Friday, May 24, 2013

Interview & Giveaway: The Repeat Year by Andrea Lochen

Title: The Repeat Year
Author: Andrea Lochen
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-425-26313-6
Page Count: 400
Everyone has days, weeks, even months they wish they could do over—but what about an entire year? After living through the worst twelve months of her life, intensive care nurse Olive Watson is given a second chance to relive her past and attempt to discover where she went wrong…
After a year of hardships, including a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend Phil, the prospect of her mother’s remarriage, and heartbreaking patient losses at the hospital, Olive is ready to start fresh. But when she wakes up in her ex-boyfriend’s bed on New Year’s Day 2011a day she has already livedOlive’s world is turned upside down. 
Shouldering a year of memories that no one else can recall, even Olive begins to question herself—until she discovers that she is not alone. Upon crossing paths with Sherry Witan, an experienced “repeater,” Olive learns that she has the chance to rewrite her future. Given the opportunity of a lifetime, Olive has to decide what she really wants. Should she make different choices, or accept her life as she knows it, flaws and all?


Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview :)  
How did the idea for The Repeat Year come about?
The idea came to me when I was thinking about how vinyl records have an A side (usually the hits) and a B side (the lesser known songs, or the “duds”). I wondered what it would be like to have two sides of the same year, an A year and a B year. This possibility of an alternate year intrigued me, and I thought about it for a long time before I found the right character for the premise. I wanted an everyday heroine, someone readers could relate to, who had made numerous mistakes in her year, but was brave enough to try to make things right the second time around. And so Olive Watson, the protagonist in The Repeat Year, came to be!
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
There are definitely qualities of people I know (including myself) in all of my characters. (Truthfully, there’s probably a little piece of me in every character I write.) But it’s not a perfect one to one ratio, where someone could say, “Oh, clearly that character is based on So-and-So.” The traits get redistributed and blended with behaviors and quirks I’ve also invented.
What is your writing process? (Do you write outlines? Do you know how a story is going to end when you start it? Is it harder to write with someone or alone?)
My writing process has changed somewhat from my first book to my second one. Writing The Repeat Year, I just dove in with only the premise and a hazy idea of what would happen. (Although I always knew how the novel would end.) With my second novel in progress, I’ve done a lot more planning. Though I didn’t have an organized outline before I started the draft, I definitely had a jumbled-up file of character notes and events that would happen over the course of the novel. In general, I think my process is half premeditated (me telling the characters what to do) and half organic (the characters telling me what they want to do)!
What is your favorite genre to read?
It’s hard for me to pick just one because I’m a true omnivore when it comes to reading. I love women’s fiction, literary fiction, the classics, short stories, young adult fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, thrillers, sci-fi, and almost everything in between!
What are you reading right now?
Erika Robuck’s novel, Hemingway’s Girl, which I’m enjoying quite a bit!
What can we be excited about that is coming from you in the future?
I’m working on my second novel which is about a single mother who discovers she can see her young son’s imagination. It’s been so much fun to write!
Wow, that sound amazing I hope it goes very well. Thanks so much again for stopping by today.
About Andrea
Andrea Lochen

Andrea Lochen earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. While there, she won a Hopwood Novel Award for a draft of THE REPEAT YEAR. She currently lives in suburban Milwaukee with her husband and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.



The Repeat Year
1 copy of The Repeat Year
Sorry y’all this is for US residents only.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Liberator by Victoria Scott

The Liberator (Dante Walker, #2)

The Liberator
Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker #2
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Expected release: August 27th 2013

Bad boy, meet bad girl.

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Excerpt from THE LIBERTOR
By Victoria Scott

When I open my eyes, the sun is trying to murder me. It’s shining on my face and making my head pound. Or maybe it’s my hangover that’s giving me the headache, but nonetheless—me and the sun?—we’re not on friendly terms.

Charlie murmurs beside me. My arms are still wrapped around her waist, and I suddenly realize I must have crashed out in her bed last night. If Grams wakes up and finds me here, she’ll run me a bath…and toss in the toaster.

“Morning, babe,” I whisper.

“Morning, hot stuff,” a distinctly male voice responds.

I whip around, my heart racing, and find Max sitting in a chair across the room. “You look so hot when you first wake up,” he says. He raises a hand to his hair. “Got that whole sexy bed head thing going on.”

Charlie doesn’t even move from her place, but I feel her laughing against me. “Your friend is kind of creepy, Dante,” she manages.

“Max, what the hell are you doing in here?” I ask, pulling the covers farther up even though I’m (regretfully) fully-clothed.

“Real question is, why did I wait so long to join you guys?” Max stands from his chair and cocks his head. A mischievous smile crawls across his face.

“No,” I say, trying to appear serious. “Don’t even think about it, dude.”

Max starts running in place, his smile widening farther until he looks deranged. “Ready or not!” Before I can stop him, Max races toward the bed and dives on top of us. “Oh! Oh it feels even better than I imagined.” He rolls back and forth across our bodies as Charlie laughs and I wonder why I’m friends with such a raging idiot.

With all my strength, I grab Max’s shirt and rotate him toward the edge. He falls off the side, his arms pin-wheeling. There’s a loud thud, and then nothing.

I wait for several seconds before leaning over to search for him. Max is lying face down on the floor, his arms and legs curled like a dead spider. “You’re not really hurt,” I say.

“I think you gave me spinal bifida. You need to call someone.”

“That’s a genetic disorder,” I respond with a sigh, collapsing back onto my pillow. A second later, he raises his head very, very slowly up from the side of the bed. It’s one of the more unsettling things he’s ever done. “Max, is there a purpose to this visit?” I ask. I want so badly to act like he’s annoying me. But he knows, and I know, that we both love this game: the one where I pretend he’s a pain in my ass, and he acts like a damn circus clown.

He stands up, crosses the room, and plops back down in the chair. “Valery sent me.”

I throw an arm across my eyes. “Of course she did.” Beside me, Charlie moves to get up and I immediately reach for her. She squeals and wiggles out of my grasp.

I watch as she walks around the bed and ruffles Max’s hair. The twenty-eight year old pants like a dog. It’s a bit disturbing considering Charlie’s seventeen. She eyes me with a grin. “I’ll make waffles.”

My face lights up.

“Yes,” she continues. “And bacon.”

I glance at Max and nod toward Charlie. “That’s my girl.”

“Damn straight,” he says.

“I’m still making breakfast for your birthday,” I call after Charlie. Then, looking at Max, I add, “My girl’s going to be legal soon.”

Max says, “Boom.”

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance at
The Collector (Dante Walker, #1)
First book in the Dante Walker Series.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: Latter-Day of the Dead by Kevin Krohn

Latter-Day of the Dead
Latter Day of the Dead
Kevin Krohn
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: SpiralBound Publishing; 1ST edition (2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0578100193
ISBN-13: 978-0578100197
Source: won/own
Goodreads | Amazon

Harrowing cries escaped the contorted faces of our flock. End of Days was a known truth but never a faced reality. Once the madness broke...we feared it would never subside. [Goodreads]


I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile.  I think I won it sometime in 2012.  Maybe.  Could have been 2011.  At this point, I’m not sure.  Regardless, I picked it up the other day and decided I needed to read it.  Each time I’ve seen the cover or spine on my bookshelf I would think to myself, “that’s a crazy cover, I need to read that book.” 

What I ended up reading is an intriguing book, with some frustrations thrown in.  In all the zombie books I’ve read, I' have not read one that was set on the compound of a sect of the Latter-Day Saints.  That created such an interesting environment for the plot to unfold in. 

Some of the frustrations lied with the main character.  The Prophet (the spiritual leader/decision maker) decided that Elias would leave the compound and study to be a doctor.  So, he’s pretty much the only one of the members that has been outside the compound…ever.  Which means that he would have been exposed to popular culture, myths, legends, etc.  Which means that Elias should have heard of zombies.  And the fact that he couldn’t figure out what was going on was beyond…irritating. 

He also had this habit of saying, “If I had to describe [subject here] in two words, I would probably use [adjective] and [adjective].”  Way too often.  It was too the point that when Krohn used it a funny way, I just rolled my eyes.

And there’s the sexual attraction between Elias and Keturah Dawn.  I’m hoping that the Prophet dies and Keturah and Elias end up together.  I really want to see what happens here.

I want the Prophet to die.  A slow, horrible, painful, miserable, torturous death.  Krohn did an amazing job at effortlessly writing the villain here.  I really do hate him.  Kevin, do you think you can arrange that epic death scene?

There is a lot of character introduction throughout the first 3/4 of the book.  A lot of plot development.  Most of the action really takes place during the last 1/4 of the book.  And it moves like at a break-neck pace.  And is awesome.  And when things really get going, Krohn just stops writing, leaving us all hanging.  Majorly.  And now we have to wait until book two releases.  And according to Krohn’s Twitter account, there is a book two coming “soon.”  Um, I’m gonna need that faster than “soon.”  [Hint.  Hint.]

Will I read the sequel, yeah.  I gotta know what happens.

This is between and 3 and a 4, but closer to a 4.

Get to reading,

Monday, May 20, 2013

TV Show Review: Game of Thrones

Let me go ahead and say I am not going into any detail in this quickie review. I don’t want to give anything away incase you plan on starting it soon.

Image from

I had seen so many reviews about the Song of Fire and Ice series that the Game of Thrones HBO series is based off of. And though most of the reviews I read for the book’s where very positive I never picked the series up for some reason, then HBO created the series, again I heard great things but didn’t really think it was for me.

Last month my sister who loves the show looks at me and says.
“Sissy! You have to watch this show Game of Thrones!”
Me: “I don’t really think it’s for me.”
“You don’t understand… Sissy, there are dragons!”

Yeah, my sister Sarah is a total dragon geek. LOL
But, I have to say that day she talked me into trying out Game of Thrones. Y’all I got totally hooked and it only took me like a week to get caught up. Ok, so I may have stayed up super late watching show after show marathon style. I honestly could not help it, I got so invested in these characters that I had to know what would happen next because this is not one of those shows where your favorite character will always come out on top. No one is safe in Game of Thrones anyone can die at any time.

Image from TG Daily

Let me warn you as my sister did for me this show is not for the faint of heart. First, the violence is gory, graphic, and in abundance. If you have a weak stomach when it comes to blood you may have to turn you head from time to time. Second, there is nudity and sex… Lots of it. But, if you can get past those things I think you would become as hooked as me. The characters are those that you become truly involved in. I love a few characters so much that I know I would cry if they end up dead and there are those that I hate so much I would love to see them die.  All of this is twisted into an amazing plotline that has me guessing what will happen at every turn.

If you enjoy books of this nature (fantasy with an amazing plotline, think R rated Girl of Fire and Thorns) then I think you could enjoy this show as much as I do.

Have you started this series?
Happy viewing,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Children’s Review: Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi, John Manders (Ill)

I know this is Riah’s day to do reviews but I just wanted to say a few words about this cute book. I have already read Where’s My Mummy five times to my three little ones and my middle little girl is reading it herself this morning. Once this one goes back to the library I am positive I will be ordering a copy for us have very soon after. 

Where's My Mummy?

Where’s My Mummy
Carolyn Crimi
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Candlewick 
ISBN-10: 0763643378
ISBN-13: 978-0763643379
Goodreads   Amazon
Source: Library

This gently spooky read-aloud treat is also a satisfying bedtime book — sure to delight the youngest reader on many a deep, dark night.

Little Baby Mummy wants just one more game of hide-and-shriek with Big Mama Mummy before bedtime. The night is deep and dark, full of friendly creatures that click their clacky teeth and whoosh past on flippy-floppy wings. But who will comfort Little Baby Mummy if a small, scritchy-scratchy someone gives him a scare? Big Mama Mummy, of course! Fresh, comical illustrations complement this ever-so-slightly suspenseful story with a satisfying ending.

What I thought about it

Where’s My Mummy is about Little Baby Mummy trying to find his Mama Mummy during a game of hide and shriek. While he is trying to find Mama Mummy he meets all kinds of monsters that tell him to go to bed because there are scary things out and about. It was cool to see every few pages what monster he would meet next while looking for his Mama Mummy.

Why I picked this book…

Actually my little sister picked it and I’m glad she did. Everyone loves it. I love it. So I hope you love it to.


What I liked about this story…

I liked the illustrations. They where fun and colorful. I enjoyed all the different monsters in Where’s My Mummy, but my favorite monster is Mama Mummy. She is my favorite monster because she is a good Mama Mummy. I also liked how it could get spooky but you don’t get scared. Boo! Got you! Smile

Would I recommend other kids read this book?

Yes, to all kids. Where’s My Mummy is great for everyone.

Have fun reading,
5 Moons: We all keep reading it!
Come back next Sunday for more kids reviews from an eight year old.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #25

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is a post for bloggers to share what books they've received to review, bought, won, borrowed or were gifted.

Books I got this week

 For Review

Blood and Sand (Elemental World, #2)
I have never been disappointed by anything I have read from Elizabeth Hunter. If you have not started her Elemental World Series you need to start NOW! I am so excited about starting Blood and Sand.

I Purchased

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13) 
I have been reading this series for years through all its ups and downs. Now it is the end, I know a lot of people out there are not happy about the end of this series, but I’m cool with it… I was never a huge Eric fan.

I hope you have all had a great reading week,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Throwback Thursday: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

I don’t know if any other book bloggers do Throwback Thursday, so if you have seen others do this let me know. I am big on rereading books I have loved so I think I will start featuring some old favorites!

My pick this week:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

The Bad Beginning
Series: A series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN-10: 0062206044
ISBN-13: 978-0062206046
Goodreads   Amazon

Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Why I picked The Bad Beginning

This week’s Throwback Thursday recommendation actually comes from my younger sister, Sarah. We were in a library together recently and saw this series on the shelf and she got all excited asking me if I had started reading this series to my girls. When I told Sarah I just started reading the first book with my girls, and that they where enjoying it she was very happy. I can still remember Sarah collecting this series years ago and going through them like they were her favorite candy. Anyone can enjoy these books whether it is the first time through or reading it again.

Have you read this series, or always wanted to?
Happy reading,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner

I am very excited to have this excerpt from the [released this week] A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner.  I have this on my queue, with the review coming very soon!  For now, check out the except below, enter the giveaway below [courtesy of FSB Associates], or go ahead and buy the book!

A Case of Redemption

“Where should I start?"

This is what my clients would say, back when I had clients. And they'd say it with the utmost sincerity, as if they truly didn't know how to explain the circumstances that gave rise to their seeking out a criminal defense lawyer who charged a thousand bucks an hour.

It wasn't that they didn't know when the facts concerning the crime began, but they wanted to emphasize that there was a context, a preface to all that followed. By telling me they didn't know where to start, they were indicating that something came before they crossed the line into criminal conduct, and that was important, too.

So, where should I start?

Everything in my life -- the one I have now -- starts at the same point. Nearly two years ago, my wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. I've learned it's best to just come out with it like that. No amount of prefacing prepares people for the shock, and so I say it straightaway. I also tell them that the other driver was drunk, because if I don't, they invariably ask how it happened. And to cut off the next question, I volunteer that he also died at the scene. I keep to myself that the driver's death is but small solace, because it was instantaneous, which means that the son of a bitch didn't suffer.

Shortly after, I calculated how many minutes I'd been alive up to the exact moment of the accident. I used the calculator on my phone to go from the 1,440 minutes in a day to 43,200 in a thirty-day month, and then to the 525,600 in a non-leap year. My forty-one years, three months, four days, six hours, and twenty-nine minutes meant that I'd been alive for 21,699,749 minutes at the time of the accident, and up until that point nearly everything in my life had gone exactly according to plan. I'd gotten good grades, which led to acceptance at an Ivy League college, then a top-ten law school, a coveted judicial clerkship, employment at a top-tier law firm, and then the Holy Grail of partnership. My wife was beautiful and whip smart, and my daughter was, in a word, perfect.

And then, in the 21,699,749th minute, my life was shattered. Broken so utterly that it was impossible to know what it had even looked like intact.

That is the context, although obviously not all of it. Suffice it to say, when I met Legally Dead, the up-and-coming hip-hop artist accused of murdering his pop-star girlfriend, I was legally dead, too, and looking for someone or something to put life back into me.

The above is an excerpt from the book A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2013 Adam Mitzner, author of A Case of Redemption

OH. MY. GRAVY.  Doesn’t this sound amazing!?!?  I’m so excited and can’t wait to get to reading this book!  This genre is like my bread-and-better and I’m excited that this will be my next read!  What do you think?  Are you adding this to your TBR?  You know you want to.  Go on, do it!  I’ll make it easy for you: here’s the link to it on GoodreadsReally want to read it?  Here’s the link to buy it on Amazon.


Author Bio

Adam Mitzner
Adam Mitzner, author of A Case of Redemption, a lawyer by day, is also the author of A Conflict of Interest, one of Suspense Magazine's Best Books of 2011. He lives in New York City.

For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook.


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review: Towering by Alex Flinn


Alex Flinn
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 14, 2013
ISBN-10: 0062024175
ISBN-13: 978-0062024176
Source: From publisher through edelweiss
Goodreads   Amazon

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!


I have said this so many times and I will say it again… I LOVE fairy tales and fairy tale retellings! I was so excited when I first found out about Alex Flinn doing a retelling of Rapunzel as I am a big fan of her work.

As much as I wanted to love this it just didn’t quite work for me. To start with I need to warn you that the first half does go slow but it picks up around half way through. Also anyone who is tired of YA insta-love, you may want to skip this one… I went into Towering super excited and knowing that this is a fairy tale retelling so yeah, I knew there where going to be aspects of the story that were a bit out there, but too many things just didn’t add up for me.

I think the thing that continued to clash for me was the setting and the storyline just never truly meshed. Towering is set in present day and I felt like the story that Flinn wrote would have been so much better grasped had it been set in a more fantasy setting. Again I know this is set up as a fairy tale but it was so hard to comprehend that there is a tower (a really tall building) out in the woods that houses a beautiful 17 year old girl that has never been discovered.

Even though the story overall did not work for me I did like the characters in Towering. I thought Rachel was endearing with her complete naivety of the modern world due to her sheltered life living in the tower. Wyatt, who is an all around sweet boy is a charmer in his own right, he is one of those guys you would just want to give a hug too.

Honestly if it wasn't for Towering being such a fantastical story that it just didn’t fit into its setting I think I could have enjoyed it much more but it is what it is. I will continue to read Alex Flinn’s work but I will not be climbing back into Towering any time soon.

Happy reading,

2.5 Moons: I think there are people out there that could enjoy this, but it wasn’t for me.

Recommended For
Teen: This is one for those who love YA in the out there insta-love form.     

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blogiversary Giveaway!!!

I am back after a short break to get caught up, guess what happened while I was out… I turned 2!!!

Y’all I have been blogging for two years! It has been a crazy fun ride and I continue to learn what I am doing daily.

I started out as this:
book2 2 2

And turned into this:

In this year Bending the Spine has acquired two new reviewers:
Richie, who reviews all genres, and has completely different book taste from me.
Riah, who reviews children’s books on Sundays, with a great 8 year old perspective.  

I hope to maybe do a few cosmetic changes this coming blogging year. I also hope to have more reviews and less fluffSmile I am also on the lookout for a new reviewer.

I am so thankful to all of you who have followed and supported me over the past year! I have met so many awesome bloggers, and authors that I would never have had the chance to communicate with were it not for starting Bending The Spine. So as a thank you I want to do a giveaway…

BDay Cele

First Place
Winner will choose any book or books up to $25 from bookdepository.
(If they ship to you you’re in!)
Second Place
Winner will choose a book up to $15 from bookdepository.
(If they ship to you you’re in!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I want to go ahead and thank everyone who enters!
Good luck,