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Sunday Street Team: Interview with Jessica Verdi

Posted August 23, 2015 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, interview, Special Feature / 0 Comments

Sunday Street Team: Interview with Jessica VerdiWhat You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
Published by Sourcebooks on August 4th 2015
Pages: 320
Format: ebook
Source: Free for Review, Netgalley
Goodreads

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

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I’m so excited to have Jessica Verdi on my blog today. I really liked What You Left Behind. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of it and I wrote a review earlier this month.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Emily!

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.day

I live in Brooklyn, NY, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. I love watching TV and movies, reading, and traveling. I pursued a career in musical theater for ten years before writing my first book. It was never published, but it made me realize how much I loved storytelling, and I went on to get my MFA in Writing for Children.

2.  Do you have any pets? Tell us about them! (Pictures would be great!)

Yes, I have a dog named Francis. HeÂ’s an old rescue dog and is just the coolest.

verdidog

3.  What is the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?

I booked a trip to Thailand to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary after watching an online video of one of the sanctuaryÂ’s elephant babies rolling around and being cute.

4. Tell us about your latest book.

What You Left Behind is the story of a teen boy named Ryden whose girlfriend got pregnant and subsequently had to stop her cancer treatments. The book begins six months after her death—and six months after the birth of their daughter.

5. Would you like to live in the world your book is based in? Why or why not?

I guess I actually already do live in the world the book is based in—we all do! I got the idea for the book from an article I read about something very similar happening in real life.

6. If you could sit down and give your characters some advice, what would you tell them?

Try your best. It will be good enough.

7. Which of your characters would you like to be friends with and why?

I love them all! IÂ’d love to be friends with Joni because she would be a blast to hang out with, IÂ’d love to be friends with Ryden because he would always have an interesting perspective to add to things, and IÂ’d love to be friends with Alan because heÂ’s cool and loyal.

8. How can readers discover more about you and you work?

They can follow me on Twitter at @jessverdi, and visit my website: www.jessicaverdi.com.

9. What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I tend to write about tough, sometimes sensitive issues, but I also try to infuse everything I write with humor and optimism.

About the Author:

Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at www.jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.

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Sunday Street Team: Guest Post by Shanna Swendson

Posted July 26, 2015 by Emily in Blog Tour, Special Feature / 0 Comments

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This post is part of the Sunday Street Team. If you’d like more information or sign up to become a part please click here.

Rebel Mechanics cover

Title: Rebel Mechanics

Author: Shanna Swendson

Genre: YA

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

Publishing Information: 7/14/2015 Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

Librarything | Goodreads | Amazon

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing. It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule.

The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister familyÂ’s life. She soon realizes sheÂ’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, sheÂ’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

Today I’m so excited to welcome Shanna Swendson to my blog. She has a really great looking book coming out. I’m especially excited about it because I love Steampunk! She’s here today writing about inspiration and what inspires her writing.  She’s also been kind enough to offer a giveaway, so be sure to scroll all the way to the end! Please welcome Shanna Swendson


 

I’m often asked what inspires me as a writer, and that’s a difficult question to answer because there are so many things that can trigger an idea, but I’ve finally figured out what it really comes down to: people!

When you think about it, a novel is about people reacting to their circumstances. Writing a novel means figuring out what makes characters tick so you know how they’d react to things and what would motivate them to take action. The same thing applies to the real world, except you just get to observe people instead of making them do things (well, you shouldn’t make them do things, though it can be fun to play mind games occasionally).

People may be frustrating and annoying at times, but they’re also fascinating and beautiful. I like hearing their stories and learning what they’ve been through or what they want to do. I actually enjoy traveling alone because that means I’m more likely to interact with the new people around me than just with the familiar person I’m with. I can chat with people I meet along the way and learn about them, or I can just observe and eavesdrop. I’ve talked to musicians playing in bars and heard stories about playing with big bands, listened to mothers’ hopes for their children, and heard a lot of war stories.

When you think about it, history is really just stories about people. When it’s taught by making students memorize dates and events, teachers are doing it wrong because the events are all about decisions people have made. Why did these particular people make those particular decisions, and what were the consequences? That’s why writing alternate history is so much fun. I can change something and see how that would change the way people react. I can put people in entirely different circumstances and see what happens.

The main character in my novel Rebel Mechanics came from thinking about a person. I’d gone to an antique show with some friends, and one of the booths had a whole box of old photos that looked like department store photo studio portraits from the 1800s. I felt a bit sad about all these pictures that really should have been with their families, and my friends and I flipped through the box, wondering who these people were. There was one photo of a young woman who just spoke to me, and I ended up buying it. My friends and I started speculating on who she was and where she came from, and then I realized that she was the perfect heroine for the novel I had brewing in my mind. Once I knew who the main character was, the novel fell into place around her. I don’t know that my mental image of her still matches the old photo, but I feel like I’ve given new life to this mysterious young lady from the past.


Don’t miss the giveaway below!

 

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Sunday Street Team: Interview with Erica Cameron and Giveaway!

Sunday Street Team: Interview with Erica Cameron and Giveaway!

This post is part of the Sunday Street Team. If you’d like more information or sign up to become a part please click here. I’m so thrilled to have Erica Cameron here! Her first book in the Dream Wars Saga, Sing Sweet Nightingale came out last May. I love the paranormal fantasy concept where your dreams can lie to you and I’m really excited to read her next book. Whatever you do, don’t miss the giveaway for this book below. You definitely want a copy! Title: Deadly Sweet Lies Author: Erica Cameron Genre: YA/Paranormal/Fantasy Format: Paperback, 400 Pages Publishing Information: 8/18/15 by Spencer Hill Press Librarything | Goodreads | Amazon From her bio, “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.” So let’s hear from Erica about herself and her new book! Interview Questions 1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I was a bookworm before I knew the word existed. Books, movies, TV–IÂ’ve always loved stories in all their forms. […]

Posted July 26, 2015 by Emily in interview, Special Feature / 0 Comments
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