Saturday, October 1, 2016

Author Chat: Tara Sim (Author of Timekeeper)

Find Tara: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Goodreads

"Tara Sim is the author of TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony Press, Fall 2016) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.

When she’s not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.

Tara is represented by Laura Crockett at TriadaUS Literary Agency.
She also sometimes blogs for Quirk Books." (taken from Tara's website)

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

"I've always loved books and words, and one of my favorite parts of elementary school were the periods where we got to write stories or journal entries. For a long time I thought I was going to pursue music over anything else, and the idea of being a writer just didn't occur to me until I was a freshman in high school. I started and gave up on a few fantasy novels, but then at 15, I completed my very first (and very bad) novel. It was 190k and full of fantasy cliches, but I was very proud of it, and I realized how much I loved creating worlds and characters. My life became music vs. writing, and writing won. After that first book, I knew I didn't want to do anything else."

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

"Yes, all the time. I'll try to find music to fit the tone of the book I'm writing at the time, so it varies. One book was written solely on Imagine Dragons and Of Monsters and Men, whereas Timekeeper was fueled by Lindsey Stirling and Ellie Goulding and the Hunger Games soundtracks. Now I'm writing a book where I need Odesza and Chvrches. So it all depends."

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

"This is like asking me to pick a favorite child! I have quite a few favorites, but in terms of favorite characters to write, I do have a small list. For Timekeeper, my favorite character to write is Colton. He's very different than the others, and it proved to be a fun challenge for me. His personality is also fun to write, because he has a sense of wonder and curiosity that works as a foil to Danny's slightly darker view of the world."

If you were to direct a movie about your own life, who would play your character?

"Aubrey Plaza, but only if she played me in the same way she plays April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation."

How did you get your inspiration for Timekeeper?

"I studied abroad in London for a while and loved getting to see Big Ben so often. I was strangely attached to the tower, and I even bought a keychain replica. A couple years later, I was driving and trying to come up with a story idea, and when I saw the Big Ben keychain I began to wonder what would happen if clock towers actually controlled time. Then I thought of who would fix the towers if they ever broke, where this sort of magic would come from...and the world expanded from there."

What book are you currently reading in your spare time?

"Right now I have a whole stack of ARCs for upcoming books, including some of my fellow debut authors. I'm currently reading A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh, but on deck is Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst, Iron Cast by Destiny Soria, Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore, and Caraval by Stephanie Garber."

Don't miss Timekeeper, which hits shelves in exactly one month (November 1st)! 

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
(taken from

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Everyone We've Been

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: Everyone We've Been 

Author: Sarah Everett 
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again? (taken from

Why I Need It: 

First of all, the cover's colors are so pretty! I'm not always a fan of memory loss as a plot line, but this one sounds pretty intriguing. Definitely worth a shot! Look for this one hitting the shelves in soon.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Crime
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Starus Giroux
Publication Date: March 2, 2015
Format: Paperback 

Page Count: 416


Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement... if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. (taken from

So, I really enjoyed The Winner's Curse, but I wouldn't say that I fell in love with Kestrel or the other characters. The romance between Kestrel and Arin hadn't really won me over, and I kind of wished the action had moved a little quicker. Well, I'm happy to say that I enjoyed The Winner's Crime so much more. The suspense, passion, characters, and pretty much every other aspect of Rutkoski's story is amped up in this heart-pounding sequel

The plot seems much more developed than in the prior novel. Every chapter holds a new development and nail-biting tension. Kestrel is constantly torn between doing what she hopes is right and giving into the intense temptations Arin presents. Ironically enough, I've read some reviews who felt this second book was actually more boring than the first. I completely disagree. Sure, maybe there aren't many real battles or dramatic chases, but Rutkoski packs in loads of political and relational drama, from Kestrel's daring interactions with the emperor to Herrani's delicate state of semi-freedom. 

Arin and Kestrel have been torn apart by circumstance, and the pain both of them feel is gut-wrenching. Seriously, I turned every page hoping, praying that the two of them would understand each other and mend their hearts. I don't want to give any spoilers away, but let's just say that I was flipping pages faster and faster as I neared the end of the book. I couldn't get enough of the two characters, and their complicated love story won me over heart and soul. 

I noticed smaller details of Rutkoski's writing this time around. She's a gift writer, especially when it comes to explaining the twisted thoughts swirling around in Kestrel and Arin's heads. It was interesting to see her develop Valoria, as well as the Eastern kingdom and people. I'm hoping that the next novel will hold even more original places and characters. 

Overall, The Winner's Crime kicked butt in my book. Kestrel is a strong character, and I really found myself rooting for her as she faced the enormous odds stacked against her. The political intrigue continuously grew in intensity, and I can't even imagine what The Winner's Kiss will entail. Definitely check out this series if you haven't already, but be warned: Rutkoski won't go easy on your heart, and she's definitely not afraid of cliffhangers. 

Thank god I jumped on this bandwagon late and the third book has already been published. 
How did all of you early readers survive??

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let's Talk About Shazi

Over the past decade, Western society has made enormous strides towards gender equality. However, we all know that the media and other aspects of our world occasionally fail to portray women in the best light. Video games, movies, and even books sometimes portray as weak-willed and second rate. 

Fortunately, many authors of the twenty-first century are conjuring up female characters worthy of discussion and admiration. I've decided to highlight some of these characters with this meme, Queens of Literature. Each post will focus on a fictional heroine from a book I have read who possesses the qualities of a truly incredible woman.

(artistic rendering found online, not my own work)

The heroine of Renee Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn

Who is she? 
Shahrzad is not your normal damsel in distress. Although she becomes the bride of a wife-mudering king, she has a plan to extract revenge in the name of her dear friend. Her loyalty to those she loves is fierce, and her sharp tongue never fails to strike at those who are deserving. 

Described as a skinny but beautiful woman, Shahrzad's appearance renders most men and women impressed. 

Why is she a queen? 
Ironically, Shahrzad is literally a queen (Calipha) of Rey in her tale, although her role is a result of a devious scheme to murder her king. However, this is not why I decided to award Shahrzad with the title. She's headstrong and immature at times, but her heart is true and strong. She never allows a man to walk all over her, and yet she still retains her femininity. Despite being surrounded by powerful men who wish to tame her unruly personality and confidence , Shahrzad's shine never dulls.  She's a ruler I would follow anywhere. 

A quote from Shahrzad:

“It's never been a question of who is going to let me behave a certain way; it's always been a question of who is going to stop me. I thank you for answering it.” (The Wrath and the Dawn)