Subscribe in a reader
Every year, Lucy waits eagerly for the arrival of the “snowbirds,” the Old Order Amish who come trundling into Florida on buses from the north, bringing Lucy’s best friend Alice, with whom she’s spent every winter she can remember. This winter is different. At sixteen, Alice is in the middle of “Rumspringa,” a season in which Amish teens try out forbidden temptations, in order to get them out of their system. Lucy is part of a different sect, in which teens aren’t allowed such bold experimentation, and she’s fighting to keep up as Alice races from one wild party to the next. Then, one night after just such a party, Alice vanishes. Wracked by guilt, Lucy knows that she should have been watching out for Alice, but instead, she was kissing Faron, an Older Order boy shunned by his society. Now, Lucy plunges into a search for her best friend–while also hiding her own secret, which could put her in even more danger.
CRISSA-JEAN CHAPPELL (crissajeanchappell.com) was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut young adult novel,Total Constant Order, is a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and a VOYA Perfect Ten. Chappell’s second novel, Narc, is currently optioned for film. More Than Good Enough is her most recent novel, which Kirkus calls “compelling and emotionally nuanced.” Chappell holds a PhD and MFA from the University of Miami. She has taught creative writing and cinema studies for more than ten years.
1/16: The Fake Steph – Looks from Books
1/17: Owl Always Be Reading – Review
1/18: Who RU Blog – Novel Secrets
1/19: Pretty Deadly Reviews – Review
1/20: The Irish Banana Review – Fast 5
1/21: Bookhounds YA – Review
SNOWBIRDS behind the scenes from crissachappell on Vimeo.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.
Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.
I dropped out of NYU film school in the mid 80s to play guitar and write songs for Woofing Cookies. We were a punk-pop four piece — think R.E.M. meets the Ramones — that toured up and down the East Coast, and had two singles and one full-length LP on Midnight Records.
The band broke up in 1987 and I followed my other passion, books. I’ve worked in the book industry ever since. And, of course, I write. And I write, And I write, write, write.
My first novel, The Scar Boys — it’s labeled as Young Adult, but I’ve never really liked labels — published January 2014. It is, not surprisingly, a rock and roll coming of age story. No vampires or dystopian future, just a messed up boy and his guitar. (I have nothing against vampires or dystopian futures. I loved The Passage, The Hunger Games, and The Road.)
Scar Girl, the continuation of The Scar Boys’ story.
I live in Connecticut with my super awesome wife Kristen, and our six year old son Charlie, and three and a half year old son, Luke, and I spend my days working at a small book industry non profit.
One of the things people find most surprising about the process of getting published is that the publisher, not the author, chooses the title of the book. Not to say we authors don’t have titles for our manuscripts; we do. But publishers reject those titles as often as they accept them.
The original title for Life in a Fishbowl was House of Stone. It referred to Jackie’s family and the house in which they lived, the setting for most of the book. It was also a play on words, making the point that the love that held the family together was made of stone. I liked it. I really, really liked it.
“Yeah, okay,” my editor said, “but no.”
“Because no one will buy a book called House of Stone. Especially teens.”
“What do you mean? They buy The Catcher in the Rye. And Catch-22. Hey wait, maybe I should put catch in the title.”
“How about “Catching Stones?”
You get the idea.
While authors know how to write books, it is the folks who work in the publishing house that know how to sell books. You have to trust their expertise when it comes to things like titles, and I do.
After my plea to give House of Stone one final chance fell on deaf ears, my editor sent me several lists of choices. This was one of them:
LIFE OFF FOCUS
THE TERMINATION SHOCK
LIFE FOR SALE
THE MEMORY EATER
REZZING IN THE HOUSE OF STONE
LIFE IN THE FISHBOWL
THE WEAK-KNEED AND THE WOBBLY
THE STONE COLD TRUTH
My eye immediately zeroed in on Life in the Fishbowl, and not just because it was such a good fit for the book. It also had personal meaning to me.
When I was younger, I played guitar in a punk-pop band called Woofing Cookies. (If you like punk and stories about music, see my first book, The Scar Boys. But I digress.) After putting out two 45 RPM singles, Woofing Cookies was signed to record a full-length LP on a small label out of New York City by the name of Midnight Records.
I forget exactly how it happened, but I think the label rejected the working title for our record. Just like publishers, music labels, or at least this music label, have final say over album titles. To come up with something quick, we thought it would be funny if we each chose one word at random, and Horse Gum Tortilla Shoes, was born. (You can still find copies on eBay.)
What was the working title the label rejected? Have you guessed it? Are you ready?
Of course, it was Life in a Fishbowl.
Eerie coincidence? Fate? Or maybe my editor is a creepy stalker who somehow knew this obscure and arcane piece of knowledge about my life. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I was ecstatic and I was on board. And, of course, any lingering fondness for House of Stone as a title evaporated when I saw the cover for the book. (I really, really love the Life in a Fishbowl cover. Thank you designers Jessie Gang and Donna Mark!)
So let this be a lesson to younger writers. Don’t obsess over the title of your book, because honestly, they’re probably just going to change it anyway. And you know what? That’s okay.
GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of LIFE IN A FISHBOWL (US/Canada)
Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.
LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound
Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.
Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her super-romantic psychic thriller series, Run To You, was named an RT Magazine Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Run to You Book One: Deception So Deadly, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book.
Clara’s latest release is Aftermath, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary in the tradition of Roomand The Lovely Bones. Aftermath is on Goodreads’ list of Most Popular Books Published in November 2016, and Young Adult Books Central declared it a Top Ten Book of 2016.
Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.
Aftermath by Clara Kensie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
FYI: There’s a Goodreads giveaway going on now for 3 annotated copies of AFTERMATH! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh…
This book!!! It’s powerful, emotional, gripping, hard-to-put-down with lots of twists and turns you won’t predict. AFTERMATH will leave the reader thinking about these characters and the choices they made. How well do you know your community? How well do you know your brother? What would make a “seemingly normal” person kidnap a young girl and hold her prisoner? What happens afterward?
I read this book in a day. Three weeks later, I’m still thinking about this family—how each one found different ways of coping with the kidnapping and everything that came from that. The choices they made, the before and after. Human beings can endure a lot, but this…it’s a parent’s worst nightmare. Yet through the journey, readers will find hope. It’s a lifeline we all need.
Beautifully written, I still have images of the cage, the house, the school, and “home” in my head. Scenes will stay with you and there are moments that will make you gasp and may even bring you to tears. Have some tissues ready, just in case, but whatever you do, don’t miss AFTERMATH! It’s a must-read.
View all my reviews
1/2: The Irish Banana Review – Review
1/3: Bibliobuli YA – 2 Truths & A Lie Post
1/4: Swoony Boys Podcast – Character Interview
1/5: Novel Ink – Review
1/6: Fiction Fare – Q&A
1/7: Actin’ Up With Books – Review
1/8: The Story Sanctuary – Review
1/9: Who R U Blog – Review
1/10: Lisa’s Loves – Dream Cast
1/11: Gabriella M Reads – Q&A
1/12: Novelgossip – Review
1/13: Such A Novel Idea – Playlist
1: A “Do It Double” Aftermath tote bag from Blu Bear Bazaar (photos attached). Inspired by Aftermath‘s message to “Do it double, because some can’t do it at all,” Blu Bear Bazaar designed beautiful artwork for it and printed it on tote bags and throw pillows. Blu Bear Bazaar is generously donating a portion of all Aftermath product proceeds to RAINN and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Click here for more information.
2: Choice of TWO books from Clara’s collection of YA novels. Clara will give the winner a list of the YA novels in her collection, and the winner can pick two. Some of the books are signed by the author.
*US/CAN for the above prizes. If the winner is international, the prize will be substituted by a book from Book Depository up to $18.00, winner’s choice.
Good luck, and happy reading!!!
A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.
LINKS: Amazon | B&N
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
This NOVEL! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! My acrostic poem below.
GAH! I loved it. It’s definitely one of my top reads of 2016! Thank you so much to the publisher for providing an ARC
Humans, humanoids and
It’ll hold your
Blow you away with fascinating characters and
Open up a universe filled with betrayal, murder,
Love, danger, humanity and
Cheers, S.J. Kincaid!
Note from Liza: I LOVE THIS! Yes, you know I read The Diabolic, so I totally get it! I wouldn’t want to imagine this male main character any other way! Read on…
A SECRET OF THE DIABOLIC:
My male main character went through several iterations. In the very first, seen-only-by-me draft, he was unquestionably a bad dude. A bad dude who quite enjoyed the main character, but he did bad stuff. He manipulated, he engineered an innocent person’s death without blinking, and there is a great crime in the book which he originally did.
But I never liked that. Never. And I wanted this to be a full stand-alone story arc and I couldn’t really end it on the note I was ending it on. I knew the ending I really wanted to write, so I decided to scale back the bad dude part, and maybe make him more of a manipulative, ambiguous product of his upbringing. That’s what I did originally, and even then, I scaled it back a bit more after my first reader (my sister) noted that a particular part seemed a bit sociopathic.
Then after the book was acquired, a few other things the character did were questioned as particularly douchey and wrong. I balked at first at the idea of removing these, because I knew as soon as I did, I had to reconceived of this character on a rather fundamental level. it meant seeing him through a new lens in my own mind, and then incorporating that in the text.
But I did it, and I’m really glad I did, because it gave me a new vision of the character that I feel better about… And surprisingly, some people still pick up on a few of those undertones I thought I’d removed.
You will have to read it to see who I am talking about.
(Okay, it’s Tyrus).
S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex was released in July of 2013. The final book in the trilogy, Catalyst, came out October 28, 2014. Her standalone novel The Diabolic will be released in fall 2016.
LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram
Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.
Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.
With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.
LINKS: Amazon | B&N
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. Her first teacher in the U.S. made fun of her for not pronouncing the “wh” sound right, so she set out to master “all the words”—she’s still working on that! In the meantime she’s writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit.
If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you’ll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.
Illusion by Martina Boone
Magic! Swoon-worthy romance between Barrie and Eight. History not found in high school textbooks revealed! Stereotypes SMASHED! This is a series YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS.
Martina Boone does a phenomenal job bringing The Heirs of Watson Island trilogy to a magical conclusion with a heart pounding end!
Here’s what you need to know…
The romance between Eight and Barrie is SMOKIN’ HOT!
The magic is BREATHTAKING:
And the search for treasure leads to discoveries:
Ghosts are vanquished:
Lives are changed FOREVER & hopefully a…
Get ready for answers to all the questions you have about the yunwi, the Fire Carrier, Obadiah, and the curse. Mythology abounds, this is a series that goes beyond the magic, fantasy, mystery, and romance. Martina’s research into history and folklore from many cultures is done with eye-opening compassion and understanding. Readers learn as Barrie and Eight learn. And oooooh my, those swoon-worthy kisses! Once again, Watson Island comes alive for the reader. You’ll feel the beat of the music, want to dance along with Barrie and Eight, drool over the food, and rock in the Away, Eight’s boat. You’ll cheer for Pru and Seven as they figure out their relationship. Martina’s writing is brilliant. There are so many lines you’ll want to quote. So much wisdom, so much heart. And the ending. Such an ending!
This is a series you’ll want to read from beginning to the very end. I LOVED IT! Don’t miss it!!!!
ABOUT THE LOST AND THE FOUND:
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…
ABOUT CAT CLARKE:
Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.
Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.
LINKS: Website | Twitter
Food often works its way into my stories (often when I make the critical error of writing while hungry!) but in The Lost and the Found a particular type of food has an important role. One of my characters is a particularly lovely Frenchman called Michel, who is a sort of step-father to the main character, Faith. Michel is a veterinarian, but on the weekends he likes to make macarons and sell them at the local market. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying one of these delicious morsels, a macaron is a tiny hamburger-shaped sweet treat, made from almond meringue and filled with ganache or jam. They are good. Really, really good.
I didn’t plan on making Michel a master macaron-maker (try saying that three times really fast!) but at the time I’d recently discovered a macaron shop in my hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mademoiselle Macaron makes THE best macarons this side of Paris, and I became ever so slightly obsessed with the salted caramel ones. So when I was trying to come up with something fun for Michel and Faith to do together at weekends, macarons popped into my head.
For the UK launch party of The Lost and the Found, Mademoiselle Macaron made the most spectacular macaron tower, which the guests proceeded to demolish in a matter of hours. Here’s a picture of me, sampling the macarons just to make sure they were good enough for the guests. I only had one or two. Honest. Please ignore the tiny cheeses on the table in front of the tower. Cheese appears in lots of my novels, but that’s another story for another day.
Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.
In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks ranks for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.
Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.
There is a lot that goes on around a book or behind the scene of a making of a book that most readers never know. I’m always one to watch the “making of” featurettes of my favorite movies, so here are five secret facts about DISCORD:
1- The idea for the book actually came from my former agent and her boss. They proposed a scene: a guy tied to a chair and a girl with a knife contemplating whether or not to kill him. The entire book spawned from that scene.
2- The first line of the book never changed. It was the very first thing I wrote in the draft, and it never changed.
3- I named everyone with purpose, but Kindra and Seraphina’s names are the most symbolic. Ten points to anyone who can figure out why I named them each that. A hint? One is ironic and the other one is metaphorically literal.
4-The saddest part of the book is Tristina Wright’s fault. I asked for advice while writing that scene, and what happens in it was her idea. Blame her. Somehow, though, she still manages to blame me. 😉
5- Thirteen months before this book was published, I did not think it would ever be published. Or at least not anytime soon. Everything between the contract and publication happened suddenly and at lightning speed. It was a delightful surprise in a lot of ways.
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.
Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
To celebrate the release of Assassins: Discord, one lucky winner will receive $30 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.
When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.
In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.
About Wendy Higgins:
Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story.Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!
LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.
CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .
Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.
Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.
By Amy Christine Parker
Writers are thieves. Everything we put into a novel is stolen: research, our personal lives, things we over hear, other forms of art we’re exposed to. Okay, okay, I know. I’m being a bit overdramatic here—maybe borrowed or inspired is more accurate than stolen—but it just sounds cooler (and we are taking about a heist book here), so I’m rolling with it. When you spend most of your day drinking tea and typing on a computer in a bathrobe while mumbling to yourself, you have to grab the cool where you can. But now that you know I don’t come up with story details straight out of thin air, you probably have questions, like how much of what I wrote in Smash & Grab about the characters or the plot was directly inspired by true events and stuff from my personal life?
Well, that’s my secret.
…Or it was until today.
I’m about to confess.
But let’s keep this between us.
Here, in no particular order are six secret, stolen inspirations for Smash & Grab:
Christian and the Romero Robbers plan to tunnel under the bank: A group of thieves actually did tunnel under a bank in LA years ago. They were never caught.
The movie dumbwaiter in the bank building: the woman who let me tour her bank talked about another, historic bank she used to work for years ago and mentioned that it had a dumbwaiter so that cash from the teller floor could be transported directly to the vault. I loved the idea of it so much, I knew I wanted to have one in Smash & Grab. You can watch someone investigate an old, historic bank in Philly that has a dumbwaiter here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drRB_J5T12E
The dumbwaiter shows up at about 4:10.
The doughnut date scene in the book came about because my husband has two customers who recently opened a doughnut shop here in Tampa called the Mini Doughnut Factory. Yes, their maple bacon one is my favorite!
I chose to name Christian’s group of thieves the Romero Robbers because Night of the Living Dead was the first movie that made me stay up all night and I am a huge Walking Dead fan. They needed masks, why not zombie ones?
Lexi’s fish tattoo was borrowed from a short story I did a long time ago before I was published. The girl in that story had a goldfish tattoo that peeked over the top of her sock. I’ve always liked the image and wanted it to be in something that would be more widely read then that first story. This book was the perfect opportunity!
The character Leo—my main character Lexi’s best friend—has a photography hobby that was inspired by my oldest daughter who is fourteen. She is an amazing photographer and is always documenting our family outings the way Leo does. She discovered her passion for taking pictures while I was writing this book and so into the story it went! Here is one of her photos of her younger sister:
And there you have it, the inside scoop on all the things that came together to make Smash & Grab a reality. Zombies, doughnuts, and dumbwaiters, oh my!
AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at amychristineparker.comand follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.
“I can’t quite put my finger on what is so enthralling about Kenneally’s newest novel, but it totally sucked me in. I loved that Kenneally didn’t go with an easy, traditional happy-go-lucky ending. I also enjoyed the flawed nature of the characters, which made them feel more relatable. This is a great summer read and my favorite novel by Kenneally so far!” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
There are no mistakes in love.
Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.
Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
I really loved the chemistry between Taylor and Ezra! This novel does a great job of sending a message about protecting your friends and what it might cost you. Living life and setting personal goals based on your passions instead of trying to please others, like parents, is a major theme of this novel. Friendship, teamwork and soccer, mean girls, family, relationships and making choices all interweave together in a wonderful, heartfelt, fast-reading YA contemporary with plenty of swoony scenes that will leave you smiling!
A perfect novel for anyone who loves YA contemporary novels.
View all my reviews
Ezra is at the sugar station, pouring half-and-half into a steaming cup of coffee. The sight of him turns my knees to JELL-O. Dark, cropped hair. Serious green eyes that glance away from mine to make sure his coffee isn’t overflowing. The way he licks his lower lip when he’s concentrating. I’ve rarely seen Ezra out of a white button-down Oxford shirt, khakis, and blue plaid tie, which is the dress code for guys at St. Andrew’s. Now he’s wearing holey jeans spotted with paint and a bright-white T-shirt that is magnified by his warm tan. He’s carrying a construction helmet under his muscled arm.
“What are you wearing?” I blurt.
His cheeks flush at my outburst. “What are you wearing? Where’s your uniform?”
I look down at my jeans and cardigan. It’s been weird trying to figure out what to wear—I’ve never had to pick out school clothes before. I own one pair of jeans, because when I’m not at school or soccer practice, I wear dresses and skirts to parties and political events.
“I don’t need the uniform anymore,” I finally reply.
“But you’re a senior.”
“I am, but I’m going to Hundred Oaks now…”
His eyes go wide. “Why?”
“You don’t know?”
“I figured everybody knew. I bet the guys on the International Space Station even know.” Ezra’s face is blank. “It was all over Facebook,” I tell him.
“I didn’t see anything, I guess,” he says quietly. This is not a surprise to me. He doesn’t have a Tumblr or Twitter account. He never posts anything on Facebook. At least not in the past several months. Not that I noticed or anything. I’m no stalker. Well, not all the time.
It’s weird that he’s never online. My brother’s phone is practically fused to his fingers.
“Are you home for fall break already?” I ask.
He rubs the back of his neck, meeting my eyes for a long moment, and just as I’m asking why he’s holding a construction hat—“Isn’t it a little early for Halloween?”—an older man dressed in a T-shirt and dirty jeans comes into the diner and waves at him.
“Ezra, man, let’s go!”
“Take care, Tease,” he says, then hurries out the door and jumps into a truck with a construction logo on the side. As they drive away, he stares at me through the window.
Okay. So that was weird.
Growing up in Tennessee, MIRANDA KENNEALLY dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit mirandakenneally.com
6/28: YA Bibliophile
6/29: Lost In Lit
6/30: A Backwards Story
7/1: Swoony Boys Podcast
7/4: Andi’s ABCs
7/5: Undeniably Book Nerdy
7/6: Jenuine Cupcakes
7/7: Who R U Blog
7/8: Stuck In Books