Congrats!

strippedcover3_5x8Congrats Jane Linfoot, you are the winner of the Stripped E-book Giveaway!

Nicole Steinhaus and I asked all of you the following question-

Where do you think NA is going in the future? And Jane responded:

 ” I see NA going from strength to strength. The life experiences people have at this time are so significant in shaping the person. A lot of people think you’re growing up is done once you’re eighteen. Maybe at eighteen the physical part is over, but that’s the age you are allowed to begin to make your own mistakes and decisions. And some of those can lead to disaster. And the repercussions from those first independent decisions can be awesome. So much to write about, so much to read about. So much to explore.”

Great answer, Jane!!!!!

Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway! It was a lot of fun for me to read all of your answers! Jane, I hope that you enjoy reading Stripped!

It's Throwback Thursday!

DSCN1460 While I was looking through my books the other day for my Top 10 video, I found a lot of the books I loved as a kid. And thus Throwback Thursday begins. Just about every week, I will be featuring one of my favorite “throwbacks” from my childhood.

This week it is Holes by Louis Sachar.

Stanley Yelnats has never had it easy, neither has his father, nor his grandfather. The Yelnats’ have always had terrible luck and believe that they are cursed because of Stanleys “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-grandfather.”
When Stanley finds himself at Camp Green Lake as a result of a crime he didn’t commit, digging holes five feet across and five feet deep as his punishment. He soon realizes that they aren’t digging holes just to build character. There is something buried at Camp Green Lake. And Stanley wants to be the one to discover it, and redeem himself.

Holes is a wonderfully dark and funny book that both children and adults will both enjoy.

 

What are some of your favorite books from your childhood?

My Top 10 Favorite YA books (and honorable mentions)

Of course the screen cap for the video has me making the most ridiculous face haha. Sorry for the technical difficulties. This will hopefully be the last video that I have to make on my laptop. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can use the Mac from now on.

What are your favorite books? Do you have a top 10?

Review: The Trouble With Goodbye by Sarra Cannon

Synopsis:

TheTroubleWithGoodbye Cover

One night can change everything…

Two years ago, Leigh Anne Davis shocked everyone in tiny Fairhope, Georgia when she broke up with her wealthy boyfriend to attend an Ivy League university a thousand miles away. At school, she finds a happiness and independence she’s never known.

Until one terrifying night takes it all away from her.

With no place else to go, Leigh Anne heads home to reclaim her old life. A life she worked so hard to escape. On the outside, she seems like the same girl everyone has always known. But deep inside, she’s hiding a terrible secret.

Review:

The Trouble With Goodbye was heartfelt and heart-wrenching. Overall, I feel that this novel was a story that needed to be told because it is a story that so many women of all ages can read and relate to. The main character, Leigh Ann has been raped and coerced into keeping it quiet by her parents and the administration at the college she attends. After a second student comes forward, saying that the same man sexually assaulted her as well, Leigh Ann decides to get away from Boston for the Summer and to back to her childhood home where she realizes exactly how much her experiences have changed her.

I found Leigh Ann to be a very brave character, especially because her parents expect her to stay quiet about her experiences and basically forget they ever happened. But the memory of what happened that night torments her (and understandably so). Over the course of the novel, Leigh Ann struggles with the amount of control her parents have over her life and the amount of influence they have on her choices. I feel that many women who read this novel will see themselves in Leigh Ann and will understand her struggles and celebrate her victories.

I also loved the male “love interest” character Knox. He had had a troubled past and can understand Leigh Anne in a way that no one else can. While he seems like the “bad boy” around town, he is simply misunderstood. I liked how their relationship developed and while they may have been attracted to one another at first, they didn’t immediately jump into a relationship and it didn’t feel like your cliché “love at first sight.”

While this is a hard and difficult topic to both write and read about, I feel like the author has done so in a sensitive manner. Even though the main character has been through a terrible thing, the book isn’t dark and depressing, but gives a message of hope for both the main character and for people who may have had similar experiences.

Check out Sarra’s 196453_187249674653259_4215168_nother books at these sites!

Website: http://sarracannon.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarramaria

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarracannon

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4435742.Sarra_Cannon

Coming Soon! My interview with Sarra Cannon!

Only 2 Days Left to Enter the Stripped Giveaway!

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There are only 2 days left to enter the Stripped giveaway! Answer the following question and you will be entered to win. The winner of the giveaway will be chosen by Nicole Steinhaus (aka Brooklyn Skye).

Where do you see NA going in the future? (More information about NA can be found here in my interview with Nicole).

Answer the question in a comment here or on the post with my interview with Nicole.

The Book Thief Review!

Good Morning! I decided to put together a quick post for you this morning about one of my favorite books, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Check out my video review (discussion about the book), followed by two book trailers that I thought described the book very well!

Let’s chat! Have you read it, if so what did you think? If not— I think you should!

 

The above book trailer gave me the chills (so good!)

The Book Feels With Tracy and Amanda

Hello! Tonight Tracy aka Bray and Books and I talked about The Book Feels and Book Hangovers. Watch our vlog and then check out her blog and twitter

Let us know… What book(s) gives you the feels? What emotion(s) do they evoke? We may mention your answer in our next video blog (coming next week)!!!!

A Celebration of My Favorite Indie Bookstore: The River's End Bookstore

There has always been something wonderfully overwhelming that happens to me every time I walk into a bookstore. All of the stories, the covers, the possibilities, jump out at me all at once and scream “Pick me! Ooooh pick me!” And I have always had to resist the urge to pick them all, to bring them home and stack them on my nightstand, to read them all one by one.971865_10151561045348468_851806330_n

In 1998, long before I had ever stepped a foot into a Barnes & Noble or other book selling chain, The River’s End Bookstore opened in my hometown of Oswego, NY. The then 11 year old me was thrilled! I had already read nearly everything in the school library at least once by that time and to have a store that sold only books was exhilarating. My favorite independent bookstore is still in business today. In fact they recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary (Congrats Bill and Mindy) and I couldn’t be happier for them.

In an age where big businesses are knocking so many locally owned, small businesses out of their way, The River’s End Bookstore is thriving. Where so many people (including myself) are using e-readers and tablets to read- this independent bookstore has kept up with the times by having e-books and e-readers available as an option.

But somepeacelovebookstimes you want to pick up a book. You want to hold it in your hands and flip through the pages. You want to smell the paper and the ink. And that my friends is one of the many reasons why I am glad that The River’s End Bookstore is still around. I may have my electronic library, but I need to have my library of actual books as well. If it weren’t for them, the little city I call home would have “slim pickings” to choose from book-wise. When I want a paper copy of a new book, The River’s End Bookstore is there with more books than I could ever dream of reading.

Last summer, The River’s End Bookstore had an event where  I got to meet two of my favorite Young Adult authors, Laurie Halse Anderson and Barry Lyga. They were both in the same room. At the same eatsleepreadlocaltime! (I don’t know how typical this is, but for me it was a huge deal. I may or may not have had a fangirl-esqe moment in my head.) Not to mention, at the same event I was introduced to two other great YA authors, Melissa Walker and Terry Trueman. The River’s End Bookstore genuinely tries to connect readers with the writers they love. They support local authors (like Laurie) and have events where readers can discover and interact with them quite often.

The River’s End Bookstore has something for everyone, young and old , male and female. The employees and owners are all wonderful people, willing to make recommendations, order something if it’s not in stock, or just chat. They have a special storytelling time just for little ones and writing groups where writers of all ages are welcome to attend. They are truly a great asset to the community.

So if for any reason you find yourself in or around Oswego, NY, stop by The River’s End Bookstore. You will experience the care and hospitality that only a hometown small business can offer and you won’t be disappointed.

Check out The River’s End Bookstore on Facebook 

Or on their website

IndieBound

Review- Stripped by Brooklyn Skye (Nicole Steinhaus): Beautifully written & full of emotion

Synopsis of Stripped

College freshman Quinn Montgomery will do anything to avoid the mistake her sister made—killing herself over a boy. But when she is forced into nude modeling at a local college to support her family after a bankruptcy, she begins to crack, just enough to let Torrin, the university’s top varsity oarsman, see that the real Quinn is not as feisty and unapproachable as she wants everyone to think. But letting someone in comes at a steep cost and, it turns out, Torrin is connected to Quinn’s family in more ways than she could ever imagine.

Stripped Review

Quinn Montgomestrippedcover3_5x8ry’s life has spun out of control. Her family is in the midst of a scandal, leaving her father unemployed and Quinn is struggling with both the death of her sister and  paying for her own education.  As a result of all of this heartbreak, Quinn holds everyone she meets at an arms length and puts up walls so high and thick that it’s nearly impossible to see what is behind them. She is afraid to let anyone get too close to her and most of all afraid to allow herself to love someone.

Torrin finds Quinn to be a bit of a mystery and even though most of her comments directed at him are snarky, he still wants to befriend her despite her tough exterior (much to Quinn’s dismay).

The characters in Stripped were not only unique, but also believable. While I wanted to smack Quinn at times, her character was very well written. As a reader, I could feel the sheer amount of pain and frustration she was feeling over the mess that her life has become. I loved her interactions with Torrin and the relationship that develops between two people who have both been badly hurt by their pasts. I found myself smiling at (and kind of crushing on) Torrin every time he brushed off one of Quinn’s insults or gave her a glimpse into his own life and sometimes wondered why he kept coming back.

I was so emotionally invested in Stripped and the characters that I hated to put it down, even to work or sleep. Brooklyn Skye h

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as written a story full of skeletons hiding in closets, realistic and likeable characters, and very touching, heartfelt moments.

Stripped is a great addition to the NA genre. It was heart wrenching at some points and hilarious at others. I highly recommend it for readers in their late teens to mid twenties, as so many readers will be able to relate to the stories of Quinn and Torrin.

4.5/5 Stars

You can find STRIPPED on Amazon Here and Barnes & Noble Here .

You can also follow Nicole on Twitter (https://twitter.com/NicoleSteinhaus) or Brooklyn Skye (https://twitter.combrooklyn__skye) or visit her web site (http://brooklynskye.wordpress.com/) for updates, teasers, and more.

Don’t forget to check out my inteview with Nicole Steinhaus Here where we talk pen names, NA, and her inspiration for Stripped. Read the interview and enter to win the Stripped ebook giveaway!

Interview with Nicole Steinhaus, author of Stripped & ebook giveaway!

Back in May, I had the opportunity to read and review the NA (new adult) novel Stripped written by Nicole Steinhaus (under the pen-name of Brooklyn Skye). More recently I was able to interview Nicole about her characters in Stripped, the new adult genre, and her newest project Without You (a Stripped novella).

Amanda Sawystrippedcover3_5x8er:   Hi Nicole! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Why did you choose to write Stripped under the pen name of Brooklyn Skye?

Nicole Steinhaus: I decided to release STRIPPED under a pen name for the same reason several others who work in the publishing industry have: to separate my author-self from my editor-self. I wasn’t sure how the book would do, given that it’s a bit different than current NAs out there, and didn’t want to “taint,” so to speak, my growing editorial career. After talking with a friend of mine (who you all probably know as Cora Carmack) about the stress of holding two identities (I can’t tell you how many times I slipped on Twitter, responding in the wrong name!) and seeing the support from the writing community she received when she came out of the “pen name closet,” I decided to spill my secret on Twitter. Aside from one little incident where I was accused of creating the pen name just so I could promote myself—which, might I add, is ridiculous—I’ve been blessed with a very positive experience. I can’t thank those who have supported me (and those who kept my secret safe until I was ready to reveal it) enough. I am extremely lucky to be a part of such an amazing community.

Amanda:  What is NA (new adult)?

Nicole: People have said New Adult straddles the line between Young Adult and Adult literature which I think is a great way to think about it. For me, there came a point when I was ready to read something a bit more mature—in content, voice, and perspective—but I wasn’t ready to jump from reading about teens to women who were already established in their lives (steady jobs, knowing exactly who they are, etc.). This in-between time can be messy and heart-breaking, fun and exciting, and shouldn’t be skipped over. To me, New Adult is about characters who are learning to fly, so to speak. Exploring new freedoms and discovering that being “grown-up” is kind of a lot of work! Much of the discussion about New Adult surrounds the sustainability of the category, whether it will last (or even show up) in bookstores and I don’t know the answer to that question. Though, I’d say from how NA has evolved in the last year, especially with the number of best-sellers in this category, there are people out there who want to read this kind of book. And that’s all that really matters.

Amanda: How (or where) did you get the inspiration for Quinn, your main character in Stripped?cemetery1

Nicole: I originally wrote STRIPPED three years ago after seeing a blurb on AOL news about college girls who model nude to pay for their education. Back then Quinn wasn’t so stubborn and outspoken, but as I reworked the drafts over time the death of her sister began to affect her more and more. One day I had an idea: What if losing her sister made Quinn doing something outrageously extreme? and that’s when Derek came into the picture. Quinn is one of those characters who I both love and hate. She’s so mean sometimes— especially to Torrin (poor Torrin!), but watching her grow and break down walls and overcome her fears has been really rewarding for me.

Amanda: What has it been like to see readers’ reactions to Stripped?

Nicole: Like I said earlier, I wasn’t quite sure what the reaction would be given that STRIPPED isn’t like what’s selling in NA. There’s not a lot of heavy sex; it’s more the story of a scarred and jaded girl who learns how to love (and be loved), but spending an entire month in Amazon’s top 15 Best Selling New Adult has proven that New Adult readers don’t care so much about sex as they simply want to read a great story. Every time a fan letter lands in my inbox or I come across a poignantly-written review of my little coming of age story I get all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s shocking, really, because I never expected to be brought so much joy from seeing others adore my story.

Amanda: I heard that you were working on a novella written in the point of view of Torrin from Stripped. What can you tell us about that? What gave you the idea of writing in Torrin’s POV?

Nicole: The idea to write a novella and continue Quinn and Torrin’s story came from my readers. So many commented in reviews and on Twitter that they wanted an epilogue, to know what happened after Quinn’s walls crumbled. I didn’t think twice about writing from Torrin’sme point of view…he’s kind of a mystery to me. I mean, what is it about Quinn that keeps him around, dealing with her insults and illogicality? Getting inside of his head to write WITHOUT YOU has been both fun and heartbreaking. Quinn is just as much of a rock to Torrin as he is to her and we get to explore in this novella what happens when that rock slips away—(if you thought STRIPPED was emotional, just wait!)

Amanda: Who are some other NA authors who you would recommend readers check out

Nicole: Oh gosh, there are so many! I have absolutely loved reading Cora Carmack, Abbi Glines, Natasha Boyd, Megan Smith, Tammara Webber, and Sawyer Bennett.

Amanda: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and for giving me the opportunity to interview you.

Nicole: Thank you so much for having me!

You can find STRIPPED on Amazon Here and Barnes & Noble Here .

You can also follow Nicole on Twitter (https://twitter.com/NicoleSteinhaus) or Brooklyn Skye (https://twitter.combrooklyn__skye) or visit her web site (http://brooklynskye.wordpress.com/) for updates, teasers, and more.

And now for a GIVEAWAY!

Nicole is offering to give away one e-copy of STRIPPED to the person of her choosing who answers this question:

Where do you see NA (new adult) going in the future?

Leave a comment with your answer. Answers need to be submitted by 6-27 (one week from today)!!!

Stay tuned for my review of Stripped, coming this afternoon!