Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cover Reveal + Contest- Everything Breaks by Vicki Grove

Hey everyone! I'm stoked to be helping unveil the cover of this great-sounding book coming out later this year. Read a bit about it, then scroll down for the cover:

Snippet from book:

There was a lot more that I wanted to tell her, like that everything in this beautiful treasure house of a world breaks, and sometimes things break so bad, all you can do is hope to get your heart to stop bleeding long enough for you to sift through the ashes so you can try to gain some slight understanding. But some things that break real bad can be mended if you’re lucky enough to have someone on your side with a ton of glue who won’t give up.


Tucker was supposed to be the designated driver. But there was something about the beauty of that last true summer night, that made him want to feel out-of-control just once. He drank so much and so quickly that he was instantly sick. That left Trey to drive. "I'll catch up to you later," were the last words Tucker would ever say to his friends as he heaved by the side of the road. It was the last time Tucker would ever see them alive.

Tucker’s grief and guilt are just about unbearable and he wonders how he can continue living himself. When he meets the Ferryman who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers that divide the world of the living from the world of the dead, Tucker gets a chance to decide: live or die. The temptation to join his three best friends on the other side may be too much for Tucker to overcome. A gripping, haunting and emotional read.

Isn't it an interesting cover? I'm intrigued by all the elements of it and can't wait to get it in my hands. You all have a chance to get it in your hands too. Penguin is offering one advance copy for me to give away here on the blog! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by Monday, April 22 at 9pm EST and you're entered! Leave your email address in your comment if it can't be easily found (i.e. on your Blogger profile or on your blog, if you have one). To gain additional entries, leave a substantial comment (basically not "Commenting for contest!") on either of these posts- Shadow Girl blog tour and 17&Gone blog tour

Here's an interview with the author:

1) How did you get the idea for Everything Breaks?

I'd have to say it came as just about all the ideas for my stories and books come, from a memory. I mean, I've always filed away the strange and somewhat unexplainable events of my life in hopes of detailing them out through my writing at some point, excavating them. When I was in high school three boys in my class drank some beers then missed a curve on a high bluff road and drove right into oblivion. They were in my fantasy car, even to this day~ a 1967 cherry red Mustang convertible. There was a triple closed casket funeral for them, but halfway through the service one of their mothers insisted on having her son's casket opened. I believe we juniors were getting into the drama of the thing a bit much for her taste, and I'll certainly never forget how George looked after going down a limestone bluff headfirst. I used all of this almost unchanged in the first chapters of the book, only adding a survivor, my protagonist, Tucker.

Things get very weird for Tucker thereafter. This is my first attempt at long supernatural fiction, though I've written a few short stories in the genre. The dog on the cover is Cerberus, guardian of the Underworld.

2) Are you currently working on something? Can you tell us anything about it?

Thanks for asking about my current project. I'm finishing up a historical novel set in 11th century England, and stirring around a Romeo and Juliet love story between a Missouri farm boy and a migrant girl whose family is settling out in his community after finding employment at the new, and controversial, corporate chicken farm.

3) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't like those, a favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

I like those buttered popcorn Jelly Bellys. Or is it Jelly Bellies? Almighty spellcheck says it's the latter.

4) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start?

Let me go check. Okay, here are the books I've got opened or bookmarked around the house. Margaret Drabbles' The Sea Lady (English author, adult). A biography of Chopin (I just started taking piano lessons last year!). Veda Boyd Jones' excellent e-book Joe's Ghost (adult or YA). Okay, let me admit something that I just now realized. I love to read character-based YA fiction but I'm not reading any at the moment and I think that's because when I'm finishing one of my own projects, it's too intimidating!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Tour- The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer

The Soothing Power of Music

Throughout my life, I’ve always turned to music to help me celebrate good times and to soothe my pain during difficult ones. In Lily, I created a character who does the same thing. While writing her story, I listened to music that I had chosen specifically to set my mood for what was happening in each scene. During the emotional scene after Lily loses her father in an accident, I listened to sad country songs. Here’s an excerpt of that scene:

My mind drifts back to this morning. The hiker who came out of the woods and called 911 was a guy not much older than I am. I don’t know his name, but even if I never see him again, I’ll always remember his kind, dark eyes and how they kept me from sinking during those long minutes while we waited for the rescue helicopter to arrive. When I was about to hyperventilate, he made me look at him and told me to take deep breaths. He let me clutch his hand while he talked to me in a soothing voice. His strength flowed into me, and I started to believe that he had the power to make everything all right.

After they took Dad to the hospital in Pueblo, the sheriff drove me to meet Mom, Addie, and Wyatt there. I don’t know what happened to the hiker.

The stairs creak, and a moment later, Addie stands beside me holding my iPod. I take it and thank her, putting the buds in my ears. I find a soft country playlist and push the button to start it, hoping the music will drown my memories of the accident so I can sleep. Soon Iris begins to sing softly along with the song, so I make the music louder. I wish she’d go somewhere far away and stay there. I’m not sure I believe that she didn’t know what was going to happen. Her strange excuse about warning me doesn’t make sense.

I close my eyes to shut out the world. And close my heart to Iris.

The song that I imagined Lily listening to on her iPod in this scene is “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way,” by LeAnn Rimes. The melody is sad and the lyrics in the chorus, although probably about a lost romance, could pertain to the loss of any loved one. I could easily imagine Lily relating to and being touched by the emotions brought forth in this song after losing her father.

Listen to “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way” below, then leave a comment to let me know what sad songs touch your heart.

Sometimes I forget for an hour or two that she's with me. Sometimes I convince myself that she was only a dream. Or that I'm crazy.

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily's movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily's secret.

But when Lily's father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily's mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris . . . and Lily's own identity.- summary from Goodreads

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This blog tour is sponsored by Mod Podge Bookshelf- check out her blog and her blog tour/marketing page!