Waiting on Wednesday -- Watch Your Back

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Watch Your Back
Watch Your Back

Watch Your Back
by Tracy Bilen
Publication date: April 2015

From Goodreads:

When sixteen-year-old Kate hears the boom that ends her parents’ life, she doesn’t even realize it has anything to do with her. Until the police arrive at her front door.

Sent to live with her aunt at a ski school in Vermont, Kate tries to adapt to her new life. But then Kate’s aunt is hit by a speeding car and a rogue FBI agent tries to force Kate into his car at gunpoint. She’s saved by Ryan, the risk-taking skier she’s only just met.

On the run, the two must unravel the truth about her parents’ murder in order to stop a terrorist plot and save their own lives.

I need your help!

This is going to be a super-quick post because I'm busy finalizing stuff for OPEN THY HEART's release soon and honestly, I just can't make up my stinking mind. 

Coming September 2014My insanely-talented pal, Katie, has offered to make something YET AGAIN to give away for OPEN THY HEART's release (like she did for IF I SPEAK TRUE--see photo of the totes, below). Problem is, I can't decide what she should make! ACK! TOO MANY OPTIONS!
 photo 9231a40f-0596-4491-b951-54f11c414100.jpg
Katie's creations for IF I SPEAK TRUE's release

Should she do a custom journal? Another tote like last time? (see left) OPEN THY HEART bookmarks? Like, WHAT? The possibilites are endless! 

I would love to hear what YOU would like to win*, and will be sending out options and awaiting responses via the Let Me Tell You A Story newsletter in the next couple of days. If you're not connected to me through that yet, sign up HERE.

Now, onward with your Monday morning!! Have a blessed week, my friends!

Some of Katie's amazing bookmarks. She rocks.
*Katie's creation will be in the US giveaway. Weight plays a major roll in the cost of shipping, and I'm already giving away an annotated copy of IIST internationally, which will cost A LOT!!!

Waiting on Wednesday -- If You're Reading This

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is If You're Reading This
If You're Reading This

If You're Reading This

by Trent Reedy
Publication date: August 26, 2014

From Goodreads:

From the author of WORDS IN THE DUST and DIVIDED WE FALL: A heartwarming book about a son reconnecting with the father he lost in Afghanistan.

Mike was seven when his father was killed in mysterious circumstances in Afghanistan. Eight years later, the family still hasn't recovered: Mike's mom is overworked and overprotective; his younger sister Mary feels no connection to the father she barely remembers; and in his quest to be "the man of the family," Mike knows he's missing out on everyday high school life.

Then, out of the blue, Mike receives a letter from his father -- the first of a series Dad wrote in Afghanistan, just in case he didn't come home, meant to share some wisdom with his son on the eve of Mike's 16th birthday. As the letters come in, Mike revels in spending time with his dad again, and takes his encouragement to try new things -- to go out for the football team, and ask out the beautiful Isma. But who's been keeping the letters all these years? And how did Dad actually die? As the answers to these mysteries are revealed, Mike and his family find a way to heal and move forward at last.

This week's writerly news: Swag September, #giveaways, #Shakespeare, + more

Happy Friday, ya'll! School officially started here yesterday (here's a platter of brownies. I'm celebrating.) Let's get straight to the news, shall we?

1) Amber at Paradise of Pages is hosting something called Swag September, and I'm happy to say I've sent some swag to celebrate! Check out the description, below:

Swag September is organized by Amber at Paradise of Pages. It will occur through the whole month of September. You don't need to worry how much you read during the month, the only thing you need to do is when you do read, read only the books that you have swag for. If it isn't on a piece of swag you read, don't read it. There will be guest posts, interviews, excerpts, a read-a-thon, and lots and lots of giveaways. Where can you go wrong? For any information or questions you may have as well as updates, visit Amber over at Paradise of Pages. ~From Amber at Paradise of Pages 

(To participate, sign up HERE)

2) The Chasm's Summer Bash is full of fun, summery posts and giveaways, and I was delighted to be able to participate with both a giveaway, and post: Top Ten Character's I'd Want to Spend My Summer With Stop on by, enter the giveaway, and say hello! :D

Mossy Foot Project

3) In case you missed my recent Facebook post, The Mossy Foot Project (the organization to which 10% of all sales proceeds from my Flora series are donated) was featured at Operation Change on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) this week. It's hard to believe that something so simple as shoes and a treatment of soapy water can change lives so drastically, but that is seriously all it takes. Not only does The Mossy Foot Project help treat the beautiful people in this area of Ethiopia who deal with Mossy Foot, but TMFP also gives loans out to patients ostracized by their communities (due to the disease), enabling them to support themselves, and their families. I am so grateful for doors opening like this so that more people can learn about and possibly support this project! I've put the video that was aired in its entirety below (or you can go here to watch the video and read informative, interactive stats on the sidebar):

I HEART YA Month 2014! (AUGUST 11-31, 2014)

4) TeamNerd Reviews is hosting #IHEARTYA2014 and celebrating with lots of guest posts and a pretty huge giveaway. My post goes up next week, and let me tell ya, it's a doozy! (Oh and Dahlia gets interviewed, too!)

Fiction Freak

5) ICYMI: My lovely pal Nikki was this month's Reader Interview. I think it's safe to say that she loves books more than I do (the amount of authors she's met already at only fourteen years old is basically insane). Click the links to check out part one and part two of the interview!


6) Shakespeare announcement: I am incredibly excited to announce that I will be part of a YA Shakespeare retelling anthology coming out next year!!! *throws coffee bean confetti* There's about 15 of us so far (that's a whole lot of retellings), and I can't wait to see how everyone does their versions! The title of the anthology hasn't been decided yet, but the moment I can share it with you, I will! Yay!

Have a blessed weekend, guys! :D

Waiting on Wednesday -- Tro by ST Bende

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Tro


by ST Bende
Publication date: September 4, 2014

From Goodreads:

Sometimes you just have to believe.

Finding her destiny nearly cost her everything. Kristia knows she can handle whatever The Fates throw at her next—including her long-awaited honeymoon with the God of Winter. But as things heat up between Kristia and Ull, a frost settles over Asgard. An unexpected death marks the beginning of the end, much earlier than anyone expected. Kristia’s barely begun to understand what she’s capable of, and controlling her powers seems completely out of her grasp. With her new family fighting for their lives, and Ull fighting for their future, Kristia has to make a devastating choice: preserve the life she loves, or protect the god she can’t live without?

August's Reader Interview, Part Two

Welcome to part two of this month's Reader Interview! Nikki W. from Fiction Freak is August's reader. If you missed yesterday's post, go here.

Welcome back, Nikki! :)

You’ve been a plethora of author signings. (I may or may not be jealous about this.) Which event was your favorite, and what made it so memorable?

Soooo...Teen Author Carnival was my first ever, but while I met a lot of my favorite authors there, it wasn't my favorite. Because I had NO IDEA WHAT THE HECK AN AUTHOR SIGNING WAS AND DID NOT BRING ANY BOOKS AND BARELY GRABBED SWAG BECAUSE I WAS JUST LIKE WHAT IS FREE STUFF.

Ahem. Sorry a bit angry at my little eleven year old self (40 authors. 40.)

But Teen Book Con definitely! It's annual and there are always at least 10 authors I'm dying to meet who are there. The first time I went, about 3 authors recognized me (whether because I tweeted them to the point of annoyance in excitement or because they were my friend isn't important, is it?) and I remember feeling absolutely SQUEALFUL.

Name an author who might not be as widely known, but whose work you truly enjoy.

Okay, so truth be told I've really only read about one book from the following authors but I'll pretty much read anything from them: Jennifer McGowan, Leila Sales, and Leslye Walton.

Is there a book you would love to see adapted into a movie that is not yet currently in the works? What element would you look forward to seeing most, and why?  

Throne of Glass! The Bone Season! How to Lead a Life of Crime! (If it's not a gorgeously vivid world...that they better get right, then a school for criminals sounds pretty promising, no?)

Name a book you didn’t think you would like, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by.

Keeper of the Lost Cities! It's a Middle Grade by Shannon Messenger and I'm not a huge MG fan, but HOLY CRAP I loved it. (Also Finnickin of the Rock because all the hype surrounding it and my not-so-much-love for Jellicoe Road.)

I just have to break in here and agree with Finnikin of the Rock because, FINNIKIN. (And even though I loved Jellicoe Road, I get why it wasn't for you. Now back to Finnikin... Ahem. Just kidding.)

If I recall, you used to save your favorite book quotes and hang them up (or was this someone else?). Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share? (If so, please tell us what book it is from and state the author.)

THAT WAS INDEED ME. (But I have since switched rooms so I should really start a quote wall again. Soon.)

But anyways. There are a ton of books that have gorgeous quotes. The Fault in Our Stars, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Storyteller, Impossible Knife of Memory. (ANYTHING BY LAUREN OLIVER OR TAHEREH MAFI .) But here's one (credited to William Shakespeare, but it turns out, not ): "When I saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew."

Worst ever cliffhanger (can be a series you have or have not yet finished):

Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire (SARAH J MAAS IS KILLER), Stolen (Okay so technically this is a standalone BUT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.) and Mark of Athena. (We've verified that Rick Riordan is indeed evil.)

Last question: Are there any books not yet released that you’re looking forward to this year?

Hmm. You don't want me to answer this question, do you? Because I have a list of 88 2015 books I need to buy. 

Thanks for being here, Nikki! Feel free to check out Nikki's blog, Fiction Freak, or talk to Nikki on Twitter!
Fiction Freak

About Nikki:

I’m a 14 year old Pisces who adores books and the blogosphere. My dream is to study abroad at either France or London and I’ve been self teaching myself French since I was 13, although I’m not very consistent about it lol. I’m a pretty crazy and insane person who sometimes gets philosophical. I get impulses at about 1 AM in the morning and act on them, though they usually die out. I’m a attempted YA writer who never really sticks to one project, so you can say I have a short attention span (although I always come back to the same project!) I’m obsessed with immortalizing my childhood memories and you could say I’m artsy and creative–although the creative part may be stretching it! And in the mean time, as I wait to become a psychologist or editor or whatever, I totally want to work in an indie bookstore! I SHALL WORK IN ONE ONE DAY!

August's Reader Interview with Nikki W.

Welcome to Reader Interviews, a monthly feature here at Let Me Tell You a Story. 

This month's reader is Nikki W., my Twitter pal and fellow lover of sweet, churro-y goodness. Welcome, Nikki! Thanks for being here! 

BUT OF COURSE. What are churro and slightly insane friends for?

You’ve been blogging for a couple of years now, so it’s safe to say you’ve done it long enough to know what does and doesn’t work for you. What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about book blogging/reviewing?

It's a bit hard and I'm going to sound like a hypocrite: but views and comments aren't necessarily all that dictates a good blog (but yes you'll still find me sad if I only get two comments on a post.)

Also? TWITTER IS THE BEST THING. For networking, for squealing with people, for ranting, for pretty much everything.

Most readers have a specific book or series that they can pinpoint as what pulled them into their love of reading YA. Do you have one? If so, what was it? Tell us one thing that you appreciated about it.

I actually credit three books. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was the first actual YA book I read but...well, I didn't know it was YA. What even was YA? Then there was Stolen by Lucy Christopher which made me realize--oh wow, I can actually CRY because of these words. And then The Iron King by Julie Kagawa because I discovered that THERE WERE A TON OF YA AND YA WAS A THING. (But in order, I loved the fantastical world of Goose Girl, Stolen was just all around heartbreaking and my ten year old self reread that book as much as possible, and The Iron King...well, Ash.)

I completely agree with all of your reactions to Stolen: A Letter to My Captor (as it comes up on Goodreads). Ugh. That book messes you up.

Most recent book that made you laugh:

Finnikin of the Rock. I mean I had SO MANY FEELS, but there are some especially hilarious moments with Finn and Evanjalin that made me giggle if only because the two were adorable.

Most recent book that made you cry:

I sort of kind of made the stupid mistake to read Ruin and Rising, Strange and Ever After, Heir of Fire, and Deliverance (not in that order) back to back to back sooo...just choose one of those and I pretty much cried EVERYWHERE.

Tell us one character you'd never want to be stranded on a desert island with.

Note from Jessica: Nikki basically pointed me to a creepy book as the answer to this question. So, her answer? 

If someone were to borrow a book from you, what would be the first thing they'd notice?

So, uh, ha. Funny thing is I only pretty much lend out my hardbacks. Because it comes with a very stained (okay not that stained, nothing dirty can touch my precioussss) blue book cover that's far too big and baggy for my books. I bought it in sixth grade for my math textbook, if that gives you an idea.

Have you ever connected with a secondary character so much, you wanted to hang out with them in real life? If so, who was it, and what made them so special?

Pretty obvious answer. But Zuzana? Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Who doesn't want to hang out with her, SERIOUSLY. (But also, Puck from The Iron Fey because...well prankster. With magic. Yes.)

What merits a book making its way onto your personal favorites list?

I ACTUALLY MADE A POST ABOUT THIS...set to go up sometime in February. But if it has political intrigue, a road trip, or a vivid world, I'm there. Or anything historical with a lot of nobles because their lives make pretty much the perfect story. Also tearjerkers.

What is your favorite book cover of all time?

Holy crap. Oh, this is hard. My favorite cover changes all the time, so here are three: Outcast by Adrienne Kress, Starry Night by Elizabeth Giles, and Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne.

The popularity of social media has made interacting with authors easier than ever for readers/fans. In a recent Reader Interview, Matt said he preferred Twitter over other social media platforms. Do you agree? Why or why not? 

ABSOLUTELY (if you could tell from my above answer.) It's a surefire way to get a quick and easy answer from someone, almost every blogger and author is on there, and it's easy to keep up with everything. 90% of everything I know (national news, local news, cover reveals, author interviews, author signings, blog tour sign ups) pretty much comes from Twitter! And if I need advice, twitter is always always there.

And... that's it for part one of August's Reader Interview! See you back here tomorrow for part twoIn the meantime, check out Nikki at her blog and on Twitter

Getting Sharky: Next Week is #SharkWeek (a post in which I share traumatic experiences and a whole lot of shark stuff)

My first memory of sharks is being four years old at YMCA summer day camp. The counselors (high schoolers, I'm pretty sure) were shorthanded, and the kiddie movie they had scheduled for us to watch at the end of the day while we waited for our parents to come pick us up didn't work (or something). So... us little 'uns got put with the big kids in a small, dark room. And guess what movie the big (insane) kids were watching? JAWS

I cannot. I can't even. I just...

It took me years. YEARS. To get over this. I always had a pool as a kid, and I could never ever ever EVER swim in the deep end unless someone was swimming with me. I don't know which one it was (Jaws two, maybe?), but the image of one particularly dead person with stuff sticking out of his eyes and a leg being chomped off and it promptly floating through the water have stuck with me for THIRTY years. 

We go to Avila Beach at least a couple of times a year, and quite a while back, when the girls were littler, this used to be posted there:

YIKES. (Notice his name is "Whitey". Makes him sound a bit too nice, if you ask me. A kid would want to pet something named Whitey. But Killer Whitey? Not so likely.)

Over the years, we've been in Avila DURING Shark Week more than once, which has been kind of funny and at the same time, not. (Come in from the ocean, darlings! Here, let's watch some TV in the hotel room to relax! Why look at this, SHARK SHOWS! And where do sharks live? You guessed it! Right outside our hotel!!!) 'Course they still swam in it. But still.

I don't swim in the deep end anymore. I got over Jaws. And I have not told any of them about the movies because NO.

OH AND GUESS WHAT? We went to Oceano for our summer vacation early this year, on the ELEVENTH of July. Let me reiterate the town for you guys, all right? OCEANO.

And my girls kayaked and paddleboarded IN AVILA. 

Got that? AVILA. OCEANO. 

Now read THIS.


I know a lot of you are thinking that those ferocious sweet humacious little Jaws creatures sharks probably don't plan on hurting anyone and are simply innocent bystanders, and I think ya'll have lost your minds get that I do, but I choose to stay as far away as possible from them, thanks. 

Now that I've shared my own personal shark experiences, here are a few facts regarding Shark Week.**

But first, a countdown ticker!

Okay. Here goes:

* The very first Shark Week began being broadcast on July 17, 1987.

* A few years ago, Myth Busters got in on the action and had a two-hour  "Jaws Special". 

* Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs hosted in 2006. (I think he could host anything and I'd stay transfixed to the screen... his voice is phenomenal, and he's also pretty funny!) 

* I somehow missed when Craig Ferguson hosted, and that makes me sad, as he also has a phenomenal voice and is really funny! And his accent... *swoon* (Here's an intro to him hosting Shark Week, or what he calls, "The Adventure of a Lifetime". Ha.)

Time for some fun shark stuff...

With Sharknado being broadcast on the Syfy channel last week, a plethora of shark tie-ins showed up online (including this soap that uh, well, looks a little dangerous if used incorrectly). I'd say USA Today's article shines the best light on shark necessities, wouldn't you? (Especially the dog cosplay outfit. I mean, who doesn't want their pug to look vicious even cuter in this outfit?)

Perhaps acting like a shark is your thing. If so, do what we did! Buy some shark gummies and then watch the shows whilst tearing them to shreds. 

© 2012 Paper Plate Shark Jaws :: Jeanette Strole Parks

Back in grade school, I remember making a shark mouth using a paper plate like this one. This was both awesome (sharp paper teeth! RAWR!) and scary, as it made me remember my horrible Jaws experience. You can view a simple tutorial HERE.

And of course, one simply cannot watch Shark Week without wearing a shark hat. I searched a long time for the very best, most ferocious shark hats, and came up with two that I found to be most comedic and aptly designed:

This one is via ObeyMyBrain on Etsy. Click the link to find other sea creature hats just as ferocious.

Then there's this one, which I love because your head has been transformed into an entire shark, but I cannot seem to find a tutorial for (only photos of children such as this one looking mighty shark-ish).

Oh yeah. If you're like me, Pinterest is your thang. I let my fingers do the walking, and this lady's board is pretty much full of awesome if you're wanting to have any kind of shark party. Check it out.

Last, if you're unsure as to your "Alien Shark Personality" or want to find out where live sharks are right now (oh dear God, no) or want to play a game called "Shark Munch", head to this Discovery Channel page.

Now wasn't this post just shark-y? (I know I know, horrible pun.) Hope you enjoyed it. (But not my traumatic experience, because that would not be cool.)

Happy (early) Shark Week, yo! (It officially begins Sunday, August 10th.)

P.S. Shark Week is on Facebook.

P.P.S. Shark Week is on Twitter.

** A big thank you to Wikipedia for my Shark Week facts. 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Revelation of Gabriel Adam

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is The Revelation of Gabriel Adam
The Revelation of Gabriel Adam (Revelation Saga, #1)

The Revelation of Gabriel Adam

by S. L. Duncan
Publication date: August 12, 2014

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Gabriel Adam is used to relocating a lot. When a mysterious assassin burns his home to the ground, Gabriel’s father reveals the truth of why they are always on the move: Gabriel is one of four archangels, born human and sent to stop Armageddon. Now Gabe must set aside dreams of attending NYU to try to fulfill his newly discovered role.

Racing against time, Gabe and his father travel to the English university town of Durham, hoping the last surviving member of an ancient religious sect can guide them. With the assassin in pursuit, Gabe must shoulder the weight of his new life and an impossible destiny as protector of the entire human race.

August's #JLBgivesawayaDVD is a #mermaid movie: Aquamarine

Considering summer break is coming to an end and there are soooo many mermaid books out there in YA right now, I decided this month's #JLBgivesawayaDVD is Aquamarine! SQUEEEEE

Image courtesy of IMDB.com

If you've never watched this movie before, you're missing out. Not only are the main three actresses great (Emma Roberts, JoJo Levesque, and Sara Paxton), but this movie is full of laugh-out-loud moments and great lines. Like:

Hailey: We begin where every girl starts with her first crush - we call him.
Aquamarine: Call him? What? What?. No, I can't. What am I supposed to say to him?
Hailey: Nothing. We just call and hang up. We do it all the time.
Aquamarine: Why?
Hailey: I don't know. It's just what you do.


Claire: [about why they can't get Ray's attention] Well, all these articles say we've been way too available. We need to be more coy.
Hailey: We are so coy, he barely knows we exist.

Ha ha. Yep, they're coy, all right. Poor dears.

Oh, and did I mention Weezer's Island in the Sun is also on here? (I mean... WEEZER! AND... MERMAIDS!)

As always, I have to share the trailer, so here it is:

I mean... are you excited? I am so excited!!!!

And here is the Rafflecopter! Spread the word, you guys! :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway