Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Author Interview: J. Andersen of At What Cost

Hello! Today I'm honored to have J. Andersen for an author interview on B's Book Blog as a part of At What Cost book tour. Besides our interview, you can find more information about At What Cost and a giveaway of 3 eBook copies in this post! 


1. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I guess that depends on what you consider “starting”. I used to write all the time when I was a kid, short stories and such, but I really got serious about writing in 2006. I started At What Cost then. I wrote about 3 chapters and got stuck. So I set it aside and wrote another book before I came back to it. Now, in 2012, it’s been published.
2. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I taught middle school for a number of years. During this time, I read everything the kids were reading. I fell in love with YA. The rest is history.
3. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
A little, mostly when I’ve taken a few days off from writing. It’s hard to get back in to the habit. 
4. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I use a flexible outline. I draw up those good old triangular plot diagrams that your English teachers used to torture you with. You know the rising action, climax, falling action, resolution ones. I try to plot out my story that way, but in the end I always end up with more than what’s on my outline.
5. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I don’t know as if there’s one in particular. I certainly respect anything by Laurie Halse Anderson, and I can only hope that one day my books will have the magnitude of influence that hers do.
6. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
HA! How much time do you have? First, I wrote about three chapters and got stuck. (Those chapters have since been chopped, along with seven others.) So, I wrote another book. (It will never be seen or published.) Then I finished At What Cost and started sending it to agents. I had some favorable inquiries, but nothing materialized. After over a year of that, I was told by one agent to rework it a bit. So, I did the ‘ol, chop chop, cutting ten chapters and reworking the rest of the book. Then I sent it out again, another year later, I finally landed my agent. I went through a LOT of queries and a TON of rejection. Someday I’ll reveal how many agents I queried, but let’s just say for now it’s an embarrassing amount. Then, of course there are the rejections from publishing houses. It’s a good thing I have thick skin.
7. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
We can always wonder, can’t we? I think I’d focus my agent search more. Those tons of rejections hurt. JAs for the novel, every time I had to edit it with a different editor, I kept thinking I’d go back and rework this or that, but when I got to that section, I liked what I’d written. I do think I’d rework that first sentence. Doesn’t seem to be as catchy as I’d like it to be.
8. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
The one I just finished is called The Unviables. It’s not published yet, but my agent is working on finding it a home. It’s a dystopian, which is my favorite genre, but I’ve never had an idea to write one until recently.

Thank you J. Andersen for joining us today! :-)

At What Cost by J. Andersen:

Title: At What Cost
Author: J. Andersen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 13, 2012
Pages: 225
Format: eBook
Links: Goodreads
Summary: During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.
While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.

 About the author:

Jessie Andersen lives in a small town in Western New York with her husband and three kids. A former English teacher, she now spends her time writing while the kids are at school and the baby is sleeping. She volunteers at the local library and sings in the church band. You can find information about her books at jandersenbooks.com, and you can follow her personal blog and book blog. You can also follow her on Twitter and on Facebook and Goodreads.

The giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

B Babbles: HOOKED Book Swag! (Thank you Liz!)

I've thought about writing posts that aren't necessarily book reviews or promo posts but are still book-related. Like my shelf makeover ceremonies that take place every two weeks or so. If I had started right away when the idea came to me, I would've published 20 posts. But I've been too lazy to snap photos, and the mess during the tidying and re-arranging is always too much fun to excuse myself from.

Anyway, now I have a perfect opportunity to start book babbling. Today I came home and found that a mail was delivered to me! And I found that it's from Liz Fichera! I was so excited! Because this would mean...


Woo! These are so cute! And so very bright! Look at the hot pink! Even my mom loves them. Hahaha. 

Now, the photo above doesn't let you see the wristband in its full glory. I hope this one is better. 

Yay! Hot pink ftw! My Kindle cover is the same color. ;) Thank you so much, Liz! Your card is lovely, and so is everything else in the mail. It took 8 days to reach me. :) I cannot wait to read HOOKED!

Title: Hooked
Author: Liz Fichera
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: January 31, 2013 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
BlurbGet hooked on a girl named Fred... 
HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Why is a girl taking my best friends spot on the boy's varsity golf team?
SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me - especially Ryan Berenger.
HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go - especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.
SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.
But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile...


In addition to not having been regularly updating the blog since the beginning of September, I'm going to take a hiatus until the end of the month. Two words: FINAL EXAMS. 

See you soon! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

Title: Fireblood 
Author: Trisha Wolfe 
Series: Fireblood, #1
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Release Date: 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Links: Goodreads | Secret Cover Reveal Page
Summary: To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control. When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin. Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult. When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out. But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

About the AuthorI’m the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal Romance DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing) and the upcoming YA Sci-Fi Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, November 2013. My published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals, Fantasy magazines, and anthologies. I’ve written four books in the past two years, and I’m currently working on a new YA Sci-Fi project.
I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional blog for the Young Adult genre. Also a proud member of YALITCHAT.ORG, SCWW, and The Apocalypsies.
And I’m also a business owner, partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.
Check out my website TrishaWolfe.com for more on my books and short stories. Follow me on Twitter @TrishWolfe

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review: Reflection by Jessica Roberts


Hi guys! Today B's Book Blog is honored to host a tour stop for the Reflection book tour! In this post you'll find my review, the author's bio and also a giveaway! Enjoy! :)

Title: Reflection
Author: Jessica Roberts
Genre: New Adult, Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: February 17, 2012
Format: eBook
Pages: 289
Source: YA Bound
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Read from August 30 to September 2, 2012
My rating: 4 stars: I really like it
Summary: Bright, spunky Heather Robbins has escaped her small hometown and is anxiously beginning her freshman year of college. Rising above her rocky childhood, she’s found a place where good things are finally starting to happen: her own private apartment, refreshing college classes, and an intense attachment to a mysterious and rugged classmate, Nick Richards. But when her dreamy college life turns out to be nothing more than a wonderful dream while resting in a coma, questions threaten. Now, Heather must press forward to unlock the real past, and find the answers buried deep in her mind. What she unlocks instead is a roller coaster ride through flashbacks, embellished memories, and a whirlwind romance. And when it’s all over and she comes face to face with the truth, will she lose everything she’s fallen in love with?

"On occasion patients have dreams while in their coma. And you seem to be one of those special situations. These dreams can mix fantasy with reality, and memories of people and places sometimes jumble within these dreams."

In my opinon, Reflection is, in one word, different. It was a totally different reading experience for me. A good different too, I might add. I haven't had that many chances to read books involving coma--in fact I remember having read only one, If I Stay. So reading Reflection was kind of like trying something new. 

I was unsure about it at first. I'm not a fan of confusing shifting perspectives, and this book has a lot of those. Most of the time I didn't know if I was reading it as it happens the first time, or reading it as Heather recounts her memories to the doctor. I didn't know this until like past halfway through the book, when I decided that it must still be the recounting. But confusing as it was for me, I coudn't stop. 

It didn't take me long to finish this book, mostly because it was so addictive. I wanted to know more, needed to find out what's happened before and what will happen after. It was all very interesting and exciting to hear Heather talk about what she remembers about her first 6 months at college. Shitty friends, good friends, her crush, etc. There were some elements that seemed supernatural, but they turn out to be her coma messing with her memories. 
In a PRS [Persistent Reflective State] coma the brain responds very differently than when it's in a typical coma. The first distinction has to do with memory.Unlike a common coma where the brain is stagnant, in PRS the brain works overtime, distinguished by overzealous brain activity [...] As it does so and the memories are called back to the surface, the mind begins to then live out those experiences, as if for the first time. To the mind, these prolonged dreams, 'reflections' as we call them, are current and real, as if living a life through the mind, but with experiences that have already occured in a person's life. As the mind sorts through memories and lives them out, sometimes it mixes people, places, and even adds imaginative experiences as it would in a typical dream, filling in parts that it cannot remember.
Not knowing what is real and what isn't kills Heather, and it killed me too. I was eager to see Heather out of the hospital and find out whether the romance with Nick was real. But there are shocks along the way. For Heather, the memories of those 6 months seem like just yesterday; but for everyone else, it has been 2 years and 7 months. Everyone has moved on without her. Everything has changed. 

Reflection leaves me wanting more. Its ending is a good one, preparing us for the next book. I can't wait to read Reaction and see Heather fight to win back what she has lost. This is a very good read! 


About the Author
JESSICA ROBERTS grew up in the San Francisco, California Bay Area where she spent most of her time playing sports alongside her six siblings. She was crowned Miss Teen California her senior year of high school, and went on to Brigham Young University where she graduated in Human Development. Her love of family, church, writing, athletics, and singing and dancing keeps her life busy and fulfilled. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three children.

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The giveaway is for (1) $25 Amazon gift card plus an e-copy of Reflections plus (9) additional Reflection e-books.  Open Internationally.

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This review is also posted on Goodreads.
I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.

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