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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#Spotlight: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel - #Q&A

The Summer That Melted Everything
by Tiffany McDaniel

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Literary Fiction
Publication:  July 26th, 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Connect: Website | Goodreads
Buy: Amazon
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
Q&A with Tiffany McDaniel

  1. Please introduce yourself and your book.
    I’m an Ohio poet and novelist who wants to live on the greenest summer leaf on the highest tree.

  2. How do you come up with the idea of the book? What is your inspiration?I always say the ideas come from the elements that make me. All those tiny little connections, all those big bangs, rippling my soul, crafting its edges and turning its center. Somewhere in that chaos and that impact, there’s an origin of the story. Whether it be a deep well or high mountain peak, the ideas exist there only to drift toward me like smoke I can’t grasp but can decipher. I know this answer is very dream-like, but to me, the craft of story itself is a dream.

  3. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
    I wrote The Summer that Melted Everything in a month. I have eight completed novels and on average they took me about a month. One novel, Because of the Indians, I wrote in eight days. I’m still not sure how that happened. And another novel, When Lions Stood as Me, took about four months. It’s a novel that takes place during WW2 so there was more research involved and I had to be a bit more concrete with dating.

  4. How do you set up your book? Do you outline them first, or did you just spin the story?
    I never outline or pre-plan. I like the natural flow of allowing the characters and scenes to come out on their own. It’s like setting up a lantern on a dark porch and waiting for the moths to chatter around the light. I listen to that chatter, capture it, all the while the moths freely fly in their own good time.

  5. What did you like most about writing this book? 
    What I like about writing all my books is being introduced to the characters for the first time, falling in love with them, and feeling like I can never let them go, hoping I’ll never have to.

  6. What's the best thing that happened to you since becoming an author?
    It hasn’t happened yet. And that is when I’ll get to see my novel on the bookstore shelf for the first time. I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen and didn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine, so it was eleven years of rejection and fear I’d never get published. I honestly never believed I would. I know I’m very fortunate to be in the position I am, about to see my book on the shelf for the first time. I feel for those authors still on the journey to publication. To them, I say it will happen. Have faith that the best thing as an author is yet to happen to you too.

  7. Grade your book. How many stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars? Please give the reason too.
    This is a dangerous question. If an author answers they’d give their own book five stars, they may appear over-confident or egotistical. But if an author rates their own novel too low, then why should a reader even bother reading it? So I’ll tiptoe around the danger and say I’ll leave the rating up to the readers who, in their fair and honest judgment, can best rate the novel.

  8. What are you working on right now?
    The novel I hope to follow The Summer that Melted Everything up with is When Lions Stood as Men. It’s a story of a Jewish brother and sister who escape Nazi Germany, cross the Atlantic Ocean, and end up in Ohio of all places. Struggling with the guilt of surviving the Holocaust, they create their own sort of camp where they punish themselves, realizing in the end, it was each other they truly had to survive.

  9. Please say something to your readers.
    You readers have all the power. It’s not the agents or the editors or the publishing houses as a whole that determine a writer’s career. It’s the readers. Without readers buying books, there are no novelists to be had. Readers give meaning to an author’s words. So if you like a book, tell everyone you know. Be that book’s champion because if you do, you’re being a champion for the author herself. My only hope is that readers like what I’ve written. That they can count on me to deliver a story that is worth both their time and their hard-earned money. Nothing would make me happier than to know a reader has finished one of my books with the pleasure of having read it. That’s what I strive for as an author. To be someone’s favorite author as so many authors have been mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

#BookReview Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale by David Kudler

Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale 
(Seasons of the Sword #1)
by David Kudler

Genre: Historical, Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication:  June 15th, 2016 by Stillpoint
Format: ebooks
Source: NetGalley, Stillpoint Digital Press
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Can One Girl Win A War?

Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan -- or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.

Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.

Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) is a young, fatherless girl, more comfortable climbing trees than down on the ground. Yet she finds herself enmeshed in a game where the board is the whole nation of Japan, where the pieces are armies, moved by scheming lords, and a single girl couldn't possibly have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?

I wasn't expecting much when I first read the book. I was afraid that it was going to be a letdown. But after reading Risuko, I have to say that I'm impressed with this book. I think the author did a very good job in writing the book with a strong heroine and magical world of the Kunoichi. 

Kano Murasaki or Risuko was a child who grew up without her father. She was taken away from her family and was brought to a school. She was a likable character. She's strong and curious. She sounded a bit like a child now, but I have no doubt that she was going to grow up fine. The secondary characters made the story much more interesting. I love her friends and will be happy to see more of them. I'm excited to see Risuko and her friend grew as Kunoichi.

I was intrigued with the book after the first few chapters, although it slowed down a bit in the middle. It wasn't draggy, but slow. Soon, the story picked up its pace with a whole lot of action, mystery, secrets, and twists. The book was lacking in romance, but I'm fine with that because I truly enjoyed Risuko's growth within the story. I'm glad that there was going to be a continuation from this book. Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale is definitely a one of the best historical fantasy book I've read.

I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley & the publisher in exchange for my review.

Monday, July 11, 2016

#BookReview All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda

Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Adult
Publication: 28 Jun 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Format: ebooks
Source: NetGalley, Simon & Schuster
Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

I was intrigued after reading the description. It was interesting to see how the story was going to be told backward, from the time Nicolette (Nic) Farrell returned home. All the Missing Girls tells the story of the disappearance of two missing girls, Corinne, Nic's best friend who disappeared years ago, and Annaleise, who went missing shortly after Nic's return to Cooley Ridge.

Cooley Ridge holds a few secrets with Corinne disappeared. When Annaleise too, went missing, shocking truths about Nic's family and friends resurfaced.

I was a bit worried about the story at first with how the story was told. I was afraid that it wouldn't make sense, but surprisingly, the story worked better with how it was told. I admit that the story was a bit confusing at the beginning. But after reading the book, I think the author did a great job with the storytelling. It was clever to write the story backward with each secret unraveled slowly as the story goes. In the end, I feel like I wanted to reread the story again - from the way it was written and from the correct chronology.

All the Missing Girls is definitely a great crime thriller read. The writing was brilliant. There's a lot of twists that I didn't see or expect. I just didn't know who to trust in the book. It was shocking to find out the truth about the missing girls. I will definitely look forward to the author's other books.

I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley & Simon & Schuster in exchange for my review.


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