YADP Post: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Young Adult Debut Promotions (YADP) is a post I do to help out debut authors, and to get them noticed.  My posts will definitely include a feature of the book, a feature of the author, and a giveaway, with an interview, guest post, or excerpt optional.  If you would like more information about YADP click here and scroll down until you come to the section talking about it.

Today I am featuring...

Cat Winters
And I will be doing a review and giveaway!

~The Book~

In the Shadow of Blackbirds
by Cat Winters
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 2, 2013
by Amulet

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her? Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

*A copy was provided by Amulet for review purposes*

What a heartbreaking, breathtaking book!  Seriously, the feels from this book!  If I didn’t already know that Cat Winters was a debut novelist, I would have sworn on my life she was a seasoned writer with tons of award winning novels already published.  The way she wrote this book and manipulated the story line and characters was just mesmerizing.  Her writing was fluent and flowing, the story line was perfect, and the staging was absolutely superb.  She found a way to slip in little details that would be crucial later on in such a way that you didn’t have a clue it would affect the story until something big had already happened because of it, and then you think back and go “Oh, that’s what it was”.  The idea was just amazing for this book, and the way she introduced the setting and everything was just masterfully done.  I loved how history played a part in this book, and how there was a mystery aspect to this book.  The combination of romance, mystery, history, and hauntings was just superbly done.  I will say, though, that I guessed half of what happens in the end.  I was so invested and focused and into this book that I literally was yelling at the pages that for about 20 pages in the middle, and my dad had to come in and ask what was wrong.

The romance in this book could best be described as tragically beautiful.  It was heartbreaking to read about how much Mary and Stephen loved each other, but could never be together again.  I will say, I absolutely loved Mary.  From her name (her full name is Mary Shelley Black.  How awesome is that) to her personality, she was awesome.  She was head-strong, defiant, didn’t take any crap, and was completely kick-butt in her own way.  Stephen seemed like a really awesome guy, sweet, caring, and perfect.

Winters completely sucked me in from page one of this book and didn’t let me come up to breath until the very last page.  I was reading so intently that the TV didn’t even bother me, and I had the book pulled up closer to my face as if I could actually go into the pages.  This was such a beautifully written, tragically romantic, and well written novel, I can’t wait to see what Winters comes up with for her sophomore novel.

5 pink flowers


~There will be 1 winner
~Giveaway ends on April 15, 2013 @ 12:00 A.M.
~This giveaway is US/CAN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~Get to know Cat Winters~


Cat Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing. Her debut novel, IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS—a YA ghost tale set during the World War I era—is coming April 2, 2013, from Amulet Books/ABRAMS. She currently lives outside of Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two kids.


Thank you so much Cat for stopping by today!  It was a blast to have you on the blog!!!

Thanks for checking out this post!  If you could share it with a friend that would be really great.  The whole point of this post was to get an awesome debut author noticed, so if you could help that would be awesome!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly!

      And a huge thanks to Emily for featuring the novel!

  2. Congrats on your release day Cat!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. I haven't read this yet but it sounds really good and I do plan on checking it out soon! :) Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  4. It sounds like a very interesting book. Good luck!

  5. Thanks! That cover is beautiful!

  6. I haven't read this book yet but I love that cover and the concept behind the book. Also, is it just me or does the girl on the cover look like April from "Parks and Recreation?"
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  7. I really want to win a copy of this book! I have entered tons of giveaways for it, but never won. :( I am just so intrigued and fascinated by the summary and the cover is just enchanting. =0 I have seen a lot of good reviews for it by my friends on Goodreads, so this one sounds like a win-win! lol Hope I win!

    Marie @ Marie's Bookworm Blog

  8. I haven't read this book yet, but I really want to! I can't believe how much buzz this book has been getting the past few weeks. I have seen numerous blog posts and goodreads reviews on this (and ALL of them have praised this book!) so yeah . . . it's driving me crazy now that I haven't had a chance to read it because I KNOW it's gonna be good! :)

  9. I absolutely loved this book, and I agree that Mary and Stephen's relationship was tragically beautiful. (So hard to write a review without giving anything away!)


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