Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Dream Author Panel

Calling all bookworms! How many of you have ever attended a conference or convention where there was a panel of authors talking about their books and answering questions? Have you ever considered who YOU might want on a dream panel of authors? Can you imagine how amazing it would be to choose your favorite authors to participate in YOUR very own dream panel?

I hadn't given this much thought until I was contacted recently by Eventbrite, the largest self-service ticketing platform that helps people find and plan events. And for those of us who are bookworms, they help readers connect with authors through bookish events. Every year, there are awesome conventions around the country where readers and fans are able to connect with their favorite authors. In fact, May 2nd through May 8th, I'll be in Atlanta at the RT Booklovers Convention. I'll be signing books, participating in author panels, and hosting a YA slumber party with other fabulous YA authors. If you live in the area, you should come and see me!

Anyhoo, Eventbrite is currently doing a special project and asking bloggers to share their dream panel of authors. And when they asked if I would be interested in participating, I, of course, was excited to take part! Who wouldn't want to participate in such a cool project? I may be an author myself, but I still consider authors to be like rock stars, and like many readers out there, I have my favorite authors and those I would LOVE to meet in person.


Since I read books from various genres, my panel would include all YA (young adult) authors, but I'd choose a couple of my favorite authors from each category. 

YA Paranormal:

-Stephenie Meyer

-Maggie Stiefvater

YA Dystopian:

-Suzanne Collins

-Veronica Roth

-Kiera Cass

YA Contemporary:

-Jennifer Niven

-Jandy Nelson

YA Contemporary Romance:

-Stephanie Perkins

-Sarah Dessen

YA Fantasy:

-Leigh Bardugo

-Victoria Aveyard

Sounds like an awesome cast of authors, right? I would create two panels with all of the authors listed, and the two moderators would be:


1) Myself (Kristin Smith)

2) James Dashner (only because I've met him and he's a pretty funny guy)

The event would be held in Charlotte, NC since that's where I live, making it easy for me to attend and participate.

Event Location:

Charlotte, NC

Obviously, one thing to consider is what kind of questions I would ask these famous authors. Here is a list I came up with, but feel free to add your own questions in the comments. I'd love to know what questions YOU would ask YOUR dream panel of authors.

Questions for the Authors:

1) How many manuscripts do you have that will probably never see the light of day?

2) What is your favorite thing about being an author?

3) What is the most surprising thing about being an author?

4) If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?

5) If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

6) Who is YOUR favorite author?

7) Name some books in YOUR TBR pile.

8) How many books do you read a year?

9) What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

10) Name one thing you cannot live without.

11) Are you a pantser or a plotter?

12) Of all the books you've written, which one is your favorite?

So, what do you think? Does this sound like a good panel? I'd love to know, who would be on YOUR dream panel of authors? Tell me in the comments! :)

And if you're interested in finding an event in your area, Eventbrite's event planning software page is a great tool. You can find it HERE.

Happy Wednesday! :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cover Reveal for The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

I'm super excited to share the cover reveal for Emily R. King's THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN. Not only is Emily a dear blogging friend —whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in person!—but she's also a fantastic writer. I'm currently reading an ARC of her book and absolutely loving it. So you guys are in for a treat when it releases in June! That's all I'll say for now, BUT you can read my full review very soon.

And now on to the Cover Reveal!

Are you ready for this?








The Hundredth Queen
Emily R. King
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: June 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda’s only hope for escape lies in an arcane, forbidden power that’s buried within her. 
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
Author Bio:
Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.


Congrats to Emily! Isn't her cover gorgeous?! Did you add her book to Goodreads? If you didn't, you should! 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best Books of 2016

Most of my time this year was spent getting ready for the publication of Catalyst and writing the sequel, but I did manage to sneak a few books in there to read for my own pleasure. Here are some of my most memorable reads from 2016.

 All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Simply put, this book rocked my world. I've read YA contemporary books about suicide before, but never one that delved so deeply into the thought process of one who is so heart-wrenchingly depressed that he feels like his world is literally caving in on him, and there's no escape. It was beautifully written with an emotional undercurrent that seems to be lacking in so many books that I read lately. I want to read a book that makes me FEEL, and this one gave me all the feels. I can't recommend it enough.

 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I'd heard so much about this book that, I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if it would be able to live up to the hype. And maybe it's because of that hype that I didn't fall in love with it as much as I wanted to. Told from five different viewpoints, I had a hard time truly connecting with the characters because the story kept shifting from one head to another. It's also a very complicated plot, so there's no easy reading with this one! But with that being said, there were a couple of characters that I couldn't get enough of, and they really sold the story for me. The writing was phenomenal, and the storyline was unique and intriguing. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you like YA fantasy.

Heist Society by Ally Carter 

I just finished reading this one, and like Six of Crows, I wanted to love it—I really did. But maybe it's the style of writing that bugged me or maybe the POV which seemed to hop from one head to another with no clear narrator (which was really weird). The storyline itself was intriguing, especially if you like teenage con artists who get together for an impossible heist. I'd recommend it, and I may try another of Ally Carter's books to see if I like the style better.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This was a book that I couldn't put down. I was so intrigued by the plot, and I desperately wanted to know who the killer was. Unfortunately, I figured it out before the end, but that didn't take away from the novel at all.

Room by Emma Donoghue

I read this as part of the monthly book club I belong to. Despite the horrific situation these characters are placed in, it reads more innocent and naive than chilling and vulgar since the story is told from the eyes of a five-year-old boy. His innocence as he and his mother are held in this room is what makes the story so intriguing. The author does a phenomenal job of getting into the head of a five-year-old and seeing the world from his perspective.

Between Two Fires by Mark Noce 

This was a great story about love and courage. I fell in love with the main character, Branwen, who has quick wit and a sharp attitude. She's a woman who doesn't need a man to protect her, and she makes that clear when she's the one who's able to lead her people to victory.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 

This was my first encounter with one of Maggie Stiefvater's books (I'd heard so much about her writing) and trust me, it did not disappoint. Her writing captures the moment and makes you feel as though you are right there tasting the sea spray, feeling the wind on your face, and galloping across the cliff with a dangerous beast beneath you. The story itself felt a bit slow at times, but the writing drags you in so deep that you hardly even notice.

What are your most memorable reads from 2016?