Amy Finnegan

Not in the Script Official Blog Tour

Anthony Breznican

Brutal Youth

Matthew Wolf

Citadel of Fire Official Blog Tour

Kass Morgan

Day 21

Joshua David Bellin

Survival Colony Nine

Michael Grant


Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon


Lauren Sabel

Vivian Devine is Dead

Margo Kelly

Who R U Really?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro

Publisher: Animal Media Group
Published: 14 October 2014
Format: Paperback 150 pages
See: Full bibliographic data
ISBN 13: 9780991255016 ISBN 10: 0991255011

The highly anticipated sequel to "The Stereoypical Freaks" and the 2nd book in the "Forever Friends" Trilogy, this is "The Hockey Saint"

Twenty-one year old Jeremiah Jacobson is the world's best hockey player, but he wasn't prepared for the frenzy and scrutiny that came with that title. Tom Leonard is an average college sophomore... just a guy trying to find his place in the world as he sorts through issues that are both very real and seemingly insurmountable.

Through a chance meeting, these two strike up an unlikely friendship. Their bond is tested when Tom discovers that his idol isn't as perfect up close as he seems from afar. With Jeremiah living a little too much in the moment and with his past catching up to him, will Tom be able to help him before it's too late?

You can purchase The Hockey Saint at the following Retailers:

Book Nerd Spotlight

HOWARD SHAPIRO lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons. The Controller for the Pittsburgh-based Visual Effects firm, Animal Inc., he has also written four children’s books and The Stereotypical Freaks will be his debut Graphic Novel. His 2008 book, Hockey Player for Life, has been the #1 downloaded children’s hockey e-book on Amazon’s Kindle chart since its arrival as an e-book in November of 2011. His, Hockey Days book was the only book featured in the December 2007 Sporting News Annual Gift Guide as a Best Buy Gift for Children. Through a corporate sponsorship program he set up (and maintains), since the 2010-11 season, both of his children’s hockey books have been given to NHL teams (over 2,500 copies to date) for use in their community and educational initiatives. Since 2006 his annual charity raffle, which he matches dollar for dollar donated, has raised funds for several hockey-related charities including the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Hockey Fights Cancer and the Keith and Lisa Primeau Scholarship Fund. 

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October 27th Monday: A Dream Within a Dream MUSIC PLAYLIST
October 28th Tuesday: TTC Books and More GUEST POST
October 29th Wednesday: CBY Book Club DREAM CAST
October 30th Thursday: Mother/Gamer/Writer 10 FAVORITE BOOKS 
October 31st Friday: DJ’s Book Corner REVIEW 
November 1st Saturday: Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW & EXCERPT 
November 2nd Sunday: Spilling Words REVIEW & INTERVIEW 
November 3rd Monday: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales REVIEW & EXCERPT 
November 4th Tuesday: Notebook of Books REVIEW 
November 5th Wednesday: Bookish 10 RANDOM THINGS

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Michael Grant Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Michael Grant is the author of 150 books, some of them co-authored with his wife Katherine K. A. Applegate. He created the best-selling Gone series and The Magnificent 12 series, both published by HarperCollins.

Grant has written five books in the Gone series: Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague andFear. These dystopian novels for young adults tackle some tough themes. The books received glowing reviews and a loyal readership. Grant has a talent for relating to young adults and creating characters that keep teens interested in what will happen next. The final installment of the Gone Series, Light will debut in April 2013.

The Magnificent 12 series includes The Call, The Key and The Trap. This fantasy series blends adventure and humor, providing fast-paced reading.

In 2011, Grant's BZRK had a multimedia online debut with gaming, apps and social media tie-ins beginning six months before the book's publication. The complex of websites and the book remain true to the author's focus on gripping action and light-hearted fun that aims at engaging kids -- now geared for providing entertainment on multiple devices.

With Applegate, he co-authored several series, including Making Out, Remnants, Evergate and the Animorphs series. The Animorphs books became worldwide bestsellers.

Grant was born in California, and moved many times with his military family, attending schools in the U.S. and France. He has been with Applegate for more than 29 years. Grant, Applegate, their children and pets live in California.

Social Media

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I’m blond. I mean, if I still had hair I’d be blond. Like bushy blond. It was a great relief to go bald.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Well, this will sound weird, but my IQ. A teacher who wasn’t supposed to tell me, did. It made me confident to the point of arrogance, and some problems came from that, and only gradually did I realize that IQ is like horsepower: it can allow you to go really fast. . . right into a brick wall. Kids reading BZRK are smart people, so I’d say to them that smart’s good; wise is better. I’m still working on wise.

Did you learn anything from writing the BZRK Series and what was it?

Oh, man, I learned so much awful stuff. I spent weeks, months, poring over scanning electron microscope pictures of every hideous micro-flora and micro-fauna on the human body. Much Purelle was involved.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?

Lear. We finally learn who Lear is, what Lear is up to, and see just how brutal the technology involved can be. The entire plot line of BZRK: Apocalypse was a surprise to me. There is an aspect of biot weaponization that’s truly bizarre and shocking, it was there all along, but I had not seen it earlier.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the BZRK Series?

I am starting to get self-conscious about the fact that whenever I’m asked this question, whether about GONE, MESSENGER OF FEAR or BZRK, I always end up liking my female characters more. But even in real life I’ve tended to get along better with women than men, and of course everyone I work with in publishing is a woman. But in any case, in BZRK it’s Sadie. I like that girl.

For those who are unfamiliar with Noah and Sadie, how would you introduce them?

They are very different. Noah is a working class London kid with intense gaming skills and a warrior’s tactical instincts, but underneath all that he’s fundamentally a gentle guy, a loving, loyal guy. Sadie is fabulously rich but unaffected by it for the most part. She’s very smart, an adaptable, quick-thinking, and when necessary, ruthless person. In some ways she accepts the darkness more easily than Noah.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Caine (from GONE) meet Caligula (from BZRK) I think you two will hit it off.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Stephen King. I pride myself on being fast - he’s faster. I pride myself on being prolific - he’s more so. But the thing I admire most is that a few years ago he was run over by a van, nearly killed, shattered bones, the whole thing. Now here’s a man who had nothing left to prove, had all the money, fame, praise, whatever, that any writer could possibly want. He could have said, “Well, screw it, I’m just going to take life easy from here on in.” But instead he popped up and nailed a thousand page book. Work ethic, man. That inspired a degree of awe in me.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

I’ll give you four things. Avoid three, do one, and your life may not turn out to be a party, but it probably won’t turn out too badly, either: 1) Don’t become addicted, 2) Don’t get pregnant or get anyone else pregnant until you are absolutely sure you’re ready, 3) Don’t kill anyone, including yourself, and 4) Have a life.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Would you like a donut? I’ll say I’m on a diet, or that I’m full, but I always, always want a donut. And by “a” donut, I mean somewhere between three and six.

Who was your first girlfriend?

A girl named Laurie. I was in 10th grade in Iowa at the time. She had a car and I didn’t. She used to drive to the graveyard where her father was buried, and then we’d make out. Kinda odd? Why yes, yes it was. But I was 16 and she was a girl who would actually kiss me, so I was extremely open-minded as to venue.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

My dad was Army and we were stationed for a few years in France. I was about nine when my French pals and I decided to smoke cigarettes in the dried-out moat of the local chateau. We had real cigarettes and candy cigarettes. I tried the first, thought “these suck” and ate the candy. I never did become addicted to cigarettes, did become addicted to candy.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

My whole life is a series of “summer” jobs. I was 19 when I worked as a library clerk and occasional legal researcher at a DC law firm now known as Wilmer and Hale. My main job was getting documents from Congress — preferably before they were supposed to be available. I have a mature-sounding voice, so I quickly had various people on Capitol Hill convinced I was some senior law partner. I’d get them to agree to supply a document, then I’d send my messenger (me) over to pick it up. I was a completely non-existent senior partner on the phone, a sweaty bike messenger in person.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

Well, I was a teenager in the late 60’s, early 70’s. It was an intense time - Vietnam, rock and roll, drugs, riots in the streets, assassinations left and right. I love me some crazy, and those were crazy times.

When was the last time you cried?

When my accountant told me what I owed in taxes. Okay, really? When my daughter got her junior black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was very proud of her, and still am.

Where can readers stalk you?

@MichaelGrantBks on Twitter. I go on, maybe twice a week and just kill time chatting with fans.

The Matrix meets Inner Space in this third book in the BZRK trilogy from New York Times best-selling author Michael Grant.

The staggering conclusion to the BZRK trilogy, from the author of GONE. The members of BZRK are preparing for their final stand, in the world's capitals and in the nano. Expect the unexpected in this novel packed with the author's trademark jaw-dropping action, violence, and pace.

You can purchase BZRK Apocalypse at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Egmont and Michael for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Winner will receive a Copy of BZRK, 
BZRK: Reloaded and BZRK Apocalypse by Michael Grant.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Run for Your Life!: Jungle Trek by Chase Wilder

Book Nerd Spotlight

Temple Run, the fastest-growing mobile game app, is taking its biggest leap yet, jumping into children's books with a series of adventure books just right for middle-graders.

Watch out, Indiana Jones, a new hero is in town: you the reader!Temple Run #1: Jungle Trek is a wilderness survival story. You're a lucky kid--you've had advantages all your life. For your birthday, you're having a destination party: a campout and scavenger hunt in an exotic locale with just a young party planner, the beautiful Scarlett Fox, and a handsome outdoorsman, Guy Dangerous, who will act as your guide. The two of them will chaperone--no parents! But on the way there, your plane crash-lands in the mountains. Scarlett Fox and Guy Dangerous may or may not be on your side, depending on how you navigate the story. Or they may be there for their own purposes, having engineered the crash to take place in a remote location to steal a valuable artifact that they plan to sell. Depending on the choices you make, you will reach safety in time to enjoy your party, or you will be kidnapped and held for ransom, buying Guy and Scarlett time to make off with the treasure. You decide!

You can purchase Run for Your Life!: Jungle Trek at the following Retailers:

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Margo Kelly Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Margo Kelly loves to be scared … when she’s reading a good book, watching a good movie, or suffering from the hiccups. She loves writing thrillers for young adults and hopes her stories give you the goose bumps or the itchies or the desire to rethink everyday things. Margo is represented by the not-so-scary, but totally awesome, Brianne Johnson of Writers House.

Social Media

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

When I was around seventeen, I took a college entrance exam for a coworker so that she could test-out of a math class she didn’t want to take.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

The greatest thing I learned at school was to think for myself. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. Researching and challenging the statements of others became an essential skill.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

I love to read, and I have a lot of favorites, but if I have to pick just one, I suppose I’d choose ODD THOMAS by Dean Koontz. It not only kept me turning pages, but it also caught me by surprise in the end. Any plotline that is unpredictable impresses me, but I especially enjoyed ODD THOMAS because he’s such a lovable character. Koontz writes great thrillers. Outside of my genre – I’d have to say I love the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Every single book in the series has made me laugh out loud at some point. I love fast paced, plot driven books.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

Christi Corbett (author of ALONG THE WAY HOME) advised me to keep an “I don’t suck” file, which is basically a resource of reviews that compliment my writing. That way any time a rejection or terrible review comes my way, I can refer back to the flattering items and not feel quite so awful.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?

The most common challenge is rejection – an agent rejecting a query, an editor rejecting a submission, or a reader rejecting a book. Rejection is the toughest test a writer faces. And honestly, the only way to overcome it is to eat a lot of chocolate refer back to the “I don’t suck” file.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Who R U Really, how would you introduce it?

A teenage girl falls in love with a guy online, and when he comes for her in real life, he is not the person she thought he was.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Thea?

I had to get out of my “adult” head and climb into the head of a young naive girl. While you and I might have made different choices than Thea did in her situation, she made the best decisions she could with the knowledge and abilities she had at the time. Plus, we all make mistakes, even when we know better. If Thea had made all of the “right” decisions that would have made a boring story. Plots get exciting when the main character makes “wrong” choices.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

It’s important for writers to tell the stories they feel passionately about … and that’s an understatement for why I had to tell this story. The laws of the land are not set up to keep you safe when using the Internet. The only person protecting you online is you. So be mindful of what you’re doing and saying when typing or posting anything online.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kit, how would you introduce him?

In theory, Kit is a sad teenager seeking out friends in an online role playing game. However, Kit is a figment of online imagination. He is basically a puppet, and the puppeteer is someone we should all be afraid of … or at least consciously aware of … because the puppeteer is manipulating the situation and as a result, manipulating the other players in the game.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I would introduce Janie (Thea’s best friend) to Lia of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, because moral support is essential in overcoming any addiction or illness.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

My current project is still in the “top secret” phase, but hopefully it will see the light of day soon. ;)

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve been to places like Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Cancun, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Puerto Rico, and many other great places. But the best place in the world is amongst the pine trees in the mountains of Idaho as a river rushes by. (picture attached)

What book are you reading now?

BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

Who was your first boyfriend?

A boy I met at the roller-skating rink. I can’t even remember his name.

Tell me about your first kiss.

When I was a preteen I tackled the cute neighbor boy and planted one right on him.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I’m a pretty honest and even blunt person. I don’t usually lie. If you ask me a question I don’t want to answer, I will either say, “Oh, that’s a story for another day.” Or, “Frankly, that’s none of your business.”

What's the memorable summer job you've ever had?

I only lasted two weeks at KFC. It was so greasy that I kept slipping on the floors and falling. Grease covered every surface, and I went home feeling so icky every day. But I still eat there occasionally!

What did the last text message on your phone say?

I asked my mom to bring me some bananas. ;) I had a craving! haha

When was the last time you cried?

I cried when I said goodbye to my daughter.

Where can readers stalk you?

Follow Margo Kelly online:
Twitter: @MargoWKelly

Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.

You can purchase Who R U Really? at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Margo and Merit Press for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Anthony Breznican Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Anthony Breznican was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. He has worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and USA Today, and is currently a senior staff writer for Entertainment Weekly.

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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

I think most kids feel frustrated because someone is always telling you what to do, what to wear, where to go, what to say. But I fell in love with writing because it was a way to make anything I wanted come true. There’s a lot of power in creativity, and I after I got my hands on my first Stephen King novel, I had a great time telling strange little ghost stories where I was the only boss. Terrible fates usually befell the characters. (I’m a mean boss.)

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

Stories are where we get perspective on ourselves. They show us what we hope to be, or in the case of my novel, Brutal Youth, what we hope not to be. A lot happens in our lives, and a well-told story can help you see the things that might otherwise be lost or forgotten.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why?

My favorite novel is Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, because I’m obsessed with how easy it is to go wrong while trying to do right. It’s about a powerful politician who has convinced himself he will only be able to help the downtrodden if he’s willing to be corrupt, to compromise his soul. The tragedy of the novel is … he may be right. But once you begin that slide, it’s very hard to stop.

And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

I’d have to go with Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. I am blown away by how haunting it is – not just in a supernatural sense, although it has plenty of that. It’s haunting in an extremely emotional way, exploring the bonds between found fathers and sons, and the mind-shattering experience of grief. To me, that makes the rest of the book that much more terrifying.

In your book; Brutal Youth, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?

The one-liner on it is: Three freshmen join forces to survive at a crumbling Catholic high school that has become a dumping ground for delinquents, zealots, and the unlucky. This is a coming-of-age story about the things that force us astray when we’re young. It’s harsh and harrowing at times, but that’s what you get in a war story. It’s about good kids trying to stay that way in a bad, bad place – and some parents and teachers who got lost making the same journey.

I hope it resonates as a metaphor for adulthood, where there are no shortage of people who will step on you to gain a few inches. The ones who reach down their hand to help you up, at the risk of being trampled themselves, are true treasures – and don’t always get the reward they deserve. This book is a tribute to that kind of sacrifice, the kind that isn’t fixed by Hollywood or karma.

For those who are unfamiliar with Peter, how would you introduce him?

He’s a decent kid, down to his core. Humane. On the surface, he just wants to stay out of sight and get through his school year without any trouble, but he can’t help but act when he sees someone being hurt. Still, he’s afraid. When you mix him with the other main character, Noah Stein, who is fearless, you get a combustible reaction. Peter’s soul and Noah’s strength make them braver and more honorable than they would ever be alone. Good friends have that effect on each other.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

I don’t want to jinx them! My brain is having a good time daydreaming about a YA fantasy epic. It would be fun to tell a haunted house story, something old-fashioned but R-rated, with some new twists on the format. I also wouldn’t mind exploring what happens next for the kids in Brutal Youth. There’s more trouble for them ahead, but some happier times, too.

If you could introduce Lorelei to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Great question! Lorelei is my favorite character in the book, this freshman girl who is so desperate to make friends she tries too hard and makes enemies instead. I’d love to introduce her to the old sailor from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. They both commit inexplicable, self-destructive acts. Why? That’s the eternal question after Coleridge’s sailor shoots the seabird that is leading their lost ship to land. Why do people self-sabotage? It happens all the time, and never makes sense. Coleridge left it open to interpretation, and my belief is that some damaged people feel they don’t deserve love or safety, and so they destroy it when it finds them -- in spite of what they truly want.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Noah?

That he may not be totally sane. As I went along, discovering this about his past and family history, I came to realize that this brave, selfless kid may not be 100% rational. The sane thing would be to protect himself, but Noah Stein is almost daring this corrupt school to destroy him. He’s like Don Quixote in that way, fighting the good fight without question or pause – a mad man locked in struggle against a mad world. But Noah is a fighter who ultimately would rather hurt himself than truly hurt others. His motivation can be interpreted many ways, but that question is one of the surprising things I stumbled upon.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

How I’m doing. Most people just want to hear that ♪ everything is awesome ♫. Otherwise, they’d ask a more specific question.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

Read a lot of poetry. Poems are science experiments done with words.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

I worked with my grandfather, who was a house painter and wallpaper hanger. I loved that man more than I can say, and you never know someone the way you do when you work a job with them, day in and day out, for several months. He was always my Pap, always a grandfather who loved me. But working with him, I got to know Bert. Then my grandfather died and was gone forever. I’m glad I got to meet Bert before that happened.

Who was your first girlfriend?

Ha ha, her name was Tara. I mention her in the book when Peter Davidek thinks about his first kiss. That’s the name of the girl who kissed him, an alt-universe version of mine, I guess. I put her name in there just as an inside joke, a little flare fired into the sky for my old friend.

Tell me about your first kiss

It plays out the same way for Davidek in Brutal Youth! He recalls being at a Christmas part thrown by his 8th grade teacher, and while the teacher and his wife are upstairs fixing the food his friends push him into the basement workout room where his forever crush is waiting for him. I don’t know why she was willing to kiss me. I was a dweeb extraordinaire. The kiss was very quick, very chaste, but very sweet. A moment when I didn’t feel quite as dweeby as I was.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?

I would have a heard time telling someone I didn’t love them back. I wouldn’t want to hurt someone. It’s easy for me to tell people I love how I feel. I’ve never been squeamish about that, even as a kid when we’re so concerned with acting tough and manly. I had friends I loved, and we told each other. We truly did. Still do.

When was the last time you cried?

Typing that last response, thinking of certain people.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

The 1930s, when my grandparents were teenagers. I would liked to have known them then. That was the generation that fought World War II, and changed civil rights for the better, and built a strong middle class in America. They made a lot of mistakes, that generation, but they skewed toward the noble.

What is your greatest adventure?

Winning the heart of my wife, Jill. We fell in love in college while living on opposite sides of the country, then dated for three years that way, long distance, writing letters to each other, bankrupting ourselves with epic 10-cents-a-minute late-night phone calls. There were so many times it could have fallen apart, but it didn’t. We wouldn’t let it. The two of us couldn’t wait to live in the same town, let alone the same apartment together. Now 18 years have gone by, and we’ve traveled the world together, built careers together (she’s a librarian, and I’m a writer – so what could be more perfect?) We’ve laughed together, grieved together, shared everything … and now we’re raising two little kids who are full of energy and mischief. Maybe that’s a boring answer, but life cam be a pretty good adventure if you let it.

Where can readers stalk you?

I’m on Twitter @Breznican. I’m also on

Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that's even worse in Anthony Breznican's Brutal Youth

With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the stridently religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek signs up. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal —so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.

To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their embittered guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive.

You can purchase Brutal Youth at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Anthony and St. Martin's Press for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Penny Warner Author Intevriew

Book Nerd Interview

Penny Warner is an award-winning author of over sixty books, including DEAD BODY LANGUAGE mystery series (Macavity winner), HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY series, and the upcoming Food Festival series. Her middle-grade mystery, THE CODE BUSTERS CLUB, won the Agatha Award for Best Children's Mystery.

Social Media

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

I think it takes us away from our everyday lives for a while, and we all could use a respite from the pressures, worries, and stress of life. And it opens up a whole new world of travel, adventure, fantasy, mystery, and romance!

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I’m not sure…maybe that I was born in Okinawa because my parents were there after the war. Or that I’m fluent in American Sign Language because I love the beauty of the language. Or that I’ve published over 60 books!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first short story at age 9 and it was published in the newspaper. My first book, HEALTHY SNACKS FOR KIDS, came out 1980, when my son was 6 years old and I was 33. My first adult mystery was published when I turned 50, and my Code Busters Club books when I was 60.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

My college English teacher, Dan Tannacito, taught me how to write a decent paragraph, which took me some time to grasp. That’s the most memorable (plus he was hot!)

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Wow….(don’t count that one!) – Writer, Teacher, Friend.

In your new book; The Mummy's Curse, can you tell my Book Nerd Kids Community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

The story takes place at the Rosecrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, where they have real live…I mean, dead…mummies. The kids get to learn about Hieroglyphics and use them as codes, plus they get to meet a real live…I mean, dead… mummy!

For those who are unfamiliar with Cody, how would you introduce him?

First, Cody is a girl. Her name is Dakota Jones, and she has recently moved to Berkeley from the California Gold country, so she’s new at Berkeley Cooperative Middle School. Her parents are divorced – her mom is a cop, her dad an attorney. And her little sister Tana (Montana) is deaf, so Cody knows sign language and uses it to talk to her Code Buster friends when she doesn’t want anyone to know what she’d talking about…

If you could introduce Luke and M.E. to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Luke would love Robinson Crusoe, since he’s strong, brave, and loves adventure. M.E. would love anyone who loves animals and fashion.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Quinn?

That not only is he into video games and can create his own, but that he loves anything to do with the military in terms of codes, especially the Enigma machine.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Start today. Write and finish your book. Send it out and ignore rejections. And have fun making stuff up.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

I worked in a movie theater in high school and saw the same movies 20 or 30 times. I learned a lot about dramatic structure!

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?

1940 – I love the music, the clothes, the styles, and Nancy Drew was really popular then.

What scares you the most and why?

I love haunted houses but would never go in one. I love zombies but wouldn’t want to meet one. I love scary movies but I’m glad they’re just fiction.

What is your greatest adventure?

I’ve never jumped out of a plane or gone on a jungle trip or tried snails, but I’d have to say raising children, being published, and appearing on TV promoting my books!

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

Ten minutes ago - my husband. This morning – my daughter. Yesterday – my granddaughter. (And George Clooney.)

When was the last time you cried?

Yesterday, when I heard my daughter’s medical tests were clear.

Where can readers stalk you?

I’m everywhere – at schools, conferences, but especially at Any stalker who joins the Code Busters Club gets free code-buster stuff in the mail!

Egyptian secrets take center stage in this interactive mystery where boys and girls can solve codes and puzzles right along with the multicultural cast of characters.

Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. love playing around with codes. In fact, they love codes so much they have their own club, with a secret hideout and passwords that change every day.

After learning about steganography, the study of concealed writing, the Code Busters discover that artists have been hiding secret messages in their artwork for centuries.

A clue hunt on a class trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum leads the Code Busters to an artifact that doesn't seem to quite fit with the rest of the collection. Could it be a forgery? The Code Busters code-cracking skills and new knowledge of hieroglyphic messages will help them get to the bottom of this mystery, but they better think fast before the criminal tries to frame them!

Winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse
Nominated for the 2011 Agatha Award for Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key

"[A] fun series sure to appeal to graduates of Encyclopedia Brown and Ivy & Bean." -Shelf Awareness

"This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that readers won't be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters." -Kirkus Reviews

You can purchase The Mummy's Curse at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Penny and Egmont for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive Books #1-3 in paperback and Book #4 in hardcover by Penny Warner.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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