I’ve been a fan of Katie Kacvinsky’s books ever since I started blogging, and I think her book Awaken was one of my first review books ever, so I was thrilled to get the chance to do an interview with her. First Comes Love is Katie’s first foray into Contemporary, and is an accidental New Adult book. NA has been getting some mixed press, but I personally think First Comes Love is a fresh take on the genre, with its look at college-age characters dealing with the messiness of their lives and relationships.
First Comes Love is getting a new fancy cover treatment with the paperback release (May 7), and to celebrate Katie and I chatted a little about her books, New Adult, technology, travel, and more.
After checking out what Katie has to say, make sure to enter the international giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of First Comes Love and Second Chance!
Thanks for dropping by today, Katie and answering some questions about your books. Congrats on the paperback release of First Comes Love!
First Comes Love first came out almost a year ago when the New Adult category was just taking off. Did you know you were writing for this new hot category? And given that many New Adult titles start out as self-published did you encounter any push back about the characters ages from your publisher?
No, I didn’t even know New Adult was a genre until people started categorizing First Comes Love as New Adult. Now it’s this entirely new wave of fiction, which is exciting. I did have some challenges publishing First Comes Love. My publishers told me my characters were too old, so it took some convincing and stubbornness on my end to keep them out of high school.
Glad you stuck with your strategy. I think it makes sense that YA readers would be interested in seeing books that show the transition to college. Speaking of New Adult, would you like to weigh in on this category? Is it an age group you want to continue to write for? Have any favorite NA books?
I’ve only read a few, and none that stood out to me. So, I’ll take some suggestions. I’m interested to see where this genre goes; it definitely opens up so many story opportunities. I would consider writing NA down the road.
(New Adult fans- have any recs for Katie? I always think Colleen Hoover’s books are a good place to start.)
The First Comes Love paperback has an all-new shiny and colorful look that gives off a whole new vibe. Do you feel the new cover represents the book better? Personally I love it and think the cactus heart is a great fit.
Oh, man, I am so in love with this cover. It’s freaking perfect. The cactus represents Gray so well, and the bright colors represent Dylan and the hot summer setting. Love. The hardcover is definitely more steamy, but I’m not a fan of steamy covers. I know, I’m weird.
I didn’t even think of the cactus as Gray, and the color as Dylan – I like that!
Dylan in First Comes Love is an unattainable, freethinking, almost manic pixie dream girl type, while her love interest Gray is more guarded and sensible. Which character did you prefer to write? Do you have a favorite Gray or Dylan scene?
Gray and Dylan are very ying/yang so it’s fun to write both of their characters. I enjoy writing Dylan the most. She puts me in such a good mood! As for a favorite scene…I loved writing the sex scenes from the male POV. Too funny.
LOL… hadn’t considered the comedic aspect of writing sex scenes from the male POV. Dylan is such a free spirit- I can see how she’d put you in a good mood.
Let’s play casting director – who would play Gray and Dylan in the film version?
Yikes, I’m terrible at this. For Dylan I would say Kirsten Dunst, or Zooey Deschanel but they’re already a little too old. For Gray—no idea. It would probably have to be an unknown. I would try to cast a college baseball player.
You have another trilogy, the Awaken series, in the dystopian category. Do you prefer writing dystopia or contemporary books?
If I had to choose one genre and stick to it, it would be contemporary. That’s my favorite genre to read.
Since I’m a fan of the Awaken series as well, I notice a few similarities between the two. One is the idea of getting unplugged- in First Comes Love Dylan doesn’t own a cell phone for instance. And in the Awaken series, there’s a rebellion that wants to bring back a simpler life that’s not so reliant on technology. Is that a message you want to get out to your readers? Do you prefer to read books in print or on an e-reader?
I only read paper books. I will never own an ereader. Books are art to me. I like to touch them, I like to look at their covers. It’s part of the reading experience. It’s hard because I have a lot of author friends who only publish ebooks and I keep bugging them to make a print version available!
As for messages about technology, I didn’t exactly mean to do that in First Comes Love. I just liked the idea of Dylan not owning a cell phone. I thought it made her more mysterious.
I did feel uncomfortable reading Awaken on an e-reader considering the message of the book!
One thing I like a lot in your books is that the romance is something your characters have to fight for. In that sense, I like how you ended First Comes Love. But, at the same time I’m glad you decided to continue Gray and Dylan’s story. Do you prefer writing/reading books that take a more realistic and messy look at romance?
Yes, I’m definitely more of a fan of the slow-burn romances. I moved around a lot between the ages of 17 and 23. My relationships always ended because of timing issues and I realized that it’s easy to fall in love with people. Making it last is the challenge.
Do you like to travel like the characters in your books? As an LA native, I liked the LA scenes in First Comes Love. Did you draw on personal experience when writing your travel scenes?
Yes, traveling is my writing inspiration. I owe all of my story ideas to traveling. I lived in LA for one year, two months and fourteen days (who’s counting?) and it’s still my favorite city in the world. It was so much fun to capture all of my favorite places in First Comes Love.
Can you give us any hints about the last book in Gray and Dylan’s trilogy?
It begins in Omaha, Nebraska and ends in Los Angeles. Lots of drama in between!
And I have to ask- any news to share on the final Awaken series book?
I have a draft and a title, now I’m waiting on an offer from Houghton Mifflin. They haven’t made me an offer yet (sad eyes). Hopefully I’ll have some exciting news soon. My goal is to have a pub date within the next year.
I’m noticing readers searching my blog to find out about the next Awaken book, so hopefully we’ll get some good news soon.
Thanks for stopping by today, Katie, with the inside scoop on your books!
First Comes Love is available in paperback May 7. You can order a signed copy of the book through Katie’s local Indie Grass Roots Books and Music. Email the store for info to request a personalized copy of any of Katie’s books by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The giveaway has ended:
Congrats to Kathy won won paperback copies of First Comes Love and Second Chance!
Let me know in the comments what you think about the new cover, any New Adult recs, or if you prefer reading e-books or print!
Look for my review of First Comes Love and Second Chance next week. Read more about the book below:
“The perfect love story to kick-start your summer reading.”–Seventeen.com
Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl who is seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving, and besides, opposites attract. What starts as friendship turns into admiration, respect, and caring, until finally these two lone souls find that they are truly in love with each other. But staying in love is never as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it . . . (Source: goodreads)
Here in the US the big news story is the David Petraeus (ex-CIA director) sex scandal. If that has you thirsting to read more about the man behind the headlines then this is the giveaway for you.
Check out the spoof All In book reading from SNL last night:
These two thrilling audiobook biographies will go to one winner:
All In: The Education of General David Petraeus by Paula Broadwell with Vernon Loeb. Read by James Lurie. Running time 14.5 hours, Release date Jan. 24 2012, Penguin Audio. Publisher summary: General David Petraeus is the most transformative leader the American military has seen since the generation of Marshall. In All In, military expert Paula Broadwell examines Petraeus’s career, his intellectual development as a military officer, and his impact on the U.S. military.
The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service by Henry A. Crumpton. Read by David Colacci. Running time 13 hours, Release date May 14 2012, Penguin Audio. Publisher summary: A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career while illustrating the growing importance of America’s intelligence officers and their secret missions.
Congrats to Jeff who has won the giveaway!
I’m excited to be the next stop on the Black City blog tour! Black City is Elizabeth Richards’ debut novel and it’s a post-apocalyptic paranormal romance. The book hasn’t even hit shelves yet, but a film deal is in the works. So, big expectations right off the bat! Richards makes YA dystopia interesting again with compelling characters and a story that grabs you right from the beginning. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win the first two books in the Black City Chronicles!
Book Info: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Book 1 in the Black City Chronicles), Putnam Juvenile, YA Paranormal Dystopia, Hardcover 384 pages, On Sale November 13. Review copy acquired at San Diego Comic-Con. Rating: 4/5
About Black City:
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
I picked up a copy of Black City at Comic-Con and the eye-catching cover is the first thing that got my attention. I like the exploding rose visual over the city landscape, very striking. I went into the book not knowing what to expect. I thought it would be a dystopia but I was pleasantly surprised that there is a paranormal element as well. I like the fresh take on the vampire-like Darklings, and how the author takes it to the next level by bringing up the struggles for equality and fair treatment for all.
Black City is about Ash, a twin-blood Darkling (similar to a half human/half vampire) who struggles to make ends meet, and Natalie, the (human) privileged daughter of a government big shot. They are from two different worlds and romance between them is forbidden. Too bad they have instant chemistry in a love/hate sort of way. Ash and Natalie find themselves attending the same school in Black City, an area torn apart by war, and find it hard to stay away from each other.
We get inside Ash and Natalie’s heads through their alternating POV narration. The character voices are distinct and the short alternating chapters keep the book moving at a swift pace. From the opening pages I was hooked as we immediately dove right into the action.
The tension ramps up in the story and there are surprises and reveals to keep things interesting throughout. Both Ash and Natalie show character growth and even though the odds are stacked against them I was rooting for them as a couple.
The writing is smart and engaging and visual, and I think Black City will translate very easily to the big screen. Fans of Legend and romantic dystopia will eat Black City up.
You can find Black City on bookshelves next week. And the next book in the series, Phoenix , will follow next Summer. Check out the cool cover at right. The synopsis is spoilery so don’t read it until you’ve read the first book!
Connect with author Elizabeth Richards:
Good Choice Reading is hosting a giveaway and Two winners will come away with a finished copy of Black City and a pre-order of the sequel Phoenix. Sweet deal! Find out all the deets on the Rafflecopter giveaway form. Follow along with all the Black City tour stops for more chances to win by clicking here.
I’m excited to be part of the Fractured Light blog tour today! I thought I’d like this YA paranormal from the description, but I ended up liking it even more than I expected. After my review, be sure to check out the giveaway opportunity, and consider picking up the e-book edition of the book, which is currently only $0.99 during the tour, a great deal.
Book: Fractured Light by Rachel Mclellan (Book 1 in the Fractured Light trilogy), Sweetwater Books, YA Paranormal, e-Book received for review, Hardcover 312 pages, On Sale Now.
About Fractured Light:
Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. But she never felt ready to face them—until now. Defying the Auran Council and everything she’s been taught, Llona must learn to use her power over light as a weapon if she wants to survive.
Llona (E-o-na) is a high school senior with an unusual ability – she can manipulate light. The technical term for people like Llona is Aura, and Llona inherited this gift from her mother. Since her mother’s death though, Llona is left without a mentor to guide her. She tries to fit in as a normal high school student as best she can, though her talent gives her some athletic abilities that make her stand out. Auras have some pretty cool light tricks in their repertoire, but there are some bad guys (the blood-sucking Vykens) around that want to put out their lights for good. Lately there have been some mysterious murders in Llona’s town, and she has reason to suspect that she could be the next target. Luckily she has some friends on her side to look out for her, but it would help if she could learn to use her powers to defend herself and those closest to her before it’s too late.
I like Llona – she’s pretty fearless, sometimes recklessly so, and she’s independent and hard working. Her ability is a little inconvenient as it gives her supernatural athletic abilities during the full moon, though she is tired at other times. She’s getting mixed signals about her talent, and wants to live by her own rules. She’s a great friend, a little reserved, though she has a quick wit. Llona has just a few friends in her circle, and in particular May is someone who is understanding of what she is going through. I enjoyed seeing her come out of her shell during the course of the book.
One person who is always there for Llona, whether she likes it or not, is Christian. He’s always around when she’s in trouble and shows an interest in her like no other. He’s handsome, caring, responsible, intelligent, and seemingly perfect for Llona. But he sends infuriatingly mixed signals, and though it seems like he cares for Llona, he holds her at arms length. I definitely wondered what he was hiding.
Since Fractured Light is also a murder mystery, there are several suspicious characters to keep your eye on. My guess was actually way off, but it was fun to try to figure out who the killer was.
I read this book in one sitting – it’s a quick fast-paced read. Though I don’t read as many paranormal books as I once did, this one grabbed my attention and is impressive for a debut novel. It has a good mix of mystery, paranormal, romance, and high school drama. The secondary characters are well rounded and are used to good advantage throughout the story. Though Fractured Light is the first book of a trilogy, it has a satisfying conclusion on it’s own while leaving you interested in reading the sequel. Look for the next installment Fractured Soul in 2013.
Follow along with all the Fractured Light tour stops by clicking the banner above or clicking here.
GIVEAWAY: Be sure to enter the international giveaway for your chance to win one of 3 Necklaces, 5 Signed copies of Fractured Light, or 10 eBooks. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here.
When you think of Comic-Con, you may think of comics, or the next big movie or TV show promotion. But another category that’s become increasingly popular at Comic-Con is books. Publisher’s come to Comic-Con each year loaded with the latest buzz titles. Comic-Con attendees can learn about new releases at publisher panels, meet authors at signings, or pick up the latest book giveaway. It’s interesting to see the books that are promoted each year, and to see which titles attendees are most excited about. Some of the lines at publisher’s booths get so long security has to get involved to help get things in control. Book fans should take note that Comic-Con is a great place to hear about new releases to get excited for. The hard part is getting hold of a badge to get in.
I wanted to share the book titles that I picked up this year at Comic-Con. And to make it more fun, I’m holding a pre-order giveaway so that two readers can win their choice of book from the list.
These are the books I picked up this year at Comic-Con:
1. Gods and Warriors by Michelle Paver – Dial, Aug. 28 – This is a fantasy adventure middle grade book that should appeal to fans of Percy Jackson.
2. Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon – Harper Teen, Aug 28 – A thriller about a computer hacker who is being hunted by a dangerous enemy.
3. Nerve by Jeanne Ryan – Dial, Sept. 13 – This one has a cool premise – A girl is chosen to be a player in an anonymous game of dares that’s broadcast live online. The stakes get raised higher and higher as the game becomes more dangerous.
4. Legend by Marie Lu – This one is already out of course, but it was heavily promoted at Comic-Con with multiple signings and book giveaways.
5. Prodigy by Marie Lu – Putnam, Jan. 2013 – The highly anticipated sequel to Legend.
6. UnWholly by Neal Shusterman – Simon & Schuster, Aug. 28 – The long awaited sequel to Unwind.
7. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes – Razorbill, Dec. 11 – High fantasy described as a YA Game of Thrones. Told in multiple POV.
8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Bloomsbury, Aug. 7 – A romantic fantasy with a strong heroine.
9. Rift by Andrea Cremer – Philomel, Aug. 7 – The first book in the Nightshade prequel series. The reviews look really good so far.
10. Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson – Roc, 2008 – The first installment of the Destroyermen series- an alternate reality World War II book.
11. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens – Random House, 2011 – The first book in the Books of Beginning fantasy series.
12. Black City by Elizabeth Richards – Putnam, Nov. 13 – A post-apocalyptic love story with a paranormal element. Love the cover of this one.
13. Crewel by Gennifer Albin – FSG, Oct. 16 – A dystopia about a girl who has the ability to weave time and is chosen to be a Spinster.
14. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Feiwel and Friends, Feb. 2013 – The second book in The Lunar Chronicles series. It centers on Little Red Riding Hood but Cinder will be around too.
15. Origin by Jessica Khoury – Razorbill, Sept. 4 – A romantic dystopia that’s set in the Amazon rainforest.
16. The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress – Dial, Dec. 6 – A witty YA steampunk murder mystery. This one sounds really fun.
17. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver – HarperCollins, Oct. 2 – Looks like another good fantasy middle grade book from Lauren Oliver! The cover is so cute.
18. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood – Putnam, Out now – An historical fiction book about the Cahill family of witches.
19. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – Random House, Out now – This high fantasy dragon story has been receiving high marks and sounds wonderful.
2-Year Blogoversary Giveaway!
Since I kind of forgot about my two-year blogoversary that occurred in June- I’m making this my blogoversary giveaway. Two readers will win their book of choice from the list above. It will be a finished copy, so note the release dates above. You may have some time to wait for your preorder to arrive depending on the book you choose.
Thanks for reading my blog – I’ve had so much fun with it over the past two years and getting to know all of you. Thanks also for all the great book recommendations, comments, and book chat over the past couple years. I appreciate all of you!
The Giveaway has ended – Congrats to Christa who won Throne of Glass and Nafiza who won a preorder of Scarlet.
Book Info: YA Contemporary Romance, HC 320 pg, received for review
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Such a Rush is a perfect summer read and probably my favorite Jennifer Echols book. Prior to reading Such a Rush I had only read Love Story by this author, but after finishing her latest I immediately picked up (and finished) Going Too Far and Forget You. Not even my painful broken wrist could keep me from finishing this one! Echols’ blend of romance, interesting characters, witty dialogue and dramatic intrigue makes her latest book a favorite of mine.
Echols writes romantic dramas and romantic comedies, and Such a Rush is her latest drama. One thing I’ve enjoyed in her books is the interesting careers/hobbies she features, from law enforcement, swim team, and creative writing, and with Such a Rush, aviation.
In Such a Rush, the cards are stacked against Leah Jones. Her mom frequently leaves her alone in the trailer they share in Heaven Beach, South Carolina. To help make ends meet, Leah takes a job as a receptionist at the nearby airport. But soon Leah falls in love with airplanes and sees flying as her ticket out of town. Leah’s boss Mr. Hall sees potential in Leah and agrees to give her flying lessons. Flash forward a few years, and Leah’s flying is coming along great, but she suddenly loses her mentor, and Mr. Hall’s teenage sons Grayson and Alec want to take over. Leah’s welcome to stay and fly for the brothers, but there are strings attached, and the added complication of a long-time crush Leah’s had on Grayson.
I love the concept of this one – Leah has had a rough time of it no question, but flying is her escape. She goes to school with kids wealthier than her and has to buy her own groceries and help her mom pay the bills. She has a certain reputation at school that has given her peers the wrong impression. She has one close friend named Molly, but there’s always a divide between them as well. Flying planes is the best thing that has happened to her, along with learning from her mentor/father figure Mr. Hall. Leah is strong and wants to make something of her life, even though she has a lot of obstacles in the way. She’s not the type to ask for help and I admired her work ethic and self-motivation.
The twin brothers Grayson and Alec also made some assumptions about Leah that make their working relationship awkward. Grayson is arrogant and reckless but is trying to change his ways, while Alec is the more sweet and even-tempered brother. Not to worry though, there is not a traditional love triangle per se, which is not to say things are not complicated between the three of them.
Echols knows how to write romantic tension and this book is exploding with it. Besides the flying and family drama going on with Leah, sparks will fly and there is plenty of heat. It is on the A side of YA so keep that in mind.
The scenes with Leah flying planes are awesome and made me feel a sense of freedom right along with her. The airport setting works really well and along with the romance delivers the rush that the title promises.
Echols’ fans will eat this one up, and if you’re looking for the perfect summer beach read look no further. It even snapped me out of a mini reading rut. Such a Rush is fun and exciting but has some depth to it as well. Look for Such a Rush to hit shelves on Tuesday July 10. Look for Echols’ first romantic comedy for adults called Star Crossed in February 2013.
Congrats to Brittany who has won a copy of SUCH A RUSH!
In celebration of June is Audiobook Month it’s time for another audiobook giveaway. While I was flipping through last week’s Entertainment Weekly I noticed these two thrillers on the fiction best-seller list. Both of these audiobooks promise adventure and excitement for your summer listening pleasure.
Up for grabs today are two thrilling audiobooks that will go to one winner:
The Storm: A novel from the NUMA Files (Book 10) by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. Read by Scott Brick. Running time 11 hours, Release date May 29 2012, Penguin Audio. In the latest adventure in the NUMA files, the threat is a scheme to control the weather, a plan that endangers millions of lives. Number 2 on the Publisher’s Weekly Fiction best-seller list, week-ending June 10.
Stolen Prey (Lucas Davenport series, Book 22) by John Sandford. Read by Richard Ferrone. Running time 11.5 hours, Release date May 15 2012, Penguin Audio. Stephen King says about the series: “If you haven’t read Sandford yet, you have been missing one of the great summer-read novelists of all time.” Set in the town of Wayzata, Minnesota, the latest installment in this suspenseful series centers on a grisly murder mystery investigation. Number 6 on the Publisher’s Weekly Fiction best-seller list, week-ending June 10.