Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blog Tour: 99 Days

99 Days
by Katie Cotugno
384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Read an excerpt


Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

1. What inspired you to write 99 Days? 
I think love triangles get a bad rap, and I wanted to see if I could write one in a way that was fresh and honest and unusual. 

2. What character was most fun to write about? 
I loved writing about Tess! She's so honest and kind of awkward and fun. I was always glad to see her when she turned up in a scene. 

3. What character was the hardest to write about? 
In a lot of ways, Patrick was, because he's so difficult for so much of the book. I wanted to be sure enough of his charm and vulnerability came through that you could understand why Molly feels the way she does about him. 

4. Do you listen to songs while you write? If so, do you have favorites?
I do! I listened to a lot of Ellie Goulding while I was writing this book, and also a lot of Young the Giant.

5. Do you have any interests hobbies other than writing? 
I love to cook and bake, and right now I'm spending a lot of time looking at paint colors for my new house. 

6. What is something you ALWAYS want to tell about yourself to others?  
"Please keep an eye on me in public and make sure my skirt is not tucked into my tights."

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Follow the 99 Days by Katie Cotugno Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.

Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.

The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.

Win (1) signed finished copy of 99 Days by Katie Cotugno (US Only)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2)
by Anne Blankman
416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

Even after reading and loving Prisoner of Night and Fog, I was skeptical of the next book. Sequels and I don't always have the best history. However, I still enthusiastically signed up for this tour and ended up really enjoying Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke.

Firstly, the two main characters are so real and likable. Though not without their faults, both characters are brave and admirable. Speaking of brave, we discover more about Daniel! I also feel like major girl power is displayed. Even in the beginning Gretchen doesn't just let Daniel go off on his own into danger. Together, they make a wonderful romantic pair!

Just like the last book, I loved the setting. This time just before World War 2 is a period I rarely read about. Also, it's so refreshing to have characters who originally didn't despise Hitler as it's realistic and shows how Hitler climbed the political ropes and wooed Germany's people into loving and trusting him. Also, just reading about him is fascinating. The history and the chance to look behind the brains of others is an amazing experience.

For the most part, I felt like Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke kept a good pace. There were only a few chapters in the beginning/middle that I felt lagged. My favorites parts were definitely more near the end!

Overall, I loved this book. I can't wait to see what Anne Blankman writes next.

4/5 Stars

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Follow the Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

US Only | Giveaway ends: April 22nd, 2015

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