June 30, 2013

Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Release Date: June 13, 2013
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Pages: 322
Series: Addicted
Review Source: eBook from authors for review

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But when they go on a family boat trip, surrounded by open seas and limited male bodies in sight, Lily’s confronted with a big fear. Only one guy onboard can fill her addiction, and she’s sworn off going there with Loren Hale ever again.

Now the only person who can truly help her can barely help himself.
My Thoughts:
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this book is “super intense”. It’s definitely a serious read, and very different from any other New Adult title out there that I’ve read. It’s interesting because it’s not really a romance at all, although there is a bones deep soulmate level of connection between Lily and Lo. This a book that deals with sex addiction, and something on this subject matter could easily become tawdry and seem like it's meant to be titillating -- thankfully that’s not the case here. The book presents Lily’s condition as a true addiction, with cravings and destruction just like an addiction to drugs would have.

Lily and Lo are two fairly damaged individuals who care about each other, but who have gotten into the habit of enabling each other. Even though they adore each other, their addictions have become the most important thing in their lives. The story ‘Addicted to You’ tells is very enthralling. I especially liked the inclusion of Connor and Ryke: these are characters who break into Lo and Lily's seclusion, slowly becoming entrenched in their lives.

When I finished the book I felt like it did have an ending, but I still wished for more details or direction about how Lily would seek more help for her addiction. Thankfully this wasn’t an oversight, and it appears that the authors are writing more books about these characters. ‘Addicted to You’ is a truly unique story, one that's tough to read at times, but is also very interesting and well written.

The Cover:


Add Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie on Goodreads. Purchase on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Smashwords.

June 27, 2013

Book Blitz: Precious Things by Stephanie Parent

Have you heard about Precious Things by Stephanie Parent? Stephanie is celebrating her book release with this book blitz during which time you can buy the ebook on sale for only 99 cents! Click to purchase on Amazon or B&N.

Isabelle Andrews isn’t supposed to be here. She isn’t supposed to be a freshman at Hartford Community College, she isn't supposed to be living at home and working at her dad’s failing bakery, and she definitely isn’t supposed to be taking Intro to Electronic Music Production, a class that will get her nowhere toward her goal of an English Lit Ph.D. by age twenty-five. But when her dad’s latest business fiasco eats up her college fund, Hartford Community College is exactly where Isabelle finds herself—and thanks to her late enrollment, she doesn’t even get to choose her classes. Stuck with Electronic Music and way-too-easy English courses, Isabelle is determined to wallow in all the misery she feels entitled to.

But community college brings some unexpected benefits…like the fact that a certain overworked, over-scheduled Electronic Music professor hands over most of his duties to his teaching assistant. His tall, green-eyed, absolutely gorgeous teaching assistant. When TA Evan Strauss discovers Isabelle’s apathy toward electronic music—and, well, all music—he makes it his mission to convert her. The music Evan composes stirs something inside Isabelle, but she can’t get involved—after all, she’ll be transferring out as soon as possible.

Still, no matter how tightly Isabelle holds on to her misery, she finds it slipping away in the wake of all Hartford Community offers: new friendships, a surprisingly cool poetry professor, and most of all, Evan. But Evan’s dream of owning his own music studio is as impractical as Isabelle’s dad’s bakery, and when Evan makes a terrible decision, everything Isabelle has gained threatens to unravel. Soon Isabelle discovers that some of the most important lessons take place outside the classroom…and that in life, as in Evan’s favorite Depeche Mode song, the most precious things can be the hardest to hold on to.

What the Heck Is the College Experience, Anyway?
by Stephanie Parent

In Precious Things, I really wanted to capture the so-called “college experience”…but the fact is that the college experience encompasses many different things, and is different for every person. There are the classes themselves, the social aspect, the dorms, being away from home for the first time, just to name a few. For me personally, since I am an extremely private person, the whole dorm culture/roommate aspect was so overwhelming (in a bad way) that it completely dominated my first semester. I know I had some great classes, was able to participate in a dance company for the first time in my life, and met some amazing people…but when I think back on that time, I get an overwhelmingly negative feeling, mostly because of all the dorm ickiness. (September 11th also happened right after I started college, which certainly didn’t help, but that’s a whole different post…)

My experience with dorm life is actually one of the reasons I chose to set Precious Things at a community college without dorms, with my main character still living at home. I wanted to show that not everyone has the same stereotypical “college experience,” and that missing out on it isn’t necessarily such a bad thing—and I also wanted to focus on other aspects of college, like the classes and the people.

At the same time, I tried to show hints of alternate “college experiences” through Isabelle’s interactions with her high school friends. Because of over-enrollment, Isabelle’s friend Jenny ends up sharing a two-person dorm room with two other people at the University of Maryland—and believe me, those dorm rooms are tiny enough with just the two people they’re meant for! This actually happened to a few high-school friends of mine, and they were absolutely miserable. And even at a top-tier school like Stanford, where Isabelle’s ex-boyfriend Andrew enrolls, roommates cause problems, with Andrew spending almost every night in the library to avoid his roomie (and especially his roomies “guests”). I knew plenty of people who went through this kind of thing as well, and at a time in your life when you’re dealing with a completely new environment, separation from parents and home, and most likely a much greater amount of academic work than you’re used to, it can be completely overwhelming. Contrary to popular belief, college students do need sleep, and that can be a challenge with strange people coming in and out of your room at all hours of the night!
And then there’s the whole social aspect of college…the frat parties, the drinking. Late in the book, Jenny explains to Isabelle why she decided to join a sorority, and her feelings about the situation pretty much match mine. (Although no, I never considered joining a sorority—I am way too much of a loner for that!) Here’s what Jenny says:

“I guess rushing was…it’s been my way of coping, and I’m glad I did it. College isn’t exactly like I thought it would be. It’s like…” She thinks for a moment. “Remember those huge parties in Ajel Cho’s basement, when he would invite the entire school?” 
“Unfortunately, yes.” 
“You know how we acted like everything was so great, like we were so happy and excited to be there, when really we’d rather have been home watching movies and eating ice cream?” 
I laugh. “Yeah.” 
“Well, college is sort of like that, but…all the time. You have all this freedom and you’re supposed to be having the time of your life, but sometimes you just want to escape and curl up on the couch to watch a movie, except you can’t, because…the party’s in your bedroom. And besides, there is no couch other than the ratty stained one in the dorm common room, which people are probably either hooking up or passed out on. Oh, and you’re also supposed to read more than you ever have in your life, and write twenty-page papers, and study for exams while all this is going on.”

So for Jenny, and Isabelle—and me—college is a lot more complicated than just having “the time of your life.” I hope I reflected that in Precious Things…and yes, I just might be courageous enough to tackle the dorm environment in more detail in my next NA novel!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

One person will win an ebook of 'Precious Things', but if you don't want to wait, remember that you can buy the book on Amazon or B&N for the sale price of 99 cents (!!) during this Book Blitz only.

June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers feature upcoming book releases that they're looking forward to.

This week I'm eagerly anticipating...

Starry Nights
by Daisy Whitney

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic—he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can't help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world's greatest art . . . at the expense of the greatest love they've ever known.

Like a master painter herself, Daisy Whitney brings inordinate talent and ingenuity to this romantic, suspenseful, and sophisticated new novel.A beautifully decorated package makes it a must-own in print.
Add to Goodreads

I am in love with Daisy Whitney's writing, and I'm sure this book won't be the exception. I love the blend of contemporary and fantasy that the description presents, and anything about romance and art is alright by me.

June 25, 2013

Dual Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend + Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
Release Date: January 9, 2007
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272
Series: Anatomy
Review Source: eBook from author

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.
My Thoughts:
‘Anatomy of a Boyfriend’ felt like a real and honest portrayal of first teen love, showing how often people can become obsessed with that person, having everything revolve around them. Interestingly enough this wasn't a book where I really felt emotionally in tune with the main character or particularly close to her or her situation, which would normally put me off the book. Yet somehow I was intrigued by the story and seeing how Dom went from having this crush to being together and in love. It was also interesting to see how she felt as she and Wes progressed in their relationship physically.

This book is known for having a lot of sexual content, and I know as a (very sheltered) teen I would have been shocked to read it... and yet it didn't feel gratuitous. I liked how honest and real it felt, not like perfect romance novel sex at all. While I wouldn’t label this as a “favourite” I liked how the author took a fairly taboo topic within YA and made it something interesting and constructive.

The Cover:

[Strong 3/5]

Find Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.

Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 227
Series: Anatomy
Review Source: eBook from author

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to
Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one.

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever.

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to
Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through
My Thoughts:
Usually I'm all about the romance/true love scenario, but there was something refreshing about this book. It’s real in the fact that unrequited love exists, relationships are messy, and things aren't always perfect. ‘Anatomy of a Single Girl’ explores the fact that it can take work to find that person you can't imagine being without.

In this second book, which can also be read as a standalone, it’s the summer after Dom’s first year of college. It’s been months since the breakup with Wes and she's mostly gotten over it, but obviously some of the pain is still there. I feel like this book was really an examination of who Dom is, and what she's looking for in a relationship, and how those two combine.

Again, what’s interesting about Daria Snadowsky’s writing is that it looks at sex not quite clinically, but also so different from all these other New Adult books which act like every person is either an inexperienced virgin or a sex god, nothing in between. I liked how this book broke the stereotype and talked about the good, but also the incredibly awkward. If you’re looking for a New Adult title that’s honest and realistic about sex, then you’ll definitely want to check out ‘Anatomy of a Single Girl’.

The Cover:
Like. =)

[Strong 3/5]

Find Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.

June 24, 2013

Guest Post: Lois Metzger on her narration style

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.

Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.

Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—
A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

Guest Post:

How a Voice in Someone's Head Became the Narrator in "A Trick of the Light"
By Lois Metzger

When I began writing "A Trick of the Light," it was a much more traditional narrative. My character, Mike Welles, told his own story. He was fifteen, a tenth-grader, a right-fielder on the baseball team, and having a rough time.

The book used to begin with the scene at the flea market, now in Chapter Four, where Mike runs into Amber, a girl he barely knows though they've gone to the same schools together since kindergarten. Amber's a little strange -- she wears heavy, baggy clothes even in summer, and her hair hangs in her eyes, and out of nowhere she brings things up abruptly, like the fact that she and Mike used to be butterfly partners in third grade. Mike wants to get away from her, but suddenly a voice in his head tells him he should talk to her, he should be friendly.

Told in first person, Mike said something like, "There's this voice in my head. It just told me to talk to Amber. What's that all about? Am I crazy?" In this early version, Mike tried to ignore the voice but it kept interrupting his thoughts and actions. And Mike had to keep acknowledging that: "I was trying to watch a movie but the voice wouldn't leave me alone." As the book went on, Mike listened more and more to the voice, and less and less to the people around him. In first-person, this was getting awkward. How could Mike say what basically amounted to: "I'm being taken for a ride here, and I think it's wonderful but really it's killing me"? The reader has to realize that, not Mike.

So I tried writing the book in third-person, hoping this would give me a little distance on Mike ("He had a voice in his head," etc.). That, I thought, might let me show the "real" Mike, as opposed to the Mike that only existed in his own mind. But this version was problematic as well. I still wound up saying things like, "Mike looked in the mirror and saw a six-pac, but really he was emaciated." Not too subtle!

I also tried writing the story from Amber's point of view, but Amber only saw Mike at school or sometimes after school; she never saw Mike when he was alone (of course: if she was there, he wouldn't be alone!). At one point I tried having Mike's mom tell the story, but she really didn't know the extent of what was happening to Mike, not until it was too late. I also tried using Mike's best friend as narrator. I even tried his physics teacher!

But a strange thing was happening during all these rewrites. The voice became much more of a presence. It was "talking" nearly all the time and taking up nearly all the space in the book. Finally, one day, while I was working on a particularly difficult scene, the voice took over, almost as if it was telling me, the writer, "Just let me handle it."

Not that I didn't question this. It was definitely weird, having a voice in someone's head narrate an entire book. But it felt strangely right. The voice was very confident (one of its qualities). The voice had a strong personality (if you can say that about a voice). The voice had a very specific way of seeing the world. All that is very useful to a writer. When this happens, you've reached where you know how that character would react in any situation. For instance, when Mike watches stop-motion movies with his best friend, he's having a great time. But the voice, of course, is bored and restless. For the reader, this makes a nice contrast and helps you get to know both Mike and the voice at the same time.

The voice may not be a loveable narrator -- far from it -- but I love the voice. It helped me tell Mike's story the way it needed to be told.

© 2013 Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

About Lois:
Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light, was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. She is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Harper's Bazaar. She lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and son.

For more information please visit http://www.loismetzger.com, and follow the author on Facebook.

Thanks so much for sharing that with us, Lois! I loved hearing about your process, and I find it so interesting how many different types of narrators can exist.

June 21, 2013

Evernight Teen’s Summer Kick-off Blog Hop

Welcome to Evernight Teen’s Summer Kick-off Blog Hop!

It’s a great opportunity to get to know Evernight Teen: Gritty Fiction for Today’s Young Adult. Our stories are fresh teen fiction that’s raw, gritty and real.

My spotlight is on Bette Maybee’s PHOENIX: THE RISING...


Every 300 years, the immortal Phoenix returns to Mono Lake to be reborn—but this time it didn't return alone. The Nephilim are back in force, trying to keep it from being reborn so one of them can claim its immortality. But first they have to figure out who the Phoenix is—and any red-haired, green-eyed, seventeen-year-old in the area is fair game. And so, the killing begins...
Julie Mason doesn't believe all this legend crap until she falls for Eli Sullivan, whose hallucination-inducing kiss not only saves her, but makes her the Nephilim’s prime target. But, it's worth the risk. Her death is inevitable...not even Eli can prevent it. All she has to do is keep the Nephilim off Eli’s trail until The Rising. Once Eli is reborn and forgets his past life, Julie’s life is over, whether she’s dead or not. At least that's what she thinks...

14+ for brief violence and sexuality

Exclusive excerpt:
“Are you sure you don’t want a ride home?” Mr. Paulsen handed her a twenty-dollar bill, warm and limp from the ride in his front pocket. “I wouldn’t want anything to happen to my favorite babysitter.” Paulsen’s eyes shifted from Allison’s face down to her chest, where they stayed for several uncomfortable seconds before moving back up.

Allison felt the hot rush of blood to her face as she folded the bill and stuck it in her pocket. She wiped her hands down the front of her shorts. It didn't help. “No thanks, Mr. P. I’m training for cross country. Besides, my parents are fine with it.”

Paulsen thought for a moment then traced his tongue between the seam of his lips. “All right, but if you change your mind, just call. I can be there in a flash.”

Forcing a smile, she pulled open the front door and sprinted away, trying to gain as much distance in the shortest amount of time possible between herself and the ogling pervert.

Allison fell into her pace, running parallel with the broken yellow line down the middle of the road that led to her father’s small sheep ranch located just two miles outside of Palisades. Cars rarely frequented this lonely stretch of road, so it was quite a surprise when she saw the dim glare of headlights headed her way.

The car, which was coming at a good clip towards her, slowed as the headlights illuminated Allison’s moving form. Her heart skipped a few uncertain beats, and she instinctively moved to the side of the road. A rush of adrenalin kicked in and her pace quickened. As the car passed, a hand shot out the driver’s side window and waved. “Hey, chica!”

Allison breathed a sigh of relief and smiled to herself as she waved back. She recognized the voice as one belonging to a Paiute boy from her History class, but she couldn’t recall his name.

Allison returned to the middle of the road and settled into her pace once again. She removed a band from her wrist, gathered her curly auburn hair and secured it into a high ponytail, never breaking stride. About a half mile up the road, she saw the lights of her house and decided to sprint. As she kicked it in gear, the roar of a racing engine came up behind her. She turned to see headlights bearing down on her. Too late.

The crack of bone and snap of ligaments registered in Allison’s brain at the same time her face slammed onto the hood of the car. It was at that moment she realized she had been hit, and she wondered why it didn’t hurt. A microsecond later, she was airborne, catapulting off the hood when the driver hit the brakes.

I’m Superman! Clark’s words echoed in her head as she flew through the air. She could see her legs extending outwards, following her in flight, but they didn’t look right. The knees were bent the wrong way. Backwards. Backwards was not good. She couldn’t run with them backwards.

She heard another crack as she landed. The blacktop seemed to mold itself around the back of her head, cradling it like a stinky, black, memory foam pillow. Allison felt no pain, only a muddy sluggishness that seemed to be clouding her senses. She was, unfortunately, still lucid enough to taste the metallic tang of blood as it pooled in the back of her throat, choking her. Still lucid enough to come to the horrible realization that she couldn’t turn her head to spit it out ... or cough ... or feel her body. As she struggled for one last breath, someone spoke.

“See, I told you she had green eyes.”

Phoenix: The Rising is available here!


What’s up for grabs?
  • One lucky hopper will win a KINDLE PAPERWHITE eREADER sponsored by Evernight Teen.
  • Every book blogger/reviewer site is giving away one free eBook from Evernight Teen (winner’s choice of any eBook from Evernight Teen’s website).
  • Plus, each author offers their own unique prize! So visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.

Want to enter? Answer this:

What color is Allison’s hair?

Be sure to leave your answer and your email address in the comments below to be eligible to win a prize.

Continue hopping to the next stop!

You can also check out the Evernight Teen Blog for a list of hoppers.

June 20, 2013

Apocalypse Tour (London) & Pitch Dark Days (Lansing) -- Event Recaps

I've had the pleasure of attending some pretty awesome book events over the past couple of months. I always have fabulous intentions of posting about them right away, but that just... doesn't happen. (Except, you know, when Kelley Armstrong came to my freaking house. That had to be reported on pronto).

So, these recaps are definitely in the "better late than never" category, but I thought you guys still might want to hear about them.

First up, the YA Apocalypse Tour came to London (Ontario) on May 4...

So, that sign ^^ kind of lied, because while we were expecting a talk it ended up just being a signing.

Before we talk about how awesome the authors are, let's talk about how NOT awesome the store was. You know how usually at a bookstore where an author is there they announce it over the PA system and make a big deal? Yeah... none of that happened. Maybe it was different behind the scenes, but I didn't see any of the employees try and play up the fact that 4 pretty big-name authors were there. The other bloggers and I were super disappointed about how discourteous the store seemed to be toward the authors.

So while there wasn't a big turn out for the authors (which made me super sad), a few of us stayed and chatted with the authors for probably more than an hour. We did talk about their books, but also a lot about books and movies they enjoy, cover changes on books, what's popular right now, etc.

Definitely if you have a chance to meet any of these ladies, do so, because they are all so friendly and kind.

Megan Crewe & Leah Bobet

Maureen McGowan & Cheryl Rainfield

Then on May 10 the HarperCollins Pitch Dark Days Tour came to Lansing, Michigan. Now, this isn't right next door, but it's easily driveable (aka not a lot further from here than Toronto is). This event was featuring Kiera Cass, Elizabeth Norris, Aprilynne Pike, & Amy Tintera.

Schuler Books, where the event took place. Such a nice store!!

All the authors with their publicist in the middle

Snarkles made an appearance!

I was actually able to take some pretty good notes on my phone re: what was talked about, so here are some fun facts, arranged by author:

Kiera Cass
  • ‘The Selection’ is often pitched as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, but for Kiera it’s really a combination of Esther (yes, the Bible story) and Cinderella... she wondered what would have happened if Esther actually loved the boy next door and Cinderella just wanted a pretty dress and the night off instead of the prince
  • She thinks America's sister May would have excelled in the Selection, because she’s boy crazy and enthusiastic about everything
  • Kiera writes for herself only and it's just cool that others like it; the stories still feel like hers, personally
  • Chapters 28 & 29 of The Elite are her favourite
  • Another of her favourite parts is Aspen & his pennies, because it shows what kind of person he is; he’s sacrificing what he really needs for his family. Pennies are the smallest thing but so big for him, and he’s also sacrificing his time
  • Belives that the things that define you come out in the words; she doesn’t have any agenda at all, but thinks that her Christianity comes out in some places
  • She’s often asked which team she is, in regards to the boys; she said that Aspen is hotter but Maxon is sweeter; she’s “Team All The Boys”
  • Re: setting, The Spelling Manor is what she pictured the palace as, but bigger (add 2 stories) and with walls around it
  • She named Celeste after a mean girl from her childhood

Elizabeth Norris
  • Struz is based on her real life friend in the FBI; he gave her as many details as he could about his job; Liz didn’t tell him that he was basically in the book, but he bought a copy and found out because the character’s last name is almost the same as his; then his whole family came to one of her first book signings
  • The books were inspired by the TV show Sliders and by the idea of parallel universes; she wanted to examine how changes in different universes would change individuals (the idea of nature vs nurture and who you are without your experiences)
  • She was rejected when she was young at a writing conference; she wrote 27 (!) books before Unraveling; her friends actually pitched the book to an agent for her, because she was so afraid of being rejected again and she was just writing for herself
  • Liz suffers from what she calls “idea promiscuity” (love this term, haha), so she'll never finish things unless she plans it all out; she’ll write down scene ideas and then write the ending so that she'll know where she’s working toward
  • Re: setting, she took the emotions she felt toward San Diego and included what she missed about it

Aprilynne Pike
  • With her latest release, Life After Theft, she wanted to examine the idea of how people talk about others once they’re dead: just because you’ve died, it doesn’t mean you’re a nice person! Kimberlee is mean, she is not the heroine of the story
  • When she writes YA, she writes for her 13 year old self
  • She always tries for the unexpected ending that still feels right
  • Wants to write male characters that are just as interesting as the females
  • With Life After Theft she took Santa Monica stereotypes and put a normal boy in a rich, glitzy setting

Amy Tintera
  • In Reboot she put a strong female and a less physically strong guy together; she loved the idea of reversing gender roles and having both of them be fine with that
  • She writes initially for herself, but feels like it's for others now as well; she doesn't love ‘Reboot’ the best anymore now that she’s working on Book 2; she wants to keep writing books that are her new favourites as she’s writing them
  • Amy’s favourite part of the book is just that Wren is kind of crazy and Callum digs it
  • She’s not a strict plotter: she makes it up as she goes, but she has to work toward the end or else she gets bored with it and abandons it
  • She was a huge Sweet Valley High fan, so one of her first books featured characters named Elizabeth and Todd
  • She’s always wanted to write happy endings because of a book she read when she was younger where at the end the character fell down stairs and died; felt like it was a horrible, traumatic ending!
  • Random geek fact: her engagement ring is Battlestar Galactica themed, with a cylon on the side (um, how cool is that?!)

The books I got signed (Kiera was excited that I had the UK editions)

Swag I picked up!

Overall, clearly a lot of fun, and I was so glad I was able to attend both. Next recap? Rochester Teen Book Festival 2013. Hopefully that will be up next week.


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