GUEST POST: Spurt by Chris Miles (What fiction Inspired SPURT!) + INT Giveaway!!

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Spurt

Chris Miles

Published February 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

YA > Contemporary | Humor

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

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Balls and all!

Jack Sprigley isn’t just a late-bloomer. He’s a no bloomer: an eighth grader, and puberty is still a total no-show. Worse yet, he hasn’t heard from his friends all winter vacation. He assumes they’ve finally dumped him and his child-like body—until he finds out it’s much worse than that. His friends are now so far ahead of him that they’ve started dating. Jack is out of luck. But then he comes up with a plan to catch up and win his friends back. And his plan is perfect: he just has to fake puberty.

 

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GUEST POST:

 

What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on SPURT

I always feel that I never read enough fiction as a kid, or perhaps that I didn’t read widely enough. The things I did read, though, I read very deeply and obsessively.

Up to the age of ten I mostly read Garfield and Peanuts comics, Doctor Who novelisations and Mad magazine. Later on I was obsessed with the Douglas Adams Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy series and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I’m a fairly anxious, melancholy person, and funny books and funny things in general were a great comfort and relief for me when I was growing up — and still are.

There was one particular book that my dad owned which I read over and over as a younger kid, and which I think was a big influence on Spurt. It was a book called The Two Ronnies Sketchbook, and it contained scripts from a British sketch comedy show from the Seventies.

The thing about these sketches was that they were full of misunderstandings, complications and verbal wordplay. I never actually saw any of these sketches on TV, only in print. But in reading them I think I got a sense of how to convey comic timing with the written word, as opposed to performance. While a lot of Spurt is inspired by more modern cringe comedies, there’s also a lot that reflects my love of this more old-fashioned style of comedy — such as the scene where Jack gets some advice from the school counsellor, Mr Trench, or when Jack has a serious miscommunication with his mum during a phone call.

I also used to listen to old audio recordings of Monty Python sketches and actually write out the dialogue by hand. I think it helped me develop the ability to feel the rhythms of a good sketch — or in the case of fiction, a good scene. Comedy sketches are usually a series of very rapid reversals of expectation, twists of logic and escalating moments of conflict, and these are all excellent techniques to deploy at the scene level in narrative fiction, as well as at the big picture structural level over the course of a novel.

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Chris Miles has written several books for young readers in Australia. His short fiction and other writings have appeared in publications throughout Australia. He works as a website designer and developer, and in his spare time he indulges his love of Doctor Who, LEGO®, Dungeons & Dragons, and anchovies. He is a dog person (though not literally).

 


   

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GUEST POST: ‘real-life “behind-the-scenes” inspirations for IDENTITY CRISIS’ by Melissa Schorr

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Identity Crisis

Melissa Schorr

Expected publication: January 18th 2016 by Merit Press

YA > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

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When curvaceous Annalise Bradley’s scandalous freshman year hookup sparks the anger of her female classmates, three of them decide to get her back by “catfishing” her, creating a fake online profile of the perfect boy to toy with her affections.

Against her better nature, introverted Noelle Spiers, goes along with her friends’ plan, hoping to distract Annalise from dreamy Cooper Franklin, her lifelong crush who has fallen for Annalise instead.

As Annalise discovers she is being played and seeks revenge, Noelle increasingly regrets her role in the cruel hoax and tries to salvage their relationship.

Told in alternative perspectives, IDENTITY CRISIS covers romance, betrayal, and timeless friendship in the age of modern technology.

 

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GUEST POST:

Thanks for having me today. I’m excited to share a few real-life “behind-the-scenes” inspirations for IDENTITY CRISIS!
Anytime, Melissa! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
1) A Hawaiian football player. A Sister Wife. Teenager Megan Meier. What do these three have in common? All were “catfished” — fell prey to a fake online romance with someone who never really existed. News stories and the MTV show “Catfish” got me thinking — how does a person let themselves get fooled? But also, what motivates someone to do that to someone else? 
 
2) The opening scene in my book was stolen from my all-time favorite lesson from high school. Well, at least, that I can still remember. During my senior year “Math for Dummies” class, our assignment was to calculate the probability of getting different color candies from a bag of M&Ms. Fun and tasty! (I was actually a math nerd that went to Bronx Science, but was too burned out by senior year to endure AP Calculus). Kudos to the brilliant teacher that came up with it.
 
3) One of the mean girls, Tori, runs an online beauty pageant called #InstaHotOrNot, which was inspired by real online beauty pageants that were rating teen girls’ photos against one another. It was incredibly fun to orchestrate this particular pageant’s very public “take-down.”
 
4) The last scene of the book at the concert arena has been described by one critic as, ahem, “over the top” — and maybe it is — but in my defense, it was taken from a true event. Remember what happened (no spoilers!) at the 2013 SuperBowl?

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram

Melissa Schorr is the YA author of GOY CRAZY (Hyperion 2006) and IDENTITY CRISIS (forthcoming, Merit Press 2016), and a contributor to the YA anthology DEAR BULLY.

She is currently a contributing writer/editor to the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in numerous publications, including GQ, People, Self, San Francisco magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. 

Melissa currently lives in Boston with her husband, her daughters, and her dog, Bailey.

 


   

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GUEST POST: ‘what inspired The Heir and The Spare’ by Emily Albright

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The Heir and The Spare

Emily Albright

Expected publication: January 18th 2016 by Merit Press

YA/NA > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

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Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.

In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.

Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.

 

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GUEST POST:

I want to first thank the ladies of Her Book Thoughts for having me here today! My debut novel, The Heir and the Spare, is releasing from Merit Press January 18th and I’m here to tell you about some of my inspirations behind it.

You’re welcome anytime, Emily! Thanks for stopping by on the blog! 

To start, the idea for THATS began with the royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William. I started thinking about Prince Harry. I wondered how his life, as the second son, might differ from Prince William’s. Would Harry have more freedoms? Less pressures? I was particularly curious when it came to the romance department. With that little seed planted, THATS quickly took shape. 

Okay, now, this is probably going to sound awful, but there was only one character in the book who I had someone in mind as I wrote them. Clarice. She’s Evie’s mean grandmother, and she’s actually loosely based on my own grandmother, who wasn’t a nice person at all. Some of her facial expressions and sour attitude managed to seep into Clarice’s character. 

And finally, Evie’s love of art history definitely comes from my own love of the subject. In college I took numerous classes and was only a couple credits shy of minoring in art history. But, being burnt out, I just wanted to graduate. Now, looking back, I do regret it. Especially since I enjoyed studying it so much.  

Thanks again for having me, and I hope you all enjoy The Heir and the Spare. 

— Emily 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram

Emily Albright’s debut novel, THE HEIR AND THE SPARE, is releasing January 18, 2016 from Merit Press.

She’s a writer, a major bookworm, a lover of romantic movies, a wife, a mother, an owner of one adorable (yet slightly insane) cockapoo, and uses way too many :).

 


   

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GUEST POST: The Family by Marissa Kennerson (CharacterProfiles!) +Giveaway!!

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The Family

Marissa Kennerson

Published October 26th 2014 by Full Fathom Five

YA > Romance | Realistic Fiction 

 

 

 

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | iTUNES | TBD

 

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Just like any average seventeen-year-old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers and sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity… All one hundred eighty-three of them. Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Family members coexist with values of complete openness and honesty, and they share a fear of contagious infection in the outside world. Adam-their Father, prophet, and savior-announces that Twig will be his new bride, and she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the Family compound, Twig finds that the world outside is not as toxic as she was made to believe. And then she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, and begins to question everything about her life within the Family and the cult to which she belongs. But when it comes to Family, you don’t get a choice.

 

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CHARACTER PROFILES:

Hello everyone! Today, Marissa will be on the blog to introduce usher wonderful characters from her novel, The Family! Let’s get to know them all 🙂

What a great assignment – writing character profiles for my book, The Family. Thank you for having me today!

You’re welcome, Marissa! Can’t wait to know them.

The Family is set in a sinister cult in a remote region in Costa Rica. Most of the members are expat Americans.

Twig – The heart of our story. Twig turns 17 as the story opens. She’s an artist living in an oppressive, dangerous society. She’s sweet, smart and we see just how strong she is as her world falls apart around her. She also super fun and game. Life outside the cult looks pretty damn interesting…

Avery – Avery, Twig’s mother is living with untreated bipolar disorder. She’s narcissistic, wounded, isolated and extremely withdrawn. She’s Michelle Pfieffer (back in the day) gorgeous and she’s the only mom Twig has.

Adam – Adam is the cult leader. He’s charming, magnetic and profoundly charismatic. He’s crafty. He’s handsome and almost impossible to resist. He’s extremely dangerous.

Doc – Doc is the Family’s doctor. He’s an older psychiatrist (the oldest member of the Family), and he is creepy! He’s blindly devoted to Adam and will stop at nothing to protect him. He’s smart and manipulative – the perfect right hand man.

Leo – Leo is the boy from America with the killer smile. He’s smart, articulate, sexy and fun! He’s got groove (and an insane music collection) and his family is the stuff of dreams. He surfs and he is head over heals for Twig. He’s not afraid of Adam.

Gran – Gran is like the fairy godmother of the story. She sort of lives out of time in the book as a recluse in the rainforest. She has saved Avery’s sanity. She has a wardrobe that Gwyneth and her Goopigans would kill for.

Hope I’ve given you a good idea of the cast and characters of The Family, and I hope it entices you to give it a read. Thanks again!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook

Marissa Kennerson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her master’s degree in psychology and art therapy, she worked for Wired and Glamour. She lives in California with her family. The Family is her first novel (Full Fathom Five Digital) and will be coming out October 2014.

 

 

 


   

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GUEST POST: Barren (Barren #1) by Elizabeth Miceli + Giveaway!!

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Barren (Barren #1)
Elizabeth Miceli
Published October 6th 2015
NA >Contemporary | Romance
 
 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon 
 
 

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I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Clare and I baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was the damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.
Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When her significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless- and with an eating disorder- she turns to partying to cope. This only makes matters worse because at a party she is raped, which leaves her psyche at an all-time low. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to find herself. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out
 
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GUEST POST:

 

Road to Publication

After finishing Barren in my senior year of high school, I took some time off from writing. With the start of college, I started to focus more on classes and put Barren on the back burner. In the summer before my sophomore year though, I worked on my query letter. It took a few weeks to hammer out the best letter I could, but with the help of some friends, I finally felt confident about sending out the letter. I started sending out query letters to agents and publishers by the end of May. I heard a lot of no. It seemed as though Barren was too raw, too hard-hitting for the people I chose to send my query letter too. That being said. a few agents said they wanted to read a longer excerpt or the full manuscript. I was starting to get down on myself and was thinking about changing my query letter when August rolled around. Then, something amazing happened. I was at the movies, waiting for “Bad Grandpa” to start, when I checked my email. It was from Swoon Romance saying that I was offered publication. I turned toward my friends, in absolute awe. They convinced me it was real but I decided that I wouldn’t tell anyone else until my mom read the email. In the morning, the email was still saying the exact same thing. This was real life. I was going to be an author.

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

 Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

 

Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a double major in both Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

 

 

 
   

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