Trivia Tuesday (18)

Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:00 PM

Reminder:

We are going to do a giveaway connected with this feature!! This is how it's going to work. Please be sure to read all of the below rules!


  • The first person to guess ALL 3 answers correctly will be entered to win a surprise book off of their wishlist
  • Their will be 2 giveaways a year, one at the end of June and one at the end of December
  • This will be INT (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)
  • Everyone is welcome to play each week, no matter if you've won the week before.  However, since this is the case, the winner will no longer be able to generate a question for the next week, but they will receive a shout out on Social Media
  • The entries are simple, the first person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing TWICE.  The 2nd person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing ONCE.  This will happen each week.
  • At the end of June and then again at the end of December, Erica and I will add up all the entries and draw randomly.  The winner will then need to provide us a link to their wishlist (on Goodreads, Amazon, etc) along with their address and we will surprise them with one book from their list.
  • If you have any questions please let us know!

ARC Book Review | The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2015 12:00 AM
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.



My Thoughts:


The Secrets We Keep is such a thought provoking and heartbreaking story. The writing is so flawless and the story flows so perfectly that it's impossible not to get sucked into Ella and Maddy's story. You feel everything from the gut wrenching pain, to the all consuming guilt, and that's what makes this book so amazing.

Ella and Maddy may be twins, but they are the furthest thing from similar. Ella is the quiet one who is always drawing, and Maddy is the popular one. It hasn't always been that way though, they used to be inseperable, and even though Maddy isn't the best sister to Ella, Ella would still do anything for her. But when tragedy strikes, and Ella wakes up to everyone calling her Maddy, and she realizes that her sister is dead, she makes a split second decision to make sure that Maddy has the life that she should have had. But it isn't long until Ella realizes that Maddy's life isn't what she thought and Maddy has been keeping secrets.

It was so easy to form a connection with Ella, her grief was so raw and real that I felt like I was right there with her (as evidenced by all my tears). Ella and Maddy's parents were wonderful, even though they were grieving for one of the daughters, they still made an effort to try and be there for the other, and I can't imagine how hard that would be.

I really didn't like Maddy's set of friends, especially Jenna. She was so deceiving, back stabbing, and flat out mean. I know everyone tried to make excuses for the way she was, but I wasn't buying it. There is no good reason to treat people, specifically one you call your best friend, the way she did.

The Secrets We Keep is an emotional, gripping and gut wrenching story about grief, loss, guilt and finding yourself. 



  

Review | The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2015 12:00 AM

Format: Paperback
Source: Amazon &/or My Bookshelf
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Publication: September 7, 2010
Pages: 280
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

My Review

Something to Note: This book has a little heated scenes, but other than that DIVE IN!

The Characters: Bianca is a character that I am back in forth on. Don't get me wrong I absolutely loved her character, but sometimes she just didn't make sense. But, I feel like that's the reason I enjoyed her so much. She was so down to earth, and she had her opinions about certain things, yet at times she went against them. She hated Wesley, then she fell for Wesley - yet continues to go on about how much she totally and utterly hates him. I see a lot of reviews talking about how that annoyed them, but I think that part of the story really goes along with how people act now-a-days. I don't agree with what she did, but she acted how I expected her to, I guess. Anyway, Bianca is just a fun, loving character that I would love to get to know.

Wesley is a snobby, jerk...but I do think that he actually cares about Bianca. I didn't really like his character throughout the book because he was too cocky and he just annoyed me with all of his snood comments. I do appreciate how he was with Bianca and that's the reason that I was able to tolerate him as a character. 

Bianca's two best friends -- they were both so brutally honest and I loved it. I wish that they were in the book a little more than they were.

My Thoughts: This book was amazing in every way...yes, I may not have loved Wesley that much, but Bianca was such a great narrator and she alone made you fall for this book. Her family situations were wonderful and I love how her dad had such a huge impact on what happened throughout the book. I love how every bit of the story went and there were new things that tied everything together so well. 

There is anger, frustration and guilt thrown into this novel and it is played out so beautifully. There are definitely tears...but without any of that, this book would have fell flat on it's face. It is such a quick, wonderful read that I highly recommend. I cannot wait to see the movie (it's been too long & I need to see it).

One Line Wrap Up: Fun-loving, laid-back story about friendship, love, and the struggle of being you. 

Recommended for: people looking for an easy-going, fun read.



Stacking the Shelves (72)

Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2015 12:00 AM



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that allows us to show the books that we received the previous week.


Christy's Haul

This was a good week, half of the books I got came from giveaways and I'm really excited about all of these!


Bought/Won




*Both of these are from giveaways, The Return is signed!


Kindle Books




*Won in a giveaway over at GenGen's Book Blog


What did you get?

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally | Excerpt & Other Awesome Things

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2015 8:35 AM

Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire







Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?


 Awesome Things You Should Know

In celebration of Miranda’s new book, Sourcebooks Fire is offering some really cool stuff for readers, fans, etc.

Everyone who emails teenfire@sourcebooks.com will automatically receive an email of the EXCLUSIVE Jesse’s Girl Playlist, and will be invited to attend a LIVE online author event on July 6, the day before Jesse’s Girl goes on-sale!

In addition, if you pre-order the book and send your proof of purchase (and mailing address) to teenfire@sourcebooks.com, you’ll not only get the exclusive playlist and event invite, but you’ll also receive a signed/personalized bookplate, a super-cute custom guitar pick, and entered to win a $300 gift card to TicketMaster so you can go to a concert or musical or some other fun event.

Pre - Order Links
 

 
 

Excerpt

 
As much as I love music, I am generally not a fan of country. I don’t like banjos. I don’t like sappy lyrics about trucks and hauling hay. Dolly Parton is my mortal enemy—my mom plays “Jolene” over and over and over and over, and it makes me want to chop my ears off like van Gogh. Yeah, yeah, I’m from Tennessee, where it’s a crime if you don’t love country, but I like deep, rumbling beats and singing loud and fast and hard. I do not like closing my eyes and crooning to a cow in the pasture. Yet here I am at a Jesse Scott concert, getting ready to meet him and to see if he’ll let me shadow him next Friday.

My school requires every senior to “shadow” a professional for a day. It’s their way of helping us figure out what kind of career we want. Like, if you want to be president when you grow up, you might get to shadow the mayor. Want to be a chef? Have fun kneading dough at the Donut Palace. When I said “I want to be a musician,” I figured they’d send me to work in the electronics section at Walmart.

I certainly never expected to shadow the king of country music.

It turns out that Jesse Scott is my principal’s nephew. Jesse won TV’s Wannabe Rocker when he was ten and has gone on to become very successful. In sixth grade, every girl in class—myself included—took the Teen Beat quiz: “Would Jesse Scott Like Your Kissing Style?” (Obviously the answer was yes.) In middle school, I had a Jesse Scott poster on my ceiling. It’s hard to believe he’s only eighteen, because he’s already won three Grammys. When he was younger, his songs were about family, fishing, and playing baseball, but lately they’re about love and making love and all things sexy.

I wouldn’t say I’m a fan anymore, but I would never give up an opportunity to learn from a professional with such a gorgeous, pure voice. I want to learn what it’s like to perform day in and day out. Despite what everyone and their mom says—that I’ll struggle as a musician—all I want is to play guitar in front of a crowd and hear people cheer for me.

I can’t believe I’m backstage at the Grand Ole Opry! I bounce on my toes. Jesus, is that an archtop Super 4, the model Elvis played? I’ve never seen one in real life. It probably cost more than my house. I’m ogling the guitar when Jesse Scott comes out of the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel. He pads across the room to the couch, wearing nothing but a pair of rugged jeans with more holes than Swiss cheese. The lighting is dim, and he doesn’t seem to notice I’m here, which is good, because I’ve moved from ogling the guitar to ogling him.

Who wouldn’t? He was one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” and it is a truth universally acknowledged that you should stare at people who’ve made that list. The guy’s gorgeous. Like in the boy-next-door way. His wet, wavy, brown hair curls around his ears and nearly hits his shoulders, and while he doesn’t have a six-pack or anything, his body is fit. I wish he’d look my way so I can see his famous brown eyes. They always remind me of those caramel chews Poppy gives me when I visit. Jesse has some sort of Gaelic symbol tattooed on his left shoulder blade. I want to reach out and trace the design.

God, get ahold of yourself, Maya. Don’t be a horndog. Besides, he’s so not my type. I don’t do pretty boys.
 
 
 

The Hundred Oaks Series







 

 
 
 
 

INKED | Author Cait Spivey

Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 10:31 AM
 
Please welcome author Cait Spivey!
 
 
Name: Cait Spivey
Website: caitspivey.com
Tell us a little about yourself: I’m an author and freelance editor living in the US Pacific Northwest with my husband and the cutest dog ever. I love speculative fiction, especially paranormal, horror, and high fantasy. Obviously I’m a lover of all things book related; I’m also really into theater and art, though I have less and less time to pursue those interests these days. 
 
 

Book Confessions Part II

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:00 AM
Christy did her Bookish Confession - and she just let you guys know one thing and went into detail about it. Well, for my Confessions Part II, I will be giving you guys a few confessions and just giving a little rant about each one. So, I'll let Usher bring me in...


Confession Number One

When I would start to read a book...I would read the ending first. 
Crazy? I know, but it was just an awful, terrible habit that I had. Past tense, I stopped that crazy act and actually started reading and enjoying the book. I hate spoilers now and look back and wonder why the heck would I do that to myself.

Confession Number Two 

I have yet to read the Harry Potter books, but have watched the movies.
I used to hate Harry Potter - no reason, just liked being outside the box when it came to my group of friends...well they made me cave. My sister hounded me about watching them because she was in love with the movies...so I did. I really enjoy the movies, though am not a fanatic like others because I have only seen them once. I have the set of books and I need to read them ASAP so I can actually understand the story and read J.K. Rowling's wonderful words.

Confession Number Three

I hate don't like to buy books for other people...
Okay, yes I love showering people with gifts (it's like my favorite hobby, ask my boyfriend) and I love to gift people with the amazing books that I have fallen in love with...but when I buy a book I want it to be put on my bookshelf not someone else's. Yes, I'm selfish, but I would rather buy myself books...I have gotten better though because I love buying Christy books! :)

Shh! (Oxley College Sage #1) by Stacey Nash ++ Giveaway

Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 12:30 AM

For tour dates and other bloggers participating go to the schedule.

Olivia Dean has the perfect reputation, the perfect boyfriend, and an increasingly perfect CV. She has it all, until Christian breaks up with her in public, calling her out as a self-gratifying sexoholic: the kind that plays solo. But Olivia doesn’t masturbate all night — the only thing she does is sleep … right?

Now all the boys on campus seem to want her attention for the absolutely wrong reason — including resident hottie, Logan Hays. He’s pulling out his best moves to gain her attention, so resisting his sexy charm is hard work. With rapidly slipping grades, a disturbingly lurid reputation and demanding parents, Olivia must discover the truth behind her rumoured sleeping problem. If she doesn’t, the perfect life she’s worked so hard for may slip away, including the one person who has Olivia breaking all her rules — Logan.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE ASLEEP?

Trivia Tuesday (17)

Posted on 12:00 AM

Reminder:


We are going to do a giveaway connected with this feature!! This is how it's going to work. Please be sure to read all of the below rules!


  • The first person to guess ALL 3 answers correctly will be entered to win a surprise book off of their wishlist
  • Their will be 2 giveaways a year, one at the end of June and one at the end of December
  • This will be INT (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)
  • Everyone is welcome to play each week, no matter if you've won the week before.  However, since this is the case, the winner will no longer be able to generate a question for the next week, but they will receive a shout out on Social Media
  • The entries are simple, the first person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing TWICE.  The 2nd person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing ONCE.  This will happen each week.
  • At the end of June and then again at the end of December, Erica and I will add up all the entries and draw randomly.  The winner will then need to provide us a link to their wishlist (on Goodreads, Amazon, etc) along with their address and we will surprise them with one book from their list.
  • If you have any questions please let us know!



Last Week's Winners Were...
 Emma A will be getting two entries in the wishlist giveaway!
Eileen will be getting one entry in the wishlist giveaway!


Here are the answers to last week's questions

Question One (Quote): This is a new one!  I'm just going to quote a part in a book, not necessarily something someone said, and you tell me what book.  He didn't save me though.  He allowed me the freedom to save myself, which is the very best type of rescue. [YA, Dystopian] Ivy, The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Question Two (Summary Snippet): Okay, this is another new one!  I'm going to post a snippet of a summary and you have to tell me the bookThree went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were. [YA, Horror] Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Question Three (What Book Am I?): Guess what? Another new one!  I'm going to give you some hints about a specific book and you have to guess what book I am. I am the ever coveted 4th book in a very well known, and loved series.  I haven't been released yet, but I am already the Queen. [YA, Fantasy] Queen of Shadows by Sarah Maas

This Week's Questions

 
Question One (What Book Am I?): Watch for me in April when I hit the shelves, on my cover you will find: Cold woods, and Magic colors of blue and purple. [YA, Paranormal]
 
Question Two (Who Said It?) “True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”   [YA, Dystopian]
 
Question Three (Summary Snippet):  Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice? [YA, Contemporary]



Good luck, my lovelies! 

ARC Book Review | Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015 12:00 AM

Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars



When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

What Do You Consider Spoilers?

Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2015 12:00 AM
Christy: Spoilers...it's a subject that I'm sure everyone knows about.  I'm also sure that everyone knows how easy it is to come across a spoiler that wasn't marked and I don't know about everyone else, but that can absolutely ruin a book or movie or TV show for me.  I always try to watch what I say on social media or on the blog because I know how bad I hate when someone spoils something for me. 

Personally, I think revealing a major plot point or saying who a character ends up with is a spoiler.  I don't necessary think that stating that a book has a cliffhanger is one, nor do I think that mentioning something that happens within the first couple of chapters is a spoiler. 

While I don't mind knowing whether a book has a cliffhanger or not, if I'm reading a heartbreaking book, I DO NOT want to know if it ends with a HEA, I think that would just take away some of the heartbreaking feels, and I love my heartbreaking feels.



As for me, when I'm writing my reviews, I always reference the summary and I'm very hesitant to mention something that isn't revealed in it.  Most of the time if I see something that isn't mentioned in the summary, I won't bring it up in my reviews.

Now that I've shared the things I consider spoilers, I really want to get everyone's opinion on what exactly they consider a spoiler.  Do you think saying whether or not a book has a happy ending or a cliffhanger is a spoiler?  How about mentioning something that happens very early on in a book?  Be sure to let us know in the comments!



Erica: Okay, I agree with Christy I hate spoilers. Before when I had my other blog (should I even call it mine because I had it for only a week or so, but whatever) I added spoilers to my review -- not sure why, but I did. Now, after seeing Christy's reviews and the way she writes them I'm glad I leave out any inkling of a spoiler.

So, you ask me what I think is a spoiler? I basically agree with Christy for the most part, but for the first time ever, I think I may disagree with Christy (say whaaaa?).


 I hate when I know how the ending is. The whole if it's a happy ending isn't as bad, but when I know that there is a cliffhanger...NO! I don't like knowing that there is a second book or whatever. I want to think that the book is ending. If I know that it isn't I will start guessing where it will end, I will just make myself go insane.

But, just because I go insane doesn't mean it will make others go insane with me. Some people actually like to know whether or not the book will continue on. But, for me that is a spoiler and I hate knowing. So, if any of you recommend me a book - don't tell me how awesome or sad or happy the ending is (hehe).

I want to feel all the feels. I do not want one ounce of my feelings to be torn away because someone says it's good or bad. I want to cry all the tears and eat all the chocolates.



If I find out something at the beginning of the book, that's not bad. I like knowing a little about what others think of the characters before going in so hearing stuff from the beginning actually makes me happy.

So, my fellow book lovers, what do you consider a spoiler?


Stacking the Shelves (71)

Posted on Saturday, March 21, 2015 12:00 AM



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that allows us to show the books that we received the previous week.


Christy's Haul

I wasn't expecting much this week, but Erica surprised me with a package (THANKS, ERICA!!) Look at all these goodies she sent me! 



*Erica loved this one so I can't wait to read it :)


Traded:



 Erica's Haul

Just like Christy I wasn't expecting a lot this week, but when my boyfriend came he also surprised me with plenty of books which was amazing :)



and the last book is for review ; Until You're Mine


What did you guys get? :)

ARC Review | Second Chance Island by Jenny Schwartz

Posted on Friday, March 20, 2015 12:00 AM

Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Publication: February 8, 2015
Pages: 48
Genre: Romance
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


She’s escaped to a tropical paradise, but her past is going to find her.

Laura Robertson is working at a tropical resort on the Great Barrier Reef, biding her time and nursing her wounds when her ex-lover Phil Cooper arrives on Topaz Island. She’s betrayed him, broken his trust, and shamed herself. And yet it seems that he’s the one man she can’t let go.

She’s spent her whole life fighting to save the reef, and her time on Topaz Island fighting for her self-respect. Does she have enough fight left to fight for a second chance?



My Review

Something to Note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts: I'm just focusing on the book at whole instead of going into depths of the characters because it was just such a short book. I know 3 stars seems to be average, but I want you guys to know that I did really enjoy this book. The reason I rated it 3 stars was because it was so short and I kind of wanted more out of it.

The characters in this book are all magnificent. Yes, you only have a few pages to get to know them, but I connected with them right off the bat. Phil is the character that I fell for the most. He was just so fun to read about and I enjoyed his character the most. Laura was a great character as well, but I just didn't feel for her as much as I wished I would have. The other side characters are also just so wonderful. Laura's boss honestly made me love this book so much. She made me smile because she was genuine and it's hard to find someone so lovely in books now-a-days.

Overall, this book was a great, fast read. If you are in a reading slump and need a little pick me up...I would highly recommend this book. It's quick and makes you smile throughout the whole thing.




INKED | Rosie from Rosie Reads

Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2015 12:00 AM
 
Today on INKED, Rosie from Rosie Reads is showing off her ink!
 
Name: Rosie
Website: www.rosiereads.com
Tell us a little about yourself: I am a 24-year-old American with a reading and blogging obsession. I've been working in the developmentally-disabled/autism field since 2011, and I am currently dubbed an 'educational tutor' full-time. Besides books and blogging, I love spending time with family and friends, and generally exploring the world!
 

Interview | Sarah Tomp

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 12:00 AM

Interview | Sarah Tomp ; Author of My Best Everything


My family moved a lot when I was growing up, as my father, a geologist, pursued his love of research and teaching. The houses, neighborhoods, and scenery changed with each move, but inside our home there were always more books than anything else. 

My childhood summers were spent on an isolated lake in Maine. My father was busy mapping the geologic formations of the state while my mother, two brothers, sister and I were given the luxury of avoiding boredom. We read, swam, hiked, climbed trees and boulders, designed clam farms, caught frogs, picked leeches and blueberries, made sand candles and other things from shells, driftwood, rocks, or whatever else we found throughout the day. One summer my brothers caused a bang when their homemade still blew up. They were always making something, so that explosion wasn’t anything I paid much attention to, or even thought about, until recently. Those summers were when I perfected the art of daydreaming—one of my most important writer’s tools. 

After graduating from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a degree in Special Education, I planned to stay and teach in that small college town. But then I went to visit a friend in San Diego. 

After seeing the sun and the sand and the ocean and the palm trees and burritos, along with a certain young Navy officer, I went back to Virginia and loaded my car with important things—such as a large rock with a fossil embedded in it (I am a geologist’s daughter, after all)—and then headed west where I took a job teaching in San Diego. 

I’m still here. And I still love the sun and the sand and the ocean and the palm trees and burritos, along with that same young Navy officer—except he’s not quite as young or even in the Navy anymore. We now have three children who are all taller than I am. The fossil rock is under our lemon tree. 

As a teacher, and later a mother, I fell in love with books for children and teens, and decided to try and write my own. I am passionate about books for young people in all forms—including those which are ready to read and those in progress. I love to talk about books and writing. I’m an active member of the San Diego SCBWI where I’ve served as a mentor. I’ve taught writing to students of all ages, from elementary school through adult.

About My Best Everything:


      When did you start writing this book? And how long did it take you to finish?

Starting a story is a very slippery thing for me—it’s hard to pin down that actual moment. There is so much pre-thinking and pre-writing that goes on before I actually believe it’s going to be a real story. I tend to be a slow writer, especially in the beginning. I need breaks to think and reflect.

For My Best Everything, I thought I was writing a simple love story. It was going to be about a girl leaving town and a boy who’d just come home. I knew she was a control freak who had somehow lost control, but I wasn’t sure of the details. I think I must worked on the romance of the story for about six months before I realized what kind of trouble Lulu had gotten herself into.

Once I knew we were going to make moonshine, the plot of the story moved along fairly quickly. I think it took around six or seven months to finish that draft.

      Was there a certain part of the book that you were set on having?

Maybe this seems kind of obvious—but the love story was always central to me. And drinking was always an issue too. As for specific scenes, riding inner tubes down the river was one of the first ones that came to mind.

      What was your number one struggle in writing this book?

The ending! I feel like my story has two endings—the end of the action, and the final wrap up. Both were so tricky to figure out. I can’t even count how many times they both changed. And that’s once I threw out completely different situations and options!

      Now, what was your favorite thing about writing this book?

The dialogue. I loved all my characters—Lulu, Roni, Mason, Bucky in particular, but also the adults and the junkyard guys—and I had so much fun letting them run their mouths to each other. I love their different relationships and perspectives and I just really liked letting them have their say.

      Which character do you relate to the most?

Oooo! This is such a good, but hard, question. Although I lived in a town a little bit like her hometown, Lulu and I actually have very little in common. As a teen, I never would have had the gumption or stubborn determination needed to get a moonshine business up and running. I’m not musically talented like Roni and I definitely wasn’t ready to get married when I was that age. I knew boys like Bucky in high school, and we were friends, but I’m not him. I’m not really like Mason either, except we both believe in meant-to-be/fate/destiny.

So here’s my true confession: When I was in high school I was most like Buttercup. She doesn’t get a lot of page time, but enough that now you know teen me. I like to think of those days as research.

      Why did you choose to write this in letter format?

As soon as I started writing from Lulu’s perspective, all this guilt came bubbling up. It was clear that something big and traumatic had happened between her and Mason. For a long time I wasn’t sure where he was, but I figured a letter was a good way for Lulu to say what she needed to.

And, also, I love letters. I think they are such an intimate way to tell someone how you feel without any other distractions getting in the way. Plus, I guess I must be nosy, because I love the idea of getting to read someone else’s most private thoughts.

      What made you choose moonshining to be the focus of this novel?

As I said above, I knew drinking was going to be a part of the story from the start. I knew Mason was a recovering alcoholic and that Lulu had been dabbling in drinking for the first time. As I wrote their love story, Mason kept talking about moonshine. This was something that was always around when I was growing up in Virginia, so I guess it was just in my subconscious.

And then one day my kids were watching the Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners—a show I didn’t even know existed—and they asked me, “Is that what it’s really like in Virginia?” Which I thought was hilarious. But then it got me thinking and wondering… Once I realized that the ingredients really are ordinary innocent things, I knew I had to give it a whirl. It was just crazy enough that it might work.

About You:

      What is something that you would love your readers to know about you?

Hmmm! I’ve never thought about this! I’ve done a lot of interesting things in the past, but my life, especially at this moment, is pretty ordinary. I think my best qualities are that I work hard and play nice. Kinda boring, eh?

      Is there anything that you are working on now?

More gritty love stories! I’m actually working on two—something I’ve never done before—but the one that is just about ready for my first readers is about a girl who’s lost her way and a boy who makes maps. There’s caves and diving boards and secrets. The other one is too messy to talk about yet!

      If you could recommend three of your favorite books, what would they be?

Only three? There are so many books that I love, for all different reasons. I think it depends on what kind of book you need at that moment. So, just for today, here are three books that I’ve been thinking about lately.
·         All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon. This is a lovely lyrical picture book. The language is gorgeous, and it somehow manages to show the vastness and the intimacy of the world, all at once. It’s both big and small.
·         The Cider House Rules by John Irving. This is an old book—and I do mean the book, not the movie—and I haven’t read it for a long time, but I always want to recommend this someone who thinks that right and wrong is something that’s black and white. I think there are so many shades and rhythms of rightness and wrongness. It’s not up to me to judge someone else. Basically, I think we just don’t know how we might act in a certain situation until we are there.
·         Chime by Franny Billingsley. This book took me by surprise! I never expected to love it as much as I do. The world is strange, the voice is unique—but it’s the love story that put the spell on me. It’s so different and so utterly satisfying.


      If there is anything you would like to add, feel free.

Just a big THANK YOU, Erica! I’m thrilled and honored to be on your blog today! 



My Best Everything

Now, after you've heard about the amazing author, Sarah Tomp, I would love you guys to go check out my review of My Best Everything -- I'm adding the catchy synopsis below.

You say it was all meant to be. You and me. The way we met. Our secrets in the woods. Even the way it all exploded. It was simply a matter of fate.

Maybe if you were here to tell me again, to explain it one more time, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.


Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.

Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart?

The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?

Trivia Tuesday (16)

Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 12:00 AM

Reminder:


We are going to do a giveaway connected with this feature!! This is how it's going to work. Please be sure to read all of the below rules!


  • The first person to guess ALL 3 answers correctly will be entered to win a surprise book off of their wishlist
  • Their will be 2 giveaways a year, one at the end of June and one at the end of December
  • This will be INT (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)
  • Everyone is welcome to play each week, no matter if you've won the week before.  However, since this is the case, the winner will no longer be able to generate a question for the next week, but they will receive a shout out on Social Media
  • The entries are simple, the first person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing TWICE.  The 2nd person to guess all three answers correctly will get their name in the drawing ONCE.  This will happen each week.
  • At the end of June and then again at the end of December, Erica and I will add up all the entries and draw randomly.  The winner will then need to provide us a link to their wishlist (on Goodreads, Amazon, etc) along with their address and we will surprise them with one book from their list.
  • If you have any questions please let us know!



Last Week's Winners Were...
Eileen will be getting two entries in the wishlist giveaway!
Lara will be getting one entry in the wishlist giveaway!


Here are the answers to last week's questions

Question One (First Line): I'm sitting next to the fire alarm, and my best friend is going down in flames. [YA, Mystery] Six Months Later by Natalie Richards

Question Two (Series Ender): Okay, this is a new one. I'm just going to name the last book in the series and I want you guys to tell me what's the first book. The last book is... A Tale of Two Pretties. [YA] The Clique, by Lisi Harrison

Question Three (Who am I?): I live in a world where love is forbidden, and all I want is to follow that rule. My mom was one who broken it and from the way people describe her I don't want to follow her footsteps. But, I am, I followed straight in her footsteps and am falling in love. [YA, Dystopian]  Lena, Delirium by Lauren Oliver

This Week's Questions

Question One (Quote): This is a new one!  I'm just going to quote a part in a book, not necessarily something someone said, and you tell me what book.  He didn't save me though.  He allowed me the freedom to save myself, which is the very best type of rescue. [YA, Dystopian]

Question Two (Summary Snippet): Okay, this is another new one!  I'm going to post a snippet of a summary and you have to tell me the bookThree went in. Three came out. None even a shadow of who they once were. [YA, Horror]

Question Three (What Book Am I?): Guess what? Another new one!  I'm going to give you some hints about a specific book and you have to guess what book I am. I am the ever coveted 4th book in a very well known, and loved series.  I haven't been released yet, but I am already the Queen. [YA, Fantasy]


Good luck!
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