Monday, May 29, 2017

VIOLET GRENADE by Victoria Scott!

I am thrilled to be part of this next virtual book tour and to have this author visit the Alleyway! I'm a big fan of her work. :) Everyone, give a warm welcome to Victoria Scott, author of a few books you just might have heard of such as TITANS and the FIRE & FLOOD Series. She's here to share about herself, her latest release (it's so awesome!), and offer up a giveaway.

Here's the deets on her latest release:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks 
by Victoria Scott

Publication Date:  May 2, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

Welcome Victoria! It's wonderful to have you visit us. I'm already all fangirl over Domino. Such a fantastic character. Can you describe her for the readers without giving too much of the story away?
Yes! Domino is a teenaged runaway with a tragic past. She loves graffiti art and speeding trains and colourful wigs. Oh, and she has a second personality in her mind named Wilson.

Ooh... *sits down to be more attentive

I read an answer to a question you were asked, where you said that the book "...reads a little like a fantasy, but it's contemporary." Can you elaborate on that?
I think it’s the setting. It takes place in a made-up West Texas town called Pox, inside an old, ramshackle farmhouse. Each floor has a theme, and certain girls who live on those floors. These girls wear flowers on their labels that rank their hierarchy within the house. I think it’s hard to imagine this would actually exist, so that part feels fantastical, but the story itself is contemporary.

How is Violet Grenade different from your other books?
It’s the first contemporary book I’ve read for young adults. I wrote Hear the Wolves, which is also a contemp, but that was a middle grade novel. I also think this is the darkest book I’ve penned outside of Hear the Wolves. Man, it’s just…it’s a different book. It will take a special reader to really appreciate this one. But I know there are enough of you out there. *wink* 

Okay, ...darkest book... even more of a fangirl, now.

How have you seen the publishing world change since your first book released? Positives & negatives?
So much of it is online now. That’s great when you want to gauge your book’s appeal with readers, but hard when it lands flat for someone and they want to ensure you know about it. Ha!

What is up next for you?
I’m writing a new young adult novel that I can’t talk too much about yet. But I hope to have exciting news very soon!

I'm sure it's amazing! Looking forward to you sharing the news. Thank you for taking time to leave your signature in the Alleyway! Best of luck with everything...always... <3 


Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. 
Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at


Okay, I am all goo-goo over this gorgeous cover! Have been since the first time I saw it. What are your thoughts when you first saw it?

Monday, May 22, 2017

MMGM~Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen & #Giveaway

I've got a wonderful book to share on this Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! #ILoveMG I also have the author here to share a bit about his writing journey & an awesome chance for you to win a signed copy of his book! But first, let's peek at the story he's created.

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom
by David Neilsen

GENRE: Middle Grade Creepy / Silly
PUBLISHER: Crown Books for Young Readers 
RELEASE DATE: August 9, 2016.

FAVORITE LINE: "A supremely pleasant good morning to you, urchins," announced the man slowly in a high-pitched, weak, warbling voice. "Are you residents of this fine enclave of humanity?"

DESCRIPTION: "When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery."

Isn't this an awesome cover for a middle grade tale?!!!

Welcome to the Alleyway, David! We're excited to have you here. 

Alleywalkers wave & give cheerful 'hellos'. 

Why don't we start with what inspired you to write this story.
The inspiration to write Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom came from a single image. The late children's illustrator Trina Schart Hyman drew a black-and-white illustration for charity depicting an old man in a top hat leering down at little girl while on his back, he carries a basket filled with hands, feet, and heads of little children. It is labeled "Dr. Fell." I'd seen this picture on my mother-in-law's wall for years before finally being driven to know more. I discovered the genesis of her image came from a four-line poem written in the 1600's. "I do not like thee Dr. Fell - The reason why I cannot tell - But this I know and know full well - I do not like thee Dr. Fell." 

Oh wow, that's quite inspiring. I love it when visual images stir so much creativity. 

Give us a sneak peek into one of your favorite characters.
The main antagonist is, of course, Dr. Fell. When I began writing him, what jumped out at me was his use of language. It is unlike anything I've ever written, and I quickly grew to admire the way he uses vocabulary to feel superior to others. He is manipulative and cruel on the inside while remaining sunny and pleasant on the outside.

What is your favorite part of this story?
My favorite part of the story is near the end, and I don't want to give anything away. However, what makes it special for me is that I always knew my editor and publisher would question me over this section and probably ask me to remove it. I took pains to explain my reasoning behind what I'd written and they eventually agreed to keep this particular section in the book.

That's admirable. I think it shows readers how hard you've worked on this story and how important this ending is to you. <3 

If you don't mind, tell your readers something quirky or unexpected about yourself.
In addition to writing, I work as a professional storyteller in Sleepy Hollow, NY and spend much of October frightening little children.

Sleepy Hollow ... Love it!

What can your fans expect from you next?
This August, my second book, Beyond the Doors, is being published. This is not a sequel to Dr. Fell, but a new, mysterious story about four children who wind up in the care of a family member they never knew existed. She's odd, but her house is even more odd, as it is large, round, and has no doors anywhere. When they eventually discover what has happened to all the doors, they enter a whole new world of adventure.

I really appreciate you stopping by for a visit, David. It's been wonderful! All the best to you with Dr. Fell and all your future projects. Feel free to drop by anytime...

Alleywalkers ... don't forget to enter David's giveaway. It'd be great if you'd share, too. TY!

David Neilsen is a classically trained actor/storyteller, a journalist, and a theater/improvisation teacher for children and adults. During the Halloween season, David can be found telling spooky tales to audiences of all ages throughout New York’s Hudson Valley, or performing one of his one-man shows based on the stories of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. David lives in Tarrytown, NY with his family. Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is his first novel. His second, Beyond the Doors, will be published in August, 2017. Visit him at


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Want to be part of MMGM ~ Shannon Messenger's genius plan to give middle grade reads their just due? Click HERE to join in and for the other participants.

What stirs you when you look at this book cover?


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