Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer


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Blogiversary Giveaway!!!

EDIT: This giveaway has ended. Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to Keeana!

To celebrate seven years, I’m giving away a book of your choice* and here’s how to enter:

Comment below, telling me what book you’d like to win or what 2017 release you’re most looking forward to.

That’s it.

I’ll order from Book Depository so if they ship to where you live (check the full list here), then you’re eligible to enter.

Contest runs now through Sunday, January 22, 2017 at midnight EST. I’ll randomly select a winner and notify them on Monday so make sure your comment includes some way for me to contact you (email, twitter handle, link to your blog, etc).

It’s not required to enter, but please spread the love and share this post!

*Price limit $20USD

 

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FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT cover reveal + giveaway!!!

Fear Me, Fear Me Not
Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication date: September 27th 2016
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

SCREAM meets FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS in this new young adult romantic suspense novel by Elodie Nowodazkij.

Fear is power. They fear me. They don’t fear me enough. Every year a girl disappears in Gavert County, Texas. Their bodies are found days, sometimes months, later with an angel wing carved on their face. They call me “the Angel Killer” and I’m on the hunt again. But this time, it’s personal.

Seventeen-year-old cheerleader Erin Hortz has been warned about the Angel Killer all her life. She never walks alone in the dark. She doesn’t talk to strangers. She doesn’t accept drinks at parties. All she wants is to finish her senior year with a win at the Miss Junior Queen of Hearts pageant, capture the perfect light over the lake with her new camera, and finally catch the attention of her best friend Nadia’s brother—former football star Dimitri Kuklev. Since his injury, they’ve been spending a lot of time together. And getting to know the real Dimitri—not the one she put on a pedestal in her diary is better than she could ever have imagined. And she’s falling hard.

Nineteen-year-old Dimitri’s injury brought him from football superstar with universities from all around the country knocking at his door to not knowing what he wants to do with his life. Taking classes at the local community college is supposed to get him back on track, but all he wants is to be on the field again. The only person who seems to understand him is the one he swore to keep in the friend zone: Erin. His sister Nadia’s best friend and the reason why he can’t keep a girlfriend. Between their early morning jogs, their time spent at the lake laughing, and their late night conversations, he’s having a hard time remembering why it’s such a bad idea.

But when Nadia doesn’t come home after a party, Dimitri and Erin know they must find her before it’s too late—even if that means risking their own lives and everything Erin’s ever known.

Because the main suspect is Erin’s father.

Goodreads / Amazon

teaser (2)

 

Author Bio:

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.

She’s also a serial smiley user.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY! (click below to enter)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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July 2016 SummySeries Reading Wrap-up

The formatting is screwy in this post, but ah well…

Read on!

SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH by Walter Dean Myers

From Goodreads: A powerful…novel about the heroics and horror of war…Operation Iraqi Freedom, that’s the code name. But the young men and women in the military’s Civil Affairs Battalion have a simpler name for it: WAR.

This is a sort-of sequel to FALLEN ANGELS, which took place during the Vietnam War and was from the perspective of Richie. In SUNRISE, Richie’s nephew, Robin aka Birdy, has joined the military.

There were a few editing issues (example: Birdy references Jonsey on one page and then a few pages later, they are introducing themselves, as if for the first time), but nothing so large as to overshadow the story.

Myers did a tremendous job with the ambiguity of the situation – Birdy’s confusion over what the “right” thing is, plus the frustration and fear over constantly changing rules of engagement.

He also showed, as Birdy wrote in a letter to his uncle: “that the guys who fought in Nam wouldn’t even recognize today’s army.” (pg 1)

Key word back then being GUYS.

I didn’t connect as much as I did to FALLEN ANGELS, probably because my dad was in Vietnam so it felt more personal, but it definitely made me think.

20160705_213735

GHOST BOY by Martin Pistorius

From Goodreads: In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, aged twelve, fell inexplicably sick…within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin’s parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live.

This is a memoir, about how Pistorius regained awareness and found his voice through the use of speech devices. It’s part hopeful and part horrifying and was an interesting and insightful read.

My one complaint, as with the above book, is the editing. It felt a bit uneven without any real references to time and some of the sections near the end were a bit rambling and written like it was an entirely different book.

Still, it’s worth the read, but be prepared for tough subject matter.

20160713_100941SUMMER SISTERS by Judy Blume

“Adult” Judy Blume book that follows friends Vix and Caitlin from their first summer together on Martha’s Vineyard in 1977 through their adulthoods and separate paths.

This was a very “beachy” read for me although, sadly, I did not read it while on a beach. It dealt with some serious issues, but always from a distance, as if I was a neighbor, peeking in on the dysfunctional household next door. I liked the format a lot, focusing mostly on Vix, but gaining insight into other characters’ mindsets, and it was cool to grow up with the girls and see how they turned out, but I really disliked Caitlin. I’m not sure if I was supposed to like her or not, though.

All in all, a bittersweet read that successfully captured the aches and pains of being young, but made me extremely glad to be a grown up without someone like Caitlin in my life.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN by Vaddey Ratner

Adult fiction, based on the author’s own childhood experiences in the 1970s when the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia.

I’m only halfway through this book because real-life has slowed my reading time, but so far it’s heartbreaking and beautifully written. OMG, the writing, seriously, it’s gorgeous. There are times I feel swept away by the mythical legends the main character’s father tells and then I’m yanked back to the horrible reality of the atrocities that are happening.

Side note: Growing up, my older brother was one of those kids that read history books for fun. I’d leaf through them sometimes and I still remember an  image detailing the number of deaths Pol Pot (Khmer Rouge leader) was responsible for: 1.5 million. As a child, I couldn’t comprehend this number. As an adult, I still can’t.

Books like this are so, so important. We shouldn’t ever forget and we should learn from history. Just forty years ago, a megalomaniac and the group that blindly followed him attempted to “take back” their country, separating people by their religious and ethnic backgrounds, forbidding minorities to speak their own languages, and trying to make everyone the same.

One and a half million people died.

That’s terrifying. 


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June 2016 SummySeries Reading Wrap-up

Covers from Goodreads, click on the titles for more info.

SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND by Rebecca Behrens

MG novel that follows protagonist, Nell, as she searches for clues about the lost colony of Roanoke.

Summer Lost and FoundI loved all the details, both about the past and the present. It seriously felt like I was exploring North Carolina with Nell because Rebecca created such a vivid picture of the small community. And the descriptions of the humidity? SPOT ON. I’m in Virginia, I know that soupy misery.

When a book makes history fun, that’s a big thumbs up.

 

JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen

YA contemporary about a girl dealing with family drama and being dropped by her best friend.

This one is up there with THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER for me. Annabel was relatable and her family life was realistic. Is there anyone who writes about sisterly bonds better than Sarah Dessen??? Plus Owen. Infuriating music snob, Owen. Somehow I liked him anyway, so kudos to the author.

THE LAST STAR by Rick Yancey

The final book in the YA sci-fi 5TH WAVE trilogy.

I hate to ever say this, but: I didn’t like this book

There were multiple POVs, mostly in first person, and the similarity of voices made the whole story confusing and disjointed. Plus the purple prose, especially during a couple of cringe-worthy Cassie passages.

And I know this is a plot driven book, but the characters just kinda fell flat. Even the ending felt anti-climactic and it shouldn’t have because this is, in theory, an exciting book.

Great potential, but it just didn’t deliver for me.

THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

The fourth and final book in the RAVEN CYCLE. Fantasy? Paranormal? I have no idea how to classify this unique series.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I love being immersed in the world of these books. The magic, the nature…the Ronan.

Ronan, ferocious and loyal and fragile. (p. 263)

YES.

But, really, I adored all the main characters, even Adam, who had to grow on me.

This book was a satisfying conclusion to a magical series.

I’ll never look at trees the same way again.

Under a Painted Sky coverUNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee

YA historical fiction, set in 1849, about a Chinese girl and a runaway slave who disguise themselves as boys to escape pursuing lawmen.

This book pulled me in completely. I picked it up one evening, thinking I’d read a few chapters before bed, and before I knew it, I was halfway through and had to make myself put it down so I could sleep.

Then I read it during breakfast the next morning and finished it at lunch because I HAD to know how Sammy and Andy’s journey turned out.

Now I’m sad because the book has ended, but I’ll try to console myself with Lee’s next book, OUTRUN THE MOON, which I need to read ASAP. And she has another book coming out in December!

*fangirls*

LOVE STORY by Jennifer Echols

Girl writes about dream guy for her college creative writing assignment, he joins the class, writes his own steamy stories about her.

I thought this would be a sexy, swoony read, but 95% of the book was misunderstandings that could have been solved by simple conversations and I didn’t get my swoon 😦

Out of Darkness coverOUT OF DARKNESS by Ashley Hope Pérez

From Goodreads, which sums it up beautifully: Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion—the worst school disaster in American history—as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people.

This book…

How do I even put my thoughts into words? Beautifully written, painful, real.

Naomi and her twin brother and sister. Their relationship was love. I wanted to put them, and Wash and his family, into a protective bubble and keep them safe forever.

Other characters (no names, as to not spoil anything) made me want to vomit, to scrub my skin off.

The cover is perfection.

The story is haunting.

It’s important.

Read this book.


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LOVE IN B MINOR – book blitz and giveaway

Love in B Minor Cover

Happy release day to LOVE IN B MINOR by Elodie Nowodazkij! 

No promises. No fake tomorrows. That was the plan.

New city. New life. At least, that’s what nineteen-year-old Jen Harrison believes. On the surface, she’s living her dream: dancing in a prestigious dance company in Paris. But her sister’s death and the mistakes she’s tried to bury haunt her. She’s become a pro at hiding who she truly is, and she definitely doesn’t want a guy to derail her, but a one night-stand she can do. Nothing more. She definitely doesn’t plan to see the sexy stranger who made her laugh for the first time in years ever again.

Girls don’t walk away from Lucas Wills. Bad boy turned rock star, he’s got his share of groupies. Always upfront, he doesn’t promise fake tomorrows because love can destroy everything. Been there, done that. His ex not only lied to him, she stomped on his heart, used him to become famous, and almost ruined him. So, waking up alone after a night beyond his wildest imagination with a girl he just met shouldn’t upset him, shouldn’t inspire one of the saddest songs he’s ever written, shouldn’t make him want to chase after her.

When Jen, the one-night stand who got away, auditions to be a dancer in Lucas’ next music video, they can’t stop their growing attraction. But Jen’s secrets and his ex could shatter the careers they tried so hard to build and their hearts…they will have to decide what’s more important and if love is worth the fight.

Love in B Minor is the third standalone novel in Elodie Nowodazkij’s Broken Dreams series.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28600273-love-in-b-minor

 

PURCHASE

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019HWIKX0/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-in-b-minor-elodie-nowodazkij/1123230236?ean=2940152860016

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/love-in-b-minor

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1076138635

 

AUTHOR BIO

Elodie author photoElodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.

She’s also a serial smiley user.

Visit Elodie online at:  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ENowodazkij

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/elodienowodazkij/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enowodazkij/ 

Website: www.elodienowodazkij.com 

Tumblr: http://elodienowodazkij.tumblr.com/ 

Love in B Minor Image 4

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the release of LOVE IN B MINOR, Elodie is hosting a giveaway. Click on the link below to enter:

 https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjJiM2VmN2VhOTE1ZjVhZDM5Y2E2ZmU1Y2EzNTEwOjEw/

 


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YA Buccaneers Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Another summer down! And please don’t tell me it’s still technically summer until the 23rd of September because I am ready for falling leaves and sweater days and all the other lovely things of autumn. In my mind, summer ends in August.

Anyway, I read a ton this summer for the YAB Reading Challenge and here’s more about that:

YAB Reading Challenge 2015

BANNED BOOK: n/a

Dust of Eden coverBOOK WITH DIVERSE MAIN CHARACTER:

DUST OF EDEN by Mariko Nagai. Add this to the list* of beautiful books in verse I’ve read featuring diverse main characters. There were some truly heartbreaking passages in this book, about the Japanese-American internments camps during WWII, and about war, in general.

This is hell, Mina, where men die as soon

as they are freed. This is hell when men do

this to each other.

BOOK BY YOUR FAVE AUTHOR:

I have a lot of “favorite” authors, so this was a tough category. I picked up LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell and it was just as delightful as her other books.

ROAD TRIP BOOK:

I just started REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham (hence the half a line above) and it promises to be sweet and funny and exactly the kind of book I need after reading some seriously heavy ones.

BOOK YOU OWN BUT HAVEN’T READ:

THE CEMENT GARDEN by Ian McEwan – disturbing, unsettling, the kind of book you want to un-read. It was adapted into a movie and many of the reviewers were people who wanted to un-see it.

SET DURING THE SUMMER:

THAT SUMMER by Sarah Dessen – breezy read, loved the sisterly bond.

ADAPTED INTO A MOVIE:

SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Sarah Dessen – one of the best YA female friendships I’ve ever read. And I loved the growth of the main character.

Bone Gap coverBOOK OF YOUR CHOICE:

BONE GAP by Laura Ruby – it kinda lost me at the end, but the build-up was slow-burning beautiful. The cover is a perfect fit for the story. 

TRANSLATED FROM ANOTHER LANGUAGE:

LIZARD by Banana Yoshimoto

The is the second book I’ve read by the author and I felt a bit ho-hum about the first, although I couldn’t put my finger on the reason why. I thought maybe something had been lost in translation, but I think it had more to do with the writing style (very little dialog, a lot of inner musings). It worked a lot better for me in this book because it was short stories instead of one long story full of seemingly disjointed scenes.

SET ON A DIFFERENT CONTINENT:

FALLEN ANGELS by Walter Dean Myers. A tough read because of the subject matter (young men in Vietnam), but so, so good. I like Myers’ to-the-point writing style. I’ve only read one other book by him (MONSTER), which I also enjoyed so I think I might have to binge-read more of his books next summer.

HISTORICAL NOVEL:

THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS by Anton DiSclafani – I loved the concept, but never really connected with the story/characters.

PUBLISHED YOUR GRAD YEAR: n/a

GRAPHIC NOVEL: n/a

RORY GILMORE BOOK: n/a

NON-FICTION:

LOVE IS A MIX TAPE by Rob Sheffield. This book brought up a lot of feelings since I was also young and in love in the 1990s. Even though there were sections that seemed rambling and unrelated to the story, it all somehow still worked.

*in case you’re interested:

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson

INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai (here is a blog review I did a few years ago)

ORCHARDS by Holly Thompson


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Excerpt + Giveaway: A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER by Elodie Nowodazkij

Cover ASLNOYesterday on the blog I shared five facts about A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER by Elodie Nowodazkij and today I’ve got an excerpt for you. Scroll to the bottom of the post for giveaway details or buy it now for the special price of $0.99 (ends Sunday August 2)

Amazon around the world * B&N * Kobo * iTunes

A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER

A Broken Dreams Novella

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.

They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.

[Excerpt from Chapter 6 – Nick]

I’m so deep in thought I almost run into a gorgeous girl pushing a little boy.

“Sorry,” I mutter.

And she smiles. “It’s okay.” She’s got an accent. German, maybe? She must be a nanny—she’s with two other girls, and they continue their conversation as I walk past them. They’re bitching about the families they’re working for.

My nanny probably did the same while I was growing up. She probably told all the other nannies how awful I was. According to the psychologist we all saw as a family, I was only trying to get attention.

Maybe I should tell those nannies that the moment will pass. Kids only try to get attention from one source for so long before they get their fix somewhere else. My chosen method is pretty healthy:  no drugs, no drinking…only all eyes on me while I dance. And girls.

Girls, girls, girls.

Actually, Nanny One is pretty hot, especially with the accent. She has short light brown hair, and her big boobs are almost spilling out of her blouse.

She must feel me staring at her, because she turns around. But before I can work the charm I notice Em carrying a box into a moving truck, all by herself. The box is almost bigger than her and her face contorts under the effort. She’s going to trip and hurt herself. If she hurts herself, she won’t be able to dance. If she can’t dance, she’s going to be depressed. If she can’t dance, I won’t see her as often and I’ll be miserable.  

“Are you trying to prove something to someone?” I ask her as I relieve her of the heavy box.

She breathes heavily. “Are you trying to get it on with Katrin because Jen is out of town?”

“Katrin?” I slide the box on top of another one and turn back to her.

She points to the girls I was admiring a few seconds ago. “The nanny you were about to hit on.”

“Katrin. Is she American or…?” I waggle my eyebrows.

“She’s German.” She raises one finger at a time as she enunciates the rest super slowly. “She’s here for the summer. She loves going to Central Park and she doesn’t understand why she has to work fifteen hours a day while the mom is a stay-at-home mom. Oh, and she likes girls. So, nice try.”

“Did she hit on you? Oh please, tell me she did. I am getting the best girl-on-girl images in my mind. You. That girl, Katrin. A ballet studio. With all the mirrors. A kiss. Or two. Or more…”

She punches my shoulder. “You’re so dumb. No, she didn’t hit on me, I met her at Starbucks the other day and we started talking.”

“You’re talking to people now, not just hitting them?”

“And you’re losing your mojo. First, Jen who escapes to France before your hot date, and then you almost hit on poor Katrin, who doesn’t want anything to do with you.”

She’s kidding me. Me, losing my mojo? I don’t think so. I stare at Em, at her long legs, her full lips, and I gently tuck a strand of her wild brown hair behind her ear, my finger slowly caressing her cheek.

She sucks in a breath and I bend down, until my lips are at her ears. “Do you want to test that theory?”

“What theory?” She doesn’t move, and I’m not even sure she breathes. My entire body reacts to hers, and I can’t remember what I wanted to prove. I’m under her spell.

“Hey bro!” Roberto yells from the stairs. “Thanks for coming!”

Em retreats at her brother’s voice, muttering something I can’t hear, but the slouch of her shoulders is a tell that she’s disappointed. My hand automatically reaches for hers, wanting to comfort her, maybe even wanting to see if she’ll take the risk of her brother seeing us, wanting to test myself too. It’s nothing but a brief touch, a brief brush of our fingers, a brief hurricane of feelings.

ABOUT ELODIE

Elodie author photo

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat. She’s also a serial smiley user.

Connect with the author

Facebook reader group (chat with the author, early excerpts, ARCs opportunities, giveaways…) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/954159761294820/

Newsletter (Exclusive bonus scenes, regular updates, videos, giveaways…)http://elodienowodazkij.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4fe2ebb3f95df52e0954e0044&id=f404024751

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ENowodazkij

Instagramhttps://instagram.com/enowodazkij/

Tumblr – http://elodienowodazkij.tumblr.com

Other books by the author:

GIVEAWAY!

Elodie GIveaway

Click below for a chance to win some pretty special prizes, including a leather bracelet from Chloe + Isabel.

http://smarturl.it/ASLNOgiveaway

You have mannnnny ways to enter and you have an entire month to do so!

Open internationally.