Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guest Post by Shandy Lawson + The Loop Giveaways - International!

Hi everyone! For today, I've got a guest post from Shandy Lawson for the monthly time travel wrap-up and feature. Stick around for three giveaways. :)


Book Description:

Hardcover, 208 pages
April 30th 2013, Hyperion

Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?

About the Author:


Shandy Lawson's "day jobs" have ranged from making wine recommendations to being a machinist, a dispatcher in an auto repair garage, a philosophy tutor at a local college, and a stone mason. Creatively, he put most of his energy into a career as a performing songwriter before turning his focus to writing fiction. Shandy lives and works n New York City. The Loop is his first novel.

Follow Shandy: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook



The Loop Giveaways

Because Dianne and I really love The Loop - reviews to come! - we decided to have 3 giveaways so everyone can enter: The first is for US/CA residents, the second is for PH residents and the last is for International readers!


For US/CA Residents:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For PH Residents:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For International Readers:

Note: We are really, really, really - sincerely - sorry for the trouble and confusion, our dear readers. My fellow blogger just found out that as of the moment, there is no Kindle available for The Loop. We decided to close this international giveaway immediately so as to prevent more people from entering it when the prize still doesn't exist. *coughs* as of the moment. :( Sorry!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Surrender Book Blitz + International Giveaways!


Welcome to the Surrender Book Blitz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! What happens when you scroll down? Nothing much. YA Fantasy goodness. Excerpts. Oh did I mention giveaways?

Before I forget, Surrender and Justice are free on Amazon on April 24th and 25th! Click the titles to be directed to the book's page on Amazon.

About the Author

Rhi is the weird one in the red lipstick. She writes Young Adult Fantasy, Dystopian, Urban Fantasy and sometimes Contemporary. When she's not writing she's reading minds, singing karaoke, and burning cookies.

Follow Rhi: Website | Twitter | Facebook




About SURRENDER:

How far would you go to save everything you ever loved?

Kaliel was warned about her love for the Ferryman. One day he will marry the land and leave Avristar forever. She doesn't listen, and because of what she is-- a Flame-- one of nine apocalyptic weapons, she sparks a war. In a desperate attempt to save her home and her love, Kaliel tries to awaken Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

About JUSTICE:

How far would you go to destroy yourself?

Krishani always knew he would have to go to the Lands of Men, but he never thought it would be like this. Enemies everywhere, an ancestor he can't respect, elders he can't trust, a curse he can't stop and friends he can't help but hate. Desperate to end the pain, he sets out on a quest to find the other Flames and face the enemy that took everything from him.

About VULTURE:

How far would you go to betray everything you've ever known?

Kaliel didn't think second chances came with this much turmoil. Exiled from her home, surrounded by strangers and in love with a boy she barely recognizes, she can't take it. She has her best friend, a new mentor, and a chance to win the war against the Valtanyana, but it's all wrong. Desperate to salvage some semblance of her former life, she makes a deal that shatters everything.

To tickle your imagination and book craving, here's an Excerpt from Surrender:


Giveaways

Open internationally.Following is not required but is appreciated. :)

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Found Book Blitz + Giveaway!




To celebrate Stacey Wallace Benefiel’s 3rd Indieversary, FOUND (Penny Black #1) is only 99cents April 20-27!

From Stacey Wallace Benefiel, the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, comes a new NA trilogy set in the Society world.

Penny Black hasn’t had it easy. Just about everything you’d expect to happen to a harassed foster-kid turned junkie has happened to Penny. Add in the mysterious power to rewind time, conducting events around her, and it’s a wonder she held up on the streets for so many years. Now, at seventeen, the New Society has found her. Finally, Penny is where she belongs. But that doesn’t stop the visions, or the need to protect the victims shown to her.

Wyatt Adams is excited and intrigued when his sister Melody assigns him to be Penny’s Lookout. Being the youngest, and hopelessly ordinary in the family that created the New Society, has left Wyatt feeling like he has a lot to prove -- and Penny is a big deal. She’s got abilities that surpass any he’s seen before…and pretty much every quality he looks for in a girlfriend, but no one needs to know about that, especially Penny.

*The Penny Black trilogy is a companion to the Zellie Wells trilogy and not a continuation of the series. (PBT is set 18 years in the future with a new cast of characters.)
*Due to language and sexuality, FOUND is recommended for older teens (Most of the characters are out of high school and preparing for college.)


Also available at: Kobo | Smashwords | Apple

Haven't read the Zellie Wells trilogy yet? Pick up all three novels together for $6.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and iTunes. Or get the first novel, Glimpse, for FREE at all e-book retailers.

Here's an excerpt of Found:


About the Author:


Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, FOUND, the Day of Sacrifice Omnibus, The Toilet Business - a collection of humorous essays, and multiple short stories. Look for her upcoming New Adult Contemporary Romance, CROSSING, Spring 2013. She sometimes goes by S.W. Benefiel or Reina Stowe, but knows she's not foolin' anybody. Stacey lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her two kids and their old, smelly dog. When she's not writing, thinking about writing, or driving her kids somewhere, Stacey is at CrossFit lifting heavy things and cursing the inventor of burpees.

Follow Stacey: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

[Blog Tour] Review: The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise + Giveaway!

Book Description:

Hardcover, 320 pages (Reviewer’s Copy: ARC)
April 30th 2013, Balzer + Bray

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?

Source: Chyna (Thanks!)

My Thoughts:

To be honest, I liked The Boyfriend App more than I thought I would. In fact, I loved it! Let me start my review by rating the enjoyability of this novel: 95%. Throughout the book, I was entertained. There were no dull moments in the book.

I loved and was able to relate to Audrey's character. Again, I encountered an ex-popular girl in contemporary YA but this time around, I can say that she's not stuck in the mourning phase for her lost position in the social hierarchy but was focused on more important things. She was intelligent and talented. So when a Mobile App Contest was announced by Public, Audrey finally saw a solution to one of her problems. As a character, Audrey was realistic, with a balance of weaknesses and strengths that I could relate to. She used her knowledge and her "geek power" to try to make a difference in her world. She was honest and brave in her own way. What I liked most was how Audrey grew up in such a short amount of time. She dared, conquered, failed, won and learned throughout the story. But she never held grudges against anybody and that's admirable.

I liked how different kinds of relationships were explored in The Boyfriend App. I'll start with the love interest, Aidan, who was also Audrey's close friend. He was a constant throughout the book. He didn't leave Audrey's side. He was handsome, cute, charming in his own way and just so sweet at times that I found myself smiling at certain parts of the story. I wanted Aidan to be Audrey. They had this smooth, sweet and meant-to-be vibe enveloping the both of them. Meanwhile the other love interest, Xander, was a bit of mystery. There were times when he simply stood by or looked away when Blake harassed Audrey and there were other times when I thought he was about to actually say something or do something nice to Audrey. He raised a big question mark in head and near the end of the book, I understood his situation.

Lindsay, Audrey's cousin, was the most supportive friend ever. She stood by Audrey through the ups and downs of her life. She was like the sister that Audrey never had. Lindsay also, in a way, filled in the shoes of Blake - the Blake who was Audrey's best friend before. Speaking of Blake, I only felt anger, irritation and sometimes pity for her. Of course, antagonists can't be 100% bad all the time. They have their vulnerabilities and weak moments, too. I liked how Sise showed the softer side of Blake in the book as opposed to the traditional mean girl portrayal.

The Boyfriend App kept me up late at night, flipping through the pages and reading fast after weeks of slow-reading. Fun, one of a kind and balanced in more ways than one, The Boyfriend App will cater to a reader's need for something new and diverse. This book has everything: genius stuff (aka coding with detailed descriptions), fashion (this is Lindsay's thing), high school drama, family drama, lies, secrets and discoveries, love and friendship. I highly recommend this to readers of YA contemporary and geek/nerd/genius-themed stories. Readers who enjoyed Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil might like this. Readers who like high school-themed books will also this.

Rating:





Giveaway


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: Ten Days by Olivia Mayfield

Hi guys! As part of Xpresso Book Tours, I'm fortunate to show you the cover art of Ten Days, a New Adult/YA crossover sci-fi romance. The cover was done by Jen Naumann. Without further ado, here it is:

Book Description:

Ten Days by Olivia Mayfield
Publication date: May 2013
Genre: New adult/YA crossover sci-fi romance

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Cally isn’t like the others. In her society, the Machine caters to every whim, ensuring people don’t have to leave their pods. But Cally and her best friend Marshal find themselves drawn to how things used to be, when people lived on the surface of the earth and relied upon manpower, not technology. When physical contact wasn’t uncivilized, and love was normal, acceptable, embraced. Cally tries to swallow down her increasing dissatisfaction with the "rules," as well as her rapidly developing feelings for Marshal, a task getting harder each day.

Then, things start going downhill, fast. Food is spoiled. Air grows musty. The population panics about the dysfunction--is it sabotage? Anarchy? But Cally and Marshal discover the truth: The Machine, the answer to all their problems for longer than anyone can remember, is breaking down. Now, these two have to risk it all to save themselves and the people they care about...before their entire world destroys itself.


Photobucket

What I think of Ten Days:

Cover: Pretty! I like the colors - how vibrant and light they are at some parts of the cover. I don't know, exactly, if there is symbolism here. But I'm assuming there is. Would love to know more about this!

Synopsis: Reminds me a bit of Delirium by Lauren Oliver but more futuristic. I love the forbidden romance theme in YA. Although this one is not a result of difference in race or class but instead it's a result of the rules. It seems to me that in Ten Days, everything that makes a human well, human is taken away. The super ease of technology dominated over what is simple and human. I'm excited for this one!


About the Author:


Olivia Mayfield has been an unabashed fan of romance since she was a young teen, secretly devouring her mom’s Harlequins. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, as well as a Master’s degree in English, and lives with her family in Ohio. In her free time, she loves reading, shopping, wearing absurdly high-heeled boots, cheesecake, singing karaoke, and harassing her friends.

Follow Olivia: Website | Facebook | Twitter






Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: This is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

Book Description:

Paperback, 216 pages
November 1st 2012, Hardie Grant Egmont

A father who misses his son.
A soldier home from war.
A man with nothing to lose.

When Brian Stutts walks into a first-grade classroom with a gun, Emery and Jake’s world is blown apart. They’re just teenagers helping to tutor some kids, but now they’re at the centre of a deadly hostage crisis.

While Jake tries to get a secret message to the outside world, Emery reaches out to the desperate, unstable man. But Brian Stutts is holding the gun, and one way or another he’s not leaving without his son.

Source: Jennifer + Hardie Grant Egmont

My Thoughts:

In a sentence, This is Not a Drill is the kind of book you should be reading if you want a quick read. What I expected was a story that would keep me on the edge of my seat and that was what I got. I was not disappointed with This is Not a Drill. The author did an amazing job in keeping the level of suspense high and creating an unpredictable atmosphere. Although the beginning started out a bit slow for me, eventually the pace quickened and it left me reading through the entire book in a few hours.

In the beginning, I delved into the lives of Emery and Jake, two ex-lovers who were assigned as tutor partners and had to endure the awkwardness of it all. I liked both of them. They were flawed and realistic in my eyes. Emery was suffering from the POTS syndrome while Jake was dealing with the loss of his mother and the new woman who was trying to fill in her shoes, The Christine. The tension between them was so apparent sometimes while in other times, the tension faded away to make way for what they really felt. I'm a sucker for romance and although that wasn't expressed much in this book, since that wasn't the main point of the story, I still appreciated it.

One of the things I liked most in this novel were the flashbacks. Just like the flashbacks in Article 5 and Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons, the flashbacks revealed so much about Emery and Jake's lives and relationship. I could feel waves of emotion coming off of these flashbacks and later on, see the traces of these emotions in the present, during Emery and Jake's conversations and thoughts. The alternating perspectives also gave me a chance to get into both of their heads and see the complete story from the two points of view.

Brian Stutts, the soldier and hostage-taker, was both scary and vulnerable. Of course, just like in any other hostage-taking tale, we are against the hostage-taker. We perceive them as the sole menace in the tale. However, in this particular story, Stutts was not just a menace but he was also a victim of circumstances and violence. As a soldier in Iraq, he experienced things that were life-changing, albeit not in a good way. His narrative within the story was an interesting take on the lives of soldiers before and after their service, as well as on life and people in general. This soft, tortured side of Stutts made me ache. His story was miserable, painful, frustrating and 100% realistic.

Another thing that I liked about this novel: the children. The innocence and love radiating out of these children was refreshing. This balanced out the heaviness of Stutts' actions and story.

This is Not a Drill is a kaleidoscope of emotions and perspectives. Riveting and heart-pounding, this eye-opener will keep readers at the edge of their seats, as well as tickle their minds and urge them to rethink about life and the blurred line between good and bad. I recommend this to readers who like realistic contemporary (the heavy kind) and thrillers.

Rating:






Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (7): The Comeback Edition


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews!

Wow. The last time I did this was early last month. I decided to lie low and go on a semi-hiatus to deal with real life stuff: my last semester in the University and my undergraduate thesis. I'm happy to say that I'm officially graduating in two weeks! (And I'll have plenty of time to read and review now.)

This is my haul:


For Review:


My top 2 most anticipated sequels for this year! When I picked up these packages and ripped them open, carefully, I squealed.

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (ARC)
Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards (Signed ARC)



I got the two books of The Chronicles of Egg series. It's a fantasy MG series. <3


Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey (Hardcover)
New Lands by Geoff Rodkey (ARC)



More highly anticipated titles! You might not see the title of the second book clearly though.



The Last Dance by Kiki Hamilton (Signed Paperback)
Fuse by Julianna Baggott (ARC)


For Review + For the 2013 YA + MG Time Travel Reading Challenge



Quantum by E.C. Myers (Hardcover)
Fair Coin by E.C. Myers (Hardcover)
Patalosh: The Time Travelers by Z. Altug and Tracy Gensler (Paperback)

For Tour:


Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (ARC) - currently reading this one!

Bought: Bargain Books


I got these for more or less $1 - $2 each.


Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan (Hardcover)
Wrecked by Anna Davies (Hardcover)
You by Charles Benoit (Hardcover) - blurbed by Lauren Oliver - so it must be good!


Severed by Sarah Alderson (Ebook) - the most anticipated sequel to Fated. It's only available in ebook so far but I'm hoping that it will be available in paperback, too.

Big thanks to the generous Karen + Media Masters Publicity, Eugene + Pyr, Z., the awesome Kiki, Ben, Veronique + Headline, the amazing Lisa + Harlequin Teen, my favorite author Liz, and last but not the least Dianne and Pinoy Book Tours!

That's all for me. What did you get this week? Leave your links so I can visit you, too!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Book Description:

Paperback, 340 pages
October 2, 2012, HarperCollins

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

Being a hype book, I was both excited and hesitant about Shatter Me. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect aside from a wave of craziness that my blogger friends talked about a lot. In the end, I was happy with Shatter Me.

At the beginning of the novel, I found Juliette locked away in an asylum, definitely crazy-sounding at that point. I really liked how Mafi illustrated the chaos in Juliette’s head through the writing. The repetition of words, the lack of punctuation marks and the constant counting really set the mood for Juliette’s condition. I guess, more or less, she was on the brink of insanity. There was something about seeing the story world through Juliette’s eyes that made the experience all the more colorful and meaningful for me. Juliette saw things that other people probably would have taken for granted. I love, love, love the narration! The novel was breathtaking. The unforgettable imagery. The words chosen to create the story inside our heads were perfect.

When Adam entered Juliette’s life was when things got more interesting. I saw a genuinely nice guy in him. His concern for Juliette was out of the ordinary in comparison to everyone else in the book. He played the knight in shining armor role, sticking by Juliette and going out of his way to make sure that he could help her whenever he could. The story got even more intriguing when Warner came into the picture. Warner was breathtakingly handsome but twisted and scarred. He was capable of horrible things that I still hate up to this point; however, I have to admit that I also saw a somewhat vulnerable side of him. Seeing that snapshot of his vulnerability softened my heart a bit. More or less, the characterization was smoothly done.

Juliette and Adam's relationship was passionate and one of a kind. There was a sense of urgency in their kisses and interaction what with Juliette unable to touch and interact with anyone for years. Their relationship gave birth to sizzling and hyperventilation-inducing scenes that fans of YA romance will enjoy. There was a budding love triangle, that didn't bloom in this, that I saw between Juliette, Adam and Warner. Although it was 100% sure that Juliette and Adam reciprocated each other's feelings, Warner was looming over them and their future together.

The plot was exciting, albeit a bit slow in the beginning, and unpredictable. There were lots of moments that caught me off guard. Mafi knows how to surprise her readers. She sprinkles twists and turns all over the story. The suspense and that reader-6th-sense that signals something unpleasant is about to happen will keep readers racing through the pages.

Shatter Me is beautifully written, infused with craziness and drizzled with a bittersweet coating. Because of the similarity when it comes to the "touch of death," readers who liked Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout might like this, too. I recommend this to readers who are looking for any or all of the following: a beautifully written novel, a crazy heroine, a crazy possible love interest, an unpredictable and good plot and a sizzling romance. 

Rating:

 4.5 Cupids = Obsessive book love. 
Almost made it as one of my favorites! I strongly recommend this!


Friday, April 05, 2013

Sneak Peek + Giveaway: Asylum by Jenny Miller

For today, I'm featuring a novel that was recently published last month. If you're interested in YA historical with a touch of mystery and paranormal, this is something you need to read.

Ebook
March 25, 2013

June Foster’s summer is limping along. Her life on a 1950′s farm in eastern Washington is boring–full of milking cows, picking apricots and tending to the chicken coops. Her only friends are her record player and her books. But when gorgeous, turquoise-eyed Frank falls into her world, her life becomes anything but ordinary.

June falls for Frank hard and fast–he’s beautiful, impossibly strong, and capable of things ordinary humans are not. But she’s wary about his father Jonas, a creepy man with an agenda. She should be. Suddenly June is deathly ill, falling in and out of consciousness. When she recovers, June and Frank discover Jonas’s deadly plans for her–and June takes revenge.

Convicted of murder, declared insane and sentenced to life at Washington Pines Sanitarium, June is stuck. Jonas’s plans are reaching her beyond the grave, and she suspects that there’s a lot more going on in the sanitarium than group therapy and electric shocks. Something evil has followed her here, or maybe it was waiting for her all along. If Frank doesn’t break her out soon, she’ll lose her mind–and her life.

Buy the Paperback Version or the Kindle Version.

Without further ado, here's the sneak peek:


About the Author:

Jenny Miller grew up in Seattle, writing sappy (illustrated!) novels for her obliging parents. She studied creative writing at the University of Washington and holds a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. She still lives in the Emerald City with her husband, two kids, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat. ASYLUM is her first novel.

Follow Jenny: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

Thanks to Jenny, one of you can win an ebook of Asylum.

Rules:
Open internationally.
You don't have to be a follower. Anyone can enter! :)


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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Character Guest Post by Emma + Giveaway: A Touch of Scarlet by Eve Marie Mont

Hi everyone! For today, we're doing something a little different. Instead of an author guest post, we'll have a character guest post. Eve has handed over her guest post responsibilities to Emma Townsend, the protagonist of her debut novel, A Breath of Eyre and A Touch of Scarlet. Here, Emma discusses why fictional men are better than real boys:


About the Author:

Eve teaches high school English and Creative Writing in the Philadelphia suburbs and sponsors her school’s literary magazine. When not grading papers or writing, Eve can be found watching the Phillies, playing with her shelter pup, or daydreaming about her next story.

Follow Eve: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



Paperback, 319 pages
March 26, 2013, K-Teen

The compelling heroine of Eve Marie Mont’s novel A Breath of Eyre returns to find truth and fiction merging through the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter…

Emma Townsend is back at prestigious Lockwood Prep, but her world has altered immeasurably since her tumultuous sophomore year. The best change of all: her boyfriend, Gray. And though Gray is leaving for Coast Guard training, Emma feels newly optimistic, even if the pain of her mother’s long-ago death still casts a shadow.

Yet Emma isn’t the only one who’s changed. Her friend and roommate, Michelle, is strangely remote, and old alliances are shifting in disconcerting ways. Soon Emma’s long-distance relationship with Gray is straining under the pressure, and Emma wonders if she’s cracking too. How else to explain the vivid dreams of Hester Prynne she’s been having since she started reading The Scarlet Letter? Or the way she’s found herself waking in the woods? As her life begins to echo events in the novel, Emma will be forced to choose between virtue and love. But can she forge a new future without breaking her heart?

Giveaway

Thanks to Eve, I've got one finished copy of A Touch of Scarlet up for grabs for you!

Rules:
Be a follower.
Open to US residents - but if you have a US addy to send the prize to, why not?
You should be at least 13 years old.


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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Author Interview with Andy Gavin + Untimed Giveaway

Hi guys, today I've got Andy Gavin, the author of Untimed, for an interview about his novel: the story world, the characters and the writing. Stick around for a giveaway!


How does being a video game programmer/designer help you in writing novels?

As a serial creator (having made over a dozen major video games) it was interesting how similar the process was to any other complex creative project. Video games and novel writing are both very iterative and detail oriented. They use a lot of the same mental muscles.

Charlie. From All Things Andy Gavin
What was it like to write a YA time travel story? Was it easy or difficult to write for a younger audience?

I don’t really write to a demographic. I probably should, but it just isn’t me. The characters take on a life of their own and fantastic elements aside, demand a certain level of realism.

Untimed might have been easier to sell to publishers if I had kept the basic plot but targeted it at Middle Schoolers. Instead, it’s a 13+ book and I tried to make Charlie’s voice authentically 15, which means it has a bit of an edge. Teen boys think about shit and sex. Sorry, but it’s true. I rub up on issues that make some squirm, even if I deal with the lightly: teen pregnancy, drinking, slavery, etc. But to sweep these under the carpet wouldn’t do justice to the 18th century – or our own.

In the time travel novels I've read, the story world is a mix of contemporary and historical. The two story worlds are more or less as realistic as they could get. Why did you decide to mix contemporary, historical and a bit of steampunk into the time travel equation?

First of all, I’m a pantser, and so the story and characters largely determine where they go. Untimed began with this concept of a modern teenage narrator who was unstuck in time and went from there.

Somehow, I always imagined Charlie in Philadelphia, and that led me quickly to Ben Franklin, who is a favorite of mine. In an alternate dimension there exists a simpler Untimed, woven between modern and 18th century Philly. No London. No France. No China. That book would have been more like a Hollywood story, all packaged up neat and clean, but neat and clean isn’t the Andy Gavin style.

I often like to speculate on much individual people and events shape history, so it was natural to play with this idea of a future (or present?) gone wrong.

When you were writing Untimed, how did you draw the line between facts and fantasy?

I didn’t want the book to be too tame and neat. Despite being a fantasist, I strive for human realism in my books. I like to deal with real issues when they come up, which I feel makes for better drama.

Fundamentally, while the central two conceits of Untimed are fanciful (time travel and Tick-Tocks), I tried to keep everything else realistic (if sometimes comic). Teens do have sex. They do drink. The past was a dangerous place, justice was more an abstract concept than a practical reality. A pair of teenagers stranded without resources or any real clue as to what is going on would find it tough going.

I wanted to show people that the past didn’t have to be boring, and that while situations and society changes, people stay the same. I also wanted to illustrate that while people in the past are just as human, things really have improved in many ways. By having Charlie, who as a contemporary kid is our representative, experience different times first hand, it’s easy to contrast them.

From the blurb: "there’s the simple fact that boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future."
So why does this time travel rule exist?


First of all, I had to come up with a unique new system that allowed multiple visits to the same time period, but wasn’t too overpowered. If your characters are too powerful, there is no jeopardy. So I had to invent all the restrictions and deal with the issues of paradox (and I think I have a crafty new solution there). Then I had to figure out how to make returning to the SAME action actually interesting for the reader. That was even harder.

I also wanted some kind of mechanic that created emotional intensity. I hit on the forward/backward thing early on and it really clicked with me. I liked the idea that due to the rules, and the rarity of travelers, Charlie and Yvaine were really stuck together. One wrong hop without the other and they might never see each other again!

Paperback, 325 pages
December 17, 2012, Mascherato

Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!

About the Author:

Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels.

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Also, challenge participants, you can link-up your reviews here:



Giveaway

Thanks to Andy and Mascherato, we have one signed copy of Untimed to giveaway! You guys know the drill. Fill out the form. :)

Rules:
Open internationally
You should be at least 13 years old.
Ends April 30, 2013.


a Rafflecopter giveaway