Interview with Tara Sim, author of TIMEKEEPER

Hey guys! I’m super excited to be hosting the love Tara Sim, author of upcoming debut TIMEKEEPER, for an interview! Let me tell you a bit about the book first, and then we can get down to business.

TimekeeperTitle: Timekeeper // Author: Tara Sim
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Expected publication date: November 1, 2016

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.


Hi Tara! Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview! I know a lot of people are looking forward to reading TIMEKEEPER, so let’s learn a little more about the book and you.

Describe yourself in 6 words.

Tall, biracial, grumpy, bangs, tea, Gryffindor.

Describe TIMEKEEPER in 6 words.

Clocks, magic, boys, time, explosions, myth.

Tell us something interesting that we won’t find out in the book about your MCs.

Danny’s birthday is March 23. I like figuring out character birthdays via Zodiac signs, so being an Aries but close to the cusp with Pisces felt right for Danny.

And I don’t explicitly say so on the page because they didn’t have the terminology back then, but Colton is pansexual.

Book one is set in London and I saw in another interview you did that book two is set in India. If you could travel anywhere in the world to draw on for inspiration, where would you go and why?

Well, I would love to go back to India! It’s such a huge country, and I’d love to see even more of it. I would also like to go to Prague, for secret book 3 reasons. Other countries I’m dying to visit: Japan, New Zealand, Greece, France (again; I only had two days there), Austria, Italy—everywhere, really.

What’s been the best part of your journey to becoming an author so far?

Befriending the awesome people of the YA book community. I’ve made so many close friends here that now I can’t imagine my life without them. Also, the book bloggers, booksellers, librarians, etc. I’ve met online and in person are so kind and thoughtful and full of life. I love working with them!

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? I know this is a tough one, so you can talk about what you’re reading right now if that’s easier!

Gah, this is hard. If I had to pick my favorite book based on what shaped me/my life the most, it’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I grew up with fantasy (my other favorites: Harry Potter and everything by Tamora Pierce), but when I read LotR in the seventh grade it possessed me. It was seductive—it told me that I could make up huge worlds too, that I could control a group of characters and put them in danger and get them out of danger again. It was the thing that propelled me to be a writer.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

Oh jeez, so many. Frodo, Aragorn, and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings; Sirius Black from Harry Potter; Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender; pretty much everyone in the Raven Cycle books; Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha Trilogy; every single person in Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean; etc. etc. etc.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

My first attempt at writing this book was so ridiculously far from where it’s come. There have been endless revisions, rewrites, and rearranging to get the book to what it is now. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. To the aspiring authors out there: if you feel passionate about a project, keep working hard and don’t give up!


Tara SimTara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera.

Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University.

Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram

Blog Tour | Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh | Review, Interview, & Giveaway

FTDD Tour Banner

Hi, everyone! Today, I am super excited to be a part of the blog tour for Sarah Glenn Marsh’s beautiful book, FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP. Read on for my review of the book as well as a fun interview with Sarah. Plus, stick around for the end of the post, where we’ve got a great giveaway for you!

Fear the Drowning DeepHardcover, 310 pages

Expected Publication Date: October 4th, 2016

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound


 I think if I had to describe FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP in one word, it’d have to be “gorgeous”. From the cover to the prose to the myths that overflow from its pages, FTDD is strange and beautiful and lovely.

I especially loved the mythology and the setting. The book is set on the Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea right in the middle of England and Ireland. Mythology – from sea serpents to fairies to mermaids and so much more – is rife in the UK and Ireland, and I’ve always been fascinated by it, so it was wonderful to see all the ones that Sarah pulled into her book. Reading FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP reminded me of living in Scotland and traveling through the highlands, even though the landscape on an island is a bit different. It just reminded me of the feeling you get being surrounded by all of that history and folklore, talking to the people who live there and are as in love with it as you are.

There’s also a really intriguing mystery here that will draw you in. You’ll be intrigued by this newcomer, who everyone is suspicious of except for Bridey. The ocean is a deep and scary place, and I really felt that while reading the book.


Describe yourself in 6 words.

Obsessed with animals; Slytherin + Gryffindor; Browncoat.

Describe FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP in 6 words.

Salty. Weird. Mysterious. Romantic. Sisters. Monsters.

Tell us something interesting that we won’t find out in the book about Bridey, your MC.

Okay! Here’s something that’s not in the book: in the original draft, Bridey had a sea-nymph ancestor. Maybe she still does, but if so, it’s now a secret!

I know you’re a fan of mythology and FTDD features several. Tell us about your favorite myth or mythical creature.

Oh yes, I love mythology! It would be too hard for me to pick a favorite mythical beast though, so I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite Manx mythical creatures that’s not featured in FTDD: Jimmy Squarefoot.

Jimmy Squarefoot, according to myth, is a bipedal pig-headed creature that lives on the Isle of Man. He has giant feet and is supposedly a peaceful, wandering being. Some accounts of old Jimmy say that he was once ridden like a horse by a race of stone-throwing giants. How’s that for weird and wonderful? The Isle of Man has some fascinating mythology!

Check out this artist’s interpretation of Jimmy, just for fun (some things demand a visual):

Jimmy Squarefoot

What’s been the best part of your journey to becoming an author so far?

The people! Finding the book community on Twitter and interacting with/befriending everyone from aspiring authors to bloggers to favorite authors has been wonderful; I’ve found a place where I belong, and there’s no better feeling.

Oh, and I suppose holding my ARC of Fear the Drowning Deep for the first time was also pretty freaking thrilling!

But mainly, the people!

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? I know this is a tough one, so you can talk about what you’re reading right now if that’s easier!

I love this question! I’m going to talk about a book I recently finished, to which nothing else compares, and which has left me in a devastating book hangover as I anxiously await the companion novel: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

This book, you guys. It’s an adult sci-fi, and its strength and heart lie in its characters and unique, diverse world. The story follows the crew of a wormhole tunneling ship, and each has a fascinating story and perspectives. I dare you to read this and not get tangled up in the nuances of each crew member and their relationships. Whether you like sci-fi or not, since the focus is on character rather than plot, I’d recommend it to just about everyone!

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

I’d say Dutch from the SyFy show Killjoys. If you don’t know her, you should fix that. I love her because she does what she wants, kisses who she wants, and is just a witty badass with a heart of gold. She fights as well as her male counterparts on the show—if not better—and we need more characters like her!

Another favorite (now I’m cheating, naming two!) is Lexa from The 100; seeing her relationship with Clarke meant a lot to me, and she was an amazing, strong character.

Basically, I love ladies who kick ass in some form or fashion (looking at you, Daenerys Targaryen, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Sabriel and Lirael, etc.!)

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

Well, I hope you like it! 🙂

In all seriousness, I suppose I’d just want people to know that overall, FTDD is a book about relationships, and not just first love; there are sister relationships, parent relationships, family dynamics…complicated friendships, and even relationships within the town that shift and are tested throughout the story.

And that’s all; thank you so much for having me on your blog!


marsh_DSC_6365_2015.jpgSarah Glenn Marsh is the author of the YA fantasy Fear the Drowning Deep from Sky Pony Press, the forthcoming Reign of the Fallen fantasy duology from Razorbill (Penguin), as well as several forthcoming children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and her tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish.

When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures. You can visit her online at, and follow her on Twitter @SG_Marsh.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


Open INTL, the winner will be given an ARC of Fear the Drowning Deep, plus the tote bag designed by Evie Seo!



Week 1: 

8/1 –   Bookish Lifestyle – Review + Tote Design
8/2 –   A Perfection Called Books – Review + Pinterest Board
8/3 –   Booknerd Addict – Review
8/4 –   Caught Read Handed – Review + Interview
8/5 –   Dana Square – Review

Week 2: 

8/8 –   Alexa Loves Books– Bookish Style Files
8/9 –   It Starts at Midnight– Review
/10 – The YA Book Traveler – Interview
8/11 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Review + Playlist
8/12 – Stories & Sweeties – Bonnag Recipe + Excerpt

Interview with Jennifer Ellision, author of Threats of Sky and Sea

Hey guys! I’m really excited to be hosting Jennifer Ellision, author of the THREATS OF SKY AND SEA series, for an interview today! Learn more about Jennifer’s MC and Jennifer herself! Let me tell you about the book first and then enjoy the interview!


Threats of Sky and SeaTHREATS OF SKY AND SEA by Jennifer Ellision
Createspace // May 20, 2014

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Describe yourself in 6 words.

Quiet dreamer, laidback realist, writer, reader.

Describe your book in 6 words.

Elementals with secrets. Royals with ambition.

Tell us a bit about your MC Breena.

Bree is a headstrong, independent girl who wants nothing more than to live her normal life in peace. Once a person or a cause finds their way into her heart, she’ll fight like hell for them, but she’s certainly resistant to change. Unfortunately for her, her creator keeps pulling the rug out from under her. ^_~

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?

There are a lot of great memories to choose from, but nothing will ever beat holding the first finished copy of Threats of Sky and Sea in my hands.

What was the hardest part of writing the second book in the Threats of Sky and Sea series? The best part?

The beginnings of the consecutive books have always come the easiest for me, so picking up Riot of Storm and Smoke where Threats of Sky and Sea left off was great because the words just flowed. The most difficult part was acquainting myself with Prince Caden’s point-of-view—newly added in Riot of Storm and Smoke for a more effective, fleshed-out story.

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? 

Gah, such an unfair question! I genuinely can’t choose a single favorite book, but the one I’ve reread the most is probably Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

Ah, another very difficult question! I have so many fictional characters I adore, but the first one who comes to mind is Celaena/Aelin from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

Threats of Sky and Sea will ultimately be a three book series, to be completed later this year, but also included in the series are three prequel short stories.

Thank you for having me on the blog, Stefani!


Jennifer EllisionJennifer Ellision was born and raised in South Florida and lives in perpetual fear of temperatures below 60F. She spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She has an OTP, loves character analysis, and is a master of the fangirl flail, with a particular soft spot for fanfiction. She frequently bursts into song (and they are often of a Disney persuasion). Sailor Moon is one of her favorite things on this planet. Threats of Sky and Sea is her first novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Author Interview: Gary D. Wilson, Getting Right

Hey guys! Today I’m hosting author Gary D. Wilson for an interview! Let me tell you more about his latest book GETTING RIGHT before you check out our interview.


Getting RightPublisher: Roundfire Books // Publication Date: January 29, 2016

Getting Right, Gary Wilson’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, is a masterful fusion of imagination and memory. Although this powerful family drama is drawn from close personal experience, the story that emerges is far more moving than any purely factual account could ever be.

Suppose, for instance, that your more than mildly irritating leech of a sister calls you, as she usually does wanting money, only this time she says she has cancer and in the course of the conversation challenges you to write the story of her life. You say, sure, you’ll do that…but only on the condition that you can tell it the way you see it.

The novel starts with the sister, Connie, and soon involves brother Len and “me,” the sibling narrator who discovers that Connie’s story isn’t so simple after all.  In order to tell it, “me” realizes that he has to include the accounts of other family members as well. By the end, the escalating swirl of memory and imagination leaves open the question of whether the truth of Connie’s life – or of anyone’s for that matter – can ever be known.

Getting Right is a tale of love and loss, leavened with humor, that readers will no doubt take directly to heart as they recognize themselves and their own families in it.

Goodreads | Amazon


Describe yourself in 6 words.

Loveable, creative, smart, funny, loyal, cantankerous.

Describe your book in 6 words.

Original, engaging, worthwhile, droll, energetic, moving.

How did the story of Getting Right develop?

I went to the hospital to visit my sister who had undergone surgery for lung cancer.  She had a PICC line in her arm, and the skin around the entry point of the line had puckered in such a way that it looked like a mouth.  That image haunted me, even after I returned home, so much so that I decided to write it out of my system, which only led to more writing and more writing, until I found myself in the midst of a new novel with a new voice and vision that was so compelling I couldn’t stop, despite the fact that I was deep into writing another novel I simply had to put aside until I finished this new one.

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?

“Best” is a difficult concept in this question, since I have lots of memories.  But one that the question conjures up is of me as a young boy sitting on the floor beside my grandfather as he told some story about his family living so far back in the hills of Arkansas (or Missouri or Virginia) that you had to travel three days by grapevine to visit them.  And there were always fishing stories or stories about his days as a section chief on the railroad.  And there were ones about his tomatoes or the proper way to wrap and store fresh-picked pears.  What I came to realize as I got older was that for Grandpa the story—not the subject matter—was the thing.  It was the telling that he loved.  The power that a well-told story had to capture and hold an audience.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Physically, I try to maintain a fairly strict work schedule.  I get up, have coffee and a light breakfast and read two newspapers (an old, unbreakable habit) before going to my study to clear emails and my head and get down to my work.  Writing may involve pacing, bathroom breaks, more coffee and so on, but as a friend says, real writing takes a lot of butt in the chair time.  I try to maintain that for four or so hours.  I then have lunch and read the funnies and take a break for errands or shopping for the night’s dinner.

Mentally, I let whatever it is I’m writing take me where it wants.  I believe it was Stephen King who said the story is boss.  I try to remember that.  I was writing another novel when Getting Right took over my life.  I couldn’t ignore it and went along for the ride.  I’m now finally getting back to the book I was pulled away from.

Many times something I’ve read or heard or seen will generate a new story or novel.  It’s not that I actively say, oh that’d make a great story.  But whatever the impetus is gets inside me and roils around and eventually comes out as writing, and I let it.  At that point I become an active participant in the process.

What’s been your best experience as an author so far? 

Every author I know likes being published, so there’s that.  But what I like from that experience is to hear readers’ honest reactions to my work, even if it isn’t all positive.  It’s not only a rush but gratifying to think I’m in a business where I can actually move someone, intellectually and/or emotionally.

Being part of a writing community—and on a larger scale, an arts community—has been a wonderful experience for me as well.  The people I know in that community are not only smart, they’re also engaged in life and are generally engaging as people.

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? 

That’s such a hard question, but if I have to say just one, it’s Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, a book that, by taking on life at its most absurd, helped define the human condition.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

I would like to invite anyone who’s interested to visit my website at to find out more about me and my work.  You might also want to take a look at my blog on that site.  And, of course, I’d like for you to read my writing and let me know what you think.


Gary WilsonGARY D. WILSON’s best-selling first novel, Sing, Ronnie Blue, appeared in 2007. He has taught fiction and short story writing at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago. His work has been recommended for a Pushcart Prize, and he was a finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the Drue Heinz Literary Prize. He currently lives with his wife in Chicago and is working on his next novel The Narrow Window.

Blog Tour | The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker | Review, Interview, & Giveaway

Hi, everyone! I am so excited to be part of THE GIRL WHO FELL blog tour! Today I’m going to be sharing my review of TGWF as well as an interview with Shannon M. Parker, who wrote this dark, wonderful story. But first, some information about the book!

The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. ParkerABOUT THE BOOK

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse | March 1, 2016


His obsession.

Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble Book Depository | Kobo


NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse (plus the lovely Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles for inviting me to participate in the tour) for letting me read this.

Yikes. This book. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time I read The Girl Who Fell. From the very beginning, it’s like your gut clenched (the beginning is terrifying and mesmerizing in the best/worst way). You know from the beginning that something is wrong, that the person Zephyr is falling for is just wrong, so you’re terrified to find out how Zephyr will get from falling in love to being hurt.

Spongebob anxiety GIF

Alec is bloody terrifying and creepy and it’s so hard to understand him – though I don’t think I really want to. Even though I wanted to reach into the book and just SLAP Zephyr, I could see why she fell and why she let her guard down. And Zephyr is such a great character. She finds herself throughout the story and realizes she’s someone to fight for. I just loved her, especially in the end. I loved how despite everything she’d been through, there was a hope for a better future. It’s never too late to move forward.

Shannon did such a fantastic job with this topic, which is so so important. Physical and emotional abuse is scary, but Shannon handled it so well. Alec is believably manipulative and I liked seeing how this relationship affected Zephyr but also how it affected her friends and family.

My one complaint is that it’s a bit insta-lovey and they just move so fast, but that’s really part of the point of the book, so even though you guys know I am NOT an insta-love fan, it didn’t really hinder my experience.

The bottom line: The Girl Who Fell is a well-written, fast-paced novel about an important topic. Zephyr (and all of the characters, really) are well developed and distinctive. It’s easy to understand what happens to Zephyr even as you are wishing she’d realize what’s happening to her and put a stop to it. You’ll feel like you’re breathing for the first time in hours when you turn the last page.


Hi Stefani! It’s so nice to be here!! Thank you for inviting me today and thank you for your incredible blog! *fangirls a bit* Okay, a lot.

Describe yourself in three words: Lover of love.

Describe your book in three words: Dark kissing book.

I saw on your website that you’ve been to a TON of places around the world. If you had to choose, what is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is standing next to my husband. Especially when he’s in Queensland, Australia.

What would you say is Zephyr’s motto?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?
When my teen son said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you. You worked really hard for this.” That made me cry. A. Lot.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?
There are so many, this is impossible to answer! But I will say that one of my all-time favorite books is The Secret Life of Bees. So, Lily Owens. She’s spunky, clever and filled with pure love (and loss).

I also made several graphics with quotes from the books for the tour, and I’m really excited to share two of them here (the second of which is my favorite quote from the book). Make sure you check out the rest of the tour to see the others!

The Girl Who Fell Quote     The Girl Who Fell Quote


Shannon M. ParkerShannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast with a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel. Find her at

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

One signed hardcover of THE GIRL WHO FELL and swag


blog tour banner - the girl who fell


Tuesday, Jan 12: Blessie @ Mischievous Reads Dreamcast
Wednesday, Jan 13: Emily @  Emily Reads Everything Review
Thursday, Jan 14: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Tour Group’s Favorite Quotes
Friday, Jan 15: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions Movie Playlist
Saturday, Jan 16: Kristen @ My Friends Are Fiction Review
Sunday, Jan 17: Melanie @ One Less Lonely Blog Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 18: Cyra @ Rattle The Pages Review + 5 Reasons You Need to Read TGWF
Tuesday, Jan 19: Jocelyn @ Novels and Necklaces Interview
Wednesday, Jan 20: Cat @ Let the Pages Reign Review
Thursday, Jan 21: Aentee @ Read at Midnight 5 Ways TGWF Destroyed YA Tropes + iPhone wallpapers
Friday, Jan 22: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Review + Interview
Saturday, Jan 23: Joey @ Another After Thought Review
Sunday, Jan 24Stefani @ Caught Read Handed Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 25Hanna @ Two Sister’s Blogging Review
Tuesday, Jan 26Michella @ YA Books Girl Review + Playlist
Wednesday, Jan 27Michelle @ Dreaming of Alba Review
Thursday, Jan 28Jamie @ Books and Ladders Review + Interview
Friday, Jan 29Eileen @ BookCatPin Review
Saturday, Jan 30Brian @ Brian’s Book Thoughts Review
Sunday, Jan 31Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler Review + Interview

Guest Post | Kerry Kletter, The First Time She Drowned

Today I am so so excited to be hosting Kerry Kletter, author of one of my most anticipated debuts of 2016 – THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED, as well as her MC Cassie for an interview. I cannot wait to read her book, and this interview just made me even more excited for its publication date: March 15! Read the interview, learn more about the book and Kerry, and then add it to your Goodreads TBR/pre-order it!


The First Time She Drowned by Kerry KletterPublisher: Philomel Books // March 15, 2016

The beautiful struggle of a girl desperate for the one relationship that has caused her the most pain 

Cassie O’Malley has spent the past two and a half years in a mental institution—dumped there by her mother, against her will. Now, at 18, Cassie emancipates herself, determined to start over. She attends college, forms new friendships, and even attempts to start fresh with her mother. But before long, their unhealthy relationship threatens to pull Cassie under once again. As Cassie struggles to reclaim her life, childhood memories persist and confuse, and Cassie must consider whose version of history is real, and more important, whose life she must save.

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself, The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

Goodreads | Amazon | Books-a-Million |Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository
[FYI: None of these are affiliate links]

Describe yourself in 6 words.
Cassie: Barbed wire & broken glass & love-seeking eyes
Kerry: loyal, cheerful, emotional, empathetic, determined, worrier

Describe where you live in 6 words.
Cassie: Trapped inside walls in every way
Kerry: In my bed writing, mostly. J

What is your greatest fear?
Cassie: That I am unlovable
Kerry: Losing someone I love

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Cassie: Salem witches
Kerry: You know, I think I feel entirely too ordinary to identify with any specifically! But more generally, the women I resonate most with in history were the rule-breakers. I’ve never been terribly good at following rules— particularly ones I find unfair, unjust or unnecessary.

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
Cassie: I stand up for myself and my friends
Kerry: Same.

What is your motto?
Cassie: The truth shall set you free
Kerry: Leap and the net will appear.

 Name 3 of your favorite songs.
1) Someone Save My Life Tonight – Elton John
2) Freebird – Lynard Skynard
3) Try – Colbie Caillat

Hmm, how to choose?
1) In the Garden – Van Morrison
2) My Sweet Carolina – Ryan Adams
3) Jersey Girl – Bruce Springsteen (shout out to my roots!)

Who are your favorite writers?
Cassie: JD Salinger
Kerry: Well Cassie doesn’t read much but I do!

In adult literary fiction I love: Elizabeth Strout, Donna Tartt, Jo Ann Beard, Tobias Wolff, Mary Karr, Jennifer Egan, Jumpha Lahiri, Dave Eggers, Pat Conroy, Nicole Krauss, Emily St John Mandel etc.

In YA I love: Jennifer Niven, David Arnold, Nicola Yoon, Charlotte Huang, Sabaa Tahir, Stacey Lee, Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, Stephanie Kuehn, Lance Rubin, Moriah Mcstay, Laurie Halse Anderson, Marcus Zusak and Ruta Sepetys. That’s off the top of my head so I’m sure I will kick myself as soon as I hit send because I’ve forgotten ten people.

I’ve also been lucky enough to read some 2016 debuts as well that I’m so excited to talk about more during the year but for brevity’s sake I will say here that my number one new author obsession is Jeff Zentner whose The Serpent King (March 2016) is one of the most perfect books I’ve ever read.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Cassie: to feel different inside, to feel worthy of love.
Kerry: I’m not a big fan of anxiety so I’d probably nix that tendency in myself. Or maybe impatience.

Describe your book in 6 words:
Language, loss, hopefulness, courage, complexity, friendship


Kerry KletterKerry Kletter has had a lifelong passion for story. She holds a degree in literature and has an extensive background in theater, having appeared in film, television, and onstage. When not writing, Kerry can be found surfing, running, working with animals, or singing loudly in her car while stuck in LA traffic. A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Kerry now lives in Santa Monica, California, with her partner, screenwriter David Zorn. The First Time She Drowned is her debut novel.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Blog Tour | Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew & Giveaway

Hi, guys! Today I’m super excited to be hosting Sheila Agnew, author of Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan for an interview and guest post as part of the Evie Brooks Blog Tour. Check out my interview with Sheila and her guest post about her love of travel and then enter to win a hardback copy of the book (US only – sorry!!). But first:


Pajama Press / March 3, 2014 / 219 pages

Evie Brooks is Marooned in ManhattanAfter Evie Brooks’ mother dies, her American uncle Scott, whom Evie barely remembers, arrives in Dublin. Much to Evie’s dismay, she’ll have to go and live with Scott in New York City.

Having never owned a pet more substantial than a goldfish, Evie is intrigued by her uncle’s NYC veterinary practice. Scott engages Evie as an assistant in the clinic. Thus begins a series of light-hearted adventures with lovable animals and their sometimes lovable owners.

At the end of the summer, Evie has to make the choice of whether or not to return to live in Ireland with her godmother, Janet…


Describe yourself in 3 words.
Funny. Serious. Compassionate.

Describe your book (or the series) in 3 words.
Funny. Serious. Compassionate.

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?During a school visit a boy told me that he wanted to be a writer but that his teacher said that he wasn’t good at English. I told him how Roald Dahl’s teacher said that his writing efforts reminded him of “a camel.” The boy asked, “Did the camel have one hump or two?” I thought that was hilarious and I think that he definitely has the imagination to be a writer!

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I get an idea for one scene and I just run with it. I don’t normally outline except I had to do an outline for the second Evie book under my contract. So I sat down one Sunday and wrote an outline of about twenty pages detailing every chapter. The publishers were basically like, umm, thanks but we didn’t need anything like this much detail. I never looked at the outline again. I should pull it up someday and see if the book as written actually resembled the outline.

As I know you’ve traveled extensively, what’s your favorite place in the world?
Ireland. It took Dorothy a whole book to realize that there’s no place like home.

Have you ever worked in a veterinary clinic? What made you choose that as Uncle Scott’s profession?
No. But I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with animals especially horses. I just love the presence and smell and feel of horses. It gives me that “all’s well with the world” feeling. And I got my dog, Ben, ten years ago. I just threw him straight into the Evie books exactly as he is. He’s the only non-fictional character.  I knew straight away that Scott had to be a vet because I wanted the animals to help Evie deal with the loss of her mother. Animals have so much to teach us. And there’s a lot of scope for humor!

Who’s your favorite fictional character?
That’s a really tough one. When I was a child, I loved the book, “I am David” by Anne Holm. It is about a twelve-year-old boy who escapes from a concentration camp and travels through Europe looking for his mother. I still think that David is one of the most beautiful souls ever written. But I think I’d prefer to have dinner with Oscar Wilde’s characters.


As a seven-year-old, I was already a highly experienced traveller because I’d gone all the way to Narnia and back six times. C.S. Lewis’s chronicles of Narnia will always remain irreplaceable in my affections. One of the great joys of reading is the ability to travel not just everywhere in this world, but to other worlds as well. I think that readers are born travellers (and time travellers too.)

My writing has been greatly influenced by my travel experiences. Sometimes I’ve found a detail or a character for a story, and other times, the story itself. My books were conceived in far-flung lands . . . and much closer to home. About five years ago, I went to live in an isolated cabin in the woods in Connecticut for a couple of months. One afternoon while I was reading out on the deck, my dog, who had been sleeping inside, flung himself through a hole in the mosquito screen, barking so furiously at something behind me that white foam dripped from his mouth. I turned around. A few feet away stood an enormous black bear. I will never forget my prehistoric, cave girl fear in that moment; a deep primal fear of being eaten alive.

I have no idea how long I stood there, staring at the bear staring at me. At some point, I got it together, grabbed my dog, rushed us both inside and locked the door. Then I remembered that the other door to the cabin was open. I ran around like a lunatic and locked that door as well. Through the window, I watched the bear, now on all fours, circling the cabin. I grabbed my iPad, and googled, “Bear outside cabin, what should I do???”

Google told me to call my local police station. I reached a rather apathetic member of the force called Mary.

“There’s nothing we can do,” she said.

“There must be something you can do,” I wailed. “I can’t stay here for the rest of my life waiting for the bear to look elsewhere for a snack.”

“Oh,” she said in an interested tone, “is the bear attacking you right now because if he is, I can send a patrol car.”

Was Mary insane or was she being sarcastic? I wondered. I still don’t know. What I do know is that I made the episode a chapter in the second Evie book, Evie Brooks in Central Park Showdown. I barely had to change a thing.

One of my favorite places in the world is Argentina. From the second I arrived at the airport in Buenos Aries in 2011, I felt a strong sense of being at home. It’s funny how we often travel to try to find a place that feels like home. I spent almost as much time in Chile as I did in Argentina. And yet, while I appreciated Chile and its people very much, it wasn’t the same feeling. Even if I lived in Chile for a thousand years, we would never be in love. Whereas, for me and Buenos Aires, I guess it was love at first landing.

I’m very grateful for my experiences in South and Central America and in The Dominican Republic. Without those, I doubt if I would have had the confidence to write my YA thriller, The Exclusion Wars, which is narrated by Mateo, a fourteen-year-old Latino in hiding in New York in the year 2025.

SheilaHeadshotTravel hasn’t always lived up to my expectations. Between college and law school, I spent a few months working in Grand Cayman. I had responded to an advert for a job in “the British West Indies.” I thought that sounded so exotic and glamorous and mysterious. To my disappointment, Grand Cayman was none of those things. But I did have fun and enjoyed making new friends.

I think that we have to try and take as many travel chances as we can. Sometimes that means reading in a genre outside our comfort zones, a new potential world to explore. Maybe we will fall in love, maybe not. But it’s nearly always very interesting!

Thanks very much for having me on your blog.  Please visit me on the Web any time.


Click on the link below to be taken to Rafflecopter and enter the giveaway. It will run from December 9 – December 22 at midnight. US only. One winner will receive a copy of Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew.


Check out the other stops on the tour:
Review, interview, and giveaway at Geo Librarian
Guest post at The Roarbots

Local MS author Interview: Russell Scott (The Hard Times) & Giveaway

Today I’m excited to be hosting Russell Scott, author of THE HARD TIMES and local Mississippi resident, on the blog for an interview and a giveaway! Check out the interview and let Russell tell you a little more about himself, his book, and his road to publication. After you read the interview, be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY (yay giveaway!) to win a copy of THE HARD TIMES. Also, don’t forget to check out the book on Goodreads and see what it’s all about!


Describe yourself in 6 words. Physician, husband, father, scientist, writer, artist. In that order.

Describe your book in 6 words. Fundamental truths on love and life.

Tell us about your day job. Does it influence your writing or writing process? Of course it does being a radiation oncologist means that I spend my days with patients facing one of the most challenging metamorphosis in life, dealing with one’s own mortality.  The facing of death is a solemn business, so we try to laugh as much as possible, a big part of my job is to share the doubts and still see the beauty in life.

How did your own personal experiences inspire The Hard Times?  The book is basically a bunch of things that happened in my life, distorted and reframed, and hung on the scaffolding on a diamond smuggling scheme in Namibia.  I’ve hunted in Namibia and deployed in Africa when I was in the Navy, so those things are very directly related.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?  Well, it started out with screen writing, I wrote Time Donors as a screenplay ten years ago, we got offered four million dollars to make it into a movie, but first we had to make a smaller movie to prove we could do it, so we wrote and filmed the feature film “Teary Sockets”.  While we were filming that I got hired by the Williams Brothers to write the screenplay story of their family’s life, “Still Standing Tall”, for a project that they were talking to Tyler Perry about, so they needed it yesterday.  We finished filming “Teary Sockets” and I went straight to work on “Still Standing Tall”.  By the time I got done with those two projects the banking crisis had sit and the hedge fund that originally had offered to back us was gone, so I converted “Time Donors” to the book “Time Donors Wanted”.  I thought e books were the future of book sales so I started an e book publishing entity IsoLibris, and put out “Time Donors Wanted”.  My friend Luke Lampton, who owned Magnolia Gazette Publishing which had been in continuous operation since 1872 thought we should do a literary press and start a literary journal as a new united Press China Grove Press, so we did, we’ve done 4 issues of the journal China Grove as editors, with very good success, and continued to publish books, one of which was a collection of the columns I had written for 5-6 years in the JOURNAL of the Mississippi State Medical Association, we named it for the column and that was “The Uncommon Thread” by R. Scott Anderson MD.  This book The Hard Times was actually written five years ago, it just took until now to feel that I had the time to put it out and to get it into proper shape to be a good book. So here it is by China Grove Press.

Not only do you bring in your real life military experiences into the novel, but you also bring in other elements from the diamond trade. Tell us about that – your research process, the different elements you bring in, etc. The factual research was just grinding away, the whole firs inkling of a plot came from a National Geographic article on Artisanal Diamond Mining in Zimbabwe that led to digging into the elements of the Kimberly Process, it’s enforcement, and declassified CIA intelligence reports about the times I was interested in.  Then you get a needle and sew all that together into a novel.

Has living in Mississippi influenced your writing in any way?  Only in that it puts a lot of pressure on you to write well, we don’t tolerate crappy writers in Mississippi.

Which writers inspire you? I was a Faulkner fanatic when I was at Alabama, we had a crazy professor there then named Barry Hannah, he was a writer to know.  I fell in love with Ellen Gilchrist and her writing when I read her first book, “In the Land of Dreamy Dreams”.  I’ve interviewed her, and Winston Groom, the author of Forrest Gump.  Spent some time with Greg Iles talking about writing, have had several conversations with Pat Conroy, Tess Gerritsen, and Michael Palmer, they’ve all given me something that is a part of the way I write.

What’s been your best experience as an author so far?  Developing in this community of writers that I have been privileged to meet and know, that’s really why we bother to do China Grove, the literary journal in the first place to create a community of writing where every level is welcome, from legends to newcomers.

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book?  I guess I have to say, A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, I love the book and find the circumstances of it’s publication touching. Toole’s suicide, his mother’s dedication, and Walker Percy taking on the role of editor and champion…all in all, a tale in itself.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?  This book is just a good story about diamond smuggling on the surface, but it is also an offering of an insight into the way men love, and some of the fundamental truths in life as told by an author that works in the face of death every day…the last line may be the most basic truth of life you ever read.

Thanks for letting me jabber on, Scott



The Hard Times by Russell ScottThe Hard Times is, first and foremost, a novel about how men love. It focuses not on simple lust nor affection, but the complex web of expectations, loyalty, duty, and desire that define the society of men, how they love women, how they love their families, and how they bind themselves to one another in friendship and in war.

Taken from the news, declassified CIA documents, and the author’s personal experiences in Africa and Namibia, it is a fictional story superimposed on what’s actually happening in the diamond trade, today, where international politics and industry, play a strange game of hide and seek with illegal stones.

It begins in Mississippi. Ray Moffett is an ER doc, and Ray is facing an abyss. When his best friend and former boss comes into the ER dead, just six weeks after his retirement party, Ray finds himself searching for meaning in his own life. All Ray has left is his work.  Work, punctuated only by the occasional round of golf.  That’s all he can see stretching between him and his own trip to the grave if something doesn’t change.

A chance meeting with an African hunting guide, Fritz Dietrich, shows Ray a second chance to live the adventures he’d dreamed of as a boy.  Dreams that were fueled by books written by men like Hemmingway, Ruark, and Capstick. Unfortunately, Fritz isn’t exactly what he seems.

Ray finds himself hunting desert oryx in the Namib with Fritz, both men trapped. Fritz must kill Ray and use his papers to smuggle illegal diamonds.  For Ray to get home alive, he’s going to have to kill Fritz and then, somehow find his way out of the most hostile desert on the face of the earth.

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf!


AuthorPhoto_RussellScott1RUSSELL SCOTT ANDERSON, M.D. is a radiation oncologist who serves as the medical director of Anderson Cancer Center in Meridian, Miss. He is a former Navy diver who worked in operations in the Middle East, Central America, and in support of the Navy’s EOD community, SEALS, the U.S. Army’s Green Berets, the Secret Service, and the New York Police Department at various times during his time in the service.

The father of seven has written the family oriented literary columns Una Voce and The Uncommon Thread in the Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association. He has also served the Journal as the chairman of the editorial advisory board. A collection of his columns was published as The Uncommon Thread in 2012. He has also written as screenwriter R.S. Anderson on several feature films, he is the author of the novels Timedonors Wanted and The Hard Times under the pseudonym Russell Scott, and is the editor of the literary journal China Grove.


Click on the photo below to be taken to Rafflecopter and enter the giveaway. It will run from November 5 – December 4 at midnight. US only. One winner will receive a copy of The Hard Times by Russell Scott.

Giveaway Enter

Z Resurrected The Zombie Blog Tour [Interview with Dana Fredsti & Giveaway]

Banner 1 - Corrected

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for a new zombie anthology Z Resurrected! This anthology is cool because it takes characters from the authors’ previous zombie books sometime after the books were set for an all new story! We’ve got 6 authors, 6 stops with author interviews or excerpts, and a bunch of zombie books to give away! Today I’m hosting Dana Fredsti, author of the Ashley Parker series, for an interview!


Describe yourself in 6 words: 

Sword-slinging crazy cat lady wino.

Describe the book the story was based on in 6 words:

Buffy Meets the Walking Dead

How long after the book is your short story set? 

With the aid of flashbacks, part of it is set during the same period as Plague World, the third book in the series, and the rest a few days after the end of the same book.

What was it like to revisit the characters from your books?

I really enjoyed the chance to dive back into Ashley’s world. JT is one of my favorite characters in the series and there were scenes I wanted to write for the original trilogy that just didn’t fit the overall story arc (or the word count), so I was delighted to have a chance to tell one of those stories and get back into the heads of Ash, JT and Griff.

Are you ever frightened by the things you write? Do they keep you up at night?

Nope.  The sort of things that keep me up at night are more along the lines of not being able to pay rent, afford cat food, losing a family member to cancer… stuff like that.  Very little horror actually scares me any more, although I occasionally creep myself out.  More normal for me is writing something really disturbing (like the scenes with Jake) and giggling.  My husband worries about me.

What’s your favorite zombie movie/book?

Favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead (original) followed closely by Shaun of the Dead and The Dead. Favorite book would be Dead City by Joe McKinney, which was the first really good zombie novel to come out back before zombies were the new darling of the monster world, and the Book of the Dead anthologies edited by John Skipp and Craig Specter. My favorite series (giving you way more info than you asked for, I know…) are the Benny Imura YA books by Jonathan Maberry. I could really go on and on as far as books…

How about your favorite “bad” movie/book (your bio says you’re addicted to bad movies)?

Favorite bad movie as far as zombie movies… it’s a bad/good movie called Zombi by Lucio Fulci.  It’s got some incredibly bad acting/writing/camerawork, but it also has some of the most iconic and unforgettable shots and images out there.  I also love City of the Living Dead (another Fulci movie).  Favorite bad NON zombie movie?  Oooh, it’s a toss-up between The Room and Troll Two. 

Tell us about Ash Parker (for new readers, she’s the heroine in the Plague Town series).

At the start of the series, Ash is a 29 year old who’s been dumped by her college professor husband for one of his 19 year-old students. She decides to go back to college, and is trying to fit in with a younger crowd when the zombocalypse starts. She’s bitten, but instead of dying, she survives and becomes a wild card.  Wild cards are a very small percentage of the population who, if they survive the initial attack, are not only immune to the zombie virus, but also have enhanced senses and physical skills.  This makes them uniquely qualified to be in the front lines of the fight to save humanity. 

What’s your favorite part of writing about zombies?

There really is no downside. The whole experience is fun.  I’ve been a fan of the zombie genre since I saw the original Dawn of the Dead and its predecessor, Night of the Living Dead (before zombies were cool, thank you very much!). So writing about my favorite monster is like full time play time. 

What would your role be in the zombie apocalypse?

Hopefully a survivor.  Heh. I was on a panel with a fellow author, Mark Allan Gunnells, and he was asked the same question. His answer was “I’d be the guy who’s been bitten and hides it and then dies and turns inside the safe house.”  Our nickname for him is “BiteMark.”  


Dana FredstiDana Fredsti is an ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical combat (a skill she utilized in Army of Darkness as a sword-fighting Deadite and fight captain). Through seven plus years of volunteering at Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center, Dana’s had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, kissed by tigers, held baby jaguars and had her thumb sucked by an ocelot with nursing issues. Her other hobbies include surfing (badly), collecting beach glass (obsessively), and wine tasting (happily).She’s addicted to bad movies and any book or film, good or bad, which include zombies.

She is the author of the Ashley Parker series, touted as Buffy meets the Walking Dead, as well as what might be the first example of zombie noir, A Man’s Gotta Eat What a Man’s Gotta Eat, first published in Mondo Zombie edited by John Skipp, and more recently published as an eBook by Titan books. She also wrote the cozy noir mystery Murder for Hire: the Peruvian Pigeon, and is the co-author of What Women Really Want in Bed. She guest blogs frequently and has made numerous podcast and radio appearances. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and fellow author David Fitzgerald, their dog Pogeen, and a small horde of felines.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Amazon


zres_final_ebookTitle: Z Resurrected

Authors: Dana Fredsti, Tom Leveen, Joe McKinney, Eric A. Shelman, Mark Tufo, & T.M. Williams

Genre: Short Stories, Anthology, Horror, Zombies

Publication: Half Light Publishing; October 14, 2015

In this anthology, six horror authors revisit some of their most infamous zombie characters, resurrecting the undead. Contributing authors to Z Resurrected are some of horror’s best, who have each carved a distinct path in the world of zombies: Dana Fredsti, Tom Leveen, Joe McKinney, Eric A. Shelman, Mark Tufo, and T.M. Williams.

Find Out More:
Goodreads | Amazon


zombie gif

Dana is giving away a set of her Ashley Parker series paperbacks and you’ll also get a paperback copy of Z Resurrected. US only. Ends 11/5.

Giveaway Enter

Check out the other tour stops!

Tom Leveen
Host: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions

Joe McKinney
Host: Ashley @ Books Blogging Beauty

Eric A. Shelman
Host: Emily @ Emily Reads Everything

Mark Tufo
Host: Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

T.M. Williams
Host: Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}

Interview with Jennifer E. Smith (& Giveaway!)

Recently, my new blogger friend Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles and I buddy read Jennifer E. Smith’s new book, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between (my review) and loved it. I was fortunate enough to interview Jen at last year’s Decatur Book Festival, and now I am fortunate enough to bring you a follow up interview about her latest book. Brittany also has a fun interview from Jen over on her blog! AND I’ve got a little fortune FOR YOU. I won the April #NOVLBox curated by Jen, which contained copies of all three of her main books (The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Geography of You and Me, and This Is What Happy Looks Like), all three of which I already owned (I LOVE Jen). So I’m going to share the love! Stick around to the bottom of the post and click over to Rafflecopter to enter to win all three paperback copies!


Last year at the Decatur Book Festival, we talked about how Hello, Goodbye is more of a goodbye versus your other books which are one big hello. Can you talk about the differences in writing that – how this relationship was already in full swing versus at the very beginning, etc.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. SmithYes, it was a lot of fun to write a book that was set up a bit differently than my last few.  With STAT, HAPPY, GEOGRAPHY, the characters are just meeting each other, and the book is really about the first steps of their relationships, the getting to know each other part.  But this one is about a couple that’s been together for two years, and they’re getting ready to part ways.  So it’s a deeper relationship right off the bat, which means more emotion, more baggage, more intensity.  And no matter how the night ends, they’re both leaving for college in the morning, which means they’re going to have to say goodbye.  The question is just whether it’s goodbye for now or goodbye forever.

Can you talk briefly about the journey you’ve been on from last year (when there wasn’t even a title to the new book) to almost publication date?

I think at this time last year I had finished the book itself, though we were probably still editing it. But that year between getting to the end of the book and waiting for it to come out is always an odd one.  On the one hand, the heavy lifting is over, and you’re just working out the details.  On the other, you’re excited for people to start reading the book, so it feels like a very long time to wait until it’s officially out in the world.

We had a tough time with the title on this one.  It’s the first time in a while that I really couldn’t think of anything, and it took a very long time and a whole lot of brainstorming to get to HELLO, GOODBYE, AND EVERYTHING IN BEWEEN. I absolutely love it, but it’s a little weird for me too, since this is the first time I didn’t come up with one of my titles myself.  My editor and her assistant thought of this one, and I’m very, very grateful to them.

As for the cover, that was a fun process. The picture on this one is actually a real engagement photo, which I think makes it feel that much more realistic. I always feel really lucky to have the covers that I do, since I really love the style, but I think this one is particularly great.

For those who haven’t read the new book, can you give us a little insight into Clare and Aiden’s relationship and why they’re making the decision to either split up or try for long distance?

Well, they’ve been together for a couple years, but they’re about to head off to colleges at opposite ends of the country – Clare to New Hampshire and Aidan to California – and while neither of them really wants to break up, the idea of staying together in the face of all that distance seems daunting.  Clare is more pragmatic; she thinks it makes sense to end things now on their own terms, rather than slowly drifting apart, which she thinks is inevitable.  But Aidan is an optimist, and he believes they can survive it, even when so many others don’t.  At the start of their last night, they still haven’t managed to agree on what to do. So they basically have twelve hours left to decide…

Distance (and travel) are always a big influence in your books. Splitting characters apart allows for a lot of developments for the characters and their relationships. What is it about distance that appeals to you in regards to your writing?

Honestly, I think a big part of it is that I don’t like to write bad guys. I prefer to let time and fate and circumstance be the obstacles in my stories.  But I’m also fascinated by those same themes – time and distance, chance and serendipity – and so they’re a lot of fun for me to explore, and I tend to keep returning to them in different ways.

What draws you to the contemporary/romance genre?

Mostly, I think it’s just what I tend to gravitate toward as a reader, so it was only natural that I’d end up writing it too. That said, I don’t really think of my books as romances. I realize they have couples on the cover – and hearts! – but the family elements to the stories are really important to me too, so I think of them more as just realistic fiction.

Has your writing style/preferences evolved as you’ve continued to write books?

I hope so! I’d like to think I’m always growing and evolving as a writer.  But the crazy part of this process is that every single time I sit down to start something new, it feels like I’m learning to do it all over again for the very first time, which can be thrilling in its own way, but also really challenging.  If there are any shortcuts to this whole writing thing, I certainly haven’t figured them out yet!

And like I asked last year, what book(s) are you reading right now?

I just finished A LITTLE LIFE, which absolutely wrecked me, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It might be one of the most impressive novels I’ve ever read.  It’s a really tough read, but so, so beautiful. I loved it.

I also just read BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME, which is so important, and I think everyone should read it at some point.

I’ve read a few great YA books this summer too: P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU by Jenny Han, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews, and SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli, among others.

And I’m in the middle of READY PLAYER ONE right now, which I’m enjoying so far!

One more fun one: if you could have been the original author on any book, which would it be and why?

HARRY POTTER, of course!

Thanks, Jen!

Make sure you head over to Brittany’s blog to see the other part of the interview!


Author Photo_Jennifer E Smith

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her writing has been translated into 28 languages.

Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook Goodreads



Terms & Conditions:

  • This contest is open to US residents only.
  • The giveaway will run until September 24, 2015 at midnight CST.
  • You must be 18 years or older, or have parents’ permission to enter.
  • I will check all of the entries for the chosen winner. If any of them have been given and you haven’t actually done them, you will be disqualified.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail, and I cannot replace anything that is lost. I’m sorry.

Giveaway Enter