Sep 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Frazzled by Booki Vivat

If there's one tour I had to do for 2016, it was this one. Booki Vivat is known to a lot of us in the blogger world for being a kick ass publicist, but now she's adding kick ass author to her resume. FRAZZLED took me by storm - this is the book I needed before I walked through those middle school doors. I still maintain that I want to be Abbie Wu when I grow up.

Booki recently sat down to answer some questions about her new book and how being a publicist and an author are very different things.

1. CONGRATS on your first book, Booki! Now I know it happened, but can you tell everyone how FRAZZLED came to be a book?

Frazzled has a pretty unconventional origin story. It didn’t start with a traditional pitch or a query or a manuscript. It started with a doodle—or rather, a whole bunch of them. I began keeping a planner a few years ago to try and get my life in order, but it ended up becoming more of a creative outlet to channel all my feelings. Doodles literally took over the pages of my life!

Through an unexpected combination of supportive friends, word-of-mouth, and pure luck, this set of planners landed in the hands of my future editor. As she flipped through the pages, one specific image stood out to her. It was a particularly dramatic drawing of me in a moment of crisis, a doodle that read: I live my life in a constant state of impending doom. That’s when it clicked. She pointed to it and told me, "There's a story here. That's our girl.”

2. Why do you think young readers will connect with Abbie Wu?

Even though Abbie reacts to and deals with her circumstances in a very specific way, the actual problems she faces in the book are universal. Everyone has felt the uncertainty of entering a new school or new season of life and not feeling quite ready for it. In the same way, I think every kid will be able to see something familiar in Abbie—whether it’s feeling like the family misfit or navigating lunchroom politics or thinking all the teachers at school are just plain weird. At its core, Frazzled is about trying to figure out who you are, where you belong, and realizing that sometimes it’s okay not to know. I think that idea is appealing to all of us!

3. Do you think your career as a publicist helped prepare you for being a published author?

Honestly, I don’t know if anything can really prepare you for being a published author! In some ways, working in publishing threw some complications into the process of writing Frazzled. The thing about marketing and publicity is that it happens after the book is already done! When I would see these amazing finished books come across my desk, it was hard to then go back to my unfinished manuscript (and all those blank pages…) without feeling a little discouraged. It felt like Frazzled would never get to that point! I really had to force myself to push all those thoughts aside and just try to make the best book I could.

At the same time, I think that working as a publicist taught me about the importance of perspective. As an author, so much of the publishing process is out of your control—and that’s terrifying! There are so many things that need to happen to get a book published and so many factors that influence the life of that book. Working in the industry kind of kept me in check and reminded me that I could only control was what was on the page. At some point, I knew I just had to focus on that and trust that it would find the right readers.

4. What has been your favorite moment since finding out your book would become a real thing that would sit on bookshelves in bookstores?

One of the first thoughts that went through my head when I saw my finished book was, “Did I really make this?” It’s so surreal to think of people reading this thing that I made, this thing that is so much a part of me. Above all, the best part about Frazzled becoming a real book has been all the support and positive affirmation I’ve received about it—not only from my close friends and family, but from colleagues and peers, acquaintances from my past, even strangers who haven’t actually met me. I think, as an author, you always hope your story will resonate with people, but the response I’ve gotten so far has been beyond anything I could’ve imagined. I’m so lucky!

5. Will we be seeing more of Abbie Wu?

Of course! There are so many different situations and emotions to explore that happen in middle school. I have a lot of material to work with and am chipping away at book 2 right now. This is definitely not the last you’ll see of Abbie Wu. She still has a long way to go before she makes it out of middle school!

6. And lastly, because the people want to know – is your name really Booki?

Yes! It may be hard to believe, but I’ve had the name Booki since before I could even hold a book! I swear I am not making this up. When I was younger, people used to say that I was destined to be a librarian or work in publishing or write a novel. I figured that most of them were joking, but now I’m starting to wonder if it was true. I guess, considering everything that’s happened, it kind of fits!

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

Booki Vivat has been doodling somewhat seriously since 2011 and not-so-seriously since childhood. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of California, San Diego. She currently works in publishing and lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @thebookiv and on Instagram @bookibookibooki.

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of FRAZZLED (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Metaltown by Kristen Simmons


I'm so happy to welcome Kristen Simmons to the blog today to chat about her ideal dinner party and her new release, METALTOWN!

Top 10 fictional characters you 
would have over for dinner

Gansey, so I could stare longingly at him and be delighted that he’s my boyfriend

Magic Mike, for after dinner entertainment (that counts, right?)

Shazi from THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, so she can teach me how to use a bow and arrow (must prep for end of the world)

Kady from ILLUMINAE to help me fix my computer and basically just strut around like a badass

Mather from SNOW LIKE ASHES to fawn over me in his broody way

Hermoine, because she’s the smartest/coolest girl ever

Edward and Jacob for ONE FINAL EPIC SHOWDOWN BWAHAHAHAHA Okay sorry. (They arrive as a pair but only need one seat at the table, thanks to said showdown.)

Peeta. Someone’s got to bake us some bread around here.

Katniss, to be distracted by Peeta so that I can steal…

Gale right out from under her nose. HAHA WIN. 

Metaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.

The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.

Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.

In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.

An enthralling story of friendship and rebellion, Metaltown will have you believing in the power of hope.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N


Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, and the upcoming METALTOWN (Tor Teen). She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For more updates on Kristen and her writing, visit

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of METALTOWN (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Welcome to the CROOKED KINGDOM blog tour! Today we're spotlighting Wylan - a character I definitely needed more of after Six of Crows!

Leigh Bardugo on Wylan:
"A lot of people have asked why Wylan didn't have POV chapters in Six of Crows. I wrote some, but the voice felt all wrong for the book, and I think it was because Wylan really wasn’t a member of the crew yet. I loved writing his chapters in Crooked Kingdom, not only because I really got a chance to get to know him, but because he's led a much more sheltered life than the other characters."

The Irish Banana Review on Wylan:
I am so excited that we're getting more Wylan in CROOKED KINGDOM! Six of Crows left me wanting more of Wylan. His struggles absolutely endeared him to me, making him a quiet favorite. I loved his innocence and almost wanted to put him in a protective bubble, but I can't wait to see him come into his own!

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

A joint US/UK prize pack for fans of Leigh Bardugo - to enter, one must comment on all 12 blog posts 

Tour Schedule:
September 21
September 22:
WYLAN is….
September 23
September 24
NINA is… 
September 25
INEJ is… 
September 26
KAZ is… 

Sep 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson

EEEEK! I am so excited to be celebrating the release of LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS! Today, I bring you the team I would assemble to make my own Oregon Trail trek.

1. Stephanie from No BS Book Reviews: Because she's basically my brain twin and right hand gal for all things that can be categorized as "adventure or expedition". 

2. Jen from Jenuine Cupcakes: Because we need cupcakes, yes? And she's also seriously fun to road trip with.

3. Nicole from Paperback Princess: She's my bestie. Do I need to add anything else?

4. Lauren from Resch Reads & Reviews: I watched this girl assemble a city out of cardboard. I have no doubts we could use her ingenuity on the trail. Also? She brews her own beer. 

5. Krista (Krista's Dust Jacket), Val (Stuck In Books) & Brianna (Paperback Princess): And maybe Caitlin. But seriously, these three make me laugh and keep me sane ... and can totally be bribed into anything I want by offering PB&J sandwiches.

So? Who would you recruit for your Oregon Trail team?!

After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N


I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I now live in Arizona with my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

1. The details in the book are remarkable—from the specifics of dissection and Victorian-era medicine to the historically accurate descriptions of late 19th-century London. What research did you do to make the story so authentic?

Thank you! I pored over actual Ripper case files and studied the notes the forensic team/medical examiners had taken during their autopsies. I thought it was really important to capture the medical techniques of the day and spent a great deal of time investigating what was around, how it was used, and what the general thoughts of the public were. One of my favorite parts in Stalking Jack the Ripper is when [Audrey Rose’s] uncle, a brilliant forensic medical examiner, has his own theories that cannot be proven by medical professionals, but are practices and truths we know today. I also did a lot of research into how autopsies are conducted today, what bodies smell like after trauma, to fully flesh out my understanding of how our procedures might differ from Victorian practices. I’m also into history, and growing up outside of New York City meant that there were many historic sites to visit. Family vacations always included stops along the way—whether we’d attend a historic home tour or visit the Vanderbilt Mansion, history was incorporated into our activities. When it came time for my Victorian research, I really enjoyed getting lost in the details of the period.  Fun fact: the house I grew up in was built in the 1700s, with an addition in the 1800s. 

2. Writing for an audience of teenagers is no easy task. Why did you choose to write for young adults?

Young adults are complex and intelligent, and have so much passion for their beliefs. It’s a time in our lives where we’re struggling to either be who we are or find out who we are through trial and error. It’s this faltering step into the adult world, where ideals can be crushed or fostered. YA literature shows us—in a big way—that we can be the light in the darkness. We can all be the heroes/heroines of our own stories. Thanks to my grandma, I still believe the impossible is absolutely possible, no matter how many doors are slammed or how hopeless things may appear. That’s just an unexpected, crushing plot twist, which, as YA readers know, makes the resolution all the sweeter. All of the firsts and the unfettered belief that we can make a change in the world so we attempt to do just that—that’s the true magic of YA literature, and why I chose to write for teens.

3. What’s next for you? Will we see a sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper?

The early response to Stalking Jack the Ripper has been absolutely incredible. Things I never dared to dream have been happening and I just sit back, pinching myself most days. I’ve always wanted to have a series of interconnected stand-alones, like novel-length penny dreadfuls, and am thrilled to say there will be two more gothic adventures for Audrey Rose. Right now I’m hard at work on book two, and I’ll just say that it’s got a new setting that’s as creepy as Victorian London. We get more forensics and autopsies, some scary folklore, and twists and turns that will hopefully keep readers guessing until the end. There may also be an infamous castle involved where a bloodthirsty legend is said to haunt the halls at night. I cannot wait for it to hit shelves in the fall of 2017.

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N


Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 19, 2016

Blog Tour: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

And now ... a Q&A with Mindy McGinnis.

1. THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is one of the most intense books I’ve ever read. Several times I had to set it down to digest what had happened. How long did I take you to write this and where in the world did the idea come from?

I actually wrote the book fairly quickly, I’d say in about three months. Part of the reason for that is that the idea has been percolating for about 15 years… since I was in college. As a freshman I had a lot of adjusting to do and one of those things I needed to adjust to was cable TV (I didn’t have it at home). So I kind of glutted myself at first.

I was watching some sort of true crime show about a murder of a young girl that had happened in a small town. Everyone pretty much knew who did it, but there wasn’t enough evidence to convict, so he walked free. The show named the town, and the suspect. I thought to myself, Gee, an unhinged person could take that information andhuhthat’s a novel.

2. This book is graphic at time, and deeply unsettling. You pulled no punches in writing this book, which makes it all the more gripping. Did you ever wonder if you were pushing the envelope too far?

No, I didn’t. Yes, it’s deeply unsettling, but so is the news. And that’s nonfiction. People asked me with A MADNESS SO DISCREET why I would write about a father sexually abusing his daughter in a book for teens. My answer is because th at’s who it happens to. The same is true for SPECIES.

3. Which character POV was your favorite to write – Alex, Jack, or Peekay?

Honestly, Peekay. She deals with a lot of her emotions anger, sadness, pain, love by making jokes about them. Humor is her defense mechanism, and considering that Jack’s is sex and Alex’s is murder, Peekay was a nice, light escape when it was her turn.

4. What message do you want readers, especially teens, to walk away from this with?

A better understanding of how the other sex views the world around them, and how our actions affect others. Because of multiple POVs, both female and male, that stands true for readers of either sex.

5. How do you even begin to research a book like this? I mean, I felt like I was reading a Criminal Minds spinoff series. Criminal Minds: Young Adult Files.

Ha! Well, I had a lot of help from a friend of mine who teaches criminology at the university level. He was my junior high basketball coach. I shot him an email and was like, “Hey, remember me? I need to know about decomposition rates of bodies in the woods, and also how to burn a house down without making it look like arson. Email me back!”

6. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES?

This was actually my first novel. I attempting writing it when I was in college, soon after the idea hatched. I’d never written a novel before but I thought this was an important story. Originally Jack and Alex were adults, and Peekay wasn’t in the story at all.

But I was NOT a good writer at that point in my life. Believe me. I revisited that original manuscript when I decided to turn it into a YA story. And wowit was unreadable. I didn’t even finish it. I DNF'd my own book.

I think it says a lot though about talent some of it is natural, but an immense part of the craft.

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N


Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer's Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway