Blog Tour: Until I Die by Amy Plum & Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Amy Plum’s second Reverent novel, UNTIL I DIE! This is a great series and if you haven’t read the first novel, Die for Me, here is your chance! I have a signed paperback copy of Die for Me by Amy Plum up for grabs!

Die for Me by Amy PlumAnd for another awesome prize pack, follow the entire blog tour (you can click the banner to get all the info at Mundie Moms!) and collect the secret words! Once you collect all the words and put them together, you can enter to win a fabulous prize pack! More info about all the contents of that on the Mundie Moms, just click that banner!

My secret words are: to send

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest open to Everyone
  • the winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy

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Blog Tour: Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler

Jackie Morse Kessler

Books (for teens):

  • Hunger
  • Rage
  • Loss

Website | Twitter | Blog

Fifteen-year-old Billy Ballard is the kid that everyone picks on, from the school bullies to the teachers. But things change drastically when Death tells Billy he must stand in as Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. Now armed with a Bow that allows him to strike with disease from a distance, Billy lashes out at his tormentors…and accidentally causes an outbreak of meningitis. Horrified by his actions, Billy begs Death to take back the Bow. For that to happen, says Death, Billy must track down the real White Rider—who is lost in his memories.

In his search, Billy travels through White Rider’s life: from ancient Phrygia, where the man called King Mita agrees to wear the White Rider’s Crown, to Sherwood Forest, where Pestilence figures out how to cheat Death; from the docks of Alexandria, where cartons of infested grain are being packed onto a ship that will carry the plague, to the Children’s Crusade in France—all the way to what may be the end of the world. When Billy finally finds the White Rider, the teen convinces the man to return to the real world.

But now the insane White Rider plans to unleash something awful on humanity—something that could make the Black Death look like a summer cold. Billy has a choice: he can live his life and pretend he doesn’t know what’s coming, or he can challenge the White Rider for his Crown. Does one bullied teenager have the strength to stand his ground—and the courage to save the world?

White, Gold and Green
By Jackie Morse Kessler

One of the fun things I got to do when I was writing LOSS was research. Tons of research. Okay, so maybe my idea of fun is weird, but I love getting sidetracked by interesting things. I can spend two hours looking up fact after fact, all to get maybe a sentence’s worth of material that I’ll actually put into the book. Can’t help it; there are so many interesting things out there.

LOSS is different from the first two books in the Riders of the Apocalypse series in many ways, not the least of which is this story delves deeply into the history of one of the Four Horsemen: Pestilence, also called the Conqueror, the White Rider. Because this particular Horseman has been around for more than a thousand years, I got to tie in two fascinating characters—both the historical versions and the legends they inspired. The first is Mita, King of the land of Phrygia (part of what’s now Turkey, even though in the book I say it’s Greece. I’m a rebel.) Mita ruled Phyrgia in late 8th century B.C.E. You may know him better by his other name: Midas. Yup, that Midas. In LOSS, we get to see the truth behind that golden touch.

The other character is a criminal named Robert Hode. He made the mistake of hunting deer in the King’s forest. Of course, it was **all** the King’s forest at that time; made it a little tough to feed the family. To avoid capture by the shire reeve’s men, who would have surely hanged him, Hode escaped to live in the vast Greenwood bordering the local towns. He became a bandit, one who survived on cunning and skill. And poached deer. Surely, you’ve heard of him, or at least, you’ve heard parts of the tale that began to be whispered across the land—the tale of the cutthroat Robin Hood. (He wasn’t always the dashing rogue the movies and later stories love to tell.)

Did I mention I had loads of fun doing research for LOSS? :)

Do you have any favorite historical figures that you’ve either read about as characters in novels or would love to see as characters in novels?




LOSS by Jackie Morse Kessler comes out March 20, 2012!

GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter below will win a small cover poster of LOSS—and will be entered in the grand prize drawing! The grand prize winner will receive signed copies of HUNGER, RAGE and LOSS—and will get to name a character in BREATH, the fourth book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series. The grand prize winner will be picked on Sunday, April 1, 2012. No foolin’.

Please leave a comment on this post and fill out your information accordingly in the Rafflecopter form.

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • the winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Boy Meets Girl & Giveaway

Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story


  • Kelly Milner Halls
  • Chris Crutcher
  • Rebecca Fjelland Davis
  • Terry Davis
  • Terry Trueman
  • Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Sara Ryan
  • Randy Powell
  • Joseph Brochac
  • Ellen Wittlinger
  • James Howe

What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of “he said/she said” stories-he tells it from the guy’s point of view, she tells it from the girl’s. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There’s the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated-because there are two sides to every story.

I was able to participate in a short interview with Editor of Girl Meets Boy, Kelly Milner Halls.

What did you like most about going from your nonfiction books to writing and editing a YA?

I have long been a YA reader — a fan of young adult literature. So joining the YA ranks is the best part of adding GIRL MEETS BOY to my resume of nonfiction books, without a doubt. To stand with such brilliant story tellers is an honor and a thrill. I hope it’s the first of many, but I still love writing nonfiction, too. Understanding MISUNDERSTANDING better.

Describe Girl Meets Boy in three words.

Understanding MISUNDERSTANDING better.

What is something about Girl Meets Boy that we may not know just from reading the blurb?

Each of the twelve writers created their stories long before we had a publisher or an advance to share. They did the work purely on speculation, before Chronicle Books stepped in to bring the stories to life.

Wattpad Contest

The Girl Meets Boy writing contest is now live on Wattpad!

Wattpad is featuring the guy’s side of the story, and inviting their members to write same scene from the girl’s perspective. Stories should be no more than 300 words long, and the deadline is February 8th. Winners will be announced on February 14th.

One Grand Prize winner will get:

· A copy of Girl Meets Boy signed by all 12 contributors
· A critique of 25 pages of writing by editor Kelly Milner Halls
· A 30-minute Skype consultation with Kelly
· A copy of Kelly’s favorite how-to book on writing

Four runners-up will win a copy of Girl Meets Boy signed by all 12 contributors

And for readers of The Story Siren I have a copy of Girl Meets Boy signed by all contributors for one lucky winner!

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest open to US/CANADA Only
  • the winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blog Tour: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Last week The Future of Us hits shelves in the UK! I am psyched to celebrate it’s release with some other bloggers as a part of this blog tour! (You can check out my review of The Future of Us.) There have been an excerpt, interview and cool facts about 90′s trivia! Today I get to talk about some of the music featured in The Future of Us! Some of these songs are my favorites from the 90′s since those are the years I was a teen too!

Before we get started on the music, here is a little bit about the novel for those not familiar with it:

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. 

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right – and wrong – in the present.

The Future of Us: Songs and bands

The Macarena – pg 6

For those of you who grew up in the 90′s…. You remember this gem right? Don’t ACT like you don’t still remember the dance! What were we thinking? Seriously! What were we thinking?

Alanis Morissette – pg 7

Oh heck yes! Jagged Little pill album anyone?! I remember blaring the lyrics to this CD at the top of my lungs! Oh, Alanis… you made me feel so bad ass!

Pearl Jam – pg 7

Dave Matthews – multiple times: Crash Into MeWhat Would You Say – pg 298

Crash Into Me! LOVE! I remember when this hit the radio in the summer of 1996. It’s the chimes, they are addicting.

Led Zeppelin – pg 70

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song – pg 89

In West Philidelphia born and raised….. you know the rest of the words! Don’t deny it!

Hootie and the Blowfish – pg 181

Green DayBasket Case - pg 181, Dookie  – pg 194 & When I Come Around  – pg 194

Dookie… oh Dookie. You were the anthem of my life.

Paul Simon – pg 309

WonderwallOasis – pg 122

This is like one of the best songs ever.

Katrina and the WavesWalking on Sunshine - pg 158

Boyz II MenEnd of the Road – pg 219

Boyz II freaggin Men! Do you remember Boyz II Men! And then All 4 One who sorta copies them using the whole number then and being a die-hard B2M fan I should have hated them, but they did have that one good song…

Miles Davis (Album) – Kind of Blue – pg 341




Guest Blog

Blog Tour: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Jennifer E. Smith


  • The Comeback Season
  • You Are Here
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Twitter | Website

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Five Reasons Why I Love New York
by Jennifer E. Smith

1. While most cities have their fair share of great outdoor spaces, there’s nothing quite like Central Park. I’ve lived in New York for nearly eight years now, and have spent a lot of time exploring it, and I still manage to stumble across new areas all the time. There’s nowhere better to meet friends for a picnic, to take my dog for a walk, or to sit on a bench with a great book. I love the way it looks just after it snows, and I even love the crowds in the summer. It’s the true heart of the city in so many ways.

2. Christmastime is one of those things I love about both places, but New York in particular lights up in December. From the Rockefeller Center tree to the smaller strings of lights on random side streets, there’s such magic to the season. Even those of us who live here act like tourists at this time of year, watching the ice skaters in Central Park, crowding into the stores on Fifth Avenue. But I especially love the little tree lots that crop up every few blocks, where you can buy Christmas trees for any sized apartment, or a wreath for your front door. I find myself taking detours just to wander by them and get a good whiff of pine.

3. I love New York in the summer. The rivers that border the island of Manhattan on both sides gets busy with kayaks and sailboats, and runners and bikers skirt the edges, all of them out in droves. There are street fairs that stretch for twenty blocks, where you can get everything from chicken on a stick to a six-pack of tube socks. There are farmers’ markets and parades and outdoor seating at all the restaurants. A lot of people flee New York in the summer, but I like it here. Sometimes it gets so hot it’s almost hard to breathe, but there’s a feeling of unity about it too, like we’re all in it together. My favorite was the citywide blackout one summer, when all the shops were giving away their melting ice cream for free, or handing out beers in the streets, and what might have been an opportunity to get annoyed instead turned into a kind of two-day party.

4. There are a lot of things I loved about living in the UK, but the pizza was definitely not one of them. There’s simply nothing like New York pizza. You can’t beat it anywhere. And I say that even as a native Chicagoan; I can’t help it. I’ve always preferred New York thin crust to Chicago deep dish pizza. (But don’t worry: I’m still a Cubs fan.)

5. New York is a city of artists and dreamers, or as E.B. White put it, those “in quest of something.” It often seems like every single person you meet here has a passion for something fascinating. Whether it’s film or architecture, fashion or music, they’ve all come to New York because it’s the epicenter of their own particular worlds. When I first moved here, I could hardly believe how many writers – and not just any writers, but my heroes, those authors that I’d read over and over again until their books were practically falling apart – were giving readings at bookstores in my neighborhood. The city acts as a kind of intersection between aspiring artists and the legends who have inspired them. And that’s a pretty amazing thing, when you think about it.

Check out the next two stops on this INTERNATIONAL Tour tomorrow at Serendipity Reviews and Good Books & Good Wine!

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