Category Archives: Guest Post

Blog Tour: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Book Scents

Blog Tour: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Book Scents

Welcome to the blog tour for
P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West!

I’m SO excited to share my blog tour post for P.S. I LIKE YOU today! I simply adore Kasie West, no matter what she writes, but I especially love her contemporary novels and P.S. I LIKE YOU may be one of my favorites yet. The books was absolutely wonderful through and through… but I’ll post a review sometime later! Today’s blog tour stop is all about BOOK SCENTS! Thanks to Hannah from Irish Banana Blog Tours and Scholastic for making this blog tour happen!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Book ScentsTitle: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Publishing Info: July 26, 2016 by Scholastic Inc.
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 14, 2016
Related Posts: Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1), The Distance Between Us, On the Fence, Split Second (Pivot Point #2), The Fill-In Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, By Your Side

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?
While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?
From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.


LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT KASIE WEST

KASIE WEST AUTHOR PHOTO

I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

BOOK SCENTS: P.S. I LIKE YOU

Ever since I started making candles, I’ve been so much more in tune with the sensory notes in the books that I read. I feel like aromas in a book are easily skipped over and forgotten once a reader has finished because noticing and committing a smell to memory is such a unique experience that it’s harder hang onto if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I know at least for me, when a book draws on a familiar smell, I’m instantly hit with memories and nostalgia that have the potential to tie me to a book more than any other scenic description so I feel like those smells that add to the atmosphere are not to be overlooked!

Drawing upon my newly heightened awareness, I’ve started keeping tracking of specific scents described in book and how they really paint an even more vivid picture for a reader! Today on Book Scents, I’m sharing some of my favorite aromas from P.S. I LIKE YOU! They immediately had me thinking back on what fragrances I would use to mimic each experience and I’ve included each one below. (Now how do we make these posts scratch and sniff?)

The kettle corn cart was closer to our booth than normal and the sweet smell in the air almost made up for what I’d discovered upon arriving at the Fall Fest.

Inspiration: Kettle corn, Fall Fest
Fragrances: Fresh popcorn, sugar, apple pie and pumpkin pie spices

Is being considered crazy a tradition? Because that’s what our tradition is. Okay, we actually have a real one: The double-blind taste test. First, both my mom and dad make pumpkin pies. Different ones, mind you, but both pumpkin. Then they cut the pies in the other room and put pieces on different places. One each for everyone there. Then they force us — force us — to eat it blindfolded. then we have to tell them whose is better. 

Inspiration: Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie
Fragrances: Pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, whipped cream

It would seem awkward to step back now, like he affected me in some way, so I didn’t. Because he didn’t. But his musky scent sure was doing a number on my breathing.

Inspiration: Musky boy scent
Fragrances: Cool clear water, pine, oakmoss, moon lake musk 

He tasted like mint gum and all my hopes and dreams.

Inspiration: Mint gum
Fragrances: Spearmint, vanilla, sugar

So what do you think?! Which scents do you think are the strongest sensory inspirations? Which are your favorites?


Don’t miss the rest of P.S. I LIKE YOU blog tour stops!

GIVEAWAY

TWO lucky winners will receive a finished copy of P.S. I LIKE YOU! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Spark by Holly Schindler | Author Interview

Blog Tour: Spark by Holly Schindler | Author Interview

Welcome to the blog tour for
SPARK by Holly Schindler

Today I’m sharing my blog post for SPARK by Holly Schindler as a part of the blog tour! Thanks to Harper Teen and Hannah from Irish Banana Blog Tours for having me be a part of this one! I’m really excited to share a Q&A session with author Holly Schindler!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: Spark by Holly Schindler | Author InterviewTitle: Spark by Holly Schindler
Publishing Info: May 17, 2016 by HarperCollins
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 18, 2016

The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her the tragic love story of Nick and Emma that played out on the theater’s stage all those years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to rewrite for her drama class, but when she goes searching for more information, she makes a startling discovery—the Avery is rapidly regaining its former splendor and setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive Nick and Emma’s romance. Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.


LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT HOLLY SCHINDLER

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Holly Schindler’s work has received starred reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly, has won silver and gold medals in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, has been featured on Booklist’s Best First Novels for Youth and School Library Journal’s What’s Hot in YA, and has been a PW Pick of the Week. She is owned by a Pekingese named Jake, and can be found working on her next book in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri. She can also be found at hollyschindler.com.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: HOLLY SCHINDLER

The Avery theater is like a character itself, playing a huge role in Verona’s past and also turns out to be an important part of its present/future. Was it difficult to bring a place to life like that?

Just the opposite—it was a delight! I really love books or TV series or movies in which settings or buildings are characters. Love the idea of a place being alive. So many places in our own lives feel that way—maybe because of what we bring to them. I also just love the phrase “the magic of the theater.” Nothing feels more alive or vibrant than a theater. I was so excited to finally come upon a storyline of my own in which I could create a physical place that functioned as a main character.

The book starts off with a quote from As You Like It and there also seems to be a nod to Shakespeare by naming the town Verona.  Would you say that Shakespeare was a big influence or inspiration for SPARK?

Absolutely! You can’t do a piece on the theater without being influenced by or referencing Shakespeare. There’s also an obvious ROMEO AND JULIET element, with the idea of star-crossed lovers. I loved the idea of “uncrossing” star-crossed lovers—being able to save the fated couple. I got to do that in SPARK.

I always love hearing how authors get that spark (*wink*) of inspiration for their books! Was there any specific incident or moment that popped in your head that led you to SPARK’s inception?

This one came in waves. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to focus on two flawed people that weren’t flawed in each other’s eyes (Cass and Dylan). And where do two people transform themselves more powerfully than on the stage of a theater? That was really the initial piece. The rest began to filter itself in along the way.

I thought it was neat how Quin, the main character, is actually not involved in the main romance and the “spark” is between her two classmates, Cass and Dylan. Was this always how Quin’s story was planned to go?

Actually, Quin was a later addition. Initially, I tried to write the romance between Cass and Dylan, told from their points of view. Previously, I’d written a YA love story (PLAYING HURT) that followed that format. But this time, it wasn’t working. I needed a narrator—but I knew it couldn’t be an authorial voice. I needed someone involved with these characters. So my writer (and my protagonist), Quin, was born.

The theater seems to be more prevalent in pop culture nowadays with huge fan bases in shows like Hamilton, Wicked, and so many other plays/musicals being adapted to the big screen. Do you feel like theater might be making a resurgence?

I hope so! There are so many powerful stories that take place on the stage. SPARK was written before HAMILTON exploded—but I really do hope young people are coming to the theater in a new way.

Do you have a favorite theatrical production? Has it influenced any of your books?

I’m an old literature major—and as I said, you can definitely see the influences of Shakespeare in SPARK. I also reference a few musicals in the book like THE FANTASTICKS. I grew up going to Tent Theater (the drama department at MSU puts on productions all summer long underneath a tent on campus)—I saw everything from BELLS ARE RINGING to BAREFOOT IN THE PARK. I also got to catch all sorts of touring theatrical productions—LES MISERABLES, CATS…I think that often, the theater seems somewhat out of reach—it can be pricey if you live in NY, and it can seem like something that only takes place hundreds of miles away if you live in the Midwest. I hope SPARK inspires some teens to go to the theater if they never have before—see a production playing in their hometown, enter the Hamilton lottery. It truly is a magical experience…

Thanks so much to Holly Schindler for this great interview!! 

Holly Schindler Bio: I’m a hybrid author of critically acclaimed traditionally published and Amazon bestselling independently published works for readers of all ages. My previous YAs (A BLUE SO DARK, PLAYING HURT, and FERAL) have received starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, won silver and gold medals from ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, been featured on Booklist’s First Novels for Youth, School Library Journal’s “What’s Hot in YA,” and been selected as a PW Pick.

Going hybrid means that I’ve been able to explore all sorts of new avenues—short fiction, sequels, I’m even going to be branching out into doing some illustrative work. Throughout 2016, I’m releasing one short story a month in the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle. The cycle begins with “Come December”: http://amzn.to/1oPioN5

Also, in honor of SPARK’s release, I’m holding a sale on PLAY IT AGAIN, the sequel to my YA romance, PLAYING HURT. For a limited time, PLAY IT AGAIN is $.99: http://amzn.to/1qCNVCe

Order Spark: Amazon | IndieBound

Don’t miss the rest of SPARK blog tour stops!

Week 1:
5/16: That Artsy Reader Girl – Guest Post
5/17: Novel Ink – Review
5/18: A Backwards Story – Character Interview
5/19: Pondering the Prose – Review
5/20: Such a Novel Idea – Playlist

Week 2:
5/23: The Book Addict’s Guide – Q&A
5/24: The Irish Banana Review – Review
5/25: YA Bookmark – Top 10
5/26: Bookwyrming Thoughts – Review
5/27: In Wonderland – Guest Post

GIVEAWAY

Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of SPARK! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!! (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen | Book Scents

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen | Book Scents

Welcome to the blog tour for
THE LAST TIME WE WERE US by Leah Konen

Today I’m sharing my blog post for THE LAST TIME WE WERE US blog tour! Thanks to Harper Teen and Hannah from Irish Banana Blog Tours for having me be a part of this one! I’m really excited to share a new post for me but one that really fits in with my interests and hobbies… Book Scents!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen | Book ScentsTitle: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen
Publishing Info: May 10, 2016 by HarperCollins
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 18, 2016
Related Posts: The Last Time We Were Us

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.
Local teen convict released early.
Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.
“Everything is not what you think.”
Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?
“You’re the one person who believes in me.”
Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.


LINKS:
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT LEAH KONEN

Leah Konen

Leah Konen grew up in a two-stoplight farming town in Washington State before moving to suburban North Carolina, where there were many more stoplights and lots of sweet tea. After studying journalism at the University of North Carolina, she headed to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. When she’s not working on novels and articles or writing for fashion brands, she enjoys devouring new books, spoiling her dog, Farley, biking around Brooklyn, checking out live music, and binge-watching TV. Find her online at leahkonen.com.
LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

BOOK SCENTS: THE LAST TIME WE WERE US

Ever since I started making candles, I’ve been so much more in tune with the sensory notes in the books that I read. I feel like aromas in a book are easily skipped over and forgotten once a reader has finished because noticing and committing a smell to memory is such a unique experience that it’s harder hang onto if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I know at least for me, when a book draws on a familiar smell, I’m instantly hit with memories and nostalgia that have the potential to tie me to a book more than any other scenic description so I feel like those smells that add to the atmosphere are not to be overlooked!

Drawing upon my newly heightened awareness, I’ve started keeping tracking of specific scents described in book and how they really paint an even more vivid picture for a reader! Today on Book Scents, I’m sharing some of my favorite aromas from THE LAST TIME WE WERE US! They immediately had me thinking back on what fragrances I would use to mimic each experience and I’ve included each one below. (Now how do we make these posts scratch and sniff?)

Innis shuts it behind him, and in seconds, we’re kissing again. He smells like Downy and cologne and faint cigarettes. His lips are salty with summer sweat.

Inspiration: Clean laundry, cologne, cigarettes
Fragrances: Clean cotton, cool clear water, tobacco

She fiddles with the strings of her half apron. “I thought it would be nice if we had lunch out on the porch. It’s only eighty-two out, and there’s a breeze.”

She looks at me like a lost puppy, waiting for an answer. This funny thing happens to moms, right about when you turn fifteen. They start trying to be your friend.

“Sure.”

“Great. Grab a plate. I’ll pour the tea.”

“Half and half, please.” During the summer, our house always has two pitchers of tea in the fridge. One sweet and syrupy for Mom—the kind that’s led many a Southerner into the throes of obesity—one unsweet for Dad. I like a little of both.

I fill my plate with a slice of ham, lots of cucumbers, and a dollop of Mom’s neighborhood-famous potato salad, and head out front, taking a seat on a wicker bench covered with floral pillows. It took Mom four solid months to find pillows in a pattern she liked that you could keep outside. I kick up my feet on the ottoman and pop a cucumber into my mouth, watching as the bugs collect on the wraparound screen, looking for food or a long drink.

Inspiration: Iced tea, cucumbers, summer air
Fragrances: Tea, lemon, cucumber mint, fresh outdoors

I sidestep the rest of the way down, between dogwood bushes and wildflowers and weeds that are too pretty to even be called weeds, and then finally we reach the clearing, a grassy circle surrounded by trees and climbing ivy. There’s a mass of crumbling bricks on one end that used to be one of those huge barbecues no one makes or uses anymore. I look up, and all I see is sky, a blue, clear ceiling. I look back down, and there’s Jason, looking at me.

Inspiration: Dogwood bushes, wildflowers, grass, ivy
Fragrances: Cotton tree, meadow, French market (light floral scent), four leaf clover

After Mom and Dad have gone to bed, after the TV turns from late-night hosts to infomercials, right around when the honeysuckle reaches the height of its dewy perfume, we talk. About the little things, the daily things, more than anything else. How often he ices his jaw. The games I play with Sadie and Mary Ryan. The oppressive heat, the way Dad skimps on the AC to be cheap, how his dad does the same

Inspiration: Honeysuckle, dew, summer heat
Fragrances: Honeysuckle, rain, fresh outdoors

I open the door to the truck, and the smell hits me immediately, sugar, flour, and pure nostalgic warmth. The polka-dot box sits on the dash.

“You didn’t.”

“I was driving to work, and I saw the light on,” he says. “I figured my boss wouldn’t kill me if I was a few minutes late, given that I’m recovering and all.”

He opens the lid, and the sweet smell is even stronger.

“Still your favorite?” he asks.

“Are you kidding?”

Your first time having a real Krispy Kreme doughnut is a rite of passage in North Carolina. It has to be the real deal, fresh from the shop when they have the HOT light flicked on.

Jason and I had ours together when we were five or six. I’d stayed over the night before, and Mrs. Sullivan slipped into his room superearly, got us out of our bunk beds and told us we were going to have the best doughnuts of our lives. She always said that fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts were the only thing North Carolina had on New York, food-wise. When she handed them to us, they were still hot, and they melted in our mouths, just like she’d said they would.

Inspiration: Krispy Creme Donuts
Fragrances: Cake, pink sugar, vanilla

So what do you think?! Which scents do you think are the strongest sensory inspirations? Which are your favorites?


Don’t miss the rest of THE LAST TIME WE WERE US blog tour stops!

I’m closing out the tour but don’t miss the rest of the stops that came before me! Check out the rest of the tour info below:

GIVEAWAY

Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of THE LAST TIME WE WERE US! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider | Book Scents

Blog Tour: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider | Book Scents

Welcome to the blog tour for
SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider

I am positively thrilled to be on the blog tour for SUMMER OF SLOANE today!!! Erin Schneider is an awesome person to interact with and of course, I also loved her book! Thanks to Scholastic and Hannah from Irish Banana Blog Tours for having me be a part of this one!! I’m really excited to share a new post for me but one that really fits in with my interests and hobbies… Book Scents!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider | Book ScentsTitle: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
Publishing Info: May 3, 2016 by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 1, 2016
Related Posts: Summer of Sloane

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.
These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.
But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.


LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT ERIN L. SCHNEIDER

Erin L. Schneider is native to the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu, and – although Hawaiian – should never be allowed on a surfboard. Erin SchneiderWith more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers.
SUMMER OF SLOANE is her debut novel, out May 3, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion. Visit Erin online at Erin L Schneider or on Twitter: @ErinLSchneider1.
Erin is represented by literary agent Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company.
LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

BOOK SCENTS: SUMMER OF SLOANE

Ever since I started making candles, I’ve been so much more in tune with the sensory notes in the books that I read. I feel like aromas in a book are easily skipped over and forgotten once a reader has finished because noticing and committing a smell to memory is such a unique experience that it’s harder hang onto if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I know at least for me, when a book draws on a familiar smell, I’m instantly hit with memories and nostalgia that have the potential to tie me to a book more than any other scenic description so I feel like those smells that add to the atmosphere are not to be overlooked!

Drawing upon my newly heightened awareness, I’ve started keeping tracking of specific scents described in book and how they really paint an even more vivid picture for a reader! Today on Book Scents, I’m sharing some of my favorite aromas from SUMMER OF SLOANE! They immediately had me thinking back on what fragrances I would use to mimic each experience and I’ve included each one below. (Now how do we make these posts scratch and sniff?)

I’m immediately hit with the welcoming scent of tropical flowers mixed with suntan lotion. A familiar smell that somehow makes everything better. And one that always reminds me of my mom.

Inspiration: Suntan lotion, tropical flowers
Fragrances: Rain forest, hibiscus, coconut

As soon as I walk though the double front doors, the first thing I see is the entire back wall — or lack thereof. It’s made of movable wood and glass panels that slide open, allowing every possible sense to tune in to the surroundings. The sound of waves crashing on the shore, the smell of sea salt that drifts along the warm current of air, and finally, the uninterrupted views of the beautiful ocean beyond.

Inspiration: Sea salt, wooden doors, warm air
Fragrances: Sea mist, ocean, rain, driftwood

Penn pulls the car into an open space, and I’m immediately hit with wafting curls of salty sea air infused with the rich scent of burning wood, and I inhale deeply.

Inspiration: Sea, burning wood
Fragrances: Sea mist, campfire, fresh outdoors

The expansive wall behind the check-in n counter is embedded with thousands of rocks. Water cascades over them, with a tranquil hum that’s mesmerizing. And the smell. It’s lavender with a hint of vanilla, and with one sniff, I feel like I’ve entered a spa.

Inspiration: Lavender with a hint of vanilla
Fragrances: Lavender, vanilla, rain

… And since I’m slight cold from being wet, an oversized gray hoodie that definitely belongs to Finn. It smells of sunshine and salt water.

Inspiration: Sunshine and salt water
Fragrances: Fresh outdoors, rain, sea mist, ocean

If you want to win the actual SUMMER OF SLOANE-inspired candle (designed by Erin L. Schneider!), don’t miss the giveaway below!


Don’t miss the rest of the SUMMER OF SLOANE  blog tour stops!

I’m closing out the tour but don’t miss the rest of the stops that came before me! Check out the rest of the tour info below:

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of SUMMER OF SLOANE and the hardcover is just gorgeous! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CANDLE GIVEAWAY

I’m also personally hosting a giveaway in conjunction with the SUMMER OF SLOANE blog tour and one lucky winner will receive a SUMMER OF SLOANE-inspired candle from my Etsy shop, Novelly Yours! The candle smells like pineapple, coconut, and a hint of the ocean. US entries only, please! Enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah | Playlist

Blog Tour: Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah | Playlist

Welcome to the blog tour for
REBEL, BULLY, GEEK, PARIAH
by Erin Jade Lange

I’m so excited to be on the blog tour today for REBEL, BULLY, GEEK, PARIAH by Erin Jade Lange! Thanks to Bloomsbury and Hannah from Irish Banana Blog Tours for having me be a part of this one!! I’m really excited to share with you a playlist from the author on today’s blog tour stop! I just love playlists and this one is absolutely perfect.

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah | PlaylistTitle: Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah Publishing Info: February 16, 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 23, 2016

"The Breakfast Club" gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.
The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.
When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.
With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride.


LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT ERIN JADE LANGE

author, journalist, obsessive-compulsive list maker.
Erin Jade LangeAWKWARD 3RD-PERSON OFFICIAL BIO:
Erin writes facts by day and fiction by night. As a journalist, she is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers.
She is an only child, so she spent a lot of time entertaining herself as a kid. This required her to rely heavily on her own imagination, which is probably why she became a writer.
Erin grew up in the cornfields of northern Illinois, along the Mississippi River in one of the few places it flows east to west. She now lives in the sunshine of Arizona and will forever be torn between her love of rivers and her love of the desert.
LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook

BOOK PLAYLIST: REBEL, BULLY, GEEK, PARIAH

This is the first of my books that truly has a playlist. Usually, there’s only one song that really defines a story for me, but in the case of REBEL BULLY GEEK PARIAH, there are four very different characters singing their own tunes, and bringing them together was like trying to create a music mash-up a la “Pitch Perfect.” So here are the tunes that represent them separately and together:

“Angry Anymore” Ani Difranco – I listened to a LOT of music while inside the head of main character and “pariah” Sam Cherie, and no one song can define her for me, but this tune comes close. The lyrics don’t exactly mirror her story, but the emotions are right on target for a girl trying to rebuild a relationship with a drug-addicted mother.

“Bad Reputation” Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – This is the theme song for “rebel” Andi Dixon, a one-time queen bee turned wild child, who no longer cares what anyone thinks. The chorus of this song fits her perfectly: I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation / You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation / A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s what I’m gonna do / And I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation

“Under Pressure” Queen & David Bowie – Even though the title is perfect, it’s more the music of this song that makes me think of “geek” Boston Flint, more than the lyrics. It starts with this feeling of something bubbling under the surface and builds to an out-of-control crescendo, which is fitting for Boston.

“What I’ve Done” Linkin Park – This song belongs to “bully” York Flint, whose anger masks the guilt he carries for something in his past. This lyric in particular is something straight out of York’s head: So let mercy come and wash away / What I’ve done / I’ll face myself to cross out what I’ve become / Erase myself / And let go of what I’ve done

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” Simple Minds – I’d be lying if I didn’t confess this song was on the playlist. It was made classic by “The Breakfast Club” – a movie that had a huge influence not only on this story but also on this author, growing up in the 1980s.

“The Anthem” Good Charlotte – To some degree, this tune is the theme song to ALL of my books, but it’s most fitting for REBEL BULLY GEEK PARIAH, because every one of the characters (and a whole lot of real life teenagers today) can relate to this: At my high school, it felt more to me / Like a jail cell, a penitentiary / My time spent there, it only made me see / That I don’t ever wanna be like you / I don’t wanna do the things you do / I’m never gonna hear the words you say / And I don’t ever wanna / I don’t ever wanna be you

That last one is a song about growing up and breaking away, about shedding labels and deciding who we are for ourselves. And in a large part, that’s exactly what this book is about too. 

I absolutely LOVE these song choices and I think they really give you a little more insight on each character! Several songs on there that I already know and love and I can’t wait to check out the ones that I haven’t heard yet! Plus any mention of Pitch Perfect and I’m there! Thanks so much to author Erin Jade Lange for putting this together!! 

Have you read REBEL, BULLY, GEEK, PARIAH yet? What songs would you choose for the book or the characters?


Don’t miss the rest of REBEL, BULLY, GEEK, PARIAH blog tour stops!

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

GIVEAWAY

There’s also a giveaway for those following this tour! You could win one of three available hardcover copies of the book!! Just enter the Rafflecopter entry form below! US entries only. Good luck!! 

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Blog Tour: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry | Playlist

Blog Tour: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry | Playlist

Welcome to the blog tour for
THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD
by Emily Henry!

I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour today for THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry! I finished the book a couple weeks ago and I am still so in love with everything about it. This was truly a special book and I’m truly thankful that I get to be a part of the blog tour too! Today’s post features a playlist of songs that Emily Henry has selected for one of the main characters and male lead Beau and I have to tell you… they’re absolutely perfect!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry | PlaylistTitle: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Publishing Info: January 26, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Parallel Universe, Time Travel, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 17, 2016
Related Posts: The Love That Split the World

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

CHARACTER PLAYLIST: BEAU

For the tour today, Emily Henry put together a playlist for Beau! I absolutely adore it and love her selections. Take it away, Emily!  

When I made a playlist for Natalie, earlier, I made the decision to focus the tracks on things I thought she would listen to. Beau’s playlist is a little bit different. Some I think he would listen to, but others just capture him, I think. Odds are he’d listen to a lot more country I’m not familiar with or old rock I don’t like enough to know about but I also think he’d keep some of the classics close to his heart. I actually asked my husband to help me with this, and we jointly decided that even though Beau has a complex relationship with his father, a lot of the music Beau would listen to would’ve come from his dad. (Sidenote: while we were making this, my husband asked me if Beau likes Elvis and without missing a beat, I said, “No, but his grandma does, and he calls her ‘granny.’” So there’s that.)  

See the full playlist on YouTube!

  1. Glenn Campbell – Gentle on My Mind: This classic is just so fitting for Beau and what he wants out of life. Natalie is ambitious and driven and searching, but Beau’s got a simpler idea of happiness and contentment, which this song captures well.
  2. Neil Young – Heart of Gold: I just came up with an elaborate backstory for why this song matters to Beau. This is 100% not in the book, but I made him up, so I’m allowed to do this. Growing up, Beau really looked up to his dad’s older brother, who was just sort of a kind, laid-back dude who travelled a lot with weird, random jobs, but died when Beau was thirteen or fourteen. At his funeral, a friend of his played and sung a not-great cover of this song, and it’s stuck in Beau’s heart since. He wants to be the kind of man his uncle was.
  3. Charlie Feathers – Can’t Hardly Stand It: I love the drawl of this song. It’s perfect dive-bar rockabilly but also super classic. I mostly like to imagine this playing on the jukebox wherever Beau and his brother are playing pool. As a sidenote, let’s please make sure we never get rid of jukeboxes.  
  4. Ryan Adams – The Shadowlands: I don’t know whether Beau would listen to Ryan Adams. Natalie and Megan would listen to Ryan Adams and be like, “Ughhh, this is just like Beau!” and then Beau would just smile and think it was charming but have no intention of ever listening to Ryan Adams. HOWEVER, this song makes me think of him. He’s had a pretty rough life. If Natalie were PMSing and she heard this, she’d start crying immediately. Wow, it’s so sad and beautiful.
  5. Rolling Stones – Play with Fire: Mostly needed something upbeat, and I love this song. But Beau is a liiiiitle “dangerous” (heavy on the air quotes) for a girl like Natalie. I also do think Beau likes the Rolling Stones. (I bet his dad would listen to them while sitting in a folding chair in the garage, drinking beer and drumming on his belly, before he got sober.) 
  6. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Hey hey, My My (Into the Black): I imagine he listens to this while he’s working on his car. That’s incredibly vague because I know nothing about cars, but BEAU does, and he definitely listens to this while he’s fixing them.
  7. George Harrison – I Live For You: Frankly, I do not think Beau cares about the Beatles. I think if you asked him what he thought about them, he’d be like, “They’re all raht.” And you’d be like, “Did you hear me? Because I said The Beatles. Arguably the most significant band of all time.” And he’d be like, “I like George all raht.” Because George was the most country. Plus this song relates to Beau’s idea of a good life. Beautiful place, doing things you love, with a person you’d do anything for. 
  8. Tom Waits – In Between Love: Natalie would totally show Beau Tom Waits, expecting him to love it, and then Beau would make fun of Tom Waits’s voice. He’d be like, “This guy sounds like he’s been eating lit cigarettes.” Nat would get mad and Beau would admit he liked it. I honestly don’t know if he’d be lying or not. I bet it would grow on him.
  9. Bob Seger – Night Moves: Beau’s dad probably played this song while they drove around in his truck when Beau was little. Beau hated it then but loves to listen to listen to it while he drives his truck around  now, not that he’d ever tell his dad. 
  10. Big Star – Ballad of El Goodo: This is so fitting for Beau and his life. It’s such perfect “summer daytime driving with the windows-down” music, and that’s Beau’s favorite kind.
  11. Willie Nelson – Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground: I’d guess Beau’s a big Willie Nelson fan. I certainly HOPE he is, and that he has a Willie Nelson T-shirt, although I don’t know where he’d get it. He definitely doesn’t buy clothes. Maybe his brother bought it and Beau just started wearing it. I think he “gets” most of his clothes from the floor and doesn’t question where they came from. All that to say, he loves Willie Nelson and this song reminds him of Nat, for sure. 
  12. Joe Cocker – Something: See “I Live For You” for a long explanation on Beau’s opinions on the Beatles. BUT, once you put a Beatles song in Joe Cocker’s voice, everything changes. I’m sure he’d love this cover, and it would remind him of Natalie.
  13. Johnny Cash – Hurt: Beau’s more likely to listen to classic Johnny Cash than this Nine Inch Nails cover, but I had to use it because it’s so powerful and ultimately lines up too perfectly with Beau’s feelings about himself, Nat, and the world. 
  14. Glen Campbell – I’m Not Gonna Miss You: This song. Hnnnnnnnngh. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Glen Campbell’s team helped him record this while his Alzheimer’s was aggressively deteriorating his memory. It’s about how, when he forgets the people who love him, he won’t be sad. He won’t know what he’s missing. Nat and Beau have gone eighteen years not knowing each other. They wouldn’t have ever had to cross paths, and then this crazy thing happens and they’re thrown together. Two people who shouldn’t ever have met fall in love and it has this bigger-than-time effect. It leaves them feeling like they’ve been missing one another all along. They weren’t, but now that they have one another–and are afraid of losing that–they know what they were missing.
  15. Claude Debussy – Clair De Lune: Beau is a pianist, and while I don’t think he spends much time listening to classical music, I imagine he plays somewhat like this: sparse, beautiful, delicate songs. 
  16. Rolling Stones – Wild Horses: This song just makes me cry immediately, and I’m not sure why. I don’t think Beau knows why it makes him feel something either (if I don’t, he stands no chance, being the sort of person who isn’t concerned with these questions). So much of Beau and the book are wrapped up in the song–thoughts about freedom and love, holding on and letting go, and ultimately about clinging to hope. I don’t want to give too much away, but I feel like this is the song to listen to when you finish the book.

Thanks, Emily! This playlist is stunning and absolutely perfect. Gahhh, my feels just thinking about these songs in relation to Beau! It kills me (in a good way)! 

Have you read The Love That Split the World yet? What songs would you choose for Beau? Aren’t Emily Henry’s selections just perfect!?


Don’t miss the rest of The Love That Split the World blog tour stops!

http://theyoungfolks.com/ The Young Folks 1/18 – Interview
http://readingteen.net/ Reading Teen 1/19 – Guest post 1
http://itstartsatmidnight.com It Starts at Midnight 1/20 – Top 10 list
thehollowcupboards.blogspot.com The Hollow Cupboards 1/21 – Book soundtrack
Http://www.owlalwaysbereading.com Owl Always Be Reading 1/22 – Review & giveaway
http://www.fictionfare.com Fiction Fare 1/25 – Guest post 2
http://www.buttermybooks.com/ Buttermybooks 1/26 – Interview
http://thehardcoverlover.blogspot.com The Hardcover Lover 1/27 – 25 Random Things About Me
http://effortlesslyreading.com/ Effortlessly Reading 1/28 – Interview
Http://www.amidsummernightsread.com A Midsummer Night’s Read 1/29 – Review & giveaway
http://www.forestofwordsandpages.com/ The Forest of Words and Pages 2/1 – Character playlist
http://www.loveisnotatriangle.com Love is not a triangle 2/2 – Would You Rather?
http://www.bookaddictsguide.com The Book Addict’s Guide 2/3 – Character playlist 2
http://www.onceuponatwilight.com/ Once Upon a Twilight 2/4 – Dreamcasting post
mugglenet.com MuggleNet 2/5 – Review & giveaway

Blog Tour: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill | Book Recs for Music Nerds

Welcome to the blog tour for THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY by Lauren Morrill! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be on this blog tour because I get to talk allll about music! THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY is the story of Liza, the band’s drum major (for those of you non-band/music nerds, the drum major is essentially the band’s conductor and responsible for/assists with leadership responsibilities) and her mission to save her school’s band program from being cut. I immediately latched onto this concept because A) I’m a total music nerd (I was a choir-fanatic in high school… and college… and I still am) and B) because it’s Lauren Morrill! For my stop on the blog tour, Lauren (and I) are sharing some favorite book recs for fellow music nerds and I am so excited!

Before we get into the post itself, here’s a bit more about THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY for you to get more acquainted with the book!

Blog Tour: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill | Book Recs for Music NerdsTitle: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Publishing Info: December 8, 2015 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Music
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 15, 2015
Related Posts: Meant to Be, Being Sloane Jacobs, The Trouble With Destiny

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.
But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

ABOUT LAUREN MORRILL

Lauren Elizabeth Morrill is many things, including, but not limited to, a writer, an educator, a badass roller derby skater, a former band nerd, an aggressive driver, and a die-hard Mac person. She also watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of junk food, and drinks a lot of Coke. It’s a wonder her brain and teeth haven’t rotted out of her head.

Lauren is the author of Meant to Be, Being Sloane Jacobs, The Trouble With Destiny, and the forthcoming My Unscripted Life (October 2016), all from Random House.

Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

ON BEING A CHOIR NERD

Music nerds come in all forms — from classical to contemporary, performance to listening, there are all sorts of ways to get involved in a musical passion. Personally, I was a huge choir nerd in high school and I was totally obsessed. I started my choir experience my freshman year of high school, mostly because my sister had and she absolutely loved her teacher and the subject itself. (I went to a private school for pre-8th grade so we didn’t really have a “music program”.) I immediately fell in love and it also happened to be something that I was good at picking up so that just fed into my love of choir. I had always wanted to play an instrument because I just loved music but instruments were expensive and my parents didn’t want to purchase one for me on the chance that I would get frustrated and not practice (by the way, there were totally right on that. I tend to practice the things that I’m good at and give up on the things that I’m not haha!) and choir was a much more reasonable option — no instruments required!

Singing was an instant hit with me and I loved being a part of a group where my voice got to blend in with others, including different harmonies! It was also a great option for chickens like me who had little confidence to sing in front of others, though I did conquer that fear a bit more as the years went on! I continued with choir all throughout high school, made it into Madrigals (a Renaissance-style singing group, smaller ensemble), and even picked up a few solos along the way. My junior and senior year, I gave up basketball in order to participate it the spring musicals (though I probably would have dropped basketball anyway, but it gave me a good excuse). I didn’t land any major roles since I had little to no action experience but every minute was just a blast and I was just happy to be a part of them!

choir nerd

Even in college, music was important to me. I remained a part of choral groups throughout my time in college and it was always something I had so much fun with! To this day, I still look back on those memories as some of my fondest. I’m not in any groups now because I really don’t have the time but it’s something I always miss and really hope I can do again someday!

THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY actually hits a little soft spot in my heart as well because I just found out that my old high school’s Madrigal group is no longer doing their annual Madrigal dinner. Each year the Madrigals put on an entire performance for an audience of friends, family, and fellow students and it always felt so prestigious and it was so incredibly fun. Granted, I’m not still in school with this announcement of no more Madrigal dinner so it’s definitely not the same as Liza’s situation but it does make me sad to think that there won’t ever be another one (for our school anyway) and that this is my very last chance to go back to the dinner as an alum! I’ve been putting it off for years but now I feel the pull to go back one last time and revisit one of the most fun times in my high school career.

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MUSIC NERDS

And now the fun part! I know you’re here for the book recs so let’s get to it! Lauren Morrill put together a list of her Top Ten favorite books for music nerds and I couldn’t resist adding some of my own as well! If you’re a music fan, you definitely need to check out these book recs!

top books for music lovers

  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: Leila’s books are always incredible, but I especially loved this one, about a teen misfit DJ. 
  • Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway: I love this book SO MUCH, and if you haven’t read it, you need to fix that NOW! 
  • Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker: Another book you have to read—it will make you want to visit Austin and binge on some music.
  • The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding: Funny and fresh, for your inner music-theater nerd. 
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan: Two words: Tiny. Cooper. Need I say more?
  • If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman: This duology is a punch to the gut, but it gets so much right about music being your life.
  • The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Another punch to the gut, but Jandy writes so beautifully about music.
  • Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to hug Nate.
  • Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg: Fame meets Step Up in YA? Yes, please! 
  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen: I can’t make a top-ten list without a Dessen book on it. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. And this one is just perfect.

I couldn’t resist sharing some of my own favorites too! Here are some of my picks:

  • Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: I’m not even a country music fan but I was so into the whole scene with this book! I loved the music aspect and how it was a main focus of the book (the country-wide tour).
  • Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols: This was another country music book that had me craving a trip to Nashville. Again, I don’t even like country but I could just picture myself in each scene and I wanted to be there!
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: This isn’t a traditional go-to for a music theme but I love how much music means to Kvothe and how his lute is really an extension of himself. Even when he loses everything, he can’t bear to part with his lute. I also want a set of talent pipes… but I’m not that talented.
  • Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke: This is a sci-fi novel about parallel worlds but I totally geeked out over all of the musical ties. The different worlds have different pitches and so there’s tons of music theory in this book which was SO much fun to see.
  • The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: Nastya is a musical prodigy and her world changes when she loses her ability to play piano. There’s actually not a ton of music directly involved in the book since she can’t play but there’s that grief that the readers also experience for her loss of connection to her passion.
  • Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith: A musical genius and a rock band make up quite a bit of this whirlwind of a book!

TOUR STOPS

Week 1:
 
Week 2:
 
Week 3:
 
Week 4:

 

GIVEAWAY

Of course we can’t let you go without a giveaway! Random House is offerring a Lauren Morrill prize pack of signed copies of all Lauren’s books and swag for one lucky winner! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below! US residents only, please! Must be 13 years of age or older to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: First & Then by Emma Mills | “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”

Welcome to the blog tour for FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be on the blog tour for FIRST & THEN! Macmillan and Fierce Reads have put together a really fun and creative blog tour and I’m totally thrilled to be partaking! Each blogger on the tour has been assigned a different senior superlative as the theme for their post and along with recommending some books to go with the theme, Emma Mills will be appearing on some of the blogs as well with her own post! My senior superlative theme is “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” — people/characters who have changed and grown the most. I have all of that and more for you today so thanks for joining me for the FIRST & THEN blog tour and I hope you have a lot of fun!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to talk a little about the book! I had a really fun time reading this one. I’m *whispers: actually not a Jane Austen fan* but I did see that there was a very strong influence in FIRST & THEN! I also loved how it really reminded my of my own high school experiences and that of many others: not sure what to do about college, feeling a bit lost about a major, and of course friendship and relationship complications. I ended up really connecting with the book and I think it’s one that many will enjoy!

Blog Tour: First & Then by Emma Mills | “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”Title: First & Then by Emma Mills
Publishing Info: October 13, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 21, 2015
Related Posts: First & Then

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.
Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

GUEST POST FROM EMMA MILLS

For the tour today, Emma Mills wrote a little post for us all about how much she has personally changed since high school to fit with the designated theme of this blog tour stop! 

  1. I am much less terrified of public speaking! Back in the day, even talking on the phone made me nervous. But I’ve grown much more comfortable with communicating! 
  2. Admittedly, I’m a much better driver. I didn’t learn to drive on the highway until I was twenty, because the idea of it just stressed me out! One time in high school I accidentally got on the freeway, and it was like that scene in Clueless.  
  3. My palate has definitely broadened—back in the day, I was not terribly adventurous, food-wise!

I can totally relate to #2 and #3! Highway driving was scary in high school (but I finally convinced my parents that I could handle it) and I have a much more diverse palate now than I did when I was younger! Thanks to Emma for sharing some fun details for us to get to know her a bit better! 

BOOK RECS!

I also get to done one of my most favorite things ever in this post and that’s hand-select some books to go with the “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” theme! Today I’m sharing my favorite books/series for character growth. I was really excited to get this topic because character growth is something that’s really important to me and something that I appreciate. I feel like I’ve come a long way since high school —  no wait, since college — no wait, since even after college — and I feel like such a different person. Anyway, here are my favorites if you’re looking for some great character development and growth!

character growth contemporary

CONTEMPORARY

dystopian fantasy character growth

DYSTOPIAN & FANTASY

I feel like every single one of these authors excels at character development and growth. If you’re looking for a book where a character really comes to terms with who they are and changes themself for the better, you can’t miss with one of these books. Of course, each of these is really well done overall but the characters in them are just amazing and some of the characters I’ve connected most with throughout my entire lifetime as a reader. I’ve really come to cherish them and care for them along the way!

OTHER BLOGS ON THE TOUR

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the blogs on the tour! You won’t want to miss this one. Each blog has their own superlative theme and I know I’m personally going to check out each and everyone one of them because I’m so excited for this unique blog tour!

FirstAndThenBlogTourImage_9.9 (1)

GIVEAWAY

Of course we can’t let you go without a giveaway! Macmillan is offering one finished, hardcover copy for one lucky winner! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below! US residents only, please! Must be 13 years of age or older to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Proof of Forever | Guest Post + Giveaway!

proof-of-forever-lexa-hillyer-blog-tour

Welcome to the blog tour for
   PROOF OF FOREVER by Lexa Hillyer!

Today I’m on the blog tour for PROOF OF FOREVER with a guest post from author Lexa Hillyer! A big thanks to the ladies of Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast for having me be a part of the tour!

I was really excited for PROOF OF FOREVER before I picked it up and it proved to be light and meaningful all at the same time. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s a little bit contemporary, a little bit sci-fi! The book details the stories of four girls who once used to be a very tight-knit group of friends but over the past couple of years, they’ve drifted far, far apart. PROOF OF FOREVER gives the girls a second chance to mend those friendships when the four girls get zapped back in time to camp life two years previously. I won’t say too much else about the book, but the concept of this broken group of friends inspired the guest post for Lexa Hillyer!

GUEST POST FROM LEXA HILLYER

 Which do you think is harder: friendship break-ups or boyfriend break-ups?

I think friends are more important than boyfriends in the grand scheme of things—precisely because friends are more likely to weather all the storms with you, and you need those roots, that consistency, to ground you and remind you who you are. Love is a space where, especially when we’re young, we sometimes are at risk of losing ourselves.

And also, women live longer than men, so your longest romance will likely be with your female friends who still want to hang out drinking tea and gossiping loudly into your hearing aid when you’re all wrinkled and old.

As for break-ups, well I’ve never actually had one of those horrible sudden friend break-ups you hear about or read about in frenemy books. (Well, except for in first grade, when I went up to my friend Nicole on the playground and she said, to my face, “Sorry Lexa but I don’t want to be friends with you anymore. I’m friends with Ally now.” Ouch! I was mortified, but I quickly realized I didn’t really want to be friends with Nicole that much anymore either.) For the most part, true friendships, at least in my experience, have simply faded over time. Like a plant, they need to be watered regularly and tended to, otherwise they droop. But that said, they can also be rekindled. Sometimes all it takes is one good hang-out and you’re back to being as close as ever. Sometimes it takes longer to warm up again, or you readjust your expectations of the friendship, but still, there’s that connection, and you can recognize it, you can feel it.

Friendships can be forever, fading at times but then coming back when you need them most, like those “immortal jellyfish” that, instead of dying, regenerate in times of duress.

Romantic break-ups on the other hand were always way harder on me. They always seemed so sudden and harsh and messy and sniffly. Once, a guy dumped me right in front of the LOVE sculpture on 55th street and 6th avenue. I sat on the sculpture between the V and the E, trying not to cry. Another boyfriend broke up with me on Valentine’s Day—after giving me a Valentine’s Day present. It was horrible, and I was so upset I got pneumonia! (I did keep the present though—it was actually a pretty nice set of champagne glasses. And at the time, champagne was probably the only thing that got me through that break-up.)

Unlike friendships, sometimes when it’s over it’s really over. I remember one ex with whom it was so painful for me to stay friendly afterward, that I had to delete his number from my phone and stop following him on all social media in order to get over it. And in fact, I still don’t follow him. Even to this day, I still feel weird and sad about it. Then again, romances where it’s not really over after the break-up can be even worse, because it leaves lots of confused lingering unanswered questions and feelings. We keep chasing the dream of what the relationship could have been, instead of realizing the truth, which is that if it really could have been so great, it would have been.

So my advice is:

If you’re going through a friend break-up: let it lie for awhile. If you’re meant to be friends again, you definitely will be. And it won’t be as hard as you think.

If you’re going through a romantic break-up: let it die. Accept that if it was meant to be, it would have BEEN. Maybe you (or he/she) just weren’t ready… but the only way you’ll ever be ready is by dating other people and discovering more about who you are and what works for you in a relationship.


A big, big thank you to Lexa Hillyer! Those are some wise words and I really agree! They’re sort of difficult in their own way but I think friends are easier to drift back to and boyfriend break-ups are much more permanent.
Thanks, Lexa! I really loved reading your thoughts on this! Hope all the readers did too! 🙂

And don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

GIVEAWAY

There is also a tour-wide giveaway! One lucky winner will win a copy of PROOF OF FOREVER! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. US residents only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson | Guest Post + Giveaway!

Nil Unlocked BlogTourBanner

Welcome to the blog tour for
  NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson!

Firstly, many many thanks to Macmillan for asking me to be a part of this tour! I really, really enjoyed NIL when I first read it last year and I just immediately got hooked into this weird, creepy island, the great cast of teens, and an exciting and mysterious adventure. When I found out that NIL was going to have a sequel, I was SO excited and even more jazzed when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour! Lynne Matson is so lovely to work with and talk with and I really wanted to help spread the word about her books!

If you’re not familiar with NIL yet, you probably should be! I keep pitching it as a book for fans of the TV show LOST (really! Especially in NIL UNLOCKED) but if we’re making comparisons, it’s also got hints of Survivor, Gilligan’s Island, and Lord of the Flies… But really NIL and NIL Unlocked stand fine on their own! Lynne Matson does a great job at bringing the characters and the island to life and for both books, I was pretty hooked from start to finish.

For my blog tour stop today, I’m hosting Lynne Matson and she’s prepared a guest post all about the island of NIL itself and how it really starts to play out as a character as well as a place in NIL UNLOCKED!

GUEST POST FROM LYNNE MATSON

Today I’m talking about the characters in the Nil world…including the island of Nil itself. *cue creepy music* 😉  

As y’all know, NIL UNLOCKED is a sequel to NIL, and yet, NIL UNLOCKED also a companion novel of sorts. Rives and Skye are the main characters in NIL UNLOCKED, whereas Thad and Charley are the main characters in NIL. Like Thad, Rives is a veteran as far as time served on Nil. Like Charley, Skye is a rookie. But the similarities end there. Unlike Charley, Skye arrives on Nil with loads of inside information (thanks to her uncle who visited Nil in the 80’s) and plenty of training, and she shares Rives’s passion for unlocking Nil’s secrets. It’s their mutual obsession with the island that drives the story. 

But if Rives’s and Skye’s thirst for understanding drives the story, than the island fuels it. 

Because on the most basic level, Nil is the story. 

Through the Nil series, the island is at the core; Nil itself is a character. In NIL, Thad hears Nil, or at least he thinks he does, leaving the reader to wonder if Nil truly is alive. This Nil-as-a sentient-being thread grows in NIL UNLOCKED. Skye’s uncle heard Nil during his time on the island; so do Rives, Skye and Dex during their time on the island. But adding another layer of mystery (or creepy, depending on your point of view lol), Nil doesn’t always use words. But the island definitely has something to say…and something it wants. *shivers* 

So NIL UNLOCKED? It’s full of feels and full of answers. It’s where you meet Skye, where you get to know Rives, and where you unravel the secrets of Nil. It’s the book where you find out what makes Nil—the island—tick. 

Nil is an antagonist creepy enough for an entire series. 🙂 

So there you have it! Brittany, thank you SOOO much for having me on your blog today, and for being such an awesome part of the #NILtribe! 

xoxo
Lynne


A big, big thank you to Lynne Matson! So happy to have you on the blog today, Lynne!
So what do you guys think? Creepy, right? Crazy-interesting, right? I hope your curiosity is piqued!

Want to learn more about Lynne Matson and her books? We’ve got the hook-up below!

// Lynne is going on the Fierce Reads tour in May. Be sure to check out the dates and locations.
// Check out the author website.
// Follow Lynne Matson on Twitter!
// Read an excerpt from the book!

And don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Macmillan, I have a giveaway today! One lucky US winner will win a copy of NIL (paperback) and NIL UNLOCKED (hardcover)! All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below!
Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. US residents only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway