Happy Release Day, Alienated + Win a Nook Simple Touch!

Today is an awesome day for two reasons: 1. Alienated by Melissa Landers hits stores today (!!) and 2. To celebrate, Melissa is giving away a Nook Simple Touch to one lucky winner! Below you’ll find an announcement from Melissa, in which she discusses her book and the generous giveaway!


About the Author

melissa landersMelissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.


Hey, fiction lovers.

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce that my debut YA sci-fi romance, Alienated, is finally available from Disney-Hyperion! Cue the dancers and toss the confetti, because it’s been a long wait!

In a nutshell, Alienated is the story of valedictorian Cara Sweeney, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to host the nation’s first intergalactic exchange student, the gorgeous but emotionally-stilted Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) from planet L’eihr. The tone is light and humorous, but I explore some deeper themes as well.

What do reviewers have to say?

alienated “The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

If you like hot, swoony science fiction as much as I do, I hope you’ll give Alienated a try. It’s now available in stores and online.

Indie Bound


Barnes & Noble

Book Depo

(free international shipping at Book Depo)


To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Nook Simple Touch. I’ll even throw in a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble so you can fill your new e-reader with whatever you want!

Now for the fine print: This giveaway is open to US residents only. (Sorry, international friends, but you need a US billing address to buy digital content on the Nook.) Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

To enter to win a Nook Simple Touch, go here to enter!

Guest Post & Giveaway: Lucy Christopher, The Killing Woods

killing woods blog tour

Today I’m happy to welcome author Lucy Christopher to The Hiding Spot for THE KILLING WOODS blog tour.  Below, you’ll find a guest post from Lucy, in which she introduces readers to Jon, one of the main characters from her newest novel, including his relation to the victim, Ashlee Parker, and his possible motive for killing her. Tomorrow, you can meet another character from THE KILLING WOODS at the blog The Reading Date! Don’t forget to read my review here.


the killing woods“I think about the words the army psychiatrist wrote — distinct possibility . . . act out the flashbacks. Mum believes Dad’s done it all again, exactly all again. Dad’s killed another girl.”

Jon Shepherd is a discharged combat soldier and the dad of Emily. He fought in Afghanistan, where he accidentally shot a civilian. Because of the incident, he developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, experiencing terrible flashbacks of the shooting. He was no longer psychologically equipped to serve in the army and was sent home — where he spent most of his time in the seclusion of an old military bunker. The night of Ashlee’s death, he walked out of the woods carrying her dead body. Believing he had killed another civilian while in the grips of a flashback, Jon pleads guilty to manslaughter. Although he says that he doesn’t remember if he saw Ashlee before the night she died, many people in the community think he planned to murder her all along; they think the flashback story is a cover-up.


THE KILLING WOODS is a intense, often psychologically thrilling read that you don’t want to miss. Find out more about the book below, including the book trailer. Then enter the giveaway to win your own signed copy of brand new mystery from Lucy Christopher.

Book Trailer:

The Killing Woods website


Win it!

Want to read THE KILLING WOODS? Check out the details below to win a signed, hardcover copy!

A winner will be chosen using a random number generator on January 29th, 2014. This contest is open to those with US mailing addresses only. The prize will be provided and shipped by Scholastic.

Interview: Natalie D. Richards, author of Six Months Later

Today, author Natalie D. Richards stops by The Hiding Spot to chat about her debut YA thriller, Six Months Later, and reveal some telling details about herself… like her favorite word, which make me wonder if her main character’s confusion stems from some personal experience. 😉 And don’t miss my review of Six Months Later, found here.


The Interview

Did you have trouble writing any of your characters or specific scenes within the novel? Or, were any characters or scenes particularly easy to write?

What a fantastic question!  The characters never give me much trouble because I tend to get to know them as I write them.  During edits, I’ll go back and fix all the things that feel wrong.  As for scenes…there were definitely a couple of scenes in Six Months Later that gave me fits.  It usually happens when it’s a particularly important scene and I don’t feel right until everything’s PERFECT.  There were a couple of scenes in Six Months Later I radically changed or deleted because they were just wrong. And boy howdy do I mean WRONG.  😉

Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?

My title took a drastic change and I really love the new one.  The book was nominated as a finalist in the 2012 RWA Golden Heart Contest as Pandora’s Clock.  But my amazing editor at Sourcebooks said she really felt like Six Months Later was perfect because it sort of sums up the whole book on three words.  I think she was right!  While I loved Pandora’s Clock, I think it indicates paranormal elements that aren’t at play in Six Months Later. 

What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?

This is definitely not a one-author/one-book answer! LOL!  I think there have been dozens of authors that have inspired me and challenged me and, really, changed the way I view books and even reality.  At the very top of that list would be Libba Bray, Barbara Kingsolver, Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, Neil Gaiman, Gayle Forman.  This isn’t a complete list by any stretch of the imagination.

What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?

Well, let’s see, I’ve been an executive assistant, a third-shirt waitress at a pancake joint, a business analyst, a customer service representative, a paralegal, a stay-at-home-mom, a clinical informatics coach for orthopedic surgeons….it’s a long and crazy list!  In particular my analyst and paralegal roles taught me the practice of writing on deadline which is crucial in this industry!

If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?

Discombobulated.  First, because it’s fun to say.  Second, because it’s often my state of mind!

I also like incandescent, mostly because it sounds so pretty.  😉

My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?

I’m right there beside you with the book escapism. If I had to pick my absolute dream escape, it would be a stack of books I’m dying to read next to a rocking chair overlooking the Atlantic.  I’m from Ohio, but I’m pretty sure my heart is always on the Carolina coast. 😉
Find out more about Natalie and her book here! 

Interview with Alison Cherry, author of Red

Today author Alison Cherry visits The Hiding Spot to chat about her recent release, Red. Read on to learn more about Alison,including the character that gave her the most trouble in Red, her favorite (yet unused) word, and her go to movie choice for dire situations.


Did you have trouble writing any of your characters or specific scenes within the novel? Or, were any characters or scenes particularly easy to write? 

My protagonist, Felicity, was actually the most difficult character for me to write. Somehow, I managed to finish an entire (terrible) first draft without ever really getting inside her head and figuring out what she wanted. Needless to say, that made it pretty hard for my early readers to sympathize with her. But once Felicity and I spent some quality time together, I started to understand where she was coming from, and things began to click into place. Disturbingly, I had the easiest time writing Felicity’s mother, Ginger, who is the least sympathetic character in the book. My own mom is basically Ginger’s opposite, so perhaps I was channeling her throughout the process and writing whatever she wouldn’tdo.


Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication? 

This book was originally called Seeing Red, but my agent suggested we retitle it before it went on submission. Neither of us could think of anything good, so we sent it out under a placeholder title: Red. You can see how that worked out…

What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general? 

I must have read Matildaby Roald Dahl fifty times as a kid. It was just the right mix of hilarious, absurd, intriguing, and horrifying. It also confirmed my belief that being a smart girl who loved to read was something to be proud of. Matilda’s brain is a powerful thing, and I wanted mine to be, too!

What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing? 

I spent my first four years out of college working as a lighting designer for theater and dance productions all over the east coast. To pay the bills, I was also a theater electrician (which I was TERRIBLE at, since I’m afraid of heights) and a freelance editor (for which I was much better suited.) Eventually I left the freelance world to take a job as a photographer and archivist for the Metropolitan Opera. The Met was a fabulously bizarre place to work; on a typical day, I might photograph swords in the armory, document some fake severed heads, or film test runs of pyrotechnic effects. Once a ten-foot piece of scenery collapsed under me while I was taking pictures, confirming my belief that heights are terrifying. None of these experiences made it into Red, but I do intend to write a theater book eventually. These days, writing is my only job.

If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why? 

My favorite word is “quiddity,” which means “the inherent nature or essence of a thing.” I have never once found the opportunity to use it, but I love that it’s sitting there waiting for me in case I ever do.

My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality? 

Books have always been my escape, too, and I’m happy to report that writing professionally has done nothing to change that. Reading is the only thing that’s guaranteed to cheer me up or calm me down. There are certain TV shows that do the job almost as well—I will never get tired of watching The West Wing, Freaks and Geeks, Parks and Recreation, or Buffy. When things get really dire, I watch Pixar movies.
Find out more about Alison and her books here!

Giveaway: The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Once again, Anne Ursu, author of the absolutely wonderful Breadcrumbs, enchants readers with the story of Oscar, an often overlooked young orphan and shop boy to a powerful magician. I adore Ursu’s novels; lush and gorgeous writing paired with loveable characters makes Ursu a writer that should be on librarian and parent watch lists. The Real Boy is a must read for middle grade readers and older. 

More about the book:
On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy. The city is called Asteri, a perfect city that was saved by the magic woven into its walls from a devastating plague that swept through the world over a hundred years before. The forest is called the Barrow, a vast wood of ancient trees that encircles the city and feeds the earth with magic. And the boy is called Oscar, a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow. Oscar spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master’s shop, grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar’s world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.

But it’s been a long time since anyone who could call himself a wizard walked the world, and now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the trees will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.


Giveaway: Little Fish: A Different Kind of Memoir by Ramsey Beyer

The fabulous team at Zest Books is offering a great Little Fish prize pack for one lucky winner here at The Hiding Spot! I truly adored Ramsey Beyer’s memoir and will definitely be looking for more from her in the future. I also think that Little Fish is a must-read for girls like me who are heading off to college and away from home for the first time… And, by a girl “like me” I mean girls who might be a big fish in a small pond… girls who grew up in a small town (Midwestern or otherwise) but are venturing out to somewhere bigger, more diverse, and entirely new. In other words, most girls. Maybe even, in one way or another, all girls. 

More about LITTLE FISH

Ramsey Beyer’s debut autobiographical graphic novel, Little Fish: A Memoir from A Different Kind of Year, is the coming-of-age story of a small-town high schooler’s transformation into an independent city-dwelling college freshman. Told through a blend of journal entries and lists plus comic-style artwork and collages, the book touches on challenges every student meets when facing the world for the first time on their own, and the unease – as well as excitement – that comes along with those challenges. Everyone can relate to Ramsey’s journey from childhood to independence – from adjusting to being away from home to navigating new friendships and finding the right path.

 More about Ramsey Beyer

Ramsey Beyer grew up on a farm in Paw Paw, Michigan, before escaping to city life in Baltimore, where she earned a BFA in experimental animation. She currently lives in Philadelphia and Little Fish is her first (traditionally) published book. 


Celebrate the Civil Rights Movement Blog Tour!

August 28 marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Marked as a “watershed moment in the struggle for civil rights,” this speech represents a huge moment in US history. One of my favorite books commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., his speech, and his beliefs is Kadir Nelson’s gorgeously illustrated book I Have a Dream.

Random House has put together a fantastic website with lots of great content and information for those interested in Nelson’s I Have a Dream. One of my favorite parts of the site is the video in which Nelson talks about the story behind the book. This video is great because it not only gives readers a look at Nelson and his thought process as he designed the book, but also shows images from the book and features clips from the “I Have a Dream” speech! You can check out the site here and watch the video of Nelson below!

Nelson’s I Have a Dream is a great book to add to your personal collection, to share with the young readers in your life, and is essential for all classrooms! While I can’t provide every child with a copy of this fantastic tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and his landmark speech, I do have one copy to giveaway to a lucky winner! Enter for your chance to win below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway