Friday, May 20, 2016

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You Blog Tour


Welcome to the next stop in The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You Blog Tour. Woohoo! Today, I will be sharing an excerpt from the novel but first, for those who haven't heard of this book yet, let's do a bit of a background check!

"Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books--but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on--and they might not pick the same side."

Published: May 17th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin

There's a reason everyone is raving about this book, and I think all it'll take is for your to check out the first chapter to see why. Are you ready? Let's do it!


CHAPTER ONE

Ben West spent summer vacation growing a
handlebar mustache.

Seriously.

Hovering over his upper lip—possibly glued
there—was a bushy monstrosity that shouted, “Look out,
senior class, I’m gonna tie some chicks to the train tracks
and then go on safari with my good friend Teddy
Roosevelt. Bully!”

I blindly swatted at Harper with my comic book,
trying to alert her to the fact that there was a mustachioed
moron trying to blend in with the other people entering
campus.

“I know I should have made flash cards for the
poems that Cline assigned,” she said, elbowing me back
hard, both acknowledging that she wasn’t blind and that
she hated when I interrupted her monologues about the
summer reading list. “But I found Mrs. Bergman’s
social inguistics syllabus on the U of O website and I’m
sure she’ll use the same one here.”

The mustache twitched an attempt at freedom, edging
away from West's ferrety nose as he tried to shove past a
group of nervous looking freshmen. It might have been
looking at me and Harper, but its owner was doing
everything possible to ignore us, the planter box we were
sitting on, and anything else that might have been east of
the wrought iron gate.

“So,” Harper continued, louder than necessary
considering we were sitting two inches apart. “I thought
I’d get a head start. But now I’m afraid that we were
supposed to memorize the poems for Cline. He never
responded to my emails.”

Pushing my comic aside, I braced my hands against
the brick ledge. The mustache was daring me to say
something. Harper could hear it too, as evidenced by her
staring up at the sun and muttering, “Or you could, you
know, not do this.”

“Hey, West,” I called, ignoring the clucks of protest
coming from my left. “I’m pretty sure your milk mustache
curdled. Do you need a napkin?”

Ben West lurched to a stop, one foot inside of the
gate. Even on the first day of school, he hadn’t managed
to find a clean uniform. His polo was a series of baggy
wrinkles, half tucked into a pair of dingy khakis. He
turned his head. If the mustache had been able to give me
the finger, it would have. Instead, it stared back at me
with its curlicue fists raised on either side of West’s thin
mouth.

“Hey, Harper,” he said. He cut his eyes at me and
grumbled, “Trixie.”

I leaned back, offering the slowest of slow claps.

“Great job, West. You have correctly named us. I,
however, may need to change your mantle. Do you prefer
Yosemite Sam or Doc Holliday? I definitely think it
should be cowboy related.”

“Isn’t it cruel to make the freshmen walk past you?”
he asked me, pushing the ratty brown hair out of his eyes.

“Or is it some kind of ritual hazing?”

“Gotta scare them straight.” I gestured to my blonde
associate. “Besides, I’ve got Harper to soften the blow.
It’s like good cop, bad cop.”

“It is nothing like good cop, bad cop. We’re waiting
for Meg,” Harper said, flushing under the smattering of
freckles across her cheeks as she turned back to the
parking lot, undoubtedly trying to escape to the special
place in her head where pop quizzes—and student council
vice presidents—lived. She removed her headband,
pushing it back in place until she once again looked like
Sleeping Beauty in pink glasses and khakis. Whereas I
continued to look like I’d slept on my ponytail.

Which I had because it is cruel to start school on a
Wednesday.

“Is it heavy?” I asked Ben, waving at his mustache.

“Like weight training for your face? Or are you just trying
to compensate for your narrow shoulders?”
He gave a half-hearted leer at my polo. “I could ask
the same thing of your bra.”

My arms flew automatically to cover my chest, but I
seemed to be able to only conjure the consonants of the
curses I wanted to hurl at him. In his usual show of bad
form, West took this as some sort of victory.

“As you were,” he said, jumping back into the line of
uniforms on their way to the main building. He passed too
close to Kenneth Pollack, who shoved him hard into the
main gate, growling, “Watch it, nerd.”

“School for geniuses, Kenneth,” Harper called.

“We’re all nerds.”

Kenneth flipped her off absentmindedly as West
brushed himself off and darted past Mike Shepherd into
the main building.

“Brute,” Harper said under her breath.

I scuffed the planter box with the heels of my
mandatory Mary Janes. “I’m off my game. My brain is
still on summer vacation. I totally left myself open to that
cheap trick.”

“I was referring to Kenneth, not Ben,” she frowned.

“But, yes, you should have known better. Ben’s been
using that bra line since fourth grade.”

As a rule, I refused to admit when Harper was right
before eight in the morning. It would just lead to a full
day of her gloating. I hopped off of the planter and
scooped up my messenger bag, shoving my comic inside.

“Come on. I’m over waiting for Meg. She’s
undoubtedly choosing hair care over punctuality. Again.”
Harper slid bonelessly to her feet, sighing with
enough force to slump her shoulders as she followed me
through the front gate and up the stairs. The sunlight
refracted against her pale hair every time her neck
swiveled to look behind us. Without my massive aviator
sunglasses, I was sure I would have been blinded by the
glare.

“What’s with you?” I asked, kicking a stray pebble
out of the way.

“What? Nothing.” Her head snapped back to

attention, knocking her glasses askew. She quickly
straightened them with two trembling hands. “Nothing. I
was just thinking that maybe senior year might be a good
time for you to end your war with Ben. You’d have more
time to study and read comics and…”

Unlike the tardy Meg, Harper was tall enough that I
could look at her without craning my neck downward. It
made it easier to level her with a droll stare. Sometimes,
it’s better to save one’s wit and just let the stupidity of a
thought do the talking.

She rolled her eyes and clucked again, breezing past
me to open the door.

“Or not,” she said, swinging the door open and letting
me slip past her. “Year ten of Watson v. West starts now.
But if one of you brings up the day he pushed you off the
monkey bars, I am taking custody of Meg and we are
going to sit with the yearbook staff during lunch.”

“I accept those terms,” I grinned. “Now help me
think of historical figures with mustaches. Hitler and
Stalin are entirely too obvious. I need to brainstorm
before we get homework.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lily Anderson is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU is her debut novel.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Wesbite: http://mslilyanderson.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mslilyanderson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ms_lilyanderson
Tumblr: http://mslilyanderson.tumblr.com/

PUBLISHER LINKS:

Website: www.griffinteen.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GriffinTeen?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GriffinTeen
Tumblr: http://griffinteen.tumblr.com/


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Summer Days and Summer Nights Blog Tour


Welcome to the next stop in the Summer Days and Summer Nights Blog Tour. If you guys have yet to check out this fabulous anthology, please do so. I read most of the stories while laying on Kamala Beach in Phuket. Never had a more perfect summer moment (It was summer to me!).

Today, the lovely editor herself, Stephanie Perkins, is here to talk about all things summer. Are you ready for this jelly?

What is your ideal summer day? Summer night?

My ideal summer day and night are the same—sitting inside my house with my husband and my cat. I love my house. If it were possible, I would never leave it.
Plus, mosquitos really like me. And I sunburn easily.

What are the ingredients to your perfect summer, and have you had one?

Fireflies. Honeysuckle. Fresh fruit and vegetables. I grew up in Arizona’s Sonoran desert, so there wasn’t a lot of this in my childhood. But as an adult, I’ve been living in Asheville, North Carolina, so I have this summer every year. I’m very lucky. It’s one of the many awesome things about being an adult—choosing where you live.

What are your thoughts on summer romances?

Naturally juicy! When you’re a teenager, they’re often fleeting and filled with drama. So much can happen over a single summer. You can reinvent yourself. There’s magic in that.

What are your favorite summer love stories?

Several of the authors in my two anthologies have written swoony summer romances. A few that immediately spring to mind: I’m pretty sure all of Jennifer E. Smith’s books take place over summer (The Geography of You and Me is a favorite), as well as Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments and Everything Leads to You, and Jenny Han’s Summer series, starting with The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Which do you prefer--poolside or beachside summer reading?

Beachside! Ocean waves are the perfect white noise to a delicious book.

Do you have any go-to summer books you like to re-read summer after summer?

I’ll recommend one of my mother’s favorite summer reads: Sarah Dessen’s Keeping the Moon. It might be my favorite Dessen novel, too.

If you had to pair Summer Days and Summer Nights with a summer-y drink, what would it be?

Watermelon juice. It’s so simple—it’s just watermelon that’s been put into a blender, but it’s heaven.



About the Editor:

Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She's
the author of the international bestsellers Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, as well as Isla and
the Happily Ever After. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories is her first anthology. Stephanie and her
husband live in the mountains of North Carolina.


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound

About Summer Days and Summer Nights:

Internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins brought together some of her closest friends and fellow bestselling young adult authors for the holiday anthology My True Love Gave to Me that a starred Publisher’s Weekly called “a rare holiday treat” and Romantic Times claimed “this is what all anthologies should aspire to be”. Now, she’s doing it again with SUMMER DAY AND SUMMER NIGHTS: Twelve Love Stories (St. Martin’s Griffin / On Sale: May 17, 2016), another anthology filled with twelve new stories from a superstar lineup of young adult authors. Already receiving rave reviews, this anthology is the perfect beach companion for those long, hazy summer days.

Featuring twelve brand new short stories from:

 Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss, My True Love Gave To Me)

 Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows, The Grisha Trilogy)

 Francesca Lia Block (Love in the Time of Global Warming)

 Veronica Roth (The Divergent Trilogy)

 Lev Grossman (The Magicians Trilogy)

 Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments Series)

 Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love, The Geography of You and Me)

 Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty)

 Tim Federle (The Great American Whatever)

 Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You, You Know Me Well)

 Jon Skovron (Misfits, Man Made Boy)

 Brandy Colbert (Pointe)


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Guest Post + Giveaway with Invisible Fault Lines Author Kristen-Paige Madonia

Today, I had the privileged of hosting author Kristen-Paige Madonia, author of FINGERPRINTS OF YOU and newly released INVISIBLE FAULT LINES. She definitely has a way with words, and today she'll be talking about books and babies. You'll see what I mean.


“The Facts and Falsehoods Behind a Simile: A Book is Just Like a Baby”

Authors often compare publishing a book to having and raising a child -- the small but magical beginnings, the months imagining, nourishing and waiting, the birth and sending out, hoping the world will see what you see: an original, beautiful and important addition to society. As a hopeful young author, I believed that I understood the simile and felt protective and proud of my debut novel, Fingerprints of You, in the same way I imagined a parent feels about dropping their child off at school for the first time. But then, in the gap of time between publishing my first book and selling my second, I became a parent –- the actual guardian to an actual baby, the mother of a child that began as a handful of cells in my belly and now walks, talks, laughs, dances and sings Bob Marley songs. And during the process, I confronted both the accuracy and the ridiculousness of the comparison between publishing a novel and being a parent.

I’ve written four novels and can tell you the precise moment at which they were conceived: my first, standing at the stove while in graduate school making a grilled cheese sandwich (my “in-the-drawer” manuscript); the second, in a coffee shop in San Francisco (Fingerprints of You); the third, in a bar in Portland during Wordstock Book Festival after hearing David Levithan speak (Invisible Fault Lines); and the fourth, in the middle of the night as I woke from a dream, scrambling for a pen on my nightstand to jot down the early inklings of what has become my current work-in-progress. I remember the sounds and smells and moods of the rooms where the ideas first landed, the way the slanted light ping-ponged off the rain-streaked windows while my husband and I shared a beer and talked out the concept for Invisible Fault Lines. But there was no such defining moment when we decided to become parents, no one conversation that solidified my confidence that I was ready, that the time was right to begin something new, something that would become all consuming and self-defining as having a child does. My husband and I were confident in our commitment and our love for one another but fearful over our finances. We were certain in our ability to care for a child but were terrified conception might be difficult, as it had been for some of our friends. We knew we liked the idea of a family, but we were also one hundred percent satisfied with our lives just the way they were. We craved to engage with the world in a new and significant way but also hesitated to adjust our lifestyle.

I discovered I was pregnant three months after I began jotting notes in Portland for the project that would become Invisible Fault Lines. My son grew just as a novel does: slowly, day by day, one step at a time. Just as we feel during the drafting phase, my pregnancy was inundated with doubt and fears, elated moments of confidence followed by weeks of anxiety. Was I strong enough and smart enough, patient enough and brave enough to be a good mother? To write a beautiful and important book? As my belly swelled, so did my conviction in the manuscript, the pages multiplying, the words coming together, the characters blooming into life. Like most authors, I’m a reader and researcher at heart, and because the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Firestorms play a key role in my character’s journey in the novel, I alternated between historical research and baby books and websites. I’d spend afternoons scrolling photos and reading articles from the on-line Bancroft Berkeley Library, reading biographies of those that survived the earthquake and watching silent-movie clips from the aftermath in 1906. Then I’d spend my evenings curled on the couch researching the best foods to eat when you’re pregnant and a vegetarian (dark green leafy vegetables), the best exercise programs for pregnancy (yoga), bottles to buy (glass), and mattress to use in the crib (the ridiculously expensive organic one).

I emailed my manuscript to my agent the day before I was induced.

Just like writing a book, there’s no one way to birth and care for a child. Like the decisions you make when writing, the decisions you make as a parent are based on your personality, your experiences, your belief system, your wants and goals and hopes. But as writers we write alone; for me, being a parent is a messy, wonderful good-intentioned but often-confusing collaboration with my husband that requires compromise, patience and the willingness to admit when you’re wrong. As a writer and a parent there are many days when I am certain that I have no idea what I’m doing, when I can’t find the light to guide me through the tunnel. I also have equally just as many days when there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s nothing else in the world I’m meant to do, no better way to spend my time, no more worthwhile place to invest my heart. I’ve learned that both require an immense amount of patience. And willingness to make mistakes. To be vulnerable. To get dirty and venture outside of your comfort zone. We need a keen ability to multitask but also to be present, to be focused.

But most of all, as authors and as parents, we give up so much control. We leap into the unknown. Each day, at my writing desk and with my son, I reevaluate my priorities, my goals in terms of what I want to share with the world and what kind of role model I hope to be. Each role is all consuming, unbelievably rewarding, and full of unpredictable challenges.

I was warned about reading your own reviews, about giving readings with no one in attendance but your relatives, about the emotional ups and downs of watching your book become part of a larger conversation. But no one warned me of the severity of love and protection I would feel for my son. Reading a luke-warm review pales in comparison to the sound of him crying when he’s sick. There is nothing like the joy of receiving an email from a teacher who has decided to teach my book in her class and then, only moments later, watching my son pull a picture book into his lap and create a story to go with the images. There are certainly similarities between creating and publishing a book and having a child, and most are rooted in emotion and the intimacy of sharing something you care about with the world, but unlike publishing a novel -- whose words are stitched in ink, permanent once pressed on the page -- a child is ever evolving and always growing, the state of constant change. And while I’m unbelievably proud of the books I’ve published, I’m even more proud as I watch my toddler grow into a caring, thoughtful artistic child. Like any literary device, the simile has its flaws and risks, but regardless, I’m so grateful I have the chance to participate in the comparison firsthand.




Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful journey with us, Kristen. I love that your son sings Bob Marley songs. "'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."


"'My father disappeared on a Tuesday that should’ve been like any Tuesday, but eventually became the Tuesday my father disappeared.'

Tired of living in limbo, Callie finally decides to investigate her father’s disappearance for herself. Maybe there was an accident at the construction site that he oversaw? Maybe he doesn’t remember who he is and is lost wandering somewhere? But after seeing a familiar face in a photo from the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, she wonders if the answer is something else entirely.

Hailed by Judy Blume as a "remarkable young novelist," Kristen-Paige Madonia, author of Fingerprints of You, explores how to rebuild a life after everything seems lost."

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
LINKS: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository / Goodreads


Now, time for the giveaway. The lovely Kristen is giving away a copy of her latest novel INVISIBLE FAULT LINES. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends May 28th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, May 2, 2016

The Way Back To You Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway



"In this witty, heart-tugging novel, two teens take a spontaneous road trip across the Southwest to meet three strangers who received the life-saving organs of their late best friend—charting a journey of loss, hope, and love along the way.

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident.

Her best friend Cloudy is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they're barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot of out character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again. Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.

With hundreds of miles in front of them, a stowaway kitten, and a list of people who are alive because of Ashlyn, Cloudy and Kyle just may find their way to back to her...and to each other."

Thoughts: You guys, I absolutely adored this novel. It's heartbreaking yet beautiful, at times funny and sweet, and is an all-around good read. It's so easy to connect with the characters, and oh, did I mention there's an adorable kitty name Arm? What's not to love?

As you can see, the story is about two people connected to Ashlyn, both in different yet similar ways, who grieve for this person they've lost. When Cloud, Ashlyn's best friend, discovers her friend's mother donated Ashlyn's organs, she decides to steal the names of the recipients and go on an epic journey to find and meet this people. Kyle, Ashlyn's boyfriend, also tags along.

One thing I'm a sucker for is a good road trip book. It's even better when the adventure has purpose behind it. Now, with any long road trip, if you decide to go with someone that you got along with but were only connected to through another person, the beginning tends to be a bit awkward. These two actually have a deeper history, and these memories start to unfold as their expedition continues. You find out why there's tension between the two, and though it can be uncomfortable at times, I promise you it's worth the read.

I really don't want to give more away, because I'd hate to ruin this book for anyone. Just know that it's an extraordinary read, and please be sure to have a box of tissues nearby. It's not a light and fluffy read, but it is a great one, one you don't want to miss. If you're a fan of Morgan Matson's AMY AND ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, this is definitely the book for you.

Rating:

5 Stars


LINKS:
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Michelle Andreani is the co-author of THE WAY BACK TO YOU (my debut novel!) with Mindi Scott, forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. Also an occasional scatterbrain, milkshake devotee, and liker of love stories.

Mindi Scott lives near Seattle, Washington, USA with her drummer husband in a house with a non-sound-proof basement. Freefall, her first novel, was published by Simon Pulse in 2010. Her second novel, Live Through This, was published (also by Simon Pulse) in 2012. She contributed a chapter to Violent Ends, a collaborative novel written by 17 young adult authors (out in 2015), and co-wrote, along with Michelle Andreani, the 2016 novel The Way Back to You. She is represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.

Michelle LINKS: Website | Twitter | Instagram
Mindi LINKS: Website | Twitter | Instagram

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


Week 1:
5/2: Addicted 2 Novels - Review
5/3: Swoony Boys Podcast - Q&A
5/4: Mostly YA Lit - Review
5/5: The Irish Banana Review - Playlist
5/6: The Bookkeeper's Secrets - Review

Week 2:
5/9: Fangirl Confessions - Top 10
5/10: Literary Lover - Review
5/11: Reading Teen - Guest Post
5/12: In Wonderland - Review
5/13: A Book & A Latte - How We Write

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of THE WAY BACK TO YOU (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Star-Touched Queen Blog Tour


Welcome to the next stop in The Star-Touched Queen Blog tour. Today I'll be sharing with you guys an excerpt from the book. For those who haven't heard of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN yet...

"Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget."


Excerpt:

“I don’t care for the ways of men and demons,” I hissed. “Your
lessons are lost on me.”

What ever darkness my mind had imagined melted. Parrots
singing. Fountains gurgling. The distant voice of a courtier dron-
ing about wars. Sound pushed up between those lost seconds,
blossoming into fi erce murmurs, hushed tones. What had I
imagined? I searched for the tutor’s shadow splayed against the
wall. I waited to see something slinking along the ground, darkness
stretched long and thin over tomes and cracked tiles, but there
was nothing.

“You,” he hissed in an exhale that ended in a whimper. He
backed into a corner. “It’s you. I thought . . .” He gulped down
the rest of his words. He looked lost.

I blinked at him, shaking off the fi nal remnants of that drows-
iness. I felt groggy, but not with sleep. A moment ago, I thought I
had seen horns limned in shadow. I thought something had coursed
through me in defense— a low note of music, the bass of a thun-
derclap, a pleat of light glinting through a bruised storm cloud. But
that couldn’t be right. The person before me was just . . . a person.
And if I had heard him say something else, saw him morph into
something else, it was all distant and the fi ngers of my memory
could do nothing but rummage through images, hold them to the
light and won der if I hadn’t slipped into a waking nightmare.

The tutor trembled. Gone was the blocky fi gure choking out
the light and lecturing me on silence. Or had he said something
else in those lost moments? Something about weakness and de-mons. I couldn’t remember. I clutched a table, my knuckles white.

“I must go,” he said, his face pale, like blood had drained from
him. “I didn’t know. Truly. I didn’t. I thought you were someone
else.”

I stared at him. What did he mean? How could he not know
who I was? Someone must have told him that I was the princess
he would be tutoring this after noon. But I was wasting time. He
was just another tutor scared by a reputation pronounced by far-
away lights in the sky. Curse the stars.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ROSHANI CHOKSHI comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern
accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually
napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in
pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a
year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at
the University of Georgia where she's learning a new kind of storytelling. More information on
the author can be found at www.roshanichokshi.com.


Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Top Ten Craziest Things We Did In High School


Welcome to the next stop in the MY KIND OF CRAZY Blog Tour (woot!). Today Robin Reul (the author) and a few other authors/bloggers (including myself) will be sharing with you guys some of the craziest things I did in high school. First, let's talk about the book!


"Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton."

Expected publication: April 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository


Now, are you reading for some shenanigans?

1. Exes stink, and everyone knows it. One night, my friends and I decided to dress in all black (like ninjas), and TP (aka toilet paper) our exes' houses. We went to Kroger, bought all the necessities (including shaving cream and Vaseline) and just went nuts. Toilet paper everywhere, shaving cream all over their yards, and if their cars were sitting in the driveway (which they all were), we Vaselined their door handles. Because f you, that's why! - Me

2. Confession: I truthfully wasn’t much of a shenanigatrix in high school. Crazy for my standards was my friend and I used to drive by gas stations and scream loudly out the window to customers, “Hey, have you got gas?” or that time we went swimming in the outdoor fountain at the mall. Yeah, we were pretty hilarious. But there was that one time my parents ever went out of town when I was a teenager and made the mistake of leaving me in the care of another teenager. We threw a wild party, of course, which I almost got away with except for that the neighbor had left a message on my parents’ answering machine that someone was walking on our roof. Oh, and the part where someone drove by as they arrived home and yelled “Great party Friday night!” I just got done being grounded last week. - Robin Reul, author of MY KIND OF CRAZY

3. When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a boyfriend who was a senior. He had access to his dad's cool cars and it was pretty amazing cruising around in them. This particular night, he took one of his dad's MGs. We went to Klode Park, which wasn't too far from my home and parked in the small lot. Things started to really heat up quickly and we fogged the windows. Thankfully, fully clothed...because a police officer beamed his flashlight right into the car and told us to exit IMMEDIATELY! Our community had a 10 PM curfew, though who knew??? We didn't. Unfortunately, the driver's side door wouldn't open and we both climbed out of the passenger side door. It was so embarrassing, especially when my boyfriend had to spread eagle, ya know? Gah, I could have died! Needless to say, we were cured of PDA! - Liza Wiemer, author of HELLO?

4. Does it sound nerdy to say in 9th grade my friend and i took her parents' car out of garage and drove it around the neighborhood and put it back before they came home? - Sasha from Sash and Em

5. Okay, I definitely don't recommend doing this. Times are different! Anywho, whenever I was 17, I went on this school trip to explore Europe. We spent the summer in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland visiting castles, landmarks, and studying their cultures. Well, did you know the legal drinking age in Germany is 16? One night, after all of our chaperons went to bed, a group of us stunk out and went bar hopping. I personally didn't drink (one of us had to be responsible), but my friends did, and we didn't stumble back to the hotel until well after 2AM. The next morning, we had to pack up and move on to the next country, and all of us looked destroyed. - Me

6. I told my parents I was going to church. Then took their car and drive to Nashville for an Aerosmith concert. Grounded for a week. - Miranda Kenneally, author of CATCHING JORDAN

7. There was this one time when I was 16 and wanted to go see this guy I was talking to. My mom was away in Vietnam at the time too, so I decided to sneak out, but my dad was downstairs watching over the house. So there's this balcony part to the house I was living in at the time (it was a row home). I ended up going out that window, going over to my uncle's roof, and jumping down 2 stories into his backyard. He let me out Haha. I think I twisted my ankle a bit, but still walked ok, lol. Hurt my butt like heck tho. Anyways, I ended up meeting him out back and we went bowling and did other stuff together. Later that night I snuck back in thru the front door since everyone was asleep and my mom didn't know until I told her later on. - Vi from Vi3tBabe

8. This is actually one I did in jr high, but I was hanging out with my friends who were freshmen in high school. That counts, right? Moving on, my friends and I bought tickets to see The Blair Witch Project way back when. Unfortunately, neither of us were of age, but Katie's boyfriend worked at the theater. He said he could sneak us in (do they even have people checking your age at the entrance anymore?). When push came to shove, he chickened out, because he didn't want to get fired. My friends were not problem solvers, so I started talking up some random guy. He laughed and knew what I was doing, but he ended up telling the people working the door that we were with him, and behold- movie time! - Me

9. I don't know why we did this, but we randomly sought out fountains around town and decided to jump in and swim in them. We called that night The Fountain Fiasco. - Me

10. I got high for the first time, hooked up with a coworker in the shower, then went up to my work and was lucky I didn't get fired, because I was sitting on the floor laughing like a maniac. I worked at Boston Market. Super classy. -A blogger who would like to remain anonymous (It's not me, I swear!)


That's all, folks!




ABOUT ROBIN REUL: Robin Reul has been writing since she was in early elementary school, when she used to make her own book club flyers for her classmates and then pen them original stories. Though she grew up on movie sets and worked for many years in the film and television industry both as an actress and in motion picture development, she ultimately decided to focus her attention on writing young adult novels. She likes to write the same kinds of stories she loved as a teen: the ones that give her with butterflies in her stomach and are filled with quirky, memorable characters who stay with the reader long after the story ends. When she’s not writing, Robin can be found singlehandedly driving up the profit margin of her local Starbucks and indulging her love of baked goods, particularly those in the key of pumpkin. She lives in Los Angeles suburbia with her husband, son and daughter.

Website | Twitter | Facebook




Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of MY KIND OF CRAZY (US Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Be sure to check out MY KIND OF CRAZY as well as the rest of the blog tour!

Week 1:

3/28: Novel Ink - Review
3/29: Swoony Boys Podcast - Character Interview
3/30: Kelly Vision - Review
3/31: Addicted 2 Novels - Top 10
4/1: Avid Reader - Review
4/2: Behind Closed Covers - Review

Week 2:

4/4: No BS Book Reviews - Q&A
4/5: Fiction Fare - Review
4/6: Actin' Up With Books - Playlist
4/7: Arctic Books - Review
4/8: A Book & A Latte - How I Write
4/9: The Irish Banana Review - Review




Friday, March 25, 2016

Stone Field Blog Tour


Welcome, welcome, to the next stop in the STONE FIELD Blog Tour. Today, I have Christy Lenzi here to tell us what makes a great romance story. Ready? Let's go!

What do you believe makes a great romance story? Is it all about chemistry or is there more to it?

I love the explosive chemistry of two characters combining and reacting—the sparks of energy, the heat of skin, the heart pumping like mad. I freely admit that in my favorite stories, the characters often fall in love immediately or suddenly. And why not? Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher says, “You can be instantly scared. You can be instantly happy. So why can't you be instantly romantically in love?”

It has been said that in real love, you want the other person’s good. In romantic love, you want the other person. True, that. But ah, the wanting. Desire is what gets us going and ignites in us the hope of enduring love in the first place.
For me, the best romances create this desire, this love, then threaten it. Isn’t that what any good storyteller does? She makes us care about something, raises the stakes, then tries to steal it back from us. When obstacles arise (whether from the couple’s own issues or from outside forces) or separation tears the lovers apart, that’s when longing intensifies. Longing is an essential component to a great love story, no? It’s why I kept hearing Cecilia whispering to Robbie, “Come back to me” after I finished Atonement and Ada’s echoing plea to Inman after reading Cold Mountain. It is why, years after closing the covers of Jane Eyre, I still hear Rochester’s agonized voice crying out in the moonlit night, “Jane! Jane! Jane!”

A good romance story puts my heart through the wringer and almost breaks it. And when it’s over, I feel slightly bruised and rather tender. But I also feel more awake to the world and more alive.


About The Author: Christy lives with her family in California’s Central Valley, not far from the mountains, the big trees, and the Pacific Ocean. When she's not working, writing, or reading, she is fond of stuffing messages into bottles, making art, and zooming around on her motor scooter, Roxanne. If you find one of her bottle messages, write her back!

Thank you Christy for taking the time to drop by! Be sure to catch the rest of the STONE FIELD tour!



3/19/2016: www.bookrookreviews.com (Retelling)
3/21/2016: www.fictionfare.com (Romance)
3/22/2016: http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com (Historical)
3/23/2016: http://katiesbookblog.com/ (Retelling)
3/25/2016: http://www.addicted2novels.com (Romance)
3/27/2016: http://aperfectioncalledbooks.blogspot.com/ (Historical)
3/28/2016: http://www.fiktshun.com (Romance)
3/29/2016: http://www.intothehallofbooks.com/ (Historical)



"In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights."

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