My Top 5 Thrillers

I AM A SUCKER FOR THRILLERS.

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I have read many books this year but these 5 books either surprised me, I read them in one sitting or had me at the edge of my seat. Some are murder mysteries, some are psychological thrillers and one is an adventure thriller. Let’s take a look at my 5 favorite Thrillers!


  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250130921

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

Review: The twists in this book had me going…

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Nellie is marrying Richard, the man of her dreams. She won’t have to worry about money and will be well taken care of for life. Vanessa Is Richard’s first wife and has trouble accepting he left her for a younger woman. So what does she do? Stalk Nellie.

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This book kept me guessing until the end and what an ending! It was a page turner with many plot twists. From the very first chapter you knew that the authors had plenty in store for the reader. The chapters alternate from Vanessa and Nellie and it was intriguing to see their separate point of views in regards to each other and Richard.  Fast paced with well developed characters this thriller is the perfect read for someone looking to be shocked!

Order here!


  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition
  • ISBN-10: 0062667572

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

Review: This book by far has my favorite ending.

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Amber is a deceptive woman with a plan to snag a rich man, doesn’t matter if he is married. Daphne has the perfect life with rich husband Jackson and wealth beyond imagination. So what does Amber do? Make friends with Daphne to get to Jackson!

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The story is told in first person for Daphne and third for Amber. You really connect with Daphne and feel for her as she struggles with this new intruder in her life. You really loathe Amber and dislike her to the bitter end. The descriptions were vivid showing the luxurious lives of the rich from the outfits the women would wear down to the expensive shoes and jewelry. The pace quickens when secrets are revealed and the twist and turns leave you breathless. The ending is so satisfying I had to read it again.

Order here!


  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525557628

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm.

Review: This book reminded me of clue with vast characters and surprises.

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A group of guests are checking into a small boutique hotel isolated in the woods for a weekend of bliss. But one by one they soon start to die and there is nothing they can do because they are trapped inside with each other due to a blizzard. And one of them is the murderer. This is a classic murder tale with various characters from the wealthy, to friends, to lovebirds and little clues to who the killer is.

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I loved how the author made the reader feel like you were there in the cold setting of the hotel and you could feel the characters fear as they each began to die off one by one. The author did a wonderful job at navigating all the characters and I never once got confused. Each character had a secret revealed but still adds to the mystery of who the killer is. The ending wrapped up everything nicely with a bit of a surprise.

Order here!


  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1538761858

Not all secrets are meant to be found.

If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore — a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the “real” experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.

Nolan’s story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?

Review:  Ok this is not a murder or psychological thriller. It is an adventure thriller and it had me at X-files meets Indiana Jones.

Told from the point of view of our protagonist Nolan, we follow him on an expedition to the Grand Canyon for his documentary series, The Anomaly Files, in search of a lost cavern that holds ancient secrets. With a variety of characters to help him on this journey Nolan finds the lost cave but soon they are trapped inside and it becomes clear that they are not alone.

The book starts off slow but the action picks up once they reach the cavern. With little resources they are fighting for their life once stuck inside, and nobody knows where they are!  The author does a wonderful job having historical facts blending with sci-fi elements. It was a compelling read with suspense at every turn of the page. I hope there is another book that follows Nolan and The Anomaly Files because this one was a fun read!

Order here!


  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • ISBN-10: 0062678418

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Review: This book is in reminisce of the old classic by Alfred Hitchcock- Rear Window.

Anna has agoraphobic, so she doesn’t leave her house and lives through her camera spying on her neighbors. She talks everyday to her husband and daughter, who live elsewhere. The influence of Hitchcock is here but the story takes a turn of it’s own on a path of suspense.

The setting is dark and mostly takes place in Anna’s house. She relies on wine and drugs to stay sane but throughout the book you see her character grow and start to become healthy, even through the turmoil of what she thinks she saw. There are some twist and turns and reveals you didn’t see coming. It is s slow suspenseful story but worth the read.

Order here!


What are your favorite thrillers?

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Like Never And Always Spotlight and Giveaway!

Today we’re spotlighting a new creeptastic book Like Never and Always! After checking out the book enter the giveaway.

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LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS Blog Tour Assets

About the Book:

Title: LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Ann Aguirre

Pub. Date: July 17, 2018

Publisher: Tor Teen

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

 

On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.


 

About Ann:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will win a finished copy of LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS, US Only.

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Enter here!

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/2/2018- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

7/3/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

7/4/2018- YA Books Central Interview

7/5/2018- Literary Meanderings– Interview

7/6/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

Week Two:

7/9/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

7/10/2018- Twinning for Books– Review

7/11/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt

7/12/2018- Wonder Struck– Review

7/13/2018- Christen Krumm Interview

Week Three:

7/16/2018- Jena Brown Writes– Excerpt

7/17/2018- Novel Novice– Guest Post

7/18/2018- Hauntedbybooks– Review

7/19/2018- Book Dragon Lair– Review

7/20/2018- Eli to the nth– Review

Week Four:

7/23/2018- Under the Book Cover– Review

7/24/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader Review

7/25/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous– Review

7/26/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe– Review

7/27/2018- Two points of interest– Review

Week Five:

7/30/2018- For the Love of KidLit Interview

7/31/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Excerpt

Spotlight: City of Bastards

We’re back!

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So much has happened this last month, stress, anxiety and a death in family, we had to take a social media break. It was much needed but now we’re back and today spotlighting a fun sequel.

Let’s take a look at City of Bastards!


  • Series: Royal Bastards (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 5, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1484767632
  • Order here!

Tilla, bastard of House Kent, has it made. Safe from her murderous father in the dazzling capital of Lightspire, she lives a life of luxury under the protection of the Volaris King, alongside her boyfriend, Zell, and best friend, Princess Lyriana.

So why isn’t she happy? Maybe it’s the whispers and stares that follow her wherever she goes, as the daughter of the traitor waging war against Lightspire. Or maybe it’s the memories of her beloved brother, Jax, who lies cold in his grave even as she tries to settle into a life in the city’s prestigious University.

Then Tilla stumbles upon the body of a classmate-a friend. The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide and sweep it under the rug, but when Tilla herself is attacked by a mysterious man with terrifying powers, she’s convinced of a conspiracy. Her friends beg her to stay silent; what she’s suggesting is impossible . . . and treasonous.

But Tilla can’t-won’t-let it go. And the deeper she digs, the more questions she uncovers. How is the West beating the supposedly invincible Lightspire mages in battle? Is it connected to the shadowy cult wreaking havoc in Lightspire? Nothing is as it seems in the glorious capital, and Tilla’s presence might just be the spark that sets the Kingdom aflame.


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Doesn’t that sound intriguing? I loved the first book and the second book looks just as fun. If you haven’t read the first book take a look below.

 

  • Series: Royal Bastards (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (May 8, 2018)
  • Order here!

 

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children. At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits at the Bastards’ Table. But when Tilla and Jax is lead the visiting Princess Lyriana on a late-night escapade with their fellow bastards, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness–a brutal coup. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries. The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart-if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey…


About the author:

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  • Andrew was born in the Soviet Union, but immigrated to the US when he was four years old. He doesn’t remember much of life there, but has retained a love for weird Russian cartoons and a total indifference to being cold.
  • Andrew’s passion has always been storytelling, in all its forms: fiction, cinema, narrative video games, and long, rambling, frequently-exaggerated anecdotes. He spent his childhood devouring books, and his adolescence watching straight-to-DVD horror movies and playing jRPGS.
  • Andrew graduated from Vassar College with degrees in English and Russian literature (aka, the two languages he was already fluent in). While there, he was falsely accused of releasing a bear on campus, and once stole a fence and buried it in a swamp.
  • Since 2008, Andrew has worked as a videogame writer, producer, and designer. His focus has been on narrative mobile games, especially episodic ones. Some of these titles include Choices: Stories You Play, Surviving High School, Cause of Death, and High School Story.
  • Andrew is both color-blind and tone-deaf, which probably means he has some latent superpowers he just hasn’t discovered.
  • He is represented by the amazing Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties.
  • Andrew lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, son, and two cats.
  • The best videogame of all time is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. This is not a fun fact about Andrew, but an objective truth of the world.

Follow: Twitter * Instagram


 

 

Spotlight Thursday: Author Stacey Lee

Every Thursday we spotlight authors, agents and more! It’s to let writers and readers know there are awesome resources out there! And awesome books!

Today we are excited to have author Stacey Lee joining us!

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I LOVE Stacey’s books. Her writing is beautiful and her description so vivid! Not only does she have strong characters but they represent the best Asian characters out there. Hollywood needs to read these books and learn!

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Her western book Under a Painted Sky is about two girls posing as boys on the Oregon trail with hot cowboys! HOT COWBOYS! The strength of the book was the friendship and I had all the emotions when I read it! Check out my review of Under a Painted Sky here.

Her new book Outrun The Moon is just as epic and the words just as beautiful! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and this book is a must read!!!

Enough with my glowing praise for Stacey…to the interview!


Tawney: You have two books coming out this year, Outrun the Moon in May and The Secret of a Heart Note in Dec, how does it feel? Is it more work than having one book come out per year.

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Stacey: Yes, it is a bit more work! I have to stay very organized and to accept that I won’t have time for everything. I’m definitely wishing right now there were more than 24 hrs in a day.

Tawney: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Stacey: I was surprised to find such amazing support from strangers. When people (like yourself, Tawney!) go out of their way support my book with tweets, pictures, fan art,  poetry, etc. it really touches and humbles me.  

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Tawney: There’s such a great diversity movement going on in the book world and you are a big supporter in We Need Diverse Books, have you seen an improvement and how can others get involve in such a great movement?

 

Stacey: Yes, I think public awareness is a huge step toward change. I am heartened to see books like Angela Thomas‘ THE HATE YOU GIVE go to auction, and to witness WNDB programs like the Walter Award and the WNDB Internship Programs gain momentum (and btw, if you’re interested in a career in publishing, the deadline to apply for one of the nine WNDB internship grants is May 31). There are so many ways to support diverse books. For readers— buy them, request them at the library, review them, spread the word about them. For librarians and booksellers—make diverse books visible and use shelf talkers (WNDB has a great book talking kit to get you started). For teachers—invite diverse authors to visit, even if just through Skype. Use diverse books in your lesson planning.And keep the conversation going. One day we won’t have to talk about ‘diverse books,’ they’ll just be ‘books,’ imagine that!

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Tawney: When you emerge from your editing cave with a book completely finished, what one thing do you always have to do?

Stacey: I mostly definitely book a massage. It is a guilty but necessary pleasure as writing kills my neck.
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Tawney: What literary character is most like you?

 

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Stacey: Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. She lets her imagination run wild and it sometimes gets her into big trouble. Check. Also, she loves her friends and family deeply, something I can relate to.

 

Thank you so much for participating Stacey! We loved having you on the blog and can’t wait until everyone can read Outrun the Moon! 

 

GIVEAWAY ALERT!

Stacey is doing a huge giveaway for Outrun The Moon! A trip to San Francisco! Details here

About the Author:

My name is Stacey Heather Lee and I write young adult books. I’ve dreamed of writing books for a living since I was nine, when I penned my first children’s novel. For four years, I labored to type it on the family Smith Corona (that’s a typewriter, kids). Each time I made a typo, I would retype the whole page. By the time I finished, my fingers flew at 120 wpm. The book became a bestseller amongst my stuffed animals, and baby, I was on my way!

But before I could write for the un-stuffed crowd, I had to make several stops in the real world. Hi Mom and Dad! I studied, got degrees, and earned paychecks. In my spare time, I continued writing. Several years later, I got a wonderful agent, and now I write even when I’m sleeping. I hope you will enjoy browsing my website. All are welcome, stuffing and all.

I am a fourth generation Chinese-American.  A native of southern California, I graduated from UCLA then got my law degree at UC Davis King Hall.  After practicing law in Silicon Valley for several years, I finally took up the pen because I wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain.  I play classical piano, raise my two children together with my supportive husband, and write YA fiction.

Follow Stacey on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and her blog!

 

Love Tawney

Spotlight Thursday: A Torch Against the Night

Today we are excited for Sabaa Tahir’s anticipate sequel to An Ember in the Ashes! We can’t wait to get our hands on this book.

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Check out our review of An Ember in the Ashes here. A must read book! But today we are spotlighting the sequel since the cover has been revealed!

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It’s gorgeous! Not only has Sabaa released the cover but also a sneak peek of the book! She spoils us.

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Let’s take a look at A Torch Against the Night!


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  • Series: An Ember in the Ashes (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (August 30, 2016

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

Buy Links:

 

 

 

An exclusive sneak peek from A Torch Against the Night has been released and it makes us hunger for more. Read the first chapter here!

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About the author: Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Follow Sabba on twitterPinterestGoodreadstumblr, and her blog!

 


It’s going to be a great year with so many hot anticipated books releasing. My wallet may not like it but my bookshelves will! Bring it!

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Love Tawney

Spotlight Thursday: Wonder Woman at Super Hero High

The world loves super heroes….who happen to be all men.

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But now there seems to be a movement and it’s about damn time! We are seeing more movie and book news out there about heroine!

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Random House in participation with DC, is releasing a cool concept of DC Superhero Girls! There are even some cute toys I might have to buy! I’m a Harley Quinn girl so this is fantastic to have all these amazing female heroines together! Check out all the info here.

Let’s take a look at Wonder Woman at Super Hero High!


  • Series: Dc Super Hero Girls
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (March 1, 2016)

 

This groundbreaking new middle grade series follows DC Comics’ most iconic female Super Heroes and Super-Villains . . . as high schoolers. At Super Hero High, the galaxy’s most powerful teens nurture their powers and master the fundamentals of what it means to be a hero.

Buy Links:

 


 

Tawney’s Review: 

I love the women of DC universe. So it’s nice to see a book about their younger selves. Super Hero High is home to the world’s young future heroes and villains. Enter Wonder Woman, who has never left home before, as the new student. Oh the mayhem that follows!

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Wonder Woman At Super Hero High is the first book in the new DC Super Hero Girls series by Lisa Yee, which focuses on all our favorite female super heroes and villains in their teenage years. A breath of fresh air in a world dominated by male superheroes.

 

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Yee does a wonderful job at keeping the characters traditional to their older selves, while keeping it age appropriate. It’s nice to see Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Hawkgirl, Katana, and more brought to life with new energy and vigor.There are also familiar male faces such as Beast Boy, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Captain Cold, and more, but this book emphasizes the ladies of the hero universe, which by god we needed!  Yee brings some new excitement into this world for young readers. This is a great book with humor, action, drama and girl power.

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It was fun to see Wonder Woman navigate the world of teens and social media with unwanted attention, bullies, the pressure to please parents and more. Lee does a wonderful job at throwing these obstacles together, which all teens experience and can relate too.  One thing that helps Wonder Woman is friendship. Friendship was the heart of the story and the girls around Wonder Woman play a key role in the novel. It was just fun seeing all the characters I grew up with together in one setting. The book ends wonderfully by introducing the next Heroine in the series that makes me yearn for more.

Should you read it? Yes! A fantastic read that takes what we know of the DC world and adds a refreshing new light to the heroines’ younger selves. A super read that all ages would enjoy.

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Thank you Random House for sending a copy of Wonder Woman at Super Hero High for review. In no way does this affect my opinion.

 

Love Tawney

Spotlight Thursday: Kayla

Today we’re excited to spotlight an author who’s book is making the buzz and has a certain actor totally smitten!

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Every Thursday we spotlight authors, agents and more! It’s to let writers and readers know there are awesome resources out there! And awesome books!

Today we welcome author Kayla Olson to the blog! Her book The Sandcastle Empire  will not be released until next year but…it was opted for film! By none other than Leonadro DiCaprio! Check out the announcement here.

Now to the interview!

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Tawney:  Your book The Sandcastle Empire doesn’t come out until next year, but you had some big news regarding the film announcement with Leo and Paramount! Leonardo DiCaprioCongrats! How does it feel to be thrust into the spotlight so early before your book comes out? 

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Kayla: After sitting on my secret news for so long before the story broke, it was a HUGE relief to finally be able to talk about it! Once the first Hollywood Reporter article went live, the one with the film news, it felt simultaneously more real *and* more surreal—it’s one thing to know your own secrets, and another thing for everyone else to suddenly know. It was the very best kind of whirlwind, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m very grateful for all the media attention it’s gotten so far, especially this far out from the book’s release—the only downside is that I’m totally eager to share the book with everyone! The time will pass quickly, though, I’m sure. 

 

Tawney: I find when I write my feet get cold, do you prefer fuzzy or tube socks? Is there a particular habit you have while writing?

 Kayla: If I had to choose between fuzzy v. tube socks, I’d go tube all the way—except, honestly, I’ve sort of become a legwarmer girl! I found the most excellent pair—pink/purple, knitted in a fair isle pattern—in a clearance bin for $2. They’re basically the best. As for particular habits, I have this one thunderstorm track that I bought on iTunes for 99¢, and I listen to it whenever I sit down to work. I’ve listened to it for so long, now, that it almost instantly puts me in a focused mindset.

 

Tawney: How did you come up with the idea for The Sandcastle Empire? It’s such a fantastic unique concept! 

Kayla: Thank you so much—that’s so kind of you to say! The very first seed of the idea was the setting, the island. I’ve always loved island settings, shows like Survivor and LOST.

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After that initial idea seed, things came together all at once, for the most part—I knew I wanted to have some strong girl dynamics, four girls at the center of the story. I was also very intrigued by the combination of social issues and environmental change, as opposed to focusing on just one of those—like, what if sea level rise caught our country off guard sooner than we expected? What if disasters piled up on top of each other faster than we could deal with them? How would those things affect people’s everyday lives? There’s a lot of fear in this book, and a lot of I just want to survive pressed up against the problem of but my survival might mean you don’t get to.

 

Tawney: If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you? 

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Kayla: Does my family count as a thing? Wanting them with me seems selfish, like, HEY, come be stranded with me instead of hanging out at home with all your Legos! So even though I’d want them with me, I’ll choose three THING things instead. One: a giant package of dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s, even though I’d be disappointed to eat them at island-temperature instead of straight out of the refrigerator (seriously, try that, you guys)(SORRY AND YOU’RE WELCOME). Two: I’d wish for a Havenwater bottle, like Eden has in my book, with its filter that desalinates/sterilizes water from any source. Three: total toss-up between hair products and my guitar. Like, on one hand, my curly hair would be an absolute mess after two days on the island—but on the other hand, it might be nice to have something to do (bonus points: it could break up the endless hours of silence). 

 

Tawney: What are you working on now? 

Kayla: SO MANY THINGS. (If only I could work on them all at once!) Right now, I’m between Sandcastle revisions, so I’m bouncing between a few new projects at the moment—a bit of plotting here, a bit of drafting there, and tons of general excitement about bringing new characters to life. Writing takes so much patience and perseverance, but at the end of the day, I take so much joy in building worlds with words. I hope to share these new worlds one day, too.

 

Thank you Kayla for joining us today! We look forward to following you and THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE! 

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About the book: 

HarperTeen, Summer 2017

The book is set in 2049, when the Earth is at a breaking point due to climate change, coastal flooding, and overpopulation. A radical faction known as the Wolfpack has overthrown the government and taken control—now, the entire world is at war.

Day after day, Eden Andersen slips down to the boardwalk, watching and waiting until the perfect moment to escape. It’s been two years since Zero Day—two years since the Wolfpack plucked the privileged from lives they loved and shoved them into labor camps. Eden’s lost everything to the war, most notably her father. All she has left of him are the things the Wolves delivered to her after his disappearance: his wedding ring, his field guide full of notes, and a vial of his blood and teeth.

Finally, after countless boardwalk sunrises, Eden has her chance to escape. But it’s not the solo trip she’s dreamed of—three other girls end up on her boat, none of whom share her agenda. One thing they can all agree on, though: they want freedom. Together, they flee to an island in hopes of finding refuge from the war. Along the way, Eden finds clues as to what happened to her missing father—and finds out that she is the key to bringing down the Wolfpack.

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About the Author:
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Kayla Olson lives in Texas, and can usually be found in near proximity to black coffee, the darkest chocolate, Scrivener, and an army of Sharpie highlighters.
Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog!

 

Tawney