Thursday, June 28, 2012

Words of Wonder Signing Recap




The wonderful Hwa Sun from The Shangri La of Books went to the Words of Wonder signing at Third Place Books (Seattle area) and has offered to share her experience!



You can either A) Watch it or B) Read it.




The one I went to was in Third Place Books (Lake Forest Park, WA). It was so awesome :)

The authors there were: Marissa Burt (Storybound), J. Anderson Coats (The Wicked and the Just), Jenny Lundquist (Seeing Cinderella), Anne Nesbet (The Cabinet of Earths).

I haven't been to many author events, so I was both really nervous and excited to go to this one. All the authors were really nice and funny.

I was a bit late, so I missed the beginning. When I came in, they were doing the reading. Someone would say a random number and each author would read a short excerpt from that page.

Afterwards, those of us who came late entered our name into a basket along with everyone else's for a drawing at the end.

Next was Q&A time! (These aren't word for word! And the video is funnier, but also a lot longer!)







1. Where did you get your inspiration from?

Jenny: In 7th grade, I had a really embarrassing moment. I was eating lunch with my friends when the popular, cute boy started walking towards me, and I thought, "This is it. This is the moment he finally realizes how awesome I am." So I stood there and smiled at him, and he stood there and smiled at me, then he licked his fingers and wiped them across my glasses. Yeah, he didn't realize my awesomeness.

Years later, I told someone that story and told them that my glasses had magic powers that repelled boys. The writer in me was mesmerized by the idea of magic glasses.

J: I was the kind of geeky teen that liked to do research, and one of my big curiosities was why Wales didn't rebel to English rule like Ireland and Scotland. Eventually, I learned that that wasn't quite true. I found the information really interesting and I wanted to explore it.

Marissa: I love to read, and my favorite kinds of books are the ones that make you wish it would continue, and I thought, "What would it be like if the characters in books continued their lives and a reader fell into their world?" The story built up from there.

Anne: I was supposed to write a book in film and architecture, and I got to live in Paris for a year to write that book There was a building that I often passed a door that had an actual salamander shaped doorknob. It helped me realize that I really wanted to write a book for kids.

Secondly, the place I lived in had a cabinet full of sand, and I asked the land lady what they were. She told me that there had been a time in her life where she had been really depressed. She started visiting different deserts because she felt spiritually renewed in them, and from each desert she visited, she brought back a bottle of sand. That's part of what inspired me to write The Cabinet of Earths. And I still haven't written that book about film and architecture.

2. Do you have a tip for young writers? (My question!)

J: Don't be afraid to write crap. First drafts are always bad. The first draft is about getting it on the page. Keep improving your writing by writing more and listening to criticism, but first drafts are more about producing words.

Marissa: Don't just wait for inspiration, and enjoy the process of writing.

Jenny: Keep a journal. You have plenty of time. It'll be useful to record your experiences in life. I wish I had kept a journal.

Anne: Read a lot. Dream a lot. Go on long walks in nice places. Don't give up.

3. How long did it take you to get published?

Anne: I started writing my novel in 2007.

Jenny: I started in early 2008.

J: I started mine in 2007.

Marissa: I started mine in 2007 as well.

4. Do you outline your books before writing it?

Jenny: I had no clue where I was going with the book when I started it. That's why it took me so long. I just knew that she was shy and she got a pair of magic glasses. But once you get an agent or an editor involved, then they usually want to see an outline

J: The best advice when I first started was, "Learn to write this book." For every book, there is a method that works best.

Anne: I have a little notebook where I jot down my ideas when they come. There's little ideas, pictures, maps, pictures my kids drew in. Then I take those ideas and start outlining things. I prefer to outline ahead of time because it helps when you're busy because you know what's going to happen, and you don't have to sit there for a long time thinking about it.

Marissa: I did a mix of things. When writing fantasy, you have to focus a lot more on the world building rather than the outline. I did a lot of things like trying to figure out how the magic worked, interviewing characters, finding picture that reminded me of it, drawing maps.

As for the actual writing part of it, I thought of scenes that I liked and tried to figure out how they all went together. It resulted in lots of revisions for me, because it wasn't planned very well, but it was a fun process.

5. Can you share any really good reaction you've received for your books?

Marissa: I like the ones kid readers the best since that's the age range that I wrote it for. My favorites are when they say something like, "Oh, I really want to know what happens next!" But, really, hearing from any reader is pretty awesome since that means that they read your book.

J: I was doing a school visit with some of my writer friends, and afterwards, the book club came to talk with us. Among them was this really big football guy, and he was saying all these great compliments about my book along with the rest of them. He was all breaking all the stereotype rules, and it was awesome.

Jenny: I had a girl email me saying that she really enjoyed my book, and she wanted my help and blessing writing another story about a different character who got a pair of magic glasses. The really amazing thing for me was that she loved the book so much, she could imagine it continuing on.

Anne: I received a lot of thoughtful comments from kids saying that the book made them think about stuff like the relationship between magic and science, whether immortality was worth it, what they would (or wouldn't) do to achieve it. It was touching. It's really cool getting into conversations about these topics and meeting people whom I would have never met otherwise.

Another really funny reaction I got was from my family. My kids asked me whether I was still going to take to Paris in two years because they would be reliving my book.

6. Are any of your family members surprised about where you went with the book, or what you wrote about?

Jenny: (Her husband was there.) I think that one of the biggest compliments is having my husband like my book.

Marissa: None of my family members read my book until its final stages. I was really nervous about that.

J: (Her husband was there, too.) My husband has always been really supportive. The funniest reaction I got was from my parents. They knew that I was a writer, but they were... My mother asked me, "Why can't you ever write nice books with happy endings?" And I was like, "You raised me. Do you really have to ask that question?" I think they were hoping that I had written a happy story.

Anne: My family is full of very opinionated people, and they give me orders. Like, "Now you have to write a book about East Germany and the Berlin Wall." Then, whenever I show them what I'm working on, their faces fall saying something like, "But... this isn't Berlin."

7. What is the first thing you ever got published?

Marissa: The first "book" I wrote was for chemistry class. It has never been published, nor will it ever be So, Storybound is the first thing I ever had published.

J: The first thing that I had ever gotten published was in the newspaper, and it almost got my father arrested. It was fiction, but some people didn't think so.

I wrote my first novel at 13. It's awful. I wrote 6 more before I graduated high school, and they got a little bit better each time. None of them were ever published.

Jenny: The first thing I ever had published was for an essay contest when I was ten. It appeared in the school newsletter and it felt fantastic. That was when I first realized how much I liked to write. I put off writing for around 20 years, until I finally decided to get back to it.

Anne: The first book I ever wrote was in 6th grade and it was titled Liz in Art Land. I was really into it, but then I had a fight with one of my friends, and she wore the first 35 pages of it in her rain boots for a whole day. Next, I wrote a book about a spy in Nepal which was very unrealistic and not based on any research. After, I wrote Oz books because I had to take Latin in summer school, and I found it very boring, so I wrote in that time instead. The first thing I actually ever got published was a poem in college in a poetry magazine. I was very thrilled.

8. Are there any events in your books that are based off things that happened to you in real life?

Anne: There's lots of things, but they aren't written exactly how they happened. It's kind of like when light goes through a pros,. It's a rainbow version of my life.

Marissa: Certain memories might trigger something, but I don't have exact things based off my life.

J: I have used powerful memories to express the feelings that I felt at that time. And that helps make the scene really real because it's slightly based off of a real event that you can connect with.

Jenny: I don't have many direct events that come from my life, but there are some things. Like, I was really shy when I was in middle school and that was a really tough time for me, just like it is for the main character. I used those emotions and channeled it into the things that happen to my main character.

9. Which comes first? The editor or the publisher?

Anne: Usually, the editor is part of the publishing company. One the best things about being a writer is having an editor because they look so carefully into your writing. But before the editor looks at it, often there's someone else who helps to improve it (like a family member). It takes a village to write a book.

Marissa: Typically, once you finish your manuscript, you query an agent, and hopefully someone chooses to represent you. Once that happens your agent is like the go between to potential publishing houses. So there are lots of people involved.

Jenny: I agree with them. I don't know what I would have done without an agent or an editor. My agent handles all the business side of writing, while my editor handles the creative side of writing with me. They do all the dirty work.

10. What are you working on right now?

Marissa: I'm in the last editing phase for Story's End, and I'm also working on something completely different.

J: I'm not working on a sequel right now, and there are no plans for one yet, and instead I'm working on a book about girl con artist set in the 12th century.

Jenny: I have a middle grade book coming out in 2013 called Plastic Polly.

Anne: I have a sequel coming out in 2013 called Box of Gargoyles. Things get even stranger and weirder. Gargoyles start flying around. And I'm working on a new project, too.

11. Who was your favorite character to write? (My question!)

Marissa: I like writing the baddies.

Anne: The main character in my book isn't actually the seed of the story, it's actually someone named Cousin Louis (spelling?) and I enjoyed writing her a lot. I loved writing Maya, too.

Jenny: I liked Callie, the main character because I liked developing a strong voice for her.

J: I had two characters and I liked having to try to keep those two character's voices separate.

12. Do all of you write full time now, or are you choosing to keep a day job?

J: I'm not choosing to. I have a day job. I'm hoping to transition to a full time writer one day.

Jenny: I'm a stay at home mom. When my kids are in school, I treat it as my office hours.

Anne: I teach silent film history.

Marissa: I try to treat writing as my part time job, too, but since I have a lot of young kids, I spend most of my time parenting.

***

Then, they drew a name for the drawing, and... I GOT PICKED!!! So awesome :)




After that was the book signing. I could only afford two of the four books, though (Seeing Cinderella and The Wicked and the Just)... Also, it was J. Anderson Coats' birthday! There were cupcakes, but I forgot to grab one...

Last, but definitely not least, I took a group picture with all four authors!

Head over to her blog to check out the pictures and she has a giveaway up as well!

Thanks so much for sharing Hwa Sun!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interview with Suzanne Young & Giveaway!



Featured Author

Today is the third and final day of our feature with Suzanne Young. On Monday Vy reviewed A Need So Beautiful, on Tuesday I reviewed A Want So Wicked and today Suzanne is on for an interview and we're giving away a copy of A Need So Beautiful AND A Want So Wicked, so make sure you read to the end!


Thanks so much for coming on to Novels, News and Notes Suzanne! You are no longer living in the Pacific NW but many of your loyal fans are here and we miss your gorgeous face at all the Portland signings. Since there are so many of us that know you from here we figured we'd better get you on for a feature!

C: A Need So Beautiful ended with a bit of a bittersweet ending. It left us gasping and in shock, but at the same time we felt it was right (at least many of us did) that it went that way. When you finished writing A Need So Beautiful did you already know that the story must go on? Or was that something that came later, that made you decide to continue the series?

S: I knew the ending of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL (before the epilogue) before I started writing the book. I sold it with that ending. But talk of expanding the story—and not just continuing it—was immediate. I knew that I’d want it to be a bit more of a companion (focusing on the Shadows instead), and I think we found a good compromise between new stuff and continuation.


C: Which was the easier book to write, A Need So Beautiful or A Want So Wicked and why?

S: A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL. For me personally, sequel writing is very difficult. There is back story to catch up on, things to remind yourself even. It’s like writing a regular book, only now there are rules that you have to keep in mind. There were plenty of times I cursed myself for a plot point I opened in the original.


C: The Program comes out next year, can you tell us a bit about it and how this story came to you?

S: THE PROGRAM is set in an alternate reality where teen suicide has become an epidemic—a behavioral contagion. To combat this, The Program was created. It targets all of your bad memories and erases them—but it also erases the life you used to have. Sloane and her boyfriend James are doing all they can to stay out of The Program, to stay with each other. But it’s not that easy. There’s no one to trust.
I actually thought of this book in phases, based off some other books that I started. Suicide is an issue close to me, and I knew I wanted to talk about survival. But also there was the question of whether two people could fall in love twice.


C: Now, moving on to more personal matters, what do you miss the most about the Pacific NW, other than the people, of course? I just had to hit you with that one so maybe you could miss us as much as we miss you!

S: Oh, I miss Portland desperately! My great friends, the occasional perfect sunny day. Other than that, the thing I miss the most is Powell’s Books. I am so lost without them!


C: You recently started teaching again after not doing so for awhile. Between that and having a family how do you find time to write?

S: Right now, I haven’t. Just little bits here and there. Returning to teaching has been one of the absolute highlights of this move. I love it more than anything else. Right now I’m not doing a lot of writing, but someday soon I’ll get back to it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing.


C: If you could travel to any time period and any place, when and where would you go?

S: Can it be fictional? Because I would travel to the Roaring 20’s and attend one of Gatsby’s parties! But most importantly, I’d attend the funeral at the end!

C: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer the few questions, I hope you're able to take a trip up here to visit us before too long!

Go check out Suzanne's playlist for A Want So Wicked HERE!

Find Suzanne Young:


Giveaway:
Want to win both books?  We are giving away a paperback copy of A Need So Beautiful & an ARC of  A Want So Wicked to one lucky person!  These books were sent to me by the publisher.
Open to US only 
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends 7/9/12

You must fill out the rafflecopter to enter.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Candace Reviews A Want So Wicked by @Suzanne_Young

Featured Author

This week we are featuring Suzanne Young for the release of A Want So Wicked, the second book in the A Need So Beautiful series.  Yesterday Vy reviewed A Need So Beautiful, today you can find my review of A Want So Wicked and come back tomorrow for an interview with Suzanne along with a giveaway!


A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young
Hardcover, 288 pgs.
Expected publication: June 26th, 2012 by Balzer+Bray
Source: Publisher

Description from Goodreads:
Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog
This is the second book in this series by Suzanne Young and it's a mix of sequel and companion.  You could go into it without reading A Need So Beautiful, but I don't advise doing so because you'd be seriously missing out.   Both books are absolutely fabulous and if you haven't started the series, do so, right now!

Those of you who read the first book can probably gather quite a lot just from that description.  But if you're like me it mostly brought about a sense of relief, right?  Well, I'll just say that I was very satisfied with this one and where, and how, it went.  As a matter of fact I may have liked it more.  Though maybe that's just because I just read it and I read ANSB over a year ago and the memory has faded a bit.

This one had a tad bit different feel.  There was more of a focus on the Shadows and less on the Need.  As a matter of fact the Need was very backseat.  If I were to complain about anything it would be that I wanted more of the Need.  I felt like Elise needed to experience it more.  However, that's a very minor complaint.

Harlin fans, you will not be disappointed!  I think that his brief scenes in the beginning really set up a fantastic bit of tension that definitely delivered later in the book.  I love that tension, it just makes everything so much better!  And there were some great other characters in this one, but my favorite was Elise's dad.  He's a pastor and has a strong sense of right and has his rules, but he allows his daughters to make their own decisions as to what they believe and whatnot.  He's strict, but not.  And he's there for them, no matter what!  I loved that!

This is a super fast read but I think it covered things quite well.  It's like it got to the meat of the story without anything being drawn out.  I do think I would have appreciated just a bit more with the whole Need thing, like I mentioned before, but that's it.  It also had a fantastic ending, one that left me feeling quite satisfied.  Loved this book!

Find Suzanne Young

Disclosure:  I received this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was provided by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vy Reviews A Need So Beautiful by @Suzanne_Young

Featured Author

This week we are featuring Suzanne Young because A Want So Wicked releases this week!  Today Vy is reviewing A Need So Beautiful, tomorrow Candace will review A Want So Wicked and on Wednesday we have an interview with Suzanne Young along with a giveaway!

Suzanne Young is no longer a Pacific NW author, she recently moved to Arizona from Portland.  But we love her dearly and several of us know her well and we thought a feature was still in order here.  And hey, maybe if we're nice she'll come back!

 A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published June 21st, 2011 by Balzer + Bray

Description from GoodReads

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.

This review was first posted on  Vy's Blog
 A Need So Beautiful was just, well, beautiful. The writing had such an easy flow that I finished it in one night. *CAUTION* Do not read while you're in the sun without sunscreen! This is a lesson learned.

This was different from my most recent paranormal reads. There was only a light touch to a darker feel to this book. The concept of the Forgotten had to be my favorite part. They are those who do random good deeds that change peoples lives. After each time, they lose a piece of their skin leaving behind a beautiful gold patch underneath. The whole story had this touch of lightness to it that made it very easy to read.

I've admitted this before that I'm a swooner. I LOVE the character Harlin. He's not just some guy, but someone who cares deeply about Charlotte. They understand each other and work through everything like a strong relationship instead of a high school relationship. Charlotte and Harlin go through so much that I'm just waiting for one of them to open up. They respect each other's problems and are just one of the most perfect couples. Charlotte was written in a way that I became emotionally attached to her. She's this strong heroine that you'll just have to love.

Following Charlotte through this struggle to stay with Harlin was quite a plot. The ending just killed me and now I'm not even sure where it will go. Now I'm waiting "patiently" for A Want So Wicked, which will be the sequel.

Go get this book because it's super original. Also get this book because the cover is gorgeous!

Find the author:

Disclosure: This book was purchased.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was provided by Vy from Vy's Blog:
 Vy is the blogger behind the YA book blog, Vy's Blog. She’s currently a high school student living in the lovely state of Oregon. Her favorite genres to read are high fantasy, paranormal, and historical fiction. While reading is her absolute favorite thing to do during her free time, she also enjoys playing the guitar and being emotionally damaged while watching The Vampire Diaries. Vy can be found roaming the streets of Portland eating cupcakes, or via email or twitter.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Winner of Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein


The winner has been contacted and has 48 hours to reply before a new winner is picked.  The winner is...

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Candace Reviews What I Didn't Say by @KearyTaylor

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
ebook, 326 pages
Published April 30th, 2012 by the author
Source: Purchased

Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

There's so much awesome and beauty in this book it's hard to know where to start.  First of all, Jake was a fantastic main character.  Jake felt real to me.  He had fears about telling Samantha how he felt, he was afraid of everyone judging him after the accident, he was embarrassed about standing out because of his scar and being unable to speak.  He was also a nice guy.  He wasn't the bad boy, but he wasn't a goody two shoes either.  He was the perfect medium and I liked that.

Family was an important part of the story.  His parents and brothers and sisters were very much a part of the story.  They were there for him and were the kind of family anyone would want.  I just loved how integral they were to the story because that's hard to find in YA.

Besides Jake getting in the accident and losing his vocal cords and then regretting not telling Samantha his feelings, there is more going on in the book.  Samantha has some secrets of her own and it was heartbreaking standing by and watching all she went through.  But it added another element to the story and I thought it was fabulous.

The romance in this one was sweet.  There's no insta-love and it develops slowly.  It was great watching them discover so much together and how important they were to each other.  Every moment they spent together I felt the vibe between them.

Overall this was a fantastic young adult contemporary read that I most certainly do recommend you check out!

Find Keary Taylor:

Disclosure:  I purchased my copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was by Candace:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Paperback Release Party

Portland, OR-based author Jen Violi is celebrating the paperback release of her debut novel Putting Makeup on Dead People with an upcoming event!

Wednesday, August 1st
7:00pm

A Children's Place Bookstore
4807 NE Fremont
Portland, OR 97213

Jen promises there will be treats, along with a reading and a signing. If you haven't had a chance to read this book yet, now is the perfect time. Putting Makeup on Dead People is a really sweet, quirky coming of age story.

You can read more about the event and RSVP on Facebook.

Meanwhile, here's what Putting Makeup on Dead People is all about:
In the spring of her senior year, Donna Parisi finds new life in an unexpected place: a coffin.

Since her father’s death four years ago, Donna has gone through the motions of living: her friendships are empty, she’s clueless about what to do after high school graduation, and her grief keeps her isolated, cut off even from the one parent she has left. That is until she’s standing in front of the dead body of a classmate at Brighton Brothers’ Funeral Home. At that moment, Donna realizes what might just give her life purpose is comforting others in death. That maybe who she really wants to be is a mortician.

This discovery sets in motion a life Donna never imagined was possible. She befriends a charismatic new student, Liz, notices a boy, Charlie, and realizes that maybe he's been noticing her, too, and finds herself trying things she hadn’t dreamed of trying before. By taking risks, Donna comes into her own, diving into her mortuary studies with a passion and skill she didn’t know she had in her. And she finally understands that moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting someone you love.

Jen Violi’s heartfelt and funny debut novel is a story of transformation—how one girl learns to grieve and say goodbye, turn loss into a gift, and let herself be exceptional...at loving, applying lipstick to corpses, and finding life in the wake of death.

For the comments: Have you read Putting Makeup on Dead People? Tell us your thoughts below!

Bookish News



This is just a little post with a few tidbits of info that I've happened to see that is NW author related.

Kimberly Derting got her first ARC of The Essence (The Pledge #2) and it's gorgeous!  In her post she talks about how much she loves to get them and hold them, but yet how she knows it's not yet perfect and people are actually going to read it.  She doesn't want people reading something that isn't quite finished, yetHead over and see all her thoughts on the subject.

And what do you think of that cover?  I personally, love it!  And think it compliments the first one well.  It matches but the red really pops too.

And this is kind of old news, but Kimberly also went to England and France and she shared some pretty awesome pictures on her blog.  I know I got all sorts of jealous.  You gotta check it out!

In other news Kendare Blake is going to be going to be at ALA on the 23rd and 23th as well as on a tour in August and she updated her blog with the dates.

From her blog:

Places I'll be at: ALA Anaheim June 23-24th. Signing at Tor Booth #2540 Saturday from 1-2pm.

Tor Teen Tour with Lisa Desrochers (PERSONAL DEMONS series) and Marta Acosta (DARK COMPANION)!
8/16- Los Angeles, Mrs. Nelson's
8/17-Houston, TX, Murder by the Book
8/18-St. Louis, Puddinhead Books
8/19 Lexington, KY, Joseph Beth
8/20 Lake Forest Park, IL
8/21 Skokie, IL, Skokie Library

Other dates TBD

Saturday September 1st - Decatur Book Festival, Decatur, GA

Sunday September 23rd - Brooklyn Book Festival, Brooklyn, NY

It's ridiculous that she's a Pacific NW author and I'll probably be getting my friend to get her books signed for me at the Decatur Book Festival.  But maybe not, I mean eventually I'll get the chance to meet her, right?

So you going to make it to one of these events?  

We'll see you another time with more bookish news! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and is to spotlight upcoming titles.

Because this is a blog featuring authors from the Pacific Northwest each WoW we participate in will feature authors from the Pacific Northwest.

This week we're spotlighting some soon-to-be-released titles! No long wait here folks!




Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Expected publication: July 10th, 2012 by Random House


Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.


 A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young
Expected Publication: June 26th, 2012 by Balzer+Bray

 Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?
 I've actually read this one already and it was FABULOUS!  You'll see my review as well as a review of the first book, A Need So Beautiful, and an interview with Suzanne Young with a giveaway next week! 

So what are you waiting on?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

YA authors with upcoming "adult book" appearances

It's no secret that many of our favorite YA (and middle grade) authors also write adult titles. Two such authors have upcoming events featuring their adult titles -- but that doesn't mean you can't show up to get your YA books signed!

Monday, June 25th - Ridley Pearson at Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing
Pearson is appearing for The Risk Agent. He's also known for his middle grade series, The Kingdom Keepers, and co-writing the Peter & the Stargazers series with Dave Barry.

Monday, July 16th - Dan Wells at Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing
Wells appears for his latest adult thriller, The Hollow City. He recently made a splash on the YA scene with the first book in a new dystopian series, Partials.

For the comments: Do you ever read adult titles by YA authors? Who are some of your favorite "crossover" authors?

Candace & Mel Review Tallulah Falls by @cm_fletcher

Tallulah Falls by Christine Fletcher
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 2, 2006 by Bloomsbury USA

Description from Goodreads

When Tallulah Addy sets out on an impulsive cross-country trip to rescue her best friend, she doesn't anticipate getting stranded in rural Tennessee without a dime. Nor does she guess that rescuing a dog will land her a job in the local veterinarian's office. But there, under the wary eye of ornery Dr. Poteet, Tallulah works harder than ever before, tending to animals of all shapes and sizes--and unexpectedly, to wounds long-buried in herself. Tallulah swears she'll leave the first chance she gets, yet when given the choice, it may prove harder to keep the promise to her friend than to say good-bye to the strangers who have become her new family.



Candace's Take:
Tallulah Falls snuck up on me.  I honestly don't remember hearing about this book and it was random pick at the bookstore off of the bookshelf.  When I finally sat down to read it I wasn't sure what I would think.  I can tell you that I wasn't expecting this, a fantastic ride on a journey with a girl who needs to find her way.  And fantastic it was!  

Straight away I wasn't sure about Tallulah.  She wasn't a character I liked much, as she wasn't very nice to others and kind of seemed like she mostly thought of herself.  But it wasn't long before I was 'getting' her.  I understood her anger and hurt and frustration.  I saw where she was coming from.  No, she didn't need to be a bitch about things, but it was a sort of defense mechanism.  And she wasn't like that all the time, it was just moments here and there.  And right away we see growth in her as one thing after another happens.

Most of the characters in this book were very strong and well fleshed out.  They weren't all nice, but we saw their big hearts underneath their exterior attitudes.  We saw their true colors in their actions and through the ways they subtly helped Tallulah in finding her way.  It was subtle, but kind of perfect.  I do have to note that I wish we had gotten a bit more romance, but it's not a real complaint, it wasn't a negative exactly, just something I wanted more of.  And in a way I sort of feel it was perfect with how it went.

This was a quieter and more slow paced book, but I was never bored and quickly discovered that everything that went down was important to the story, to the whole story.  From Tallulah helping save animals at the clinic to going further than that and saving a human.  From her day to day activities and her interaction to the others.  It was all Tallulah finding her way and discovering she is worth more.  
I most definitely recommend you pick this one up!


Mel's Take:
It's been a while since I read this book, but it was back before I moved to Portland, when I was working at Borders.  I love working in bookstores.  When you are shelving books or organizing sections you come across so many books that you HAVE TO READ RIGHT NOW.  This was definitely the case with this book.  The story information on the back of the book drew me in.  It was just enough to hook me.

When I started reading this book I was surprised by the way the story went.  I had not expected Tallulah to end up the one being troubled.  I really felt connected to her as a person and I knew that what she was going through was realistic.  I grew up on a farm, I could imagine the places that were talked about when she was abandoned and found the dog at an underpass at night.  I know I was a bit weepy in this book because HELLO the doggie is hurt!  I have grown up with dogs and I know if I found one that was injured I'd be calling for help and doing whatever I could to take care of it.

Tallulah faces so many challenges, believing in herself, having confidence in how to handle situations and getting to know the caring nature of the veterinary staff who she is distrustful of when she meets them.  Even though Tallulah is not in a place to see it at first, she grows up and heals and at the end I wanted to hug her for getting through everything and being on an adventure that went sideways.

Find Christine Fletcher at her website and twitter!

Disclosure: We were not asked to review this book. All opinions expressed are our own and we were not paid or influenced in any way.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and is a way to hop around and visit lots of different blogs!

Novels, News and Notes is a new blog and run by a few different bloggers like me, Candace, who blogs at Candace's Book Blog.  And Mel who blogs at Shot in the Arm.  Sara from Novel Novice has helped with the header and author list.  We have a few other contributors as well and you can find them in the 'About' section.

Novels, News and Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors is a blog that specializes in young adult authors from the Pacific Northwest area.  We feature them in reviews, interviews, guest posts and with giveaways.  We also cover book events in the Pacific Northwest and have put together a book club for book lovers from the area to meet up.  While we specialize in authors from the Pacific Northwest, we do have content that most any reader of YA will enjoy.  So whether you live in this area or not I do hope you'll follow our blog and stop by frequently!  If you live in the Pacific NW and would like to be a contributor there's a link to sign up at the top of the blog, we'd love to have you!  Our blog is also not quite complete.  We're still working on our author list and we'll have a complete design in a few .weeks days!

 We do not have a GFC, but please subscribe by email or RSS (on the right sidebar) and/or follow us on twitter @novelsnewsPNW
You can also find me on twitter @candacemom2two and Mel at @shiploadofwilco


This week we do have a giveaway going for a copy of Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein.  We hope you'll jump over and get your entries in!


Q: Happy Father's Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?
Candace's Answer:
I'm actually going to go with Elise's dad from A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young.  He's a pastor and has strong ideals, but he doesn't force things upon his daughters.  He lets them choose.  He's a good father in that he's there for them no matter what, even if he doesn't always feel happy with their decisions. {Does this answer look familiar?  Well, that's because I'm the featured blogger on my personal blog, Candace's Book Blog.  This is a collaborative blog, so several of us post on here.}


Mel's Answer:
I'm going to say Hadley's dad in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.  This may seem like an odd pick, but her dad stands out in my mind.  So....he didn't always make the best choices but in the end when Hadley goes to him and they talk things out he comes around and they get back to the beginning of the relationship that will renew them.  Her dad ultimately shows his love and support, so even though he seemed like a jerk to begin with I really found him to be a great character in this book!

Candace & Heidi Review The Peculiars by Maureen McQuerry

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Hardcover, 354 pgs.
Published May 1st, 2012 by Amulet Books

Description from Goodreads:
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance. On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

Candace says:
 Maureen McQuerry has created a unique and stand-out world.  While at first it had the feel of fantasy it quickly became more historical fiction with fantasy elements.  As the world is not exactly clear where it is, mentions of Europe and other 'real' places led me to believe it is someplace in America.  There was also mentions of real historical figures but they were only mentions and didn't play any role in the story other than having made a gun or came up with an invention, etc.
I really enjoyed the world created and the aspect of the Peculiars.  It was so different but yet so easy to relate to because there has always been those persecuted.  This reminded me a little of the Native Americans because they were basically rounded up and put to work or just put in their own areas (the reservations now).  While they were definitely different from the Peculiars, there was just enough there to make me think of that.  And how wrong it is to persecute others because they are different and/or have different beliefs.
This was a fun historical fantasy with a touch of steampunk and a dash of adventure thrown in.  I definitely suggest you give this one a try!

Heidi says:
• At the heart of the story lies the nature vs. nurture debate. Are we destined to
greatness or failure by the very coding in our DNA or is our fate decided by the
circumstances of our environment? Can a child born of parents with a dark past
overcome his or her genetic programming? A tricky question that has been debated
for centuries. I appreciated the author presenting this question at the center of her
story. Focusing on Lena, a girl with good intentions, trying to fend off her goblin
genes. This is a coming of age story that tells the tale of a young lady finding her own
identity and learning to be comfortable in her own skin. Along the way, her eyes are
opened and she sheds some prejudices and sees the world and The Peculiars in a
new way.
• I liked that this book focuses on identity and it steers away from the common romance
storyline. It is refreshing to find a read without love triangles and cliff hangers. This
book presents the whisper of a romance and attraction but it is subtle. A look, a hint, a
feeling....no big sparks or insta love situations. Instead it is a slow and steady building
that is just beginning to bud by the conclusion.
• I enjoyed meeting The Peculiars, the people born with deformities and abnormal
characteristics. Many of these people have been persecuted and forced to live as
outcasts because of their conditions. This book is a stark reminder that just because
people are different they are not bad, nor do they deserve to be shunned. Thankfully,
society has made significant strides in moving beyond appearance prejudices, yet
there is more work to be done. Ms. McQuerry with her steampunk tale reminds us to
look beyond the outward features and see the person inside.
• I adored the cat, Mrs. Mumbles. She is a fun addition to the story and she left her
mark on my heart.
• I enjoyed the descriptions and the use of alliteration in the story. The unique
descriptions were really nice.

Please note that these are only portions of our reviews.  You can find the full reviews at Heidi's blog HERE and Candace's blog HERE.  We both had some negatives listed on the full review.

Find the author:
Website/Blog


*Disclosure:  While Candace purchased the book for review, Heidi received the book for review.  Either way both expressed only their own opinions and no one was paid or influenced in any way.

About the reviewers:
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Heidi
I am a recent transplant to the rainy, region of Portland, Oregon; thus the reason for my blog Rainy Day Ramblings.  The many rainy days here provide me ample time to snuggle up under a comfy blanket with a cat and read while the rain drips down my window.
I also, when I find time, enjoy baking, candle and jewelry making, cross stitching and spending ample time with family.
Find me on my blog, facebook, and twitter.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Never Enough & Just For Fins

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and is to spotlight upcoming titles.

Because this is a blog featuring authors from the Pacific Northwest each WoW we participate in will feature authors from the Pacific Northwest.

This week we're spotlighting some soon-to-be-released titles! No long wait here folks!

Never Enough by Denise Jaden
Expected publication: July 10th, 2012 by Simon & Schuster

From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship —and her sister—before it’s too late?

I loved Losing Faith and can't wait for this one!


Just For Fins (Fins #3) by Tera Lynn Childs
Expected publication: July 3rd, 2012 by Katherine Tegan Books

When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mermaid kingdom Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land—with gorgeous human Quince by her side—Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does.

But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, whose kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas–sized problem: from sea animals dying to oil spills and threats to humans. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms.

Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and Quince after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave!

In this third installment in the series that began with Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people as well as for the humans she loves.
 I haven't actually started this series yet, but I'm planning on reading them all before this one releases.  That way I can just read them back to back!

So what are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Got Books? Event held at Klindt's Books



On Saturday June 2nd, 2012 I headed out to the "Got Books?" event at the oldest bookstore in Oregon to meet twelve Young Adult authors. Those authors were Inara Scott, Colleen Houck, Jen Violi, Gregg Olsen, Katie Kacvinsky, Kendare Blake, Lissa Price, Cynthia Hand, Cat Patrick, Bree Despain, Trent Reedy, and Brodi Ashton. The bookstore also provided a hot dog lunch and musical entertainment.


I got there a half hour early and was able to witness each of the authors trickle in and set up their spots. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Cynthia was rocking her Unearthly tattoo and had setup shop in the right back corner next to Inara Scott. It was nice to listen to Inara speaking with a young boy looking for a new read. She was describing her book as: Kids with talents and a mysterious boarding school. I was really tempted to pick this one up but I had a limit on my spending. Jen was out on the right front sidewalk with her very eye catching piles of books. On the other side out front was Cat. Sadly she forgot to bring her bookmarks. :( The front side walk was decorated with chalk advertisements for the event. There was also a raffle going on for random prizes. I didn't win sadly.


In the back left corner was Colleen. She had the sweetest spot among the YA section of books. She brought Ren and Kishan along with her. They sat so majestically at her feet. It really is very sad news that they came under a curse in Tiger's Voyage and were turned into stuffed animals. I wonder how they will get out of that in Tiger's Destiny, at least Kelsey will be able to transport them around more easily. All right, don't panic, I made all that curse stuff up. Colleen was my first author to visit. I had been waiting for two months to actually meet her and not just eaves drop on her conversation at a previous event. I choked and didn't say anything I meant to say but at least I had the guts to meet her. Small improvements all around are a good thing. She gave my girl a candy which made her the best author there in my kid's eyes (and my husband's, he's such a baby). I am so excited September isn't too far away since I am dying to read Tiger's Voyage but I want to wait to read them closer together.


In the middle of the store was Trent Reedy and Katie Kavinsky. I stopped to talk to Katie and check out her book. It sounded awesome. She was so very nice and open and I enjoyed talking with her. I will have to keep my eye out for Awaken.


At the front of the store was Bree, Kendare, Lissa, Brodi, and Greg. I stopped to admire the ARC cover of Betrayal, the second book in the Empty Coffin series by Greg. It was really eye catching in person. Kendare was very imposing standing next to her scary books. She isn't even super tall or mean looking but Anna Dressed in Blood sure makes up the difference. Lissa was taking a private poll on which of the covers for Starters was the favorite. She was such a sweetheart and was kind enough to talk with me about my hesitations in reading her book. I just can't help comparing wearing other peoples bodies with wearing other peoples underwear. How would I feel if someone used my body? What did they do with it? She gladly explained that there is nothing horror related to the exchange since she is not a big fan of horror and that it is a clean read. Now I will definitely be adding her book to my pile. I really enjoyed talking with Bree about a recent interview she had done with a blogger. We were discussing the source of her inspiration for The Dark Divine series. If you aren't aware, her inspiration stemmed from an encounter with an old friend years after his family had moved. Basically, they had been really good friend and then he and his family moved away. One day, years later, he was sitting behind her and bugging her. When she called him on it he wondered why she didn't remember her old friend. He was kicked out of class and school that day. She said she discovered years later that he was the head of a gang of thieves, which is why she included one in The Lost Saint. I also love the fact that the third book is her favorite. It makes me want to read it all the more. She had a few pink nail polish bottles but my girl passed them up in favor of a piece of candy. This summer she is working to finish edits on her first book in a new series. I loved hearing that she takes her kids to the park and writes while they play. I always wonder how women with children manage to write. After that a ten year old girl came up to ask if Bree thought The Dark Divine series would be good for her to read. It was so sweet watching Bree explain that perhaps it would be too scary for her at this age.


Lastly, but certainly not least, since she is the instigator of my trip out there, Brodi was awesome! Just days before I finished reading a library copy of Everneath and it was just wow, I picked up a cover and got a guitar pick necklace. She even gave my hubby one for being so supportive and coming with me on the four hour drive to get there, especially since our car broke down on the way and we had to buy a new one. I am now officially now a mom, since we bought a Toyota Siena (minivan). When I mentioned I think it would be nice to get Everbound for my birthday she said she would send an email and have the whole publication date arranged so it would be possible. Ha ha ha, as if! She was so funny and kind. As our conversation dwindled I demanded to know where her mother was. I was promised if I came I would get to meet her mother, and there she was waiting so patiently behind me. I loved talking to her mother. She was so sweet talking about her advice to Brodi to reign her characters in. "Don't let them get out of control." I liked that she mentioned the conversation she had had with Brodi over where the whole story was going. She wanted to know if Brodi knew where it was going or just letting it develop bit by bit. It seems while the big picture is there that the characters have taken on a life of their own and want to go where they will. The entire thing was so much fun I still have a smile on my face. Perhaps next time I will come better prepared and it will turn out even better.

This was written by Ephrielle from Hope, Love, and Happy Endings Find her on twitter
 Photos from Ephrielle. She also posted this recap at her Hope, Love, and Happy Endings

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and is a way to hop around and visit lots of different blogs!

Novels, News and Notes is a new blog and run by a few different bloggers like me, Candace, who blogs at Candace's Book Blog.  And Mel who blogs at Shot in the Arm.  Sara from Novel Novice has helped with the header and author list.  We have a few other contributors as well and you can find them in the 'About' section.

Novels, News and Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors is a blog that specializes in young adult authors from the Pacific Northwest area.  We feature them in reviews, interviews, guest posts and with giveaways.  We also cover book events in the Pacific Northwest and have put together a book club for book lovers from the area to meet up.  While we specialize in authors from the Pacific Northwest, we do have content that most any reader of YA will enjoy.  So whether you live in this area or not I do hope you'll follow our blog and stop by frequently!  If you live in the Pacific NW and would like to be a contributor there's a link to sign up at the top of the blog, we'd love to have you!  Our blog is also not quite complete.  We're still working on our author list and we'll have a complete design in a few weeks. 

We do not have a GFC, but please subscribe by email or RSS (on the right sidebar) and/or follow us on twitter @novelsnewsPNW
You can also find me on twitter @candacemom2two and Mel at @shiploadofwilco



Tonight instead of a question we're featuring our favorite blog/blogger.  Since we're a collaborative blog here we all have our favorites and it's a bit hard to pick just one.  We are also a new blog so we haven't really got 'regular' commenters quite yet.  On our sidebar we do list some favorites though!


This week we do have a giveaway going for a copy of Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein.  We hope you'll jump over and get your entries in!



Interview with @LisaBurstein and Giveaway of Pretty Amy!

Today we are lucky enough to have Lisa Burstein on the blog!  Lisa is an author living in Portland, Oregon.  Her first book, Pretty Amy came out recently and I had the pleasure of reading it a couple months back.   I asked Lisa a few questions about her book and herself and she's giving away one copy of her book at the end of the post.

Let's welcome Lisa to the blog!

What are ten words that you feel best describe Pretty Amy? 
Hilarious, Bittersweet, Special, Real, Raw, Maddening, Moving, Heartwarming, Unique, Genuine

How much of Amy's life do you feel you can really relate to?  Was there much taken from your own life?
Amy is a hyperbolic version of me from high school. I am definitely using her and this book, to work out some of the issues I had back then. I was a lot like Amy. Just like her I had such a desire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understood me. I wanted that so badly and I guess I never felt like adults understood that. It was most of the reason I wrote PRETTY AMY. If I'd had it when I was in high school I feel like I would have been able to understand my feelings better. I wouldn't have felt so alone. That feeling was something I never admitted to anyone, not even my friends and I want to let teens know it's okay to feel lonely even surrounded by friends and family.

In the book there is drug use and smoking, were you ever concerned about how people would take this? 
A little, but I also think it is quite accurate. Sure not all teens smoke and do drugs, but I bet they know someone who does. I did not want to sugar coat the teen experience and leaving that out, would have.

If someone were to ask you what the deeper message is in your book, what would you say?
That you are not alone.

What sort of things inspire you, get the creative juices flowing? 
Reading, taking walks, writing, sometimes just making yourself write can help you come up with things you don't even expect.

What was the biggest challenge when writing Pretty Amy?
Making her sympathetic. She can be a little prickly and I had to write her in a way that really let people in.

How many hours do you write each day?  Is it a full time job or do just squeeze it in when you have time?  (I have two kids and I find it REALLY hard to fit in writing time.  I'm NO good with interruptions!
I try to write at least an hour or two each day.

Where's your favorite place to write? 
My office. I sit on a daybed with my laptop on my lap.

If you could time travel, when and where would you go? 
Probably to Woodstock. I have always been enamored with it.

If you could do anything in the world, any profession, would you still pick writing?  Or would you maybe choose something else and maybe write on the side? ;) 
I would probably want to be a chef. I love cooking.

What is your most favorite thing about living in the Pacific NW?  One thing you would use to try to convince others to move here? 
It is so beautiful here. You are like 30-and hour away from the most amazing places.

Last, but not least, what can we expect to see from you in future? 
It’s a companion novel to PRETTY AMY called DEAR CASSIE. It’s due out next March and follows Cassie’s post-prom arrest to a rehabilitation retreat in the woods, told in Cassie’s irreverent voice via her diary entries.

About Pretty Amy:

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.


Find Lisa Burstein:
twitter
facebook
goodreads
blog
website

Buy Pretty Amy from Powells.

The Giveaway:
Thanks to Lisa we have one copy of Pretty Amy up for giveaway!
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Open to the US only. 
Ends 6/21/12


To enter:
Fill out the rafflecopter!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Winner of The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

The winner of The Day Before is Heidi!  She's been contacted and has 48 hours to reply.  Thanks everyone for your entries!  If you didn't win I hope you'll go out and buy your own copy because trust me, it's worth it!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where Candace & Heidi Review Pretty Amy by @LisaBurstein


We're doing a little mini-feature here and today Heidi and I are reviewing Pretty Amy.  Tomorrow stop by for an interview with Lisa Burstein and a giveaway!

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
Paperback, 304 pages
Published: May 8th, 2012 by Entangled Publishing

Description from Goodreads:
Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.


Candace says:
Amy is one of those teenagers that so many can relate to in some way or another.  She struggled to fit in and find 'her people' only to find herself in big trouble as well as discovering they perhaps weren't the 'her people' after all.   Did you struggle to find your place in high school?  I know I did.  I wasn't really so much like Amy, but yet I found myself connecting with her on many different levels and kind of getting where she was coming from.
This book wasn't full of action and romance.  It was about feelings and emotions and family and friends.  It was about finding yourself and not being what you think others want you to be, or what you think you need to be.  This book is about finding your way.

Heidi says:
Amy is one of those girls who easily gets lost in the crowd. She is desperately fighting to find her identity. She doesn't want to be the simple, unnoticeable girl she was up until her freshman year when she met Lila and Cassie. With these two girls, Amy finds the validation she is craving. She lets go of the boring Amy and becomes the bad girl who smokes and thumbs everyone else. Even though she feels accepted and has two friends, she still lacks her own unique identity, as she allows herself to be a minion to Lila, always acquiescing to Lila's whims. As the story progresses you watch Amy very slowly transform and eventually find her own identity.
*This is a coming of age book that is a very rough ride, but in the end I liked Amy. I liked that the author was able to make me feel a whole range of emotions during this read. Do not pick this up expecting a light, fluffy read centered around prom, it is anything but that. 

 *I appreciated that the author dealt with some very real and difficult issues as she takes you through all the drama and angst that Amy endures. It isn't pretty, but in the end I loved watching Amy's growth.
*I enjoyed Lisa Burstein's writing style. She tackles troubling topics but she gives Amy a snarky voice, which peps up the book. There are plenty of funny and sarcastic comments peppered throughout the read, which spices it up. 


Go HERE to find Candace's full review on her blog, and go HERE to find Heidi's full review on her blog. 


Find the author:
twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/LisaBurstein
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Burstein/127805670672217
goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13375237-pretty-amyblog: http://www.lisabursteinauthor.wordpress.com
website: http://www.lisaburstein.com


Disclosure:  Both Heidi and I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  We were not paid or influenced in any way.  All opinions expressed are our own. 

This book was reviewed by: 
Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Heidi
I am a recent transplant to the rainy, region of Portland, Oregon; thus the reason for my blog Rainy Day Ramblings.  The many rainy days here provide me ample time to snuggle up under a comfy blanket with a cat and read while the rain drips down my window.
I also, when I find time, enjoy baking, candle and jewelry making, cross stitching and spending ample time with family.
Find me on my blog, facebook, and twitter.