More Than Words

BY MINDI SCOTT

The other night as I was falling asleep, I came up with an idea for a blog post! My mind was going crazy with how great it was going to be:

I’ll write about [this] and [this] and [this]! And I’ll find a picture of [this] to include. Oh, and also use [this] as a cute anecdote. (And why can I never spell that word? Antecdote? Antidote? What?) Then I’ll embed the video for the song “More Than Words” at the end to tie it all together. YES!!!!!!

A funny thing happened. As you might guess from all the brackets above, I woke up the next morning with no recollection of anything that the Super-Great Blog Post was meant to include except for the video. I’ve thought about it long and hard, but the idea has not returned to me.

This meant that I had a choice to make. I could continue to not have a post on “We Have Words” featuring “More Than Words,” or I could, you know, post the video for no good reason at all.

This is it. This is what I have to do:

 

I think I made the right choice.

(One thing I do want to say about this, which probably has nothing at all to do with my blog post that is forever forgotten: This song and the video for “More Than Words” by Extreme came out when I was in eighth grade. I remember that there was much tittering amongst my friends and me about the fact that that one guy flips off the camera while playing guitar. As I’ve gotten older, I’d come to think that we were silly and clearly knew nothing about how guitar playing works to think he did that on purpose. HOWEVER, re-watching this video all these years later, I can see that we were truly onto something. In this somewhat long song where a number of different guitar parts are played and various angles are shot, why does the camera zoom in precisely when his middle finger is lifted, and only then? WHAT WERE THEY TRYING TO GET ACROSS?)

All About Jessica Brody and UNREMEMBERED

BY MINDI SCOTT

Unremembered - FINALAuthor Jessica Brody stopped by the blog today to answer some questions for me about herself and her new title, Unremembered. She’s also sharing the link to the first five chapters of the book, which you can check out directly after the questions. 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?

Jessica Brody: At age 8, I wanted to be a writer. By age 18, I’d convinced myself that writers didn’t make any money (and didn’t get dental insurance) so I decided I wanted to be in finance. By age 28, I’d quit my high-paying job in finance and was back to pursuing my dream of becoming a writer. Some things are more important than money and dental insurance, it just took me a little while to figure that out.

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

JB: The clutz! I swear it’s bad. Clumsyville, population me over here. I bump into walls, knock things over, and even fall down the occasional stairs when I’m having a particularly good day!

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: My favorite scene takes place on page 73. It’s actually one of the scenes I read at my readings. It’s when Seraphina first discovers one of her many superhuman abilities. She has an entire conversation with a stranger in a bus station and it isn’t until minutes later that she realizes the whole conversation took place in Portuguese. That’s when Sera first gets clued in that she can speak multiple languages.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

JB: Well, since you mentioned it, The Breakfast Club is high on my list! Also, Sliding Doors, 13 Going on 30, Love Actually, and The Matrix.

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

JB: Beatles! It all comes down to lyrics. You just can’t compete with Beatles lyrics.

_______________________________________________________

CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT OF UNREMEMBERED!

About the book:  

The only thing worse than forgetting her past…is remembering it.

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find a single survivor; which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating amid the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe. She has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories…period.

As she struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is, every clue raises more questions. Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

Set in a world where science knows no boundaries and memories are manipulated UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody is the first novel in a compelling, romantic, and suspenseful new sci-fi trilogy for teens.

Jessica Brody - Author Photo

About the author: 

JESSICA BRODY knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape. She is the author of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, My Life Undecided, The Karma Club, and now, Unremembered. Her books have been translated and published in over 15 countries. She currently splits her time between California and Colorado. www.jessicabrody.com

Sharing the Love – GOING VINTAGE

BY MINDI SCOTT

photo (9)

Spoiler: I’m giving away an advance copy of Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt at the end of this post!

From around age 8 to age 18, Valentine’s Day was my favorite holiday. I loved making cupcakes with pink frosting, picking out cards and candy to give to my classmates, and getting presents from my mom.

More than all of those things, though, I loved the anticipation. Valentine’s Day felt like a day when anything could happen. Every February 14th, I hoped that whichever boy I liked that year would buy me a school-fundraiser balloon or rose to be delivered to me in class. Or that he’d ask me to be his girlfriend. Or that he’d make some grand gesture that showed me he liked me.

It never happened. Not even once. I now appreciate Valentine’s Day for the heart-shaped Junior Mints (when the stores aren’t sold out!), but it’s otherwise kind of unimportant. I have a husband who loves me every day, so I don’t want or need grand gestures in February. (Unless it involves tracking down the aforementioned Junior Mints–that’s real devotion.)

This year, on my formerly-favorite holiday, I thought it would be fun for me to kick off a series of SHARING THE LOVE posts about books! I received a few advance copies at ALA a few weeks ago, and I’d love to use them for their intended purpose of talking up upcoming books that I enjoyed.

photo (10)

Today, I have Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt! This one comes out in mid-March this year, and is the story of Mallory who, after discovering that her boyfriend is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, decides to “go vintage” and live like it’s 1962–when there was no internet. As the jacket states,  it includes “heartfelt family moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and a little bit of romance.”

What especially resonated most with me in this book is the theme of “finding your thing.” Mallory doesn’t feel like she stands out or has anything that is really hers, so she (sort of accidentally) sets out to discover those things about herself. I so relate to feeling non-unique and average, and especially would have related to it as a teen.

Here’s a short list of “Things About Me” that I came up with after reading this book:

1. Vegetarian cooking (My mother-in-law says I make the best vegetarian food of anyone she knows)

2. Mixing my lipsticks and applying with a brush for truly custom colors.

3. Absently drawing hearts all over the place.

4. Collecting every book by Victoria Holt/Phillipa Carr (but not Jean Plaidy, because I didn’t like those very much)

5. Writing books (Because it is a thing I do)

Surprisingly, I actually could go on. But I want to hear from YOU!

___________________________________________________________

For a chance to win my Going Vintage ARC, please leave a comment below (along with an email address where I can contact you) telling me one or more of the “things” that makes you you.  

Edit: We have notified a winner! Thank you to everyone who joined in the discussion here. It was very fun to read your responses.

All About Lucienne Diver and FANGTABULOUS

BY MINDI SCOTT

FangtabulousLucienne Diver’s Vamped series has received some rave reviews over the years, and I want to share with you a quick sample of those:

For Fangtabulous: “Another amusing romp in the series, this installment also sees its hardy heroine beginning to mature, adding further dimension to her character. Reminiscent of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, Gina never fails to deliver the goods.” —Kirkus Reviews

For the Vamped series: “Readers who appreciate Diver’s light, dry humor will welcome back feisty Gina and her hunky boyfriend, Bobby… a welcome lighthearted departure from gloomy vampire romance.” —Booklist

Diver successfully creates a vampire teen who is active and assertive and has no time for angst. Gina has a biting, sarcastic voice that makes the Vamped books quick and entertaining reads.”—VOYA

I haven’t yet had the chance to check out this series, but the promise of dry humor and a sarcastic narrator definitely make these sound like something I’d enjoy! Happily for me, Lucienne Diver recently answered some questions about herself and her latest title, Fangatublous. There’s more information about the book and the author after 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?

Lucienne Diver: At eight I wanted to be a cryptozoologist and discover definitive proof of the Loch Ness Monster and other cryptids. At eighteen I wanted to be a writer and an anthropologist. I have degrees in both. At twenty-eight—you mean just yesterday?—I still want to be a writer, but I want to be better and more successful at it than I was at twenty-seven.

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

LD: I’d have fit every geeky classification you could come up with: brain, geek, dweeb…. I was in honors and AP classes; I played Dungeons & Dragons; I was never any good at sports. I sang in the chorus but developed a psychosomatic illness every time I had to sing solo in front of people, so while I did theatre I quickly gave up on going out for the musicals. Hmm, maybe that makes me a bit of the basket case as well. Oh, yeah, this question is good for my rep. 😉

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?

LD: I won’t say who or why because I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there are some scenes where one of the characters goes a little crazy. Those scenes were a lot of fun to write, and I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. Why those scenes in particular? I think because I doubted my ability to do them justice, so I feel that I stretched myself as a writer and it’s one less thing to fear in the future.

Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

LD: I’m lucky I have time to watch things once. Very rarely do I get to watch anything again and again, but lately if I do it’s not a movie, but select episodes of Sherlock, the BBC’s wonderful Holmes & Watson series.

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

LD: The Beatles! For one, I like their music better. For another, I read a People Magazine article years ago when I was stuck under the dryer at a hair salon about Elvis and his courtship and marriage with Priscilla Presley. It was enough to turn me off of him for life. (Although I have to admit that his song “In the Ghetto” makes me cry every time I hear it.)

___________________________________________________

About the book:

Gina Covello and her band of federal fugitives are on the run after taking down a secret (and sinister) government facility. Strapped without cash or credit cards—a fate worse than death for Gina—the rebels must find a place to lay low. They roll into Salem, Massachusetts, the most haunted town in America and the only place they have friends flying under the radar. But within a day, Gina and her gang are embroiled in a murder mystery of the supernatural kind.

Someone—or something—is strangling young women, and it’s rumored to be the ghost of Sheriff Corwin, late of the Salem Witch trials. Is it the ghostly Sheriff or is someone on this side of the veil using the famous story as a cover up? Gina is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, and she needs to do it before a paranormal reporter on the scene exposes them for what they are…fanged federal fugitives.

___________________________________________________

About the author:

Lucienne Diver writes the humorous, suspenseful Vamped series of young adult vampire novels for Flux Books, including VampedRevampedFangtastic and the most recent, Fangtabulous. Her short stories have been included in the Strip-Mauled and Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), and her essay on abuse is included in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen). She also writes the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series for Samhain (Bad Blood, Crazy in the Blood and the forthcoming Rise of the Blood).

Publisher: www.fluxnow.com
Author: www.luciennediver.com
Author’s blog: http://luciennediver.wordpress.com

All About Laurie Faria Stolarz and DEADLY LITTLE LESSONS

BY MINDI SCOTT

webIMG_2794f1Author Laurie Faria Stolarz stopped by today to answer a few questions for me and to share some details about her latest novel, Deadly Little Lessons —including a chapter excerpt!

First, the questions:

At age eight, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Laurie Faria Stolarz: I wanted to be a writer.
 .
 And at age eighteen?
 LFS: A writer.
 .
And while you’re at it, what about at age twenty-eight?
LFS: A writer.  I’ve been writing since before I could put pen to paper. As a child, I would make up stories and tell them to whomever would listen.  Then, when I finally could write, I’d draft scripts and have my dolls recite the lines and act out the performances..
.
Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self?

LFS: Probably Molly Ringwald, but less popular.  Wasn’t she described as super-popular in that movie?  I wasn’t a loner like Ally Sheedy. I had a solid group of friends, and could blend in with different groups.
.
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?

LFS: I love the opening scene, where Camelia gets a phone call and learns a painful truth – one that changes her life forever.
.
Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?
LFS: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
.
And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉
 LFS: The Beatles. Growing up, my older brother would play their albums over and over, and so I’ve sort of been brainwashed.
________________________________________________________
Front_Cover_-_Deadly_Little_Lessons

About Deadly Little Lessons:

Camelia Hammond’s trying junior year of high school is finally over…but her troubles aren’t. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island.

Determined to put family – and boyfriend – drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork. At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. Meanwhile, Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.

But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she’s to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?

Want a sneak peek? Go here: http://www.lauriestolarz.com/dllessons.pdf

________________________________________________________

About the Author: 

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston.

For more information, please visit her web site at www.lauriestolarz.com

Zombies on the Brain!*

BY MINDI SCOTT

*See what I did there? 😀

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never liked watching horror or suspense movies. For the most part, I avoid anything that looks like it has the potential to scare me. The same goes for the books I choose to read too.

Vampire Duck

I can still clearly remember night after night as a child, lying in bed awake with my mind racing with thoughts of The Wicked Witch of the West, Maleficent in dragon form, and Those Gross-Looking Pale People Who Bite You. I also remember being age twenty-two and having to keep flashlight next to me while I slept. Just in case any dead people showed up in my apartment.

(Side note: Typing that last paragraph just reminded me of the time I watched Once Bitten with my cousin as a kid and later explained to my mom that the reason the main character had been chosen by the Countess was because he was still a virgin. My mom didn’t like hearing those words come out of my nine-year-old mouth, I tell you what.)

So when I heard well over a year ago that Courtney Summers, one my favorite authors, was getting a novel about zombies published, I didn’t know what to do. I want to read all of Courtney’s books forever and ever, but how could I read This is Not a Test?

this is not a test

In the meantime, I discovered that Emma Stone had been in a movie called Zombieland. I love Emma Stone and I want to watch her movies, but how could I watch that one?

The solution to my zombie dilemmas came from the book Zombies Vs. Unicorns. A friend gave it to me to borrow, saying that I didn’t have to read the zombie stories if I didn’t want to, but that I might just like some of them. I was wary, but I wasn’t reading anything else at the time so I decided to give it a shot. For the unicorns only! But I ended up reading all of the short stories in the book, and I realized afterward that I’d enjoyed a greater portion of the ones about zombies than of the unicorns.

Whoa, right?

After making it through those short stories, I went on to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I’d actually had the author sign the book for me at an event in 2010, but I had no intention of ever reading it. (And, by the way, I just finished her two other novels in the trilogy during the past week.)

And that was when I came to strongly suspect that I could probably experience more zombies without nightmares. I’ve since watched (and loved) Zombieland, and read (and loved) This is Not a Test, which might be my very favorite Courtney Summers novel so far.

It isn’t the zombies that interest me so much in these stories, of course. It’s the living people. It’s the desperate situations they find themselves in and the choices they make about survival and human connections. I love to ponder the potential metaphors about the zombies, and I find it all so inspiring–these stories about people who have to decide how just badly they want to keep living and how they’re going to go about it.

I don’t know if I can officially say that I’m a convert to zombie stories on the whole, or that I’ll ever have the urge to branch out to reading or watching another facets of horror.  But for now, I know that the trailer for Warm Bodies makes me smile and tear up every time I watch it. I can hardly wait for this movie. (And lucky Michelle has already seen it, by the way! She says it’s cute!!!!!!!!!)

What about you? How do you feel about zombie stories? Any recommendations?

All about Eileen Cook and THE ALMOST TRUTH

Here's a dark picture of Catherine, me, Denise Jaden, Joelle Anthony, and EILEEN COOK!

Here’s a dark picture of Catherine Knutsson, me, Denise Jaden, Joelle Anthony, and EILEEN COOK! Can you see us?

BY MINDI SCOTT

I’ve met author Eileen Cook a couple of times now, and was recently involved in a writing workshop that she organized in British Columbia. Our books are published by the same imprint AND we have the same editor, which means that we are practically related, right? I’m so pleased to have Eileen on the blog today! 🙂

I’ll tell you a bit about her newest book (The Almost Truth) below, but first, Eileen answered some 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? 

Eileen Cook: Writer, writer, writer. I was very focused.  I didn’t think it would necessarily happen, it seemed like wishing to be a princess or a wizard when you grow up, a nice idea, but not practical.  I worked as a counselor for years as my day job. It’s great work for a writer because you spend your days trying to figure out why people do what they do.

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

EC: Weird gawky drama girl who dressed like Molly Ringwald.

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?

EC: I adore Brendan. This is a common problem for me, falling in love with cute boys that I write. Brendan is from the wrong side of the tracks and has a questionable sense of morality, but he’s fiercely loyal to his friends. I admire his tenacity and sense of humor. I always fall for the funny guys.
Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

EC: Love Actually, Gone with the Wind, Dial M for Murder, and Shawshank Redemption.

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

EC: Oooooh hard question.  I listen to more of the Beatles music, but I’ve had a chance to visit Graceland. You haven’t really lived until you’ve seen the beauty that is Graceland. It’s a shrine to tacky over the top-ness.

___________________________________________________

About the author:

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

___________________________________________________

13505666About the book:  

The Almost Truth / ISBN: 978-1442440197
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Summary:  From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly
gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn’t prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose….

 

Something unprecedented!

BY MINDI SCOTT

When Michelle and I started this blog, it was to chronicle our adventures in writing a book together. Then . . . we kind of realized we weren’t having adventures together so much, so mostly we’ve just written about other stuff that’s reading and writing related.

DSC07077

(This was never the type of adventure that we had in mind)

BUT SOMETHING ADVENTURE-Y HAS HAPPENED.

Okay, maybe not. But something unprecedented did.

So, the way we do things is that we alternate writing chapters. Michelle wrote the first chapter, so she writes all of the odd-numbered chapters from Cloudy’s point of view. I write the even-numbered chapters from Kyle’s point of view.

Until recently, this has gone smoothly. We’ve been able to line up events in chapters with the narrator for whom each chapter makes the most sense. (How many more times can I put the word “chapters” in this post?)

However, right now, we are in a place where a particular thing that is about to happen (and has to happen now because of where we are in the story) is going to be told from Kyle’s point of view. We both always anticipated that Michelle would be the one writing this part because it has more to do with Cloudy’s arc. But the only way to make it work timing-wise, would be if I wedged in some other thing for Kyle to do, so that this certain chapter can be left waiting for Michelle’s next turn at writing. I’m not going to do that, though, because THESE CHARACTERS NEED TO GET ON WITH IT.

Suddenly, I’m in the position of having to know what Cloudy’s out-of-town friends are like, how they’ll speak, and what they’ll all be doing–simply because I’m now the one introducing them. I spent several hours on Gchat, grilling Michelle about them, and I feel like I have some ideas for how this chapter will play out that will be interesting (a very important thing, you’ll all agree!). But it’s also inevitable that this isn’t going to go exactly the way Michelle would have written it. In fact, it might be very, very different from her vision.

I . . . hope that’s going to be okay. Eeeeeep.

All about Shannon Messenger and KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

BY MINDI SCOTT
Shannon Messenger and I are publishing sisters in so many ways. Not only do we have the same editor (the lovely Liesa Abrams) and books at the same imprint, we ALSO have books that came out on exactly the same day (October 2nd, 2012)!
.
I’m pleased that Shannon answered some questions for me today to celebrate her middle-grade debut, Keeper of the Lost Cities!
.
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?
Shannon Messenger: At eight I was still in the prime of my “I wanna be a Disney Animator” phase. Not long after I realized that animators needed to be able to draw the same thing over and over–and that even my stick figures don’t look alike–so I dropped that idea. At eighteen I was all about: “I wanna go to USC film school and study screenwriting and work in hollywood”–and I actually made all of those things happen. And… quickly discovered that Hollywood was SUCH a wrong fit for me and changed course again. By twenty eight I working VERY hard to get my book ready to be published. Still took another year for that to happen. But it did, and I’m hoping this is a career I’ll be sticking with for a long time.
.
Which Breakfast-Club-style label would have best fit your teenage self? 
SM: Much as I wish I could claim otherwise, I know everyone will call shenanigans on me if I don’t say, “the princess.” My eyeshadow obsession and love of all things modcloth sort of seal my fate on that one.
.
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?
SM: It would have to be , this snarky, hilarious 14-year-old boy who has quickly become the fan favorite. He’s not a character I EVER thought I would write, and I really don’t know where any of his dialogue comes from. I’m always rereading the scenes after I write them and thinking, “did I really type this?”
.
Which are your favorite movies to watch again and again?

SM: Mean Girls. Clueless. Pirates of the Caribbean. Anything by John Hughes or Cameron Crowe. The Kiera Knightley Pride and Prejudice. Any of The Lord of the Rings. This is fun–I could keep going. But I’m betting I’m boring you.

.
And, now, the most important question of all: Beatles or Elvis? Please support your answer. 😉 
SM: Beatles, all the way. I’m sure people will fling rotten things at me for saying this, but most Elvis just feels so over-the-top it’s almost spoofy to me. Maybe I was jaded by watching Uncle Jessie impersonate Elvis too many times on Full House (Have Mercy!), but it all feels like a schtick. And I know he INVENTED the schtick. But still…  Whereas the Beatles have that timeless feel that I will never get tired of, no matter how many times I had to listen to my dad sing their songs off key.
.
_______________________________________________
About the author:
Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned–among other things–that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She also regularly eats cupcakes for breakfast, sleeps with a bright blue stuffed elephant named Ella, and occasionally gets caught talking to imaginary people. So it was only natural for her to write stories for children. KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES is her first middle grade novel, launching October 2, 2012. LET THE SKY FALL, a young adult novel, will follow in Spring 2013. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at shannonmessenger.com.
.
About the book: 

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

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.

_______________________________________________

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.”