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I Belong

Fall Carnival: Vicarious by Paula Stokes

September 12th, 2016 Bridget Posted in Fall Carnival 26 Comments »

Fall Carnival

Help Wanted Booth

For today’s booth we need some applicants to join our very special team.  Do you love a good thrill? Have you ever wanted to try bungee jumping or shark diving? Are you flexible and immune to pain? Then you might be perfect for the job. You see we happen to know the owner of a company that owns a bunch of Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs! These machines can provide any type of thrilling experience you can imagine and he is looking for some new digital stunt girls since one of his recent employees was murdered. (No she wasn’t murdered while working so don’t worry this job is relatively safe!) You will be performing the actual stunts and recording them so that others can experience the same thrill without all the risk! So what do you say? Are you ready to fill out an application?

*Enter to win a finished copy of Vicarious at the end of this post! And don’t forget to visit she is featuring Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter in today’s post!*


Paula: Want a sneak peek at what your job as a ViSE recorder might be like? Here’s an excerpt from Vicarious where Winter and her colleague Jesse go shark-diving. Sam and Eli are a pair of dive instructors hired to provide a safe but exciting experience.

After we eat a light lunch, Sam and Eli take the boat farther out from the shore, trailing turtle decoys and looking for tiger sharks as they head toward the Gulf of Mexico. People have swum with tiger sharks outside of a cage, but neither Jesse nor I have any wish to die today, so we will be recording our ViSEs from behind bars.

There’s a reef area a few miles offshore that draws lots of diverse wildlife. As we approach them, I see a fin slicing across the water’s surface. Once again my heart lodges neatly in my throat. Unlike the smaller hammerheads, these sharks can weigh more than a car and have been known to attack everything in their paths.

Jesse wraps an arm around my shoulder as I stand at the boat’s railing staring out at the ocean. “I’ll be right there with you,” he reminds me.

“I know. I’m fine.” I lift a hand to my head to make sure my recorder headset is properly positioned and secure.

Sam and Eli drop a cage and secure the SNUBA set-up to the top of it. Then Jesse and I enter the cage together. The water is cooler out here, the wind nipping at the exposed skin on my face as I sink beneath the surface. When I open my eyes, I see that a pair of tiger sharks have come to investigate the cage. Their monstrous bodies, the length of Cadillacs, cut through the water like huge circling torpedoes. I won’t need to do any neural amplifying for this recording. The rows of serrated teeth, the dead black eyes—there is nothing scarier than a giant shark.

On cue, the larger of the two sharks rockets up toward the surface. Sand swirls in the turbulent water. When it clears, tendrils of red curl before me. Looking up I see the blood spreading out on the surface. Pieces of . . . something fall through the cage bars. A turtle maybe, or a big fish.

A third shark appears, a mako, smaller but no less deadly. A few brave fish venture close to nibble on the leftover scraps of chum. The largest shark swims by, dragging a fin against the cage. The bars rattle sharply. The sharks disappear as quickly as they arrived, and for a few moments Jesse and I float in the water alone.

Or are we?

Shadows fade in and out in the distance. Slow. Fast. Waves? Sharks? I can’t tell. I glance over at Jesse. He’s spinning lazy circles in the water around me, seemingly unconcerned by the sharks’ behavior.

We float upward, away from the bottom of the cage. The metal groans under the weight of the water. The smaller tiger shark is back. I can tell them all apart. The bigger tiger is a monster, fifteen feet long at least. It’s the stuff of nightmares and horror movies. The other one is maybe ten feet and has a fin that flops to the side as it swims. And then there’s the mako, its giant black eyes receding into its head as it slices through the water. Floppy Fin races directly at the cage but then swerves away from the collision at the last moment.

I feel like food. Like a mouse dropped into a snake’s enclosure. My heart rattles in my chest. I’m fairly certain I’m sweating inside of my wet suit. Can the sharks sense my fear? I want to close my eyes, but I don’t. That would cheat the visers out of one of my senses.

I kick my fins up and down to hover in the center of the cage, being careful to keep all of my extremities away from the bars. The tigers swim in patterns. They circle around. They circle below. I wonder if this is what it’s like for their prey, if they toy with it for a while before striking the killing blow. Slowly I exhale and then take in another breath of air.

And then the cage ricochets against the side of the boat with a deafening clang and hard metal slams into me. One of the sharks must have rammed us.

The world goes dark for a second as I instinctively close my eyes. When I open them, Jesse signals me to surface. About time. I kick my feet and reach skyward, but I don’t go anywhere. My diving boot is caught on the cage.

I tug hard. Still stuck. I imagine the shark returning for another hit.

Its teeth closing around my ankle.

Bones snapping like raw spaghetti.

Bending down, I fumble with one hand, trying to free the loop of neoprene that has snagged itself on the bar. The mako swims by, leaving behind a wake that pushes my body away from the side of the cage. I flail in the water, yanking with all of my strength. And then I see the monster tiger shark glide past, its mouth wide enough to swallow me whole, its jagged teeth eager to tear me to pieces.

It fades into the distance.


Circles out away from me.

Dives low.

It rushes the cage, all dead eyes and sharp teeth.

I open my mouth to scream as the shark slams into the bars.


Paula StokesAbout Paula:

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts. She’s the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

You can visit Paula around the web here: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram 

Want to read more from Paula Stokes?



This contest is provided by Paula Stokes!

One lucky reader will win a finished copy of Vicarious!


Available August 16, 2016 by Tor/Macmillian

About this Book:

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

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Fall Carnival: Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen

September 11th, 2016 Bridget Posted in Fall Carnival 11 Comments »

Fall Carnival

Wishing Well

Everyone has something they want! What would you wish for if you could have anything in the world? Would you wish for love? Happiness? Money? Revenge? Freedom? If your wish came with a price what would you be willing to pay for it? Would you be willing to share your wish with others or would you be selfish and keep your wish all to yourself?  While you think about that I’m going to introduce you to Jae our special guest today! She was blessed with the gift to control a magical well that could save her dying world!

*Enter to win a finished copy of Bound by Blood and Sand at the end of this post! And don’t forget to visit she is featuring The Black Key by Amy Ewing in today’s post!*


Dark Faerie Tales: Hi Jae, thank you so much for stopping by to chat with us today! To start things off can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the world you live in?

Jae: * stares around *

Elan: * cough * Hi, sorry. Let me introduce myself – my name is Elan and I’m also in Jae’s book and Jae… well, she doesn’t like to talk very much. She especially hates being asked questions. Which makes being interviewed a little awkward.

Jae: * glare *

Elan: See, Jae is one of the Closest — that’s the lowest caste in our world, so she’s basically a slave. And she really doesn’t like, um… anyone.

Jae: Except Tal.

Elan: Right, except Tal, her brother. And maybe me?

Jae: You wish.

Elan: Ummm, anyway. Our world is in the middle of a giant desert, and we don’t have a drop of water to spare. That’s why I want to find the Well – it’s a magical oasis that could save everyone. But unfortunately for me, Jae’s the one with the power.

DFT: Finding the magic to save your world must have been exhilarating but also overwhelming! How would you describe your reaction to discovering the magic?

Jae: I passed out. And then I hid. That’s the thing about being a slave – if anyone like Elan discovered I had power, he’d make me use it to do what he wants. And I’m not interested in that. I’ve got my own plans for my magic…and they start with freeing my people.

DFT: I imagine that being a slave was pretty awful and I can’t imagine having to do everything your commanded to! What was the worst thing your owner made you do?

Jae: I don’t want to talk about it.

Elan: It was pretty bad. I should probably warn readers, our book is kind of dark. Jae was raped.

DFT: Let’s talk a little bit about Lord Elan! He is the son of the king that rules the realm! What was your first impression of him?

Jae: * snort *

Elan: * blush *

Jae: He talks too much and all he cares about is impressing his father. I was happier before he showed up.

Elan: I’m not that bad, am I?

Jae: Do you really want me to answer that?

DFT: Do you if given the chance that he would someday make a good ruler?

Jae: Well, he wouldn’t be worse than any of the rest of them. He might even be a little bit better.

Elan: That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said about me.

Jae: Yeah, and I already regret it.

DFT: What was it like to hold the fate of the world in the palm of your hand?

Jae: Hmm.

Elan: I was pretty nervous about her having all that power…

DFT: If given the chance to visit a real wishing well what would you wish for and why?

Jae: Freedom. Revenge. And for a nice cold glass of water.

DFT: After finishing book one everyone is dying to know where your story will head next! Can you give us any hints as to what to expect in book two?

Jae: I wish I knew.

Elan: One thing is for sure – we’ve spent all of the first book at a tiny little estate in the middle of the desert. But in the next book, we’re going to the big city – to my home. And that’s way, way outside of Jae’s comfort zone.

DFT: I imagine you have probably never even heard of a carnival until today but humor me with these quick fire questions carnival style! Funnel Cake, Deep Fried Snicker, or Tiger Ears?

Jae: What?

Elan: Funnel cake. Because at least I know what cake is!

DFT: Farris Wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, or the Haunted House?

Jae: Seriously, what?

Elan: Tilt-a-Whirl! That look like fun.

DFT: Attend a Magic Show, Talent Show, or Hypnotist Show?

Jae: A magic show. I can figure out what that one is.

DFT: Skee Ball, Shooting Gallery, or Ring the Bell?

Jae: Bell ring. I’m pretty strong.

DFT: Hand Dipped Corn Dog, Corn on the Cob, or Hamburger?

Jae: Corn on the cob. I don’t eat much meat.

Elan: Can’t we try all three? Those all look good…


becky-allenAbout Becky:

Becky Allen grew up in a tiny town outside Ithaca, New York, and graduated from Brandeis University with a major in American studies and a minor in journalism. She is the website director of, an online HIV resource, and loves New York, brunch, and feminism. Becky lives in New York City.

You can visit Becky around the web here: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Want to read more from Becky Allen?



This contest is provided by Becky Allen!

One lucky reader will win a finished copy of Bound by Blood and Sand!
(US only)


Available October 11, 2016 by Delacorte Press

About this Book:

Jae is a slave in a dying desert world.

Once verdant with water from a magical Well, the land is drying up, and no one remembers the magic needed to keep the water flowing. If a new source isn’t found soon, the people will perish. Jae doesn’t mind, in a way. By law, she is bound by a curse to obey every order given her, no matter how vile. At least in death, she’ll be free.

Lord Elan’s family rules the fading realm. He comes to the estate where Jae works, searching for the hidden magic needed to replenish the Well, but it’s Jae who finds it, and she who must wield it. Desperate to save his realm, Elan begs her to use it to locate the Well.

But why would a slave—abused, beaten, and treated as less than human—want to save the system that shackles her? Jae would rather see the world burn.

Though revenge clouds her vision, she agrees to help if the kingdom’s slaves are freed. Then Elan’s father arrives. The ruler’s cruelty knows no limits. He is determined that the class system will not change—and that Jae will remain a slave forever.

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Fall Carnival: The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid

September 10th, 2016 Kristie Posted in Fall Carnival 23 Comments »

Fall Carnival

Face Painting Booth

Alright what would you like for your face painting today? You can be a senator’s daughter/son. They are wealthy children who have grown up learning politics and how best to get ahead in life. You could also be the Emperor. He is a power hunger man that will stop at nothing to retain his position as Emperor. Or you could be one of the many wealthy senator’s who serve the empire. Some fight to protect the people but others fight to protect themselves.

What do you say does one of those sound like a good option?
Your saying you don’t want to be a power hungry individual, well I do have one more option for you. You could be a Diabolic. They are humanoid teenagers that have been programmed to protect one person. They will do anything for that one person including kill and die for them. Would like a little more information before you make your decision? Well today is your lucky day we have invited Nemesis to answer a few questions and she just happens to be a Diabolic!

*Enter to win an ARC of The Diabolic at the end of this post! And don’t forget to visit to see today’s post!*


Dark Faerie Tales: Would you start off by telling us a little bit about Nemesis and what her current mission is?

SJ: Nemesis is a Diabolic, a genetically engineered superhuman who has one purpose: protect the person she was designed to create. Nemesis’s person is Sidonia Impyrean, the daughter of a powerful galactic senator. Nemesis would gladly die for Sidonia, but prefers to kill others for Sidonia before resorting to that.

DFT: Nemesis has been assigned to protect Sidonia. They grew up together and became friends over the years. How would you describe Nemesis’s relationship with Sidonia?

SJ: Nemesis’s relationship with Sidonia is atypical for a relationship between a person and what’s considered a ‘creature’ in their universe. Nemesis is supposed to be property, and she regards herself as something lesser than Sidonia, but Sidonia refuses to see her that way, and refuses to allow Nemesis to regard herself that way. Nemesis loves Sidonia more than anything else in the universe, and Sidonia – again, atypically – is very powerfully attached to Nemesis in turn.

DFT: To protect Sidonia from harm Nemesis has to pretend to be her for a time. Can you tell us a little bit about the process Nemesis has to go through to perfect her disguise?

SJ: Nemesis has to undergo very intensive physical alterations, and a good deal of training besides. She is a very self-controlled, self-mastered person, but her hardest task is reigning in her killer instincts so she can play a much more delicate girl than she truly is.

DFT: Nemesis has very few emotions or at least she isn’t supposed to have any emotions. Was it hard for her to act like a normal human around others so she didn’t blow her disguise?

SJ: It’s difficult, more so at first—but in playing someone more vulnerable, more emotional than she is, Nemesis begins to discover it comes a lot more easily than she expects because she feels much more than she ever realized… And that is quite disturbing for her.

DFT: Nemesis had to interact with all of the other senator’s children while pretending to be Sidonia. I imagine she probably liked some more than others. Which ones were her favorite to be around and which ones did she try to avoid? 

SJ: Let’s just say, Nemesis has some natural rivals she’s inclined to wish dead because they pose a threat to Sidonia, and she cultivates a hearty dislike of her own for the same people. She discovers unexpected allies, often at the most inconvenient times.

DFT: Nemesis obviously had the ability to protect herself physically and was rather resourceful in pretty much any situation, but what abilities that she possessed helped her most on her mission?

SJ: She is immensely strong by nature, and immensely selfless by nurture and uprbringing. It’s ultimately her steely determination that is her greatest strength.

DFT: If Nemesis had the opportunity to be anyone else for the day, who would she pick and why?

SJ: Oh, she’d probably be an enemy of Sidonia’s, just so she could then throw that enemy out an airlock.

DFT: Throughout her journey, I imagine Nemesis learned a great deal. Can you share with us the most important lessoned she learned?

SJ: Nemesis learns to see herself more in the same light Sidonia has seen her all along. She learns to have more faith in herself, and learns… Well, I don’t want to give too much away!

DFT: Because we are at a carnival I thought it would be fun to do a round of This or That Carnival Style! Fresh dipped corn dogs or Corn on the Cob?

SJ: Oh, corn dogs, for sure.

Nemesis: corn on the cob.

DFT: The ringtoss game or the fishing pond?

SJ: Fishing pond. I suck at ring toss… Probably at fishing pond, too, though.

Nemesis: she’d kick ass at either.

DFT: Cotton Candy or Popcorn?

SJ: Cotton candy! So so good.

Nemesis: neither. She is a very spartan, functional food eater

DFT: The Ferris wheel or Carousal?

SJ: Ferris wheel, though I’d take a proper roller coaster over either of them.

Nemesis: ferris wheel. She’d appreciate the high vista to survey the suroundins.

DFT: The talent show or the hypnotist show?

SJ: Hypnotist. They’re hilarious.

Nemesis: talent show. She’d appreciate a chance to gauge the capabilities of her potential enemies


sj-kincaidAbout SJ:

S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.

You can visit SJ around the web here: Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Want to read more from SJ Kincaid?

Insignia Vortex CatalystAllies (Insignia #1.5)The Diabolic



This contest is provided by SJ Kincaid!

One lucky reader will win an ARC of The Diabolic!
(US only)


Available November 1, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

About this Book:

Red Queen meets The Hunger Games in this epic novel about what happens when the galaxy’s most deadly weapon masquerades as a senator’s daughter and a hostage of the galactic court.

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

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Fall Carnival: Mind Games by Heather Petty

September 9th, 2016 Bridget Posted in Fall Carnival 22 Comments »

Fall Carnival

Sherlock Holmes Booth

Ok raise your hand if you have ever secretly hoped you were more like Sherlock Holmes? Do you love to solve mysteries? When you look at something do you see clues and facts or does it just loom normal to you? Have you ever wanted some pointers from real life detectives? If so, today is your lucky day. We have the amazing duo Lock and Mori here to answer a few of our questions!

* Enter to win a finished copy of Lock & Mori and a swag pack at the end of this post! And don’t forget to visit to see today’s post featuring The Darkest Hour by Caroline Richmond*



Dark Faerie Tales: Hi, you two, thanks so much for agreeing to join us today! To start things off can you introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about your first case you solved?

MORI: My name is Mori, and this is Sherlock Holmes, the most irritating boy at my school. We were trying to figure out who was stabbing people to death in Regent’s Park.

LOCK: It took longer than it should have because someone was keeping secrets.

MORI: Things might have turned out better if someone had worried less about things that were none of his business and stayed out of my way.

DFT: When investigating a crime scene what is the first thing that you should look at?

MORI: I assume she’s asking you. I’m not the one who secretly longs for a P.I. office in a seedy part of town.

LOCK: Everything. No detail is irrelevant.

DFT: How do you go about finding leads in a case?

LOCK: I ask questions and pay attention. Usually the solution is pretty obvious, when you have all of the data.

DFT: Solving crimes can be rather dangerous so how do you make sure that you stay safe and out of harms way?

LOCK: Danger is a part of the job.

DFT: What is the best advice you would give to amateur detectives?

MORI: Prepare yourself for what you might find. Not all secrets are worth bringing to light.

DFT: Ok, now for a few more personal questions! Mori you have had quite a rough year with the passing of your mother and dealing with your abusive father. How did you learn to deal with the grief and hurt?

MORI: I’m not sure what that means, really, to deal with grief. All you can do is survive it as best you can and try to keep it from getting in your way. Grief isn’t something you can escape.

DFT: Sherlock you have always been more of an introvert so what was it like to work with a partner when you were solving these murders?

LOCK: I didn’t have a partner; I had a rival. A partner is an extraneous distraction. A rival makes you work harder.

DFT: Correct me if I’m wrong but you two are more then just friends. What is it about the other person that you are drawn to?

MORI: I’m not sure this is something definable. He’s clever, but not so clever that I can’t best him. And he seems to like me for all of the same reasons that I like myself. He hasn’t run off yet. That’s admirable.

LOCK: She fascinates me. I’ve never met anyone who can keep up with my thinking like she does. If ever she learns to trust me…Well. Regardless, she is always a surprise. She’s the one mystery I may never solve.

DFT: This might be a little personal but can you tell me what sharing your first kiss was like?

LOCK: I-I hardly remember it.

MORI: And here I thought you had an excellent memory.

DFT: If you were to attend a carnival together what do you think would be your favorite ride/game/food?

MORI: My mother used to take me to traveling funfairs. We’d eat mushy peas with mint sauce and brandy snaps with ice cream. She always bought me candy floss as well, which looks like it should taste amazing, but is really just like eating spoonfuls of sugar and gets your hands all sticky for nothing.

LOCK: People eat from those rat-infested stalls?

MORI: I’m very good at shooting BB guns at targets. And I’ll ride anything fast and falling, but nothing that spins. I don’t like to watch people turn green.

LOCK: Rides? The Ferris Wheel. It’s away from all of the people and gives me time to think.

MORI: You are delirious fun.

DFT: I’m so excited to read about your next adventure together, can you give us any clues as to what we can expect from Mind Games?

LOCK: She’s still pretty angry with me, though I think I’m making in-roads. And I’ve started taking on cases from other students at the school, though none are as interesting as Mori’s new case.

MORI: He is once in a while useful. And I need his skills now that someone’s trying to frame me for crimes I didn’t commit. It all starts with a severed hand in my rubbish bin…


heather-pettyAbout Heather:

Heather has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. Lock & Mori is her first novel. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats.

You can visit Heather around the web here: WebsiteTwitter | Tumblr

Want to read more from Heather Petty?



This contest is provided by Simon Teen!

One lucky reader will win a finished copy of Lock & Mori and a swag pack!
(US Only)


Available December 6, 2016 by Simon & Schuster

About this Book:

Sherlock Holmes and Miss James “Mori” Moriarty may have closed their first case, but the mystery is far from over in the thrilling sequel to Lock & Mori, perfect for fans of Maureen Johnson and Sherlock.

You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

Mori’s abusive father is behind bars…and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them.

Through it all, Lock—frustrating, brilliant, gorgeous Lock—is by her side. The two of them set out to discover who is framing Mori, but in a city full of suspects, the task is easier said than done. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her.

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Fall Carnival: I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

September 8th, 2016 Bridget Posted in Fall Carnival 9 Comments »

Fall Carnival

Makeover Booth

Alright who is ready to get a glamorous makeover??? This is going to be slightly different than your average makeover because we are going to use a very simple math formula to decide how best to make you popular!!! The formula is the following:

1) Find the niche.
2) Play the role.
3) Fill the void.

Doesn’t that sound like fun??? It’s already been tested by three fantastic people and they are here today to tell us how it worked for them!!! Please welcome Beatrice, Spencer and Gabe!

* Enter to win a finished copy of I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl at the end of this post! And don’t forget to visit to see today’s post featuring A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith*



Dark Faerie Tales: Hi, you three! Thank you so much for agreeing to join us today! Can you all please introduce yourselves and give us a short summary of your background?

Beatrice: I’m Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini and I created The Formula.  Math is a beautiful thing, don’t you think?  I mean, the entire universe can be distilled down to numbers and equations, from supermassive black holes to a single grain of sand.  So why not quantify popularity?

Spencer: Because you can’t turn people’s feelings into numbers, Bea.

Beatrice: Whatever.  Why don’t you tell them about yourself?

Gabe: He’s rolling his eyes.

Beatrice: I’m just going to ignore you until you play nice, Spence.  Gabe, how about you?

Gabe:  Well, my name is Gabe Muñoz and I’m a gay nerd.  Or a nerdy gay.  Whatever.  I like flannel shirts and table top war games and boys.  Oh, and taking down the patriarchy at our high school.  I’m also a journalist for the school paper.  How was that, Bea?

Beatrice: I think that covered it.  Spence, your turn.

Spencer: Fine.  I’m Spencer Preuss-Katt.  I have two names because I have two moms.  I like art.  I don’t like talking about myself.

Beatrice: Charming, isn’t he?

DFT: Beatrice for your role you finally embraced   your inner geekiness and became the resident math girl! Why did you choose this specific role for yourself?

Beatrice: Part of The Formula is using your strengths in a new way.  I’d been fighting the nickname of Math Girl since I started high school, and where had it gotten me?  Nowhere.  I thought, why not change things up?  Besides, who doesn’t need a resident math genius in their lives?  Spencer, don’t answer that.

DFT: Gabe your new role is going to be the outspoken gay best friend! What was the best part about getting to play this role?

Gabe: At first, I was pretty sure I was going to hate playing this part.  The whole flamboyant queer thing is a horrible cliché, you know?  But while the act can be tiresome, it wasn’t all pretend.  There was a piece of me in there somewhere, between the neon suspenders and heart-shaped sunglasses.  I liked being seen and I liked being the center of attention.  And honestly?  I liked the neon suspenders.

DFT: Spencer you got to become the schools resident artiste! What was the hardest thing to adjust to when taking on your new role?

Spencer: Talking to people. It’s not one of my strengths, as you can tell.  And showing my art.  Even Bea and Gabe had only seen a handful of my pieces and suddenly I had to share it with total strangers?  It was rough.  But also, freeing.

DFT: At first the formula seemed to work very well but there were some bumps in the process. If given the chance would you try the formula again?


Gabe: Yes, but with some modifications.

Spencer: I’m going to plead the Fifth.

DFT: What is one piece of advice you want to leave with us today?

Spencer: No matter what choices you make, in school or in life, be true to yourself.  Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble.

Gabe: Sometimes, you need a little nudge out of your comfort zone.  Just be sure you’re staying objective about just how uncomfortable you are.

Beatrice: ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS.  Especially those named Beatrice.

DFT: Do you think the experiment was a failure or success?

Beatrice: I’m just going to answer for everyone here and say it was a resounding success.  End of story.

DFT: If the three of you were to attend a carnival together what would be your favorite ride/game/food?

Beatrice: Skee ball is a geometric theorem.

Gabe: What’s that ride where you spin around until you puke?  That one.

Spencer: Please don’t make me go to a carnival with them.


IMG_7315_resizeAbout Gretchen:

Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012? by Romantic Times) and 3:59, as well as GET EVEN and GET DIRTY, part of her mystery/suspense series Don’t Get Mad, all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins.  In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and on October 18, 2016, I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray.  Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

You can visit Gretchen around the web here: WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Want to read more Gretchen McNeil?



This contest is provided by Gretchen McNeil!

One lucky reader will win an finished copy of I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl!
(US Only)


Available September 13, 2016 by Balzer + Bray

About this Book:

Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically-guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win her boyfriend back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity, and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

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