Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: The Jewel

The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
1. Can you persuasively sell your book, The Jewel, to our readers in 6 words?

Oh man, that’s tough! Ok, here goes: “Girls sold as surrogates to royalty.” I don’t know if that’s particularly persuasive, but it certainly gives you a good idea as to what the book is about.

2. What do you admire most about Violet?

I really admire her compassion, especially in the face of all she is forced to endure in the Jewel. She never loses sight of who she is and what is important to her. And I love that she is a fierce friend, particularly when it comes to Raven.

3. What character in The Jewel was most fun to write about?

Ok, I’m torn on this one. First, I’ll say: The Duchess! I absolutely love the Duchess. She is so layered. You never know if you want to hate her or feel bad for her. I think that’s my favorite type of character to read, and to write. But in terms of pure fun, Garnet wins hands down. He is such a jerk, but he’s a loveable jerk. Super entitled, a total rule breaker, and supremely inappropriate—what could be more fun to write than that?

4. The cover art is amazing, I adore it! What do you think of The Jewel's cover? 

Oh my god, I LOVE THIS COVER! I feel so incredibly lucky—as an author, you pretty much have zero control over what goes on the cover of your books and I just couldn’t be happier with what HarperCollins came up with. I mean, they put Violet into a diamond. And the subtlety of color? The refractions in the facets of the diamond? The way Violet looks so sad while surrounded by beauty? It’s absolutely perfect. I can’t gush enough about it.

5. Where is your dream travel destination?

I would love to go to Bali. I love beach vacations. I can hang out on a beach for ages. I realized that last year when I went to San Sebastian with a friend—there is this famous beach there called La Concha and we spent three days just lying out, sunning ourselves, chatting, and reading books. And I did not want to leave.

6. What are some of your non-bookish hobbies?

I play guitar and write my own songs. I am the worst binge-watcher of Netflix in the history of ever—I can be such a procrastinator and Netflix is definitely my enabler. I love doing jigsaw puzzles and I really like to cook.

7. I love that Violet plays the cello! What kind of music do you like?

Me too! I actually played the cello when I was in middle school and it’s always been one of my favorite instruments. I love folksy, blue grass, Americana type of music, like Old Crow Medicine Show, the Avett Brothers, and the Steeldrivers. And of course, older, classic folksy music, like Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor. I was brought up on the Beach Boys and Sam Cooke and Dion and the Belmonts—my father was always playing their albums on Saturday afternoons.

8. Quick! What's your favorite color? 

OK, this sounds really lame, but I swear it's true: Purple! Maybe that was in the back of my mind when I chose Violet's name...

You know you want to!

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the FFBC The Jewel Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.

She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.

Win ONE of THREE copies of The Jewel (US Only)

I have already read The Jewel and LOVED IT so, so much! My review will go up sometime soon. Also, good luck to everyone who entered the giveaway!

 Post Signature

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blog Tour: Feral

Feral by Holly Schindler
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 26th 2014

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened. 

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

“Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A Blue So Dark…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story…[which] has echoes of classic Hitchcock. Issues of cliques, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, post-traumatic stress syndrome, teacher-student relationships, and pet abandonment will provide substance for discussion.” – School Library Journal

Scrambling to free herself, Claire turned to see exactly how badly her feet were tangled in the fallen limb. But the shattered branch that had just tripped her was a strange shade of blue—purple—gray. 

She was staring at a human hand.

“No—no,” Claire screamed as she attempted to get away from the limb and the dead body, tripping on the hem of her coat in the process. She stumbled back to the earth, falling on her backpack.

An angry hiss pried Claire’s eyes upward, away from the waxy, blue fingers.

A cat edged forward from its perch on top of the limb that pinned the body; a pair of yellow eyes with black stripes narrowed at Claire; pink fangs flashed. Nearby, another yellow set of eyes popped from the shadows as a tail curled up onto a black curved back. More fangs. More eyes. More angry, fat tails.


 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the FFBC Feral Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs). 

Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud. Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.” Bloggers also quickly fell for the book; Susan at Bloggin’ ‘bout Books said of THE JUNCTION, “Triumphant and compelling, this is one of those books that will make you cheer. And look a little bit closer for the unique beauty in all of us.” 

FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first mystery / thriller. She encourages readers to get in touch, and can be found at,, @holly_schindler,, and

Giveaway is open to US/CAN Only | Must be 13 or older to enter 

Win (1) signed hardcover of FERAL (US/CAN)

 Post Signature

Monday, August 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #33

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books Books People Are Trying To Make Me Read

These are books that friends, twitter, goodreads, commenters, and others are trying to persuade me to read!

Gilded Ashes 
Take Me On
The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Something Strange and Deadly
Something Real

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Breathe, Annie, Breathe
Daughter of Smoke and Bone

What books should I stop avoiding and actually read? 

 Post Signature