Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter + GIVEAWAY

The Dire King (Jackaby #4)

by William Ritter
Release Date: August 22nd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
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Synopsis: The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times best-selling series the Chicago Tribune called “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer” sends the eccentric detective and his indispensible assistant into the heart of a war between magical worlds. 

 The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The epic conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Jackaby series features sly humor and a quirky cast of unforgettable characters as they face off against their most dangerous, bone-chilling foe ever.

About the Jackaby series

"A little Dr. Who, a little Harry Potter, and a lot of Sherlock, New York Times bestselling author Will Ritter’s Jackaby series has thrilled YA readers with magic, mystery and adventure since the first book introduced us to a supernatural sleuth and his trusty assistant. In The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel (on sale August 22), Ritter sends the series out with a bang, with even more mystery, romance, and the most epic battle yet. We hope you’ll strongly consider prominent coverage for The Dire King--and all the Jackaby books—as we say goodbye to our crime-solving friends in New Fiddleham.

“A humorous, energetic, action-packed, and magical conclusion.”
 —Kirkus Reviews, starred review Ritter’s debut novel

Jackaby (a New York Times bestseller and 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner) introduced readers to R.F. Jackaby, a quirky detective with a knack for the supernatural; Abigail Rook, his skeptical and observant assistant; Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly landlady of 926 Augur Lane; and Charlie Cane, a shape-shifting police officer. Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes followed the crime-solving team from their home in New Fiddleham to the depths of the underworld as they uncovered more clues about the evil forces behind Jenny’s murder.

 Hi William!! We’re so excited about THE DIRE KING and for the chance to ask you some questions! Welcome to the FFBC!


1. Favorite Book?

Impossible to pick. Probably something by Terry Pratchett.

2. Favorite TV show?

All time? Firefly.Current? Doctor Who.

3. Favorite movie?

The Princess Bride.

4. Favorite Song?

Currently? “The Schuyler Sisters” from Hamilton.

5. Favorite Food?


6.  Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

The Air Nation, Howl’s Moving Castle, The USS Enterprise NCC1701-D

7. What were your favorite books growing up?

Harold and the Purple Crayon, Dealing With Dragons

8. Favorite Quote?

“I’m not making it up, I’m making it good.” —The Tick.

9. What are your fandoms?

Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Supernatural

10. Name a recent book that you read that you would recommend to our book lovers.

“The Girl Who Drank The Moon” by Kelly Barnhill


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about The Jackaby series?

Jackaby is a turn-of-the-century story about a young woman finding her confidence & purpose as she assists a mad detective who specializes in supernatural cases. Also there’s a duck.

 Tell us your favorite quote from THE DIRE KING.

I have never found a book that did not have at least a little magic in it/

What is your favorite magical creature that you have included in the book?

I love including creatures from stories all over the world in my books, and The Dire King has the widest assortment yet. Favorite creatures this time? Probably the goblins.

What Hogwarts House would you sort your main characters into?

Jackaby is a Ravenclaw, absolutely.
Jenny is Griffindor, leaning Hufflepuff.
Charlie is strongly and unfalteringly Hufflepuff.
Abigail is honestly probably a Slytherin, leaning Gryffindor.

Who is your favorite detective from pop culture?

Sherlock is high up there, but Dirk Gently has been my favorite most recently.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? Or which scene was the most difficult to get through?

Without spoiling anything, there is a sequence in which Abigail and Charlie must face off against a B-movie monster on their own. It wasn’t in the outline that I had gotten approved by my editor, but I was in a slump and just really wanted to write a classic Hollywood style monster scene that day. We kept it. I still love it.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE DIRE KING – Which one would you pick?

Don’t Fear the Reaper.

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE DIRE KING (specific music, snacks...)?

A bracing cup of tea. And tea cookies. And maybe tea cakes, too. Is tea pie a thing? It should be. Tea pie.

What’s next for you?

I am working on a project very dear to me about totally new characters in a totally new city, although the story set in the same universe as Jackaby. It’s about what really makes people a family, and about finding out who you are on the inside. Also about goblins.

Thank you so much for everything, William!

Thank you for reading!

WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.

  • 3 copies of Jackaby (#1) by William Ritter
  • US Only
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Top Ten Tuesday-- Back to School

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (August 22nd) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books For A Dangers Of Social Media Class

  • Now that my child is DANGEROUSLY close to becoming a tween, I've been thinking a lot about all the internet crap that is about to land in his lap.  He already is obsessed with certain YouTubers and wants to be just like them.  He's already bugging me for a phone.  UGHH.  So, in honor of all my parental fears-- here are some books that I think should be read in a class for teens about what's OUT THERE waiting for them in the social media world:

1.  Follow Me Back (#1) by A.V. Geiger
  • Lesson-- Oh man, SO MANY.  This one might just be an overview of how social media can play a role in something dark.

2.  Antisocial by Jillian Blake
  • Lesson-- Our digital footprint these days is OUT OF CONTROL and SCARY.

3.  Identity Crisis by Melissa Schorr
  • Lesson-- You don't know who the people you're talking to REALLY are-- or what their motives for friending you are.
4.  Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
  • Lesson-- Don't send pictures to ANYONE that you wouldn't want EVERYONE to see.  He might be your boyfriend now, but what happens if you break up under nasty circumstances??
5.  Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
  • Lesson-- When you say something mean on the internet, you don't know what the person you are saying it to is going through-- and you don't know their mental state or if what you said is their breaking point.

6.  Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
  • Lesson-- It's not a bad thing to keep personal info off of social media.
7.  The Future Of Us by Jay Asher
  • Lesson-- What you put on social media can change your life.
8.  Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton
  • Lesson-- Even if something seems innocent, things sent over social media can be construed to look bad.  Be careful what you send.
9.  Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman
  • Lesson-- OMG, you NEVER KNOW who is on the other end of your communications unless you actually know them IRL.  Trust NO ONE!!
10.  #Scandal by Sarah Ockler
  • Lesson-- Dealing with internet scandals.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas-- I Want More Red Woman TBH

Little Monsters

Kacey moved to Broken Falls to live with a father and step-family she's never known.  She's made a few friends-- Jade & Bailey, and she's grown close to her step-siblings.

When Kacey's friends start freezing her out, she's not sure how to handle it.  And when they don't invite her to a party, she figures they must be mad about something.  But Bailey goes missing from that party-- and even though Kacey wasn't there, people in town want to blame the new girl.

So many lies and secrets will be looked into in order to find Bailey-- and some of them make Kacey question if her place in Broken Falls was ever what it seemed to be.

YA Mystery is kind of my thing.  I love them, and I'm always on the hunt for the GOOD ONES.  Little Monsters wasn't perfect, but I would say it's definitely worth reading.  It was page-turning, kept me guessing, and had that extra little bit of town lore that took the what-ifs to a greater level.

What I really liked: The family situation.  Kacey becomes part of this family that she's never known, and they take her in like she's always been there.  I really appreciated that the stepmother and step-siblings weren't the stereotypical cold-hearted meanies.

I also really liked the Red Woman story.  I love a good Urban Legend, and the fact that something supernatural could have been going on added to the thrill of the mystery.

The part that saved the book: Bailey ends up narrating a few chapters and WOW.  I loved seeing her secret side of the story, and her personality was so much more interesting than Kacey's.

What I wasn't a fan of: Kacey.  She was okay-- but she was boooooring.  I felt bad for her being suspected of something she clearly didn't do, and because she had a tough life-- but I didn't think her personality really showed through on the page.

The ending: No, I'm not going to tell you anything spoilery.  I just want to say I thought that it was a little bit disconnected.  It was obviously meant to shock (which I appreciate), but it didn't quite lead from A to B, if that makes sense.  I ended up with a lot of questions and more than a few doubts of plausibility.

OVERALL: I say give this one a shot.  It's an interesting mystery with URBAN LEGENDS and MEAN GIRLS.  Although I didn't love everything about this book (mainly the main character's lackluster personality), I did love the twists and turns this book took.  Also, BONUS POINTS for no romance!!

Date Published: 7/25/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to Penguin Random House and ALA for providing me a copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 4/5

Character: Kacey
Book: The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks

  • Friend problems don't turn out too well for Kacey.  Maybe it would help to read about other friends w/ issues.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday-- Books For Your Inner BSC Character

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (August 15th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten YA Books For The BSC Character With-In

  • I love 80's-90's nostalgia, so today I decided to rec YA books for all the BSC characters.  Whether you're a Kristy or a Jessi-- there's a book for you:
  • Don't know which Babysitter you are??  Take THIS QUIZ & find out!!

1.  Kristy Thomas
  • Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill- Type "A", bossy, Julia definitely reminded me of Kristy-- the only thing she was missing was the sporty gene.

2.  Claudia Kishi
  • This is Our Story by Ashley Elston- Claudia LOVES a good mystery-- Kate is DEFINITELY channeling Nancy Drew... and there is a fashion element in this book.

3.  Mary Anne Spier
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum- I see a lot of Mary Anne in Jessie.  Loss of their mothers, dealing with remarriage and step-siblings, don't like being center of attention.

4.  Stacey McGill
  • It's Not Me, It's You by Stephanie Strohm- Avery is totally a Stacey.  She's popular, boy-crazy, flirty, has to deal with mean girls, fashionable.

5.  Dawn Schafer
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli- Are you a Dawn??  If so, you'll love Stargirl and her free-spirit, love for the environment, DGAF way of life.

6.  Mallory Pike
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- I can't imagine an aspiring writer NOT loving Cath and her mega popular Fanfiction.

7.  Jessi Ramsey
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipota & Dhonielle Clayton- Jessi, the ballerina, would love to read about the dark side of the ballet world.

8.  Abby Stevenson
  • Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally- Athletic Abby would totally love the Hundred Oaks series-- especially this one about a soccer star.

9.  Logan Bruno
  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan- Logan totally reminds me of Dash.  He goes along with Lily's game and takes an interest in the things she likes.  He's a dick sometimes, but he's also sweet when it counts.

10.  Shannon Kilbourne
  • Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty- Jessica Darling is totally a Shannon.  Overachiever, princess who doesn't think she is, frenemy, should DEFINITELY get a dog named after her.

So-- which BSC character are you??

What books are you recommending this week?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

16 Ways to Break a Heart by Lauren Strasnick-- Not a Romance Book. A DARK Romance Book.

16 Ways to Break a Heart

When Natalie and Dan met it was electric.  An instant connection.  He admired her success and talent as an artist, and she liked his good-guy appeal and attentiveness.  It was so good-- until it wasn't anymore.

Now, Natalie is sending Ben 16 letters to tell him her version of love-gone-wrong.  He doesn't exactly see things the same way, but Natalie is determined to have the last word.

In case you didn't know, I'm a HUGE Lauren Strasnick fan.  I love that her characters are never perfect.  I love that her chapters are short and meaningful.  I love that everything that happens in her book means something to the plot.  She's so good at staying focused and not wasting words.

16 Ways to Break a Heart was a dark romance book.  Natalie writes Dan notes recapping their relationship and how it went from good to house-burning-down.  Dan and Natalie were cute at first, but there was SOMETHING about Natalie right from the beginning that had me feeling WAYS.  I was definitely wishing I could jump in the book and warn him away from her.

Don't get it twisted: this book is about a toxic relationship.  Even the good parts were tinged with something off.  I think the cover and synopsis kind of make this look/sound a little cutesy, and it is NOT that.  It is 2 people who kind of bring out the worst in each other.  And Natalie is a bit of a stalker.

I personally liked that all the characters were flawed.  Initially I was rooting for Dan.  He's not an angel, but at least he was upfront about the fact that he was a liar, a coward, and a maybe-cheat.  I can accept flaws better when someone cops to them.  But once he started resenting Natalie for her successes, I knew me and Dan wouldn't be besties any time soon.  Also, he needs some work on how to treat women.

I found it interesting that this book took a realistic look at a young relationship.  There isn't a right person and a wrong person, which I think is what happens in many relationships that go bad.  We end up hurting each other and get to a point where we can't seem to stop.

I think reading this book in combination with Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios would be a good recommendation for any teen getting into the dating pool.  Both show some harsh realities.

OVERALL: I loved this dark romance.  It's a quick read that shows how relationships can go from good to bad really fast.  Throw in jealousy, possessiveness, resentment, immaturity, and need for retaliation and it's a relationship ripe for implosion.

Date Published: 7/25/2017
How I got this book: Thanks to HarperTeen and ALA for providing me this copy to read and honestly review
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5

Character: Natalie Fierro
Book: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

  • I definitely see some similarities between Addison and Natalie-- in personalities and in the way they are in relationships.