Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blog Tour: Holly Schindler, Feral, and Peculiar, Missouri . . . and GIVEAWAY!

Today, I am so excited to share with you a special video in honor of the release of FERAL by Holly Schindler.  When speaking to Holly when discussing my participation in this blog tour, I wanted to try something a little unique, but also show a side of Missouri that many not be aware of.  Having lived in the state for 6 years, this state became a special place to me and though I no longer live there, it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Therefore, I decided that I wanted to hear from Holly about how she decided on her fictionalized setting of Peculiar, Missouri from her newest novel, FERAL.  Take a look and listen . . .


If you are unable to view the video here, you can also view it here.  

I am currently in the midst of FERAL's pages, so you can expect a full review here later this week.  In the meantime, let me leave you with a quick description of the book, a chat about the psychological thriller, a bio on the author, the book trailer, and a GIVEAWAY!!


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. 


FERAL falls squarely into the realm of the classic psychological thriller. While the book features mystery, horror, and paranormal elements, the emphasis is on the “psychological” rather than thriller / action. The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain). Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting. The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious, and here is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state). The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley. Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche. Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence— that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too. The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail. 


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.” 

FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller. Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK...This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking...This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.” 

Schindler encourages readers to get in touch. Booksellers, teen librarians, and teachers can also contact her directly regarding Skype visits. She can be reached at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, and can also be found at,, @holly_schindler,, and




Giveaway of a Signed Copy of FERAL (runs August 26-September 2, 2014): a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love Psychological thrillers your review makes this book sound perfect for me.

    1. rhonda ... This is actually not my review, but just the tour information. My personal review will be published later this week. I'm still reading this one, and so far, so good!!

  2. Sounds like a great read. Love the video! Can't wait to read your review about this one ;)

    1. Maureen Beatrice ... So far, so good! I'm about half-way through the book right now and I'm liking the vibe of it!

  3. I would like to read this book because it is a thriller, they are my favorite books. This one sounds so good. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    1. Anita Yancey ... You can thank the fabulous Holly Schindler herself for the giveaway!! And, so far, I would definitely call this one a thriller!


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