Friday, October 31, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 22 - Damage Done

For the final day of October, Halloween, I have a special treat for you all!  That would be an interview with a debut author whose cover reveal was just two days ago!  Please welcome Amanda Panitch to the blog!

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  This is your debut novel so hopefully this questions isn’t too tiring yet, can you sum up your book in up to 10 words?
Amanda Panitch:  Julia tries, but can't escape the repercussions of her brother's murders.

PLTF:  Sometimes the most frightening of all things is human nature itself, why did you decide to go contemporary when you very well could have gone paranormal?
AP:  I love fantasy and the paranormal, but in this book I wanted to explore evil and love in a real-world setting. I'd classify Damage Done as a psychological thriller rather than horror, but I still think it's pretty scary that the things that happen in the book could actually happen in real life.

PLTF:  What do you think causes people, like Julia’s brother, to do horrible things?
AP:  That's a question that's very much explored in the book! Sometimes it can be something that's innate, sometimes circumstances collide and push someone into doing something evil. Sometimes doing nothing can be the most horrible thing.

PLTF:  How do you write a convincing story when you have a narrator who may not be able to believe what it is they’re seeing?
AP:  When Julia starts to see faces from her past, she thinks she's going crazy. She's not sure whether or not these people are actually there, and it's that which spurs her to investigate. The book is told closely from her point of view, so she's shaping everything she sees - I hope I succeeded in making the story convincing.

PLTF:  What’s next?
AP:  Damage Done was part of a two-book deal, so next up is a second YA stand-alone psychological thriller, this one set in an amusement park. It's a much more personal book than Damage Done, since I spent two summers as a teenager working at Six Flags Great Adventure and met my first love there (though I was fortunate in that nobody went missing from the park that summer, which does happen in the book!).  

Lightning round

1.    On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?
You'll have to tell me! 

2.   If you were a character in your book would you survive?
To be honest, probably not. I like to think I'd save the day, but I'd probably just freeze up and cry.

3.    Favorite scary movie?
I don't like scary movies. 

4.     Favorite Halloween candy?
I always liked Nerds. And Airheads. If it's true that you are what you eat, hopefully I managed to use each one to cancel the other out.

5.     What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year?
I have this pair of silver hanging skeleton earrings I love that I can really only wear on Halloween, so I look forward to it every year!

This or That

1.     Keep secrets or tell everything?
Keep secrets. 

2.     Stay where it happened or move?
Depending on the event, I'd probably want to pull a Julia and move.

3.     Experience it firsthand or deal with the aftermath?
Depends on what happened. Poor Julia had to do both.

4.     Search for the truth or leave it be?
The truth, always.

5.     Tricks or treats?

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and a memory of those twenty-two minutes that refuses to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school. And someone much more dangerous. She thought her brother’s crimes were behind her. But now she’s being forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. How far will Julia go to keep her slate clean?

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .

OUT JULY 21, 2015

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Amanda Panitch grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. Amanda now resides in New York City where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books.
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 22 - The Rules + Giveaway

The day before the last day of October I have for you two New York Times bestselling authors!  They're both veteran horror authors and this isn't the first time they've worked together.  Who are they?  Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie!

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  Basics first, can each of you sum up The Rules in only 10 words?

Debbie Viguie:  Edge of your seat scare fest that leaves you guessing.
Nancy Holder:    If you scream, the killer will know where you are.

PLTF:  The title of the book, The Rules, obviously corresponds to a large aspect of the plot.  What are your rules?

DV:  Mine personally: Never turn your back on danger. Know when to fight and when to run. Warn your friends when they can’t see the danger but you can.
NH:            - If someone scares you, don’t be polite. Move the                       hell away.
   - If you can’t get away, scream “Fire!” like crazy and kick their ass!
   - Never piss off Debbie Viguié.
PLTF:   Did you do any kind of research to get the killings or the killer to seem real?  And if so what were some of the things you searched for?

DV:  We’ve both racked up a pretty high body count in the books we write together and the ones we write apart. At different points in the past I’ve done research for other books, but not for this one specifically.
NH:    OMG, how many times did I watch the most perfect YA teen thriller ever? The narrative pace of Scream is in my marrow. I love you, Kevin Williamson. I also did a ton of research on Northern California and canneries. Debbie and I are both from the Bay Area so that helped a lot!

PLTF:   How did you decide who needed to die to keep the story going?  Were there any characters you ended up wishing you didn’t have to kill off?
DV:  In every great scary story of this type you need to kill off characters, particularly ones whose deaths will traumatize the protagonist, the reader, or both. There were some characters I felt bad for when we killed them off, but none that I’d go back and save if I had the chance.
NH:    DIE, SUCKAS! I feel bad every time I kill a character…but it has never stopped me.

PLTF:  What’s next?

DV:  Tons of things! Later next summer I have the first book in my Robin Hood Demon’s Bane trilogy coming out. I’m co-writing that series with James R. Tuck. I am in the middle of writing a teen thriller called Never Have I Ever. I’m putting the finishing touches on five books for three of my other continuing series. NH:   and I are also working on another project together, but we can’t say anything about that just yet!
NH:    I’m working on novels based on the TV show Beauty and the Beast. The first one, titled Vendetta, will be out in November. Also in November is a new anthology of pastiches and homages to Sherlock Holmes, called In the Company of Sherlock Holmes. I have a Lovecraft story narrated by my soulmate, Edgar Allan Poe, in Out of Tune and a reprint in Halloween Tales,  a charity anthology out from the Los Angeles chapter of the Horror Writers Association (my home chapter. SHOUTOUT.) Also a bunch of short fiction coming out from IDW. I’m also an editor and comic book writer for Moonstone Books, and we have some truly exciting projects coming in 2015.

Lightning round
1.     On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?

DV:  9
NH:    11, baby!

2.     If you were a character in your own book would you survive?

DV:  Totally!
NH:    Dude, I’d be the killer.

3.     Favorite scary movie?

DV:  Scream
NH:    Scream! A couple of years ago on Halloween I was driving up my street and a person in a Scream costume was standing in my driveway, in full Ghostface pose, and wouldn’t move. IT WAS AWESOME.

4.     Favorite Halloween candy?

DV:  Candy Corn!
NH:    Heath bars!

5.     What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year?

DV:  Last year Tonto. This year Anna from Frozen.
NH:    once a zombie, always a zombie.

This or that

1.     Saw or I Know What You Did Next Summer?

DV:  I Know What You Did

2.     Serial killer or paranormal entity?

DV:  paranormal entity
NH:    Serial killer who is best friends with a paranormal entity

3.     Reliable or unreliable narrator(s)?

DV:  reliable
NH:    UNreliable!

4.     Scavenger hunts or mazes?

DV:  scavenger hunts
NH:    Mazes!

5.     Tricks or treats?

DV:  Treats!
NH:    Cash or expensive jewelry!

Narrated by alternating unreliable narrators, this dark thriller will have readers on the edge of their seats. No one is safe and everyone is a suspect. It's Saw meets I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Junior Robin Brisset has no idea what she's in for when she accepts an invitation to one of Callabrese High's most exclusive parties. And when the trademark scavenger hunt begins, Robin must go against every rule she's lived by to survive.

OUT JUNE 23, 2014

Find The Rules on

Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder.  Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest being Violet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea.  In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy.  When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks.  They live in Florida with their cat, Schrödinger.

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Nancy Holder is a multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author (the Wicked Series). Her two new dark young adult dark fantasy series are Crusade and Wolf Springs Chronicles. She has won five Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association, as well as a Scribe Award for Best Novel (Saving Grace: Tough Love.) Nancy has sold over eighty novels one hundred short stories, many of them based on such shows as Highlander, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and others. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, two corgis, and three cats.

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The lovely people at Delecort (Nancy and Debbie's publisher for The Rules) have given me an ARC of the book to give away to one person on the blog!  Since the publisher is in the US this contest will be open to US and Canada only and will run for two weeks, all you have to do is enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter below!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 21 - Ruthless + Giveaway

For today's interview I have another debut author for you, this one was actually born on Halloween though, so it's pretty fitting that she ended up writing YA horror!  I'm excited to present to you Carolyn Lee Adams

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  Easy question first, Ruthless in up to 10 words. 

Carolyn Lee Adams: One Tough Girl vs Serial Killer/Unforgiving Wilderness.

     PLTF:  Your book has a serial killer in it (which I love).  Was he inspired by any real-life ones? 

     CLA:  Growing up south of Seattle, I was deeply impacted by Gary Ridgway, aka, The Green River Killer. He dumped bodies less than a mile from my house. Years later, skeletal remains were found in the ditch alongside my horse’s pasture. Despite his ominous presence, I was still allowed to play in a vast tract of wilderness behind our house. I guess my mom was like, “Oh, the Green River Killer? He abducts prostitutes from the airport. My daughter will be fine. He doesn’t go for third graders.” I kid because I love. I’m very glad I got to run free as a child. And, you know, I didn’t wind up dead, so all’s well that ends well. In any case, Gary definitely warped my brain, as he did all the kids I went to school with. If you want to read more about Gary and me, including the possibly psychic dream I had about him, check out this blog post called, “A Story About a Nightmare.”

PLTF:  The setting for a novel like this is just as important as the characters, how did you pick where your killer would take Ruth? 
     CLA:  I spent four years working as a trailblazer and guide in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some days I simply wandered around, often by myself, searching out potential new trails. Other days I’d cut or maintain trails. But most of my time was spent on horseback, leading riders through the wilderness. The Blue Ridge Mountains cover a lot of ground, from Georgia to Pennsylvania. I only explored a little corner of it, but I knew that area like the back of my hand. 

PLTF:  What does ruthless mean to you? (The book or the word itself. Or both.) 

     CLA:  The book works as a metaphor for me on a couple of levels. Firstly, I wrote it as I was going through a difficult time in my life. I’d been working on another project, The Book of Ezra, when Ruthless came along. I actually dreamt the first three chapters. Upon waking, I knew I had to write this story, even though it seemed like a very bad idea to abandon my WIP. Moreover, I didn’t think anything would come of Ruthless. I wrote it because I had to write it. I was almost to the end of the book when I realized, “Wait a minute, much like my protagonist, I too am struggling to overcome some very trying circumstances. It’s almost as if these two things could be related.” (I’m super quick on the uptake.) Looking at it from a wider angle, Ruthless also represents my “never give up” mentality. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life working for very little money either with horses or as a manual laborer or in other random jobs. It took a very long time, fourteen years, but I eventually made good on my dream to become a writer.   

PLTF:  What’s next? 

     CLA:  I still dream of finding a publisher for The Book of Ezra. It is a horror set in an 1890’s Upstate New York asylum and poorhouse. Very Edgar Allan Poe. It is big and ambitious and still needs revision, but it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written. I also have a contemporary thriller more along the lines of Ruthless I’m working on, as well as rom-com that currently exists as a screenplay. (I spend my days writing novels and my nights working as a stand-up comedian, so writing comedy comes naturally to me.) Because I went to USC Film School and majored in screenwriting, I have screenplays and television pilots I’ve written. It’d be awesome to find some of those guys a home.

Lightning round
1.     On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?
     Holy cats. I have no idea! To me, it’s a 4, but some of my beta readers would definitely give it a 9.

2.     If you were a character in your book would you survive?


3.     Favorite scary movie? 
     The Exorcist. Now THAT’s a 10 on the scary meter.  

4.     Favorite Halloween candy?

     Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

5.     What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year? 

     Halloween is my birthday, so I go all out. My favorite costume ever was from when I was 12. I went as The Elephant Man. It was awesome. Had a bag over my head with one eye hole, the works. I may reprise that costume.

This or that
1.     Bundy or Ridgeway?
     Ridgway. Ultimately, I believe his low IQ protected him from detection. Bundy was brilliant but arrogant. Like a con artist, he wanted credit for his crimes and bought into the myth of his own infallibility. Ridgway was simplistic in the way a Great White shark is simplistic. That simplicity made him the more effective apex predator.

2.     Run or fight? - 

     Both. Also, hide. Also, cooperate. Also, everything. Whatever it takes.

3.     Black or white? 


4.     Mountains or the woods? 


5.     Tricks or treats? 

     Tricks. They’re more memorable.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people nicknamed her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup truck, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That's when the real battle begins. That's when Ruth must decide just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

OUT JULY 14, 2015

Find Ruthless on

Check out my book trailer for Ruthless here:

Carolyn Lee Adams is originally from the Seattle area, breeding ground of serial killers and those who write about them. She attended USC Film School and graduated with a BFA in screenwriting. RUTHLESS (Simon Pulse, Summer 2015) is her first novel. When she isn't exploring the dark side of human nature in her writing, you'll find her on stage as a stand-up comedian. Because those things go together.
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Carolyn has graciously donated one of her ARCs of RUTHLESS to one lucky winner here (Please note they probably won't be printed until December!).  The giveaway will be open INTERNATIONALLY and will run for two weeks.  All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 20 - The Devil You Know + Giveaway

The interview I have laid out for you today is with an author I consider a good friend of mine so when I planned this whole feature out I knew that I had to include her new book, which is a huge jump from her previous novels.  Today, here to talk about her upcoming novel, is Trish Doller!

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  First things first, describe The Devil You Know in 10 words or less.

Trish Doller:  One girl, two boys, Florida wilderness, murder.

PLTF:  Your novel has a body count in the sense that people are dying over the course of the novel instead of just before it starts, what was it like writing those scenes?

TD:  I was pretty uncomfortable because I’m the kind of person who will catch bugs and lizards so I can release them outside, rather than see them die. So even harming fictional people was hard for me, but for this story it was necessary for keeping the tension ratcheting up.

PLTF:  Was there any real-life inspiration for the events in the book?

TD:  Not really. The story evolved from a road trip story I was kicking around with some leftover boys from abandoned projects as the main characters. Instead, Arcadia popped into my head and started telling me her story and it just worked out well that these boys could play a sinister part.

PLTF:  How did you go about building the suspense in the scenes that required it?

TD:  With a lot of luck, I think. Writing suspense was much harder than writing straight contemporary, so I relied a lot on my critique partners and editor to tell me when I needed more tension. It was a very slow process for me, and definitely a learning experience.

PLTF:  What’s next?

TD:  My next project is an adult novel about a young woman whose grief over losing her boyfriend to suicide sends her to sea in the boat he always wanted to sail. Writing this one is definitely more in my comfort zone than THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, but now I have an unknown audience.

Lightning round
1.  On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?

I’d say…6 maybe? I don’t think it’s super scary, although I’ve been told it is.

2.  If you were a character in your own book would you survive?

I’d like to think so.

3.  Favorite scary movie?

I am a big chicken when it comes to scary movies. Can I say Shaun of the Dead?!

4.  Favorite Halloween candy?

Kit Kat bars

5.  What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year?

Last year I was Rosie the Riveter, not sure about this year.

This or That

1.  Road trip or stay at home?

Road trip

2.  Go out and party or stay in and read?

Stay in and read

3.  Thrillers or straight contemporary?

Straight contemporary

4.  Killing scenes or kissing scenes?


5.  Tricks or treats?


Arcadia “Cadie” Wells has one primary goal in life –– to escape the sleepy Florida town where she was born and raised. Since her mother's death, she's sacrificed her boyfriend, her spot on the soccer team, and even her plans for the future to raise her little brother and help her still-grieving father. On a rare night out at a party at the local state park, Cadie meets a couple of good-looking tourists and impulsively agrees to join them on their road trip from one end of Florida to the other. But when their adventure goes tragically wrong, Cadie’s new goal is to make it home alive.

OUT JUNE 2, 2014

Find The Devil You Know on

Trish Doller is the critically-acclaimed author of Something Like NormalSomething Like Normalwas chosen for the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list in 2013, as well named as an NPR Top 100 Teen Books finalist and 2o12 Goodreads Choice nominee. 

Trish's second novel, Where the Stars Still Shine, was longlisted for the 2014 Australian Silver Inky Awards and was a Winter 2013-14 Indie Next List pick. Printz Award-winning author Melina Marchetta calls Where the Stars Still Shine"heartbreaking and powerful".

Her third novel, The Devil You Know, will be released June 2, 2015 and she is currently writing her first adult novel.

Trish lives in Florida with her two dogs, two mostly-grown children, and a pirate.

Find Trish on

Trish has generously donated an ARC of The Devil You Know for one lucky person to win 6 months early!  The giveaway will be open to the US and Canada and will run for two weeks!  All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below!

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