Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer


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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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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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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.


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5 Facts + Giveaway: A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER by Elodie Nowodazkij

Cover ASLNO

I’m so happy to share in Elodie’s excitement today as she celebrates the release of A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER. Click here to listen to Elodie reading an excerpt and then come back to this post to learn more about ASLNO and where you can buy it. Plus, don’t forget there’s a giveaway (link at the end).

P.S. If you stop by the blog tomorrow, I’ll be sharing an excerpt!

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.

Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…

Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…

At least for this summer.

It’s going to be a summer like no other.

Buy it now 🙂 (Special price of $0.99 ends on Sunday August 2nd)

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

FIVE FACTS ABOUT ASLNO

  1. Elodie’s sister’s name is Emilie. This may or may not have influenced the name of the main character to Emilia 🙂
  2. The sentence, “It’s nothing but a brief touch, a brief brush of our fingers, a brief hurricane of feelings.” was written in cooperation with her husband. She asked him for a word, he said “storm,” she changed it to “hurricane”. 
  3. Elodie designed the cover of A Summer Like No Other. 
  4. A Summer Like No Other almost never saw the light of the day, it was only supposed to be a few notes to help Elodie draft Always Second Best, but the characters wanted their summer to be told. 
  5. A lot of kissing was added during the revision stage.

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ENowodazkij

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

Tumblr – http://elodienowodazkij.tumblr.com

Other books by the author:

GIVEAWAY!

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

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

Open internationally.

http://smarturl.it/ASLNOgiveaway 


16 Comments

YA Book Club – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Club ButtonRed Queen cover

(cover and description from Goodreads)

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

NOTE

When I add an asterisk next to something, it means scroll to the end of post for additional, somewhat-spoilery comments.

COVER

It sums up the story perfectly with the colors and starkness.

STORY

The concept isn’t new – rich/powerful (Silvers) vs the working class (Reds) – but the book has an interesting spin on things by giving the Silvers “abilities.” And what fascinating (and deadly) abilities they were, although I didn’t entirely understand how the blood divide began. There wasn’t really a place where all that could be explained, but I’m hoping the next book dives more into the history of things*.

CHARACTERS

The main character (Mare) is likeable most of the time – loved her close-knit relationship with her family (esp her dad and sister) and the fact she had bite to her personality (at least initially). But I did question how quick she was to trust people – she grew up under the boot of the Silvers and stole to help keep her family afloat, so it seems like she should be naturally suspicious of EVERYONE, no matter what.

As for other people, I was strangely pulled toward Evangeline and The Panther and I hope they pop up again**.

PLOT

I made predictions over what would happen (who to trust/who would live***) and I was right, but there were enough twists and turns that I doubted myself a few times. And I didn’t predict the actual fallout**** which was cruelly clever.

The ending set up the next book and I’m looking forward to reading about the search, but I’m wary about a potential love triangle/square between Mare, Kilorn and whoever else. Kilorn, in general, felt sorta forced***** into the story and I wish he’d been written as Mare’s brother instead because there’s too much else going on without shoving a rich man/poor man storyline into things.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Other than the Kilorn bits, the only real issue I had was all the sneering/smirking/muttering/murmuring. Those words were used so much it was actually a little distracting.

I wasn’t blown away by the book, but I liked it and I’ll probably pick up the next one in the hope it gets more into backstory and that there’s plenty of action/fight scenes because those were my favorite parts. 

Scroll down for spoilers…

WARNING

There be spoilers below!

SPOILERS!!!

!!!

*I want Julian to explain all this because he (and Sara) better still be alive!

**Yes, I know, Evangeline was borderline psycho, but I’m hoping she eventually becomes an ally, because she’s the kind of fierce crazy you’d want on your side. The same with The Panther – there’s definitely more than meets the eye with her.

***Shade. I knew it!

****King/sword

*****I wasn’t entirely sold on any of the “love” stuff – it all felt a bit forced and Mare came across as wishy-washy. More than a few times I wanted to yell at her, “Come on girl, you don’t have time for this BS, get back to The Scarlet Guard business!”


24 Comments

What’s Up Wednesday

Snowman Button (final)

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk that allows us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up.

WHAT I’M READING

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness (concept by Siobhan Dowd). This book absolutely gutted me. Everything about it – the reality, the fantasy, the illustrations by Jim Kay…not just standard “feels” in this book. I’m talking FEELS.

THE SONG INSIDE, which is a short story by Melissa Sarno. I had the privilege of reading a chapter of one of her WIPs a few years ago and I’ve never forgotten it because she has such a lyrical way with words. Her story was no exception – gorgeous writing.

I tore through NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin Brown. I didn’t always understand the MC’s motivations, but the characters felt SO REAL to me – I’ve known all of them in one form or another over the years. And the setting? It was like a less populated version of my own Appalachian Trail bordering hometown. Fun fact: My town isn’t listed by name on the back cover map but it’s there if you squint hard enough :). I’m looking forward to reading whatever J-Ro writes next.

WHAT I’M WRITING

My old WIP, EMMA, which I’m making new. I’m not sure how to assign myself a goal because drafting for me involves much fretting and staring at the screen, completely lost. For now I’m just trying to arrange the scenes into some semblance of order.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME

Hmm…hard to answer that question this week considering I’ll be doing a lot of staring and fretting soon.

P.S. If I don’t post for a few weeks it’s because I’m trapped in drafting hell.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW

I had a “teen angst marathon” to catch up on some book-to-movie adaptations I’ve missed the past few years:

How I Live Now – the romance didn’t feel as organic as it did in the book, but the “war” parts were well done.  Great tension and gorgeous settings, even in the devastation. The scene in the field right after the kids swim for the first time gave me chills.

Tiger Eyes – I enjoyed the movie, although it didn’t have quite the emotional impact as the book. And the same subplot that puzzled me in the book (Jane’s drinking) baffled me in the movie as well. Mostly because it felt unconnected to everything else.  Kudos on the decision to modernize the time period so things didn’t feel dated.

Fat Kid Rules the World – this is rare for me, but I actually liked the movie better than the book. I found it easier to sympathize with the characters and understand their emotions on screen. Billy Campbell as the dad was perfection.

I also watched a Japanese film titled “Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” which I loved (it’s also based on a book, but I haven’t read it). It was light on science and had what might be a giant, gaping plot hole, but I don’t really care (hah). The bulk of it took place in my beloved 1970s, the love story was sweet and the ending a big ol’ punch of emotion.

Now it’s back to the Drafting Cave. It’s so sad and lonely there 😦 Good thing I like my characters.


7 Comments

Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Pretty Girl-13 (from Goodreads)

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she’s returned home…only to find that it’s three years later and she’s sixteen-or at least that’s what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn’t know.

But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren’t locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her “alters.” As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

No doubt this book will stay with me for a long time – it was simultaneously gripping, disturbing, and fascinating. And even though I figured out most of what had happened to Angie way before she did, I still wanted to keep reading. I had to *know*, as much as she did.

I liked how it was split into parts and the eventual switch from third to first person – I was actually so absorbed, I didn’t notice the change for about 10 pages.

This is a book I’d recommend because of the uniqueness of the subject matter, but I did have some issues:

The author’s note at the end admits that this sort of therapy would normally take years, not just months, and I understood the need to speed it up for the sake of moving the story forward, but I wish there was more focus on how disruptive the alters actually were – in some places they came across as merely a nuisance and not as the completely disruptive forces they were.

If I were losing hours at a time of my life, I would be freaked the eff out (as would my parents); I’d probably need to be institutionalized for fear I’d harm myself or others. I doubt I could go to school and carry on “normally,” because my behavior would be so erratic. Which Angie’s presumably was, yet her neighbors let her regularly watch their baby? Hell no, I would not let her babysit my kid when she’d just returned after three years and was so freaking traumatized, she’d blocked out all her memories of what had happened. Parts of that subplot felt too forced and convenient.

I also wanted more emotionally in regards to a few other things that happened – I don’t want to spoil anything, but Angie has this major memory that has to do with her family, and it felt like it was brushed under the rug after the big reveal.

Second to lastly, I had my doubts that her sudden reappearance, after three years missing and presumed dead, could ever be kept under wraps for months. Not in this day and age, with social media. It just takes one person to post about it on Facebook or Twitter and it’s a domino effect after that.

Finally, there were a few little things that felt extraneous, like the s/l with Abraim and her mom’s “condition.” And the whole Livvie/Greg pointlessness.

The concept of this story is so fascinating, but I wish it had been more…

I’m not even sure of the word I’m looking for, but as odd as it sounds, considering all the memories that came out, this could have been a darker and more psychological book. As it was written, it felt like it barely scratched the surface into Angie’s mind.