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10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE Blog Tour: ‘Most Challenging Scene’ Guest Post by Carrie Mac

I am super excited to be a part of the tour for Carrie Mac’s 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE. When I first learned about this book I knew I would have to read it – and not just because of its gorgeous cover.

As someone who worries a bit more than I should about things I had a feeling Maeve would be a relatable character. And she was. I found myself Googling the stats that were cycling through her head – though I wish I hadn’t looked up the Greyhound Bus story…yikes! I also found myself getting very anxious along with Maeve so I had to take a couple of panic breaks during the read. I’m just so thankful Ms. Mac added in humor to ease some of the tension.

If you’d like to know why I loved 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE – feel free to check out my review.

And if you’d like to know which scene was Carrie Mac’s most challenging scene to write, scroll down for her guest post. It is a bit spoiler-y so if you haven’t yet read 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE and you don’t like any plot points revealed, you might want to come back after you’ve read it.

But let me just say it was one of my favorite – if most heartbreaking – scenes in the book. It might have been a challenging scene for the author to write but the end result was amazing, devastating, and very real.

So if you just can’t wait to see what that scene was – and get a teeny glimpse/teaser of another important moment in Maeve’s life – scroll down past the bookish details to find out.


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Author: Carrie Mac
Release date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook



Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. When Maeve is sent to Vancouver to live with her dad, her very pregnant stepmom, and her twin six-year-old half brothers, she struggles to rise to the challenge.

Vancouver brings a wide array of new worries, but Maeve finds brief respites—as well as even more worries—in Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Though the summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could ever have foreseen, she is able to reach inside herself to find the courage to be there for the ones she loves.

With an exciting love story, and a raw, emotional core, 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE is a poingant and uplifting novel perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Sophie Kinsella.



“With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who’s heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere.”—Kirkus, Starred review

“This is a good companion book for other anxiety-riddled stories, such as The Shattering by Karen Healey, and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.”—Booklist

“Mac is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works… [An] affecting story.”—Publishers Weekly

The Guest Post

Most Challenging Scene to Write

by Carrie Mac

Of course, spoiler alert. If you go ahead and read about my most challenging scene to write, you are going to get insider info about the story that you might not want to know. So, now that you’ve been warned, let’s chat.

I glanced at this question and figured I’d come back to it because it would be easy to answer when I had a few spare moments. But then I came back to it, and I realize that it’s not easy to answer. It’s a really good question, and it’s a tricky answer.

Most challenging scene? Of the whole book?

It took me a while, but I did come to a decision.

The most challenging scene to write is when Maeve finds her neighbor – and friend – dead next door.

Not many people have come across a body of a person who died suddenly. I have. Dozens of times when I was a paramedic. I got called to that very scene in its unfictionalized state. So, as much as I love Maeve and wanted to stay with her during this upsetting scene, I jumped in with my old paramedic uniform on and went at it from the EMT angle.

That was the first draft.

Uh, no.

I wrote myself out of the scene very quickly, by the second draft, if not sooner.

But a lot of the paramedic – and medical – stuff remained, so I had to write that out too. Then I took Maeve’s hand and properly wrote her in. But I had to be mindful of her sensitive nature, and let her feel all the fear and shock and panic, but let her find enough strength within to keep the story going, even when she comes to the realization that she actually killed Mrs. Patel (read the novel to find out if that’s true or not).

Then I had to bring back the paramedics and the police and make sure they didn’t take over the scene (as EMTs and cops tend to do), and then I had to return Maeve to her family and have her day continue, as crippled as she was.

That scene got the most rewrites of all, I think. Followed shortly by the birth-in-the-parking-lot scene, which I had to rewrite several times for exactly the same reasons, except that is a joyful scene. Because Mrs. Patel’s death is tragic, the atmosphere was dark, and harder to portray without dragging the story down too much, and so that’s why it was the most challenging scene to write.

All told, I did a mighty fine job, thank you very much. And by all told I mean, about ten rewrites, at least.

About Carrie Mac

Award-winning author Carrie Mac is well-known for her adeptness at captivating young adult audiences; she has written ten books for young adults, and won the 2010 Sheila A. Egoff Book Prize for her previous work, The Gryphon Project. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

FROST LIKE NIGHT Blog Tour: Guest Post by Sara Raasch + Giveaway


I am super excited to be today’s stop on the FROST LIKE NIGHT Blog Tour. I am madly in love with this series and I can hardly wait for next Tuesday to roll around so that everyone will get the chance to find out what’s next…

…and discover the incredibleamazingawesomemustreadohemgee scene that Author Sara Raasch talks about in her guest post.

Though I hope everyone will read it as they come to it versus skipping ahead – oh the temptation! – as it is a *few* chapters in.


If you haven’t yet discovered this series, information on each of the books is below. If you are as excited for FROST LIKE NIGHT’s release next week be sure to check out the guest post.

And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of FROST LIKE NIGHT scroll down to the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.

The tour continues through next week, so if you’d like to peek at a few reviews, interviews and guest posts click the links in the schedule at the end of this post, which will be updated throughout the tour.

Read More

THE SLEEPING PRINCE Blog Tour: ‘Five Favorite Quotes’ Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to the fifth stop on THE SLEEPING PRINCE Blog Tour. If you haven’t yet discovered this series by Author Melinda Salisbury you are seriously missing out. The books are dark and captivating, combining fairytale and folklore into something truly wonderful and magical and memorable.

The introductions tease the promise of the awesomeness to come and the endings just tease. If you don’t believe me, simply check out the first of the author’s favorite quotes and passages. And if you want to be teased a bit more, read numbers two through five.

While THE SLEEPING PRINCE is the second book in this series, you don’t have to read book one to fall in love. Of course if you want to be in the know while reading, and be more familiar with the world and a few of its players, you should definitely dive into THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER first.

This is not just a series with amazing covers. The stories are quite fantastic. And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of this second book in the series scroll down and enter in the Rafflecopter.

If you’d like to know more about the books and the author, some information is below. You can also visit the other stops on the tour for a few reviews, interviews and guest posts.

THE SLEEPING PRINCE comes out on May 31st, so now’s the perfect time to add it to your TBR pile and to pre-order your copy!



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Title & Series: THE SLEEPING PRINCE (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Release date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook


Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater’s Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin’s life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won’t reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indiebound | Goodreads

The Guest Post

Five Favorite Quotes (or Passages) and Why They are Favorites

by Melinda Salisbury


The opening few paragraphs are some of my favourite work I’ve ever written. They set the tone for the whole book:

The night guard on the East Gate reached to scratch the sudden sharp itch at his throat. As his legs gave way beneath him and he crumpled, he saw his fingers, slick with blood, black in the dim glow from the lamp that lit the gate. He was dead before he hit the ground.

The golem stepped over his body.

The second guard turned, lips parted to scream, or swear, or beg, his sword rising to meet the creature, but too late. A silver flash through the air and the guard collapsed, his blood mingling with that of his colleague.

The lumpen, blank space where the golem’s face ought to be was tilted towards the sky, as though sniffing or listening. It passed through the gate, its misshapen head knocking the lamp, sending it swinging, casting nightmarish shadows over the thick stone wall of the East Gate. As the oil spilled and smoked, and the flame guttered, the golem stepped a trail of bloody footsteps through the gate and into the slumbering royal town of Lortune, dragging a club as long as itself in one hand, a large double-headed axe in the other.

Moments later a second golem followed, an axe and club of its own clutched in its twisted hands. Its weapons had yet to be christened.

The two creatures moved forward, slowly but steadily, their gait rocking and lilting, the motion more reminiscent of ships on the ocean than anything that moved on land.

The Sleeping Prince followed them.

As for the rest, presented without comment or context are my favourite non-spoilery lines from the book:


“Mysterious boys are not as enjoyable in reality as they are in stories.”


“How do I tell her?” he said. “How do I tell her he’s gone?”


My eyes narrow. I don’t believe him, and my left eyebrow creeps up to let him know it.

“You wouldn’t understand my reasons,” he roars, his face turning purple. “You don’t understand anything, you stupid girl. I was kind to you. I looked out for you. I would have taken care of you. But no. I’m not good enough for you. Little miss high and mighty from Tremayne.” His head tilts as he examines me and my jaw tightens in anger. “Look at you,” he continues. “You’re not even that pretty.”

“If you lay a hand on me—”

“Ha!” He cuts me off with a bark of laughter. “I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. Not now. Not now I know you’re soiled goods.”


“Needs more salt.” He smiles.

About Melinda Salisbury

Melinda Salisbury

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel. She can be found on Twitter at @AHintofMystery, though be warned, she tweets often.

Find her: Website | Twitter | TumblrInstagram | PinterestGoodreads

Other Books in the Series

The Sin Eater's Daughter

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Title & Series: THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Release date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook


A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indiebound | Goodreads

The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • Three (3) winners will receive finished copies of THE SLEEPING PRINCE – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

5.23.16 | Dark Faerie Tales – Interview

5.24.16 | Addicted Readers – Spotlight

5.25.16 | Two Chicks on Books – Interview

5.26.16 | Once Upon a Twilight – Review

5.27.16 | Fiktshun – Guest Post

Week Two

5.30.16 | My Friends Are Fiction – Review

5.31.16 | Adventures of a Book Junkie – Guest Post

6.1.16 | The Broke and the Bookish – Review

6.2.16 | Fiction Fare – Interview

6.3.16 | Mundie Moms – Review

CIRCLE OF JINN Blog Tour: ‘5 Jinn Stereotypes Azra Wishes Weren’t True’ Guest Post + Giveaway


I am super excited that CIRCLE OF JINN is releasing next week and that everyone will get to find out what Azra was trying not to spoil in her guest post below. (She was clearly having a hard time keeping secrets. I, on the other hand, have no problem keeping them. So you’ll have to find out on your own…unless Author Lori Goldstein plans on sharing a few secrets on other stops on the tour.)


If you want to know which five Jinn stereotypes Azra wishes weren’t true, be sure to check out her guest post below. (I definitely agree with her choices.) If you’d like to know more about each of the books in the series, information on all are also below. And if you’d like to know more about this series’ author, links to places you can find Lori Goldstein online are beneath her bio.

I also have a copy of CIRCLE OF JINN up for giveaway. So if you’d like the chance to win this awesome and delightful book, enter in the Rafflecopter. And if you plan on ordering (or already have ordered) CIRCLE OF JINN, details on a pre-order giveaway where you can get some super fun swag are at the bottom of this post.

And if you’d like to visit the other stops on tour, the schedule, which will be updated with direct links to each stop as they happen, is beneath the Rafflecopter.

The wait is almost over. So following this tour, with fun guest posts, interviews, and giveaways, is the perfect way to pass the time until CIRCLE OF JINN’s release.


Circle of Jinn Cover

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Title & Series: CIRCLE OF JINN (Becoming Jinn #2)
Author: Lori Goldstein
Release date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


Being Jinn is Azra’s new reality. As she grants wishes under the watchful eye of the Afrit council, she remains torn between her two worlds—human and Jinn. Soon, secrets spill. Zars are broken. Humans become pawns. And rumors of an uprising become real as the Afrit’s reach extends beyond the underground world of Janna.

Straddling the line becomes impossible. Aware of her unique abilities, Azra must not just face but embrace her destiny. But when the role she must play and those she must protect expand to include a circle of Jinn greater than her own, Azra will be forced to risk everything. A risk that means there’s everything to lose, and at the same time, everything to gain—for herself and her entire Jinn race.

In this dramatic sequel to Becoming Jinn, Azra’s story comes to a heartfelt and thrilling conclusion.


The Guest Post

5 Jinn Stereotypes Azra Wishes Weren’t True

First off, thanks for not using the “g” word (genie . . . and especially for not letting my Lalla Samara hear it . . . *shudders*). I, Azra Nadira, am a Jinn, descended from a long line of Jinn. So long in fact, my family cantamen (our genie . . . er . . . Jinn handbook) weighs almost as much as I do.

But, if I’m being completely honest (a trait not inherent to Jinn considering we live among humans, pretending to be one of them, our entire lives), the Jinn share a myth or two with your big blue “genies.” Some of which, I’d give up chocolate and caffeine to have not be true.

1. Bound to a ring or a lantern . . . or a bangle. We Jinn receive our magical powers from a shiny, intricately carved bangle that doesn’t go with anything I own and yet is my permanent accessory. I can’t get it off. I tried. It’s not only my fashion sense, or lack there of, that wants it gone. I also want it gone because . . .

2. Tied to a master. My bangle ties me to a “master.” Not in the traditional sense of your genies, but it shackles me to the Afrit, the Jinn “council” (uh, yeah, not so much a council as a . . . oops! spoiler alert). They can track not just my use of magic but me through it. Creepy. Wrong. Which is why they must be stopped. Which is why I’m going to . . . (crud, this spoiler stuff is hard!).

3. Able to grant a literal wish. You know, the one where the woman wishes to be thin and the tradeoff is losing last night’s dinner every morning? Where the dude wants to be invisible and everyone in his life ignores him? We can get away with granting a wish that way. It’s frowned upon. It risks punishment. But it can and does happen. It’s not right. I may not have wanted to become a Jinn, but even I know that.

4. Transformed into someone . . . well, kinda, sorta, hot. In your world, genies, at least genies of the female persuasion, look like they stepped out of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. I used to think the Afrit were mocking humans for making us more attractive when we become Jinn (heck, they probably are), but mostly, our transformation into someone taller with shinier hair is simply genetic. We are all descended from Lalla Mimouna and Sidi Mimoun, the first Jinn power couple. Legend has it that Jinn were once spirit creatures, made of smokeless fire. These spirits inhabited a plane between the air and the earth and embodied the purest elements of the natural world. In return for corporeal form, the spirits agreed to use the magical powers nature bestowed on them to serve humans for the “greater good.” Guess “pure” translated into “hot” when those spirits got legs. Then again, Jinn are particularly clever. It wouldn’t surprise me if the bargain with nature included an eye-candy clause and we Jinn actually are the most shallow of species.

5. Prevented from granting our own wish. That’s one of the few things we can’t do. We spend our lives granting wishes for humans, but are never able to make our own wishes come true. If we could, what would my wish be? I used to think it would be to not become a Jinn, to be . . . normal. Simply Azra. Now? After (redacted) and (redacted), if I could grant my own wish, would it be the same? In a way, maybe, but it would be more. My wish would be to (redacted).

I’m telling you, I’m so glad CIRCLE OF JINN is coming out on May 17, because these spoiler alerts are killing me.

About Lori Goldstein


Lori Goldstein was born into an Italian-Irish family and raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015, sequel, Circle of Jinn, May 17, 2016). You can check out her editorial services here and visit her online at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com.




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Title & Series: BECOMING JINN (Becoming Jinn #1)
Author: Lori Goldstein
Release date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook


Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters,” Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all.



Genius of Jinn

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Title & Series: GENIUS OF JINN (Becoming Jinn Prequel)
Author: Lori Goldstein
Release date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 51
Formats: eBook


In this prequel to BECOMING JINN and the upcoming sequel CIRCLE OF JINN, thirteen-year-old Azra and her nemesis Yasmin are whisked away to a mysterious land with a special language, awe-inspiring architecture, and quirky toilets: France. As the enchanting French Jinn Tayma guides them through the streets of Paris, they discover not only a book of spells, but a truth neither of them is prepared for: that in their inevitable transition to becoming Jinn, their shared genie ancestry may just make them stronger together than they are apart.


The Giveaway

Courtesy of the publisher, Feiwel & Friends…

I have a copy of CIRCLE OF JINN for giveaway to ONE (1) winner – US only.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

The Pre-order Giveaway

The sequel to BECOMING JINN, which VOYA Magazine named one of the Best Science, Fiction, Fantasy or Horror of 2015 in a starred review, releases on May 17, 2016.

Advance praise for CIRCLE OF JINN from Booklist says “book two takes a sharp turn into high fantasy . . . Romance and wish granting take a backseat to friendship, political intrigue, and Azra’s maturation and ongoing discovery of her heritage. Fans of the first book should be satisfied by this conclusion.”

Preorder or buy a new copy of CIRCLE OF JINN by May 27, 2016, and you’ll automatically become a genie* yourself!

Every preorder, including signed preorders from Lori’s local indie, Porter Square Books (both books available for signed orders), will be mailed a signed bookmark, signed bookplate, and metallic bracelet tattoos.

But wait, there’s more! You’ll also be entered into the grand giveaway to win one of the exact shiny silver bangles featured on the cover of both Becoming Jinn and Circle of Jinn. Details: http://www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com/2016/04/18/preorder-time/

* Swag includes temporary bracelet tattoos; the power to become a Jinn must already be inside you.

A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY Blog Tour: ‘Top Five Awkward Dating Moments, Misunderstandings, or Mishaps’ Guest Post + Giveaway


I am totally stoked to be today’s stop on the A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY Blog Tour. I have an hysterically funny guest post by the authors for my stop, as well as a giveaway for a copy of the book, which releases on May 3rd.TOM & LUCY PHOTOBOOTH-1

If you haven’t added A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY to your TBR pile, now’s the perfect time… Have you done it yet? I can wait…

Hannah and Sam’s story is so much fun (I laughed so hard there were tears), incredibly awkward at times (the title is not at all misleading), and there are moments that will have you cringing for each of them. It is a super fast read, one you’ll definitely want to read again, with characters you’ll hope get their happily ever after.

So be sure to add this one to your spring/summer reading lists. But be advised there will be several laugh-out-loud instances – so avoid the late night read next to a sleeping loved one, a public transportation read that will make you look quite mad, or a library read that will get you booted.

Details about A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY and its authors are below, along with Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen’s top five awkward dating moments. And you can enter the giveaway for a copy of the book in the Rafflecopter form.

Also, be sure to visit each of the stops on the tour. I’ll be updating the schedule at the bottom of the post with direct links and details for each stop.


A Totally Awkward Love Story

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Authors: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Release date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook


For fans of The DUFF, this hilarious and true-to-teen romance is Broad City meets Judy Blume.

The summer before college, Hannah swears she’s finally going to find The One. And for five perfect minutes, Hannah does find him. He’s cute and makes her laugh like crazy. She just wishes she’d caught his name, because Toilet Boy Cinderella really lacks sex appeal.

For Sam, the summer is off to a bad start for a million reasons. But for five minutes his luck changes: in a fancy restroom painted purple like it belongs in a Bond villain hideaway, Sam falls head over heels for some strange and hilarious girl. Of course, he doesn’t know her name. With his luck, he’ll never see her again, and he’ll remain a girlfriendless, moony-eyed virgin. Forever.

But another chance meeting brings them together, only to have a chance misunderstanding drive them apart . . . and then the cycle starts all over again. Madcap mishaps, raunchy hilarity, and deep romance follow these two wherever they go. For two people so clearly destined for each other, they sure have a hell of a lot of trouble even getting together.



“An engaging and endearing story of what it is to find your place in the world and a person to share it with.” – Kirkus Reviews 

“…raunchy, irreverent slapstick in the vein of Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging.” – Booklist

“There’s raunchy mishaps, total madcap hilarity, and, yes, even some romance. Basically the book will transport you back to your awkward teenage years.” – Bustle

“A fun romantic comedy.” – School Library Journal

The Guest Post

Top five awkward dating moments, misunderstandings, or mishaps

by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen


This isn’t really a dating story involving me. Well, it does involve me, but I don’t have a starring role. I don’t think English people go on dates that much, really. I think we are new to the dating thing, which we have only adopted in a halfhearted manner since rom-coms arrived at the cinema. Anyway . . . I wanted to get off with a boy at a party once when I was nineteen. That is the British way of dating. When I got there, although I used my best tactics like dancing in sexy manner to Wham! on the patio, he didn’t seem very fussed and went to another party. Taking it in my stride, I had a few drinks and carried on dancing to Wham! But then I got tired . . . so I wandered off and found a bedroom and fell asleep. I woke up to my best friend, Calypso*, having sex with the boy she had a crush on and had gone to the party hoping to get with. She hadn’t realised I was there because I had burrowed myself into the duvet like a hibernating badger. I was too polite to move. It was awkward. (*Calypso is not her real name.)


I once asked a girl out in a bar, only to discover that her first name was the same as my surname (Ellen). I was slightly thrown by this at the time, but I was so pleased that she’d given me her number that I didn’t mention it. Then, by about the third date, I thought I had to finally break the news to her that if we ever got married her name would be Ellen Ellen. She found it quite funny, but when we eventually broke up a couple of months later, she did say, “Well, we were never going to get married, were we?” So I’ll always wonder what would have happened if I had a slightly less feminine last name. . . . Interesting side note: I also briefly dated a girl called Selin not long after this incident, so that was another relationship doomed to failure by my ridiculous surname.


Tom and I broke up the summer of my second year at university. I had only really ever been out with Tom. Anyway, my friend set me up on a date with someone who was generally considered to be a hottie. We went to see the first Pirates of the Caribbean film—so far, so first date-y. A random thing you also need to know is that it was this super, super hot summer. I am a self-respecting British woman, so obviously never leave the house without seventeen cardigans, but this one time because it was so hot I went out wearing only my carefully selected, brand-new lemon yellow Topshop sundress. At the end of the movie I deliberately raced ahead of everyone else to get to the loo. And then caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realised I had my period ALL OVER the back of my yellow lemon special. Like I had been shot in the back. I phoned my friend who was on holiday in Majorca, who said quite rationally that she couldn’t really do anything to help, as she was on holiday in Majorca. And then I had to do a period walk of shame back out of the loo and to the boy. We did not go for dinner as planned.


I went into a pub a while back, and spotted a guy I used to go to school with. He was at a table with a girl, and from their slightly awkward body language it was clear they were on a first date. I went over to say hello, and the guy said, “Hi, Tom, this is Sarah. Sarah, this is Tom.” And the girl said: “It’s Katie.” There followed an extremely awkward silence, and I quickly made my excuses and left them to what remained of their intensely uncomfortable evening. They left pretty soon afterward, and I don’t imagine they’ve seen each other since. . . .


I once snuck into a boy’s house at one in the morning. His parents obviously had no idea I was there. Which was all well and good until I suddenly said, “I feel a bit unwell,” and tiptoed across the hall as quietly as possible before locking the bathroom door and proceeding to be extremely loudly and violently sick. For ages. And ages. Until his mother knocked on the door and said, “Marmaduke*, are you okay?” And I had to open the door and reveal it was not her son but a totally random girl puking all over her house. She had to hold my hair and call my parents. (*Marmaduke is not his real name.)

About the Authors

Joint Author Photo

TOM ELLEN AND LUCY IVISION met at the end of high school and quickly became sweethearts. Though they broke up in college, they remain best friends. Lucy runs the online teen magazine Whatever After and teaches in girls’ schools across London, specializing in building confidence and creativity. Tom is a journalist and has written for Time Out, Vice, ESPN, Glamour, and many other publications. They cowrote A Totally Awkward Love Story, which was partially inspired by their own high school relationship. This is their first novel. Follow Lucy on Twitter at @lucyivison.


The Giveaway

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The Tour Schedule

Week One

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Week Four

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