Tales of the Peculiar [Ravenous Reader] - Blog Tour


I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.

Happy (almost) Loop Day, Peculiars. If you're in the Bay Area, you should definitely check out one of the FIVE Loop Day events happening (or join us at Kepler's for Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi on September 1st).


A lot of the draw of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children are the 40+ peculiar photos that inspired the story. So of course any chance to build on that is a win-win. In honor of Tales of the Peculiar and the photos, we were inspired to dig through our attics and find our own peculiar family photos to create stories for.


Tales of the Peculiar
by Ransom Riggs
Published: September 3rd, 2016

Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe volume of Tales of the Peculiar. Featuring stunning illustrations from world-renowned artist Andrew Davidson, this compelling, rich, and truly peculiar anthology is the perfect gift for not only fans, but for all lovers of great storytelling. 

Jack and His Smile

Jack was a happy boy who loved his dog, Buster, and building block structures higher than the top of his head. He often giggled with so much glee that it echoed and filled a room, almost as if there were multiple little boys laughing. After finishing a roll of film, his mother sent the film to be developed. It wasn't until they received the photos back that they realized just why Jack's giggled seemed multiplied.  

***Thanks to Christy's mother-in-law for the photo of the boys. No one knows who they are, even though they're pictured throughout family albums. Hm.


***Thanks to Nancy's Mom for letting her borrow this gem

The Ladies of House


Hildeberta Silva was a quiet child who would entertain herself for hours. Instead of playing outside with the neighborhood children she could be found sitting in the front parlor having tea service for two. One day her family decided to hire a photographer to have a family portrait taken. On the day of the portrait the photographer placed Hildeberta between her mother and grandmother and proceeded to take several pictures around the house. Once the pictures were developed the photographer contacted the Silva family and told them that he had to talk to them. He proceeded to show all of his pictures but the one pictures was the last one taken in the front parlor. 

Hildeberta's mother and grandmother could only stare in disbelief at the picture and that is when Hildeberta pointed to the lady in green and said "That is my friend that I have tea with." Her mom then began to cry while her grandmother immediately grabbed for her rosary beads and shakily started praying.  

Hildeberta asked her mom "Why are you crying?" and her mom responded "that lady in the green is your aunt Adeliade." Hildeberta quizzically looked at her mom, "Mommy, I didn't know I had an Aunt." That is when her mother looked at her and said, "That is because she died twenty years ago." 


Be
sure to catch our event recap featuring Ransom Riggs coming your way Saturday and a Novel to Reel post once Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children comes out! 

Waiting on Wednesday: COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole and THE ONES by Daniel Sweren-Becker

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on. 

NANCY'S WOW 

I am a huge fan of time-traveling reads and COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole is the book my heart is crying for. The concept sounds fascinating and it somehow reminds me of the Time Traveler's Wife which is a favored read of mine. The cover to this novel is also beautiful much like another favored Firebird Claudia Gray's series.

 COLD SUMMER 
by GWEN COLE
May 2nd 2017 by Sky Pony Press

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

CHRISTY'S WOW 

Sci-fi? Check. X-Men type story? Check. Sounds kinda dystopian? Check check check. This book is meeting ALL MY NEEDS, including the fact that it comes out really soon. Gimme! 

THE ONES
by DANIEL SWEREN-BECKER
September 6th 2016 by Imprint

Cody has always been proud of being a One. She and her boyfriend James were two of the lucky babies from the 1% of the U.S. population that were randomly selected to benefit from genetic engineering. Now, she and the rest of The Ones are excelling. They are healthy, beautiful, and talented. They aren't otherworldly, just perfect. And to some, that's not fair. The Equality Movement, capitalizing on the growing fear and jealousy, gains political traction and actually outlaws their existence. Society shows its darker side as The Ones are marginalized. The line between right and wrong blurs in the face of injustice and Cody becomes closer to a group of radical Ones intent on fighting back. James begins to fear just how far she is willing to go for the cause.

Teaser Tuesday: JUST FRIENDS by Monica Murphy


#TeaserTuesday Coming soon from NYT Bestselling Author, Monica Murphy-- Just Friends! #JustFriends #Sept13th Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2baw3u6 

DON'T YOU TRUST ME? Narrated by Bailey Carr (Giveaway!)


If you didn't know, Nancy and I spend considerable amounts of time commuting for work which means we have tons of time for audiobooks (our prefered way to read!). Today we are here to share one of our anticipated reads for the fall and the unsung hero who will make it a reality for us!


Spotlight on: Bailey Carr, Don't Trust Me Narrator


How did you get started in audiobooks?
I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and moved to New York for college in 2006. I graduated from the NYU Tisch Acting program in 2010 and was cast for my first book for Audible Studios in 2011. I've always loved reading, and I feel so grateful to get to bring stories to life in audio.



What are some of your favorite books that you've narrated?
So hard to choose! Some of my favorite audiobooks recorded to-date include THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson, SEVEN WAYS WE LIE by Riley Redgate, INCEPTION by Bianca Scardoni, and ART & SOUL by Brittainy C. Cherry. I have a youthful voice, so I mostly narrate Young Adult and New Adult material. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to narrate the incredibly interesting and special memoir of hummingbird rehabber Terry Masear, FASTEST THINGS ON WINGS. I learned so much about hummingbirds! I also recently narrated some Non-Fic on the Myers-Briggs Personality Types. (ENFP over here!) I can't say too much about upcoming books due to publisher restrictions, but I CAN say I'm very excited about a nine-book YA series on the horizon, and also a book I’ll be co-narrating with a Disney TV star that I totally had a poster of in my locker in school! Stay tuned…!

What is your preparation process like?
I mark up my scripts like crazy - I’ve created my own notation language (a shorthand IPA, for you VO people) so I can mark pronunciations, underline operative words, and take note of direction the author has subtly gifted me in the words they’ve chosen. Staying true to the text is very important to me, so I rely on the author’s clues to inform my delivery and direct my performance (such as “Not if I get there first!” she gritted through her teeth.) Script preparation helps me be relaxed and present in the booth. Audiobook narration is a marathon and requires stamina, so it’s important to take lots of breaks to remain engaged and connected to the material. As for while I’m in the booth, I’ve learned a lot of tricks of the trade. Hydration is so important. I drink a ton of water! And tea. I probably have at least three different liquids on hand at all times. I also brush my teeth right before every recording session. (Is that weird?)

Any interesting stories from the booth?
In Morgan Matson’s THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, four best friends have a group text thread. No spoilers, but one of the characters gets challenged to an emoji-only summer, where she’s only allowed to use emojis to communicate via text. It’s pretty hilarious! I worked closely with Morgan, the author, and it was a super fun challenge to translate the emojis to spoken word for the audiobook, especially for an emoji-lover like myself 💕📚🐶🐕🐩🍦💑.

Fun facts about Bailey?
My recording booth is purple! (My favorite color.) I play the guitar & the saxophone. I have a pet blue crayfish named Dr. Claw. Out of the booth, I volunteer at educational non-profit, FarmingNYC. I’m also a New York Times published photographer.

Social:
I absolutely love connecting with listeners on social. Recording alone in a booth many hours every day can be isolating, and I put my whole heart into each character and book I narrate, so it’s very meaningful to me to hear back when listeners enjoy a story.

Bailey’s Social Media Links

Twitter : @BaileyCarrVOICE
Instagram : @BaileyCarrVOICE

The audiobook is for sale on Recorded Books as a digital download (& on disc)!  It is also currently avail for Pre-Order on Audible.

Don't You Trust Me?
by Patrice Kindl
Narrated by Baily Carr
Release Date: August 30th, 2016

A teenage girl switches identities with a stranger and pulls off a long-term scam in this smart, sarcastic thriller perfect for fans of Ally Carter.

Don’t you trust me? I mean, look at me. Blond, blue-eyed, the very image of innocence. Pretty enough, if you care about that kind of thing. I don’t.

But would a normal person switch identities with some wet mess of a girl at the airport, just to get her to stop bawling about being separated from her loser boyfriend and sent to live with some distant relatives? Nope, she wouldn’t. Yet I did. I’m not as normal as you think. And you’ll just have to trust me on that.

GIVEAWAY 

Don't You Trust Me? Audio Giveaway

Review: KOOK by Christopher Vick

KOOK
by Christopher Vick
Published: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

A heart-pounding love story that grips like a riptide, and doesn’t let go…

Fifteen-year old Sam has moved from the big city to the coast – stuck there with his mum and sister on the edge of nowhere.

Then he meets beautiful but damaged surfer-girl Jade. Soon he’s in love with her, and with surfing itself. But Jade is driven by an obsession: finding and riding a legendary huge wave no one has ever ridden.

As the weeks wear on, their relationship barrels forward with the force of a deep-water wave – into a storm, to danger … and to heartbreak.

My Thoughts

Excuse me while I pick up all the tiny shards of my heart, as this book just took it and completely smashed it to smithereens. 


Jade got me in trouble from day one.

When I started Kook, I wasn't sure what direction it was going to take. Was this a story of two broken characters and their journey toward something better? Was it going to be more contemporary and about a summer a group of teens spent together? Whatever I thought it might be, it was so much more. 

Kook is the story of Sam, a newly relocated teen with a slight chip on his shoulder thanks to losing his dad in a hazy accident when he was young, and Jade, a girl who also lost a parent (though not how you'd expect) who surfs as a way to cope with her home life. Newly relocated near the water, Sam is closer to learning the true story of what happened to his dad, and also to discovering what his dad was working on when he died. This knowledge helps deepen his relationship with Jade, and takes them down a path that will forever change them. Sam starts out secretly learning to surf to impress Jade into thinking he's no longer a kook - a learner or wannabe. She's a bit guarded so it's not going to be that easy to persuade her. But Sam is pretty persistent and before long, he's somewhat of a regular to her group of surfer buddies. 

This book feels deeply personal, as I imagine it is for the author. I had no idea the emotional pull it would have until it hit me like a ton of bricks. The story largely revolves around surfing and Sam's journey in learning, but ends up in a place you won't expect. It's a story of healing and being a teen, all at the same time. The teens in this book are definitely reckless and daring, for better or for worse. 

Originally published abroad, Kook is stylized for the country it takes place in, meaning I had to look up some of what the terms mean in American English. That doesn't take away from the story, though! I hope you'll take a chance and check it out! 

See our interview with Christopher Vick and check out Kook, in store tomorrow! 

Review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

GIRL IN PIECES
by Kathleen Glasgow
Published: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher (at YallWest!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
My Thoughts

Take a deep breath before starting this one because you'll likely be holding it the entire time you're reading. What a beautiful, weighted, perfect story that I didn't know I needed until I read it! 


I'm tired of drunk and desperate. I'm tired and angry at me. For letting myself get smaller and smaller in the hopes that he would notice me more. But how can someone notice you if you keep getting smaller?

I absolutely love Charlie. She is anything but perfect. She's messy and a little messed up. Her support system is worse off than she is, at best. So much bad shit has happened in her life and yet, she's still here. She makes it clear: she's not trying to die by suicide. But how do you live when you never really have?

The book starts off with Charlie's hospitalization. Charlie isn't saying a word but her message is loud and clear: bad stuff has happened and her self harming behavior took a turn for the worse. Her body is riddled with scars from cutting and her self-worth is minimal. She's homeless, the walking wounded, and her friends and family have enabled her in some fashion. Upon a too-soon release from the institution, she heads out to a friend's place. From there the story develops into her journey of healing and growth.

I had recently finished Exit, Pursued by a Bear, and was pleasantly surprised by how the main character handled her trauma. I was equally surprised with Girl in Pieces because while Charlie's journey isn't straightforward (it's very much one step forward, two steps back for quite a long time), it's clear she understands what she needs to do and is fumbling through figuring it out. Her small triumphs made me smile and cheer for her. Her backslides made me sad and I hoped for her the way you would a good friend who's struggling. 

I remember when the publisher's representative handed me a copy of Girl in Pieces. She told me it was one of the best books coming out this fall and also one of the most emotional releases. She couldn't have been more correct. This is a story of mental health that gets it right, not because the adults are so great and because the person gets what they need (they aren't and she doesn't), but because Charlie navigates through this period of time and comes out at the end. Sometimes that's all you can hope for. And it's enough.

Kathleen Glasgow is offering preorder bonuses so grab your copy now and get some goodies! 

NOVEL to REEL: I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells


#IANASK | August 26th, 2016
Starring Max Records, Laura Fraser, and Christopher Lloyd

In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.



My Thoughts

ICYMI you can find our 4 review from earlier this week, found here


Beginning - Middle - End

One of the most stomach turning scene takes place at the beginning of the book. Dan Wells' description of the body-preparing process was so visceral and unfortunately the beginning of the movie did not cause me to have the same reaction. Sadly it does not improve through the movie. 

Can they play the part?

Overall, Max Records and Christopher Lloyd were good fits for John and Crowley. Max was convincing in his sociopathic portrayal and Christopher played the monster with a heart (lol...With a heart ;)).

Emotional Connection

Overall I did not find myself reacting to the movie in the same way, but I'm not sure if that's because I already knew what was going to happen. I was disappointed in the characterization at the end - I felt John could have more depth to his antisocial personality disorder and how the events that took place impacted him. The book does a fantastic job of making you worried so that you'll want to read the sequel.







Overall, it's worth checking out, especially if you haven't read the book. The content closely mirrors the book, which can't always be said for adaptations! 



I Am Not a Serial Killer is available now on-demand on iTunes and in select theaters. 

Interview with Christopher Vick, Author of the Upcoming book, KOOK










The Ravenous Readers are here today with an interview with Christopher Vick, author of Kook, a story of figuring out the teen experience that will remind you of a surf ride - thrilling, a bit scary (not going to lie, I'm still picking up pieces of my heart), and triumphant at the end. 


ICYMI, Kook was our #WaitingOnWednesday last week but lucky readers we are...It's out four days from now (August 30th!). Get to know Chris now and catch our review on August 29th!


Interview with Chris Vick


I love how you define "Kook" at the beginning of the book. How did the title come about?

Kook is surf-slang for a leaner; a wannabe; someone who is inexperienced and out of their depth. That applies to Sam, the MC, in so many ways, not just as a surfer. So it seemed an apt title.

Also, my writing ‘voice’ uses language that is compact and straightforward, so I wanted a short, bold title that reflected that.


What books would you say inspired you to become a writer? Are you reading anything now?

Sooooooo many! There’s the greats like Hemingway and Orwell, of course. Then YA writers like Meg Rosoff, David Almond, Kevin Brooks, Stephen Chbobsky and Alexi Sherman.

Am I reading something now? Yes, always. I’m reading Nick Lake’s Whisper to me, which is up to his usual high standard. I just finished Sarah Crossan’s One, (a poem about conjoined twins? The idea didn’t grab me, however, it’s incredible). I’m also re-reading 1984, and when I’ve finished Nick’s book I’m going to get my Stephen King fix with The Dark Half (this is all more than usual: it’s because I’m on vacation in the Canary Islands, so I’m lugging a heap of books as well as a surfboard).

Talk a little about your writing process. Do you plan or are you more of a "pantser"? Do you have a place where you like to write?

I don’t know the word ‘pantser.’ Flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, right? Ha! Love it.

I plan, but I wing it too. I have to know where I’m going, and what it is I’m trying to achieve. However, the route there is often strange, twisted, maddening and fun. And definitely not the route I planned.

So, I’m a planner and a pantser.

I write in lots of places. Cafes, trains, in bed, on the beach. Wherever. Whenever.

What do you want people reading Kook to take away from their experience in reading it?

A feeling like they just went on the scariest, but most fun fair ground ride ever; like they just lived the love, the surfing and thrilling experiences that Sam and Jade just went through.

And – no spoilers –but the sense of life being incredibly precious and as someone once said, ‘all too brief.’



Kook
by Christopher Vick
Published: August 30th 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books

A heart-pounding love story that grips like a riptide, and doesn’t let go…

Fifteen-year old Sam has moved from the big city to the coast – stuck there with his mum and sister on the edge of nowhere.

Then he meets beautiful but damaged surfer-girl Jade. Soon he’s in love with her, and with surfing itself. But Jade is driven by an obsession: finding and riding a legendary huge wave no one has ever ridden.

As the weeks wear on, their relationship barrels forward with the force of a deep-water wave – into a storm, to danger … and to heartbreak.

Cover Reveal: WOMANIZER by Katy Evans

    CR-Womanizer


Womanizer by Katy Evans

Series: Manwhore #5 Release Date: December 5th, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Womanizer-v2-Ebook.jpg

Synopsis:

You've seen the headlines: Womanizing billionaire player! Watch out! Stay away!
We were just two strangers. Facing a forbidden attraction, a chemical connection. Neither of us expected or wanted it to amount to more. But I had never been drawn to a guy the way I was drawn to this one: my brother's best friend, and CEO of the company where I interned.
Even knowing I should stay away, I proved to be too human, after all. The chemistry was amazing. The laughs were incredible. I opened up to him in more ways than I'd opened up to anyone before. But sex was as far as I'd go. Just sex because he was too irresistible. Just sex because I wouldn't be falling for him. Just sex because I'd leave in three months, and I'd like for my brother not to kill me, and for nobody to find out he was my wicked little secret. He wasn't the One. He was just a womanizer. But for a time, he would be mine.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

 

Preorder Today!

Amazon / iBooks / B&N / Kobo / Audible

   

About the Author:

Katy Evans grew up with books and book-boyfriends until she found a real sexy boyfriend to love. They married and are now hard at work on their own happily ever after. Katy loves her family and friends, and she also loves reading, walking, baking, and being consumed by her characters until she reaches “The End.” Which is, hopefully, only the beginning…

Facebook / Twitter / Website / Amazon / Goodreads

Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

I Am Not a Serial Killer
by Dan Wells
Published: March 30th 2010
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Audible
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He's spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He's obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn't want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he's written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don't demand or expect the empathy he's unable to offer. Perhaps that's what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there's something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can't control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells's debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.
My Thoughts


I am so guilty of having this book on my TBR for a long time and suddenly realizing the movie is coming out TOMORROW so eep, I better read (or listen!) to it.

Does anyone else not fully read book descriptions before picking them up? I am a big advocate for having the least amount of expectations (and spoilers) going into any book/movie/tv show to the point where I don't typically watch trailers or anything, including reading book descriptions.

With that said, not reading the description lead me to a big surprise in the middle of the story. That turned out to be less of an issue than I thought it would be, though I shouldn't have been surprised considering Dan Wells is a scifi writer and this book is published by Tor. Big DOH on my part.

Anyways, John Wayne is posed as a teen with murder-ish thoughts. He's diagnosed anti-personality disorder but he's self aware enough that he knows how to limit himself. He's got a good therapist and supportive family, something not often seen in books. This was a pleasant surprise to me, as it's not often that mental illness is being managed appropriately (but YA does this much more often than adult fiction and it seems lately that we are seeing more and more of this). 

Of course, it's harder to keep yourself in check when the murders are happening all around you. Those of us who enjoy (weird choice of words, I know) true-story crime can understand the fascination. John himself picks the BTK killer for an assignment, much to his teacher's and mother's dismay. This is not only a story of him uncovering a killer but the story of how he changes. There are three more books in this series so I can only imagine how he changes into young adulthood.

It's hard to imagine this was Dan Wells' first novel, as it's well written and easy to follow. I listened to the audiobook, which I would not recommend (first one ever) because the narrator is clearly an older man with little intonation. The performance doesn't match the characterization at all.  

Watch out for our upcoming Novel to Reel post! Tell us, have you seen the trailer?