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CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD Blog Tour: Interview with Anne Heltzel + Giveaway

charlie

I can’t wait for CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD’s release next week. I fell in love with the title and cover and description and instantly pre-ordered it for my Kindle and I am so excited the wait is nearly over.

In the meantime, I am totally stoked to be a part of the blog tour for CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD and to have been able to interview the incredibly awesome author, Anne Heltzel, whose answers make me even more sure that I will love, love, love this book.

If you would like to know just a little bit more about it, be sure to check out the Q&A. And if you’d like to win some awesome prizes, this tour includes a fantastic giveaway.

And… if you’d like to know what a few other bloggers have to say about CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD or read a couple other interviews and guest posts, scroll down to the tour schedule at the bottom of the post for direct links to all the stops.

I’m not typically someone who gets lured in by praise blurbs on the covers of books, but I couldn’t help but be drawn in by the words “twisty and devious” that were used to describe this book. I love twisty, I LOVE devious. So. So. So. Excited.


About CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD

CharliePresumedDead_hres

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Title: CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD
Author: Anne Heltzel
Release date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

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The Interview

Q&A with Anne Heltzel

Q. Who was your favorite character to write/write about (and why) – Lena Whitney, Aubrey Buroughs or the presumed dead Charlie Price?

Charlie! Because he was unstable, there weren’t many limits to what I could do with his character. He got to reinvent himself each time he formed a new relationship or traveled somewhere new. In a sense, starting over (even creating a new identity) is a fantasy for everyone. I loved inventing personas for him and eventually touching on his mental fragility.

Q. What does having a backdrop of Europe and Asia bring to the story?

I hope it brought a sense of glamour and exoticism, and presented challenges that may have been unfamiliar to readers and thus more exciting. I just love experiences that push me out of my comfort zone, and I wanted my characters’ adventures to surprise and thrill readers.

Q. If you could choose one line or one scene that was your favorite, what would it be and why?

I really like the scene where Lena meets Charlie for the first time (buying vinyls), mostly because it’s nostalgic. It’s the only scene in the novel that I pulled almost directly from life. A few summers ago, I spent an entire night hanging out with a guy who sold me a bookshelf. We went out for pizza and wandered around Brooklyn together until 5am. I am naturally introverted; but that night I took my chances, and it was too good not to write about. I remember my agent saying it was one of the best scenes in the original draft, and I was embarrassed to ‘fess up that it was essentially a fictionalized diary entry.

Q. What was the most challenging aspect of writing CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD?

I’m usually not a plot girl! I get really invested in psychological development and atmosphere, and this was the total opposite of that. My other books were psychological dramas, not true thrillers. This was so plotty! So terrifying! And so rewarding—it took natural turns that I never would have anticipated.

Q. When sitting down to write, was the plot already outlined/developed, or did it begin to take shape as you wrote? And (without revealing spoilers) how much did it change from what was originally intended or from an early draft?

I knew beginning, middle, and end; and I knew vague things like, “BIG REVEAL WITH LENA” and “AUBREY IS HIDING SOMETHING.” So I had a grasp on the story I wanted to tell and the mechanics of getting there—but the details filled themselves in as I wrote. Typically when I stopped writing each day, I would outline the next 1-2 chapters so I’d be ready to go the following day. Often those ensuing chapters evolved in unexpected directions. (Even if you know what happens in one scene, there are natural repercussions stemming from characters’ actions that you may not have considered.)

Q. Do you think being an editor helps with being a writer or does it make things more of a challenge?

No! It is terrible! Just kidding, I love being an editor. I honestly don’t know which of my two careers I enjoy more. Being an editor makes it difficult to write without pondering what’s currently in the market and how well a new concept will hold up. It makes it harder to just lose yourself in your writing for the pure love of it. But of course there are skills I’ve acquired that make it easier to revise. For example, I have zero qualms cutting. Kill those darlings! I’m not usually very attached to certain lines or scenes. And I love receiving editorial feedback. I think being an editor makes me all the more grateful for my own editor. Still…there are times when I’d rather be in the dark about the publishing process. Some of that romance is gone when you’ve been in the trenches on the other side.


About Anne Heltzel

Anne

Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

ANNE HELTZEL is a Brooklyn-based author and editor of children’s books. Anne was born in Ohio, has been a voracious reader since the age of three, and credits her careers in publishing and writing (both lifelong dreams–just ask to see her childhood journal) to a serendipitous coffee shop conversation during her senior year of college. Anne was on a law school track until the aforementioned fateful conversation prompted her to switch gears and move to New York City, where she entered an M.F.A. program. In 2007 she began her first job in publishing. In 2008 she graduated from The New School with a master’s degree in Writing for Children. Anne has since lived in India and Paris, and has taught writing and reading workshops in each of her former homes. More recently, she participated as a mentor in NYC’s Girls Write Now program. When she is not writing, Anne is furiously (and passionately) editing novels for a Manhattan publishing house. She is represented by Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management. Anne also writes under the pseudonym Anna Collomore.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

Giveaway-3

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • THREE (3) winners will receive a finished copy of CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD + a Gold Rose Necklace – Antique gold pewter rose charm on an 18 inch gold-plated cable chain (photo above) – US ONLY.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

May 25th – Falling for YA | Interview

May 26th – The Bibliophile Chronicles | Review

May 27th – Moonlight Gleam Reviews | Guest Post

May 28th – Book Briefs | Review

May 29th – Fiktshun | Interview

Week Two

June 1st – One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads | Review

June 2nd – Literary Meanderings | Guest Post

June 3rd – Seeing Double in Neverland | Review

June 4th – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales | Interview

June 5th – Please Feed the Bookworm | Review

HBRockstar


DEADLY DESIGN Blog Tour: ‘The Fabulous World of Twins’ Guest Post by Debra Dockter

Deadly-Design-BT

I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the DEADLY DESIGN Blog Tour and have Author Debra Dockter on the blog to share a guest post about twins – her fascination with them, what she learned researching, what life is like for her characters. DEADLY DESIGN, which releases next week, is an incredible read and an amazing debut and I can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to discover it.

If you’d like to know a little bit more about DEADLY DESIGN be sure to check out the book’s description immediately below. And if you want to know a bit more than that, visit each of the stops on the tour to read a few interviews, guest posts and reviews.

Some of the stops also include giveaways, so if you’d like the chance to win a copy of DEADLY DESIGN take a peek at the tour schedule and visit any – or all – of the giveaway stops.

But before all that, you definitely don’t want to miss Debra Dockter’s “Welcome to the Fabulous World of Twins” post in which she talks about the awesomeness that is Connor and just how that must be for Kyle.


About DEADLY DESGIN

Deadly Design

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Title: DEADLY DESIGN
Author: Debra Dockter
Release date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow in. He was the best at everything, whether it was claiming the title of valedictorian, or leading his high school’s football team to victory as their quarterback. Kyle doesn’t ever think he’ll be able to live up, and so he doesn’t even try.

But when Connor suddenly dies from a heart attack, Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also started to die on their eighteenth birthdays and he’s suddenly motivated—to save his own life. Like Connor and all the rest, Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted his experiments on them. The clock’s ticking as Kyle searches for answers: who was Dr. Mueller really, and what did he do to them at the lab that’s causing their hearts to stop at eighteen? He must unravel the clues quickly, before he becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse. When the clues lead him to even more danger, an experimental heart transplant may be the only way to survive the death trap in his DNA.

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The Guest Post

Welcome to the fabulous world of twins!

by Debra Dockter

I guess my fascination with twins started in fifth grade. That’s when a certain pair of twin boys began attending the same elementary school I went to. They were gorgeous, and even though nature was nice enough to create two of them, I knew my chances of ‘going steady’ with either were slim to none.

My fascination grew once I started doing research for Deadly Design. I got the idea of having identical twins born two years apart, but first, I had to see if it was possible. In doing research, I found out that it was possible to create an egg using in vitro, having the egg split, and then having the parents decide to give birth to one while freezing the other. (Not only is it possible, it’s actually happened.)

Who wouldn’t want a twin? Sure, sharing birthdays and the Christmas budget with an identical sibling might be tough, but then again, you’d always have a playmate, always have an extra brain to come up with schemes and plots and ways to combat childhood boredom.

In doing research, I even learned of a jewel thief who had an identical twin. Both brothers said the other was responsible for the crime and since investigators couldn’t prove which twin the DNA belonged to, no charges were ever filed.

If I’d had a twin, I don’t think I’d rob a bank or a jewelry store, but it would have been nice to have someone to blame when a cookie went missing. Of course, another interesting fact I learned is that while twins have 99.99% identical DNA, they don’t have identical fingerprints. Originally, their prints form the same, but as they touch each other and the amniotic sack they live in, their finger prints change. I guess it was a good thing for the jewel thief that he wore gloves!

For Kyle, the twin thing isn’t exactly typical. Having an identical twin brother two years older than you would have to be somewhat…creepy. To know what you’re going to look like in the future, know exactly when puberty is going to hit – yikes! To see yourself always slightly out of your own reach. And then there’s the fact that, unknown to you, you and your brother have been genetically enhanced.

Not only is Connor older than Kyle, he’s magnificent. Good looking, athletic, intelligent – Connor is like a demi god visiting from Mount Olympus, and Kyle knows he can never step out from beneath his brother’s shadow. Sure, they share the same DNA, but they’re not the same people. They don’t have the same drives, the same ambitions. What if Connor is only amazing because he works for it? Genetics may help a person build six pack abs, but they aren’t going to form themselves. Sit-ups will have to play into the equation and only trips to the gym can build those massive round biceps and only studying and doing your homework will get you a perfect score on your ACT’s.

Kyle’s good at video games, but compared to gymnasiums and football stadiums, there’s little glory to be had in his basement bedroom.

Deadly Design is about twins, but more than that, it’s about brothers who just want to relate to each other. It’s also about romance, evil scientists, high school, marines and trying to save yourself from the tiny bombs in your DNA.

It’s about living and loving to the fullest extent that we can because nobody knows how much time they really have. Not even demi-gods.


About Debra Dockter

Debra Dockter

Debra Dockter currently teaches behavioral science at Cowley College and resides in Haysville, Kansas with her husband and three children. Deadly Design is her debut novel.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Monday, May 25th – Once Upon a Twilight – Interview + Giveaway

Tuesday, May 26th – Fangirlish – Interview

Wednesday, May 27th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

Thursday, May 28th – Nick’s Book Blog – Review

Friday, May 29th – Reading Lark – Review

Week Two

Monday, June 1st – The Compulsive Reader – Guest Post

Tuesday, June 2nd – Mundie Moms – Review + Giveaway

Wednesday, June 3rd – Page Turners – Guest Post

Thursday, June 4th – Addicted 2 Novels – Review + Giveaway

Friday, June 5th – Reading with ABC – Interview

Week Three

Monday, June 8th – WinterHaven Books – Interview + Giveaway

Tuesday, June 9th – A Dream Within A Dream – Review + Giveaway

Wednesday, June 10th – JennRenee Reads – Review


‘Meet the Suspects’ Video Tour: THE GOOD GIRLS by Sara Shepard + Giveaway

TheGoodGirls

I love Sara Shepard’s The Perfectionists and I’m totally stoked to be able to share a video of Julie Redding – Suspect #3 – for this short “Meet the Suspects” video tour. THE GOOD GIRLS comes out next week and if you haven’t yet met Julie, Mackenzie, Caitlin, Ava or Parker, there’s plenty of time to do so and get all caught up on what they’ve been doing and learn what happened to Nolan Hotchkiss.

And as THE PERFECTIONISTS, the first book in this series, is currently available in eBook format for $1.99 there’s no reason not to.

This tour includes a giveaway for a set of both books in the series. So if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter a bit further down in this post.

If you’d like to join the conversation on Twitter about this awesome book and series, be sure to use #TheGoodGirls when doing so. Feel free to share your thoughts based on each girl’s video about who you think might be responsible for Nolan’s death. While they all may sound innocent, it’s very possible one of them is responsible for his – and any or all of the others  – demise.

Of course I may know a thing or two but my lips are sealed.


About THE GOOD GIRLS

GoodGirlsHCC

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Title & Series: THE GOOD GIRLS (The Perfectionists #2)
Author: Sara Shepard
Release date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes the shocking sequel to The Perfectionists–with an ending you’ll have to read to believe!

Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn’t actually go through with it. It’s just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn’t the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they’re being framed. Or are they about to become the killer’s next targets?

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Meet Julie: Suspect #3


About Sara Shepard

SaraShepard

For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny.

She got her MFA at Brooklyn College and now lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and dogs. Her first adult novel is called The Visibles/ All The Things We Didn’t Say.

Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


Other Books in the Series

ThePerfectionists_HR

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Title & Series: THE PERFECTIONISTS (The Perfectionists #1)
Author: Sara Shepard
Release date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Now available in eBook format for $1.99 at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Description…

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Pretty Little Liars comes a thrilling new novel about five perfect girls who are framed for a murder they didn’t commit.

In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke…until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.

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The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

ONE (1) winner will get finished copies of THE PERFECTIONISTS and THE GOOD GIRLS – ships US ONLY

  • Must be 13 or older to enter

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Who Killed Nolan Hotchkiss?

To meet each of the suspects from Sara Shepard’s The Perfectionists series, be sure to visit all the stops this week.

May 25th – Me, My Shelf and I | AVA

May 26th – Once Upon a Twilight | CAITLIN

May 27th – Fiktshun | JULIE

May 28th – Novel Novice | MACKENZIE

May 29th – Fictitious Delicious | PARKER


Review: THE CAGE

THE CAGE cover

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Title & Series: THE CAGE (The Cage #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Release date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

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NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

THE CAGE is a beautiful and bizarre and chilling and fantastic story with a killer ending. It is a read that is full of surprises – creepy, dark and disturbing surprises. It brings together elements of dystopia, sci-fi, thriller and horror in a way that is different and compelling and absolutely riveting. It delivers the unexpected and a read that is unputdownable.

Told from multiple points of view, readers will get to see inside the minds of each of the human captives. They’ll get a peek at their motives. They’ll gain a better understanding of why each acts the way they do and why some are more willing than others to fall in line. But readers won’t get to know every secret, they won’t be able to trust everyone. Except, possibly, for Cora Mason.

Cora is a strong and very determined heroine. She’s not willing to give in without a fight. She’s not willing to accept what’s been told to her without question. Even if no one is willing to stand with her. Even if the odds are against her. Even if not giving in will likely result in her death or something far worse.

THE CAGE starts off feeling very much a dystopian novel with its manufactured climates meant to test the captives. But it quickly becomes something other with its awards system of unusual and sometimes childish prizes, its strangely put together meals, its not-quite-right town. It gives readers the sense that something is off before introducing just what makes it so strange.

And once it does, it takes an even darker turn, as the captives learn what’s happened to them, what’s expected of them, and what happens if they fail.

Megan Shepherd has created a story that is delightfully unsettling. With both her setting and her characters, she adds in elements that are slightly sinister, ominous, spine-tingling, disconcerting to keep readers just a touch off-kilter without always knowing exactly why. She leaves no one’s behavior, from her human captives to her alien captors, above suspicion, to keep readers guessing as to who is sane, who is trustworthy, who can be relied upon or who will be the most likely to betray.

And she fills her story with moments that will shock and surprise, moments that will horrify, and a twist or a few that will be utterly jaw-dropping.

For readers looking for a story that is different and imaginative, thrilling, gripping, weird and wonderful, with the promise for even more of the same in the sequel, THE CAGE is a must.

The Rating

05


About the Author

MSAuthorPhoto

Photo credit: Kristi Hedberg Photography

Megan Shepherd grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where her family has owned and operated an independent bookstore for over 35 years. Shepherd attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in international studies and went on to live and work in Costa Rica, Senegal, Scotland, Spain, and many other countries. Now, Shepherd has returned to Western North Carolina and is a full-time writer of young adult novels.

She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

WEBSITE | BLOGTWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


THE CAGE Blog Tour: ‘Favorite Character POV’ Guest Post + Giveaway

thecage

I am thrilled to be today’s stop on THE CAGE Blog Tour with an awesome guest post from Author Megan Shepherd about which character’s POV was her favorite to write from and why they were a favorite. I loved the character she chose – and she is such a fascinating character – but of course my favorite character’s POV to read was Cora. And I think my favorite character is Cassian.

THE CAGE, which releases tomorrow and is a total must read, is the very first book I’ve read by this author but it won’t be the last. This book is amazing. It is different and strange and wonderful and chilling and creepy and riveting. There are all sorts of surprises. And with what happens right there at the end, you will definitely be anxious to continue the story.

This is not just a survival in a hostile environment story. This is not just a story about mind games. This is not just a sci-fi story about aliens with questionable motives. It’s all that and so much more. It’s a little bit twisted and a little bit twisty and it’s a whole lot wicked awesome.

If you’d like to know more about THE CAGE, check out the book’s description below. Though it does reveal quite A LOT about it, so if you want to be more in the dark when you go in, just read the second paragraph.

And if you’d like to win a signed ARC of THE CAGE plus swag be sure to enter in the Rafflecopter below.

There are a few guest posts, interviews and reviews on this tour so if you’d like to know what the author had to say in answer to a few questions, see what topics she tackled, and read what a few bloggers had to say about THE CAGE, check out the tour schedule at the bottom of this post. And if you’d like to know what I thought about THE CAGE, stop back tomorrow on its release date for my review.


About THE CAGE

THE CAGE cover

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: THE CAGE (The Cage #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Release date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


The Guest Post

Favorite Character POV to Write from (and Why)

by Megan Shepherd

There are six point of view characters in THE CAGE, which was quite a challenge! Cora Mason is the main one, a senator’s daughter with a secretive past who is determined to break out of the Cage and go home. But I wanted to give voice to the other characters too, since they all come from such different backgrounds. There is Leon, the Maori smuggler; Nok, the Thai model; Rolf, the Norwegian genius; and Lucky, the half-Colombian army brat. They were all abducted from their homes on Earth for the unique traits they each exhibited, and because of their very different personalities, lots of conflicts arise.

But my very favorite POV character wasn’t one of the initial captives. It was Mali, a seventeen-year-old captive who is introduced later. I loved writing Mali’s POV because unlike the other captives, she wasn’t abducted as an older teenager. She was taken from Earth at age four, and has grown up in the Kindred’s world, passed from cage to cage, owner to owner. It has been so long since she was taken that she doesn’t even remember her real name, just the country she is from, which is why she calls herself Mali.

Mali might be my favorite character because she’s caught between the human world and the Kindred one. Though she’s technically human, she’s spent so little time around other humans that she doesn’t quite understand humanity. She has strange speech patterns and odd mannerisms that make the other humans wary to trust her. But this also gives her unique insight into the Kindred’s world, which makes her incredibly valuable. As the series goes on, Mali starts to understand what makes humanity so special, and why she might want to fight for the chance to go home.

She’s a strong character because she isn’t even sure herself where she fits in and where her allegiances lie. But as she learns about humanity, I hope that readers get a unique glimpse of themselves, too.


About Megan Shepherd

MSAuthorPhoto

Photo credit: Kristi Hedberg Photography

Megan Shepherd grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where her family has owned and operated an independent bookstore for over 35 years. Shepherd attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in international studies and went on to live and work in Costa Rica, Senegal, Scotland, Spain, and many other countries. Now, Shepherd has returned to Western North Carolina and is a full-time writer of young adult novels.

She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.

WEBSITE | BLOGTWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

A signed ARC of THE CAGE + a CAGE bookmark and sticker sheet to ONE (1) winner – US ONLY

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

May 18th – No BS Book Reviews – Interview

May 19th – Me, My Shelf and I – Review

May 20th – Bewitched Bookworms – Guest Post

May 21st – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review

May 22nd – Novel Novice – Interview

Week Two

May 25th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

May 26th – Bookish – Review

May 27th – The Eater of Books! – Interview

May 28th – Such a Novel Idea – Review

May 29th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

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THE WRATH & THE DAWN Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

WrathandtheDawn-blogtour

I am super excited to be a part of THE WRATH & THE DAWN Blog Tour and to be able to finally share my thoughts about the book. What an amazing start to the series this is and the instant I finished reading it I was so desperately wishing I had the next book in hand that I may have sobbed just a little knowing I’d have to wait. Yeah, it was just that good. Anyway… if you’d like to know what else I thought, my review follows below the book’s details.

This tour also includes an awesome giveaway for a copy of the book and three lovely scarves to FIVE winners. So be sure to enter in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

And if you’d like to know what other bloggers thought about THE WRATH & THE DAWN, read a few interviews and guest posts, the tour schedule with direct links to all the stops is at the bottom of this post.


About THE WRATH & THE DAWN

WRATH_And_The_DAWN

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: THE WRATH & THE DAWN (The Wrath & the Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS

Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

Stunningly gorgeous, devastatingly heartbreaking and beautifully written, THE WRATH & THE DAWN will transport you to a world of secrets, revenge, treachery, heartache, love and loss. A world ruled by a king, a monster, who takes a new bride each night and sacrifices her at dawn. A world where one girl is willing to risk her own life for the chance to end his tyranny and keep another family from suffering.

It’s a story that invites you to learn its secrets. It beguiles you with stories within the story. It keeps you on edge wondering when – when will Shahrzad strike, when will Khalid grow tired of her, when will it be her final dawn, when will Tariq attempt to save her – and asking why and how and what if – Why is Khalid executing his brides? How can he live with what he’s done? How can Shazi stand to spend one second in his presence? What if she fails? What if she succeeds? What if Tariq fails? And what if he succeeds?

Renée Ahdieh created a story that is exciting and enchanting, nail-biting and suspenseful. She brings together the most unlikely of characters, makes them fall in love, puts tremendous obstacles in their way, and gives them impossible odds. She expands her world by telling the story from multiple characters’ points of view. And she teases with the promise of what’s to come in future books in the series.

The author gives readers a strong female main character in Shahrzad. She’s quick, clever, brave, fierce and passionate and can be sharp-tongued and imperious. But she also has a vulnerability to her, and is kind and loyal and instantly likable. Khalid is also strong, which makes for an exhilarating dynamic between the two. He is a skilled swordsman, a seemingly ruthless leader, quick-tempered, arrogant, secretive and cold, but yet vulnerable, redeemable and fiercely protective.

THE WRATH & THE DAWN is an enticing and exquisitely told story. It combines action and romance and heartbreak and anguish into a tale that is positively epic. Not all questions will be answered. Not all plans will be revealed. Not all alliances will be forged. Not all threats will be eliminated. And not all dangers will have abated by the story’s end, setting the stage for an even more thrilling and nerve-wracking and potentially heartrending sequel.

If you’re looking for a story that is breathtaking and moving and absolutely amazing, Renée Ahdieh’s debut is a must.

The Rating

05


About Renée Ahdieh

Renee-Ahdieh-Pic

I live in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with my husband Victor and our dog Mushu. My YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, is available wherever books are sold. In my spare time, I like to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of my characters.

I’m also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • FIVE (5) winners will receive a copy of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a scarf with the book cover, Tariq scarf, Khalid scarf

All prizes will be furnished courtesy of the publisher.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

May 11th – The Young Folks – Guest Post

May 12th – Two Chicks on Books – Interview

May 13th – Once Upon a Twilight – Interview

May 14th – Addicted Readers – Review

May 15th – Cuddlebuggery – Review

Week Two

May 18th – The Eater of Books! – Top 10 List

May 19th – Love is not a triangle – Guest Post

May 20th – Mostly YA Book Obsessed – Character Profiles/Where I See Fashion

May 21st – Gone with the Words – Interview

May 22nd – Fiktshun – Review

Week Three

May 25th – Read.Breathe.Relax – Interview

May 26th – The Daily Quirk – Review

May 27th – The Irish Banana – Would You Rather?

May 28th – No BS Book Reviews – Review

May 29th – Me, My Shelf and I – 25 Random Things


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