Contemporary, dystopian, Fantasy, Informative, Top Ten Tuesday, Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday #15: Top Ten Rainy Day Reads

Why hello, my lovely readers! 😀

It’s Tuesday, and this topic is one very near and dear to me. Maybe that’s because rainy days don’t happen here very often. But this year we’ve had quite a few (which I LOVE) and it’s given me much more time to think about what I consider to fit in this category.

These meme lives on at: That Artsy Reader Girl

For me, it’s either a cute, fluffy contemporary reads, or they’re fantasy/ sci-fi reads that you can really get lost in. Nostalgia also plays a key role.



1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

5. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

9. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

10. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray



Any of the same books on your list? What’ve you got that I don’t? Let me know! Send me links to your TTT’s too!

-Laurenxx

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ABC Book Challenge, Young Adult

ABC Challenge- E

Wooooo it’s Wednesday, ladies and gents! 😀 That means I’ve gotta get more caught up on my ABC Challenge stuff. SO. It’s time for the letter “E” this week!

For those of you who don’t know how this meme works, here’s the rules:

For each letter, you come up with some of your favorite books that start with that letter, then some books from your TBR that begin with that letter as well!



Memorable reads that start with “E” :

1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

2. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

4. Enclave by Ann Aguirre

5. The Elite by Kiera Cass


Books to read that start with “E” :

1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

2. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

3. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

4. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

5. Exo by Fonda Lee



Any of your favorites or TBR on there? 🙂

-Laurenxx

Blog Tours, Question, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Blog Tour: Jennifer Brody

Guys. My life has been a mess the last couple weeks and I missed the date to post this and I feel so bad, BUT here’s an AWESOME little interview and some information on an AMAZING author!

So without further ado, here’s some awesome stuff about Jennifer Brody! 🙂



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This is the lovely Jennifer Brody!

Bio:

Jennifer Brody’s award-winning novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. Return of the Continuums and The United Continuums (July 11, 2017) complete this epic trilogy. She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad, a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation, a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media group for authors. She lives and writes in LA. After studying film at Harvard University, she began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on “The Lord of the Rings” films and “The Golden Compass.”

You can find her here:

Her Website | Her Facebook |Her Twitter | Her Linked-in | Her Goodreads

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CHECKOUT HOW COOL THOSE COVERS ARE!! 😀

Synopsis:

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the survivors take refuge in continuums designed to sustain the human race until repopulation of Earth becomes possible. Against this backdrop, a group of young friends in the underwater Thirteenth Continuum dream about life outside their totalitarian existence, an idea that has been outlawed for centuries. When a shocking discovery turns the dream into a reality, they must decide if they will risk their own extinction to experience something no one has for generations, the Surface.


Now, I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi, but I recently picked this series up because of this opportunity to talk to Jennifer, and I was hooked right away. So, check it out before it gets released as a TV series!

Where to find it:

Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Indie Bound | iBooks | Goodreads



And, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the interview! 🙂

 

  1. Who’s one author that you greatly admire and did their writings have any influence on your own?

This is a tough question, like naming your favorite band. I’m such an avid reader—and would not be the writer that I am without the countless amazing authors that influenced me and paved the way for my book series. A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle had a huge influence on me, not only for its groundbreaking narrative, but also for its portrayal of science fiction that blends into fantasy. Conceptually, Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION series had an influence on the core of these books, as did THE LORD OF THE RINGS in terms of the trilogy structure.

  1. Aside from other books or authors, where did you draw the most influence for your books?

The idea for THE 13TH CONTINUUM was originally inspired during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Like everyone else, I was watching the news coverage of the oil coating the surface of the ocean and killing marine life, and I had the thought—what if we had to go really deep to survive a manmade catastrophe? The ideas unfolded from that initial spark of an idea.

Other influences, especially on the underwater colony include James Cameron’s amazing film THE ABYSS and 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, as well as real science about our ocean trenches. Did you know that we know more about the surface of Mars than our own oceans? I also draw from a lot of historical allegory. The outer space 2nd Continuum was a military society modeled on ancient Sparta. In essence, I draw from anything and everything. I’m a very curious person in general, and I find that’s an amazing trait for a speculative fiction author.

  1. Have you always known you were going to be a writer? If not when did you realize you wanted to write a book/ when did you start writing?

No—I didn’t think I would be a writer at all! I grew up in a small town in Virginia, and somehow, I didn’t realize that you could become a writer, especially as a young person. This was before the explosion of YA and MG fiction. I did however latch onto the idea of being a filmmaker, which I studied at Harvard. After graduating, I moved to LA and spent the first many years of my career working in the entertainment industry on many amazing films, including many adapted from books like THE GOLDEN COMPASS and THE LORD OF THE RINGS films.

After spending years working on other writer’s books and films, I started to feel like I wanted to explore writing my own ideas. However, I was more interested in longform fiction to tell a story, especially for big speculative fiction concepts. I was about twenty-eight years old when I first started teaching myself how to write a novel, which began a long journey, but being a big reader helped me a lot. I’m really grateful that I decided to gamble on myself and start writing. Eventually, I sold my debut in a three book deal and that became The Continuum Trilogy!

  1. Were you ever given any advice for writing that helped you in your writing? Can you share what helped the most?

The first piece of advice that I really don’t like—write what you know! As a science fiction writer, it’s my job not only to write about what I don’t know, but also to write about things that haven’t even happened yet. The best advice for writing is to read a lot. The second best piece of advice is to not give up when you hear your first NO. Writers get a lot of rejection all the time—you only see the good parts! You have to be willing to believe in your vision, keep learning and improving your craft, keep reading and keep writing, and keep knocking on doors.

It only takes one YES!

  1. Do you ever listen to music while you write? What bands or genres do you listen to?

Yes, I almost always listen to music when I’m writing, whether on my Sonos at home, or my big noise-cancelling headphones when out at coffee shops. For the Continuum Trilogy, I found myself drawn to a lot of EDM and electronic music—Deadma5, Com Truise, Tycho, Pretty Lights, How to Destroy Angels, Boards of Canada, Bonobo, Trent Reznor, and more. The music is often instrumental and has good beats and energy. One day, I’d love to have an artist like Trent Reznor score the TV adaptation of my books (I can dream, right?).

  1. What was your biggest inspiration for writing sci-fi?

I’ve always been a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan from a young age. I devoured everything, including Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, Harry Potter, and more. I’m also a huge fan of both STAR TREK TNG and STAR WARS. I love the ability for SFF to take an allegorical approach to examining contemporary issues through a speculative fiction lens.

  1. Your Continuum trilogy is being packaged for TV, which is absolutely AMAZING! What’s that like? Is it nerve-wracking at all wondering how everything is going to be portrayed?

Far from nerve-wracking, it’s exhilarating! Having worked in Hollywood, I know that nothing is guaranteed and the project can always fall apart at any time. We’re still in the process of closing some deals. However, the idea of seeing an adaptation of my work is incredibly exciting. It’s also really amazing to see other people taking my work seriously and being as excited about it. And to hear some of the huge names being mentioned. So, please send all the amazing vibes my way that we get to make the TV series.



Hope you guys enjoyed and do me a favor and go check Jennifer and her amazing trilogy out! Then you can get psyched for the TV series too! 😀

-Laurenxx

book signing, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Hollywood Visits

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On Sunday, I had the chance to go to a book signing for Marissa Meyer. Now, I bought the tickets for it back in July (you didn’t need to buy tickets, it just included a copy of Archenemies, so I bought two) and have been dying for this night ever since. It didn’t disappoint.

First of all, if you don’t know who Marissa Meyer is for whatever reason, she’s written The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, and Renegades. This particular book tour was for the second book in the Renegades trilogy, Archenemies.

Marissa has got to be one of the most down to earth authors I’ve ever had the chance to go see. She started it off with a series of FAQ’s that she tends to get when she’s on tour to allow for the audience to ask some different questions afterwards. I loved that idea, because we still got the answer to things like, “Who’s your favorite couple from the books you’ve written?” (she said it’s like a mom choosing a favorite child, it’s impossible to choose) and she was so quirky and real when answering the questions.

I was also quite fortunate because I’ve got a popular blogger friend named Sara, over at What a Nerd Girl Says who got front row seats because she’s worked with the publisher previously. So, she got a plus one and invited me to sit up front with her while our boyfriends (who have been friends since high school) wandered the amazingness that is The Last Bookstore. If you guys haven’t had the chance to visit, I highly recommend doing so if you’re ever in LA, or just looking up pictures of the place because it’s without a doubt the largest and most incredible bookstore I’ve ever been to. Marissa even deemed it “the most hipster bookstore ever.”

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I always love going to book signings, just being around everyone who’s into the same books and authors you are and feeling surrounded by people who understand is such an amazing thing. If you guys get the chance to go see any of your favorite authors, I highly recommend doing so!

They did a poll with people placing their votes with post-it notes for their favorite Marissa Meyer couple and Cinder and Kai from the Lunar Chronicles won! If you guys have read her books, who’s your favorite couple? Mine is definitely Cress and Thorne, but that’s because they’re my favorite characters.

She was on my bucket list of authors I’d like to see, but I will always go to hers from here out if I get the chance. I’d love to go to a Marie Lu, Jay Kristoff, or Sarah J Maas signing if I ever get the opportunity.

Who’s an author you’d like to meet if you get the chance?

-Laurenxx

Blog Tours, Informative, Question, Young Adult

Blog Tour- What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

One of my best friends knows this author personally and has whole-heartedy vouched for this book since day one. Yesterday was the release of the book and the beginning of this blog tour, and Sara kicked it off with this lovely post, so go check it out:

What a Nerd Girl Says

Without further ado, here’s my interview with Nicole and some information about the book!



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BOOK INFORMATION:

What They Don’t Know by Nicole Maggi

Release Date: 10/2/2018

Synopsis:

Synopsis:

Mellie has always been the reliable friend, the good student, the doting daughter.

But when an unspeakable act leads her to withdraw from everyone she loves, she is faced with a life-altering choice―a choice she must face alone.

Lise stands up―and speaks out―for what she believes in. And when she notices Mellie acting strangely, she gets caught up in trying to save her…all while trying to protect her own secret. One that might be the key to helping Mellie.

Told through Mellie and Lise’s journal entries, this powerful, emotional novel chronicles Mellie’s struggle to decide what is right for her and the unbreakable bond formed by the two girls on their journey.

You can find the book at these places:

Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nicole Maggi Author Photo

Nicole was born in the suburban farm country of upstate New York, and began writing at a very early age. Of course, her early works consisted mainly of poems about rainbows and unicorns, although one of them was good enough to win honorable mention in a national poetry contest! (Perhaps one of the judges was a ten-year-old girl.) Throughout high school, her creative writing was always nurtured and encouraged.

Nicole attended Emerson College as an acting major, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Post-college, she worked as an actress in New York City for over a decade, focusing mainly on Shakespeare and the classics.

Nicole is the author of the Twin Willows trilogy, The Forgetting and now, What They Don’t Know.

You Can Find Her At:

Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads


THE INTERVIEW!

1. Who’s one author that you greatly admire and did their writings have any influence on your own?

A: When I was in middle school, I read the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce and I just wanted to live in that world. It was the first time I realized the power that an author has, to create other worlds and make people want to live in them. I just knew that I wanted to do that, too.

Pierce is a master of world-building and character. I wanted to be Alanna; I wanted to be friends with all of her friends. So when I think about world-building, I think about how she created Tortall, and when I think about character, I think about how much she made me care about Alanna and her circle. It’s my goal to give a reader a world they can truly escape into, and characters they can fall in love with.

 

2. Aside from other books or authors, what else do you draw inspiration from for your book

A: Honestly, I draw inspiration from the world around me. There is just so much going on in the world, and most of it would make a fascinating book. The trick is to be open, and to pay attention. For example, the idea for the sex-trafficking subplot in my previous novel The Forgetting came from a billboard that I passed every day on the way to pick up my daughter from daycare. The idea for my Twin Willows Trilogy came from going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. I landed on the page for European Witch Hunts and there was a footnote for something called the Benandanti. I clicked it, and that trilogy was born. I have an idea in my idea file (which is really just a page in my Scrivener program) that is from a tiny news story I saw buried on some website somewhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

 

3. Has the YA community always been your intended audience, or did you think you’d be writing for someone else?

When I first started writing seriously, I actually thought I would be writing romance. At the time I was obsessed with the Outlander novels by Diana Gabaldon. My first novel was intended for an adult audience, but when we sent the book out on submission, we got a lot of feedback that it felt like YA. This was just at the start of the Twilight era that sparked the Golden Age of YA that we’re in now. That book wound up not selling, but my agent encouraged me to lean into that advice and write YA. So when I started writing my next book in a teen voice, it just felt like coming home. It brought me right back to all those books I’d loved reading when I was growing up–Tamora Pierce, Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, Jane Yolen–and I knew this was what I was supposed to be writing all along. Also, my teenage years were difficult and traumatic. I think when you have that experience as a teen there’s a part of you that still lives in that place, and it was very easy for me to access it. Incidentally, that book wound up being Winter Falls, my debut novel.

 

4. Were you ever given any advice for writing that helped? Can you share what that was?

I’ve been given so much great advice over the years! Truly, it takes a village of a lot of other people to create one author. Okay, here’s one of my favorite pieces of practical advice. This comes courtesy of agent-extraordinaire, Donald Maass, author of Writing The Breakout Novel. I’ve taken a few master classes with him and gotten so much out of them. Here’s one thing he said:

When you’re done with your book, done with editing and even fine-tuning, print out a copy of your manuscript. Take that copy and throw it in the air. I mean it. Actually throw the pages in the air and let them fall down on the floor. (This is very cathartic). Then gather the pages back together–but make sure they are OUT OF ORDER. Once you have your out-of-order manuscript, read through it. You’re thinking, Whaaaa? Yes. Read through it, out of order. What this does is keep you present on the page. When you read your book in order, you get lulled in by the story. You miss things, like the fact that you used the word “sluiced” on every other page. You catch all of that when you read it out of order, because every time you turn the page you’re jolted into another part of the story. You don’t have time to get lulled. The first time I did this I caught a paragraph that referred to a character I’d cut out of the book 3 versions ago. I know it sounds like a crazy thing to do, but trust me on this. Pro-tip: make sure you have the pages numbered before you print it out! I speak from experience.

 

5. What’s your favorite quote from literature and did it ever help you or influence your writing?

Rumi is my favorite poet, and in his Quatrains poem there’s a line that reads, “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.”

I remind myself of this a lot. There is always more to discover in the world. Don’t go back to sleep or you might miss it. If you want something, you must use your voice to ask for it. Stand up for yourself. Speak your truth. Don’t go back to your small, sheltered comfort zone and miss out on getting what you want. Step out into the light.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog!



Thank you, lovely readers! And a big thank you to Nicole and Sara for this opportunity as well. I wish Nicole and her book all the success in the world!

-Laurenxx