Trick-or-Treat Chronicles with Susan McBride & GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone! Happy Monday! Only five more days until Halloween! Eep! So far we’ve had some amazing authors on the Trick-or-Treat Chronicles.

In case you missed it, at first we had Kim Harrington, then Judith Graves, and Tessa Gratton. Today we have a very special guest.

She’s written just about a bazillion books and all of them have incredible ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. Somehow I was living under a rock and had only heard of Susan for the first time this year when I read her novel Very Bad Things. It literally blew my mind. Very Bad Things is a fantastic YA thriller that’s like Pretty Little Liar’s and Gretchen McNeil’s Ten had a baby and it became a superhero and saved the world. THAT is how good this book is. In fact, I raved about it on Goodreads, gave it a five, and wished I could give it a 23. You can read the full review here. And since this is slowly becoming the longest introduction in the world, I just want to say this. If you do nothing else this year, pick up one of her books. You will NOT regret it.

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Hi Susan. Thank you so much for letting me interview you. I read your amazing YA mystery book VERY BAD THINGS and I absolutely loved it! What inspired it?

very-bad-thingsYears ago, I read an article in the newspaper about a FedEx employee who opened a leaky box that he was delivering. Yep, it contained body parts. Blech. It was so gross that I knew someday I’d have to use it in a book. So the idea for Very Bad Things was born (and, yes, the leaky package is in there!).  The story revolves around Katie, a senior at a prep school, who’s had kind of a rough time since her dad died. She has a best friend named Tessa and she’s dating Mark, who’s the school’s hockey star. Her life seems too good to be true: and it is. When a risqué photo of Mark and a girl named Rose shows up online after a hockey party—and then Rose goes missing—Katie begins to wonder how well she really knows Mark. As she starts digging into the mystery of Rose and what happened to her, she learns things about other people that shake her faith in everyone around her, including Tessa.

Ooohhh! How creepy that’s it’s based off of something that really happened. I love it! Now, you you have several novels out right now (Little Black Dress, Very Bad Things, The Debs, etc.) Which has been your favorite to write and why?

Unbelievably, Very Bad Things is, like, my 18th published novel. It seems crazy to have that many out. I loved writing the women’s fiction, like Little Black Dress and The Truth About Love & Lightning, because I got to tell juicy stories about families and relationships and secrets. Those are definitely books of my heart. I just finished writing Say Yes to the Death, the sixth Debutante Dropout Mystery for HarperCollins. The first five in the series will be out in a boxed collection the day Very Bad Things drops, as a matter of fact! They’re just good, silly fun. I also have another mystery series with HarperCollins called the River Road Mysteries, which debuted this summer. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but it’s probably Very Bad Things because it’s my newest “baby” and it took two years of blood, sweat, and tears to write. I’m really proud of how it turned out, and I’m biting my nails, hoping readers will like it!

Trust me, readers will love it! I know that I did. So tell me, what’s your writing process like? Tea? Cookies? Music? Silence?

Hmm, tea and cookies sound good!  (I haven’t had lunch so I’m hungry!) I don’t play music while I work because I tend to start little-black-dresshumming or singing along and get distracted. I prefer silence or maybe a TV on in the background (and since I have a toddler, that usually means I get to hear lots of “Sesame Street” and “Barney!”). I seem to write better on gloomy days. Maybe that’s the mystery writer in me! My process mostly involves keeping my butt in the chair and making myself get at least 1,000 words written every day. Toward the end of a book, the words come a lot faster, kind of like flying downhill on a roller coaster.

I love it. I think that the key to being a successful writer is writing! So, being a Halloween interview, I have to ask. Do you believe in ghosts?

I do!

Have you ever had a real-life spooky encounter?

I’ve had a few, like a week after one of my cats died when I swear I saw the shadow of that cat jumping off a chair. And when I lived with my grandmother twenty years ago before she passed away, I heard her talking in the middle of the night. I tiptoed into her room, and I could swear she was having a conversation with my grandfather. I couldn’t see him, but I think she could. And I know he was there.

Whoa! That’s incredible! I believe in ghosts and I just love hearing these stories. In fact, I have a similar one in my family where a family member was heard talking to her already deceased husband just days before she herself died. It’s all so interesting. So, what is your favorite scary movie?

The Sixth Sense.

Such a good one! What is the best thing you’ve ever been for Halloween?

the-debsThis sounds creepy when I write it down…once for a mystery convention, I was a murdered cheerleader. I had my old cheerleading outfit from high school (down to the socks and red and white shoes), and I got a big plastic knife that I stuck through a headband. Then I did fake blood down my face.  I was a big hit.

Hahaha! I love it. That’s such a fun idea. It reminds me of one of my favorite R.L. Stine books. What is your favorite scary, spooky, or fall read?

I still remember reading Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot when I was about 12, and it got me so scared that I was afraid to be alone for a while!

Oh. I love Salem’s Lot, but I admit that I haven’t read the book yet! Looks like I need to! So, who is your favorite book or movie villain and why?

Hmm, I think it’s Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind because she’s both a heroine and a villain. She saves Tara in the end, but she screws up so many people’s lives in the process (including her own).

Oh! That’s such a good one. Scarlett is such a fantastically written character. So, speaking of Halloween, what’s your favorite Halloween drink or treat?

I love pumpkin anything:  pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin cake. This is my favorite time of year!

Oh, yes! I’m a sucker for pumpkin everything. I have some pumpkin ice cream in my freezer right now. So, tell us, because I’m hooked on your writing. What’s next for your story-telling? What can we look forward to?

Say Yes to the Death, the sixth Debutante Dropout Mystery, will be out next September. I hope to write another YA mystery one of these days after I take a little time off with my two-year-old, Emily (and Emily’s daddy!). I’ve been working nonstop for 15 years, and I’m pooped!

Understandable. After reading Very Bad Things, I see just how much work and detail you put into your books. Someone get Susan a margarita and a Hawaiian vacation, stat!

Lightning Round:

What do you associate with the following words?

(Example: Bat – Dracula)

Bones - Chicken

Pumpkin - Muffin

Moon - Pie

Graveyard – Tombstone

I almost wrote “Tombstone Pizza”—I think I’d better go eat lunch!

Hahaha! I think I need lunch too, because that sounds fantastic!

Thanks for having me, Jolene!  Readers can visit me at http://susanmcbride.com or on FB at http://facebook.com/susanmcbridebooks any time!

Thank you so much Susan for taking the time to visit today and partake in this fun Halloween interview. You’re amazing to read and a fantastic sport. I can’t wait to read you for years to come!

 

About Susan McBride

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Susan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and four other award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins/Avon, including The Good Girl’s Guide To MurderThe Lone Star Lonely Hearts ClubNight Of The Living Deb, and Too Pretty To Die. A sixth title, Say Yes to the Death, will be out in September 2015. Susan has another series with Avon that debuted in May 2014, the River Road Mysteries, starting with To Helen Back and followed by Mad as Helen (July 2014) and Not a Chance in Helen (September 2014). Susan’s young adult thriller, Very Bad Things, is an October 2014 release from Delacorte Press. Publishers Weekly raves: “McBride’s fast-paced plot is fueled by jumps between multiple characters’ perspectives, and her rendering of the venerable yet sinister school… is as absorbing as the tightly wound mystery.”

In addition to her mysteries, Susan has penned three well-received women’s fiction titles.The Truth About Love & Lightning (02/13) was selected by Target stores for their Emerging Authors program, was a Midwest Connections Pick, and was dubbed “a poignant page-turner” by Publishers WeeklyLittle Black Dress spent five weeks on the St. Louis bestsellers list and was a Target Recommended Read. The Cougar Club was selected by Target Stores as a Bookmarked Breakout Title and named a Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Booksellers Association. Foreign editions of Susan’s books have been published in France, Turkey, Croatia, and Bulgaria (and, coming soon, Lithuania!).

Susan has one nonfiction title available: In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40, which tells her tale of becoming an “accidental Cougar” and marrying a younger man, her cancer diagnosis at age 42, and finding herself pregnant at 47.

She has authored several YA non-mystery novels for Delacorte about debutantes in Houston: The Debs (2008) and Love, Lies, And Texas Dips (2009). Gloves Off, the third book, has not been released.

In January of 2012, Susan was named one of St. Louis’s “Most Dynamic People of the Year” by the Ladue News. In April of 2012, she was given the “Survivor of the Year” Award by the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As Susan likes to say, “Life is never boring.”

 

Giveaway

Susan is graciously giving away TWO hardback author signed copies of VERY BAD THINGS. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter form below.  There are many ways to win! Thank you Susan for the generous offer! Winners will be chosen at random on 11/10/14.

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Trick-or-Treat Chronicles with Tessa Gratton

I’m extremely excited to introduce my special guest today. She holds a special place in my heart.

I remember the first time that I held her book in my hands, I had this thought. “Finally, someone wrote a book that I’ve been dying to read.” I read it. And I loved it so much that I bought everything else that this author’s ever written. I love her ability to combine dark writing with humor and suspense.

Kicking off this week’s Trick-or-Treat Chronicles is the amazing Tessa Gratton, one of the most fantastic dark authors around! She’s the author of Blood Magic and The Blood Keepers and many more! Let’s start!

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The Blood KeeperHi Tessa. Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of the Trick-Or-Treat Chronicles. Let’s get started, shall we? What inspired your amazing YA paranormal books in The Blood Journals series (Blood Magic and The Blood Keeper)?

Thank you! Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to be a wizard – I love magic, and not just any magic, but the intricate, rule-laden kind you spend years studying until you’re so powerful you get a tower and your own army of orcs. I read books about witches (fiction and nonfiction), did all kinds of research on medieval witchcraft as well as folklore about witches in many different countries. I loved the idea of witches living in the modern Midwest, and I knew the magic had to have major consequences. That’s what led me to blood.

In short: I was excited about intimate, bloody American witchcraft, and I so waited for the right characters to find the story.

I love it! I’m a huge fan of your intimate, bloody American witchcraft tales. Hehe. Now, you have several novels and anthologies out right now. Which has been your favorite to write and why?

the-lost-sunOhhh what a difficult question. I have to say THE LOST SUN was my favorite, because it was the most painless, and it was a huge, exciting world to play in. I loved almost every moment of it, even the challenges. It was fun, and I was a full-time writer. It was basically a dream come true to focus all my professional time on a project I loved. That said, I feel the most proud of THE STRANGE MAID, partly because it was incredibly difficult to get right.

Nice. Good to know. So speaking of working hard to get things right, what is your writing process like? Tea? Cookies? Music? Silence?

Once I sit down to work (post coffee, exercise, email, tumblr) I don’t have a real process, other than re-reading what I worked on the previous day, and trying to get down 2,000 words before the end of the day. I like to listen to a playlist, if the scene or story works for it, but sometimes I need silence. I’ve worked really hard to be able to write anywhere – my office, my parent’s sofa, a coffee shop, an airplane… I don’t want to make too firm a process, in the fear that I’d falter if the process fell apart.

So, I have to ask. You write such lovely dark novels, does this mean you believe in ghosts?

I want to, but I’ve never experienced anything that made me think they’re real. I believe in the possibility of them!

Nice. You’ve got an open mind, I like that. Have you ever had a real-life spooky encounter?

I wish! Please let me stay in your very haunted house, if you know of one!

Hahaha. Well, I lived in a haunted house when I was younger and have some very interesting stories we can swap. So, what is your favorite scary movie?

The Others” with Nicole Kidman. The atmosphere is amazing, and the writing, too.

Looks like I’ll have to re-watch it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I remember really liking it. Now that Halloween draws closer, what is the best thing you’ve ever been for Halloween?

I love going as a witch, of course!

Who would have thought? What is your favorite scary, spooky, or fall read?

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. It is so creepy, lush, full of history and a very scary, very intriguing ghost named Lasher.

I’ve never read it! I’ll definitely need to change this. I love interesting ghosts. Now, who is your favorite book or movie villain and why?

I love Cansrel, the villainous father of Lady Fire in Fire by Kristin Cashore. He is so complicated, interesting, and frightening – yet Cashore managed to make me love him a little bit, through Fire’s eyes.

And here’s another one that I haven’t read! Dang. Looks like my to-read list just keeps getting longer. As you know this is called the Trick-Or-Treat Chronicles. What’s your favorite Halloween drink or treat?

Nerds! I love that candy, and I only have it at Halloween.

What’s your favorite Halloween soundtrack or song?

The Nightmare Before Christmas” of course. Is there any better?

Glory's-TeethOh! I love it. That’s one of my Halloween favorites! So tell us Tessa, because I’m dying to know, what’s next for your story-telling? What can we look forward to?

I’ve got three novellas coming out in November in the United States of Asgard world, and the third book in the series comes in April. I’ve written a few YA Fantasy stand-alones, and they’re currently on submission!’

Yay! Oh I can’t wait to check them out in November. You wouldn’t happen to have a time traveling device so that I can have them now, do you?

Huge thank you for being here today Tessa, I know you’re very busy and I really appreciate you taking the time to check in with your readers and have a little bit of spooky fun.

 

About Tessa Gratton

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Born in Okinawa, Japan while her Dad was on duty with the US Navy, Tessa moved around throughout her childhood and traveled even more. She’s lived in Japan, California, Kansas, and England, and visited 4 countries.

After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2003 with a degree in Genre Studies, she went on to graduate school for a Master’s in the same. Halfway through, she ditched the program in favor of the blood, violence, and drama of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic epic poetry and to focus on her writing. Tessa doesn’t have a graduate degree, but she did translate her own version of Beowulf!

Despite having traveled all over the world, she settled in Kansas where the sunsets are all in Technicolor, with her partner, two cats, and a mutant mutt named Grandel.

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Books on Amazon

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Stay tuned for Friday’s next Trick-or-Treat stop. We will be having the lovely Jus Accardo! In case you missed last week’s with Judith Graves, check it out here.

Huge thank you again to Tessa for making this possible!

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Trick-or-Treat Chronicles with Judith Graves

I’m so excited that so many fantastic authors were willing to let me conduct Halloween inspired interviews with them for the month of October. Today on Trick-or-Treat Chronicles we have a fantastic author who was kind enough to take a moment from her writing and zombie organizing to let me interivew here.

Today, I welcome Judith Graves, a fantastic young adult author. She’s the author of several titles such as Under my Skin (the Skinned series), Strangeways Versus the Blood Brothers, and Killer’s Instrict.

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Hi Judith! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. Let’s just dive in. What inspired your YA paranormal novel Under My Skin?

Under-My-SkinI’ve always loved mythology and monster-hunter tales, but there weren’t that many set in Canada. The initial spark to write the Skinned series came from a desire to prove that we could have fun, action-packed, and sassy monster stories set here in my home province of Alberta. Throughout the series I incorporate Alberta history, some First Nations peoples and their lore, as well as ideas and myths brought to Canada from those who emigrated here hundreds of years ago.

I love that you incorporate Alberta’s history. You’re right. I don’t feel like there are too many set in Canada. So, you’ve written so many books I have to as, what is your writing process like? Tea? Music? Silence?

Loud music (usually via ear buds). Coffee. Chocolate.

All excellent choices. Never underestimate the power of chocolate. Especially for writing inspiration! So, being that this is a spooky treat-or-treat interview, do you believe in ghosts?

I believe there are many things in this world we don’t yet understand. Until then, it’s fun to embrace the notion that anything is possible.

Have you ever had a real life spooky encounter?

Yes. Several. Usually after a night of binge watching horror films.

Ooooh! I’d love to hear some. Or do I smell next book topics? So, what is your favorite scary movie?

Lol…I have many. But my favs blend thrills with laughs. I’d say American Werewolf in London (1981) is my all-time go-to scary movie, but a more recent film would be The Descent (2005). Dark, narrow places deep underground…and horrid creatures picking off people one by one. That film does suspense so well.

I so agree! I remember watching the Descent, seeing them go underground and I was like, “Nope. Pass for me, thanks.” I don’t think I could do it. So, speaking of trick-or-treat, what is your favorite costume that you’ve been for Halloween?

I think this year might be one to remember. I’m organizing the first Zombie Walk fundraiser for the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation in my hometown and will be going as a zombie librarian. I work in a school library as my day job (which is perfect for a YA fiction writer). This Halloween, one “shussssh” from me, and you’ll soon be one of the INFECTED undeads. Find out more about my Zombie Walk here: http://coldlakezombiewalk.blogspot.ca/

Whoa! That is so epic and amazing! I’ll definitely check it out! I think it’s so cool that you’re doing that. And zombie librarian? Oh my goodness. Return a book late and you’ll really regret it. Hahaha! Sp, what is your favorite scary, spooky, or fall read?

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. I love most of Poe’s work, but this particular piece is just so haunting and eerie. Plus, I have a thing for ravens. This year I embraced my Poe fixation with two tattoos on my arms. The word “Nevermore” and three black birds.

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Oooh my freakin’ goodness! That is so cool. Your tattoos are gorgeous! You just might be the coolest librarian on the planet. I think if you’re going to get anyone’s words permanently engraved on your body, Poe is the best choice. Nicely done! So, speaking of Poe and his creepy and amazing atmosphere, if you could choose what goes on your tombstone, what would you have it say?

“I’m right behind you.”

Hour-Of-The-WolfHahaha! I love it. Judith, you are awesome. So, what mythical creature do you wish was real and why?

The Kelpie. Like a lot of girls, when I was a pre-teen, I had a horse-crazy phase. But, being into mythology and the paranormal, the horses I wanted to keep in my narrow “big city” backyard had wings and lived in water and might really be witches. This also might have been influenced by my father’s love of Stan Rogers’ music and his epic song, “Witch of the Westmoreland”. Check it out here.

Do you have a favorite Halloween song?

See above. ;)

Oh! That’s awesome! I’ll definitely be adding this to my writing playlist. So speaking of writing, what would you like to write next?

Everything!

Lightning Round

Say the first word that comes to mind when you see the prompt!

Skeleton KEY

Pumpkin LATTE

Boo! LOL – I NEED MORE THAN THAT TO GET SCARED.

Candy YES PLEASE

Thank you so much Judith for being here today. I know you’re supremely busy and I love that you took the time to have a little Halloween fun! I’ve read Judith’s work and I highly recommend it. For more information on her books and Judith, check out her website here!

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About Judith Graves

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 Residing in a northern Alberta community, similar to the fictional town of Redgrave, where Under My Skin is set – Judith unhappily endures snow in the winter, and runs away from bees in the summer.

A firm believer that Canadian teen fiction can be sexy, action packed and snarky as hell – Judith writes paranormal stories with attitude.

Judith is a member of theWriters Guild of Alberta, the Canadian Children’s Book CentreSociety of Children’s Book Writers & IllustratorsInternational Thriller Writers, and has toured with the Young Alberta Book Society. She’d love to visit your library or school for an author visit or writer’s workshop!

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Our next Trick-or-Treat Chronicles session will be with the Queen of Scream, Tessa Gratton. Come back on Monday 10/20/14 to check it out!

Huge thanks to Judith Graves!

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The Secret Diamond Sisters Book Blitz!

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The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)

by Michelle Madow

Release Date: 02/25/13

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

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About The Secret Diamond Sisters

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

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 Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository | iBookstore

The Sequel is Coming…

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 Diamonds in the Rough (Available for Pre-Order)

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“Sexy and often electrifying … Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps.”

–Booklist

 

“This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour … get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride.”

–RT Book Reviews

 

About Peyton (one of the sisters)

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At seventeen years old, Peyton is the oldest Diamond sister. She’s been hurt in the past, but because of it, has developed a thick skin. She will do anything for her sisters, going as far as protecting them from their mom’s outbursts and getting home first from school to make sure everything in the house (including their mom) is ready for them. She’s tough, doesn’t trust easily, and while she has many people she hangs out with, the only people who she feels truly know her are her sisters. She doesn’t like school (she gets restless sitting in classrooms!) and can’t wait until graduation so she’ll be done forever.

Peyton’s a natural night owl, and waking up in the morning is a constant struggle. (Her sisters usually resort to throwing things at her to wake her up, and often yell at her to hurry up showering so they can have time for their morning routines, too.) She needs at least three cups of coffee to get going. She loves rock music, and can usually be found with an earbud attached to her ear, even during her classes. She loves partying and dancing and getting lost in the music. She also enjoys an occasional chill night of movies and television shows, as long as it’s not a rom-com chick flick.

She wears mostly black clothing—why bother with colors when black always looks hot on her? Her nails are usually painted black as well. She’s not afraid to speak up for what she believes in and she will always stand up for her sisters. She tries to not let anyone in to avoid getting hurt—but really she just wants to find that one person who cares enough to break down her walls.

 

About the Author

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Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida … but she loves going to Vegas.
To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!

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Trick-or-Treat Chronicles with Kim Harrington

I really wanted to do something special this year for Halloween. After I brainstormed ideas, I decided that whatever I did had to be book related. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I wanted to conduct Halloween interviews with some of my favorite authors.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I would get much of a response, especially since I brought out the big guns and emailed some of the biggest names in YA (all of them my favorite YA authors). Much to my surprise and awe, many of them agreed to an interview!

Kicking off my Trick-or-Treat Chronicles Halloween author event is the fabulous (and so insanely nice) Kim Harrington. Kim is a MG and YA author of a multitude of books written under Kim Harrington and K.A. Harrington. I recently read FORGET ME and I was blown away. It had everything I wanted in a book and more. In fact, I devoured it. Most of my reading updates on Goodreads for Forget Me were like, “I LOVE THIS BOOK AND I DON’T WANT IT TO BE OVER.”

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Hi Kim. Thank you SO much for letting me interview you. I’m a huge fan. So, I’ll just start off asking a few bookish questions. Because I was completely in love with Forget Me, I’ll start there. What inspired your amazing YA mystery novel Forget Me?

forget-meI was online one day and a social media site wanted to tag a photo of a friend with someone else’s name. They do look alike. But the gears started turning in my writer brain. I played the “what if” game and FORGET ME was born!

God bless your creative writer’s brain! I loved that story. I too have had a similar experience but I never even thought about turning it into an epic mystery. So, you have several novels out under Kim Harrington and K.A. Harrington. Which has been your favorite book to write and why?

My favorite is always the book I’m drafting at that time, and my least favorite is whatever I’m revising. ;) But CLARITY will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first published book. I wrote a few before that one, but it was the first that I got to hold in my hand and see on a shelf.

Ah! That makes sense why it would be special to you. So, speaking of writing, what is your writing process like? Tea? Cookies? Music?

I prefer writing at home in total silence. I’m not one of those writers who can work productively in Panera. I’m too easily distracted. And I love to eavesdrop, which is a great way to get ideas, but not to get work done.

Hahaha! You love to eavesdrop? You’re my kind of people. Honest about writerly quirks! So, this is a Halloween interview after all, do you believe in ghosts?

No. But that might be more wishful thinking than anything else.

Ha! So if you don’t believe in ghosts, have you ever had a real-life spooky encounter?

Not really. When I was growing up, there was a big old house at the end of the street that had been built in the 1800s. It was abandoned for much of my childhood, so of course we all said it was haunted. And we would dare each other to look in the windows and freak each other out. It was fun!

Oh, I love it! I’m picturing it right now. So, what ‘s your favorite scary movie?

Poltergeist. It’s a classic! I watch it again every few years.

Oh! That’s one of my favorite horror flicks! I loved it growing up and still do! So, speaking of scary things, what is the best thing you’ve ever been for Halloween?

One Halloween a few years ago, I was sick. My husband and son were going to be out trick or treating so I was the only one able to hand out candy. I didn’t want to get any kids sick, but I also didn’t want to not answer the door. So a friend who worked in a hospital got me a surgical mask, gloves, and a surgical gown. The kids who came to the door thought my doctor costume was great, but it also made sure I didn’t give anyone else the flu!

clarityHaha! I love it. Now, that’s creative and efficient! So tell me, what is your favorite scary, spooky, or fall read?

Oh, there are so many. My two favorites are HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson and THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson.

Eep! I just looked these up and they look fantastic! How have I never heard of them? I am definitely adding them to my October reads. Thank you! So, random question, what mythical creature do you wish was real and why?

When I was little I had a thing for unicorns, so I’ll go with that! Make little Kim’s dream come true.

Haha! Who doesn’t love unicorns? I can’t say that I blame you. So what’s your favorite Halloween treat?

I love candy bars. Like LOOOOOVE candy bars. It’s difficult to pick just one, but if forced…Twix? No, Snickers. No, Hershey’s Cookies & Cream. Ugh, this is hard.

Sorry Kim. I had to ask some tough life questions. I guess we’ll just have to buy you one of each. So tell us mesmerized readers and fans, what’s next for your story-telling?

Nothing I can announce yet, but here’s hoping you haven’t seen the last of me. :)

 

Lightning Round

What do you associate with the following words? (Example: Bat – Dracula)

Pumpkin – orange

Cemetery – bones

Midnight – moon

Vampire – teeth

 

About Kim Harrington

kim-harrington-author-picKim Harrington is the author of ClarityPerceptionThe Dead and Buried, and Forget Me for teens and the Sleuth or Dare series for kids. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. When not writing, she’s most likely reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. Her first book, Clarity, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, was a 2012 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, sold to nine countries, and was optioned for television by Warner Brothers.

Join Kim on TwitterGoodreadsInstagramFacebook, and Tumblr.

 

Check back here on Friday for our next installment of the Trick-Or-Treat Chronicals. We’ll be having fab author Judith Graves.

Thank you again to Kim for making this possible!

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The Dark Carnival Cover is Here!

Most of you know that I’ve been working super hard on editing my upcoming anthology called The Dark Carnival coming out from Pen & Muse Press.

It’s an anthology of horror shorts that all take place at a Dark Carnival. Myself, Kristen, and Jessi have put in a lot of time, sweat and tears into editing this. Our authors have worked SO hard. Our illustrators are incredible!

I’ve been waiting eagerly to be able to show you the cover. Graphic designer C. Elizabeth Vescio designed the whole thing and I’m totally pumped to share it with you. Authors, if you’re looking for someone to help design your next cover, look no further than Cara!

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see a project that I’ve loved with all of my heart, finally start to come to life.

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I’m so flipping happy I could just shout it from mountaintops. Instead, I shall celebrate with Supernatural GIFs. Because really, there is no better way to celebrate than with Sam and Dean. Well, maybe add some pie to that mix and we’ll call it a day.

Okay, one last one…

Now here’s the cover…

Dark-Carnival-PM-Horror-AnthologyAbout the Dark Carnival Anthology

In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It’s The Dark Carnival.

And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there’s no promise that anyone can leave…alive.

 

Edited by: Jolene Haley, Kristen Jett, and Jessi Shakarian

 

Contributors include: Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, Kim Culpepper, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, J. Elizabeth Hill, Nicole R. Taylor, Ashly Nagrant, Kristin Hanson, Calyn Morgan, Tawney Bland, Roselle Kaes, Ken Mooney, Emily McKeon, Bobby Salomons, Ezekiel Conrad, Sheila Hall, Michelle Davis, Lucas Hargis, Vanessa Henderson, Ryan Bartlett, Debra Kristi, Jessi Esparza, T.A. Brock, Ruth Shedwick, Brian LeTendre, Amy Trueblood, Gregory Carrico, Jamie Corrigan, Kate Michael, Tyle Anne Snell, Alicia Audrey, Meghan Schuler, Jamie Adams, Wulf Francu Godgluck, J.C. Michael, Suzy G., Kristin Rivers, and Claire C. Riley.
*Final lineup subject to change

Leave a comment below! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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Happy Book Birthday Julie Hutchings!

One of my favorite authors has a very special book birthday today! Who, you ask? Well, it’s the ever lovely Julie Hutchings! Her sequel RUNNING AWAY is out today.

 

 Running Away Final Cover

About RUNNING AWAY

Eliza Morgan is desperate to escape the horrors of her mortal life and understand why death follows her, leaving only one man, Nicholas French, in its wake. He’s the one she loves, the one she resents, and the one fated to make her legendary among the Shinigami– an ancient order of vampires with a “heroic” duty to kill. He’s also decaying before her eyes, and it’s her fault.

On the ghostlike mountaintop in Japan that the vampires consider home, Eliza will be guided by the all-powerful Master for her transition to Shinigami death god. When Eliza discovers that sacrificing her destiny will save Nicholas, she’s not afraid to defy fate and make it so—even when Nicholas’s salvation kills her slowly with torturous, puzzle-piece visions that beg her to solve them. Both Nicholas and his beloved Master fight her on veering from the path to immortality, but Eliza won’t be talked out of her plan, even if it drives the wedge between Nicholas and her deeper.
Allying with the fiery rebel, Kieran, who does what he wants and encourages her to do the same, and a mysterious deity that only she can see, Eliza must forge her own path through a maze of ancient traditions and rivalries, shameful secrets and dark betrayals to take back the choices denied her and the Shinigami who see her as their savior. To uncover the truth and save her loved ones, Eliza will stop at nothing, including war with fate itself.

ADD RUNNING AWAY ON GOODREADS

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About the Author Julie Hutchings

 

Julie Hutchings

Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, giving you vampires with a Japanese mythology pants kicking is available through Books of the Dead Press. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee. Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts. And pizza. And Rob Zombie. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.

Julie on Twitter

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Julie on Goodreads

flagbannerseparator_zpsa7e40df5Congratulations Julie! I am so pumped for you! It’s time for a little celebration!

Congrats lovely!

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Cover reveal: SILENT NIGHT by Kristen Strassel

It’s party time! Not only am I super pumped for Kristen Strassel for another exceptional title, I’m so happy to help share the sexy cover of her new book SILENT NIGHT. Seriously, isn’t this gorgeous?!

Looks like Wednesdays aren’t just for pink anymore!

About Silent Night

Silent Night

This Christmas isn’t about celebration for eighteen-year-old Kyndra, it’s about survival. Grieving the loss of her grandmother and struggling with the indifference of her family, Kyndra now splits her time between her dead-end mall job, her junkie ex-boyfriend’s bed, and the streets. Longing to be close to her grandmother one more time, she wanders into Christmas Eve mass and prays she’ll find the place she belongs. Home.

Aidan isn’t ready to let go of the past either, even though he’s had nearly three hundred years to do it. He chronicles the search for the reincarnation of his beloved wife as the vampire romance author Allison Duprois. Aidan knows the wife he mourns is out there, but fears writing their story is as close as he will get to her.

At Christmas Eve mass, he finally finds her. Alone, with no place to go.

Aidan brings Kyndra into his home, and gives her the safety, comfort and love she longs for. Though he gives her second chances she never thought she’d have, Kyndra still can’t get over Aidan’s mysterious past. Not to mention that he claims that he’s a vampire. Life alone on the streets is dangerous enough without handing her trust and love to the wrong person. Can Aidan break through the walls around Kyndra’s hardened heart to convince her that she belongs with him, forever?

Add to your Goodreads!

 

 

About the Author Kristen Strassel

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Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross.  She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are.  She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and aspiring author.  She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.  Kristen is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

Kristen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7267647.Kristen_Strassel

Kristen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristenStrassel

Kristen’s Blog: http://deadlyeverafter.com/

 

Congratulations Kristen on the cover reveal!

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Deep In The Meadows by Lisa Cronkhite Blog Tour + Giveaway

I’m a huge fan of Leap Books so I often find myself perusing their website for new things to read. Then, I came across Deep in the Meadows.

The first thing that caught my attention about this book was the title. Deep in the Meadows. I was intrigued. What’s this book about?

Then I saw the cover and the taglines and I thought Oh my god I need to read this. Then I read its official blurb.

Deep in the Meadows Cover

Deep in the Meadows Blurb

Bianca “Bee” Thompson’s brother, Jimmy has been dead for ten months, yet she still feels his presence lingering. And one question haunts her: Was Jimmy’s death an accident?

Probing into the events on the night of Jimmy’s death, Bee hears strange voices. The voices lead her to a blood-splattered room, a terrifying threat, and a deadly trap. Is Bee on the trail of her brother’s murderer, or is she entangled in a totally different and much more diabolical plot?

*****

After reading that I was practically running to my Amazon account to be able to purchase this. It sounded amazing. It looked amazing. I needed to read it to live. So I did. And I wasn’t disappointed.

*****

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Review

I’m going to start off with a tangent.

Can I just say how excited I was to open the first page of the book and see a reference to hockey? I am a huge hockey fan. Huge. And it seems like hockey doesn’t exist in the YA world. And then I opened this book and read the first page. The main character’s brother sets his hockey gear down and steps over his bag and I was like YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I know it’s weird and I’m probably the only person in the world who cares, but I was pumped to see this. It was refreshing. *End weird hockey tangent*

Pacing – I was very pleased at how this book’s pacing went. I didn’t have to wait 40 pages for the action. All in the first chapter we have suspense, nerves, mystery, and a death! Yes, all in the opening  chapter. I really liked that Lisa didn’t make us wait for the action. She brought it to us full force.

POV – I used to hate first person point of view. But after reading several books with it like Divergent, etc., I’ve actually started to really love it. I thought this book was done well in first person and I’m not sure it would have had the same effect told otherwise.

Dialogue – I found the dialogue to be very playful and fun to read, when it came to exchanges between Bianca and Ryan. It added a fun dimension to the novel.

All in all, I thought this was a fun read. I’d recommend it to lovers of suspense, dark literature, and playful banter.

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Buy DEEP IN THE MEADOWS

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About the Author

Lisa-Cronkhite

Midwest Author Lisa M. Cronkhite’s love for writing started when she was a teen, journaling of her torrid romance with her first boyfriend then and now husband of over two decades. She picked up writing again after her first bipolar episode and psychotic break when her doctor recommended it as a coping skill. Once again, with pencil in hand, Lisa dove herself into crafting poetry. Through the years, Lisa has published her poems in print and online magazines such as Poetry Repairs, Grey Sparrow Press, Sacramento Poetry Center, Poetry Salzburg Review and many more. Lisa also has short stories in magazines like Suspense Magazine and YA Fiction magazine Suddenly Lost in Words.

Her novels include Dreaming a Reality, Demon Girl and Deep in the Meadows. Disconnected is her fourth novel. Lisa is currently working on her next novel, Purple Haze.

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Wyrd Calling the Heart and Soul by Shen Hart

Jolene has been very kind in letting me have a spot on her blog, and I’m taking this opportunity to talk about the core ideas in my upcoming urban fantasy novel Wyrd Calling.

Wyrd Calling follows a shifter by the name of Thalia, and it’s written from the first person point of view, which really allows me and the readers get into her head. She’s what’s termed Wyrd Bound, which means that she belongs to the Wyrd Sisters and must perform their ‘tasks’. When that first started, all those lives and centuries ago, Thalia was incredibly happy and proud to be doing those things. She was helping keep existence in balance; her work, her tasks, had meaning. Over the years, she began to feel as though they were more of a cage that was closing in around her.

Unfortunately, things started to fall apart, stuff happened (no spoilers here!), which meant that Thalia began to really wonder who and what she was. Her drive, her absolute goal, is freedom. That presents an interesting dichotomy within both the story and people’s view on the world – what is most important to you, complete freedom? Or the security of knowing where you stand in the world?

There is absolutely no denying that Thalia is ‘broken’. That, however, brings up an interesting look at society’s views of what is deemed to be broken, and our constant struggle to figure out who we are and where we belong in the world. Thalia’s story isn’t something that you could read in a newspaper; unfortunately, there aren’t really fae, hellhounds, and shifters lurking in the shadows of Prague. That being said, it’s close enough to home that I hope people will be able to relate to her very real struggle.

Who among us hasn’t made a foolish decision that we later regretted, all because we wanted to fit into the right box? Who didn’t do something stupid once because they wanted a certain social circle to view them the right way? She is fighting to understand her place in the world, to understand who and what she is. The vast majority of her life has been devoted to doing the Wyrd Sisters’ tasks, and even during the brief periods where she was free from them she wasn’t truly free. She had to hide who and what she was, she had to run from the Sisters. She has never found out who she is outside of her role.

I have to ask, how many people can say that they feel the same way? We find ourselves constantly pushed into various boxes, we’re acting in certain ways, saying certain things, all so that we can fall into the right place in the world. How many people feel lost and alone because they’re not quite sure who and what they are outside of those boxes?

When people are asked who they are, they will tell you a name, a job, a role, maybe a hobby. When you push them harder, how many people can genuinely answer without falling back on those things?

Thalia is driven to ask, is there more to us that merely a collection of boxes and labels? Can we be truly happy when given absolute freedom to be ourselves? Is there even such a thing as our real selves?

She makes stupid decisions, she gets herself into a lot of trouble, and there are a lot of times when I want to throttle her. She does however remain true to her cause, she’s determined, loyal, and devoted to the idea of being free. She does whatever it takes to do what she needs to do, to be who she needs to be. How many of us can say we do the same thing?

Thalia Gplus Head

Wyrd Calling

No one escapes the Wyrd Sisters.
 
No one escapes the Wyrd Sisters. Thalia gave it her best shot. She ran away and devoted her life to tricking black market traders out of their money. She could only run for so long. They always catch up with you, one way or another.

Read an excerpt for free here!

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About the Author Shen Hart

Shen Profile

I’m a passionate writer who happens to be lucky enough to call the beautiful city of Prague home. I enjoy nothing more than cavorting with my muse and exploring this amazing city. My writing is my addiction, collecting words and carefully caressing them until they form captivating stories is my drive. I have a particular fascination with the darker strains of fiction, the shadows whisper seductively in my ear and sociopathic protagonists whisper sweet nothings. Who am I to ignore such delightful, exquisite callings?