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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Feral Blog Tour {Guest Post and Giveaway}

I'm so thrilled to have the Feral Blog Tour stopping by today with a fun Guest Post by author Holly Schindler and an awesome Giveaway...
by Holly Schindler
August 26, 2014
Harper Teen

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.
It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.
But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened. 
But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….
Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.


I asked Holly to answer this very important question: If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by FERAL, what would it look and taste like and what would you call it?
The opening quote from FERAL comes from PARADISE LOST:
“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”

FERAL is a classic psychological thriller—with a heavy focus on the mind.  While the book features mystery, horror, and paranormal elements, the emphasis is definitely on the “psychological” aspects, rather than thriller / action.  The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain).  Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting.  The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious or unconscious mind, and here is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state).  The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley.  Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche.  Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence—that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too.  The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail.  
Because there’s so much attention to the mind in FERAL, to the psychology and inner workings of the main character, Claire, I’d have to say that the cupcake I would create inspired by the book would have to be a tea party style cupcake.  The imaginary cupcakes you once created as a girl to go along with imaginary tea in your delicate little miniature china teacups.  The cupcakes would taste different for each person at the tea party: they could be richly chocolate, or Pixy Stix sweet, or jawbreaker sour—depending on her (or his) own state of mind.  
That’s another important aspect of FERAL: we all see the same world, but we attach different meaning to it, depending on what our own personal experience has been in the past.  For example, in the novel, a Peculiar High student can look at the woods near the school and see a hideout, an escape (the woods offers students a shortcut and place to hide to smoke).  Claire Cain, who has just come to town and has endured, only months before, a brutal gang beating back in her hometown of Chicago, can look at the woods and see nothing but danger.
So that’s what I’d have to create—imaginary cupcakes that live only in the mind, that taste as we expect them to, depending on our past experiences.

Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs).  
Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud.  Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.”  
FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller.  Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.”
Schindler encourages readers to get in touch.  Booksellers, teen librarians, and teachers can also contact her directly regarding Skype visits.  She can be reached at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, and can also be found at,, @holly_schindler,, and  

Giveaway runs from 8/26 - 9/2

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Judy said...

I have been seeing this book on many of the blogs, and has caught my attention everytime. I love thrillers and especially one that you really not sure what is happening even though you might think you do know!!!!! This has been on my TBR list for a while.

Unknown said...

I like Thrillers and this one has been advertised a lot! This has to be for some reason of course.. So I guess it is amazing.

Britt said...

I thought it was part of a trilogy i had not read but once i saw it was a thriller i was all in. Love those books that keep you on the edge!!