I’m happy dancing about being part of the blog tour for Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer, you guys. Why? Because I absolutely loved the first book in her Elementals series, Storm. And I’ve finally, finally started Spark – and it’s just as good, if not better. So I’m thrilled for the third book in the series to be released, Spirit!
So be sure to to check out this seriously awesome and totally swoon-worthy excerpt for Spirit below and enter to win some awesome prizes, including two grand prizes of all three books in the Elemental series!
I also have some cool links for you below, like the code to get the Elemental e-book for free (until May 31). So be sure to check it out!
Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.
He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.
Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.
With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust… – Goodreads
Excerpt from Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
Hunter had made it to the parking lot by the time Kate caught up to him. The sun had burned off the clouds, and she felt heat prick at her neck. She grabbed Hunter by the arm.
“Are you insane?” she hissed. “I thought you really broke that kid’s arm. What was the point of all—”
“Now he’s afraid of me. I need them to be afraid of me.”
She wished Hunter would just stop and talk to her. “Why?”
“Because Calla always had the upper hand, and that meant people got hurt. I need time to figure out what else they’re planning.” He shoved a key into the door of his jeep. “To figure out where she might be hiding.”
“Damn it, Hunter, if you’re going to work with me, then you need to work with me. You need to tell me what you’re doing. We don’t work like—”
He turned and caught her arms. She tensed to retaliate—but then she realized she didn’t need to fight him off.
Because he was kissing her.
She lost a moment to sheer surprise. His hands were strong and gentle at the same time, sliding under her jacket to trap her waist—not that there was any danger of her going anywhere right this second. She couldn’t read him at all today. First, she’d thought he hated her, then he was brutalizing that kid, and now . . . now . . .
Her back hit the side of his jeep before she even realized he’d turned her. The heat of the sunlight became a living thing, tracing power down her skin to match the sparks from his lips against hers. He was pressed against her, almost full length, his hands creeping up her sides to send heat through her body in a way that had nothing to do with sunlight or power. Silver could have had a gun trained on her right that instant, and she wouldn’t have cared.
Hunter tasted like cinnamon and smelled like the woods, pine and bark and something very male. His mouth was so sure, and when his tongue brushed hers, a sound escaped her lips. He did it again, letting his thumbs trace over her breasts so lightly that she found herself arching into him. Suddenly she wished they were somewhere else, somewhere private, with curtains and less clothing and—
Hunter broke the kiss. Her breathing was quick, loud and desperate in the space between them.
He closed his hands on her waist again, and turned her away from his car.
Her brain was spinning its wheels, trying to find traction.
Hunter leaned close. “Just to be clear: I’d know exactly what to do if you threw yourself at me.”
Then he was in his car, starting the ignition, leaving her in the parking lot, nothing more than a melted puddle of hot, bothered, and seriously pissed off.
About Brigid Kemmerer
Brigid Kemmerer started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years!
You guys, the Spirit blog tour has some super awesome prizes for you! You could win one of ten copies of Spirit or one of two grand prizes with all three books in the Elemental series! You can enter to win by entering the Rafflecopter!
Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late?
Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.
Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself. – Goodreads
Susanne Winnacker, the author of Impostor
What is one piece of advice you would give to upcoming debut authors?
Never give up. Rejections are part of the business and they never stop. And don’t believe everything you hear. Just focus on what you really want.
If you could have an extraordinary ability, what would it be and why?
I think I would choose a healing power. One of my biggest fears is that someone I love (or I) gets really sick and there’s nothing anyone can do to make it better.
What interests you about mysteries and sleuthing teens?
I like to be surprised when reading and if a mystery writer manages to keep me in the dark about a killer until the very end, then that’s just wonderful. Mysteries always make me, as a reader, feel like I’m involved in the plot because I along with the main character want to figure out who did it. As for why I’m interested in sleuthing teens: as a teen I often felt like I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to. There were so many things I wanted to change, but it’s sometimes difficult to be taken seriously by adults. If a teen takes action, hunts a killer, tries to solve a mystery that always gives me a feeling of delayed satisfaction. And what I particularly like about sleuthing teens is that they aren’t afraid to take risks and try new things. That’s sometimes the only way to catch a killer!
If you could be the author of any previously published work, which would it be and why?
The first thing that comes to my mind is Harry Potter. I admire J.K. Rowling. The world she created is wonderful and her books manage to unite people of every age and nationality simply by their love for her books. But then I feel like a cheat for even considering it. That’s her world and not mine. And I’m not sure if I could have handled all the pressure and fame as well as she did. Especially when I remind myself of the times when paparazzi search J.K.’s garbage cans for stuff. I don’t even know what they were looking for, maybe dirty secrets, but it made me sick to my stomach. I prefer my anonymous life, so I guess my answer is in theory “Harry Potter”, but really I’m not sure.
What are you working on next? Any info you can share?
I’m editing the sequel to Impostor and I’m also working on a middle grade novel. I’m always working on more than one project. It keeps things interesting!
About Susanne Winnacker
Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog that looks like a sheep and three bunnies that have destroyed every piece of furniture she’s ever owned in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.
Today I have an interview with Polly Holyoke, author of the upcoming The Neptune Project! I’m super excited to get my hands on this book next week, you guys. I’m a huge fan of middle-grade and The Neptune Project sounds like a great futuristic story with an environmental twist.
So yes – check out my interview with the lovely Polly Holyoke and enter to win some really great The Neptune Project swag! She sent me several dolphin charms that double as both a necklace or a bookmark – I think they’re super awesome!
With her weak eyes and useless lungs that often leave her gasping for air, Nere feels more at home swimming with the dolphins her mother studies than she does hanging out with her classmates. Nere has never understood why she is so much more comfortable and confident in the water than on land until the day she learns the shocking truth—she is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of the “Neptune Project” are supposed to build a better future under the waves, safe from the terrible famines and wars and that rock the surface world.
But there are some big challenges ahead of her: no one ever asked Nere if she wanted to be part of a science experiment; the other Neptune kids aren’t exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the new Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying on their wits, their loyal dolphins and one another to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids … dead or alive.
Fierce battle and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friend race to safety in this action-packed marine adventure. – Goodreads
Polly Holyoke, the author of The Neptune Project
Why do you write middle grade? What draws you to the age group?
I love the fact that middle grade readers are willing to believe. They haven’t become cynical yet. They will accept and like even the wildest stories as long as the writer sets up the world and the plot of his or her book well.
What inspired the world you created in The Neptune Project?
I’ve always enjoyed scuba diving, and I wanted to give kids a chance to experience the world under the waves. My generation had the undersea adventures of Jacques Cousteau to watch each week on television, but the main source of information today for kids about the sea seems to Shark Week. That collection of programs is enough to keep anyone from ever swimming the ocean again!
How did you go about researching The Neptune Project?
Okay, so now I have to admit I spent some time watching Shark Week. But I spent a great deal more time reading up on oceanography and visiting scuba diving sites. I also went snorkeling with wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii, which was incredible. Spinner dolphins are amazingly acrobatic and leap out of the water in high, spinning leaps. They also travel in large schools and constantly squeak and whistle to each other. Swimming along with 200 of them is an experience I’ll never forget.
If you could be the author of any already published work, which would it be and why?
I absolutely loveArchangel by Sharon Shinn. I think that book has a clever premise, a wonderful love story and terrific world building.
Are you working on anything next? Any details you can share?
I’ve completed a second Neptune book that explains the origins of mysterious Dai and his friends. My British publisher, Puffin UK, has already bought that sequel, and I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that Disney Hyperion buys it as well.
About Polly Holyoke
Polly Holyoke grew up in Colorado, where she spent her childhood skiing, camping, reading, and dreaming up fantastical stories. Polly went on to graduate from Middlebury College and become a middle school social studies teacher. She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband and their two daughters, as well as two cats, two Chihuahuas, and a Beagle.
Polly Holyoke sent me really adorable dolphin charms that double as both bookmarks and necklaces. And you could win one! All you have to do is leave a comment below – I’ll be giving out three, open internationally.
Title & Author:
Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy Publisher:
Simon Pulse Publication Date:
May 07, 2013 Pages:
Publisher via Edelweiss
Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.
So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.
But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.
I am a massive fan of Terra Elan McVoy’s books – they’re relatable and realistic and fun and moving. So was I a little bit worried at first before I started Criminal. I knew right away that it was going to be vastly different from her previous books and I was nervous that I wouldn’t like it as much.
But you guys, Terra Elan McVoy nailed Criminal. It’s such an emotionally-wrought story full of bad decisions and confused characters and my heart just ached as I flew through it. I was frustrated and shaking my iPad and crying and gah. Criminal brought out all the emotions.
Criminal had a plot – one that was upsetting and interesting, but for me it was all about the characters. It was about Nikki and all the people in her life. Each character was interesting and raw and real and they all really affected Nikki and her future in their own way.
And god, don’t even get me started on Dee. It was stunning to see Nikki interact with him and her thoughts about him and how blind she was – and to know that this happens. This kind of passion, obsession, blindness, naivete happens all the freaking time. But Terra Elan McVoy did it in such an amazing way – she portrayed it so well.
I definitely recommend picking up Criminal. I cannot say enough excellent things about it. It made me bawl and hug my pillow and just feel all the things for Nikki. She made so many bad decisions, but she was still so inspiring and moving.
Criminal is not an easy story to stomach, but one worth definitely worth reading. Terra Elan McVoy really impressed me with Criminal and I can’t wait to read the story she tells next.
I’m very excited to welcome Jennifer McGowan and the protagonist of her debut novel, Maid of Secrets, to my blog today! I’m about halfway through Maid of Secrets right now and I just have to say, Meg is an AWESOME protagonist, so I’m super stoked to share this interview with her. And I can’t wait to share my review of Maid of Secrets, coming later this week!
Be sure to check out my interview with Meg and enter the giveaway below to win a signed copy of Maid of Secrets!
Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril.
For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.
A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…
Meg, the protagonist of Maid of Secrets
Thank you, Tara, for hosting me! Though I was born about four hundred years before Tolkien, I think I would feel very much at home in the Middle Earth of your Hobbitsies. :) Let’s get right to the questions!
What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Well, that’s a funny story, really. It’d have to be the day I’d followed my grandfather deep into the wood, hearing him singing and laughing as he worked. I was maybe three years old at the time, but my stout, chubby legs churned as fast as they could so I could keep up with my beloved guardian. When he finally noticed me and scooped me up onto his shoulders, I was the happiest of little girls. Later that night, asked by someone or another about my day, I shared Grandfather’s song at the top of my lungs.
And was very confused when everyone fell silent… then burst into laughter.
That was the first time I ever realized I had a special skill for memory, much to my grandfather’s chagrin! Although I couldn’t quite understand it at the time, it was a skill that would prove handy… never more so than when I found myself a prisoner of the Queen.
If your parents could have named you something else, what would you have wanted your name to be?
To be fair, I am a good, solid “Meg.” Short for Margaret, as you might imagine. But if ever I was to have another name, it would be “Catherine.” That is the name of quality and grace, that is the name of feminine wiles and elegance. I could see how a Catherine could arch her eyebrow just so, turn her arm ever so slightly, lean just far enough into a lovely arch. She could be graceful in a way a Meg never could, you see my meaning?
Still and all, Meg is my given name, and Meg I shall stay. And it’s perhaps the right name, after all.
What was your dream pet as a child?
Perhaps not a pet, per se, but I always did want a horse of my own—even a broken down pony who could be all mine. Horses are more than just beautiful creatures, though they certainly are that. They also represent freedom and being in control of your own destiny. Astride a horse, you can go to the furthest edges of the kingdom, and make what fortune you may. Astride a horse, you can turn right or left, North or South, and all of it is possible, just a few lengths away.
I still want a horse.
Is there a person you’d love to meet – living or dead?
Well now, those of you who know my tale, know the answer to that. But outside of the two people I’d like to meet most in the world, I’ll say this… I’d love to meet Cleopatra, the ruler of ancient Egypt. Sir William Cecil, advisor to Queen Elizabeth – he says Cleopatra is one of the greatest queens of all time. I can’t see how she holds a candle to our Elizabeth, but if he says it is true, well, I’d like to see her for myself. I’ve never been to Egypt, and it would take me probably a year to reach that land, but it would be worth it, just to meet such a queen.
If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?
Honestly? I would be reading a book. Easily and without hesitation, savoring the flow of words along the page, the images those words conjure up in my mind, and the adventures they suggest that last far longer than the simple act of finishing a story. Books – words – tales on the page… all of these things are magic to me, and I shall ever be grateful they exist.
Thank you again, Tara, for hosting me! And if you’re missing anything from your pockets, well…old habits die hard.
About Jennifer McGowan
Jennifer McGowan writes Young Adult romance full of swash and buckle. Her first novel, MAID OF SECRETS, debuts in Spring, 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Age: Royal Secret Came From: A small town in northern Ohio Became a Maid of Honor: After bringing her tale of spygirls to the noble city, and winning the favor of the great house of Simon (& Schuster). Special Skill: Matrix-like reflexes, superior strength, fabulous wit… okay, ah – we’ll get back to you on that.
You can’t change your DNA…even when it says you’re a murderer.
When Davy tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, aka “the kill gene,” she loses everything. Once the perfect high school senior, she is uninvited from her prep school and abandoned by her friends and boyfriend. Even her parents are now afraid of her—although she’s never hurt a fly. Davy doesn’t feel any differently, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.
Without any say in the matter, Davy is thrown into a special class for HTS carriers. She has no doubt the predictions are right about them, especially Sean, who already bears the “H” tattoo as proof of his violence. Yet when the world turns on the carriers, Sean is the only one she can trust. Maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.
Alright, alright, here’s the cover!
Click the cover to see the larger version.
You guys, I am SO EXCITED for Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. I love her books. And talk about a cover – that tag line totally draws me in, as does her shimmery hair. I think the cover Uninvited is simple and gorgeous, but still definitely leaves an impact, and I love that.
Sophie Jordan is giving away two signed Uninvited bookmarks on my blog today! All you need to do is leave a comment – I’ll be choosing two random winners on Sunday!