Wednesday, November 1, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the tour, This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This Mortal Coil

by Emily Suvada
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 7th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction


In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

Hello Emily! We are super excited to talk to you about THIS MORTAL COIL and to have you in our FFBC tours. 

Favorite Book? 

Favorite TV show? 

Battlestar Galactica

Favorite movie? 

Howl’s Moving Castle

Favorite Song? 

From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Coheed & Cambria

Favorite Food? 

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Hogwarts, Narnia, and Rivendell!

What were your favorite books growing up? 

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams, and Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Favorite Quote? 

“They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.” - Dorothy Parker

What are your fandoms? 

Harry Potter, Miyazaki, Star Trek, The 100, and Tool.

What are your fave Sci-Fi TV Shows or Movies?

I love Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Hackers, Orphan Black, Jurassic Park, Firefly, The Fifth Element, The Matrix, and Star Wars!

Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA fans? 

I absolutely adored An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson!

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THIS MORTAL COIL?

THIS MORTAL COIL is set two years after the outbreak of a plague that kills its victims in a pretty horrifying way… Most survivors now live in bunkers that are run by a group called Cartaxus, but our hero, Catarina, has been told by her father to stay away from Cartaxus at all costs. She’s a genehacker - in this world people have the ability to rewrite their DNA, downloading and using ‘apps’ to change their bodies. When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with the news that her father has coded a vaccine, but that only Catarina can decrypt it, she embarks on a journey across the country to release the vaccine and end the plague.

Can you tell us 3 interesting/random things about Cat?

Oooo, I like this question. Here are three cool things about Cat:

1) As well as being a hacker, Cat is an amateur scientist. She mentions making gunpowder in the first chapter, and she can usually be found in her lab, working on her own experiments. 

2) When we meet her, Cat is a little bit feral. She gave up on having clean clothes a long time ago and just. does. not. care. She’s not very good at taking care of herself, can’t cook, and sleeps on a mattress on the floor beside her fireplace.

3) The letters of her surname, along with her nickname, Cat Agatta, are the bases that make up DNA - G,T,C, and A.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THIS MORTAL COIL).

#thingsthatmakeyougoBOOM, #genehacking, and #TheSumOfOurGenes

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

The first idea that came to me was the image of Cat, this feral girl living in a cabin in the woods during a horrifying outbreak. I loved the idea of her being resourceful and pragmatic, doing whatever it took to survive, and one day being confronted with an enemy soldier who says he’s come to protect her. So naturally, she tries to kill him. 

This interaction forms the first big plot point in the book, and once I had that image in my mind, I just kept adding cool things - genehacking, a virus that makes people explode, awful experiments on people - until the rest of the plot fell together. I take inspiration from a lot of things - almost everything I watch or read influences and textures my writing. The book is basically a love letter to my favorite tropes in YA and science fiction. 

Tell us your favorite quote from THIS MORTAL COIL.

There’s a lot of danger in this book, and several life-or-death moments for Cat. This is a quote that I wrote when my editors encouraged me to focus on what my character thought about mortality:

“The universe is continuous; I am the anomaly. I am the thread that begins and ends, the flame that sputters out. A chance collection of proteins and molecules that perpetuates itself, bound by the electric fire of my mind.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

The scene that was the most fun to write was one at the midpoint at the book. Cat discovers that her life might be at immediate risk and has to go to extreme lengths to save herself. I’m not going to say any more than that, but trust me - you’ll know the scene when you read it. That scene was fun to write and rewrite, trying to make it more intimate and shocking each time.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THIS MORTAL COIL– Which one would you pick?

Probably 46&2 by Tool. That band was one of my major influences, growing up, and the song has relevance to the book in more ways than one.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THIS MORTAL COIL (specific music, snacks…)? 

This is a demanding book, and almost every single scene ties into a twist or reveal later on (or is building up to more twists in the rest of the series). It also moves at a demanding pace, and only gives you a few good opportunities to put it down. My recommendation would be to get comfortable in a place where you can dive into the story, although that’s my recommendation for most books! You might also want to plan a vegetarian meal for the evening, too... 

What’s next for you? 

I’m working hard on Book 2! This is the start of a series, and Book 2 begins right after the end of THIS MORTAL COIL. There are *so* many more twists to come. Keep an eye out for details on the sequel in the months to come!

Thank you so much for everything, Emily!

Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Of Jenny and the Aliens by Ryan Gebhart

Of Jenny and the Aliens
by Ryan Gebhart
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sci-Fi
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When boy meets girl meets alien, the angst of first love gets an extraterrestrial intervention in a tale both outrageously funny and full of heart.

Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has been an answer. Music from a distant planet has reached the world’s radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invited him to play beer pong, and things, well, progressed from there. Derek is in love. Deeply, hopelessly in love. He wants it all — marriage, kids, growing old on a beach in Costa Rica. For him, Jenny is the One. But Jenny has other plans, which may or may not include Derek. So Derek will try anything to win her — even soliciting advice from an alien who shows up in his hometown. This alien may just be the answer to Derek’s problem, but is Derek prepared to risk starting an interstellar war to get his girl? Just how far is he willing to travel to discover the mysteries of the universe — and the enigma of love?

Favorite Book?

Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton

Favorite TV Show?

Bob's Burgers

Favorite movie?

The Dark Knight and Wet Hot American Summer

Your Favorite Song? 

Currently it's “The Stable Song” by Gregory Alan Isakov and “The Mute” by Radical Face

Favorite Food?

Pizza when I'm broke, sushi when I have money (or when someone else is paying)

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

'I don't have an answer for this. Can I skip this question?'

What were your favorite books growing up? 

Anything by Stephen King or Michael Crichton. And the Goosebumps series.

Favorite quote?

This quote from “You Are What You Love,” a song by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, has always stuck with me: “You are what you love, and not what loves you back.”

What are your fandoms? 

Game of Thrones and also moar Game of Thrones.

Name a recent book that you read that you would recommend to our book lovers? 

It's super weird, but I recently read the hell out of Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS? 

It's about an almost eighteen-year-old boy falling in love for the first time and humanity's first contact with another intelligent species. It's about all the awkwardness, confusion, and misinterpretations that comes along with these events. It's got crass humor, pansexual aliens, typical human paranoia, family trees that better resemble tangled shrubs, Mario Kart, and a little love for the Cleveland Browns. Because Lord, do they need it.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing? 

I saw a UFO and I fell in love. Not in that order though.

Tell us your favorite quote from OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS. 

“Love is not a shape. There is no love triangle, no love square. Love is a network. It's a form of communication.”

What is your favorite movie, book, or TV show that features aliens. E.T. is my favorite alien movie. 

The Tommyknockers is my favorite alien book. And American Dad is my favorite alien TV show. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS – Which one would you pick? 

“Love is Greed” by Passion Pit.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? 

#HoustonRedRockets #NoPants and #GoBrowns 

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read OF JENNY AND THE ALIENS? 

I'm not exactly sure, but I would definitely recommend to read the last third of the book on an empty stomach.

What's next for you? 

It's still rough, but I'm currently working on a YA fantasy that's got angels and dragons and humans and sloths. I'm being vague right now because the idea is still amorphous and it's been exceptionally difficult to write, but this tweet from @raecarson basically explains where I'm at right now: “Think 1: My ambition for this novel I'm writing way exceeds my skill level. Think 2: That's how it should always be and I LOVE MY JOB.”

Follow Of Jenny and the Aliens by Ryan Gebhart Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Ryan Gebhart was born and raised in Maumee Ohio and graduated from Ohio University with a master's degree in Spanish (he can hablar some español like a boss). His debut middle grade There Will Be Bears, about getting older, best friends, and a bear, is a selected title for seven state reading lists.

His debut young adult Of Jenny and the Aliens, about first love and discovering that we're not alone in the universe, will be released Spring 2017 with Candlewick Press.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Lucky in Love
by Kasie West
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: July 25th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture. 

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Hello Kasie! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours. Thank you so much for everything!

Favorite book? 

That is an impossible question. I don’t have a favorite. I read so much and I rarely re-read books, because I always feel like there is so much I haven’t read yet that needs to be read. So I don’t really have a favorite. Or maybe I should say that I have thousands of favorites! 

Favorite TV show? 

Right now? “Heartland.” I’m sure that will change the second I find another show to binge watch. 

Favorite movie? 

I like so many. Notting Hill or Easy A. Or any other one that combines humor and romance. Those are my favs. 

Your favorite song? 

I like Twenty-One Pilots right now. Pretty much any of their songs. 

Favorite food? 

Chocolate. Can I live on chocolate? I wish. 

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Hogwarts, Narnia, the Shire. 

Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend? 

Again, it’s all about humor for me. I like a boy who is funny. Like Jace from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassie Clare. I also love Gansey from The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. 

Favorite quote? 

“She believed she could, so she did.” 

What do you find yourself “Fangirl-ing” over? 

I fangirl over “Stranger Things”, “The Avengers” and books! 

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? 

I always say Charles Dickens is my author boyfriend, so I should probably meet him. 

Something to say to our Book Addicts? 

Thanks so much for loving books! I love books too! And thanks to all my readers out there who always have such nice things to say about my books. I love all of you!

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about Lucky in Love? 

Lucky in Love is about a girl who thinks she has everything figured out, and then she wins the lottery. It’s about both the excitement and the challenges that can come with suddenly being a multi-millionaire. 

Can you tell us a bit more about the main characters and/or one of their secrets? 

Maddie is the main character. She is very organized and thinks she has everything figured out. She’s a hard worker and goes after what she wants. Her secret is that she’s not as fearless about the future as she pretends to be. 

How did you come up with the story? 

I’ve always been fascinated with the lottery and stories of people who win the lottery. Did you know that 70% of lottery winners are people who get a big windfall and then go bankrupt within five years? That’s fascinating to me! Human nature is so interesting and I love exploring the different aspects of it. 

Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing? 

Not necessarily for this book. But I do find inspiration in watching movies and reading stories. That’s where many of my ideas are given their first spark. 

Tell us your favorite quote from Lucky in Love. 

“I don’t lie about socks, Seth.”

“That seems like a weird thing not to lie about.” 

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun writing? 

I loved writing Maddie and Seth’s first date. It was a lot of fun for me. I can’t say too much though because I don’t want to spoil anything. But Seth was fun for me to write. 

If you had to pick one song to be the theme song for Lucky in Love – which one would you pick? 

“Buy Me a Boat” by Chris Janson. This country song is about how we often think money can buy us happiness. Plus it’s fun! 

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters?

I love, love, love Jordan Rodrigues best known for Dance Academy. He is a cutie! He would make a great Seth. As for Maddie, I think Lucy Fry would fit well in that role. 

Is there any recommendation you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read Lucky in Love (specific music, snacks…)? 

It’s funny you should ask about snacks. There are several scenes in the book where Maddie is doing that very thing (picking out snacks). So, get your Reese’s Pieces and Mountain Dew ready, because otherwise you’ll be craving them from the first scene onward. 

What would you do if you were in Maddie’s shoes? 

If I were in Maddie’s shoes, I would buy a beach house and fund some scholarships for college students. But that’s me now, as an adult. If I were 18 when I won the lottery, I might have thrown a big bash for my high school. 

What’s next for you? 

My next book out is called LOVE, LIFE and the LIST. It features best friends, true love, art, the beach and kissing. I think you’ll love it.

Follow Lucky in Love by Kasie West Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.