Saturday Spotlight: Match Me if You Can by Tiana Smith

mmiycTitle: Match Me if You Can

Author: Tiana Smith

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Release Date: January 8, 2019

Page Count: 288 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Summary:

Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

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Purchase Links

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Book Depository     Indie Bound



 About the Author

tiana smith

Hey there! I write YA books with lots of kissing in them, because those are the best. Supposedly, I’m too old for boy bands and the Disney channel, but I love them anyway. A little more about me: Math is my nemesis and chick flicks are my happy place. Also, mint chocolate chip ice cream is heaven on earth and can make all your problems go away. If I could do anything I wanted, I’d train to be a lion tamer. Dead serious. I’m not sure how one gets on that career path, but it’s on my list of to-dos. Also on my list? Travel to London, learn sign language and be the best mom I can be to my ninja boy. (Bio from Swoon Reads)

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*Author Q&A & Giveaway Blog Tour* Girl at the Grave – Teri Bailey Black

About the Book

girlTitle: Girl At the Grave

Author: Teri Bailey Black

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Young Adult — Historical Fiction, Mystery

Synopsis:

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33294216-girl-at-the-grave

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RlslRp

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girl-at-the-grave-teri-bailey-black/1127026392#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Girl-at-the-Grave-Teri-Bailey-Black/9780765399489

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780765399489

About the Author

Teri-Bailey-BlackTeri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriBaileyBlack

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teribaileyblack/

Website: https://www.teribaileyblack.com/


Q&A with Teri Bailey Black

Thank you so much for stopping by on the blog, Teri! I’m so excited to host you here today! Girl at the Grave is absolutely stunning! 

1. One thing I love hearing authors talk about is their inspiration for their books. What inspired you to write Girl at the Grave?

I’m a very visual person (I grew up in a family of artists), so for me a story usually starts as an image in my mind. This book began with the image of a little girl in the 1800’s, with wild hair and dirty feet, looking through a schoolhouse window. The teacher tries to draw her inside, but she runs away. Most of the kids call her names, but one boy watches her with piercing attention. I wondered why that little girl was an outcast and decided her mother was hanged for murdering a prominent man—the father of the boy who watches her. After I’d written about a hundred pages of that little girl’s story, I realized I was more interested in the 17-year-old girl she becomes. So I started writing a new book where the handsome son of the murdered man still watches her, and it became a love story as well as a murder mystery. I thought up a few interesting plot twists and secrets—and I was off and running. Well, typing.

2. Every writer has a different writing experience. What was your writing experience like? Did the story come naturally or all at once or did you have to claw the story out of your characters? Or was it something else entirely? 

I’m a “seat of the pants” writer by nature (start with a vague idea and make it up as I go) but I do WANT to be an outliner (sigh) and I do TRY to outline ahead of time. My first draft of GIRL took about a year and was quite different than the final printed story. The first quarter of the book was Valentine’s childhood (seeing her mother hanged but not understanding why), and then the story jumped to her teen years. 

I sent out queries to agents and got several requests for the full manuscript, followed by rejections with some encouraging compliments. One agent asked for a revision and resubmit, with a suggestion to make it either a full children’s story or a full YA story. Seemed so obvious, suddenly. I spent about six months completely rewriting it, even changing the underlying murder mystery quite a bit.

I sent the new version back to that agent, who replied with some looovely compliments about my writing abilities that gave me hope—but now had issues with the characterizations. Sigh. I set it aside for six months, then attacked it again with fresh eyes. And THIS time, I was able to fly through it fairly quickly because I really knew my characters and story, so it was easy to move the pieces around.

After I signed with an agent (the amazing Barbara Poelle) and sold it to Tor Teen, my editor Amy Stapp had some powerful insights that made another major revision necessary. And then it became a book. Looking back, this book took several years because I was learning to write as I wrote it. The book I’m working on now is flying together much more easily.

3. Which one of your characters do you resonate with the most and why?

I feel a strong connection with my main character Valentine. She’s grown up as an outcast, never fitting in, and I think most of us have had those moments in our life when we feel like we don’t fit in. I love Valentine’s hard work ethic. She lost her mother at age six (or was it five? funny how I’ve forgotten!), so she’s had to learn how to cook and clean and survive on her own. (In my first draft, she spies through town windows watching other mothers, but that was cut.) I’m quite crafty myself and love the way Valentine sews a vest for Sam and bakes gingerbread for Birdy. Oh—and Birdy!! Valentine has such a warm, generous heart. She knows what it feels like to not fit in. She cares about those even less fortunate than herself, which is why she wants to work with Alina Lunt.

4. What is a quirky or unique habit you have?

I start writing at 4 or 5 in the morning—yes, really! The world is asleep, the house is quiet, and I can disappear into my story. Then, alas, the sun rises, the house gets noisy, time to shower and make the bed and throw in a load of laundry. I still write throughout the day, but I’m much more creative and productive in those early morning hours. The downside: my brain melts at 8pm.

5. If you could choose one character from your novel to spend a day around town with, who would you choose and why?

I love creative people, so I’d love to hang out with Rowan Blackshaw. I would enjoy watching him draw and paint. (Three of my sisters went to art school, and I always love watching them work.) Rowan is a deep-thinker—and smart—so I’d love to listen to him ramble about just about anything. And yeah, he’s gorgeous, so that doesn’t hurt. 

6. This is another question I love to ask authors! What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Writing advice! Mostly—keep it fun. Join writing groups and go to conferences and make personal connections, because that’s the good stuff. I know . . . most of us are closet introverts, but it’s worth the effort to find some writing friends. My critique group meets once a week and we have a blast. In the past, I had a critique group that only met online (living across the globe, literally), and that was also rewarding.

Listen to your critique partners and DON’T BE OFFENDED. Listen and learn. Nobody starts out great. You have to figure out your weaknesses before you can improve. You want critique partners who point out both the good and the bad. It’s not very helpful if they only say, “Wow, this is great.” And it’s discouraging if they only say, “Um . . . no.”

Publication seems like an obvious end goal, but that adds a truckload of pressure, both getting there and then getting through it, so decide if you’d rather just write for personal enjoyment—which is a worthy goal. I repeat: keep it fun!

Thank you again for stopping by, Teri! 🙂


Giveaway!

19_d1a46b34-4d61-4685-b2f8-6e4bf4a84a23_1800xPrize: Wonderland Book Beau, size XL for a standard hardcover (USA only)

Starts: 10/25/18

Ends:  11/2/18

ENTER HERE!


Tour Schedule

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/09/tour-schedule-girl-at-grave-by-teri.html

Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this wonderful book tour!

 

*Blog Tour, Review, and Q&A* What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Thank you to Tale Out Loud for having A Court of Coffee and Books on this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I’m glad I am able to be part of this!

What the Woods Keep US CoverTITLE: What the Woods Keep

AUTHOR: Katya de Becerra

PUBLISH DATE: September 18th, 2018

PUBLISHER: Imprint/Macmillan

GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy

SYNOPSIS:

What the Woods Keep is the stunning debut of Katya de Becerra, who combines mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy in a twisty story that will keep you mesmerized right up to the final page.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home―on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible―something that threatens reality itself.

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Pre-Order Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250124255?tag=macmillan-20

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-woods-keep-katya-de-becerra/1128980012?ean=9781250124258#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/What-Woods-Keep-Katya-De-Becerra/9781250124258

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250124258

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250124258 

Author Information:

Katya de Beccera Author Photo (2)Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology. What the Woods Keep is her first novel.

Author website: http://katyabecerra.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15140719.Katya_de_Becerra

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatyaDeBecerra

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katyadebecerra/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katyadebecerra/


My Review:

“There are terrible forces hiding in this town, in these woods, that we don’t understand and that are dangerous.”

This wonderfully dark atmospheric novel will keep you fixated on the world and Hayden’s journey. What the Woods Keep is an eerie novel that will make you question the daily noises you hear and the things you see and quite possibly your own sanity. This book gives a new meaning to uncanny and the obscure. I was pleasantly hooked to this haunting tale.

What the Woods Keep bends mystery, paranormal, and fantasy. It does so in wonderful fashion, equally sufficing all genres in one book. There’s also the sense of an unknown horror. I’m one of those people that loves the horror genre, along with all the genres listed above. I don’t read a lot of horror, but when I do, I’m usually engrossed in the novel or bored because I know how everything will play out. What the Woods Keep was in no way boring or predictable, but rather an edgy new addition to the YA genre.

The book starts off with the reader meeting Hayden, the main protagonist, and learning surprising aspects about her life, the main one being that her mom died in a rather suspicious way. Hayden finds out on her eighteenth birthday that she has inherited her old house, a Manor in Promise, Colorado, based on her Mom’s will. However, her Mom leaves her a set of cryptic conditions:

“My first condition is that Hayden goes to the Manor and looks for the gifts I left her. They’ll call to her. She needs to listen with her blood.

“My second condition is that Hayden uses my gifts to destroy my darkest secret – my hidden treasure, my heaviest burden.

My third and final condition is that Hayden trusts no one where my treasure is concerned, especially the ravens.”

Cryptic yet intriguing messages, all that immediately pique Hayden’s (and the reader’s) interest. From there, Hayden and her best friend, Del, take a trip to Promise, Colorado, hoping to find answers not just about her Mom, but also Hayden’s upbringing and why her own Father wants her to never return to Promise (and also to see Shannon, an old — and very good-looking — childhood friend).

“It’s springtime, but Promise seems frozen in an eternal fall, its spirit crushed by rain and wind. It’s wet and miserable, and yet this place feels right to me. As if, despite it being inhospitable and damp and glum, it wants me here — and I belong.”

Hayden knows there is something unusual going on in her old hometown, but she can’t quite pinpoint it. People stare at her as if they’ve seen a ghost. There’s a research facility collecting blood NOT for a traditional blood drive. And then there’s a few members of the town that have been waiting for Hayden’s arrival for quite some time. And even though a lot of red flags go off in Hayden’s head, she is determined to uncover her Mom’s death and buried secrets. She never once thought the paranormal beings, Nibelungs, would be linked to her Mom, nor to her, especially when she believes scientific theories can explain everything.

“For the first time I truly wonder if all of it — my recurring dream about the shadowy army, Mom’s clues, and Dad’s crackpot science — point toward an impossible truth.”

The atmosphere in this book is astounding and unlike most fictional towns. As the reader, you know something is just off when the town is first introduced. The only issue: you don’t know what. But the mysterious townsfolk and luring woods will draw you in and keep you guessing. Just how does everything connect? And how does Hayden and her Mom fit into all of this?

I was overall happy with this book. The ending was a little fast, but the book itself is a tantalizing read. Katya de Becerra weaves beautiful and breathtaking writing to bring to life this haunting and eerie read. With strong characters, mystery, and an undeniable pull to the world, you won’t want to put this book down.

What the Woods Keep hits shelves next Tuesday, September 18! Pre-order now and check out the cool pre-order campaign!

Thank you to the publisher and Tale Out Loud for the advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review! Any quotes used are from the advanced e-copy and may not be in the final publication. 

My rating: 4.5 stars out of five stars

Read on for my wonderful interview with the author of What the Woods Keep, Kayta de Becerra!


Q&A with Katya de Becerra

Thank you so much, Katya, for stopping by on A Court of Coffee and Books! We are so excited to have you!

The idea for your novel is unique and very intriguing. Did you have to do any research for your novel? If so, were there any interesting facts you stumbled upon?

Thank you! I’m a total mythology buff, so it’s no surprise at all that my debut novel is mythology focused. Aside from myths, I researched physics and psychology to make the science in What The Woods Keep as realistic as possible (though it is still science fiction, emphasis on fiction!). In terms of interesting facts… The Dyatlov Pass Incident is perhaps the strangest. It remains the kind of enduring mystery that several generations of people obsess over. I actually learned about Dyatlov Pass from my mom! I thought she was describing something fictional to me until I looked it up myself and learned all the facts. I just knew then, it had to be in my book in some way!

What character would you want to be stranded on an island with?

From my book or any other? If former, then with Del (the bestie of Hayden, who is the protagonist of What The Woods Keep), because of her optimism and ingenuity. If latter, then Katniss Everdeen, because if anyone can find a way to save herself from a deserted island (I’m assuming it’s deserted?), it’s Katniss – and maybe I can tag along.

What is a quirky or unique habit you have?

It’s more a rule, but let’s cheat and call it a habit. No caffeine after 12pm. Or I won’t sleep at night. At all.

Of course I have to ask: what Hogwarts house would each of your main characters fall in?

Hayden thinks she’s Ravenclaw but probably more of a Hufflepuff. Del is definitely a Gryffindor, through and through. And Shannon is Hufflepuff disguised as Slytherin.

If you could have coffee or tea with any author (even if they have to be brought back from the dead), who would it be and why?

Leigh Bargudo, because she’s awesome.

If you could have your book made into anything (Broadway musical, TV show, movie, ballet dance, soap opera, etc.), which would you choose and why?

Probably a movie, the moody psychological maybe-horror kind. But ballet would be super awesome too, now that you’ve mentioned it.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write what’s important to you. Don’t pay much attention to trends. Read a lot. Only accept critic/feedback from people you know and trust.


Don’t forget to enter the What the Woods Keep Giveaway!


Want to see the other blog stops on this tour? Check them out below!

What the Woods Keep Blog Tour Schedule

Author Spotlight: Monica Murphy

Just like Stacy, I had read one week girlfriend. This book is good but by far one of the darkest contemporary romance reads we have ever read. But it’s a series, so I have to read more. This author has written more books that I’m sure I’ll check out. She is a New York Times Bestselling author and we can see why. Her books grab you from the start and you’ll still be thinking about them months after you have finished them. Some books (by some we mean all) we want to check out by her down the line she has written are fair game, never tear us apart (Stacy owns), crave and out in November is saving it

 

It’s our honor to announce Monica Murphy is our Spotlight Author of the week.

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Click on the picture below to read Stacy’s review of One Week Girlfriend!

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Happy Scandalous Reading!!!

New Author Spotlight Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone!

We wanted to try something new and different for our blog and decided to go with New Author Spotlight.

What we aim to do is tell you guys about a new author that you might or might not have heard of. Maybe we can help find readers their new favorite author.

Our first ever author is…..

Drum Roll Please……

Jessica Cluess!!!

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On Tuesday her book a Shadow Bright And Burning was released. We had the privilege of reading this book before it hit the shelves and this is the next new fandom in our opinion. We fell in love with this book from page one and we hope you do too.

GoodReads <—— Add it to your TBR!!

A little synopsis: Enjoy!

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With a battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

Justin’s Review

Stacy’s Review