Monday, April 6, 2015

FFBC - Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein + BIG GIVEAWAY

Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1)
by Lori Goldstein
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Mythology
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Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit. 

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny. 

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

This is the hardest question ever. Nothing opened the world of YA writing to me more than the Harry Potter series, and nothing entranced me as much as those books when I first read them and every time I re-read them. 

The Vampire Diaries

Fight Club

Currently, the entire 1989 Taylor Swift album, but of those, I’m into “This Love” right now.

Ice cream, or is that a category?

Hogwarts, Westeros, but only Highgarden, I think, the museum in The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Levi from Fangirl

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.” ― Rainbow RowellFangirl

See the above answers to number 7 and 8 and you’ll know: Rainbow Rowell. Her writing and humor are such an inspiration to me.

The queen of it all: J.K. Rowling.

I was an obsessive reader before I was an obsessive author. Reading books, finding new authors, and talking about all of it with others who love books as much as I do is what makes me happy. Readers are my people. Hugs to you all!

Hello Lori! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

I’m thrilled to be here. You and all of your bloggers are amazing and have been asking the best questions during this tour!

Becoming Jinn is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. So there are no lamps or bottles, no flying carpets, and no three wishes. The genies in my book are Jinn, which are spirit beings prominent in North African and Middle Eastern cultures. Becoming Jinn mixes the lore of the genies we know with that of the Jinn and is set in our contemporary world, in my home state of Massachusetts. The story follows my main character, Azra, from the day she wakes up on her sixteenth birthday and receives the magical silver bangle that forces her to start granting wishes. And I say force because the tradeoff of being able to use magic is that she’s now also tied to the Afrit, the dictatorship-like council that rules over the Jinn world. There are five other Jinn girls who Azra’s grown up with who feature strongly in the novel. There’s also Henry, a human and Azra’s next-door neighbor; the two share a past and rekindle their friendship at the start of the novel. And there’s a love interest, Nate, who, despite his underwear model exterior, is as unsure of himself and struggling to find his way as everyone else is.

At her age, I’d have acted pretty much the same. I was a bratty teenager. (Mom, please stop nodding your head.) I disliked things just to dislike them. (Mom, I said stop it.) As an adult, with perspective, I’d be less defiant about it and more apt to try to find ways to outsmart the Afrit and to use my powers to do what I wanted and to help my friends, which, actually, is something Azra comes to as well.

Becoming Jinn was inspired by a name I heard on the news. A few years ago, there was a devastating earthquake in Turkey. A mother and her infant daughter were pulled from the rubble and both miraculously survived. That baby’s name was Azra, which is my protagonist in Becoming Jinn.

YA paranormal and supernatural has always been a genre I loved, and in hearing this name and thinking of what would be a cool story for this girl, somehow it all sparked the idea of writing a book featuring Jinn, which for some reason I knew was the term for spirits derived from North African and Middle Eastern lore. 

In terms of inspiration, it’s hard to have a book with magic in it without acknowledging the master that is J.K. Rowling, but I knew I also loved contemporary books like those from Rainbow Rowell. And I love The Vampire Diaries, which is paranormal in a contemporary setting with a lot of sarcastic humor. All of that, subconciously at least, influenced the direction I took with Becoming Jinn.

Well, no pressure there…so much of what I’d choose is spoiler-y, so I’m going to go with a pretty heartbraking one that comes early on in the book:

“I close my eyes and see Jenny’s fingers wrapped around the metal chain next to me. Higher and higher, we rode the swings on the set in my backyard, me promising her that just a little more and we’d be able to touch the tulip-shaped cloud in the sky.

“I’m flying, Azra!”

She was. She did. And then all that was next to me was the metal chain. The day she died was the day I realized magic couldn’t fix everything.”

Yes! It comes toward the middle of the book and involves Azra and her coworker, Zoe, at the snack bar at the beach. I can’t say more, but it’s a pivotal point in Azra’s journey to becoming Jinn and it was a blast to write.

I love Azra’s refusal to take things at face value and her need for reasons and answers. It comes from a place of wanting things to be different and better. Once you understand why something is the way it is, that’s when you have the ability to change it.

Right now, another me! Things are hectic before a book’s release, everyone!

But seriously, I’d be pretty standard here with wishing for good health for me and my loved ones, the ability to keep living my dream by writing books, and, well, why not: a house on the beach.

Funny, in my playlist for this tour, there is one song that leaped out as encompassing the full story. I’ll snag that here as a little preview of the playlist that will be coming.

Ho Hey by The Lumineers – I love this song to death. For Jinn, it has a great meaning for Azra, staring with the lines of “I’ve been living a lonely life,” up through the pull Azra starts to feel between the people in her life. In particular, the lines, “So show me family . . . I don’t know where I belong,” and concluding with the realization that “I belong with you, you belong with me.” In fact, this makes it a song that from start to finish encapsulates Jinn.

The perfect way to read Becoming Jinn would be on a beach, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing and snacking on something of the chocolate nature. At least for me—that’s the way I like to read everything!

I have a very busy spring full of exciting events, festivals, and bookstore visits to support the launch of Becoming Jinn. I’m looking forward to all of it! A full list of my events can be found on my Web site ( In terms of writing, Becoming Jinn has a sequel, tentatively titled Circle of Jinn, and I’ve just put the finishing touches on it. I’m sad to leave Azra and this Jinn world, but I also have many other stories and characters running around in my head, and once the release of Jinn is a bit behind me, I can finally start paying attention to them and get one of them on the page. I have a favorite now and I’m in thinking mode about it, which is a very fun place to be because anything’s possible.

Thank you so much for everything, Lori!

Thank you for having me. You have been so kind to have me and I appreciate more than I can say. Thank you!

Click here for more information about the Pre-order giveaway hosted by Lori Goldstein.

Follow the Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.

Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at or my Tumblr at Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.

US Only & International | Must be 13 or older to enter

Monday, March 9, 2015

Win a PB copy of The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Hi Everyone!

Last year I was thrilled to co-host Robin Constantine and The Promise of Amazing on FFBC!
Some of you may know that the companion novel to The Promise of Amazing is coming out next month (04/28)and I can't wait  to read it!

Also coming out soon, is the paperback copy of The Promise of Amazing and I have the honor of giving away a copy of one of my lucky readers!

To win a copy - All you have to do is answer the following question! 

What's the best/worst advice you've been given (or gave) to help woo that special someone or secret crush?

I believe us girls are the guilty of going to extremes to get a guys attention. And I can think of many
embarrassing stories of things I have done to "woo" a guy. Some that are so embarassing
that I would never dare have proof of it be found on print. But one story that comes to find
is several years back, I had a crush on a guy who sat next to me in a history class in college. And
I was determined to get him to notice me. One of my physical attributes that I always
get complemented on is my long brown hair.  To try to get his attention  I would make up 2 hours
early every day before class to style my hair. Straighten it, curl it, leave it wavy to name it, I tried it!
The semester went by and even though we became good friends, never once did he ever compliment my hair. Towards the end of the semester I was become content on just being friends and I no longer
did it bother me that he did not fall for any of my "wooing." Fast forward a few weeks after the semester ended and I ran into him at a local coffee shop, where he was having coffee with his girl-friend. My feelings at this point had gone away, so it did not bother me to meet her. However I was shocked to find that his girlfriend had no hair what- so- ever in a very rockerish style. I stook my head as I walked out and yes, ran my fingers through my long hair. All I kept thinking to my self was how I wasted 2 hour - 3 times a week doing my hair, and how I wish I could have slept in, instead! 

Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program, trying to keep up her grades, and hanging with her awesome friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. They're just casual, by choice—getting serious with a guy only complicates life. But then a visit from a family friend turns her life upside down and throws all her beliefs into question.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. He can't seem to move on from his ex and hasn't picked up his guitar in weeks. Then, pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cover Reveal: Gabriel by Nikki Kelly + $25 GC giveaway

Okay Guys! You know how much I loved Lailah by Nikki Kelly
and that I consider myself her book pimp! 

Well Nikki revealed the cover for Gabriel today! 

How gorgeous is this cover? BTW I will have to say that I was 
#TEAMGABRIEL from day one!

So to celebrate my bestie's new cover reveal, I am giving 
away a $25 giftcard to the book seller of your choice! 

Yes it is open Internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 5, 2015

FFBC TOUR: I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell + GIVEAWAY

I Remember You
by Cathleen Davitt Bell
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 10th 2015
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For fans of THE FUTURE OF US comes an engrossing story of two teens, whose love for each other is tested by time and fate.

Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them—not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it.

Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future?

Favorites are tricky! Hard to name just one. But I do go back time and again to Jane Austen. What I appreciate about her writing changes as I get older. But I never stop wanting to read her work.

Oooh, The Americans on FX right now! It’s filmed in my neighborhood, so it’s really fun to pick out seedy warehouses that are actually just around the corner, on the way to the local swimming pool or the grocery store. 

Rushmore. All Tarantino. All Wes Anderson. All John Sayles. The Matrix. Gosford Park. Boyhood. Bringing Up Baby. Some Like It Hot. 

That changes month by month. I go through phases. But recently, and during a big part of the writing of I Remember You, my favorite song was “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. I made it a bedtime song for my daughter, which some people think is weird, but she loves it too. 

Mushrooms. Chocolate. Croissants. Pecan Pie. Not all together.

Rivendell. Downton Abbey. Hogwarts. 

John Cusack in Say Anything

From Richard Wilbur’s beautiful poem, “The Writer”: 

It is always a matter, my darling,

Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish

What I wished you before, but harder. 

Regina Spektor. On Pandora, every channel I try to start ends up being a Regina Spektor channel. 

Dodie Smith, who wrote The One Hundred and One Dalmatians and also wrote I Capture the Castle, one of the best coming of age stories I’ve read. If you’ve never heard of it, go get yourself a copy right now. 

There’s nothing better to be addicted to than stories. They’re how we learn, process, and change the world. Keep reading! And writing.

Hello Cathleen! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

I thought up the idea for I Remember You while I was standing in my kitchen, washing dishes on a Sunday night. I’d just spent the weekend with my high school friends, away from my beloved husband and children. Even though I’d only been with my old friends for a weekend, it was a culture shock coming home. It was almost like I’d been visiting my actual high school self, traveling through time across a distance of many years. It got me thinking, What would happen if an adult traveled back in time to high school? How would they act? What would they do? And then I started to wonder what would make you want to go back and there was only ever one answer…love.

I Remember You came straight out of a song—Antje Dukekot’s “Lighthouse.” It’s about love that lasts even after what you love is long gone. The idea made me think about how people wait for love. How they wait without even thinking of it. The feelings lie dormant but they’re not dead. All it takes is a little trigger, and there they are, full blown and real again in your mind. 

A feeling of sweetness came over me. Over us, I believe; I am certain Lucas felt it too. “Lucas,” I said, so sure of the way he loved me that I could be sure about everything else too. I could step off a cliff and know that he would keep me from falling. He held my hand. 

“Lucas,” I said. “I will never let go of you.” 

“You will.”

There are a few key scenes in I Remember You that I wrote almost as fast as you can read them. The hospital scene. The ending. I was really feeling my characters’ feelings and just trying to keep things slow enough to give them a chance to be as real on the page as they were in my mind. I’d been waiting and waiting to get them there, and the words simply poured themselves out of my fingers onto the page. 

I Remember You came straight out of a song—Antje Dukekot’s “Lighthouse.” I included it as the epigraph of the book. The song’s about love that lasts even after what you love is long gone. The idea made me think about how people wait for love. How they wait without even thinking of it. The feelings lie dormant but they’re not dead. All it takes is a little trigger, and there they are, full blown and real again in your mind. 

That’s a tricky one. If you’re like me, and get a sushi craving the minute you so much as see the word sushi, you should make sure to have some on hand. Juliet and her mom share a sushi meal early on in the novel. Otherwise, I don’t think this is a book that makes you hungry. It might make you feel like calling up old boyfriends. So probably better not to have your phone nearby. And a few readers have told me the story makes them cry, so maybe tissues? (I don’t want to jinx it though :)

Time travel: Jack Finney’s Time and Again made me fall in love with time travel, New York City, New York history…this book has it all—also a very compelling love story. I was thinking a bit about Time Traveler’s Wife when I came up with the idea for I Remember You also. Time travel movies? I loved Terminator and of course Back to the Future—for very different reasons. 

Romance: I simply adored the big love story in Twilight. But I also think love stories don’t get much better than Wuthering Heights. In movies, I love it when romance takes a character by surprise—I’m thinking of Clueless, which isn’t just one of my favorite romance movies, but one of my favorite movies of all time. But sometimes romance movies are the best when they’re sad, like Celeste and Jesse Forever. 

I just want to keep writing. I have a long list of stories in my mind that I want to write, and I keep thinking of more.

Thank you so much for everything, Cathleen!

Thanks you, guys. This has been a real pleasure!

Follow the I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I was born in Princeton, NJ in 1971 and lived there until I was twelve, when we moved with my mom moved to West Hartford, CT.

My dad and mom had been divorced when I was two, and my dad lived in Williamstown, MA. I spent summers and school vacations with him.

I went to college in New York, at Barnard, and stayed in New York after I graduated. I worked as a newspaper reporter for three months, as a salesperson for a multimedia publisher for three years, and as a market researcher, and finally a copywriter.

I’m married and have two awesome kids ages two and five. I lived in Manhattan for sixteen years, but now am in Brooklyn, living downstairs from my sister and her family. I have two dogs named Oscar and Oprah. My favorite food is pizza and, strangely, in my thirties, I’ve developed a great love for playing catch. Slipping is my first book.

Win (1) of (10) finished copies of I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell (US Only)