May 4, 2016

Blog Tour: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

QUEEN OF HEARTS is an exciting, odd, and creative take on the origins of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I knew from the first sentence (yes, sentence) that this book wasn't what I was expecting. I mean, it starts off with a talking rabbit.

From there, the craziness and hilarity ensues. I may not have been expecting this book, but I loved it nonetheless. It captured my attention, engaging my imagination and keeping me entertained.

I absolutely adored Dinah. I loved her spunk, her spirit and her heart. She is (obviously) the driving force behind this story, but she's a character you want to get behind and cheer for.

QUEEN OF HEARTS is a crazy read that will snap any reader out of a reading funk. It's different in all the best way, so make sure you check it out ASP!

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. 

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Colleen Oakes is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Elly in Bloom Series, The Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins 2016) and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable. When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling and totally immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She currently at work on another YA fantasy series and a stand-alone YA novel. 

You can visit her webpage at:

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of QUEEN OF HEARTS (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 2, 2016

Blog Tour: Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

Welcome to week 2 of the TRAITOR ANGELS tour! Anne stopped by to share her top 10 historical figures she would have over for a dinner party!

10. Kate Warne. The first female detective in the United States worked for the Pinkerton private detective agency. She worked on a number of important cases, which included espionage and embezzlement, and managed the Pinkerton D.C. office during the Civil War. Can you imagine the great stories she could share?

John Milton
9. John Milton. Today he’s considered one of the most important writers in English history, but during his lifetime he endured imprisonment, blindness, poverty, and widespread ridicule for his four tracts advocating divorce if the partners are incompatible. After losing his sight, he dictated his entire masterpiece, Paradise Lost, to others. There’d be no shortage of dinnertime topics with him around!

8. Olive Adele. My great-grandmother was a world-renowned fortune teller whose clients came from all over the globe. She left my great-grandfather, a Puerto Rican tobacco merchant, after she discovered his multiple affairs and went into business for herself. I’d love to have the chance for Olive to do my star chart and to learn more about her incredible life.

7. Jean Moulin. This civil servant is now legendary for his work with the French Resistance during World War Two. Moulin helped to develop the National Council of the Resistance, which coordinated many resistance groups throughout France. He endured horrific torture from the Nazis—and he died without revealing a single piece of information to them. One of my heroes.

6. Boadicea. This queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe was publicly beaten and her daughters raped by occupying forces of the Roman Empire. Instead of submitting to the Romans, Boadicea led an uprising. This warrior would definitely have amazing stories to tell at the dinner table.

5. Saladin. This famous military leader oversaw Islamic forces during the Crusades. His victory in the Battle of Hattin in 1187 brought Jerusalem back under Muslim control, after it had been in Christian hands for nine decades. When his soldiers entered the city, he forbade them from killing and looting. I’d love to listen to this magnanimous victor share his war stories.

4. Galileo. This mathematician and scientist got into serious trouble with the Holy Catholic Church when his discoveries contradicted their teachings. Galileo’s sunspot theories proved that the earth revolved around the sun—a big no-no, according to the Church in Rome. The Italian Inquisition found Galileo guilty of heresy and sentenced him to house arrest for the remainder of his life. He still managed to keep experimenting and writing....while going blind. I can only begin to imagine the amazing tales he could tell about his experiences.

3. Vashti. In the Tanakh, Vashti was the first wife of Persian King Ahasuerus. When he commanded her to parade in front his friends wearing only her crown, she refused. She was promptly banished and never appears again in the Book of Esther. Although Esther is traditionally seen as the heroine for saving her people from annihilation, I’m fascinated by Vashti, a before-her-time feminist.

2. Sappho. Although this Greek lyric poet died some two thousand five years ago and the majority of her poetry has been lost, her reputation endures. Her poetry focuses on love and passion for men and women. Little is known about her life, and I’d love to hear about her years growing up on the isle of Lesbos. 

Eleanor of Aquitane
1. Eleanor of Aquitaine. While married to her first husband, Louis VII of France, she accompanied him on the Second Crusade. After they started having marital problems, they secured an annulment from the pope and she married Henry II of England. Eleanor and Henry had eight children together. After her sons were grown up, she helped them plan a revolt against their father. It failed, and Henry had Eleanor imprisoned for a decade. Eleanor outlived him, though, and his death brought her release. Although she was an old woman by then, she remained active in politics. When her son Richard I, aka the Lionheart, was captured after fighting in the Crusades, she collected his ransom and personally brought him back to England. She was over eighty when she died, which was practically unheard of in medieval Europe. I love a woman who can be smart, tough, and successful in a time when she was expected to be a glittering ornament.

It’s a good thing my parents just gave us a new dining room table, which is big enough for us to fit all these guests. Can you imagine the incredible conversations we’d have with this guest list?

Thanks so much for having me, Hannah!

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects. 

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom. 

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart? 

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of TRAITOR ANGELS (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 1, 2016

Blog Tour: New Charity Blues by Camille Griep

Let's kick off a brand new tour with author Camille Griep's perfect idea of a fictional dinner party and her top 10 guests:

Table for 10: 10 fictional characters you would invite to a dinner party

I cannot wait for this party: Hours of enthralling conversation over food and wine. The seating chart will be very important, though, and so here’s how I’ll arrange things:

1.       Captain Bluebear (from The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers)
I would invite Captain Bluebear as he would be a delightful conversationalist, explaining what he’s been up to since life 13 ½. Bluebear has navigated worlds from the satirical to the absurd, and because his travels in his fictional universe of Zamonia would undoubtedly take him past The City of Dreaming Books, I would seat him right next to:

2.       Wyverary A-Through-L (from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente)
A-Through-L is a Wyverary (what happens when a library and a Wyvern fall deeply in love) and has an encyclopedic knowledge of anything preceding the letter M. He would be most enthralled by Bluebear’s tales of the Zamonia’s great library, run by the dinosaur, and perhaps mutual friend, Optimus Yarnspinner. Because the Wyverary is comfortable with talking creatures of all sorts, I’d seat him next to:

3.       Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah (from The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis)
Bree’s sparkling wit and proud history as a Narnian War Charger would make for excellent regalement over hay soup. He might report on life in Narnia after Shasta (Cor) and Aravis saved the day. He might also tell us what his fellow talking horse, Hwin, is up to. Because Bree’s appetite for sarcasm is just about as vast as his appetite for sautéed carrots, I’d seat him next to:

4.       Marvin aka The Paranoid Android (from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)
I resisted the lure of Arthur Dent’s adventures for some time – until I was old enough to appreciate the true absurd hilarity of the book. Inviting my favorite character, Marvin, to dinner would be somewhat disingenuous as he doesn’t eat, but the invitation itself might provide a bright spot in his otherwise trying existence. As to seat him next to a human who is less bumbling than, say, Ford Prefect, I would place his name card next to:

5.       Miriam Black (from Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig)
We won’t let Miriam shake anyone’s hand at dinner – we don’t want her to suffer forecasting the death of anyone present over the mushroom ragout. But the table will be held at rapt attention by her measured, yet timely snark. As she has little patience for small talk, and might need someone to sneak outside and smoke a cigarette with, I’d seat her next to:

6.       Lou Merriwether (from Vermillion by Molly Tanzer)
A rare night off for Lou, a psychopomp from San Francisco, she might catch us up on her next adventures. Did she ever catch the evil Dr. Panacea? Does she still roll her own cigarettes? Has her mother stopped bugging her about her short hair? Lou’s gender fluidity and graceful ease will be a wonderful addition to our party, and an inspiration to the diner on her right:

7.       Petra West (from Beauty Queens by Libba Bray)
Petra, better known as, Miss Teen Dream Rhode Island, owes us a long update on what life has been like since being rescued from the island of surviving beauty queens. I suspect she has her own talk show and is active in support groups for other Transgender youth.  When she isn’t talking vintage fashion with Lou, she’ll have a wonderful time chatting with:
8.       Yvaine (from Stardust by Neil Gaiman)
How many chances does one get to invite a shooting star to dinner? Yvaine’s glowing personality must be twice as bright now that no one is trying to cut her heart out. (No steak knives at this dinner party!) And she must be exhausted from all the walking she and Tristan had to do. So I’d give her an extra dollop of chocolate mousse and sit her next to a fellow traveler:

9.       Biff (from Lamb by Christopher Moore)
I’ll be serving coffee while Biff and Yvaine commiserate about blisters and sunburn. Afterward, Biff will share hilarious tales of his adventures alongside Joshua bar Joseph (aka Christ) from before his ascension. Perhaps he’ll tell the tale of the time they encountered a Yeti, which is why I’ll seat him next to a woman who is familiar with talking snow creatures:

10.   Rose (from East by Edith Pattou)
Though Rose is by far the quietest of our dinner guests, she is no less well traveled. Saving her bear prince from the Troll Queen makes her perhaps the most badass of all our dinner guests. She can have some extra port if it will help her do a troll impression or two.

At midnight, when everyone is nodding off in the library, I’ll call a carriage for each of my guests, sending them out the door tucked in furs or magical cloaks and a box of pastries for their morning coffee. I’ll wave goodbye as they depart from the front step, on their way to more adventures, dreamland, home.

In the wake of a devastating plague, two communities emerge as bastions of survival. One is called the City, and its people scrabble for scraps in the wasteland. The other, New Charity, enjoys the bounty of its hydroelectric dam and refuses City denizens so much as a drop of precious water. When City-dweller Cressyda inherits her father’s ranch within New Charity, she becomes intent on opening the dam to all—no matter the cost.

But when Syd reunites with her old best friend, Casandra, a born seer and religious acolyte, she realizes that her plans could destroy the fragile lives they’ve built in order to survive. What’s more, the strange magic securing the dam’s operations could prove deadly if disturbed. Yet when Syd discovers evidence that her father might have been murdered, she is more determined than ever to exact revenge on New Charity’s corrupt.

Pitted against Cas, as well as her own family, Syd must decide how to secure the survival of both settlements without tipping them over the brink to utter annihilation. In this intense and emotional reimagining of the Trojan War epic, two women clash when loyalty, identity, community, and family are all put to the ultimate test.

Camille Griep lives just north of Seattle with her partner, Adam, and their dog Dutch(ess). Born in Billings, Montana, she moved to Southern California to attend Claremont McKenna College, graduating with a dual degree in Biology and Literature.
She wrote her way through corporate careers in marketing, commercial real estate, and financial analysis before taking an extended sabbatical to devote more time to her craft.
She has since sold short fiction and creative nonfiction to dozens of online and print magazines. She is the editor of Easy Street and is a senior editor at The Lascaux Review. She is a 2012 graduate of Viable Paradise, a residential workshop for speculative fiction novelists.
Her first novel, Letters to Zell, was released in July 2015 47North. Look for New Charity Blues in April of 2016.
LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:

Apr 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

In DOWN WITH THE SHINE, clueless high schoolers make a bunch of random wishes that have literal consequences. So, in the spirit of that, I am raising a proverbial glass of shine and toasting to some of my own bloggers wishes.

1. I wish I had the biggest blog EVER
Except ... do I really want that pressure? Do you want the pressure of "being the biggest blogger"? 

2. I wish I got all the ARCs from all the publishers
Whoa, whoa. Hold on. My bookshelves have reach maximum capacity as is. I'm fairly certain my UPS guy and mailwoman hate me with a passion. And my family regularly threatens to evict me if one more book shows up. Plus, do I really want a bunch of books I'll probably never read that could go to a blogger who will read it? And all those ARCs in a lot of responsibility.

3. I wish the book community would just all get along
But ... I don't. Do I wish things like that happened this week didn't happen? That people didn't get hurt or upset or threatened or made to feel bad because they did what they thought was right? Yes. But I don't think everyone having the same beliefs and thoughts benefits anyone. We need to learn and grow from each other, and sometimes that includes through conflict.

There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...


Kate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and menthol chapstick addict. She has lived in California and Tennessee, but recently made the move back to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would... build character. Another Little Piece is her first novel.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of DOWN WITH THE SHINE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun


I have weird taste in music. Let’s just get that out of the way first. I listen to Celtic pop, video game soundtracks, Icelandic pop, KPop, JPop. My favorite artists are Enya, Arashi, Loreena McKennit, SHINee, B2ST, and Sigur Ros.

I’m sorry, but also not. I love this weird mix of sounds. And I hope maybe you’ll find something new that you like, too!

Here are the top 5 songs I listened to while writing HEIR TO THE SKY:

Noel’s Theme (The Last Hunter) – Final Fantasy XIII-2

This has been repurposed as Griffin’s theme. ^_^ There’s a sadness in it that to me echoes the earth on the edge of destruction. There are so few survivors left on the surface, and so little hope to cling to. But that little shred of hope is beautiful and sharp as a diamond.

Awake – Skyrim

This is the theme I played over and over as I wrote the scenes in Ashra. In particular, I used it to help me visualize the opening scene, when Kali is standing in her field of flowers and fireweed, the earth at a dizzying distance below. It sets the scene, too, for the rainbow of fireflies in the outlands, and for the swamps of earth when they glow at night.

Ultima Weapon’s Theme – Final Fantasy XIV

There are a lot of monster fights in HEIR TO THE SKY, and I had a lot of game music to turn to. Ultima Weapon was a good piece, as well as the final Ganon battle from Ocarina of Time and the Esper Battle from Final Fantasy XII. It also brings back good memories of playing FFXIV with my character Tomo. ^_^ (and yes, he was an arcanist/summoner—drawings coming to life ftw!)

Kolniður – Jonsi

An Icelandic song, it was useful for the broad and wild landscapes of the earth as I was writing them. I was in Iceland a few years ago and I remember the amazing variety of the scenery—snow one minute, then coils of hardened lava ten minutes down the road.

I May Not Awaken – Enya

Enya has been a favorite of mine since forever. Her music evokes amazing landscapes when I write. I can only hope to capture the wildness on the page as I listen to her. I hope if you listen to this song, you’ll see the variety on earth and on Kali’s floating continents, too.

You can get a full playlist for HEIR TO THE SKY here. I hope you’ll listen as you read!

As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

​In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

​The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of HEIR TO THE SKY (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 25, 2016

Blog Tour: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano

Welcome to DAY 1 of the HOLDING SMOKE Tour! Elle Cosimano is a fantastic author and an awesome woman that I'm sure you'll love. I had a chance to interview her to kick things off!

1. Describe HOLDING SMOKE in less than 10 words:
The Shawshank Redemption for teens meets If I Stay.

2. Without being too spoiler-y, what was your favorite scene to write?
I can’t share anything about my favorite scene. It would spoil everything. You’ll know it when you read it… when every loose thread in the story suddenly weaves together into something solid and twisty and intense. So instead, I’ll just say I loved writing the romantic elements of this story. It’s a challenge to write a love story when the love interests can’t touch each other, not because of family or societal obstacles, but because one isn’t corporeal and it can never be physically possible. The scenes between John and Pink are sweet and poignant and moving. There’s such a longing in them. Their connection transcends a physical relationship. Writing these scenes challenged me to explore the hearts and minds of my characters more deeply, in order to translate that yearning and tenderness to the page.

3. How will teens be able to relate to Smoke? 
Smoke truly believes he is living the life he deserves – that he isn’t worthy of redemption. There’s such a hopelessness to his situation, because he believes his life is over and he’ll never overcome what he’s done, or what’s happened to him. He’s resigned himself to the labels society has put on him – worthless, criminal, killer. The teen years are the first years when most of us make our biggest formative choices, and often our biggest mistakes. These are often our first experiences being labeled and judged for those choices. And the aftermath of those choices sometimes feels damning in permanent and life-altering ways. I wanted to tell the story of a teen who realizes that he isn’t the sum of his circumstances and mistakes, and that he can change the direction of his life, even when everything feels hopeless.

4. Why do you write young adult?
I love stories of self-discovery. And the teen years are about unraveling the mystery of who we are, and making choices about who we want to be.

5. What do you have coming up next?
My next book, THE SUFFERING TREE, comes out in spring of 2017. It’s a YA mystery/thriller with a hearty helping of historical romance and a pinch of paranormal. Think Outlander meets Warm Bodies and you’re on the right track.

Fast 5:
Favorite Drink: Coffee, cream, no sugar

Favorite Food: Stuffed jalapeños

Favorite Movie:  Gross Pointe Blank

Favorite Song:  This week? GHOSTS THAT WE KNEW by Mumford & Sons (it ties in closely with the themes of HOLDING SMOKE).

Favorite Book:  Steve Hamilton’s THE LOCK ARTIST

John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name. 

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of HOLDING SMOKE (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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