2015 Spooktacular Day 4 - Nova Ren Suma + Giveaway

First off because I've been so busy with school and whatnot I've decided that I will extend this event into November so that I can actually post all of the interviews (and I've also decided that just because Halloween is over doesn't mean that we immediately have to move onto Christmas, we can keep with the scary for another week), so make sure to check back next week cause there will be a few more interviews then!

Today I'm so happy to present the wonderful

Nova Ren Suma

who is here to talk about her newest novel


The Interview;

Once Upon a Teen Reader: Can you tell us about THE WALLS AROUND US in fewer than 10 words?  

Nova Ren Suma: Ghost story in two voices: one living, one dead.

OUATR: So many YA novels these days focus on romance but you have almost completely removed that for the equation and focused entirely on the girls in this (and now that I think of it all of your) novel.  Why is that?

NRS: I will be writing a love story one day, and I’m saving all the romance for that. But also, there’s this: I have no interest in doing what everyone else is doing—just because there is a lot of something in YA novels and the audience may expect it doesn’t mean I’m going to force it in if it’s not right for the story I’m telling. For the writers and artists out there: Don’t ever be afraid to follow your own vision. Don’t be afraid to be YOU.

OUATR: The two main characters in this book, Amber and Violet, are connected by Orianna but (if I remember correctly) we never see anything from her POV.  Was that the case through all of the drafts or did she have a voice earlier on?  Either way what was the reasoning behind keeper her viewpoint off the page?

NRS: Ori’s story is told through the eyes of other people on purpose. She’s meant to be an enigma. I love stories that leave one character a mystery and you are left to piece together who they are by only what others have told you.

OUATR: It's possible you are the queen of YA mind-f*ck novels and this is for sure your darkest book yet.  How did you get into the minds of these characters and how were you able to write from their points of view while still making us question everything?

NRS: Ha! Thank you. Can I put this in my bio? I wrote some of the most twisted and disturbing parts of The Walls Around Us in a tent that I built over my desk, a dark cocoon where I felt like I left my body and wrote straight down to the worst truth. I go in deep, and sometimes I have a hard time climbing back out.

OUATR: Can you give us any insight into what you're working on now?

NRS: I’m superstitious, so I can’t say anything beyond this: It’s a YA novel. There’s mystery. There are girls. Algonquin will be publishing it, but I’m not sure when because I have to finish writing it first!

Fast Five;

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?  My own books don’t scare me—I’m the one who wrote them so I see all the puppet strings. To me, it’s a 3. But other people tell me it scares them, and I am so flattered by that.

2. Do you think you would survive in your own book?  In The Walls Around Us, I would have been like Amber, hiding in crowds and eavesdropping and paying attention. If I stayed quiet, I would probably make it through. Then again, did Amber survive? There’s the answer, I guess.

3. What is your favorite scary movie?  Ringu (aka The Ring), judging by the number of nightmares it gave me.

4. Do you have a favorite Halloween candy?  Candy corn is disgusting, but I somehow can’t stop myself from eating it whenever it’s near me. Get it away from me. No, really, I mean, could I have some?

5. What YA horror/thriller would you recommend?  Here are just three, because I like things in threes: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. Amity by Micol Ostow. Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis. 

The Book;

Title: The Walls Around Us
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Series: n/a
Published March 24, 2015
Add it on Goodreads

On the outside, there's Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.
On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there's Amber, locked up for so long she can't imagine freedom.
Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls' darkest mysteries…
What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?
In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other. 

The Author;

 Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novel The Walls Around Us, which was named the #1 Kids’ Indie Next Pick for Spring 2015 and was published in March 2015 from Algonquin YR, as well as the YA novels Imaginary Girls (Dutton, 2011) and 17 & Gone (Dutton, 2013), which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and now lives in New York City.

Find her on Her WebsiteTwitter

The Giveaway;

Algonquin has provided me with a hard cover copy of THE WALLS AROUND US for me to give away, all you have to do is enter the giveaway below! This giveaway IS open internationally, so anyone is free to enter!

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2015 Spooktacular Day 3 - Amy Lukavics

I missed yesterday in terms of the line-up of authors (oops. But don't worry, I'll still post it) but today I have a super fun interview with the author whose debut novel has been described as Little House on the Prairie meets Stephen King.  Please welcome

Amy Lukavics

here to talk about her just released debut novel

Daughters Unto Devils

The Interview;

Once Upon A Teen Reader: What 10 words (or less) would you use to describe DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS?

Amy Lukavics: Is she crazy, or is the prairie evil?

OUATR: Unlike most other YA horror novels yours also falls into the historical fiction category, why did you set the book in pioneer times?

AL: The time period and setting went well with the type of horror elements I wanted to incorporate, and helped contribute to the atmosphere as well.

OUATR: What kind of research did you do for the book?

AL: For research, I focused mostly on the more technical aspects, like which tools were used, food storage/preparation, and what techniques were preferred to build cabins or assemble covered wagons.

OUATR: Amanda, the main character, is not only pregnant but she might also be going crazy. What was it like writing a character who may or may not actually be seeing things?

AL: It was fun! When the truth isn't directly exposed, it leaves you with plenty of room to play.

OUATR: With your debut just recently released what are you working on now?

AL: I'm working hard on my follow-up novel to Daughters unto Devils, which is a standalone (so not a sequel to Daughters.) I'm so excited to be able to reveal more details about it soon!

Fast Five;

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary would you say your book is?  I'll let the readers decide!

2. Would you survive in your own book?  I'd sure as hell try, but sometimes the characters in my books never had a chance from the beginning. *ominous music*

3. What is your favorite scary movie?  It's hard to choose just one...there are several! But I really love the film adaptation of Pet Sematary.

4. Favorite Halloween candy?  Airheads, or Skittles, or Dots!

5. What YA horror/thriller would you recommend?  Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward comes out February of next year and it is FANTASTIC! 

The Book;

Title: Daughters unto Devils
Author: Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Harlequin Teens
Series: n/a
Published September 29, 2015
Add it on Goodreads

When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries. 
When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

The Author;

Amy Lukavics lurks within the forested mountains of Prescott, Arizona, along with her husband and two precious squidlings.  When she isn't reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting and playing many video games. Daughters unto Devils is her debut novel.

Find her on | Twitter | Tumblr 

2015 Spooktacular Day 2 - Alexandra Sirowy + Giveaway

I'm really excited to present the second author taking part in the 2015 Spooktacular, please welcome

Alexandra Sirowy

to the blog to talk about her recently released debut novel 


The Interview;

Once Upon A Teen Reader: Can you describe THE CREEPING in 10 words or less?

Alexandra Sirowy: Dark secrets, mystery, friendship, ancient evils, and love abound.

OUATR: Stella is the only witness to what happened to her friend Jeanie all those years ago but she can't remember what happened.  Do you think in a situation like that (minus any paranormal aspects) it would be better to remember or forget?

AS: Oh, whoa. Excellent question! I’ll try to answer without spoilers….I think in Stella’s case, the best outcome (and I’m not saying this is or isn’t how it turns out) is for her to remember. The mystery of what happened to Jeanie isn’t as simple as one dark event, there are pieces to the puzzle like breadcrumbs in Stella’s memory that (IF she remembers) she’ll uncover. But there are also really good memories of Jeanie that Stella doesn’t realize she has. Not only does remembering what happened to Jeanie mean catching whoever or whatever ferried Jeanie away in the woods back when they were six, it also means recovering all of Stella’s childhood memories from that day and all those before. THE CREEPING is about friendship and loyalty as much as it is about darkness and mystery. I really believe that our friendships and loves define us, and I think that a part of Stella will be missing until she remembers Jeanie.

OUATR: Your book seems to straddle the line of contemporary vs paranormal.  Was that always the idea?  What drove you in that direction?

AS: Okay, two part answer. Confession: I like things that don’t quite fit in. Maybe because I don’t quite fit in? Regardless, I’m always more engrossed in books that make you think, What is this glorious, insane thing? When I sat down to write THE CREEPING (picture me scribbling furiously on the train during my commute to work) I wasn’t going to be preoccupied with making the book fit in one genre or another. A romance developed on the pages, friendships were tried and tested, clues were followed, and evils were braved. I was determined to follow the story wherever it wanted to go and that happened to be the in-between world it ended up in.

Now for part two…so when I realized where THE CREEPING’s plot was headed and that I was really doing cartwheels down the line separating a contemporary thriller and a paranormal mystery, I realized it was testing what I thought about good and evil and everything in between. It was so damn (can I say ‘damn’ on this?) interesting and if there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I crave the interesting.

OUATR: The tagline on the cover, "If you hunt for monsters you'll find them" actually plays a roll in the book as something that's said.  Does that phrase mean anything to you outside of the story you created?  And regardless where did that idea come from?

AS: That line, “If you hunt for monsters, you’ll find them,” was actually one of the first sentences that popped into my head as I was writing this book. It was impossible not to let it shape the story. Where did it come from? Some deep, dark, undeniable corner of my brain. While it surely means a lot to me – I’ll be the first to say that we live in a world that can be bleak at times (you need only to switch on the news to see this) – I do wish that I’d added a sort of response to it in the book. I wish that at some point I had thought of having Stella say (or maybe this is the sort of optimistic and wise thing Sam would say?): If you search for goodness, you’ll find it or If you look for heroes, you’ll find them. Because although there are monsters of a kind in THE CREEPING, there is also tremendous bravery and loyalty among friends. The girls of THE CREEPING risk it all to save each other and I hope that that’s the lasting impression my book leaves on readers.

OUATR: Your next novel, THE TELLING, is out next summer.  Can you tell us a little about it?

AS: I am SO flipping excited for this book to be out. THE TELLING is a young adult thriller that will hit bookstores in August (yay!), out from Simon & Schuster BFYR. And in four words, it’s about: Love, blood, and murder.

 Fast Five;

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary would you say your book is?  I’ll just say that there were times while I was writing THE CREEPING that I actually had to put my laptop down and walk away because I was so unnerved by what I’d come up with.

2. Would you survive in your own book? As long as I had friends like Stella’s, absolutely.

3. What is your favorite scary movie?  One of my most vivid memories from being a kid is sneaking and watching Wes Craven’s SCREAM when my parents weren’t home. We had this house with all these huge windows that looked out onto some woods and I freaked myself out so badly that I can remember crawling down the long hallway on my hands and knees so that the woods (and whoever might be hiding in them) couldn’t see me. SCREAM is still hands down my favorite scary movie to watch.

4. Favorite Halloween candy?  I am a crazy nut for peanut butter cups. For some reason the single cup size they make for Halloween tastes so much better than the regular kind. Runner up would be anything gummy and sour (ANYTHING).  

5. What YA horror/thriller would you recommend?  I am currently reading Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS and loving it. The second in the series is already out so I’m majorly behind the times, but I would recommend this series to anyone who likes their YA smart and brilliantly vivid.

The Book;

Title: The Creeping
Author: Alexandria Sirowy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: n/a
Published August 18, 2015
Add it on Goodreads

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.
Now Stella is seventeen, and she's over it. She's the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it's her small town's ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She's got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.
Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.
And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

The Author;

 Alexandra Sirowy is the author of "The Creeping "and "The Telling". She was born and raised in Northern California, where she attended a women's college as an undergraduate and received her MA at the University of San Francisco. She is a voracious reader, the oldest of three children, an avid traveler, a record-holding high school long jumper, a gourmet cook, a feminist, and forever grateful to her parents for reading to her as a child. Alexandra lives in Northern California with her husband.

Find her on Her Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Giveaway;

Alexandra has generously donated a copy (I assumed it will be signed if you would like) of her debut novel THE CREEPING that will go to one lucky winner! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below.  Because of postage costs and since it's coming from Alexandra herself this giveaway is also US only.  I promise an international giveaway is coming though!

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2015 Spooktacular Day 1 - Suzanne Young + Giveaway

First off I'm super sorry that it took me this long to get this feature up and running, I've had some of these interviews for a few weeks now but I kept putting them off because I was hoping to get solid responses from a few other authors along with being swamped by school work.  I'm currently taking a calculus class that is eating up a large chunk of my time so I've not been able to do as much reading and blogging.  To make up for that though I've got some crazy amazing (I hope) interviews and giveaways lined up for you guys.

This year's spooktacular is going to be a WHOLE lot shorter than last years (again, sorry about that), but I have a fantastic line-up of authors.  I'm not going to share them with you until they are revealed the day the interview goes up, but I'll just say that I including today's author I have 7 and there are one or two special editions that might be added, you'll just have to wait and see!  

I'm so honored to announce that the very first author is the wonderful New York Times bestseller

Suzanne Young

here to talk about her upcoming release 


The Interview;

Once Upon A Teen Reader: How would you describe HOTEL RUBY in 10 words or less?

Suzanne Young: The Shining meets The Great Gatsby

OUATR: All of your books/series are so different from one another (although now that I think about it many of them have an underlying theme of dealing with grief), where did the idea for HOTEL RUBY come from?

SY: Originally it started with the idea of “Hotel California for teens”. But on tour, I stayed at a creepy hotel in San Francisco--I was sure my entire floor was haunted (it’s a long story), and that helped feed the book descriptions. I ended up writing an entire pitch and synopsis on that trip.

OUATR: This book fell more into the psychological horror aspect as opposed to an in-your-face scare fest.  How did you go about creating an atmosphere like that?

SY: To be honest, I wanted to go with more slash and terror at first, but as the book progressed, I realized it was more complicated than that. For my character, losing her family was the most terrifying thing at all. It made sense that the heaviness of loss stuck to her bones and it almost made the scary stuff around her more manageable. With that said, I still wanted that feeling of dread, of something just behind your shoulder, breathing down your neck.

OUATR: There are no shortage of possibly haunted hotels in this country, is The Ruby based on any one in particular?  What kind of research went into working on the book?

SY: I honestly can’t remember the name of the hotel, but the hotel in San Francisco helped with the descriptions of the 13th floor. Otherwise, I’ve always been fascinated by hotels and I ended up looking up hotels from the 20s and 30s for inspiration. I also went on a few ghost tours to see how a business would sell the idea.

OUATR: What's next for you?

SY: I have THE EPIDEMIC, sequel to The Remedy, coming out in April. It will finish the duology which leads directly into The Program series. I also have some surprises, and another book in fall.

Fast Five;

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary would you say your book is?   It depends. For me? 5. For my kids? 8

2. Would you survive in your own book?  Uh…no.

3. What is your favorite scary movie?  I'm not sure I have one. I watched so many as a kid that I think I ruined the part of me that can watch them now. Haha I’m a total “peek through my fingers” movie-watcher.

4. Favorite Halloween candy?  Candycorn J

5. What YA horror/thriller would you recommend?  Oh, gosh. That’s tough! I used to love Stephen King growing up. I think a current great read is THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma, and loved TEN by Gretchen McNeil.

The Book;

Title: Hotel Ruby
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: n/a
Published November 3, 2015
Add it on Goodreads
Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.
When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.
Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn't have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.
The more Audrey learns about the new people she's met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…
Welcome to the Ruby.
Per-order the book from Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | The Book Depository

The Author;

Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, NY, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order.

Find Suzanne on Her Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Giveaway;

Suzanne's publisher, Simon Pulse, has generously donated an ARC of Hotel Ruby, which means that one of you will end up winning it!  Because this is an ARC from a US publishing house the giveaway is US only, but I do promise that there will be at least one giveaway that is open internationally!

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