STAR CURSED Paperback Release & Contest

Hi!

This is a quickish post because I’m on vacation in Asheville. Tonight I’ll be doing a signing with authors Alexandra Duncan (SALVAGE), Megan Shepherd (HER DARK CURIOSITY & THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER), & Tiffany Trent (THE TINKER KING & THE UNNATURALISTS) at Malaprop’s at 7pm. We’ll be talking world-building!

I’ll also be signing in Chapel Hill, NC at Flyleaf Books on Sunday at 2pm with Alexandra Duncan (SALVAGE), Nathan Kotecki (SUBURBAN STRANGE), and Meg Spooner (SKYLARK series and THESE BROKEN STARS). We’ll be talking Girl Power and writing female characters.

Also — the paperback of STAR CURSED is out today! Hooray!

To celebrate, I’m giving away an ARC of SISTERS’ FATE plus ARCs of two of my favorite recent reads: Huntley Fitzpatrick’s WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE and Paula Stokes’ THE ART OF LAINEY. They’re both super romantic and fun, with great characterization – perfect summer reads!

what i thought was true

the art of lainey

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. There are 3 ways to win – tweet about the contest, follow me on Twitter, or (for the most points) snap a picture of STAR CURSED for me! Contest open until next  Wednesday at midnight EST. This contest is open to US residents only.

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Thrice Interview & Giveaway: DAUGHTER OF CHAOS

Hi!  Today we’re celebrating Jen McConnel’s YA debut, DAUGHTER OF CHAOS!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

daughter of chaos

They say: There comes a time in every witch’s life when she must choose her path. Darlena’s friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the Queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it’s too late?

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in the RED MAGIC paranormal YA trilogy.

I say: Yay, witches! I’m always curious how other authors create their magical systems!

Now for our interview with Jen:​

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Darlena is an impulsive, powerful, passionate witch. (JS: Hmm, sounds a bit like Maura!)

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is a mythic, thrilling, fun read.

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

I am a blissful, busy, bountiful writer! (JS: love the alliteration!)

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

I’d like to go back to Egypt, and I really want to see Greece and Ireland.

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

Classical Archaeology, Myth & Folklore, and Jewelry Making (JS: ooh, I’d love to take Myth & Folklore too!)

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Travel journalist, New Age shop owner, and event planner

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

Roses, Black-Eyed Susans, and Mums

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

I love Indian food, chocolate, and tea.

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott, THE DARK IS RISING by Susan Cooper, and LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott (JS: ooh, I haven’t read THE DARK IS RISING but I love the other two!)

Thanks for stopping by, Jen!

You can find out more about Jen and DAUGHTER OF CHAOS by following her on twitter or liking her on Facebook, and you can add DAUGHTER OF CHAOS to your Goodreads shelf here.

Jen is generously giving away this awesome swag pack (see below – it includes a journal and stickers and bookmarks and pins) to one winner in the US. Contest is open until next Wed (4/2) at midnight. Please fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.

daughter of chaos swag

 

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Thrice Interview + Giveaway: PROVIDENCE

Hi!  Today we’re celebrating Lisa Colozza Cocca’s debut, PROVIDENCE, which comes out today!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

providence

They say: The eldest of ten children on a dirt-poor farm, Becky trudges through life as a full-time babysitter, trying to avoid her father’s periodic violent rages. When the family’s barn burns down, her father lays the blame on Becky, and her own mother tells her to run for it. Run she does, hopping into an empty freight car. There, in a duffel bag, Becky finds an abandoned baby girl, only hours old. After years of tending to her siblings, sixteen-year-old Becky knows just what a baby needs. This baby needs a mother. With no mother around, Becky decides, at least temporarily, this baby needs her. When Becky hops off the train in a small Georgia town, it’s with baby “Georgia” in her arms. When she meets Rosie, an eccentric thrift-shop owner, who comes to value and love Becky as no one ever has, Becky rashly claims the baby as her own. Not everyone in town is as welcoming as Rosie, though. Many suspect Becky and her baby are not what they seem. Among the doubters is a beautiful, reclusive woman with her own terrible loss and a long history with Rosie. As Becky’s life becomes entangled with the lives of the people in town, including a handsome boy who suspects Becky is hiding something from her past, she finds her secrets more difficult to keep. Becky should grab the baby and run, but her newfound home and job with Rosie have given Becky the family she’s never known. Despite her guilt over leaving her mother alone, she is happy for the first time. But it’s a happiness not meant to last. When the truth comes out, Becky has the biggest decision of her life to make. Should she run away again? Should she stay–and fight? Or lie? What does the future hold for Becky and Georgia? With a greatness of heart and a stubborn insistence on hope found in few novels of any genre, PROVIDENCE proves that home is where you find it, love is an active verb, and family is more than just a word.

I say: This sounds amazing!

Now for our interview with Lisa:​

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Becky is a resourceful, caring, and unworldly heroine.

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

PROVIDENCE is a heartfelt contemporary realistic novel.

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Lisa is a trusting, inquisitive, and klutzy writer.

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

Austria, Ireland, and Australia

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

I would take a baking class, a painting class, and an interior design class. (JS: ooh, I’d love to take baking and interior design, too!)

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Assuming you mean something I haven’t already done, I wish I had the talent and knowledge to be the person who selects music for movies and television shows. Another choice would be to work as a curator at a museum of American history. Again if the wish package came with the needed skills, my third choice would be architect.

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

I love tulips, orchids, and pansies.

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

I love filet mignon, lobster tail, and cake.

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

I loved THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett, THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini, and on the kidlit side, I loved THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY by EL Konigsburg.

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

You can find out more about Lisa and PROVIDENCE at her website or by following her on twitter or Facebook.

She is generously giving away one signed copy of PROVIDENCE to a winner in the US. The contest is open till next Tuesday at midnight. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter!

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Thrice Interview + Giveaway: ASK AGAIN LATER

Hi!  Today we’re celebrating Liz Czukas’s debut, ASK AGAIN LATER, which came out today!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

ask again later

They say: Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there’s only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother’s best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek…with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart’s interests–even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart’s simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all…

I say:  Well, I do love theater geeks. And check out this quote from RT Book reviews: “Fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jane Austen will swoon.” Seeing as how those are two of my favorite authors – how can I resist?

Now for our interview with Liz:​

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Heart is an anti-romance, opinionated, theater geek. (JS: *theater geek fistbump*)

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

ASK AGAIN LATER is a fun, reality-bending, romantic comedy.

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Liz is an intelligent, hilarious, and apparently not humble geek.

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

England, Bali, Australia

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

Belly dancing, massage therapy, special effects makeup

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Actress, Time Lord, purveyor of action-movie style one-liners (JS: Ha!)

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

Roses, lilacs, hydrangeas

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

Salsa, spaghetti, mutter paneer 

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

WORLD WAR Z, THE STAND, CODE NAME VERITY

Happy book birthday, Liz! Thanks for stopping by!

You can find out more about Liz and ASK AGAIN LATER at her website or by following her on twitter or Facebook.

She is generously giving away one signed copy of ASK AGAIN LATER to a lucky winner in the US or Canada. The contest is open till next Tuesday at midnight. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter!

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Thrice Interview + Giveaway: GILDED

Hi!  Today we’re celebrating Christina Farley’s GILDED, which came out on Saturday!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

Gilded

They say: Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

I say:  It’s so cool that this is set in Korea, with Korean mythology and a Korean-American protagonist. One of my goals this year is to read more diverse books. Judging from my friend Beth’s blurb (“This richly detailed novel kept me turning the pages well into the night. Jae Hwa starts off as a strong character and ends as a noble one, using both her brains and her brawn to win the day.” —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE) it sounds like Jae Hwa is an awesome, complex heroine as well!

Now for our interview with Christina:​

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Jae Hwa is a determined, deadly, and stubborn black belt.

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

GILDED is a suspenseful, action-packed, mythological based fantasy.

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

I’m an energetic, chocolate loving, never-stopping girl.

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

Bora Bora, Norway, Mongolia

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

Cooking class (yum!), more taekwondo, and archery (JS: ooh, archery!)

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Travel guide, singer, and rock climber

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

Roses, tulips, and gerbers (JS: Roses & gerber daisies are two of my faves as well!)

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

Chocolate, salmon, and salad

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen (she’s my distant relative!), THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien (he’s a genius!), and WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams (stunning characterization) 

Thanks for stopping by, Christina!

You can find out more about Christina and GILDED at her website, or by following her on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

Christina is giving away a signed copy of GILDED and a Korean swag bag (see below) to one lucky winner. The contest is open till next Thursday at midnight. US only. Please fill out the Rafflecopter  to enter!

Small bag swag

 

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Thrice Interview: THE STORY OF OWEN

Hi!  Today we’re celebrating E.K. Johnston’s THE STORY OF OWEN: DRAGON SLAYER OF TRONDHEIM, which came out on Saturday! Happy book birthday, Emily!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

story of owen

They say: Listen! For I sing of Owen Thorskard: valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers. Though he had few years and was not built for football, he stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival. There have always been dragons. As far back as history is told, men and women have fought them, loyally defending their villages. Dragon slaying was a proud tradition. But dragons and humans have one thing in common: an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. From the moment Henry Ford hired his first dragon slayer, no small town was safe. Dragon slayers flocked to cities, leaving more remote areas unprotected. Such was Trondheim”s fate until Owen Thorskard arrived. At sixteen, with dragons advancing and his grades plummeting, Owen faced impossible odds– armed only with a sword, his legacy, and the classmate who agreed to be his bard. Listen! I am Siobhan McQuaid. I alone know the story of Owen, the story that changes everything. Listen!

I say:  I’ve heard only awesome things about this one! It sounds both funny and heartwarming.

Now for our interview with Emily:​

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Siobhan is an innovative, practical, competent musician.

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

THE STORY OF OWEN is an adventurous, Canadian, musical story.

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Kate is an independent, well-travelled, compassionate bookseller.

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

Scotland (again), New Zealand (again), Peru

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

Glass blowing, Swedish weaving, Elvish (JS: ooh, glass-blowing is such an awesome answer!)

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Tolkien scholar, university professor, travel writer

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

Gerbera daisies, regular daisies, um…lupins, I guess? (JS: I love Gerbera daisies too!)

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

Turkey dinner, Babybel cheese wheels, peanut butter Oreos (JS: I have recently discovered Laughing Cow – which I think is a subset of Babybel? – cheeses and I am so in love with them!)

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

 THE HOBBIT, STEALING FIRE, THE POWER OF ONE

Thanks for stopping by, Emily!

You can find out more about E.K. Johnston and THE STORY OF OWEN by following her on twitter, and you can add her book on Goodreads here.

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Year of Consistency Check-in: February Wrap Up

Feb calendarHere’s a photo of my February writing calendar. I was tracking lots of things last month:

The flowers – walking for at least half an hour. I walked for 18 days/28 last month!

The owls - significant work on my YA ghost story proposal

The “terrific!” “excellent!” “fantastic!” “wow!” tags – significant critique work

The robots  – 1k on my MG steampunk project

The hearts - participating in or attending a book event

The Care Bears - organizational work on a new project, P&P

Writing: I’m paused on the YA ghost story for now. All month I’ve been saying I “should” work on the MG – but if it’s already become a “should” at this point in the game, that’s a major red flag! The idea is super fun, and it’s something I may come back to at some point, but right now it’s just not working. I’m not sure I’m a MG writer at heart. But there are two new projects that I came up with on retreat last week, and I’m crazy excited about both of them. One is a historical YA (no fantasy or paranormal elements) that requires a ton of research but feels like a big sweeping romantic historical saga in a way that thrills me. And I’m doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to organize that mysterious P&P project!

Reading: Failfailfail. I will make more time in March for reading. I could hardly make LESS time. I’m still at 9 books read so far this year, which is way behind where I want to be!

Promo/Business: I organized signings in Chapel Hill and Asheville, NC for STAR CURSED’s paperback release in April; you can find more info on my Events page. There’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes organizing for events and other things this month. I also did some significant crit work, though no full mss.

Health: February was a really difficult month for me, anxiety-wise, which definitely contributed to not being as productive as I’d have liked. I tapered off my anti-anxiety medication back around Thanksgiving, and now I’m trying to learn how to manage it without medication to see if that’s possible for me. Exercise helps more than almost anything – yay for natural endorphins! Last week on my retreat I walked on the beach 5 days out of 7 – I would have loved to walk all 7, but Wednesday it rained and was freezing and Friday the tide was so high I tried to go out for 5 minutes and came back because I was afraid I was going to get cut off from our house and wind up soaked trying to get back! But I walked 18 days out of 28 in February, which is pretty awesome. I hope I can keep it up in March!

Cooking: I only made 2 soups in February, so I’m a little behind on the Soup Project. But I’m hoping to double up this week & next to catch up. Today I made an awesome Stone Soup (red potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, kidney beans, cilantro). It was delicious – The Playwright and I both gave it a 4.5/5 – and really healthy!

Social/Other: Last week I was on a retreat in North Carolina with three of my best writing friends – Andrea Cremer, Marie Lu, and Beth Revis. The three of us met and really bonded on my first Breathless Reads tour back in February 2012. I’m lucky to have such kind, funny, smart, generous, encouraging women in my life. We took walks on the beach and played board games and drank wine and made delicious meals and watched movies (Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO! DIRTY DANCING! PRINCESS DIARIES!) and talked about everything.  I came to the retreat feeling anxious and sad and frustrated. I left feeling happier and more energized and inspired than I have in at least six months. It was INCREDIBLE.

Beach 1

What about you? How are you doing on your 2014 goals?

 

 

 

 

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Thrice Interview + Giveaway: WHAT THE MOON SAID

Hi! Today we’re celebrating Gayle Rosengren’s debut, WHAT THE MOON SAID, which came out last week!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

what the moon saidThey say: Thanks to her superstitious mother, Esther knows some tricks for avoiding bad luck: toss salt over your left shoulder, never button your shirt crooked, and avoid black cats. But even luck can’t keep her family safe from the Great Depression. When Pa loses his job, Esther’s family leaves their comfy Chicago life behind for a farm in Wisconsin.

Living on a farm comes with lots of hard work, but that means there are plenty of opportunities for Esther to show her mother how helpful she can be. She loves all of the farm animals (except the mean geese) and even better makes a fast friend in lively Bethany. But then Ma sees a sign that Esther just knows is wrong. If believing a superstition makes you miserable, how can that be good luck?

Debut author Gayle Rosengren brings the past to life in this extraordinary, hopeful story.

I say: Ooh, this sounds so sweet! I think I would have LOVED it as a middle-grade reader!

Now for our interview with Gayle:

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Esther is a sweet, stubborn, optimistic dreamer.

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

My book is a timeless, mother-daughter coming of age story.

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

I’m a kind, funny, impulsive “giver”

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

Italy, England, and France

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

Art, quilting, and horseback riding

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Painter (as in canvases, not houses), actor, or interior decorator

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

Tulips, roses, and hydrangeas – one for spring, summer, and fall

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

Popcorn, steak, and chocolate (yum!)

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE, THE ONE & ONLY IVAN, and SPEAK

Thanks for stopping by, Gayle!

You can find out more about Gayle and WHAT THE MOON SAID at her website, or by following her on twitter or Facebook.

Gayle is offering up ONE signed copy of her book – and SIX packs of bookmarks + luggage tags, pictured below – so there will be SEVEN winners! Just leave a comment below to enter telling us – are you superstitious? What superstitions do you follow? Contest is open until  Thursday, March 6 at midnight. International readers welcome!

WHAT THE MOON SAID prizes

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One Night / Bright Before Sunrise

Hi! Today I’m celebrating the release of my friend Tiffany’s book, BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE, which came out last Tuesday. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! Tiffany writes incredible characters, and I saw a lot of my teenage self in Brighton, who is desperate to be liked and be all things to all people in her life. In fact, thinking about that is what sparked my post. As part of the BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE blog tour, I’m responding to the following prompt: One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

image

One night, fourteen years ago this May, I was at a senior week party. It was the night before graduation. Not mine; I was a rising junior. I was sitting on a bench outside and crying over a boy who was not worth my time. A year before, after a similar party, I’d let the boy walk me back to my dorm and kiss me. I’d had a crush on him all year. He was older – already graduated – and had a girlfriend. Thank God I was sober and smart enough to tell him to leave when he asked to stay, no matter how many pretty things he said. But I wasn’t smart enough to realize how drunk he was, and I still believed he meant all the pretty things, and when I came back to school for sophomore year, he was engaged. By the time I saw him again, he was married.

I was small and bouncy and soprano-voiced and “cute.” I had lots of boy friends, but never boyfriends. I was not the kind of girl – I thought – that boys said pretty things to. So a year later, I was still feeling small and stupid for believing them.

Another boy came over to my bench. Cheered me up. We’d done a play together that spring. After rehearsals, we’d stand outside the theatre and talk – him smoking cigarettes, me leaning against the warm brick walls. He made me laugh – and I made him laugh, because he didn’t let me play small or nice. With him, I could be smart. Witty. When I complained about people calling me “cute,” he told me I was more like a mix between Cruella de Ville and the Dalmations. It was one of the best compliments I’d ever gotten.

We went to find the friend I was staying with that week. She was trashed. She was also half a foot taller than me, and there was no way I could shepherd her the mile to her off-campus apartment. The boy helped me get her home. I got her settled and then he and I sat on her front porch. We talked for hours. All night. About all sorts of things. Our favorite books and plays we’d each been in and what we wanted to do with our lives and places we wanted to travel – New Orleans, I remember. When he left at dawn, he moved to kiss me. I – remembering the mistakes of the year before – turned my head, and his mouth landed on my cheek instead. But I gave him my email address.

The next day, I went home to my parents’ for the summer. And we emailed – a few times a week at first,  then every day.  We read each other’s favorite books that summer – his was Stranger in a Strange Land, and mine was Gone with the Wind. Both writers, we fell in love over email and snail-mail letters. He wrote me riddles. He made me think. He never followed the pretty romantic script I set out for him – but he never said things he didn’t mean, either. We both had a lot of growing up to do still. But we grew together. We challenged each other.

In fact, my dedication in my second book – STAR CURSED – is: To my brilliant husband, Steve, who loves me as I am but challenges me to be better.

What about you? Have you had one night that changed your life?

About BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE:

Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone … but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won’t give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel’s energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.

About Tiffany Schmidt:

TIFFANY SCHMIDT lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. And while she thinks sunrises are quite beautiful, she’d rather sleep through them. Send Me a Sign was her debut novel. Find out more about Tiffany and her books by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt or visiting  www.TiffanySchmidt.com.

Giveaway:

I loved BBS so much that I’d like to give away a copy. Fill out the Rafflecopter to win a signed copy from Tiffany – AND a signed ARC of the third book in my trilogy, SISTERS’ FATE. Open until Tuesday March 4 at midnight. US & Canada only.

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Thrice Interview + Giveaway: ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG, FAT QUITTER

Hi!  Today we’re celebrating Carmella Van Vleet’s release, ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG, FAT QUITTER!

Before we start — why are they called Thrice interviews? The original titles for the Cahill Witch Chronicles were THRICE BLESSED, THRICE CURSED, and THRICE FATED. I have a tattoo with the word thrice, which is partly to remind me how joyful writing that first book was, back when it was just mine, and partly because I like threes. Cate Cahill is the oldest of three sisters, as am I. My birthday is May 3; my anniversary is Sept 30. So there’s a natural theme to these interview questions…

eliza bing

They say: In this uplifting novel about determination and the rewards of hard work, a preteen girl struggling with ADHD must stick with a summer taekwondo class to prove that she s dedicated enough to pursue her true passion: cake decorating.

I say:  Ooh, cake decorating! This sounds fun!

Now for our interview with Carmella:​

1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Kind, distracted, quirky girl 

2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Funny, heartbreaking, taekwondo-y MG!

3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.

Persistent, talkative, passionate writer

4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?

Italy, Egypt, Australia

5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?

Sign language, ice skating, basket weaving (no, for real!)

6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?

Teacher, artist, teen counselor

7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?

Daisy, sunflower, crocus

8. What are your 3 favorite foods?

Potato chips, chocolate, pizza

9. What are your 3 favorite books?

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIIL E. FRANKENWIELER, SAVVY

Thanks for stopping by, Carmella!

You can find out more about Carmella and ELIZA BING at her website.

Carmella is generously giving away one signed copy of ELIZA BING IS (NOT) A BIG, FAT QUITTER to one reader in the US or Canada. Contest is open through next Thursday, February 27 at midnight. Please fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.

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