Blog Tour: Feral by Holly Schindler [+Giveaway]

FERAL TOUR BANNER

Today I would love to introduce you all to FERAL by Holly Schindler! FERAL was released back in August, but Holly is holding an awesome tour that is a little different than your usual blog tour. Instead of doing interviews, Holly has decided to answer one question in depth for each person on the tour. I was lucky enough to be a part of this tour, which means Holly has answered my question specifically for my blog (which I am crazy happy about!) So please, welcome Holly and check out FERAL!

When you write, do you get sidetracked and visit other sites? If so, what sites do you visit and why?

Of course! There’s only so much staring you can do at your own words before they start to exhaust you. Every once in a while, I do need to take a break. When I find my words tapering off, I usually head to Twitter. There’s always a conversation going on there that I can jump into—I always love to hear about what people are reading, or learning what my favorite writers are up to. I’m a serious fan of the written word, and I love hearing about sales and releases, too (sometimes, I can wind up adding several new books on my Kindle while I’m at Twitter).

If one of my own books has just released, I often check in at Goodreads. I do read my reviews—I look for patterns in reviews, and that offers me insights into larger publishing issues. (My reviews don’t just illuminate subjects regarding a specific book, but about the process of writing in general: plot, pacing, character development, etc.)

For example: my second YA, PLAYING HURT, is a love story. Two former athletes meet and fall in love during the course of a summer vacation—they’ve both endured tragedy, and have lost their ability to play sports, but through the course of their short-lived and intense love affair, they realize all is definitely not lost. One of the main characters—Chelsea—has a boyfriend back home, though. Some readers took exception to the “cheating” plot point. I realize now what they were saying was that they need to be able to cheer for a main character. And when the character does something they can’t get behind, their own enjoyment of the book diminishes (or disappears). Fascinating stuff.

I also read headlines—whatever pops up. I read articles on the publishing industry, but also read general news articles as well. As I’m reading, one story can lead to another—when I’ve drifted from links leading to current-events articles (the economy, world news, the events in nearby Ferguson, Missouri) to a link that leads to pictures of George Clooney’s vacation, I take that as my signal that it’s officially time to get back to work.

Feral HC

Summary:

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.


Feral and the Psychological Thriller:

FERAL falls squarely into the realm of the classic psychological thriller. While the book features mystery, horror, and paranormal elements, the emphasis is on the “psychological” rather than thriller / action. The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain). Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting. The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious, and here is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state). The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley. Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche. Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence—that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too. The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail.

About the Author:

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.”

FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller. Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “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.”

Author Links

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Giveaway:

Check out the giveaway for a signed hardcopy of FERAL. Enter here —> a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour: London Falling (International School #2) by Chanel Cleeton [Book Thoughts]

LONDONFALLING_BlogTour

Summary:

Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she’s returned to the International School in London—and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch—she can’t help but remember the attraction, the drama … the heartbreak.

She can’t help but want him even more.

Samir can’t afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It’s his senior year—his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he’ll be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps—not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences … and find a future together.

My Thoughts:

Although I adored I See London, London Falling somehow made me fall in love with Maggie, Samir and the International School a hundred times more.

To be honest, I didn’t really know where London Falling was going to go. Yes, the first book set up a lot of things for the sequel, but I questioned the relationship between Maggie and Samir. Everything between them was already so intense and passionate that I honestly questioned how it could become more intense and passionate. In the end, it was wrong for me to question. Chanel Cleeton crafted an addictive sequel that intensified everything between Maggie and Samir, making me feel every emotion known to mankind.

Even though the book revolves around Maggie and Samir, Cleeton doesn’t forget about the other characters and other important things. For example, Fleur’s past comes back to haunt her, and she’s stuck getting through everything too. Maggie is also challenged with facing her own family issues. What I love about London Falling is that it mirrors true reactions and outcomes. In every scene, I understood and empathized with a character’s decision.

Chanel Cleeton does a wonderful job at capturing moments and emotions and translating them into words one can put on a page. I found myself staring at the book in awe at certain sentences and passages because Maggie’s thoughts about life captured my exact feelings. Those details brought me closer to the characters because I knew how they felt.

In the end, all I can do is applaud Chanel Cleeton for writing a wonderful sequel to a wonderful book. If you haven’t read I See London, the first book in the International School series, then you need to do so right now. If you have, you need to somehow obtain the sequel because this series is my favorite.

Buy Links
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Author Links
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Giveaway!

Win a London Falling coffee mug, Tea, (4) signed London Falling bookmarks, (4) signed I See London bookmarks, (4) pens, a London case, and a $25 Amazon GC. Enter the rafflecopter here!

Please check out the rest of the LONDON FALLING tour here!

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Cover Reveal: Blue Crush (Blue Series, Book #2)

Title: Blue Crush (Blue Series, Book #2) by Jules Barnard
Release Date: June 3, 2014

BlueCrush Amazon GR SW

 

Summary:

On the cusp of a humiliating breakup from the safe, conservative boyfriend, who ended up betraying her, Genevieve Tierney moves to Lake Tahoe with her best friend after college to lick her romantic wounds. Earning cash at one of Lake Tahoe’s lucrative casinos before grad school in the fall and keeping a safe distance from cheating jerks seems like a good plan, until she meets the one guy tempting enough to drag her back down.
 
Lewis Sallee is six and a half feet of perfectly sculpted mountain man, who captures Gen’s attention from the moment he walks in the door. Her play-it-safe approach to relationships flies out the window as Lewis’s presence awakens a sex drive she never knew she had. Lewis is in a complicated relationship with one of the most beautiful women Gen has ever seen, and despite all logical reasons to stay away—and she’s a logic devotee—Gen can’t seem to control her body’s attraction to him.

Feeling like a magnet for the worst sort of guys, Gen’s desperate to win the battle for self-control around Lewis and put the sleazy casino men pestering her in their place. To boost her confidence, Gen steps out of her comfort zone and signs up for the Alpine Mudder, a gritty endurance race. But as she prepares for one of the biggest physical challenges of her life, her emotional strength is pushed to its limits when she needs Lewis’s help to train. He tests her willpower and has her fighting her body’s attraction—with her mind and heart not far behind.

 

About Jules Barnard:

JulesBarnard_edited-265x300Jules Barnard is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended UC Davis, whose college landscape often finds its way into her New Adult novels. She has a Master’s degree and spent many an hour running statistical analysis, until she realized her favorite part of the job was writing reports. She decided to cut out the math and add in some hot guys, and so began her career as a novelist.

Jules is a Northern California native living on the coast with her husband and two children. She has no impulse control around cupcakes and credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.

Deep Blue (Book 1) Links! Amazon Barnes & Nobles Kobo

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