Category Archives: Author Event

Tiger’s Curse Author Event Coverage + Giveaway!


Last weekend was one of the greatest weekends in my life as a book blogger. That’s not saying much, since I haven’t been a blogger for very long, but it is still significant to me. Last weekend COLLEEN HOUCK, author of the best selling TIGER’S CURSE series visited my town not one but TWO days in a row. First, on Friday, May 18, she visited a Barnes and Noble just a few miles from my house, then on Saturday, May 19, she was at another location less than a mile from my work place. I was ecstatic to say the least, and felt a bit of pressure due to the fact that, as Colleen has claimed, it was thanks to my adamant requests (and those of my family and friends) that brought her here.

Funny story: On my way to the Friday event, I discovered (thanks to a limo and girl-in-fancy-dress sighting) that it was prom night here in town. As a result, the attendance that day almost entirely consisted adults, including me and my sister-in-law, Nanci from the blog This Crazy Life of Mine.  This was nice, as it made for a more intimate gathering. Colleen read a romantic scene from Voyage and the Q&A session was fantastic!

Colleen Houck shared the following tidbits of information at her signing:

  • The upcoming fourth book in the series, TIGER’S DESTINY, has had three different endings up to its most current (and presumably finalized) ending. The book will be released on September 4, 2012.
  • In January 2010, Colleen’s (self-published) Amazon Kindle ranking went from approximately #30,000 to #19 overnight – likely due to the Christmas purchases of e-readers.
  • After reading The Twilight Saga: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer, Colleen felt the need to stalk Edward. After multiple unanswered pleas to the author to speed up the publishing of the final book, Colleen decided to write a book of her own to fill the void. Thus, Tiger’s Curse came into existence.
  • Colleen completed Tiger’s Curse on the same day that Breaking Dawn was published.

Then on Saturday, Nanci, Sarah from the YA Rebels, Alisha from The AMWriter and I attended the event in Tampa. This time, the room was full of both adults and teens. Colleen read from the exclusive B&N Limited Edition of Tiger’s Voyage (my sister-in-law got the last one in the store!) and answered questions. I also managed to procure one of the event posters from the store and had it signed by Colleen!

Needless to say, it was an awesome weekend for this Tiger Girl. I will be making a trip out to Portland, Oregon when Colleen holds her launch party for Tiger’s Destiny. You know I’ll be counting down the days until then… In addition, I will be promoting the book the entire month of September right here on the blog as part of my Month of the Tiger.

If you haven’t read the Tiger’s Curse series, yet. Perhaps NOW is the time:
Tiger’s Curse (Book 1) Hardcover | Tiger’s Curse Paperback

How about a giveaway?

Tiger's CurseThis weekend I had Colleen autograph TWO paperback copies of Tiger’s Curse to give away right here on the blog. TWO lucky winners will have the opportunity to win one of these beautiful books, plus a signed bookmark! Would you like to be one of the lucky winners?

If you have entered in the past, do not worry! Your entries have been recorded.

You must be 13 or older to enter.
Open to US and Canada only.
Ends at midnight on June 15, 2012.


Giveaway: Veronica Rossi + Tahereh Mafi Into the Future Book Tour

Even on the day of the event, I had fully believed I would NOT be attending the Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky) and Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me) signing this past weekend on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Books and Books, Inc. in Coral Gables, Florida. But thanks to a last minute change of heart on the part of my dear husband, I was able to make the 6 hour drive from Tampa to the Miami area. Along the way, I met up with fellow bloggers, Sarah Nicolas (YA Rebels) and Sarah (The Book Life) and her two fabulous friends. We had such a blast! I must say, if you ever have the chance to see these two authors together during the Into the Future Book Tour, DO NOT PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY. They are a riot and two seriously awesome ladies.

GIVEAWAY ALERT! I picked up an extra autographed copy of each author’s book, plus some Shatter Me swag to give away here on Making the Grade! (Check out the photo of the items to the left.) One lucky winner will receive this Into the Future Prize Pack; which includes both signed books, plus the Shatter Me key chain also pictured!

Click here to enter this giveaway.

A few fun facts about Veronica Rossi and Tahereh Mafi:

  • For one thing, these two ladies have been touring for so long now this year, that they officially refer to each other as a “married couple”. If all marriages were as good as theirs, this would be a happy world indeed (and full of laughter, too!)
  • If you didn’t know already, Veronica Rossi’s second book in her series is titled Through the Ever Night. Tahereh Mafi’s next book is titled Unravel Me.
  • Shatter Me was originally titled Touching Juliette. Which brought up such questions as: “Who is touching Juliette?”, “Where are they touching her?” and “Does Juliette want to be touched?” The change to Shatter Me was probably a wise decision…
  • Tahereh Mafi has the best fashion sense EVER. From her Kate Spade typewriter purse to her super stylish yellow wedged sneaks (wish I had gotten a ph0to of those!)… I need her advice to help me fill my closet!
  • A certain bird tattoo in Shatter Me is awkwardly inspired by an identical tattoo on Tahereh’s brother. (Shower scene not included.)

Watch a video of Tahereh Mafi describing her book, Shatter Me:


Enter Now to Win an Into the Future Prize Pack!

One winner will receive a signed copy of Under the Never Sky & Shatter Me, + swag.
Open to US residents aged 13 and older only.
Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday, May 18, 2012.

Grave Mercy: Guest Reviews + Author Interview + Giveaway

Grave MercyGrave Mercy
By Robin LaFevers
April 3, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author’s Website
Hardcover | Kindle

Read Our 5 Star Review of Grave Mercy

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

See what various bloggers have to say about Grave Mercy!

“This is not a read for the faint of heart. Grave Mercy offers non-stop action with a kick-butt heroine out to serve justice to those who deserve it. I believe fans of The Hunger Games will really enjoy this series…”
Booking It With Hayley  | 
Read more of Hayley’s Review

“Ismae’s story is as engrossing and action-packed as it is intelligent and emotionally driven…”
Inklings Read  | 
Read more of Sarah’s Review

“I immediately liked Ismae. She’s a great example of a non-victim character. Even though she’s really dangerous, and you definitely wouldn’t want to be around if you bore “the mark”…”
Emily’s Reading Room |
Read more of Emily’s Review

“Richly written, full of action, intrigue, political power struggles and betrayals, Grave Mercy makes you wonder why LaFevers hasn’t strayed from juvenile fiction sooner…”
Unwasted Words |
Read more of Anne-Marie’s Review

“To say this book was addicting is an understatement – the fast paced plot added to the fabulous writing kept me hooked…”
Beneath the Moon & Stars |
Read more of Marissa’s Review

Making the Grade is pleased to welcome Robin LaFevers, author of Grave Mercy, for an exclusive interview here on the blog. In addition, Robin is allowing us to host a giveaway for a SIGNED copy of Grave Mercy as well as various book swag! You can enter to win right after the interview!


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve led a happy, stable, rather mundane life as an adult, but my early years were tumultuous and full of upheaval, which is no doubt why I write for those ages–that is where my most fertile material comes from. My parents divorced when I was young and I had a series of stepfathers and quite a lot of stepbrothers. When I was twelve, my mom packed me and my two brothers and all our dogs up in the station wagon and we ran away in the middle of the night to a new town and a new life. It was absolutely the right thing to do, but it made for quite an adjustment! I still live in that small town. It is also where I met my husband and raised our two sons.

What do you do when you’re not writing? (For fun, that is!)

Writing is my full time job, my hobby, and my obsession. I am really trying to add some other hobbies and activities into the mix for balance!

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you either growing up or as an adult?

There were two. I read the Chronicles of Narnia when I was eight years old and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer. It was my first experience with fantasy (that wasn’t fairy tales or myth) and I was stunned that writers were allowed to make things up. The second huge influence was Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave. It was the first time I’d read historical fantasy, where fantasy elements were woven so seamlessly into an historical backdrop, and it immediately became my favorite genre. It remains one of my favorite books to this day.

What are you currently reading?

Christianity: The Origins of a Pagan Religion by Phillipe Walter, Tender Morsels by Margo Lannagan, and Going on Being by Mark Epstein (because I need a little Zen in my life right now!)

Regarding Grave Mercy: What ever gave you the idea to turn nuns into assassins? Can you give us some insight into your ideas?

Well, I went to Catholic school for the first few years of my live, and the nuns absolutely fascinated me with all their mystery and suppressed passion and enigmatic rituals. It seemed like surely they must be up to something much more intriguing than simply praying and living quietly behind those cloistered walls! So I let my imagination begin to fill in the blanks.

Also, I really wanted to write a story that explored a big sweeping canvas with life and death issues. Somehow those things came together in the stewpot that is my subconscious and Grave Mercy was born.

What was your favorite chapter (or part of the book) to write and why?

Oh there were so many favorite parts! Really loved stepping into the mind and skin of a medieval nun who served Death. What shape would her devotion take? How would she demonstrate her faith? But I must also confess that the scenes between Ismae and Duval were some of my very favorites. I loved writing about a relationship where two strong people were able to love and be loved and still be independent. While Ismae might be occasionally flustered by Duval, she doesn’t have to give up vital parts of herself or act less than she is to win his love. That was a core part of the book for me.

If there is ONE THING you would like readers to know about the book, what would it be?

That I believe love can be a transformative experience, whether it is love of duty, friends, country, spiritual devotion, or romantic love between two people. I wrote this book to explore that transformative journey as a young girl steps away from the thoughts and beliefs of those who raised her and begins making her own choices and decisions about life and love.

Can you reveal anything about the next installment? *eye wink*

Book Two will focus on poor embattled Sybella. When the convent sends her an order to free a wounded knight, it sets her on a journey to face her dark past and find a way back to hope and forgiveness and redemption. Book Three will tell Annith’s story.They are sequels in that they continue the drama of the duchess trying to hold onto her kingdom, but the different stages of that struggle are seen through the eyes of the three different girls.

In stark contrast to Grave Mercy, your prior books are written for a middle grade audience. (But we all know that older readers can also appreciate middle grade stories!) Can you tell us about them?

The Theodosia books tell the story of an eleven year old girl in Edwardian London whose parents run a museum. The only problem is that she is the only one who can see all the dark magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts and so it falls upon her to have to research ancient Egyptian magic in order to keep her family and herself safe.

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist is a young chapter book series that centers on a boy who discovers that mythological creatures are real and it is his job to look after them.

The only thing they have in common with Grave Mercy is that they are also historical fantasy. And that they all sprang out of my life long wish that mythical elements were real.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Ooh! Hard! It depends on what is being consumed. I prefer rich vanilla ice cream, but love chocolate (as in candy.) Cake is a toss up.

Pepsi or Coke?

Coke Zero

Tom or Jerry?

Hmm. Which of the two is more like a wolf rather than a sheep? 🙂

Is there anything more you would like to say to fans?

Thank you for inviting Ismae and Duval into your lives and letting me  share their world with you! The magic of the writer/reader connection never ceases to amaze me–or fill me with deep gratitude!

Thank you for taking the time to talk to Making the Grade! I know I speak for all of us when I say that I am already impatiently waiting for Book Two!

Thank you so much for having me!

To learn more about Robin LaFevers visit her web site!

Enter to win a SIGNED copy
of Grave Mercy + book swag!

You must fill out this form to enter.

ONE entry per person.
Giveaway is open US ONLY.
ONE winner will receive the signed book & swag.
Giveaway ends at midnight on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.