Monday, July 10, 2017

Falling For Forever by Melissa Chambers Blog Tour + Giveaway

Falling for Forever (Before Forever #2)
by Melissa Chambers
Publication Date: July 3, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
The second Jenna Quigley turns eighteen, she’s headed to L.A. to extend the timer on her fifteen minutes of fame. Too bad her dad made her promise to graduate high school first. Silver lining? Her new school has a serious talent competition with a $25,000 cash prize, which would go a long way in L.A. Jenna’s got plenty of talent—she didn’t almost win America’s Newest Sensation for nothing. But it’ll take everything she’s got to bring down the music nerd with a stick up his butt…no matter how cute he is in those glasses.

Miles Cleveland needs to win that talent contest. When some hot girl stole his audition spot on America’s Newest Sensation, his chance to study music flounced off to New York with her. Now, not only can he win enough money to pay for his education, he can get revenge on that very same girl. He can’t start to question his plan, though…no matter how deep Jenna buries into his heart.
Melissa Chambers on Writing Advice
There is a plethora of writing advice out there waiting to be dispensed. I am very careful about how I dispense my own advice, because it’s all so writer-specific. I have a hard time identifying a goal/motivation/conflict in one of my favorite books of all-time, and there was no inciting incident in a book I finished not too long ago that’s so popular it’s being made into a movie. So it’s a good thing these two authors didn’t follow those rules!

Here’s some advice that has worked for me. Feel free to take it, leave it, or bend it in a way that works for you.

-          If you get skewered by a contest judge or a well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) critique group or partner, do NOT let it get you down. I really do believe that most writers are helpful people and they really do mean well, but they don’t always know what they are talking about. Typically (not always) a beginning writer by default will be paired with another beginning writer, so everything they say needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Writing is SO subjective. But on the flipside, also be open to hearing about problems in your writing. I had this one piece I sent out in an RWA contest. I was so proud, sure I was going to final. My judged entries came back bleeding so hard with red marks I thought I’d been shot. But here’s the thing, they weren’t wrong…and two out of three of the judges were showing me the same problem. One was nicer about it than the other, but still, I got the picture. It changed the way I wrote, and I’m so thankful for both of those critiques…even the mean one!

-          Listen to Stephen King! The only novel I’ve ever read of his was his partial memoir, partial craft book, On Writing. In other words, I’m not a fan of horror novels or movies, but this man knows his stuff like no other. One thing I learned from this book was not to over-describe a scene. He teaches to describe only things that are relevant to what your characters are experiencing. He tells it much better than I do. Pick it up! It’s really fun, too, learning about how he got started and where he came up with some of his story ideas.

-          For ninety-nine percent of writers (probably more, actually) there is way more rejection than success, so celebrate those little victories! If you query fifty agents and one asks for pages, you have done something very right. Seriously. Be proud of that. But don’t put all your eggs in any one basket. That same agent may never even get back to you. (I personally have two agents who requested pages who I never heard from again.) Be patient and keep moving forward with your writing.

-          Delete your first chapter. This one came from Susan Elizabeth Phillips at an RWA workshop. She said this to a room of probably a hundred and fifty people. She said something like, “I’ve not read any of your work, but I’ll tell you right now, you all need to delete your first chapter.” I thought, she’s not talking to me, she’s talking to newer writers who haven’t learned what I have. I found out later that this definitely applied to me. Info dump is not a writer’s friend. A big thing I learned from my first critique group was to trust my reader who is smart and can easily pick up on hints…and who doesn’t need everything spelled out. A writer once made the analogy of a first date. You wouldn’t sit across the dinner table from your date and dump your backstory, baggage, and life’s pain on that person. They will find out over time, and that’s okay.

-          I wish I would have read, and taken to heart, Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for Good Writing before I ever sat down to write my first novel. They are short and sweet and easy to apply. Even if you only decide to use half of them, you’ll have a leg up.

Thank you so much, Falling for YA, for letting me gab with you today!

For more about Melissa or Falling for Forever:
About the Author
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She serves as the president elect for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of The Summer Before Forever and Falling for Forever (Entangled Teen).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 26, 2017

We Were Liars Deluxe Blog Tour + Giveaway

The Deluxe Edition
Author: E. Lockhart
Pub. Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 272
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Goodreads

The New York Times bestseller We Were Liars is now available as a not-to-be-missed hardcover deluxe edition! Whether you know how it ends (shh . . . don t tell!) or have let too many seasons go by without discovering the truth about the Liars for yourself, you will want to get your hands on the exclusive new content in this deluxe edition.
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends the Liars whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. In addition to the bestselling novel, the collectors edition includes:
.Never-before-shared letters from Gat to Cadence
.A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the author s creative process
.The author s hand-drawn map of Beechwood Island and the Sinclair family tree
.Unique ideas for book discussions Sinclair family style
.An excerpt from E. Lockhart s upcoming novel Genuine Fraud a psychological thriller that will leave you breathless
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I’ve been going through an East Coast prepster, Vineyard Vines, old money, monogram phase. Don’t ask me why since I am definitely from the West Coast, have no money, and the closest thing to something Vineyard Vines I own is a Kiel James Patrick bracelet. When I read the synopsis of We Were Liars though I knew it was the perfect read to match this phase and dove right in.

We Were Liars is told in flashbacks and in the present. Summer fifteen (as the narrator calls it) something happened to Cady. Now, in summer seventeen, Cady is trying to piece together her repressed memories and find out what happened that fateful summer.

Cady has been going to her family’s private island every summer since birth. She spends the Summer with her two cousins Mirren and Johhny and a boy named Gat. These four are the Liars. And I liked every single one of them. Lockhart does a fabulous job of using prose to her advantage when describing these characters. Even a ton of time wasn’t spent detailing what a character looks like I felt like I knew them.

“He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee.”

The prose and choppy writing style were my favorite part of this book. I liked that it was different and felt fresh as I was reading. If the writing was my favorite part then the twisty plot was my least favorite. One of my biggest pet peeves is when authors keep readers in the dark for too long. There is a fine line between creating tension and just being annoying. We Were Liars traipsed in to annoying territory. Everything was a set up for the big twist at the end. I would have preferred if this story was written chronologically rather then in flashbacks and present. The characters were interesting, likable, and there was enough tension that if it was just written straight through I, probably, would have enjoyed it more.

Overall, I enjoyed We Were Liars. It was an emotional story of family, friends, and lies. I even caught myself tearing up at the end. I have a feeling there will be a huge split on this book. Either you like it or you don’t. For me, there were things I loved and other things I didn’t like. But I’m glad I read this story.

About the Author
I am the author of We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and the Ruby Oliver quartet: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. How to Be Bad was co-written with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski.

Disreputable History was a Printz Award honor book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and recipient of the Cybils Award for best young adult novel. We Were Liars is a New York Times bestseller. It won the Goodreads Choice Award and was Amazon's #1 YA novel of 2014. 

I have a doctorate in English literature from Columbia University. My field was 19th-century British novel. In 2013 I chaired the committee on Young People's Literature for the National Book Awards. I currently teach creative writing at Hamline University’s low-residency MFA program in Writing for Children.

3 winners will receive deluxe edition copies of WE WERE LIARS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 15, 2017

Everything Everything Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

On May 19, risk everything…for love. #EverythingEverything 

I partnered with Warner Bros. to share this giveaway!

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes the romantic drama “Everything, Everything,” directed by Stella Meghie and based on the bestselling book of the same name by Nicola Yoon.

What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face...or kiss the boy next door? Everything, Everything tells the unlikely love story of Maddy, a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who due to an illness cannot leave the protection of the hermetically sealed environment within her house, and Olly, the boy next door who won’t let that stop them.

Maddy is desperate to experience the much more stimulating outside world, and the promise of her first romance. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, she and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together...even if it means losing everything.

“Everything, Everything” stars Amandla Stenberg (“The Hunger Games”) as Maddy and Nick Robinson (“Jurassic World”) as Olly. The film also stars Ana de la Reguera (“Sun Belt Express”) and Anika Noni Rose (“Dreamgirls”).


One (1) winner receives:

  • $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters on May 19
  • Copy of the book (movie tie-in cover)
  • Everything, Everything tank top & backpack

Open to US mailing addresses only
Prizing and samples courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


Monday, May 8, 2017

Stealing Candy by Stewart Lewis Guest Post + Giveaway

Stealing Candy
Author: Stewart Lewis
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Candy hates boarding school. As a junior, graduation is still eons away, and making films is the only way to survive the boredom. Until she is kidnapped.

Candy panics. Along Came a Spider, Ransom, Taken, Cellular… Candy knows how these movies end. The only reason anyone would abduct her is to get a payout from her rock star father. Except Candy and her father are estranged. There’s no way he’s going to pay.

But with every hour that passes, Candy’s fear slowly recedes. Being on the road is freeing, not to mention great material for a new documentary. And the more time she spends with her handsome captor Levon, the more she learns the whole scheme is not just about ransom. It’s about revenge. What began as a kidnapping is spiraling into a crazy road trip adventure as Candy and Levon find a lot of wrong ways to do the right thing.

Guest Post: 10 Songs to Listen to While Reading Stealing Candy
1) “Loudspeaker” by MUNA. Candy is an empowered character. This could be her theme song.

2) “Cavalier” by JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW. This song builds slowly, like Candy’s story. And it has to do with a “first love” which for her is Levon. 

3) “Torpedo” by JILLETTE JOHNSON. Candy is not messing around. She will fight this war.

4) “American Teen” by KHALID. Candy’s American Dream is not what she thought it would be. But there is time. Maybe it will come true. 

5) “No Secrets” by MISSY HIGGINS. For the first time in her life, Candy feels like she can trust someone. The secrets come out. 

6) “Luck Now” by BIG SCARY. I can just see the blurred trees out the window. I see this is as a song Candy would put in one of her films.

7) “Switching Off” by ELBOW. This is Levon’s favorite band. Also just a perfect song for an open road. 

8) “Passenger Seat” by DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE. This song speaks volumes, and echoes the book perfectly. Just listen. 

9) “Let Go” by FROU FROU. This song feels like the creative force behind everything I write. It never gets old. 

10) “Go Do” by JONSI. In my version of the movie, this would be the closing credit song. If I had to say something to Candy in the end, it would be, “You can do anything.”

About the Author
Stewart Lewis is a singer-songwriter and radio journalist who lives in D.C. and western Massachusetts and frequents New York City. Stewart has had two YAs published by Delacorte (You Have Seven Messages in 2011 and The Secret Ingredient in 2013). Visit
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 3, 2017

Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

Unnatural Deeds
Author: Cyn Balog
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Unnatural Deeds has all of the things I usually like in a novel: an unreliable narrator, mystery and a huge twist that left me genuinely surprised. But, for some reason, this read was just so-so for me. It was a middle of the road novel that months later I have trouble remembering. Which, I think, speaks volumes.

This novel centers around Victoria Zell. She is detached, has mental health issues, and somehow attracts the new boy at school. I know what you’re thinking, very tropey. This novel though uses the tropes to its advantage and the ending is not at all what you would expect. The ending is seriously the best part about this book.

I think the root of why this novel was so “meh” to me was because I didn’t like or connect with Vic at all. As I kept reading all I could think was that she is the absolute worst. I never felt sorry for her, I never cared about her. Luckily, this novel is fairly short so spending an entire novel with her was bearable.

Overall, this was a good book. Not a great or amazing book. It was just good. I enjoyed the quick pace, and loved the ending. But years from now I likely won’t remember this read.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee

Every Falling Star
Author: Sungju Lee
Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: September 13, 2016

I find North Korea endlessly fascinating. It’s a country run by a dictator god and propelled by an immense propaganda machine. The country is isolationist and focused on keeping the people under control. This is the setting in which Every Falling Star takes place. It is the place Sungju, our hero, is born.

What I really liked about this true story was that it was cohesive, engaging, and didn’t flinch away from the harsh realities of Sungju’s life. The novel begins with Sungju growing up a happy boy. He lives in the capital city of Pyongyang and his father is a prominent member of the party. But, when his family loses favor, they are forced to move to rural Chosun (the North Korean name for North Korea) and that is where their problems begin.

Many people don’t know that after Kim Il-Sung passed away there was a devastating famine in North Korea. It killed so many and made an already difficult life impossible. Much of this story takes place during that time. The reader watches as hunger kills more people than the government ever could. It also showcased the disillusion that the rural people had for the government and the secret languages they used to communicate these opinions. It was these parts of the novel, about the suffering around Sungju, that I really enjoyed. They were well written and so emotional.

Overall, this is a great, true, story. Not many escape from North Korea. Fewer tell their stories. This novel offers a glimpse into the reclusive nation and shows the conditions those living under the regime face.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Hear the Wolves
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 28, 2017

It’s survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott!
Sloan is a hunter.
So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.
When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.
But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .

Hear the Wolves Playlist
Dog Days Are Over - Florence + the Machine: 
Hear the Wolves is an intense survival story, and I feel like this song fits the challenges the characters face.

House of Wolves - My Chemical Romance:
This song has WOLVES in the title, so immediate win. But also, the fast tempo and urgency fits the character’s frantic race through the woods.

Ain’t It Fun - Paramore: 
Sloane was left behind by her father and sister in order to push her into independence. She is essentially “on her own in the real world.”


Some Nights - Fun:
Sometimes, it’s all about those lyrics! The words and mood of this song make me think of Hear the Wolves in a big way.

Boston - Augustana: 
This song makes me think of Sloane and her internal struggles.


Weightless - All Time Low: 
And this song makes me think of Pilot. It’s all in the lyrics!


Mama - My Chemical Romance: 
This is an ode to the complicated relationship, or lack of one, that Sloan has with her mother.


Out of the Woods - Taylor Swift:
And lastly, with the prominent threat lasting throughout Hear the Wolves, this song fits the entire novel.

About the Author
Victoria Scott is the author of eight novels including Titans, Fire & Flood, Salt & Stone, the Dante Walker trilogy, Hear the Wolves (March 2017), and Violet Grenade (May 2017). She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties.

Victoria’s latest novel, Titans, received two starred reviews, and Fire & Flood has been selected as a 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program book. Victoria’s novels have been bought and translated in fourteen foreign markets. The author currently resides in Philadelphia, and loves hearing from her readers. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer Giveaway!

Stranger Than Fanfiction
Author: Chris Colfer
Publication Date:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer comes a funny, heartbreaking, unforgettable novel about friendship and fame.
Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television show Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime – but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.
In this touching novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer takes us on a journey full of laughter, tears, and life-changing memories.

About the Author

Chris Colfer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and Golden Globe-winning actor. He was honored as a member of the TIME 100, Time magazine's annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world, and his books include Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, Stranger Than Fanfiction, and the books in The Land of Stories series: The Wishing Spell, The Enchantress Returns, A Grimm Warning, Beyond the Kingdoms, and An Author's Odyssey, and the companion books A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales, The Mother Goose Diaries, Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty, The Curvy Tree, and Trollbella Throws a Party.

Don’t miss TV-start-turned-bestselling author Chris Colfer’s newest novel about being a hit TV-star! Catch up on page and screen! One (1) winner receives:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Any Boy but You 
Series: (North Pole, Minnesota #1) 
Author: Julie Hammerle
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.
The girl Oliver's fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She's his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.
When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.

Guest Post
What inspired you to write Any Boy But You? Is it based on anyone special?

The character I relate to most in Any Boy but You is Oliver, for sure. 

It didn’t start out that way. I hadn’t gone into writing the book planning to deal with my own social anxieties through him, but that’s how it worked out. The way he sees his sister, Regina, is how I see people who have it more socially together than I do. She’s an extrovert, who thrives on engagement with others. He’s an introvert, who finds the whole “making and keeping friends” thing exhausting and terrifying.

He wants friends. He wants to find his “person,” to use a Grey’s Anatomy word, but he’s scared of being rebuffed. He’s scared of putting his heart out there and having it tossed back in his face. And that fear has won out his entire life. He’s spent seventeen years hiding behind his computer and his “above it all” fa├žade, while other people paired up around him.

When he talks about his fear of rejection or his worry that no one would show up for him when he really needed a friend, that’s all me. That stuff was waaay too easy to write.

Obviously, Oliver and Elena’s budding romance is the center of this story, but my favorite interpersonal moments happen between Oliver and Harper, Elena’s BFF. Harper and Oliver strike up an unlikely friendship, and she’s exactly the person he needs to help him come out of his shell. Oliver wants a romantic relationship and he does grow to care about Elena, but what he really needs (and finds in Harper) is a good buddy.

About the Author
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write "for real," she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King by Trisha Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Trisha Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publicaton Date: February 28, 2017

This book made me appreciate reading again. 2016 was one big book slump for me. I couldn’t find anything I liked and much of what I was reading was far too serious. I picked up Daughter of the Pirate King on a whim and for the first time in a long time I remembered what a joy reading can be! This book is fun. It is pirates hunting for treasure, being scallywags, and living life on the high seas. It was exactly what I didn’t know I wanted.

This novel follows pirate captain Alosa. She is the daughter of the pirate king (hence the title). The story begins when Alosa is captured by rival pirates. Only, the jokes on them because Alosa was planning to be captured all along. She is searching their ship for a legendary treasure map. One said to lead to an epic trove. But all is not smooth sailing.

Alosa is a great heroine. And I liked seeing her be good at what she does, pirating. The days of girls needing saving are long over! Alosa is the captain of an almost entirely female ship and they’re the best of the best. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the crew in the sequel.

The best part about this story was the witty banter between Alosa and Riden. They reminded me of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice. Only with more kissing. And more pirates. The relationship between Alosa and Riden is a slow burn that you can’t help rooting for.

The only thing I didn’t like about this novel was that I have to wait for the sequel! I’m excited to read more about Alosa, Riden, and the entire pirate crew. When I read this book I desperately needed something fun, light, and interesting. This book was all three! Put this on your to-read list now.