September 29, 2022

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Spring/Summer Fling 2020- June Update- Better Late Than … Well You Know- 10+ Arcs And TOO Many Reviews/Interviews Added

Spring/Summer Fling 2020 June Update- Albeit Late due to... well... life... but it bursting with new ARCs, reviews, and interviews. It'll keep you going for all your reading needs!

Spring/Summer Fling 2020

Last Update! Sorry I missed August because of Pavel 🙁 Of course, updates will continue throughout September because 400 books (90 YA) are being released (Publishing hates us all).

Running the week of March 19th (March 17th releases) through the week of September 7th (September 8th releases) subject to change because… well see above.

For those of you completely new and not just here for the updates, please see the next section for the introduction to this whole she-bang!

Oh as for why there are 400 titles… Yes, September and October are normally heavy months in the publishing world but there is, of course…

Colin Jost Coronavirus

….Which has led to changed publication dates, stress, anxiety, and basically the world up-ended.


Brace yourself Elections are coming - Winter is coming - quickmeme

Sooooooooooooo publishers had already planned to have as much as possible (there are books releasing in November, but not as many as normal) released before November. AND THEN THE PANDEMIC HIT! That slammed a bunch of titles back from their original release date and BAM! You have 400 titles (90 YA) releasing in September. I don’t know the exact number for October, but it isn’t pretty.

Welcome to the Second Annual Spring/Summer Fling (Or first since last year was only summer…)

Screw the virus… no don’t do that… ick. Whether we are stuck inside exploring the great indoors or out and about one thing will never change, we always need books, books and MORE BOOKS! And authors and publishers need us more than ever. So here is the best kick-ass, CNMCC approved guide to spring/summer books…

ALSO! I’d like to note that I had done SO WELL not killing myself in June-August like last year…

and then this happened and publishing dates all changed and KABOOM. 

Michael Che Weekend Update



The More Things Change….

What’s the same from last year’s kick ass guide to summer reading, “Summer Fling 2019

ARCs, ARCs, and More ARCs, Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tours and author interviews

  1. As always, everything is subject to change, hence the on-going updates (even more so, the way things are in the world)
  2. This post is home base. I will do my best to update it more regularly with links to everything as it becomes completed.

What’s different?

  1. EVEN MORE, INCREDIBLE ULTIMATE BLOG TOURS WITH THE WRITE READS and their BBNYA Awards to support Independent Authors
  2. While this post is home base, I have created an actual Spring/Summer Fling 2020, dedicated PAGE. You can find the link to it at the top of the site:

Spring Summer Fling 2020 Page

    • I’m really quite proud of this but it is new so we will see how it goes. That page will have this post, of course, plus all post from the Spring/Summer 2020 category in one dedicated spot! I’m hoping at some point to have one for 2019, but let’s see how this goes, first!
  1. Expansion!
      • Go Big Or Go Home- If I’m going to do a second year, might as well expand. And so I did! How? Glad you asked…
  2. Spring and Summer
    • Last year I had two separate posts….Spring Has Sprung.. Get Excited! However, I didn’t go back and connect it with the review links or update it. So, it never got the full attention that the Summer Fling 2019, did. Since I’m a masochist with no life, I figured why not throw them together for one big party! Then again the world is pretty much without a life. So there’s that.

   4. Backlist Titles! Because, why not?!

    • And boy has that gotten off to a bang. Haven’t regretted that one bit, so far. I should hit that list more often.
    • Then the revenge of the backlist series started and I haven’t regretted that one bit either. Of course I blame Becky. Because she happened. And she has no regrets, either (she is linked all of this post- you would almost think she was co-conspirator or something).


Back by popular demand from the Summer Fling 2019, and now Governor approved!

The Council of the Ninja Magic Conjuring Cats (CNMCC) return! CNMCC TAG ADDED 7/26 UNDER EXTREME DURESS you thought Liam was charging me through the roof for Pavel, Gomez and his services last summer? You have ALL sent their egos through the roof. But you wanted them, Governor Polis of Colorado approved them, and so you have them.


CNMCC Cat Executive Officer (CEO) Pavel AKA Floppy Ear

CNMCC Resting Bitch Face (RBF), Talent Agent and Chief Communications Officer (CCO)- Liam

Liam Resting Bitch Face

CNMCC The Talent- Gomez “The Bey-Bey” – AKA Why We can’t Have Nice Things



Collectively Known as the Governor approved Council of the Ninja Magical Conjuring Cats (CNMCC):

Pavel Liam Gomez Cats

Governor Polis Approved CNMCC









Spring/summer fling from 2020

For those who weren’t around for the first Summer Fling 2019, I have provided a nifty link, if you want to check it out.



Good Girls Guide to Murder/All Your Twisted Secrets AKA- It’s me not you review…

All Your Twisted Secrets


Summary: Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting. What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?


Category/Genre: Young Adult Murder Mystery/High School Thing that is now on the not my genre (in YA anyway) list along with Space Operas. It just isn’t my thing.

Released: March 17, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen


Girls With Sharp Sticks (Girls with Sharp Sticks #1)/Girls with Razor Hearts- Suzanne Young – Review of both

Well then. Didn’t this kick off my backlist reads with a BANG. I didn’t plan on getting to my TBR’s this fast but then an ARC of Girls with Razor Hearts landed in my lap.


And thank you very much for warning me. I mean, yes. I knew this book was well regarded. BUT I DIDN’T KNOW. I didn’t know that I shouldn’t eat for the second half of Girls with Sharp Sticks don’t breathe, don’t eat. Just don’t do… anything. I MEAN WHAT THE MESS? And as the title for the review of Girls with Razor Hearts (and Girls with Sharp Sticks, really) indicates, that had me running around like there were fire ants up my ass. So there’s that. And any fears I head about other backlists books not keeping that trend up? Yeah. Well We’ll get to that.


Michael Che Weekend Update


But needless to say… no worries on that front as of yet.


Girls With Razor Hearts Review


Summary: The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

Category/Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Horror (I mean not traditional but- come on, man?!)


Obama Kicks Door


Publisher: Simon Pulse

Released: March 2019/March 17, 2019


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. KluneReview Link

House in the Cerulean Sea

Summary:A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.


Category/Genre: Adult Fantasy

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Tor Books



The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy #1) by M.R. CareyReview

Interview with M.R. Carey – Link to INTERVIEW with M.R. Carey



Summary: The first in a gripping new trilogy, The Book of Koli charts the journey of one unforgettable young boy struggling to find his place in a chilling post-apocalyptic world. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and Annihilation.

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable world. A world where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly vines and seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He knows the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture beyond the walls.

What he doesn’t know is — what happens when you aren’t given a choice?


Category/Genre: Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Apocalyptic

Released: April 14, 2020 (An Orbit series coming out rather quickly) The second book in the Rampart Trilogy, The Trials of Koli releases in September 15, 2020

Publisher: Orbit Books



The Silence of Bones by June Hur Review Link

Silence of Bones Review


Summary:  I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak; Ears, but I mustn’t hear; Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.


Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Historical/Multi-Cultural & Diversity/Asian

Release Date: April 21, 2020

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Updated with Review: You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

You Let Me In Review



Summary: Cassandra Tipp is dead…or is she?

After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy–everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie’s infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).

Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body–just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript. Then again, there are enough bodies in her past–her husband Tommy Tipp, whose mysterious disembowelment has never been solved, and a few years later, the shocking murder-suicide of her father and brother. Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story–but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods–and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare..

Genre: Adult Thriller/Suspense/Psychological/Gothic/Horror

Release Date: April 21, 2020

Publisher: Tor Books




Updated with SpotlightIncendiary by Zoraida Cordova

Summary: Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people. Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it. But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Royalty

Release Date: April 28, 2020

Publisher: Little, Brown Books



Updated with Review: The Split by Sharon Bolton

The Split By Sharon Bolton


Summary: No matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you… The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd. Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he’s out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her. But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie’s relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her.


Category/Genre: Adult Thriller/Suspense/International

Release Date: April 28, 2020

Publisher: Minotaur Books