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We’re Thankful Tour

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What Amy Giuffrida is thankful for:

First and foremost, I am thankful to my writer friends. It’s them who helped me to whip my first novel, The Bleeding Heart, into shape and supported me while I self-published it. They have also been ridiculously supportive of my working on novel #2, while working two jobs, taking care of two kids, beginning an internship, and writing for The Midnight Society. Plus, these lovely ladies from BGP welcomed me into their fold. I know that 2016 will be another whirlwind of a year, with more changes to come. I’m thankful that these same friends will continue the journey with me.


Amy Giuffrida teaches language arts to teens by day, while working nights as supermom, bookseller, and author. The teen in her is never far away, calling to her to crank the tunes and write stories about the darkness that surrounds us all.

Amy is known for taking the path less traveled, but can always be found on Twitter @kissedbyink or online at one of her haunts:,, or

Amy’s Links:

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Blog Contributer:

Twitter: @kissedbyink

Instagram: kissedbyink


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What Jenny Adams Perinovic is thankful for:

New beginnings. 2015 has been a crazy year for me in every respect–I released my debut novel, grew my freelance business, started BGP with some amazing ladies, quit my job, moved from DC to Philadelphia, started a new job, and became a full-time graduate student! And through it all, I dealt with some pretty scary health issues, so I’m definitely thankful that I’m finally back to feeling like myself.

Most of all, I’m so thankful for all of the people who’ve supported me through all the upheaval–from the readers who loved A Magic Dark and Bright to the friends who never let me give up. My family, who have always believed in me. And my husband, Eric, who’s been beside me on every step of the way. I’m so excited to see what we do next.


Jenny Adams Perinovic has always loved books. By day, she’s a full-time graduate student and library outreach coordinator, and by night, she writes YA fantasy, romance, and horror about brave girls, the boys who love them, and their battles against dark forces (also, kissing). She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010, where she wrote papers about monsters in medieval literature (yes, really!). She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her very patient husband and tiny menagerie. On twitter, she’s @JennyPerinovic. You can find her online at and


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What Sarah Kettles is Thankful for:

Obviously, first of all, I’m thankful for the opportunity to share The Old Creek Bridge with the world, and for the many people who helped me along the way. I’m thankful for the support of my friends and family not only with regard to publishing but in relation to the many wild/wonderful things going on in my life at the moment. I’m thankful for all that I’ve got to look forward to in the next year (and it’s a lot – let’s leave it at that!) and for all that I experienced this past year. Life is difficult and painful sometimes, but I’m thankful for the strength that fighting through all the hardship and stress and worry has given me, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do it all better next time.


Sarah Kettles is an American married to a Scot and living in Ireland, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing at University College Dublin in 2012. She’s been writing since she learned to read and playing with words since long before that. When she’s not working on her next book, she works as a freelance editor and illustrator. Online, you can find her at and @sfkettles on Twitter.





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Danielle New

What Danielle Ellison is Thankful For:

It’s been a really big transition year for me – lots of upheaval, lots of first, lots of fantastic stuff. I’m thankful for these amazing new experiences! With major transition, for me anyway, comes major instability. I’ve been really fighting my way through the year and fighting to enjoy the things I’ve been given. In all of these, I’m beyond thankful for the fantastic friends I have in my life. They have really support me, listened to me, challenged me, and let me cry on their shoulder all the while cheering me on. I’m thankful for them more than they know. I’m also thankful for my agent, who has been so patient and kind during all of this when I had to repeatedly answer that “what are you working on?” question with no reply. I’m thankful for readers who love my books, tell others about them, and ask when something new is coming–and their patience. I’m thankful for my family and my boyfriend who constantly believe in me and show me that each day is a just another opportunity. I’m thankful that failure, hardship, stress, worry, insecurity, and doubt are not the end of anything; they are merely the beginning of something new. And tomorrow, I get to try all over again.









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Danielle Ellison spent most of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It’s probably the reason she can’t divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It’s also probably the reason she’s had so many different zip codes and jobs.

Danielle is also the author of the YA duology, Salt and Storm, about a snarky teenage demon-hunting witch without any magic that’s been called ‘Buffy meets Supernatural meets Charmed.’

When she’s not writing, Danielle is probably drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.



Never Never

First, Captain James Hook stopped by to answer some questions.  I have had many amazing guests on my blog, but this is the first time I’ve hosted a pirate. Best day ever!

What made you decide to tell your story? 

Children spend all their lives believing in Peter Pan, but no one wants their children to believe in me. Peter is a child. He is small and laughing and careless and easy to love. But some children don’t have the souls of fairies and Lost Boys. Some have the souls of pirates. I wanted to tell my story for them.

What do you think the biggest misconception about you is?

That I am heartless. And I suppose, even worse than that, that I am a coward. People see me as vicious and cold and cruel. Only a man with a soul made of stone could so relentlessly go after the life of a boy. But I am a pirate. I love and hate in equal measure. And it doesn’t make me a coward to go desperately after what I want, to fight against the things I hate, to go to battle for the things…and the people…I love.

Do you ever miss being a Lost Boy?

Sometimes. More than that, I miss being who I was before I was Lost at all. I love being a pirate. But I miss…sometimes I miss being a child playing at make-believe in the woods, I suppose.

What are the best and worst things about life in Neverland?

I like being a Dreamer. I like knowing that the pirates are mine, that the ship is mine. I like the stars and the pinpricks of light in the sea. The worst thing about it, when it comes down to it, is that it isn’t…home.

What’s the best part about being a pirate in general and captain in particular?

What isn’t fantastic about piracy? The freedom, the ship, the salt on the sea. The gold, the crew. I’m expected to do what I want, when I want it, and I can. And Peter can’t say a thing about it.

Now on to the rest of the book (including a chance to win your own copy)!

Title: Never Never

Author: Brianna Shrum

Release Date: September 22, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis: James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.


When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

Click here to enter to win a copy of Never Never! (Good luck!)

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Author Bio and social media links:


Brianna Shrum

Author Bio:

Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, two boys, and two big, floppy hound dogs. She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. She’d totally love to connect with you. You can find her saying ridiculous things on Twitter @briannashrum

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Teaser Tuesday: Until Beth


Until Beth (by Lisa Amowitz) is out Sept. 29 (your wait is almost over!)

Synopsis: She doesn’t just play, she kills it.


Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good.


Then she’s accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they’re also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who’s so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who’s trying to tell her something but is hiding even more?


And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?

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Andre burst through the gym doors, as bare-shouldered as always, graceful tattoos coiling up one of his muscled brown arms. Though his breath came in misty puffs, his hands were warm when he took my cold ones in his.


“Come inside, Beth,” he said, a hint of a smile in his dark eyes. “You’re gonna freeze your ass off out here.”


At Andre’s touch I felt my tension ebb, and the sob that was trapped inside my ribs dissolve. Andre, respectfully distant, was always just close enough when I needed him. I pressed my head against his chest and let him hold me.


“Not a day goes by when I don’t feel it, too,” he murmured. Andre was the only one who understood what it was like to breathe when your lungs were gone. Sam had been his best friend, the rock he could hang on to when things at home got to be too much for him.


“But standing here in the cold isn’t going to bring him back. Besides, it’s

time for the sound check.”


And just like that, I felt better. Andre’s touch, as I called it to myself, had the power to calm me. It wasn’t attraction. Andre and Shelly had been together even longer than Sam and I. It was shared pain. And somehow, Andre had the ability to take mine away. I was in too much pain to wonder what he did with his own.


Squeezed into a black satin bustier over a cobalt tulle skirt and black fishnets, I waited in the wings backstage. I couldn’t see past the glare of the lights, but judging from the crowd’s roar, the whole town had shown up for the Band Slam Semi-Finals. August Rebellion was pitted against eight other bands. The winner wouldn’t be chosen until

the Grand Finale next week.


At last, our turn came and I tried to kick it into gear. I belted out Blast Mahoney’s “Like Never”, hoping to incinerate my nerves with the screaming licks of my guitar. Shelly scorched on bass. Andre hammered the beat. We sounded good, but inside I was hollow, the keyboard chords ringing in my ears. I wanted them to be Sam’s notes. And they weren’t.


When it was over the crowd went nuts. Long-time Slam tradition required the audience to throw random junk at their favorite band. They flung crazy stuff at us—coins, confetti, flowers, rubber chickens. Even someone’s bra and underpants landed on the stage. I figured as far as the crowd was concerned, we’d rocked the house. When the spotlight dimmed, I glimpsed Luke and Carson standing on their chairs and pumping their fists. My chest tingled and I felt the roots of my hair, as if I was about to be struck by lightning. I had to get out of there.


Pushing past the kids who crowded the backstage, I fled to the dressing room behind the auditorium.

A boy with a halo of blond curls and mirrored sunglasses slouched against the door.


“Hi,” he said, walking up to me, hand extended. “I’m Vincent Rousseau. Your bandmate Andre asked me to come to the Band Slam tonight to hear you play.”


“What? Andre didn’t tell me anyone was coming.” Shivering in my skimpy costume, I scanned the empty corridor. The next band, Wails from the Crypt, was already tuning up. My phone was in the dressing room drawer. If Vincent Rousseau planned to kidnap me, no one would hear my screams.


“What do you want?”


The boy’s surprisingly deep voice was colored by a trace of an accent. French, I decided, from the way he emphasized the second syllable in his first name—Vin-cent. I couldn’t help but notice how his dusky skin contrasted pleasingly with his mop of bright curls. “I’m a scout for a high school residency program for talented youth. Andre

speaks very well of you.”


I twirled a strand of damp hair. “Huh? Where is this program?”


“We’re allied with many colleges nationwide.”


“Yeah? Never heard of something like that. Does it have a name?”


“HSTYP, or High Step as we call it. Your friend Andre thought you’d be a good candidate.”


“Oh, did he?” I glared at the poor guy. I was in a crummy mood and had no problem taking it out on him. “I’m not leaving Linford.”


“No matter, then,” said Vincent Rousseau, shrugging. “I am just a student at one of the local affiliates. I will leave you with my card in case you have a change of heart.” He smiled again, and despite myself, I felt my guard slip just a notch. Still, I wasn’t sure if I could trust someone who wore mirrored sunglasses indoors in the middle of



“Look, I’ve got to change,” I said, taking his card. “It was nice to meet you—Vincent.”


I was pretty sure I didn’t mean it, but if Vincent cared, he didn’t show it. He smiled, broadly and said, “It’s been a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Bethany Collins.”


I shook my head and watched him go. Strange guy. But polite. And oddly hot. I was going to have to chew out Andre for his well-meaning but lame attempt to shake me from my gloom. But first I had to get out of my ridiculous get-up.


Go Set a Watchman

Finished Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.”

Okay.  So this will be a non-traditional review.  First, we will take as read the following arguments and statements:

1)  The publishing of this book is ethically murky, at best.  We all know that Harper Lee was adamant that she wouldn’t publish another book.  She reportedly now has dementia and is essentially blind and deaf after a stroke.  Recently-ish, her sister—who was very protective of her and her literary legacy—died and three months after that, this book was “found” and was fast-tracked to a release date.

2)  It is not a secret that the book was unedited and so it definitely reads like a rough draft.  It’s not bad—it’s very entertaining, actually, and there are some really beautiful parts—but it definitely could’ve used polishing.

3)  We learn that Atticus is not perfect and it’s sad.

So yes.  I went into this with my eyes wide open.  I’ll also admit that my expectations were very low.  I’ve read books on their way to publication, and I know that early drafts are generally…well, not horrible, per se, but typically very far from the finished version.

And I ended up enjoying it a great deal.

Before we get into the heavy stuff, let me mention this: we get more childhood stories from Scout, and they are completely delightful.  For that alone, I was so happy I ended up taking a chance on Go Set a Watchman.

There’s also a lot to be said about the experience of leaving your hometown and then returning home as an adult.  This place that used to be your entire world is now really small, and the people in it seem…well, small too.  And it’s not that you don’t love your old place and the people you’ve known forever, but it makes you feel stifled.  And also like a jerk for noticing it.

But enough about this, right? You want to get to the part where Atticus is a racist.

This works best as a sort of primer on how to deal with the fact that people you love aren’t perfect.  Like Scout, I was horrified essentially to the point of feeling personally betrayed at learning that Atticus had these horrible thoughts about integration.  (Although I also tried very hard to remember that this was written literally 60 years ago and that our culture is in a very different place now—fortunately—and that if he were magically alive now, he would probably be horrified at how he used to think.)

But the most interesting part, for me, is that all the outrage has focused on how Atticus is racist.  I haven’t seen anyone say that Scout is also racist.  (Doesn’t mean that no one did; I experienced GSAW fatigue and stopped reading the hand-wringing reviews fairly early on.)

Atticus’ racism is very in your face.  He is against integration and attended a KKK meeting (literally one) and another “council meeting” that seems pretty KKK-y to me but is not actually the Klan. But Scout’s is different.  It’s the insidious racism that generally isn’t mentioned.  They agree in conversation that African-Americans are much “simpler” than white people are, but Scout continues to insist that they’re human, as though that acknowledgement keeps the other things she said (which essentially could be boiled down to, “Well, they’re dumber than I am, bless their hearts”) and incidentally, Atticus never acts like they’re not human;  his stance is more “they’re just different and they need to stay over there.”

This book could open up a lot of really good conversations about racism, except the people who need to read it never will because the idea of otherwise good people having major flaws could lead to the thought that maybe they also have prejudices that may need to be confronted.  These are talks we need to have, but probably never will.

I’m a reader and I’ve loved Atticus and Scout for half my life.  And I spent a day with my old friends and learned new things about them.  Some of those things made me sad, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything.  But I still love them both, and I loved this book for that.

And for those of you who are afraid…remember Phantom Menace?  And Godfather 3? Did it make you hate the earlier movies?  No.  Because you can tell the difference between them.

Fractured (AND GIVEAWAY!)




Bobby’s a hick who sees visions. Jeremy’s a smartass who sees dead people. Together, they have a weekend to stop a murderer…if they don’t kill each other first. Sparks fly when the worlds of Lisa Amowitz’s BREAKING GLASS and VISION collide.

Click here to enter the giveaway (good luck!).


“Hey. You were the kid that played with that amazing redhead. Not bad, man. Not bad.”

“Um, thanks.”

“Not from around here, are you?”

“No. I mean, I’m not, really.”

The guy smiled and extended a hand. “Sorry. Just a little cranky tonight. I came in this morning on an epic bus ride from Duke just to see my girlfriend and she’s stuck in a study group with a bunch of other assholes. Oh. I’m Jeremy Glass.” He lowered himself on the bench next to me and massaged his leg. “Too much walking today. Damn.”

I tried to keep my eyes from going wide as the guy lifted the cuff of his black jeans. Instead of an actual leg there was only a hydraulic metal pole.

Jeremy Glass looked at me and smiled. “Veronica’s been sticking a little lately. I think I’ll have to bring her back to the shop. What’s your name?”

I glanced from his face to the metal leg. “Bobby. Bobby Pendell,” I choked out. It wasn’t the leg. It was just hard to breathe around him, like he was sucking up my share of the oxygen.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know how Jeremy Glass had lost that leg, though I was pretty sure he’d be happy to tell me. I thought about bolting back inside the club, but that would be rude.

Instead, Glass said breezily, “You were awesome, dude. Where’d you learn to play guitar and sing like that? Man, all I can do is run.”

I bit back on the obvious response. How could a guy with a fake leg run?

Glass laughed. “Ha! Most people are too polite to ask, but I’m not shy about it. I was a sprinter. Fastest in my school. Until—well, until the accident. But now I’ve got a Teflon blade and I’m the fastest on the team. Technology is awesome, huh?”

I cleared my throat. Something about this guy was making my skin crawl. Maybe it was his fast talking. Or the way his eyes twinkled but looked steely and cunning all at the same time. I felt like he was silently laughing at me. Like his brain worked two and a half times faster than mine did. He eyed me with one eyebrow raised, as if he didn’t actually expect a response.

“Um, it was nice to meet you. But I really should be getting back inside,” I said, and finally got up to leave.

Glass stared calmly back at me. “Who’s your friend, then?”

A shiver rolled up my spine. I had to get away. Ever since my last brush with Agent Maura Reston on the Scratch Lake dock, I’d had the distinct feeling I was being watched. Maybe I was just being paranoid, but this guy seemed to be probing me for something.

“What friend?”

His gaze shifted over my left shoulder. “That guy.”

The blood froze in my veins. I pivoted and saw a brief white flicker, a disruption, then empty air.

Glass laughed. “Yeah. You’ve got to learn to ignore them. They’re everywhere.”

“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

Glass’s smile vanished. “I don’t like it any more than you do. But I can always tell when I meet someone like me.”

“Like you?” I backed away toward the club entrance, cold sweat trickling from my scalp down the back of my neck.

“You can see them, too. Things no one else can.”

He pressed a card into my hand. My mouth went dry. The sidewalk tilted. I pressed my palm to the glass of the club window to steady myself.

I didn’t have to look down to know what it said.

He’d seen the thing that I’d seen. He was like me.

He was working with Agent Reston and her paranormal goon squad.

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It’s been an interesting few days for me.

First, obviously, there’s been so much joy at the fact that gay marriage is legal nationwide now.  There’s a lot of feelings that goes along with that—especially the fact that so many of my friends (who tend to be straight) were celebrating with me.

And then there was the realization that some people—who I actually would have considered real friends and not just “Facebook friends” or acquaintances—really didn’t.  And it’s funny how hurt by that I was.  (Because I actually really was hurt; it’s painful to realize “I think this person is a friend; this person thinks that I am someone who doesn’t deserve equal rights.”)

So there was a lot of crying Friday (the good kind, because yay! marriage for everyone!) and then a lot of crying yesterday (the good kind, because SO MANY RAINBOWS on Facebook and then the bad kind, because hey, that friend I thought I had? NOT SO MUCH) and so far I haven’t cried today, but we’ll see. :)

I don’t know how to explain any of it so people can understand.  I mean, picture people saying that they thought Christians shouldn’t get married or that divorced people shouldn’t ever be able to remarry or, I don’t know, any one of a dozen other prejudiced, stupid things.

So I don’t know.  But I do think that, while I pride myself on being able to get along with anyone, pretty much, I think my baseline for friendship is “Considers me to be an equal citizen, as opposed to a weird, less-than person.”  That’s not asking too much, right?

But anyway, most of the tears yesterday came because I saw so many of my friends’ profile pictures were rainbow versions of themselves.  And so many more of them did it after I said that it would mean a lot to me, personally, if they would do it. (I don’t know if you notice but most of the Christian voices heard over the weekend were, shall we say, less than inclusive?  And that gives Christians a horrible name, in my opinion.  Jesus loved everyone and died for everyone, which is something a lot of those Christians seem to forget.)  And I feel so humbled by that, I can’t even tell you.  So while I may have lost some people I thought were friends, I learned that (a) most of my friends are exactly who I thought they were and (b) I have a lot more friends that I didn’t even realize I had.

So yeah, big weekend.  And while some people are angry and some people are scared, most everyone I know is really, really happy.  Which illustrates perfectly the fact that love will defeat anger and hate and fear every time.

Date With a Rock Star (Excerpt)

Date-Rockstar High Res

Title: Date With a Rockstar (Click here for a chance to win a copy!)

Author: Sarah Gagnon

Release Date: June 23, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Synopsis: Only one girl will win the cash prize…and a chance at love with Jeremy Bane.

Monet isn’t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane–she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness.

Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that’s spread through saliva. It’s completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don’t. Now that she’s on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn’t even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life.

But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy’s attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him–and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she’s ready and ruin everything.

The only way to win Jeremy’s heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him.


“There’s a single short beep. “What’s that noi—” Then the room fades to black.

His voice sounds disconnected in the dark. “Even plants need cycles of light and dark to grow properly.”

I did not know that. Without my vision, the smell of ripe fruit and vegetables fills the air. There must be herbs near us. The scent of lemon, mint and lavender fills my senses. Jeremy keeps his hand over mine, barely touching since the lights went out. I wonder if Derek will come and get us, but then I remember there’s no window in the door.

“You’re quiet. Not afraid of the dark, are you?” 
I take a deep breath and weave my fingers with his.

“I’m not afraid.” And in the dark, I can be absolutely certain we’re finally alone. That no one is secretly filming me.

He exhales heavily and his fingers squeeze mine. His other hand reaches around me and lifts my hair away from my face and over my shoulder. I turn my head to him. Do I lean in? Do I open my mouth?

“I can’t even see you.” His hand touches my neck and then cups my cheek. I’m hot all over. The humidity in the room is steaming me to death. Dizziness hits me and I have to remind myself to take a breath.

Any second.”

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Author Bio:


Sarah Gagnon grew up in the frigid woods of Maine amidst snow and animal skins and has now moved back home. As a small child she wrote ship-wrecked romances all while being stared down by a taxidermied duck.

She has a BFA in photography and a minor in writing from the University of Southern Maine. She’s the mother of two tiny, feral children and two ill-behaved dogs. For fun she’s taken up construction and interior design. Her first project: moving into a dilapidated farmhouse with her computer-genius husband.

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BEA recap (late, I know)

So I probably just had my last BEA until 2017 at the earliest.  (It’s in Chicago next year, and I am going to ALA instead, most likely.  Or, to be more specific, I am definitely going to ALA; I may try and swing BEA, as well.)

This was my second BEA as a publicist (although I still attended as a blogger) and I had a great time seeing my Spencer Hill coworkers and my authors, Liza Wiemer and Danielle Ellison.  (I wish I had gotten to see more of both of them, but it’s hard to spend quality time with anyone at BEA, unless you are in lines with them.)


This was the day we arrived.  I got in around 4 and met up with my BEA BFF Kathy and her friends at the Teen Author Carnival.  I got a bunch of great books there (especially the new Laila Sales, Tonight the Streets Are Ours, and This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp) and then it was time to head to a nearby-ish hotel for a rooftop party thrown by Hannah and Andye…and my author, Liza.  It was going to be her first signing for HELLO? and I got to pass out the books.  :)  And what Liza didn’t know was that everyone had signed another copy of HELLO? for her to keep.  (There was also a gorgeous HELLO? tote that Becca made.)


First (half) day of BEA!  I got to sleep in (sort of; I was up by 6:30—thanks, me) and met my Spencer Hill coworker Brooke for breakfast and then on to Javits!  Everyone but me was all, TRUTHWITCH!, and I do wish I had gotten it but that line was insane.  No, no, no.

I got a ton of great books but am most excited for George by Alex Gino, A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher (Les Miserables from Eponine’s perspective!) and Kill the Boy Band by Colby Mondavsky (compared to Heathers; take my money).  I also got The Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa; it’s apparently the literary debut of next year and the author went to school with a former coworker’s brother. :)  So I’m very excited to get to that.

That night, I had dinner with my biological family and then my birth mom and I went to see Phantom of the Opera.  I’ve seen it a bunch of times and, while this wasn’t the best production I’ve seen, it was still an amazing time.  I’m sad that BEA is moving next year; seeing them is the best part of my BEA.


First real day of BEA.  I’d said that my major priority was to get the new Rebecca Serle, and I did.  (And I’ve already read it and it’s wonderful.)

Other bookish highlights: The Killing Kind by Chris Holm, Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead, Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz.

After, Kathy and I got Shake Shack (AMAZING!) and then met with some Spencer Hill people (Meredith, Liza, Jessica, Rich, Cindy and Lisa) and my author friend Selene!  Selene Castrovilla was super awesome and signed copies of Melt for all of us.  I’ve known her for a while on Facebook and have always known her to be an incredibly kind person and an amazing writer, so it was nice to actually get to see her.  Fun fact: she’s also won all these awards for Melt (a medal, which she showed us at dinner, for the IPPYs, and then a trophy from IndieNext over BEA, so I’m so proud of my friend!).


Last day.  It was Liza’s first official signing and I got to help with that, but this year editors helped with signings and not publicists.  (sad face)  I was so happy to see that everyone was excited for HELLO? and that we actually ran out of books.  (The only time I rejoice in that, believe me.)

Bookish highlights: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Took by Mary Downing Hahn and Need by Joelle Charbonneau.

I say every year that it’s the highlight of the year and this was no exception.  I got so many amazing books (I left with 50, which sounds like a lot, but I know people who got well over a hundred) and got to see almost everyone I really wanted to.

I’m hoping the rumor that it’ll be in Chicago for the next five years isn’t true.


Bone Deep Release Day Blitz

Bone Deep Cover

Title: Bone Deep

Author: Kim O’Brien

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Synopsis: When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi.

But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the only one good at hiding things.

Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.

Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything—even her life.

Kim’s comments:

I chose this passage because it’s kind of creepy and I love the idea that people who have passed can come to us in dreams, communicating through our subconscious. When I was about twelve, my best friend’s mother had a brain aneurism and was taken to the hospital. I was very shy, very quiet around adults. So my friend’s mom and I looked at each other more than we talked. A couple of days after she’d gone to the hospital, I woke up and in the middle of the night and saw her face floating in the corner of my bedroom, near the ceiling. It was just her head, nothing else, and it glowed as if it were lit from within. The next morning, I found out she had died the night before. I never saw her image again.






In my bed, I lie with the covers pulled high looking up at the ceiling. Although I’ve been trying for hours, I can’t sleep. The room feels cold, much colder than usual— as if the thermostat is set to about fifty degrees.

I flip over. It’s just after two o’clock in the morning. I’m so tired my hands tingle, but I can’t sleep, not when Emily’s missing. I wonder if the police have Jeremy in custody. If they’ve found Emily. Another chill goes through me, and I tuck the quilt more tightly around my shoulders.

I’m thinking of getting up and putting on a pair of sweats when my door creaks and Emily walks into the room.

In the moonlight, her hair looks disheveled. Half her face is in shadow, but as she nears, I see it’s not the lack of light, but dust coating her left cheekbone.

“Oh my God! Emily!” I sit up straight. “You’re okay!”

“Paige!” She hurries to the edge of my bed. Her long pale hair falls forward as she leans over me. “I’ve been trying to get in touch with you.”

“Where were you?” I study every inch of her. She’s very pale, and there are small chunks of something plaster-like dangling in the strands of her hair.

“I got lost,” she states, a little sadly. “I’ve been walking for a while.” She looks down at her feet. “I lost my sneakers. Isn’t that funny, Paige? They disappeared when I was sleeping. I just woke up, and they were gone. Have you seen them?”

The question is odd, but I’m so happy to see her I don’t care. “No.”

Her shoulders sag. “Oh.”

“They’re not important,” I assure her. “What matters is that you’re back and you’re okay. What happened to you?”

Her face wrinkles. “I don’t know.” Her eyes move to the top left corner of their sockets, as if she’s thinking really hard. After a moment, she shakes her head. “I can’t remember.”

“Were you in a car accident?”

“I don’t think so.” She feels the back of her head with her hands and then grimaces. “God, my head hurts.”

Throwing my covers off, I swing my legs over the side of the bed. Emily stands very still as I throw my arms around her. “Stop trying to remember. It doesn’t matter what happened. I’m just so happy to see you.”

She smells strongly of roses, as if she has doused herself in perfume. It’s so unlike her that it takes my mind a second to register that her body is stone-cold in my arms and her skin feels hard and smooth as polished marble.

Stunned, I pull back far enough to look into her face. Only instead of Emily, she morphs into my mother, who leans over me, the strap of her silk nightgown slipping from her pale shoulder, her eyes black and angry.

“You didn’t see him, Paige,” she says. “You were dreaming.”

My alarm goes off, and I jolt upright. Heart pounding, I fumble for the off button and switch on the lamp. The room is empty, and it’s 2:13 in the morning. I pick up the clock to reset the alarm and discover it’s already at set for six—my usual time. So why did it go off? The dream was about Emily. So why then did my mother say, you didn’t see him?

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Author Bio:

Kim_Obrien_Author Photo

Kim O’Brien grew up in an old Victorian house in Bronxville, NY. Her mother loved telling her bedtime stories, especially ones about the ghost in their attic. Kim not only believed the house was haunted but also fell in love with books and the art of storytelling.

At Emory University in Atlanta, Kim earned a B.A. in psychology. She then attained a M.F.A in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She worked for many years as a writer, editor, and speechwriter for IBM before becoming a full time fiction writer. She lives in Texas with her husband, daughters, and four-legged friend Daisy.

Kim is the author of eight inspirational romances and seven non-fiction children’s books. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at, Facebook, and Twitter (kimobri).

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