Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books Are Vital Presents: Melannie's Top Ten Reads of 2013

My friends, 2013 is almost over. Just a few hours left of this year but a lot of things to keep in mind forever. Like Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher's lives, and Malala's story, and the kindness of countless volunteers in the many natural disasters that strike our world each year.

And of course it's impossible to not mention the many awesome film versions of our favorite Young Adult books:
-Catching Fire
-The Book Thief
-Beautiful Creatures
-The Mortal Instruments
-Ender's Game
-The Spectacular Now
And more I am sure I am forgetting because I'm typing this on a car and haven't gotten any sleep in the last 24 hours...

But let's start 2014 with positiveness and count down our favorite books of 2013 
(let's just count the ones we did finish reading okay?)

I really liked the whole FBI's witness protection program and the surprising chill factor this book had.

Like pretty much everybody else on the planet, I loved E&P. They were different from the cookie-cutter YA characters and still the same as you and me. Engaging story line too.

This was my first (complete) read of a Simone Elkeles book and I loved it. It was entertaining and the characters were funny and likable. And a little bit of Friday Night Lights essence is always welcomed.

I am a sucker for all things country and bluegrass music and string instruments and Jennifer Echols. She didn't disappoint with her YA drama this year.

6. Stung
It was a very awesome surprise to read this one, because I usually don't like Dystopian books. It was awesome and action-packed and a little bit terrifying in nature so naturally, I enjoyed it a lot.

Courage. The characters of this book have a lot of courage. And it is about friends and surviving and courage and I just get teary-eyed thinking about it. Hug (and read) this book if you can.

I am absolutely in love with this series. And my favorite characters were back with a bang this year. This book was the most emotional of them all and I appreciated it, Kat and Hale made me cry in this one, which is a huge deal.

3. Winger
I read this book twice this year. Huge deal, too. I am amazed about how much I love this book about a fourteen year old boy. The story is completely awesome and hilarious until it is not.

If you haven't figured it out, I freaking love Contemporary YA and this year my goddess is Kasie West, she wrote this awesome book that  absolutely loved and have placed in my most-prized book shelf.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved it so much and it isn't even contemporary but it completely stole my heart. Because it is non-stop action combined with feeling of all kinds plus an intricate story line and amazing characters that I wish were my friends. Kudos again, Ms. West.

So there you go, these are my top ten reads of 2013, now tell me yours in the comments! :)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: #16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

#16 Things I Thought Were True 
by Janet Gurtler

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue
When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue 
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

Add On Goodreads 

First of all, I just think this book sounds so awesome and current, I really think some people will (hopefully) be reconsidering a few things in their life when they read this story. 
And secondly, Janet Gurtler always comes up with very interesting concepts for her books, she is kind of very awesome in my eyes.

I can't wait.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: Roomies by Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr

Title: Roomies 
Author: Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr
Expected publication: December 24th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository 

Roomies is about two girls that spend a summer emailing each other before they will meet in person in school. So you know what you’re going to get, yet not really because these are teenagers after all, taking the biggest step in their life, moving from their homes and starting to live with a stranger, so there is a lot of catharsis going on.

I sort of liked this novel because of what it means. It’s about an incredibly exciting phase, when you leave the nest and start a new chapter in your life, when you start adulthood. The thing is though, that even though I have already been through that, I found it hard to empathize with both girls, Lauren and Elizabeth. Mostly Elizabeth, I couldn’t really find it in my hard to like her, she seemed a little shallow to me, and her mother didn’t help matters.

Lauren was alright, but then she started to date a guy who is black-skinned. I high-fived the authors in my head because that is a bold move for today’s Young Adult Literature, but then the truth came out. Lauren apparently really likes Keyon but her natural reaction and her parents’ reaction and Elizabeth’s reaction, while very appreciated for the honesty, I was severely disappointed to see kids these days still grow up kind of prejudiced against these meaningless things.

At the end, I think this book is going to be very helpful for everyone out there who is about to experience a situation when they are going to have a new roomie. I think one of its strongest messages is that you don’t need to be best friends with your new roomie, you just have to accept them and their personality, no matter if they are different or similar to yours. It’s all part of growing up. But I wouldn’t really call it a requisite read, though, and it is probably more appealing to the younger crowd.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Title: Let The Sky Fall 
Author: Shannon Messenger
Published March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

I read “Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents.” and was like WOAH I have to read this boy’s story!

Turns out I was wrong and this book is not about a tragic F-5 tornado that hit some town. No. It’s about super-powered people that are made of air or control air or something, and can (and possibly will) destroy the human race.

Like I have stated before, I hate it when a book tries hard at making me believe the heroine is kickass. It’s like, let me decide that for myself and not shove down my throat how wonderful and deadly this girl is. You know, the kind of problem I have with Divergent. I think it’s more important to portray a girl with a healthy amount of vulnerability so we readers believe that maybe, just maybe there’s also force within ourselves that will allow us to become awesome heroines too. The thing is, Audra was too unapproachable to me. Yes, she did have a sad story behind her, and her family situation sucked, but it was hard to believe she cared about it, because she never showed emotions for it, mostly what she talked about were her duties as Vane’s guardian and her oath to protect him and it was hard to believe any teenager would not have a bit of a pity party once in a while.

And then, I am sorry to say, that Vane was kind of dull. I loved that he thought he was human, though so he went through a lot of emotions and struggled to catch on to the new reality of him being an air-elemental. It was a realistic approach to the way a boy would handle the news, and that is what saved the book for me.

But then again, I am not one to be easily awed by new realities and super powers and strange worlds. It is very rare to get a supernatural/paranormal book in my hands that I can say blew my mind or captivated me enough to continue reading the rest of the series.

On a happier note, I am absolutely in love with the cover of this book. Not only is gorgeous but it also makes a lot of sense once you read the story and captures perfectly these two characters.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Panic by Lauren Oliver

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


I am super excited to dig into my ARC, I haven't read any Lauren Oliver yet but I've hear amazing things about her books. And the truth is, Panic sounds brilliant and action-packed.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Countdown by Michelle Rowen

Title: Countdown 
Author: Michelle Rowen
Published October 1st 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depo

I haven’t read the original Countdown with its original adult characters but I did know of it before starting the new young adult version and I did find some parts to be quite off, like in some scene what the characters did or thought made them look older. But once I shook off the feeling, I did end up liking the book.

The story is really out there, brain implants are put into people’s heads so they can watch this hardcore reality show where people face these horrible and impossible tasks that they have to pass before the countdown is over. And this time the unlucky ones are two teenagers, Kira who is kind of a street rat, and Rogan, a mass murderer and current juvie convict.

Lots of action happen, and since the point of view is Kira’s, is really cool that we get to see the struggle she goes through during the game, not knowing if she can trust Rogan who is known for being one of the most awful criminals in history but is also helping her along the way.
I did think that the whole plot and some of what happened was completely unbelievable and so crazy that I couldn’t enjoy the story just because my head was like: “Oh noooooooo way, dude. No way.”

But at the end I really thought nothing was bad about it, about the book I mean, it’s not its fault that I am so cynical and hard to please. The truth is that I did like the story line, and the characters did make me care for them, so I can say that why I am usually not a fan of sci-fi, I did end up liking it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Split Second by Kasie West

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

Split Second by Kasie West

Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price. 
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that. 
Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Add on Goodreads 

Kasie West is my crush this year. Seriously, her books alone have been in my bedside table for most of the year because I love to re-read them and I have already hooked 2 of my friends.

I love her stories. And Pivot Point was easily one of the best books I read this year, BUT it also nearly killed me. 
That ending destroyed me. 
I have been wrecking my mind because of the absence of Split Second in my life, and now that the date gets closer it just gets harder to live without it ):

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?
And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.
Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to sabe.


Awwww, don't you think this will be completely hilarious?!
I mean cheesy chapels are hilarious by nature but add two teenagers to the mix and you have a recipe for awesome.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: The Rules of Regret by Megan Squires

Title: The Rules of Regret
Author: Megan Squires
Published October 1st 2013
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Rules of Regret was definitely a great contemporary read. I haven’t read anything by Megan Squires before but she truly impressed me with her writing. It just seem to had a way to draw you in and hold you until you gave it your whole attention. And it worked; I breezed through the pages until there weren’t any left.

I really liked the whole idea of camp, being outdoors and spending the night under the stars, it’s just all very magical to me, so naturally I was enchanted with the whole adventure Darby and Torin went through while they worked as counselors for a camp for troubled kids.

Both Darby and Torin had suffered through terrible losses. However they had completely different reactions, Torin took the high road and Darby became a mess. I cannot judge any of them, though ‘cause I haven’t been in their place but I definitely loved Torin for being so strong and showing that people can (and do) get over these things.

I did have a hard time understanding Darby and her acts, she was just so messed up and her life had became a lie since her tragedy that I just couldn’t tell what she felt or what she wanted, and I don’t think she knew either. But Torin was fantastic! He is the force that kept me glued to the book, he is really one of the good guys and I might like a bad boy once in a while but the good ones are the ones that really steal y heart.

To finish up I have to clarify that this is the very first New Adult I read that does not revolve around sex. I liked that. I think I loved that. Sexifying your book is not what makes it NA, and this book finally proves it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Title: Pivot Point 
Author: Kasie West
Published February 12th 2013 by HarperTeen
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depo

So right now is Saturday, I have a huge exam on Tuesday, I just spend the whole night reading this book and I do not regret it at all. In fact, I want to re-read it again right now, it was so good.

I kick myself because Pivot Point spend months sitting in my bedside table feeling all lonely, all because of my prejudice against love triangles. But y'all know I absolutely HATE love triangles, so my heart was against liking this even though I LOVE Kasie West and I should've trusted her better.

Her story engaged me from page one, it was so incredibly easy to lost yourself in the story, even though it's all about future choices and paradoxes and it could have turned out to be a big confusing mess but it doesn't because it relies more in what the story itself makes you feel, in making you care for the characters and what happens to them.

So it was very hard for me to read it because I was so invested in what was happening that I could fantom the fact that what I was seeing might not become reality. And my worst nightmare became true.

I know I am not making a lot of sense but it's because this book made me feel so much that my head is still buzzing with energy. It's 2am and I can't sleep because I keep relieving the story and my heart aches and I figured it was good therapy to write my feelings down.

So here I am trying to make sense of what happened to me while I read this book and I can't, I do not know how to put it in words, I just have to tell you I became a mess of emotions and to me, that's the most important thing when I read.

Pivot Point happens to be a win in the parallel world and in the mortal world and in the realm of Young Adult fiction. It's been a while since I read a paranormal book that managed to be so real that you could almost swear it's a contemporary because for once, the story relies on the characters as people instead that on the claimed awesomeness of their powers. Completely captivating and amazing.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)
Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.
Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.
But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?
I've yet to read a YA book by Jennifer but I've read some of her NA and A and I mostly remember them being HAWT, and her writing was definitely engaging so I'm ultra excited to read this one, especially 'cause Hyperion picked it up.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: On The Fence by Kasie West

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

On The Fence by Kasie West

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can out-run, out-score, and outwit every boy she knows--including her long-time neighbor, and honorary fourth brother, Braden.

But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chi-chi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and bedazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pick-up game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Add On Goodreads

Last summer when I was in Brazil I promised I wouldn't read any book and instead spend time outdoors whenever I could.
Kasie West ruined it for me. I stupidly thought I could pass a few hours at the airport Reading one of her books and then leaving it 'till I went back, but I didn't know I would be loving her writing so much.

So my borderline obsessive love doesn't let me ignore her next book, neither does the fact that it sounds this awesome: tomboy falls in love with brother's best friend = YES PLEASE.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

by Cammie McGovern

I want someone who will talk to me honestly about things. You're the only person who ever has. Maybe you don't know this, but when you're disabled almost no one tells you the truth. They feel too awkward because the truth seems too sad, I guess. You were very brave to walk up to the crippled girl and say, essentially, wipe that sunny expression off your face and look at reality. That's what I want you to do next year. Tell me the truth. That's all.

Amy and Matthew didn't know each other, really. They weren't friends. Matthew remembered her, sure, but he remembered a lot of people from elementary school that he wasn't friends with now.

Matthew never planned to tell Amy what he thought of her cheerful facade, but after he does, Amy realizes she needs someone like him in her life.

As they begin to spend more time with each other, Amy learns that Matthew has his own secrets and she decides to try to help him in the same way he's helped her. And when what started out as a friendship turns into something neither of them expected, they realize that they tell each other everything—except the one thing that matters most.
Seriously, how uberly romantic does this one sound?
I'm in love with the concept of this book and I'm in love with the disability part too, I can't wait to read it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Title: Crash Into You
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Goodreads | Amazon


I know I haven’t been the most forgiving reviewer on this book’s past sister novels. But nevertheless, I find it really sad that the series is ending and that this might be the last we see of these characters. However, I loved that Crash Into You was the book chosen to wrap things up because to me it was the best of the series.

Seriously, as I read along, I found it hard not to invest myself in the story. Isaiah might not have had my attention back in Pushing The Limits or Dare You To but he completely won me over when telling his story. He’s got a tough exterior and might seem scary or threatening but he is one sweet boy on the inside. I liked that he was loyal and strong and at the same time really vulnerable too.

Then we had Rachel, who suffers panic attacks and I don’t know if it is because I’m currently taking Psychiatry or because I’m naturally so empathetic (and apparently, humble too) but my heart immediately warmed for her story. I can see why she developed her disorder and I was seriously mad at her family for treating her that way.

But then, Rachel also pissed me off sometimes. Like, why couldn’t she figure out a way to get the money? Why did she have to let poor Isaiah carry the entire burden even though he practically lives in the streets and has nothing?! And then she goes questioning his love for her. However, I ended up giving her a pass ‘cause she isn’t the most reliable mind in the ward so to speak.

But then Isaiah was wonderful and it lightened up the whole book for me. He is strong-minded and loyal and caring even though he grew up being the “weakest” link in the chain. But now he’s out there making the world a faster place and my heart thanks him for that. That’s the magic you guys, that even though tattoos, shaved heads and earrings on guys don’t do it for me, Katie McGarry made me fall for one guy that features all those three.

Sincerely, I can say that of all the books in the series, this is the one that did it for me more tan the others, but I still would recommend the whole series.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

by kristi cook

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.
No. Way.
Someone got inside my mind and stole the idea of what I've been wanting to read forever.
Little 'ol Southern love-hate relationship in country's ground. And crazy, big-arse families behind them pushing to teenagers to become a couple?!
Now don't tell me there's also chicken fried involved because I'd die.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Defy by Sara B. Larson

WoW is weekly meme created by Jill at Breaking The Spine in which bloggers can share books they're excited to get soon :)

by sara b. larson

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Add on Goodreads

WHAT?! A non-contemporary book featured in my WoW?!
I'm changing this up this week because Defy sounds like the kind of book that would make me step out of the Contemps world and into the world of kick-ass fighting and Shakespearean twist on sex change haha.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Giveaway & Q&A: The Road to You by Marilyn Brant

Hello again. Y'all like giveaway, don't you?
I figured one more couldn't hurt (:
but first check out the awesome book I'm spotlighting...

The Road to You by Marilyn Brant
Publication date: October 3rd 2013
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance
Sometimes the only road to the truth...is one you’ve never taken.

Until I found Gideon’s journal in the tool shed — locked in the cedar box where I’d once hidden my old diary — I’d been led to believe my brother was dead. But the contents of his journal changed all that.

The Road to Discovery...
Two years ago, Aurora Gray’s world turned upside down when her big brother Gideon and his best friend Jeremy disappeared. Now, during the summer of her 18th birthday, she unexpectedly finds her brother’s journal and sees that it’s been written in again. Recently. By him.

The Road to Danger...
There are secret messages coded within the journal’s pages. Aurora, who’s unusually perceptive and a natural puzzle solver, is hell bent on following where they lead, no matter what the cost. She confides in the only person she feels can help her interpret the clues: Donovan McCafferty, Jeremy’s older brother and a guy she’s always been drawn to — even against her better judgment.

The Road to You...
Reluctantly, Donovan agrees to go with her and, together, they set out on a road trip of discovery and danger, hoping to find their lost brothers and the answers to questions they’ve never dared to ask aloud.

In that expectant space between silence and melody, our trip began...
Add on GOODREADS | Order on Amazon

Q & A

 Q: Tell us about the main characters in this story. Who are Aurora and Donovan?
A: At the start of the novel, Aurora Gray has just graduated from high school and is one month from turning 18. This isn’t a paranormal story—she’s not psychic or telepathic—but she is unusually perceptive, particularly for her age. She’s kind of a natural “mentalist,” who’s used to reading people’s reactions and has a history of being pretty accurate. So when she finds the journal of her missing brother, she’s able to make some connections that those around her would never think to make. It gives her both a determined and a stubborn streak when it comes to thinking she might actually figure out what happened that summer two years ago. Donovan McCafferty, on the other hand, is extremely practical, realistic and not especially bookish. He’s 23, has an Army background and is brilliant with mechanical things. He’s also very loyal, very protective of those he cares about and not remotely inclined to take flying leaps of intuition like Aurora. To use a character parallel from “The X-Files,” Aurora would be a bit like Mulder (“I Want to Believe/The Truth is Out There”), but without that whole alien thing, LOL, and Donovan would be the more skeptical Scully type.

Q: Where do you write? Describe your writing space—what’s it look like?
A: I write in my home office—a messy, absolutely cluttered place—I won’t deny it! There are stacks of paper and towers of books everywhere, but also a very nice window overlooking our backyard. Sometimes I’ll write at a local coffee shop (either with my laptop or, most often, just with pen and notebook paper), and that location has the advantage of endless cups of hazelnut coffee and the occasional almond-flavored bear claw.

Q: What's one thing no one knows about you?
A: That I am always watching them—LOL. I just can’t turn off the writer thing and am, at all times, collecting the quirky habits and mannerisms of the people around me. (Now they know this, of course, and will be more careful... :)

Q: Do you listen to music while you write?
A: No. I wish I could. I adore music, but it’s wildly distracting to me while I’m writing. (Probably because I love it so much and am too often inspired to sing along—however badly!) I reference songs quite a bit, though, in the narrative itself, so I listen to a lot of music while I’m working on a story—just not when I’m actually sitting at the computer doing the typing. One of my favorite activities is to go on walks with my iPod and think about scenes, testing out different songs to see if they provide the right musical subtext. For The Road to You I used road-trip music and the classic songs of the 1970s. For According to Jane, I have an entire soundtrack of ‘80s tunes amassed. And for A Summer in Europe, I referenced musicals, especially those of Andrew Lloyd Webber. (I have a “Soundtrack” link for each of my novels on the “Books” page of my website.)


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