Wednesday, 20 August 2014

BLOG TOUR!! Feral by Holly Schindler + Interview & Excerpt

Behind 432 Pages
Released: 26 August 2014
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened. 

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

Scrambling to free herself, Claire turned to see exactly how badly her feet were tangled in the fallen limb.  But the shattered branch that had just tripped her was a strange shade of blue—purple—gray. 

She was staring at a human hand.

“No—no,” Claire screamed as she attempted to get away from the limb and the dead body, tripping on the hem of her coat in the process.  She stumbled back to the earth, falling on her backpack.

An angry hiss pried Claire’s eyes upward, away from the waxy, blue fingers.

A cat edged forward from its perch on top of the limb that pinned the body; a pair of yellow eyes with black stripes narrowed at Claire; pink fangs flashed.  Nearby, another yellow set of eyes popped from the shadows as a tail curled up onto a black curved back.  More fangs.  More eyes.  More angry, fat tails.

Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs). 

Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud.  Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.”  Bloggers also quickly fell for the book; Susan at Bloggin’ ‘bout Books said of THE JUNCTION, “Triumphant and compelling, this is one of those books that will make you cheer.  And look a little bit closer for the unique beauty in all of us.” 

Find Holly:
Website  |  Blog  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Tumblr 

1. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
The six months or so that lead up to a novel’s publication are actually pretty event filled.  You’ve got a cover reveal to organize, as well as a blog tour.  You usually start to get professional reviews about three months ahead of time (and they can continue to come in even after the release).  Blog reviews start to come in months ahead of time, too, as the ARCs are distributed.  And I continue to promote a book for several months after its release, contacting book stores and librarians…I do think, though, that the first week is a good time to take a breath, a time to congratulate yourself on an enormous project coming to fruition.

2. What inspired you to write this novel?

FERAL started out as an MG mystery, actually; the original novel centered on a cold case that took place in a middle school.  Without giving anything away, I can say that from the start, the manner of death for the murdered girl was always the same.  And “cheating,” a word found written on Serena’s hand at the beginning of FERAL, was always an element of the book (though it took on new meaning when I realized the book needed to be a YA).  Once I reinvented the book for older readers, it took on a much darker tone.  When I dug into Claire’s backstory and began to flesh out what happened to her in Chicago, I knew that the book needed to be a psychological thriller, rather than a straight mystery.

I really enjoyed being able to flex such different muscles as a writer, as I reinvented FERAL as a YA.  This is the first time my published work incorporates dramatic scenes along with literary passages and character development—a style of writing I thoroughly enjoyed.

3. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?

I was really pleased by the cover—I’d been halfway expecting some sort of cover with a cat, but was glad we had a girl on the cover instead.  I was also really pleased by the way the lettering stands out from the cover—especially on the spine!  Those white letters on a dark background make the book look like it’s “on display,” even when it’s on a shelf, spine out.

The tagline on the cover “A wicked game of cat and mouse” came from my mom, who’s also my first reader.  She’s titled all my previous YAs…she always gets on the cover somewhere! 

4. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?

Of course!  I’m always writing.  I’m working on my next MG, as well as some projects in completely new genres.  Get the latest by following me on Twitter: @holly_schindler or my blog:

5. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?

Dickens’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  The package of it—past, present, future—is so incredibly timeless and perfect.  Simple and brilliant.


  1. THIS SOUNDS SO CREEPY! Gah! Definitely looking forward to this one! Thanks for sharing Gina, and thanks for promoting the book! ;)

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. It does, doesn't it! It sounds creepy, yet sounds surprisingly original with the whole cat and mouse thing :) Thanks! Hope you get the chance to read it


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