Gretchen McNeil and Kendare Blake at Mysterious Galaxy!

Today I was able to meet both Kendare Blake and Gretchen McNeil at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach, more about celebrating the release of their two new books.

I was fortunate enough to meet and “discover” Gretchen McNeil a few months back when she was a guest at the Ontario Teen Book Fest (which you can read allll about here). She made me laugh a lot during the panels and I really was impressed at the way she made a point to reflect all of our differences in her characters, i.e. her main character in Possess is half-Asian. I thought that was really interesting and I decided to make a point to read her books.

That was in May, and it is now September and I’m sad to say that I’ve only read one of her books. Its okay though, because now I am about to be on track, as today I bought her second novel, Ten, and her brand new novel, 3:59!

Kendare Blake is an author I had not heard of before, but I picked up her brand new book, AntiGoddess tonight, and am excited to start it.

Gretchen McNeil

As said before, Gretchen McNeil is the author of Possess, Ten and the brand new 3:59, which was just released this past Tuesday. Here is the GoodReads synopsis:

Josie Byrne’s life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she’s betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can’t get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo’s life is everything Josie wants: she’s popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they’re just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.  Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo’s perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo’s boyfriend, he hates her. Jo’s mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh. By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

Kendare Blake

Kendare Blake is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood and its sequel, Girl of Nightmares. Her brand new novel, AntiGoddess, is the first of a planned trilogy. Here is the synopsis:

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 
 Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

Okay, please tell me you think those sound as absolutely amazing as I do! I canNOT wait to dive into them. They are now in my pile ‘o books, and I am eagerly anticipating reading them soon!

Mysterous_Galaxy_updated_pic-1Photo Credit: Mysterious Galaxy Website

The event was SO much fun. I had never had a chance to go to Mysterious Galaxy, either locations in San Diego or Redondo Beach, and I definitely will be returning. I’m trying more and more to support bookstores as much as possible, especially the independent ones, and this was a really nice one! They put on a very awesome event, and they had a crazy beautiful store. I can’t wait to come back to this store in a couple weeks for the Cinda Williams Chima event.

Each author talked a little bit about their books, the synopsis of them and how they sort of got the inspiration for each of them. They talked a lot about writing, which was SUPER awesome for an aspiring writer like me. They talked about handling new ideas, especially when you get new ideas while working on something already. They both seemed to agree about writing their ideas down, but remaining focused on the story at hand, even though sometimes that can be very hard, especially if a book is getting hard to write.

They told stories about their book covers; Kendare has had some issues with her girls in blood looking like they’re having some serious menstruation issues, and Gretchen had an issue with her Asian character NOT looking Asian on the cover. T

hey shared some books that they are obsessed with. Gretchen swears by the book The Twenty Nine Steps by John Buchan, and Kendare is a HUGE fan of The Odyssey and the Iliad, just recently getting a quote from the Iliad tattooed on her! As you all know, I applaud book tattoos, definitely!

It was super fun meeting both of them. They had a lot of quality advice, they made me laugh, and I can’t wait to dive into their books. Watch out soon for some book reviews, and maybe a few extras as well ;)


Signed 359 Signed Ten


Signed Antigoddess

Okay, can I just say the fact that Kendare signed my book with a Terminator quote was just TOO cool for life? LOVE it.