Monday, March 19, 2018

March Madness: Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman

Today I'm SO excited to be sharing an interview with Elsie Chapman, whose newest book release is coming out on March 20th. :D


Hi Elsie, thanks so much for joining me on The Fox’s Hideaway. For those unfamiliar with your newest novel, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Hi Holly, thanks for having me! Along the Indigo is about struggling teens, a small, sordid town full of lies and secrets, and the ways family can both love and hurt you. It sounds bleaker than it is, I promise! It’s set in the 80s, and both Marsden and Jude are mixed (she’s half Chinese and he’s half Black), and it’s a very different book than either of my first two (Dualed and Divided), both of which are dystopian/SF. I’m really proud of Along the Indigo, and I hope readers will enjoy it!

If you were to sort your main character, Marsden, into a Hogwarts house, which one would she be in? 
You know, it’s been so long since I read HP that I don’t know if I can remember the characteristics of each house well enough to say. I’d say probably…Gryffindor? Marsden’s got a good heart, but she’s not overly trusting, and she’s smart without being sly.

How about Jude? Who is he and how does he fit into Mars’ life?
Jude’s a huge complication for Marsden, and in her mind, he comes into her life at the worst possible time. But it’s never the easy things that bring about the greatest, most important changes, and I think that’s a good way to look at these two ending up being so pivotal to one another. (As for the HP part of the question, I think Jude falls somewhere in between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Maybe? Though I’m probably way off base, so if any HP fans end up reading Along the Indigo and want to share how they’d sort Marsden and Jude, please let me know!

I love hearing about the writing process, so what was one of your favorite parts about writing this particular story? Least favorite?
I really wanted to write a book that felt like something a reader would want to curl up with on a rainy day, something a bit longer, a bit slower-paced, with tons of mood and atmosphere. Recently I came across an article about the art of the slow read, and it reminded me how, as a teen, those were always the kinds of books I was most drawn to (and still am). As for my least favourite part of this book’s writing process, it was hard for me to lose Jude’s perspective (Along the Indigo was originally dual POV). But he’s still fully in the story, and I think focusing on Marsden’s perspective makes for a stronger book in the end!

You’ve also got a short story coming in the A Thousand Beginnings and Endings anthology (which I seriously can’t wait to read). Was it harder or easier to write than a full-length novel, or did you find that it was about the same? Also, can you tell us a little bit about your story? :D
I’m so glad you’re excited! I’m co-editing A Thousand Beginnings and Endings with Ellen Oh, and I do also have a story in it. It’s called “Bullet, Butterfly,” and it’s a retelling of the tragic Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers, which is widely known as the Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet. I put a futuristic spin on it that I hope readers will find cool!  
As for the process of writing it, I did find it easier than writing a full-length novel, if only for length alone (5k vs 90k). Which means less to revise, too, less to fix. But it can go the other way, as well—with less words to play with, it can frustrating to try to fit what you want, or to feel like you’re saying it most effectively.

Lastly, whether it’s writing it or reading it, what do you love about YA?
I still remember how hard it was being a teen, and really turning to books to kind of disappear into when I needed it. I love the idea of readers finding solace in books, especially at a time in their lives when there’s often a lot of uncertainty and questions. If even one teen reads my books and is made the happier for it, then I’ve done my job.

Thanks for taking part in the event and congrats on your newest release, Elsie! 😊
Thank you so much, Holly!!!

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Madness: Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell

Today I'm happy to be sharing a top ten list from debut author, Heather Ezell. But before we get into that, here's more information about the book. :)


Title: Nothing Left to Burn
Author: Heather Ezell
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: March 13th, 2018!

From Goodreads...
A dark, riveting YA contemporary novel that follows sixteen-year-old Audrey as she navigates a tumultuous and all-consuming relationship, while reckoning with her family's evacuation from the path of a deadly wildfire.

The autumn morning after sixteen-year-old Audrey Harper loses her virginity, she wakes to a loud, persistent knocking at her front door. Waiting for her are two firemen, there to let her know that the moment she's been dreading has arrived: the enormous wildfire sweeping through Orange County, California, is now dangerously close to her idyllic gated community of Coto de Caza, and it's time to evacuate.

Over the course of the next twenty-four hours, as Audrey wrestles with the possibility of losing her family home, she also recalls her early, easy summer days with Brooks, the charming, passionate, but troubled volunteer firefighter who enchants Audrey--and who is just as enthralled by her. But as secrets from Brooks's dark past come to light, Audrey can't help but wonder if there's danger in the pull she feels--both toward this boy and toward the fire burning in the distance. 


It’s been a ride of a debut year, seeing the publication of Nothing Left to Burn come to fruition complete with its many ups (and admittedly very few downs). Compiling this list of my top ten favorite debut moments was far trickier than I thought. But, alas, I pressed on and attempted to distill my memories and thoughts…so in no particular order, an incomplete list (and one that changes day to day) of my top ten favorite debut moments:  

1. Working with a keen, compassionate editor who so thoroughly understood the story I was trying to tell and gently guided me to tell it better. Reading my editor’s first major edit letter was surreal—she understood my characters as well as me and loved them, too.

2. Seeing Nothing Left to Burn’s cover for the first time: shock, confusion (is it a painting? Is it a photo? A pool! Audrey doesn’t swim? Audrey is obsessed with water! The flames!), elation. I am obsessed with my cover.

3. Sending in my final proofread pass – being done, finished, complete. The relief of knowing I’d given Audrey’s story everything I had to offer. 

4. Seeing the finished product of the map Cat Scully designed for Nothing Left to Burn. I’m obsessed with maps and I’m so glad I had the gall to go about acquiring one for my debut.

5. Hearing from early readers—it’s bonkers beautiful to know that people are connecting with the story and interpreting it in their own ways. 

6. Meeting fellow authors and 2018 debuts, finding wonderful friends in my comrades. 

7. Unboxing (or, okay, slicing into a bag) my ARCs. I’m still kind of speechless. You can watch my utter terrified glee here:

8. And then, just two weeks ago, holding a finished copy for the first time. I can’t quite remember what was going on in my head. Shock. 

9. This is most definitely a cheat but every moment of debuting has been a beloved dream: something I’ve worked for my entire life is really happening—my first novel is being published—a novel I started (sort of, not really, but technically) when I was thirteen. Nothing Left to Burn will be typed in italics, and not all caps, and it’ll be on bookstore shelves… on reader’s shelves.  

10. And I imagine today, March 13th, the day of Nothing Left to Burn’s release, will hold one of the best moments yet: seeing my debut on the shelves.  


Buy Nothing Left to Burn on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Target | IndieBound
Find Heather on her website | Twitter | Tumblr

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March Madness: White Night by Ellie Marney

Today I've got a book that I think was published a *little* earlier than intended, but I'm still counting it. Because fuck it, I'm so excited to have Ellie Marney on the blog, author of one of the best series EVERRRR. But before we get into her fun post on the research she did for White Night, here's a bit more information on the book. :)


Title: White Night
Author: Ellie Marney
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: March 1st, 2018!

From Goodreads...
In Bo Mitchell's country town, a 'White Night' light-show event has the potential to raise vital funds to save the skate park. And out of town, a girl from a secretive off-the-grid community called Garden of Eden has the potential to change the way Bo sees the world. But are there too many secrets in Eden? 

As Bo is drawn away from his friends and towards Rory, he gradually comes to believe that Eden may not be utopia after all, and that their group leader's goal to go off the grid may be more permanent - and more dangerous - than anyone could have predicted.

A wonderfully compelling novel from the acclaimed author of the Every series.


White Night's Themes
People do occasionally ask me about the themes and threads running through my books, and the kinds of research I do to create an authentic world for the characters. In the case of White Night, I had to do a lot of digging to create the worlds – and worldviews – of Rory and Ray Carl and the community of Garden of Eden.

Ninety-nine percent of the research I do for my books doesn’t make it onto the page: I’m not trying to bore readers with a long treatise on environmentalism, honest! But one thing I learned early in my writing career is that even if the reader doesn’t see all the details of a character’s personal philosophy on the page, I have to know what that philosophy is, so I have a complete understanding of how that character will think and behave.

So here’s a glimpse (and it really is only a glimpse! I have a lot of bookmarked articles on my laptop) into the kinds of things I studied during the writing of White Night to make Eden come alive for readers.

Eden’s particular brand of environmentalism was primarily informed by two books: David Suzuki and David R. Boyd’s Green Guide, and The World Without Us by Alan Weisman.
Both books come at the topic from very different perspectives. Suzuki and Boyd provided a lot of the information and stats I needed to bulk up Ray Carl’s arguments about healthy eating, pesticide and antibiotic use in modern farming, and the dominance of ‘food corporations’ in contemporary food production.

Weisman’s book is altogether different: it’s a thought experiment, where Weisman (an American journalist) poses the initial question, ‘What would happen to the natural and built environments if all the humans disappeared overnight?’ and then talks to experts and studies landscapes to find out what the result would be. This book is the origin of Rory’s abhorrence of plastic, and her anxiety about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Weisman’s book is really astonishing. It also provided the basis for Ray Carl’s utopian imaginings of a world without people, and fed into his philosophy about how much nicer the world might be if all the people just died out…

Cults and Communes –
One of the reasons I built a storyline around a girl who lives in an isolated, closed-off radical community is because I was once a member of one. Like Rory, it was something I was dragged into by my parents – although my experience centred around a religious community, and Rory’s commune is focused on radical environmental politics.

To get some additional perspective on communes, cults and demagogues, I spent a lot of time reading about Jonestown. The circumstances around the terrible loss of life in Jonestown, when nearly a thousand of Jim Jones’s followers killed themselves in an act of ‘revolutionary suicide’, has served as a cautionary tale on the frightening power of ‘groupthink’ and fanaticism since 1978. Books like Stories from Jonestown by Leigh Fondakowski and Jonestown Survivor by Laura Johnston Kohl were – I have to admit – grim reading. I also pored through a lot of articles about cult leaders and the kinds of techniques they use to reel people in (although, having been exposed to it personally, I already had a pretty good idea of that kind of psychological manipulation).And if you want a primer on cults and demagogues, I can’t recommend a better place to start than with Lili Wilkinson’s vlog series, Let’s Talk About Sects.

Pottery –
Every character needs to have a personal passion – and with Rory, that passion is pottery and sculpture. I did some work with clay and pottery a long time ago, so for research I went back to the book that first informed me: Step-by-Step Guide to Pottery by Gwilym Thomas. It’s old (published in 1973!), but it covered all the basics about clay bodies, hand forming and using a wheel, as well as other more complicated things like slip casting. For other details, like how to find and dig your own natural clays, I went to the web. There are literally hundreds of articles about pottery and raku online. I also have a friend whose husband is a professional potter: he has his own kiln in a backyard shed, so I was able to gain some insights by looking at his workshop. Would I take pottery back up as a hobby now? Maybe – although the book-writing thing is keeping me kinda busy…

Food Politics –
Our ideas about food and mealtime have changed pretty significantly since the Industrial Revolution. Apart from maybe counting calories and checking for unwanted additives, most of us don’t really put too much thought into what we’re putting in our mouths – but maybe we should. I’m not talking about the new focus on things like gluten/dairy/sugar-free, but about agribusiness and industrial food production. Reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan is scary. Food production is a heavily concentrated industry, and you don’t want to know what goes on behind the scenes in processing factories…or maybe you do? Pollan’s journey, following a beef steer he bought at market through the feedlot process to the ultimate end, in his article Power Steer is disturbing but essential reading, and went a long way towards informing the Eden community’s position on sustainably-grown, community-based food. The documentary Pollan made with Robert Kenner, Food Inc, is also highly recommended.

And that’s it! I mean, that’s not it – this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as book-research goes. But I hope I’ve managed to incorporate into White Night some of the ideas and themes that developed while I was doing this research (without beating you over the head with them). Thanks so much for reading the book! I hope you enjoy it, and maybe we’ll run into each other someday over a plate of sustainably-grown food!


Find White Night on:

Find Ellie On:


And be sure to enter the event-wide giveaway if you haven't already! :)

Monday, March 12, 2018

March Madness: Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

Today I'm so STOKED to be sharing this fun, birthday-themed miniature Q&A session with Kristen Simmons. But first, here's all the deets about her newest novel, Pacifica. :D


Title: Pacfica
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: March 6th, 2018!

From Goodreads...
Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she's meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council's favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.

Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president's son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam's safe return.

When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate. 


Ice cream or cake?
I have to eat a gluten free diet, but that said, STILL CAKE! There is nothing in the world like a good red velvet cupcake. Yum!

Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate, of course!

A big surprise party or a small gathering of close friends?
Always a small gathering of close friends. With cake.

Homecooked meal or a night out at your favorite restaurant?
A night out is always fun! I love trying new foods!

And lastly, who would be more fun at a party: Chase and Ember from Article 5 or Lena, Ty, and Colin from Metaltown? :D
Ha! The Metaltown crew for sure! Colin can dance, Lena can sing, and Ty can sneak in Matchstick, who can provide the fireworks. Though I love Chase, he doesn't exactly kick up his heels in a party situation. And Ember, well, she's running for her life, so she's probably busy anyway.

Thanks so much for joining me on my blog, Kristen, and congrats on your newest release! 😊
Thanks so much for having me, Holly! 


Buy Pacifica from Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository
Find Kristen on 
her websiteTwitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March Madness: Boomerang by Helene Dunbar

Today I've got an interview with the lovely Helene Dunbar, author of the newly released, Boomerang!


Hi Helene, thanks so much for joining me on The Fox’s Hideaway. For those unfamiliar with your newest novel, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Sure! Boomerang is the story of a boy who everyone assumes was kidnapped, but who really ran away. Five years later, he returns to his old home – not necessarily by choice - in order to try to claim an inheritance to save the boy he developed an intensely complicated relationship with while he was away.

If you had to sort Sean into a Hogwarts house, which one would he be in?
I have to admit that I always have a hard time sorted anyone (including myself) into houses.  Since you asked, I had him take the Pottermore test and he was sorted into Ravenclaw. He REALLY wants to be in Gryffindor, though. But Sean’s biggest flaw is that he sees things in black and white and that often gets in the way of his grand plans.

I love that your books cover an array of themes that realistically portray teen lives. What do you love about writing contemporary fiction? And how important is it for authors to accurately represent what it means being a teen?
Thank you! 
Although I grew up reading a lot of classic science fiction and fantasy, I would have read contemporary when I was in high school and that’s why, I think I write it.  I very much took that “write the book you want to read, but can’t find” to heart. I was always looking for books that I could (1) lose myself in and (2) identify with. Not that I needed to read about characters exactly like me, but I wants book that I found at once emotionally moving and accessible. 
I think authors have a responsibility, more than anything else, to be honest.  To me that means letting your characters feel things that might not be easy or neat. Life is messy and being a teen is probably the messiest of all. Everything is changing and not at the same rate for everyone. I think it’s important for teen readers to see that those mixed up emotions are normal and that not everyone chooses the same path and that’s okay.

What is one of your favorite parts about the writing process? Least favorite? 
I love revising, mostly because I hate plotting. In revisions, I can dig deep into my characters and their thoughts and dialogue and I really enjoy the associated nuance. Plotting feels like work to me. A lot of work.

And a question I always enjoy asking: what are you currently working on? Anything you can share about it? :D
By the time this runs, I’ll be working on my 2020 book, which is a sequel to my 2019 book, PRELUDE FOR LOST SOULS about two best friends who live in a town where everyone makes their living talking to the dead.  One of the boys desperately wants to leave and the other desperately wants to stay and both of their paths are complicated by the expectations of those around them and the things and people they feel responsible for. 
As I type this, I’m working feverishly on trying to finish up a YA in vignettes, which is a coming of age story in New York 1983, set against the early days of the AIDS crisis. It’s a book I’ve been thinking about for a very long time and I’m excited by the idea of being able to share it.

Lastly, what do you hope people take away from Boomerang?
My alternate title for Boomerang, was “Ordinary Love” from the U2 song about Nelson Mandela. It’s about how love pulls people off their pedestals and there’s a question in the song, “Are we tough enough for ordinary love?” that Sean’s lover, Trip, would absolutely ask. Not, “Can you handle being in a fairy tale relationship where everything is flowers and candlelight?” but “Can you handle the day in and the day out and accept the people you love on their own terms even if you don’t like their decisions?” 
For me, that’s the question at the heart of this story. It’s not always an easy question to answer, but I think it’s an interesting and important one.

Thanks again for joining me on the blog and congrats on your latest release. 😊 
Thank you SO MUCH for having me here!


You can find Helene on Twitter, Goodreads, and her website. Boomerang can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, and you can request an autographed copy from Parnassus Books. And you can add it on Goodreads! :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Blog Tour: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Today I'm stoked to be sharing my interview with Brigid Kemmerer for the blog tour. She's one of my favorite authors, so I'm excited I was able to do this! More Than We Can Tell comes out March 6th, so definitely check it out!


Welcome to The Fox’s Hideaway, Brigid! For those unfamiliar with your latest novel, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Thank you so much for having me! More Than We Can Tell is a book about two teens who are both being harassed by different people in their lives, and while they’re trying to figure out how to handle it, they find each other, and they help each other through it. 

Here’s the full summary: 

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

If you were to sort Rev and Emma into Hogwarts houses, which ones would they be in? Bonus: Declan and Juliet’s houses? 

Oh wow, this is a tough question! I think Emma, my fearless gamer, would be Ravenclaw, and Rev, my white knight in a hoodie, would be Hufflepuff. 

Bonus: Declan would be Griffindor, because he’s a white knight who dresses up like a villain. Juliet is driven and motivated, so I’d put her in Ravenclaw with Emma. 

I love that gaming is such a big part of More Than We Can Tell. If you could, would you play OtherLANDS? (I definitely would! Emma’s built something amazing).

Thank you!! I would totally play OtherLANDS! I used to love playing City of Heroes years ago, and sometimes I miss it terribly! 

I also appreciate that your book tackles subjects such as PTSD, abuse, and how toxic and threatening the gaming community can be for women but that they aren’t the sole focus. And that it’s okay for Rev and Emma not to be okay and to have time to work through their issues. Was it ever difficult to separate the struggles while writing? 

Writing More Than We Can Tell was probably the most emotionally trying book I’ve written yet. Between Rev’s history of abuse and Emma’s online gaming harassment, it took a ton of research into topics that weren’t very pleasant. I watched a lot of videos of women being harassed in game, and honestly, the biggest challenge was making the harassment severe enough that people would understand that it was definitely a Big Deal, while still keeping the language/subject matter appropriate for YA. A lot of the videos I watched were very R-rated, and some were even NC-17. It was disgusting. I spoke with a police officer about how people are targeted online, too, and the stories he told me were horrifying. Add in conversations with psychologists about PTSD and lasting effects from child abuse, and … well, let’s just say I hug my kids extra hard every night. I cried writing a lot of the scenes in this book. 

MTWCT is a contemporary, but you’ve published non-contemporaries too. What do you like about genre hopping? Do you have a particular favorite?

You know … it’s funny, but I never really feel like it’s genre hopping. The Elemental Series definitely has paranormal aspects to it, but at its core, those books are contemporary YA with boys who just happen to have some special powers. So it wasn’t much of a leap to move into solid contemporary. I have a fantasy novel coming out in January 2019—A Curse So Dark and Lonely—so that’s my biggest leap yet—though it involves a girl named Harper who’s whisked out of our world and into the cursed land of Emberfall, so even that didn’t feel like too much a stretch. J 

And lastly, what are you currently working on? Anything you can share about it? :D

Right now I’m finishing up my 2019 contemporary, which doesn’t have a final title yet, but it’s about a boy named Rob, whose father was caught stealing money from many families in their town, so Rob takes it upon himself to start stealing from rich kids to help the poor families his father hurt. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

Thank you so much for joining me on my blog and congrats on your newest book! 😊

Thank you so much for having me! 


I hope y'all enjoyed the Q&A! Also, Bloomsbury is offering one US/CAN winner a copy of the book, so make sure to enter for it. :)

Be sure to check out the other tour stops!

Monday, March 5, 2018

March Madness: In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

For the first author post of the event, I'm doing a small spotlight on In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira. Unfortunately, Ava wasn't able to participate because of her busy schedule. But she still wanted to be part of this, and she offered up a signed ARC for a giveaway, so be sure to check that out at the end of this post! :D


Title: In Search of Us
Author: Ava Dellaira
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: March 6th, 2018!

From Goodreads...
The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn's tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie's story is about her search for her unknown father.

This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie's father, James, who was African-American. But Angie's never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.


And now onto the giveaway! Unfortunately this one will only be open US/CAN residents. But there's the event-wide giveaway that's open internationally. :)