Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter Falls Book Tour: Review + Author Interview + Giveaway!

Click on the banner for the full schedule.
Welcome to my post for the Winter Falls book tour! I have a review coming up, as well as an author interview and a giveaway for a $50 gift card. But, before we get to all that, allow me to introduce the book:

Winter Falls Cover H-R
Release date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Medallion Press
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Series: Twin Willows Trilogy #1

Alessia Jacobs is a typical sixteen-year-old, dying to get out of her small town of Twin Willows, Maine. Things look up when a new family comes to town, but when she falls for the hot, mysterious son, Jonah, her life turns upside down.

Weird visions of transforming into an otherworldly falcon are just the beginning. Soon she learns she’s part of the Benandanti, an ancient cult of warriors with the unique power to separate their souls from their bodies and take on the forms of magnificent animals.

Alessia never would’ve suspected it, but her boring town is the site of an epic struggle between the Benandanti and the Malandanti to control powerful magic in the surrounding forest.

As Alessia is drawn into the Benandanti’s mission, her relationship with Jonah intensifies. When her two worlds collide, Alessia’s forced to weigh choices a sixteen-year-old should never have to make.

My Rating: 3.5 Roses

I liked Winter Falls. It was an enjoyable read, though somewhat predictable, and I thought it was nice.

Alessia was a good heroine. She was strong and generally likable. She had moments where she came off as somewhat bratty, though. But, overall, I liked her.

Jonah was good as well. He was adorable, swoon-worthy, and just delightful. He had secrets, which were admittedly predictable. I thought he was great.

The romance was sweet. After that ending, I'm unsure how things will go for them, but I'm hoping for the best.

There were a couple of downfalls, though. One thing that was just a little weird to me was that in every situation, other than when she spoke directly to her, Alessia referred to her mother by her given name. It was just a little odd. The major problem, though, was that I really needed more explanation about the whole mythology. I had several unanswered questions. What were the origins of the Benendati? At what point did they start to battle with their rivals and for what reason? I just needed a lot more explanation to be able to fully buy it all. And the fact that I didn't brought the book down for me.

The plot was well paced and kept me interested all the way through. Despite the issues I had, I still liked the story in all and the ending has me curious about what will happen next.

Winter Falls was a good YA read that I enjoyed. Though it wasn't perfect, I still liked it. YA lovers, you might want to check this book out.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Author Interview:
Author Photo 1 - high res

Nicole was born in the suburbs of upstate New York, and began writing poems about unicorns and rainbows at a very early age. She detoured into acting, earned a BFA from Emerson College, and moved to NYC where she performed in lots of off-off-off-Broadway Shakespeare. After a decade of schlepping groceries on the subway, she and her husband hightailed it to sunny Los Angeles, where they now reside, surrounded by fruit trees, with their young daughter and two oddball cats. Her TWIN WILLOW TRILOGY launches this December from Medallion Press; the first book is WINTER FALLS. Her standalone YA thriller THE FORGETTING will be released in February 2015 from SourceBooks Fire. 

Welcome to Imagine a World! I’m so glad you could be here :)
Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to visit!

What is the hardest part about writing for you? The easiest?
Honestly, I’m a total procrastinator. So actually getting my butt in the chair is sometimes the hardest thing for me to do! Sometimes I’ll even clean my house to get out of it, hahaha…

The hardest part of the actual writing process, though, is plotting the book out. I’m a “pantster” by nature - I like to write flying by the seat of my pants - but I’ve learned that’s not the most efficient way to work and can result in a very painful revision process. So now I like to outline my books before I write them, but it’s hard for me to be disciplined enough to do it.

I think the easiest thing for me is being able to sink into the world of my books and hear my characters in my head. I think that comes from being an actor; it’s easy for me to “play make-believe” and really go into the worlds my characters inhabit. Writing dialogue also comes fairly easy to me as well, and I think that’s also the result of my acting background.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?
First, I try to identify if I really and truly have writers block, or if I’m just being lazy. Sometimes I’ll hit a wall and want to stop, but what I really need to do is just keep writing and the wall will break down. I’d say 8 times out 10, that’s the kind of block I come up against.

But occasionally I do experience real writers block, and in that case I step away from the computer. I’ll go for a walk or a long drive, bake something elaborate, paint something, make a collage…anything that keeps my “monkey mind” busy. Monkey mind is that part of our brain that makes lists and worries about bills and catalogues everything we have to do. What I need to do when I’m blocked is get monkey mind out of the way and allow my “wild mind” to come to the surface. Wild mind is where all the creative juicy goodness lives. Once my wild mind is freed, I can usually work through a block. I’ll also discuss plot and character issues with my writer friends or my husband, who is a master brainstormer.

Are there any authors in particular (living or dead) who inspire you?
Oh, so many. SO MANY. I’ll name a few. Back in my high school, every AP English junior had to do an Author’s Report, a huge thesis project on a dead author. No one could choose the same author, so I got to school at 7 am the day of the sign-ups so I could get Truman Capote, much to the dismay of my classmate Jeremy Eisenberg who held a grudge about this until we graduated. In the six months that I worked on that report, I fell absolutely, completely and madly in love with Capote, to the point where I call him Truman in conversation because I feel like I really knew him. What I love about his writing is his unique voice and the atmosphere he creates in each of his stories and novels.

I’m also a huge fan of Tamora Pierce. I love her Song of the Lioness series so much that I don’t think anyone else in my middle school ever got to read them because I had them checked out ALL THE TIME.

Finally, my stepmother took pity on me and called the publisher to buy them because they were out of print at the time. I actually own a complete set of first-edition hardcovers of those books; my dream is to someday have Tamora sign them, although I fear if I was ever in the same room as her, I would be completely incoherent. Those books gave me my love of fantasy. They were the first books I read where I just wanted to live in that world, and inspired me to write books that readers could just disappear into.

Lastly, I have to mention J.K. Rowling. When you look at the arc of all seven Harry Potter books, you can see what a master plotter she is. And she created characters that we truly, deeply cared about. When I read a book, I want to be worried for the characters every step of the way, and throughout all of those books I was so worried for every single character because I loved them so much.

Do you have any upcoming books you’re working on? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes, I do! First, I have a standalone thriller coming out February 3, 2015 from Sourcebooks Fire called THE FORGETTING. It’s about a girl who has a heart transplant and starts to remember the life of her donor, who died a mysterious death. For every memory she gains, she loses one of her own, and so she’s in a race against time to figure out what happened to her donor, and the journey leads her into an underbelly of society she never knew existed.

I also have the second book in the Twin Willows Trilogy coming out June 9, 2015, titled IN THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF. It picks up right where WINTER FALLS leaves off, and gets all the characters in deeper trouble.

I’m currently writing the third book in the trilogy, THE BLUE WOODS, which will be out in January 2016. I hope it will be a fitting end to the trilogy!

Lastly, I’ll have a second thriller out with Sourcebooks Fire in Summer 2016. That’s currently in development, but it will be YA spy novel.

If you could go back in time (to any time at all), what time period would you go to and why?
Wow. That’s tough. Okay, I’d probably go back to Elizabethan England, because I’d really really really want to meet Shakespeare and see one of the first productions of his plays. I’d love to go back to early 0th century America because I’d love to be part of the suffragette fight. And I’d like to sail on the Titanic so I could get more people into the lifeboats. Also, the dresses. I mean, we women of the 21st century are wearing the ugliest clothes women have ever worn in the history of fashion. I know corsets used to puncture lungs, but man, they look really good!

Summer or winter?
Haha…in summer, the answer is winter and in winter, the answer is summer. Which is ironic because I live in Los Angeles where the seasons aren’t so well-defined!

Cat or dog?

I love dogs but I’m allergic to them so I have 2 cats. They are very odd. One of them can walk through dimensions.

Tea or coffee?
I drink both…it depends on my mood.
Book or movie?
Bad boy or boy next door?
Boy next door for me…which is why I give my characters the bad boys. :-)

Thanks for coming!
Thank you so much for having me!
Up for grabs is a $50 gift card and the chance to name a character in the author's next book. 
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Me, My Shelf and I BlogDecember 15, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Thanks so much for being on the tour!!! :)

  2. Thank you so much for hosting WINTER FALLS! So glad you enjoyed the book! :-)

  3. Enjoyed the interview! I discovered Tamora Pierce this year, and love her books too!