BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): THE HOW & THE WHY by Cynthia Hand

Imprint: HarperTeen (November 5, 2019)
On Sale: 11/05/2019
Pages: 464
List Price: 17.99 USD Age: 13+
ISBN: 9780062693167
ISBN 10: 0062693166



Praise for THE HOW & THE WHY

“The novel’s great strength is the emotional depth of its characters and the complexity of their relationships. A heartfelt and hopeful story about coming of age as an adoptee.” ―School Library Journal

“Hand explores adoption’s multiple dimensions with great insight and sensitivity. Inclusive and illustrative: an engaging lesson in timeless family values.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Cynthia Hand is the master of pulling at your heartstrings. The How & the Why tells both sides of an adoption story with love, compassion, and care. You’ll be reaching for your tissue box with this one — if you can stop turning pages long enough, that is.” ―Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times Bestselling Author of Letters to the Lost

“Beautifully rendered and superbly shaped. Hand has crafted an absorbing novel that focuses on family, friendship, teen pregnancy, adoption, personal choices, and serious health issues. Give this exquisite novel to readers seeking an emotionally intricate story.” ―Booklist (starred review)

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

You can purchaseThe How & the Why at the following Retailers:
       
MY REVIEW
I received a copy from the publisher for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.
I’m not a big contemporary fan. I’m just going to put it out there. When it comes to YA contemporary, I need some kind of substance. Not the Hallmark love story (I actually like that in my adult contemporary fiction). THE HOW & THE WHY is not a Hallmark love story, but it will tug at your heart.
The book is written in two point of views, our main character, Cassandra, and her birth mother, S. S’s side of the story is the before. Before Cass was born and adopted into the family she’d love forever. Cass’ side is a fresh eighteen year old girl navigating college applications, potential boyfriends, and a mother’s sickness. All the while, slowly realizing that maybe she does want the beginning to the happily ever story her parents made her adoption out to be.
I’m not adopted, but I have family closely linked to it. My aunt is my mother’s older sister and she found my mom and my grandmother after, I don’t know how long she searched for them. If you put the three together, you can see they all share the same smile. I do too. I don’t know why, but it’s always seemed to be something that I actually felt proud of. I am proud that my aunt could find the extension of her, to find the courage to do it. I am proud of my grandmother for recognizing the struggle she would have had if she had kept her baby. Not to mention she probably wouldn’t have met my grandfather and therefore, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have gotten to know that internal strength is a trait with the women in my family. And, now, I’m about to cry about this.
What I truly love about this book is that it made me wonder what it was like for my aunt. It made me wonder what it was like for my grandmother. It makes me more open and loving to the hard decisions that pregnancy can result in.
There are subtle moments where you will see how S and Cass are similar. Like my family and the smile we share, the two characters share some physical attributes and some personality traits. It is amazing to see the intricate knitting of nature and nurture in this book if you look closely. It isn’t a “versus” thing, it’s an “and” thing.
I’ve read only one other book where Cynthia Hand was one of the authors and I can see where some of the humor in that book comes from. Cynthia brings to life characters that seem like everyday people. Their struggles are real, but it is not the overdramatized struggle you see in other teen contemporaries. There is no “you don’t understand” here. There is a girl who knows her background, who is trying to find her courage, and there is a support system that are willing to help her through it.
I am happy I got this book and I will definitely be reading more of Cynthia Hand (with her fellow partners in crime and her solo works).
Final Rating: 4/5
Photo Content from Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows), THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and the upcoming novel THE HOW AND THE WHY (Fall 2019). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with a husband who’s addicted to typewriters, two kids, two cats, one crazy dog, and a entourage of imaginary friends.

 
       
WEEK ONE
NOVEMBER 4th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
NOVEMBER 5th TUESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
NOVEMBER 5th TUESDAY Life Within the Pages REVIEW
NOVEMBER 6th WEDNESDAY TTC Books and More EXCERPT
NOVEMBER 6th WEDNESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW
NOVEMBER 7th THURSDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
NOVEMBER 7th THURSDAY Booknerdchelcie REVIEW
NOVEMBER 8th FRIDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
NOVEMBER 8th FRIDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
WEEK TWO
NOVEMBER 11th MONDAY Kait Plus Books REVIEW
NOVEMBER 11th MONDAY On My Bookshelf REVIEW & INTERVIEW
NOVEMBER 12th TUESDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW & INTERVIEW
NOVEMBER 13th WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
NOVEMBER 13th WEDNESDAY Lenissahh Reads REVIEW
NOVEMBER 14th THURSDAY Wonder Struck REVIEW
NOVEMBER 14th THURSDAY Random Bookish Banter REVIEW
NOVEMBER 14th THURSDAY Little Bookish Thoughts REVIEW & INTERVIEW
NOVEMBER 15th FRIDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
NOVEMBER 15th FRIDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
 
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BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): HEIST by Kezzy Sparks

Heist
Kezzy Sparks
Publication date: October 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter.

In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state.

No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners.

The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?

Goodreads / Amazon

MY REVIEW

 

I received a copy for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Heist is the debut urban fantasy by Kezzy Sparks. What got me wanting to read the book was definitely the blurb. There is something about a man losing his bits that gets a girl interested. Especially under such a time constraint.

For me, starting the book was rather difficult. The third person narrative felt very noir-ish, which wasn’t so much of a problem, but then continuing the rest of the story in first person was a bit confusing. But, only at first. Once you learn about the magical fish Melanie Perkiss has, you kind of just get pulled in.

The magical theft theme to the story was an interesting twist in the urban fantasy genre. I mean, come on, losing your private parts by magical means is so interesting! You never see that. The action is well done and I really like how Melanie stands as a heroine.

All in all, the book is a good addition to your urban fantasy collection. It stands well as the first book in a series and I wouldn’t mind reading more.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

Author Bio:

Kezzy Sparks is a Toronto based author and writer. HEIST is his debut fiction in the long form. He enjoys reading as well, and lists works by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Benedict Jacka, Dan Brown and Kevin Hearne as some of his personal favorites.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

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KINDLE FORCE: A MIDNIGHT CLEAR



Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (November 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1733599444
ISBN-13: 978-1733599443



Praise for A MIDNIGHT CLEAR

“A delightfully decadent descent into Yuletide madness and horrors that were hilariously imaginative and chilling…in essence, the perfect Christmas tales.” ―The Nerd Daily


“The whimsy of the holiday season turns dark and absurd in this wickedly amusing anthology of six stories.” ―Publishers Weekly


“A quick read that will be a balm to those who like their holidays a little horrifying.” ―Dawn Kuczwara, Booklist

Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books.

A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court, the authors of Black Spot Books share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, destined to chill your bones and warm your heart for the Yuletide season.

EXCLUSIVE PROMOTIONAL BLAST

FANTASTIC NEWS BOOK NERDS!! We have an awesome PROMOTIONAL BLAST for A MIDNIGHT CLEAR running from now until 11:59pm (PST) on the last day of the blast.

KINDLE FORCE A PROMOTIONAL BLAST CREATED BY JEANBOOKNERD
A special promotional price ($.99) for A MIDNIGHT CLEAR E-book will be set for the duration of the event. Make sure you get your copy now!

You can purchase A Midnight Clear at the following Retailers:

  

All Photo Content from Vesuvian Books

Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about thing like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them because he doesn’t want to attract goblins.

 

Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. He has been published in Popmatters, The Rumpus, Entropy Mag, and Quiet Lunch Magazine.

 

Laura Morrison lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has a B.S. in applied ecology and environmental science from Michigan Technological University. Before she was a writer and stay-at-home mom, she battled invasive species and researched turtles.
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

Cassondra Windwalker is a poet and novelist writing full time from the coast of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. She is supported by a tolerant husband, three wandering offspring, a useless dog, and a zombie cat. Her hobbies include hiking, photography, and having other people’s demons over for tea.

 

Dalena Storm has lived in India, Japan, Germany, and on both coasts of the United States. She currently resides in a converted general store in the woods of Western Massachusetts with a rare Burmese temple cat, a purring black fluff-beast, a professor of magic, and an infant with an astonishing ability to resist sleep.
INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

Seven Jane is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. Seven is a member of The Author’s Guild and Women’s Fiction Writing Association. She also writes a column for The Women’s Fiction Association and is a contributor to The Nerd Daily.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): THE NEVER TILTING WORLD by Rin Chupeco

ISBN: 9780062821799
ISBN 10: 0062821792
Imprint: HarperTeen On Sale: 10/15/2019
BISAC1: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / Wizards & Witches
BISAC2: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / Siblings
BISAC3: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / General


Praise for THE NEVER TILTING WORLD

“The Never Tilting World is what happens when Garth Nix meets Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s a dark, lovely, and even timely look at a world that’s fallen apart, with just the right blend of epic action and twisted magic.” ―Tara Sim, author of Timekeeper

“Visually vivid, magical, and exhilarating.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Dark and richly drawn, The Never Tilting World is a lavish fantasy about sisterhood, sacrifice, and finding strength in a treacherous world. Chupeco’s writing is lushly descriptive, transporting me to the brink of the abyss; while reading it, I could swear the world stood still.” ―Heidi Heilig, author of For a Muse of Fire

“Multiple plot twists and a breathlessly cinematic tone will attract fantasy and romance fans alike.” ―Booklist

“Complex, brutal, romantic, and terrifying. With a phenomenal cast of characters who stick to your bones and vivid worldbuilding that shows up in your dreams, this is a book that demands to be experienced.” ―Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights and editor of His Hideous Heart

“This rich fantasy spotlights power’s corruptive influence, love’s redemptive nature, and the urgent concerns of climate change. The tale’s scope and creativity astound.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A great choice for fantasy shelves.” ―School Library Journal

Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

You can purchase The Never Tilting World at the following Retailers:
       
MY REVIEW
I received a copy of The Never Tilting World by the publisher for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
Rin Chupeco is one of those authors that I have to really sit back and just stare at in awe. I know that sounds weird, but when you come across a story that has as big of imagination and conceptual idea as what she comes up with, that’s all you can do. Ms. Chupeco develops these intricate worlds, magic systems, and brings to life a story that conjures up so many thoughts.
The magic system is interesting. Everyone in the world, or close to everyone, has either the ability to or latent ability to access magic. The magic is elemental based with the Goddesses being the only four able to use multiple incanta at the time. The magic is described as setting patterns and opening gates with their eyes. For some awesome reason, my brain is hitting on different magic imagery in anime. And I’m loving it.
As mentioned before, there are four Goddesses. In terms of mortality, they aren’t technically immortal. That said, they are essentially the Avatars (see Avatar: The Last Airbender) of Aeon. There is also a physical aspect to them that show they are filled with all this energy and power. Their hair changes color, like a prism in a way… or, I guess a better description would be like those fun white sequins that have a rainbow effect going on. So, the hair is that color, but it also just moves around on its own (think rainbow medusa). I know that’s weird, but I like that there is a huge distinction between the regular people and the Goddesses. It can be either detrimental or positive for them depending on where they are at. Which causes narrative conflict, and I’m all for that.
 The book is written in four different narrations, with some joining of the twins (Odessa and Haidee). Usually, the four different points of view would bother me and confuse me, but actually, this helps explain the world and story better. You have a better grasp of things and will learn something new about the dangers through these different personalities.
And each one is different. You have Lan, a ranger and healer. She has this duty-bound personality who will do something illegal, but not for herself. There is Arjun, a nomad with one hand. He is skilled in what he does and can be a bit full of himself, but all that is a facade. Then we have our Goddesses, Haidee and Odessa. Odessa is ill but doesn’t let that get in the way of her trying to do what’s right or what makes her happy. Haidee is the same, but without the illness and maybe a bit more gumption.
The differences in the narration style are slight in that each voice is so distinct. You experience the world through their eyes and you learn a little about the mystery of the older Goddesses, Latona and Asteria. I could go on and on about this, but I don’t want to give anything away.
The monsters and creatures are interesting. I am feeling the Mad Max vibe with the Hellmakers. The Frozen-esque vibe is there too, but I’m personally getting the idea of Attack on Titan or other animes. But that could just be me. No matter what, the world is so interesting that you can’t help but be immersed in it.
On a side note, Bug loves the cover (which I do as well). It sparked a heavy conversation with him on the fantasy and science aspect of a world that never moves. In this alone, I love the book. I have a feeling my 7yo will pick this book up when he’s older.
The only thing I will say against the book is that 400+ pages isn’t enough. What I mean by that is that the world is this much more interesting and I can’t wait for more, but I have to. And that sucks.
Final Rating: 4/5
Photo Content Rin Chupeco

Rin Chupeco has written obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and done many other terrible things. She now writes about ghosts and fantastic worlds but is still sometimes mistaken for a revenant. She is the author of The Girl from the Well, its sequel, The Suffering, and the Bone Witch trilogy.

       
WEEK ONE
OCTOBER 21st MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 22nd TUESDAY Bibliobibuli YA INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 22nd TUESDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 23rd WEDNESDAY Tea Party Princess GUEST POST 
OCTOBER 23rd WEDNESDAY Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews REVIEW & FILL IN THE BLANKS 
OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY Starlight Reads REVIEW 
OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY Random Bookish Banter REVIEW 
OCTOBER 25th FRIDAY bookishaestha REVIEW 
 
WEEK TWO
OCTOBER 28th MONDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW & INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 29th TUESDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW 
OCTOBER 30th WEDNESDAY A Bookish Dream REVIEW
OCTOBER 30th WEDNESDAY A Backwards Story REVIEW 
OCTOBER 31st THURSDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 31st THURSDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW
NOVEMBER 1st FRIDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW 
NOVEMBER 1st FRIDAY Life Within The Pages REVIEW
 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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BLOG TOUR(REVIEW): WHAT MAKES US by Rafi Mittlefehldt

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (October 15, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763697508
ISBN-13: 978-0763697501


Praise for WHAT MAKES US


What Makes Us is a heart-stopping, heartbreaking read — a book full of heart. Mittlefehldt’s thoughtful, nuanced exploration of identity pulled me in from the very first page, and I could barely put it down. Eran’s story takes a universal coming-of-age theme — finding out your parents aren’t who you thought they were — to a tightly wound and thrilling extreme. Most important, this book provides satisfying, much-needed representation of a contemporary, complex Jewish teen and his family. ―Lisa Rosinsky, author of Inevitable and Only

Provocative. ―Kirkus Reviews

A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving him to reckon with his heritage, legacy, and identity in this fiery, conversation-starting novel.

Eran Sharon knows nothing of his father except that he left when Eran was a baby. Now a senior in high school and living with his protective but tight-lipped mother, Eran is a passionate young man deeply interested in social justice and equality. When he learns that the Houston police have launched a program to increase traffic stops, Eran organizes a peaceful protest.

But a heated moment at the protest goes viral, and a reporter connects the Sharon family to a tragedy fifteen years earlier — and asks if Eran is anything like his father, a supposed terrorist. Soon enough, Eran is wondering the same thing, especially when the people he’s gone to school and temple with for years start to look at him differently.

Timely, powerful, and full of nuance, Rafi Mittlefehldt’s sophomore novel confronts the prejudices, fears, and strengths of family and community, striking right to the heart of what makes us who we are.

You can purchaseWhat Makes Us at the following Retailers:
       
MY REVIEW
I received a copy of WHAT MAKES US by Rafi Mittlefehldt by the publisher for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
What can I say about this book? This is one of those reads that I was pulled in and devoured. I was enthralled with the story. I was angry with the story. I loved the story. So many emotions and just not enough words to properly place my review.
Eran is a teenager with teenager emotions (extreme. Go ahead and fight me on this one, but come on, teens are a bit extreme). He is passionate and wants to do what is best for the world and in doing it, he jumps at the chance to speak every chance he gets. Okay… let me just backtrack on this.
To properly grasp this book, you need to look at society as a whole. What are we? What, as the title states, makes us? We are opinionated. We are passionate. We want change. But, do we pause and think before we act?
This book is about a teenager who learns something about himself because he acted without thinking first. It is about a woman who was forced to speak and take on the actions of a man she loved because no one bothered to think before acting on their pain. It is about a young girl who has always thought before acting and is pushed to act once she is pressured by outside forces and her internal ones.
We all act without thinking. And this book, as much as it is a story about a young boy learning about himself, is about how we all need to start thinking. We don’t need to stop acting, but we should still think and care. Our actions may not hurt us, but it could hurt others.
And this may seem philosophical and not to the point of the story, but as I’m sitting here and really think about what I’ve read (a beautiful book, mind you), I’m forced to make a literary comment on it. I’ve read other reviews talk about the individuals, but not the actual emotional impact they have felt upon reading the book. And this, this is my emotional take.
Mittlefehldt is a great writer. He is a great storyteller. I was talking to my best friend last night about how I was pulled away from the story not because the writing didn’t flow, but because they matched so well that I felt I was with the characters. I was angry with them. I wanted to be there, to hold them, to yell for them. I wanted to act. And even at the start of this review (which I am leaving unchanged because I feel it shows exactly what the book was intended for), I was acting before actively thinking about what I wanted to say.
And now that I am thinking, I’m seeing more than just the story given. I’m seeing me. I’m seeing you. I’m seeing Rafi Mittlefehldt. I’m seeing how there are always going to be differing opinions, but not enough quiet to actively just discuss.
Okay, in terms of story, you can guess that this book truly hit me. I wasn’t sure at first because I was worried this was a more politically leaning book. It isn’t and I’m glad about that because I honestly don’t want to ever air out my own personal politics online. But, once I really got into the book (which did not take long, probably around the five percent mark), I was in. I would read passages out loud. I would fan over the way Eran’s mom lived her life (seriously, this woman is goals. I need to be more like her).
The writing is . . . I don’t want to say normal . . . it’s how you would think life would have been written. Like, would you want your life described in flowy language or would you like the truth right there in your face? I personally like the truth. And though the story is told in a first person point of view (for Eran), I didn’t completely feel it was unreliable. I felt that for him, this was his truth, just as for the other points of view was theirs.
Honestly, I feel everyone should read this book. And, Mr. Mittlefehldt, thank you for writing it.
As I said before, this book isn’t just about a teen going through a discovery that nearly destroys his world. This book is about how we should all learn to pause, breathe, ride out the currents, or even just think before we act.
Final Rating: 5/5 (seriously, everyone needs to read this).
P.S. Mr. Mittlefehldt, you have a new fan. Hi, I’m that new fan.

WHAT MAKES US BY RAFI MITTLEFEHLDT EXCERPT
II

My mom’s hair is all curls. They wiggle when she shakes her head, even a bit. It’s a big bushy mass, jet black, a bird’s nest. I’d have to get close to see the roots, the tiniest bit of brown, probably not even a quarter inch. Eema will dye it again tonight. She won’t let more than a couple weeks go by.

“Why do you do that?” I asked her once. I’d watched her as she unwrapped her towel turban, quick but careful, practiced but vigilant, a ritual I’d seen millions of times but never thought about.

When I finally did, it occurred to me how weird it was. Eema’s not one to care about appearances more than is absolutely necessary. She’s not sloppy, not untidy; she just has no interest in cosmetics. If it’s not practical, it’s not worth doing. I’ve never seen her wear lipstick.

She paused in the middle toweling off her hair, as if she had never considered the question. “I prefer black,” she said. That was that.

I watch her now as she reads the Chronicle, curls shaking to tiny eruptions. The actual print version, no quaint. I look for the steam above her coffee and don’t see it. She almost never finishes her coffee, lets it cool half-full, but still complains about how expensive chicory is.

 

Copyright © 2019 by Rafi Mittlefehldt

Photo Credit: Damien Mittlefehldt

Rafi Mittlefehldt is a writer who has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance theater critic, and children’s author. His debut novel was It Looks Like This. Rafi Mittlefehldt lives with his husband in New York City.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Shortly after the horrific Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, I read an article that mentioned one of the bombers having left behind a wife and three-year-old daughter. It was a throwaway line, but it stuck with me — I couldn’t stop thinking about that girl, who was too young to understand what had happened. When would she find out who her father was, and how would she process that? How would others react to learning about her family history? Would she keep it a secret? Would her mother?

What Makes Us began very simply as a story exploring those questions. But as I fleshed out the two main characters, Eran and Jade, their personalities took the story deeper, toward matters that are personal to me but relatable to so many. Eran’s volatility and tendency to react instinctively force him to confront issues of impulse control and anger management. And both characters’ uncertainty regarding their own pasts compels them to wrestle with self-determination and to ask, What makes a person? As the novel switches between Eran’s and Jade’s perspectives, we see them reluctantly frame and then try to answer this question, all against the backdrop of a community on the brink of chaos.

       
WEEK ONE
OCTOBER 14th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 15th TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY Kait Plus Books FILL IN THE BLANKS
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY Novel Lives REVIEW & INTERVIEW
WEEK TWO
OCTOBER 21st MONDAY Insane About Books REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 22nd TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
OCTOBER 23rd WEDNESDAY Wishful Endings INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY Little Bookish Thoughts REVIEW & INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 24th THURSDAY The Phantom Paragrapher REVIEW
OCTOBER 25th FRIDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 25th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

 

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NERD BLAST: THE NIGHT WEAVER by Monique Snyman

Series: Shadow Grove (Book 1)
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 15, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1645480062
ISBN-13: 978-1645480068

Praise for THE NIGHT WEAVER“With its boogeyman-like creature based in lesser-known folklore, the novel is unique, as well as creepy and unsettling. It also functions on a metaphorical level, growing stronger by feeding on the negative emotions of the townspeople … The Night Weaver introduces a world of myth, intrigue, and darkness with considerable technique.” Foreword Reviews

“Simultaneously refreshing and deeply unsettling, The Night Weaver weaves together small-town horror with an intricate otherworldly fairytale to deliver a blend of horror and fantasy that captures the essence of young adult terror seasoned with the stuff of grown-up nightmares.” The Nerd Daily

“… a very easy to read page-turner … As the mystery develops it moves deeper into dark fantasy … brimming with ideas.” Ginger Nuts of Horror

“I have been searching high and low to find a writer that could intrigue me with writing as witty and crafty as Cassandra Clare, and lo and behold I found one. HOLY HELL what a read.” Nadine Maritz, MY HEAD “IN A NUTSHELL“
2018 BRAM STOKER AWARDS® Final Ballot FINAL BALLOT
LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 23, 2019

Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior achievement in writing in eleven categories. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe R. Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon convention.SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
•Ireland, Justina – Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray)
•Legrand, Claire – Sawkill Girls (Katherine Tegen Books)
•Maberry, Jonathan – Broken Lands (Simon & Schuster)
•Snyman, Monique – The Night Weaver
•White, Kiersten – The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press)

Shadow Grove isn’t a typical town. Bad things happen here. Children disappear, one after the other, and nobody is doing anything about it. Parents don’t grieve, missing posters don’t line the streets, and the sheriff seems unconcerned.

Seventeen-year-old Rachel Cleary lives on the outskirts of Shadow Grove, next to the creepy forest everyone pretends doesn’t exist. Usually the forest is filled with an eerie calm, and unmistakeable graveyard solemnity. But the trees have started whispering, forgotten creatures are stirring and the night feels darker than ever.

Something is stalking the residents of Shadow Grove, changing them into brain-dead caricatures of themselves. It’s up to Rachel to find a way to stop the devouring of her hometown before all is destroyed and everyone she loves is forever lost.

 
Original cover art by Marcela Bolivar 
And title treatment by Michael J. Canales

You can purchase The Night Weaver at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Content from Monique Snyman

Monique Snyman’s mind is a confusing bedlam of glitter and death, where candy-coated gore is found in abundance and homicidal unicorns thrive. Sorting out the mess in her head is particularly irksome before she’s ingested a specific amount of coffee, which is equal to half the recommended intake of water for humans per day. When she’s not playing referee to her imaginary friends or trying to overdose on caffeine, she’s doing something with words—be it writing, reading, or fixing all the words.

Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her husband and an adorable Chihuahua. She’s the author of MUTI NATION, a horror novel set in South Africa, and Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, THE NIGHT WEAVER, which is the first installment in a dark fantasy series for young adults.

        

 

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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BLOG TOUR(REVIEW) : WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW by Merry Jones

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing (October 7, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1946802409
ISBN-13: 978-1946802408



Praise for MERRY JONES

“A nurturing and protective elementary school teacher is thrust into a web of unspeakable evil. Riveting, suspenseful and diabolical, Child’s Play keeps the reader anxiously and eagerly turning the pages.” ―Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author on Child’s Play

“…thrill ride…packs a wallop. By the end, the body count of Child’s Play adds up to eight (plus one rape), and delivers the shocking answer.” ―Mystery Scene on Child’s Play

“Surprising, dark, and even disturbing. A fragile and vulnerable young teacher faces a terrifying first day of school―and that is just the riveting beginning. Timely, provocative and sinister, this twisty story of family and friendship is not for the faint of heart.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author on Child’s Play

“What’s behind these horrors culminates in helter-skelter chaos. Elle’s home becomes the center of a tragic universe, since she ‘attracted tragedy and death.’ That combination is magnified many fold as bodies pile up. And readers are left enchanted by another ‘Elle-oquent’ thriller.” ―BookReporter on Child’s Play

“The murder of the principal and a teacher on opening day at an elementary school, a terrifying scenario. In Child’s Play Merry Jones showcases her unique skill in delivering this dark, very dark, thriller with a modicum of humor. The end, well, you won’t see it coming amid the tortuous twists and turns. Merry Jones at her best!” ―Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling author of After the Fall on Child’s Play

“In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher―both of whom treated Ty cruelly―are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s complex feelings toward her late husband―who was murdered while they were separated―add nuance and depth.” ―Publishers Weekly on Child’s Play

Nora Warren hides her dark side well because she’s had years of practice.

The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer.

At least, she feels like one.

Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed.

Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she?

How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?


You can purchaseWhat You Don’t Know at the following Retailers:
       
MY REVIEW
I received a copy of What You Don’t Know for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.
The first thing that grabbed me about this book is the interesting way the narration goes. The best way I can describe it is that this book is more of a character study than a mystery. You know there is a mystery and you are questioning what is happening, but everything revolves around Nora. It is Nora you are left really wondering about.
The book is written with the past and present interlocking. It is well written and grabs you. You are taken through her preteen years and the main thread of the story. That said, the story itself could seem a bit slow getting there. But that doesn’t bother me. It’s the way Nora is written that had me wondering who she really was and how she was going to interact with everything around.
Despite the possible slow feel at getting to the main plot, the book was hard to put down. It is very easy for the reader to get to the halfway point in one sitting. Merry Jones did a great job of engaging the reader, hooking them, and fishing along the river.
I honestly can’t say more about the book aside that even though the blurb feels like you will know the whole story, you won’t. If I say anything else, I would be seriously spoiling the book (which doesn’t bother me, but it might you).
All in all, I really liked how it was written and I found myself being sympathetic and understanding much of Nora, but still questioning everything.
Final Rating: 4/5

Excerpt from Nora’s preteen years:

Nora was on her bike, waiting while the high school bus struggled up the hill, sputtering to a stop.

The doors folded open and the driver yelled, “No more roughhousing, you two. Next time, you’ll walk home, the both of you.”

And, oh God, Tommy tumbled out backwards into the street, landing on his butt and scuttling backwards like a panicked crab as Craig Troeschler jumped off and followed after him, swinging Tommy’s empty backpack. Tommy raised his hands, protecting his head. The doors closed and the bus chugged away with a dozen noses pressed against the windows.

Nora tried to look away, but Craig’s voice boomed at Tommy.

“Don’t ever take my seat again! Hear me, you sorry piece of shit? Next time you see me standing on the bus, what are you going to do?”

Craig whapped the backpack at Tommy’s hands and head, and Tommy turned away, dodging and cowering. His face flushed crimson, even darker where black fuzz grew in unshaven patches along his jaw.

Tommy muttered something.

“What? I didn’t hear you.” Craig’s grin gleamed, vicious. He kept swinging the canvas bag.

“I said I’ll get up and give you the seat.” Tommy hunched, arms protecting his head.

“You’ll give me the seat?” Slap. “What else will you do?” Whap. “Say it.”

“I’ll go away.”

“Wrong!” Craig bent over him, growling. “What will you do?”

“Crawl. I’ll crawl away.” Tommy’s voice was husky. A swallowed sob.

Craig stopped smacking and jeered. “That’s right, crybaby douchebag. You’ll get on the ground with the rest of the dirt and crawl out of my sight.” He threw the book bag at him, spit at the ground, and sauntered off across the street.

Toward Nora.

Nora didn’t move, couldn’t. What had just happened? Craig Troeschler was an older kid who lived in a red brick house up the street. What did he have against Tommy? And the driver—he and all the other kids on the bus must have seen what Craig was doing. Why hadn’t they stopped him? Unless—

The realization hit like a slap. It appeared like a rewind, like scattered shards unshattering and reconnecting into an unbroken whole. In a short, silent moment, Nora knew why Tommy hid in his room and never invited anyone over. Why he slunk around without making a sound. She’d known he wasn’t popular or cool. But the truth was far worse: Tommy, her big brother, was the brunt of jokes. He was a wimp who got bullied. A loser. A freak.

Nora’s whole body went numb. She wished she hadn’t seen what happened. It wasn’t her business. She wasn’t part of it, had nothing to do with it, had stumbled into it by chance. What should she have done? Intervene? Stand up for her older brother and confront an even older, bigger Craig who had just acted meaner than anyone she’d ever seen before, who even on that warm spring day was wearing a black biker leather jacket that matched his greased-back shoe-polish-black hair?

Nora didn’t know what her role should be, how she should act, so she did nothing. Even when Craig walked right up to her, standing at the bus stop with her bike, she said nothing. For a flickering heartbeat, she thought, oh God, he was going to pick on her for just standing there, witnessing, or for being Tommy’s sister. Did he know she was his sister? But he passed her by without the merest glimpse, not even a grunt.

Tommy looked up, then, probably to make sure Craig was gone. For an endless, permanent, never-to-be-forgotten moment, brother and sister stared at each other in silent recognition of Tommy’s humiliation, his perpetual victimization, his tormented hopelessness.

Copyright © 2019 by Merry Jones

Photo Credit: Bill Eckland

Merry Jones is an award winning author who has written humor (eg. I LOVE HIM, BUT…), non-fiction (eg. BIRTHMOTHERS), and dark suspense (eg. the Zoe Hayes mysteries, the Harper Jennings thrillers, and the Elle Harrison suspense novels). Now, with her twentieth book,WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, she’s entering the domain of domestic psychological suspense. Jones taught college writing courses for fifteen years, and leads seminars, appears on panels at writing conferences, and, with fellow members of the Liars Club, cohosts a monthly writers’ coffeehouse and the weekly Oddcast, a podcast devoted to writing and other creative endeavors. 

Jones’s work has been translated into seven languages and has appeared in magazines, such as American Woman and Glamour. Jones is a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far) lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where she is an avid rower on the Schuylkill River and a member of Vesper Boat Club. Visit her at MerryJones.com.

       
PART ONE
OCTOBER 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 9th WEDNESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY On My Bookshelf REVIEW
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW 
PART TWO
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace GUEST POST
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY BookHounds INTERVIEW
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

 

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BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): THE RIFT by Rachael Craw

Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press (October 8, 2019)
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Language: English

ISBN1536211281/9781536211283
Young Adult Novel/Hardback



Praise for THE RIFT

“Thrilling … A fresh and original story; a standout in the fantasy genre. The romance between Cal and Meg blends envy, desire and uncertainty with a potent authenticity. Written with a sparse lovely poetry, The Rift demands an immersion that is intoxicating. I can’t recommend this enough.” ―Isabelle Carmody, author of The Obernewtyn Chronicles and The Gathering

“Gripping, brutal, tender. You won’t be able to put this book down.” ―Michael Pryor, author of The Laws Of Magic series and Gap Year in Ghost Town.

“Beautiful, dark and deliciously tense – an astonishing world that will hold you in its finely wrought claws.” ―Alison Goodman, author of the Lady Helen series and the Eon series.

“Masterful and brilliant! Beautiful world building, stunning writing, a cracking plot, perfectly paced and hot romantic tension. Craw has outdone herself.” ―Fleur Ferris, best-selling author of Risk, Black, Wreck and Found

Storylines Notable Book Award, 2019
Finalist, New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, 2019

As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young friends must try to protect the precious Old Herd — and their island itself.

For generations, the rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against the horrors released by the Rift. And Cal West, an apprentice ranger, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. But even greater challenges await with the return of his childhood friend Meg Archer and the onset of a new threat that not even the rangers are prepared for. Now Meg and Cal, while struggling with their mutual attraction, must face their darkest fears to save the island from disaster. In a possible near future where Big Pharma is pitted against ancient traditions and the supernatural, Rachael Craw’s gripping and brutal tale, inspired by Greek mythology, will immerse readers and leave them intoxicated by its richly imagined world.


You can purchaseThe Rift at the following Retailers:
       

MY REVIEW

I want to first thank the publisher for my copy of the book. What follows is an honest review and my opinion alone. There was no compensation given for this review.

What instantly pulled me into this book was the blurb. It seemed so different and interesting that I wanted to crack this book open. What kept me going was the ambiance and the world. I’m not sure if the Pacific Northwest was an inspiration for the book or not, but I got some serious PNW vibes with Black Water Island. And to top it off, I also got some Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle vibes. So, I was very much on board with this book.

In terms of story pacing, the story itself is a bit slow in the beginning. More so because you don’t really get what is going on in the Island and how Meg and Cal fall into the world. It’s not slow in the writing, just in the mental execution as a reader. That said, once you hit about 80 pages, you should know whether or not you are in for the story. I was in.

I absolutely loved Cal and Joss. Joss for his perky sidekick ways of doing things. He had a whole bunch of personality and just not enough time to keep him going. There is no restraining that boy and I would love to see more of him. As for Cal, he had that big broody kind of attitude with him. The silent type who won’t speak unless it’s very important. And I was very into it.

Note, it is rare for me to “fall” for a character and I definitely fell for Cal. I wanted to cuddle him and just hiss at all the others (except Joss, he can stay).

Meg wasn’t a bad character. She grew on me as the book progressed and I do like her as a character. The way she and Cal worked against or with each other was well done. She and the other characters had a great chemistry.

The world itself is so expansive that there doesn’t seem to be enough to talk about it. Even though this book is written as a standalone, I can definitely see the story and world progress. There is so much left to understand. Like the Rift, Fallon, the Hounds. . . so much more I want.

The story wasn’t predictable, but I can see where you would be able to guess what is going on. In my case, I was too inside the world to really try to theorize or guess what was happening. I just wanted to be immersed and stay in there for a little while. And, on a huge plus, I was able to read the book in three days (I’ve been having a big reading problem lately so this was a big win for me). I didn’t want to put it down!

Final Rating: 4/5

P.S. Ms. Craw (if you happen to read this), I would love more. I know you don’t have anything planned, but there is just so much with the world and how you set up the characters. Come on, you know Joss needs to be out more. Okay, I’m done being a bother, but really, I am definitely going to need more of your writing (though I still say more of the rangers please!).

Photo Content from Rachael Craw

Rachael Craw began her working life as an English teacher after completing a degree in Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury. She dabbled in acting, directing and writing for amateur theatre productions and small independent film ventures. Her passion for dialogue and characterisation finally led to long-form writing with the Spark series. Rachael’s enthusiasm for classical heroes, teen angst and popular culture informs much of her creative process. She enjoys small town life teaching, writing and mentoring at the top of the South Island of New Zealand where she lives with her husband and three daughters.

 
       
WEEK ONE
OCTOBER 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
OCTOBER 9th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books TENS LIST
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW 
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY TTC Books and More EXCERPT
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY Wonder Struck REVIEW
WEEK TWO
OCTOBER 14th MONDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf INTERVIEW
OCTOBER 15th TUESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
OCTOBER 16th WEDNESDAY Gwendalyn’s Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 17th THURSDAY The Moonlight Library REVIEW & GUEST POST 
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY Insane About Books REVIEW 
OCTOBER 18th FRIDAY On My Bookshelf REVIEW & EXCERPT
 
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

 

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NERD BLAST: Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner


Hardcover: 314 pages
Publisher: Vesuvian Books (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944109366
ISBN-13: 978-1944109363

Praise for SPEAK NO EVIL
Recommended for the INDIE NEXT LIST“… suspense and intrigue … Melody’s story is grim, but hope is weaved in throughout … highly emotional.” ―School Library Journal

“Gardner tackles difficult topics, including bullying and abuse of all types, in a way that is both artistic, respectful … [and] masterfully written.” ―BookTrib

“… a touching tribute to the power of love, faith and steadfast, patient kindness to heal the damage done by human cruelty and thoughtlessness.” ―IndieReader Approved

“… a very powerful novel that depicts the cruelty and injustice of the world while also highlighting the ever-present beauty that few see when struggling with dark issues. The book displays the power that love and music have even in the darkest of times. Gardner does an excellent job of portraying a teenage worldview while focusing on adult concepts.” ―US Review of Books

“There are too many Melody Fisher’s in our homes and schools who lock themselves away in a world where they are both desperate to be heard and afraid to speak up … Speak No Evil is their story. A brilliant and novel approach to addressing important social issues.” ―Viga Boland, Author of No Tears for my Father

“WOW! Just WOW! Gardner is a great author telling a story of death, sorrow, and so much more. You will fall in love with Melody … You will feel her sorrow … You will feel her shame … you will feel everything with this character. A MUST read that will make you sit and think well after you turned the last page.” ―Bookworm Tri-Cities, Bookstore

“… alternately beautiful and troubling–and a totally compelling read … Gardner’s characters are finely drawn and credible, and her plot is so relevant considering the thousands of children lost in the foster care system and at the mercy of those charged to care for them.” ―Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite

“… Melody’s silence signifies the way some women feel about sharing their stories with other people, and how difficult it is to overcome the desire to retreat. I urge others to read it; the story of Melody and her bravery will speak to you and stay with you for quite some time.” ―Tracy Young, Bulgarian Review

“Any victim of abuse, or those who blame themselves for events out of their control, needs to read this novel … This book should be in every school library and youth centre. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” ~Lesley Jones, UK authorbly with Noah’s grief, and readers will appreciate his return to the field.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

TRUTH IS THE HARBINGER OF HELL

What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?

My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.

And it’s all my fault.

Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.

I was wrong.

But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago. Back when I would sing the snakes calm …

You can purchase Speak No Evil at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Content from Liana Gardner

Liana Gardner is the award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution and the Misfit McCabeseries. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.

She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.

Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people “think globally and earn locally.”

        

 

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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NERD BLAST: The Other, Better Me by Antony John

ISBN: 9780062835659
ISBN 10: 0062835653
Imprint: HarperCollins On Sale: 10/01/2019
Pages: 272
Ages: 8 to 12
BISAC1: JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Parents
BISAC2: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying
BISAC3: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship

Praise for THE OTHER, BETTER ME“The characters are well drawn and believable. Cheerful Lola’s refreshing.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Lola is a strong, grounded character who might be temporarily shaken by fears or unhappiness but finds her equilibrium with the help of her extended, intergenerational network of friends. Her involving first-person narrative reveals insecurities known to many young readers and offers insights into the meaning of family.” ―ALA Booklist

From the critically acclaimed author of Mascot comes this heartfelt novel, perfect for fans of John David Anderson and Cammie McGovern, about a girl searching for the meaning of family.

Lola and Momma have always been a team of two. It hasn’t always been easy for Lola, being one of the only kids she knows with just one parent around. And lately she’s been feeling incomplete, like there’s a part of herself that she can’t know until she knows her dad.

But what will happen—to Lola, to Momma, to their team of two—if she finds him?

You can purchase The Other, Better Me at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Content from Antony John

Antony John was born in England and raised on a balanced diet of fish and chips, obscure British comedies, and ABBA’s Greatest Hits. In a fit of teenage rebellion, he decided to pursue a career in classical music, culminating in a BA from Oxford University and a PhD from Duke University. Along the way, he worked as an ice cream seller on a freezing English beach, a tour guide in the Netherlands, a chauffeur in Switzerland, a barista in Seattle, and a university professor. He lives in St. Louis with his family.

      

 

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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