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? 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Curse
Series: The Winner's Curse #1
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar Starus Giroux
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Format: Paperback 

Page Count: 355


Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (taken from

Once again, Amber is just super late to a bookish bandwagon. The Winner's Curse hit the shelves two years ago, and I just recently got around to checking out the first book in this trilogy. I'd heard so many good things about it, and even after two years, it's maintained a pretty good rating on most book review sites. So, I had to figure out what all of the fuss was about. 

I wasn't sure what to make of Kestrel. She's smart and has a tact for planning and reading people, which I always appreciate in a character. However, she lacked some of the emotional depth I was looking for. I can't even say what I was looking for exactly, but she felt somewhat one-dimensional to me. She's a girl who doesn't know her place in society and who desperately wants to, which makes her a bit wishy washy at points. One second she's ready to leap into the arms of her family's enemy, the next she's a stalwart Valorian. Am I the only one who felt this way? Yes? Maybe? 

Arin wasn't a bad character as far as romantic interests go. He's your classic good-looking, mysterious guy with a past he won't reveal and a troubled heart. As the romance between Kestrel and Arin developed, I really tried to fall in love with the two of them as a couple. Up until the last few chapters, I wasn't convinced, and then BAM. All of the sudden I was hardcore shipping these two. Like that cliffhanger left me dying. I NEED THE SECOND BOOK NOW. 

The plot definitely takes a little while to get going. I was tad bit bored at the beginning, but by the end of the book, I was flipping pages faster and faster. Rutkoski's characters and plot probably could have used a little more development in my humble opinion, but I think she has some real potential. I read the entire book and didn't regret it, even if it's not my new favorite or anything. I'll definitely be checking out the sequels as soon as I can. 

I really feel like things were starting to get heated towards the end. 
I cannot wait to see what twists and turns the second book holds *cackles evilly*.