Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NRT: Suzanne Crowley Interview +Contest

Interview: Suzanne Crowley
By: Lauren


The Stolen One is out TODAY!

1. I love the cover for your novel The Stolen One and the last time we talked, you said you had a lot of say on the cover and even found the necklace she wears. What exactly did you help with and where did you find the jewelry?

I'm so happy with the cover. I feel like I hit the jackpot. The photographer is Chris Borgman who does beautiful, otherwordly, haunting work. He provided portfolios of red headed models and I got to put my two cents in on who I liked the best. We all agreed on "Courtney" who graces the cover. They also emailed me different dresses and I got to comment on which one's were the best.

The week before the photoshoot, I was watching the finale of The Tudors and I googled the title just to read more about the show. But an interesting website came up - Sapphire and Sage. The artist makes reproduction renaissance and Tudor jewelry. I perused her site and saw a necklace that would be perfect fo the cover - an exact replica of what we needed - and I contacted my editor. They contacted the artist and she made one up, shipped it, and it arrived the night before the shoot. Afterwards, my editor sent me the necklace, and now I can wear it at booksignings. And must also acknowledge Paul Zakris, art director at Greenwillow, for his input on the cover and jacket.

2. The girl on the cover is holding fruit (is it a pear?). Does this have anything to do with the story within? Anything you can share at least?

At the beginning of the novel, a young pear farmer, Christian, proposes to Kat my main character. But she chooses to go to London in search of her identity. It was the photographer's wife who came up with the idea for Kat to hold the pear on the cover, and it's perfect on several levels. You will just have to read the book to find out why. I'm now collecting vintage pear pins on ebay. And there will be a pear on my bookplates.

My father did a pen and ink of one for me. I'm really having fun with the pear motif. I made little velvet bags filled with pear flavored jelly bellies that were given away to librarians with the advance reading copy. Tied around the outside was a tassel bookmark with a charms that symbolized motifs in the book including of course the pear.

3. How would you describe the genre for The Stolen One? Is it a historical fantasy? Is there romance? A bit of the supernatural?

I would say The Stolen One is a young adult historical romance with a bit of intrigue and mystery. The romance is not dominate as in a traditional romance. In fact, Kat has three love interests to choose from. There is a little bit of the supernational, but not much. It's just a good story with a lot of lush detail of the era.

4. Will The Stolen One will be a stand-alone novel or are you planning on making it a series or adding a sequel? If not, what are you hoping to write about next?

The Stolen One is a stand along novel. I have a couple of ideas brewing for what I'm going to work on next - another Texas novel like The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, my first book, and possibly another historical, this one set in the 1700's in Venice. We'll just have to which one wins out.

5. What made you pick the setting of Tudor England? Is that where it was always going to be set or did the place come later?

The Stolen One is based on a nugget of real history so it had to be set in Tudor times. However, I have always loved this time period, and I grew up with the family legend that I am very distantly related to the family of Lady Jane Grey, the tragic queen of nine days.

6. If you could wish on a real shooting star, what would you wish for and why?

That's a hard one. I'd have to say, since I'm a mother, I wish for health and happiness for my three children.


To Enter: Comment with something about the interview

Open To: U.S. and Canada only!

Prize: One Signed Copy of The Stolen One and a Box of Godiva Chocolate

Ends: Monday, July 13th, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

YA Carnival Winners: Leave Your Links!

I was asked to post a new Mr. Linky if people want to leave a link to their winner posts for the YA Carnival. I think it's a good idea in case someone is wondering if they won or who DID win if they know they didn't...you don't have to do this, but if you want, click the Mr. Linky box below and leave a link to the EXACT post where you state the winner in your Carnival Contest:

Party on Garth! Party on Wayne!

It's a Partyyy!

This awesome party trailer was made by Tirzah from http://www.thecompulsivereader.blogspot.com/

The following information was taken from Stephanie's blog, because it's much easier to copy and paste than try and explain this myself. It sounds like oodles (yes, oodles) of fun doesn't it? Be sure to stop on by and you can PRE-ORDER Ballads right this very second and you know you want too. Yep yep, you sure do! And if you look at Amazon, you can get this book for a little under 10 bucks! WOW, you have to do it!

Pre-Order NOW: http://www.amazon.com/Ballads-Suburbia-Stephanie-Kuehnert/dp/1439102821

Here are the details of the invite:

I'm throwing a cyber launch party for Ballads of Suburbia. It's gonna start on July 13th (my 30th birthday) and run for approximately a month. My guests are all fabulous writers and one very kick-ass musician.

Here's the Guest List:

Amanda Ashby
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Vanessa Barneveld
Kay Cassidy
Cecil Castellucci
Simone Elkeles
Drew Ferguson
Liza Graves of the band Civet
Sara Hantz
Jessica Hopper
Danielle Joseph
Polly Jirkovsky
Tara Kelly
Daniel Kraus
Melissa Marr
Erica Orloff
Kelly Parra
Jeri Smith-Ready
Wendy Toliver
Melissa Walker
Alexa Young

What they'll be doing:

As you may have gathered from the Ballads of Suburbia book description, my characters in the book write their "ballads" in a notebook. The ballads are like confessions of the moments that changed their lives, often very secret, very heartbreaking. My guests won't be so heartbreaking I'm sure. They will be sharing a lot of interesting, personal stories, sometimes hilarious, often music themed. It's gonna be good stuff.


Many of my guests will also be giving away prizes, maybe signed copies of their books, maybe other fun stuff. At the end of the whole party, MTV Books has agreed to give out a grand prize basket of books to one lucky winner. So basically, I have a party, but you guys get all of the presents. That works out pretty nicely, huh?

And of course I'll be sharing some ballads of my own and giving away copies of Ballads of Suburbia.

**Also, if you look in my left hand sidebar you can find an interview with Social Distortion's Mike Ness that Stephanie did for the site in honor of her last book, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone. Leave a comment over there if you read and you should!**

Summary of Ballads of Suburbia for those of you who don't know:

Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....

Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

(Interview) The Amazingly Awesome Leslie Simon

Interview with the super amazing Leslie Simon
Questions by: Lauren

1. You wrote your first book Everybody Hurts with fellow Alternative Press writer Trevor Kelley. However, you took the solo route when it came to Wish You Were Here. Was there any particular reason you decided to do the second one on your own (just wanted too, Trevor wasn't available, etc.)?

Actually, Trevor was all slated to co-write the second book back when we first plotted everything out. However, I came up for the idea of “Wish You Were Here” the summer after “Everybody Hurts” came out (back in 2007), which happened to be while Trev was still living the life of a freelance writer. That fall, he snagged an awesome position in the music department at MySpace and was instantly swamped. So swamped, in fact, that he didn’t feel like he could give his all to the second book and he bowed out. I was kind of devastated, but instead of shelving the idea, I decided to soldier on Destiny’s Child-style and write the thing solo. That’s just how I roll.
angels & kings Pictures, Images and Photos

2. Like a true rock star, you celebrated your book party at the bar Angels & Kings in New York City. Who did you rock out with and what does a book party for you entail exactly?

The peeps at Crush Management, who happen to own Angels & Kings, have always been super-supportive of everything I’ve done. We’ve been co-workers and bros for years and it was so rad that they offered to host an East Coast book soiree for me. Usually, book launches are stuffy events with cheese and chardonnay involved. However, seeing that the subject matter of my book is totes rock ’n’ roll, it was a natural fit to party down in a grimy bar with my closest friends. It was raining cats and dogs that night in New York City, but I managed to do shots with some of the best label, management and band peeps in the biz!

3. You've worked with various magazines from Alternative Press to Kerrang! For everyone out there interested in a similar line of work, what would your advice be for them? Where are you currently working at the moment? Do you still have any "must.work.there" wishes?

I’m currently living and working in Los Angeles. I still contribute to Kerrang! and AP, which is super-rad, and I’m constantly trying to add more media outlets to my arsenal. I’m also in the midst of trying to develop a television show and another book, of course. You should see my to-do list on a daily basis! It’s crazybrains!

As for advice to anyone wanting to explore a similar line of work, I’d say to drop everything and start getting involved in your scene. Go to shows, get to know your local bands and, above all else, ask questions. People LOVE talking about themselves. If you specifically want to be a writer, then you’ve gotta write until your fingers bleed. Start a blog, contribute to your school paper, scribble in a diary—do anything to get your thoughts and opinions on paper. Also, if there’s someone nearby that could possibly be your mentor, nail that sh*t down! It’s so great to have someone look over your work with a more critical eye. I feel like that’s the only way writers improve from good to great.
gilmore girls Pictures, Images and Photos

4. For anyone that knows you, it's obvious you are a huge Gilmore Girls buff and were recently able to visit where they filmed the show. How did this all come about? And for random sake, who would you be...Rory or Lorelei?

I happened to be taking a meeting on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank and I managed to scam a tour through the set of Stars Hollow, which is now being used for some upcoming CW show based on that movie The Witches Of Eastwick. All of the storefronts look different, but you can still recognize landmarks like Miss Patty’s dance studio, Mrs. Kim’s Antiques and, of course, Lorelei’s house.

If given the choice, I’d probably have to be Rory. I mean, sucking face with both Milo Ventimiglia and Matt Czurchy? Stick a fork in me!

5. Do you have any other books in the work, and if so, please tell us what you can! Is there anything you would love to write about in the future (for me, I think the idea of online resources/sites versus print magazines/newspapers would be an interesting topic!)

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve got another book marinating inside my brain but I’m not totally ready to divulge any deets just yet. Please bear with! As for other future projects, I would love to help write Lindsay Lohan’s memoir. Freals. Not sure how I’m going to make that happen, but I’m totally going to try!

6. In Wish You Were Here, you discuss the various scenes that come with a certain genre of music. Do you believe you fit into a certain one?

Hmmm… Style-wise, I aspire to fit into the New York City scene—though I definitely don’t have the prerequisite cool points or size-24 waist. Musically, I’m probably a cross between the Chicago emo scene and the sunny Los Angeles indie scene. What can I say? I’m a total mutt.
michael cera Pictures, Images and Photos

7. Now, the people must know...what exactly sparked the obsession with one Michael Cera? ;-)

Two words: George Michael. I mean, how could you not have a crush after watching him on Arrested Development?
shooting star Pictures, Images and Photos

8. And finally, because I must always ask: If you could wish on a real shooting star, what would you wish for and why?

Aside from world peace, curing cancer and stuff like that, I’d probably wish for a French bulldog puppy and the ability to enjoy today instead of agonizing over tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Giveaway: The Demon's Lexicon

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Summary: I can't find one for this book and I don't know why! Well, not an official one at least...but it's amazing. Two brothers on the run. Alan wants to keep his mum safe, but Nick could care less and knows she's the reason they are running in the first place and why his dad had to die. Two friends, Mae and Jamie, get wrapped up their world as they all try to stay hidden from the magician's and the demons they have summoned to get them.

That's all I can think to say at the moment but OMG, this book is amazing. I'm almost finished and will have a full review up in a few days at least (I'm hoping, as I have a few older reviews I need to get posted too). Anyway, now it's time for you to win a copy.

Thank you to Sarah for sending me a copy to read/review and giveaway in honor of the YA Book Carnival and I think it's fitting she's last to go! I hope you all enjoyed the carnival and thanks for all the new followers. I hope to see you around. On non-contest posts, I LOVE to comment back so keep checking and talking. :-)


To Enter: Who is your favorite villian of all time? (from books, movies, TV, etc.)

Open To: U.S. Only

Ends: August 31 (you have plenty of time, so please enter and spread the word)
yes, this was extended!
Prize: One Signed FINISHED copy of The Demon's Lexicon

If You Don't Win: BUY THE BOOK! You won't regret it.

Another Chance to Win

-Go Here http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/148663.html to enter Sarah's contest for a copy and some swag. If you say you are from the YA Book Carnival, you get two entries so double your chances to win this amazing book (and I'm not even finished...but believe me, I'm loving it)


+ 1-follow the blog or say you already follow (please leave a NEW comment if you do this)

+1 post about this contest somewhere and let me know (please leave a NEW comment if you do this)

That means if you do everything to enter, you should have THREE comments. Please do this or I might miss an entry.

YA Carnival Contest: The King's Rose

The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby

Summary: Appointed to the queen’s household at the age of fourteen, Catherine Howard is not long at court before she catches the eye of King Henry VIII. The king is as enchanted with Catherine as he is disappointed with his newest wife — the German princess Anne of Cleves. Less than a year from her arrival at court, Catherine becomes the fifth wife of the overwhelmingly powerful, if aging, King of England.

Caught up in a dazzling whirl of elaborate celebrations, rich gowns and royal jewels, young Catherine is dizzied by the absolute power that the king wields over his subjects. But does becoming the king’s wife make her safe above all others, or put her in more danger? Catherine must navigate the conspiracies, the silent enemies, the king’s unpredictable rages, as well as contend with the ghosts of King Henry’s former wives: the abandoned Catherine of Aragon, the tragic Jane Seymour, and her own cousin, the beheaded Anne Boleyn. The more Catherine learns about court, the more she can see the circles of danger constricting around her, the threats ever more dire.

In honor of the YA Book Carnival, Alisa was kind enough to offer up a copy of her book for a giveaway so definitely think about entering. If you don't win or can't wait for this to end, BUY THE BOOK! It's always great to support authors, right?
Anyway, thanks Alisa for this opportunity!


To Enter: Why do you want to read this book?

Open To: U.S. and Canada!

Ends: July 10, 2009

Prize: Signed copy of The King's Rose

I want to thank everyone for entering the contests this week and/or holding their own. I'll have ONE more up later today for the carnival and a contest tomorrow just for the blog (another c.d.) so please follow the blog or keep your eye out. Thanks!

Friday, June 26, 2009

David Garrett Review + Giveaway

David Garrett: Review + Giveaway

Buy: http://www.amazon.com/David-Garrett/dp/B001UW58WW

Review: Can I just say for now that David is completely talented? I mean, really, it's quite amazing. I never really thought I would enjoy his music as much as I have...perhaps what makes it so fun is because a lot of its so familiar.

You see, David's music on his album (out in the U.S. now I believe) is full of songs that a lot of people already know, but it's mixed up and the lyrics are all gone, allowing listeners a chance to see underneath a song. It's great, believe me.

One song included is from Metallica, "Nothing Else Matters." When you think of this band you're probably scratching your head about how this is supposed to work...but it's great and I loved listening too. It's a new way to listen to this music and not be yelled at by fellow friends that are freaked out (kidding, unless it's true)! One word to describe this song? Beautiful

Next up, we have a song for all those pirates out there needing a new theme song. From the hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean you get "He's a Pirate." This one is upbeat and a lot of fun. It definitely gives off the adventure vibe, so that you can practically see Jack Sparrow guiding his ship.

As the King of Pop himself passed away yesterday, I think it's very fitting I've posted this review today. Another hit on David's album is a rendition of "Smooth Criminal" which is just as exciting and fun as the actual song, except this time you get to sit back and love the music for what it is without the lyrics attached. A very fitting tribute to Michael Jackson.

Finally, if you're looking for more of a rock vibe, I'd suggest giving "Thunderstruck" by ACDC a go or if you want a song for everyone in the family, "Ain't No Sunshine" can't go wrong.

Give David a shot. You might just like him a lot more than you thought you would. He's perfect for the whole family, as you can't complain about a song's music being too "PG-13" for the kiddies!

David Garrett's "Smooth Criminal"


I'm excited to say that I can give away one copy of this album to anyone in the U.S. Sorry if you aren't, but if someone you know lives in the States and can send you your prize if you happen to win then go ahead and enter and it'll be sent to them!

Enter: Leave a comment with something about David Garrett (please no "enter me" only comments. I love to hear what people have to say)

Open To: U.S. Only!

Ends: Monday, July 6th...so enter enter enter!

Prize: One copy of David's album

Extra Entry:

+ 1 if you follow now or follow because of this (leave a NEW comment for this entry so I don't miss it in your post)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Name is Will: Giveaway (5 Winners)

My Name is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield

Summary: A Tale of two Shakespeares...

Struggling UC Santa Cruz grad student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg is trying to write his thesis about the Bard. Kind of...Cut off by his father for laziness, and desperate for dough, Willie agrees to deliver a single giant, psychedelic mushroom to a mysterious collector, making himself an unwitting target in Ronald Reagan's War on Drugs.Meanwhile, would-be playwright (and oppressed Catholic) William Shakespeare is eighteen years old and stuck teaching Latin in the boondocks of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The future Bard's life is turned upside down when a stranger entrusts him with a sacred relic from Rome... This, at a time when adherents of the "Old Faith" are being hanged, drawn, and quartered as traitors.Seemingly separated in time and place, the lives of Willie and William begin to intersect in curious ways, from harrowing encounters with the law (and a few ex-girlfriends) to dubious experiments with mind-altering substances.

Their misadventures could be dismissed as youthful folly. But wise or foolish, the bold choices they make will shape not only the 'Shakespeare' each is destined to come... but the very course of history itself.

Now, I haven't read this one yet but I hope to as soon as possible so that I can get a review posted for you all. However, at the moment, I am pleased to say that I'm able to give away some copies of this novel courtesy of Hachette.

To Enter: Leave a comment
Open To: U.S. and Canada only (NO P.O. Boxes)
Ends: Monday, July 6th (so don't wait...enter now!)
Prize: 5 people will win a copy of My Name is Will.

EXTRA (leave a NEW comment for each entry and extra entry or I might miss one!)

+1 if you post somewhere else about this giveaway
+1 if you are or become a follower

Michael Jackson: R.I.P.

Michael Jackson has passed away today. In honor of his long career, I have a video for "Billie Jean." It's not the official one or anything though.

Whether you were a big Michael Jackson fan or not, what is one of your favorite songs of his? I love this one but I also enjoy "PYT", "Thriller", and "Man in the Mirror."

I don't know much about her, but I do want to mention that Farah Fawcett lost her battle to cancer today as well. It's all very sad, so I definitely have their friends and family in my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wish-List-Wednesday: Some Are Out, Some Are Not

Pompidou Posse by Sarah Lotz (Out Now)

It’s the late eighties and British teenagers Vicki and Sage go on the run in Paris after burning down their art-school pottery shed. Penniless, homeless, and worst of all, out of cigarettes, it isn’t long before they find themselves living on the streets. Survival means not only learning to navigate the perils of soup-kitchens, begging, hallucinogens and sleeping rough, but also dealing with charismatic gypsy fire-eaters, violent German hoboes, teargas-happy gendarmes and sexual predators, including Taffy, a psychotic one-legged Welshman.While Sage battles with her own damaging secrets in the angry scrawls of her diary, na├»ve Vicki finds herself drawn to the damaged and often dangerous people living outside society. Can the girls emerge from this experience with their friendship and sanity intact? Both harrowing and darkly humorous, Pompidou Posse is a unique glimpse into the dark side of Europe’s most glamorous city.

Screwed by Joanna Kenrick (Out Now)

Marsha is a fourteen-year-old slag. She and her friend Faith regularly go out looking for a good time, which more often than not involves sex. Both from broken homes, they don't see anything wrong with the way they behave. Until Marsha meets Rich. Rich is different. Unsure, and from a loving family, he finds Marsha a bit too full on. But being with Rich is like being with a friend - one who listens to her and asks her opinion. Rich makes her feel that she's worth more than a quick shag in the park. But is it possible to change? Screwed examines the question of peer pressure, family and their influence on identity. It also takes a frank look at the all-too-common social problem of underage sex and its consequences.

The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P. Jones (Out in July 09)

Ovid and Lorelli Thornthwaite have been trying to kill each other for so long that neither twin can remember which act of attempted murder came first. But whoever struck first, trying to take each other's lives is simply what they do. Until one day a lawyer arrives at their house to take stock of its contents, and his accompanying son attracts their attention. Soon a new battle evolves - one in which the twins have to work together to solve the mystery of their parents' deaths. Can Lorelli and Ovid overcome their old animosities, and will they ever get to finish that game of chess?

Ghosts and Lightning by Trevor Byrne (Out in Dec. 09)

Happy or unhappy, all families are a mystery. None more than the Cullens. Having escaped their clutches and moved across the water, Denny is just beginning to make a life for himself when a call from his sister brings him back to Dublin, city of his birth. Back to square one. As if squabbling siblings and unhelpful childhood friends weren't trouble enough, a ghost starts making appearances in the family home and Denny's life starts to get a lot more complicated.

My Side of the Story by Will Davis (Out Now)

'My name is Jarold, but everyone calls me Jaz, which is a damn sight cooler. I think you'll agree. I'm sixteen (just) and I have two remarkably undivorced parents, along with a sister and a grandmother and we all live in the same house together just like in a TV show. I've just started my A levels too, which me and Al are planning to fail, which is our way of saying Fuck You to the British educational standard.' So what if your parents hate each other and want you to have therapy? So what if your holier-than-thou sister and her posse have decided you're going to hell? So what if the school tyrant and his goons are hunting you down, or if your best friend has just outed you to a neo-Nazi? Jaz isn't planning to lose any sleep over it - at least until he meets the guy of his dreams at the local gay bar. Suddenly things are a lot more complicated. Witty, acerbic, and incredibly funny, "My Side of the Story" is the perfectly rendered portrait of a precocious, troubled teenager faced with the awkward process of growing up and coming out.

The Year I Turned Sixteen by Diane Schwemm (Due out January 2010)

The Year I Turned Sixteen by Diane Schwemm is the story of four sisters, four birthdays, and four unforgettable years.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

News&Things: A List of Winners and More!


Looking for something new to read? An author was in contact with me to spread the word about her book, so if it's looks good, check it out:


It's called Look After Each Other.

Contest Contest Contest!

If you head on over to Black-Eyed Susan, you can enter to win some copies of Airhead by Meg Cabot. You know you want too!


Book Chic is celebrating his two-year blogoversary this month. In celebration of that, he spotlighted some book bloggers and I was honored to be asked to do an interview. Want to see it? Go and leave a comment...


Love your YA books but aren't looking for summer romances? Well, how about you Darken Your Summer Days with Penguin:

The Second Season Premiere of A&E's show The Cleaner is tonight, June 23rd at 10/9c. If you haven't watched this before, give it a shot! It's only the second season and we all know it's nice to find some new shows...especially during the summer when it seems like everything else is ending!

Here's a short trailer for the new season:

Winner Winner! (If it says "emailed" then check your email, and if it says "please email me" then please do so: lauren51900 AT aol DOT com. You have 48 hours!)
ABC Family Prize Pack: Cassie (emailed!)
Royal Pains Prize Pack: Rose (please email me)
The Clique Summer Series: Jordan (emailed!)
Twenty Boy Summer:
Katrina (emailed!)
sb631 (please email me)
Tower of Books- Krista (emailed!)
Just Your Typical Book Blog-Amber (emailed!)
Hillary from The Book Reader (please email me)

NRT: Baily Macdonald + Contest

Wicked Will
By Bailey Macdonald
Simon and Schuster/Aladdin Books

Three years ago, I attended a convention for writers of young adult and children's books. I wasn't one, but I wanted to be. And at that convention, we wanna-be writers were able to talk to real book editors and agents!

So I sat down with a very nice book agent and she said, "What are you working on?"
"I'm writing a mystery novel," I told her. "And it has a great detective: William Shakespeare!"

She gave me a pitying look. "Hon," she said, "historical mysteries set in Shakespeare's Globe have just been done to death."

"Mine's not set there," I told her. "Because my book takes place before the Globe was even built. Anyway, why limit the setting to the Globe? All the world's a stage for someone like Shakespeare!"

She winced a little but asked, "Okay, is yours set after Shakespeare retired from the stage?"

"No," I said. "It takes place the year he was twelve years old."

"Oh . . ." she said, blinking. "Okay, what crime does he solve?"

"The biggest one there is," I told her.

She smiled. "What, is it murder?"

"Right!" I laid out the plot for her: A group of strolling actors comes to Stratford-on-Avon to perform in June of 1576; a local crank, a belligerent and unpleasant man is killed; and it looks as if the leader of the actors did the deed. But the accused man has a nephew who is an actor, and he has to try to solve the crime to free his uncle, and a talkative boy named Will Shakespeare helps. . . ."

"Write it!" the agent told me. "But don't treat it like a joke."

"I'll write it straight," I promised her. "The matter's in my heart and in my head."

Funny how things work out. Eventually an agent took on the book, which came to be titled Wicked Will. It took three years for the book to be published—but then haste makes waste, they say. Anyway, a different agent loved the book, sent it to Simon and Schuster, and a wonderful editor there loved it, too!

And today my first mystery novel, Wicked Will, is in the bookstores. I continue to write—my next book will be about a young Ben Franklin—and I continue to work in the theater. In fact, recently I was in a Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. The world's a theater, the earth a stage, which God and nature do with actors fill! And being a writer and an actor—well, that's a thrill!

Oh—hidden away in this page are three quotations from Will Shakespeare himself. Are you detective enough to find them? If you can identify the three quotations, and tell which plays they are from, you might win one of my books. I'll give a free, autographed copy of Wicked Will to the first three literary sleuths who email me at bzmac@yahoo.com with the correct answers.

Good detecting!

--Bailey Macdonald

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Secret Life Interview w/ Molly Ringwald

Interview with: Molly Ringwald Photo Credit: http://www.ew.com

By: Lauren (my questions are in purple)

The Secret Life of the American Teenager's new season premieres tonight, June 22nd on ABC Family at 8/7c.


Our first question comes from Kenn Gold from Media Boulevard. Go ahead, sir. Your line is open.

K. Gold

Thank you. Thanks a lot, Molly. I really appreciate your time today.

M. Ringwald


K. Gold

What do you think it is about the show that makes it so popular, and did that popularity surprise you at all?

M. Ringwald

Well, it’s always surprising when something turns out to be such a big hit like this. I mean you do all these projects and you hope for the best. You really never know what’s going to strike a chord. I just think that people just really like the characters. I think that they relate to the characters and I think that it’s really well cast. I think we have a lot of great actors in the show and a lot of good charisma and I think Brenda Hampton is really good at writing for these characters. So, I mean I guess that’s really, in my mind, what’s made it take off.

K. Gold

Okay, and as a follow-up, can you tell us where are you in the filming schedule? How far along is the season, and are you going to have to take some time off for maternity leave or is that going to be filmed?

M. Ringwald

Yes, I’m actually already on maternity leave. I shot about 12 episodes and then one day, I shot three episodes in one day, just my part. Then when I come back from maternity leave, then I’m shooting three episodes back; so, just sort of do the catch up. So, everybody else is still filming and I think that they are off in August, but I’ve been off since the end of May.

K. Gold

All right. Thank you.


Our next question comes from Jamie Steinberg from Starry Constellation. Go ahead. Your line is open.

J. Steinberg

Hello. It’s just a pleasure to speak with you.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.

J. Steinberg

I was wondering; what about your role continues to challenge you?

M. Ringwald

Well, it’s constantly interesting for me to play the mother of teenagers just because I’m not really there in my own life. I have a five-year-old and I’m pregnant with twins right now. So, it’s always interesting to me to kind of-- It’s like sort of jumping ahead in my life and sort of living what I’m going to be living probably like 10 to 15 years from now. So, that’s always interesting. I feel almost like I’m so known for being a teenager and then all of a sudden, I’m the mother of a teenager. That’s always sort of a real head trip for me.

I think it’s always challenging for me to do a show like this, that I’m used to doing movies and theater and I’ve never really done sort of an episodic show that moves at the fast pace that it goes. So, that’s always really challenging for me.

J. Steinberg

How does the cast continue to maintain such great chemistry between each other?

M. Ringwald

Well, I think there’s a lot of just very charismatic actors on the show. I think all of the kids in the show are just really charming and smart and they all get along. I think that they just work really well together. I think the show is really well cast.

J. Steinberg

Wonderful. Thank you so much.

M. Ringwald



Our next question comes from Troy Rogers from deadbolt.com. Go ahead. Your line is open, please.

T. Rogers

Hello, Molly. How are you?

M. Ringwald

I’m good.

T. Rogers

Excellent. I wanted to know how does being a mother in real life help you to get into the character of “Anne”?

M. Ringwald

Well, I think that once you’re a mother, you understand; not to say that people who aren’t mothers can’t play mothers. I think I played mothers before I was actually a mother in my real life, but I think once you experience that, there are just certain things that you just know. There are certain things that you feel comfortable with, a way of touching your child’s head or a way of like wiping dirt off their face. There’s just a way that you have, I think, that you don’t quite-- It’s not in your bones, I think, until you actually are a mother.

It’s obviously a little bit different for me because I’m playing the mother of a teenager and in real life, I’m the mother of a five-year-old. So, it’s a little bit different. It’s kind of like looking into a crystal ball into the future. But, I think once you’re a mother, you kind of always see your kids as a baby anyway no matter how old they get.

T. Rogers

Exactly. I also remember watching you in teen films like Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club. How do you think teens are different today as opposed to back in the 1980s?

M. Ringwald

I don’t really think that they are very different. I mean certain things have changed. Certainly the Internet has changed things a lot and texting and cell phones and all of that, but I think the basic personality and everything that teenagers want and everything that teenagers fear is all the same. It’s just the technology has changed.

T. Rogers

Yes, that makes sense. Thanks; continued success with the show.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.


Our next question comes from Ms. Sarah Fulghum from totallyher.com.

S. Fulghum

Hello, Molly. It’s great to speak with you.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.

S. Fulghum

You started out young as an actor. What is the best advice you’ve given your young costars?

M. Ringwald

Well, all of my costars on the show really are smart and they really have their head on their shoulders. I try not to give advice. I don’t want to be like that person … giving advice. I think that they’re all doing a great job and they’re all really down to earth and are really nice people. So, I don’t really feel like I need to give them advice.

S. Fulghum

Have you done anything to help them along the way?

M. Ringwald

I try to be there for them as a fellow actor. I don’t really consider myself a mentor per se unless somebody comes up to me and asks me something specific, but I think that they all really know what they want to do and are doing it. They’re great.

S. Fulghum

Well, I’m sure they appreciate that. Thanks for answering the questions.

M. Ringwald



The next question comes from Emma Loggins from fanbolt.com. Go ahead. Your line is open.

E. Loggins

Hello, Molly. It’s a pleasure to speak with you. I wanted to ask you how you felt that movies and TV programming in general has evolved for the teenage audience since you played a teenager.

M. Ringwald

Well, I think it’s gone through different phases. I think The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a little bit more similar to the kinds of movies that I was doing back in the day. In the meantime, there were all kinds of different sort of teen trends. For a while, it was like the teen horror film seemed to be like what it was about. I remember in the 1990s, it was like you couldn’t see a teen movie without it being a horror movie and now it seems to have gotten more back to character-driven pieces. So, I think that’s sort of where we’re at right now.

E. Loggins

Okay, and do you have a favorite episode or a favorite storyline from the series?

M. Ringwald

No, I kind of like all of them.

E. Loggins

All right. Well, thank you.

M. Ringwald



The next question comes from Traci Grant from starcoop.com. Go ahead. Your line is open.

T. Grant

Hello, Molly. It’s great to speak with you.

M. Ringwald


T. Grant

My question is you have a really great chemistry both with Mark Derwin who plays “George” and with the girls who play your daughters. Was that something that happened sort of right when you guys met, or did you guys really have to work at it to make it authentic?

M. Ringwald

I think we liked each other from the get-go, but I think as time goes on, obviously you get to know the person more and you get more comfortable with them. I think our relationship has definitely grown and as the characters have grown, we’ve gotten to know each other better and it just really helps to get it even more sort of realistic. You develop little quirks together and impressions and it just makes it more realistic.

T. Grant

Definitely, and as a follow-up, as a family person yourself, as a mother, do you feel like this show is doing a good job of portraying an accurate family, the way that it would be in real life?

M. Ringwald

I think so. I mean I think that every family is different. I don’t think that there’s any definitive way to portray a family. I think that this is the way that this family functions, but I think obviously it’s different in other families. But, I think that Brenda does a pretty good job of sort of doing that family dynamic - the sort of sibling rivalries, the little arguments. Yes, I think it’s pretty realistic.

T. Grant

Great. Thank you so much.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.


Our next question comes from Chelsea Wiley from http://www.sugarslam.com/. Go ahead. Your line is open, ma’am.

C. Wiley

Hello, Molly.

M. Ringwald


C. Wiley

You’re nominated for a Teen Choice Award this year and I wondered what it is about your character, “Anne” that makes teens wish that she was their mom.

M. Ringwald

I don’t know. I have no idea. I just found out about the Teen Choice Awards; very flattering and nice. I mean I hope that my daughter feels that way when she’s a teenager.

C. Wiley

Also, the readers on our site are mainly young girls. If you could give them any advice just about coming of age, what would it be?

M. Ringwald

Well, as a rule, I try not to give advice because I just feel like everybody needs to sort of find their own way. I think if I was to give advice, I would just say try to do the best that you can in school and that you need to look at that as your freedom because I think too often, people are in school, kids are in school and they just think it’s boring and they don’t like it or whatever and they don’t realize that that’s sort of like their future. It’s really hard just to realize that it’s really important. So, I guess that would be my best advice.

C. Wiley

Okay. Thank you so much.

M. Ringwald



Our next question comes from Lauren Becker from Shooting Stars. Go ahead. Your line is open.

L. Becker

Hello. My first question was I was wondering why you think now was a good time to have a show on TV that dealt with teenage pregnancy. Did you think it was in the media a lot so they wanted to portray it realistically, or what are your thoughts?

M. Ringwald

I don’t know. I mean I didn’t write the show. I think the show was actually like even a couple of years before it was actually set up. So, I guess it was just the right time. There seems to be like a right time for everything and this show happened to premiere like right around the time that Juno that was out and even, of course, with the Palin pregnancy. It just seemed like it was just kind of like the right time. I mean I wouldn’t say that teen pregnancy has not existed before this show. I mean I did a movie about teen pregnancy when I was a teenager. But, I guess it just sort of feels like the right time.

But, the show is not really only about teenage pregnancy. I think that that was an element in the first season, but I think the show is about more than that.

L. Becker

Definitely. As a mom, when your kids get older, would you want them to go into the acting business, or would you be supportive about that, or would you be a little wary of it at first?

M. Ringwald

I think I would be supportive as long as she went into it when she’s older. I mean I don’t want my child to be a child actor. I want her to stay in school and sort of learn as much as she possibly can and then if she decides at that point that she wants to go into acting with her eyes open after knowing everything, then of course I would support her. But, I would prefer it if she would get a great education first and I think anyway, that would only make her a better actor.

L. Becker

Great. Thank you very much.

M. Ringwald



Our next question comes from Tiffany D’Emidio from Eclipse Magazine. Go ahead. Your line is open.

T. D’Emidio

Hello, Molly. Thanks for taking my question. With teen pregnancy being such a hot button issue and to have a family show that kind of takes it head-on, have there been any fallouts? Have you or any of your costars received any negative feedback, or have you received any positive feedback from teens experiencing the same situation?

M. Ringwald

I’ve only heard positive stuff. I mean the show has an enormous following. So, I mean I’ve only heard positive stuff. I’m sure that there are people that don’t like the show or feel like it’s too graphic or whatever. I’m sure that that exists too. It’s not possible to have something that everybody likes, but as long as it opens a conversation and a dialogue, I think that the show is doing what it’s supposed to.

T. D’Emidio

What can we expect this season from your character, from “Amy,” their relationship and really, I guess, the overall family dynamic?

M. Ringwald

Well, my family goes through-- At the end of the last season, obviously I was leaving my husband and then at the beginning of this season, I find out that I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant in real life as well. So, that’s sort of what my character’s dealing with this season is pregnancy and sort of going through the same thing that I just went through with my daughter in the season prior.

T. D’Emidio

Great. Well, thank you very much.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.


Our next question is from Mr. Shaun Daily from TV Talk Las Vegas. Go ahead. Your line is open, sir.

S. Daily

Hello, Molly. How are you?

M. Ringwald

Hello; I’m good.

S. Daily

First of all, congratulations on the pregnancy. Do you have names picked out yet?

M. Ringwald

Not yet. We’re keeping a list.

S. Daily

That would be good. I could recommend “Shaun” if you want. Your character, I mean “Anne’s” been through a lot this first season - the divorce and then also going back into the workforce, working at the hot dog stand. I mean were you surprised at what they gave you to do in this first season of the show?

M. Ringwald

I wasn’t really surprised because Brenda Hampton was very open to my input and sort of along the way, she would ask me how I felt about certain things, what kind of career I was interested in. I mean she’s really great at writing for her actors and getting to know them and figuring out what they do best. And so, along the way, I was kind of let in on where my character was going and was really a nice way to work. She’s really good at sort of figuring out what people are good at and capitalizing on that.

S. Daily

Very good and also, how do you feel about the show writing in your pregnancy? I mean they could really have used standing in front of potted plants or off at “Mimzy’s” with their Alzheimer’s. I mean how do you feel about the show working with you and writing in the pregnancy?

M. Ringwald

I actually preferred that. It was a question as to whether or not they would write it in and I preferred it. I did not want to go through a whole season of walking around with towels in front of me. So, that was something that was discussed and they just decided to go with it. I also just thought that it was interesting considering the fact that my daughter was pregnant in the previous season, having her go through the whole thing again and having my grandchild be older than my new child is kind of funny too. It’s sort of like different.

S. Daily

Well, we look forward to the second season. Congratulations.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.


Our next question is from Emily Dodi from abcfamily.com. Go ahead, ma’am; your line is open.

E. Dodi

Hello. Thank you, Molly, for taking my call.

M. Ringwald


E. Dodi

My question is if you could play any other Secret Life role, what would it be?

M. Ringwald

Let me see. God, I never even thought about that - maybe “Ricky”. He gets to be so bad, but he’s so charming. Yes, I think “Ricky” would be a fun character to play.

E. Dodi

Oh, great, and then a follow-up; do you think you’re a lot like “Anne” in your life? Do you bring a lot of your own self to the role?

M. Ringwald

I think I bring a certain amount of myself to the role, but I think she’s a lot calmer than I am actually. I think she puts up with a lot, but I don’t know that I would-- I think my fuse might be a little shorter than “Anne’s”.

E. Dodi

Okay. Great. Thank you.

M. Ringwald



Our next question comes from Mr. Kenn Gold from Media Boulevard. Go ahead, sir. Your line is open.

K. Gold

Thanks, again. Molly, one of the things that kind of surprised to see this, but a few weeks ago in Entertainment Weekly¸ they had an article about - I think it was called “From Backpack to Jazz Pack.” It talks about your musical background, how you’re getting back into acting. Can you talk a little bit about that?

M. Ringwald

Well, it’s something that I’ve done for a long time. I grew up in sort of a jazz background. My father’s a jazz musician and grew up living in New York and something that I really wanted to do was … to like a jazz trio or quartet together. And so, I did that actually with a friend of mine, a very talented pianist named Peter Smith. He just released an album that I sing on called Here it Comes. You can get it on iTunes. We perform around town. I mean we’re not performing right now because I’m sort of taking time off as I wait for my babies to come, but it’s something that I’m definitely going to do more of after they’re here.

K. Gold

Just as an artist, which do you find more fulfilling - the music or the acting, or are they just very different for you?

M. Ringwald

I think that they’re just very different. I mean there’s a lot of stuff that I do. I mean I would consider sort of the acting a little bit more like my day job. It’s something that I’ve done for a long time and the music is a little bit more thrilling just because I haven’t done as much of it recently and also because it’s not my profession, I think that there’s a certain amount of freedom there that I enjoy. And then, I’m also a writer. I’m writing a book that’s going to be released by HarperCollins in 2010. So, I like to put on a lot of different hats.

K. Gold

That’s great. Thank you very much.

M. Ringwald



Our next question comes from Mr. Shaun Daily from TV Talk Las Vegas. Go ahead. Your line is open.

S. Daily

I was wondering; the adults on the show, I mean they are as multidimensional as the kids. How do you feel being with the adult characters on this show? I mean I think it’s great. How do you feel?

M. Ringwald

How do I feel being an adult?

S. Daily

Well, I mean that the adult characters on this show are as interesting and multidimensional as the kids are because some shows they play the adults as kind of dumb, cardboard-like characters, but all of you on the show are as interesting as the kids are.

M. Ringwald

Right. Well, I don’t think that I would have done it if I didn’t feel that she was going to write interesting storylines for my character. I mean it was one of the prerequisites of me signing on and Brenda Hampton assured me that my character was not going to be wallpaper. I just said there’s no point in doing it if that’s all you want me to do because I won’t be happy and I won’t do a very good job. I need to have interesting things to do and she assured me and promised me and she really made good on her promise. I think there have been a lot of interesting….

Like you said, they all are multidimensional and I’m glad. I think that that makes the show a lot more interesting and also opens it up to a bigger audience as well. We have a huge teen following, but we also have an adult following as well.

S. Daily

Very good. I’m 40-years-old and I just love the show. The show gives you an even mix between the adults and the kids, which is nice. But also, I mean ABC Family is really behind the show. I mean 23 episodes is unheard of on cable. How do you feel about the backing of the network?

M. Ringwald

I think it’s great. It’s always really nice to have the network backing the show because it’s sort of a losing battle if they don’t. I’ve been on shows before where for one reason or another, the network wasn’t behind the show or there was a regime change at the top and it’s miserable because you always feel like no matter what you’re doing, you’re not getting the support that you need. We really need the support of the network and they’ve been really great. They love the show and it enables us to do our best work.

S. Daily

Very good. Well, you’re terrific on the show. I’d say give you a raise if I was in charge.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.

S. Daily



Our next question is from Lauren Becker from Shooting Stars. Go ahead. Your line is open.

L. Becker

Hello, again. My site is full of readers and I was wondering if there was anything you could tell us about your book coming out next year.

M. Ringwald

Well, it’s called, Getting the Pretty Back and it’s part memoir and part sort of style guide. It’s very funny. The idea came about when I turned 40-years-old and I thought I really wanted to write sort of like a fun book for my fans who have kind of grown up with me, who are kind of going through the same things I’m going through. So, it’s kind of a book about being my age in this sort of news-driven culture. It’s going to be illustrated and I think it’s going to be like a fun sexy little book.

L. Becker

Sounds great. Thank you.

M. Ringwald



We have a question from Emily Dodi from abcfamily.com. Go ahead. Your line is open.

E. Dodi

Hello. Thanks for taking another question. We are looking forward to your book, being a mom and a woman over 40 too. So, my question is sort of following that up. Who is your favorite style icon if you could point to somebody?

M. Ringwald

I have so many. I mean there’s sort of like the obvious - Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly. But then, I really like Jane Birkin. I think Jane Birkin, Catherine Deneuve. I really like a lot of French women from the 1960s. It’s kind of like the look that I’m really in to right now.

I don’t think I have any one particular one that I really want to look like. It’s just sort of I get inspired by little bits of a lot of different women, I think. I’ll see a movie and I’ll think-- Like I just watched Two for the Road yesterday with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney and that was done like the late-1960s. It’s just like … all about kind of Audrey Hepburn in her late career, but the next week it could be Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour.

E. Dodi

Right. If I might, you lived in France for a while. Did that influence your style at all?

M. Ringwald

Yes, I think so. I did live there for quite some time and I think that the French women have a certain ease in the way that they dress that is very admirable. I really like everything from sort of like the French new wave movies - the movies with…. I think the women always look great in those. So, I think that those probably influence me the most.

E. Dodi

Great. Thank you.

M. Ringwald



Our next question is from Mr. Shaun Daily from TV Talk Las Vegas. Go ahead. Your line is open.

S. Daily

Hello, again, Molly. You’re making my whole show this afternoon; so, thank you very much.

M. Ringwald


S. Daily

When “Anne” finally stood up to “Ashley,” I mean a lot of fans were cheering you on. You set her straight, told her off. I mean how important is it for your character to be assertive and not simply kind of bowled over by the daughters on this show?

M. Ringwald

It’s funny that you mention that. That was actually a scene that I kind of lobbied for with Brenda. I said it has to happen. I mean we’re going to lose respect for “Anne” if that doesn’t happen. Also, I felt like it was important for “Ashley’s” character as well in terms of people sympathizing with her. I mean she’s so great. She has such a great dry sense of humor, but at a certain point you need to see her as a real person and vulnerable. I thought that that was a really important dynamic that they have. So, I kind of fought for that and Brenda was great. She wrote it in. I thought that it was a really good scene.

I mean Brenda was a little concerned because she felt like one of the things she liked about “Anne” is that she takes the high road. She doesn’t sort of play into it all the time. But I said just realistically, as a mom, at a certain point you kind of have to draw the line and say, “Enough.” I felt like the viewers were going to be ready for that.

S. Daily

Well, “Ashley” did seem to soften up through the rest of the season after that scene. So, it’s interesting how it seemed to have affected the character. Also, I mean we saw “Anne” with some romantic relationships off and on throughout the first season. Is this going to continue in the second season regardless of the pregnancy?

M. Ringwald

Well, she does have a boyfriend. Did she meet him at the end of the last season--

S. Daily

The architect?

M. Ringwald

The architect, yes.

S. Daily

Yes, we met him.

M. Ringwald

You met him at the hot dog stand, right. Yes, I continue to see him - actor played by Ben Weber - and sort of continue to sort things out with my husband. So, that’s a storyline that’s kind of unraveling as we go along.

S. Daily

Does that play into who is the father of “Anne’s” baby?

M. Ringwald

Yes, it’s all part of it. I can’t give anything away, but yes.

S. Daily

Very good. Thank you very much, Molly. You’re terrific.

M. Ringwald

Thank you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Interview + Contest with Sydney Salter

Interview with: Sydney Salter

By: Lauren

Website: http://www.sydneysalter.com/

1. In your debut novel My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, the main character Jory hates her nose and is hoping to save enough money during summer break for a nose job. What made you decide Jory would hate her nose instead of any other body part?

Your nose is in the middle of your face--and there's not much you can do to hide or disguise it. It's just right there in the center of everything anytime someone looks at you.

2. When it comes to personal experience, did you ever wish you could change something as much as Jory wants to change her nose?

Okay, yes, I totally hated my nose in high school. And now that I've written a novel about a nose-hating character I've found myself talking about it A LOT. It's been kind of therapeutic, really, even though I sometimes wish I'd written about a girl who hated her knobby knees or something less, um, personal. But the good news is that I've made peace with my nose now : )

3. I love the cover and think it fits well for the summary of the novel (sadly, I haven't read the book yet) since it's a plastic Barbie-like doll that seems perfect. What are your thoughts about barbies and magazine photos these days? Do you believe they hurt more girls than not?

Thank you! I love the cover (designed by Carol Chu) too!

My mom refused to buy Barbies for me. I owned the Sunshine Family, a group of hippies with big feet and flat chests, who traveled the craft fair circuit in their not-pink van. So I played with my friends' Barbies every chance I got! We have had a few Barbies live in my daughters' toy collection over the years, but we've frequently joked about trying to walk around with those giant boobs and tiny feet.

I do think girls see Barbies and other dolls as toys. Magazines show a different story with all their airbrushed perfection. Younger and younger girls feel the pressure to look thin and sexy by wearing expensive clothes and makeup. I do what I can to focus on my daughters' (now 9 and 13) more lasting qualities (intelligence, empathy, talents, passions), but sometimes I feel like I'm fighting the entire culture when they pick up a magazine and see images that differ from what they see in the mirror. Most teens have a few pimples. Most teens weigh more than a magazine model. And ALL teens have such beautiful, spirited personalities and so much potential--I hate to see that get lost in a quest for outer perfection!

4. One of your next novels, Swoon at Your Own Risk, comes out next year. Do we have a set date or month for this one yet? Do you personally believe in advice columns or not?

Swoon At Your Own Risk will be out in May 2010. I have to admit that I love reading advice columns while I eat my morning Cheerios, but I often think the advice is too cute for complex problems (so that's when I find myself talking out loud to my newspaper... It's a good thing that I'm already a crazy writer and my family understands). My mother got her Ph.D in psychology when she turned 50 (thankfully letting me avoid the fate of being over-analyzed in my teens). I see how hard she works to help people deal with problems--and that can't be accomplished in 100 words or less.

5. What is your absolute favorite thing about a carnival?

I LOVE carnivals so much that I've dedicated an entire chapter to the Reno Rodeo Carnival in My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters. Every summer I looked forward to ogling boys, eating a variety of fried concoctions, and making myself queasy on The Zipper (not necessarily in that order!)


This contest is in honor of YA Book Carnival Week. If you want to host your own contest, be our guest. Just look at the official Carnival page for the "rules" and to leave a link. If you have any questions, let me know.

To Enter: Comment on this interview!

Open to: Everyone (international contest)

Ends: June 27th (the end of the carnival)


+1 if you are a follower or become one

+1 if you post about this contest and/or the carnival

Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: Extreme Kissing (More than you think...)

Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja
Review by: Lauren
Also for: http://www.teensreadtoo.com/

Bethany and Carlota have been best friends ever since Carlota moved from Brussels. Ever since then, Carlota has been pining after her ex Yves, though she doesn’t let on, having everyone believe that she’s only interested in Kisses Etcetera with a bunch of random guys. With her boy snaring techniques, Bethany soon finds herself with her own boyfriend, Declan, but what happens when she has a pregnancy scare? Before knowing Bethany’s secret, Carlota comes up with a day out doing extreme challenges using magazines to reveal another secret to her best friend.

Extreme Kissing was a very interesting novel. Throughout the novel, the two girls are hiding things from each other but would rather run around London doing crazy tasks instead of owning up to the truth. However, in the end, Carlota’s plan to make Bethany chill out does work, but Carlota begins to understand all the worries that Bethany used to carry around.

I was quite shocked by the end of this novel. Things aren’t quite what they seem in Extreme Kissing and it just added to this novel’s greatness. If everything was obvious with a happily-ever-after ending it wouldn’t have been as good, but instead, you get romance, lies, mystery, breaking out and living life, and the meaning of friendship.

Cover: I think the cover is fun and cute, but I'm not a huge fan. The main reason is because I feel it doesn't show the depth of the novel. It makes it seem like a frilly book about a day out on the town and it's definitely more than that. You should know this. :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Twilight Fans Doing Awesome Things: Deals/Contest

Photo from http://www.ew.com

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from BellaBejeweled and Essence of Twilight!

Ready for some summer fun? We are! We’re happy to announce that BellaBejeweled and Essence of Twilight have teamed up for a 4th-of-July Twilight extravaganza!As innovators in their fields, BellaBejeweled and Essence of Twilight are here to bring you the BEST in Twilight goodness this summer.

Introducing the new, BellaBejeweled Intoxicating Collection! A line of jewelry inspired by the character’s fragrances, as described by Stephanie Meyer in the Twilight Saga, the Intoxicating Collection is yet another first from BellaBejeweled. You won’t find fragrance inspired jewelry anywhere else!Look for Edward’s Honey Lilac Earrings, and Bella’s Lavender Freesia Bracelet in my shop right now. Check back often for new additions to this innovative and lovely summer line! Edward and Bella necklaces, and gorgeous Alice jewelry are all on their way!

Essence of Twilight is proud to bring you their exclusive Renesmee fragrance! A little of everything lovely, Renesmee is the sweetest of fruits, a floral bouquet, and subtle notes of nature's richness. But more than that, Nessie holds a hint of her adoring parents, Bella and Edward. The combination is indescribably delicious. This really is one fragrance you have to try for yourself!

With free stuff, exclusive discounts, and multiple raffle prizes.... This is one summer party you don’t want to miss!

Check out the listings in BellaBejeweled’s and Essence of Twilight’s shops for details about how to participate. We’ll have you smelling great and looking lovely for all your summer fun!

The party runs from June 15th – July 4th.

Grab these exclusive deals while you can, and happy summer! <3
Lauren Says: You shoud definitely check out these two shops, especially during this "party" because you never know what awesome deals you'll find! I love Bella Bejeweled (I'll try and have a review up soon about one of their items) and Essence of Twilight just sounds amazing, doesn't it? I've heard many good things about them, and they are run by awesome people just like you and me so give them a shot!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wish List Wednesday: Blood Ties DVD

Wish-List Wednesday (Go down a few posts for Not in the Mail but I WISH they were for my book wants)

Recently I've been only focusing on books, but Waiting on Wednesday is Wish-List for me because the items aren't always books and they aren't always future releases.

Today's pick is Season One and Two I suppose of the short-lived show Blood Ties. I've never read the books by Tanya Huff and I never watched the show when it was on. However, it seems pretty interesting and you know I love my vampires.

Summary of first season:

Season One premieres on DVD following its highly successful TV airing. Vicki Nelson, a feisty, attractive ex-cop turned private investigator, witnesses a terrifying murder. She forms a crime-solving partnership and eventual love interest with a 480 year old vampire.

If you want to buy either of these seasons:

GLBT Pride: We're All Angels Review

We’re All Angels Review
By: Lauren

We’re All Angels chronicles the journey of pop duo Jason and deMarco in a short frame of time. You get to hear from them, their families, their friends, and others about what it’s like to tour the world singing the music you love…as a couple.

Whether you like their music or not, I think this is a documentary worth watching. It’s kind of important in a way with everyone debating same-sex issues. After all, when California was allowing people of the same sex to get married, guess who did? Jason and deMarco. That isn’t included in this DVD of course, but it’s interesting to watch them talk about their relationship knowing what happens later. They mention that they basically do have a marriage without the legal documents. I’m not going to go into some crazy spiel about the rights for everyone to be allowed to get married (though I do think that…everyone should be allowed to get married) because I want this to be about the DVD and the people involved.

You get to see the many sides to these two guys and if you’ve read my interview with the director Robert Nunez you’ll see that they were even worried about certain parts…are they showing too much? Saying too much? I don’t think they are though because it’s just them. They are living their lives and we get to watch in on some of it through a camera lens. I think it’s great because hopefully it’ll be enjoyable and eye-opening for all its viewers.

Like I said, whether you know these guys or not, whether you like the music or not, watch this film. I’m sure it’s one that many would enjoy…if only they knew about it. But now you do, so what are you waiting for?

Note: June is GLBT pride month so in honor of that, I think you should all do the following:

-Check out this documentary. I'd love to know what others think!

-Read the interview with the director: http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2009/06/enlightening-interview-were-all-angels.html

-Enter the contest for a copy of David Inside Out by Lee Bantle: http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2009/06/nrt-david-inside-outs-lee-bantle.html

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

News+Things: Winners, Reading, Contests to Enter!


New Contest: It's The Summer of Zombie Love by E. Van Lowe, author of Never Slow Dance with a Zombie

Friendship and love are in the air. And so are zombies! Let's celebrate by posting photos of you and your favorite zombie to the website... And if you are your favorite zombie, how about a photo of you and your non zombie best friend or boyfriend, or mother and daughter. Let's show off our Zombie Love this summer.

I will post as many photos as I can on the website. I hope we get a lot. The winners will be chosen by a guest panel (to be announced). Winners will be chosen weekly. The contest will run for three weeks, so there will be 3 winners--one each week.

Winners will receive a Never Slow Dance With A Zombie Swag-Bag. The bags will include a free autographed ARC of Never Slow Dance With A Zombie, a $20 Starbucks gift card (gotta have coffee to keep from falling asleep during the zombie invasion), some neat Zombie Love note cards, and other goodies.

The rules:

1) send photos (jpeg, mpeg or jif) to info@evanlowe.com with the words Photo Contest in the subject line.

2) Include your name and your friend's name as you'd like them to be posted with the photos.

3) Submit just one photo per day. You can submit everyday until the contest is over. (If I don't get at least 5 entries in a week, there will be no winner that week, and entries will roll into the following week. So tell all your friends).

4) I will post an many photos as I can depending in how many I receive. If I do not post your photo please do not get upset. Just send another.

5) Contest runs for three weeks, beginning Monday June 15th and ending Saturday July 4th.

6) Have fun! Comment on the photos you like. But no put-downs, please.
-GO AND ENTER! You know you want too. I'm going to try and submit some photos as well. Very exciting!
Eyes Like Stars Pictures, Images and Photos
Still pining after a copy of Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev? Well, The Bloody Bookaholic just so happens to be giving one away, so go and enter quick. It ends on July 1st.
Now that we have those new contests out of the way, I should mention that I still have a lot going on. Check the left hand sidebar for a full list and enter what you can. I tried to add the date they end next to them if they are still going on. For now though...here are some winners:

Congrats Pictures, Images and Photos

Solar Halo Gift Card:
Kristin at soundistheword3 won! Please get in touch ASAP

Punkzilla ARC winners:

Susan (blackeyedsusan)
Kathleen Elizabeth

One Lonely Degree Winner

Summer from The Three R's of Summer

Entraptment Winner:


Oh, Hush Contest


Please get in touch because I didn't email everyone. I'll try and do so in the next day or whatever if I don't hear from you...otherwise, new winner!


I used to do these all the time, have a video of the day (though not every.single.day.) and I have one that I wanted to share right now since I just posted the Oh, Hush winner and it's something they created. They wrote a song called "Irresistible" and made a New Moon video, since the song works for the next Twilight film. It's quite fun, so check it out.

Question though: Do you want more songs of the day?!

There you are! What's your thoughts? Leave them in the comments as well!

book Pictures, Images and Photos

What Am I Reading?

-The Prince of Frogs by Annaliese Evans (review for Romantic Times)

-Conan Doyle's Wallet by Patrick McNamara (review for the blog)

-Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready (reading for fun, will review on here whenever I finish!)

Reviews To Come:

Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja

Love You, Hate You, Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Entraptment by Michael Spooner

C.D. Review for Holy Rolling Empire

DVD Review of We're All Angels (search for the director's interview on here. Very interesting!)

P.S. I guest blogged yesterday at The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl and I meant to mention it then, but I didn't have time...so please go and read and leave your thoughts there. :( It's all lonley at the moment!