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    THE TRAITOR’S KISS Blog Tour: ‘Favorite & Most Challenge Scenes’ Guest Post by Erin Beaty

    I am thrilled to be today’s stop on THE TRAITOR’S KISS Blog Tour. Erin Beaty’s book made it to the top of my TBR pile the moment I saw its amazing cover. And when I started reading it, I instantly fell in love.

    THE TRAITOR’S KISS releases on May 9th, so there’s plenty of time to pre-order a copy from your favorite online bookseller and receive it on release day. But until then, if you’d like to know more about the book and get a sneak peek at a deleted scene, be sure to follow the tour – each stop will be sharing a secret message and all will be revealed at the end of the tour. (You can find this stop’s secret message at the bottom of this post.)

    For my stop today, Erin Beaty shares her favorite and most challenging scenes to write – and why. So if you’d like to know what scenes the author “agonized over” and “edited” quite a bit, check out the guest post below.

    And if you’d like to know more about the book and author, their details follow, along with places to find them online.

    The tour schedule will be updated with direct links to each of the stops as they happen, so just click the links to check out the posts and gather the secret messages.


    About THE TRAITOR’S KISS

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: THE TRAITOR’S KISS (Traitor’s Trilogy #1)
    Author: Erin Beaty
    Release date: May 9, 2017
    Publisher: Imprint
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    An obstinate girl who will not be married.
    A soldier desperate to prove himself.
    A kingdom on the brink of war.

    With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a proper lady—which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for a suitable marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls—and on the soldiers escorting them.

    As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust—and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

    With secret identities and a tempestuous romance, Erin Beaty’s The Traitor’s Kiss is full of intrigue, espionage, and lies.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNESINDIEBOUND | MACMILLANGOODREADS


    The Guest Post

    Favorite & Most Challenging Scenes to Write (and Why)

    by Erin Beaty

    Aside from the first chapter of the book, which was rewritten probably twenty times but ended up almost exactly as it was first drafted, I think it’s fair to say I agonized over and edited the romantic scenes more than any other. It was almost like giving readers a window into my most intimate thoughts.

    Scratch that. It IS a window into my deepest emotions. Talk about vulnerable.

    I’d read enough cheesy kissing scenes to develop a fear of making readers cringe. Every time I passed those chapters to beta readers, I begged them to be brutally honest. I got some good advice, but not nearly as much as I wanted (the best feedback came from my mom, which was somewhat disturbing). The self-consciousness dialed up to 11 when my husband read those parts. I mean, I’m basically imagining getting it on with some random guy. Would he think it was based on him? Would he think it wasn’t based on him?

    This is not the kind of angst one expects to feel after more than fifteen years of marriage.

    For better or for worse, however, they’re done. Now I await the greater judgment of readers at large.

    But there’s one scene in the book that has a special place in my heart, because it was a huge turning point in the development of the story and my development as a writer. I used to think it was a bit odd when authors complained that their characters did things they didn’t expect. After all, these are the people we writers create specifically to do the things we want them to do.

    Enter Chapter 5.

    (Actually, in the final book I think it’s Chapter 4. Edits, yo.)

    Anyway, I went into this conversation between Sage and the matchmaker, thinking our tragic main character would be rebuffed and tossed out, but then somehow she would solve a problem for the matchmaker and the woman would very reluctantly hire her. Basically Sage would trade one “evil stepmother” for another, but at least she’d get out of the house.

    So they danced around each other in conversation for a bit, the matchmaker pushing Sage’s buttons just as she had the last time they’d met. Both Sage and I began to realize that she was – to put it nicely – a brat, and she didn’t really have it in her to lose her temper again like I needed her to. She was at her lowest low, with no real hope of fixing the mess she’d made. I just couldn’t get a rise out of her.

    And the matchmaker laughed.

    Not cackled like a witch. She chuckled like an all-knowing grandmother. It isn’t always pleasant when we see ourselves clearly, is it?

    She then proceeded to tell Sage that she had pretty much staged the entire confrontation of the day before, setting her up to fail – which I had sort of planned – but there was none of the bitterness and meanness I’d expected. And then she said she’d wanted to hire Sage as an apprentice from the beginning.

    Wait, what are you doing, lady? You’re not supposed to want this!

    Then she dropped a bomb that rocked Sage (and me) to the core. No spoilers, but you’ll know it when you see it.

    Suddenly, I loved this woman. She was shrewd and clever and kind. She wasn’t a caricature; she had depth, and that depth opened a whole new realm of possibilities. The story became richer, as did all the other characters who appeared along the way.

    Now I kind of enjoy letting my characters surprise me and take scenes in their own direction. They really are their own people.

    Don’t tell them I said that, though. Can’t have them getting too many wild ideas.


    About Erin Beaty

    Erin Beaty was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which means she can’t drive a tractor, but she won’t eat veggies that come from a can. She graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in rocket science and somehow always ended up writing her study group’s lab reports. After serving in the fleet as a weapons officer and a leadership instructor, she resigned to pursue her side hobby of populating the Church of Rome. It still amazes her when other people want to hear the stories that come out of her head.

    She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go.

    Erin Beaty is represented by Valerie Noble. Her young adult fantasy adventure, THE TRAITOR’S KISS, the first in a trilogy called The Traitor’s Circle, will be released May 9th, 2017

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS


    The Tour Schedule

    The Secret Message

    “Age 16? Possibly youngest in group”

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    BLACKSOULS Blog Tour: Guest Posts by Nicole Castroman + Giveaway

    I am so unbelievably excited to be kicking off the blog tour for BLACKSOULS by Nicole Castroman. It has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2017 – and it was even better than I could have hoped for. And, no, it’s not because I am a sailor and love any and all stories involving sailing ships. Or because I have always loved stories about pirates. Or because this cover is so awesome.

    It’s because the book is more than amazing. And if you’d like to know why, stop back tomorrow for my off-the-menu 6-star review.

    But for my stop on the tour I have five mini guest posts to share about this incredible sequel, its characters, and its fabulous author.

    There is also a tour-wide giveaway for a signed copy of BLACKSOULS. So if you’re in the US and you’d like the chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter.

    Read more

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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.


    About 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE
    Author: Carrie Mac
    Release date: February 28, 2017
    Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    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.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE | GOODREADS


    Praise

    “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.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Week Two

    Week Three

    Week Four

    Week Five

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

    frost-like-night

    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.

    Anyway…

    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.

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

    THE SLEEPING PRINCE

    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!


    About THE SLEEPING PRINCE

    SleepingPrince-hires

    Add to Goodreads

    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

    Description…

    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

    No1

    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:

    No2

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

    No3

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

    No4

    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.”

    No5

    “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

    Add to Goodreads

    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

    Description…

    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

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

    A-Totally-Awkward-Love-Story-BT

    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.


    About A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY

    A Totally Awkward Love Story

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY
    Authors: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
    Release date: May 3, 2016
    Publisher: Delacorte Press
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    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.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSEGOODREADS

    Praise

    “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

    1Lucy

    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.)

    2Tom

    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.

    3Lucy

    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.

    4Tom

    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. . . .

    5Lucy

    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.

    LUCY’S TWITTER | FACEBOOK | LUCY’S GOODREADS | TOM’S GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    Courtesy of the publisher…

    • ONE (1) winner will receive a copy of A TOTALLY AWKWARD LOVE STORY

    ***Giveaway is US only. Prizing will be sent by the publisher.***

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Week Two

    Week Three

    Week Four

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    STONE FIELD Blog Tour: The Romance

    Stonefield Blog Tour Banner

    Whether new fiction or historical fiction, whether a new story or a retelling, my favorite aspect is the romance. I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in love at first sight. I believe in soul mates. Though I also believe that love may not always be enough, that a love story can end tragically, that what may at first seem like love may be something else altogether.

    Which is why I fell madly in love with STONE FIELD. The connection was instantaneous. And intense. It felt like they were made for each other… at first. Then things began to fall apart.

    It was interesting and beautiful and heartbreaking. The writing was gorgeous and immediately set the mood. The characters were unique, fascinating, unusual, unconventional.

    And if you’d like to meet them and find out what goes right and what goes wrong with their romance, be sure to grab your copy when it releases tomorrow.

    And…

    If you’d like to know what Christy Lenzi has to say about writing the romance in STONE FIELD – which she says in the most beautiful and wonderfully descriptive way – scroll down to her guest post which follows the book’s description.


    About STONE FIELD

    Stone Field Cover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: STONE FIELD
    Author: Christy Lenzi
    Release date: March 29, 2016
    Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    A stunning debut novel that offers a new look at a classic love story about soul mates torn apart by the circumstances of their time.

    Catrina Dickinson is haunted by her past and feels caged in by life in small town Missouri. When she discovers a strange man in Stone Field where her family grows their sorghum crop, her life takes on new meaning. He has no memory of who he is or what brought him to Cat’s farm, but they fall passionately in love. Meanwhile, the country is on the brink of the Civil War, and the conflict in Missouri demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

    A passionate and atmospheric reimagining of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering HeightsStone Field explores how violence and vengeance perverts the human spirit, and how hatred can be transcended by love.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | FIERCE READSMACMILLAN | FACEBOOKGOODREADS


    The Guest Post

    Writing the Romance Aspects of Stone Field

    by Christy Lenzi

    Because Catrina has such an impetuous and reckless nature, I knew her romance with Stonefield had to be sudden and torrential like a Missouri thunderstorm. Those storms keep you awake at night, trembling in your bed as you listen to the thunder rolling and crashing over the hills and the terrible crack of lightning, echoing through the valleys.

    So, I struck Cat with a lightning bolt the moment she saw Stonefield, and that was just the beginning of the storm. I felt kind of bad about it, because it’s not the sort of thing you wish on someone you care about. It was difficult to watch her get drenched and carried away in the flood of her own emotion and passion. It would have been a very different matter to write a romance for a woman like Effie, Cat’s best friend. Effie would go slowly and carefully into the relationship, measuring and attending to her feelings as she went along. One day, perhaps, I will write an Effie romance, but this was Cat’s, so I braced myself for the storm and let loose.

    One of the challenges I faced involved the way in which I needed to portray Cat’s ability to hear Stonefield’s voice speaking to her, inwardly. I wanted to maintain a level of ambiguity for the reader, while making it an absolute certainty for Cat. That was tricky sometimes. Unreliable narrators are exciting to write, but sometimes they can be difficult to work with!

    What was especially fun about writing romantic scenes with Cat and Stonefield was that because Cat is definitely not an “indoor” girl, most every scene in which they are together takes place outside in nature. Love Alfresco can get pretty interesting, especially with a landscape full of mysterious woods and caves, bubbling springs, and soft meadows of high grass in which to run wild. So I sent Cat and Stonefield outside to play, and they did.

    The hardest part of writing the romance for Stone Field was the ending. I think it nearly broke my heart to write it. But when I finished, I felt good, like waking up to a peaceful morning after all the thunderclouds have rolled away.


    About Christy Lenzi

    Christy Lenzi

    Christy lives with her family in California’s Central Valley, not far from the mountains, the big trees, and the Pacific Ocean. When she’s not working, writing, or reading, she is fond of stuffing messages into bottles, making art, and zooming around on her motor scooter, Roxanne. If you find one of her bottle messages, write her back!

    WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTERESTGOODREADS


    The Tour Schedule

    3.19.16 | The Reading Nook Reviews – Retelling

    3.20.16 | Swoony Boys Podcast – Romance

    3.21.16 | Fiction Fare – Romance

    3.22.16 | The Irish Banana – Historical

    3.23.16 | Katie’s Book Blog – Retelling

    3.25.16 | Addicted 2 Novels – Romance

    3.26.16 | Fierce Reads – Retelling

    3.27.16 | A Perfection Called Books – Historical

    3.28.16 | Fiktshun – Romance

    3.29.16 | Into the Hall of Books – Historical

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