Monday, September 8, 2014

YA Blog Tour and Book Giveaway: Of Monsters and Madness

Of Monsters and Madness
by Jessica Verday
281 pages
ISBN: 9781606844632
(page count from publisher's webpage)

I have FIVE free copies of Of Monsters and Madness up for grabs! For your chance to win, simply post a comment tot he blog and be sure and include your first name, city, state and email. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Deadline for posts is September 15 at noon MST. Winners will be notified by 2:00 p.m. MST on that date. Please check your email. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York. Good luck and start posting! See the guest blog post and my review below.

Available September 9, 2014

What others are saying (from the publisher):

“Verday offers a haunting portrait of a lonely, intelligent girl, while serving up gore and abundant references to classic Gothic horror stories. A monstrous mashup . . . inventive and engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Verday’s novel . . . hooks readers into the mysterious and gothic atmosphere of Annabel’s Philadelphia. The plot is thrilling . . . . Annabel is a strong character.”—School Library Journal
“The result is thoroughly dark and ominous, with a secret romance adding delicious tension.”—Booklist
“Lots of good characters and an in-depth plot will keep readers engaged. Pairing classic literature and modern paranormal fiction is very appealing.”—VOYA
I have FIVE free copies of Of Monsters and Madness up for grabs! For your chance to win, simply post a comment to the blog. Please include your first name, city, state and email. Deadline for posts is September 18 at noon MST. Winners are chosen randomly by Randomizer. Winners will be notified on September 18, so please check your email. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from New York.
Good luck and start posting! Pamela

Guest Post: Jessica Verday

When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to go to Thailand. But it wasn’t meant to be, and I found out at the last minute that instead, I was going to London. (Which was completely amazing in its own right.) But ever since then, I’ve had a fascination with Thailand and everything I missed. From the achingly gorgeous scenery, to the friendliness of the people, to the vibrant culture. So when I realized that I was going to need a place for Annabel to have called home before she moves to Philadelphia, Thailand was my first pick.  And to be historically accurate, I went with what Thailand would have been called in 1826 -- Siam.
In Siam, Annabel lived with her mother who was a doctor’s assistant, and she grew up with a love of medicine. Siam was home and the people there were her family and Annabel was happy. But when her mother becomes ill and eventually dies, Annabel is summoned from Siam to go live with the father she’s never met in Philadelphia. Leaving everything and everyone she’s ever known behind.
With Philadelphia and Siam on opposite sides of the globe, I had to make sure my readers felt every mile between them. Annabel’s new home is nothing like her old one. It’s cold and dark and miserable. Once comfortable in trousers and a shirt while helping her mother care for her patients, Annabel must now learn what it’s like to suddenly be squeezed into corsets and dresses and taught the socially acceptable behaviors of a young lady.
The most frustrating part of these rules is that Annabel is expected to give up her dreams of becoming a surgeon. Annabel struggles with finding her place in this new world and learning to live with a future that has such limitations. But one of the reasons why I love to write all of my leading ladies as strong, independent young women is that they will always find a way to claim their power and fight for their dreams.
And above all else, Annabel is most definitely a fighter. (post from the author)

My Review:

Madness most magnificent! Jessica Verday takes a vulnerable innocent and ships her halfway around the world from her home in exotic Siam to the bustling city of Philadelphia--a place she's never been.  Annabel is surrounded by a family she has never known, a creepy house that is ghostly and Gothic, a strange, demented father, his tall, dark and handsome assistant, and a string of grisly murders gripping the city in terror.

Annabel's maid Maddy is her first friend and confidant. Strange goings-on in the middle of the night cause fright, and Annabel is concerned with her father's weird behavior and strange appearance. The cooks warn Annabel to stay away from her father's lab, but Annabel is curious and suspicious. Annabel has no fear of the dark; she continually seeks out danger in the dark of night. Armed with only a candle and her own strong resolve, she wanders the expanse of the mansion searching for answers.

The mysterious murders continue and this has everyone in Philadelphia on edge. Annabel and Allan share a few fleeting moments, and she realizes that she is deeply, hopelessly in love. The house continues to hide its secrets, until one fatal night when Annabel sees too much.  Discovering her father's secret will change everything. Or will it?

Of Monsters and Madness is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meets Frankenstein meets Gothic horror meets The Island of Dr. Moreau meets Edgar Allan Poe. Verday seamlessly blends the old with the new and teens will love it! Verday assures readers that there will be a sequel. She writes, "Don't worry! I won't leave you hanging."

Highly, highly recommended for any fan of Poe's works and for those who love a Gothic tale. I truly enjoyed this mash-up, and so will you. Great fun!

Grades 7 and up. Some steamy kisses, some gore. No profanity.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

Visit the next stop on the blog tour here

Author's Bio:
Jessica Verday is the New York Times best-selling author of The Hollow trilogy. She wrote the first draft of The Hollow by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. The first draft of The Haunted took fifteen spiral-bound notebooks and twenty black pens. The Hidden took too many notebooks and too many pens to count. She lives in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, with her husband.  You can visit her online at
                                                               Jessica Verday


  1. It looks like I'm the first one to enter the book giveaway. It's great that you got the author to post a comment on your blog! I'm looking forward to reading the book myself.
    New Milford, CT

  2. Sounds like a great read that my high school students would enjoy. Thanks for giveaway!

    Susan Light

  3. I'm home recovering from surgery ... time to catch up on my reading!
    Crystal River, FL

  4. I know my students will enjoy this spooky book.

  5. I'm trying again, as my comment didn't appear: I bought a copy already, based on your rave review, but with over 1800 students, I sure could use multiples!

    San Marcos, CA
    semslibrarylady at gmail dot com

  6. Horror is huge at my library!

    Cincinnati, OH

  7. This book sounds great. My students love gore!
    Hopewell, VA

  8. We have so many horror fans at our high school. Of Monsters and Madness would be an excellent addition to our library.
    Thank you!
    Pleasanton, California

  9. This really is a great blend of several gothic horror elements.
    Maryville, TN

  10. This seems like it would be a book my teens would enjoy!
    Toledo, OH

  11. Sounds like a great book!

    Boston, MA

  12. Sounds great!
    Kalkaska, MI

  13. Sounds like a great read that many teens would enjoy.

    Archbold, OH

  14. Think my students would love!
    New Palestine, IN

  15. This this looks this this looks like a great read!

  16. Joel
    Peoria, il

  17. Karen
    Alabaster, AL

  18. I'm in!
    Copperas Cove TX

  19. Always looking for darker stories for my avid middle school readers. This looks great!

    Mary Z
    Scio, NY

  20. Jessica
    Richmond, VA

  21. Looks like a great book for my scary display!
    Independence, MO

  22. My students would love this book!
    Houston, TX

  23. Danielle
    St. Louis, MO

  24. I would love to read this book.

    Aberdeen, ID