Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Check it out folks! This is a new book from Spencer Hill Press (my writing family). I'm stoked about this one, because there needs to be more male voices in YA. Yeah, I said it :)

Cover by Lisa Amowitz.

Fourteen-year-old Michael Stevens has never been ordinary; no orphan who hears music coming from rocks considers himself a typical teenager. But life gets a lot more complicated when two-foot-tall, albino, doll-like men sneak into his room one night, transforming the harmless music into a frightening ability he cannot control.
Soon, strangers in black suits begin to ask unsettling questions while unnatural animals with mismatched eyes haunt the streets. They are hunting, and not just Michael: anyone he cares about is in danger.
With the help of a mysterious drifter, an annoying girl he's accidentally mutated, and one of those creepy doll men, Michael finds himself in the middle of a war that could forever change the world he knows - reconstructing the very definition of humanity.
Title: Awoken
Author: Timothy Miller
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (
ISBN: 978-1-937053-53-6
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book
It can be added to your Goodreads TBR list here:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

MORE !?!?! Oh, YES. MORE!

Next up I'll be giving away an ARC of "Altered" by Jennifer Rush. This one's been receiving some nice buzz and positive reviews, so I think whoever wins this one will be quite pleased. 

Altered (Altered, #1)


When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away


Thursday, 9 August 2012


The Prophet
Title: The Prophet
Author: Michael Koryta
Publisher: Little Brown
Publish Date: 8/7/2012
Genre: Thriller
Source: BEA
Adam Austin hasn't spoken to his brother in years. When they were teenagers, their sister was abducted and murdered, and their devastated family never recovered. Now Adam keeps to himself, scraping by as a bail bondsman, working so close to the town's criminal fringes that he sometimes seems a part of them.

Kent Austin is the beloved coach of the local high school football team, a religious man and hero in the community. After years of near misses, Kent's team has a shot at the state championship, a welcome point of pride in a town that has had its share of hardships.

Just before playoffs begin, the town and the team are thrown into shock when horrifically, impossibly, another teenage girl is found murdered. When details emerge that connect the crime to the Austin brothers, the two are forced to unite to stop a killer-and to confront their buried rage and grief before history repeats itself again.

It's been a while since I've read something without any sort of fantasy trappings or supernatural going-ons, and until reading "The Prophet"I hadn't remembered how much I enjoy curling up with a good thriller. 

This book also reminds me of yet another reason I am so gosh-darn in love with the BEA. When I walked into the BEA I had never heard of "The Prophet" or Michael Koryta, and (just being honest here) I probably never would have purchased it. If I was going to read a thriller I would have asked my father for a recommendation and he would have sent me Dennis Lehane or Lee Child's way. 

I am so glad that I picked this one up, though. The plot itself isn't anything too unheard of: there's a murder, a feuding family, and lessons learned throughout the novel. Sounds kind of standard, right? But Koryta has such a command over his characters that I couldn't help but feel like I knew them. His characters are just so friggin human. They strengths, flaws, mistakes and their motivations of the protagonist brothers are so spot on that one can't help but feel attached to Adam and Kent, cheering when they make good decisions and even cheering when they make a bad decision; because heck, it makes the story all the more realistic. 

I'll most definitely be reading more of Koryta's novels when I'm in the mood to jump back out of the supernatural and  into more realistic fiction (which is funny to me, because realistic isn't a word often associated with thrillers).  


Sunday, 29 July 2012

 Jonathan Maberry

Dust & Decay (Benny Imura, #2)
Title: Dust and Decay
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
Publish Date: 2011
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Source: Purchased
Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It's also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny's zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny's best friend Lou Chong are going with them. Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland -where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all...could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything...and not everyone in Benny's small band of travelers will make it out alive

So I came away from "Rot and Ruin" with a sense of awe and curiosity, and while I enjoyed the sequel, I just found it rather safe for a novel about a world infested with flesh-eating monsters.

Maberry still does a fantastic job with getting his world into the reader's head with his swift prose and clear descriptions, but the story was sometimes too clear, if that makes sense. I could see every twist and turn coming (except one) and I just wasn't as enthusiastic about this book. Maybe it was because this was no longer my first book about zombies and the novelty wore off.

Either way, the story still intrigued me, and the action was definitely fierce. The characters were brought further to life (and for the zombies, to death). I will still be reading the next installment in this series, but I probably won't go to three book stores searching for it, like I did for this one.


Monday, 16 July 2012

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)Title: Rot and Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
Publish Date: 2010
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Pages: 458
Source: Purchased
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash—but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

Acclaimed horror author Jonathan Maberry makes his young adult debut with this detail-rich depiction of a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has fallen, the dead have risen, and danger is always imminent

So I hate to say it, because I know it's a huge jinx, but I am on such a book hot streak. First the "Mistborn" trilogy from Brandon Sanderson and now this fantastic coming-of-age novel by Jonathan Maberry.

I don't know why, but i've kind of steered clear of the zombie craze as of late. I'm big into magic (and there are so many magic-centered books to go around already) so when it comes time to pick a sci-fi/fantasy book, I usually gravitate to something magical. I rarely read fiction about vampires or werewolves, although I know there are some great ones out there, and until this book I had not read one book about zombies. 

I was hesitant, but I met Mr. Maberry at the BEA and he signed a copy of "Rot and Ruin" for me, so what the hey, right?

It's moments like these that I treasure. Diving into the unexplored (both genre and author) and coming up with a glowing pearl. I really, really liked, "Rot and Ruin". I was prejudiced against zombies because I keep thinking that authors might use them in a way to draw readers in, but might rely only on the inclusion of the creatures, ignoring plot and depth. Maberry does something fantastic. He uses the zombies to examine humanity, and what actual struggles someone might face growing up in a society that had once been overrun by the living dead. 

Character development ain't easy, and Maberry manages to turn protagonist Benny Imura, at first a snotty, lazy punk, into someone honorable and memorable. I don't want to include any spoilers, so I'll just say that if you're like me, and you haven't yet read any zombie fiction yet, this should be your foray into the field of the living dead. And if you like zombies, then you're a shoe-in to like "Rot and Ruin."

I'm not giving it a perfect score because I definitely saw many things coming, but I hope that doesn't deter you. This book was a quite a ride. And just to further emphasize my attachment to this book, I went out RIGHT away and bought the sequel. Which I'm planning on diving into right away, and hopefully continuing my hot streak :)


Thursday, 12 July 2012


CHEERS to you Brandon Sanderson. You are so amazing that you've inspired me to Haiku.

It's Allomancy
Magic and metal combined
And I so want it

Despite the terrible, TERRIBLE covers, Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn" trilogy has had me completely and utterly captivated for the better part of the last three weeks. The books are tomes, so I've been doing pretty much nothing but working and reading, but it's been quite the ride. I've been so engrossed that I've even stopped blogging for the last week. My mind was in sort of a 'Should I blog? Or should I dive back into the epic adventures of Vin and Elend? Ummm... Book please' kind of place.

These books are incredible. Seriously. I'm a fan of worldbuilding, and Sanderson's world is so three demential that I found myself in it while dreaming. And I was following all of his magical rules and everything. 

Though these books are not as mind-splittingly amazing as Patrick Rothfuss' "Kingkiller Chronicles" (though I'm not sure anything is), Sanderson has created an all-star cast of thieves, doing their best to set the world straight. 

If you've been finding your YA books to simple and formulaic these days, take a chance and dive into something a little deeper.

Like perhaps, a Well?

File:Mistborn- The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.jpg

Monday, 2 July 2012

NEXT UP !?!?!?!?

I'll be giving away an ARC of "Fathomless" by Jackson Pearce.

I've heard some great things about this volume AND the ARC that I'm giving away is quite special. The cover art on it is not final and in my opinion it makes it even more valuable (even if only for sentimental reasons.) I figure one of you will appreciate it, so here goes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Goodreads:

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his sou


Friday, 29 June 2012

Cover Reveal for FAE

This is a real treat for me. Emily White is a friend of mine and I can't even begin to tell you how great her book is (note my super coveted recommended read spot). Not only is the story meat of "Elemental" (the first in the series) some delicious filet mignon, the cover is some imported Japanese Kobe Beef. 

And now, the cover of Fae is like a rare white truffle.

I think I'm hungry. 

Without further ado, enjoy this piece of art... perhaps with a nice chianti?:

Not all fae'ri tales come with a happy ending.
     Ella thought taking care of the ego-bloated Mamood god would be a sure way to bring peace to the galaxy and satisfy her taste for revenge.
     But she was wrong.
     Despite the fact their god is gone, the Mamood refuse to abandon their attack on the planet Soltak and Ella's own so-called friends start to turn against her. And with Soltak dying--its oceans drying up and its plants withering in the ground--Ella and Cailen suspect there's a new enemy at work. As more people die and more water is leached from the planet, they both prepare for something straight from a nightmare. 
     The fae are coming.
Cover Design by Vic Caswell
Title: Fae
Series: Auri #2
Author: Emily White
ISBN: 978-1-937053-26-0 
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Formats: paper, e-book
Cover Design: Vic Caswell of Sketcher Girl

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cover Reveal for TRIANGLES


A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong? 

In the Bermuda Triangle--a lot. 

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who's practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser's suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she's full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that one of these "alternate realities" could become permanent. 

She just has to ask herself one question--how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

Title: Triangles
Author: Kimberly Ann Miller
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (
ISBN: 978-1-937053-36-9
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book

And the amazing cover (designed by Vic Caswell) is...

Oh, by the way, Kim is such a fun, amazing person. And you know what they say: you are what you write.... so this books is gonna be awesome :)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dan at the BEA

Dan at the BEA:
A small-potatoes author takes on a big-potatoes event

Although I was constantly giddy and laughing most of the time, the Book Expo America is no joke for someone like me. It’s a place where a young writer can get swallowed up faster than Penguin’s BEA booth during Marie Lu’s signing of “Prodigy.”
To give you a sense of perspective, I waited about an hour and a half to get a signed copy of “Prodigy.”
I know.
And the glorious BEA only comes once a year, so I knew I couldn’t waste the opportunity.
For those unfamiliar with the BEA, it’s like Christmas (or a beefed-up Hanukkah if you’re Jewish, like me), a Barnes and Noble shopping spree, and a trip to Disneyland all wrapped up in a three-day extravaganza.
Publishers for all over the world, big and small, come to showcase their upcoming books for the next year, handing out free advance copies—a lot of them signed by the authors—to the lucky attendees. By doing this, they hope to drum up some buzz for their upcoming titles.
 It’s also a place where all of the literary bigwigs—on both the creative and business side of books—get together to make things happen.
I am no bigwig.
I’m not sure I’m even a wig (Although, as you can see from the BEA picture below, I could probably use a wig.)

(Special note: this was me when I found out how big Jennifer L. Armentrout’s signing line was. The same company that publishes “Half-Blood” publishes my novel, so I have a vested interest in Jennifer’s unbelievable success.) 

But still, I followed my dreams and was lucky enough to find a publisher who believes in me after working my butt off every day for many, many years. If you could flip the above photo around, you would see that I no longer have a butt.
My book “Masters of the Veil” (Which you probably haven’t heard of. Until just now of course. Huzzah!) was published by the wonderful Spencer Hill Press in March, and they provided me with my golden ticket. 
So the story begins when I get to the BEA with stars in my eyes and flies in my wallet. 
First thing I did was the heavy lifting for the Spencer Hill Press booth. And while I was there, I got to finally meet the other Spencer Hill authors.
No doubt many of you have heard of Spencer Hill’s superstar, Jennifer L. Armentrout, bestselling author of “Half-Blood” and “Obsidian.”
Well this was the first time I was meeting our wunderauthor in person. Sure I’ve emailed her and gone to support her on her live Internet chats, but still, I was nervous.
And she couldn’t have been nicer. After a big hug we were laughing and joking around; I even got to poke fun at her newfound fame.
It was great.
And I also got to meet the insanely cool Emily White. She wrote a novel called “Elemental” that you’ve probably also heard of. Emily and myself hung out for most of the BEA and we were old chums quick enough. 

(Emily White on right. Lisa Amowitz ((super author of “Breaking Glass”)) on left.)

Everyone at the SHP booth, including my incomparable editor, Kate Kaynak was too cool for words.
I felt like family.

(And speaking of family. My father attended the BEA with me. He’s the REALLY bald one. He took off work and spent four days in the city with me. My father is my hero and we had the greatest bonding experience of my lifetime. He was book crazed and ended up with about 150 galley copies. Like I said, he’s my hero.)

So the real BEA started the next morning and, considering the fact that I was literally too excited to sleep, I was up bright and early.
There were 22 bloggers staying at my hotel and I got to have breakfast with most of them each morning. Some of the bloggers I consider friends (Melissa from “I Swim For Oceans” and Jenny from “Supernatural Snark”) even showed up from other hotels to join me in starting the day off with some peppery eggs and frozen cups of Yoplait.
As a small potatoes (I guess fingerling potatoes is probably appropriate) author, I really wanted to try my best to make some connections at the BEA. So beforehand, I reached out to a few famous authors to see if they want to have breakfast with me.
Okay, with us.
I really didn’t expect anything, but Dan Wells, the Hugo nominated author of “Partials” came to breakfast that first morning.
Yeah. HUGO nominated.
He was awesome. And he wore an awesome hat. 


(Left to right: Me, Emily White, Dan Wells, Kevin J. Anderson ((who has written over FORTY bestsellers. Holy crap was that cool)) and Dan’s awesome hat that he wore to breakfast)

            Oh, and quick side note. Marie Lu responded to my earlier request and came to breakfast the next morning. I sat next to her and did my best impression of someone not star-struck. I even flirted a bit: if drooling incessantly can be considered flirting.
            I’m going to count it :)
            So after that first breakfast, we all entered the palace of literary wonder that was the Jacob K. Javitz center. This building—a place that is so big that it hosts an annual boat show—was floor to ceiling with so many books and book related paraphernalia that it made the Library of Congress look like the clearance rack at Half-Price books.
I felt like Aladdin going into the cave of wonders.
        But the BEA is even better than cave of wonders, because this cave lets you take the wonders home.  
        I had a big decision to make: should I get as many ARCs as I can? Hording up a new collection for the following year. Or should I try and make connections and broaden my network? Since I needed to make the most of the opportunity.
        Over the next three days, I learned the secret to small-potato networking at the BEA.
        Do both.
        Standing in long lines for the same ARC allowed me to make some really great new friends. I stood next to #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner for an ARC and chatted with her for a bit. She asked for my card.
        I met tons of YA book bloggers, librarians, distributors and book buyers all by standing in line. We talked about the book we were waiting for, what the other person did, if this was their first BEA, and how we felt about eBooks. But we also talked about hobbies, family, sports, Pokémon, and generally anything to make our wait more pleasant.

      The great thing was that it seemed like the people around me were always eager to talk. I had my fancy author badge on, and people were genuinely curious about my work. And even when they found out that I was nobody super important, they still were eager to know more about my books.
      How cool is that?
      Even though I was pretty much a guy gently strumming his guitar on the street corner, I felt like a rock star.
      That’s the amazing thing that I learned about the book crowd. They believe that even though someone might be a small potato now, that potato might one day become one of those big, fat, oven-baked spuds, smothered in cheese, sour cream, and crunchy bacon bits.
      It just takes the right encouragement to help them grow.
      Most of the time I left each line with a business card, a precious new autographed book, and a big smile on my face.
      So over those three wonderful days, I did and learned a lot. I learned that some of the best connections can be made in the places least expected. I learned that just because the line is small doesn’t mean that the author isn’t fantastic. And most importantly, I learned that you can’t sweet-talk your way to a coveted ARC before it’s put on the table. 
      Long live the BEA and I can’t wait to go return next year!


(Macmillan’s Booth. One of my favorites at the conference. They usually had small lines and great books.)

(Spencer Hill Press’ Booth. There was ALWAYS traffic. Huzzah for Independent Publishers!)

(Me at my signing. We ran out of two cases of books!)

(Me with some of my favorite bloggers. Left to right: Jenny from Supernatural Snark. Melissa from I Swim For Oceans, and Danny from Bewitched Bookworms)