Thursday, August 30, 2012


Review Time! Survive by Alex Morel is a 2012 YA Debut that was recently published by Hardie Grant Egmont back in July! When I first heard about Survive, I was so excited because I love survival based novels and this one sounded absolutely amazing! You can purchase a copy of this book from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Dymocks. Thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Jane is running away from everything. From the facility she’s been living in, from her pain, from her guilt, from life. She boards a plane to Montclair, New Jersey, though her destination isn’t important – she doesn’t plan to be alive when the plane lands.

Jane has devised the perfect suicide. She’ll fall asleep on the plane and never wake up. But as she’s reaching for her pills in the tiny bathroom, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black.

Jane wakes amid the charred wreckage of a plane crash on a snowy mountaintop, and discovers just one other survivor – a boy named Paul. Lost in a perilous, icy landscape, with little food and water, their chance of survival seems small. But as the pair unite against the vast wilderness, Jane discovers a reason to fight for her life.

The Short Story? - An intriguing premise of a novel brought to life by fantastic characters and a unique narrative voice. Survive was everything I thought it was going to be from the edgy and exciting plot to the beautifully flawed characters and their heart-warming romance. A novel about love, loss, grief, sacrifice and more than anything - fighting to survive and realising the importance of living. Morel's YA debut is a beautiful contemporary work of fiction thats a journey for both survival and self discovery.

The Long Story? - I moved into this novel without expecting it to have so much depth. I was expecting Survive to be more of an adventure read but surprisingly this was very much of a dark contemporary. The novel has a lot of the characteristics and representation that frequent the contemporary genre, it has the whole "discovering yourself and moving on" element but Morel has chosen a more dramatic setting and that was something that I really enjoyed. The survival element really gave the novel a nice touch, I love action and suspense and this "plane crashed and we're all alone on a mountain" premise really pulled me in. I also loved the romance between Jane and Paul and the ending was so bittersweet. I cried and that's not something I do often. If you're looking for an action-packed contemporary that will make you cry, Survive is a safe bet!

The characterisation was really well done. I loved the character development in Jane, it was blatantly obvious that this journey for survival not only challenged Jane physically but also mentally. Jane started out as a very depressed teenager who was suicidal and she was struggling with her grief over her father's death but this plane crash has really done a 180 on her and as she struggles to survive, she realises that she doesn't want to die. I love how Jane discovers self-worth and how towards the end of the book, she really reinvents herself into the girl she wants to be. Paul was also a very important part of the novel. He was the turning point for everything, without him, Jane wouldn't have found the determination to live and their romance was so so so cute. Jane and Paul are really the only characters we meet in the novel and together they made the characterisation quite spectacular.

In a nutshell, Survive is a novel I would highly recommend readers of all genres because it crosses over a lot in the YA market. Beautifully written with a rich narrative voice, excellent characterisation and a original and intriguing plot, Survive definitely lived up to my expectations. Morel has truly done a brilliant job with her YA debut. If you're looking for something different or something edgy, make sure you check out Survive because it's not one to be missed!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Review Time! Speechless is Hannah Harrington, author of Saving June's sophomore novel! Saving June being one of my favourite debuts of last year I was so excited to read Speechless! Speechless will be available from 29 August online at Harlequin and in bookstores nationally for RRP AUS $19.99. You can also purchase online at Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Dymocks. Thanks to Harlequin Teen for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast--and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea's has taken a vow of silence--to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting everyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets if hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way. People she never noticed before. A boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
The Short Story? - Harrington's latest YA novel confronts real issues that affect the lives of teenagers growing up everywhere. A beautiful and poignant story about the secrets that change people's lives and the guilt and grief that haunt you when things fall apart. A protagonist who is not all that she seems to be on the outside and the heartbreaking journey to self forgiveness and moving on. A novel about friendship, betrayal, self discovery and redemption, Speechless is a beautiful encore to Harrington's debut, Saving June!

The Long Story? - Speechless was a great novel! Saving June is still my favourite out of the two but Speechless was nevertheless absolutely amazing! Taking a overdone and cliched plot, Harrington has added depth and complexity to it and turned it into a beautiful and poignant novel about love, loss, grief and guilt. One of my favourite aspects of the novel was the confrontation of real life issues throughout the story, Harrington explores several pressing issues such as sexuality, homophobia, friendship, morality, dealing with guilt and learning to forgive yourself. It's a short book and yet there is so much packed between the pages. Beautifully written, Harrington does not hold back as she addresses the ugly reality and pains of growing up. If you liked Saving June, Speechless is definitely one you should check out!

The characterisation was really well done. I loved the representation of Chelsea throughout the novel and how she develops as a character. Chelsea started out as quite a difficult character to connect with, she was shallow and mean - your cliched popular girl, always seeking an audience and approval. However as the novel progressed and Chelsea took the vow of silence, she really goes on a road of self discovery and that's when I really felt myself connect with her. She realises the consequences of her actions and on her road to self forgiveness she meets so many wonderful people who change her perspective on life. Speechless has absolutely beautiful character development and all the characters we meet along the way - Sam, Asha, Andy, Noah and all the rest are absolutely amazing supporting characters!

Lovers of Hannah Harrington's Saving June will definitely find Speechless to their liking as while the plots are very different, the premise of the novels both fall back on dealing with grief and self forgiveness. Speechless is a spectacular dark contemporary that really go into realistic issues without making the novel depressing to read. Bittersweet, funny and poignant, Speechless is a novel about how one action can change everything and how self forgiveness is the key to moving on.

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway!

Hey Guys, as part of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf Blog Tour, I have a guest post from the author, Ambelin Kwaymullina for you today about - Dystopia and the Dreaming! There's also a giveaway for readers living in AUS/NZ ( scroll to the bottom for that!)

Dystopia and the Dreaming

Aboriginal people have the oldest living culture on earth, and our ancient stories tell us that everything began with the Dreaming Ancestors; that through their songs and dances and travels, the world was made. The reality shaped by the Ancestors is one in which everything lives, and where rock, tree, river, hill, animal and human are linked together in a greater pattern of relationships. This pattern moves and shifts, as all life moves and shifts, forming a web of interacting connections that stretches out to enfold our homelands.

When writing The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, I had to consider what reality might be like hundreds of years into the future, after an environmental cataclysm destroyed the world as we know it now. What would emerge from a destruction so terrible that it caused the tectonic plates to shift and form a single, lonely continent amid a vast ocean? And it seemed to me that the ancient spirits of this land would survive. In my book, one such spirit emerged from his resting place, deep in underground water, as the earth broke apart around him. He gathered up all the scraps of life that he could find, and journeyed through the chaos. Those scraps included seeds of tuart trees, themselves survivors too – even now, the last of these great trees stand in remnant forests along Western Australia’s swan coastal plain.

A dystopia imagines the end of the world. But in the reality created by the Dreaming Ancestors, where everything has spirit and consciousness, life is not easily extinguished. We are all part of greater patterns of birth and renewal. To think of the end of the world, therefore, is also to think of its beginning.


My Review - HERE

Purchase - Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus and Robertson

(Goodreads) The Reckoning destroyed civilisation. Rising from the ashes, some people have developed unique abilities, and society is scared of them. Guided by the ancient spirits of the land, Ashala Wolf will do anything to keep them safe. When Ashala is captured, she realises she has been betrayed by someone she trusted. When her interrogator starts digging in her memories for information, she doubts she can protect her people forever. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?



Head over to the next stop of the tour over at Head Stuck in a Book!

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wentworth Hall

Review Time! Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame is a 2012 YA Debut that was published by Simon and Schuster Australia in July. Described as Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl, I was really looking forward to this one since I'm a fan of both TV shows! You can purchase a copy of Wentworth Hall from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus and Robertson. Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!

(Goodreads) It’s 1912, and eighteen-year-old Maggie and her mother have just returned from a year abroad where Lady Darlington has had a baby boy, James. But he is not the only addition to the house. They have also brought back Therese, their new French tutor, as well as welcomed the orphaned teenage twins, Teddy and Jessica, who have just lost their father aboard the Titanic. This adds to an already crowded house of Darlingtons and staff, all of whom have a penchant for gossiping about their employers.

As time passes, it becomes clear that Teddy and Jessica would rather be anywhere else and that Maggie is a different person from the one who left Wentworth. Her family’s financial future rests with her finding the best husband—and her parents are sure that is Teddy.

When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, the family is determined to find the culprit and keep their affairs under wraps. But at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long…
The Short Story? - I can definitely see the similarities to Downton Abbey! Beautifully written and deliciously scandalous, Grahame's YA debut is filled with dirty secrets, secret agendas and unexpected betrayals between the beautiful and the damned. Following the lives of the rich and powerful, Wentworth Hall is your insider's guide to what life is really like behind closed doors. Notoriously twisted, Wentworth Hall is the perfect for those who like their historical fiction with a little bit of drama!

The Long Story? - I *really* enjoyed Wentworth Hall but there was this one aspect of the novel that really annoyed me. It was too short. Normally I like short novels but Grahame has created such an amazing premise for the novel, it was such a shame to see it end so soon. It's not even a series! BUT that's just a personal preference thing. Onto the review, Wentworth is a very solid debut that will definitely appeal to fans of both historical fiction and contemporary. If you like scandals, dirty secrets and lots of drama, Wentworth Hall is definitely one to pick up. The length of the novel doesn't really allow much room to "beat around to the bush" so if you like your novels direct and straight to the point, put this one on your radar. There is also a mystery element to the novel that I really enjoyed. The romance wasn't a major part of the novel which seems to be the focus of most historical fiction and I found the lack of romance quite unique. If you're a fan of Anna Godberson's YA novels, Wentworth Hall is right up your alley!

One of the downsides of a short novel is that it doesn't give the author much time to develop characters. In this case, it's not exactly a concern because Wentworth Hall is more plot-based than character-based. However I would have liked to see a little more depth in the characters. One of the things I liked about the novel was how the spotlight was shared among the characters, Wentworth Hall doesn't really have a protagonist, everyone is equal and that was quite original. My favourite characters were probably Therese or Maggie, these two girls were quite developed so I could connect with them, especially Therese. I felt like their personalities were more compatible with mine and that allowed me to understand them better than the other characters. Overall it was a good characterisation, it's definitely not as in depth as other books but it wasn't really a problem in the bigger picture.

Wentworth Hall is one of those novels that have many different plots that interweave into a bigger picture. The plot is detailed and it has all those elements that make a novel enjoyable. A little mystery, drama, betrayal and romance. Filled with delicious scandals and dirty secrets, Wentworth Hall is the insider's story of the not-so-glamourous lives of the beautiful, rich and powerful! If this sounds like anything you would enjoy, check it out!

What's it Worth? - Squeeze into the Budget/ Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

Review Time! Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin is a 2012 YA Debut! Now I'm feeling absolutely horrible right now because this was sent to me for review back in March and EVERY MONTH is gets left behind! Not to mention it's a fantastic book too! You can purchase copies of your own at The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Fishpond | The Nile. Thank-you so much to Penguin US for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. 

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.
The Short Story? - A light and fluffy debut that will bring you plenty of laughs! Zeitlin's Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is a coming-to-age novel filled with disastrous events, a friendship like no other and a hilarious protagonist that quite possibly has the worst luck ever! A refreshingly cute YA showcasing an authentically teen narrative voice, Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is perfect for readers looking for a light coming-to-age novel filled with sweethearts, disasters and laughs!

The Long Story? - So much love for this novel! I honestly didn't think I was going to enjoy Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters as much as I did! This is definitely a debut targeted at a younger audience however it's one that can be enjoyed by everyone. It's a very light and fluffy novel, it's one of those novels that you read just for fun. There really isn't a deeper meaning to the novel besides entertainment for me because I guess I'm not a freshmen and I've already experienced starting high school. However I did find that I could relate aspects of the novel and I'm sure many of you could as well! Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters really took me make to freshmen year and all the drama of starting high school because it's a huge deal. The novel also discusses a lot of issues such as sexuality, social hierarchy and friendship problems. Highly recommended for readers of all ages!

I really liked the characterisation in Freshmen Year! I felt all the characters are very easy to connect with because we've all been in that position in our life where we have to start something new and scary.  Kelsey was a great protagonist! She's definitely not perfect but she is an authentic character. I feel like in YA fiction, it's really rare to see characters that are truly "authentic", sometimes authors develop these characters that just seem kind of fake. They might be flawed but it's a superficial flaw. While with Kelsey and her friends, all their flaws were very real and I could relate to them better because they're my flaws too! Kelsey can be self-centred and selfish but that's me too! One of my favourite things about this novel was the fact that the romance was a very small minority and that's is so rare in YA these days! There are boys in the novel but the novel is definitely more about friendship than boys and that's an important thing to remember!

In a nutshell, Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters was a fantastic debut! I can't wait to see what Zeitlin has planned for us next because I thoroughly enjoy her writing style. If you're looking for a fluffy one sitting read, Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is the book to choose! Fantastic plot, great characterisation and overall just a brilliant feel-good debut! For readers of all ages to enjoy, Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is definitely worth the read!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, August 20, 2012


Review Time! Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan is the sequel to Glow (My Review), the first book in the Sky Chasers Trilogy! I'm reading Spark for Presenting Lenore's Dystopian August which is a fabulous event you guys should all go check out! You can purchase a copy Spark here - The Nile | Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus and Robertson. Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her? 

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...
The Short Story? -  Ryan does not fail to impress in this in action-packed, fast-paced and completely engrossing sequel to Glow! While I loved Glow, my love for Spark cannot even compare - this novel is absolutely brilliant! The characterisation was so intense, reading this book was an emotional roller coaster. The plot was amazing, filled from cover to cover with action, mystery, suspense and romance. I highly recommend this series to lovers of Beth Revis' Across the Universe series - this is definitely a series you don't want to miss out on!

The Long Story? - Honestly, my love for Spark is one fat surprise to me. I loved Glow but it wasn't amazing and I guess my expectations for Spark weren't very high but this book is absolutely amazing! I liked the plot of Spark a lot more than Glow, it was more intense and it was really interesting to see how these teenagers were going to run the ship by themselves. There was so much responsibility and it was exciting to see them take on the role as the adults. Ryan also has a unique take on the dystopian element of "control and rebellion", I loved the idea of a religious cult in space. I also really liked the mystery and suspense element in the story and the action was a nice touch as well! Beautifully written and paired with such a unique plot, Spark is a spectacular sequel. I would definitely encourage people who have read Glow to pick it up and if you're looking for a new sci-fi/dystopian series, you should definitely check out Glow and Spark!

What really stood out to me in Spark was the characterisation. This is definitely my favourite aspect of the novel. Ryan's character portrayal brings was fantastic. She gives them depth and all her characters just bring so much raw emotion out of readers ( or just me). I've definitely come to like Waverly more than I did in Glow, she grew so much as a person since the previous novel. I think the horrific events have changed her and as she worked past the guilt and grief, she's really come up on top as a better, more confident person. I absolutely hated Kieran during this novel and I think that's how Ryan wanted us to feel towards him. He was a jerk and power has completely corrupted his mind, he's self absorbed and I had the strongest urge to punch him in the face. I really hope he changes his attitude and reflects on his actions because there is nothing attractive about boys who are jerks. Seth has done a complete 180, he's gone from being the bad guy to the good guy and he really grew on me in Spark. I would like to see more of him in the next book.

For those of you who have read Glow, I would highly recommend you to pick Spark up ASAP because this one is even more amazing than Glow! If you love space travel, dystopian and lots of action, mystery and a romance tagline you should check out this series! I personally can't wait for Book #3 which is going to be even more amazing because that cliff hanger ending calls for an epic finale to a brilliant series! A must-read!

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In My Mailbox #55

Happy Sunday! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Basically it's a book hurl. As always, I only post an IMM post every two weeks because I'm a lazy inefficient human being. So here's my haul for the last two weeks...

For Review -

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
Hammering Iron by L.S. Lawrence 
Haunters by Thomas Taylor
Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
ARC Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate 
ARC This is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

( Thanks to Penguin, Scholastic, Hardie Grant Egmont and Simon and Schuster!)

Swap/ Gifted -

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard 
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker 
All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John

( Thanks to Holly and Hannah )


Link me to your IMM posts!

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy + Giveaway!

Book Profile

Name - The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy (Goodreads)
Author - Nikki Loftin
Genre - MG Fiction
Release Date - 21st August 2012
Available - The Book Depository | Fishpond | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

When Lorelei's old school mysteriously burns down, a new one appears practically overnight: Splendid Academy. Rock-climbing walls on the playground and golden bowls of candy on every desk? Gourmet meals in the cafeteria, served by waiters? Optional homework and two recess periods a day? It's every kids's dream.

But Lorelei and her new friend Andrew are pretty sure it's too good to be true. Together they uncover a sinister mystery, one with their teacher, the beautiful Ms. Morrigan, at the very center.

Then Andrew disappears. Lorelei has to save him, even if that means facing a past she'd like to forget – and taking on a teacher who's a real witch.

What Lorelei and Andrew discover chills their bones – and might even pick them clean!

The Insider's Scoop

A Character Profile and Interview

Introducing one of the finest teachers on the Splendid Academy staff – Alva Morrigan (staff bio taken from the school’s website, at

Bio: With her deep desire to feed hungry learners, Ms. Morrigan was a natural addition to the Splendid Academy staff. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Ms. Morrigan has taken on the duties of cafeteria meal planner and kitchen head of staff. She earned her first degree in cooking from the Culinary Arts Academy of the Périgord (L’Académie des Artes de Cuisine du Périgord), where she won top honors upon graduation with her triple-stuffed foie gras (goose liver) and bitter chocolate cheesecake. Ms. Morrigan later earned excellent qualifications in elementary and intermediate education, with specializations in Biology and Human Anatomy.

Ms. Morrigan states her philosophy of teaching: “If a student is hungry, she can’t learn. Feed the body, then feed the mind, and the rewards will be a feast any teacher would be proud to call her creation!”


Ms. Morrigan, what is it you love most about teaching?

Definitely the students. They’re so sweet, when they’re young, and they consume knowledge like little piglets. Of course, in the award-winning Splendid Academy cafeteria, they consume food in the same fashion. We do have an outstanding menu – and this year, we have plans for an all-day ice cream sundae station! Kids can leave class anytime they feel the urge to make a triple-decker ice cream masterpiece.
That sounds rather unhealthy. There is an epidemic of childhood obesity in America. Are you at all concerned about contributing to the worsening of this situation?

Of course not. Our aim is to grow children big and strong – and that means making sure they receive the perfect mix of protein and carbohydrate. That’s why you’ll never seejust fried chicken on our menu: we’ll also have white rolls, mashed potatoes with creamed gravy, honey-drenched carrots, and chocolate-covered cashew clusters for dessert. Cashews are an excellent source of protein.

What we have found, however, is that in many other schools, students come to class hungry and unprepared to learn. That’s why mandatory breakfast at Splendid Academy was instituted – it’s not just a team-building time, it’s a brain building time, too. If students are well-fed, they’re ready to learn.

Mandatory breakfasts? That sounds rather harsh. Are there a lot of rules at Splendid Academy?

To the contrary! We think children are the best monitors of their own behavior. Given the right kind of teacher – one who doesn’t focus on rule-breaking, but on having fun -- we find behavior is not an issue. With our exciting playground – there are two zip lines already installed, along with a rock-climbing wall -- and classrooms with all the latest technology, we find our students want to spend more time at school, not less!

What do you think of your boss, Principal Trapp?

Well, she’s excellent at her job of course. The school wouldn’t be what it is without her leadership! But, between us, I think she’s too easy on some of the students. She starts to treat them like her own children… oh, I understand the attraction! I look at these sweet, tender young things, and I just want to keep them with me forever! But sometimes, Principal Trapp lets herself be taken advantage of. It’s a good thing she has me here to keep an eye on the troublemakers.

Now, I’m sorry, but I have to run! I’m in charge of training the kitchen staff, and we have a whole new month of menus to try out before the school year begins. The kids won’t be able to resist these new recipes, I can promise you that.

Enroll your child at Splendid Academy today! Visit for more information.


Nikki is giving away a First Edition Signed Copy of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy + Swag and CANDY!

Rule of Entry -

- Open to North American Residents ONLY
- Ends 18th of September
- Must be 13 or older
- Optional Entries :
   * Leaving comment on either of Nikki's posts +1 each
   * Follow Me on Twitter +1
   * Follow Nikki on Twitter +1
   * Tweeting Giveaway +1
   * Follow Badass Bookie via GFC/Linky or RSS +2
Badass Bookie xx

Friday, August 17, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About Nikki Loftin (The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy)

Debutante Profile

Name – Nikki Loftin
Debut – The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
Genre – Middle Grade
Website/Blog – HERE
Facebook -  Here
Twitter - HERE

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. When I grew up, I even went to graduate school to be one, and then sort of… forgot. A few years ago, I realized I was approaching forty and still had the same dream I’d had since I was nine, I just had gray hair now to go along with it. I figured I’d be eighty, still “wanting to be a writer” if I didn’t do something about it. 

I started writing like my life depended on it – and now, a few years later, I have an agent, a two-book deal with Razorbill, and an addiction to reading and writing middle grade books.

I have two sons, who in an act of self-preservation have learned to cook their own dinners, a Scottish photographer husband who has learned to love putting together author websites and book trailers and reading early drafts of children’s books. I am living my dream. I think nine-year-old Nikki would be proud.

Dream Debutante Dress -  

Notes from a YA Debutante

It was totally worth the multiple knife-fights I had with my less-battle-skilled middle grade debut author friends to win a spot as one of Badass Bookie’s 2012 debutantes! My dress was originally full-length, but part of the hem was hacked off during one of the fights, and I had to eat a few dozen of the truffles to even out the hem. (Oh, the sacrifices I make for art – and fashion.)

That brings us to one of the most important ingredients of my writing journey, the thing that enabled me to overcome years of rejections, months of waiting to hear back from agents, and epic novel-length revision letters from my editor: chocolate.

Specifically, Lindt dark chocolate (with orange) bars.

No, my greatest inspiration isn’t my family (even though my two kids are responsible for quite a few of the stranger plotlines in my manuscripts), or great works of children’s literature (unless you count Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). 

It’s chocolate.

When I’m writing, I make sure that there’s a bar of chocolate next to the keyboard, along with a cup of hot tea to wash it down. When I’m waiting for revision notes or words from editors, I bake, mostly chocolate chip cookies, but I’ve been known to move on to more difficult chocolate-based recipes. (I’m a “stress baker.” True Story: One night, when my husband came in from work, he saw three batches of cookies, two dozen muffins and a cake on the kitchen counter. His face turned white as he gasped out: “Who died?” No one. I was waiting for word on a contract.) In the winter, I add hot chocolate to the mix, and in the summer, chocolate ice cream.

This creates a problem, commonly referred to as “Writer’s Butt.” So I drag myself away from the writing desk three days a week to teach a half-dozen Zumba aerobics/dance classes. Zumba is the work-out equivalent of a karaoke party with your fifty best friends. So much fun!

Of course, when people ask how a Zumba instructor can be, um, less than thin with all the working out? The answer is, of course, chocolate.

Sigh. I wish I liked celery or something.

(Okay, that’s a lie. I would never leave you, my sweet, dark, luscious chocolate bar. Never. Especially not for celery.)

Did I mention that I wrote a book about addictive, enchanted sweets? You’re probably wondering where I got the inspiration. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!

Thank you to Badass Bookie! I’d curtsey, but I ate a few too many truffles off my gown to do it without flashing my writer’s butt. J


Bookie's Note: That's quite an addiction you got there Nikki... A GOOD ADDICTION! I wish I lived in your household, it sounds like H E A V E N! We never bake cookies at my house, we just buy them and they're never as nice :( Lindt is great but have you tried the seashells??? I LOVE CHOCOLATE SEASHELLS! Come back tomorrow for the second half of Nikki's feature and a giveaway, lovelies! 

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About Pushing the Limits + Giveaway

Book Profile

Name - Pushing the Limits (Goodreads)
Author - Katie McGarry
Genre - Contemporary
Release Date - 1st August 2012
Available - The Book Depository | Fishpond | The Nile 

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

The Insider's Scoop

This is a small portion of two chapters I ended up deleting from Pushing the Limits. The ending of Echo's chapter...
 “Echo!” Luke said in alarm behind me right as I rammed into a wall of solid muscle. My eyes drifted up and I was greeted to twinkling dark brown eyes and a wicked grin that stirred my soul. Double freaking crap. 
The smile stretched across my lips the moment Echo’s eyes met mine and they stretched even wider when she swallowed and stuttered out some words. “Hi, Noah. I mean sorry. You know. For running into you.”
“We’re good.” Very good. She could stand this close to me anytime.
Echo sucked in a breath as she drew her eyes away from me and took a huge step back. “What are you doing here?”
“Five dollar pizza.” Two larges for eight dollars. Isaiah, Beth, and I would starve without that meal deal from this place and the leftovers I brought home from work.
“Yeah.” She overly shrugged. "Of course.”
I chuckled at her poor attempt at nonchalant and loved when her cheeks turned bright red.
A shadow stepping near Echo caught my attention and caused my muscles to tense, preparing for an attack. Part of me relaxed when I noticed Echo’s overgrown ape boyfriend hovering behind her. 
“When did you two become friendly?” Luke asked.
Echo angled her body so that she stood between me and the ape. “Oh, it’s okay, Luke. I began t…” Her mouth formed the u to finish the word tutoring and she trailed off while giving me a quick glance under her eyelashes. “We’re…uh…working…together…um…on…”
Echo’s eyes blinked like a man caught in a hurricane at sea. Damn, this girl couldn’t lie and a part of me softened that she was willing to lie to save face for me. “She’s tutoring me.”


Harlequin Teen has offered (3) Copies of Pushing the Limits to give away! 

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