Interview and Giveaway with C.J. Skuse

C.J. Skuse

C.J. Skuse, author of PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC, was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England.

She loves: graphic novels, sitcoms, Gummy Bears and the music of My Chemical Romance.

She hates: hard-boiled eggs, carnivals and coughing.

The movies Titanic, My Best Friend's Wedding and Twilight were all based on her ideas, she just didn't get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and own a malamute.

CJ has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children's fiction consultant and lectures in writing fiction for teens at Bath Spa University.


Pretty Bad Things (2011)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository My Review 

Rockoholic (2011)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository

Dead Romantic (2013)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository

Find CJ

TumblrTwitterGoodreadsAuthor Page at Chicken House

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Hi CJ! Thank you so much for stopping by our (Richa @ City of Books and I) event, Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013 to answer some questions about yourself and your latest book, Dead Romantic :)

Runaway twins in Las Vegas, a rock star abduction, and now zombies?! How did you come up with the idea for Dead Romantic?

The idea for DEAD ROMANTIC comes from many sources that have gone before me, most namely the movies Weird Science (in which two teenage boys build the perfect woman using their computer) and Reanimator, and the stories Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Herbert West: Reanimator and The Bodysnatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson. I wanted to do something very off-the-wall and sick after Rockoholic and Dead Romantic seemed to be the idea that stuck.

Clearly you've come up with pretty wild novels with extremely original plot lines... what's your though process or inspiration for writing?

I literally think of the maddest idea I can and then try to force it into a normal-shaped box. Or I think of the saddest things (like death, grief or teens going off the rails) and I try to squeeze some humor out of them. Sometimes it works. Sometimes people get it.

I absolutely LOVE that. Sounds like an interesting way to get stories, and it definitely works :)
Sum up Dead Romantic in one sentence.

A story about stitching hearts back together.

If Dead Romantic was to become a movie, who would be in your dream cast?

Anyone I say would be too old by the time the movie got made, but my imagined cast when writing the story was Frances Bean Cobain for Zoe, Lisa Backwell for Camille, Josh Hutcherson for Louis and Jack O'Connell for Damian.

I like the heart, it's a nice touch ;D and Josh Hutcherson and Jack O'Connell! *SWOON*


One word that describes you?


Last book read?

Paper Towns by John Green

Dream Vacation spot?

Japan (used to live there!)

Vampires: love or hate 'em?

I liked them in The Lost Boys

Favorite chocolate or candy?

Junior Mints, Gummy Bears and anything with the word 'crispy' in the title

When you're not writing, what can you be found doing?

Worrying that I should be writing.

What are 5 books that you think EVERYONE should read?

The Hunger Games
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Romeo and Juliet
Jane Eyre

Yes– only one more to go for me out of that list!
Why do you write books for Young Adults/Teens?

Because growing up truly sucks in so many ways and the teenage years are the last chance you have to be reckless and interesting before you have to be all mature and get a job and get married and do all that kind of boring crap that everyone moans about. Teenagers are way more interesting than adults in my opinion. They're still processing their feelings about stuff. Discovering stuff for the first time. Discovering who they're going to be for the rest of their lives. That's the interesting bit, when decisions are being made. When the blueprints are being set out. It's why people have kids I think, so they can see that process happening again before their eyes. It's much more fun that just watching the wrinkles set in. It's all downhill from 19, unless you become a freak and stretch your teen years into your 30s by writing books about teenagers.

Yikes! I'm freaked out about the future now... I wanna be a teen for MUCH MUCH longer :/.
So tell us, what amazing (and crazy!) adventure will you take us on next?!?!

Can't say too much at this stage but if I stick with the idea I'm thinking about at the moment, it's going to make kidnapping rock stars and reanimating dead boys look like The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

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Thank you so much to CJ for taking the time to answer these questions– I really love her humor :D It's absolutely embodied in her books, which speaking of, you should totally check out! Here's a bit about her latest, Dead Romantic:

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she kows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

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Thanks to CJ and Chicken House, we have three (3) SIGNED copies of Dead Romantic to give away!

  • Open to UK ONLY.
  • Winner must reply back within 48 hours, or another winner shall be chosen.
  • We are not responsible for any lost/damaged packages.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below:

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 79

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight on upcoming books which I'm DYING to get my hands on.

This week's WoW is:
Born Of Illusion by Teri Brown

Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?

Goodreads ◆ June 11, 2013

Firstly, cover is amaze-balls. Secondly, MAGIC. Loving this idea and sounds very... secret-like and should have a ton of twists to keep me shocked and thrilled beyond belief. Can't wait!

What are you waiting on?

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Release Date: February 19, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Mind Games, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Wow, this one went all over the place. Mind Games was suspenseful, deadly, completely mind bogglingly perplexing. I seriously had no idea what to expect, other than a couple of mixed reviews, but I genuinely enjoyed this one. I haven't been so swept away and caught up with a paranormal for ages, so much that I had to keep reading into the night. If you keep attention to details, then it's one gorgeous thriller.
I must say, this concept is DEFINITELY original. I thought that this would be a dystopian looking at the blurb, but when supernatural abilities and a contemporary world come together, you know something's gonna be good.

The story alternates between two perspectives: Fia's and Annie's. It was an interesting change up though, with two perspectives, because the time "period" kept changing. It went from the present to something that happened a couple of years ago, and then a few years before, and then back to the present– it was like a time machine, flittering to the past and the present repetitively. Annie can see the future, so have that thrown in, and you have the whole time scale.

I really enjoyed both the contrasting personalities of Fia and Annie. Fia reminded me of Evie from White's Paranormalcy. She's hilarious, sharp and totally kick-ass! I had a laugh during her narration when she's being snarky, or trying to get around the teachers. She really brought a lot of the humor to this story.
Annie however, was more calm, quiet and reserved. It was definitely interesting to "see" what was happening through her view, when she can't see anything except visions, and can only hear what's going on. Undoubtedly an fascinating change when it comes to perspectives. From this, it was also easy to empathize with her, through her limitations due to the disability, and I admired her bravado in standing up to those who had the advantage over her. 

There is a love triangle in this story, and I'm still confused as to who I should root for, because both are really yummy. Seriously, yummy. Like, oh-my-god-why-do-fictional-guys-like-these-exist yummy. We again have the bad boy versus good guy situation, but jeez, I fell hard for the both of them. Sweet, cute and loyal, against bold, sexy and dangerous– while reading it was a really hard time for me to choose. I'll just have to decide in the later books in this series!

For roughly 250 pages, this book was PACKED with twists. Mind Games was a challenging puzzle to complete, but one that I enjoyed thoroughly and now wish that I didn't rush through it. Kiersten White has done it again, bringing humor, danger and paranormal elements together to bring to life this breathtaking adrenaline-rush of a story. Can't wait for book 2!

If you like this, try...

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In My Mailbox – Week 33

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's to showcase books and swag that I've received, bought, borrowed etc.
Wow, it's been a while since I last posted IMM, and there have been a TON of books since for the Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013 event. Really excited to share them with you!


[Top to Bottom]

Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill ● Goodreads
Fangtabulous by Lucienne Diver Goodreads
Thin Space by Jody Casella Goodreads
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan Goodreads
This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh Goodreads
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters Goodreads
The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff Goodreads
The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer Goodreads

[Top to Bottom]

Frost by Kathryn James (2 copies) Goodreads
City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster Goodreads
Othermoon by Nina Berry Goodreads
Wasteland by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan (2 out of the 3 copies) Goodreads

Thank you so much to all the authors above, as well as: Lauren at Random House Children's Books, Tina at ABRAMS & Chronicle Books, Hachette UK, and HarperCollins.


(hehe you can see my toes)
[Going left to right]

Along with two copies of Frost by Kathryn James, 8 shiny bookmarks came as well. With a copy of Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle (which shall be shown during the next IMM... it's currently with Richa), a bunch of assorted bookmarks came through with three of her own, The BreakawayPieces, and Bonded, and 2 were other titles: Everbound by Brodi Ashton and Transparent by Natalie Whipple.
Next to that is a bookmark for one of Jennifer Archer's novels, Through Her Eyes. Next to that, Tara Sullivan sent along quite a lot of swag, including Class of 2k13 bookmarks (5 currently with me, and the rest with Richa), postcards for her upcoming book Golden Boy and well as some stickers!!
Squishing in at the end (because it was quite a lot of swag) Kathy McCullough sent along bookmarks and trading cards for her books Don't Expect Magic and the sequel Who Needs Magic? Included were some bookplates as well as a pretty business card :)

A TON of amazing swag– and you all know you guys could win some of this loot. Woo-hoo! Thank you once again to all the authors mentioned above (Michelle Davidson Argyle, who was only mentioned in the swag section) and really this event is becoming even better and better :D

A couple of giveaways going on at the moment for the event, for Hooked by Liz Fichera and C.J. Flood (author of Infinite Sky), so be sure to check them out under the tabs bar. On my co-host Richa's blog there are also several going on at the moment:

**Win one of four signed copies of Fangtabulous– US ONLY – Enter Here
**Win a signed copy of Othermoon and swag – US/CAN ONLY – Enter Here
**Win either a finished copy or ARC copy of Pantomime – INTERNATIONAL! – Enter Here

As you can see, quite a lot of good stuff going on at the moment :) And gah, it's the last day of the Chinese New Year one-week break, so back to school for me tomorrow :( anyway, I guess I've talked long enough, so tell me:

What did you get in your mailbox this week, and what do you think of some of the titles for the BTG2013 event?

Interview and Giveaway with C.J. Flood

C.J. Flood

Chelsey Flood is in her twenties, and graduated from the UEA Creative Writing MA in 2010.

She has won several prizes and awards for her writing, including the Curtis Brown Award, and also received funding from the Arts Council to complete Infinite Sky. She blogs as a member of the Lucky 13s and at, and tweets as @cjflood_author. Infinite Sky is her debut novel and she is currently working on her next book in Bristol.


Infinite Sky (2013)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository


Confessions of a Readaholic

Find Chelsey

BlogTwitter ● Facebook ● Goodreads

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Hi Chelsey! Thank you so much for stopping by for our Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013 event to answer some questions about yourself and your book Infinite Sky :)

Describe Infinite Sky in 3 words.

Forbidden love tragedy.

How did you come up with the idea for Infinite Sky?

It's hard to say exactly, as it took a long time to evolve. I wrote thousands of words before I got to the actual story. But the key was definitely when I decided to bring a family of Irish Travellers into the mix.

Did you always want to be an author? What made you become one?

I suppose I always wanted to be an author, but I didn't really think it was a route open to me. I would have been a bit embarrassed to declare it as my ambition, I think. I thought it was a bit like saying you wanted to be a model, or something; it revealed that you thought a bit highly of yourself.

And I became an author partly because I wasn't very good at anything else, and partly because of my obsession with reading.

As Infinite Sky is your debut, what was the road to publishing like?

Looking back on it now, it all seems like glorious fun, but at the time, I was often quite anxious. It took a fairly long time for me to get a deal (I published my first short story eight or nine years ago) and of course, I didn't know I was ever going to get one, so I used to be worried about failing. (I still worry about this, of course.)

What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

Oooh, what an excellent question. I really like peanut butter and salad cream on toast, which people find weird. Though actually, I haven't had that for years, so perhaps have grown out of that now. Also I used to eat beans on toast with mint sauce quite a lot. And banana and marmite on toast, but that is actually just delicious. You must try that on if you haven't already.

That does sound quite yummy. I love bananas, and I love marmite, so why not?
Name the 5 closest things to you... GO!

Laptop, pen, pencil, phone, notebook. (Boring!)


Theatre or Film? I feel treacherous, but film. SORRY THE THEATRE. (I know, I'm torn between the two as well!!)

Cake or Ice Cream? Ice cream. Cake can really get out town as far as I'm concerned.

Love Triangles or Insta-Love? Love triangles, because they are an actual thing.

Early Bird or Night Owl? Aspiring early bird/reluctant night owl.

Sweet or Salty? Salty.

What's a song that fits your novel?

Eric Claption's Tears In Heaven.

Name one amazing book that you've read recently.

The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer.

When you're not writing, what can you be found doing?

Sleeping, listening to music, drinking beer, playing table tennis.

Who are some authors who have inspired you?

For this book: Emily Brontë, Meg Rosoff, Jane Austen, Dodie Smith, Antonia White, Roddy Doyle, Shane Meadows, S. E. Hinton, Barry Hines.

A lot of authors I love! What can we expect from you next?

I'm writing another novel along the same-ish lines as Infinite Sky. It is so far untitled, but it is about a teenage girl's search for her missing brother, a soldier recently back from Afghanistan. It is about friendship and adventure and heroism, and it will come out with Simon and Schuster in 2014.

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Thank you so much once again to Chelsey Flood for answering questions about her newly released novel, Infinite Sky! If you haven't seen my review, you should know that I LOVED this book and is definitely worth the read! Absolutely fabulous :) Here's a little bit about it:

Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists. 

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth? 

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself. 

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.

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C.J. Flood has a very exciting giveaway for both writers and readers alike!! Thanks to her, one lucky person can win...

A Critique of 3,000 words
An Agent Query Letter
A (bespoke) Short Story

Something available for both people who love to write or love to read...or both!

  • Open internationally!
  • This giveaway ends at the end of this month (28/2).
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply to the email, or another winner shall be chosen.

Enter in the rafflecopter below:

Good luck!

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

Release Date: February 14, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Rated: YA 13+
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.

There's a different feel when you read a book set in the UK by a British author. Now days I find myself reading young adult and middle grade by American authors, and so when it comes to reading a book set elsewhere, the feel while reading it is pretty foreign... which is strange, as I've never lived in the US, and have always lived around Asia and been influenced by many cultures. Yet once again, as it does with the case of Jacqueline Wilson and Cathy Cassidy novels, the whole British-feel of the story comes flooding back to me.

I loved Infinite Sky. I was drawn into the beautiful descriptions of Silverweed Farm and the countryside, as well as the intriguing mystery and suspense lurking throughout this story. The imagery in this novel is absolutely gorgeous, and I was swept away with it from start to finish.

I really adored Iris' character– she's sweet, makes mistakes and is open-minded. I loved looking in on this story through her point of view. She's impartial, and even though she does have faults which really doesn't help during the climax of this novel, she's a great character overall. I really found myself agreeing with her over the fake-ness of her best friend, and the changes her brother goes through.
Trick had me with the accent! I fell for him like Iris does from the start. His good nature, his messy accent, his sense of adventure. Of course, overtime there are doubts but in the end, I was still strong by him, despite the final outcome.

A lot of the diction in this book was a easy to get, but occasionally there would be a word here and there which took me a while to understand. I mean, it's all English, but one that's very different! Like crisps for chips, it took a slight adjusting, but in the end, it really helped build up the world around Iris.

I loved this novel, it's a quick, fast-paced read, but with so much emotional depth.An enthralling story, Infinite Sky is a fetching debut by C.J. Flood, which will allow all readers to be sucked into this enchanting world of trueheartedness, finding yourself and that growing up may not be all what you want it to be.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Chelsey (CJ) Flood for sending a copy of Infinite Sky for review and BTG2013! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you like this, try...

Cover Reveal: Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

Hi Guys! I'm thrilled to be able to share with you a cover reveal for a book that's coming out this time, NEXT YEAR! 2014! Wow. I know, it's so far away, but I totally can't wait!

This reveal is for Terry Lynn Johnson's Ice Dogs which is expected to be coming out on February 4th, 2014 from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Ice Dogs was originally slated for 2013 release (and was to be apart of our Books That Glow 2013 Event) but then got further pushed back to 2014.

Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is entirely up to her.      

Author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure.

Okay, that dog on the cover is SO. CUTE. I have a golden retriever, but there's something absolutely gorgeous about Huskies. Must be their eyes. Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cover and can't WAIT for it come out next year!!


Terry Lynn Johnson writes outdoor adventures. She is represented by Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

ICE DOGS, a middle grade adventure, is set for release February 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Dogsled Dreams is available now.

Terry's writing is inspired by her own team of eighteen Alaskan Huskies. Her passion for adventure has provided her with a rich background to write from. She's a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada and The Dog Writers Association of America - recently winning the Maxwell Medallion of Excellence. When she's not writing, Terry enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, kayak expeditioning, and she occasionally tortures herself in a canoe race. Terry lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario.

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Series: Pantomime, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a vanished civilization – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It's a place where anything seems possible... a please where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Pantomime by Laura Lam was absolutely brilliant. I'm seriously at a loss for words! It was a gorgeous mix of fantasy and contemporary, with historical elements, all in the backdrop of a circus and the world of Ellada.
I really enjoyed this story from start to finish. It was quite a long book, but from the beginning there's a huge twist which I really didn't see coming. Not to give too much away, but there is a touch of LGBT in this novel, which I haven't actually ever read in fantasy– ever. In the YA category anyway.

This story is split into three "parts". Not so much parts, but more like two perspectives to begin with and then finishes off with a final section. The beginning is split into spring and summer, which feature Gene and Micah respectively. We learn more about them, and then as I've mentioned before, a twist comes in, which I TOTALLY did not expect and just kind of blew my mind.

I really ended up enjoying all the characters... they're all so different and have such unique personalities. I ended up loving Drystan and Cyril's characters, because they're both so sweet and really take care of Gene and Micah. The other characters which they meet along the way are also so great, they add so much flavor to the text and it's just a fabulous cast of characters.
The setting also completely blows my mind. This world was built up really well, and so we have that hint of a marvelous fantasy world with a contemporary issue. A clash of two worlds to create a great story.

Pantomime is rich as it is mysterious, and will have you hanging onto every last word. Laura Lam's debut truly ignites that magical spark inside of us, bringing to life this epic tale of identity, love and belonging. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel, which I'm sure will be as engrossing as this one.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Laura Lam and Strange Chemistry for sending a copy of Pantomime for review and BTG2013! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you liked this, try...

  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen ● Goodreads
  • The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket Goodreads

Interview and Giveaway with Liz Fichera

Liz Fichera

Liz is an author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago. Her YA debut HOOKED releases in January 2013 from HarlequinTEEN. Its companion, PLAYED, releases in 2014.


Hooked (2013)
GoodreadsAmazonThe Book Depository

Played (2014)
Goodreads ◆


Confessions of a ReadaholicCity of Books

Find Liz


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Hi Liz! Thank you so much for stopping by for our Books That Glow: YA & MG 2013 event for an interview :D

Describe your book in 3 words.

How about two words? Worlds collide.

Where did you get the idea for Hooked?

I was driving down a long stitch of desolate desert road by my house that also happens to run parallel to the Gila River Indian Reservation. I got this image of a Native American girl and she was holding a golf club. Weird, I know. But that's how it started. I also did a HOOKED inspiration vlog about it:

How did you come up with Fred and Ryan's characters? Do you see yourself in any of our characters?

I came up with Fred first. Ryan developed later but he was everything Fred was now. I loved their differences.

We have Fred who's a Native American Girl and Fred who's a white boy. What was it like to write in two very different perspectives?

It was a lot of fun but getting inside each of their heads was challenging as they have very different backgrounds from me. Oddly, I find writing teenage boys easier than teenage girls. Girls, regardless of culture and background, are so much more complicated, particularly at that age, in my humble opinion.

That is pretty strange!
A lot of Native American symbols, stories and blessings are mentioned in this book– how did you go about researching the history needed for Hooked?

Well, fortunately I am neighbors to the Gila River Indian Community and have been for a long time. I did a lot of local research and I'm also fortunate to have some close Native American friends whom I consulter throughout the book. Arizona is rich in Native American influences and culture. We have over 20 tribes in our state.


Cats or Dogs?

I love dogs but I am very allergic to both cats and dogs. How awful is that?!

Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt?

Ice Cream! Vanilla, to be exact.

Drama or Comedy?

Drama, usually.

Early Bird or Night Owl?

Night Owl.

Sweet or Sour?

Sour, weirdly.

What (in your opinion) is the hardest thing about writing a book?
It's easy to come up with a great idea and get excited and hammer out the first few chapters. The hard part is staying motivated and determined and finishing that first draft.

What book(s) are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and Louise Erdrich's THE ROUND HOUSE.

The Fault in Our Stars is one my my FAVORITE books. Hope you liked it!
If Hooked was to become a movie, who would be in your dream cast?

Oh, that is a wonderful thing to dream about. If those two models on the American book cover for HOOKED could act, I would pick them in a heartbeat. HarlequinTEEN was able to find cover models that perfectly matched the images in my head for Fred and Ryan.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?

Write the story that's in your heart. Don't write to chase a trend or mimic someone else's style. Find your own. And don't forget to read and write every day.

Your next book, Played, features two familiar faces from Hooked. Can you give us a little inkling on what it's going to be about? PLEASE?!? *batts eyelashes*

♥ I'm so please to hear you're anxious about PLAYED. Thank you!! Sam and Riley were two of my favorite secondary characters from HOOKED so I knew that I had to write their stories in the next novel. And, truth be told, Sam is totally the guy I would have crushed on in high school: smart, gentle, yet tough as nails. I heart him. :) PLAYED is less about golf and sports than it is about paling with people's emotions. And in the world of Teenagedom, that can be treacherous. Sam and Riley are going to have a very bumpy rise. ;-)

Thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your book event! I'm really excited about it.

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Thank you so much to Liz Fichera for taking the time to answer our questions for this event! I just wrote a review for Hooked yesterday, and if you've read it, you'll know how much I fell in love with it... here's a little bit about it:

Get hooked on a girl named Fred.

When Fredericka "Fred" Oday is invited to become the only girl on her boys' varsity golf team, she can't say no. This is her opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to college, something no one in her family has done. But Fred's prescensce on the team isn't exactly welcome – especially not to the played she's paired with, rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make room for Fred.

Sparks will fly as the girl from the Rez with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile!

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Thanks to Liz, we have an ARC of Hooked plus some swag to giveaway to one lucky winner!

1 (one) winner will receive the ARC, a signed bookmark, a signed "postcard", and a Hooked bracelet.

The Rules:

  • Open internationally!
  • This contest will be open to entries until February 28, 2013
  • The winner once emailed will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner shall be chosen.
  • We are not responsible for any lost/damaged packages.

Enter in the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway