Saturday, August 27, 2016

Throwback Author Spotlight: Frank Beddor

So many times when I go throw my personal bookshelf, I run my fingers over the first novels that introduced me to the young adult genre. I'm talking pre-Twilight-era books that hardly anyone discusses nowadays. These are the books that fostered my love for teen fiction, fantasy, and reading in general. Therefore, I've decided to occasionally spot-light some of these hidden gems, partially because they deserve it, but mostly because I want to revisit some of my old favorites. 

This time, let's talk about The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (2004).

Alyss of Wonderland?

When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story - and he's searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination. (taken from

Beddor's series remains to this day my favorite Alice in Wonderland retelling. I remember devouring this novel as soon as I found it in my middle school library, and I still plan to re-read it someday. Best character? The mad hatter, aka Hatter Madigan. You've never seen such a bad-ass character interpretation. 

I highly recommend giving Beddor's novels a shot. Even though I read the books more than six years ago, I'll never forget how much I enjoyed them. 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: Tell Me Something

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: Tell Me Something Real

Author: Calla Devlin
Release Date: August 30, 2016

Three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face a darkness settling over their lives in this masterfully written debut novel.

There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments.

Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal… (taken from

Why I Need It: 

I love stories about sisters. As a sister, they immediately tug at my heart. The cover and premise immediately drew my attention, and I'm definitely going to be picking this one up sometime next week. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Author Chat: Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper)

Find Kerri: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads

"Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Stalking Jack the Ripper
is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

It will be available in stores and online September 20, 2016."

(photo and bio taken from Kerri's website)

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

Writing has always been something I’ve loved doing. I was one of those kids who created plays and would then act out my scripts while naming playskool farmhands with rhyming names and giving them backstories. Everyone had a job or purpose—even the horses or cows had a reason for being on a “hill” (aka a pillow) instead of in the field. (I even have a video of this - my father was VERY patient with me growing up.) I wrote all through high school and college, mostly songs and poetry, and writing came so easily that I never imagined it being anything other than my favorite hobby. But back in 2009/2010 I started writing with the intent to publish, and I’ve never regretted it!

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? 

I normally don’t listen while I’m writing, but I do listen to it while on writing breaks. I find that music is a fantastic way to really capture atmosphere and will listen to anything that’s got the kind of mood I’m hoping to create. My playlist for STALKING JACK THE RIPPER includes bands like CHVRCHES, alt-J, Darkside, Arctic Monkeys, and tons more. I also am a huge Bob Dylan and Beatles fan, and Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys is always on rotation. The layers of background music on that album is absolutely incredible.

Who is your favorite character that you've created? Why? 

This is hard! It’s definitely a toss up between Audrey Rose and Thomas. Audrey is the kind of girl I would have been best friends with in high school. She loves science and doesn’t take crap from anyone. She’s comfortable in her skin, even when society doesn’t approve of her choices. I think she’s got this great fearless/badass quality, but she does it in a respectful way. Then there’s Thomas…I love his Sherlock vibe and there was never a dull moment when I would write his scenes. He ALWAYS surprised me and he’s just one of those characters that you can’t help liking, even when he’s being his usual charming self.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would you want it to be titled? 

House of Books and Cats: The Story of a Shameless Cat Lady Author.

Have you ever visited London and streets that Jack supposedly stalked? If not, do you want to? 

I have not! I would like to travel there in the Spring of 2017, but might be hitting Disneyland for my birthday instead. I’ll have to see when it gets a little closer, but I’ve wanted to visit London since I was thirteen and absolutely CAN. NOT. WAIT. to go.

What book are you currently reading in your spare time? 

An ARC of TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim just arrived, and I am writing as fast as I can during the daytime to meet my writing goals just so I can dive back into it! It’s this fabulous alt-Victorian fantasy that I think will appeal to fans of Cassandra Clare or Victoria Schwab. I’m looking forward to owning my own copy when it hits shelves in November!

Don't miss Stalking Jack the Ripper, 
which hits shelves in exactly one month (September 20th)! 

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
(taken from

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Unblemished

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: Unblemished

Author: Sara Ella 
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself? (taken from

Why I Need It: 

I don't know what it is about this synopsis, but something about it really intrigued me. I feel like this promise of the "otherworldly" holds a lot of potential. What do you guys think?