The time it was the May I Suggest hop {2}

Hooray for a new giveaway hop! This one is being hosted by Stuck in Books!

May-I-Suggest-Giveaway-HopThere are so many books I want to force into the hands of people suggest and it was really hard to narrow it down.  The books I decided on have been some of my favorite reads of 2015.

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Winner gets to choose one of the books shown above. If you haven’t heard of these books, click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page. Contest is international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country for free. Additional rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

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Now that you’ve entered here, check out all of the other blogs on the hop {listed below} for a bazillion chances to win other phenomenal books!

The time it was about The Replaced

I think it’s no secret how much I loved The Taking by Kimberly Derting.  Have you read The Replaced yet?

qBefore we get to the epic giveaway of awesome, let’s check out the book!

21522102Romantic and action-packed, The Replaced is the gripping second installment in the Taking trilogy.

Kyra hasn’t been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted—all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it’s a risk to go after him. What if it’s a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn’t the same boy she lost?

Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series, The Replaced is both chilling and explosive, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills that will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human.

Sounds good, right?

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The Replaced came out yesterday! You can find it at Indiebound | The Book Depository | B&N | Amazon

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kimberly-derting-color-pressKimberly Derting is the author of the award winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING and THE REPLACED (the first two books in The Taking trilogy).

Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the gloomy weather is ideal for writing anything dark and creepy. Her three beautiful (and often mouthy) children serve as an endless source of inspiration and frequently find things they say buried in the pages of their mother’s books, or on Twitter for the world to see.

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You can find Kimberly on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.  The other tour stops are here.

And now the best part! Check out this awesome giveaway!!

DertingPrizeOne winner will get an iPad Mini 16 GB Wifi {US only} OR a $200 Gift Card to the online BOOK retailer of their choice {INT}

**Good Luck!!**

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The time it was about The Remedy

When I saw the announcement for the blog tour for The Remedy by Suzanne Young, I couldn’t fill out the form fast enough.  I’ve always loved Suzanne and I love this series, so I was super excited to get to do some promo. Thankfully, I was chosen to be one of the tour stops!

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Before we get to Suzanne’s interview, let’s check out the book.

The Remedy FINAL to SYIn a world before The Program…

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.

Sounds good, right?

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1. Where did the idea for The Remedy come from?

I write a lot about grief in my books because it’s something that changed me. At one point, to deal with my grief, I had to pretend that the person was still alive, just on vacation. Messed up, right? Last year I’d been watching a television show and saw a mother desperate for one more minute with her child. I thought about it. What would I give for that extra minute? Could grief overcome rational thought? How far would we go to fix a broken heart? That’s where The Remedy came from.

2. Why do you love Quinn and why should readers root for her?

I adore Quinn. On the surface, she’s funny, smart, tough. But as I know her, she’s the kind of person who WANTS to help others. She gives her life to them, selflessly, without expectations. She believes in what she does. And when things get bad for her, she doesn’t give up. She fights.

3. Without spoilers, were there any scenes you had to cut that you wished you could have kept?

I had written a love scene with a character, but ended up cutting it. It crossed a line that I wasn’t sure readers would forgive. Ultimately, I cut it.

4. Describe The Remedy in 5 words.

A heartbreaking, courageous, devastating, WTF thriller

Speed [ish] round:

1. What is your favorite guilty pleasure thing to eat?

I would say pizza, but I have no shame in the amount I consume. So maybe it would be Peeps.

2. What are you currently reading?

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller (for a second time).

3. You wake up and find you’re Bella from Twilight. You know how it plays out, what do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

Huh… What part of the series am I in? I guess from the start, I’d finish high school, go to college, and then maybe turn into a vampire. It didn’t seem all that bad, really… I’d just stay in the Northwest.

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Young2014-9Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order.

Suzanne is the author of THE PROGRAM, THE TREATMENT, THE REMEDY, and HOTEL RUBY. She was also on an episode of House Hunters where she talked about her love of grass and trees (while living in the desert).

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Huge thanks to the ladies at Rockstar Book tours for letting me be a part of this.  And squishy hugs to Suzanne for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Instagram, liking her Facebook page, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

The Remedy came out on 4/21. You can find it at Changing Hands | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Amazon

Definitely check out the other tour stops for all sorts of awesome.

And now the giveaway {US only}!

1 winner will receive a signed set of The Program, The Treatment, and The Remedy.

1 winner will receive a signed ARC of Hotel Ruby.

**Good Luck!!**

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The time it was about a heart

I had planned on seeing Jessi Kirby at FoB, but that didn’t happen. Her launch party date had always been on my calendar and since Awesomeboss doesn’t care when I leave work, I took the trip to Newport Beach. I got up to the store around 3:30. I was able to find the books pretty quickly, but no one seemed to know where the event was actually going to take place. With time to kill, I found a chair and just hung out.

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Keiko was also attending the event, so we met up and hung out before hand. By 5:30, the event area still wasn’t set up and the various employees couldn’t tell us where it was going to be. Around 5:45, they set up chairs and a table next to the escalator. By then, Jessi had already walked by and chatted with us for a second.

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John Corey Whaley came out to introduce Jessi.

I know that she’s a very prolific writer. On the surface, they look like romance, but they’re so much more than that. And now Jessi will give her elevator pitch.

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JK: In one sentence it is a heart transplant love story.

JCW: The greatest thing is that it goes so far beyond a love story. It’s not only about loss and rediscovery, but about human connection. It’s a very unique quality.

What interested you in writing this story?

JK: When a family chooses to donate, you only get a few things. State and gender and the organ. That’s about it. Colton has lived his whole life in and out of the hospital and he wants to close that chapter of his life. The heart is held up as something that’s much more than a muscle. It’s where we attribute love and feelings. {there was a lot more to this}

JCW: I’m a huge fan of Moonglass and the feeling of loss is in both books. Is the amount of disconnect a theme that you keep going back to?

JK: I always get asked if I’ve experienced loss and I haven’t. It’s such a catalyst and a great place to start.

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And now that’s all the special questions I have.  Let’s open it up to you guys.

What are your tips for revision?

My editor is extremely thorough. She writes me 42 page revision letters. I do very little revision beforehand. If I’m unsure of something, I’ll read it out loud. On a bigger level, what is the main thing you want to say in each scene and are you accomplishing it?

Out of all four of your main characters which do you identify most with?

The person asking that is my sister and she already knows the answer to this. It’s Parker from Golden. She’s the good girl who doesn’t do anything wrong and it was fun to see about breaking the rules.

How long did it take you to write?

About a year.

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Did you talk to people who had transplants?

This is Zeke and he’s amazing. While doing research, I found an article that was about Zeke and how he was on the transplant list.  He was put on the top of the list because of a stroke. When he was out and doing well, I sent him a message and he was so sweet and answered all of my questions. No matter what I asked, he answered.

What do you do for writer’s block?

Just do something entirely different. Like watch tv.  I don’t do that a lot, but it’s nice to turn everything off.  I’ll usually go for a run. If I’m on a deadline, I’ll go back to where the story feels good and then I can usually find where it goes wrong.

{This question had something to do with the towns the books are set in, but I didn’t hear it}

I love the beach and I have a thing for the water so I always tend to work that in.

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What authors inspire you?

Judy Blume. Later on, I was introduced to Sarah Dessen and thought maybe I could write stories like that.

Favorite authors?

John Corey Whaley, Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Niven, and Jandy Nelson.

How do you read something while your writing?

Honestly, I don’t read a lot. If I’m working, I’ll read non-fiction for research.

How similar are the books from what you envision?

The first draft is just crap. By the time it’s a finished thing, it’s pretty close, but maybe it’s a little morphed.

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Did you have anyone in mind for Colton?

No. He was just himself.

After that question, there weren’t any other questions from the audience.  Jessi thanked everyone for coming {by then the crowd was standing room only} and the signing started.  There wasn’t anyone there to monitor the crowd, so we walked up to the table first.

There weren’t any markers set out for Jessi, so we had to wait for her husband to get her purse so she could grab her own.  I offered one of mine, but she wanted a black one and I only had hot pink or teal.  I gave her my book and she thanked me for driving up from San Diego.

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She also handed out little prizes {which turned out to be keychains with crystal hearts}.  After chatting with Keiko for a couple minutes, I headed out to battle the drive home.

As always, Jessi was adorable and her words are magic. If you get a chance to meet her, do it.

The time it was about Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Somehow I missed seeing Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda on Edelweiss.  I heard about it on Twitter, when I saw some people I follow raving about it.  I was instantly curious and was able to find and download it.  I devoured it, loved it, and instantly started stalking Becky in all of the places {not in the creepy KH way}. I sent her an email asking if she would do an interview and she agreed!

Before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!

19547856Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Sounds good, right?

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1. Where did the idea for Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda come from?

It’s hard to say where the idea came from! I think I’m jealous of authors who can perfectly track their influences and inspiration. It feels very much like Simon the character just popped into my head. For me, the character came before the plot – and, in many ways, the plot surprised me as I was writing. So, basically, this is an overblown way of saying, “I don’t know.” I wish I knew!

2. Why do you love Simon and Blue and why should we root for them?

***If you haven’t read the book yet, I recommend skipping this answer due to soft spoilers!***

Oh, I love them both for so many reasons – I love each of them as characters, and I think they’re perfect for each other. Blue is the quieter and more thoughtful of the two, but I think he brings out some of those qualities in Simon. And I think Simon inspires Blue to be a little braver by the end of the story. I think my favorite thing about them as a couple is the fact that they fell in love, as Simon says, “from the inside out.” They connect on such a deep level, but when they meet in person, there are still so many things left to learn about each other.

3. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

Definitely Drunk Simon visiting the gay bar. Simon’s voice came pretty naturally to me, but Drunk Simon’s voice came REALLY naturally to me. (I’m not sure what that says about me.) The final version of that scene looks almost exactly the same as it appeared in my first draft. It was a total blast to write.

4. How do you eat Oreos?

I really love Oreo ice cream and Oreo milkshakes the best, but I’m also a big fan of classics or double stuf soaked in milk. I’m a huge proponent of pouring milk over Oreos and eating the mush with a spoon.

5. Describe Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda in 5 words.

Gay teenage You’ve Got Mail.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

This process happened really quickly for me (four days after I signed with my agent), so it was a total whirlwind. I do remember my agent, Brooks, asking me if I was sitting down before he gave me the news. I think I was shocked. I know the first thing I did was run downstairs to tell my husband. I think I made him sit down first, too!

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A fully charged phone, a helicopter, and someone who knows how to fly a helicopter (I’m not cool with being on a desert island).

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Harry Potter – and I’m cheating and allowing myself the have the whole series.

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?

Swoony boys: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jim Halpert from The Office, the Weasley twins

Swoony girls: No contest: Poussey (Samira Wiley) from Orange is the New Black

5. What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

I actually was warned about this, but I wish I had taken it more seriously. There is so much waiting. I think it was harder, because my sale happened so quickly. There’s this huge burst of excitement at the beginning, but typically, there’s over a year until the book hits the shelves. It was easy to feel forgotten or irrelevant – when, in reality, there was a lot happening behind the scenes. I wish I had appreciated those quiet times more, honestly!

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella from Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

I stay in Arizona with the mom and hang out with humans.

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View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshotsBecki Albertalli has been writing stories since preschool. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who got to work with the most amazing kids, teenagers, and adults. She is not currently practicing as a psychologist.

She currently lives in Roswell, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Becky spends her days writing about teenagers and reading board books about trucks.

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Huge thanks to Becky for taking the time! Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Tumblr, and adding her book to your Goodreads TBR shelf!

Now.  Haven’t had a chance to get your greedy hands on a copy of Simon? I’ve got one up for grabs.  Book will be coming from The Book Depository and is international.  Additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

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The time it was about Skandal

When I got the invitation to be part of the Skandal blog tour, was honest and told Molly that I hadn’t read the series yet. I am quite intrigued by the premise and a lot of friends I trust loved it.  It’s been on my TBR list and after getting Lindsay’s answers back, I’ll definitely be moving it up.

Skandal BlogTourBanner

Before we to the interview, let’s check out the book!

Adobe Photoshop PDFThe dramatic sequel to Sekret, this psychic Cold War espionage thriller follows Yulia to Washington, DC, where she fights to discover the truth about her family without losing control of her mind.

My mind is mine alone.

Life in Washington, D.C., is not the safe haven Yulia hoped for when she risked everything to flee communist Russia. Her father is reckless and aloof, and Valentin is distant and haunted by his past. Her mother is being targeted by the CIA and the US government is suspicious of Yulia’s allegiance. And when super-psychics start turning up in the US capitol, it seems that even Rostov is still a threat. Ultimately, Yulia must keep control of her own mind to save the people she loves and avoid an international Skandal.

Sounds good, right?

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1. Where did the idea for the Sekret series come from?

I’d always wanted to set a book in Soviet Russia—I feel it’s a critical but underexplored period of history. The psychic spies element grew out of that setting as a literal form of thought policing. I was thinking about the daily life of the average Soviet citizen, and the intense amount of paranoia and secrecy they must have felt, keeping their true thoughts and feelings hidden from everyone for fear of being called a traitor.

2. Why do you love Yulia and why should readers root for her?

I love Yulia because she’s so determined, even to her detriment sometimes, and so very human despite her inhuman abilities. She makes mistakes, she does the wrong thing for the right reasons, she struggles to understand herself and stay authentic to whoever she is. She’s not a perfect heroine, but I hope readers can find inspiration in her willingness to grow and learn and to fight for what she believes.

3. What makes a good villain and how did you incorporate that in the series?

I think the best villains are those who have a concrete motive, and the will and determination to see their goals achieved. Great villains are always real go-getters—they have to be, to move their plans forward! Colonel Rostov, the principal villain of Sekret and Skandal, wholeheartedly believes that his hardline approach to running the Soviet Union is the only way to ensure stability and success for the soviet system, and he’s willing to do anything to bring it about.

4. Without spoilers, were there any scenes you had to cut that you wished you could have kept?

I tend to write shorter first drafts, so I’m more often adding scenes when revising rather than cutting! There was a conversation between Yulia and her English tutor, Winnie, that ended up getting fragmented across several scenes rather than standing on its own. I really wanted to include more scenes with Yulia’s brother, Zhenya, as well, but logistically they could only occur at a moment in the plot when there was for too much else going on for them to have the time they needed.

5. Describe Skandal in 5 words. 

Psychic Russian defectors stopping war!

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

Stare at email. Stare harder. Feel eyeballs start to dry out, heart pound. Commence incoherent screeching. Coworkers approach to make sure that weird noise isn’t something wrong with the HVAC. Hug-assail coworkers. Dance up and down. Call husband, attempt to convey information (eg, “My book—is a BOOK book!”). Proceed to cafeteria and devour a cupcake.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A crate of popcorn, a pillow, and a fully loaded e-reader.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Uhhh. I guess I’d better pick something enormous. Maybe a fantasy trilogy omnibus, like N. K. Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series, or the Wheel of Time. Or I’d happily go the dense Russian fiction route, too—The Master and Margarita or The Brothers Karamazov.

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys/girls?

Bucky Barnes, Victor Vale (Vicious), Idris Elba-Bond (fingers crossed!), the Gray Man (Raven Boys), Peggy Carter, Ford (Katie Finn’s revenge trilogy), Zoe Washburne, Prince Lucian (Seraphina), John Cho-as-Henry-Higgins, Fire (Fire), Doctor Zhivago.

5. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

All right. I have some kind of vampire power immunity, right? Time to charge into Vamp HQ and kick some ass. Give me a couple weeks, I’ll be installed as reigning Vampire Queen and CFO. Make good use of those centuries and centuries of compounding interest on the vamps’ Swiss bank accounts, start funding some startups, a little bit of activist investor action, dabbling in politics, backing some awesome groundbreaking film projects and educational initiatives, world takeover, bam. And, of course, all the awesome and ridiculous velvet gowns and jet glass necklaces a Vampire Queen and Forward-Leaning Synergistic Strategy Officer commands. Team Edward or Team Jacob? Yeah right. The real question is, Team Scottish Castle or Team TriBeCa Penthouse Loft.

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6420147Lindsay Smith’s love of Russian culture has taken her to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and a reindeer festival in the middle of Siberia. She lives in Washington, DC, where she writes on foreign affairs.

SEKRET is her first novel.

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Huge thanks to Macmillan for the invite and to Lindsay for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out her website, following her on Twitter and Tumblr and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

And guess what? Macmillan is generously providing a copy up for grabs! Giveaway is US/Canada only and additional rules are here.  And make sure you check out the other tour stops for additional goodies. The schedule is listed below the Rafflecopter.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Full Blog Tour Schedule

April 7-Love Is Not a Triangle

April 8-Icey Books

April 9-Exlibris Kate

April 10-MacTeenBooks Blog

April 11-Mariah Reading Adventure

April 12-Fly Leaf Review

April 13-Read My Breath Away

April 14-Fire Fly Read It

April 15-The Bookrat

April 16-Adventures of a Book Junkie