Monthly Archives: January 2012

UNDER THE NEVER SKY – ARC Giveaway (Plus, Bookmarks Galore!)

I normally don’t read a lot of dystopian fiction, but when I got the ARC of UNDER THE NEVER SKY by fellow Apocalypsie Veronica Rossi, I thought I’d give it a try.  And boy, am I glad I did!

Reverie, where Aria comes from, is a place where people “live” only in virtual realities, where enhanced experiences supplant real ones, and people no longer have a need to touch each other, even to procreate.   Conversely, Perry’s world of the Outsiders is savage and visceral, and its inhabitants have developed heightened, animalistic senses.  Rossi builds the worlds of Reverie and the Outer Wasteland with great humanity and intelligence and a deep understanding of the struggles present in our own society.  And this clash of cultures is the perfect setting for a love story, and watching the restrained, almost clinical Aria give herself over to Perry and his very primal world of love, pain, and emotion is not only compelling, but also a very apt metaphor for anyone falling in love.


If you would like to WIN A COPY OF THE ARC for UNDER THE NEVER SKY, just leave a comment on this post and you’ll automatically be entered in the drawing!  And you can snag  extra entries by completing any of the following:

And if you do all five you’ll be entered five times!  But make sure to leave your entry total in your comment.  The giveaway will be open until Friday Feb. 3rd at noon, and I’ll announce the winner shortly thereafter.

Plus, as a bonus, the winner of the ARC, and 3 additional winners, will receive an assortment of Apocalypsies bookmarks and postcards from including:

  • Jill Hathaway’s SLIDE (signed)
  • Jessica Spotswood’s BORN WICKED (signed)
  • Jenny Lundquist’s SEEING CINDERELLA
  • Robin Bridge’s THE GATHERING STORM (signed)
  • Elissa Jane Hoole’s KISS THE MORNING STAR (signed)
  • Megan Miranda’s FRACTURE
  • A.C. Gaughen’s SCARLET
  • Caroline Rose Star’s MAY B.
  • Lissa Price’s STARTERS (signed)
  • and of course, my bookmarks Hilary Weisman Graham’s REUNITED (signed)


Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, young adult

True Teen Stories: Three’s a Crowd

Welcome to Volume 3 of “True Teen Stories,” a blog series which features non-fiction essays from teen writers.  I am incredibly impressed and proud of the writer of this next story, 14-year-old Angel R. of the U.K., author of “Three’s a Crowd.”   It’s not easy to open yourself up to the world, and I think Angel’s bravery and candor will be an inspiration to girls everywhere.


By Angel R., age 14 

I remember sometime last year, lying on my best friend’s bed with my nose stuck in a book as she complained about yet another boy that had ‘broken her heart’. This one only lasted a week. The pair of us, I realize now, must have looked like those cheesy best friends that you see in all the 1990’s movies. Phoebe Smith* and I had been best friends since she stood on my foot on the first day of primary school and, at 13 years a piece, had been through so much together: first bras, first boyfriends, first break-ups, and first periods. You name it, we had been through it together.

It was around this time that my feelings towards Phoebe started to change. We went from being BFFs to me being madly in love with her and her being completely clueless as usual. I think that I’d always had a special place in my heart for Phoebe and, once I discovered it was okay to like girls, finally admitted my feelings to myself. I remember her falling beside me on the bed and asking why she didn’t like girls instead, it would be so much easier. We talked about sexuality for about an hour and both agreed that yes, it was okay to date other girls but no, she and I wouldn’t be doing it anytime soon after all, as Phoebe said “Neither of us are really lesbians”

A couple of months after the ‘bedroom incident’, a new girl showed up at school. Her name was Laura Slough and she was one of these girls that always wears designer clothes and has a giggle that reverberates around in your skull for hours after hearing it, which is why it surprised me so much when Phoebe invited her to hang around with us. Now, I’m all for making someone feel welcome, so of course I played nice.  But as Phoebe and Katy started to grow closer I couldn’t help but get slightly jealous. So, I did the only thing I could think of: not let it get to me. It worked, for the rest of that school year and the start of the next one. Sure, our cozy duo became a trio, but we were all friends and we all loved each other.  Or so I thought.

With the new addition to our group, my feelings towards Phoebe only got stronger and stronger and, I realized as the world was changing around me, I didn’t like boys the way other girls did, I liked girls and I had to face up to that fact and stop hiding it. I was happy with my new, clearer, knowledge of myself and wanted to share it with my friends, after all Phoebe had basically told me that it was okay to be gay and if Laura didn’t like it, well I wasn’t really losing much was I? So I was going to do it one day at school, I managed to get them into a quiet part of the school by telling them I had ‘something important to tell them’ but when it came around to actually saying something I found I couldn’t do it so quickly ran off leaving two very confused teenagers behind me.

I decided that the easiest way to do it would be over MSN so, during our 6pm scheduled chat I was almost forced into it by Laura. Here’s a snippet of that conversation: 

Phoebe: Or vegas! Wat bout u Ang do u wanna go vegas wiv me?

Me: I’d love to go with you Phoebe.

Laura: Oh, ang. Wat u wanted to tell us?

Me: Oh, right. Um, it doesn’t matter?

Phoebe: Go on babes, tell us

Me: Well, its kinda important.

Laura: Just spit it out!

Me: I’m gay.

Laura: WAT? Wind up rite?

Me: No, I’m being serious. I’m in love with another girl

Phoebe: I don’t know what to say baby o_O

Laura: hows bout: thats gross! Wat girl would wanna kiss u?

Me: Phoebe?

Phoebe has signed out

The conversation continued (via text now) with lots of swearing and derogatory names thrown at myself, mainly by Laura but a few coming from the girl I love too.

The next day I walked into school with my head held high even though I could hear the gossip about me spreading like wildfire through the hallways. I came face to face with the two girls that had haunted my dreams the previous night and, looking me straight in the face, Laura simply spat on my shoe and told me that if she saw me again she would do it in my face. I looked to Phoebe for support, but she just linked arms with Laura and spat on my shoe as well. I knew in that moment that letting Laura into our duo was the worst mistake of my life so far.

A few weeks later, after avoiding both girls in the hallways, Phoebe was announced to be on a long holiday, visiting family in Australia apparently. But Phoebe doesn’t have any family in Australia, so I am not certain why she is really gone, but the one thing I am certain of is that when she returns, I am going to talk to her alone.  Because, let’s be honest:  three’s a crowd.

*Actual names have been changed

About the Author:  Angel is a 14-year old girl. She has been in girlguiding for 10 years now and currently helps at both a Rainbow (young girls aged 5-7) and a Brownie (girls aged 7-10) unit, she also helps at two local charity shops (British heart foundation and Scope). In the little free time she gets she likes to listen to both classical music and the top 40 whilst writing the several novels she has on the go. She, one day, aspires to be a primary teacher along with publishing several of her own novels and leading Rainbow, Brownie and Guide (girls aged 10-14) units during the week and at the weekend continue to volunteer at local charity shops.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, friends, friendship, friendship break-ups, teen writers, teenage girls, thinking about others, writing advice, young adult

Cool Animation by Moss Moon

My friend Bill Long is a talented artist & animator & I’m proud to share the latest installment of his web series here.  Those of you who know me may recognize the voice of Zara, the hottie on bass.  Too bad the non-animated version of me doesn’t look that good in a purple micro-mini. 😉

Oh, and you may want to watch Part 1 first.

To check out more of Moss Moon Studio’s animation, including the gorgeous work of his partner, Kaori Hamura, Check out their YouTube Channel and their Website.

Leave a comment

Filed under movies

YAmazing Race – REUNITED water bottle giveaway


Lisa Fisher Walker is now the proud owner of a limited edition REUNITED water bottle.  Lisa, I will email you to get your address.

And stay tuned for more great giveaways on my blog.  Next week, I’ll be giving away an ARC of Veronica Rossi’s amazing YA debut, UNDER THE NEVER SKY.


Leave a comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, young adult

The YAmazing race is over!

Make sure you do a proper cool-down so your legs don’t cramp.  And stay tuned for info. on prizewinners, hopefully by tomorrow.


Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, young adult

The YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes has begun!

Welcome to Stop #2, Leg #2 the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes, the coolest blog hop ever featuring over 50 debut authors and a veritable smorgasbord of booty including: ARCs, gift certificates, swag, and a French kiss from your favorite Jonas Brother.

Okay, I made up that last one.

If you haven’t yet been to the Apocalypsies website, CLICK HERE to start from the beginning and read the complete rules.  Now on to the race!

REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham  (Simon & Schuster – June 12, 2012)

1 Concert.    2,000 Miles.     3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.  Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.  But when the band broke up, so did their friendship.  Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.  Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show. Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse.  And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town.  But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?


Now tuck that away in your clever, little brain for the quiz at the end.  And remember, you must complete ALL 5 quizzes to be eligible for a prize pack.

But before you go – here’s a bonus contest! Do any of the following and you’ll be entered to win a limited edition REUNITED water bottle.

And if you do all five you’ll be entered five times!

REUNITED will quench your thirst.

Ready to move on?  Click here to go the website of Lissa Price, author of STARTERS (Leg 2, Stop2 of the YAmazing Race).  Good luck!


Filed under book blog, books, movies, YA, writing, favorite books, teenage girls, young adult

The Page Turner

I need to build one of these for reading in bed.

1 Comment

Filed under books, movies, YA, writing