SST: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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Hello everyone and welcome to week 3 of the Sunday Street Team blog tour featuring The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue!  Today I’ll be showing you what it might be like if Monty, Percy, and Felicity had Instagram.  I have actually done a similar post for Nicole at The Book Bandit in honor of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life!

Now previously Mackenzi had mentioned on Twitter that each character would use different social medias, but for the sake of keeping me sane, I went with Instagram. I briefly asked Mackenzi what type of photos Percy and Felicity would post, because let’s face it, Monty is pretty much an open book.

I also recruited help from C.J. at Sarcasm and Lemons as well as Ellie at By Ellie M because I AM THE WORRRRRRST when it comes to writing clever and witty bios and thinking of punny Instagram usernames. So thank you C.J. for Percy’s bio & username and Monty’s bio! And sending inspiration for Felicity. Thank you Ellie for Monty’s punny username… AHAHAHA!! (I am still dying over here and you will be too very very soon.)

Ahem… to the Instagrams!!! WARNING it’s about to get sexy and swoony in here! (p.s. click for larger image)

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Musings of Cale Dietrich

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Do you believe that writing from your real life makes a better story?

by Cale Dietrich

Hi! First of all, I have to say that I’m super happy to be here, writing this. This is actually the first blog post that I’ve written since The Love Interest was released, so it’s kinda cool to document this moment in time.

So, answer time. I think this is a really interesting question, because I think all writing is intensely personal, even if it isn’t drawn from direct life experiences.  That said, The Love Interest is actually heavily influenced by my own life – I was going through the early stages of coming out as I was writing it, and I was working through my feelings by writing the book. It’s interesting, because it was also a really reflexive process. I was writing TLI to work out my feelings, while at the same time writing an unapologetic gay empowerment story was shaping my feelings. Honestly, working on TLI increased my confidence so, so much. So the two are incredibly linked, which is a super weird (and awesome, imo) thing.

I can’t say if that makes the story better, as that is 100% up to readers to decide. But from a writing standpoint, I think it made it way easier. For me, it’s not really about taking events that directly happened in my life and putting them in a book though. Very few of the events in The Love Interest have directly happened to me. Although side note: I think my Mum thinks they did and I just never told her, robots and all.

I think the thing that made it easier to write was that I’d experienced many of the emotions, and I sort of tried to write scenes where Caden feels how I felt when a similar thing had happened to me. So like, while I may have literally never gone on a drive late at night with a Bad boy rival, I TOTALLY know how realising you have a crush on a guy feels, especially when you’re not sure the guy you like is gay and you’re hoping he is but also worried he isn’t and etc etc.

So I think the thing that made it easier was recalling those feelings and then giving them to Caden, even though the literal events that happen in the book are different from what happened in my real life. When I mesh those two things, the end result tends to be the writing I am proudest of (and that readers seem to connect the most too).


14541076.jpgAbout Cale

Cale Dietrich is a YA devotee, lifelong gamer, and tragic pop punk enthusiast. He was born in Perth, grew up on the Gold Coast, and now lives in Brisbane, Australia. The Love Interest is his first novel.

 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

 


31145148.jpgThe Love Interest

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository


A huge thank you to Cale for sharing his story, obstacles, and advice for us! Drawing from real life experiences and feelings can help your story to become amazing.

As always, a huge thank you to everyone who has participated in this feature. Your words and stories never fall upon unappreciative writers.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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Musings of Sandhya Menon

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A Difficulty in Your Writing Journey and How You Got Past It
by Sandhya Menon

Writing is such a funny endeavor.

At the beginning, when you’re sequestered away in a room, you write only for yourself. At that point, it didn’t even occur to me to be concerned about other people. I wrote all kinds of things—short stories, poetry, novellas, plays, non-fiction essays.

As time went by, though, and I learned more about the craft, I got serious about getting published. I went the indie route at first, self-publishing novels and serials for readers. It was thrilling. The bad reviews were hard to take, but at least people were reading my work and talking about it.

Then my agent found me—ahhh. I was thrilled, humbled, ecstatic. It felt like a whole new world. I wrote stories and discarded them; I felt like I had to get everything just right. A novel of mine, previously self-published, was accepted by a major publisher for their digital line. When that one came out, only a few people read it (it’s one of my favorite stories, but it just isn’t what they call ‘high concept.’ I suspect the editor who acquired it took it on solely as a labor of love, for which I’m very grateful).

My confidence dipped very low. I began to wonder if I would ever find readers again. I’d been writing seriously for a good four years at that point, with my two little children at my feet, and I was really tired. “Maybe I should get a real skill,” I thought. I’d always had a passion for psychology—it was my major in college—so I decided to go to graduate school to train as a therapist.

I got accepted into my program right around the time the offer for When Dimple Met Rishi came through.

The hilarious thing is that I look back on my journey and wonder if I would’ve done anything differently to avoid that awful writing slump where I just about threw in the towel. And I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t anything I could’ve done. I think getting really low and contemplating giving up is just a natural part of the creative person’s journey.

For writers (especially writers on social media) it can feel like an onslaught of people getting agents, getting book deals, going on tour, getting starred reviews, and hitting the bestseller lists. If you’re also high, this is great! More people to celebrate with! But if you’re in a slump, it can feel like the entire world is moving forward while you’re mired in your own untalented quicksand.

I don’t have the cure for this, but I do have a suggestion: The next time you feel “slumped,” remind yourself that it’s normal. Not wanting to write is normal. Feeling like a talentless hack is normal. Wanting to scream, “It’s not faiiiir!” is normal. If you need a break, take it. Take the opportunity to refill your well before you come back to your desk, ready to begin anew. I promise you, your stories will wait.


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About Sandhya

Sandhya Menon is the author of When Dimple Met Rishi (May 2017). She lives in Colorado where she’s on a mission to (gently) coerce her husband and kids to watch all 3,221 Bollywood movies she claims as her favorite.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository | Simon Pulse


A huge thank you to Sandhya for sharing your stories of highs and lows with us. We all feel a roller coaster of emotions as writers, and sometimes we just have to struggle through the lows and experience the trials in order to just make it out okay on the other side. All of our successes will come at our own times, and we can make time to care for our own mental states while we wait. =)

As always, thank you so much to all of the amazing writers and publishing individuals who have been fundamental in keeping this feature going and continuing to share your advice with writers who need it. We appreciate you all more than you know.

We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!

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Musings of Julie Shepard

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Reader Questions – Why You Want Them!
by Julie Shepard, author of
Rosie Girl

Before you read this, I have a job for you: Pick out a book on your shelf (or in your Kindle!) and read the first few pages. That’s it. Then ask yourself: What am I wondering about? What has the author mentioned that’s piqued my curiosity? What questions do I want (or better yet—need) answers to? Because if you don’t have any, chances are you won’t be reading any further. It will become a part the dreaded “set aside” books. And do you really want that to be the fate of your book?

Let’s analyze Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow:

We find our main character in a rehab facility. I’ll even mention the fact that Ms. Glasgow holds off for several pages before telling the reader her name (Charlie). Bonus points for that! We’re wondering a lot of things, simply because this girl is in a hospital. Why is she there? How did she get there? As we read further, more questions take shape because the author begins to give us more information. That’s a good thing: More information shouldn’t just tell the reader things—it should cause the reader to ask more questions. And more questions mean more pages read. And more pages read mean your entire book will get read, which is your goal. (Reviews are another thing!)

So, back to Charlie. She lived on the street. She kept company with a bunch of guys and a girl named Ellis. You may not even realize you’re asking questions, but your brain is firing off tons of them: What was the relationship between these people? Who was good, bad, friend, or foe? Was someone jealous, beautiful, a train wreck? You’re also seeking answers to more subtle issues: Do I like this main character? Do I want to hop on this journey with her? Is she—aside from whatever personal demons led her to end up in a hospital—basically good? Does she have to be in order for you to want to follow her story? Is she a victim, a con artist, a drug addict? Do you even care?

You thought your goal was to write a book. It’s not. It’s to write a story that creates questions like these for your reader. Sprinkle in answers while creating new ones. Just as we start to get a sense of the relationship Charlie had with Ellis and these boys, the author mentions Charlie’s mother, which unleashes a whole new set of questions. Where is she? Did she hospitalize her own daughter? What’s their relationship like? You always want your reader wondering, searching, hypothesizing. By creating questions, you’re creating actively-engaged readers.

Here’s a challenge: Share your first five pages with someone who has not read any of your manuscript, and ask them to jot down at least three questions (the more, the better!) they already have at this point. These could be plot-related or character-related. They’re equally important, because people read for a variety of reasons and tune into different elements that pique their interest—the promise of love, the suspicion of murder, the heartache of loss. Then ask yourself: Have I answered their questions, and when? There’s a fine line between satisfying a reader’s curiosity too soon and frustrating them by making them wait too long for a payoff.  

Few of us would admit it, but I will. There are books I haven’t finished. It’s not because they weren’t “good”. It was because I either stopped asking questions or stopped wanting answers to the ones I still had. Take a moment to reflect on those books you partially read. Do you remember what captured your interest? How did the author lose it? Perhaps the answer will be just what you need to make sure your book never becomes a part of anyone’s dreaded pile of “set asides”.   


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About Julie

Julie Shepard began her writing career on a Smith Corona typewriter, hammering out dark stories like the twisted tale about homicidal identical twins who conspire to get away with murder. She earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida and a teaching degree in Middle Grades English from Florida International University. While in the classroom, she developed a keen ear for adolescent drama and knew that young adult fiction was the path her writing journey would take. She lives by the beautiful beaches of South Florida, where sunny skies often beckon her outside to do her writing on a lounge chair. Rosie Girl is her debut. You can find her at http://www.julieshepard.net

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Rosie Girl

Rosie Girl

Little Peach meets We Were Liars in this haunting YA debut about a troubled teen searching for her birth mom who uncovers disturbing family secrets along the way.

After her father passes away, seventeen-year-old Rosie is forced to live with her abusive stepmom Lucy and her deadbeat boyfriend, Judd, who gives Rosie the sort of looks you shouldn’t give your girlfriend’s step-daughter. Desperate for a way out, Rosie would do just about anything to escape the life she’s been handed. Then she finds a letter her dad wrote years ago, a letter confessing that Rosie’s birth mother isn’t dead, as she believed, but alive somewhere—having left them when Rosie was a little girl for reasons he won’t reveal.

Rosie resolves to find her birth mom, and she’ll put everything on the line to make that happen. She hires a PI paid for by her best friend, Mary, who turns tricks for money. Unlike Rosie, Mary’s no delicate flower and when she sees the opportunity to make some cash and help out her closest friend, she takes it. Romance blooms when the PI Rosie hires hands the case off to his handsome nephew Mac, but Rosie struggles to keep her illicit activities with Mary a secret. Things begin to unravel when Rosie starts getting creepy anonymous texts from johns looking for Mary. And then there’s Mary, the one person Rosie can count on, who’s been acting strangely all of a sudden. As Rosie and Mary get closer to finally uncovering the truth about Rosie’s mom, Rosie comes face to face with a secret she never saw coming. With the ultimate unreliable narrator and twists and turns around every corner, Rosie Girl is an unforgettable tale of identity, devotion and desperation.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Penguin Random House


Thank you so much to Julie for writing this post! Sometimes questions can be hard for us all to listen to as authors and writers, but in reality, questions are the best occurrences that could happen to us. They not only help us improve, but they keep our readers engaged, and our books out of the “set asides” pile. =)

As always, thank you so much to everyone who has participated in this feature. We appreciate your words of advice more than you will ever know.

We hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!

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Sailor Moon x Truthwitch = Moon Witch?

It’s no secret that I am in love with Sailor Moon and Truthwitch and Windwitch by Susan Dennard.  It’s also widely known that Susan also loves Sailor Moon, which is why I decided to cross the two and write this blog post.  The idea actually came to me when I posted these two Instagram photos for a book photo challenge.
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Musings of J.C. Davis

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Adding Fanfiction to Your Writing Tool Belt
by J.C. Davis

Pick a fandom, any fandom, and there’s probably a community of fanfic writers and readers camped out there and having fun.  For those that haven’t heard the term before, fanfic is short for fan fiction and refers to written stories of any length inspired by books, movies, video games, television programs, music and/or celebrities. That’s a broad spectrum of fiction and the internet is riddled with it.

But why would an author writing original fiction want to consider reading and writing fanfiction as well?  Fanfic is actually a useful tool you can add to your arsenal. There are two broad areas where fanfic is useful: first as a creative catalyst and second as a research tool.

Fanfic And Creativity

Almost every writer has had moments when you hit a wall on your work-in-progress. Call it writer’s block, call it brain fog, call it a momentary blip in your creative genius. Either way – the words aren’t flowing the way you’d like them too. Fanfiction can be a great way to take a break, but still flex those writing muscles.

Pick a fandom you love, or even better, one your target readers also love, and write a flash fiction piece. Write a short story. Have fun! Indulge every ship, every pairing, every dramatic or romantic or ridiculous thought and potentiality that you like. Write until you’re smiling so big your cheeks hurt. Then take a step back and read over your work. What about it makes you happy? Yes there are characters and worlds that you love in there, but beyond that – what themes do you see? What situations? Would any of those work in your original writing?

You can use fanfic as just a break, a chance to blow off creative steam. Or you can use it to find what sparks might reignite your passion for your own work-in-progress. Either way, if you’re having fun, it’s worth every moment. Just make sure you do get back to that work-in-progress before too long!

Fanfic As Research

As of this article, An Archive of Our Own (one of the largest and most active fanfiction communities online) has close to 25,000 fandoms represented, over 115,000 users and over 300,000 works posted. More are added every day. That’s a lot of information in one place and if you know who your target readers are and fandoms that appeal to them, it’s a great way to get a peek inside what they’re passionate about!

Head over, pick any fandom you like, and sort the results by the most popular. Look for common themes. Go read the comments on a few of the most popular pieces – what are the readers saying? What are they most fired up about? What storylines seem to get the most interest? Why? What do you think makes those stories stand out (beyond good writing)? Read a few fanfic pieces and see if they spark any ideas for your own work.

Whether you use fanfic as a way to shake off the writing-blahs or as a jumping off point for your next big idea – it’s definitely worth having a look!


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About J.C.

A programmer by day, J. C. Davis writes Picture Books, MG & YA. Her debut novel, a YA Contemporary entitled CHEESUS WAS HERE, was released in April by Sky Pony Press. J. C. is an unrepentant book addict and always has a spare book tucked in her bag for emergencies. Her hobbies include photography, crafting, chasing her kids around the house and obsessing over her pet hedgehogs.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 


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Cheesus Was Here

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved the movie Saved!

Goodreads | Amazon | Powells | Books-A-Million | B&N | Indiebound

 


A huge thank you to J.C. who was so patient, and was able to touch on a topic that is so quickly talked about, but never truly acknowledged! So many of us got our starts on reading or writing from fanfiction. There is definitely no denying that it can spark creativity and make you learn form your mistakes. =)

As always, a special thank you to everyone who has participated in this feature! Your words of advice are so much more appreciated than you will ever know.

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Musings of Katie A. Nelson

eternaldreamers

There are no new stories: Taking a classic and making it my own
by Katie A. Nelson

I was sitting in the theater, watching an animated movie, when I had one of those mind-blowing experiences. It was the summer time and though I was a little older than most of the audience, I went to see The Lion King, excited for a couple of hours of mindless entertainment and a king sized box of Junior Mints.

About half way through the movie, around the time Rafiki found Simba and he had his vision of his father in the stars– it hit me. This was the story of Hamlet. Okay, so technically it was set in Africa and had some pretty catchy musical numbers as well, but the basic plot was the same: prince has to decide to avenge his father who was murdered by his uncle.

Once I’d made the connection, I began to see other parallels: seeing the ghost of the dead king, the childhood girlfriend (Ophelia/Nala), the former queen (Gertrude/Sarabi), the king’s advisor (Polonius/Zazu), even the hilarious Timon and Pumba had seeds in Hamlet, as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. By the time the ending credits rolled and Elton John sung his last note, I was totally convinced of my brilliance and dying to share my theory with everyone around me.

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We weren’t even out of the theater when I shared my theory with my boyfriend. His response: “Oh yeah. Cool.” Not exactly the reaction I had expected. Even then, I guess I was a little obsessed with stories.

What I later realized was that it didn’t matter if the story we were watching (or reading) had roots in another story. What mattered was the way it was told, and if the reader (or viewer in this case) had made a connection.  And we had. We both loved it, and have since watched the movie dozens of times with our kids (Yep! I married him!) and we even attended the Broadway show.

So if there are no new stories, how does a writer take a familiar story and make it their own? Or at least make it feel new and different and compelling enough that a reader will want to experience that story, even when they know and love the original? This is a question I’ve been asked several times, as my debut YA novel is a retelling of The Great Gatsby, which most people either love or hate, thanks to decades of high school English teachers and the phenomenal team of Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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For writers, the first step is to analyze the classic you want to retell, and distill it down to its basic elements. What is the basic plot? Who are the characters? Where is it set? What point of view is it told from? What are the important themes?

The next step is to start asking questions. What would happen if the main character were a princess instead of a prince? What if it was set in space instead of medieval times? What if it was told from the point of view of the villain? What if? What if?

Once one element of the story is changed, others naturally follow. If a story is moved from Prohibition era New York to modern day Silicon Valley, CA, how will it be different? Will the American dream be more attainable? What would a Gatsby-scale party look like, especially if the characters are in high school? How will the female characters be different? And so the story begins to become something new, something different, something that’s yours.

And who knows? Maybe someday, someone will be sitting in a movie theater, watching your story on the screen. In DFX. And Dolby sound. Maybe that person will connect your story to the original that inspired you. Maybe that person will just eat their popcorn and enjoy the show. Either way, if you make a connection with your reader (or viewer), that’s all that matters.


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About Katie

Katie Nelson has always loved words and stories. Formerly a high school English and Debate teacher, she now lives in Northern California with her husband, four children, and hyperactive dog.

 

Website | Twitter Instagram | Goodreads


The Duke of Bannerman Prep

The Duke of Bannerman Prep

Words are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.

Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for one reason: to win. The elite school recruited him after he argued his public school’s debate team to victory last year, and now Bannerman wants that championship trophy. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of scrimping and saving and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and a new, better future. When he’s paired with the prep school playboy everyone calls the Duke, Tanner’s straightforward plans seem as if they’re going off the rails. The Duke is Bannerman royalty, beloved for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and the strings he so easily pulls. And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.

As Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of the edge become addictive. A small favor here and there seems like nothing in exchange for getting everything he ever dreamed of.

But the Duke’s castle is built on shady, shaky secrets, and the walls are about to topple.

A contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, Katie A. Nelson’s taut debut is perfect for anyone who’s struggled to survive the cut-throat world of competitive high school.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


Thank you so much to Katie for writing this post. I know there are quite a few authors who are rejoicing and learning right now, reading your words and understanding your story. You’re all not alone, and your ideas have to come from somewhere! Just make sure to make it your own, and your story will find it’s place. =)

As always, a huge thanks to everyone who has participated in this feature. Your words never fall on unappreciated eyes, and we always look forward to the next piece of advice and story you’re willing to share.

We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!

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#ReadADessen: Lock & Key + Giveaway

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It’s Week 4 of the #ReadADessen campaign! We are counting down to the release of Sarah Dessen’s newest book Once and For All releasing June 6, 2017, which is my favorite so far! However that could change. Last week I covered This Lullaby, where I came up with a few songs that fit the characters.  This week I am featuring the book Lock & Key.

unnamed.jpg About the Book

Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound


In the book, for Ruby’s English project, she must discover what Family means to her and to other people.  If you think about all of Sarah Dessen’s books, the families featured aren’t your picture perfect “All-American family” living in the cute house with a white picket fence.  The idea of a “nuclear family” household has been challenged time and time again. Not all families are created equal and they aren’t without flaws.

The definition of “family” has changed so much and means different things to different people, that I thought it would be fun to recreate Ruby’s assignment. I asked fellow friends and bloggers to share their thoughts.  And before you ask I agree with all things said.

What is Family?

blamethebooksBlame It On the Books

bookwitchjen
Library of a Book Witch

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By Ellie M

enervated
Book Munchies

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Rec-it Rachel

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A Reader Under the Sea


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Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


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Once and For All

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound


Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Sarah Dessen Giveaway!


Thank you so much to Chelsea Fought and Penguin Random House for letting me participate in #ReadADessen this year and sending me Lock & Key! Major thank you to all my lovely friends who sent in their thoughts about family! I love you guys so much!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Family or thoughts about Lock & Key! Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to check out the other blogs posting this week!

JUST LISTEN
May 8 – YA Bibliophile
May 9 – Xingsings
May 10Paper Trail YA
May 11 – Dazzled by Books
May 12 – Dark Faerie Tales
LOCK AND KEY
May 8 – Bookmark Lit
May 8 – Dazzled by Books
May 10 – Peace Love Books
May 10Paper Trail YA
May 10 – Live Love Read
May 11 – Arctic Books
May 12 – Reader’s Candy

 

#ReadADessen: This Lullaby

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I am so excited to be participating #ReadADessen campaign!! I’m a relatively new Sarah Dessen fan as of this year! I’ve always known Sarah’s been queen of contemporary, but I hadn’t been an avid contemporary romance reader until last year; starting with Jenny Han, Emery Lord, Morgan Matson, and Kasie West.

My curiosity about Sarah’s writing began with receiving the gorgeous ARC for Once and for All plus swag goodies at the book store I work at, Blue Bunny Books.  The plan was to take it home and give it to my friend and co-worker Kim, but I decided I’d give it a quick read. Well you could say I instantly fell in love with Sarah’s book!  I was then told I was “doing it all wrong” and I had to start from the beginning. Anyway long story short, reading Once and For All led me to requesting to participate in this campaign! I was ecstatic to receive This Lullaby, which I’ve been repeatedly told by several people is one of the best Dessen novels. I absolutely adored this novel!! Anyway you can always message me if you want to gush about this book!

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About the Book

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

 

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For this post, I am doing a playlist of sorts.  I really REALLY didn’t want to seem unoriginal with this idea, but there’s been a few songs I’ve come across on Google Play Music radio that reminded me of this book.  I’m going to do my best to choose a couple songs to match each character, however I am limiting myself to 5 characters so I don’t go too crazy.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!

(I give reasons why I chose these songs)

Dexter

Goodness I love this boy so much! It’s weird to say that he reminds me of Ambrose in Once and For All, because no one know who I am talking about!! Ha! So sorry! This is what I get for reading book 13 and going backwards. I don’t want to say too much.

The first song I choose for Dexter is “Say You’ll Love Me” by Jessie Ware. Jessie’s voice is just captivating. She reminds me so much of Adele, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde. I picked this song because it represents how he must have felt right when Remy breaks his heart.

If Keith Urban’s The Fighter existed when This Lullaby was written, this should’ve been the song Dexter should have sung on Remy to convince her to trust in their relationship.

Last song I’m choosing for Dexter is Ed Sheeran’s Photograph, which I think is pretty self explanatory

Lissa

I imagine that Lissa thought about her relationship with Adam would end up as a the the perfect married couple. The high school sweethearts like in Dan + Shay’s From the Ground Up

The song Fly by Maddie & Tae is the perfect song to help encourage a heartbroken Lissa, who needs to move on and start over in college.

Chloe

Poor Chloe got so much crap from the other girls about her B-cups that I had to give her The Black Eyed Peas My Humps for her “anthem”.

I think Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble sums up Chloe’s relationship with cheating college guys, but Ingrid Michaelson’s Girls Chase Boys also describes how she is now as she’s the only one who’s actively seeking a boyfriend.

Remy

Oh my goodness it took me so long to find the perfect song that encapsulates Remy as a person. She had always been wary of love and relationships, so she never allowed them to last for a long time, until Dexter.  Paramore’s The Only Exception fits her to a T.

Feist’s Bittersweet Melodies fits the moments when Remy can’t stop thinking about Dexter. But it could also fit for Dexter when he tries to be friends with Remy.

I love the acoustic version of I Choose You by Sara Barielles! It’s PERFECT for the end of the book!!

Jess

Jess was the hardest character to think of songs that fit her personality.  She’s the most responsible of all four girls plus she had to grow up faster to take care of her brothers. So finally I remembered I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman by Britney Spears.

Bonus songs for Remy + Chloe + Jess + Lissa:

Birdy’s Wings

The Ataris In This Diary


About Sarahsarahdessenjpg

Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


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Once and For All

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound


Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Sarah Dessen Giveaway!


Thank you so much to Chelsea Fought and Penguin Random House for letting me participate in #ReadADessen this year and sending me This Lullaby!

If you have read This Lullaby and have any suggestions for songs for characters I’ve mentioned or any other characters, let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to check out the other blogs posting this week!

THIS LULLABY
THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER

MelissaSig

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