Saturday, June 30, 2012

Join #TeamEtienne in the YA Crush Tourney!

Our official Team Etienne page is up! Check it out HERE!


Anyone wanting to help out is more than welcome to! Check out the page to find out how you can help!

We're an advocate in the YA Sisterhood's 2nd Annual YA Crush Tourney!


Guys, who's psyched for the YA Sisterhood's second annual YA Crush Tourney? We are! And we're especially excited this year because...

We're an advocate! That's right. We will be representing one of the many swoon worthy crushes this time around.

And who will we be representing, you ask?

*drumroll please*

None other than the incredible the oh-so-gorgeous American-French-English masterpiece, Etienne St. Clair from Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss!


The tournament kicks off July 6th, so get prepared to make some hard decisions in the near future. Etienne will be facing off against Simon (The Mortal Instruments) on July 18th. If you'd like to help represent Etienne let us know! Feel free to tweet us or email us!

We ask all of you to take a button and help us represent Etienne in the Tourney! And be sure to VOTE come July 18th!


Team Etienne


We'll have more updates in the future, but for now here's the schedule for Round 1:

Schedule for Round 1
Friday, July 6th, 2012
Match 1: Will (1) vs. Vincent (32)
Match 2: Zachary (16) vs. Alex (17)

Monday, July 9th, 2012
Match 3: Christian (9) vs. Adam (Shatter Me) (24)
Match 4: Eddie (8) vs. Sam (25)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Match 5: Four (4) vs. Tucker (29)
Match 6: Magnus (13) vs. Tod (20)

Friday, July 13th, 2012
Match 7: Finnick (12) vs. Kaiden (21)
Match 8: Jem (5) vs. Gale (28)

Monday, July 16th, 2012
Match 9: Adrian (2) vs. Cricket (31)
Match 10: Alec (15) vs. Noah (18)

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Match 11: Simon (10) vs. Etienne (23)
Match 12: Patch (7) vs. Percy (26)

Friday, July 20th, 2012
Match 13: Dimitri (3) vs. Archer (30)
Match 14: Ash (14) vs. Aiden (19)

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
March 15: Daemon (11) vs. Augustus (22)
Match 16: Peeta (6) vs. Lucas (Starcrossed) (27)



For more about the YA Crush Tourney and the YA Sisterhood check out their site HERE!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Post: Linda Benson, author of Six Degrees of Lost

Hey, guys!

Today we're talking to Linda Benson, author of Six Degrees of Lost! She's got a great guest post about how her character's and how they came to life on the page. Here's a synopsis of her book, Six Degrees of Lost:

Olive’s mother is headed to jail and her brother to join the Army, so thirteen-year-old Olive is uprooted from sunny California and dumped in Washington state like a stray. That's exactly what she feels like surrounded by her aunt’s collection of homeless dogs, cats, and horses.

Fourteen-year-old David’s future is already carved in stone. From a military family with two brothers serving overseas, he’s been pointed towards the Air Force Academy his entire life - but a rafting trip gone awry might ruin his chances.

When a runaway dog is almost hit by a car, the search for its owner leads Olive and David, two kids from entirely different backgrounds, to an unlikely bond. Will their growing attraction to each other be enough to keep Olive from a foolhardy journey to find her mother? Will David risk his family’s plans to save her? ~ Courtesy of Goodreads


Guest Post by Linda Benson



When I first started to write SIX DEGREES OF LOST, I had two characters floating around in my head, begging for their story to be told. One was Olive, a thirteen-year-old girl with no choices in life. With an absent dad, a mother sent to jail, and a brother in the army, Olive gets shipped off to Washington State to live with her aunt, who runs a foster home for homeless dogs, cats, and horses. David is a boy whose choices are already carved in stone, or that’s what it feels like. From a military family, he’s expected to apply to the Air Force Academy and serve his country like his brothers are doing, but David chafes at the expectations loaded on him.
Because both of these characters seemed to demand equal billing, and because I wanted to push myself as a writer and try something new, I decided to let them each narrate alternate chapters. So SIX DEGREES OF LOST is told from two viewpoints, and although it was sometimes like a jigsaw puzzle trying to make all of the pieces come together in a single storyline, I’m pleased with how it turned out.
But more surprising to me was how the relationship between the two characters, Olive and David, developed once I put them on the page. One of the most enjoyable things about being a “pantser” (a writer who writes by the seat of her pants,) is that sometimes the story unfolds in ways the author doesn’t even imagine. I had thought that Olive and David might meet, become friends, and have some adventures together, perhaps saving animals. But they decided to take things into their own hands (as teenagers often do) and went on an unexpected journey at the end of the book that was totally unplanned. I was just as surprised as the reader might be. For me, that’s one of the great joys of being a writer – seeing what your characters do once you set them free on the page.

Linda Benson has written several young adult and middle grade books, including The Girl Who Remembered Horses, Finding Chance, The Horse Jar, and a brand new novel called Six Degrees of Lost. Her passion for nature and animals often finds its way into her writing. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a variety of animals, and is hard at work on her next book.

To find out more:
Visit her website: http://www.lindabenson.net
Her blog: http://www.lindabenson.blogspot.com
Find her on Facebook: http://facebook.com/LindaBensonAuthor
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinBenson

For more Six Degrees of Lost check out these sites!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Excerpt: Moa, by Tricia Stewart Shiu

Please enjoy this excerpt from Moa, a paranormal YA novel with a literary bent by Tricia Stewart Shiu. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $6000 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.


Eighteen-year-old, Hillary Hause’s left thumb searches frantically to turn on the “I’m Okay to Fly” hypnotherapy recording. Her nerves on edge, fuchsia fingernails press into the blue pleather armrests of her airplane seat.


“No spells can help you now,” she whispers to herself under her breath—then checks to see if anyone notices. Nope, they don’t.


The plane lifts through the early morning, gray fog of California, “June Gloom” giving way to the azure sky, and Hillary covers her curly brown head and retreats beneath the questionably clean plane blanket cranking the volume to drown out the drone of the engines.


“Outer shell close to breaking.” This time she doesn’t care if anyone hears.


I hover just beyond her “outer shell”—a movement in the periphery, a faintly familiar scent, a fond memory just beyond recognition, a non-human observer. Before the week is up, Hillary will save my life, as I will hers. But, for now, more about Hillary.


The drink cart rolls past the blanket, which has, by now become a moist steamy cave.

“Hey, freak. I hope your plane crashes.” The memory reverberates through her brain despite her attempts to distract herself with the hypnotherapy recording. She increases the volume, but the ugly conversation, which occurred just before school ended, still haunts her mind.


“I guess the only people they check on those flights are the suspicious ones,” Krystal Sykes, a bully from her home room, leans in as Hillary hastens to grab books for her next class. Krystal, also a senior, has hounded Hillary since the first day of freshman year and this is the final day during the final hour at this tiny high school of 376 students —where everyone knows everyone else’s business.


“Look, Krystal.” Hillary turns her eyes toward the sneering blonde. “It’s the last day of school, we’ll never see each other again. Can you give it a rest?” These are the most words the two young women have exchanged in the entire four years of high school.


A look of shock replaces Krystal’s smug snick, “Oh, so now you talk.” She leans in, so close that her spray tan becomes a patchy Impressionist painting. Her pores are blotched with cakey, two shades too dark powder, her unblended cream eyeshadow creases across the center of her lid and her tropical breeze flavored breath threatens to strangle the words right out of Hillary.


“I know all about your witchcraft practices and have made a few spells of my own. Trust me. You’ll never make it to your sister’s house in Hawaii.” Krystal’s backpack jingles and Hillary watches her spin around and skip down the hall.


Hillary is not a witch. She has, however, carefully crafted a “shell” to protect herself from bullies like Krystal—who, as far as Hillary can tell—is not a witch either. She has watched Krystal throughout elementary, middle and high school and has not been able to discern whether or not she practices witchcraft. No matter what Krystal’s background, her intent is to harm. And there is nothing worse than a spell with an aim to hurt. Hillary has had no choice but to remain in a constant state of defensiveness.


The twenty-minute recording ends and Hillary falls into a troubled sleep—feeling every bump and hearing every creak of the plane.


With about an hour left in the flight, Hillary awakens with a “turtle headache.” Hillary’s older sister Molly taught her this term which means a headache caused by sleeping too long underneath the covers of one’s bed.


Sadly, Molly lost her husband, Steve, last year in an unfortunate surfing accident. The throbbing pain in Hillary’s left temple could be the result of remaining submerged beneath an airplane blanket and wedged between the window and armrest, or it could be from worry about how Molly and her niece, Heidi are dealing with their devastating loss.


Disoriented, Hillary pokes her head out just in time to glimpse puffy clouds and sparkling sea below. A flood of excitement and sheer wonder flows through Hillary in the form of a tingle from her head to her toes. And then, a lovely thought: “...And for an Everlasting Roof, The Gambrels of the Sky...” She will enjoy this plane ride, thanks in part to Emily Dickinson.


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.

Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!





To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku: The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction
to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Oh my... wow! We have another amazing cover reveal today! I am so obsessed with Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series. Like uber-obsessed. So, while stalking MTV's Hollywood Crush site I stumbled upon the cover of The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) which releases Feb. 12, 2013!


I'm so excited! Not sure how I feel about The Indigo Spell's cover, though. I mean, it's awesome. For sure. But, well, I'm not sure. I think Adrian looked better on the first cover, I guess. I'm still totally obsessed, though :)

So what do you guys think? Do you love it? Hate it? Are you counting the days until it's release?!

Cover Reveal: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Okay, I'm in love with the cover of Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter. It was revealed earlier on MTV's Hollywood Crush. Here, take a look:


Kat is a girl who is used to getting—or stealing—everything she wants. But telling the truth to the boy she likes? Now that's a cat of a different color.

When Kat's on-again off-again boyfriend, Hale, suddenly inherits his family's billion dollar company, Kat gets a tip-off that the will is a fake. Trapped between a rock and a hard place, how can she tell Hale that he might be living a lie?

Critics and fans alike have fallen for Heist Society (no conning necessary). With more mystery, non-stop action, romance and humor, this third novel in the hit series is just as irresistible. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

It's just so pretty, isn't it? I can't wait. I love the other covers, too, but there's just something about the pink on Perfect Scoundrels that I really like. Plus, I can kind of see Hale in her sunglasses!!

So, how excited are you for Perfect Scoundrels? Do you love the color as much as we do?

Teaser Tuesday (11): Don't You Wish


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.


This week's teaser comes from Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire. I've just started this one, but it looks pretty funny so far.

"'Shame about the breakup,' he says. 'You two looked so...right for each other.'

There might be a little sarcasm in that statement, but I ignore it. 'Looks can be deceiving.'" {Don't You Wish, Chapter 16}


Goodreads Synopsis of Don't You Wish:

When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.  

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads



Check out Don't You Wish at these sites!


*All quotes are from an unfinished ARC. Any quotations may differ from finished copy.*

Monday, June 25, 2012

Author Interview: Inger Iversen, author of Few Are Angels

Today, we have the pleasure of talking to Inger Iversen, author of Few Are Angels. Here's a synopsis of her book:

After a fatal hit and run accident, Ella Monroe fears that she’s lost more than her beloved parents. Horrifying visions of a past life and a disturbing voice in her head have psychiatric professionals convinced that she’s lost her sanity as well. But when Kale--a dark and handsome stranger with a mysterious past--reveals the true meaning of her visions and the tremendous power she wields through them, Ella must come to terms with the devastating truths of her own past, while eluding an ancient Dark Prince who seeks to control not only her future, but all of mankind’s, by means of abilities that Ella is only beginning to understand.

Enter the shrouded world of an age old battle between an ancient race known as the Immortals and their bitter enemy Laurent, the so-called Dark Prince, who commands an army of half-breed vampires known as Chorý. Both sides have been desperately searching for the prophesied emergence of the Arc, a clairvoyant with unparalleled power to recall the past and a soothsayer with clear vision into the future.

The Council of Immortals has sworn to protect the Arc, whom they have identified as young Ella Monroe, a college freshman from Virginia living quietly and unaware of her powers or her past. But a renegade Chorý has other plans for the protection of a girl he has loved through the ages. Can Kale convince Ella of who she is, what she is destined to become, and what he once meant to her? Is he truly the best protector to shield the world from the devastating misuse of her powers that Laurent is bent on controlling? Or will the forbidden love they share and Kale’s cursed condition as a retched and hated Chorý be used against them both?

This paranormal romance told from the heroine’s perspective builds in intensity and intrigue to a finale you won’t see coming. Heart pounding action mixed with heartwarming friendships and heartbreaking romance will leave you breathless and begging for more. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads


Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Kristen Anne Inger Iversen and I am from Virginia Beach, Virginia where the weather exercises its right to change its mind frequently—no matter the season! When I decided to publish I used the named Inger Iversen because you’d be surprised at how many Kristen Iversens there are out there LOL. I love to play Call of Duty, Final Fantasy and I am totally clueless about what a hashtag means in reference to Twitter.

How'd you come up with the idea for Few Are Angels?

Few Are Angels was a dream that took over my reality. During work I would daydream about the characters and the world that I would create for them. I was in the middle of writing another novel called DreamWalkers, but I put it aside in order to start FAA.

What was your favorite thing about writing Few Are Angels?

My favorite part was writing the interactions between Kale and Ella. As well as Mia and her snarky attitude!

What do you think the hardest part of being a writer is?

The hardest part about writing for me is finding the time to write as well as spend time with my friends and family. I often stay up very late writing and then sleep all day long. I call it my “Hermit Mode” Usually, if that is my Facebook status everyone pretty much leaves me alone, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t hear it later. I don’t plan to write, I just write when the moment hits me and then I don’t stop until it’s gone.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?

Stop trying to be the next big thing and be yourself. Now that authors are able to use Amazon and Barnes and Noble to self-publish the only person you have to impress is the reader and not some publishing mogul. The readers are now in control and they are looking for something different while publishers and agents are looking for that cookie cutter book that they already know will sell. The readers have placed people like Amanda Hocking in millionaire status when before she was turned down by more than ten different publishing houses! What does that tell you? Well, it told me that there was a power shift and we the READERS and WRITERS have more control. Most if not all writers are avid readers, so write about what you would want to read about.

Fantastic advice for everyone who loves to read and write! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, Kristen!

Find out more about Few Are Angels at these sites!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Blood Moon
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publish Date: June 19 2012
Rating:


When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange Drake’s struggle with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets, and forbidden magic put her entire family in danger. And when Nicholas Drake is torn between saving his little sister, Solange, or his girlfriend Lucy, who will he choose? ~ Courtesy of Amazon



I cannot say enough good things about Alyxandra Harvey's The Drake Chronicles. And Blood Moon was, so far, my favorite book in the series.  It's darker and a lot more serious than the other books, but it still has that same sense of humor that made me fall in love with The Drake Chronicles in the first place. There was so much action, and all of the characters were present. All of the Drakes are there, along with my favorite Hunters as well!

I can't even begin to tell you how in love with Harvey's characters I am. Not only do I love all of the Drake boys, I even love their mom. I even love their crazy aunts and uncles. Harvey creates a family that you want to be part of. (Or more like you want to be their crazy neighbor, Lucy, so you can ogle all the hot family members and have it not be weird...) That's part of what I love most about The Drake Chronicles. Harvey's ability to create fully fleshed out characters that actually interact with one another. They all have this chemistry with one another, like they're a real family.

And Holy. Moly. Batman! Blood Moon was the most insane book in this series by far. That's the only word to describe the crazy twist Harvey took with the storyline. Blood Moon was so utterly, heartbreakingly perfect. I didn't want it to happen, but as it was happening it still just felt... right. 
I seriously can't wait to see what happens next! I'm going to be holding my breath until the next book comes out. (So if I pass out, it's all your fault Alyxandra!)

If you love the Drake's the way I love them, you NEED to get your hands on Blood Moon as fast as you can! If you're one of the poor unfortunates who's never had the privilege of meeting the Drake boys, go out and buy Hearts at Stake (Drake Chronicles #1). Right now!



Check out Blood Moon at these sites!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spotlight: The Color of Snow by Brenda Stanley


Today were spotlighting Brenda Stanley's The Color of Snow as part of The Color of Snow Blog Tour. We have a guest post from Brenda and an EXCERPT from the book! And trust me, the excerpt will leave you wanting more! Here's a quick synopsis of The Color of Snow:

Can a troubled young girl reenter society after living in isolation?

When a beautiful 16-year-old girl named Sophie is found sequestered in a cage-like room in a rundown house in the desolate hills of Arbon Valley, Idaho, the entire community is shocked to learn she is the legendary Callidora--a baby girl who was kidnapped from her crib almost seventeen years ago and canonized in missing posters with portraits of what the fabled girl might resemble. Authorities soon learn that the cage was there to protect people from Sophie, because her biological father believes she is cursed.

Sophie is discovered after the man she knows as Papa, shoots and injures Damien, a young man who is trying to rescue her. Now, unsocialized and thrust into the world, and into a family she has never met, Sophie must decide whether she should accept her Papa’s claims that she is cursed and he was only trying to protect others, or trust the new people in her life who have their own agendas. Guided by a wise cousin, Sophie realizes that her most heartbreaking challenge is to decide if her love for Damien will destroy him like her Papa claims, or free her from past demons that haunt her mind.

Guest Post by Brenda Stanley

The Color of Snow has been described as dark or mysterious. I feel most of my writing fits this description because I enjoy looking at the strange and unusual things in life. My novel will definitely make some people uncomfortable. I like to look at situations and issues and try to figure out how people will react. For years I was a crime reporter, so I enjoy investigating stories and learning about the parts of life most people try to hide. When I wrote The Color of Snow, I was working on a story about a young girl who went missing years ago and has never been found. I started thinking about what would happen if she were to suddenly show up now. I loved putting myself in Sophie’s shoes and seeing things for the first time.

Sophie’s relationship with Damien is both intense and tempered. Her father has raised her to believe that she will destroy anyone who truly loves her, so she is torn between her love for Damien and her fear of causing him harm.

The story changes between what is going on with Sophie and what happened in her parent’s past that brought her to where she is. I wanted readers to experience the often isolated feeling of living in a vast rural area, but also the mental confinement of a small town.

Mental illness, teen pregnancy, religious intolerance, and racism are all big parts of The Color of Snow. I like my characters to face challenges and see them grow from them. It is not only the conflicts with the other characters that keeps the story going, but also those within the person’s own mind.

I wanted Sophie to be unusually beautiful so that people treated her strangely and therefore made her feel even more alien when she is first discovered. She has transformed from a tragic kidnapping victim to a mythical ghost from the past and this makes her transition into her new life even more difficult.

My ties to the Mormon Church go back to my great-great grandparents. I was raised in the teachings of the Mormon religion and even though I am no longer a member, I have many friends and family who are still very active in the church. My descriptions of the Mormon culture are how I view it and how I feel someone who has never been exposed to it might see it. I think there are a lot of people who are curious about the Mormon religion and have misconceptions. I feel I’ve been both candid and fair in my portrayal.


Excerpt from The Color of Snow

Malad, Idaho, early spring 2009

Spring had spread across the fields and pastures. Cottonwood trees fluttered their newly sprouted greenery, and purple asters covered the rolling hills. The snow had melted and Stephanie and I started taking the horses on rides up the valley. It was incredibly liberating to roam and wander without fear.

There was a trail leading from the foothills up into the forest, and once we were in the midst of the wild spruce and lofty pines, the noises of cars and life around the ranch disappeared. The sound of hooves on early spring dirt was solid and steady. The breeze was still crisp, but the sun reached down and warmed our shoulders. For almost an hour we rode in silence. We both were in awe of the day and the splendor that was ours alone to enjoy.

At the top of the hill, the trail opened up to a small plateau and a blue mountain lake. I gasped at the incredible beauty of it. I smiled at Stephanie and she nodded in acknowledgement. Her eyes were bright and her freckles seemed to glow in the sunshine. The horse she rode was a black mare my grandfather was going to sell. Stephanie loved the white diamond-shaped patch on her forehead, and scolded him for even thinking about selling Black Bean. My horse was an old buckskin gelding named Clyde. He lumbered along and rarely went faster than a slow trot, but for a beginner like me he was perfect.

Stephanie turned her horse down the hill and toward the lake. “Do you want to go swimming?” she called back.

“I don’t know how,” I answered.

She giggled as she reached the water’s edge. “You don’t need to. The horses do it all.” Her hair was pulled into two short pigtails and they bounced with each step of her horse.

I waited and watched as she urged Black Bean into the water and out into the lake. As the water got deeper, the splashes became larger around its legs as it pushed forward, and soon they were floating along smoothly.

“Come on!” she yelled, waving me in. She had her legs pulled up on the sides, trying to avoid getting completely soaked. They were pale and freckled like her face, and seemed to make up most of her body. Stephanie wasn’t much taller than I, but her legs and arms were long and made her look gangly and even thinner than she was. She waved so hard she almost fell off the horse, and started laughing as she steadied herself.

It looked like fun, but I was terrified. The water was immense and dark. The largest amount of water I had ever been in was my own bathtub. I wondered what would happen if I fell off in the middle. Stephanie and Black Bean were in the center of the lake and they looked like a serene harmonious duo.

I gave Clyde a slight nudge and he walked to the shoreline. The water lapped as I waited and watched Stephanie continue to beckon. She looked like she was having a marvelous time and wasn’t worried in the least. I patted Clyde and prodded him with the heels of my sneakers. He seemed unconcerned as he clopped loudly into the water. I took a deep breath and told myself to keep looking forward and it would be okay. Clyde had no hesitation, which helped ease my fear.

The sun beat down on us and made splashes of water light up as Clyde moved forward into the water. The splatters that hit my exposed skin were freezing and made me realize how cold it would be if I did fall in. I fixed my eyes on the opposite shoreline and put my faith in Clyde. The horse had a wide back, and as we got deeper into the lake, I curled my legs back the way Stephanie did and clung to his mane. We were riding bareback that day, because Stephanie didn’t want to spend time putting on saddles.

I held my breath as we got further away from the shore and closer to the very center of the lake. At one point I looked down, staring deep into the abyss. There was no bottom, and I felt my stomach turn, knowing I would surely die if I left Clyde’s back.

As the horse rhythmically propelled us along, I began to feel a sense of buoyancy and freedom. When we crossed the center point and were on our way to the other shore, my confidence turned to elation. I started to breathe again and smiled at what I had accomplished. I sat up straight, closed my eyes and imagined I was flying, gliding along on my winged unicorn, soaring through clouds and racing the wind. When I opened my eyes, I giggled at my foolish imagination, but couldn’t help beaming at what an amazing adventure it was.

When the horse’s hooves made contact with the lake bottom and we started to emerge from the water, I wanted to burst from relief and joy. “That was the most wonderful thing ever!”

Stephanie was sitting on a large tree limb that had fallen while her horse munched on fresh new grass beside her. “I didn’t think you’d do it. I’m proud of you.”

“It was so scary, but then it was so amazing.”

“I’m glad you liked it, because that’s how we’re getting back.”

We led the horses to a shaded area and tied them loosely to a tree so they could rest and graze. Stephanie leaned back against a tree and looked out at the incredible view of mountain-lined lake and clear blue sky.

“This is where I go when I can’t stand life anymore. The first time I came here, I tried to kill myself. I stole my dad’s gun and had it all planned out. Then I sat here and looked around at all this and thought...who would care? I’m nothing and no one would miss me, so why do it? That’s when I decided to live for me. I do what makes me happy now and screw the rest of them.”

“You were going to kill yourself. Why?”

Stephanie took a deep, labored sigh. “I didn’t see the point in living. My mom was dead and my dad married that crazy bitch.” She shrugged. “I don’t really fit in anywhere. Even at school, the kids hate me.”

I shook my head. “I don’t believe that. There is no reason to hate you.”

Stephanie scoffed. “You say that because you don’t know any better. You don’t know what normal is. That’s why we get along. I’m a freak, but you’ve never had any friends, so you don’t know how weird I am.” She smiled.

“I’ve had friends,” I protested.

“Really? I thought you were kept alone at that house all the time.”

I nodded.

Stephanie raised an eyebrow. “So, did your dad kidnap kids and bring them home for you play with?”

My eyes went large, but then Stephanie laughed and I realized she was joking. I paused for a moment, trying to pick my words carefully.

“Don’t worry about me telling anyone. Remember, we’re best friends, so you should be able to tell me anything. I’ve never told anyone that I was going to kill myself.”

I looked at her with a mixture of love and concern. “I had two friends. I met them when I was eleven. Their mother worked with my father and they came to our house one day. That’s how they knew I lived there. They lived over the hill from us and they came over while Papa was at work and we played in my yard.” I stopped and smiled at the memory.

“You had to hide them from your father. Why?”

“He was afraid that if people knew I was home alone all day, they would come and take me away.”

“Didn’t it drive you crazy to be alone all the time?”

I shrugged. “Not really. When I met Donny and Damien I was much happier. I didn’t know what it was like to have friends before I met them, so I didn’t realize what I was missing.”

She studied me. “Isn’t Damien the kid your dad shot? Why’d he shoot him? Did he catch him with you?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t you just tell him that you two were friends and that it was no big deal?"

“I tried to convince him, but...there is a lot you don’t understand.”

Stephanie gave me a disappointed curl of her lip. “And I won’t be able to understand if you keep everything a secret.”

I stayed silent.

“Sophie, I’ve already told you something that I never told anyone. I trust you because we’re friends. That is what friends do. They trust each other and they tell each other things. Do you think I won’t believe you?”

“No, it’s not that. And I do trust you, but there are things that will sound strange, and I don’t want you to think I’m a monster.”

She laughed. “You are the opposite of a monster. You’re friendly and kind. People would love to be near you.”

I ran the word through my head several times. I wondered if the statement had validity, because if it did, it explained some of the things Papa told me that seemed unimaginable.

“So, what is this big dark secret? You say your father didn’t kidnap you or treat you badly, so why did he keep you locked up in that house hidden away from the world?”

I thought it was inconceivable that the two of us were best friends. Stephanie had just confessed that she had almost ended her life and now I was about to tell her how I had ended my mother’s and one of my friends. My fears of being ostracized and treated like a disease were still at the surface, but the thought of releasing some of the weight with a person I trusted was like having a balloon inflating inside me ready to burst. I felt my secret was slowly killing me, and the only way I could get relief was to talk about it. I was still scared that once it was out, it would sprout wings and fly out of control.

“I’ll tell you, but you have to swear you’ll never tell anyone else.”

“I swear. I swear on my stepmother’s grave,” she giggled.

I looked at her, worried that she wasn’t in the right mind frame to hear what I had to say. My face must have showed it, because Stephanie quickly lost her smile and leaned forward. She put her hand on my shoulder. “God, Soph, I was just kidding. You look like I just cursed her dead.”

I gasped and put my hand to my mouth. I felt an icy chill go down my back and my heart jumped.

“What?” she asked.

“It’s what you said. That is why I had to hide all those years.”

“What I said? How could that be? I wasn’t even around.”

I was speechless and stunned. Just hearing the word made me dizzy. I put my face in my hands and rocked back and forth, trying to steady my nerves and my thoughts.

“Sophie, what’s wrong with you? You’re not making any sense. I can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.”

I stopped rocking, and looked up at her. “I’m so afraid to say anything.”

“You have no reason to be afraid. I’m not going to tell anyone. You’re my only friend!” She smiled. “You’ll go crazy if you keep it all inside.”

“But what if you don’t want to be friends after I tell you?”

“That’s crazy.” She sat up on her knees and squared her body to mine. She held my shoulders and made me look at her. “Here, think about this. Imagine I’m the one telling you this big secret. If that were the case, would we still be friends? Sophie?”

I realized I had drifted off. I blinked as I came back and smiled. I had no reservations about how I would react if she were the one telling it. Stephanie would be my friend regardless of her secrets and I knew that she felt the same. So with the same strength I had mustered to lead my horse into a deep dark lake, I pushed forward and decided to reveal what had shaped my entire life. It would either knock me into a cold, deep abyss, or I would cross it and end up gaining the confidence I needed to take even more risks in my life. I was willing to take that chance. I suddenly realized that I had no idea where to start. It struck me as funny, and I stopped and smiled to myself.

“You’re a tease!” she yelled. “Come on, out with it.”

“I don’t know where to start. There is so much to tell.”

She leaned back against the tree and put her arms behind her head. “We have all day. They don’t expect us until dinner and I brought food in my backpack. Spill it!”

I took a deep breath. “There is something terrible that happened a long time ago and it’s the reason Papa and I had to hide all those years.”

“Did he kill someone?” she asked, both horrified and intrigued.

“No,” I said firmly. “It’s not something we did, but something that was done to us.”

Stephanie lowered an eyebrow. “What?”

“A curse.”

Her eyes shot wide open, but she gave me a sideways grin. “A curse?”

“Yes. We had to hide away because Papa says we are a threat to the people who love us.”

She cocked her head to the side. “How?”

I looked at the ground and felt my face flush. “I’m not sure, but some of them have died.”

Stephanie reeled back. “They died? How?”

I shrugged. “Papa says it’s the reason my mother died and Donny. He says we’re the reason.”

Stephanie shook her head. “You said he didn’t kill anyone.”

“It’s not us. It’s the curse that kills them.”

“How did they die?”

“Donny died when a dirt cave collapsed on him.” I felt a heavy lump in my stomach. “I don’t know how my mother died. Papa never talks about it.”

“Sounds to me like your father gave you a line to keep you in line. There is no such thing as a curse.”

I felt rejected and embarrassed. It had taken every ounce of trust I could muster to tell her and now she brushed it off. “Yes there is.”

She furrowed her brows. “Did you push that kid into the cave?”

I shook my head. “No!”

Stephanie sat up straight. “Do you think that other kid was shot because of this curse, too?”

I lowered my eyes. “Yes.”

She sat in silence, looking as if she was deep in thought. Several times she began to talk and then stopped. She stood up and walked in a circle. “That doesn’t make sense. If you say the curse kills people who love you, then why am I still alive? And what about your grandparents? Why aren’t we all dead?”

“I’m not sure. Sometimes it scares me. I don’t want to hurt people, but I don’t want to be alone. Papa was trying to explain it, but then we got caught. I’ve tried to figure it out, but without Papa, I can’t. There’s more to it, and he’s the only one who knows.”

“Who put the curse on you?” I shrugged.

“Papa said it was done a long time ago, before I was born.”

Stephanie lowered her brow. “If you weren’t even born, why would anyone want to curse you?”

“It was placed on our family for something Papa did. He said it was done out of anger. He said he didn’t believe it at first, but when my mother was killed, he knew we had to hide or more bad things would happen. He said if anyone found out about the curse, I would be taken away. He hid us away for our own good. He didn’t want the curse to hurt anyone else. I didn’t know about it until after Donny died. Papa felt it was his fault for not warning me sooner.”

Stephanie looked at me in awe. She hadn’t moved a muscle or changed her facial expression in the slightest, as though my story had struck her dumb. I started feeling awkward and worried that I had said too much, but before regret set in, she took a seat beside me and put an arm around my shoulder. “So, what are you going to do? If you think you’re cursed and you’re putting other people at risk, how are you going to live?”

I thought for a moment. “I don’t know.”

“That’s crazy, Sophie. There is no such thing. I think he told you that just to keep you from running off. He knew that if people saw you they’d find out who you were. That would threaten him.” She scratched her head; pulling at the hair in one of her pigtails, making it crooked. “He makes it sound very convincing.” She sat back with a start. “He must have seen the newspaper article that ran the sketch. That’s why he took all the mirrors out of your house. He didn’t want you to discover who you really are. On the other hand, this is so strange, because if he really thought you were cursed, a lot of this stuff he did makes sense. That’s totally wild.”

I thought about the mirrors. I remembered the expression on Damien’s face when he realized all the mirrors in my house had been taken down or destroyed. I still had aversions to them, and rarely gave in to the temptation. They were everywhere at my grandparents’ home, but I did my best to avoid them, knowing that God watched and judged what I did.

“When I tell you that I love you, does it scare you?” she asked.

I contemplated her question, knowing I had thought about it many times before. “It used to, but for some reason I’m not worried anymore.”

“I think I know why.”

“Tell me.”

“Sophie, I don’t believe in curses or superstitions. I think the more you’re out in the normal world, you’ll realize all the stuff you’ve been told is not real. There is no such thing. All this stuff you father told you isn’t the truth. You’re not cursed.”

What she said completely deflated me. I had trusted her with my deepest, darkest realities and now she said that what I harbored and lived with my entire life was just a lie.

“You’ll never be happy if you live in fear like this. You’ll have an awful life if you never let anyone love you. I think it’s terrible what he did. He’s the one that’s cursed you with stupid superstitions. It’s not real. There is no such thing as a curse.”

I was shocked at what she said and felt the need to scoot away, fearing God would strike her down with a bolt of lightning. “You don’t believe in God?”

“No. And I don’t believe that how I live my life will determine how I spend my death. I believe that you do the right things for this life, not for some afterlife. Everyone around here is so worried about what’s going to happen to them when they die. It’s stupid. When my mom died, people actually told me that God needed her in heaven and that’s why he took her home.” She gave a disgusted smirk. “Why would God take someone’s mother away? My mom died because cancer cells overtook her body. It had nothing to do with God, and it had nothing to do with curses or prayers or any other hocus-pocus that everyone tries to fill your head with.”

I was still uneasy.

“You were worried about telling me your secret because you thought I would be afraid of you. And it turns out, you should be afraid of me.”

“Why?”

“Because I am a bad influence. That’s why I’m not allowed at the school. I asked questions and talked about things that made everyone nervous. The other kids told their parents that I didn’t believe in God and that I attacked their precious religion. That’s the reason I no longer go to school.” She smiled and pulled me close. “I’m worse than you. You may lure them in with your beauty and then kill them off, but I threaten their beliefs and their chances at eternal life. We make quite a pair.”

Being close to her was a comfort, even though I was still concerned about what she said. I cared about her and felt her statements against God would come back to haunt her.

“I know you aren’t just going to believe everything I say. It’s all been drilled into your head for so long, it will be hard to change what you believe, but I want to show you something that will hopefully help you get over all this. We’re going to do an experiment so I can prove that there is no such thing as a curse.”

I didn’t like the idea and was apprehensive.

“You don’t have a choice,” she said, with a defiant lift of her eyebrow. “You are my best friend, my only friend in this world. I love you as if you were my sister. Nothing fatal has happened to me yet and nothing will. I’ll prove to you that you are not cursed.”

I felt funny having her tempt fate for me.

“I was planning on killing myself anyway, so this isn’t a big sacrifice. Quit looking like that,” she chided. Stephanie put her finger to her mouth and feigned deep deliberation. “Hmm. If you have the power to kill people, then let’s work on how we can use it to bump off my stepmother!” She fell back against the soft forest floor in wicked laughter.

“Stephanie!”

She giggled with delight.

I couldn’t help but smile, even though she had made me out as toxic. She had heard what had kept me hidden and silent for years and was still my best friend. She had accepted what I said. She made light of it in a way that made me feel like nothing I told her would scare her away. Stephanie was intriguing and confusing, but I had no reservations that she was loyal and trustworthy. I had given her the secret of what I feared and what had formed my life. She had the power to destroy my world by exposing my enigma, yet I felt assured she would guard it, regardless of her own doubts about its truth.

She stopped laughing and leaned over to her backpack. She pulled out a bag of chips and a bottle of soda, and offered them to me. I took a handful of chips and we sat in silence for a while as we passed the bottle back and forth. “I think you saved me.”

I looked at her strangely, smiled, and shook my head.

She smiled back. “You did. Now the hard part is going to be saving you.”


Wow. I'm loving that excerpt. And, regardless of "meeting" him yet or not, I've decided Damien sounds hot! Thanks for stopping by today, Brenda.

Check out The Color of Snow at these sites!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: June 12 2012
Rating:


(Oh, how I wish I could give this 10 Stars!) 

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads


Oh my god! Just... Oh my god! I thought I loved this series already, but no. I really, really, REALLY love it! The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead was so perfect. Even down to Sydney's obnoxious tool of a boyfriend, Brayden. (How I loathed Brayden!) The story, the romance, the action, the magic. Everything about The Golden Lily was stepped up ten fold from Bloodlines. It delivered everything that I could have ever wanted!

I'll admit, I've been known to fall in love with a fictional character or two...or three. My top three, in order, would be Adrian Ivashkov, Conrad Fisher, and Will Herondale. (Ian O'Shea gets an honorable mention at number four.) All of these guys are completely swoon worthy, but the thing that puts Adrian over the top is his charm. The boy could charm water out of a rock. He's like the holy grail of fictional boys. Hot, sweet, funny, and oh-my-god-so-charming. And wow, does he not let me down in The Golden Lily. I'm pretty sure I read the whole book with my mouth hanging open and drool dripping onto the ground. Let's just say, Adrian being all protective was almost too much to take without overheating!

Also, Dimitri's back! Yay! And there's no Dimitri/Rose/Adrian animosity to go with it! (Well, maybe a little.) I guess it's like seeing a different side of Dimitri. He's still a super badass guardian and all, but since he's a side character and not the love interest this time around he's a little less "perfect" in everyone's eyes, I guess. And I actually loved seeing him interact with Adrian. I kind of hope there will be more of that in the future books.

Okay, so this is totally more of a raving rant than an actual review, but that's the kind of excitement The Golden Lily elicited from me. I literally can't think in rational sentences. And that ending? Oh, Richelle Mead, I could scream. How could you create something so devastatingly perfect, and then leave off with that cliff hanger?! Actually, I really liked the cliff hanger. But, apparently, I must be masochistic because it's going to be TORTURE waiting a whole year for the next book!


Check out The Golden Lily at these sites!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (10): Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

This week's teaser comes from Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer. I've just started this one, but its really good so far. Soulbound is on sale today, so be sure to check it out.

"A cold shock ran through my veins at the mention of Darius's name. Just when my thoughts had finally had a moment's peace not thinking about the silver-haired boy and why he seemed to loathe every fiber of my being, there he was again." {Soulbound, page 136}

Goodreads Synopsis of Soulbound:

What's worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you're treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there's the evil king who's determined to rule the world unless you can stop him...

Meet Kaya, a young woman with the power to heal and the determination to fight. But struggle as she will, she remains tied to three very different men: a hero who has forsaken glory, a tyrannical ruler who wants to use Kaya, and a warrior who's stolen her heart. Kaya learns the hard way that some ties can't be broken...and blood is the strongest bond of all. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads



Check out more about Soulbound at these sites!



*All quotes are from an unfinished ARC. Any quotations may differ from finished copy.*

Author Interview & GIVEAWAY: N.R. Allen, author of Blood of the Revenant

Today we have an interview with Blood of the Revenant author, N.R. Allen. And not only was she awesome enough to answer some of our questions, but she's also giving away a paperback copy of her book! Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to ENTER! Here's a synopsis of Blood of the Revenant:


Something strange is happening in Returning City, something dangerous.

Gabriel has never questioned things before. He knows that because he is a revenant like everyone else, he has to fight the not-family and hurt them to keep his own family safe. He has never questioned that the sky is always dark or that hungry things watch him from the forest.

But in Returning City, everyone has secrets.

Gabriel grew up believing that he was the same as everyone else. But now, things are changing. He begins to see strange, monstrous creatures instead of the people he has always known. Struggling to protect his family, Gabriel must turn to a mysterious stranger, but is she only helping him for her own dark purposes?

In order to survive, Gabriel has to become more than he has ever been, and he will have to go against all he has ever known. Soon Gabriel will realize that something dangerous waits for him—his past—and that past holds a secret deadlier than anything he could ever imagine. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads


Tell us a little about yourself.


I grew up in a small town called Dooms and am the youngest of five children.  Typically I write horror poetry and horror fiction aimed at teens and adults.  With my first novel, "Blood of the Revenant", I combined elements of fantasy and horror.

How was Blood of the Revenant born? What sparked the idea in your head?

When I write a book, I usually get a single scene in my head. From that scene (usually it's something in the middle of the book), I expand until I have a full novel. With this novel, I came across a sentimental necklace while I was sitting with my 3-year-old and that was how I started writing the novel.

What were some of the challenges you faced while writing Blood of the
Revenant
?

I've always been interested in vampires. In my research, I came across the topic of revenants. Revenants can be vampiric and feed from the living. They are creatures that return from the dead to haunt their families. One of the biggest challenges was trying to come up with something fresh and new. By combining fantasy and horror, I tried to put a unique spin on very old myths.

Do you have any advice for young writers?

Write as much as possible. Everything you write will make you a better writer. Also, reading is extremely important. I once read a how-to book on writing horror. In it the author spoke about how you just need to finish the draft. Don't worry that things aren't perfect because you can always edit later. But you can't edit unless you have something down on paper. I'd also say to figure out what style works best for you. If writing a novel is like pulling teeth, it could just mean that you haven't found the right storyline or style that best suits you.

Your novel, Blood of the Revenant, is about a young man named Gabriel.
Can you tell us a little about Gabriel and his story?

All of his life, Gabriel has been told what he's supposed to be. He is supposed to be a strong fighter and he is supposed to hurt others. He's been raised to believe that family is everything and that he has to continue in this role to protect the ones he cares about. But he's haunted by drawings that seem to hint to him that there is more than fighting, there is more than the place where he grew up. More and more, he begins to see the dark secrets that surround him. He begins to realize that sometimes nothing is deadlier than family.

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For more about Blood of the Revenant check out these sites!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Post: How I Wish by Anne Tibbets, author of Shut Up

Today we have Anne Tibbets, author of Shut Up, with an awesome post about writing and how sometimes even an author wishes her characters could change their world for the better. But sometimes thats not how stories go. Here's a synopsis of Shut Up:

Mary's older sister, Gwen, has royally screwed up her life. Not only is Gwen pregnant at seventeen, but she's also decided to marry The Creep who knocked her up.

Now Mary is powerless to stop her family from imploding. Her parents are freaking out, and to top it off The Creep has a gross fascination with Mary while Gwen enjoys teasing her to tears for sport.

Despite her brother's advice to shut up, Mary can't keep her trap closed and manages to piss off Mom so much it comes to blows.

Mary doesn't know what to do, and all her attempts to get help are rejected. When she finally plans her escape, she fails to consider how it could destroy them all. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads


"How I Wish" by Anne Tibbets

I’m often times wondering how “Shut Up” could have been different if Gwen had evolved during the story.

Poor, Gwen. She doesn’t, really. Going from Miss Popularity to Mrs. Creep in the course of nine months caused the teen to spiral out of emotional control, and get herself wrapped up in an abusive and destructive teen relationship, which altered the trajectory of her entire life. Not to mention the lives of her children and immediate family.


I wonder, what if Gwen had realized what the Creep was doing…What would she have done differently?

Should she have told him off, banned him from the house, sworn she would never see him again? I considered this. But I also knew that the Creep in my story would have burnt down the house she was living in and killed them all just to spite Gwen for defying him. That was a different story entirely – and a good one, come to think of it – but not the one I wanted to tell.

Should she have put the baby up for adoption and not married the Creep? I wish this is what Gwen would have done. If she were a real teen, right now, coming to the adult me for advice, this is what I would suggest. Now, don’t get me wrong, I personally know some women who were teenaged moms, and they have raised respectable, smart, wonderful children…So, their choice was obviously right for them. But there are a vast majority of teen moms out there with no support system what so ever. No parents are volunteering to help out, no job is on the horizon, no education can be gotten, no nothing – just a teenage mom, totally unequipped to support a baby, who then grows up in poverty and becomes a child, who then grows up to become a teenager, who more than likely ends up repeating the whole teen pregnancy cycle all over again. Those are the ones I’d like to reach: it has to be the hardest thing any woman can do…To hand over your baby, your child, all your love and hopes and dreams bundled into that tiny precious soul, and give it away. But it would have saved Gwen’s “life,” and it would have saved her baby from being raised by a sexual predator.

That’s what I wish Gwen had seen.

But, she was a kid, herself. And she was placing her trust in an individual who had succeeded in isolating her from the family who were so emotionally unable to say just the right thing to combat it. It’s a sad nature of humans that so oftentimes, the one thing that needs to be said, isn’t. Or, if it is, it isn’t believed.

Personally speaking, nothing drives me more mad and insane than convenient conversations in TV and movies. ‘Here, I’ve been mad and angry and lashing out at you, but I’m finally going to tell the truth right now, and you’re going to understand and forgive me for being a total jerk.’ Barf! One: most of the time people are angry and hurt and lash out and they never bother to stop and think WHY they are acting that way. That’s a universal truth about people. We are reactionary. MOST people don’t, with few exceptions, self-analyze.

Two: You can’t un-ring a bell. Just because a family member apologizes for being a jerk, doesn’t take away the hurt, or the pain that was caused, and forgiveness doesn’t happen as quickly as it does in a script. It never does!

Real honest-to-goodness deep conversations about the TRUE issue, the dark underlying subtext of what’s really going on, gets said maybe once or twice in a family’s history – and it’s never as clean or easy as it looks on screen.

So, since that is my honest to goodness opinion on family dynamics, you can now understand why as much as I wanted Gwen to come to her senses, I simply couldn’t write the book that way.

Above all else, I wanted to tell the truth. Take it, or leave it.

Thanks, Anne, for talking to us today about Gwen and Shut Up.


For more about Shut Up check out these sites!



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