When We Collided Blog Tour With Emery Lord — A Guest Post You Shouldn’t Miss!

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I am so, so delighted to have Emery Lord on the blog today, you guys! Y’all know much I love Open Road Summer, The Start Of Me and You and most recently When We Collided (a review coming soon — my review has been a work in progress since I read the book a few months ago…one of those times where all my words feel just paltry compared to what the book made me feel). Emery had quickly become an auto-buy author for me!

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I Interviewed Leila Sales! OH AND THERE IS A GIVEAWAY I WISH I COULD WIN!

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HI GUYS. I’m waaaaay more excited than I normally am on a Wednesday. Why you ask (even if you didn’t…I’M TELLING YOUUU)? Because Leila Sales is on the blog today answering some of my questions and I couldn’t be more delighted. I ADORE Leila — both as a person and a writer and I sang HIGH HIGH praises for her book This Song Will Save Your Life back when I read it. A peek at what I said about it from my review: Its spirit pulses from the pages, right through to your veins and reverberates in your soul — a feeling reminiscent of any great concert or night out dancing where your ears are still buzzing and the music still pounds within you.” Read my full review!

I’d invite Leila on the blog any day ending with a Y just because but she’s here today to celebrate This Song Will Save Your Life coming out in paperback YESTERDAY! I’ve been DYING for it to come out ever since I had the honor of revealing the paperback redesign for it.

This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales paperback

So, let’s have a chat with Leila and then you can check out the AWESOME giveaway (no seriously, I’m dying for her new book and one of you lucky little book nerds is going to win it).

 

1. If books used pick-up lines when readers stood by the shelves trying to choose which book to pick up, what would This Song Will Save Your Life’s pick-up line be?

“Hey, what are you doing tonight? There’s a club if you’d like to go. You could meet somebody who really loves you.”

2. Since music is such a HUGE part of This Song Will Save Your Life obviously (and a huge passion of mine), I’m wondering what are 5 songs that have topped your playlists lately!
LOVE this question. When I wrote THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE I wanted to include only those songs that had already stood the test of time, so I don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk about newer songs that I’m digging right at this very moment.

Here are some of them:
“I Wanna Get Better,” by Bleachers
“Shut Up and Dance,” by Walk the Moon
“Sex,” by 1975
“My Friend Has a Swimming Pool,” by Mausi
“Palisades Park,” by the Counting Crows

 

Jamie note: AH Leila…I love Bleachers as well and same with Walk the Moon whom the husband and I just got to see in concert and they were so fun!

 

3. One of the things that Elise struggles with is making friends until she meets Vicky, Char and Pippa. Two part question, what other YA character do you think Elise would be good friends with? And what do you think is the difference between making friends as a teenager vs. making friends as an adult? (if there is a difference to you)
I could see Elise hanging out with Audrey from Robin Benway’s AUDREY, WAIT! They could go to shows together and have a blast. (Jamie note: LOVE THIS CHOICE. )

Difference between making friends as a teen versus as an adult: So, first of all, adults aren’t out to make you look and feel stupid all the time. Adults who make snide remarks about what you’re wearing, or about how excited you get about the “wrong” things, are universally understood to be huge jerks and wildly immature. Unfortunately, those behaviors are commonplace in high school. Because in high school there is ONE hierarchy of “cool” versus “not cool,” whereas in adulthood there’s no one set of rules that we are all “supposed” to be trying to follow.

Also: being a kid or teen is bizarre because you are divided up by age. You are for some reason expected to have things in common with some randomer just because you are fourteen and she is also fourteen. In adulthood, you can choose a career doing something that you care about, and through that career you get to meet other people who care about that specific thing. You get to choose what city to live in, and meet other people who chose to live in that same city. And even if those people are a decade younger or older than you, you still can be friends with them, and they will have actual things in common with you.

4. One thing that I loved about TSWSYL is how Elise learns that you don’t necessarily have to CHANGE to find yourself but you just have to see those perceived weaknesses/quirks as your strength and learn to be comfortable in your skin and be who you REALLY are — not who other people think you are or even who they’ve made you think you are.  If you could go back and give teenage Leila advice about this topic, what would it be?
Pretty much just that: know who you are, don’t listen to the people who tell you that what you are is “wrong.” And don’t be ashamed of being yourself, because the things that make you special (or, in high school, “weird”) are the things that make you MATTER—a lot more than whether some popular girl tells you that you matter. This is easier said than done, but it’s all true.

5. I remember being a liiiiiittle nervous about the teenage DJ aspect of this novel before I read it because it totally COULD have turned out corny but instead you made it so believable and fitting. What kind of research did you do to make it feel authentic and fit with the story?
I went out dancing a lot! I’ve always done that, but while I was writing this book I would dance and try to describe what I was seeing and experiencing (in my head, of course). Over the years I’ve also been friends with a number of DJs (and I’ve dated at least three of them), so I’ve learned a fair bit about what’s involved.

Now let’s go for some rapid fire questions:

Song that you always want to dance to: “Beat Control,” by Tilly and the Wall.

Book that saved your life: LIBBY ON WEDNESDAY, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Song that you STILL know every word to from your teen years: “One Week,” by the Barenaked Ladies. (This is my party trick. I’ll pull it out if you give even the slightest indication that you want to hear it. Or even, frankly, if you give no indication.)

Song that you’d be most likely to pick for karaoke: Well, “One Week.” Or “I Liked You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” by Ida Maria. Or “None of Your Business,” by Salt ‘n’ Pepa. Basically, if we go to do karaoke, we are going to be there for a while.

Song that you associate with high school: Ohh there are a lot. Let’s say… anything off the Lifehouse album “No Name Face,” and “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.

Book that you’ve loved recently: FAMOUS IN LOVE, by Rebecca Serle! Also everything that I’ve edited, naturally. (If you’re interested, I keep a Pinterest board of all of them: https://www.pinterest.com/prettytothink/books-i-edited/ Okay, end self-promotion.)

Current favorite album: A new album just came out from the Go! Team, so I’m really enjoying that, but it’s too early to call it my FAVORITE. I’d need to listen to it about a million times more. So let’s stick with “Strangers,” by RAC. They just write such good pop songs, it’s unbelievable.

 

Thanks for answering all my questions, Leila!! I feel like we are music soulmates (Tilly and the Wall <33 I feel like nobody I talk to knows them) and also I think we would have a damn good time doing karaoke together!

 

GIVEAWAYS

That’s right. TWO giveaways. Two winners. (US/Canada mailing addresses only).

GIVEAWAY #1: Up for grabs is an ARC of Leila’s upcoming release — Tonight The Streets Are Ours — which is one of my most anticipated books for this year! It sounds SO EXCELLENT. You can read more about it here.

Tonight The STreets are OUrs book

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

 

Giveaway #2: A This Song Will Save Your Life mix cd curated by the participants on the blog tour — fun surprise and a chance to discover new music perhaps?

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Want More?

Full Blog Tour Schedule:

http://www.paperiot.com/                                                        April 2, 2015

http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/                                     April 3, 2015

http://www.rainydayramblings.com                                       April 4, 2015

http://lilisreflections.blogspot.com/                                       April 5, 2015

http://www.thecompulsivereader.com/                              April 6, 2015

http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/                                April 7, 2015

http://www.thebookcellarx.com/                                           April 8, 2015

http://www.greatimaginations.com/                                     April 9, 2015

http://thebevybibliotheque.net/                                             April 10, 2015

http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/                                 April 11, 2015

http://www.tickettoanywhere.net/                                       April 12, 2015

http://www.bookaddictsguide.com                                        April 13, 2015

http://macteenbooks.com                                                          April 14, 2015

http://www.perpetualpageturner.com                                 April 15, 2015

Get To Know Victoria Aveyard + GIVEAWAY

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I’m excited to have Victoria Aveyard, author of one of the HOTTEST young adult releases of this season, on the blog with me today! Her book Red Queen came out this week surrounded with MUCH pre-publication buzz! Before you get to know Victoria a little bit through some fun top ten lists (which obviously I’m a big fan of) check out what Red Queen is about!

Red Queen
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads |Kobo

Get to know Victoria with a couple of fun top ten lists!

 

10 Bookish (or otherwise) Quotes That I Love, in no particular order:

1. “He’s got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody’s got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the Grail already.” Cut to Brody in a marketplace: “Does anyone here speak English? Or even Ancient Greek?” – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, my all-time favorite movie quote.

2. “Winter is coming.”  – George RR Martin, A Game of Thrones (I could do all ASOIAF quotes for this but I won’t)

3. “And my sister, my Lindsey, left me in her memories, where I was meant to be.” – Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

4. “It was the drink that killed him.” “Oh, he was an alcoholic?” “No, he was hit by a Guinness truck.” – Mrs. Doubtfire

5. “Go then, there are other worlds than these.” – Stephen King, The Gunslinger

6. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

7. “I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” – JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (and all of LotR essentially)

8. “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” – George RR Martin, A Storm of Swords (had to sneak this one in)

9. “Never tell me the odds.” – The Empire Strikes Back

10. “P.S. Germany invaded Belgium an hour ago.” – Ken Follett, Fall of Giants

Honorable mention (because quotes are my life):
Chapter 8 of The Stand, Stephen King
the entirety of Home Alone written by John Hughes
The Indianapolis Speech, Jaws, Robert Shaw
“Well, can’t he just beam up?” “This is reality, Greg.” – ET, Melissa Mathison

10 Favorite Lines I Wrote In Red Queen

1. The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.

2. In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.

3. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.

4. “Dear family, I am alive. Obviously.”

5. “From now until the end of your days, you must lie. Your life depends on it, little lightning girl.”

6. “They were a threat to my kingdom, and they were stupid,” he fires back. He stoops, bending over me with his twisted smile. “Were.”

7. Gold and silver and iron, dripping from his hands like tears.

8. When the sword flashes, arcing through air and flesh and bone, she doesn’t blink.

9. In the stories, the old fairy tales, a hero comes. But all my heroes are gone or dead. No one is coming for me.

10. “I have the advantage,” I tell his corpse.

 

10 Movies I Could Watch Forever

The Lord of the Rings
Star Wars
Indiana Jones
Jurassic Park
ET
Independence Day
Gladiator
Goodfellas
Pirates of the Caribbean
Armageddon

 

10 Things I Never Leave Home Without

Something to read
Cell phone
Keys (unless I forget, which is often)
Scarf or sweater
Sunglasses
A mental plan and schedule for whatever I’m doing
Hair ties
Music
Lipstick if I can remember
My rings (two family heirlooms, one gift to myself)

 

About The Author

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Victoria Aveyard is a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. 
Her book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. She’s repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The genres she’s into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic – if people are dying, she’s buying.

 TWITTER | WEBSITE

GIVEAWAY

One Winner will get Finished Copies of: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand and MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga.



Ships in US only | Must be 13+ To enter

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Blog Tour: The Edge of Falling By Rebecca Serle

18048731I finished The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle a couple weeks ago (a full post about it to come!) and it was such a heartbreaking, hard hitting read. The main character lost her younger sister and she really blames herself for it and then an incident happens AFTER that which leads people believe that she is a hero…which is far from the truth! She’s been keeping in all these FEELINGS and SECRETS  and she’s trying to keep it all together. You can just feel the weight of it all. And she starts making some interesting choices. It’s worth a read but you can see my full thoughts later on!

One of the characters in the book is Claire, Caggie’s bff, who really tries to be there for her but kind of doesn’t put up with some of her shit. She’s a really good friend and I LOVE seeing a solid bffship in YA lit so I was really excited when I found out that Rebecca was going to be sharing a playlist for Claire! Claire seems like a super fun bff who you would get into all sorts of fun shenanigans but really has your back. I think this playlist fits her perfectly!

 

 

So, now, I’ll hand it over to Rebecca…

 

Many thanks to Jamie for hosting me today! I’m so excited to share some exclusive content from my process of writing The Edge of Falling: Claire’s character playlist. Claire is Caggie’s BFF: she’s a model with a heart of gold…one that loves fast, and loves fully. She knows that Caggie is going through a difficult time and doesn’t exactly support her newfound attraction to Astor, but Claire is a quality friend in the otherwise shallow world of the Upper East Side. Mostly pop tunes with a hint of indie flare, here’s a peek into her mind (and her iPod.)

1. Lorde- Royals
2. Say Something- A Great Big World
3. Do What U Want- Lady Gaga
4. Robyn- Call Your Girlfriend
5. Bloom- The Paper Kites
6. Primadonna- Marina and the Diamonds
7. Winter Song- Sara Bareilles
8. Killer Queen- Queen
9. Turning Tables- Adele
10. Stars- Your Ex Lover Is Dead
11. The Hook Up- Britney Spears
12. Raining Men- Rihanna

 

Thanks for sharing that, Rebecca! Can’t wait to give it a listen. Some indie/alternative songs I love and some pop songs I probably wouldn’t put in a playlist but now that I’m jamming to them I don’t know WHY NOT. Such a fun mix!

 

Summary for The Edge of Falling:

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

 

If you’ve read this book…how you do you think this one fits Claire??

Using Technology to Write with a Partner + A Giveaway

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You know that I RARELY participate in blog tours if you are a regular reader of this blog but I am OBSESSED with These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (link is to my Save the Date — my review is to come next month!). It was such a wildly fun science fiction read SET IN SPACE and I really enjoyed it. I’ve read books that were co-authored before (mostly David Levithan’s stuff) and I’ve found the process fascinating — ie. David said he and Rachel Cohn would send each other emails with their chapter and then that person would write their chapter based on that).

So obviously when I read this I was curious about their process and I’m so excited to have Amie and Meagan on the blog today to talk about how they use technology to write with a partner! I think it’s an interesting topic both for readers AND for writers who might be interested in going that route. Really, it’s interesting even for any other sort of collaborative project you may be doing!

 

Blog Tour 3

 

Living on two different continents has its advantages, but is also means we have to be creative when it comes to writing together. These Broken Stars was plotted together in our living room in Australia, but once Meg moved back to America, we had to come up with some smart ways to make technology work for us.

With our timezones pretty much the opposite of each other, we always email the manuscript to the other before we go to bed. That way when we wake up the next morning to take it back, it’s like magical elves wrote a new chapter overnight! It’s always so exciting to see what that new chapter looks like!

Here’s the nitty-gritty on how we use technology to get our work done:

Google Hangouts

Oh, we’d be in so much trouble without the ability to video chat! We both type over 100 words per minute, but our brains still race faster than our fingers can type! Especially when it comes to brainstorming, it’s great to be able to jump on video chat and just talk it out. It means we can both see when the other is pausing to think and give them room, and allows us to jump around. We’ve learned to write down what we decide, though, after managing to forget the final decision a few times!

Viber

Where would we be without our ability to talk and text? Viber’s a free app (and there are many others like it) that allows us to talk and text whenever we like, using just our data or our wifi. The texting is particularly handy—as Amie wakes up in the morning and gets to work, Meg might be heading off to make dinner. Texting means Amie can get stuck into the manuscript, and summon Meg back with a text message if we need to talk. Simple, but super effective.

In-Text Comments

Everybody uses comments and tracked changes, but after so long working together, we practically have our own language. From a blank comment highlighting one word (this indicates the word is a repeat of a word used earlier in the sentence – for example, the second use of “terrible” too close to the first) to long comment conversations, we make the comments work for us. Often whole conversations will happen inside one comment. Someone leaves a question, and the other person comes along and poses some suggestions for how the problem might be fixed, and then when the manuscript is handed over again, the conversation continues. We make sure one of us uses bolded text and the other doesn’t, so it’s easy to see where a conversation is happening. We’ll be honest: there are a lot of jokes in those comments as well. It’s hard to be professional ALL the time!

Google Docs

So. Valuable. These are a must for any collaborator. A google doc means everybody always has the most up-to-date version of the book, and it means you can both collaborate on the same document in real time. Very handy!

We hope this behind-the-scenes glimpse was interesting—just a small sample of the many technological tricks we have up our sleeves!

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Thanks ladies! I’m also a huge fan of the Google docs in keeping The Broke and the Bookish organized as well as a similar text app to Viber– Whatsapp. You ladies sound like you have so much fun writing together!!

I highly recommend if you haven’t heard of this book! I am not a huge science fiction reader but I would HIGHLY recommend this to people who aren’t into it either.

About

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

Bio:

Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. You may also sign up for their newsletter as well! These Broken Stars will be available in North America on December 10, 2013.

Giveaway:

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Follow the tour:

Monday, 11/11            The Midnight Garden
World-Building for the Future

Tuesday, 11/12            Love is Not a Triangle
Author Interview

Wednesday, 11/13     The Perpetual Page-Turner
Using Technology to Write with a Partner

Thursday, 11/14           Good Books and Good Wine
Audiobook Sample + Narrator Interview

Friday, 11/15                The Starry-Eyed Revue
Character Interview with Tarver

Monday, 11/18             Cuddlebuggery

Author Interview

Tuesday, 11/19            Books With Bite
Amie & Meg’s Favorite Things

Wednesday, 11/20       Xpresso Reads
Establishing Characters with Role-Playing
Thursday, 11/21           Great Imaginations
Co-Authoring Books

Friday, 11/22                Nawanda Files
Lilac’s Gorgeous Dress: A Look at These Broken Stars’ Cover Art

The Theory of Everything Blog Tour + Giveaway

I’m so excited to have Kari Luna, author of The Theory of Everything, on the blog today! I’ve been excited to read this one every since I saw it in the catalog at the beginning of the year and I’ve just started it last night!

 

We’ve all done it. Ran with our hearts and made the ultimate mixtape for someone. Hoping what they felt while listening was even a fraction of what we felt while making it, right? Sophie Sophia in The Theory of Everything does that, too. Her father taught her about tapes, but she’s developed her own system for making a mix. Especially ones about love. And now? She’s passing it onto you, exclusively on the Perpetual Page Turner. May it help you make the most swoony-worthy tape, ever.

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How To Make A Mixtape That Will Make Him or Her Melt Into A Massive Puddle 
by Sophie Sophia

1. Think about the object of your affection. Short? Tall? Wears the best Buddy Holly glasses? In love with Love and Rockets?

2. Do a reign-dance. This consists of running around in circles and flailing your arms. It’s a lot like a traditional rain dance, only this one brings in love.

3. Did you fall for number two? HA HA HA. That was a joke. Stop dancing and start putting those songs together.

4. Include tunes that make you swoon. It doesn’t matter whether it’s The Ramones or Thee Headcoatees, The Shins or Vampire Weekend. What matters is what the songs mean to you.

5. I would say think about the order, but on a tape like this? When you’re practically hypnotized by your feelings? You’ll know.

6. Deliver the tape, but act like it was something you threw together. You know, whatever. I like this mix and thought you might, too. Talk to ya later.

6. Wait for a sign. Birds singing, rainbow sparkles up and down your spine, that thing that lets you know they came. They listened. They melted.

8. Even if they weren’t meant to be yours, they know a great mix when they hear one. So feel good about putting love out into the world. And no matter what happens? Do it again. Crush, haze, heart swell, daze, it’s always worth it.

 

GIVEAWAY!

I’ve teamed up with Kari Luna to bring you guys an awesome giveaway! She had the CUTEST buttons and posters designed (seriously I’m in love with them!!) and I’ll be passing along my ARC of The Theory of Everything to go along with it!

1 Winner gets:

– poster
– buttons
– ARC of The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

Contest Info:

– US Only
– Must be 13 years or older.
– No purchase necessary.
– Contest ends July 26.

To Enter:

Answer one of the following questions in the comments to be entered to win this super cute TTOE poster, button pack and ARC!

1.What song would you put on your swoon-worthy mixtape? Come on, tell us what song you think would get your guy/girl hook, line and sinker! I’d go with I Was Made For You by She & Him or Two Hearts Are Better Than One by Katie Herzig.

or

2. What is one of your favorite mixes you’ve ever made? You know I’ve been making lots of playlists lately but my favorite mix I ever made was YEARS ago when a friend of mine went through a break-up. I made THE MOST epic breakup playlist — it started out with pissed off songs, sad songs to cry to and then happy, upbeat “I will get over this” songs. It was pretty awesome.

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Join us for the last stop of the tour Monday, July 22nd at The Book Cellar!

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna

 

 

One part Libba Bray’s GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world.

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

Perfect for fans of Going Bovine, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Probability of Miracles.

 

About The Author:

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Kari Luna is a teen novelist and whimsicologist. Her YA debut, The Theory of Everything, combines string theory, 80’s mixtapes and shaman pandas in one book without making you dizzy! Almost.  Watch the awesome video here: http://bit.ly/14wQdlp. And find Kari, here: www.kariluna.com tweet: @wordette blog: blog.kariluna.com

Robin Benway Tackles Writer’s Block

I am over-the-moon excited to have Robin Benway on my blog today! You know how much she made me laugh in the hilariously fun Audrey, Wait! and made me a grinning fool on the elliptical at the gym with spy-alicious Also Known As recently. Today she is tackling writer’s block and it’s definitely a must read!

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As a writer, I get asked a lot of questions, but a few pop up quite regularly:

Can you send me a copy of your book?

What do you do all day?

What’s your next book about?

No, seriously, what do you do all day?

How do you deal with writer’s block?

 

Ah, that last question. Writer’s block. So ubiquitous in my life and I’m not even sure how to spell it. (Is it writer’s block? Do I put the burden on all writers with “writers’ block”? Is there even an apostrophe? Frustrating on so many levels!)

 Writer’s block is tricky because every writer is different. Some writers never deal with it. (HAHAHA SOB.) Others, like me, feel consistently mocked by that blank page and that teasing, blinking cursor. So here’s the plan I use to overcome my own personal writer’s block. Enter at your own risk.

 

1. Take a Hike

When all else fails, go outside. Take a walk. Stop trying to read everything single thing that was ever put on the internet. Get some fresh air already. Unplug your wireless internet and go offline for a few hours. (“But what if someone needs to get ahold of me?” you gasp. Don’t worry. If they need get ahold of you, they will. They’re doing amazing things with carrier pigeons these days.) Those adorable kitteh pictures will still be on Tumblr when you get back, trust me. After all, it’s hard to write about the world when you’re not part of it. If you can’t go outside, then open a window. (“But it’s winter!” you cry. Just open it for minute or two. You won’t freeze.) Breathe in some fresh air and clear your head. Meet a friend for coffee and don’t talk about writing.

 Okay! So you unplugged for a few hours! You went for a walk and now you’re ready to sit down in front of your computer and open that document and…hmm. Okay, the words aren’t quite there yet, but they will be! You’re going to write a paragraph so beautiful and brilliant that Kirkus will weep butterflies and your parents will declare you Their Favorite Child Ever. Any…second…now. Yep. Okay, maybe not.

 Plug the wireless internet back in, kids. It’s time for Phase 2.

 

2. Turn It Up

Sometimes after I take my head-clearing, fresh air-breathing walk, I realize that, well, that didn’t work. I’m still stuck. The words are being DIFFICULT. In fact, I’m starting to think that the words might actually hate me. And worse, I’m starting to hate the words right back.

Time to watch TV. More specifically, time to watch some music documentaries. There’s something so inspiring about watching other people word hard at being creative! It reminds me that writing is a constant process, that some days are cruel and some are perfect, and even the most artistic people struggle with their jobs sometimes.

I mean, Jack White talking about technology and creativity? Yes, please!

 

 

Katy Perry singing, dancing, and doing 82945207 costume changes in the time that it takes me to decide whether or not I should open my eyes in the morning? Sure!

 

 

Sigur Rós performing in the middle of Iceland without any electricity while still sounding amazing? Twist my arm!

 

 

Wasn’t that invigorating? I feel so ready to sit down and write 20 pages! Let’s do it! Right now! Get to work!

 

Oh. Oh, dear. It’s happened again.

 

3. Feel the Fear

By the time I get to Phase 3, I’m out of ideas. I’ve walked, I’ve talked, I’ve watched television, and I’m forced to realize what the problem is: it’s fear.

 Sure, I can blame the words, but the truth is that they’ve always been there. I know what I want to say, what I want my characters to do, and even if I’m not quite sure how to make that happen, I know which direction to go. I can always backspace, after all. I’m not committing to anything permanent, at least not yet. Such is the beauty of a first draft!

 No, the problem is the fear of putting the words down onto the page. What will my friends and family think of them? What if my editor reads them and thinks they’re terrible and decides to cancel my contract? What if everyone on Goodreads reads my book and gives it one star? What if that one blogger hates it and uses a lot of gifs in their review to make his/her point? By the time my fingers hit the keyboard, I’ve psyched myself out so badly that it’s no surprise I can’t type any words. The brick wall I’ve built is so high that my hands can’t even reach the keyboard.

 So to quote that famous saying, feel the fear and do it anyway. I do whatever I have to do to turn off all the voices except my characters’: I’ll use noise-canceling headphones without listening to music (surprisingly effective); I’ll read my WIP out loud; I’ll even make up a scene that’s just two characters talking, no plot allowed, just enough to remind me what they sound like.

 The first hundred words are always the hardest, but then they just start to come naturally, and pretty soon, the only voices I’m hearing are the only ones that matter. It might take a few tries at first, but I tell myself that the words that land on the page are the ones that are meant to be there. I can move them around later, maybe even delete a few of them. (Sorry, words! It’s not you, it’s me!) It’s okay if they were a little late in arriving.

 They’re there now.

 

How do YOU tackle writer’s block?? Is there anything Robin said that resonated with you? I know that, for me, getting OUT and walking does really help me. If it’s a blogging slump you are in, I wrote a post talking about ways to help get yourself out of that! ALSO, hell yeah Sigur Ros — I talked down the aisle to them! 🙂

An Excerpt From A Book I’m SUPER Excited About + A Giveaway!

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I’m super excited to be on this tour because Mila 2.0 has been one I’ve been excited about — giving it a spot on my March’s Most Wanted list! It’s actually on my nightstand and going to be my next read — I’ve heard some great things so I’m stoked! I’ve got an excerpt to share with you to get excited! If you’ve already read it, let me know what you think in the comments! Check out the rest of the tour here!

Excerpt:

I ignored the typical Kaylee drama and pulled a pen from my backpack. “Who are you talking about?”
 
I heard rather than saw Kaylee stiffen. “Oh my god, Mila, look!” she hissed, knocking my arm as she whirled in her chair. The pen flew out of my hand…. and headed straight for the instigator of the “oh my god, Mila, look” comments’ gray-swathed chest.
 
In a reflexive motion, my hand whipped out, snagging the pen-missile midair. Great save, until the hand connected to the gray shirt knocked into mine as it sought to do the same. The pen sprang loose and clattered to the floor. 
 
Shaggy dark hair. Lean. face. Faded blue eyes-the color of Haylee’s favorite old jeans- that widened briefly. I had just enough time to register the images before the boy from Dairy Queen dropped into a crouch behind my chair. 
 
He didn’t say anything as he extended the pen to me. Kaylee cleared her throat in a totally obvious um-hum, but I ignored her. I was too busy shaking my hair forward to hide what had to be a brilliant display of red spreading across my cheeks.
 
So I was correct-the Dairy Queen boy didn’t go to Annandale. And, in spectacular display of idiocy equaled only by my booth dive yesterday, I’d just assaulted him with a writing utensils. Well played. 
 
“Here you go,” he said, in a surprisingly deep voice.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Never heard of this one? Here’s some more info!

 

Mila 2.0 Debra Driza

ABOUT THE BOOK:

By: Debra Driza
Published by: Harper Teen
To Be Released on: March 12th, 2013
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add It To GoodReads

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debra_twitter_pic_croppedI’m Debra Driza, and I’m a physical-therapist-turned-Young-Adult-author and a stay-at-home mom. Not to be confused with a stay-at-home mistress—those are the ones who eat bon-bons and watch soap operas all day long. The soap operas sort of fall by the wayside when you have a seven-year old, a three-year-old, three dogs (one of them seriously defective), one extremely messy husband, and deadlines to meet.
Seriously, though–my family is great. I wouldn’t change one second of our crazy, messy, unorganized lives. What this house lacks in a paper or dog-free spot on the couch, it makes up for in laughter and hugs.
I’m represented by Taylor Martindale of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.  The first book in my YA sci-fi thriller series debuts in Fall 2012 from Katherine Tegen Books/Harper Collins.

Feel free to email me at houndrat at yahoo dot com. (quoted from Debra’s blog)

Visit Debra via: her Blog | Twitter

I Cannot Believe Who I Have On The Blog Today!

CAN I GET A SHOW OF HANDS FOR WHO IS EXCITED ABOUT THE MOON AND MORE by Sarah Dessen!! ?? OMG ME!

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ALSO, I’m curious to know which Sarah Dessen book is your favorite? I’ve read a few and have some catching up to do! Tell me in the comments!

But honestly, there’s no author who says “love” more than Sarah Dessen. And we don’t mean just romantic love (though she’s plenty good at that!). Sarah writes amazing, deep friendships, complex and true familial relationships, and, of course, swoony and wonderful first loves, so who better than Sarah to have a Valentine’s Day blog tour for her upcoming book, THE MOON AND MORE? Check with each blog every day for one of the 10 things you might like to know about THE MOON AND MORE that Sarah wrote herself. I’m so excited to let her take over the blog today and give us some little tidbit about The Moon And More!

sarahdessen

 

Here’s the seventh of Sarah’s “10 Things You Might Like To Know About THE MOON AND MORE”:

There are shrimp burgers mentioned in this story. Because, like one of the characters, I LOVE a good shrimp burger. What is this delicacy, you ask? Simply put, it’s lightly breaded, fried shrimp on a hamburger bun with cole slaw and cocktail sauce. Preferably served with a side of onion rings. Great, now I’m starving. Such is the downside of writing about food you love.

Sidenote from me: UM, I personally have never had a shrimp burger strangely and now I’m adding it to my list of Foods To Try (yeah, I have one..because I like food a lot). BUT WHERE WILL I FIND ONE IN PHILLY?? I’ve had so many different kinds of burgers made from many different things but…shrimp? NEVER. This majestical sounding food needs to find my mouth. Thanks Sarah for giving me a new food to undoubtedly love. I’ll send you the bill for my gym membership.

Thanks for coming on the blog today,  Sarah! I’m so delighted to have you! 🙂

sarah dessenYou can find out more about Sarah’s books on Sarah-Land

Keep up to date with Sarah on Twitter (love following her tweets…seriously! And she’s gotten me into watching GMA!) and her website.

Want to know more about THE MOON AND MORE? Check with these blogs on Sarah’s tour!

Monday, 2/11: Forever Young Adult
Tuesday, 2/12: The Story Siren
Wednesday, 2/13: Mundie Moms
Thursday, 2/14: Chick Loves Lit
Friday, 2/15: Good Choice Reading
Monday, 2/18: The Compulsive Reader
Tuesday, 2/19: HERE!
Wednesday, 2/20: The Young Folks
Thursday, 2/21: Good Books & Good Wine
Friday, 2/22: I am a Reader, Not a Writer

Falling Kingdom Quest Blog Tour

 

Welcome to the Falling Kingdoms Quest blog tour! Hidden in each tour stop is the answer to a Falling Kingdoms trivia question. Email the answer to yrmarketing@us.penguingroup.com with Falling Kingdoms Blog Tour in the subject line for the chance to win one of FIVE hardcover copies of Falling Kingdoms! The more questions you answer, the better chance you have to win!

QUESTion: What is King Gaius Damora’s nickname? [Email the answer, found somewhere below, to yrmarketing@us.penguingroup.com for the chance to win one of five hardcover copies of Falling Kingdoms!]

Excerpt: “The king had taken him farther north several years ago to witness the execution of one who was accused of witchcraft. The woman had slaughtered several animals and used their blood to try to summon dark magic. The king spoke with her briefly in private and then made the final judgment on her fate. Magnus was required to watch the execution so he would learn from it.” – Chapter 14, FALLING KINGDOMS

From Morgan: King Gaius Damora rules Limeros with an iron fist and—many would say—a merciless heart as cold as the icy landscape that stretches out beyond his black granite castle. His reign has earned him the nickname of the “King of Blood.” If you ask him, though, Gaius is a family man at heart, always looking out for his wife, Queen Althea, and two beloved children, Prince Magnus and Princess Lucia. Oh, and also his live-in mistress (and de facto royal advisor), of course.

The king created the law of “no witches allowed.” While witches are basically powerless, they’re still seen as a threat—a symbol of darkness and evil. The accused are treated to a visit to the dungeon, and, inevitably, a swift, but vastly unpleasant execution.

King Gaius desires omnipotent power and has been biding his time for years looking for new opportunities to expand his kingdom…and expand it…and expand it some more. And that opportunity might just be arriving very soon.

Tomorrow, head over to Bookalicious to find the answer to your next QUESTion, then email the answer to yrmarketing@us.penguingroup.com for a chance to win a copy of Falling Kingdoms!

12.11 QUESTion, found somewhere in the Bookalicious tour stop: What is the name of the magic in Falling Kingdoms?

Falling Kingdoms QUEST blog tour schedule:

Mon, 11/26 Good Choice Reading
Tues, 11/27 Romance Junkie Reviews
Wed, 11/28 Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
Thurs, 11/29 The Story Siren
Fri, 11/30 The Book Smugglers
Mon, 12/3 Night Owl Reviews
Tues, 12/4 Chapter by Chapter
Wed, 12/5 The Compulsive Reader
Thurs, 12/6 Mundie Moms
Fri, 12/7 Ticket to Anywhere
Mon, 12/10 The Perpetual Page Turner
Tues, 12/11 Bookalicious
Wed, 12/12 The Children’s Book Review
Thurs, 12/13 Literary Rambles
Fri, 12/14 Alice Marvels

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