Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Shaken by Susan Hatler

From Goodreads:  High school junior, Kylie Bates, can suddenly read minds. When she touches people’s hands, she’s able to see their deepest thoughts. As if that’s not freaky enough, her dad sends her to help hottie detective, Sam Williams, track down a missing girl. Way too much pressure, especially for a girl who can’t watch Scream without getting nightmares.

Then, finding the missing girl leads to much more than Kylie’s prepared for. Like discovering that her dad has been lying to her. That she has a family she never knew about. That the girls have powers similar to hers. Oh yeah, and that someone is out to get her.

When the detective’s teenage wanna-be-cop cousin, Trip Williams, approaches Kylie at school insisting she help him solve the case, she discovers Trip might be the only one she can trust, and the only one to help her unravel the secrets behind her mysterious gift.

Oh, wow.  This book was so much fun to read.  I started this book early one afternoon last weekend.  I finished it early evening.  Seriously, I sprinted through this book without even taking a breath, I'm pretty sure.  The story just flew by.  When I came to the end I was not ready to be done.  It all just went by too fast!  I just loved it.

I loved Kylie and her "peek-a-boo" brain.  And Trip?  Yeah, he's a keeper.  One of the things I love about this book is that even though there are serious and even scary things happening, you still feel a lightness.  Kylie is just a bit sarcastic which amuses me greatly.  She is also a typical teenager, easily distracted by a cute boy and a best friend's drama.  

Here is my favorite quote from the book.  "Don't we all have something we're just not willing to share?  Some part of ourselves too fragile and sacred to expose?  Life's hard.  Much harder than I realized but I'm going to keep trying to do the right thing."

As far as content goes, there is frequent mild swearing. There are some sexual references, innuendo and some steamy kiss scenes.

Susan Hatler is a very talented writer.  Her writing is easy on the brain and it flows well.  I'm so lucky that she asked me to review her newest book, Shaken.  She also agreed to do a little interview with me and also provided for a giveaway.  How happy, right?
SUSAN HATLER writes humorous and emotional contemporary romance and young adult novels. A natural optimist, she believes life is amazing, people are fascinating, and imagination is endless. She loves spending time with her characters and hopes you do, too. You can visit her website at

Hey, Susan!  I'm so glad we get to do this.  Welcome to my blog.

Hi, Aimee. It’s so great to be here!

Susan, Shaken is your first YA novel, is that right?
No, I’ve got like a hundred. Oh, you mean actually published and not just knocking around in my head? Then, yes, Shaken is my first full length novel, but I have two novellas available now and more will be coming out later this year.

What made you shift genres from the romance world to YA?
I’d been reading some teen novels and my brain shifted spur of the moment (it does that a lot) and I randomly typed out the beginning pages of Kylie’s story. There’s definitely a love interest in Shaken, as you know, so I didn’t veer completely off romance.

No, you certainly kept the romance in Shaken.  There were some ooh la la kisses!
So, now that you have written for both genres, which one do you love the best? (Come on, you have to choose.) :)
Back me into a corner, why don’t you? So hardcore! :) Writing teen is super fun because you get to experience a lot of those “firsts” in life, which makes it all the more exciting. How they’re discovering the ins and outs of life, who they are, and who they want to be. I absolutely love it. Writing contemporary romance/chick lit is a bit different because the heroine has been there done that and still hasn’t found her happily-ever-after (aka: HEA). But there’s definitely a huge satisfaction when she finds the right guy because, by this point in her life, it’s not just Mr. Right-For-Now, it’s the Mr. Right-For-Her for life.

What was the motivation behind your YA novel, Shaken? Where did you come up with the initial idea?
You wouldn’t believe the things my mind comes up with. There isn’t time to write it all down! I’m trying to recall what sparked the initial idea and I can’t come up with anything specific. I remember struggling with a chick lit novel (I have many partially completed novels!) and I wanted a break to just write something fun. So, I started typing whatever came to mind which turned out to be a teenage girl about to read the mind of a hardened criminal - yikes!

You know I totally sprinted through Shaken. I practically read it in one breath. Does it bother you that what took you so long to write took me less than a day to finish?
Absolutely not. I love it when readers tell me that because it means the story kept them engaged enough to keep turning those pages. You were invested in Kylie’s journey and wanted to find out what happened next. Yay! I read The Hunger Games trilogy in several days cuz I couldn’t put it down. Imagine how long it took Suzanne Collins to write all three. :-)

What are you cookin' up for me next? Oh, I mean us. The devoted readers.
LOL. I have a teen paranormal novel called See Me that’s nearly ready to publish. Amazingly, my contemporary romance/chick lit novella, The Boyfriend Bylaws, hit Amazon’s best sellers list for contemporary romance and literature & fiction last week which has ignited my muse to put Kaitlin’s story (Totally Fit Series #2) down on paper (well, computer screen actually but you get my drift). My writing motivation comes from whichever characters are demanding the hardest to be heard. 
Wow, congrats on making the best seller list on Amazon!  That is awesome.  Not surprising, but awesome just the same.

Is there more to come for Kylie and Trip? (fingers crossed, please say yes . . .)
Kylie has a whole lot more in her journey and I’m guessing Trip’s going to be part of it as well (wink wink). A lot of the series’ storylines are in my head still, but I’ve started writing scenes in the second book already. I’d love it to be out by the end of the year, if possible. I also have a contemporary YA called Dear Aubrey that’s near completion so that should be out soon as well.

Writing stories has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and the characters are near and dear to my heart. It’s amazing to hear from wonderful people like you that they’ve enjoyed reading about them, too. Thanks so much for having me. Happy reading, everyone!

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my curious questions.  I love getting to know authors better.  Just to prove how utterly peachy Susan is, she has agreed to give away an ebook copy of her book, Shaken as well as an ebook copy of her book, The Boyfriend Bylaws.  Sah-weet!  Just enter below.  This giveaway is open to INT/US readers and ends on March 12th.

You can check Shaken and The Boyfriend Bylaws at Amazon.  (Titles are linked)

Here is all the ways to stalk, I mean follow, Susan:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great post,Susan! Your humor and talent shines through even in this interview. I love all your books! Congrats on all your success.

  2. I have yet to read a book about mind-readers and this seems like the perfect choice.

  3. I'd like to read Shaken because I absolutely love mind readers. There hasn't been a book, yet, that's ruined mind readers for me. So, I'm excited to read Susan's take on them :)

    Thank for the interview, review and giveaway :)

  4. I want to read it because I think it sounds like a good book from your review(s). And, I totally trust your judgement!

  5. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview/review/giveaway :)
    I would like to read Shaken because it sounds like a really good book :)

  6. Thanks for the giveaway :) I want to read Shaken 'cause it seems really good.

  7. I love the cover, and the blurb is AWESOME! Thank you for this amazing giveaway! :)

  8. I want to read Shaken because I LOVE mystery novels and it sounds like a fun read!

  9. it just looks like a great book

  10. Shakens sounds like a great read that I would not want to put down. Thank you for this giveaway.
    :) Jeanne

  11. I love a good romantic suspense and I thoroughly enjoyed your review of the book and interview with the author. She sounds darling and the book sounds both intense and fun:)

  12. I love mysteries! They are some of my favorite things to read. :)

  13. I want to read it because from the blurb it sounds so great, and you know I always love a new read.

  14. It sounds like a great read. Thank you so much for the giveaway.


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