama. Add in a broken heart and the drinking he’s been doing to soothe it, and he’s near the breaking point.

In this fast-paced, layered mystery, Charlie spends a frantic week trying to clear his name, win back the girl of his dreams, and escape a past friendship that may be responsible for all his current problems. This book captures the tone and style of the best crime fiction while also telling a high-stakes story of peer pressure gone tragically awry.

Find out more about Sarah here:

Blog Tour Schedule

May 2nd: Spotlight on Jessica Brody -- What A Nerd Girl Says
May 3rd: Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold -- Nite Lite Book Reviews
May 4th: Spotlight on Catherine Linka – Fangirl Feeels
May 5th: Spotlight on Livia Blackburne -- The Thousand Lives
May 6th: Spotlight on Lauren Kate -- She Reads She Blogs
May 7th: Spotlight on Katie Alender -- Movies, Shows and Books
May 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller -- A Bookish Escape
May 9th: Spotlight on Sarah Skilton -- Read Now Sleep Later
May 10th: Spotlight on Lissa Price -- Recently Acquired Obsessions
May 11th: Spotlight on Jessi Kirby -- What A Nerd Girl Says
May 12th: Spotlight on Katherine Ewell -- iFandoms Collide
May 13th: Spotlight on Mary Pearson -- The Windy Pages
May 14th: Spotlight on John Corey Whaley -- Read Now Sleep Later
May 15th: Spotlight on Robin Benway -- Adventures of a Book Junkie
May 16th: Spotlight on Ava Dellaira -- Fangirl Feeels

Giveaway
ends May 20, US only

01 May, 2014

Moon at Nine Blog Tour - Giveaway ends 5/12



Welcome to Day 4 of the SECRETS OF MOON AT NINE BLOG TOUR, featuring Moon at Nine–a timely new YA novel from humanitarian and award-winning author Deborah Ellis. Each stop on the 2-week tour will feature revealing posts, a chance to win a copy of the novel, and a chance to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Secrets of a World Traveler
By Deborah Ellis

The first trip I did to do research for a book was back in the late l990s, when I went to Pakistan to meet folks in the Afghan refugee camps there. I was not at all prepared for the sort of deep poverty and pain that people were experiencing. Nor was I prepared for the incredible kindness and courage many people demonstrated.

Since that trip, I have been able to take many trips to different places to meet extraordinary people. I've been to Israel and Palestine (for the book Three Wishes); to Zambia and Malawi (for the novel The Heaven Shop and the book of interviews called Our Stories Our Songs, profiling kids affected by HIV/AIDS), Bolivia, to meet with kids in the cocaine industry; Jordan to learn from the refugees from the Iraq War; Russia to meet with Russian woman who had served with the Soviets in Afghanistan; India to meet with people affected by leprosy; American military bases to learn from military families what it is like to have a loved one serving overseas in harm's way; and, recently, I have been able to travel to many First Nations, Metis, Native American and Inuit communities to learn from the young people there what their lives are like at this point in history.

When I was thinking about writing Moon At Nine, I explored the possibility of going to Iran—something I still hope to do one day. The Iran of l988 is very different in many ways from the Iran of today. I did as much research as possible to make the book as real as I could make it.

Travelling to a place before writing about it has so many benefits—learning about the foods, the markets, the streets, the way the wind feels, the light as it is fading in the evenings. I know, though, that I could spend ages in a place outside my usual spot of Southern Ontario and miss many essential things about it. There are universal features to the human experience—how we feel joy, the experience of being lonely, our inner battles over what we want vs. what we are able to achieve—and these are experiences the writer relies on when crafting any story, no matter where that story takes place or in what period of history the characters live.


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Enter below to win a copy of Moon at Nine! US/Canada only please. Complete the free entry to unlock more ways to win. Remember to scroll all the way down to enter the Grand Prize drawing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***Stop by LiveToRead tomorrow for the next stop on the SECRETS OF MOON AT NINE BLOG TOUR and another chance to win!***

Secrets of Moon at Nine Blog Tour Schedule:

April 28thBuried in Books
April 29th: Candace's Book Blog
April 30th: VVB32Reads
May 2nd: LiveToRead
May 7th: From A to Z
May 9th: Bookish




About Moon at Nine:

Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail or worse.

The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be a homosexual in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?



About Deborah Ellis:

Deborah Ellis is the internationally acclaimed author of nearly thirty books for children and young people, most of which explore themes of social justice and courage. A peace activist, feminist, and humanitarian, Deborah has won many national and international awards for her books, including the Governor General’s Award, the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award, the American Library Association’s Notable List and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. In 2010, she received the Ontario Library Association President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement. Deborah lives in Ontario, Canada.




GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY

At each stop along the tour, readers will have a chance to enter the grand prize giveaway.

The Prize: One winner will receive (1) a set of 10 Deborah Ellis books, and (2) Pajama Press will make a $100 donation in their name to one of five charities: Canadian Women 4 Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF Canada, Street Kids International, Leprosy Mission - Canada, or IBBY - Children in Crisis Fund. (You can learn more about these charities at stop #2 on the tour.)

The 10 books included in the prize pack are:
  • Moon at Nine
  • True Blue
  • Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids
  • No Safe Place
  • My name is Parvana
  • Lunch With Lenin and Other Short Stories
  • A Company of Fools
  • Our Stories Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDS,
  • Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children speak
  • Annaleise Carr: How I Conquered Lake Ontario to Help Kids Battling Cancer (By Annaleise Carr with Deborah Ellis)

US/Canada only please. Enter using the rafflecopter below! Ends May 12th at 11:59 pm EST.

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