SACRED by Elana K. Arnold

SIGNED BOOK SUNDAY

Kristen Simmons

PACIFICA Official Blog Tour

David Bell

BRING HER HOME

Joshua Palmatier

THE THRONE OF AMENKOR SERIES

Lily Anderson

NOT NOW, NOT EVER

Margaret Peterson Haddix

CHILDREN OF REFUGE Official Nerd Blast

Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr

THE REAL MCCOYS

Gregg Olsen

THE LAST THING SHE EVER DID Official Nerd Blast

Eileen Cook

THE HANGING GIRL

L.B. Schulman

STOLEN SECRETS Official Blog Tour

Saturday, September 30, 2017

{Nerd Blast} Truthers by Geoffrey Girard



Hardcover: 360 pages
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab TM (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1512427799
ISBN-13: 978-1512427790


Praise for TRUTHERS

"In this intense thriller... Girard takes readers down a disturbing, provocative path; both sides start to make sense as information is revealed and theories are debated. It's a fast-paced nail-biter with a resourceful heroine, packed with surprises that force readers to question every revelation and take nothing at face value." Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]

"A beautifully written, captivating must-have that will hook readers from beginning to end. Girard has created a well-developed, quirky, tenacious main character for whom teens can't help but root." School Library Journal

"[Truthers] moves at a fast clip, and readers will get caught up in both the conspiracy construct (actual Truther theories are explored) and the romance that is as tangled as the web of confusion surrounding September 11." Booklist

"A book teens will love. History, mystery, romance, action, and intrigue--all in one!" YA Books Central



Katie Wallace has never given much thought to 9/11. She was only a year old when terrorists struck American soil. But now her dad has landed in a mental institution after claiming to know what really happened. He insists the attacks were part of a government conspiracy. And he claims that Katie is living proof: the lone survivor of a massive cover-up.

Hoping to free her dad, Katie sets out to investigate his bizarre claims. Soon she's drawn into the strange and secretive world of 9/11 conspiracy theorists known as the "Truthers".

Wading through a dangerous web of fact and fiction, questions and distortion, Katie no longer knows what to believe. But she does know that she's being followed -- and that someone is determined to stop her search for the truth.

A novel for teens, exploring 9/11 & our conspiracy culture...


You can purchase Truthers at the following Retailers:
 


Book Nerd Spotlight
Photo Content from Geoffrey Girard

Geoffrey Girard writes thrillers, historicals, and dark speculative fiction. His first book, Tales of the Jersey Devil, thirteen original tales based on American folklore, was published by Middle Atlantic Pressin 2005, followed by Tales of the Atlantic Pirates (2006) and Tales of the Eastern Indians (2007). Simon and Schuster published two Girard novels simultaneously in 2013: CAIN'S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a companion novel for teen/YA readers which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award for "Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel."

In 2017, Carolrhoda Books published TRUTHERS, a YA novel about the 9/11 conspiracy, and Adaptive Books published MARY ROSE, a psychological thriller/ghost novel.

Girard's short fiction has appeared in several best-selling anthologies and magazines, including Writers of the Future (a 2003 winner), Prime Codex, Aoife's Kiss, The Willows, Murky Depths, Apex Horror & Science Fiction Digest, and the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith anthology. The debut collection of his short fiction, first communions, was published by Apex Books in May, 2016.

Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey currently lives in Ohio and is the English Department Chair at a famed private boys' high school. Prior to teaching, he worked as an advertising copywriter, web developer and marketing manager. He has a BA in English literature from Washington College and an MA in creative writing from Miami University, where he is now working on an MFA. He has presented and led workshops on creative writing at schools, bookstores and various writers' conventions/events.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Mira Bartók Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview
Photo Content from Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók is an artist and writer, and the creator of The Wonderling: Songcatcher, the first book in an illustrated middle-grade fantasy series, forthcoming by Candlewick Press on September 26th, 2017. As luck would have it, The Wonderling will also be a movie, directed by award-winning British director, Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader,etc.), and produced by Working Title Films and Fox2000. (You can read more about the crazy book to movie deal HERE and HERE). She is also the author of The Memory Palace, a New York Times bestselling memoir and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She has written numerous books on ancient and indigenous cultures for children (The Ancient and Living Stencil Series), and her writing for adults has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, noted in The Best American Essays series and has appeared in many literary journals, magazines and anthologies. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her musician/producer husband Doug Plavin and their little bat-eared dog Sadie.
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Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (September 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763691216
ISBN-13: 978-0763691219

Praise for WONDERLING

Bartók’s language is full of rich description and effulgent inventories of food and places…Bartók’s lovely, detailed illustrations and drawings throughout support the sense of enchantment in this imaginative adventure. Captivating and with great potential as a read-aloud. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Written with clear and detailed descriptions, this novel drops readers into a strange, magical, mythical, and mechanical world…Bearing some similarities to Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” with shades of Erin Hunter’s “Warriors” series, Bartók’s title will appeal to readers who appreciate anthropomorphized animal characters, high-stakes adventure, and Dickensian settings. A stellar new contribution to fantasy that should find a place in every middle grade collection. —School Library Journal (starred review)

Bartók’s prose is as alluring as the story she weaves. Every song, every food, every object adds texture to the world, layering the known, the unknown and the magical…A gentle, modern-day nod to the children’s books of old, The Wonderling is a sweet, uplifting adventure. —Shelf Awareness Pro

Bartók doesn’t delve into the origins of groundlings but uses them successfully as a stand-in for other disenfranchised groups, with the groundlings subjected to derision and menial tasks by most of the upper classes. Music plays an important role in the story, both as a means of connection and a force for good…Bartók gives readers a richly imagined fantasy landscape to lose themselves in. —Publishers Weekly

This beguiling fiction debut from Bartók (The Memory Palace, 2011) is just the ticket for readers who revel in quest stories, or those with a soft spot for animal fantasies. Bartók carefully constructs her world, gracing it with a classed society, music, and a touch of steampunk. —Booklist Online




Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living?

I was 31 and living in Italy at the time, doing art restoration, substitute teaching art history at the American School in Florence. I was living with a bunch of wonderful Italians on a vineyard outside of the city in an ancient house surrounded by an olive grove and lemon trees. I only spoke and read in Italian, and I tried to only speak Italian with my one American friend there. I was away from friends and family and although it was lonely sometimes, and I was almost always broke it was exhilarating. Living in another country can definitely strengthen one’s character, confidence, and resilience in the world. You really find what metal you are made of when you have to live on the edge outside of your comfort zone and adapt to another culture. It was then that I began to seriously write. The cadence of the Italian language had an enormous influence on my writing, as did being separated from my “normal” life back home in Chicago. When I returned to Chicago during the 1st Gulf War, I realized that writing had to be a crucial part of my life. How, I didn’t know, only that I had to pursue it in some way or another.

What makes writing great for you?

My favorite part is immersing myself in the music of language. Making up beautiful sentences that sing when you read them out loud, that’s what makes it all worthwhile to me. My second favorite part of writing is visualizing a story, and realizing that it is a great, epic adventure, not just an idea. I see the whole thing in my head, as if I am unfolding a grand tapestry of images before me. My brain lights up all over the place when I get that feeling!

In your new book; THE WONDERLING, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

I try not to tell anyone that they should do anything! But, if some members of the esteemed and illustrious Book Nerd community have a hankering for an adventure story that lingers on that borderline between the real and the unreal, and if they love novels with strong plots as well as lyrical sentences, this might be the book for them.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?

The most surprising thing was that even the worst baddies can be written with compassion if you try hard enough.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

I have no idea! I just fell in love with my little one-eared fellow and wanted to see what happened to him.

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


I suppose I wouldn’t mind introducing a couple characters who are somewhat similar to other characters in books I’ve loved. For instance, in my portrayal of Peevil the Bold, I tip my hat to Reep-a-cheep from the Narnia books. I think the two brave little mice would get along famously. And Arthur, AKA Number 13, would probably be good friends with Babe, the sheep pig. They both have innocent hearts, and are humble and kind.


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

How much time do you have? J Well, first there’s Book Two of The Wonderling series which is clearly next on the docket. But I periodically work on a YA illustrated book called The Forgotten Island. I’m writing it with my brilliant friend, author Jedediah Berry (The Manual of Detection). It’s set around 1900, although there will probably be touches of steampunk somewhere in there. The book is about an island that no one believes exists, and on this mysterious island…oh what strange creatures they discover! There’s danger, there’s darkness, there’s lots of humour, and, dare I say, perhaps a little love between the two explorers? You can read a little more about it as it unfolds on my website 
(www.mirabartok.com). Then of course, there’s my long term project called The Echoers, which might be a trilogy—part text, part graphic novel. The first book is set in WW II above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway (where I lived in the late 90s). I had some of that written, but got side tracked by this little project called The Wonderling…And I am forever slowly adding to a book of short stories for adults called Pilgrims and Penitents.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing THE WONDERLING?

I think my favorite character other than Arthur is Quintus. He’s a rogue, a slyboots, an opportunist, and yet, despite it all, he has a very good heart. Plus, he makes a mean pot of soup.


If you could live in any period in history, what would it be and why?

Definitely the middle ages but I’d have to be a man or I’d get burnt at the stake or locked in a tower somewhere. I’d illuminate manuscripts in an Italian monastery, and sing Gregorian chants. But then, there’s the whole plague thing….on second thought, I’d rather be part of the wild, frenzied, insanely creative bunch of artists during the 20s in Paris OR living in Berlin during the same time.


If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say

I’d probably say: “Oh, how I miss drawing and playing my harp…but I have so many questions to answer! So many interviews, so little time. Sigh. 
J


Something or someone you miss the most from childhood?

I miss being in an orchestra. As for people, I’m so lucky that I am in touch with my closest childhood pals. We even get together every year at a cottage on a lake and hang out for a few days. Some of these girls I have known since I was four or five! My sister comes too. It’s a blast.


Who has had the most influence in your life?

Definitely my mother. She was a creative genius, a musical prodigy, and a kind and generous soul who happened to be afflicted with schizophrenia. She ended up homeless for the last 17 years of her life, but after I found her, my sister Natalia and I were fortunate to spend the last month of our mother’s life with her. After her death, when I was sifting through her boxes in storage, I realized even more how deeply we were connected and how much her brilliant mind and tastes in art and music influenced me. And naturally, I understood more profoundly how her terrible illness had influenced me. I think it made me more compassionate a person, and and at times, more guarded. Hers is a very sad story, but like all sad stories, there’s the potential to turn loss into beauty and art, which is what I try to do in my work. There’s a lot of my mom in The Wonderling—her love of music and her humble and kind heart.


When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

What’s with my hair?

Where can readers find you?

On my website (which I hope to redo after my book tour!):
www.mirabartok.com
Or on Facebook (Mira Bartok and/or The Wonderling) and twitter @mirabartok



TEN FACTS ABOUT THE WONDERLING

1. The idea came from a quick sketch I made of a one-eared rabbit (that morphed into a fox/dog)

2. There are some secret clues in the book that will be revealed in Book Two. One has to do with the words inscribed in Latin above the town gate of Lumentown. Another clue involves the ancient words carved into the oak table in Pinecone’s house. It’s from the ancient Celtic language of trees called Ogham. There are lots more so stay tuned for Book Two!

3. The wonderful British actress Kate Winslet read the book and loved it. She really wanted to do the audiobook narration but her schedule and the audiobook company’s schedule couldn’t mesh. Hopefully, she’ll do another version or maybe Book Two when the movie comes out. However, we have Simon Vance doing the audio book now, and he’s absolutely brilliant.

4. If you reverse the name of the Norahc, the three headed frog-like creature that ferries Arthur across the river, you will discover the name of a mythological character who ferried the dead across the River Styx. Go look it up. I highly suggest Robert Graves book on Greek myths. It’s a classic.

5. I used to stutter like Number 13/Arthur after I had a serious brain injury in 1999.

6. Pinecone’s mother is named for Cathleen Oakley, my best friend from childhood who I am still friends with.

7. The Man with White Gloves will become a very important character in Book Two. He is a notorious BADDIE! Beware!

8. The idea for Miss Carbunkle’s gigantic orange wig came from an Italian teacher I had in Chicago years ago. She wore a gigantic bright orange wig that often slipped off to the side. She was a very mean teacher, and some of us called her “The Wig” behind her back. Not very nice of us either, I’m afraid!

9. If you take a magnifying glass and examine the illustration of the little coin I drew on page 300, you will find a saying in Latin from ancient Rome that reflects the U.S.’s current political climate. Around the top it says: Auctoritas Non Veritas Facit Legem. Meaning: “Authority, not truth, makes the law.” Yeah. I know. Pretty scary.

10. At the end of the chapter called “Flight,” I slipped in a little reference to Dante’s Inferno at the end. Try to see if you can find it. Then go read Dante’s epic trilogy. If you do, you might even be inspired to move to Italy like I did. Then who knows who you might become?

You can purchase The Wonderling at the following Retailers:
        


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Candlewick and Mira Bartók for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Wonderling by Mira Bartók

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis Excerpt


Book Nerd Excerpt
Photo Credit: Taina Quiñones

JENNY FRAN DAVIS was born in Manhattan and spent four months avoiding (but later embracing) millet mountains in a peace- and justice-focused Quaker community in northern California. Fond of big dogs, doo-wop, and Judy Blume, she attended the Chapin School and is currently an undergraduate at Wesleyan University. Everything Must Go is her debut novel.
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As a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, Jenny Fran Davis has written a fresh, witty young adult debut told in a series of letters, emails, journal entries and various ephemera that capture a year of the high school experience of one spunky heroine. Where’d You Go, Bernadette for the YA audience, EVERYTHING MUST GO (Wednesday Books; October 3, 2017) features a fiercely feminist protagonist, Flora, who isn’t afraid to stand out from the high school crowd even when that crowd is a colorful group of teens at a high school for the gifted upstate. Capturing the zeitgeist of today’s socially active generation, Flora and her fellow students are full of personality, creating a drama that’s full of laughs and tears and relatable to anyone who is currently or has survived being a teenager.

Flora Goldwasser has fallen in love. She won't admit it to anyone, but something about Elijah Huck has pulled her under. When he tells her about the hippie Quaker school he attended in the Hudson Valley called Quare Academy, where he'll be teaching next year, Flora gives up her tiny Upper East Side prep school for a life on a farm, hoping to woo him. A fish out of water, Flora stands out like a sore thumb in her vintage suits among the tattered tunics and ripped jeans of the rest of the student body. When Elijah doesn't show up, Flora must make the most of the situation and will ultimately learn more about herself than she ever thought possible.

Davis’s “smart and witty” (Publishers Weekly) debut will take the reader back to those days in high school, chasing after the wrong boys and worrying about high school gossip. As “introspective, feminist, nuanced” (Booklist), Flora’s story will connect with anyone who thought that a love interest could hold the key to happiness, only to discover that is far from the case. Guaranteed to make you fall in love with the personality driven cast of characters, EVERYTHING MUST GO is the perfect book for teens discovering where they fit in during those awkward years or anyone who has ever felt out of place.

Praise for EVERYTHING MUST GO

"Written through text messages, blog posts, letters, journal entries, and more, Davis’s smart and witty debut captures a girl’s changing attitude and gradual acclimation to a very different environment. Filled with vibrant characters, it balances gentle jabs at pop culture and self-righteousness with thought-provoking ideas about feminist ideals and human frailties." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"An introspective, feminist, nuanced story that is difficult to place in any one box. This standout debut is as empowering for readers as it is for its protagonist." —Booklist

"[Flora's] friendships, both new and old, and her strong ties with her family are well-portrayed. Told via letters, emails, and journal entries, this book insightfully handles a problematic relationship and presents a flawed, intelligent, and well-crafted protagonist." —School Library Journal

"The core of Flora's journey presents opportunities for readers to grapple with gender, sex, race, classism—even Marxism...Thoughtful and provocative." —Kirkus Reviews

EXCERPT

Huck’s posts, which regularly attract thousands of visitors, are unique in their ability to evoke both modernity and antiq- uity, as well as provide a tentative explanation—a subtle one— about why today’s young people look to the past for answers about their identities and their futures.

I haven’t even told India and Cora about him, because they’d definitely tell me to snap out of it. Every time something gets written up about Elijah and me/Miss Tulip, I feel such a sense of pride, but it’s PRIVATE pride—like an intimate thing between Elijah and me.

Elijah fantasies: 

• We’re in the Met. He pulls me off to the side, into some deserted corner, and starts kissing me.

• I’m standing in front of an ornate bookcase, studying it, hand on my chin. He comes up from behind and drapes himself over me. I spin around; we kiss.

• We’re on the subway. He reaches for my hand; I let him hold it. I look down at my lap and smile.There is electricity at the line where our legs touch.

• Elijah on the Met’s Civil Rights–era dress exhibit:“I could see you in most of the dresses, getting shit done.”

Let me pause here and say that I know this seems like the whitest, most bourgeoisie shit ever. I mean, a hipster fashion blog in which I dress in clothes from 1958? Please don’t lose heart, readers. This was my old life, remember. It’s as painful for me to relive this time as it is for you to hear about it, if not more so.

Anyway, I was his muse, but he wasn’t in love with me. Or was he? Therein lay the problem. He wanted to follow me around the city, photographing me in vintage clothes. He called me interest- ing. He listened to my problems and opened up about his. He told me that I could really rock a Jackie Kennedy head scarf and that I knew a thing or two about tastefully pairing prints. AND YET. He didn’t invite me over to his 107th Street apartment to kiss me. He didn’t even touch me, not even once to adjust me during a photo shoot. We took the subway together on weekends from Brooklyn to Manhattan to Queens, even rode the Staten Island Ferry together, but he didn’t so much as put his arm around me. There was always a thin barrier between us, which I chalked up to his position of power. And although sometimes this barrier was made of metal, sometimes it was made of a gauze that seemed thin enough to tear.

Let me pause again for one more minute. At age sixteen, just as now, I was a fucking woman. It wasn’t that I needed his approval to exist. Even in this time of frissons and jittery stomachs, I knew my power without Elijah. I didn’t need him to kiss me. I just really wanted him to, and that wild desire made my body feel like it was on fire. Let’s be honest. I was in love, and it was the kind of love that made me forget myself.

So he didn’t kiss me, but he talked to me. He told me count- less hilarious stories about Quare, academically rigorous and so- cially conscious, and encouraged me to apply, albeit in a buoyant, slightly jocular way. Until eleventh grade, he’d attended Westwood, Bowen’s prestigious brother school. (Quare was for students in the eleventh and twelfth grades only.) He’d grown frustrated, just as I was growing frustrated, with the stuffy, pretentious private school scene. (Even though I would never say that out loud.)

I thought, maybe if I went to Quare, I’d be interesting just as he’d been interesting. We’d be interesting together. Cue fantasy of us picnicking and reading subversive literature in a field when he’d come to visit me. Cue fantasy of Elijah realizing how adventurous I was, professing his love, and kissing me, preferably in a canoe, on a sunset pond.

One thing happened after another, and before I knew it, I was asking for recommendations and writing my application essay for Quare about the need to make adoption more accessible to same- sex couples.

The Quare Academy
Flora Goldwasser
470 West 79th Street, Apt. 5A 
New York, NY 10024

April 10
Flora,

On behalf of the Quare admissions committee and faculty, I’m thrilled to offer you a spot in the class of 20—. Quare received a record number of close to 250 applications for just 16 spots, and it’s a testament to your ambition, creativity, and curiosity that you’ve been selected.

Please sign and return the enclosed document, along with a preliminary deposit, by May 10 if you wish to attend Quare next year. Please also feel free to call our office should you have any questions at all; I or another member of our team would be delighted to speak with you.

Infinite blessings,
Miriam Row, Headmistress

As soon as I got the letter, I knew that I would go.
Elijah would be going to Chicago to spend the summer as he always did, studying under his photography mentor, the famous Michael Rosenberg, at Chicago Arts, and I’d be interning at So-theby’s.

I hardly heard from him all summer; he was busy in Chicago. So I did my Sotheby’s internship, ate my last Maison Kayser maca- rons with my two best friends, Cora and India—who still couldn’t wrap their heads around why I was doing this; I told them I was bored at Bowen and needed an adventure, which I could tell they didn’t quite buy, but what could they say?—and packed my nic- est dresses, skirts, and shoes—along with my portable mint-green Underwood Olivetti typewriter to compose letters on the go— into two huge steamer trunks.

What follows are the letters, journal entries, and other sundry items from my first year at Quare Academy, where I had gone to follow my One True Love (or for the adventure, depending on who was asking).

You can purchase Everything Must Go at the following Retailers:
       
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard



Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Adaptive Books (April 17, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1945293500
ISBN-13: 978-1945293504


Praise for MARY ROSE

"An exceptional gothic thriller. Girard's literary roots shine through, and the dread rises with every turn of the page. Mary Rose will send a true chill down your spine. A haunting, scary, and beautifully written novel." ―J.T. Ellison, NYT bestselling author of LIE TO ME

"Girard's eerie descriptions exploit the fear of the unknown and the unnatural; and secretive characters, including the enigmatic island, hide their intentions. This is a nightmarish tale of repressed memories and misdirection." ―Publishers Weekly

"The supernatural terror in MARY ROSE is masterfully invoked via a setting that quietly feeds on the past. Yet the novel's most chilling element is its aching and desperate love story. The titular character is as multifaceted as a dark gem, and Geoffrey Girard's genius is in his ability to cause fear of, and for, Mary Rose at the same time. MARY ROSE has the effect of burrowing under your skin, lodging next to your throat - and then your heart." ―Vicki Pettersson, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of SWERVE and SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series

"Mary Rose is an elegant, classic ghost story that is, at once, truly literate and truly scary. Geoffrey Girard is a storyteller at the top of his game." ―Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 NY Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Two if by Sea



Mary Rose Moreland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl while the family was vacationing on a remote Scottish island. She reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.

After Simon hears about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened. He proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

Mary Rose is author Geoffrey Girard’s chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story originally written by J. M. Barrie. And for years, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock attempted to adapt Mary Rose into a film but was never successful. With this novel, Girard taps into the nightmarish fears that inspired both Barrie and Hitchcock, while also bringing the story to the present day with his own unique voice.


EXCERPT
“She has no face,” she gasped.

“What?” Simon slumped in uncertainty.

Mary Rose scrambled away from the chair, toward the stairs, and he fell back. “My God . . . Why don’t I have a face?”

The room went black.

He heard the chair clatter to the ground, skid across the floor.

Simon cursed, fumbled with his phone in the dark to see what he’d done. It showed a 0 percent charge and then even that faint light shut off completely. He’d somehow burned through a quarter charge in less than five minutes.

“Mary Rose . . .” He glared around the room blindly, the dimmest of light in one corner showing where the steps must be.

“Mary Rose?”

He needed to find her, to take care of her, protect. Couldn’t fathom what she must be feeling now. The memories. The horror.

The room had grown colder. And he could suddenly feel all the pentagrams and snakes and stick people on the walls, skirting closer in the darkness. “Mary Rose . . .” He called out again, and his voice had sounded chillingly fragile.

“It’s okay,” her stronger voice floated back. “I’m right beside you.”

Simon froze, his eyes staring wide but seeing nothing—nothing at all. Or, rather, something enormous now squatted in the farthest corner of the room. Impossible. He saw nothing. It was a darkness so complete, it was like he was the one blindfolded, he was the one captured, hidden away in the ground.

Something touched his hand, and he flinched.

Mary Rose.

Her fingers wrapped around his wrist. Cold and skeletal in the dark. He grimaced in the void, ashamed at what had been the best word to describe the feeling.

“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “I know where we are now.”

Excerpt from MARY ROSE by Geoffrey Girard © 2017

You can purchase Mary Rose at the following Retailers:
        


Book Nerd Spotlight
Photo Content from Geoffrey Girard

Geoffrey Girard writes thrillers, historicals, and dark speculative fiction. His first book, Tales of the Jersey Devil, thirteen original tales based on American folklore, was published by Middle Atlantic Pressin 2005, followed by Tales of the Atlantic Pirates (2006) and Tales of the Eastern Indians (2007). Simon and Schuster published two Girard novels simultaneously in 2013: CAIN'S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a companion novel for teen/YA readers which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award for "Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel."

In 2017, Carolrhoda Books published TRUTHERS, a YA novel about the 9/11 conspiracy, and Adaptive Books published MARY ROSE, a psychological thriller/ghost novel.

Girard's short fiction has appeared in several best-selling anthologies and magazines, including Writers of the Future (a 2003 winner), Prime Codex, Aoife's Kiss, The Willows, Murky Depths, Apex Horror & Science Fiction Digest, and the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith anthology. The debut collection of his short fiction, first communions, was published by Apex Books in May, 2016.

Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey currently lives in Ohio and is the English Department Chair at a famed private boys' high school. Prior to teaching, he worked as an advertising copywriter, web developer and marketing manager. He has a BA in English literature from Washington College and an MA in creative writing from Miami University, where he is now working on an MFA. He has presented and led workshops on creative writing at schools, bookstores and various writers' conventions/events.

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WEEK ONE:
October 23rd Monday Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
October 24th Tuesday JeanBookNerd GUEST POST & TENS LIST
October 25th Wednesday The Avid Reader INTERVIEW
October 26th Thursday Sweet Southern Home REVIEW
October 27th Friday Book Queen Reviews REVIEW

WEEK TWO:
October 30th Monday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & EXCERPT
October 31st Tuesday A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW
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PastTours

STEAL THE STARS: The Real Stuff Episode Nine


Book Nerd Spotlight

THE NOVEL BASED ON THE DEBUT SCIENCE FICTION PODCAST FROM TOR LABS

Dakota “Dak” Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world.

They call it “Moss.” It’s your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. Moss still sits at what looks like the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed twenty-five years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.

The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak’s whole world changes.

It’s love at first sight—which is a problem, since they both signed ironclad contracts before joining the base security team, vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run away, they’ll be hunted for the secret they know. So Dak and Matt decide to escape to a better life on the wings of an incredibly dangerous plan: They’re going to steal the alien body they've been guarding and sell the secret of its existence.

And they can’t afford a single mistake.




EPISODE NINE: THE REAL STUFF

Dak has to take two vitally important meetings today, with two of the most powerful men in Washington, DC. And they have to go perfectly: her fate and Matt’s hang in the balance.


You can purchase Steal the Stars at the following Retailers:
  


Author Spotlight
Photo Content from TOR Labs

Nat Cassidy is an actor, director, musician, and playwright. He has appeared on shows such as The Following (Fox), The Affair (Showtime), Red Oaks (Amazon), High Maintenance (HBO), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), as well as on stage in numerous productions and workshops both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway. Nat’s plays have been nominated for a combined total of 17 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including 3 times for Outstanding Full-Length Script (which he won in 2009, and in 2011 for Outstanding Solo Performance for his one man show about H.P. Lovecraft). In 2012 Nat was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a world-premiere opera, and in 2014 his play Any Day Now was chosen to be part of Primary Stages’ ESPADrills (The Duke Theatre, directed by Tony-nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel). He is also thrilled to be writing the novelization of Steal the Stars, which will be published by Tor Books in November 2017. 
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Mac Rogers is an award-winning audio dramatist and playwright. His audio/podcasts dramas The Message and LifeAfter have been downloaded over eight million times. His stageplays include The Honeycomb Trilogy (winner of the New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Premiere Production), Frankenstein Upstairs, God of Obsidian, Ligature Marks, Asymmetric, Viral, Universal Robots, Hail Satan (Outstanding Playwriting Winner at FringeNYC 2007), and Fleet Week: The Musical (co-written with Sean Williams and Jordana Williams; winner of Outstanding Musical at FringeNYC 2005). He has earned acclaim from The New York Times, The Guardian, Backstage, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, New York Post, Flavorpill, io9, Fangoria, Tor.com, Show Business Weekly, New York Press, and many others.
TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | WEBSITE |

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