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text 2017-09-01 15:44
Interview & Giveaway: Hollie Overton

Wow I cannot believe that it is already September and I am starting my &th year Blogoversary event. If you have been part of previous years you know I always like to feature a debut and up and coming author. This year's kickoff author is Hollie Overton, whose debut novel Baby Doll was a really good debut novel that explore the unique relationship between kidnapper and captive. Pleas Welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

Hollie Overton
If there was one author, you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why? 
I’d have to say JK Rowling. I love the world she created and to be able to work with her and see how she does what she does would be amazing.
Is there a book, author, story or person that inspired you to become a writer? 
My reading has always been varied and across genres so I don’t know if there’s one author or book I can credit inspiring me to become a writer. A few of my favorites growing up were Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, R.L. Stein, Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Francine Pascal, and the list goes on and on.  My biggest inspiration though and the reason I became a storyteller was my mother. She always encouraged my creativity and has been my guiding force.
You are one of the series writers for the TV for several popular shows (Shadowhunters, Cold Case and The Client List), why did you decide to write a novel?  
I love writing television but there are times when I’ve struggled to get work. It was very frustrating to keep writing scripts and to feel like the door was constantly slamming in your face. I was unemployed for awhile, and incredibly frustrated with my TV career. I decided I needed to go back to writing for the pure love and joy of it and to stop worrying about all the business stuff and the marketability, etc. that starts to dominate your writing when you work in Hollywood. That’s when everything changed.  I just had the spark of an idea, and suddenly I couldn’t stop writing about Lily, the central character in Baby Doll. Ninety pages later, I had what is basically the first part of the novel.
How does writing a novel differ from writing for TV? 
In some ways they are very similar. You’re creating a story from nothing, creating compelling characters, a compelling plot, etc. But TV writing is collaborative. You have to be willing to share your ideas, and have some or depending on the day, all of those ideas rejected. You’re not in charge and that’s what you have to do. Writing novels is all about you. For better or worse, you make the decisions so there’s no one to blame if readers don’t like your characters or your plot. Writing novels is also very solitary which if you’re extroverted like I am, can be challenging. As a TV writer, you’re surrounded by people, sharing ideas, laughing, talking, making one another work harder to tell the best story possible. That’s why I enjoy doing both!  I get the best of the two worlds.

Shadowhunters is based upon Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, what are some additional challenges for writing a show that is based upon such a well-known novel and characters? 
Shadowhunters is a big epic story so the challenge was always finding ways to streamline the plot without sacrificing the core essence of the book and the characters.  There’s a lot of pressure to honor what the fans love while also finding ways to surprise them. So much thought and care is taken into telling these stories because all the writers are fans of the novels and understand how important these stories are to the fans. We worked very hard to make sure we kept pivotal moments, while also trying to put a unique spin on things. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?  
I imagine historical fiction would be quite challenging, making sure you’re getting all the history correct while also telling an entertaining story. If you’re not skilled, you could have a book full of facts and a dull story or you could have an interesting story but none of the history adds up.  To me, that seems like a lot of pressure. 

Stockholm syndrome plays a big part in this book and I thought that dynamic between Lily and her kidnapper was really well done and not as straight forward as many people think it should be. And it in the story it was important to highlight this relationship, what type of research did you do on the syndrome? Was there a real life incident that you modeled theirs after? 
I’m so glad you found that part well done! I consulted with an FBI agent who handled abduction cases as speaking with a social worker friend about the psychological effects abuse would have on someone. But I didn’t research that part of Baby Doll as much as others because over the years I’d read a lot about kidnappings and the power an abductor has over their captor. In my mind, Lily could never really love Rick but the hold he had over her wouldn’t just vanish over night. She’d have to fight to rid herself of those feelings and how he’d manipulated her. That’s what I wanted to explore.

You are an identical twin yourself, so the “twin aspect” you highlight within Baby Doll is normal for you. How much of the interaction between Lily and Abby is based upon interactions between you and your sister? Did you try to put yourselves in the mindset of these two characters and think how you would each might have reacted? 
I’d say almost ninety-nine percent of their dynamic was inspired by own relationship with my twin sister, Heather. We’re incredibly close. We talk on the phone constantly, text nonstop and see each other probably six days a week.  What’s interesting about the twin relationship is that you really struggle to find your identity on your own but at some point when you get older, at least in our case, you accept that this person really does complete you.  There’s no one in the world I’d rather hang out with than my sister. That’s why it’s so devastating when Abby and Lily lose one another. They really are losing a piece of themselves. So it was very easy to put myself in Abby and Lily’s shoes. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? 
My next book THE WALLS was released on August 10th in the US and UK and I’m having a book launch in LA at Book Soup in West Hollywood on the 10th and in Corpus Christi, TX at Barnes and Noble on Sept. 23rd. I’m also interviewing new TV jobs and I’m working on my third book.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read?  
One of my favorites recently is All the Little Children by Jo Furniss. It’s The Road meets Lord of the Flies with two amazing female heroines at the center. The book isn’t out until September but I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy.  I only planned to read a few pages. Instead, I cancelled all my plans and devoured it in one day. It’s a fast-paced read with tons of heart and emotional twists and turns. 

I just want to say Thank you once again to Hollie for being part of my Blogoversary I know it takes time to answer the questions and as you can tell Hollie is very busy. I really do recommend that you check out her debut novel as see for yourself just how well done the Stockholm syndrome aspect was done. Hollie has very nicely provided a giveaway (INT) to go along with her interview, so please enter the rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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url 2016-03-30 13:36
Blogoversary Giveaway

I can't believe I've been blogging for five years. It's really something. I guess blogging just becomes a part of you, even though it's a hobby, and then time passes and wow.

Well, anyway. One part of blogging that I really enjoy is the community. The community is so foundational to everything that you do. And one thing that the community does really well is keep books alive. So, today, to celebrate blogging for five years, here's the requirement for this giveaway.

Tell me about your favorite #QuietYA. Were it  not for bloggers, I wouldn't have discovered some of my favorite books, and some of these quiet YA books especially fall into the cracks. So tell me about your favorite #QuietYA. They don't have to be in any specific time period. If you liked a book from the 1990s, go ahead and recommend it! If you thought that a 2015 book fell into the cracks, go ahead and recommend it! Just tell me why you love it. Help me build up my recommendation and TBR list. We all know bloggers are excellent at that.


ON THE ORIGINAL POST (aka linked above), I have a rafflecopter form, so you’ll be able to enter the giveaway there!

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url 2015-03-27 14:13
Blogging Milestones I've Missed

Since I'm celebrating my blogoversary this month, I thought that it would be appropriate to talk about my experience blogging... and all the blogging "milestones" I've missed. Writing out this post has made me realize just how different all of our experiences are. Of course I knew that already, but I could probably come up with so many "milestones" I've missed -- and are the milestones I've chosen milestones you would choose yourself? What really are blogging "milestones?"

When I think of blogging milestones, I think of the things that are talked about the most. Publishing contacts, ARCs, statistics, relationships with authors. I can't seem to remember a single blogger mentioning how many posts they've made over the years, but I can still remember Mundie Moms announcing that they'd reached a million views (and now I keep eyeing my view count; almost to half a million o.O). So, I guess I'll just go through the typical milestones for now.

The first ARC I had wasn't one I'd gotten by email request. I'd volunteered at the Romantic Book Lovers Convention in Los Angeles, and the workers there allowed my friend and I to take a few bags with us as a gift for our hard work. One of them had Sarah Dessen's latest book, What Happened to Goodbye. I devoured it as I've devoured other Sarah Dessen novels and then I hosted one of my first ever giveaways. Because that was completely unexpected -- getting books -- I wonder if I've devalued ARCs over the years. Having them in my hands matters less to me than the privilege of getting to read a book before its release date anyway, which was why sites like Around the World tours were so awesome in my beginning years.

I've never sent in an email request for an ARC. I'm sure if I had, I wouldn't done that great of a job or followed Lili's guidelines on email requests. For me blogging -- I hope -- has always been a side thing. The last barrier I set myself was the email request. If I sent one in, I was in much too deep. There's always something to read... and nowadays if I do want to read and review something early, I go for the easy so-little-effort-required click-a-button e-requests on Netgalley and Edelweiss. I do wonder sometimes what it'd be like to send in those requests and actually have someone respond. The first time I was randomly included on a MacMillan email, it felt like I was more a part of the community -- even though I hadn't known such catalogs existed. It's a little ridiculous, right?

In fact I try to avoid making contacts -- or so it seems like. When I went to BEA this past year, I didn't really make an official "I'm-going-to-BEA" post and reach out to blogger friends. I didn't really try and network with publicists. I knew I could've done better on many counts, but it felt so much like my aversion to sending in email requests. I complain about how much time blogging takes up -- if I start making contacts and actually try to get on lists, I'll never dig myself out of the hole that I willmake myself fall into! Because I would get sucked in. As for not letting people know I was there, that was more because I was with my friend and wanted it to be "our" time for the most part. Still I could improve a lot on my friend-making networking -- but again time o.O. But then comes the question: why do this at all???? I keep struggling with that question. Post more, read and review more, or try and be more socially active?

Going to author and industry events sometimes bores me and so I don't really feel like I've had a milestone with these events (note: I never went to these events). Maybe this isn't really a milestone, but it feels like as a blogger, you can get really excited about the author events that happen nearby. I mean the people who know about these events are the ones who are either really INTO that author's books or are active online enough to have seen the information somewhere. I've gone to maybe three. And half of it is that I don't actually care whether an author signs a book. The book is like the author and an author's signature, no? And so much information is available online that Q&As sometimes seem pointless. The main attraction is the presentation bit -- which sometimes gets repeated -- and potentially meeting up with people. But despite making blogosphere friends, I'm terrible at knowing people in the area I live in (generally). Now I'm better, but even now exerting the effort... hm.

Part of that "meh" feeling is because I'd been following author blogs long before I'd joined the blogging community. That was the first step for me. Read the books and then follow what it says on the author flap - find them online, see when their next book released. In fact, before I even joined the community, I sent one of my favorite authors a fan letter. I asked for her advice. I was in a bad place then -- sophomore year of college, I hadn't yet admitted to myself that pre-med was not my thing and getting worse grades than I was used to in a selective college didn't mean I was a failure -- and that author had consistently posted about self-love. I was not loving myself much then. She was so nice and posted her response for others to see, and so in some sense, my first interaction with an author came much before even becoming a blogger. And thinking about how she responded almost makes me think that though other authors would probably respond in similar ways, there's no beating that sort of response. No other interaction -- I know bloggers count being acknowledged by authors as milestones -- could beat out the time that she cheered me (a little - I mean, I needed a lot of work that year) during a less than happy day/month/year.

And when I first started blogging, I was really into looking at my follower counts. But the actual number means so little. I could host so many giveaways and build up that number and not have people actually care about this blog. Learning about that has been its own milestone. It also makes me want to be more involved in the community. I have SO MANY IDEAS. New posts and things that I want to do -- but then I remember the rules I've set for email ARC requests and it's like, well, you can't do those things unless you want to spend A LOT more time blogging. And do you? Maybe, but there are other things that need to get done first.

What blogging milestones have you missed? Have there been times when you've felt like you put in too much time blogging or you've cared less about ARCs/contacts/author interactions/etc.?

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url 2015-03-17 11:53
4 Year Blogoversary Giveaway

Guess what?

I've been blogging for about four years now.


Okay, so I don't know the exact date because I remember deleting some of my very first posts (I mean, c'mon, who doesn't get embarrassed by their earlier work?)... buuuut I know that I started blogging in March and we're here to celebrate!


First I'd like to thank all of you for being so wonderful <3. Readers, friends. There's no doubt that I would not have continued all these years were it not for the community and you wonderful, wonderful people. Thanks!

Second let's hope it's "four years and counting." I have no plans to quit any time soon, but I do wonder whether I'll be able to keep up with blogging if I get accepted into graduate school.

Third let's not dwell on those sad things. Let's celebrate!

I posted about the February YA Buzz Books from HarperCollins in my February Recap.

All That Burns by Ryan Graudin | Goodreads
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?
Unleashed by Sophie Jordan | Goodreads
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.
Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.
Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.
No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss | Goodreads
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Published by: Greenwillow Books

Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they've lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn't know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the "end of the world." Because of course the end didn't come. And now they're living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor | Goodreads
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen
Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.
But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?
Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.
This is for US readers only.
Sorry, but with the amount of shipping I'll be doing in this post, I need to cut back somewhere.
Ends 04/15.
[RAFFLECOPTER FORM HERE, follow link to blog!]
And we have some other ARCs.
So, funny story. In the summer or fall of 2014 (? don't remember - it was a WHILE ago), Francesca Zappia, author of Made You Up, asked me whether I wanted to be put on her ARC spreadsheet. I said sure. I was definitely going to read and purchase MYU no matter what, so why not read the ARC and post a review to help promote her novel? But the time passed and passed. I saw some other people with Chessie's physical ARCs. So I downloaded MYU from Edelweiss, read the e-ARC, and posted my very lengthy Goodreads review. I basically assumed that I wasn't going to get an ARC, and then the first week of March, this arrives.
Wait... what??? Now I'm wondering whether me being on Chessie's list was the reason why I'd received the YA Buzz Books from HarperCollins. No idea but now I've got some other ARCs to give away to y'all as well.
And yes.
You really, really, really want to read Made You Up. It's fantastic.
Which is why I'm posting about Made You Up but withholding a giveaway for that ARC until my interview with Chessie later this month :).
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman | Goodreads
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Published by: Balzer + Bray

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia | Goodreads
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.
Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 
Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.
Lies I Told by Michelle Zink | Goodreads
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen

What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you've told yourself?

Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.

But it’s all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught...including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

Perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Gail Carriger, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.

Encore to an Empty Room by Kevin Emerson | Goodreads
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Published by: Katherine Tegen


Summer always wanted Dangerheart—the band of talented exiles she manages—to find success. Now that they've become an overnight sensation, her hard work is really starting to pay off.
So how come her life seems to be snapping like an old guitar string?
Maybe it's because part of her knows that college applications are due soon, but another part of her can't imagine leaving her life behind—especially when the band is on the verge of a record deal and her relationship is becoming something more than she ever dreamed of. And especially when there's a chance of finding another missing song written by the famous dead rocker who is also Caleb's father.
But are Caleb, the band's future, and the lost songs more important than college? Summer will have to decide. It's time to choose who she wants to be, even if that might mean kissing Caleb good-bye.
Filled with infectious music, mystery, and romance, this electrifying sequel to Kevin Emerson's Exile doesn't miss a beat.
This giveaway is for US & INT readers.
Help spread the word for these yet-to-be-released books!
Ends 04/15.
[RAFFLECOPTER FORM HERE, follow link to blog!]
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photo 2014-10-19 13:08

The Sunday Post ~ 63rd Edition ~ The one where my blog is 3 yrs old today!

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-sunday-post-63rd-edition.html
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