I think it’s time to talk about Myrnin. You know, the guy who lurks in the alley next to Gramma Day’s house? In the shack? You might also know him as the adorable/terrifying vampire who’s built a steampunk lab underneath the shack, blown it up a few times, can’t use bookcases worth a damn, invented a computer that runs on blood and requires a real brain, and … wears bunny slippers. Vampire bunny slippers.
These bunny slippers. (FULL DISCLOSURE: Myrnin’s never watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I have. Therefore I can say they are *probably* Killer Rabbit slippers.)
Lots of readers are hooked on Myrnin, and write in to ask for more, more, more Myrnin. Which I love, of course. But I thought I’d tell you Myrnin’s origin story.
The character of Myrnin was a placeholder in the first two books. In my head, I had a slot for the “strange scientist” who helped create and run Morganville’s various weird systems, like the field that makes you forget the town when you leave it, the portals Amelie uses as her own personal express lane, etc. But I didn’t know anything about that guy. He was just a shadow in the dark, which was why, in the beginning, I described him as the trapdoor spider that lurks in the shadows of the alley, and also might be the actual inspiration for the Arthurian legends ofMerlin. I wanted to discover him, in a sense, as I wrote him.
Discovering him was more like opening a door and finding a fully formed person on the other side of it.
Enter for your chance to win a personal Halloween card from Rachel Caine, a TPU sampler booklet, a photo still from Morganville: The Series, and a Fall of Night lenticular bookmark! 4 runners-up will also receive a personal Halloween card from Rachel Caine! Giveaway ends on 10/14/16
There are 10 blogs participating in the Morganville Vampires 10th Anniversary Bash and each blog has a bold, red, hidden buzz word in the body of the post that entrants must find and submit via the Rafflecopter below. Find all 10 buzz words, enter them in the Scavenger Hunt Rafflecopter on any of our 10 participating blogs, and be entered to win 1 of 3 prizes!
2 Runners-up will receive a Morganville Vampires tote bag, a signed paperback copy of Midnight Bites, a TPU sampler booklet , a Fall of Night lenticular, a photo still from Morganville: The Series, a Welcome to Morganville postcard, a Ghost Town lenticular, and a Morganville: The Series poster.
1 Grand Prize winner will receive a Morganville Vampires tote bag, a limited edition UK Daylighters, a signed paperback copy of Midnight Bites, a TPU sampler booklet, a Fall of Night lenticular bookmark, a photo still from Morganville: The Series, a a Welcome to Morganville postcard, a Ghost Town lenticular bookmark, and a Morganville Resident Survival Kit. Giveaway ends 11/7/16
Rachel Caine is a fictional character herself…a pen name of writer Roxanne Conrad. Since 2003, Rachel has written in the adult Urban Fantasy genre (the Weather Warden, Outcast Season, Revivalist and Red Letter Days series) as well as in Young Adult fiction (the Morganville Vampires series and the upcoming novel Prince of Shadows). She is the author of more than forty novels and many short stories, and is regular featured in anthology collections.
She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can't get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband's other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story's ending will mean forgiving the man she's loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.
Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.
We’ve all heard the stories: after years of marriage, a husband finally admits to himself and to his wife and family that he’s gay. Most recently you may have read about Trey Pearson, a Christian Rocker, who come out as gay and whose story really touched me. The difference here is that in Results May Vary the revelation wasn’t as honest or heartfelt as Trey’s was.
Results May Vary is about the fallout of a betrayal in a marriage. It’s about how Caroline picks up the pieces of a life she was so secure in and how she comes to terms with the realization that she’s never really known the person she loved and married. But it’s also about all the good that will come after such a devastation.
If you’ve visited my blog in the last year, or even the past six months, you’ve probably seen me say at some point that Bethany Chase’s debut, The One That Got Away, was a favorite read last year. This book is really different than that one. I loved Results May Vary in a completely different way. This is one of those books that really made me think about myself and the people I know, about the experiences in my life and how they’ve shaped who I am now. While reading I wondered, “What if that was my man? How would I react?” Devastated, for sure. But I would hope that above all I’d be kind. Caroline’s journey through this was really heart-wrenching at times, but I really admired her in the end. I was glad that we got to see her go through so many ups and downs because it made her character more authentic. I was very happy with where this story left off and felt content, but at the same time I was left feeling like I was saying goodbye to people I knew in real life. They sure stayed in my mind for a long while after.
Results May Vary is easily my favorite book of the year so far, and I think it’s going to be hard to top at this point. The writing is superb and the emotional depth really moved me. I hope you all run out and get a copy! Or you could try to win the extra one I unknowingly purchased, haha.
And now, here’s Bethany Chase…
Writing Playlist – Results May Vary
This is an interesting thing to write about, because this book has such a different musical personality from my first book, The One That Got Away. When I was writing that, I was listening to a lot of classic soul and 70’s rock (think Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack), and that made its way into the book in many places. Results May Vary’s playlist is a lot more eclectic, both on purpose and by accident.
Sugar & the Hi Lows, “Right Time to Tell You”: This song is gorgeous. The melody and harmonies are about as pretty as it gets, and the lyrics are incredibly apropos to Adam’s situation—the narrator has something to confess, has been waiting for the right time to do it, but no time is ever the right time.
Fountains of Wayne’s gorgeous “Valley Winter Song”: This is a quintessential New-England-in-winter song for me. It talks about short, dreary winter days and snowstorms and hanging in there till the summer. (True, perfect fact: the Fountains guys are Williams alums just like Caroline and me.)
Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You”: Really sums up Caroline’s feelings toward Adam in the early part of the book.
Amos Lee, “Chill in the Air”: Another beautiful breakup song (in this one, it’s the steel guitar that cinches it), and a nod to Caroline’s predilection for mopey singer-songwriters. I think Amos is fantastic, but the man sure can write a good mopey song.
The Grateful Dead, “Fire on the Mountain”: This is one of my personal favorite songs that I was delighted to give to a character. I am only an entry-level Deadhead, but the guitar riff on this song is just so mellow and pretty that I could listen to it for hours. Or, you know, 13 minutes, which is the length of the longest live version of it that I own.
The Apache Relay, “Katie Queen of Tennessee”: Very pretty little love song from one of Jonathan’s favorite bands.
Jo Dee Messina, “Downtime”: Ruby wasn’t kidding that Jo Dee is the queen of upbeat breakup anthems. I’ve always loved this song because it’s about the process of recovering yourself while you get over a breakup, which is really what the book is about. I especially love the line where she says “Your memory’s taking second to a good book and a nice, long bath.”
Duke Ellington, “Jeep’s Blues”: this piece gets a very specific call-out in the book because good lord, is it sexy. I’ve always thought blues is the sexiest music there is. (And this stood me in good stead when one of the questions on my online dating survey was “What’s your favorite music to get you in the mood” and I referenced something about one of the Allman Brothers barn-burners, which impressed the musician who is now my husband.)
Rodgers & Hart, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”: I have an Ella Fitzgerald recording of this song that is one of my favorite all-time pieces of music. Ella’s voice is so beautiful, and the song’s lyrics have this sly, witty charm that—yes, I sound like an old person—you so rarely find anymore. “I’m wild again, beguiled again, a simpering, whimpering child again…” It’s such a great description of being infatuated.
First Aid Kit, “Emmylou”: Stunning harmonies in this song, and sweet, upbeat lyrics that remind me of Caroline and Neil. Especially where she says “I’m not asking much of you, just sing, little darling, sing with me” and “Things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.”
A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.
Lou Brown is one of the fastest swimmers in the county. She’s not boasting, she really is. So things are looking pretty rosy the day of the Olympic time-trials. With her best mate Hannah by her side, Lou lines up by the edge of the pool, snaps her goggles on and bends into her dive…
Everything rests on this race. It’s Lou’s thing.
… or it was. She comes dead last and to top it all off Hannah sails through leaving a totally broken Lou behind.
Starting again is never easy, particularly when you’re the odd-one out in a family of insanely beautiful people and a school full of social groups way too intimidating to join. Where do you go from here? Finding a new thing turns out to be the biggest challenge Lou’s ever faced and opens up a whole new world of underwater somersaults, crazy talent shows, bitchy girls and a great big load of awkward boy chat.
Lou Brown guides us through the utter humiliation of failure with honesty, sass and a keen sense of the ridiculous. This girl will not be beaten.
I’m so excited to be kicking out the blog tour for Nat Luurtsema’s Goldfish! Today she’s here telling us all about her favorite olympic swimmers. Check it out!
My Favourite Olympic Swimmers
There are many excellent Olympic swimmers, fast, skillful, top of their game and none of them are my number one favourite.
That title goes to Eric Moussambani Malonga who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He met none of the minimum requirements to qualify, but did so via a wildcard draw designed to encourage participation by developing countries lacking full training facilities.
Which I think is a good idea, but does give me a funny mental image of Eric sifting through the post one morning, saying a weak “bloody hell” and sitting down because his knees have gone wobbly.
“Any post, Eric?” his wife or flatmate shouts from the sofa.
“Junk mail, a catalogue for fences and I’ve got to swim in the Olympics.”
“Eric, you ok hun?”
There should be more Wildcard draws like that. Like Jury Service, any one of us could get a postcard through the door that makes us sigh, pull on a coat and yell to our flatmate “I’ll be back soon, I’ve gotta go be in One Direction/fly to the moon/ judge The X Factor.”
Eric should’ve been knocked out of the running in his first qualifying heat but he was competing against two swimmers who dived too early and were disqualified. And with that, Eric was off to the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Imagine phoning your mum to tell her that.
On the day he took twice as long to finish as the winner, taking 1:52:72 in the 100m Freestyle. But that’s still faster than most of us could swim it!
Girl Out Of Water is all about how failing is fine, not to beat yourself up about it, because in the end it’s fine. It’s how you deal with failure that counts. Eric Moussambani Malonga set a new PB (obviously, as swimming in a lake presumably slows you down with all the yelping because something slimy brushed your leg) and went on to coach the Equatorial Guinea national team.
Acclaimed film producer/director Adam Shankman and coauthor Laura Sullivan pen a sparkling, witty, romantic mystery inspired by Nick and Nora Charles and Hollywood glamour.
Not too long ago, Lucille O’Malley was living in a tenement in New York. Now she’s Lulu Kelly, Hollywood’s newest It Girl. She may be a star, but she worries that her past will catch up with her. Back in New York she witnessed a Mafia murder, and this glamorous new life in Tinseltown is payment for her silence.
Dashing Freddie van der Waals, the only son of a New York tycoon, was a playboy with the world at his feet. But when he discovered how his corrupt father really made the family fortune, Freddie abandoned his billions and became a vagabond. He travels the country in search of redemption and a new identity, but his father will stop at nothing to bring him home.
When fate brings Lulu and Freddie together, sparks fly—and gunshots follow. Suddenly Lulu finds herself framed for attempted murder. Together, she and Freddie set out to clear her name. But can they escape their pasts and finally find the Hollywood ending they long for?
Friends… I’m trying not to freak out too much at the fact that Adam Shankman has written a guest post for my blog. I mean, it’s for his book, but it’s on MY blog. Eeeeeep!!
I’m a HUGE fan of Adam Shankman’s work on movies and tv, and I love anytime he guest judges on So You Think You Can Dance, so OF COURSE I jumped at the chance to participate on the blog tour for his co-authored YA debut!
Both Adam and Laura were kind enough to write up a little something for us today. Thank you both so much! These picks have me very excited about your story.
Songs that represent the book, a scene, and/or character(s)
I Won’t Dance– This is one of those brilliant Fred Astaire classics remixed. We used it in Step Up 2, and it’s one of the best sequences we ever shot, and perfectly illustrates the delightful cat and mouse that Lulu and Freddie play with each other. They act like they don’t like each other, but its clear from the start; they’re going to end up dancing the night away in each other’s arms.
Diamonds by Rihanna – Here’s a Lulu and Freddie song that I love that’s all about how beautiful they both are, separately and together! Also, I can’t help feeling like the Hollywood fame ideal is for Lulu to be shiny and glamorous and tough…like Diamonds!
Lose Yourself by Eminem – For Ruby. This is my favorite song about blind ambition. That’s all Ruby is about: Blind ambition.
It’s All About the Benjamins by Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G. – I’m not sure a better song has ever been written that so audaciously and casually celebrates obscene wealth. The whole experience of this song is about being hypnotized, seduced, and enslaved by material things. Welcome to the world of Jacob Van der Waals, Freddie’s father.
Someday by Rob Thomas – This song just so beautifully captures the spirit of hope and optimism that Lulu and Freddie bring out in each other. This is a modern “Over the Rainbow” for a breezy summer day.
Puttin’ On the Ritz Club Remix –Freddie and his fiancée Violet’s life in the beginning of the book is all New York society and parties. This song says it all and the remix is fantastic.
Big Time by Peter Gabriel is a brilliant song about how shallow fame can be. It’s the monster Hollywood crucible.
Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield – This song is so friggin me it’s embarrassing and it perfectly lays out Lulu and Freddie’s optimism about their future and their belief that they have the ability to write their own story of their future…although, that would leave me without a job.
I listened to a lot of period music while I was working on Girl About Town. The era produced so many wonderful songs, from passionate love songs to completely silly numbers. These are some of my favorites from the setting of Girl About Town.
Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” is Freddie’s song during his billionaire days. Later when he’s a train-hopping bum, he’s more of a “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” or “Big Rock Candy Mountain” kind of guy.
When I think of Lulu, the song “Baby Face” always plays in my head. It is kind of a simple song on the surface, and the core message is about falling in love with a pretty face, but it resonates because of course Freddie (and the reader) knows that Lulu is so much more. It also makes me think of the Barbara Stanwyck film Baby Face, which is my favorite Pre-Code movie. It’s subtle, but the things that happen in that movie are still pretty scandalous.
When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.
Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.
Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second installment of the Dark Passage Cycle.
Happy March 1st, friends! I’m so happy to be taking part in Heather Demetrios’s blog tour for BLOOD PASSAGE today!
Ten Random Facts About BLOOD PASSAGE
1. It takes place in Morocco.
2. I travelled to Morocco to do research – I slept in the Sahara, went to the souks—all of it.
3. Some of this book takes places in a cave and I checked a gorgeous one in Virginia called Lorraine Cavern.
4. This was the book I was the most scared to write. I didn’t want it to be a boring middle book. I’m really proud of it.
5. When I was in Morocco, my driver told me stories about the jinn, which are a big part of Islamic culture.
6. I have two rings with an eight-pointed star, just like Solomon’s Sigil in the book.
7. The cover for the series changed at the last minute, so Blood Passage has a different cover and came out five months later than it was scheduled to.
8. A lot of the lore comes from an amazing book that has helped me so much with the series: Legends of the Fire Spirits, which has jinn mythology from around the world.
9. I’ll be launching the book with Danielle Paige at Books of Wonder in Manhattan– her last book in the Dorothy Must Die series comes out just a few weeks after Blood Passage.
10. When writing the book, I burned Moroccan amber oil and listened to a lot of Ravi and Anoushka Shankar’s music.
When she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, and I’ll Meet You There. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth.
Orphaned, disgraced, and stripped of her title, Rho is ready to live life quietly, as an aid worker in the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn.
But news has spread that the Marad--an unbalanced terrorist group determined to overturn harmony in the Galaxy--could strike any House at any moment.
Then, unwelcome nightmare that he is, Ochus appears to Rho, bearing a cryptic message that leaves her with no choice but to fight.
Now Rho must embark on a high-stakes journey through an all-new set of Houses, where she discovers that there's much more to her Galaxy--and to herself--than she could have ever imagined.
#5: HOUSE LEO, passion
Lionhearts fight with the Swath: a sword with an ornate handle covered in microscopic mirrors that traps rays from the sun. The Swath harvests and stores the sunlight so that, when activated, it produces a steady, focused beam of solar energy that burns so hot it consumes whatever it passes through—or anything unfortunate enough to try and pass through it. A skilled Lionheart never wastes the energy stored in the Swath, and instead uses its burning blade for just the few seconds it takes to strike down an enemy or object. It’s said that on a dark night, and in the right hands, a Swath blade in motion resembles a firefly’s furious dance.
DATES: July 23 – August 22 HOUSE: 5 WORD FOR GUARDIAN: Holy Leader WORD FOR ZODAI: Lionheart COLOR: Royal Purple ELEMENT: Fire STRENGTH: Passion
The Lion constellation has one planet, Leo, two moons, Lion and Leon, and a small sun that’s close enough to the planet to play a recreational weekend sport called Sun Sailing. Leo’s citizens don protective suits with wings and dive off Mount Luz—the planet’s highest peak—during the sun’s strongest hours and try to catch a powerful ray and ride its energy wave for a few seconds, until they fall to a net waiting below.
The planet has few sources of fresh water, so Leos must import from their neighbor Cancer. Most of the land is covered in harsh terrain—mountain ridges, jungles, marsh, etc—offering ample opportunities for adventure and discovery. Even Leo’s moons have strange topographies—Lion has forests and a lake that is the House’s largest store of water, and Leon is a vast glacier with mountains made from crystal.
THE PEOPLE, PERSONALITY
House Leo represents Passion. Its people are larger than life, magnetic, proud, decisive, honorable, and can be self-absorbed, pushy, and vain. As represented by the House symbol of the Lion, Leos consider themselves to be the kings and queens of their universe. They are natural leaders who chase their fears instead of hiding from them.
THE PEOPLE, PHYSICALLY
The people of Leo have broad faces and toothy smiles. Thanks to such constant exposure to the sun, their complexion is every shade of tan, and they’re usually covered in tattoos, piercings, and scars. Men often dye their facial hair in colorful stripes, and women rarely keep their eyebrows symmetrical—they often vary in shape and shade.
Leos don’t like to be tethered down, and they don’t like to dull their senses. They believe technology more often distracts us from the world instead of connecting us to it. Like every House in the Zodiac, they have a specific device they carry with them, but Leos will often damage it from reveling or adventuring too enthusiastically. The device is called a Lighter, and when flicked on, a flame-like holographic menu blazes into the air.
On House Leo, everyone has a voice—and everyone uses it. The planet is divided into Nine Prides, each of which prizes a different Leo value: Courage, Honor, Leadership, Candor, Adventure, Artistry, Competition, Sensuality, and Power. Restless Leos spend part of their lives in each Pride, trying on identities and shedding them, until they find the one that fits. The people in each Pride elect twelve Pride Leaders to govern them and represent their interests in planetary legislation. The Guardian acts as advisor to the elected representatives and as spiritual leader to all Prides.
Holy Leader Aurelius Maschester—He was the Zodiac’s biggest film celebrity before the stars chose him to be House Leo’s next Guardian, and though now much older, he retains his movie star good looks and still has fans across the universe.
Learn about the rest of the Zodiac Houses by checking out the other tour stops:
Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck's small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He's curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening-- and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister-- and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.
Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.
PRAISE FOR TRUEST
“Truest is one of those books that will destroy you in the best way possible. Truest is more than a book: it’s a window, a conversation.” -- Ashley Brooks, Brooks Editorial
“If love and pain are two sides of the same coin, Truest is the mint.” -- Sam, Goodreads
1. I am more scared of the slow ride to the top of the rollercoaster than of the rapid plummet down.
2. I have had OCD for most of my life and am the communications director for OCD Twin Cities, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation.
3. My strengths themes are learner, input, achiever, strategy, and ideation.
4. I’m quite claustrophobic. My nightmares often involve tight, closed spaces. I can barely stand the idea of being underwater or in space.
5. I love names and their meanings.
6. I’m an outgoing introvert—in fact, I’m so outgoing that most people are convinced I’m an extrovert, but I get my energy from being alone.
7. I don’t drink coffee. At all. In any form. Alcohol either. And not because I don’t think I wouldn’t like either—but because I think I would like them too much.
8. I scored higher on my math ACT subscores than in my English subscores. I was a straight-A math student all the way through college calculus II, where I stopped. (My next novel is about a math prodigy.)
9. I’m wild about wind turbines. I even managed to include a wind farm in Truest.
10. I’m the editor of Crux Literary Journal, an online arts project.
One Winner will get an annotated copy of TRUEST filled with thoughts written by the author throughout the book, little behind-the-scenes stories and details of the writing of the novel
Ships in US Only | Must be 13+ To Enter Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are ineligible. See Terms & Conditions for more info
Jackie Lea Sommers lives and loves and writes in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the O’s are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Writing. Truest is her first novel.
Jackie Lea Sommers lives and loves and writes in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the O’s are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult Writing. Truest is her first novel.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Bloods and Witches of East End
After they cause a terrible accident at their old high school, twin witches Mardi and Molly Overbrook are sent to live with their “Aunt” Ingrid Beauchamp in North Hampton, on Long Island’s mist-shrouded East End. Because the twins cannot control their powers, their father begs Ingrid to tame them over the summer, before the White Council exiles the girls to Limbo.
Trouble continues to bubble and boil when the girls meet the younger Gardiner boys, who are just as handsome and sexy as their older kin. But all is not as it seems. As Ingrid helps the girls learn to control their magical impulses, Mardi and Molly have just this summer to figure out how to grow up, how to love, and how to be a family.
Happy Monday, friends! As part of the blog tour for Triple Moon, Melissa De La Cruz joins us to tell us what her office is like! It sounds like a great spot. :)
I have an office in my house that I write in. I have a huge monitor so that I can see a lot of pages up on the screen at once, and also because my eyes are so bad I now work in 200% view.
I’m surrounded by my books and the paraphernalia they’ve created – Descendants stuffed toys, Poisoned Apple stress balls, foreign editions, fan gifts, etc. I have a big poster of our TV show – Witches of East End that Lifetime sent me. I have a photo of Truman Capote in his office. I like the contrast between his office and mine.
Other things in my office that are framed is the letter from Disney VP and Publisher Jeanne Mosure when Van Alen Legacy was one of the most successful books of 2009 for Disney-Hyperion. The letter came with a VIP pass to Disneyland, which they renew every year. BOOM! Very proud of that.
My office is a bit cluttered and messy, but it’s my space, and I actually need to look at the wall when I’m writing, I can’t look out at a view, it’s too distracting.
Also my dog Mimi sleeps in my office, so she’s my buddy, my office mate. I’m never alone.
MELISSA DE LA CRUZ is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling series Blue Bloods, which has three million copies in print. She spent many summers on Shelter Island, which served as the inspiration for the fictional town of North Hampton. She lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her family.
They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time
Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.
As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.
Here’s Renee Collins!
Music plays a big role in my writing process. It helps capture the feel of my characters or set the mood of the scene I want to write. Film scores are amazing for this. They’re so emotional and dramatic. But usually, I’ll have several non-film scores songs that I listen to repeatedly when I’m working on a novel. Writing on Until We Meet Again was no exception.
With this novel, I had two different lists of songs. One list was comprised of 1920’s and 30’s music.
I listened to these to get in that 20’s feel when writing scenes set in Lawrence’s POV. This list includes:
Anything Goes by Cole Porter
If You Were the Only Girl in the World, sung by Henry Burr
Happy Days Are Here Again, sung by Annette Hanshaw
Maybe, I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire, and If I Didn’t Care by The Ink Spots
My non-film scores modern songs:
Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray
Over the Love by Florence and The Machine
Fix You by Coldplay
We Belong Together by Gavin DeGraw
I’ve also had early readers send me songs that they think fit the book, which I love so much! Some of those are:
Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor and John Legend
Find You, sung by Alex G
I Was Made For Loving You by Tory Kelly and Ed Sheeran
For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror
A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.
Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.
Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:
A. G. Howard
Nova Ren Suma
April Genevieve Tucholke
This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to write a short horror story for the anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. Well, I did–and I’m psyched to be among such a fantastic crew of authors for this collection that comes out Aug. 18! We’re doing a blog tour in its honor, and now it’s my turn. So……let’s talk scary things.
I’m kind of a scaredycat. Show me the screenshot of something spooky, and I’ll be tiptoeing around my house for the rest of the night. But some part of me loves that little thrill, the feeling of the hairs going up on the back of my neck, the chill at a particularly eerie sentence. Without further ado, here are 10 Things That Scare Me:
10. Nursery Rhymes
Ring Around the Rosy = bubonic plague. Jack and Jill = the beheading of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Peter Peter Pumpkin-Eater = a man who kills his wife for cheating.
Remind me again why we sing these to kids? I remember being creeped out by them at a very early age….probably thanks to horror movies that always use them in their openings.
9. Bilbo Baggins
Don’t lie. When you were watching the first Lord of the Rings movie, you did NOT see this moment coming.
I’m not going to shriek my head off and jump on a chair if I see a spider. But if I find myself in the town of Goulburn, Australia, when millions of tiny spiders are literally raining from the sky , well….I might scream a little.
7. House of Leaves (by Mark Z. Danielewski)
With a dedication like that, how could I be creeped out? This book is about a couple who move into a house that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. It is written like a composite of found documents and typographic strangeness. It is….
6. The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth
Which makes me go
(Also, Pan’s Labyrinth a beautiful, heartbreaking, eerie, amazing movie. Guillermo del Toro never steers me wrong.)
Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, I wish, I wish he’d go away
This part of the poem gets to me every time. In fact, I am typing this in the late afternoon, and already I’m staring warily at the stairs near the door.
3. Stephen Gammell
Even if you don’t recognize the name of this artist, you know his art. Remember his work in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark? I used to have to cover his images in the books with a thick sheet of paper, because otherwise I couldn’t bear to read the story accompanying it at all. (Out of politeness, I’m not posting the one image we ALL remember, and that we ALL covered up. But I’ll link it.)
Yeah–I think the reason the books now have new art is because Stephen’s masterpieces gave too many kids traumatic nightmares.
Okay. P.T. was released on the Playstation 4 in summer 2014. It was supposed to be an interactive, free playable teaser (hence the name) for another game, which I won’t give away so as not to spoil you. When the full game itself was cancelled, P.T. was pulled from the Playstation store….but not before enough people discovered that it is SCARY AS HELL. It has since developed a cult aura around it. Because, again, it is SCARY AS HELL.
You can still watch some walkthroughs of it on YouTube. In short, you start out by walking around in a house’s corridor at night. Strange sounds and sights happen as you explore. When you turn enough corners, you will…..find yourself right back in the corridor where you started. Over and over again. Things go downhill from there.
1. The open ocean….at night
This is my most horrible nightmare–floating in the open ocean, alone, at night, so that when you look down, you can see nothing but black, murky depths extending forever. OH MY GOD.
I rank this equal to being burned alive as one of the worst ways to die. (There is a reason why, in The Young Elites, I created the Underworld as a deep, neverending ocean.)
And now that I’ve thoroughly creeped myself out, I’m going to go find some ice cream and hide in my bed with a bat.
About Marie Lu
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers' markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)
I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I'm currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers’ markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)
I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I’m currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.
When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they're related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can't shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.
Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?
Today on the blog I have Karole Cozzo sharing some very fun random facts about herself! Check them out!
1) Karole lives by her planner and Excel spreadsheets, but will never, ever have a clean purse or clean car.
2) Karole gets really, really excited when she spots the first Starbucks in an unfamiliar town.
3) Karole’s favorite childhood book series is Olivia the Pig. Olivia is her daughter.
4) Karole got proposed to by someone dressed up as Peter Pan. She said “yes.”
5) Karole is way craftier than she has the time to be.
6) Karole’s never taken a course on writing, although she’d really like to someday.
7) Growing up, Karole got yelled at for reading Sweet Valley Twins at the table during dinner.
8) Karole’s name was selected by her parents because it means “song of joy.”
9) Karole’s a total girly-girl. Decades later, “hot pink” is still her favorite color.
10) Most memorable YA series for Karole is Ocean City by Katherine Applegate.
Not So Random Things About Karole
Karole lives outside of Philadephia, PA with her loving husband, eternally exuberant little girl, and perpetually pleasant little boy. Hobbies include nursing a persistent Starbucks addition, eating way too much candy, emptying her wallet at Target, spending time with her family, decorating her home, and completing any other crafty project she can think of. Karole has degrees in School Psychology, women’s studies, and biology but has never taken a formal creative writing course, although she’d really like to one day.
If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.
Music plays an important role in Every Last Word.
Sam picks an upbeat song when she first dives into the pool, and sings it in her head to push herself during her workouts.
She’ll spend hours online, researching and memorizing lyrics. And looking for words—in sets of threes—that speak to her.
She loves making playlists, and she has a formula for naming each one. Once she finds three words in a single song that best summarize the collection, she’s got the perfect title.
Like the sound of water, music helps quiet Sam’s overactive mind.
She created “In The Deep” to pass the time in her therapist’s waiting room each Wednesday, but it over time, it became her go-to playlist for when she’s feeling anxious and overwhelmed. It’s named after this line in Florence + The Machine’s “Never Let Me Go”:
And it’s peaceful in the deep / Cathedral where you cannot breathe / No need to pray, no need to speak / Now I am under all
C—the teen who originally inspired Every Last Word—also loves music, lyrics and making playlists. She created Sam’s “In The Deep.” And it’s just perfect.
I’ll let her tell you why some of these songs are special to her. Take it away, C.
The “In the Deep” playlist is made up of 25 songs that have spoken to me at different and important times in my life. Their lyricism and melodies have accompanied many crying jags, road trips, and late night thinking sessions. I would love to share a few of their stories with you.
This song was very impactful in my life during my first two years of high school. I’ll never forget Marina singing the words “Baby, you don’t have to live your life in fear” and realizing the absolute freedom and truth in that phrase. I think it’s a good one for Sam too—it’s always important for people like us to realize the world isn’t always working against us.
Like many of the other songs on this playlist, I first heard “Oblivion” on an episode of The Vampire Diaries. Bastille was still pretty unheard of in America, and the album with this song hadn’t even been released, which meant the only version I could listen to was the live iTunes festival rendition, which, in my humble opinion, is by and large the more beautiful version of the song.
An important landmark in my life each year is my family’s annual trip to a small ski resort in South Lake Tahoe. The resort becomes magical at night when the few streets are empty save for the falling snow in the light from the street lamps. The end of the year is a time for me to look back, and being in this location prompts nostalgia. I’ll always remember stepping out onto a balcony in a snow flurry while “Oblivion” played softly from my phone as I thought back on everything I’d been through and what was to come.
When I was a sophomore, my friend from the drama department committed suicide. It was one of the hardest times of my life. The grief that swept through the school and through my life was truly horrific as we all mourned the loss of such a remarkable young man. I listened to this song on repeat as I drove to his funeral. The fear and devastation that had begun to make itself known in my life was perfectly reflected in the phrase, “At every occasion, I’ll be ready for a funeral.”
The truth is that I’m deathly terrified. I’m terrified of always being sick. I’m terrified that my life will never be fulfilling and most of all, I’m absolutely terrified of there being no light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not only afraid of losing things in my life that make me happy; I am so so scared I will never be happy. How could I not always expect a funeral? What if all the joy and light in my life was just waiting to be put to death?
But what if all the negativity, all the suffering and heartache and even the really horrible things like the suicide of my friend, what if they were all gone too? There’s no way that can really happen, because hard things will always exist, but they don’t have to control my life.
The death of my friend proved to me that we don’t always have to be waiting for a funeral. We can use the really horrible things to show us that there is so much good coming.
Tamara Ireland Stone (www.TamaraIrelandStone.com) is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which Melissa Marr praised as a “beautifully written, unique love story,” and has been published in over twenty countries. A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
I am BEYOND excited to be able to share Renee’s playlist for THE WRATH AND THE DAWN with you today!! She’s picked some amazing songs that feel perfect for this book. Take a listen! And then enter for a chance to win below!
A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author of Between.
Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.
Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.
Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.
About the Author:
JESSICA WARMAN is the author of Breathless, Where the Truth Lies, Between, and Beautiful Lies, which have received seven starred reviews among them. Between was published in a total of twelve countries around the world. Jessica has an MA in creative writing and recently moved to Houston, Texas. Find her online at www.jessicawarman.com and on twitter @jkwarman.
I have such a treat for you guys today! Jessica Warman is here to tell us about her Top 5 favorite murder mysteries! I have to say, I’m a big fan of both Stir of Echoes and The Lovely Bones, which also made me cry, haha. Here is her list…
Fall Into Darkness, by Christopher Pike
I struggled to choose just one Christopher Pike book for this list, and I considered giving all five spots to him. His books were the highlight of my early teens, full of the sex and gore and viciousness that was missing from safer books in the same genre, and they were also engrossing stories with sturdy plots and great characters. Christopher Pike was like RL Stein’s slightly older, better looking and more intellectual cousin. I think Fall Into Darkness (whose first hundred pages alone includes: the murder of a young, beautiful heiress; a dramatic courtroom trial; lots and lots of shenanigans that take place on a literal cliffside; insurance fraud, and a scrappy but clever teenage heroin addict) is the only Pike novel that ever became a movie, and it was a disappointing adaptation that didn’t do justice to its wildly clever source material. Someone should do a remake.
Stir of Echoes (movie):
I remember this coming out around the same time as The Sixth Sense, and how they had such similar storylines (both movies involve a middle-aged guy solving a creepy mystery with the help of a little boy, which… you’d think they would have tried to space those release dates out a little further). I must have been going to the movies every time I had the chance around that time, because I think I saw them both in the theater within a few days of one another. I also remember thinking it was crazy that The Sixth Sense was so much more successful. It’s a good movie, but much of The Sixth Sense’s appeal hinges on its surprise ending. Watch it more than once and there isn’t much meat to the actual story, whereas Stir of Echoes sort of emulsifies into something better and deeper upon repeat viewings. Plus it is insanely scary. I put fingernail marks in my boyfriend’s arm.
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
I stayed up all night reading this while I was about seven months pregnant with my oldest daughter. I felt like a masochist – this book gets its word tentacles wrapped around your feelings without being pushy or manipulative about it, which makes the emotions hit that much harder. I was in bed crying, miserable for the characters’ suffering like they were real people, but I couldn’t put it down. When I think “amazing murder story” (even if it’s not technically a mystery), this is the first book that comes to mind.
Turn of the Screw, Henry James
Let me admit this first: the “classics” in literature are not always my cup of tea. I know these books all have value for their own reasons, but I tend to enjoy contemporary fiction much more. I find this to be especially true with the horror/suspense genres; I have a hard time relating to the story and narration, etc., because…. Well, ya know, the stories take place such a long time ago, and now we have things like the Paranormal Activity franchise designed to terrify us, so my palate isn’t as refined as it could be when it comes to scary.
Yet. This story (more of a novella than a book) was published in 1898. It has no blatant descriptions of gore or torture or anything remotely improper. Instead, everything is implied. I read this as a teenager while home alone late one night, and I was so afraid that I cried. (Not sobbing into my pillow or anything – come on, now – but more like some tears and a pathetic whimper or two.)
It, Stephen King
Do I have to explain this one? The book is almost 1,200 pages about a freaking immortal, murdering clown who can generate spontaneous fangs and furry monster claws. Hey little girl, why dontcha go for a ride on your tricycle along the sidewalk in our safe, small New England town? HERE COMES PENNYWISE THE CLOWN TO MURDER YOU – OH LOOK, NOW YOU’RE GONE AND YOUR MOMMY IS GOING TO CRY FOREVER. Does that sound scary? Because it’s scary, okay? My mother let me check this book out of the public library in 1990. I was nine years old. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING? I also recall my parents’ total indifference to my older brother and me watching the TV miniseries when it premiered later that year, which… I guess it was a more innocent time back then, and kids were allowed to watch whatever they wanted on television? I don’t have a good explanation.
A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.
It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.
All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.
Arden from JOYRIDE is your average (hot) southern (hot) country (hot) boy who used to love fried chicken and waffles as his favorite meal—until he met Carly Vega. Carly isn’t big on cooking, but what she does remember from when her mother was still here is how to make Huevos Rancheros—a super easy, delicious recipe that can be used to bribe Arden to do whatever you want him to. Here’s how to make it:
Small corn tortillas
One small avocado
Fresh lime juice
1.) Prep the ingredients before you heat up the oil to fry the tortillas: Thoroughly rinse and then dry the cilantro before you chop it. Heat up the refried beans and shred or crumble the Queso Fresco. Dice up the avocado and sprinkle with lime juice and salt, wash and chop the scallions. Set all these aside, as they will all serve as toppings for the fried tortillas.
2.) Slowly heat up a skillet to fry an egg in. The goal is to make an over-easy egg that’s ready to place on the tortilla once it is assembled with the other toppings.
3.) Slowly heat up a small amount of vegetable oil in a skillet (enough to cover a tortilla). When the oil is ready, place one tortilla in the oil and fry on both sides until crisp. This will happen very quickly so don’t walk away from it! Drain on paper towels and salt as soon as it comes out of the oil. Fry your next tortilla(s) the same way, and so forth until you have enough to feed Arden.
4.) Top fried tortilla with refried beans, queso fresco and all other toppings as desired. Place the over-easy fried egg on top and finish with another sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
5.) Enjoy talking Arden into anything at this point!