Between the Sea and the Stars Release Day Blitz

I am so excited that BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS by Chantal Gadoury is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Chantal Gadoury, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a pre-order giveaway courtesy of Chantal. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

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About The Book:

 

Title: BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Pub. Date: June 19, 2018

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks

A Legend,

A Magical Shell

A Girl Who Dreamed Of Something More…

Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea.

When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land.

With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner.

Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?


 

Excerpt:

“Tell me the legend of the Skagerrak queen.”

Javelin lifted a brow. “It’s hardly a legend, Lena,” he said. “It’s barely been a decade.” His voice was easy, unbothered by the possibility of being overheard. They were alone in this place. There was no need to whisper or scold or shush. Still, he groaned. “I’ve told that one a thousand times. You should know it by heart. Aren’t you tired of it yet?”

“Come on,” Lena urged him. “It’s my favorite. Tell me again.”

He rolled his eyes, but his mouth curved into a grin. “Fine.” His scooped a clam shell out of the sand and began sliding the sharp side of a rock against its grain. “The queen fell in love with a human man,” he began, his strong fingers holding the clam firmly in place. “Every full moon, she used her magic to travel ashore to see him.”

Lena settled onto her elbows, relishing the smooth sound of her brother’s voice as he recited the tale. A dreamy smile spread over her lips.

“I wonder how she met him,” she murmured softly, tilting her chin up and letting her lashes flutter shut.

“Likely the same way any merrow meets a human,” Javelin teased. “Shipwrecked during one of Poseidon’s storms. She should have drowned him immediately.”

“But she couldn’t!” Lena’s eyes pinged open. “For he was devilishly handsome, even soaking wet. The most handsome man she’d ever seen.”

“Devilish is right,” Javelin allowed. “Whether he was handsome or not, I’ll let your imagination decide.”

“Oh, he was.” Lena was smiling widely now. “He was, perhaps, the most beautiful human man in existence, and desperately enraptured by the queen. Each full moon, he waited for her, pacing the beach like a madman. And when she would emerge from the sea, he’d run hip-deep to meet her, unable to spend one more moment apart. He’d wrap his muscular arms around her—”

“For Poseidon’s sake, Lena.”

“And they’d dance together,” she pressed on, giggling, “as only humans can do. They’d dance and dance the hours away, bathed in starlight, humming songs into one another’s ears.”

“Until one night. . .” Javelin prompted smugly, and Lena rolled her eyes.

“Until one night,” she sighed, “something overcame the queen’s lover. Greed.”

“Human greed,” Javelin corrected. “Human nature. It was only a matter of time.”

She glared at him, but didn’t interrupt as he continued. This was the best and the worst part of the tale, and Javelin—damn him, was good at telling it. And he knew.

“That night, the queen swam toward the surface, impatient as ever she was. Ready to be rid of her tail. Ready to be human again. Her magic was a gift from Poseidon himself, contained in a delicate shell which she wore around her neck on a gold chain. It gave her the ability to explore the shore, and to control the storms and seas.”

Lena leaned in.

“As she swam, the queen began to change. Faint sobs faltered over her blue-scaled lips—cries of pain, lost to the rushing lull of the waves and the urgent beating of her fins. Swiftly, her tail separated into two perfectly shaped legs, and she rose out of the sea.”

“Don’t leave out the good parts,” Lena whispered. She knew her brother would skim over the romance just to annoy her.

Javelin gave her a pointed look. Then he grinned. “The moon was high that night,” he said, lowering his voice to a hush for effect. “The land was illuminated by an eerie, silver glow. Beneath its light, the queen’s new flesh was creamy and soft. Her hair became one with the wind, and her body shivered against a violent, uproarious breeze. Perhaps it was a warning from the gods, but the queen didn’t see it as such. The human lands were cold, suffering a new, frigid season, but her heart remained warm. She smiled, though her transition had been agony, when she heard the sound of water splashing and saw her beloved moving toward her through the shallows.

“She sang his name as he brushed chaste kisses against her neck, and relaxed fully against him, trusting him completely. She was blind to the wicked yearning which had wrapped around his heart. Which made his body tense, which crushed his lungs till he could hardly breathe. He wanted her shell, for he’d discovered what powers were locked inside that delicate charm. Powers gifted to whomsoever possessed it. His fingers dipped to her throat, caressing the shell which had allowed her to return to him, again and again. The queen eyed him strangely, and he dropped his hands to her waist, tugging her against him, kissing her deeply.”

Lena sighed, and Javelin smirked.

“She was a fool,” he said.

“She was in love,” Lena amended.

“She was both,” he conceded. “And that foolish love consumed her. Deceived her. Seduced her. Clouded her eyes, so love was all she could see. But that fateful eve, her beloved’s affection was not what it seemed. He’d seduced himself too, with all the prospects of what might be. His own love had been replaced by a lust for riches unknown. For control of the land and sea.”

Lena winced, for she knew what came next.

“He pressed his mouth against the queen’s skin, whispering sweet words, distracting her. She was smiling as he sent a knife into her back. Smiling, even as her eyes went wide with shock.”

Lena shuddered, picturing it. A joyful mouth, frozen in place. Bulging, horrified eyes going dim.

“The queen’s lover twisted his blade, releasing her cold merrow blood to the sand. He reached for the shell, yanking on its golden chain. But in the last throes of breath, the queen resisted him and threw the shell into the crashing waves, bidding Poseidon to wash it away.

“With a promised curse on his lips, her lover trailed back into the night, determined to one day possess the world between the sea and stars, and all who dwell beneath the earth, in the ocean’s depths. Our people.” He glanced sidelong at Lena, his meaning clear. “The merrows.”

“And the queen. . .” Lena murmured, though she already knew how the tale would end.

“He left her to dissolve into sea foam. She was washed away forever by the waves.”

Lena released a long breath and gazed at her hands, trying to imagine what it would be like to watch herself slowly disappear; what heartache and betrayal the queen must have felt in her last moments. She knew this was a gruesome tale, but a part of her thought the better parts, the magic and romance, were worth the gruesome bits.

“What do you think it would be like, to walk?” she wondered aloud. “Would it be like having two tails?”

“I don’t know,” Javelin chuckled. “I suppose it might be.”

“Where do you think the shell is now?”

Javelin shrugged. From a stony shelf above his head, he retrieved a slim, wooden railing he’d found in a ship a few days before and carefully tied his sharpened clamshell to its jagged end.

Lena smiled, realizing he’d made her a hunting spear.

“Poseidon is said to have hidden the shell before the human lover, or any human, could steal it. It could be anywhere.”

“If you could go to the surface, would you?”

Javelin pinched his lips together and didn’t speak. It was a silent reprimand. He knew how Lena longed to break through the waves, to see the human world with her own eyes, to know the uses of all the odd objects they’d collected over the years. But the laws of the sea were strict, and the king’s leniency had all but vanished in recent years.

Any merrow caught peeking at the shore was punished. Some were even struck down by Poseidon and reduced to sea foam, just like the queen.

“This is where we belong, Lena,” Javelin said softly, firmly.

“But how do you know?” She swirled upright and swam along the edge of the grotto, brushing her fingertips over cups and spoons and heaps of sodden fabric. Over small chests and tarnished, palm-sized figurines and other mysterious, unnamed things. “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like, to live on the land? To live among them? To be one of them?”

“Not as much as you have, I can see.”

She groaned, and sank to her brother’s side, resting her head on his shoulder. “It can’t be as bad as everyone believes. Humans can’t all be the same. We’re not all the same,” she reasoned quietly.

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About Chantal:

Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Intstagram | Goodreads


Giveaway Details: Pre Order Giveaway!

Enter your Receipt for the chance to win a “Mermaid” Giveaway!

A Mermaid-Themed Tumbler, Notebook, Nail Filer, Face Mask, Hand Sanitizer, Handcream, Makeup Bag, Popsocket and an autographed Paperback of “Between the Sea and Stars.”

Submit Your BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS Book Receipts HERE!

Any format of this book will qualify: E-Book or Paperback.

It can be purchased at any retailer; Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Parliament House – etc.

Receipts must be dated before June 24th.

You can also submit your receipt by emailing cgauthorgiveaway@gmail.com


 

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The Falling Between Us Review

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (March 13, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 0399168486
  • Order here!

Just eight months ago, fifteen-year-old Roxanne Stewart was stuck in her tiny, middle-of-nowhere hometown with no prospects of leaving. But after her boyfriend, Joshua Blackbird, posts a performance of an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation, catapulting to the dizzying heights of celebrity, and Rox joins him on the whirlwind ride of a massive national tour.

But it’s not long before the never-blinking eye of fame begins weighing them both down–the constant hunger of managers, diehard fans who call themselves “Birdies,” record execs, paparazzi, and even family, all leeching onto Joshua.

Then one day, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Was it a suicide? An accident? Rox will stop at nothing to find out the truth. The Falling Between Us is a haunting love story and a piercing look at the costs of fame.


 Tawney’s Review: This book was different. It’s a story about fame and finding yourself through love, loss and social media.

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Joshua is now a celebrity and his life has changed. Rox accompanies him and the drama starts. Being a celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be with all the pressure it brings. But when Joshua disappears Rox will do anything to find him.

The book was good and interesting. It was a bit of a mystery and self discovery book. The characters were interesting enough but I think the main star was Joshua and his fame. The reader connected with him and all the glory and suffering being a celebrity brings. Life is no longer normal.

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I was memorized by the story and emotionally connected. The book takes a hard look on the descending mental illness of depression. Joshua was spiraling down a dark path of helplessness.

The story was told in a beautiful poetic way but the ending left me unfulfilled. It took a different turn I didn’t see coming and didn’t sit well with me. But overall it was a good reading .

starstar  star

The Way You Make Me Feel Review

Today’s book was a light humorous book that I was grateful to read. I loved Maurene Goo’s book I Believe In A Thing Called Love, check out my review here, so I couldn’t wait to dive through the pages of The Way You Make Me Feel.

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Let’s take a look at The Way You Make Me Feel!


  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (May 8, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374304084

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

Order here!


Tawney’s Review: I loved Goo’s book I Believe In A Thing Called Love so I went into this new book knowing I liked Goo’s writing style and voice.

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I wasn’t disappointed! Clara was such a fun character to follow, especially when she’s pranking. But as some pranks can go too far Clara must deal with the consequences, such as a fire at school. Now Clara’s punishment is to work on her father’s KoBra food truck, a Korean/Brazilian fusion restaurant on wheels. But there’s a catch… Clara will be working KoBra with her arch nemesis Rose.

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Clara is quick to act and doesn’t think before doing it. She’s vivacious and strong and a fun character to follow. Rose is more down to earth and an over achiever who works to be the best. As time passes the girls become friends and it’s fun to watch them grow closer.

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Enter the romance of Hamlet Wong, love the name! Hamlet works at a coffee kiosk nearby. It is so obvious that Hamlet likes Clara but she denies it stating he’s not her type. It was also fun to watch Hamlet and Clara grow close together. You rooted for them to get together from the very beginning.

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Goo did a wonderful job at bringing her characters to life with their quirks and personalities. They were relatable and the reader can connect with each one. Goo’s pace flows and there is never a dull moment. Her description of California makes you feel right their with Clara and her friends and family. It was a light read I quickly read through and couldn’t put down.

Should you read this? Yes! A cute YA romance that’s a perfect summer read for those looking for humor and fluffy romance.

starstar  starstar


About the author:

MAURENE GOO is the author of several books for young adults, including I Believe in a Thing Called Love, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and cat, Maeby.

Spotlight: City of Bastards

We’re back!

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So much has happened this last month, stress, anxiety and a death in family, we had to take a social media break. It was much needed but now we’re back and today spotlighting a fun sequel.

Let’s take a look at City of Bastards!


  • Series: Royal Bastards (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 5, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 1484767632
  • Order here!

Tilla, bastard of House Kent, has it made. Safe from her murderous father in the dazzling capital of Lightspire, she lives a life of luxury under the protection of the Volaris King, alongside her boyfriend, Zell, and best friend, Princess Lyriana.

So why isn’t she happy? Maybe it’s the whispers and stares that follow her wherever she goes, as the daughter of the traitor waging war against Lightspire. Or maybe it’s the memories of her beloved brother, Jax, who lies cold in his grave even as she tries to settle into a life in the city’s prestigious University.

Then Tilla stumbles upon the body of a classmate-a friend. The authorities are quick to rule it a suicide and sweep it under the rug, but when Tilla herself is attacked by a mysterious man with terrifying powers, she’s convinced of a conspiracy. Her friends beg her to stay silent; what she’s suggesting is impossible . . . and treasonous.

But Tilla can’t-won’t-let it go. And the deeper she digs, the more questions she uncovers. How is the West beating the supposedly invincible Lightspire mages in battle? Is it connected to the shadowy cult wreaking havoc in Lightspire? Nothing is as it seems in the glorious capital, and Tilla’s presence might just be the spark that sets the Kingdom aflame.


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Doesn’t that sound intriguing? I loved the first book and the second book looks just as fun. If you haven’t read the first book take a look below.

 

  • Series: Royal Bastards (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (May 8, 2018)
  • Order here!

 

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children. At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits at the Bastards’ Table. But when Tilla and Jax is lead the visiting Princess Lyriana on a late-night escapade with their fellow bastards, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness–a brutal coup. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries. The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart-if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey…


About the author:

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  • Andrew was born in the Soviet Union, but immigrated to the US when he was four years old. He doesn’t remember much of life there, but has retained a love for weird Russian cartoons and a total indifference to being cold.
  • Andrew’s passion has always been storytelling, in all its forms: fiction, cinema, narrative video games, and long, rambling, frequently-exaggerated anecdotes. He spent his childhood devouring books, and his adolescence watching straight-to-DVD horror movies and playing jRPGS.
  • Andrew graduated from Vassar College with degrees in English and Russian literature (aka, the two languages he was already fluent in). While there, he was falsely accused of releasing a bear on campus, and once stole a fence and buried it in a swamp.
  • Since 2008, Andrew has worked as a videogame writer, producer, and designer. His focus has been on narrative mobile games, especially episodic ones. Some of these titles include Choices: Stories You Play, Surviving High School, Cause of Death, and High School Story.
  • Andrew is both color-blind and tone-deaf, which probably means he has some latent superpowers he just hasn’t discovered.
  • He is represented by the amazing Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties.
  • Andrew lives in San Jose, California, with his wife, son, and two cats.
  • The best videogame of all time is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. This is not a fun fact about Andrew, but an objective truth of the world.

Follow: Twitter * Instagram


 

 

Love Double Dutch Review

I remember Double Dutch as a kid.

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I wasn’t good at it but there were girls and boys out there who rocked at Double Dutch! I mean they were superstars!

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Today I review a cute middle grade book revolving around this fun game. Let’s take a look at Love Double Dutch!


 

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From the creator of the popular Disney Channel original movie, Jump In! comes a double Dutch novel perfect for fans of stories about sports, summer, and friendship.

Brooklyn middle-schooler MaKayla can only think about one thing–taking her double Dutch team all the way to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. That is, until her mother breaks the news. Kayla has to spend the summer at her aunt’s house in North Carolina while her parents work out their problems . . . or decide to call it quits.

Kayla does not feel at home in the South, and she certainly doesn’t get along with her snooty cousin Sally. It looks like her Jump-off dreams are over.

Hold the phone! Turns out, double Dutch is huge in the South. She and Sally just need to find two more kids for a team. And a routine. And the confidence to stand up to the double Dutch divas who used to be Sally’s BFFs. Time to show those Southern belles some Brooklyn attitude!

Order here!


My Review:    MaKayla didn’t expect to spend a summer with her Aunt in North Carolina.  This doesn’t sit well with her since she wants her Double Dutch team to go to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. But with her cousin Sally, MaKayla may get her dream of going to the Nationals!

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I loved MaKayla ! She had a drive and passion to follow her dream, even if it was tough to get to. Her determination to get to Nationals was so positive, especially when it comes to teamwork, because you need a team to get there.

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Doreen does a wonderful job at explaining Double Dutch and all the rules the girls must go through to compete in this sport. I had not realized there were so many rules into jumping.

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MaKayla was a sassy fun character who you couldn’t help but root for all the way. I loved her tomboy attitude and determination even as she struggled with family and friends situations. The book did take some serious turns regarding MaKayla’s parents separation but that didn’t take away from the story. And in reality it’s quit common in middle school. The pace was perfect and the humor wonderful.

Should you read this? Yes! Love Double Dutch was a fun read with diverse characters and a wonderful setting.

starstar  star 1/2


 

The Window Blog Tour: Q and A with author Amelia Brunskill

Today we’re excited to be interviewing author Amelia Brunskill of The Window.

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If you don’t already know Kristen and I are twin sisters, she is 3 minutes older, and we wanted to read this book together…because it is about twins!  We came up with some questions regarding the book and twins for Amelia and we had a blast asking them.

Let’s take a look at The Window!


  • Age Range: 12 – 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 – 9
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (April 3, 2018)
  • Order:  Amazon * BN *

If you love The Third Twin and One of Us Is Lying and binge-watched Thirteen Reasons Why, get ready for a heart-wrenching psychological thriller about a girl who knows her twin sister better than anyone . . . or does she? Taut and atmospheric, The Window will keep you guessing until the end.

Secrets have a way of getting out. . . .

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.


Q & A with Amelia Brunskill

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How did you come up with the idea for The Window?

I really enjoy mysteries that focus on a character trying to uncover the truth about what happened to someone they love, while simultaneously trying to understand how their relationship seems to have fractured in some way. So a lot of the idea stemmed from that, combined with my fascination with the idea of being a twin.

What drew you to have twin characters?

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I have an older sister, so when we were growing up I was totally the annoying younger sister who always wanted to hang out with her and her friends, and she was the cool older sister who, especially once she became a teenager, didn’t always want me in tow. Also, my family moved frequently which meant I had to keep making new friends everywhere we went. Between those two things, the idea of having a twin was incredibly appealing since I imagined that we would, of course, be best friends. I wanted to explore what it might be like for twin sisters who in some ways did have this incredibly close bond, but who also began wanting to experiment with going down different paths.

We are twins, and we love the idea that you make the twins so separate in identity from each other, because most twins have their own identity and it’s a misconception in YA books, how did you come up with that concept?

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Right from the beginning, I wanted Jess and Anna to be very distinct from each other. I wanted Jess to reside somewhere along the autism spectrum, being quite literal and finding it difficult to connect with other people, and then for Anna to be much more poetic and romantic in her thought processes. I felt like these differences caused a natural tension between some of their choices and actions, and contributed to why Anna choose not to come to Jess about some of the things she was struggling with.

How did you research the bond between twins? Do you have friends who are twins or did you talk to a set of twins to understand the closeness/bond between twins.

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I do have a good writing friend who is an identical twin, so I did ask her a couple of questions. I also did some research on twins, but most of the research erred more on the side of fact checking (making sure it was feasible that one twin might fall within the autism spectrum while the other one did not, also looking at things like fingerprint patterns). I intentionally avoided doing too much research on real life twins and their bond though, because I worried that I might accidentally overly incorporate details from specific individuals.

 Are any of the characters based off of your personality or one of your friends?

In some ways, Jess is a very dialed up version of how I felt when I was fifteen, which was chronically out of sync with the people around me. None of the other characters are consciously based on the personality of anyone I know, although I’m sure there are bits and pieces of different people in there!

What books would you compare The Window to?

I like to think of it as falling somewhere between the lyrical poignancy of We Were Liars and the read-in-one-sitting deliciousness of One of Us is Lying.


Thank you Amelia for the wonderful interview!

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Stay tuned for our review on The Window!

 

Love Tawney and Kristen

Pre-Pub Adventure: March

Today is a special Pre-Pub Adventure day! The authors will be showing their favorite sentences or paragraphs form their books!

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Let’s take a peek at our Pre-Pub Adventure authors’ books!


 

Nisha Sharma

 

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Remember, Winnie Mehta, fighting fate never works. I’ve made a career out of proving just how powerful destiny can be.”

In MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE, the heroine Winnie has dreams where one of the biggest actors in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, visits her and gives her life advice. This line is from the first time Shah Rukh Khan visits Winnie. Shah Rukh Khan delivers the line after Winnie questions whether or not he knows what he’s talking about.

The reason why this is one of my favorite lines in the book is because it was one of the first scenes I wrote when I started drafting My So-Called Bollywood Life, and it remained untouched after all the years of editing the book went through. I think the reason why it hasn’t changed, is because it’s the key truth the main character has to realize in her journey through the story. I hope readers enjoy the journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Follow NishaTwitter * Instagram * Blog


Don Zolidis

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What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s so hard to pick one paragraph or line! So I picked this one from the first chapter that kind of encapsulates the tone and theme of the book:

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“Craig,” she said gently, “I don’t want to hurt you.” This is what she always said while she was hurting me. It was as if someone was taking an ice pick and stabbing it through my eye. I don’t want to hurt you. Stab. Stab. Stab. You’re only making it worse by screaming and crying. Stab. Stab. Stab. This will feel much better when I do the other eye.

Follow Don: Twitter * Facebook * Blog


Amy Trueblood

      

 

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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“Do you want to talk about it? The war?” I asked.

“No. I don’t like thinking about it, much less speaking about it.”

I understood what he meant. You could fool yourself into believing you had a normal life if you never thought or talked about your past. It was easier to put those feelings away in some small box locked deep inside your heart rather than face it every day. 

The reason I love this part of the book is that for the first time readers are seeing Grace recognize the deep flaws in her life. How she realizes that her past makes her vulnerable. In this scene with Henry she sees herself reflected back in his pain, and she acknowledges that for the first time in her life perhaps she’s not alone.

 Follow Amy:Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Blog


 

Adrienne Young

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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I have way too many favorites, but here is one! I cried while writing this little section. Inge, who you will meet in Sky in the Deep, is explaining sál fjotra – an unbreakable bond between souls. I love this because I feel like it’s so true in real life, finding a connection with others through pain that you may have never formed without it. There is something really special about those bonds and I think in a way, they really are unbreakable. When you’ve hurt with someone, you become fused to them on a very deep level. Eelyn calls it “a tether borne of tears”.

Inge spoke softly. “This kind of bond is formed when a soul is broken. It’s formed through pain, loss, and heartbreak. They’re bound by something deeper than we can see. And that made Iri family.”

I stopped trying to hold back the tears that were waiting to fall. Because I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was what I had with Mýra. A tether borne of tears.

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Laurie Morrison

  

What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

It’s hard to pick a favorite sentence or paragraph! But here’s one I really love:

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“It’s all still completely messed up, that I live in this big house with all this expensive stuff we don’t really need and go to this school where most people’s parents drive shiny new cars and buy them expensive stuff that they don’t need, either, and then there are neighborhoods like the one in Northeast Philly where Mr. Ellis used to teach and even the one where Sierra came from. And even though I don’t know what to do to make any of it less unfair, I do know this: I’m not going to forget about Hailey or zone out when I walk past somebody asking for money on the street. I won’t. Because someday, maybe, I’ll be able to do something more.”

This paragraph comes from the end of the book and I added it pretty late in the game, at the line-edit stage. I like these sentences so much because they really capture my main character’s enduring commitment to justice. The desire to act when she sees something unfair is at the core of her character, and she makes a whole lot of really big mistakes throughout the novel, but I don’t think those bad decisions define her. What really defines her, in my mind, is her continued determination and hope that she will someday help to make the world a better place even though she’s majorly flubbed her very misguided first attempt at doing that. I love this about her and hope readers will, too!

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What is your favorite sentence or paragraph from your book and why is it your favorite?

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There’s a certain very famous designer who’s been quoted as saying, “No one wants to see roundish women.” For this guy, fashion is a world of dreams and illusions where only certain people are welcome.

Of course, it’s true that fashion mocks and humiliates fat people relentlessly. But the real deal is that we’ve all been Roundish at one time or another. We’ve all been made to think we’re less than we ought to be. We’ve all faced su­perficial shaming about our sizes, shapes, skin tones, hair or age and have been led to believe that our value is based only on what we see in the mirror.

Yet this designer is totally wrong about fashion. He’s completely missed the point. It’s not an illusion or a dream. It’s a tool that should help people feel good about themselves and to achieve their dreams.

The Roundish are the thinkers, dreamers, doers and be­lievers. Your heart, your spirit, your hopes—these are the things that matter.

About this excerpt: Personally, I have always loved fashion but also, as a fat person, have felt quite excluded by it. There are entire trends – like skinny jeans – designed to show that fashion isn’t really meant for fat people. In my book, I really wanted to explore that idea via my main character, Cookie Vonn. She’s pursuing her passion of designing clothes, dreaming of success in a field that often deliberately shuns people who look like like her. So there’s this tension between this art form that Cookie loves and the industry that monetizes it. Part of her process of growing up is trying to find out if she can change that industry or if it’s going to change her.
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Mae Respicio

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My favorite lines in The House That Lou Built are actually the very first and last lines but since I don’t want to give those away I’ll share a few that introduce one of my favorite characters in the book, Lou’s wood shopteacher:

“Whenever Mr. Keller sees people goofing off during shop, he points at them with his nub and says, “Careful or you’ll lose a digit.” His finger ends at the joint. He lost the tip in high school while not paying attention during shop. Everyone freaks out when they see the stub up close—including me. Right now it’s hovering a few inches from my face, pale and smooth around the bone. I try not to look.”

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 Weren’t all these quotes beautiful and leave you wanting more?

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See you on the next Pre-Pub Adventure!