Thursday, July 28, 2011

On The Go With Jennifer Echols + Giveaway

Please welcome Jennifer Echols, author of Love Story. Leave a comment and you could win your own copy! 

You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going and what are you doing?

I am going to Hawaii and learning to surf. I’ve been to Hawaii before, so I know how beautiful it is, and learning to surf is the only thing on my bucket list.

What if you could travel to a different time period?

I think I would stay here. So many people nowadays lament the loss of “the old days” and “old-fashioned values,” but I look around and see how much better off we all are than before. My husband and I are not of the same race, so we couldn’t have gotten married and had a child too long ago.

Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?

In theory, I’m a planner, but my vacations never work out that way. I plan to plan, but then I get busy and wait until the last minute. And even on the rare occasions when I do have time to plan, I like to build in time for unplanned wandering. I don’t feel like I’ve been to a place until I get away from the tourist attractions and see where the people actually work and live.

What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?

I convinced my friend Amy that we should go on a ski slope that was too difficult for us, and she ran into a tree, which tore her earring out of her ear. I documented this in my novel THE EX-GAMES and dedicated the book to her.

About The Book

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true. 

About The Author

Jennifer Echols is the author of teen romantic dramas for MTV Books and teen romantic comedies for Simon Pulse. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family. Please visit her online at

Leave a comment and you could win a copy of Love Story!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Contest Winner!


Yan wins a copy of Possession by Elana Johnson! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On The Go With Melissa Walker + Giveaway

Please welcome Melissa Walker! Leave a comment to win a copy of her new novel, Small Town Sinners.

You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?

I'm going to Spain, first to sit on the beach in Andalucia, then to spend a few days in Madrid, a city I love almost as much as NYC. 

What if you could travel to a different time period?

I'd go to the 1920s, if only for the style. I love a vintage flapper dress. 

Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?

I'm a mix. I like to get flights and hotel in order, but for the day by day I go with what I feel like doing in the moment. 

What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?

Flying back from Brazil once, we almost landed at JFK but then had to divert to MIAMI! I spent four hours on the runway there before flying all the way back to NYC. Luckily, I had a good book--Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides--to keep me distracted. And actually, I feel lucky that this is the worst thing that's happened to me while traveling--not so bad!

About The Book:

Small Town Sinners is the story of Lacey Anne, daughter of the pastor and perennial good girl, who is eligible for a lead role in the season’s Hell House production—a role she’s been coveting for years. But when Ty moves to town as casting begins, a new perspective is added to Lacey Anne’s world and she starts to see her tight-knit, Evangelical community in a different light. With the help of her two best friends Starla Joy and Dean, and her potential first love Ty, Lacey Anne begins exploring her own thoughts and feelings about her religion, her community, and her place within both. While this novel deals with provocative issues like religion, teen pregnancy and underage drinking, it is not an “issue” book; the topics are masterfully interwoven into this story of friendship and family. Read an article about the book in the New York Times Book Review.

About The Author:

Melissa has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. She is the author of the Violet on the Runway series as well as Lovestruck Summer. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens.

To win a copy of Small Town Sinners, please leave a comment! 

Contest Winner!


YA Vampire Books has won a copy of Amanda Ashby's Fairy Bad Day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things I've Learned So Far

I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with seven things I've learned about writing and publishing for Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents blog. Now if only life would stop teaching me SO many lessons! Here's the first one:

It’s not always about you. When my first novel hit the shelves, I came across a surprisingly violent review: a blogger, upset with a particular passage, threw my book against her wall! Shocked and dismayed, I showed my mother, a psychologist, the review. She simply nodded and said, “Wow. That sure says a lot about her.” Oh, right. Readers filter stories through their own experiences, values, and expectations. Sometimes our work simply won’t connect—with anything other than a wall. 

To read the rest of my guest column, please go to the Guide To Literary Agents blog. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Jungle Crossing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On The Go With Suzanne Young + Giveaway

Please welcome Suzanne Young. Leave a comment to win a copy of her novel A Need So Beautiful.

You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?

I would love to go to Italy. I just want to wander and take in the sights, eat good food, study the architecture of the buildings. I hope to actually make it there one day.
What if you could travel to a different time period?

I've always been fascinated by history, but I don't know... time travel sounds dangerous!
Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?

I love traveling but haven’t been able to do much of it lately. I like to just go somewhere spur of the moment when I can.
What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?

On the way back from the Grand Canyon we were in an RV and nearly got trapped driving up a mountain range. I cried the entire time because I thought we’d end up on an episode of I Shouldn’t be Alive.

About The Book:

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be Forgotten…

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely. 

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

« "A clever and well-written fantasy. Whether Charlotte is an angel or a being less freighted by religious tradition is left up to the reader, but the dilemma of how we can make a lasting impression is a very human concern. Young offers an elegant solution that is well worth consideration."
 — Booklist, starred review

“A gripping supernatural romance… An imaginative twist on the timeless battle between dark and light.” 
Kirkus Review

Suzanne Young currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she uses the rainy weather as an excuse to stay inside and write obsessively. After earning her degree in creative writing, Suzanne spent several years teaching middle school language arts. Now she can be found at home chasing after her two children and poorly behaved dog and writing novels for teens. You can visit her online at or follow her on Twitter @suzanne_young.

Please leave a comment to win a copy of A Need So Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On The Go With Elena Johnson + Giveaway

Today I'm pleased to welcome fellow Utah author, Elana Johnson. Leave a comment to win a copy of Possession.

You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?

The White Cliffs of Dover, and I’m just going to absorb the awesomeness of the UK.

What if you could travel to a different time period?

That would be wicked awesome! I’d like to go to the Old West. Cowboys and all that…

Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?

Well, if it involves a plane, then I plan. If it’s a road trip, I’m a pack-a-bag-let’s-get-in-the-car! kind of planner.

What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?

Hmmm…we had to buy new tires on our last road trip to Arizona. So we did. I live in Utah. They don’t sell tires in AZ. So about six months later, I had to buy new tires again. Yeah, not my best vacay.

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

"Possession held me completely captivated from beginning to end. And what an end! I fell in love with the characters and had countless moments of 'Wow.'"
--James Dashner, bestselling author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials

"Who Should Read This: Anyone who wants a challenge: This plot is so twisty, I had to read the last chapter twice before I could believe what happened. There's also a very nice balance between badass action and romantic tension for readers who like a good mix of the two."

To find out more about Elana, check out her blog:

Leave a comment to win a copy of Possession!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

On The Go With Amanda Ashby + Giveaway

Today I'm pleased to welcome Amanda Ashby. Leave a comment to win a copy of her new book Fairy Bad Day.

You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?
Oh, I love this game! I would go to Italy because I still regret that I somehow skipped it when I was traveling through Europe—okay, I didn’t skip it, I just forgot to get out of the train on the way to Greece (which considering the trip was something like 20 hours is a little bit stupid!) Anyway, I want to have about three or four weeks so I can do Tuscany as well as Rome, Florence and Vienna, and obviously apart from seeing lots of amazing and very worthy things I will eat gelato all day everyday!

What if you could travel to a different time period?

Regency period just to see if it was as awesome as Georgette Heyer made it out to be!
Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?

I’m a panster who wishes that she was a plotter so I try my hardest to plot but it NEVER works. My brain just likes to through sensible suggestions out the window and change its mind ALL the time!
What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?

We were on a train going through Spain and hadn’t validated our Eurorail passes so that they would last longer. We thought we could act dumb and pretend that we didn’t know we were meant to if we got caught. We did get caught and it turns out that Spanish train police have NO time for tourists who act dumb. We got away with a caution, though for awhile we thought we would lose our passes, which had cost a lot of money. We definitely never made that mistake again.

About The Book:

It’s going to be a fairy bad day

First, my rightful designation of dragon slayer is STOLEN right out from under me by Curtis Green. Sure, he’s really cute, but that doesn’t give him an excuse.

On top of that, I am assigned to slay fairies. I know what you’re thinking—how hard could it be, right? Wrong! These menacing beasts with their tiny hipster clothes and mocking sarcasm love taunting me. And they won’t STOP!

But the thing that tops my list of stuff to ruin my day? That would be the GIANT KILLER FAIRY that I have to hunt down and slay because I am the only one who can see it. There is someone who can help me. Unfortunately…it’s Curtis.

"Teens with a taste for the paranormal school story and a tolerance for raucous humor will be involved with and amused by this romantic fantasy. The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. " Kirkus Reviews

"In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." Publisher's Weekly

About Amanda:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, and has spent the last fifteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand before finally deciding that to move home. When she's not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. As well as writing, she works part-time at the children/teen desk of her local library, which basically means that someone pays her to talk about books. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010.

To win a copy of Fairy Bad Day, please leave a comment! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Other Kinds of Creativity

I'm just home from a jaunt through the Northwest. I brought books, notebooks, and my laptop, but I didn't do any writing work. I simply appreciated other people's creativity.

With sand:

Latte foam:

Salty soccer chants:

And lyrics. (Our marriage entered its last year as a teenager, so we took it to a My Morning Jacket concert.)

Watching others exercise their creativity always inspires me. So now I'm home with my notebook, adding characters like this cat who does fundraising for an animal shelter at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Contest Winner!


Niii** is the winner of My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody. 

**Please leave your contact information in the comments!