THE SPACE BETWEEN by Brenna Yovanoff

SIGNED BOOK SUNDAY

Duncan M. Hamilton

DRAGONSLAYER Official Blog Tour

Sean Penn

BOB HONEY WHO JUST DO STUFF

Cathy Cash Spellman

A MURDER ON JANE STREET Official Nerd Blast

Ashley Eckstein

HER UNIVERSE

Jane Alvey Harris

RIVEN Official Trailer Reveal

William L. Myers Jr.

A KILLER'S ALIBI

Dylan Meconis

QUEEN OF THE SEA Official Blog Tour

Peter Cawdron

REENTRY

Anne Bishop

WILD COUNTRY

Lisa Edelstein

UNZIPPING Short Film

Josh Duhamel

THE BUDDY GAMES

Sarah Porter

NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS Blog Tour

Emma Newman

ATLAS ALONE

Rachel DeWoskin

SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY Nerd Blast

Allie Larkin

SWIMMING FOR SUNLIGHT

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Taylor Anderson Author Interview


Photo Content from Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson
 is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the DESTROYERMEN Series. He has a Master's degree in History and taught that subject at Tarleton State University. As a gun maker and forensic ballistic archaeologist, he has advised numerous museums as well as the National Parks Service and the United States Army. He's also a technical and dialogue consultant for movies and documentaries involving18th, 19th and early 20th century combat. He's even done some acting.

He's a member of the National Historical Honor Society and the United States Field Artillery Association—from which he was awarded the Honorable Order of St. Barbara. He owns a collection of 18th and 19th century artillery pieces and fires them for movie sound, documentaries, competition, and fun.

His cannons (and sometimes himself) have appeared in many films including: The Alamo (2003), Palo Alto, American Outlaws, Two For Texas, Time Tracers, and Rough Riders. (He also consulted on The Patriot and Ride With The Devil.) He knows precisely what cannons are capable of and that's reflected in his writing.

As a sailor, he's knows the capricious vagaries of the weather and the sea and as a historian, he's trained to research what he's unable to experience first-hand. Careful research was essential to writing Destroyermen because one of the main characters is, after all, USS Walker. Over 270 “four-stacker” destroyers were built during and after WW I, but none remain today.

He loves old music, old trucks old guns, and old dogs—but would give everything he has to go into space. He says he was either born a century too late or too early. He lives in Granbury, Texas.

    
  


Greatest thing you learned at school.
I believe the most important thing I learned in school was how to learn—more specifically, how to teach myself the stuff I wanted to know. Make sense?

Defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer.
There was no such thing in my youth, nor was there ever a specific moment when it dawned on me that I wanted to become a writer. I’ve always loved to read and tell stories, and tinker at writing, but I was so busy with other things, writing was just something I did for hoots—until I broke down and began the DESTROYERMEN Series. I can tell you when the inspiration came for that. I was on the set of the 2003 Alamo movie and some fellows and I were having an inevitable discussion about “famous last stands.” After numerous examples were given and evaluated, I suggested the dreadful trial of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet at the outbreak of WW2 as a candidate for analysis. Hardly anyone knew what I was talking about. That bothered me because the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and its British, Dutch and Australian allies truly did face an Alamo-like situation in late ’41 and early ’42. I think the seed to write something, maybe not about the Asiatic Fleet, but including it had already been planted, but that’s when it sprouted, along with a determination to spin an unconventional tale about some of its members. The sci-fi/alternate history aspect of the story sprang from my desire to tell a fictional story, and if I was going to do that, I refused to alter the wartime experiences of anyone or any ship that actually endured the ordeal. It occurred to me then that if I was going to change things around, I might as well change them a lot. I started writing, and the story just flowed. The next thing I knew, the first DESTROYERMEN novel, “Into the Storm,” was done. I was blessed to quickly find an agent who believed in the story, (and me), and 14 installments in the saga, “Pass of Fire” has now been released!

What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on the Destroyermen series?
I was a big fan of Heinlein as a kid, but I also loved Treasure Island and Moby Dick. I guess the most lasting influences those and all the other historical fiction and non-fiction I read at the time might’ve had on me was a love of adventure, exotic places, and tales of discovery. In retrospect, an awful lot of them tended to have something to do with the sea as well.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Ha! Probably that I’m such a crummy typist. I do, actually, type with two fingers and a thumb. No kidding. I just never learned how to do it right, and I guess it’s too late now. On the other hand, I may be the fastest “two-fingered typist” in the world!

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Not profoundly or noticeably in the sense that I knew it at the time, or that I can look back and recognize it now, but I’m sure the aggregate of all the stuff I’ve read over the years has certainly helped form the way I think in various ways.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing PASS OF FIRE?
That’s tough to say. All the characters that have survived from “Into the Storm” through “Pass of Fire” have changed tremendously. Some of those changes are obvious and profound, while others may seem more subtle, but are no less important. Watching them become who they are now, over time, has been both inspiring and heart-rending. I think, considering what they’ve been through, it’s amazing so many have remained “true” to themselves, regardless, and remain who they always were in certain crucial ways. As for “new” characters, there aren’t very many important ones in this installment, but I think I enjoyed “getting to know” the Celestial Mother, Jash, and even another side of Lawrence a little better the most. And then there’s Blas and Sister Audry. Their . . . interconnected journey always fascinates me as I write them.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Turn forty. Ha, just kidding. I always say that as a metaphor for gaining life experience, and I’ve known plenty of twenty year olds who’ve gained more life experience than many people do in a lifetime, but it is important. And the stranger the story you want to tell, the more important it is to infuse it with sufficient realism for people to suspend their disbelief. Your scenarios have to be plausible, (to a degree), your science needs to work, (on some level), and your machines need to operate in an explainable (without letting the story get bogged down too much in minutiae) fashion. Just as important, if your story involves combat, the weapons—whatever they are—need to be understandable and operate within consistent constraints.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
Most of my “good guy” characters are drawn from people I’ve known, though the vast majority are composites of numerous individuals. This goes along with the “life experience” I spoke about, through which one meets and interacts with a lot of different people from all walks of life. One thing that may seem counterintuitive; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using characters who seem stereotypical—on the surface. Many people do, until you get to know them, because they portray themselves that way and that’s the way they want the world to see them. Getting to know (and revealing) the real person behind the façade is one of the more interesting aspects of writing a particular character.

Writing "bad guys" is harder, even though I've known some of them too. I just don't "get" them and it often creeps me out trying to get in their heads.

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

Well, I never knew another author until I became one, and by the time I met, (and was honored to become friends with some), I guess they supposed I knew what I was doing. I didn’t have a clue. I got loads of good advice from my agent, Russell Galen, some of the first and most helpful of which went something like “get rid of all that silly crap, fix this and change that, and I’ll look at it again.” I’m proud that he’s trusted me to do most of that on my own, since then.


After being transported to a strange alternate Earth, Matt Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker have learned desperate times call for desperate measures, in the return to the New York Times bestselling Destroyermen series.

Time is running out for the Grand Human and Lemurian Alliance. The longer they take to prepare for their confrontations with the reptilian Grik, the Holy Dominion, and the League of Tripoli, the stronger their enemies become. Ready or not, they have to move--or the price in blood will break them.

Matt Reddy and his battered old destroyer USS Walker lead the greatest army the humans and their Lemurian allies have ever assembled up the Zambezi toward the ancient Grik capital city. Standing against them is the largest, most dangerous force of Grik yet gathered.

On the far side of the world, General Shinya and his Army of the Sisters are finally prepared for their long-expected assault on the mysterious El Paso del Fuego. Not only is the dreaded Dominion ready and waiting for them; they've formed closer, more sinister ties with the fascist League of Tripoli.

Everything is on the line in both complex, grueling campaigns, and the Grand Alliance is stretched to its breaking point. Victory is the only option, whatever the cost, because there can be no second chances.

Praise for the DESTROYERMEN SERIES

“A new, genuinely different ‘alternate Earth’ story.”—New York Times Bestselling Author David Weber

“Gripping and riveting.”—New York Times Bestselling Author S. M. Stirling

“Taylor Anderson…[has] steamed to the forefront of alternative history.”—National Bestselling Author E. E. Knight

“Intriguing what-ifs…combine with churning, bloodthirsty warfare.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Action sci-fi doesn’t get significantly better than this.”—Booklist

You can purchase Pass of Fire (Destroyermen #14) at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you TAYLOR ANDERSON for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of Pass of Fire (Destroyermen #14) by Taylor Anderson.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Splash Into Summer Hop


BOOK NERD
Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop
Hosted by BookHounds

Praise for Gena Showalter

“Showalter’s signature blend of sizzling attraction, breathtaking worlds, and lethal stakes rocks me every time!” —#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Sylvia Day

“Showalter does her magic with an intricately developed world, complex and intensive character arcs and dark, compelling paranormal themes.” —USA Today

“One of the premier authors of paranormal romance.” —#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Kresley Cole

“Passion, humor, pulse-pounding action and just plain fun…Showalter’s books are always a refreshing escape!” —New York Times Bestselling Author Lara Adrian

“Bold and witty, sexy and provocative.” —New York Times Bestselling Author Carly Phillips

“With compelling stories and memorable characters, Gena Showalter never fails to dazzle.” —New York Times Bestselling Author Jeaniene Frost


Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil. A dream come true, and a living nightmare.

Evil isn’t born, it’s made. One thought and action at a time. Take a good look at what you’ve made.

Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.

Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real life fairy tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.

Look. See… What will one peek hurt?

Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.

With powers beyond her imagination or control—and determined to change Fate itself—Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed.

As bits and pieces of the prophecy unfold, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?

You can purchase The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil #1) at the following Retailers:
    

THE GIVEAWAY
1 Winner will receive a copy of The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter.
The Evil Queen will be purchased through Book Depository.

Click the Banner below for my Giveaways:

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Guest Post with Katie McGarry


Photo Content from Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. She is the author of the Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road series.

        


Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (January 22, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250193850
ISBN-13: 978-1250193858

Praise for ONLY A BREATH APART

“Katie McGarry knows what YA is, how it works, and what it can do better than anyone, but she always takes it one step further.” ―Hypable

"Fair warning: Picture-perfect Scarlett and misunderstood Jesse will have you in your feels." ―Girls' Life Magazine

“Beyond a haunted teen romance is a beautiful, moving exploration of domestic violence, forgiveness, and self-love. ...Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“McGarry ably captures the feeling of desperately wanting to come home to a friendship that has radically changed. The novel manages to tackle domestic violence in a way that never feels clichéd, and the romance is sure to win over even the most cynical reader. This is a story you’ll want to read slowly, just to be able to stay with the characters for a moment longer.” ―Booklist

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love.” ―Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“Powerful, emotional, and ultimately hopeful. An unforgettable story that will leave its mark on your heart.” ―C. J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author

“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

“Meticulously weaves a fragile love story through a minefield of loss, broken trust, and familial curses both real and imagined. Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful.” ―Tammara Webber, New York Times bestselling author

“A painful, beautiful, and utterly magical story about the family you’re born into versus the family you choose.” ―Trish Doller, author of In a Perfect World

“A touching tale of love and fate straight from the heartland.” ―Mindy McGinnis, author of The Female of the Species

“Scarlett and Jesse’s story will stay in your heart long after you finish the book.” ―Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author

“Southern Gothic at its finest, this is Katie McGarry’s best book to date!” ―Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan and Breathe, Annie, Breathe
  


EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENE FROM ONLY A BREATH APART BY KATIE MCGARRY
This was the original opening of Only a Breath Apart. I absolutely loved and adored it, but I was concerned that the beginning was moving slowly so I cut this. Some parts of this chapter made its way to other chapters in the book.

JESSE
The shadows that cling to the wall move with the limbs of the tree outside, giving the shadows the appearance that they’re alive—poltergeists, ghosts. I’m a realist so I don’t believe in spirits beyond the grave, but I do believe in memories. Some memories are so real that they’re overpowering. That’s the black hole I’m floundering in tonight— memories come back to life.

Except for the soft light from the lamp next to my grandmother’s bed, the trailer is dark. Rain taps against the tin roof, and the last song on the record that’s been playing for the past twenty minutes ends, filling the blank space with dead air and static.

Gran loves listening to records, and that record player has been in her room for as long as I can remember. No matter how many times I tried to bring her musical tastes into this century, she refused.

“Nothing sounds as good as it does playing from a vinyl,” she chided. “Stop trying to change me, Jesse. I like who I am just fine.”

It’s three in the morning. I rolled in around midnight, half drunk, half sober and something in how she dreamed kept me from going in my room across the hall. Gran had been in a restless, wrestling match, and she had appeared to be on the losing end. But I came in, started playing her favorite albums on low and she’s eased into a better sense of peace.

Everything seems normal again, except for her breathing. It’s shallow, labored, a wheeze. Her chest moves up and then down, but I don’t like the feel of it. The doctor told her in April that her heart wouldn’t make it past July. It’s August, and the eerie sensation running along my skin informs me that she’s out of borrowed time.

From the wooden chair I dragged in from the kitchen, I reach over, place the needle back onto the groove and Johnny Cash sings, once again. His voice is deep, the lyrics heavy and the crazy growling in my brain becomes harder to ignore.

I’m slowly losing my mind.

“You can feel it, can’t you, Jesse?” Like a damn ghost herself, Glory’s pale face is the first part of her I see before she enters the light of Gran’s room. Her wild, wet blond hair sticks to her face, and water drips onto the worn carpet from the hem of her long flowing dress. “The air surrounding your home is different, weighted. The doors between this world and the next are converging here—ready to take another soul.”

Glory is full of crap. She was born in the wrong era, wrong generation, or maybe she drank too much or smoked too much weed when she was my age of seventeen. Any way I look at it, her forty year old mind is shot. There isn’t some magical, mystical realm full of fairies and unicorns. There’s the real world and real problems. I can’t help it if Glory can’t deal with reality. “I don’t remember inviting you.”

“I have an extended invitation,” she says.

“Three in the morning is beyond visiting hours.”

“Visiting hours are for conventional people, and there’s nothing conventional about any of us.” Glory float-walks to the other side of Gran, sits on the edge of the bed and gently takes her hand. “She’s going to pass tonight.”

“You don’t know that,” I snap.

She flips Gran’s hand over, traces her fingers over Gran’s palm and concentrates as she silently does a “reading.” I don’t bother to hide the roll of my eyes as I cross my arms over my chest. I lean back in the wooden chair as if I’m cool and calm instead of seconds away from losing my temper. If Gran didn’t love Glory so much, I’d kick her ass out.

Glory is family in the eighteenth-cousin-twice-removed way, and because of that, Gran has permitted Glory to live rent-free in the rundown house at the other side of the five hundred acres Gran owns. There, Glory-the-Con-Artist runs her tarot card/palm reading business. People pay her money so she can scam them and tell them lies.

There are only three Lachlin’s left in this world: me, Glory and Gran. Glory possesses a hint of the Lachlin bloodline, but Gran and I are the last full blood heirs. This meant so much to my Gran and my mom that they refused to give me my father’s last name. Instead, they gave me my grandmother’s maiden name: Lachlin.

According to my great grandfather’s last will and testament, the land can only be passed down to a direct Lachlin descendant. Gran and I are the last of a dying breed. After me, the Lachlin’s will be extinct.

Glory’s shoulders drop with a long exhale as if holding the palm of a weak woman is exhausting. She then lovingly rolls Gran’s fingers into a fist. “Yes, she’ll be crossing over soon.”

A muscle in my jaw twitches, and as I open my mouth to tell Glory she’s no longer welcomed, Gran’s eyes flutter open. “I want her here.”

I can’t figure out if I’m annoyed Gran’s been lying there listening or relieved she’s still coherent. Gran looks frail tonight, and if my grandmother has been known for anything it’s not for being frail. She has a reputation in this town as a kick-ass type of woman. She’s also known as eccentric. That’s a nice word for weird. Kick-ass, eccentric, and weird. Describes her well and it hurts bad in the chest that her body hasn’t kept up with her mind.

Glory leans over the bed and with a gentle hand, brushes Gran’s short, white hair away from her forehead. “I brought saffron to make tea. It will help clear all your centers and connect you better with the universe. Would you like some?”

Gran agrees, and I’m grateful Glory leaves the room. Once she’s down the hall, I scoot to the edge of my seat and readjust Gran’s favorite crocheted blanket so that it covers her better. “Are you doing okay?”

She rolls her head in my direction, and I hate how much effort it takes. This isn’t my grandmother. My gran is a woman who laughs too loud, speaks even louder and who loves me when no one else does. She took me in when I was thrown away, and she’s the only person over the past couple of years I have allowed myself to love.

My throat burns, and I clear it. Crying’s not my thing, but this is my gran and without her, I’m nothing. Thunder rumbles in the distance.

“Don’t be scared, Jesse,” her voice cracks on my name.

“I’m too old to be scared of the dark.” I’m teasing her, a reminder of when I was younger and how she would sit up with me on nights when the thunder and lightning felt too close and too dangerous.

Her forehead furrows. “There are different types of fear.”

That I know.

“I was a child when your great-grandma died,” she says. “She died in her bed, in our house, and it scared me, but Daddy told me to not be frightened because with her dying in the house meant I wasn’t alone.”

Good thing we don’t live in her childhood home, the condemned and falling apart building next to our trailer. Otherwise, I would have grown up with one more ghost rattling around in mind. There’s enough annoying spirits in there already and the ones I do have own loud voices and strong opinions. Most of them telling me each time I look in the mirror how I’m doing everything wrong.

“Don’t be scared of death.”

I say nothing because I don’t want to talk about her dying. Death doesn’t bother me. Her dying does.

“I love this land. Almost as much as I love you.” Gran reaches out, a silent request for me to take her hand, and without thought, I do. Her skin is cold and translucent, her grip too weak, and I hold on for more than what I’m worth. “Scatter my ashes on my land next to where your mom is buried.”

My eyes snap closed. Gran doesn’t understand how I’m walking the line of crazy. I can’t comprehend a world where she isn’t here when I return home. A click of her tongue when I showed past curfew, a knowing and proud smile when I came in covered in mud after working on our land, a hot oatmeal cookie after a long, hard day…

“Your uncle doesn’t think you’re responsible enough to own the land,” she says, and a muscle in my jaw ticks. My non-blood, married-into-the-family uncle and I share an unusual amount of hate. He doesn’t trust me, I don’t trust him and he’s made it his full time job to make my life a living hell. We have to deal with each other because he’s Gran’s power of attorney.

“He’s wrong.”

“He says he thinks you’re more interested in the money than in the legacy. He thinks you’ll sell the land the moment I pass and spend the money within the year.”

“He’s wrong again.” And he needs to keep his mouth shut.

“I know he is,” she says softly then gasps for air. It’s such a tight wheeze that I breathe in for her and wish that her lungs would fully fill the same way mine do. “He doesn’t understand how you love this land. I doubt even I fully understand. There’s a connection between you and it. I see it in your eyes every time you come in from walking through it. With that said, I want you to be happy. ”

“I am happy,” I say, and the sad flash in her eyes tells me she thinks that’s a lie. “You know this land brings me peace.” And that’s the truth.

When everything in my life has gone to hell, I’ve had this land and Gran, and when she passes, the land is all I’ll have left. People look at this sod and see trees, grass and fields. They see what they think is nothing. They see a backwards life in a technology driven future. I see my only shot at happiness.

I see something that’s alive, that breathes and is as much a part of me as my arms and legs. The land doesn’t judge. It doesn’t put expectations upon me that I’ll never meet. It accepts.

I see a place where when I work hard then life is created. Seeds grow into plants, and plants into fruit. I’ve seen horses and cows carry babies in their bellies, and I’ve experienced quiet and intense moments where all my problems become insignificant in the glory and awe of new life.

This land takes me as I am, and whenever the demons from my past ride me to hard, I walk this land and find peace. My soul and the land’s soul is intertwined. What happens to it, happens to me. We aren’t separate. We’re one.

“Don’t talk, Gran. You’ll feel better after some sleep, and in the morning, I’ll make you a hot breakfast.”

She studies me, and when she looks at me like that I’m afraid of what she sees. “I know what the people in town say. I know what some people in our family have said. I’ve told you this for years, but I need you to hear it again: there’s no curse.”

My eyes dart to hers, and then I lower my head. She squeezes my hand, but I can’t speak. Gran being so weak is already bringing up too many memories of Mom, and the pain in my chest is so intense that a part of me wishes I was the one close to death.

“If there was a curse,” she says, “then you wouldn’t be here. You’ve brought me more joy than I should have ever been allowed.”

I lightly chuckle. “You weren’t saying that when Uncle Marshall bailed me out of jail a couple of months ago.”

She laughs and squeezes my hand again. “You’re a challenge, but most things worth loving are.” Her smile fades. “That’s what I want for you. I don’t want you to be scared to love.”

Footsteps down the hallway and Gloria enters with a steaming China teacup and saucer. I move to help prop Gran up so she can drink, but she shakes her head. “Let Glory read your palm.”

“You don’t believe there’s a curse, yet you believe she can talk to dead people and see the future?” I tip the wooden chair I’m in so that the back of it leans against the wall.

“Yes,” Gran says without blinking. “So give her your hand. I want to know your future.”

“I don’t.” I have no interest in knowing anything beyond today.

“That sounds like you believe I have the gift.” Glory sets the teacup on the bedside table then peels a lock of her wet hair off her face. “And you’re scared of what I’ll tell you.”

“I believe you’re a hustler who makes a buck off people who are easy reads.”

“Nothing about you is easy. In fact, everything about you, including reading you, is very difficult.”

“Let me guess, I’m a tortured soul, and next week I’m going to see a blue bird and that blue bird’s going to represent a dead family member of mine who is there to tell me to be at peace with my soul.”

The ends of Glory’s mouth edge up—sarcastic and dry. “It’ll be a black bird, actually, and the bird will not bring peace to your soul. The sight of it will trouble you.”

Another keen observation based on things every person in town already knows—my soul is always troubled.

“You believe you are cursed.” Glory watches me as if she sees more than what exists. “Is it so hard to stretch your belief in the Lachlin curse to thinking there are those of us who possess a supernatural gift?”

“I’m cursed,” I say, “because I have to listen to you day in and day out spew lies about spirts beyond the grave.”

While Gran isn’t paying attention, Glory has the balls to smirk at me.

“Give her your hand,” Gran presses.

“Gran,” I start to protest, but she holds up her hand, stopping me.

“I did something, Jesse, to help you,” Gran whispers, and my heart stops beating. “And I want to make sure I made the right decision.”

I push off the wall, and the front legs of the chair hits the floor with a crack. “What did you do?”

“Let her read your palm,” Gran says, and as I open my mouth to argue, she raises her voice to a tone I haven’t heard in months. “Let her read your palm!”

I put out my hand, palm up, forcing Glory to come to me. Glory crosses the cramped room that’s small enough to hold Gran’s twin bed, her nightstand, a dresser and my chair. I can’t maneuver without my body ramming into a piece of furniture, but Glory breezes past it all and takes my hand in her smaller one.

“What’s his future?” Gran asks.

“This is ridiculous.”

“Any more ridiculous than the curse?” Glory whispers so only I can hear. “I know what you really believe, and I know how you believe you can break the curse.”

“You know nothing about me.” I go to snatch my hand back, but Glory keeps a firm grip. Plus Gran’s watching us intently. To appease her, I stay still. Glory’s painted blood red fingernail lightly follows a long line at the center of my palm then along the dissecting smaller ones.

“He will be tested,” Glory says in a far off voice. The perfected one she does for affect.

“Yeah. I start my senior year of high school next week. Tests happen.”

Glory and Gran ignore me, and Gran coughs, the rasping sound scraping the inside of my skull. “I know this. Tell me what I want to know.”

“This is more. The universe has decided to take advantage of your plan.”

A sickness sloshes around in my stomach. “What did you do, Gran?”

My uncle has been here more than normal. Paperwork in his hands each and every time. Gran told me she was updating her will. She told me she and my uncle were protecting me. I assumed it was to close some legal loopholes about me being a minor and inheriting the land. I silently curse because I should have been smarter. I should have asked for specifics.

Glory’s eyebrows knit together as she narrows her gaze on my palm.

“Trying to see what I had for dinner?” I mumble.

“Jesse’s future is unclear, Suzanne.”

“Because you’re a fake,” I whisper, but I give her credit. She never loses her “focus.”

“Jesse is a volatile soul. You know this. Unless he has a clear understanding of who he is, I can’t see what his choices will be.” Her forehead worries now as if watching my palm is causing her pain. All of which, I don’t buy.

“Did I make a mistake?” Gran asks as a wheeze. “Will he lose the land?”

“I don’t know. I can’t tell.”

My entire body jolts as if struck by electricity. I yank my hand away from Glory’s grip and turn my attention to Gran. “Why are you asking about the land? Why would I lose it?”

Gran’s chest rises, and then she blows out a breath. A breath that’s too long. A breath that feels too final. Johnny Cash begins the chorus of her favorite song, and that craziness in my head becomes a scream in my ears as I wait for her to inhale again.

Johnny Cash’s deep voice croons about sunshine, and as if in slow motion, Gran’s eyelids shut.


Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart. 

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…


You can purchase Only a Breath Apart at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KATIE MCGARRY for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of ONLY A BREATH APART by Katie McGarry.
WEEK ONE
JUNE 13th THURSDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
JUNE 14th FRIDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
JUNE 14th FRIDAY A Bella Fairy Tale REVIEW 
JUNE 15th SATURDAY Movies, Shows, & Books TENS LIST
JUNE 15th SATURDAY Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews REVIEW 
JUNE 16th SUNDAY Lauren's Bookshelf REVIEW 
JUNE 16th SUNDAY TTC Books and More TENS LIST
JUNE 17th MONDAY Bookish Kali REVIEW
JUNE 17th MONDAY Postcards for Ariel EXCERPT 

WEEK TWO
JUNE 20th THURSDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW & INTERVIEW 
JUNE 20th THURSDAY Booklovers For Life REVIEW 
JUNE 21st FRIDAY Wishful Endings INTERVIEW 
JUNE 22nd SATURDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW
JUNE 22nd SATURDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW
JUNE 23rd SUNDAY A Bookish Dream REVIEW
JUNE 23rd SUNDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
JUNE 24th MONDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW 
JUNE 24th MONDAY Sophie Reads YA REVIEW

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sherwood Smith Author Interview


Photo Credit: ©Lynne Glazer

Sherwood Smith started making books out of paper towels at age six. In between stories, she studied and traveled in Europe, got a master’s degree in history, and now lives in Southern California with her spouse, two kids, and two dogs. Smith’s the author of the high fantasy Sartorias-deles series as well as the modern-day fantasy adventures of Kim Murray in Coronets and Steel. Learn more at sherwoodsmith.net.

      
  


What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
First of all, thank you very much for hosting me on your blog!

I’m a fairly boring person overall. The item from my past that seems to surprise people most is that I once had to defend my life with a switchblade. (I was a clueless just-turned 21, hitchhiking around Europe at the time. But I’d been studying fencing for a while. )

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I’ve been a writer since I was six. I was a storyteller before then—I have one of those split-second memories of being in kindergarten, and the teacher asked me what my painting was about. I knew it was scribble-scrabble at the time, because I was drawing symbols to keep up with the story evolving in my head.

This memory is brief but quite sharp: I’m standing there next to the drawing on cheapo newsprint clipped to an easel. I’m telling the teacher (her name was Mrs. Darling) about this long story. I got to the robbers chasing my protagonist when she blinked slightly, and her expression intensified. I still can’t quite define her expression, but in retrospect—this was the mid-fifties, when conformity was so very much a part of the culture—I wonder if she was thinking I was . . . let’s say, a crayon short of a full pack.

Anyway, I started writing the stories down the next year (I already knew how to read, I’d been reading since I was three or four, but writing was a struggle) on paper towels. So it was always there.

If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?
First would be a character in one of my stories who hasn’t come out in print yet. In other people’s stories, oh, why not Elizabeth Bennet? She gets a great house, she’ll have a great life, and her mind is such fun to be in! Why not?

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
That would be Jilo hearing the Great Hum. I’m a visual/audial writer. The sight, the sound of that episode wrenches my heart and fills it at the same time.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Finding out that a person I’d never met was reading one of my books minutes before they died of cancer. That someone could find something worthwhile in that book at the most extreme moment of their life has been profoundly moving and rewarding. I wish I knew what part of the book they were reading. Maybe it’s better not to know—writers can try to grasp the relationship between a book and a reader, but it’s like trying to sculpt water. Heck, meaningful passages from my own reading will get a “Huh?” from other readers. We all bring our own perceptive lens to our reading, but even so, I’m so grateful that something I wrote could reach another person in that way.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your characters?
Being a visual writer, I don’t really create characters. They pop into my head as vivid images, and I discover their backstories as I write them. I think the biggest surprise was writing about one when I was a teen, though I didn’t understand their motivations.

Then when I revisited that story in my forties, I began to understand what a very long game they were playing.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Read! Read widely, non-fiction as well as fiction. Live all those wonderful lives, and think those fascinating thoughts.

Who has had the most influence in your life?
Living or through books? Through books, probably Jane Austen. Living? Too hard to single out any one person.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
The most pleasurable have been the white-fire stories, the ones that write themselves, while I serve as conduit. I live them while writing them. There have been very few of these—under a half dozen in all my sixty years of serious writing. But I remember each one.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
Getting to travel around the world.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
I am a complete and total chicken. I was scared plenty as a tiny kid—beginning with someone popping a balloon in my face at my first birthday. I remember that. Have hated balloons ever since.

Another was in first grade, and the air raid sirens went off on a day that wasn’t a Friday (back in the fifties, they blew every Friday, and we’d practice drop and cover . . . as if that would do any good when an atom bomb went off). The principal summoned our school out to the blacktop to inform us that the Soviets had launched . . . a sputnik.

We six year olds thought that that was the atom bomb coming, and I remember standing there half-stooped over, as if I could get to the blacktop to duck and cover faster. Then I realized how stupid that was while standing in the open like that, and that I was toast no matter what I did. That helpless horror is still vivid, probably why I have never liked horror films. There was enough horror in early life.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
What scenes I’ll write tomorrow!

Where can readers find you?
I’m Sartorias at Dreamwidth and Livejournal. I try to do Twitter for five minutes every couple days, but it’s hard to remember and I hate the format. Too brief, can’t keep up! I also have a bunch of posts up at Book View Café.


Untested young rulers must cooperate to protect their world from the magical threat of the mysterious kingdom of Norsunder in a new epic fantasy trilogy set in the same world as the popular Inda series.

The first installment of a trilogy, A Sword Named Truth launches readers into a story of non-stop action, politics, and magical threats leading to Norsunder's return. Our heroes span continents and cultures, ambitions and desires, but share one characteristic: they are young leaders. Many are rulers of unstable nations, growing into their power and their identities, but they seek ways to trust and bind themselves together--and find the strength to defend against a host that has crushed entire worlds: Norsunder.

With incredible powers only hinted at and enigmatic characters who appear in strange circumstances, the magical empire of Norsunder has loomed as the ultimate villain in Sartorias-deles, portending a battle to come, with the very highest of stakes.

Set in the complex world of Sartorias-deles, Sherwood Smith returns readers to the enthralling saga begun with the military action of the Inda series and continuing in the magic-based cultural drama of Banner of the Damned, bringing together deadly high politics, engaging worldbuilding, and nuanced examinations of power, love, and betrayal. 

You can purchase The Wishing World at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SHERWOOD SMITH for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of A Sword Named Truth (Rise of the Alliance #1) by Sherwood Smith.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Roselle Lim Author Interview


Photo Credit: Shelley Smith

Roselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother's) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

An artist by nature, she considers writing as "painting with words."

She is represented by Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.

        
  


Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in Manila before moving to Canada as a child. I now live in a tiny rural town two hours away from Toronto. It’s a huge change!

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby?
This happened when I was a baby writer and I learned to take feedback. It was my first step toward improving with deliberate intention.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
The first chapter. It underwent the most changes and, to me, all of the hard work reflects its importance in setting the tone of the novel.

Can you tell us a bit about your book, NATALIE TAN'S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE?
My debut is a love letter to mothers and daughters; to immigrants; and to my culture. It’s set in San Francisco’s Chinatown and showcases the wonderful magic found in the ordinary.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Helen Hoang and Madeline Miller.

What part of NATALIE TAN’S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE did you enjoy writing the most?
The food! I made a menu of the book’s dishes and made sure that each one fits into the right circumstance and scene.

What book would you recommend for others to read?
Helen Hoang’s “The Kiss Quotient” and her newest book: “The Bride Test”. I also loved “Circe” by Madeline Miller.

Are you willing to tell us about other projects that you’re working on?
I’m working on book 2. It is set in Paris and involves a character from my debut. Of course it is full of food!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would introduce Natalie Tan to Vianne Rocher from “Chocolat”. I think they would get along well, swap recipes, and cook one of the best feasts imaginable.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I definitely want to do the 1980s. Watching “Stranger Things” made me miss the time of hairspray, ripped denim, and shoulder pads.

TEN FACTS ABOUT NATALIE TAN'S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE
  • 1. The setting is San Francisco’s Chinatown which is the oldest Chinatown in North America.
  • 2. The recipes in this book are from my father.
  • 3. White Rabbit candies are a childhood favorite of mine.
  • 4. An earlier version of this book had a talking cat.
  • 5. Celia was once Cecelia whom was dating one of the Shens.
  • 6. Growing up, my family went on many road trips. Most included a stay in the local Chinatown as my parents found comfort in the familiarity.
  • 7. My family owned a dried goods store in Manila’s Chinatown (Binondo). We lived in the apartments above.
  • 8. This is my first manuscript to use the first person point-of-view.
  • 9. I’ve tasted and loved every dish mentioned in the book.
  • 10. The book’s strong Filipino connection and presence comes from my Filipino-Chinese heritage.

At the news of her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn't spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco's Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She's even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother's restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant's fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother's cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around--she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

You can purchase Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ROSELLE LIM for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim.

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