Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Author's Favorite Writer of the Year

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, I asked an author to share who her favorite writer of 2011 is.

Jody Gehrman, author of Babe In Boyland:

My big discovery of 2011 is Stacey Jay, a writer who spins tales infused with humor and palpable atmosphere; you won’t be able to put her books down. She creates totally sexy love interests, too—fantasy-worthy-yet-somehow-believable men who pretty much leap off the page. I instantly adored her. I started with the first book in her Megan Berry, Zombie Settler series, You Are So Undead to Me. Technically this isn’t a 2011 release, but I read it this year, so I’m throwing it in. Loved this light, humorous take on the zombie genre—totally fresh and fun. Megan Berry has a voice that’s completely believable and I bonded with her from page one. Next I read Dead on the Delta (out this year, with a sequel out in 2012, Blood on the Bayou). This incredibly strange and original novel mixes killer fairies and a strong yet endearingly human heroine. Add not one but two steamy love interests and a swampy Louisiana setting, you get a super-charged recipe for reading-all-night. Her latest YA, Juliet Immortal, proves once again her knack for dreaming up delicious male characters. The guy in that, Ben, totally stole my heart; he made poor old Romeo look like a pathetic loser! So yeah, check out Stacey Jay. She’s fun, eclectic, and definitely a writer to watch.

Jody Gehrman is participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win her book!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Authors Talk About the Class of 2k11

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, I asked two authors to share what their favorite characters/books written in 2011 are. Not being able to simply pick one, they decided that all the books from the Class of 2k11 were worthy of making the cut!


Amy Fellner Dominy, author of OyMG

My Favorite Read of 2011: This is an incredible story. It’s about a girl who walks across the country, falls in love with a guy from Hell, slowly unravels into multiple personalities, takes a trip to Faerie land, stuffs her bra, gets mixed up in a zombie epidemic, makes an incredible cake to save her family, sneaks into the country illegally, ends up at an artist’s colony, saves an accused murderer, is told to get tattooed for sex, takes a pill to forget everything…oh, and there’s this guy who becomes stupid fast, and takes a bus trip to fulfill a dying friend’s wish.

(I told you it was incredible!) What I just described was the stories of The Class of 2k11. If you’ve never heard of 2k11, it’s a group of middle grade and young adult authors who all debuted with their first novels sometime during the past year. What you just read was a small taste from most of the books.

I have to come clean and admit that I’m a part of 2k11—so yeah, I’m slightly biased. But the many reviewers and bloggers out there are not and you’ll find a ton of fan favorites. I’ve listed the titles below, but you can go to the website to read more. And while you do, be sure and check out next year’s class. The Class of 2k12 is looking pretty dang amazing.
Happy Holidays and Merry Reading!

The Class of 2k11 Books Mentioned Above:
The Year We Were Famous, Carole Estby Dagg
The Mephisto Covenant, Trinity Faegen
Popular, Alisso Grosso
The Faerie Ring, Kiki Hamilton
The Lipstick Laws, Amy Holder
Bad Taste in Boys, Carrie Harris
The Sweetest Thing, Christina Mandelski
Illegal, Bettina Restrepo
Sparrow Road, Sheila O’Connor
With A Name Like Love, Tess Hilmo
XVI, Julia Karr
Memento Nora, Angie Smibert
Stupid Fast, Geoff Herbach
The Pull of Gravity, Gae Polisner

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Amy Holder, author of The Lipstick Laws:

This year has been an amazing year for fabulous books, both debuts and new books from already loved authors. As a 2011 debut author myself, it's   been an extra special, exciting year for me and my debut, THE LIPSTICK   LAWS. One of the many perks of being involved in the book world is  getting to know other authors and their stories. I had the pleasure of reading many 2011 debuts before they hit the  shelves and entered the hearts, minds and imaginations of so many readers. Because of this, I  have to say that some of my favorite books and characters of 2011 came from fellow 2011 debut authors in both the  Class of 2k11 and the Elevensies. I have way too many favorites to list, but there have been characters for every type of reader to identify with and adore. From Kate Grable, the quirky zombie fighting heroine in BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris... to the dramatic clique and brilliant twist in Alissa Grosso's POPULAR... to Bettina Restrepo's beautifully written plight of   an illegal immigrant named Nora in ILLEGAL... to Kiki Hamilton's enchanting portrayal of a pickpocket orphan named Tiki in THE FAERIE   RING.... These are just some of the many characters from 2011 that have made me laugh, gasp, sympathize, reflect, and/or dream. I have been so  inspired by my fellow authors and the amazing stories and characters  that they've brought to life. I feel very grateful to know that my book has been in such wonderful company this year. And I'm looking forward to the new voices and characters of 2012 as well.

Both of these authors (Amy Dominy and Amy Holder) are participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win their books!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Author's Favorite Character of the Year: Part 2

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, I asked an author to share what her favorite character from books written in 2011 are.


Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant:

My favorite character in a book written this year has to be Eldric from CHIME. In a world of brooding bad boys, he’s a refreshing change. (Which isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes love brooding heroes – it’s just nice to find a character who is nice and yet still manages to be compelling.) Eldric is the new boy in town, and he lodges with the family of CHIME’s protagonist, Briony. Briony wants nothing to do with him – she’s got too much on her mind, what with feeling responsible for all her family’s problems, including her twin sister’s seemingly damaged mind. Briony also keeps secret the fact that she’s a witch. She can’t allow herself to trust Eldric and certainly doesn’t need the distraction of his charm and good looks. Eldric makes no secret of the fact that he thinks Briony is wonderful. So does he tempt and tease her? Turn warm and cold until she’s utterly confused? Relentlessly pursue her until she wearies and gives in? No. He offers friendship. He exhibits patience. He takes the time to learn about Briony’s hopes and fears, offers support, and gives her space when she needs it. Eldric has all these wonderful qualities and still manages to be incredibly sexy and mysterious. Who are your favorite YA romantic heroes who just happen to be nice? :)

Sonia Gensler is participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win her book!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Stasia Ward Kehoe Guest Post

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, author Stasia Ward Kehoe wrote a guest post about a fun book tour she participated in this year called Stages on Pages.

Guest Post written by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Along with the excitement of lauching my debut novel, AUDITION (Viking/Penguin 10-13-11) this October, there has been incredible end-of-year madness for me involving a book tour I put together called STAGES ON PAGES ( Since I grew up as a dancer and actress, I've always loved books about the performing arts. For the tour, I connected with authors who not only write YA about the arts but who ARE ACTUAL AWESOME PERFORMERS! And I came to learn that there are many ex-dancer/actor/musicians in the writing world. It's a tremendous tribe. We started the Stages on Pages tour in Los Angeles, meandered up to Seattle, made our way through New York, and finished in New Hampshire, sharing stories about our teen years as performers, and how we now write about rock music and violins, show choirs and ballet slippers. We had lots of laughs and some amazing creative moments. Here are just three:

--The amazingly talented violinist and VIRTUOSITY author Jessica Martinez jamming with guitar-playing ADIOS, NIRVANA author Conrad Wesselhoeft at A CHILDREN'S PLACE BOOKSTORE in Portland, OR. Two beautiful novels about very different string instruments and music styles, but both with incredible heart and soul. Great reads!

--Students from El Segundo Middle School acting out scenes from AUDITION (by me), POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil (cuz, um, there's a choir scene), and MY LIFE, THE THEATER & OTHER TRAGEDIES (techies against actors, oh yeah!) by Allen Zadoff. Best moment: When Allen told the kids in the audience that Gretchen would sing an opera song in ANY language they could name. Talk about glare-of-horror from Gretchen! Luckily, they picked French :)

--Speaking to an audience of television performers, stage actors, musicians and dancers at Books of Wonder in New York City (whose owner, btw, is the most amazingly informed theater person I have ever met--he's in the middle of the picture surrounded by us writer-people). Plus, we played a new game I invented called Author Roulette. It involves authors and improv and book quotes--fun beyond measure and, well, quite potentially very embarassing.

So, even if you are mired in madness right now, I suggest that, along with resolutions, you make at least one themed list of YA novels about things that fascinate you. The coolest part of all is that once you tell the world you're starting your list, the suggestions come pouring in. Of course, I recommend to you the terrific books by Stages on Pages authors Elise Allen, Sheela Chari, Kim Culbertson, Danielle Joseph, Tara Kelly, Jessica Martinez, Gretchen McNeil, Rosanne Parry, Louise Spiegler, Sara Bennett Wealer, Conrad Wesselhoeft, and Allen Zadoff. But, thanks to some of the folks I ment on tour, I've also got THE FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Anthony John and Jennifer Donnelly's REVOLUTION sitting on my bedside table. Will I finish them before this mad year ends? We'll have to see. But, regardless, I'm in love with my list!

Stasia is participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win a swag pack from her! It includes a signed poster, bookmarks, and ballerina sticky notes.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jennifer Castle Guest Post

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, author Jennifer Castle wrote a guest post about her favorite book of 2011.

My Favorite Book of 2011
Jennifer Castle, author of The Beginning of After

Choosing a favorite book of the year is usually tough for me, because I read a lot of different kinds of books and they all serve different purposes. How do I compare a juicy chick lit novel to a fascinating collection of non-fiction essays, when I loved them both? Ack! But not in 2011. There's one book that really floored me, and actually made me feel like I'd developed a secret love affair, because I kept looking for ways to sneak away and be alone with it. Once, I told my family I had an important errand to run, then drove to a supermarket parking lot and sat in the car, reading. What was the book? That would be Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

I'm not afraid to admit, I'm kind of a snob when it comes to the actual writing in a novel. Even if a story has hooked me, it won't fully have my heart unless the telling of it is just gorgeous. I love me some poetry in my prose, where the words sparkle and sing and I re-read a sentence just to enjoy it again. The way Laini delivers that, in a totally accessible way, is amazing to me. Then there's the character thing. I need my characters to stay with me even when I'm not reading, to give me that giddy feeling of having just met the coolest new friend or -- even better -- an intriguing crush. (When readers tell me that Laurel and David from The Beginning of After seemed so real, they could really see and hear them, that they couldn't stop thinking about them, I take that as the highest possible compliment.) The characters in Daughter of Smoke and Bone are like that for me; they're living-and-breathing real...freaky animal parts and all.

Laini Taylor's gift is to be able to weave these things together with incredible world-building and a killer story. If you write, then you know a great book will inspire your work -- just like all great art inspires other great art -- and that's what Daughter of Smoke and Bone does for me. Laini, thanks for making 2011 a year where I went somewhere truly astonishing! Oh my. Just talking about it makes me want to go read it again. Will you excuse me? I...uh...have something very important to pick up at the store...

Jennifer is participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win her book, The Beginning of After.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Authors' Favorite Characters of the Year: Part 1

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, I asked two authors to share what their favorite characters from books written in 2011 are.


Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast:

Hi my name is Geoff. I wrote the book Stupid Fast. It’s about a jumpy boy named Felton (people call him Squirrel Nut, poor guy, at least until he grows a lot and gets kind of scary big). My pal Gae Polisner wrote another piece of contemporary realism in the past year called The Pull of Gravity. It stars a kid named Nick who’s dad has left and who suffers from bad fevers (he hallucinates early in the book and climbs a water tower in his underpants). Since there aren’t that many books for young dudes, and I really want young dudes to read, I’m a huge fan of Nick and The Pull of Gravity. One of the things I really love about this book is that Nick is dealing with an enormous amount of guilt, not only for his relationship with his dad, but for a friend who suffered a debilitating disease and died (Nick sort of backed away from the kid, Scooter, in the year or so before his death). But Nick doesn’t talk about his guilt, he shows it through his actions, through his desire to make things right. He’s not entirely self-aware – he’s not sure what he believes – but he knows he has to do something. I think The Pull of Gravity is heartbreaking, funny, sweet, and very real. You’ll love Nick (and his pal Jaycee, the girl who gives him the courage to go on his quest).

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Beth Kephart, author of You Are My Only:

I will confess to feeling awfully close to Emmy, the young mother who loses her baby in You Are My Only.  I’ll never know how my own imagination found Emmy, or why I started to hear her story in the unusual way she wanted to tell it.  But once I heard those first few words—The baby is missing.  The baby is not where I left her—I couldn’t walk away.  I know a whole lot about motherly love.  I know something of despair.  But Emmy was taking me places I’d never gone, and I felt haunted as I worked and wrote.  I felt as if I had no choice but to follow.  It never felt like I was writing Emmy.  It only felt like I was listening and trying, as I listened, to protect this young woman, with her unorthodox intelligence and her enormous broken heart. And so there she is, in You Are My Only—speaking in her own rhythms, finding her own way, reminding me of what can happen when we sit back and surrender to our dreams and empathetic imaginations.

Both of these authors (Geoff Herbach and Beth Kephart) are participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win their books!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holly Schindler Guest Post

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, author Holly Schindler wrote a guest post about her favorite character from Playing Hurt.

Clint - My Favorite Character from Playing Hurt

As an author, I know I’m fully fleshing out my characters when I start to like them.  When they become people, instead of sentences on a page.  When I see them every bit as clearly as I can see in my mind the living, breathing people I’ve met out and about in my hometown of Springfield, MO.  The fleshing out of characters isn’t easy work, though.  Just as it often takes time in real life to really get to know someone, it often takes multiple drafts until I finally feel as though I’ve “met” some of the characters in my books.

In PLAYING HURT, the YA I released this past March, I was the most pleasantly surprised to meet Clint—a character I didn’t get to interact with until the very last rewrite. Those of you who are familiar with the book are already frowning in confusion.  “How could you not have met Clint until the last rewrite?” you’re asking.  “He’s the love interest in your romance!  Without Clint, you don’t even HAVE a love story!”

True enough.  The thing is, though, when I first started to write PLAYING HURT, my intention was to illustrate the difference between loving someone and being IN LOVE with someone.  Chelsea was a girl involved with her hometown high school sweetheart (Gabe), who went on a vacation with her family after graduation, and found herself falling for a resort guide (Clint) in a way that she never fell for her boyfriend at home.  

Never did seem like the book had enough going on, though—I realized, just before the last rewrite, that it needed a subplot.  That’s when I invented Chelsea’s sports history, when I made her an athlete…I got about a fourth of the way through that rewrite when I felt I needed to invent some backstory for Clint, as well…So I made him an athlete, too…But even that didn’t quite seem like enough.

The book (which I first drafted in around ‘04 or ’05) had always been told entirely from Chelsea’s POV.  When I invented Clint’s backstory, though, I suddenly felt as though I needed to write from his POV, too. When I started writing chapters from his eyes, I felt I was finally, finally, FINALLY getting a chance to meet Clint—REALLY meet Clint, in a way I never had, even though I’d lived with the story for about five years at that point.  I started to love him, as a character…and I think that my falling in love with him allowed my readers to fall, too…When the book released, I was absolutely thrilled to read blog reviews that claimed Clint was a completely “swoon-worthy” protagonist!

It really is true, though—as an author, your own feelings for your characters bleed through into your story.  Once you truly understand—even love—your characters, your readers have a better chance of loving them, too!

Holly Schindler is participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win a swag pack from her! It includes a signed bookplate, signed bookmark, and button.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Authors' Favorite Books of the Year: Part 1

In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, I asked two authors
to share what their favorite books written in 2011 are. 


Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool:

One of my favorite young adult books that I’ve read this year has to be CODENAME: DANCER by Amanda Brice. First off, it’s set in the world of ballet dancers, which, to someone who took dance classes all through her tween years, is way fun. There’s just something so glamorous about ballet dancers to me. I mean, what’s better than sparkly tutu’s, right? But then Brice adds in the twists of a reality TV dance show, a super hot-guy dancer partner, and a thrilling mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. I read this whole book in one sitting and am eagerly awaiting the sequel, POINTE OF NO RETURN! P.S. I’m not the only one who enjoyed this book, either. Romantic Times magazine named it an Indie Hot Pick in the December 2011 issue, and it is nominated for a Cybil award for young adult literature!

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Bethany Wiggins, author of Shifting:

For Ashley's amazing "End of the Year Madness," (THANKS FOR INCLUDING ME ASHLEY!) I was invited to gush about a 2011 book I loved. So, I tried to pick just one book from the many I read this year. But I can't. CAN'T I tell you!!! Why? There are two books that are so amazing, so gripping, so envy-inducing, I still think about them, months after I read them. They are the kind of books a writer like me reads and thinks, "Holy crap. I WISH I WROTE THAT!" What are these two little book beauties? The first is Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT. Absolute perfection. That woman is a gifted story-teller. The second is Franny Billingsly's CHIME. Again, absolute perfection. That woman is a word genius. GENIUS! So if you're looking for writing geniuses, or genius writers, go read their books.

Both of these authors (Gemma Halliday and Bethany Wiggins) are participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win their books!

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop

Winner is...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! To celebrate the holidays, I'm participating in the Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Oasis for YA. If you're an old follower of my site, thank you so much! For those of you first timers, please check out my other posts; I have written tons of young adult book reviews, author interviews, and have lots of giveaways! Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog; be sure to visit the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop, too.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Paperback publication on December 27, 2011

Deep in the stacks of  Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls  up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research.  Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants  nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes,  she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a  fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and  vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a  coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can  break its spell.

Giveaway Details:

-The only requirement? Be a blog follower via GFC (Google Friend Connect).
-Open to U.S. residents only.
-Giveaway runs from Dec. 21st to Dec. 27th.
-Fill out the form linked below to enter. Comments are very appreciated and count as an extra entry. Also, you'll gain some extra entries by sharing about my giveaway.
-One random winner will be announced on this post & emailed the next day.

Click here to fill out the entry form!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

End of the Year Madness Giveaway


This year has been a fantastic year of books, authors, and amazing debuts! To celebrate, I'm having the biggest giveaway that I've ever held before. Why celebrate? IT'S CHRISTMASTIME! I've been in the giving mood, want to share fabulous 2011 books, and also want to thank all of my lovely blog followers who continue to stick around. I've compiled 20 young adult books that were published this year to be given away by their authors to you!

Here's what's up for grabs...
(click a title below the picture to see its Goodreads page)

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman 
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart 
Between by Jessica Warman
Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer 
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard 
Shifting by Bethany Wiggins 
OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy
The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma 
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey 
Love Story by Jennifer Echols

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
Misfit by Jon Skovron
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe swag prize: signed poster, signed bookmark, and ballerina sticky notes
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler swag prize: signed bookplate, signed bookmark, and button
Aaaaaand a VERY awesome, huge swag prize of an assortment of author/book goodies that I've been collecting: 6 bookmarks (some signed), temporary tattoos, signed postcard, stickers, pin-back button, and chapter samplers from young adult books     

There will be seventeen (17) winners! This is my biggest giveaway in Books Obsession history!

First winner gets to choose four books.
Second winner gets to choose three books.
Third winner gets to choose two books.
Fourteen winners get to choose one book or swag prize.

Giveaway Details:
-The only requirement? Be a blog follower via GFC (Google Friend Connect).
-Open to U.S. residents only.

-Giveaway runs from December 20th to January 3rd.
-Fill out the form linked below to enter. Comments are very appreciated and count as an extra entry. Also, you'll gain some extra entries by sharing about my giveaway.
-17 random winners will be chosen & emailed. Everyone will have 1 week to reply before new winners are chosen.

Click here to fill out the form!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Flyaway

This week's WoW book is Flyaway by Helen Landalf! It will be released on December 19, 2011.

Fifteen-year-old Stevie Calhoun is used to taking care of herself. But one night, her mom, who works as an exotic dancer in a downtown Seattle nightclub, never comes home. That’s the night Stevie’s life turns upside down. It’s the night that kicks off an extraordinary summer: the summer Stevie has to stay with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy; the summer she learns to care for injured and abandoned birds; the summer she gets to know Alan, the meanest guy in high school. But most of all, it’s the summer she finds out the truth about Mom. Flyaway is the story of a teen girl’s struggle to hold on to what she’s always believed, even as her world spins out of control.

I think that this one sounds pretty interesting. I like a good, realistic fiction book that's not like all the others. PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 19, 2011.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop

The winner is entry #118, Christine A., who chose Favorite by Karen McQuestion.

I can't believe it's already December! This year is just flying by and the holidays are right around the corner. To celebrate, I'm participating in the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Kid Lit Frenzy. If you're an old follower of my site, thank you so much! For those of you first timers, please check out my other posts; I have written tons of young adult book reviews, author interviews, and if you come back later in the month there will be a HUGE giveaway! Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog, be sure to visit the other blogs participating in this giveaway hop, too.

Here's what's up for grabs...
(click a title below to see its Goodreads page)

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby (ARC)
I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler (Paperback)
Favorite by Karen McQuestion (ARC)
OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (Signed Hardcover)
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin (ARC)
The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (Signed ARC)
Beastly by Alex Flinn (Paperback)
The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman (ARC)

Note: These have all been read and reviewed by me & are gently used.

One winner will win one of these books! With eight very different YA titles to choose from, I'm sure there's a little bit of something here for everyone.

Giveaway Details:
-The only requirement? Be a blog follower via GFC (Google Friend Connect).
-Open to U.S. residents only. (Christmas shopping for friends and family is wearing a hole in my wallet. Sorry international friends!)
-Giveaway runs from Dec. 2nd to Dec. 6th.
-Fill out the form below to enter. Comments are very appreciated but won't count as entries.

-Winner will be announced on this post & emailed the next day.

If you can't see the form above...
Click here to fill out the form to enter!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Debutante of the Month: Miranda Kenneally

A person's first appearance or performance in a particular role.

Welcome to author Miranda Kenneally's debutante ball...


Miranda Kenneally enters the ballroom wearing a whimsical hello kitty dress. Escorting her is actor Sam Worthington.
And now (mostly) ladies and (a few) gentlemen, I introduce to you...Miranda Kenneally! *cue applause* This new author in the literature realm is debuting this month with her book Catching Jordan.

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

As guests begin entering for the party, the DJ gets to work!

The setting of your party: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Australia. I’ve always wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Outback, and after reading all of Melina Marchetta’s books, I’m dying to visit Australia.

The guest list: Who are the top three authors (dead or alive) that you would like to meet?
JK Rowling, Sarah Dessen, and Orson Scott Card.

The menu: What do you consider your "brain food", the snacks that kept you going while you wrote your novel?
Mexican food! Nearly every weekend, I go out for chips and queso and margaritas and think about my plots and characters.

The deb's high heels: If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why?
Author/editor David Levithan. I would love to see and read the manuscripts that come across his desk every day.

The table centerpiece: What's the #1 thing that you can't go anywhere without?
Caffeine in my bloodstream! I’m sort of addicted. Can caffeine be a centerpiece? Hmm. The other thing I can’t go anywhere without is a wifi signal, and I don’t think that can be a centerpiece either. :)

Now it's time for the debutante and her date to share their first dance! What song has stuck with you through life?
“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney. It really is the perfect, heartfelt song.

We have a special guest tonight at the ball...Jordan from Catching Jordan! Jordan, what was your favorite scene from the novel you starred in?
Probably the scene in home ec class, where my best friend Henry and I are told we’re “married” and have to take care of an electronic baby for an entire week. Henry is the mom and I’m the dad. Thanks for having me at the ball, but dances aren’t really my thing. I’m gonna go to Jiffy Burger for a milkshake now. Bye!

The heartfelt speech: How has the publishing process changed you? What have you learned from your experiences?
I’ve always gone after my dreams and done what I’ve wanted to do, but publishing is probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done. When I first started seriously writing, I think a lot of people around me were skeptical. I don’t think everyone necessarily believed I could get published. I’m so glad I stuck with it. I think that’s the biggest takeaway about publishing – you just never know what’s possible until you put yourself out there.

The future: Now that you are officially introduced to society, what's next? Do you plan to write another book?
Yes! I’m working on two companions to Catching Jordan: Playing Parker (fall 2012) and Bad, Bad Thing (spring 2013). Parker is about a girl who falls for the coach of the school baseball team, and Bad, Bad Thing is about a girl who can’t get over the roll she played in helping her best friend to get an abortion. Also, I’m the editor of the Dear Teen Me anthology, to be published in fall 2012.

To  finish up this debutante ball, Miranda is letting me host a fun contest! One of you lucky blog readers will get the chance to name a character in her next book Bad, Bad Thing.

Contest Details:
Ends on December 31. Open internationally.
Two extra entries to those of you that spread the word about this interview & contest (via twitter, facebook, blog post, sidebar, etc).
One winner will be randomly picked and emailed.

Fill out the form linked below to enter; comments are very appreciated but don't count as entries.

Click here to fill out the entry form!

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