YA Book Event by Hipso media Publisher & Supernatural Snark

Are you a writer who's looking to get published? This may be your lucky day!

If you have ever hashtagged #amwriting, #MSWL, or #IWantToBePublishedSoBadlyMyEyeballsMightPop, than pay attention.

From September 17th through October 1st, Hipso Media Publishing and Jenny from Supernatural Snark will be hosting the ‘Next Big YA Book Event.’

Why is this good news for #amwriters?

Here’s how the event works. Most publishers work exclusively with agents, which makes it difficult (more like close to impossible) for up-and-coming writers to get their work seen. Well, Hipso Media Publishing will be opening their doors to all YA writers who dream of traditional publication, but can’t seem to catch a break. Writers who have mountainous ideas, along with an actual mountain of rejection letters. Hipso wants to pick one of those writers, and treat them like the literary rock star they are, showering them in every publishing perk someone of their caliber deserves:

- Publishing contract with a generous royalty program

- Custom cover from Seedlings Design

- Candace Book Blog Book Tour

- Exclusive front-page podcast on AuthorsOnTourLive, iReadBooksRadio and iHeartRadio (which gets an average of more than 1 million hits a year)

- Novel as an eBook on all major retailers – Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, around the world

- A featured post on Supernatural Snark

- Awesome book swag, and more…

Once the winning manuscript is picked, Jenny from Supernatural Snark (Owner of Seedlings Design) will work with the author to create a custom cover that will be sure to shout, “NEXT BIG YA BOOK”. And then she’ll do a featured post on Supernatural Snark, to make sure the world hears.

No agents, hoops, or hassles. The only criteria are that your YA manuscript be finished, you must believe it’s great, and it must not already be published somewhere else.

Here’s the link to the submissions page and contact info:


Good luck and happy writing!

Review - Queen of Hearts Vol.2: The Wonder

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review*

Title: Queen of Hearts Vol.2 - The Wonder
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts
Publisher: Sparkpress
Release Date: September 23rd 2014

My Rating:

An Exiled Princess.
An Ancient Tribe.
A Dangerous Stranger with Unknown Loyalties.

Dinah, the former Princess of Wonderland Palace, has been chased into the wilds of Wonderland after the brutal murder of her brother and the ruin of her impending crown. Now, as her half-sister Vittiore sits on the throne beside her Father, the brutal King of Hearts, Dinah finds herself alone in the forbidding Twisted Wood with only Morte, a homicidal beast, for company. 

Hunted by the King and his army of Cards, Dinah struggles to evade those who long for her head, including Cheshire, the King’s clever advisor, who is slowly tightening his grasp around her. Spurred on by her rising terror, the former Princess finds herself at the center of a web of conspiracy reaching far beyond the Palace and deep into the mysterious Yurkei mountain tribes. Even with the balance of an entire Kingdom at stake, Dinah knows something that her allies and enemies do not: that the most dangerous conflict of all has already begun as she battles the enticing rage that beckons her ever closer as love slips further from her grasp.

The second book in the bestselling and award-winning Queen of Hearts Saga, The Wonder takes readers back to the most wondrous and curious places in Wonderland, and continues this darkly addictive tale featuring one of the most infamous villains of all time.

But be warned…not every fairy tale has a happy ending. This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

My Thoughts

After absolutely loving the first book in this trilogy, I must admit that this one was a bit of a disappointment to me.

Dinah becoming incredibly annoying once she got into her head that she was in fact the queen, the rightful one and that she had power. Also the book just seemed to drag and drag along without much happening, if that even makes sense.

This being said, I did enjoy the plot and the big twist that took place with Cheshire - not gonna say what because I don't want to spoil it for you - and I did not see that coming. Also, finally having a freaking Caterpillar made my day, because I was longing to figure out who that would be.
And Wardley... I have a feeling he may be in love with someone which is not Dinah... Vittiore maybe? That would explain the beginning of the first book on which Dinah takes her head off. Woooo I would love that (yes I am that evil).

I am quite curious about the final book, mostly because I need my answers and I cannot wait to see Dinah scream "Off with her head!" to Vittiore (it's quite obvious that I do not like this character isn't it?!). Also I need to know what crap will Cheshire pull to ruin the "nice" idea we have of him now.

All in all it was an OK book. I just hope the last one in this trilogy doesn't drag as much.

Review - This is Not a Test

Title: This is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 19th 2012

My Rating:

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up.

As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

My Thoughts

It's no secret that I love zombie and apocalyptic kind of books. Why? I can't exactly tell, but I do absolutly love them.

This being said, 'This Is Not A Test' is way more than a zombie \post apocalypse book. This book is about survival, heartbreak, feelings and is so much more than what I was expecting...

Who could think of a post apocalypse situation on which someone would not think of 'How am I going to survive' but 'How can I justify dying, without hurting anyone in the process'? Courtney Summers does. And she does it beautifully.

I spent the entirety of this book with my heart caught on my throat because I was experiencing everything this teenagers were at full speed. Panic, fear, lost, doubt... You name it and I felt it.

I really loved this book, it was something unforgettable, an unique experience.

I don't know what exactly is happening with my choice of books lately but they have been leaving thirsty for more, since the endings, like in this book, are so vague that really anything could have happened after the author stopped writing. And this isn't always a bad thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to be inserted into a situation on which you will get to feel everything like you were every single character in this book.

Book Find - Zac & Mia

Title: Zac & Mia
Author: A. J. Betts
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 2nd 2014 (not when 1st released)

"When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics." So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can't forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

Review - Zomburbia

*Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review*

Title: Zomburbia
Author: Adam Gallardo
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Release Date: August 26th 2014

My Rating:

"Welcome To Zomburbia."

My name is Courtney Hart, and I'm here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I'd actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains.

I've noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that's even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing. . .

My Thoughts

'Zomburbia' presents us with a new perspective on zombies. Not only because it suggests that they are not as 'dead' as they seem - they seem to have the capacity to make up plans in order to catch a prey -, the population learnt how to live with this infestation and there's also the use of their brains to develop a new drug - Vitamin Z.

I did enjoy this book very much since I am kind of obsessed with zombies, and "Zomburbia" seemed very coese.

This being said I must admit that this book, at times, seemed to drag along, maybe to not give the feeling that every event was rushed.

When it comes to the characters, I did like the main character, Courtney. She seemed driven and able to deal with whatever difficulties she was presented with. Her best friend Sherri, on the other hand, was not a favorite of mine. She was annoying and mean most of the time (in my perspective). Willie - the other best friend - was incredibly sweet but it lacked the ability to fend for himself and unfortunately their friends didn't seem to help him on that aspect.

Some questions were not answered in this book and I would very much love if they were, but thank God there will be a sequel ("Zombified") to be released eventually and hopefully it will feed my needs.

All in all I did like "Zomburbia" a lot, it was an easy read and it kept me interested for pretty much its entirety. I would recommend this book to everyone who has a soft spot for zombie books.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Should be Reading and it consists of answering three little questions every wednesday. So here it is...

1. What are you currrently reading?

I got this on the mail the other day and I had to read, mostly because I wanna go see the movie. I have been avoiding the trailer since forever, but today I saw it at the cinema... Couldn't run from it there.

2. What did you recently finished reading?

I read this book because my TBR jar said so (ah ah) but unfortunately I really didn't like it all that much... Oh well I will review it soon though.

3.What do you think you'll read next?

So far I am really enjoying If I stay by Gayle Forman, so it only makes sense that I read the second book in this duology. Hopefully I will love it.

Series Highlight - The Spiderwick Chronicles

Title: The Spiderwick Chronicles - The Completely Fantastical Edition
Authors: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Book#: 1 - 5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

My Rating (Overall):

Brownies, phookas, and sprites are just a few of the creatures that the Grace children, thirteen-year-old Mallory and nine-year-old twins Jared and Simon, discover in their dilapidated old house. The mysterious goings-on at the Spiderwick Estates are documented in the wonderfully gothic tales known collectively as The Spiderwick Chronicles.

The five volumes in the series, written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, have all hit the New York Times children's best-seller list, and have sold a total of more than one million books to date.

My Thoughts

After seeing this amazing edition, filled with extras, like concept drawings, drawings from other authors and 'lost' chapters, I knew I had to have it.

I found this series to be incredibly lovely, especially since they are aimed at a younger crowd. I liked the writing very much, you could really not tell that two people were doing it, and I enjoyed the illustrations a whole lot more.

When it comes to the plot and characters, they were simple enough, made to catch your attention and draw you into this world of fantasy where monsters and fairies exist.

Even though I feel like I would have enjoyed this series much more if I was younger, this was quite an adventure for me. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a light fantasy read.

Review - Forgive me, Leonard Peacock

Title: Forgive me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 13th 2013

My Rating: 

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was--that I couldn't stick around--and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault. Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart--obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches. In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made--and the light in us all that never goes out.

My Thoughts

I haven't read this author's other book, "The Silver Linings Playbook" but after reading "Forgive me, Leonard Peacock" I really want too.

I got attached to Leonard, in a way I didn't know possible, all I wanted to do was be his friend. He has this thing about him, that, as you go through the book, you can't help but sympathize with him. You cannot blame him for what he plans to do, and that kind of upsets me, because his plans are not what you would call healthy or even legal.

There was this part of the book that got me really hooked, on which he decides to follow adults and see if he could live the life they live. And he keeps wondering why are they so unhappy and if that's what happens to a person when you grow up. I must admit I have questioned myself about this over and over again, and it felt really nice to not be the only one to do it.

I feel like if I go into more detail about this book I will end up spoiling it big time, so I'm just gonna say that "Forgive me, Leonard Peacock" is a wonderful book and it touched me. It portrays a type of teenager that actually exists (unfortunately). Lonely, friendless, broken, depressed, with family issues and with homicidal/suicidal thoughts.

When it comes to the writing, I really enjoyed it since it was quite simple and easy to understand, the plot was nice, and the chapters' structure (between present and "letters from the future") was very good. One thing I didn't enjoy was the ending because HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME MATTHEW QUICK?? I NEED ANSWERS! I NEED MORE LEONARD AND I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING WILL BE OK!!

All in all, it was a wonderful book.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Should be Reading and it consists of answering three little questions every wednesday. So here it is...

1. What are you currrently reading?

Finally I got around to reding 'Alice in Zombieland' and it is not at all what I was expecting... This is not a bad thing though. Review will be coming soon I hope.

2. What did you recently finished reading?

This book caught my attention because I have always been interested in mental illnesses and how people deal with them. This book portraits, in a very good way, how adults can ignore specific signs when it comes to teenagers, for fear of it being just a phase.

3.What do you think you'll read next?

Unfortunately I cannot yet answer this question because it is up to my TBR Jar... and let me tell that jar is filled up. Dear God...

Review - Monument 14

Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Series: Monument 14
Book#: 1
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: May 28th 2013 (First published in 2012)

My Rating:

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel Monument 14, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

My Thoughts

Where to begin... This book is freaking addictive I could not put it down. I think I had a cold when I got around to read it and it was so AWESOME that I read like half the book in a day.

Monument 14 is packed with action. I am not kidding it starts after a couple of pages and I was so involved in making it into a movie in my head that I was not paying attention to anything my sister was telling me - she tried to engage me into conversating while I was reading... WHILE I WAS READING.
Anyway, after I managed to put it down I actually gave her some attention and began to tell her the first chapter or so of the book and she thought I was talking about actual news. That's how good this book is.

When it comes to the plot, it is very well constructed in a way that will keep you from jumping ahead and find out what's happening next because you will be too involved in absorving the information you're presented with.

The characters are just lovely and so very mature for their young age but at the same time they do show traces of vulnerability which makes every situation way more interesting because you are always guessing which route will they take. Will they take the situation seriously or will they assume the 'I'm a teenager and I should not be dealing with this' approach?

There have been some rumours that this book will be turned into a movie... Well I freaking hope so because these books have quickly become my favorite of all time.

I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys 'post apocalyptic' kind of books.

Oh I almost forgot... I suggest you get the entire trilogy before start reading this because the endings are killer and you will weep for not having the next book.

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and it asks you to muse about one question each week.
  • Describe one of your reading habits.
  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
  • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
  • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

This week I decided to answer the following:

I just felt like sharing a pick of my recent purchases, so here they are.

Review - The Creeps

Title: The Creeps
Author: John Connolly
Series: Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil
Book #: 3
Publisher:  Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date:  October 22nd 2013

My Rating: 

Samuel Johnson is not in a happy place.

 He is dating the wrong girl, demons are occupying his spare room, and the town in which he lives appears to be cursed.

But there is some good news on the horizon. After years of neglect, the grand old building that once housed Wreckit & Sons is about to reopen as the greatest toy shop that Biddlecombe has ever seen, and Samuel and his faithful dachshund Boswell are to be the guests of honour at the big event. A splendid time will be had by all, as long as they can ignore the sinister statue that keeps moving around the town, the Shadows that are slowly blocking out the stars, the murderous Christmas elves, and the fact that somewhere in Biddlecombe a rotten black heart is beating a rhythm of revenge.

A trap has been set. The Earth is doomed. The last hope for humanity lies with one young boy and the girl who is secretly in love with him. Oh, and a dog, two demons, four dwarfs, and a very polite monster.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and a Happy End of the World.

My Thoughts

Wow, I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a very long time. Once again, John Connolly did not disappoint.

I have been putting this book off for quite some time now because I love love love this series and I did not want them to end - yes, I'm weird like that. But I couldn't resist forever so I got around and read it. I'm still grieving though...

'The Creeps' was a lovely book. Funny, enticing and even sad - Oh God that end. The plot was amazing, and in my opinion even better than 'The Infernals' which is my least favorite book in this series - don't get scared I still rated it 4 stars, which means it was only a little different from what I expected. 

The freaking dwarfs were my favorite this time. They are freaking hilarious and cannot be ignored in this final installement of 'Samuel Johnson vs the Devil', I mean how can you ignore the fact that one of them at some point in the book stole a pocket, yes a pocket, not the contents of it but the actual pocket. I laughed so hard reading this that I ended up tearing up.

Samuel was especially sweet during this book. Struggling to break up with his horrible girlfriend and still trying not to be mean to her.

And freaking Mrs. Abernathy... That old demon was damn persistent! Her hatred for Samuel was so big that she even managed to come up with a plan which would ultimately destroy her too.

The ending though... Oh my feels. It was so so sweet that it got me saying 'aww' out loud for a moment. It kinda reminded me of 'The Book of lost Things' with its sweetness - by the way that book broke me beyond repair.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a little fun mixed with fantasy.

Book To Movie: The Hunger Games & Catching Fire

Source: Google Images

My Thoughts

As per usual I read the books before seeing the movies. And I can say that these movies did not disappoint. From the cast to the actual plot, these were quite truthful to the books, at least as much as they could be.

When it comes to the hunger games, I absolutely loved it, the movie was intense, and it almost made me forget about the differences it had from the book (and I say almost because I would eventually say aloud things like 'On this part, in the book, they did it like this...'), but Jennifer Lawrence did such a good work portraying Katniss, that I immediately became her fan.
I must admit that I was a little reticent when it came to Josh portraying Peeta but at the end of the movie I could not imagine it being in any other way.

Now, Catching Fire was a different experience. I didn't really enjoy the beginning of the book because I thought it was a bit slow for my taste, but the movie, made it way better. Again the cast choice for this movie was very good, and I loved how they tried to stay true to the book.

All in all these adaptations do justice to the books and I really enjoyed watching them.

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Should be Reading and it consists of answering three little questions every wednesday. So here it is...

1. What are you currrently reading?

Right now I'm reading 'Winter Town' by Stephen Emond. This was a find in a local bookstore, and I had no real idea what it was about but since I liked the idea of it having illustrations I gave it a try and brought it home with me. So far I haven't regretted my decision.

2. What did you recently finished reading?

Before reading 'Winter Town' I picked up a book by a portuguese author called José Luis Peixoto. This author is quite brilliant but I must admit that the book that inspired this poem book was so depressing that I had a hard time reading it.

3.What do you think you'll read next?

I think it's finally time that I end this amazing series that has made me laugh so much and love John Connolly. It will be hard saying goodbye but I must know what happens to Samuel and his daschund. Hopefully it will be a good book.

Review - Madly, Deeply

*Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review*

Title: Madly, Deeply
Author: Erica Crouch
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Release Date: June 17th 2014

My Rating: 

It was many and many a year ago, 
In a kingdom by the sea...

Annaleigh Wells and William Calloway had a love even the angels envied. It was as if the universe spun them toward one another, like the stars crafted their souls to fit perfectly together.

With a wedding on the horizon, fate had a change of heart. Whispered warnings from phantoms and morbid nightmares darkened every night—but even visions of the future couldn’t save Annaleigh.

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Annabel Lee, Crouch’s period romance Madly, Deeply tells the tale of love so great, it cannot be contained in just one life.

My Thoughts

Once again Erica Crouch presents us with a truly magnificent piece of work. This book was so good that it got me thinking about it for days after I finished it.

When you get into this book you cannot help but falling in love with its characters especially with Annaleigh. She's a sweet and intelligent girl that could make any man fall in love with her. Her relationship with William is, what I supose, every girl's dream in a sense that they knew eachother since they were kids and could not keep their eyes off of eachother. They were madly in love.

'Madly, Deeply', is a heartbreaking story. I remember finishing it at 2am and having to immediately turn on the tv to keep myself from crying like a little baby because this is not how books are suposed to end.

Erica Crouch has such an amazing way to write since she puts down whatever she wants to say in a very accessible way, with a simple and to the point writing, without the need of big and complicated words.

Also when reading this or any of her other books you should keep in mind that she is in her early 20's. So I would say that she is pretty damn awesome.

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and it asks you to muse about one question each week.

  • Describe one of your reading habits.
  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
  • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
  • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

This week I decided to answer the following:

Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s)

I have been buying book like crazy recently mostly because we had our annual book fair and I could not help myself, though I'm only sharing the most recent books I've gotten. They are:

  1. The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen - I honestly didn't put much thought when I bought this. I read the backcover and that was it. It just felt right.
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - I have been meaning to get my hands on this book since I found out about the movie (I haven't seen it yet, though).
  3. Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne - Immediately after finishing the first book (review coming soon) I knew I had to had the next one. 
  4. Spiderwick Chronicles:The Completely Fantastical Edition by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black - This book came as a suprise for me. I just found a facebook picture of it, thought it was a beautiful edition and went to read about the books. As it turns out it's my type of book.

Review - In the Shadow of Blackbirds

Title: In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Author: Cat Winters
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: April 2nd 2013

My Rating:

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

My Thoughts

The backover of this book says:

"(...) I flipped myself over. Opened my eyes. And found a dead man next to my bed."

This was what got me into this book and to be honest I only noticed the ghost on the cover a few days after I bought it, that's how distracted I am.

'In the Shadow of Blackbirds' is an amazing book. Touching, scary and incredibly sweet. I also found it empowering somehow, mostly because the main character, Mary Shelley, was so strong that she became inspiring to me.

As I went through the book, I kept thinking 'How can she do this? How can she possibly live through so many hardtimes?'. Let's be fair though, she did give up a couple of times only to either change her mind or to be convinced by someone she loved deeply to come back and get things right. Still, I don't think I could have gone through what she did.

The flu got me paranoid, everytime I heard someone sneeze, either on the bus or on the street, I would feel a chill running through my spine... That's how well, the author implements the influenza in this book.

The plot, the characters, everything about this book is remarkable. I don't think I'll forget this book anytime soon.

Author Interview - Erica Crouch

Since today is a very special day for all of Erica Crouch's fans - in case you don't know today's the release of her new novel 'Madly, Deeply' - I decided to post some questions that she kindly answered for me.

Source: Erica's Facebook

Erica Crouch is a young author, best known for her 'Ignite' series. She's 21 years old and is currently getting a degree in English & Creative Writing. She lives in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland.

1.    Why did you decide to become a writer?

I didn’t mean to, actually. I’ve always loved reading and writing, ever since I was younger, but I didn’t think anything would ever actually come from it. Being an author was one of those dream-jobs kids would say — like astronaut or Indiana Jones. I was going into journalism and public relations (it still had to be something in writing!), but was getting agitated with everything I was writing. It was all stiff and formal and overly factual… And I love throwing around the improbable and impossible! I’m a much better liar. So unless there was a sudden dragon or demon sighting I would need to report on, I knew journalism wasn’t my passion. Once I admitted to myself I wanted to be a writer, I wrote and wrote and wrote until I had something worth publishing. I’ll never look back.

2. Did you have any influences?

I think my influences are very vague. I’m inspired by poetry from all assortments of poets. My next novel, for example, is inspired by a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. I think mostly, I’m influenced by beautiful darkness — in any form of art, literature or otherwise. I do take a lot of inspiration from Libba Bray, though. She’s hands down my favorite author and I admire her world building and imagery.

3. How did you come up with the idea for Ignite?

The characters came to me first — Azael and Pen, specifically. I just had this image of two demons, bickering over morality with one another. And it was so interesting to hear them fight with one another, to banter back and forth over what justice meant and if there was respect in revenge. The further I explored the characters, the more I was intrigued by them, and then a story just spun out behind them. Pen, in particular, was a curious character for me: a reluctant, deadly demon who wants nothing more than to have a soul again. With Pen, Michael, and Azael’s story, I was able to explore some issues and debates I find really intriguing like hope/redemption and relative vs universal morality. I’ve always been really fascinated with mythology and religious studies, especially anything that’s a little darker and twisted.

4. What can we expect from the final book in this series?

A lot! I’m really excited about Incite, and think it will be the best in the series! I have a handful of new characters I’m introducing that I’m already so enamored with — Eli, Ana, and Kala. Incite is Ignite full throttle. There’s battles, romance, heartbreak… Brother hunting sister… Pen really comes into her own in Incite, and there are a few unexpected twists. Let’s just say this: you may be looking in the wrong direction considering the central villain.

5. Is a Spin-Off a possibility?

I think after Incite, I’m stepping away from the world of Ignite. That doesn’t mean a spin-off is not possible — in fact, it might be fun to revisit some of the characters left after everything ends in Incite, but I think the conclusion of the series will be satisfying enough to the reader that a spin-off won’t be necessary. When I first started writing the series, I was considering a prequel spinoff, showing Pen’s life in Heaven before the fall, but I feel comfortable with the prequel story I gave her in Entice that I’m not sure it’d be necessary anymore.

6. You are writing a new book at the moment. What is it about and when can we expect it?

I’m writing SO many new books right now that I’m starting to question my sanity. The next story I’m releasing, Madly, Deeply, is a young adult period piece romance based off of the Edgar Allan Poe poem I mentioned above. Originally, I wrote it with the intention to include in the July PWP anthology (which I am also contributing a story to), but after some early beta feedback, it looks like I’ll be turning it into a standalone novel. That should come out early summer. I also have a new adult science fiction series, the Undying Series, coming up, which will be five books (3 full length, 2 novellas). I’m expecting to release Cut, the first book in the series, this fall or winter. And then I also have a Robin Hood retelling in the works. It’s a gender-bent Robin Hood retelling with a lesbian twist (many merry women instead of merry men); that series — the Feathered Series — will be a duology, released 2015. There are also a few ideas floating around my head that I’m still plotting out, including: a YA horror, a YA contemporary, and a YA spy/assassin novel.

7. Do you have a special place to write and/or is there a specific routine that you follow before you start writing?

I really need to put more structure into my writing, but as of now, I write wherever I can, whenever I can. Sometimes it’s on the couch, or the floor, and other times it’s at a desk. My only real routine when it comes to writing is to open up Scrivener and put on either music or a movie — I can’t seem to work in silence. Lately, I’ve been writing to the Leonardo DiCaprio Great Gatsby movie. I also have about a dozen playlists on Spotify specific to the different manuscripts I’m working on!

8. How does it feel to be so young and already have a stable writing career?

Weird. Mostly because I don’t think of myself as young or stable. I’m still really early on in my writing career, and I have lots of stress about achieving success and financial stability to be able to live. But that’s a writer’s life! I think there’s a lot of stress put on our generation to achieve a lot early on — so much stress that it sometimes feel like I haven’t done enough yet, and that I could be doing more. So that’s what I’m trying to do… More!

9. How did ‘Patchwork Press’ come into being?

Kellie Sheridan (my friend/writing partner-turned-business partner) and I got together over a writing forum. After we exchanged manuscripts and worked with one another for half a year, we started talking about our publishing dreams. There was a lot we wanted to do in publishing, and we kept thinking about how flawed the current methods of publishing can be. Writing/publishing can be a solitary experience — especially for self-publishers — and we wanted to add a sense of community. We wanted to help great stories make it into the hands of readers and help authors out on the publishing journey. We help with editing and marketing, even design, but the authors keep 100% of the royalties. It’s going great so far, and I’m happy to say we’ve gone international!

10. Plans for the future?

Keep writing stories. There are so many characters living in my head that need their voice on paper. I want to write widely in many different genres, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that. I really want to keep building my relationship with readers and bloggers who have supported me early on. I want to keep working on building up Patchwork Press, and also help establish the YAWordNerds (a group of YA writers/readers I vlog for on Youtube) as a trusted source for industry advice. Mostly though, I hope to keep writing books that make people excited to read! :)

Now with some off topic questions:

1. What’s your favorite book and why?

The Diviners by Libba Bray. I mentioned Libba Bray is my favorite author, and The Diviners is by far the best book I’ve read by her! It has everything you could ever want in a book — murder, mystery, ghosts, psychics, intriguing characters, interesting debates, and the 1920s! Really, if you haven’t read this book yet, go get it! I know it looks a bit long and intimidating, but you’ll fly through the pages.

2. And if you had to choose between a printed book or an e-book, which would you choose and why?

Printed books. I hoard paperbacks like it’s my job. It’s a bit of a problem. I just love seeing books on my bookshelves, and being able to mark up the pages with highlighting passages or writing in the margins. I like seeing paperbacks get fatter the more they’re read. You can browse my bookshelves and see which books I loved most based on how destroyed they are.

3. What’s your favorite book that is now a movie?

The Book Thief. I ugly cried SO HARD watching that movie, I had a headache for days. It was beautiful and perfect and captured the spirit of the book in a way I never expected it to. I also love all of the Hunger Games movies, of course!

I want to thank Erica Crouch for not only being an incredibly sweet person but also for being an amazing author.

P.S.: I'm currently reading 'Madly, Deeply' and I will soon post a review of it. Keep an eye out for it. Also if you wanna know more about Erica Crouch you can go to her website by clicking here.

Review - The Hunger Games

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games
Book #: 1
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: December 1st 2011 (First Published 2008)

My Rating:

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

May the odds be ever in your favour.

My Thoughts

After refusing to watch the movies until I got to read the books, for about 2 years (or almost that) I decided to dive into the world of Panem.

I really liked this book. It was amazing and gripping from beginning to end!

The plot for this book is something truly unbelievable and the way Collins portrays it, is just amazing. You can actually visualize everything about District 12 and the Capitol - the regions she goes into most detail - and this to me is precious in a book.

When it comes to the characters, Katniss is one of the few young female characters I had the pleasure to meet, that is already a fighter when the 'trouble' begins. Most books depict young female characters as some fragil being until trouble arrives and they have to grow in order to survive. This does not happen in this book. Although Katniss does suffer some changes, for the good, throughout her 'adventure', or better yet, fight for survival, she already comes into picture as strong and independent.

As for Peeta, I really really liked him and I am fangirling about him and Katniss but something tells me it won't happen.

At the moment I am about to finish 'Catching Fire' the second book in the trilogy and I can say that it wasn't as gripping at first but it gets better towards the middle.

All in all it is a good book and I would recommend it to everyone who likes dystopian books.