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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Books That Need MORE Attention Giveaway Hop

I'm so excited to be participating in this giveaway hop and to share a YA series that I LOVE and think deserves MOAR attention. Plus, check out the awesome giveaway at the bottom of this post...

The Ondine Quartet by Emma Raveling!

Emma Raveling's Ondine Quartet is a sweeping YA urban fantasy that has everything you could ever want in a captivating series: spectacular storytelling, compelling characters, wonderful world-building, swoon-worthy romance, action-packed excitement, a refreshing premise, and so much more! I LOVE this epic series and cannot recommend it enough!

There are currently three novels and three novellas of this series released, with the final book releasing soon...

Ondine (OQ #0.5)
“I shouldn’t get involved.” 
Rebellious and headstrong, sixteen-year-old Kendra Irisavie doesn’t have much respect for authority. An ondine with the powerful gift of Virtue, she uses her tough attitude and Empath magic to navigate through high school and keep others away.
Because being an ondine also means keeping secrets.
Kendra and her mother are Rogue water elementals in the middle of an ancient war. They hide among humans, their survival constantly threatened by monstrous Aquidae demons.
Along with a rigorous training regimen to mold Kendra into a lethal fighter, her mother has instituted four rules to keep her safe.
Trust no one. Relationships are weaknesses. Emotional attachments are dangerous. Be responsible only for yourself.
But when Kendra witnesses a classmate in trouble, she intervenes and her decision to break the rules comes at a price.
Sometimes, humans could be more dangerous than demons.
Ondine is a short prequel novella for the young adult urban / paranormal fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet.

Whirl (OQ #1)
Outspoken and independent, Kendra Irisavie has always played by her own rules.

She's an ondine, a water elemental gifted with the powerful magic of Empath Virtue and trained to be a fighter. Pursued by Aquidae demons, she and her mother remain Rogue, hiding among humans to avoid becoming casualties in an ancient war.

Everything changes when violence erupts on Kendra's seventeenth birthday. A dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past and stirring unexpected feelings in her fiercely guarded heart.

But as Kendra uncovers the truth about her heritage and future, she realizes just how deep the lies and deception run.
Now, in the face of unthinkable odds, she will need all her wits, skills, and magic to fulfill an extraordinary prophecy.
The first in a sweeping urban fantasy series, Whirl is the beginning of a young woman's exhilarating journey for survival, love, and hope as she fights for her place in a world where she doesn't belong.

Whirl:  ebooks- Amazon | B & N | Apple iBookstore| Kobo | Smashwords

Billow: ebooks- Amazon | B & N | Apple iBookstore| Kobo | Smashwords | Omnilit

Crest: ebook- Amazon | B & N | Apple iBookstore| Kobo | Smashwords

Chevalier: Amazon | B & N | Apple iBookstore | Kobo |Smashwords

Warrior Prince: Amazon | B & N | Apple iBookstore | Kobo |Smashwords

Some fun Ondine Quartet stuff!


All of the main OQ books (Whirl, Billow, Crest) are on sale for 99 cents each! 


You can now pre-order Breaker for just 99 cents! And if you pre-order now, you'll get a post-Breaker bonus short story during release week (visit to learn more)! You can pre-order Breaker here:

Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. She is the author of the young adult urban / contemporary fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet, and Lost Blood, the first installment of the forthcoming young adult urban fantasy series, Chancer. She’s also working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.
An avid traveler hopelessly addicted to diet coke and coffee, she currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii with her husband and German shepherd.

Win ebook copies of all Ondine Quartet books and a signed swag pack!
Two winners will win e-copies of Whirl, Billow, Crest, Ondine, Chevalier, and Warrior Prince, plus a signed swag pack.
-open INT
-ends 10/14
-must be 13+ to enter
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail

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The Forbidden Flats Blog Tour {Review}

I'm thrilled to have The Forbidden Flats Blog Tour stopping by today with my review of this fun middle-grade sequel...

The Forbidden Flats
(Sky Jumpers #2)
by Peggy Eddleman
Random House BFYR

Escape one danger. Jump into another. . . .
Twelve-year-old Hope has always felt a little different from everyone else who lives in White Rock. She tries hard, but she doesn’t always think before she acts. She takes big risks. Sometimes her risks pay off, but sometimes they fail. Sometimes she fails.
Hope knows that the most dangerous thing about living in White Rock is that it’s so close to the deadly Bomb’s Breath—the invisible, fifteen-foot-thick band of compressed air that’s hovered over the earth since the Green Bombs of World War III. The citizens of White Rock live in fear of the Bomb’s Breath. Only Hope has figured out a way to go through it—and lived to tell the tale.
But when a massivetremor rips across the earth, the Bomb’s Breath begins to lower over White Rock. It’s up to Hope and her friends Brock and Aaren to make the dangerous journey far from home across the bandit-ridden Forbidden Flats to the wilds of the Rocky MMountainsobtain the one thing that may be able to stop it—before the Bomb’s Breath sinks too far and destroys them all. This time, Hope can’t fail.

Peggy Eddleman returns to her captivating middle-grade Sky Jumpers series with the equally thrilling, The Forbidden Flats!

A few months after the dangerous events in Sky Jumpers, twelve year old Hope’s  beloved home of White Rock is once again in danger. After a huge earthquake rocks her crater town, the Bomb’s Breath (the deadly 15 foot pocket of air above the crater) begins to rapidly lower. The only way to stop the Bomb’s Breath lies 500 miles away in the Rocky Mountains. Once again Hope and her friends Aaren and Brock, must set out on a wild adventure to save their town.

Last year, Sky Jumpers wowed me with its exciting premise, action-packed story, and compelling characters, and Eddleman returns to this world with another hugely entertaining story! The Forbidden Flats takes both Hope and readers on a thrilling journey across a post-apocalyptic USA; a journey full of dangers, bandits, deadly weather, and unexpected new friends. Eddleman packs so much imagination and innovation into this series- from Sky Jumping in the Bomb’s Breath, cool inventions, crater towns, towns high in the clouds, a town made of glass, and a world that has been ravaged by bombs and forever altered. Richly built and vividly laid out, The Forbidden Flats is full of mesmerizing and unforgettable settings that young readers will love.

I love how much Eddleman expands her enthralling world in The Forbidden Flats and the new places we get to explore. Readers will have so much fun flying down the hills of White Rock, Sky Jumping in the Bomb’s Breath, traversing the streets of a glass city, and exploring the mines of Heaven’s Reach with Hope and company...and if Sky Jumping sounds exciting just wait until you’re introduced to Sky Surfing!

I love Eddleman’s characters, especially her young characters. Hope and her friends are so plucky, endearing, brave, funny, and lovable. I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know this threesome and going on wild adventures with them. And in The Forbidden Flats, we meet some fun, new characters, including a mysterious man from Hope’s past!

Eddleman not only infuses her story with thrills, imagination, and fun adventure, she also sprinkles in clever, thought-provoking science and theory, creating a story that is not only entertaining, but smart as well.

My Final Thoughts: The Forbidden Flats is an action-packed, smartly crafted, wildly entertaining page-turner perfect for younger readers who are not quite ready for YA dystopians and post-apocalyptic books!


Peggy Eddleman
Peggy Eddleman is the author of the middle grade post-apocalyptic adventure SKY JUMPERS, to be published by Random House in Fall 2013. She lives at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains with her three hilarious and fun kids (two sons and a daughter), and her incredibly supportive husband. Besides writing, Peggy enjoys playing laser tag with her family, doing cartwheels in long hallways, trying new restaurants, and occasionally painting murals on walls.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Alex Flynn, author of The Misshapes

I'm so thrilled to have the writing duo, Alex Flynn, here today to talk about their new young adult superhero adventure The Misshapes...

The Misshapes: The Coming Storm
by Alex Flynn
Polis Books

Some people have powers.
Some people do not.
And some people may just change the world.
Sarah Robertson is one of those people.

Sarah Robertson is no ordinary girl — she can control the weather with her emotions. But in a town where superheroes walk the streets, her powers aren’t enough for the prestigious Hero Academy. Instead of being accepted to the school of her dreams, Sarah is marked as an outcast with power — a Misshape.

Now she’s stuck with a group of fellow Misshapes, her dreams on hold. Yet has an intriguing (and smoking hot) new mentor, and an unexpected romance blooms with superstar Hero dreamboat Freedom Boy. And when Doolittle Falls comes under threat of annihilation, Sarah will learn just how powerful she is when she’s forced to choose between her friends and the destiny she’s always wanted. And she may just kick some supervillain butt in the process.

What three words best describe The Misshapes?
Mind blowingly awesome

Grab a copy of The Misshapes and answer the following:
favorite chapter? 53
favorite page? 103
favorite place/setting? The Doom Shelter which was modeled after the bomb shelter in my school we had in case the Soviets decided to Nuke us.
flip to a random page and give us 1-2 sentences teaser: As Kurt squeezed, Peter’s hand turned grayish blue, followed by his arm, then his neck. The color spread and grew darker and darker. His whole body shook. I thought Kurt might kill him. Peter let out a spine-tingling howl and Kurt just squeezed harder. His whole body seemed frozen, like it could shatter into pieces in an instant.

What inspired The Misshapes? How did the story come to be? 
It was a rainy day in western Massachusetts and we were driving down the winding country roads to the Montague Bookmill, one of the most magical places on the planet. In the car, we were talking about superheroes and how annoying it would be if you could control the weather but with your emotions. In movies, books, and comics the weather can often stand in for the characters' moods, like in a dark noir film where it's always raining. We thought it would be funny to have a character whose weather actually was the mood. Then we tried to think of some other terrible powers for teenagers and wondered what it would be like for a character to not only to have lame powers, but to be surrounded by people with good powers. Once we got to the Bookmill, we started writing.

Can you tell us a bit about your heroine Sarah Robertson? What makes her special and unique among other YA heroines? 
Sarah Robertson is a 16 year old girl with the ability to control the weather. Unfortunately she can only control the weather with her emotions. To make matters worse, she's not particularly unique in the having powers department. Sarah lives in a town called Doolittle Falls which is home to the prestigious Hero Academy, training ground of the country's bravest and most admired superheroes. Sarah always dreamed of going to the school and though getting in would seal her fate as a future Hero. What makes her unique is that, unlike many other YA characters who go to the special school and learn how to become heroes, Sarah is rejected. In a form letter no less! What makes her special is her ability to learn how to become powerful on her own, without the support or approval of the powers that be.

In The Misshapes, your characters have superpowers...what, in your opinion, are the top three coolest and top three lamest super powers to have? 
Water-based powers are pretty lame. I mean, we spend most of our lives on land, so the water superheroes need to change the venue to be able to fight. Like Knightboat on the Simpsons or Aquaman. When you go deep into the X-Men world, you get some pretty lame ones: Dazzler, for one. Also Marvel Comics' Squirrel Girl is rumored to be one of the upcoming superhero movies, which is kind of hilarious. But perhaps lame powers are coming back: look at the Guardians of the Galaxy. Stu would like to note "Batman's power, which seems to be the ability to buy really cool weapons, is also pretty lame. I mean, couldn't he use that money to make Gotham a less crappy town, which would make it harder for people that were mentally unstable to recruit henchman. Why do you think it's so easy to start an army in Gotham Bruce Wayne? He's a smart guy, he should stop solving the high poverty and unemployment problem in that city with his fists!"

Coolest powers, though: Superman's great because he fights evil on two levels, with journalism and flying. Flying is and always will be awesome. Spiderman was also a scrappy journalist and evil-fighter. The ability to swing on webs through a city is pretty damn cool. Though it would probably be less useful in the country where there's a whole lot of open space. Poor country spiderman, hanging out in barns all the time.  Also Wonder Woman's lasso of truth would come in handy. Any power that can get the truth out of people would be very useful. She should moderate the next presidential debate.

If you lived in a world full of Superheroes and Supervillains, which would you be, what would your power be, and what would your name be?
We'd probably be Misshapes (people with lame powers in our book). Stu: I'd love to be a technopath, someone who can control machines with their mind. Or some kind of 90's cyberpunk power that let me swim through the wires and take vengeance on people that abuse and threaten others anonymously on the internet. Maybe I'd go by Troll Basher, and have a secret lair under a bridge. Elisabeth: My superpower was being able to name any movie, ever, when people are like "What's that thing, with the guy, who was the detective?" but then IMDB made me irrelevant. So I'd probably be called Old School IMDB, and I wouldn't need to use my power too much of the time. It's okay though.

What is the last book or movie or tv show that:
made you belly laugh? Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood and Science... For Her! by Megan Amram
made you cry? The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan and the TV show Rectify, which is amazing
scared you? Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, The People's Platform by Asta Taylor
inspired you? The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay
made you want to “borrow” its characters? Love and Rockets by Jamie Hernandez. Maggie is a total Misshape. Also (in the same universe) God and Science.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at Working on a team.
I’m really embarrassed to admit I haven't read all of Harry Potter
The last great book I read was Moby Dick

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Misshapes, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
One of the main characters in our book, Johnny (Sarah's brother) has a power which has some pretty bad side-effects and he has to take medicine for them. It's in many ways a metaphor for my struggle (Stu) growing up with diabetes. I'm actually really into baking but don't have a sweet palate and use low sugar recipes, so I'd make a cupcake in honor of Johnny. Misshape Cake! It would be an olive oil cupcake with lemon buttercream frosting. It's delicious and has one of those complex flavors that sometimes takes a minute to get, and doesn't overload you with sugar.

Below are the ingredients. I stole liberally from a recipe I found here years ago and have used often.


2 large eggs
1 cup+2tbsp whole milk
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon zest (about 2-3 lemons)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum free. For less sweet things you will notice the difference)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and the wet ingredients into a separate bowl.
3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Once they're combined, add the lemon zest and whisk until smooth (but stop once you get there, you don't want to over mix and aerate it)
4. Let the batter rest for a few minutes then pour in cups until 2/3 full. You can grease the cups with some extra olive oil if you want them to pop out easier.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center one of the cupcakes comes out clean.


3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick of butter (softened)
1/4 cup of milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (meyer lemon if you can get one)
Juice of 1 lemon (meyer lemon if you can get one) - should be about 2 tbs. If it's an enormous lemon, only use half.
pinch of salt

1. Mix the butter, vanilla and meyer lemon zest together.
2. Add the milk and  lemon juice, quickly creaming it into the butter.
3. Slowly add sugar to your mixture and continue on medium.
4. Once the sugar is all in the bowl, cream on "high" for four minutes.

Divide buttercream onto cupcakes and enjoy!

Thank you so much for stopping by today! That cupcake sounds super yummy!


Alex Flynn is the pseudonym for the writing team of Stuart Sherman and Elisabeth Donnelly. They met at a clandestine book club in Boston, where they broke into a fortified tower in order to discuss literature. They like garrulous Irish writers, Pushing Daisies, Axe Cop, and anything involving The Tick. Their secret lair is currently in a hollowed out volcano in Brooklyn. In addition to co-writing The Misshapes, Donnelly is cultural journalist who has written for the New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, The L.A Times, Paris Review Daily, GQ and many others. She is also an editor at Flavorwire. Sherman is a bioethicist, health policy analyst and a former contestant on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Visit them at

Win a copy of The Misshapes!
The awesome peeps at Polis Books have offered up one hardcover copy (US only) and one ebook copy (INT) for two lucky cupcakes.
-open US and INT
-ends 10/3
-must be 13+ to enter
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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