I am so unbelievably excited to be today’s stop on the GRADUATION DAY Blog Tour. I love this series and while I’m so sad that it ends with this book, I can’t wait for GRADUATION DAY to be released so that I can discuss the ending with everyone.
It may have been a while since I read this last book in the series, but I can’t forget how everything went down. It was just that awesome.
And what’s also awesome is the fact that I got the chance to interview Author Joelle Charbonneau and Character Cia Vale for my stop today. I loved learning which book was the author’s favorite to write. I really loved hearing about the different themes for each book. And I loved getting to ask Cia many of the questions I had for her.
The Testing Trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian series. Each book brought something new. Each book was unputdownable. And each book really made me think.
So if you haven’t yet discovered this series, be sure to check out each book’s description a bit further down in the post. And if you’d like to know just a little bit more about the series from the author and from Cia, the interviews follow immediately below.
This tour also includes the chance to win all the books in this series, so if you don’t yet have them, just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter for the chance to win.
Q. Of the three full-length books in the series, which was your favorite to write? And why? Your most challenging? And why?
Wow…that’s a tough question since I loved writing each story for a different reason. I think my favorite to write was THE TESTING because I was telling the story just for me. I never really thought about whether the book would be published. Up until that book, I’d only written contemporary set books. So I was terrified and thrilled to be creating a brand new work for my characters to live in. The most challenging to write has to be GRADUATION DAY, mostly because I don’t write with an outline. I am surprised by every turn of the story and don’t really know where it is going until I get there. So GRADUATION DAY scared me a bit because I wasn’t sure if all the pieces would fall into place the way I hoped. I had a lot of ideas I wanted to do justice to and I hope readers like where Cia ends up by the final page.
Q. While the overarching story flows beautifully as the series progresses from one book to the next, each book feels distinctly different, bringing something new to each reading experience. When writing the series, had you planned for each book to offer up something different – setting, characters, pace, tone? Or did the different characters and the story’s direction develop as you were writing?
The one thing I knew going into writing this series is the theme I wanted each book to follow. For THE TESTING I wanted to create the world’s worst college admission process. I wanted to look at the tests that our students go through (which are terrible now) and decide how society would have to be changed in order to make those test even more demanding with much higher stakes. INDEPENDENT STUDY was about going to college and how no one knows your past. They don’t know the mistakes you have made or judge you on that. They only know you for who you are now, which is someone who has an idea about how the world works and what place you want to hold it in. While at college, students learn more about the wider world around them and often have to decide if what they really wanted to do with their lives is actually the future they wish to have. And GRADUATION DAY is about how graduation doesn’t make you an adult and how elections aren’t what make leaders. Becoming an adult is about stepping up and saying you are ready to make tough choices just as leaders are people to step forward and do what is necessary even when it is hard. Beyond that I hadn’t a clue where the story would go. But I can say that I loved every minute of the journey.
Q. Toward the end of INDEPENDENT STUDY you introduced a bit of a jaw-dropper. Without revealing just what that was, did you always intend for what happened to happen? Had you imagined other possibilities.
Ha! Yeah – there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of INDEPENDENT STUDY. Sorry about that! Actually, there are several turns at the end of that book that I didn’t see coming. Each turn took me down a road that was unexpected and ultimately very exciting for me to explore. I actually had imagined the story going in a more traditional dystopian path with the typical rebellion and a larger physical conflict occurring in the United Commonwealth. And yet once I saw the story going in a different direction I was excited to embrace it and see where it took me.
Q. You created a number of complex characters in The Testing Trilogy, many of whom had secret motivations, goals and pasts. Who would you say was your most complex character – Cia? Will? Raffe? Tomas? Dr. Barnes? President Collindar? Someone else?
This is an awesome question. You know, I think there are very few people who see things in all black or white. Most people think in shades of gray. I hope that comes through in THE TESTING and especially in the characters of Will and Dr. Barnes. I think they are two of the most layered and complex characters in the series and were a wonderful challenge to write.
Q. If readers could take one thing away from having read this series, what would you like that to be?
I really want people to walk away with the idea that no test can ever define someone’s potential. Nothing limits a person when they are passionate about what they are doing. And anyone who says that how you perform on a test or deal with something on a specific day defines who you are and what you are capable of is wrong.
Q. Thinking back to that very first day you found out you were chosen for The Testing, would you ever have imagined how different an experience that, and every day since, was? Knowing what you know now, would you have gone ahead with The Testing anyway?
I thought I knew what The Testing would be like or how my life would go. I mean, it was such a dream to go to the University so I could learn enough to help our country move forward and become stronger. I never understood how much stronger I would need to be both physically and mentally to not only pass the test, but to survive. If I had known…I’d like to say that I would have still worked hard to be selected for The Testing. I’d like to believe that if I knew then what I know now I would want to still work hard to change things for the better. But I just don’t know.
Q. Both you and Tomas did things during The Testing that are difficult to live with, but yet without having gone through them you might not have been able to do what you needed to do when everything went down. Would you have preferred not to have done them? Or do you think those experiences were necessary in order to do what needed to be done?
I really hate thinking about the things that we’ve done, but if I hadn’t experienced the things I did in The Testing, I would never have been able to face the choices that I’m having to deal with now. Which is scary because it makes me wonder if that is what The Testing is really for. If it is…it worked. What does that mean?
Q. By remembering (and being told by you) what happened during The Testing, your experiences post-testing were very different than they might have been had you been completely in the dark. Do you at all miss the future you might have had? Do you think everything would have ended up where it did without your involvement in the mix?
It’s hard to miss what I have never had. But I do wonder. And while it would be nice to think that everything is the way I once imagined, I realize that if I was allowed to live that life, it would be an illusion. I guess that makes knowing that it will never happen a little easier to accept.
Q. For those who don’t yet know what happens next, can you give a hint about what may be on the horizon?
Hopefully, most people in the Commonwealth will never know what happens next. But for those who wonder…well, I have some tough choices to make. I used to think that deciding between what is right and wrong was easier to do. But I’m learning that it is harder than I ever imaged and if I want to step up and become a leader I have to test those who I want to help me the same way Dr. Barnes tested me.
Q. For those who may not already have met him, what do you think of Raffe? Do you think he can be trusted? Do you see him as a friend? An ally? A threat?
Raffe is smart. Really smart. And driven. He’s driven by something I don’t understand, but I respect the passion I see in his eyes. It’s compelling. I hope to at some point to get to know him better. Really get to know him. Can he be trusted? If this was The Testing I would say yes. I trusted easier then. But I think that I might have to trust him. I want him to be an ally, but I know that wanting something doesn’t always make it true. Which means he might still have more to prove before I am certain he is on my side.
Q. Do you think there’s a happily ever after in your future with Tomas? Do you even think that a happy ending is possible for anyone who’d been through The Testing?
I don’t know if Tomas and I will have a future. I hope so, but Tomas has lots of choices he has to make about his future. I may not love the choices that are in front of me, but I believe in our country. I want the best for my family, my friends and everyone that I’ve met….whether I like them or not. I can’t turn away from them.
Q. What is your biggest hope for the future of the United Commonwealth? Of Tosu City? Five Lakes?
I hope we can find a way to move forward – all of us – together. There is so much good that has been done. More than anything I want us to build on all the good things and learn from the mistakes we’ve made. Then those who have died won’t have died without cause. I want them to matter – because they do.
Series: The Testing #3
Release date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
In book three of the Testing series, the United Commonwealth wants to eliminate the rebel alliance fighting to destroy The Testing for good. Cia is ready to lead the charge, but will her lethal classmates follow her into battle?
She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.
But she can’t do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for – but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves–and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.
Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope–in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau’s epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it’s Graduation Day.
The Final Test is the Deadliest!
Ever since I can remember I loved telling stories. As I grew up, I started performing those stories on the stage. Creating vivid characters and singing wonderfully complex songs were my passion. I graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance and then continued onto DePaul University for my Masters Degree in Opera Performance. From there I went onto perform across the Chicagoland area in a variety of Operas, Operettas and Musicals. I also started teaching acting classes and private voice lessons to pass my passion along to the next generation.
Not exactly the path you’d expect a writer to take.
I’d never dreamed of writing a novel. But I loved to read. Then one day I had an idea and I started to write. I found my passion for creating characters lived on the page as well as the stage. It is my hope that the characters I’ve created resonate with you and make you smile.
I still teach voice lessons and sing for the occasional professional event. But the rest of my time is spent with my husband and son while dreaming up new and interesting stories. I hope that someday I hear yours.
It’s an honor to be chosen for The Testing. But it’s not enough to pass The Testing. Cia will have to survive it.
The Testing Guide is the short story prequel to The Testing, the first novel in the stunning and epic Testing Trilogy.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization.
In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.
This tour includes an awesome tour-wide giveaway for…
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
June 9th – Nightly Reading – Review
June 10th – The Book Cellar – Guest Post
June 11th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Review
June 12th – Fiktshun – Author and Character Interviews
June 13th – Magna Maniac Cafe – Review
June 16th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Guest Post
June 17th – K-Books – Review
June 18th – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
June 19th – Parajunkee’s View – Spotlight
June 20th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post
I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off THE STEPSISTER’S TALE Blog Tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring, with an interview with Jane Montjoy – the eldest stepsister. The Grimm’s Fairy Tales are my very most favorite childhood stories, and the Cinderella story is one I have always loved. So I was so excited to read Tracy Barrett’s version of the story, one that not only tells things from one of the “evil” stepsister’s point’s of view, but which casts a different light on the classic tale.
I absolutely adored THE STEPSISTER’S TALE. I loved getting to know Jane, her sister Maude, their mother Lady Margaret, and Will, the woodcutter’s son. And I even grew to like Ella.
I loved the voice this story was told in. It had an authenticity to it that made it feel very much like those fairytales of old. And I loved how many elements of the original that were woven in with a bit of a twist.
As my stop is not a review stop, I won’t go on and on about how much I enjoyed reading it or how much I loved how the author changed things up as regards the Prince. But I will just say that it was a delightful read and one that both paid homage to and was a marvelous retelling of a beloved classic.
In addition to the very awesome interview I conducted with Jane Montjoy, there are some fabulous prizes being offered for giveaway - a copy of the book and swag, as well as a tour-wide grand prize package.
First, though, is some information about the book on tour – which releases on June 24th – along with a few of the places you can find it online.
Release date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
What really happened after the clock struck midnight?
Jane Montjoy is tired of being a lady. She’s tired of pretending to live up to the standards of her mother’s noble family-especially now that the family’s wealth is gone and their stately mansion has fallen to ruin. It’s hard enough that she must tend to the animals and find a way to feed her mother and her little sister each day. Jane’s burden only gets worse after her mother returns from a trip to town with a new stepfather and stepsister in tow. Despite the family’s struggle to prepare for the long winter ahead, Jane’s stepfather remains determined to give his beautiful but spoiled child her every desire.
When her stepfather suddenly dies, leaving nothing but debts and a bereaved daughter behind, it seems to Jane that her family is destined for eternal unhappiness. But a mysterious boy from the woods and an invitation to a royal ball are certain to change her fate…
From the handsome prince to the evil stepsister, nothing is quite as it seems in Tracy Barrett’s stunning retelling of the classic Cinderella tale.
Q. For those who haven’t yet met you could you please tell us a little bit more about yourself and what life was like for you growing up in Halsey Hall with your sister Maude and your mother, Lady Margaret Halsey?
It’s hard to answer this question without sounding like I’m whining or complaining, and Mamma always tells us that ladies don’t complain. But I’ll try. We live in a very old, very beautiful house on grounds that used to be landscaped and planted with every kind of flower you can imagine. At least that’s what Mamma tells us. I don’t remember when the house was in good repair—the staircase is falling down and there’s mold everywhere. Mice live in our ballroom and there’s so much dust that if we stir it up by walking through the corridors my sister, Maude, sneezes until she can hardly talk. The once-landscaped grounds have gone back to the wild, except for a small area where our animals graze. But Mamma says we’re still important people and we have to maintain appearances, so I don’t think I should talk about how things have fallen apart.
Q. Even before your father’s passing, things were difficult. Did you ever wish that your mother would give up her family home, stop putting on airs, and try to live a more simple, comfortable life?
I can’t imagine Mamma living a simple life! She’s Lady Margaret Halsey, and her family was the most important in the area for a long, long time. But yes, I do wish we could live more simply. This house is so huge that it seems like we can never heat it enough to stay warm in the winter (especially because Maude and I are the ones who have to cut the wood) and if we could do some work to earn money, the way most people do, we might be able to buy things that we can’t grow or make ourselves. But grand folks like the Halseys and the Montjoys can’t labor like most people.
Q. Which of the stories your mother tells about her youth is your favorite and why?
My favorite story that Mamma tells is about the way she and Papa met. Mamma was riding her horse, Saladin, in a hunt. One of the other hunters, a young man, was looking for a way around a high fence. Mamma laughed and made Sal jump over it instead of going around and the other hunter was embarrassed that he was afraid to go over a fence that a girl had cleared, so he rode his horse at it. But at the last moment the horse balked and the man went flying over his head and landed in mud. Mamma felt bad that she had caused his accident so she helped him up and took him to Halsey Hall and had the servants clean him up. By the time he left, she says, she knew that was the man he was going to marry. And he was.
Q. What was it like when Isabella and her father Harry first moved in? Were you jealous of Isabella and all that she had or did you really want to try to make her a part of the family?
I don’t really know how to describe how I felt when Isabella and her father moved in. It had never occurred to me that Mamma would ever marry anyone, and when she brought home a new husband and a beautiful stepsister I didn’t know what to think. Was I jealous? I don’t know. Envious, maybe. I wanted nice clothes that I didn’t have to mend and nice things to eat, but I didn’t like the idea of being lazy and having people wait on me.
Q. Isabella called you and your sister ugly and your mother a wicked stepmother. As it seems to be so far from the truth, why do you think she said that? And how would you describe her?
At the time that Isabella said that, I thought she was just evil. Now that I know her better, I think she was as confused and frightened as Maude and I were—maybe more so. Ella didn’t know any better than we did that her father was going to marry Mamma. And at least I had Maude to talk to. Isabella didn’t have anyone. Her father was just as bad as Mamma at pretending that everything was fine, and when she tried to talk to him he didn’t really listen. How would I describe her at that time? Beautiful, of course, but also spoiled, mean, selfish, lazy. How would I describe her now? She’s still beautiful and I guess she’s still spoiled, but I’ve grown to like her. I don’t love her like a sister, but she’s my best friend aside from Maude.
Q. If you could have traded places with Isabella would you? And why/why not?
I don’t think I would have traded places with Isabella. She seemed sad all the time. If I’d had all the nice things she did, I would have been happier, and I certainly would have been more generous than she was.
Q. What is it about the people of the woods that is so frightening?
The woods are dangerous; there’s just no way around that. The wild animals there kill people every year. A boar is so ferocious that when people hunt them, the boar-spear has a cross-piece on it because if the hunter sticks the spear into the boar it will run up the spear and attack the hunter with the whole length of the spear in his body! There are outlaws—mostly men who wear green to blend in with the trees—and although the sheriff tries his best to catch them, they mostly get away. There are also fairies who steal people and take them to the other world. I’ve never seen a boar or a Green Man or a fairy, but I know people who have. So people who live in the forest must be dangerous themselves, or they’d be afraid of all those wild things.
Q. Is there anything you can tell us about Will?
Will is a lot like me. He works hard and cares about his family. He’s pretty quiet, though, which I don’t think I am, and he’s quick to take offense. He’s very proud and it’s hard for him to admit that he was wrong. But he’s also brave and takes risks to help other people. Come to think of it, we’re alike in almost every way!
Q. What do you really think about the Prince?
If I said what I really thought about the prince and he found out, I could be in real trouble. Can I skip this one, please?
Q. Before Harry and Isabella entered your life, what would have been your happily ever after? And without revealing too much, could you tell us whether that dream has changed?
Once upon a time my happily ever after would have been very simple. All I wanted before Isabella joined our family was to be able to relax. I don’t mean physically, so much, although that would have been nice too. I mean I would have liked not to have to worry so much about Mamma and Maude. If I hadn’t made Maude do her chores and if I hadn’t kept on top of the cheesemaking and woodcutting and housecleaning, I think we would have starved or frozen to death. I don’t want to say anything bad about Mamma—she did what she could—but I have to admit that sometimes I felt just a bit resentful that it was up to me to keep everything together. Has my dream changed? Well, yes. Now I have everything I could ever have wished for.
Tracy Barrett is the author of numerous books and magazine articles for young readers.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarly interests in the ancient and medieval worlds overlap in her fiction and nonfiction works.
A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her award-winning young-adult novel, Anna of Byzantium (Delacorte). Her most recent publications are King of Ithaka, a young-adult novel based on Homer’s Odyssey; and the fourth book in The Sherlock Files, The Missing Heir (both Henry Holt). In September, Harcourt will publisher her young-adult retelling of the myth of the Minotaur, Dark of the Moon.
From 1999 to 2009 Tracy Barrett was the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth (Tennessee and Kentucky) with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is now SCBWI’s Regional Advisor Coordinator.
Tracy has taught courses on writing for children and on children’s literature at various institutions and frequently makes presentations to groups of students, librarians, teachers, and others.
For an example of Tracy’s presentations at writers’ conferences, please see this article from Clarksville Online.
She occasionally manages to combine her two “lives” as in her presentation at a conference on the Classics in children’s literature in Wales in July, 2009.
Giveaway is open to US/Canada.
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Monday, June 9th – Fiktshun – Character Interview
Tuesday, June 10th – Harlequin Blog – Author Interview
Wednesday, June 11th – Xpresso Reads – Guest Post
Friday, June 13th – About to Read – Guest Post
Monday, June 16th – The Irish Banana – Author Interview
Tuesday, June 17th – On the Verge – Author Interview
Wednesday, June 18th – Refracted Light Reviews – Guest Post
Friday, June 20th – The Book Cellar – Guest Post
I am soooo excited to be today’s stop on the TAKE ME ON Blog Tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring. I have loved every single book in this series and with each new release I don’t think I could love the new story any more than the last. But I do.
Haley and West’s story is amazing. And sad. And heartbreaking. And nerve-wracking. And beautiful. And romantic.
And its awesomeness is not just because of the love story.
I can’t wait for everyone to read this fourth full-length book in the series and meet Haley and get to know West a whole lot better. I can’t wait to see what you think when that certain thing comes to light. And, no, I will not reveal what that is. I will just say that it was something that literally made my jaw drop.
Katie McGarry is a brilliant writer. The stories she crafts are filled with passion and emotion. The characters she creates are so very real. Their backgrounds, the situations they are faced with, the hurdles they have to overcome, and the connections they make with each other, pull you right in, keep you glued to the page, make you feel invested in the outcome, and ensure that you’ll never want to say goodbye.
TAKE ME ON does all of that. And it puts you on even more of an emotional roller coaster with everything that Haley and West have to go through. This is a story that I totally expected to fall madly in love with. What I did not expect was a story as heartrending as it was. I did not expect to love Haley and West as much as I did. I did not expect to be as surprised as I was by a story this far along into a series.
But enough about what I think. If you have read it you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, then you must read it. It’s a book you will definitely want to devour in one sitting.
But if you’d like to know just a little bit more about West and Haley first, I’ve asked each of them a few questions for my stop today. And if you’d like to know more about TAKE ME ON or any of the other books in this series, their details are below. There are also links to places to find the very amazing author online.
And there’s also an awesome giveaway for the chance to win a copy of the book and to be entered into the grand prize tour-wide giveaway.
But first let me introduce West and Haley….
Q. It seems you have a bit of a reputation around school when it comes to girls. Are the rumors true? Is the reputation well-deserved?
(West pulls at the collar of his shirt) Yeah, before Haley I was dating someone different every week. Parties, girls, getting high and trashed, that was my thing. I deserve every name a girl wants to call me, but after the past few months, I cleaned up my act.
I’m definitely a one girl guy now. My heart belongs to Haley.
Q. You may be easygoing, but you also are known to enjoy a fight. Just how many fights have you gotten into lately? What is it about fighting that you’re drawn to? And what makes walking away such a challenge?
I got into enough fights that I was expelled from school.
Whenever some guy called me out or when my anger got the best of me, I would go into this dangerous zone. I possess no fear. The only thing I can think about is righting whatever I feel is wronged.
Haley’s taught me a lot about what it means to be strong and that the biggest part of being a man is knowing when to walk away and knowing when to stay and fight.
Q. What was your first impression of Haley when you met her? And did you ever imagine that she’d be a girl worth fighting for?
First impression of Haley? The girl is a walking, talking inferno and I wanted to be burned by her flames. It was obvious from day one that Haley is definitely worth fighting for.
Q. Why did you choose to keep a secret from Haley about who you are?
Haley has a lot of problems and on the night we met, I got wrapped up into some of those problems. We had enough stacked against us that she didn’t need to deal with the mess I had going on at home.
Q. What did you think about Rachel and Isaiah when you first found out about them? What do you think about the two of them being together now? And can you tell us what’s been going on with them lately?
I couldn’t stand the thought of Isaiah anywhere near Rachel. In my mind, he was some street thug who was leading Rachel down a dangerous path. He’s proved to me over the past few months how much he loves her. What’s impressive is how he’s been able to shove past his dislike of me in order to help me out.
Rachel and Isaiah have a long road in front of them, but I think they love each other enough to make it.
Q. If you had to describe yourself to someone who never met you, what would you say?
I’m a fighter—a kick boxer and someone who stands strong for the people she loves.
Q. What did you think about West Young when you first met him? Has your impression of him changed since you got to know him?
When I first met West, I thought he was cocky. We’ve been together for a bit and I still think he’s cocky, but he’s my type of cocky. West is the best type of guy—the type that has heart.
Q. Did you really think that you’d be able to keep things “all business” between the two of you? Or did you know that was impossible from the start?
Yes, I really thought I could keep things strictly business between us. I had absolutely no intentions of West and me ever getting emotionally involved, but he was determined and well…it’s hard to not fall for him.
Q. What has it been like, getting back into the ring to train West when you never never thought that life was a permanent part of your past?
It was terrifying to step back into the ring again and it was even more terrifying stepping into it with someone like West. I had a lot of emotional baggage when it came to the ring and guys and it was tough to tackle both issues, but I’m glad that I did.
Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Release date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
Katie was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of the full-length Young Adult novels PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO, and the e-novella CROSSING THE LINE. Her debut novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS, is a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and an RT Book Reviews 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel.
Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. The most memorable moments for Katie are when she speaks to groups of teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach. Katie would love to hear from her readers.
Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, at Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.
So wrong for each other …and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.
But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.
Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
To check out deleted scenes on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.
Katie McGarry captivated readers with her “riveting, emotional”* Young Adult debut, Pushing the Limits. In this gripping novella, she tells the story of Lila and Lincoln, who discover that sometimes it’s worth crossing the line for love…
Lila McCormick, Echo’s best friend from Pushing the Limits, first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters—or that she’d fall for the boy she’s only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.
Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he’s never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila’s forgiveness—and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.
To check out deleted scenes on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”
“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….
“I dare you…”
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….
To check out deleted scenes on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane.
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.
To check out deleted scenes on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.
Title: BREAKING THE RULES (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
Release date: December 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry
For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so… different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.
But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.
Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn… seriously epic.
**Currently a free download**
In Red at Night, Stella and Jonah are total opposites. She’s the girl with purple hair from the wrong part of town. He’s a high school senior who hangs with the cool crowd. Until a car accident leaves him haunted by guilt, and Jonah starts spending time at Stella’s favorite refuge…the local cemetery.
Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah’s friends. Once he’s sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won’t have time for her anymore. Too bad she’s already fallen for him.
This tour includes a couple of very awesome giveaways…
Giveaway is open to US/Canada.
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
Monday, May 26th – Bewitched Bookworms – Author Interview
Wednesday, May 28th – Book Rock Betty – Guest Post
Friday, May 30th – The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger – Author Interview
Monday, June 2nd – Fiktshun – Character Interview
Tuesday, June 3rd - Harlequin Blog - Author Interviews Her Editor
Wednesday, June 4th - A Book and a Latte – Guest Post
Friday, June 6th – Xpresso Reads – Author Interview
To check out the blog tour page for TAKE ME ON, click the Kismet Book Touring banner below.
If you haven’t yet started this series and met Ingrid, Gabby, Grayson, Luc, Nolan or Vander then you are seriously missing out on getting to know some amazing characters and an incredible and captivating and unique story. Both books in the series are phenomenal. And the writing is absolutely brilliant.
So… yeah… I’m really excited to be a part of THE LOVELY AND THE LOST Blog Tour. And I am so totally stoked to have been able to interview Luc Rousseau for my stop today.
Of course there was so much more I’d wanted to ask him. But in the interest of trying to keep the interview spoiler-free, I didn’t ask those overly revealing questions. But I really, really wanted to ask him what he thought about certain times that Ingrid spent with Vander. And what he would have done if….
Anyway… because I love this interview so much, I’ve included it immediately below this rather lengthy introductory ramble. But I’ve also included some information about both books in this series, as well as the short eNovella. And there’s also some information about the incredibly talented author, Page Morgan.
There are a couple of signed books up for grabs in the tour-wide giveaway. So if you’d like a chance to win, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter. And if you’d like to visit the other stops on the tour to learn more about THE LOVELY AND THE LOST, the schedule with direct links to each of the stops on tour is at the very bottom of this post.
If you haven’t yet met Luc then the interview will hopefully provide enough details to make meeting him a must. And if you already have, I hope that hearing directly from him will make you fall just a little bit more in love with him.
THE LOVELY AND THE LOST is a six-star off-the-menu read for me. And part of the reason why is Luc. So, I’m super thrilled for you to either meet him or get to know him a little bit better in the interview and in this fan-freaking-tastic sequel – and series.
Oh, and Luc, if you are reading this, I just have to say that I, too, wouldn’t at all mind if Vander Burke packed a bag and left Paris. Au revoir Monsieur Burke.
Q. For those who haven’t yet met you, could you please share a few details about yourself?
I suppose the most important thing to know about me is that I’m, well…a gargoyle. I was born human, and I still wear my human form most of the time, but when one of my human charges needs me, I coalesce into what we call true form.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Dispossessed and what being one has been like for you?
The Dispossessed have been barred from entering heaven and all because we’ve committed the same crime: the murder of a man of the cloth. Instead of being cast into hell, we’re sent back to earth as gargoyles, forced to protect the humans who live within our territory. I’ve spent the last three hundred years as a Dispossessed, and mostly, I’ve just been extremely bored.
Q. What was your first impression of Ingrid? Has that changed at all since you’ve gotten to know her? And if so, how?
I knew right away that she was different. Every gargoyle catalogues their human charges by scent and there was an undertone to Ingrid’s that I couldn’t place, which concerned me. She was curious, stubborn, a little reckless, and yes, beautiful, but I admired her devotion to her brother. Those things haven’t changed, though they infuriate me a little less than they did before.
Q. If you could change any one thing about who and what you are, would you change anything? Do you think Ingrid would want you to change?
I would like not to be a gargoyle. I’d like to just be human again, but it’s an impossible wish. I’m sure Ingrid would like the same thing but she hasn’t said as much. I don’t think she’d ever ask me to be something I’m not—or can’t—be.
Q. What one thing have you done that you are most proud of?
I didn’t think twice before going into the Underneath to rescue Ingrid and Grayson, but I didn’t expect the Angelic Order to praise me for it. I don’t know if I’m proud I rescued them, but it felt nice to be complimented by the Order for once.
Q. Are you at all concerned that what happened to Grayson might put Ingrid in danger? And what do you plan to do if he is a threat?
Ingrid loves her brother, and he is my human charge, but if his demon half starts to take over I won’t hesitate to protect Ingrid or anyone else he threatens. Then again, I can’t harm him either. So, let’s just say it would be complicated.
Q. What do you really think about Vander Burke and Nolan Quinn?
Nolan’s cocky but I like him. If any of the Alliance can be trusted, it’s him. I suppose Vander Burke is trustworthy too, but I wouldn’t complain if he packed his things and left Paris tomorrow.
Q. From what I hear, the danger in Paris is far from over. Can you tell us anything about what’s lurking and how you plan on keeping Ingrid and her family safe?
A new gargoyle has joined me at the abbey, but besides not wanting to share my territory (or my humans) with him, I also don’t know if I can trust him. There is the Daicrypta, a dark society of demonologists, to keep an eye on, and a mimic demon that’s attached itself to Ingrid, as well. The best way for me to keep her and the rest of the Waverlys safe is to keep them close at all times—but we both know that’s impossible.
Q. What would your happily ever after be?
It’s simple, really: never having to be a slave again and, of course, winning Ingrid’s heart.
Series: The Dispossessed #2
Release date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
For readers of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series comes the sequel to The Beautiful and the Cursed, The Lovely and the Lost finds the Waverly sisters in mortal danger and able to trust no one.
Ingrid and Gabby Waverly moved to France expecting a quiet reprieve from London gossip, but the truth they face in their new home has a sharper—and deadlier—sting.
Paris is plagued by an underworld of demons and gargoyles who all seem to want something from the Waverly girls. Saving Ingrid’s twin, Grayson, from the fallen angel Axia nearly killed them. And they’re still being hunted—only this time, demons aren’t their only predators.
Ingrid’s blood is special: it bestows the power to command gargoyles. It’s an ability no other human has, and in the wrong hands, it could be used to send her cursed guardian, Luc, and his fellow Dispossessed to extinction. There are those who will do anything to get Ingrid’s blood—and they see no value in human life.
The Alliance has vowed to protect the Waverlys, and a new gargoyle has been assigned to guard their abbey home alongside Luc. But no one can watch over Ingrid, Gabby, and Grayson all the time—which means the three must learn to fight for themselves.
Because darkness follows the Waverlys. And sometimes darkness comes in the form you trust the most.
To read an excerpt of the first two chapters, CLICK HERE.
I’m the author of The Beautiful & The Cursed, a young adult novel about two sisters who, on their mission to find their missing brother, discover a veiled world of gargoyles and demons in the city of Paris. I’m currently writing the second and third novels in this series, which saps most of my brainpower. I live in New England with my husband and our three children, along with our ancient dog and arrogant cat, quickly sap the rest of it. I accept virtual gifts of coffee, chocolate, and cupcakes.
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
For readers of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series comes a digital original short story set in the world of The Beautiful and the Cursed that follows Ingrid and Gabby Waverly and the terrifying forces determined to take their lives.
Read it before the sequel, The Lovely and the Lost, which is available in 2014 from Delacorte Press.
This tour includes an awesome giveaway for a SIGNED paperback of THE BEAUTIFUL & THE CURSED and a SIGNED hardcover of THE LOVELY & THE LOST + SIGNED swag – US ONLY
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway
May 12th – Dark Faerie Tales – Guest Post
May 13th – Alice Marvels – Guest Post
May 14th – Lili’s Reflections – Review
May 15th – Book Swoon – Review
May 16th – Fiktshun – Interview: Luc
May 19th – BookHounds YA – Review
May 20th – YA Reads – Review
May 21st – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
May 22nd – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post: Nolan
May 23rd – Refracted Light Reviews – Interview
I am over-the-moon thrilled to be on the SWEET RECKONING Blog Tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring. I am madly in love with this series – have been since long before the first book’s release – I’ve crushed on Kaidan Rowe since the moment I met him and cannot believe I got the chance to interview him for my tour stop today.
SWEET RECKONING released last week, and if you haven’t read this last book in the series yet, you totally must! Go ahead… I’ll wait. It’s sexy, it’s swoon-worthy, it’s got some nail-biting action and an ending that wraps things up nicely. Though of course, if you’re as big a fan of this series as I am, you won’t be ready to say goodbye.
So if you’re not quite ready to say your goodbyes, then be sure to check out all the stops on this tour for some fabulous guest posts and interviews with the author and with some of my most favorite characters in the series. The schedule (which will be updated with direct links when the posts go “live”) is at the bottom of this post. But if you’d like a bit more info about the tour, be sure to visit Kismet Book Touring’s Tour Page for details by clicking the image above, or their logo at the end of this post.
And while I have included details about all the books in this series, and some information about the very lovely author, Wendy Higgins, I just had to post my interview with Kai first. Because
it he is that awesome.
So… without any further rambles, ado or other blathering, let me welcome Kaidan Rowe to the blog…
Hi Kai, welcome back to the blog. I’m so excited to be able to chat with you again now that circumstances have…changed. I have a million and one questions, but as many of them might reveal too much about those circumstances, I’ll try not to ask too many.
Q. There have been a lot of ups and downs in your life when it comes to your relationship with Anna. What is your favorite moment with her? What is your least favorite?
Hallo, Rachel. Good to chat with you again, luv. Ah, okay, let’s get the least favorite out of the way, yeah? That whole Kopano time blew like no other. The thought of them snogging still makes me insane after all this time, and I know I reacted badly. I don’t like to think about it. Moving on then. My favorite moment? I can’t go into detail, but let’s just say it involved much-anticipated introductions of me to her freckles.
Q. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? If you could change one thing about Anna what would it be?
I would change my past, and how weak I was when I lived only for myself, without hope of anything better. I can’t say I’d change anything about Anna because then she’d be different. I want her to always be her. (Earning my sweet-points today…)
Q. You seem to want what’s best for Anna. Do you think you’re what’s best for her? Do you think Kopano is?
No matter what happens I don’t think I’ll ever be what’s best for Anna. I’ll always feel she can do better. For a long time I believed Kope was that “better” person—that he was the only one who could ever deserve her. But that’s in the past, and I won’t let her go. All I can do is be the best man I can be right now.
Q. Being the son of the Duke of Lust isn’t nearly as exciting as it might seem. But has it been all bad? Were there any things you were made to do that you actually enjoyed?
I enjoyed quite a bit of it in the physical sense, but it was temporary enjoyment—not the kind of enjoyment that fills you with any sort of true joy or whatever. I liked hanging with my band and playing at our gigs when I could just let go and not think, but as far as all the sexual stuff went, it’s a bit disconcerting when you constantly fear being watched and graded and pushed to “up the stakes.” My father’s tastes required me to see, hear, and know things that any normal person would deem deplorable.
Q. If you could have chosen which Duke to work for who would it be and why?
I’d stay right where I am. Better the devil you know, and all that.
Q. What do you think of Anna’s Dad, Duke Belial? While your father is super scary, does Anna’s father intimidate you maybe just a little?
I won’t lie. Belial scares the piss outta me. He always looks two seconds from acting on the urge to tie my knob in a knot, which would be a shame as I’m quite attached to it. He’s bloody protective of his daughter, and I think he’s finally realizing I am, as well, but that doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t trust me with her. I suppose I wouldn’t either.
Q. When you first met Anna did you ever think things would end up where they did? While I am not going to ask you to reveal what exactly happened, what did you think would happen?
From early on I believed Anna would end up dead. She did not seem maleable to our way of life. I thought surely that her damn morals would get her killed, and get me killed by association. I never dreamed I’d come to admire her refusal to conform. Turns out I was wrong about her. When the pressure was on, she did what she had to do to stay alive and fight the fight. Did I ever think things would end up where they did? No. Never. It was far beyond my capacity to think in those terms. Each day is a shock for me when I wake to see what’s become of my life because of that once-naïve girl.
Q. How would you describe Anna to someone who never met her?
Compassionate to a fault. Easily excited. Loyal. Bleedin’ adorable, and sexy as hell.
Q. Do you think you are redeemable? And if so, do you feel you deserve redemption?
This is, and probably always will be, a difficult topic for me. Deep down I say no—I’m not redeemable and don’t deserve anything. Anna tells me otherwise, but I will always be haunted by the memories of the people I’ve hurt or witnessed being hurt without intervening.
Lovely note to end this interview, yeah?
*runs hand through hair* Sorry ‘bout that. Shall I play “Talk Dirty”on my iPod to lighten the mood? Always works for Blake when things get awkward, haha.
Thanks for having me. Cheers.
Any note from you is a lovely note, Kai. Happy, sad, wicked, sexy… *sigh.*
Although I am maybe just a little bit heartbroken that I won’t get another peek into your and Anna’s life. However, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Because ya never know….
Anyway… thank you so much for stopping by and answering my many questions. So sorry for what you had to go through with regard to Anna + Kope. Sorry to hear that Belial scares you more than just a little. And yes, you totally earned your sweet points.
Series: Sweet Trilogy #3
Release date: April 29, 2014
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook
Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.
The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.
In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.
After earning a bachelors in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until becoming a mommy. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.
She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Evil is her debut novel.
Embrace the Forbidden
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.
Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
Lucky winners will receive either…
Tour-wide giveaway is open internationally!
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
Monday, April 28th – Supernatural Snark – Interview
Tuesday, April 29th – Bewitched Bookworms – Guest Post
Wednesday, April 30th – Jenuine Cupcakes – Character Interview + Review
Thursday, May 1st – Krista’s Dust Jacket – Interview
Friday, May 2nd – Two Chicks on Books – Character Interview
Monday, May 5th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Interview
Tuesday, May 6th – Parajunkee – Song Lyrics
Wednesday, May 7th – Fiktshun – Character Interview
Thursday, May 8th – Book Crushin - Pinterest Board Reveal
Friday, May 9th – Alice Marvels - TK