Choose Your Own Death ~ Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Posted: June 11, 2015 in Action/Adventure, Blog Tour, giveaways, Interview, reviews
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Welcome to my stop on the tour for Choose Your Own death by Marianna Shek

I have some super fun stuff to share with you today.

You can check out the amazing cover art for Choose Your Own Death, read the excerpt, and enjoy my review.

I have a fun interview to share as Marianna answers some of my questions.

And there’s a giveaway, so don’t forget to answer.

And now for the interview!


Hi Marianna. Thanks so much for taking time to answer a few questions.

No problems! Thank you for having me : )


Where did the idea for Choose Your Own Death come from?

I’ve always enjoyed macabre stories especially dark fairytales. As a kid I was very fond of the Choose Your Own Adventure series but when I went back to one of my old stories, I found both the language and the illustration style very outdated. I was disappointed because I had so many good memories of these stories so I decided to take a modern approach and create a path-finding adventure that I would enjoy reading.


How long did it take you to write?

I wrote it in dribs and drabs between my day job. There was one week where I was able to work on it intensely so I guess overall, it would have taken about one month to write.


Which character was the easiest and which was the hardest to write?

The characters were all wonderful to write. When I start writing a story, I start talking to the characters in my head. The more I talk to them, the more alive they become. In this case, all the characters appeared fully formed. Perhaps Drew being the narrator was the hardest to write. I couldn’t decide if he was a male or a female narrator, hence the ambiguous name. In the end, it felt more natural to make him a male, especially as he played off so well against the other female characters Amelia and Jessica.

In two sentences describe Choose Your Own Death.
CYOD is a rollicking fun read that both adults and kids will enjoy. Every death is original and imaginative – you actually look forward to the end.

ChooseYourOwnDeath pic for interview

Are you working on anything new, and if so, would you like to share a bit about it?

Ooooh I’m currently working on a couple of picture books. Here’s a rough page layout from the book Donald Doing House of Verbs aimed for kids 5 -8 years old. The illustrator is the super talented Cody McGrath


Now for Five Fun Shorts!

Flip flops or high heels?



Sweet or salty snacks?

Salty caramel macaroons


Favorite animal?



Best movie ever?



An author that inspires you.

Neil Gaiman


It was wonderful having you on my blog today and I hope to see you back in the future. Good luck in your writing endeavors.

Thank you for having me!




There was nothing sweet about little Sally’s death. She was found drowned at the chocolate factory.

The peacefulness and trust of the people of Goultown is shattered.

With only a few of them left, the kids band together and take matters into their own hands. Now they just have to make the right choices or death will be waiting.

When my son was young, I used to buy him the Goosebumps books. Many of them were similar to this book. You reach a point in the story where you have a couple of options on which path you want to go down next.

I read this with my 20 year old son and here are the results.

So, I reached the first path. Hmm…where to? I went this way. He went that.

That was quick. I’m dead already. And he’s moving on in the story.

So now I try the next path. That’s better. But wait, now which should I choose. This is where I started playing follow the leader. My son was fairing better than I was.

The creepy cool illustrations added to the fun. You never knew what was waiting for you at the end of the path. Most of them would send you screaming back the way you came.

 I had a blast. I read this a few times. I didn’t do too good. Wound up dead more often than not. I’d shake my head, laugh, and try again.

Why don’t you try? See how you end up.

Just watch out for the thing in the closet. Oh, and Doc Choc. Well, watch out for anything because anything goes when you choose your own path.

4 Stars



Goultown. The sort of place where kids could walk down the street in the middle of the night. Or accept sweets from strangers because strangers were just friends you hadn’t met yet. A place where grown-ups got tattoos of smiley faces and if kids graffitied, they were sure to do smiley faces too.

That was before the murders began. After Sally Ellerson drowns at the chocolate factory, you know there’s something weird going on. It’s time to take charge.

Choose Your Own Death is a path-picking adventure where every wrong turn unleashes an eldritch evil. If you don’t solve the mystery soon, the next death could be yours.


Here’s a taste of what’s inside!

‘Wicker witches!’ She rummages through her backpack, pulls out a peg and clamps it over her nose making her sound like she’s blocked up from a cold. ‘I’ve read all about them in Scented Supernatural. They lull you into a sense of dullness and kill you.’

‘Sandalwood and lavender. My favourite.’ Angus seems to have forgotten Tammy lying stiffly at his feet.

The trees are closing in. Shuffling like old people. Dribbling waxy secretions onto the ground with every step. The wax drips and curls into crevices forming eyes, mouths and noses. They look and smell like giant scented figurines from a candle shop.

Jessica pulls out two more pegs and places them on you and Angus. The spell breaks.

‘Wicker witches?’ Angus howls. ‘Let’s get out of here!’ He grabs the torch, scoops up Tammy’s stiffened form and flees.

‘Come on, Drew!’ Jessica takes off. She’s the fastest runner on the track team at school. She used to try and get you to train with her but you always laughed and asked what was so great about being sporty.

You stagger after her but the wax on your jeans has set hard. You hold out your hands to break your fall.

‘Wait for me,’ you cry, but the words come out muffled. The wax has coated your lips shut. You try yelling out some swear words but realise you’re wasting time. You upturn your knapsack looking for a weapon. Rock. Paper. Scissors. What the? You will never let Tammy pack the survival kit again!


Author Marianna Shek

ChooseYourOwnDeath author


Marianna Shek is a writer, reader and ideal eater. She took a ridiculously arduous route to get there, dabbling in pharmacy before switching to animation and finally settling down as a writer. She has a wonderful day job as a researcher and producer. You can follow some of her crazy art and film projects at:

She rambles specifically about books and creative writing at:

Blog ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ B&N Author Page

Purchase Links

B&N ~ Amazon


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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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  1. Mai Tran says:

    When did you decide to become a writer?

    • Marianna says:

      I started writing when I was ten and have been writing on and off ever since. There wasn’t really a defining moment when I decided to be a writer, but I started sending my work to publishers a couple of years ago and getting professional editors on board, so I guess that was when my mentality shifted to be more ‘professional’.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Good question Mai!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You’re welcome. And thank you for this fun tour. Loved the story and found a new author!

  2. Marianna says:

    Thanks for the review

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You’re very welcome. I had a lot of fun and will be passing it on to my sister. She’ll love it!

  3. Oh neat. Glad to see the interview and the review and all about the book here. Thank you.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Melissa. This was such a fun one. Had to read it several times:)

  4. choose your own adventure were great game books. This post is such a coincidence because I am featuring those old books tom! It’s great that this author is revamping the concept, i hope it catches on.

  5. Great review and I am loving that cover!
    sherry @ fundinmental