Hey everyone! Today I’m going to do something I don’t usually do. I guess I will be paying a game I saw one of my fellow bloggers play @caffenatedfae it looks fun so here we are. I hope you guys enjoy it and hope to see more bloggers participating on this 🙂
Read Only Trilogies or Standalones?
I try so hard to read standalones since reading trilogy or series take serious commitment from me. And there is nothing worst than a series that have awesome first two books are amazing and the rest are trash. How ever I always find my self walking away from the standalones😂😂😂
Read Only Female or Male Authors?
Both!, I am a huge fan of Horror, mystery & psychological thrillers. It don’t care if it’s a male or female writing the books as long as the story is awesome and catches my attention.
Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
Well if we talk about physical books I would say Barnes & Nobles. Although I buy on both there is nothing more peaceful than to walk inside a book store and picks book.
Now if we talk about e-book then Amazon because I absolutely love my kindle! I tried the Nook but I wasn’t a fan.
All Books Becomes Movies or TV Shows?
Uff. This one is a hard one. When they make a book or tv show from a book it’s never the way you want it. They change a lot of things or miss important plots. 🤔 If I had to choose one I would say the movie because on a show they add way too much that was never in the story.
Read Five Pages Per Day or Five Books Per Week?
I wish I had the time to read five books per week but I have a busy life😓so I guess the five pages a day is my go to.
Be a Professional Reviewer or Author?
I would LOVE to be both. I have way too many ideas but don’t know how to write them down and make it into an awesome book so I guess I will do the professional reviewer instead😁
Only Read Your Top Twenty Favourite Books Over and Over or Always Read New Ones That You Haven’t Read Before?
I have never been able to read a book over and over again. I’m not sure why. I do love reading new books and discovering new authors. Especially the Indy authors who haven’t really been discover. That’s the biggest purpose of my blog, to spread the word. 🙂
Be a Librarian or Bookseller?
I have always wanted to be a librarian! It has been my dream job for as long as I remember. Stepping into a library is like entering a completely different world. Is really where the magic happens 🙂
Only Read Your Favourite Genre or Every Genre except Your Favourite?
I like to explore and discover every genre out there. There for I have no favorite just top three. So if I had to choose I will say read every genre.
Only Read Physical Books or E-Books?
They both have their pros and cons. Example the physical books, you can feel them, smell them and put them on shelf to make your home look better which I love to do but you can’t carry a lot of them in your purse. On e-books you can carry 100s if not 1000s of books in your purse so you can choose what to read depending on your mood. Also the best thing ever is the font! You can make it as big as you want and for a person who wears glasses that’s a great thing. So I love both!
Thank you for taking your time and read my answers. This was fun! 🙂
Warren hides her dark side well because she’s had years of practice.
The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s
radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer.
At least, she feels like one.
Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades
earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed.
Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with
her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body
is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and
choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever
sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she?
How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?
“A nurturing and protective elementary school teacher is thrust into a web
of unspeakable evil. Riveting, suspenseful and diabolical, Child’s Play keeps
the reader anxiously and eagerly turning the pages.” ―Mary Jane Clark, New
York Times best-selling author on Child’s Play
“…thrill ride…packs a wallop. By the end, the body count of Child’s
Play adds up to eight (plus one rape), and delivers the shocking answer.”
―Mystery Scene on Child’s Play
“Surprising, dark, and even disturbing. A fragile and vulnerable young
teacher faces a terrifying first day of school―and that is just the riveting
beginning. Timely, provocative and sinister, this twisty story of family and
friendship is not for the faint of heart.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan,
Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author on Child’s
“What’s behind these horrors culminates in helter-skelter chaos. Elle’s
home becomes the center of a tragic universe, since she ‘attracted tragedy and
death.’ That combination is magnified many fold as bodies pile up. And readers
are left enchanted by another ‘Elle-oquent’ thriller.” ―BookReporter
on Child’s Play
“The murder of the principal and a teacher on opening day at an elementary
school, a terrifying scenario. In Child’s Play Merry Jones showcases her unique
skill in delivering this dark, very dark, thriller with a modicum of humor. The
end, well, you won’t see it coming amid the tortuous twists and turns. Merry
Jones at her best!” ―Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling
author of After the Fall on Child’s Play
“In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective
Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty
Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but
she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her
class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their
alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school
principal and a humorless teacher―both of whom treated Ty cruelly―are murdered,
Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth.
Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly
aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to
suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer
are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s
complex feelings toward her late husband―who was murdered while they were
separated―add nuance and depth.” ―Publishers Weekly on Child’s
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Merry Jones is an award winning author who has written humor (eg. I LOVE HIM, BUT…), non-fiction (eg. BIRTHMOTHERS), and dark suspense (eg. the Zoe Hayes mysteries, the Harper Jennings thrillers, and the Elle Harrison suspense novels). Now, with her twentieth book,WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, she’s entering the domain of domestic psychological suspense. Jones taught college writing courses for fifteen years, and leads seminars, appears on panels at writing conferences, and, with fellow members of the Liars Club, cohosts a monthly writers’ coffeehouse and the weekly Oddcast, a podcast devoted to writing and other creative endeavors.
Jones’s work has been translated into seven languages and has appeared in magazines, such as American Woman and Glamour. Jones is a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far) lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where she is an avid rower on the Schuylkill River and a member of Vesper Boat Club. Visit her at MerryJones.com.
I got this book as an ARC for my honest review.
When the story began we meet Nora, the mother and Wife who wants to protect her family at all cause. The story keep going from her life as an adult to the life she had as a teen. While we go back and forth we discover deep dark secrets in both her past and her future and when they threat to merge and destroy everything she has accomplish Nora must act fast to stop that from happening and she will do anything to protect her new life. The secret about her brother Tommy and how he die needs to stay hidden. She doesn’t need that to come to light.
I honestly don’t know how to feel about Nora. I have mix feelings about her. Part of me hates her for everything she has done to her brother Tommy and part of me understand her and know what she done all those things. This book is amazing, the story is very addictive. I found my self staying up to finish it because I couldn’t put it down.
In this new apocalyptic zombie series from the author of They Come at Night and Human Flesh, we follow events day for day as the world slowly but surely decends into mayhem as the zombies take over. Don’t miss the thrilling ride!
For fans of The Walking Dead, The Orphans Book and World War Z.
How it all began
Three teenagers find themselves trapped in a stuffy, warm basement. The old lady who used to own the house is now dead. She’s also standing right on the other side of the basement door, scraping and moaning, trying to get in. Patiently. Tirelessly.
How did they end up here? Just a few hours ago, all three of of them were sitting in Thomas’ car, sweating and listening to music, not a care in the world. They were almost done with the paper route when they came to the old lady’s house. And that’s when everything turned to chaos.
Said about the DEAD MEAT series
★★★★★ “super exciting, totally entertaining and innovative zombie series”
★★★★★ “you won’t be able to put it down until the last page”
★★★★★ “terrifying, nightmare-inducing, impossible to put down”
Thomas makes his way through the room, noticing the bloody footprints on the carpet. A sound reaches him, makes him stop dead in his tracks. It’s a wet smacking noise. Like a child eating Bolognese for the first time and making a mess of it.
It’s coming from the kitchen.
Thomas looks around for a weapon. He didn’t think to bring the pipe. Instead, he grabs a big, pink crystal rock from a shelf. It feels satisfyingly heavy in his hand, giving him the courage to go on towards the opening to the kitchen. A dreadful sight meets him.
In the middle of the kitchen, sprawled out on the vinyl floor, is a grown man. His skin is dark and he’s wearing shorts and a T-shirt. The colors of his clothes are hard to discern, as they’re completely soaked with blood.
His stomach is open. It reminds Thomas of something he saw in a medical documentary about open heart surgery. Something is hanging out of the side of the crater. It looks like a piece of raw sausage with the filling sucked out of it. The rest of the content of the poor man’s stomach is mercifully hidden from view by the girl who’s sitting on her knees, feasting away. With one hand, she digs eagerly into the man’s intestines, transporting them to her mouth and chewing loudly. The other arm, which is broken, hangs limply by her side.
Apparently, this one-armed system isn’t working fast enough to satisfy the girl’s appetite, because suddenly she bends over and simply buries her face in the guy’s stomach.
Thomas breathes firmly through his nose—which immediately proves a mistake, as it only intensifies the smell of blood and meat. He knows he needs to move on. That he’s still in a hurry. That the guy on the floor might only be minutes from waking up, and then he’ll have two zombies to deal with.
So, he slips through the kitchen as close to the wall as possible. His eyes are fixed on the girl, and that’s why he doesn’t notice the bottle of olive oil lying on the floor. He accidentally kicks it, and it rolls across the floor, hitting the table leg with a loud Clank!
Thomas freezes, raising the stone, ready to throw it at the zombie girl.
But she doesn’t react at all to the noise; not even a flinch. She just keeps eating.
Thomas breathes a sigh of relief. He hurries on. Makes it out of the kitchen and into a hallway. There are a couple of closed doors. At the end is the scullery. He reminds himself about the fact that he can’t know for sure if anyone else is in the house—living or dead. So, he keeps the crystal stone held high, ready to strike at anyone trying to surprise him …
Day 2 will be out on November 8!
I received an Arc book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
😳😳Another amazing read from Nick Clausen! This book was amazing and supper addictive. It began with three teenagers a brother, sister and her boyfriend. They were working on their news paper rout. Once they reached the final destination they were welcome by chaos! Now trapped in a basement they have to work together to escape and survive. But what will they do when danger is lurking right inside the basement with them? How will they escape? more importantly, will they be able to survive?
Nick’s books always make my heart beat fast, always scares the hell out of me but in the best way possible! I am starting to become a huge fan of this author. So far everything I have read from him I have loved.
Praise for SPEAK NO EVIL Recommended for the INDIE NEXT LIST
“… suspense and intrigue … Melody’s story is grim, but hope is weaved in throughout … highly emotional.” ―School Library Journal
“Gardner tackles difficult topics, including bullying and abuse of all types, in a way that is both artistic, respectful … [and] masterfully written.” ―BookTrib
“… a touching tribute to the power of love, faith and steadfast, patient kindness to heal the damage done by human cruelty and thoughtlessness.” ―IndieReader Approved
“… a very powerful novel that depicts the cruelty and injustice of the world while also highlighting the ever-present beauty that few see when struggling with dark issues. The book displays the power that love and music have even in the darkest of times. Gardner does an excellent job of portraying a teenage worldview while focusing on adult concepts.” ―US Review of Books
“There are too many Melody Fisher’s in our homes and schools who lock themselves away in a world where they are both desperate to be heard and afraid to speak up … Speak No Evil is their story. A brilliant and novel approach to addressing important social issues.” ―Viga Boland, Author of No Tears for my Father
“WOW! Just WOW! Gardner is a great author telling a story of death, sorrow, and so much more. You will fall in love with Melody … You will feel her sorrow … You will feel her shame … you will feel everything with this character. A MUST read that will make you sit and think well after you turned the last page.” ―Bookworm Tri-Cities, Bookstore
“… alternately beautiful and troubling–and a totally compelling read … Gardner’s characters are ﬁnely drawn and credible, and her plot is so relevant considering the thousands of children lost in the foster care system and at the mercy of those charged to care for them.” ―Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite
“… Melody’s silence signiﬁes the way some women feel about sharing their stories with other people, and how diﬃcult it is to overcome the desire to retreat. I urge others to read it; the story of Melody and her bravery will speak to you and stay with you for quite some time.” ―Tracy Young, Bulgarian Review
“Any victim of abuse, or those who blame themselves for events out of their control, needs to read this novel … This book should be in every school library and youth centre. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” ~Lesley Jones, UK authorbly with Noah’s grief, and readers will appreciate his return to the field.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
IS THE HARBINGER OF HELL
What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?
My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama
died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike
that took her from me.
And it’s all my fault.
Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t
think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.
I was wrong.
But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse
evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago. Back when
I would sing the snakes calm …
Liana Gardner is the award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution and the Misfit McCabeseries. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.
She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.
Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people “think globally and earn locally.”
Today I am excited to be interviewing Author Merry Jones. She will be sharing with us some details about her new upcoming book What You Don’t Know which is set to debut on October 10th, 2019. I will be having a separate post to review the book on that day.
Merry Jones is the award-winning author of twenty books of fiction (including WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, and CHILD’S PLAY), non-fiction (including BIRTHMOTHERS) and humor (including I LOVE HIM, BUT…). Her work has been translated into seven languages and appeared in magazines including GLAMOUR and AMERICAN WOMAN. Jones taught college level writing for over a dozen years (Temple University, Rosemont College, Delaware County Community College), and has led dozens of workshops for community colleges, conferences and writing organizations. Before writing books, Jones ran her own video production company, writing, directing and producing programs for corporate and industrial clients. She holds a Masters in Communications from the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors in English and Social Psychology from Cornell. She is a member of The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Women’s National Book Association, and the Philadelphia Liars Club, for whom she cohosts a monthly writers’ coffeehouse and a weekly podcast (The Oddcast). The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far), she lives with her recently retired husband in Philadelphia, where they are both avid scullers on the Schuylkill River.
What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?Oh gee. I wish I had an “average” writing day! Ideally, I row or go to the gym in the mornings and write in the afternoon. But I have a grandbaby now, and I watch her a few times a week. And my husband has retired, so he’s around and we end up doing things together. So, my writing gets squeezed into precious time slots. I need a new routine.
How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?My 21st book is due out in April. It’s my first “detective’ novel, called The Woman in the Cupboard. I do have two early books that never got published, plus the one I’m working on now.
As a child did you have a dream job in mind?Yes. I wanted to be a writer.
Do you read reviews? How do you handle the good and the bad reviews?I do read them. I celebrate the good reviews. I’ve never gotten a really bad one, just mixed. I try not to be defensive and to learn from negative comments. But usually, reviewers have been kind to me.
What kind of research do you do? And how long you spend researching before you write the book?Oh man. Each book demands its own kind of research, and it can take LOTS of time. For some books, I’ve traveled—OUTSIDE EDEN took me to the middle east, SUMMER SESSION to upstate New York. I also do interviews of experts. For the NANNY MURDERS, I interviewed a homicide detective. But I’ve also interviewed psychologists, army vets, surgeons, sleep specialists, social workers, prison guards, teachers, lawyers—whoever has expertise I need to write the book. Of course, I use Google a lot, too. But wherever possible, I like to get primary source material.
Have you ever Google yourself? What did you find?Oh. No, I haven’t. But now that you mention it, maybe I will today. I imagine they’d have my website, and maybe some reviews?
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?Hard to imagine. I used to be a video producer, for about 20 years. And I taught college writing. But I think if I were to start over and couldn’t write? I’d probably be a doctor.
How many hours a day do you use to write?I try for three or four.
What’s one thing you would give up to be a better writer?Hmm. Maybe carrot cake? I’d give up carrot cake, yes. Seriously, I don’t see the tradeoff. I’d simply keep working, reading, striving. So, I’d give up some time and effort.
What kind of books you read? Who is your favorite author? I read all kinds. Women’s fiction, lately. But also suspense, historical fiction and non-fiction. Don’t have a favorite author. But I’m in awe of several. Amor Towles, Mark Twain, Madeline Miller.
Lets talk about your book What You Don’t Know
How did you come up with the idea to this story?I often start with an issue. In this case, it was abuse. Spousal abuse. Abuse of friendship. And bullying. I began with the story of Nora responding to varying kinds of abuse as an adult and realized that her actions made no sense. The reader needed to know her backstory to understand why she reacted as she did to friends and spouse, and to betrayals real and imagined. So, I added the story of her earlier character—and fell in love with the younger Nora.
How long did it take you to write and finish this book?I kept getting interrupted. If I add it up and squish it together, maybe a year?
How did you select the characters’ names?Names are SO hard for me. I usually give my protagonists short names because I have to type them so often. But I named one character after a bully from my high school, another after my high school boyfriend. I used “Tommy” because it sounds innocent and sweet. Nora? No idea. I often change names of characters after the book is finished. This time, I just kept them.
What was your hardest scene to write?There were a few. The scene where Paul attacks and violates Nora was graphic and difficult for me. I found it abhorrent to have to put it on paper. But also, all the scenes involving bullying were painful. I wanted to step into the pages and intervene. I wanted to scold the bullies, even as I was the one creating them and their actions.
How do you want your readers to see Tommy? Did you want is to love him or hate him? What about Nora?I love this question. I want more love for Tommy than hate. I love Tommy. But he is, no question, different, difficult and sometimes even cruel. He internalizes the bullying he suffers and unfairly dumps it onto his little sister. (Abused people tend to become abusers.) So, he becomes what he hates. As for Nora, she endures, observes, resents, learns to survive. Her relationships are scarred and shaped by the bullying and the bullies she knew early in life. And she is determined to protect herself and her kids—at any cost. So, I have compassion for her, but I don’t fully love or hate her.
What did you edit from this book?Mostly redundancies. And I modified Paul’s attack on Nora.
What do you hope the outcome will be on Debut day?It’s a small publisher. But I hope the reception will be good.
What other projects are you working on? Any more books coming out soon?Yes, as I said above—I have a new book coming out in April, 2020. And I’m almost halfway through another novel. Too soon to give details, other than that it’s dark and involves sisters.
Thank you for your time, and answering our questions 🙂 I am glad to be able to get to know you a little better
Thanks so much for the interview! Great questions. Fun to answer.
“A whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy!”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce
“Powerful” —New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb
“Exquisite.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.
A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining.
So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa’s heir—but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—It is one thing to be the granddaughter of Carnissa Gardner, the legendary Black Witch, but it’s another to be the spitting image of her. Elloren Gardner discovers this from the moment she is uprooted from her uncle’s secluded house and enrolled at Verpax University, which is rumored to be “racially integrated,” to Elloren’s great shock (Elloren shares her aunt’s opinion that the integration is “misguided”). While outwardly resembling a bildungsroman, albeit a fantasy one, this novel features a protagonist who remains naive for far too long and, unfortunately, is painfully slow to confront the racist attitudes that she has inherited and that are essential to Gardnerian dominance. By the book’s end, readers will wonder if she has learned anything at all. Teens will have to get through hundreds of pages of stereotypical characterizations of marginalized groups (non-Gardnerians are hateful and ultraviolent, their blood is “polluted,” they mate like animals, the non-Gardnerian women are trying to steal Gardnerian men, etc.) before Elloren begins to recognize that maybe Gardnerians are the bad guys in her realm. Although unlearning prejudices is a timely theme in YA, Forest handles this issue clumsily. In a particularly rough, tone-deaf scene, mean girl Fallon berates Effrey, a purple-skinned enslaved Urisk girl. Elloren eventually comes to the rescue, and Sparrow, another enslaved girl, approves of her actions with a smile—just one of the many white savior—like moments throughout. The world-building also leaves a lot to be desired: the Gardnerian creation story is an almost verbatim retelling of Genesis, and there are sporadic, vague mentions of martial arts and elemental spirits in this otherwise “Harry Potter” meets Tolkien universe. VERDICT Poor writing and character development contribute to an overall uneven handling of race and racism in a fantasy setting.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal
I got this book because my book club choose it to read it for the month of September. At first I was a little hesitant, it wasn’t something I usually read but I gave it a chance. I am so glad I did too because I really fell in love with this series.
Before I started to read it I check in goodreads for others reviews and I was shocked to see how many people were against it because of the topic. Real life issues even when they are made into a fictional story tend to make people uncomfortable. I cant wait to read the other books on the series.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 bookstacks 📚 📚📚 📚📚
ABA Indiebound – Summer 2017 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick
“This briskly paced, tightly plotted novel enacts the transformative power of education, creating engaging characters set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own. A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Forest uses a richly imagined magical world to offer an uncompromising condemnation of prejudice and injustice.” -Booklist, starred review
“Exquisite character work, an elaborate mythology, and a spectacularly rendered universe make this a noteworthy debut, which argues passionately against fascism and xenophobia. -Publishers Weekly, starred review
“I absolutely loved The Black Witch and will have a very hard time waiting for the second book! Maximum suspense, unusual magic–a whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy!” -Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“The Black Witch is a refreshing, powerful young adult fantasy. This strong debut offers an uncompromising glimpse of world-altering politics amplified by a magical setting in which prejudice and discrimination cut both ways.” -Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author
“We fell under the spell of this rich, diverse, Potter-worthy university world! Characters that come alive off the page, tangled relationships, swoonworthy romance! Love the fresh way this also tackles prejudice. Prepare to fangirl!” -Justine magazine
“A powerful start to a new series, and a very impressive first novel.” -Locus
“This very engaging YA series deals with difficult topics such as prejudice, hate, intolerance, and stereotypes of other cultures and races…And, yes, some characters have supernatural powers and there is also romance. I would love to see this book as a movie.” – American Booksellers Association
About the Author
Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. She is the author of THE BLACK WITCH (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles), THE IRON FLOWER (Book 2.0), WANDFASTED (Book 0.5) and LIGHT MAGE (Book 1.5). Her upcoming book, THE REBEL MAGES (out Spring 2019), is a paperback edition of WANDFASTED & LIGHT MAGE bound together (which she’s pretty excited about!). Laurie is currently hard at work on Book 3.0, THE SHADOW WAND. Visit her realm at laurieannforest.com. Visit The Black Witch Chronicles at blackwitchchronicles.com.
Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn Genre: YA Magical Realism Release date: October 1st 2019
Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.
But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.
“Ava Morgyn’s passion and tenderness shine like a candle, guiding readers through the darkness of Olivia’s story. Her compelling characters are made all the more real by the eerie undertow of myth. A beautiful, deeply emotional debut!”
–Sarah Porter, author of VASSA IN THE NIGHT and NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS
“Resurrection Girls is a powerful examination of grief and loss, captivatingly woven with magic and ultimately hope. A compassionately rendered debut.”
–Emily Duncan, NYT Bestselling author of WICKED SAINTS
“RESURRECTION GIRLS is a heartbreak of a book, where love and loss writes letters to the strange things that lurk in the darkness. It’s a stunning story that blends the inexplicable and the beautiful with the bittersweet.”
–Rin Chupeco, author of THE BONE WITCH and THE NEVER TILTING WORLD
“A raw, poignant, unflinching examination of grief and healing wrapped up in a compelling story. Resurrection Girls is a brilliant debut.”
–CJ Redwine, NYT Bestselling author of THE SHADOW QUEEN and the RAVENSPIRE series
“The lovely, assured prose draws on ancient archetypes and a lingering sense of dread to pave the way for a strange but satisfying conclusion … Morgyn’s supernaturally tinged debut is a heartbreaking but hopeful exploration of death and grief.”
About the Author
Edward’s University in Austin, TX, and now lives in Houston—city with the most rain, best food, and worst traffic—with her family. When she isn’t at her laptop spinning darkly hypnotic tales, she can be found making fairy houses, talking to her crystals and plants, hunting for delicious new vegan recipes, or bothering her dog. She also blogs regularly about the devastating journey of child loss at ForLoveofEvelyn.com.
In the beginning, the dead are always with you. It’s almost as if they aren’t even gone, as though you could round any given corner and see them there, waiting. For months after Robby died, I heard his voice, his laughter catching in his throat, the sound of his footfalls down the long hall upstairs. I could feel his towheaded locks soft against the pads of my fingers still, and imagine his quiet breathing in the night. It was all there, floating around me, able to be summoned forward at any given moment. Like a balloon, I had Robby’s memory, his soul, on a string.
But that only lasts as long as the pain is fresh. You bleed memories for a while. And then one day you find you’ve bled them all out. And the sharp sting of loss has waned into a dull ache.
It’s the little things that go first. The way light would play across his face at a certain angle. The expression he made when he pouted. The smell of him in the morning. You go to summon some detail up from the depths and it’s no longer there. The dead drift away.
And then even the dull ache disappears, and only numbness holds in its place. You stop trying to recall details because the futility of it is worse than the grief. It’s no longer the loss of the person you mourn, but the loss of the haunt. And the absence is all that is left when you reach for your pain.
“I’m Kara,” she said after a few moments. “My mom said you’re the same age as me.”
I didn’t remember telling Rhea Hallas how old I was, but maybe I had. Kara and I were two opposite poles of the teen spectrum. I seemed to be developing a little behind the curve, and she seemed to be developing a little ahead of it. I found it hard to believe we would be in the same grade. “I guess. I’m sixteen.”
“Do you have your license yet?”
“Just last month.” I took an after-school driver’s education course that met in the tech class in the back of our school. I drove myself to get my license when it was over, my dad dozing in the passenger seat. I hadn’t driven much since then though. “You?”
“Nope. Just a learner’s permit. Moving kind of threw everything off.”
“So what does everyone do around here? For fun?”
I crossed my arms over my chest. I didn’t know. Fun wasn’t in my repertoire anymore. I had friends once. Maybe not like Kara, but girls who cared about things like nail polish and what movies were playing at the mall. Girls who giggled and shrieked and whispered behind backs. Girls who knew how to have fun. Those girls left me in the dust after Robby died when fun moved beyond my reach. They whispered about me now and giggled when they thought I couldn’t hear. I shrugged and made a noncommittal noise.
Kara seemed unhindered. She reached into a pocket of her nonexistent shorts and pulled out a sucker, like the kind they give you at the doctor’s office after getting your shots. She held it out to me but I shook my head. Within a heartbeat she’d unwrapped it and popped it into her mouth. “You know some guy hung himself in our house?” she said around the lollipop.
I looked up to see her smiling, a bulge in one cheek, her face awash with dark fascination.
“Yeah. I know. It was a long time ago.” I tried to focus back on the street.
Her eyes went far away, like she was considering something. We walked for a few long moments like that—me, Kara, the lollipop, and her thinking so loud it was practically audible. My sneakers thudded against the pavement. Kara’s feet were black underneath when she’d lift them to take another step. Everything about her was the opposite of subtle.
Finally, she plucked the candy from her mouth and held a hand out to stop me. Already, her tongue was turning a vulgar crimson. “What was it like?”
“When Mr. Dearing hung himself?” Was she serious? “I don’t know. Tragic?”
Kara’s face was sharp in the afternoon sun, her long lashes glinting in the golden light, her eyes boring into mine without reprieve. “No. When your brother died.”
I wanted to be angry—should have been. It was rude, too personal, sensational. But it was also the most honest, most direct thing anyone had said to me since Robby’s funeral. It was the only real conversation I was capable of having. Everything else was a script.
“You know when you’re awake really early in the morning and it’s just before dawn? And for a few moments, everything gets really, really still and really, really quiet, like the whole world is holding its breath for the sunrise?”
“It was like that. Only, the sun never rose.”
She took a step toward me on the street, overwhelming my senses. Suddenly, I was aware of her knock-off perfume and the cherry smell of her sucker, the red stain forming between her lips where it had been moments before—the devastating presence of her filled up the spaces around and inside me.
“Are you still doing it?” she asked.
I was paralyzed by her gaze, the heat emanating from her skin, her fascination with me. “What?”
“Holding your breath?”
In that moment, I exhaled.
I didn’t eat. It was impossible when crammed in a tiny booth, cornered between Prescott’s dimples and golden biceps, Kara’s cinnamon lip gloss, and my grandmother’s stolen ring. The aquamarine kept winking at me from her finger, a cold, accusing eye in its band of icy gold. It was the color of the Aegean Sea as I would have imagined it. That color belonged in Kara’s world, not mine.
“What kind of name is Prescott anyway?” Kara asked as she placed a pepperoni on her tongue.
I didn’t imagine anyone had ever dared to ask such a question of him before. I watched him from over the bubbles of my fountain drink, watched the way his eyelids dipped and his biceps tightened. Watched one corner of his mouth rise in a pleased way. Watched his weight shift on his elbows. He was a penny she set spinning on the table. He was circling for a place to land.
“A Republican one,” he said finally with a laugh.
Kara made a pout. “Are you as stuffy as it makes you sound?”
He looked at Kara. He looked at me. “I don’t know. Ask Olivia. She’s known me a long time.”
Kara cut her blue-gray eyes in my direction. This was a game for her, putting us all on the cusp of some social precipice, watching us dangle.
I tensed. Bit my straw. Released. “He’s alright.”
Prescott burst out laughing. “Thanks for the winning endorsement.”
Kara grinned proudly at me. I’d told a joke I wasn’t in on. But I half-smiled back, feigning intention.
I caught him looking at me four times after that.
Lunch was followed by the mall. I had no money for either. Mostly I followed Kara around. Watched her shoplift a set of bracelets and a hair band. Talked to Prescott while she tried on clothes she had no intention of buying.
I’d meant what I said at lunch. Prescott wasn’t like other guys with marble statue faces. He played basketball but wasn’t a total jock. He read books. He didn’t cheat in class or sleep around. He wasn’t a complete asshole. You couldn’t hate him for winning the genetic lottery, even if you wanted to. But he was still unreachable in so many ways. It’s not like he wasn’t aware of how he looked. It showed in the way he carried himself. The confidence born to those who haven’t suffered, who know they’ll never have to.
Kara, though, wasn’t like anyone else. She wasn’t a cheerleader or a beauty pageant wannabe. She didn’t act like the popular girls in my, or any other, grade. She didn’t look like them either, though she could have. It was more like she didn’t care to, didn’t have to. And she was all the more irresistible for it. She had one of the hottest guys in school sitting outside her dressing room after meeting her once. She stole things she probably could have bought just as easily. She poured magnetism into every gesture without breaking a sweat. She was the epitome of effortless. But not grace. There was nothing graceful about her. She was raw. She was salt in the wound.
She could cure. She could kill.
Interview with the author
Ava Morgyn Interview Questions:
Q: Tell us about RESURRECTION GIRLS in your words.
A: Resurrection Girls takes place at the point where loss and grief intersect with love and magic. It’s a story about friendship, romance, and how much we need connection to survive our traumas. It addresses the transformative power of loss, as well as the transformative power of love.
Q: Who inspired the characters of Olivia and Kara?
A: Kara was influenced by several different characters for me, two of which are Madonna in the eighties and Cordelia from the novel Cat’s Eye, one of my favorite novels by Margaret Atwood. I knew that the Hallas women would embody the divine feminine archetypes of Maiden, Mother, and Crone when I started writing the novel. The Maiden represents new life, and I had this idea of a girl who is violently alive.
Olivia wasn’t inspired by anyone in particular as much as she was inspired by a kind of every-girl. I wanted the reader to be able to easily see herself in Olivia’s place. I wanted Olivia to read as quite average, so the extraordinary nature of her trauma and her experience with Kara would stand out all the more by contrast.
Q: What books or authors have influenced you the most?
A: I’m a giant fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and Margaret Atwood’s incredible voice as a writer. I also really love The Alchemist and Paulo Coelho. I love the way he weaves wisdom and spirit into story. He raises the art of storytelling to high magic. In general, I love books that explore dark subjects, are populated with conflicted characters, and/or are told in an exquisite voice. Some of my all-time favorite reads are Mists of Avalon, The Last Unicorn, Confederacy of Dunces, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Wuthering Heights, Chime, Born Wicked, All the Truth That’s In Me, Vita Nostra, Wild Beauty, and The Female of the Species.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: Typically, my novels take me several months to write. If I have ample time and the work is really flowing, maybe as few as three or four months. But usually it’s longer. And that’s just the first few drafts. Then my agent and I revise together more than once before it goes on submission. And when it gets picked up, there are more rounds of revisions to do with an editor.
Q: What is your writing routine?
A: I need space and quiet two write. It’s best if I’m alone or if everyone else in my house is in bed. I can write in public places—as long as they aren’t too noisy—because I’m not invested in the people around me so it’s less distracting. But I usually write at home. I prefer to write in the mornings, as that’s when I have the most energy. If I’m too tired, if I didn’t sleep or ran around doing a bunch of other work first, then I won’t be able to write as well or as much. Writing is really draining for me, even though I absolutely love it. So I have to protect my energy and my time in order to do it.
Q: Traditional or self-publishing? Tell us about your experience with publishing.
A: Resurrection Girls is technically being published by an independent publisher, but in a very traditional way. I have always been devoted to traditional publishing. I have experienced both indie publishing on a very small scale and self-publishing, but neither was fulfilling to me. I really love the experience of working with an agent and a team of editors and publicists at a publishing house. And I prefer to focus on the writing and allow someone else to tackle all the other aspects of publishing.
Q: What is your advice for aspiring authors?
A: You have to want this beyond all reason. You have to believe in yourself in a near-foolish sense. You have to be absolutely stubborn about your drive and desire to do it. And you have to protect the space, time, energy, and attitude you need to write and write well.
Have a way to take care of yourself outside of writing in every capacity. Have a means to pay your bills. Have something else in your life that feeds you or makes you feel good about yourself. Have other things to do that nurture your soul. Writing and publishing can be love/hate. It can be brutal. It can be very hard on a person in many ways. So fill yourself up elsewhere when the writing isn’t enough.
A: My favorite food is basically anything vegan + spicy. I love vegan curry and korma. I love vegan chili and something called African Peanut Stew.
I don’t really have a favorite drink at the moment, though I prefer hot drinks like coffee, tea, and cocoa. And I would guzzle coconut milk if I thought I could get away with it.
I don’t have a single favorite movie, and I’ve kind of stopped watching movies, so most of my favorites are pretty old. I love The Last Unicorn, Spirited Away, The Dark Crystal, Lord of the Rings, and so on. I love fantasy movies in general.
My favorite TV Show is probably Game of Thrones, though I was severely disappointed in the writing of the final season. I also love The Handmaid’s Tale, Outlander, Mad Men, Dexter, and a whole bunch of others. I love fantasy and historical fiction shows. Mostly dramas. But I adore The Office.
My favorite animal would be my dogs. I have two Siberian Huskies and I love them so much. I was not a dog person before my daughter died, but these dogs have been a godsend to our family. I really love the breed and encourage anyone thinking of getting one to do your research and try to adopt first. There are a lot of huskies and husky mixes that end up in shelters. If you do buy from a breeder, go to a reputable one.
My favorite landscape is the woods or a forest anywhere. Just drop me in a ring of trees and leave me the hell alone. Mountains are a plus but not required at all. I don’t need to climb, but I love to hike. I’ll always take a walk in the woods over a trip to the beach any day.
My favorite vacation destination would be Ireland. I’ve only been once but desperately want to go back and take my family with me. I’d also really love to go to Japan someday. Those were the two places my daughter who passed wanted to see most in the world, and I will forever regret that I didn’t get to take her. I hope to take her sister and brother.