Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.


Happy Monday! Before I get to my interview today, I've got a few things to share. First, the Cybil winners were announced this week. THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen won in the Sci Fi/Fantasy category. I'm so excited because I'm in love with that book. AND I NOMINATED IT! It was a highlight of my week. THE RUNAWAY KING comes out next month and I'll be sharing that will you for sure in April as March is already too booked. I can't wait to read it. You can see all the winners HERE.

Second, if you're a published author, Kathy at I AM A READER NOT A WRITER is looking for authors to donate books for her giveaway hops. This could be a great way for you to get some extra publicity for your book as her giveaway hops are very popular. If you're interested, go HERE to fill out her form.

The WriteOnCon Pitch-Fest starts today. You can find out details HERE. Hope to see you there!
Next, I have some winners to announce.


Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick a new winner.

Today I’m excited to interview Celine, a teenager from Australia, who also blogs at Forget-Me-Not. It’s a great blog where she reviews mostly YA books. So you know, she answered these questions a few months ago because school in Australia is really busy in February for her.

Welcome Celine! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.

Hi everyone! As you know, my name is Celine and I live in Australia! I absolutely love to read, particularly YA books. I grew up with Roald Dahl’s books and my first YA book was...Twilight! I’m currently in my last 2 years of high school and it’s extremely busy. I have so many school works but I always try to spend my free time reading books! I do enjoy reading different types of genres such as YA dystopian, paranormal and also contemporary. And just letting you know, although I can’t choose my favourite YA dystopian and paranormal books, my all-time favourite YA contemporary book is none other than Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins!

2. I don’t read much contemporary, but I loved Anna and the French Kiss. And I’m a huge YA dystopian fan. Before you started blogging, how did you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?

Before I started blogging, I usually find out about the books I read from the library. Sometimes, the library makes a list of good YA books to check out and I normally just buy books when the cover and summary intrigue me. As for new books, I don’t really know much unless it’s a sequel to the series I started reading although since blogging and checking out Goodreads, I found out lots of different new books coming out each year!

3. I used to love finding authors through books at the library. Now that I’m blogging, I get more ARCs and go to the library less, sadly. I love Goodreads as a way to find books too. And bloggers like you. What made you decide to start blogging? Tell us a bit about your blog and how you juggle it with the demands of high school.

I decided to start blogging because I really wanted to share my love for books and found out this community called blogging (which I absolutely love!). So, I decided to write my first review and then publish it in the blog. My blog has just recently celebrated its one year anniversary and I just can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a year! When I started my blog last year, school wasn’t very busy so I was able to blog constantly and participate in different memes. However, since school is quite busy this year, I have to keep track of all books I read which I need to review and make sure that I’m up-to-date with writing my reviews and updating my blog.

4. I’m amazed you can find time to blog with the demands of high school. My daughter has no time to read for pleasure with homework, swimming, and the community service required on college applications. How has blogging changed what you read, if at all? What books are you waiting to be released?

Blogging has certainly exposed me to different genres. I first began by reading only YA paranormal and contemporary books, but after blogging, I discovered many other amazing genres out there such as dystopian, steampunk, fantasy and many more! I have a lot of books I’m waiting for to be released but the ones I’m most dying for are probably Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (The last book in the series!), Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins and the third Divergent book by Veronica Roth!

5. Do you buy most of your book, receive ARCS, or get them at the library? How often do you go to a bookstore?

When I first started blogging, I bought most of my books. But, since some of the books I want to read are not quite available in the bookstores, I borrow some of them from the library too. After blogging for about 6 months, I started to receive physical ARCs from the publishers here and receiving my first physical ARC was one of the most unforgettable blogging moments. I visit the bookstore quite often, at least once a week and I just love looking around the YA section, trying to see which books I’m interested in that I haven’t got!

6. I also started out by buying a lot of my books. Now I get ARCs from publishers for most of my interviews and some ARCs I request. I was excited too when I first started getting ARCs from publishers. Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?

I definitely do check out a lot of YA book blogs, author blogs and publisher websites. Checking out other YA book blogs keep me updated with new books that I might not know yet and reading reviews from these blogs also help to know more about the books out there. As for author blogs, I love knowing what’s happening with the books they are writing! With publisher websites, I read them so I can also know when publishers here are going to publish certain books or whether or not they have picked up the rights to publish a book which has been published in the US because only some books published in the US are published here in Australia.

7. I read a lot of YA and middle grade book blogs for the same reason. Have any of your teachers recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?

My teachers rarely recommend blogs or websites to my class since we don’t really have a YA English class but sometimes they do when we are studying a particular book in class!

8. Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?

I think I’m pretty happy with all the websites, blogs and facebook pages of my favourite authors. I particularly love it when their websites are neatly set out with creative and beautiful themes!

9. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?

So far, no authors have visited my school sadly. Although, if an author is going to visit my school, I’d really be excited and happy! I’ve only attended Melina Marchetta’s book signing (my favourite Aussie author!) and even though book signings are quite rare here, they are definitely an awesome experience!

Thanks Celine for sharing all your advice!

Today I’m sharing two awesome books, THE CADET OF TILDOR by debut author Alex Lidell and THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR by Catherine Fisher. I picked these because I really think that anyone would really enjoy these, even if you don’t like the fantasy genre. They are both fantastic stories that don’t have too many elements of magic which some of you may not like. I’ll keep my reviews brief so the post doesn’t get too long.

Here’s a blurb of THE CADET OF TILDOR from Goodreads:

Tamora Pierce meets George R. R. Martin in this smart, political, medieval fantasy-thriller.

There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.

 Renee is a fantastic character that reminded me a lot of the strong girls that Tamora Pierce writes about. Right from the beginning of the story when her father says he’ll disown her if she goes back to the Academy, she doesn’t hesitate to stick to her principles and just leaves. It was the same when Savory is kidnapped. She’s loyal and she leaves to rescue him even if it means she might lose everything she’s worked for. And I loved that she finds her own strengths to compensate for the fact that she’s smaller than the male cadets.

Alec and Savory are great secondary characters with secrets and family pasts. Savory is not the most likeable at the beginning. But trust me, he definitely will surprise you and grow on you.
The world, often cruel, is fascinating and there’s plenty of stakes, mystery, and political intrigue that compelled me to keep turning the pages as fast as I could. I so hope Alex writes another book in this series.

Here’s a blurb of THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR from Goodreads:

Jake's father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger ... The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn's estate: Sarah - a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne - who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror's power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.

I’m a huge fan of Catherine Fisher’s and was thrilled when I received this ARC. Like her other stories, she does a fantastic job here making the Obsidian Mirror feel like the most mysterious, powerful object that everyone can’t help but want. It really says a lot about what an amazing writer she is.

This is told from multiple points of view of Jake, Sarah, Venn, and Wharton, the teacher who accompanies Jake to Wintercombe. Normally, I like stories from one or two points of view, but I could really see why this story needed so many points of view. All their lives are intertwined with the Obsidian Mirror. I don’t want to tell you how exactly because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I loved learning all their secrets, especially Venn’s and Sarah’s.

There’s time travel, a bit of magic, intrigue, deceptions, even between the main characters, and danger. This all equals a fantastic read. I can’t wait till the second book in the series comes out.

I’m giving away both of my ARCs. Thank you to Dial Books and Penguin Group from providing these ARCs. There will be two winners. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment about Celine’s interview and telling me which book is your first choice by midnight on March 2nd. I’ll announce the winner on March 4th. If your e-mail is not on Blogger, please list it in your comment.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. International entries are welcome.

Here's what's coming up:

Wednesday Casey and I have a super awesome 3000 follower mega giveaway. You won't want to miss it.

Next Monday I'm interviewing Carrie Harris about writing humor and platform and giving away her new book BAD HAIR DAY and BAD TASTE IN BOYS. Carrie has a great knack in creating funny, really likeable characters. I went to her book signing for BAD HAIR DAY and discovered she lives in my town. I was SO excited to find that out and I'm excited to share her books with you.

Next Wednesday I'm thrilled to interview Shannon Messenger about her new amazing YA book LET THE SKY FALL. I'm part of her blog tour and the tour is sponsoring a giveaway. And because Shannon's my friend and I loved her book, I have a giveaway too.

The following Monday  I have a guest post by Anna Staniszewski and a giveaway of her new book, MY FAIRY EPIC TALE FAIL, and her first book, MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE.

The following Wednesday, I have a guest post with debut author Liesel Hill and a giveaway of her new adult dystopian, PERSISTENCE OF VISION.

And don't forget our Tuesday Tips and Casey's Thursday agent spotlights.

Hope to see you on Wednesday!


Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks so much to Celine for sharing her insights! It's hard for teens to make a lot of reading time during those busy school months - and to add a review blog on top is super impressive!

Love the covers on those 2 books!

Kristin Lenz said...

Kudos to Celine for juggling blogging and reading and high school demands. And she got to meet Melina Marchetta - one of my favorite authors too!

Linda Gray said...

I loved reading Celine's responses to your great questions, Natalie. It sounds like e-books are not a big part of her experience--interesting, too.

mshatch said...

I am also a big fan of Catherine Fisher and I adored Incarceron and Saphique. Great interview with Celine :)

Jessie Humphries said...

So much going on! My head is going to pop off! But all good stuff :)

Lydia Kang said...

Great interview, thanks Celine and Natalie! These interviews are always so enlightening. I learn something new about our readership every time.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

WOW you've got a lot going on! I loved THE FALSE PRINCE too--pre-ordered THE RUNAWAY KING after Christmas and I can't WAIT to read it! :) Thanks to Celine for sharing her reading experience... you can feel just how much she loves YA by her responses... and that's AWESOME!

Looking forward to the upcoming posts...


Barbara Watson said...

Thanks for sharing all this, Natalie and Celine! It's so fun to hear what actual YA readers have to say about books (and not just writers...) :-)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

It's great to meet you, Celine! Loved hearing your thoughts!!

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats to the winners,

Great interview

Both those books sound interesting. I've heard of the Cadet of Tildor before and it's one I'm looking forward to reading.

Kessie said...

Wow, Celine must read really fast to keep up with her schoolwork and her books! I never could read for pleasure when my courseload was high.

Enter me in the giveaway! Obsidian Mirror sounds fantastic. I'll probably get it at the library. :-)

CG @ Paper Fury said...

I've read Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (which I loved) and THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR sounds fascinating!
I really enjoyed the interview with Celine. I'm off to check out her blog right now! :)

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Wow, lots of great info here! What a great interview with Celine. Sounds like she's really in the know with YA books. THE OBSIDIAN MIRROR sounds exciting!

Darlene said...

They both sound great, but my first choice would be The Obsidian Mirror because I love the time travel element.

Thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com
GFC: Darlene

Darlene said...

+1 for tweeting:


darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

I love blogger interviews! Twilight was my first step into YA as well. I am very curious about Obsidian Mirror after reading the Incarceron books. :)

Carina Olsen said...

I think THE CADET OF TILDOR sounds like an AMAZING book :D Would love love love to win it. <3 The interview is amazing :) Twilight was the first book I read that made me want to read more YA books; it made me search for more online :) And it made me make a twitter and such ;p Even though I kind of disliked Twilight a lot at the moment :p but it was the thing that got me reading :) and made me fall in love with Robert Pattinson ;p
Love, Carina

Brenda said...

Celine certainly seems busy and it was nice to see her insights into blogging. Loved The False Prince so much after reading it from the library and then buying it that I had to preorder The Runaway King too. At our book fair recently the seller had an ARC of The Cadet of Tildor, he said that people who like The False Prince will like this as well. Both books sound great, but I would like to read Cadet. I also sent a tweet, and Facebook.


Unknown said...

I had never heard of either of these books, but am now really excited to read them!
I tweeted about this as well.

Ashfa said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway. I've been meaning to get The Cadet of Tildor, hope I win it!
GFC-Ashfa Anwer
Tweeted- https://twitter.com/TopsyTurvy_Ash/status/306756351294595072


Alyssa said...

*foams at mouth*

I loved THE CADET OF TILDOR, so I would love to win! I don't own my own e-copy of print copy. Thank you so much for both giveaways!

GFC - Alyssa Susanna
Tweet: https://twitter.com/Alyssa_Susanna/status/307664762295181312

lilleetleet AT verizon DOT net

Unknown said...

These are pretty minor complaints, though, and they didn't stop me from reading the book cover to cover in one afternoon. Savoy and Renee are great characters, and I found Alex Lidell's writing style smooth and easy to get into. Definitely check this one out if you're a fantasy fan.
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