SACRED by Elana K. Arnold


Alex Bledsoe


Summer Chastant


Helen Scheuerer


Jennifer Morrison


Rebecca Ross


Chandler Baker


Brendan Reichs


Cass Morris


Sherrilyn Kenyon


Thursday, March 29, 2012

BNM from L.A. Weatherly

Photo Content from L.A. Weatherly

Lee Weatherly was born in 1967 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She lives with her husband in Hampshire, England, where she writes, goes on walks, tries out new recipes and has a cat named Bernard.

L.A. Weatherly is the pseudonym for Lee Weatherly. You can follow her on Twitter at @LA_Weatherly


I was beyond speechless when I opened my package. I didn't know if I should cry or jump for joy, seriously! My emotions was at its peek. I am humbled by your kindness, Lee. There's not enough words to tell you how I really feel but I'll start by saying: not only do I know your work is amazing, but I love you, Lee!!! Thank you for making this one of the most unforgettable moments in my life.

Handwritten notes from Lee's earliest ideas of Angel Burn.

When Lee was writing the first draft, years later.

Original. Yes! An original proof page from the UK Edition with handwritten corrections.

Lissa Evans Author Interview

BookNerd Interview
Charity Hopping Around the World

This hop couldn't come soon enough. I wanted to share one of my favorite Charity to all of you and at the same give you a chance to win an Amazing novel by Lissa Evans.

About JDRF Advocacy

JDRF has built a nationwide network of Advocates who are dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. We are all working together to advance the search for a cure faster and more effectively.

Time Magazine called JDRF "one of the nation's most forceful disease advocacy groups." When it comes to fighting type 1 diabetes, JDRF's strength lies in our numbers and the ability of our Advocates to work together to build bonds--bonds with one another, as well as with our Members of Congress. These relationships strengthen our community, provide support for those who are living with type 1 diabetes, and deliver our message--the need for a cure--faster and more effectively.
For more information about JDRF Click >>>>HERE<<<<

Here's a >>>LINK<<< to the JDRF donation page. It is NOT a requirement or a way to enter my giveaway.

Book Nerd Interview 

Following a brief career in medicine, Lissa Evans spent five years as a producer in BBC Radio Light Entertainment. She then moved to television where her credits as producer/director include Room 101, Father Ted and The Kumars at Number 42. She has written books for both adults and children.


What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on your writing?

The books I enjoyed reading most at that age involved the mingling of real life and magic - ordinary children discovering something extraordinary. I desperately wanted that possibility in my own, rather dull, life, and spent huge amounts of time just hoping and waiting for something magical to happen. (It didn’t)

I also loved funny books and I’ve since found that the books that made me laugh most as a child still make me laugh as an adult – my sense of humor obviously hasn’t changed much.

The books for children that I write now combine both these elements, so I guess you could say that the effect of my favourite stories was profound and life-long.

What made you take the plunge and start writing?

For twelve years, I worked as a comedy producer/director in radio and television, and spent a lot of time editing other people’s scripts. (Editing is an incredibly useful skill to have, because it’s all about knowing what’s important in a story, and what you can lose – and it’s about making the story flow). So I spent a lot of time helping other people to tell their stories, and I began to think that I had stories of my own that I wanted to share. This feeling got stronger and stronger, and in the end I took three months off work and started writing every day. It was a wonderful and liberating time.

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

Oddly enough (given what I’ve written above), my all-time favourite children’s book doesn’t feature magic at all. It’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerard Durrell, a very funny account of the author’s eccentric childhood. He lived on a Greek island with his peculiar family, and spent almost all of his time observing and collecting wildlife (an interest which he never lost - he ended up by becoming a zoo-keeper). I read it when I was ten, on a wet camping holiday, starting at first light and reading right through breakfast, lunch and tea and finishing by flashlight late that evening. It was my first experience of total immersion in a book.

I don’t think I can pick one single adult book as my favourite, but my favourite author is George Orwell, who wrote ground-breaking fiction and non-fiction in beautifully clear and vivid prose. ‘1984’ is still one of the most chilling novels ever written, and incredibly easy to read, and ‘Down and Out in London and Paris’ is a funny, sad, riveting account of a year spent living in poverty.

Why middle grade? What are some of the challenges of writing for this age group?

When you’re an adult, it’s often hard to remember what you were like at a particular age, but sometimes a specific incident or experience means you can pin down your memories with real accuracy. When I was ten, my family moved away from the village where I’d grown up, and re-located to a large town two hundred miles away. It was the beginning of the summer vacation and I knew no-one at all. My memories of the time are so intense that I can key into exactly how it felt to be that age – and when I started writing children’s fiction it seemed obvious to me that that would be the age group I’d be writing for.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure, how would you introduce it?

“Small Change for Stuart” is about an ordinary boy, in an ordinary place, who discovers that his family has an extraordinary past and a lost secret.

Stuart’s 10, and small for his age, and when he moves to the dreary town of Beeton at the beginning of the summer holidays, it seems possible that he’ll die of boredom by the end of the week. Then he meets the identical triplet sisters (aged 10, tall for their age) who live next door, and things get even worse.

At which point he finds out something truly amazing about his family history, and begins a frantic quest to solve a series of clues and find his great-uncle’s lost legacy. It’s not cash, it’s not jewels, it’s a magician’s workshop – and somebody else wants to find it too, somebody who’ll let nothing get in her way…

Click >>>>HERE<<<< to Enter a wonderful world filled with magic, mystery, and danger!

Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery, and danger.

As if being small and having S. Horten as his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends.But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop. Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door… and encounters trouble from another magician who's also desperate to get hold of Tony's treasures.

A quirky, smart, charming page-turner, Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms will enchant young readers--as well as teachers, librarians, and parents.

Lissa Evans’ Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms is a great adventure that takes readers beyond their imagination. It was a fun read and made me feel like a little kid again. Imagine that school just ended and your summer vacation is about to start, only to be informed by your parents that the family is moving. Well that was the very thing that happened to 10-year-old Stuart. Faced with this news, he can’t help but get mad at the fact that he probably will not have any friends to play with all summer long. But his next door neighbors, the Kingley triplets, properly named April, May, and June, they set off to an adventure after Stuart finds a cryptic message from his magician Uncle asking him to find his secret workshop.

Overall, this book was fun. Evans writing style is easy to follow and very descriptive. You can see, smell, and almost touch every step of Stuart’s exhilarating journey. The mystery behind the Uncle’s puzzling message was so nerve-wrecking. I desperately wanted to find out before Stuart did. The characters are very likable and with every bump on the road of their adventure, you just want to jump inside the pages and help them out. That is how much you will start to care for them. It’s a super-adventure full of magic, mystery and mayhem. I am interested to read more about the very-determined 10-year-old Stuart. Lissa Evans has reminded us that adventures are waiting for us to overtake. It just takes imagination and determination, excellent qualities that Stuart possesses.

You can purchase Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms at these following Retailers: 

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Lissa & Katie for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one copy of Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans.

Click HERE for the Rest of the Hop

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alma Katsu Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview 

Alma Katsu lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. Her debut, The Taker, a Gothic novel of suspense, has been compared to the early work of Anne Rice and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. The novel was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association and has developed an international following. The Reckoning, the second book in the trilogy, is coming out in June 2012. The Taker Trilogy is published by Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster.

Ms. Katsu is a graduate of the Master's writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University, where she studied with John Irving. She also attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Social Media

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A writer! Somehow I took this thirty-year detour working in intelligence, for CIA and other places. I wrote during that time, just not the kind of writing I would prefer to do.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

There are so many influences, but looking back since The Taker was published, I’ve been struck by how strongly I was influenced by fairy tales. They’re full of adventure and romance, things we often don’t get much of in everyday life, and teach us life lessons. They’re the first stories most of us hear—no wonder so many of us persist in magical thinking!

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

Very young, under thirteen, I think. I was sort of a child prodigy in art from the age of ten and there were expectations that I would become an artist. I started writing around thirteen and never looked back.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; The Taker, how would you introduce it?

It’s a dark cautionary love story, as opposed to a happily-ever-after love story. It’s the story of a girl who falls in love with someone she’s not meant to have and does everything in her power to get her way, with tragic consequences.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

The Taker came out of a short story I wrote a long time ago. Because of my job—intelligence agencies generally don’t like their employees to write and get your name out there—I stopped writing fiction for many years, but I kept thinking about the characters in the short story, and what happened to them after the story ended. When I decided to return to fiction, I knew I had to finish writing their story.

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

Probably nothing, at this point! She’s a pretty headstrong girl without too many secrets. It’s probably no surprise that she wants to have children, although she can’t.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

Yes! The RECKONING is the next book and it comes out June 2012. It picks up where The TAKER left off (hint hint, for those who have read the first book.) The third book in the trilogy is The DESCENT, which I’m writing now. And, fingers crossed, there will be a fourth book (in a trilogy?) It’s more like a spin-off, based on something that happens in The Reckoning. 

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

That’s a really interesting question! It would probably be someone who needs to see a doctor, since Luke likes to feel useful. Maybe Madame Bovary, since she died of consumption.

What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?

One interesting thing that’s happened is that it’s prompted a few folks to confess their sexual peculiarities to me. It’s been just a couple people… and I’m glad they found someone to tell about it, if it’s been on their mind. As long as they don’t mind if it ends up in a future book. (Kidding, of course.)

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

It’s so hard to pick just one favorite book, don’t you think? Right now it’s CASANOVA IN BOLSANO by Sandor Marai, because it was such a great influence on The Taker, with its infinitely dense take on love, all aspects of love, the good, bad and painful.

what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

Well, first of all I’m not sure I have a genre, because I read all over the map. Mostly I like books that are unusual, and play around with narrative form.

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

All the time.

Do you have a book trailer?

There are two: the US one (Simon & Schuster)

And the UK one (Random House UK), which was translated into a couple other languages, too:

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m working on the third book in the trilogy, The DESCENT, and it’s in such a raw form that I can’t give an excerpt here, but I will say that it answers all the questions in the first two books, such as where does Adair’s power come from anyway, and why does everything always work out for Jonathan no matter what a t**l he is, and will Lanny ever have the love she deserves?

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

That’s a great question. I try not to lie, however, after nearly 30 years in intelligence because you have to tell so many little white lies on the job (deception is part of the business, after all) I’m really sick of it.

Who was your first boyfriend?

I think it was pre-kindergarten. I recall a little boy in the neighborhood and we had crushes on one another. Does that count?

[Jean] - Yes, that counts!

What is your most memorable travel experience?

Sorry, but that’s classified. But it was amazing.

What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?

Yipes, I wish I knew! Probably a view of the Alps from an airplane, as the mountaintops broke through the clouds and they were caught in that brilliant yellow-pink, Maxfield Parrish kind of light.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?

Yogurt with sunflower seeds.

Where can readers stalk you?

Yes, please stalk me! In particular, readers may want to join the mailing list as I have a monthly drawing for goodies—sometimes jewelry!—and once you’re on the list, you’re eligible every month.

True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price.

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by police—Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect—and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever. . . . At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, and she will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity.

The Taker is an addictive story that revolves around perpetual love and tragedy. Alma Katsu’s narration is totally hypnotizing that I found myself reading the pages and getting lost within the puzzling and horrifying events that envelop Lanny’s past.

Katsu brilliantly alternates the story between the past and present. She combines modern and historical fiction and puts a full twist on immortality. The origins of the characters are unique, fresh and completely captivating. Even with a cast of strange individuals, Katsu manages to keep the story flowing beautifully. It is truly unique and unlike anything I have ever read.

This dark fairy tale will fetch many emotions. I found myself completely invested in Lanny’s fascinating story and her mystical past. It was hard to put the book down because curiosity just would not let me. I extremely wanted to know how Luke would come into her life and what it would do for Lanny.

The book is stuffed with romance, action, and violence. Each line is written skillfully and carefully. The plot and characters are truly magnificent. Katsu’s debut novel is the start of her career and we have the pleasure of consuming all of her future works. I cannot wait for the next installment and it’s for certain that it will be more powerful, twisted, and dark.

You can purchase The Taker at these following Retailers: 

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Alma for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one copy of The Taker by Alma Katsu.

5 Winners will receive one Signed Bookmark by Alma Katsu.

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James R. Tuck Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview 

James R. Tuck is the author of the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series from Kensington. Book one, BLOOD AND BULLETS will be available everywhere on February 7, 2012 and will be preceded by the e-novella THAT THING AT THE ZOO on January 27, 2012.

James is a former bouncer and has been a professional tattoo artist for over 15 years. His tattoo work has been published in national tattoo magazines and he owns Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga. He lives near there with a wonderful wife, three wonderful children, and six dogs of varying degrees of wonderfulness.

Social Media

You’re an author and a tattoo artist; that's a curious combination. How did that come about?

The two are completely unrelated. I began tattooing over 15 years ago. I worked hard, loving it all, learning something new all the time. It takes years to become a good tattoo artist, to find your style and make the technique work for you. I built up a good skill level, had work published in national tattoo magazines, and built a large clientle who love me. Three years ago I made the move to open my own shop. It's a great little tattoo shop in my hometown just above Atlanta and it is exactly the kind of shop I wanted. It's not big, but we do nice work and people really like us. You can come in and not feel out of place. It's a laid back shop with a great vibe to it.

The writing bug bit me in 2009. I have always been a reader and I have loved urban fantasy for years and years. One day I was reading a book that was supposed to be a dark, violent, “OMG how did she get away with writing that” kind of book. It wasn't. The characters were flat, the story was dis-jointed, and it was not scary at all. I finished that book, sat it down, and said out loud to myself: “I can write better shit than that.”

So I did.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

As a child I swayed between being a veterinarian, a garbage man, and a comic book artist. Boy, I was pretty far off my guesses as I grew older. Lol.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

I have always drawn and read. I remember srawing monsters, dragons, and warriors as far back as the second grade. And I my dad used to love to tell the story of me reading the paper to him at 5. So it has always been with me.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Blood and Bullets, how would you introduce it?

BLOOD AND BULLETS is a Dark Urban Fantasy starring Deacon Chalk. It's got a main character with a death wish, bloodthirsty vampires, undead strippers, Were-spiders, cursed immortals, and more guns than a third world army. It is a bloody, violent thrillride of kickass.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

BLOOD AND BULLETS is book one of the Deacon Chalk series. There is a prequel e-novella called THAT THING AT THE ZOO which is available now from all fine e-tailers for less than a dollar. I have completed the 2nd e-novella titled SPIDER'S LULLABY which comes out in July and book 2, BLOOD AND SILVER, which hits shelves August 7th. I am currently banging away at book 3 (BLOOD AND MAGICK) as well as e-novella 3 which will come out in 2013. I have the series outlined to book 10 with plenty of room to continue from there as well as expanding it out to short stories and offshoots. You will see a lot of the Deaconverse in the future.

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

Just how damaged he would be. I mean, I started with the notion that if monsters were real, if this stuff really happened, then the person who woke up every day saying “I'm going to kill monsters.” would be really screwed up. I had no idea just how dark this series could get. Deacon is damaged from losing his family. It has made him angry and violent and he has a death wish. He wants to go on and be with his dead family, but he is a devout Catholic. Because of this, he cannot take himself there, suicide is a mortal sin, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. So what he does is mount up everyday and throw himself at the monster, hoping and praying that one day he will be just that little bit too slow, that little bit not strong enough and one of them will be monster enough to send him on his way.

That premise has taken the story into some really dark places. It's a hard world in the Deaconverse.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Depends on the character. They all have their own veiwpoints. Father Mulcahy, the chain-smoking, coffe swilling, shotgun carrying priest has a different viewpoint than Nyteblade, the wannabe vampire hunter. Kat, the right hand man and research guru who survived a vicious time as a blood-whore to a sadistic vampire sonnuvabitch named Darius, has a differnt veiwpoint than Charlotte the Were-spider. I worked really hard to try and make all the characters well-rounded and treat them as “real” in this world that I created.

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

Oh, Facebook how I curse your name! I do not know what black magick crack they work into the programming at Facebook, but it seriously works. If there is an internet connection available then I must obsessively check my facebook.

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

All time favorite? Oh, that is way too difficult to narrow down. I am an avid reader and have been for almost 4 decades. I love books. In urban fantasy I would go with OBSIDIAN BUTTERFLY by Laurell K Hamilton. That is one helluva good book.

what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

Again a hard one to nail down. I like a lot of books in a lot of genres. Gun to my head I guess I would pick THE OUTSIDERS by S. E. Hinton. It is not often you can go back as an adult and reread a book you loved in junior high school and have it hold up. This is a classic and a must read.

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

Not often. I mean, I have loved the dark stuff for a long time. I was watching Faces Of Death as a 12 year old. I have seen a ton of horror movies and read even more books on all kinds of dark subjects. So, nope, as dark as my books get, they don't creep me out. I mean, hell, I did read THE BIGHEAD by Ed Lee, which is hands down the most disturbing book I have ever read. It did almost make me put it down. I do not recommend it if you have any kind of weak stomach.

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

I learned a long time ago that honesty really is the best policy. Instead of lying I will tell the truth even if it hurts someone's feelings. It just makes life easier. Now I don't go out of my way to share my honest opinion if it is negative, but if asked I will be honest.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

Not sure. Maybe the collection of salt and pepper shakers we have? Maybe the Pez collection? Probably you would be awestruck by just how normal we are for all our abnormality.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading the THRILLERS anthology put out by the International Thriller Writers (of which I am a member) and REVENGE OF THE PENMONKEY by the Indomitable Chuck Wendig. The anthology is like most anthologies, some things make me add a writer to my want list and some stories I skip. The Chuck Wendig book, well, I just love Chuck. He has a way of making me crack up and want to be a better writer all at the same time. All writers should pick up his stuff and read his blog at

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

On my day off from the tattoo shop I do. When I have the house to myself you will often find me pecking away at the keyboard in pajamma pants and a t-shirt.

What’s the worst job you’ve had?

For one day I was a dishwasher at the Manchu Wok in the Mall. I was 16. It was horrible. I was elbow deep in greasy water, washing woks and pans all night long. I was the only non-asian person who worked there and the cook evidently did not like me. All night he yelled at me in chinese and when he was done cooking something he would just pick up the hot wok and fling it at me and the sink. He never actually hit me with one, just clanged it off the stainless steel sink or splashed me with the hot, greasy water. I worked there for 3 hours, trying to not go lose my shit on this old asian man. The lady who was in charge came back and had me take the garbage out. I gathered the bags, walked out the back to the dumpster, and just kept on walking to my car. I never even went back for my check.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

My keys have to be in my pocket. My wallet. My moleskine notebook and a pen for writing down ideas. A writer should NEVER be caught without something to write on and with. You will not remember that cool idea that hit you at the redlight beside Mc Donald's. Always write it down.

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can tell us?

I do a lot of staying in on Halloween. My kids are now old enough that we don't trick or treat and we live in a neighborhood of folks in their 40's and 50's so there are almost no kids around. So, nope, I am lame at Halloween.

Where can readers stalk you?

In person they can come to the tattoo shop, Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga or track me down at any of the conventions I am working. I love to meet folks so don't be shy! My itenerary is on my website.

I am all over the web, but for social media here are the links.

Author Website:

Author Twitter:!/JamesTuckwriter

Author Facebook:

Author Blog:

And please do follow me. I promise you a good time. I love meeting new fans online and in person. Chat me up!

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .

You can purchase Blood and Bullets at these following Retailers: 

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you James for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive on e-book copy of Blood and Bullets by James R. Tuck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 26, 2012

BNM - Book Nerd Mail #9

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen Provided by Bloomsbury.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Provided by Scholastic.

Halfling by Heather Burch Provided by Zondervan.

The Morpheus Road Bookmarks by D.J. MacHale Provided by D.J. MacHale.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery & Blood Canticle by Anne Rice 
Purchased from a used book store.
I was so happy to find Blood Canticle in First Edition.

Purity ARC by Jackson Pearce Provided by Hachette.
Above by Leah Bobet Provided by Scholastic.

Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett. I love this books and I can never get enough.

The Taker & The Reckoning Bookmarks by Alma Provided & Signed by Alma Katsu.

Replication by Jill Williamson Provided by Zondervan. 

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin Purchased from B&N.

Intangible by J. Meyers Swag Provided & Signed by J. Meyers.

Code of Silence by Tim Shoemaker Provided by Zondervan.  

Fracture by Megan Miranda Swag Provided & Signed by Megan Miranda.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood Swag Provided & Signed by Jessica Spotswood.

Vanish & Firelight by Sophie Jordan Swag Provided & Signed by Sophie Jordan.

BookNerd Kids
Muncle Trogg by Janet Foxley Provided by Scholastic.
The Hero's Guide to Saving your Kingdom by Christopher Healy Provided Walden Pond Press.

Children of the Lamp First Editions by P.B. Kerr Purchased from a used book store.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rachel Coker Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview  

I am a sixteen year old homeschool student from way-out-of-the-way Virginia. When I was younger, I loved to read so much that the taking away of library privileges was a go-to punishment for my parents. Especially since I loved the library so much that I once concocted an entire plan to run away and live there among the books….

When I was in sixth grade, I wrote my first fiction short story for a school assignment and things pretty much rocketed from there. My mom signed me up for writing lessons for about a year, and I completed my first full length YA novel when I was fourteen. It is scheduled to come out with Zondervan in 2012.

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Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Every book I’ve read has influenced my writing in some way, I’m sure. Especially the ones I read over and over as a child. I loved Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob, Have I Loved, both by Katherine Paterson. Anything beautiful and simple, but touching. Poetry has also had a profound influence on my writing. It has helped me be able to see the beauty in just a small amount of words. And also music. Sometimes the mood to a scene I’m writing can be completely altered by whatever I’m listening to at that moment, whether it’s a swingy jazz song or a Debussy piano piece.

Other than playing the Piano, what else do you love to do?

I love photography. I have a nice camera and I do portrait photography on the side for local families and seniors. I’m also trying to get into wedding photography this year, so we’ll see if I like that. :) I also love watching old black and white movies and reading enormous piles of books.

Tell us your latest news.

Well, I finally got a contract for my second book! It’s due to come out with Zondervan in March 2013, and I am over the moon excited. This whole journey has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to go through the process of cover selection, trailers, interviews, etc. with the second book.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Quirky, sarcastic, opinionated.

For those who are unfamiliar with your Novel; Interrupted: Life Beyond Words, how would you introduce it?

It’s not your typical sappy romance novel. It’s the story of a girl who has been through so much pain and sorrow in her short life, with the death of her mother, and she doesn’t know how to deal with her bitterness and sorrow. Instead of practicing forgiveness and love, she holds her anger up inside herself and blames everyone else for her pain. She fights the love she really feels for those around her until it’s almost too late. But, in the end, it’s a story of how God can melt a heart of stone and give anyone a second chance at happiness.

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

I think I learned a lot about myself through the situations I created for Allie. Her character’s personality is very similar to mine, so a lot of her reactions to things were copies of how I know I would react. The transformation of Allie from someone who is very reclusive to someone who is able to show love and affection gave me the ability to express my own feelings better.

Where did you get your idea for Sam?

Sam is the kind of guy that everyone knows. He’s crazy about a girl who we may not all like very much, but he sees her for what she really is. He knows that underneath her prickly exterior, she is a gem of a woman. I wanted there to be at least one character in the book who loves Allie because he knows she is capable of so much more love and kindness than she is showing at the moment. Sam understands Allie’s past because he was there, but he wants to be a part of her future because he loves her.

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

Oh, great question! Hmm… I think that Allie would really like Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Anne has such a spunky, optimistic personality even though she had a difficult childhood. If Anne had been around after Allie’s mother died, I think Allie would have had someone to talk to and she would have recovered from her grief a lot earlier. Plus, I just think it would be fun to see some of the lively conversations they would have held about writing and poetry!

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

I hate to admit it, but probably my age. It’s hard to find time to write when you’re constantly worrying about schoolwork, tests, and extracurricular activities. I am homeschooled, but it’s still difficult to set aside enough time to write. As long as I work at it a little at a time, though, the books come along pretty well.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

Probably my shoe collection. A lot of people who don’t know me personally would be really surprised to know how many clothes/shoes I own. It drives my dad crazy. I’m a teenage girl, though, so obviously I love dressing up and having a lot of clothes to choose from.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Tough choice! I still can’t imagine that anyone would want to want to write a book with me! I guess some dream authors to collaborate with would be Katherine Paterson, Gail Carson Levine, Cynthia Kadohata, Shannon Hale, or Natalie Babbitt.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’ve started work on my third book, but it’s not developed enough to really share yet. I can tell you a little about my second book, which is coming out next spring! It’s set in the 1960’s, and it’s the story of a girl named Scarlett growing up in Georgia with her eclectic little brother Cliff. Because little was known at that time about autism or other mental disabilities, Cliff is regarded as crazy and strange. Scarlett must learn to be strong and try to hold her family together, as difficult circumstances begin to tear them apart.

Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?

I love giving encouragement and advice on my blog to young people and adults interested in writing! I know that my story is a unique one and that many people have so many questions and comments for me, so I run a semi-regular feature on my blog answering questions that have been emailed to me. If you have any questions or comments for me, don’t hesitate to send me a message and I’ll try to respond on my blog as soon as possible!

What is your favorite Quote?

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl

What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?

I was lying in bed one night in the middle of summer, and the moon was shining so brightly through my window. It was driving me crazy, because I couldn’t sleep! So I opened my window and sat on the edge of my bed. A warm breeze drifted through my room, and when I looked up at the moon it was so full and so bright. I’d never seen the moon so big before. It reminded me of those sci-fi movies where the earth tilts too close to the moon and it gets bigger and bigger until it swallows up half of the sky. That’s what it felt like, sitting there in the silence with my room bright as day, even though it was the middle of the night. It was one of the single most peaceful and lovely moments of my life. And to think only a few minutes earlier I had been cranky and mad that I couldn’t get to sleep!

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Vanilla. Always vanilla.

Where can readers stalk you?

At my blog:

If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept.

Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.

Rachel Coker’s debut novel, Interruped: A Life Beyond Words was a delightful read. Although the author is still in her teens, her writing is well beyond her years. It was maturely and beautifully written. It was unlike anything from the normal YA that I read.

The book follows Allie who witnessed her sick mother die. She moves in with an adopted family and quickly develops resentment for her adopted mother for trying to take her mother’s place. She keeps all of these emotions inside and distances herself from anything and anyone. Readers will find themselves feeling nothing but sympathy for young Allie. Coker fills every moment with emotions and you’ll begin to understand why her heart becomes bitter. Allie may come off as being unappreciative, but she has gone through so much pain that it’s hard for her to love. She knows in her heart that the pain will return if she loses someone again.

The story is very realistic in regards to struggles and pain of losing someone very close to you. Coker’s characters were just as authentic and inspirational. Even the insinuation of romance between Allie and Sam felt real and not overly sappy. It is a refreshing story about growing, learning, and loving. Rachel Coker has a development that will effortlessly transform into future classics that you will not want to miss.

You can purchase Interrupted at these following Retailers:  

And now, The Giveaways.

Thank you Rachel for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one copy of Interrupted by Rachel Coker.

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