All about Gretchen McNeil and TEN

BY MINDI SCOTT

Today, we have another author here with a new out book to tell you about. Gretchen McNeil’s horror novel, Ten, is a getting some great attention:

“TEN is a real page turner! Gretchen McNeil knows how to plot a thriller:
Her setup is flawless and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat.”
Christopher Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the THIRST
series and REMEMBER ME

“In the esteemed tradition of teen horror fiction, Ten hits all the high notes: a
stormy night, illicit liaisons, cut phone lines, suspicious disappearances, double-crosses, secret histories, and plenty of twists.” – Booklist

I have to say, even as someone who is a big baby over anything in the horror genre, I’m intrigued! (But am I brave enough to read it???)

Here are the questions that Gretchen answered for me (thank you, Gretchen!):

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?  
Gretchen McNeil: At 8, I wanted to be Ann Miller (the dancer.)  At 18, I wanted to be Beverly Sills (the opera singer.)  At 28, I just wanted to be ME.  🙂

 Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?
GM: Sadly, I was most of them all rolled into one.  I was a punk/mod who got straight A’s and made the Varsity Girls’ soccer team freshman year, played for 2 years before I torn my knee apart and had to have it reconstructed.  The only thing I wasn’t was a princess.

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why? 
GM: Gunner, aka “the Gun Show”, is my favorite character.  I managed to impart a sort of straight shooter who’s not particularly bright without ever telling the reader that he’s not particularly bright.  Also, his insights are the clearest.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again? 
GM: Clue, Ghostbusters, A Room With a View and The Hunt For Red October.  How’s that for an eclectic mix?

 And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉
GM: Elvis.  A little less conversation, a little more action.

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About the book:

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an
exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for
wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J.
Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the
discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No
electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

About the author: 

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS
debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – will be released September 18, 2012, and her third novel 3:59, sci fi doppelganger horror is scheduled for Fall 2013. Gretchen’s new YA contemporary series Don’t Get Mad (Revenge meets The Breakfast Club) begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Bazler + Bray.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as “Monday.”

All About Elise Allen and POPULAZZI

BY MINDI SCOTT

Elise Allen’s Populazzi came out last week, so she stopped by to answer a few Very Important Questions for me. Hooray!

(FYI: I’m noticing that the more of these interviews I get back, the more I see Beatles coming up as the response for the last question. Very interesting!)

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Elise Allen: At age 8 I wanted to be a veterinarian… despite the fact that I can’t bear the site of blood and would doubtless pass out if I had to give an animal a shot. Clearly, this career trajectory wouldn’t last.

At age 18 I wanted to be a star of stage and screen… despite the fact that I freeze on camera, and can’t get out of my own head enough to dive into a character on stage. Small problems. The world would undoubtedly love me anyway.

By age 28, I’d found the career I love. I was getting paid to write television, worked in both prime time sitcoms and kids’ shows, and knew there was nothing in the world I’d rather do for a living than write.

Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?
EA: Theatre Geek for sure! My life ebbed and flowed to the rhythms of whatever plays we were doing, or between plays, whatever we were doing in theatre class. (You can tell I’m still a geek about it because I can’t help spelling the word with the “re” at the end.)

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?
EA: Robert Schwarner! I love him, and I love him most of all because he was completely unexpected. I’m a plotter, and I had a full outline for Populazzi before I started writing, in which Robert Schwarner did not appear. He appeared briefly in the first draft, a Happy Hopeless in a Beastslayer cloak (Happy Hopeless = lowest rung of the popularity tower, so out of sync with what’s cool that they don’t even realize there is a popularity tower, nor are they aware of their lowly spot on it). Then draft after draft he grew to this bizarrely wise oracle who’s actually far more together than anyone else around him.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?
EA: PeeWee’s Big Adventure, The Muppet Movie (the original), Casablanca, Johnny Dangerously. Not sure Casablanca has ever been listed in that particular company, but there ya go.

And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉
EA: BEATLES!!! I love me some Elvis, but he didn’t really evolve the way the Beatles did. You more or less get what you get with Elvis, while with the Beatles you can enjoy everything from the joyful simplicity of All My Lovin’ to the lyrical beauty of In My Life to the more complex lyrics and music of Revolution or the stuff on Sgt. Pepper.

My own coolest Beatles (sorta Beatles) moment? I went to see Billy Joel’s Last Play at Shea concert… and he brought out Paul McCartney to play Let It Be. Oh. My. God. Even Billy Joel was geeking out.

Now I think I have to go look up tickets for the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas. I’ve been dying to see it and now I’m newly motivated!

Thanks for having me on the blog, Mindi!

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About the book:

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be? Would you grab it? Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi.

It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.

About the author: 

After starting her career in television, ELISE ALLEN has emerged as a vibrant new voice in teen fiction. She is the co-author of Hilary Duff’s New York Times Bestseller Elixir, as well as its sequels, Devoted and True. She received an Emmy nomination for her work on the PBS show Dinosaur Train, and fulfilled a lifelong dream when she wrote for the Muppets. She lives in Los Angeles, where she indulges her inexplicable desire to run marathons. Visit her at http://www.eliseallen.com, or on Twitter @EliseLAllen.

All about Jennifer Hubbard and TRY NOT TO BREATHE

BY MINDI SCOTT

Jennifer Hubbard and I were in the Tenners debut YA novelist group in 2010, and we both had novels published that year about boys who lived by the river! Now, Jennifer has a second novel out, called Try Not to Breathe.  She’s stopped by today to answer just a few questions for me.

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Jennifer Hubbard: At eight, maybe a teacher, though I was also considering “writer.” At eighteen, a scientist and a writer. At twenty-eight, the same. I suppose I’m unusual in that I became exactly what I set out to be at age eighteen.

Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?

JH: Apparently the Breakfast Club made a much bigger impact on the rest of the world than it did on me, but I guess the one who is closest to my teenage self would be the character Anthony Michael Hall played.

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?

JH: There’s a scene in Try Not to Breathe where Ryan, the main character, confronts someone he has been afraid to confront for months. He has built this meeting up in his mind, and yet I knew the character he’s confronting would have a very different take on what had happened between them. I worked hard to make that scene significant, yet realistic.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

JH: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Crimes and Misdemeanors. Take the Money and Run. This is Spinal Tap. Dr. Strangelove.

And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉

JH: I listen to more Beatles music. The breadth of their material, and the originality of their later songs, is impressive.

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Bio: Jennifer R. Hubbard (www.jenniferhubbard.com) is the author of the young-adult novels Try Not to Breathe, about a boy’s recovery from a suicide attempt, and The Secret Year, about a secret relationship and its aftermath.

All About Jennifer Echolls and SUCH A RUSH

BY MINDI SCOTT

I’ve read most of the novels that Jennifer Echolls has had published. I admire how wonderfully her dialogue and characters come across, and am pleased today that she has answered a few questions about her newest release, Such a Rush!

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?
Jennifer Echolls: At eight, I wanted to be a writer like my (unpublished) grandmother. At eighteen I was a music major. But I quickly switched my major to English because I wanted to be a novelist. By twenty-eight I was a graduate student in English and a college writing teacher, I was working on my seventh (unpublished) novel, and I’d had two literary agents.
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2. Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?
JE: Brain, all day long. I don’t feel very smart–I’m downright stupid about some things, like how to get a novel published–but I’m analytical to a fault.

3. Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?
JE: The love scenes between Leah and Grayson seem to be going over pretty well.

4. Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?
JE: All romantic comedies–I just re-watched America’s Sweethearts twice.
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5. And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉
JE: Elvis, because he was a remarkable talent in multiple genres, and he came from right next door in Mississippi.
 
Mindi, thanks for having me on your blog!
_____________________________________________________

About the book: High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to

fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business–until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers–and the consequences could be deadly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols is the award-winning author of multiple romantic dramas and romantic comedies for teens. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

All about Denise Jaden and NEVER ENOUGH

BY MINDI SCOTT

I’m very excited today because Denise Jaden’s second novel, Never Enough, came out this week! I first met Denise Jaden in the summer of 2009, shortly after we’d both gotten book deals for our debut novels with Simon & Schuster.  Denise it totally my “publishing sister.” 🙂

To celebrate the release of Never Enough, Denise is  having a really great book giveaway. Four boxes of books! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the very bottom of this interview. For additional entries, and to learn more about the prizes, click here on Denise’s blog!

And, of course, it wouldn’t be an interview-ish post without Denise’s answers to the Very Important Interview-ish Questions. So here we go!

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Denise Jaden: At age eight, I’d just started Polynesian dancing, so I probably wanted to be a professional dancer (which I am!). At eighteen, I went off to theatre school, hoping to become an actress. At twenty-eight, I just wanted to do anything that would allow me to travel and see the whole world.

Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self? 
DJ: I was the Drama Queen, very involved in drama classes and plays at school, but also fairly melodramatic about anything that came my way.

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?

DJ: I LOVE the last scene in my book, and to be honest, it is probably the newest scene I have written and was added in my very last revision. Because of the place I was at in my life personally when I wrote it, I think much of the emotion in there is very authentic. I can’t tell you any more than that without spoilers!

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

DJ: The Matrix, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally

And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉

DJ: This is a tough one for me! I probably like the music of the Beatles more, especially their earliest stuff, but Elvis had the moves!!!

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About Never Enough
Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special…even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems. Claire’s quest for perfection is all-consuming, and comes at a dangerous price. And Loann is frightened she could lose the sister she’s always idolized.

As Claire increasingly withdraws from friends and family, Loann struggles to understand her and make amends. Can she heal their relationship—and her sister—before it’s too late?

About the author:
Denise Jaden spent her high school lunch hours trying to tame her frizzy/curly hair in the bathroom, or playing freeze tag in the drama room. She attended the theatre program at college, and then enjoyed a variety of occupations, including stage production, mushroom farming, and Polynesian dancing. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during National Novel Writing Month. This is her second novel. She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son. Find out more online at
http://www.denisejaden.com or on Twitter: @denisejaden

All About Jessica Brody and 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER

BY MINDI SCOTT

Jessica Brody, author of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, stopped by to share her book trailer and answer some Very Important Questions about herself and her new book! She is also giving away an “heiress” prize pack, so check out this link for more deets on that.

First, ze questions:

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Jessica Brody: When I was eight years old, I definitely wanted to be a writer. But then somewhere along the way, I managed to convince myself that being a writer wasn’t a “real job” so by the time I turned 18, I had changed career goals and was determined to become an international business woman. Which is why I majored in Economics and French in college. I graduated and got a job as a strategic analyst for MGM Studios and thought my life was right on track. Then I realized that I actually really hated being a strategic analyst and I rediscovered my love of writing. So by 28, I had quit my job and had sold my first novel and was back to wanting to be a writer. Which just goes to show, we should decide our career path at age 8. But then again, we may have way too many princesses and astronauts.

Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self? 

JB: In high school, I was definitely the brain. I was always studying. A total overachiever! I barely had a social life. I made up for it after college though.

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?

JB: There’s a scene in the book where Lexi has to take on her first job of the 52 jobs she’s forced to do. She has to work for a maid service that cleans houses. And her reaction to this job is pretty comical. This is a scene that I felt like I didn’t really write. Lexi wrote for me. I just transcribed. She took hold of the reigns and said, “move over, writer person, this is how it’s done.” To this day, I really love that scene. It’s Lexi in all of her glory.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

JB: Sliding Doors, Love Actually, and Arthur (the original!)

And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉

JB: Beatles!!! I never really got into Elvis. Definitely don’t see the appeal. But the Beatles, now we’re talking!

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About the book and the author:

52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan Publishing Group

A spoiled teen heiress, famous for her party-girl antics and tabloid headlines, is forced by her ever-absent mogul father to take on a different low-wage job every week for a year, if she wants any hope of receiving her trust fund.

“The #1 reason you’ll love this book? Because  it’s tons of fun.” -Bestselling author Meg Cabot

Jessica Brody is the bestselling author of The Karma Club and My Life Undecided, as well as two books for adults: The Fidelity Files and Love Under Cover. In researching this book, she took on several minimum wage jobs, her favorite of which was working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. She splits her time between California and Colorado. Visit her online at: www.jessicabrody.com

All about Myra McEntire and TIMEPIECE

BY MINDI SCOTT

Author Myra McEntire stopped by this week to answer my Very Important Questions.  She also let me know that she has a contest on her site – http://myramcentire.com – that will run from June 18th to June 25th. She’ll be giving away signed copies of HOURGLASS and TIMEPIECE, signed posters of the covers, a goodie basket inspired by her characters, and signed books from other authors!

And now for the questions!

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Myra McEntire: Age 8 = Writer

Age 18 = College English professor

Age 28 = Writer and college English professor!

Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self? 

ME: I hung out with the princesses, but I was a basket case at heart.

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?

ME: I love Kaleb. His faults are many, but his virtues are strong.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

ME: TANGLED. It’s like some kind of drug. And Home Alone one and two. My boys watch that one with me.

And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉

Elvis. I’m from Tennessee! (And part of Timepiece is set in Memphis!)

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ABOUT TIMEPIECE:

Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples—cracks in time. Are Kaleb’s powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before Kaleb can find out, Jonathan Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers’s return, the Hourglass organization is offered an ultimatum by a mysterious man. Either they find Landers and the research he has stolen on people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered—with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their extraordinary powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? Even if they succeed, just finding him may not be enough. . . .

The follow-up to HourglassTimepiece blends the paranormal, science-fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

ABOUT MYRA McENTIRE:

Myra McEntire knows the words to every R&B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in Nashville, the country music capital of America, her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated. She’s chosen, instead, to channel her “mad word skills” into creating stories. She’s an avid Doctor Who fan and will argue passionately about which incarnation is the best.

You can find her at:

http://MyraMcEntire.com

https://twitter.com/#!/MyraMcEntire

All about Amanda Ashby and her MIXED-UP MAGIC series

BY MINDI SCOTT
Amanda Ashby has a new middle-grade series called Mixed-Up Magic, which sounds very fun! The first two books were released simultaneously on May 30th, and today Amanda answered some Very Important Questions for me about herself and her series!
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At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?
Amanda Ashby: I honestly and truly had NO career aspirations growing up. I just wanted to read books and watch television but my parents didn’t seem to think this was a valid career choice so I went to University and studied journalism, but it wasn’t until I was twenty-eight (truly, I’m not making this up) that I suddenly decided that I wanted to write a book. Looking back, the clues were all there but I just hadn’t managed to piece them together (I’m a slow learner).
a
Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self? 
AA: I loved that movie. In fact I loved all of John Hughes’s movies. I was probably somewhere between basket case and princess. I wasn’t spoilt at all but I could so relate to Molly Ringwald and her lipstick trick!
a
Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?
AA: When Sophie gets turned into a djinn, she also gets stuck with a ghostly djinn guide called Malik. He was so much fun to write and he is constantly getting her into trouble. One of my favorite scenes was when Malik read one of Sophie’s history book and was outraged to discover how people think World War One began. He then proceeds to tell her the real reason, which, as it turns out is all because of Moroccan almonds!!!!
a
Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?
AA: Princess Bride, Clueless, Pretty in Pink, Star Wars, Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet are two of the best actresses EVER and to see them in a movie together is just the stuff of dreams!)
 a
And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉
Beatles because my husband is from Liverpool and not only did I live there for about six years, but one of our houses was just down the road from where Ringo was born (okay, yes, the area was a dump but it was still cool!). I also happen to love Scousers. Their humor is so unique and the idea that those four guys went onto change the world is pretty cool. Though I do have a lot of Elvis love and I might even own a gold Elvis car ornament!
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 a
Sophie’s Mixed-Up Magic, a middle grade series by Amanda Ashby

Book One: Wishful Thinking (May 31st Puffin)

Be careful what you wish for…
After eleven year old Sophie accidentally gets herself turned into a djinn, she starts to think that it might not be so bad after all. (Of course, that’s after she gets the whole orange skin problem sorted out.) Who wouldn’t enjoy having the power to grant wishes! But when Sophie develops RWD (Random Wish Disorder) and can’t STOP granting wishes, things get more than a little mixed-up!

Book Two: Under a Spell (May 31st Puffin)

And that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E…
As Sophie gets used to her magic, her relationship with the adorable Jonathan Tait is blossoming. There’s only one problem: Jonathan’s twin sister, Melissa. She’s a total mean girl who seems intent on making Sophie’s life miserable. On top of that, Melissa somehow seems to sense that Sophie has powers–and manages to bind Sophie to her in a totally self-serving way. Can Sophie figure out a way out of this–without ruining her chances with Jonathan?

Watch out for book three in October…

About the author: Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally moved back and now lives on the Sunshine Coast. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award, and her first young adult book Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Her latest release, Fairy Bad Day, has been selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and is a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region. To find out more, please go to http://www.amandaashby.com

All about Elana Johnson and SURRENDER

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BY MINDI SCOTT
In honor of Elana Johnson’s new book, Surrender, which recently came out from Simon & Schuster, Elana answered my Very Important Questions (see below). She also let me know that she is hosting a Spectacular Seconds giveaway this week! You can enter to win one of five signed sophomore books by Beth Revis, Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Kristi Cook, and Kim Harrington. CLICK HERE for all the details and to enter.
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All righty! 🙂 So, here are those questions and answers:
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At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Elana Johnson: At both age eight and eighteen, I wanted to be a teacher. At age twenty-eight, as a teacher, I had no plans to do anything else. It wasn’t until age thirty that I started writing and looking to become an author.

Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?

EJ: Marching band geek? That would fit. I was pretty brainy too.

Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?

EJ: I love Raine Hightower. She has a wicked power that her dad exploits. I love (love!) the scenes where she’s using that power, mostly because it’s painful for her and helps her grow in ways she didn’t think possible.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

EJ: Two Weeks Notice, X-Men, and Mission Impossible. Oh, I also like The Bourne Identity movies.

And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉

EJ: The Beatles, of course! Elvis’s stuff just sounds the same over and over. But the Beatles have TRUE MUSIC.

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About Elana: Elana’s work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

PhotobucketAbout SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….

Purchase your copy here.

All about Melissa Walker and UNBREAK MY HEART

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BY MINDI SCOTT

Michelle and I thought it would be fun to include interviews here at our blog. So we’ll be doing that sometimes!

As it happens, author Melissa Walker recently answered a few Very Important Questions for me about herself and her newest book, Unbreak My Heart, so she gets to be the first here. Hooray! 🙂

First, I want to tell you, there’s a fun contest going on where you can make a breakup playlist on Spotify for a chance to win an iPod loaded with the soundtrack to Unbreak My Heart (and the book!). You can find out more about that here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/bloomsbury-teens/announcing-the-unbreak-your-heart-playlist-contest-on-spotify/391423114232968

And now for the Very Important Questions!

1. At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up? And at age eighteen? And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?

Melissa Walker: I think I wanted to be a vet until I saw some blood. Then at 18, I wanted to be a magazine editor. I did that. And at 28, actually, I got my first book contract, so I changed tracks again–YA writer! Yay!

2. Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?

MW: Of the original Breakfast Club labels, I suppose “princess” would fit best, or maybe “brain.” Princess brain? I remember once my dad told me his college girlfriend was a “Party Girl Genius.” I LOVED that description. I wanted to be THAT. I still try to be, sometimes.

3. Without giving away too much from your newest book, which character or scene from it are you the most pleased to have created, and why?

MW: I love the little sister, Olive. She ran away with her scenes and I had so much fun hearing what came out of her mouth!

4. Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

MW: Gone With the Wind, Point Break, Top Gun, Boogie Nights, Goonies… if these are on TV, I’m not going anywhere.

5. And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉

MW: Ack! As a kid I loved Elvis SO MUCH. I even went to Graceland when I was 18! But now I adore The Beatles. I listened to them while in the hospital giving birth to my daughter, so they win.

Thank you for stopping by, Melissa, and best of luck with your newest book! 

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About Unbreak My Heart:

PhotobucketThe year that broke her heart. The summer that healed it. A dual love story.

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

About the author: MELISSA WALKER is the author of Small Town Sinners, the Violet on the Runway series and Lovestruck Summer. She has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. Melissa manages I Heart Daily, an e-newsletter and blogs for ReaderGirlz, an online community for teens. A Chapel Hill, NC native, Melissa now lives in Brooklyn, NY. http://www.melissacwalker.com