#GIVEAWAY: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

In honor of the release of Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken and Windwitch by Susan Dennard I am giving away signed copies of Passanger and Truthwitch.

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To enter the the giveaway simply go to the Book You Very Much Instagram. Follow @bookyouverymuch and comment on the picture above with the hashtag #PassWitchGiveaway and tag two friends in your comment. The winner will be chosen Tuesday January 10th.

Shawntelle Madison Interview + Giveaway

In honor of the release of Bound to You by Shawntelle Madison, the first book in her In Your Service series, I am excited to share my interview with Shawntelle. Along with the interview I will be holding a giveaway of a eBook of Bound to You as well as some cool swag. Scroll down for the interview and the giveaway.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: At Your Service

*Synopsis*

Through grace, talent, and hard work, personal concierge Sophie Ashton has turned international corporate warfare into an art. But when she meets her new client, a suave CEO who radiates masculine heat, she knows this is no ordinary job. Given her painful past, Sophie tries to keep her professional relationships exactly that: professional. But Xavier Quinn is a man who knows how to get what he wants, and soon Sophie is tempted into his wicked dance of seduction.
Xavier needs Sophie’s charm and finesse to land a coveted contract with a Japanese tech mogul, yet he’s even more intrigued by the woman in front of him. He can tell that Sophie has a darkly sensual nature, that she’s been hurt before, that the passion inside of her is struggling to break free. Xavier is used to taking risks in work and in life, but the stakes have never been higher. Because the game he plays with Sophie will bind them together—or destroy them both.

*About the Author*Shawntelle Madison is a web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code. After losing her first summer job detassling corn, Shawntelle performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university webmaster. Writing eccentric characters is her most favorite job of them all. On any particular day when she’s not surgically attached to her computer, she can be found watching cheesy horror movies or the latest action-packed anime. She lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

Be sure to follow Shawntelle:

Interview

  1. Tell us about your new novel Bound to You.9781101883198

Bound to You is about a concierge in Boston, MA who is given the task of helping a hot tech company owner secure
the deal of a lifetime. Sophie Ashton works day-to-day helping her exclusive clients, but she’s never had a client like Xavier Quinn. He’s a hard man to work with, but over time she falls for him and considers opening her broken heart to someone new. This novel is the first book in the At Your Service series and I’m excited since this book is my first full-length contemporary romance.

  1. What was the inspiration for the At Your Service series?

That’s a fun story. I was brainstorming with one of author pals and she mentioned concierge companies that cater to the uber rich. Now I love a man in a suit. Add in a concierge trained to please the most finicky client and you’ve got a fascinating boss/employee story waiting to happen. The two are all about business, but when feelings and sexual tension enter into the mix, things get complicated real fast.

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  1.   You’ve written Contemporary Romance, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and Young Adult. What has been your favorite genre to write? Are there any other genres that you would want to write?

Hands down my favorite genre to write is urban fantasy. A close second would be paranormal romance. I’d love to explore other genres such as thrillers someday.

  1.   What is your writing process like?

In the beginning, I thought I could just come up with an idea and write anything, but I learned the hard way that that isn’t my process. Go figure! I learned over time that I’m a “plotser.” Meaning I write by the seat of my pants and I also plot out my book.  (I guess I do a bit of both… Heh.) I come up with a general idea about the characters I want to write and what issues they are facing. Once I have this foundation I can start writing. Of course a story is never perfect once you have that first draft. After I’ve finished a story I go through several drafts to get the story the way I want it. Sometimes this takes weeks and sometimes this takes months.

  1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing when I was in middle school. I still have the folder full of those horrible stories, but they make me smile. I had no idea I could be a writer. I had no idea that all those scenes swimming around in my head could become a story.

I knew I wanted to do this in a professional capacity when I met my crit partner, author Sarah Jude, back in 2008. Before then I’d gone to grad school, did the 9-5 thing, and had kids. After I finished my first full-length book in 2008 I truly felt like a writer versus someone who considered themselves a dreamer.

  1. What are some of your favorite books/authors?

I have so many. Where can I start? The author I aspire to be someday is Octavia Butler. I read her sci-fi books in high school and they are amazing. I love Patricia Briggs and Marjorie M. Liu. The last book I gobbled up like a mad woman was The Martian. It was a nerdgasm. I’ll pretty much read anything if the author hooks me. Not just sci-fi/fantasy. I also love to read new adult romances by Jessica Scott, Elle Kennedy, and Kristin Callahan. I could keep going all day… How much time do you have?

  1. If you where not a writer what would you be doing?

When I’m not writing I’m actually a web developer. I’ve been a developer for over ten years now. When you press a button on a website, I’m one of the people who writes the code for what happens after you push the button.

  1. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a proposal for my publisher as well as the second book in my YA sci-fi series and an urban fantasy series I’ve waited a long time to write.  

Giveaway

 

 

 

 

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YALLWEST + “Royal Wedding” by Meg Cabot Giveaway

On the second weekend of April (April 11-12) while music lovers were heading to the desert for the first week of Coachella book lovers headed to Santa Monica for the first annual YALLWEST.

Day One:
Saturday April 11

Day one of Yallwest took place at Santa Monica High School. I got there an hour early and there was already a line to get in. When we were finally let onto the campus I met up with my friends. That was when we noticed Richelle Mead and Stephanie Perkins nearby. Since my friend Sarah (of What a Nerd Girl Says) and I would be interviewing Richelle later that day we thought we would go up and introduce ourselves.

After talking to Richelle (and taking a quick photo) I got my VIP writsband from Melissa de la Cruz and headed to the main auditorium for Ransom Rigg’s keynote address. Before Ransom spoke the Mayor of Santa Monica said a few words before naming Margaret Stohl as the “Mayor of Yallwest”.

It was shortly after Margaret was given her mayoral sash that I left the auditorium. When I got outside one of the first things I saw was the Epic Reads booth. Not only were they giving away free ARCs (Advance Reader’s Copy) but they had an ARC of Meg Cabot’s new Princess Diaries book “Royal Wedding”. When I asked about it the women at the booth said they would be giving it away in an hour. I really wanted it so I said I would just hang out until they were giving it away. She must have realized how determined I was to get the book because she gave me a copy right then and there.

After completely geeking out over my amazing luck I quickly got in line for the Veronica Roth signing. Because the line was so long they had to limit the amount of books you could get signed to only three. This worked out perfectly as I only needed to get Insurgent, Allegiant and Four signed (I had gotten Divergent signed last year at the LA Times Festival of Books). The line was about an hour long but in the end it was totally worth it as I got all my Divergent books signed.

Now with Veronica out of the way I headed over to the signing tents (Veronica got her own tent in another area of the festival) to see Richelle Mead. The line for her signing ended up being so long that I decided not to stay (I would be meeting her later for our interview anyway).
After wandering around for a while I finally made it to my first panel of the day: Outlandish. The panel was moderated by Kass Morgan and included Andrea Cremer, Susan Ee, Veronica Rossi and E. Lockhart. The panel focused on the changing landscape of young adult and how romance and gender plays a role. My favorite question was probably the first on Kass asked: “Why, as a society, are we particularly interested in what teen girls are consuming content wise?” The best answer, in my opinion was, from Andrea, who has a PHD in History and specialized in Gender Studies, who said that women “are powerful and people are afraid of that and they always have been. So policing what you can read and what you can think and what you can say is something that the powers have been concerned about.”
I have a confession to make: I have not read or watched The 100 (to be perfectly honest I stopped watching the CW after Gossip Girl went off the air) but after meeting Kass Morgan I will definitely be picking it up.

Kass Morgan, Andrea Cremer, Susan Ee, Veronica Rossi, and E. Lockheart

After this panel I went straight to the cafeteria for my second panel: “Strong Female Characters’ Ugh”. This sounded like an amazing panel (and not just because it included Veronica Roth, Stephanie Perkins and Victoria Aveyard on the same panel) but because the topic was one that I was very interested in. One quote that I heard authors use throughout the festival, and in this particular panel, that I really loved was a Joss Whedon quote that goes “So, why do you write strong female characters? Because your still asking me that question.” I didn’t enjoy this panel as much as I thought because the sound system wasn’t working so I really couldn’t hear most of what the authors were saying. I ended up leaving and waited outside until the next panel.
Once this panel was over I went back in (I wanted to get a front row seat for the next panel). Lucky for me Stephanie Perkins stayed after the panel and signed and took pictures with everyone. Even though I had already gotten all of her books signed I still wanted a picture with her.

Veronica Roth, Shannon Hale, Stephanie Perkins, Kimberly Derting, Victoria Aveyard, and Morgan Rhodes

The next panel was “Writers as Superfans: Cosplay Panel”. I have to say I absolutely loved Richelle Mead as Anne Bonnie from Black Sails and Margaret Stohl as Black Widow (who is my favorite Avenger).

Morgan Rhodes, Andrea Cremer, Maya Van Wagenen, Leigh Bardugo, Gene Luen Yang, Margaret Stohl and Richelle Mead
After the Cosplay panel I went to find my friend Sarah, as we were both going to interview Richelle and I had no idea where we were going to meet her. I found her and some other friends in the signing line for Victoria Aveyard. At this point I was debating wether or not to get in line with them as I would be seeing Victoria again at Pasadena Loves YA. Eventually I decided to get in line with them and got Victoria to sign my copy of Red Queen.

After getting Red Queen signed we heading to the author green room where we were to meet Richelle. I was extremely nervous as this was the first time I had ever done a live interview so I am sure I came of a very awkward during our interview.

Once my interview was over I headed out to were they were giving out Sprinkles cupcakes (I am not going to lie Sprinkles cupcakes are my kryptonite). Along with the cupcakes they were giving out free ARCs. I can’t remember what the other ARCs were but I ended up getting Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (just based on how much I loved Confessions of a Shopaholic).

The final event of the night was the Smackdown and a performance by the all-author cover band Tiger Beat. The Smackdown was absolutely hilarious. Not only did they play fun games (like Celebrity Squares) but some authors got up and read their writing from when they were teenagers. My favorite one was E. Lockheart who couldn’t even get through hers because she was laughing so hard.

Towards the end of Smackdown “Mayor” Margaret Stohl came up and announced the keynote speaker for YallFest (which happens in Charleston, NC).

After this is was time for the Tiger Beat concert. I loved this. Even though I was exhausted I stayed for the entire thing and I was so glad I did. The lead singer of Tiger Beat was Libba Bray (I started reading the Gemma Doyle trilogy when I was in high school and was so sad I missed her signing).

Day Two:
Sunday April 12

Day Two took place at the Santa Monica Public Library. Because the location was much smaller the vibe of the second day was a lot more relaxed.
I ended up going to only one signing, for Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, and I didn’t even get my own book signed but my friends. I mostly just hung around outside getting pictures with different authors. I was even able to get Marissa Meyer and Robyn Schnieder to sign my copies of their books before their signings so I was able to avoid the lines.

Jessica Brody, Marissa Meyer, me and Leigh Bardugo
The one panel I did get to was “Bad Boys, Manic Pixies, Love Triangles: Tropes We Love and Hate”. Not only was it my last panel I went to at Yallwest but it was probably my favorite. Afterwards I was able to get a quick picture with Robin Benway.

Bad Boys, Manic Pixies, Love Triangles: Tropes We Love & Hate panel

Of course I couldn’t leave Yallwest without checking out the photo booth with my friends. (BTW I am in love with the giant bow I am wearing. I don’t know why but I have a huge love of bows).

To see my entire interview with Richelle you can watch it here.

Giveaway

Today I will be giving away an advance copy of Meg Cabot’s Royal Wedding, the newest book in the Princess Diaries series. To enter see the details below.
Here’s How To Enter:
  1. Like. Like Book You Very Much on Facebook here.
  2. Comment. Leave a comment below using the hashtag #YALLWESTGiveaway.
  3. Wait! I will announce the winner on Monday June 8th.
Terms and Conditions:
  • you must LIKE Book You Very Much on Facebook to be eligible.
  • this giveaway is open to US residents only.
  • winners will be contacted via Facebook. if I do not hear from you within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • limit one comment per entry. multiple comment entries will not be considered.
  • this giveaway ends at midnight pst on Sunday, August 31st.
  • this is not a sponsored giveaway.

Pasadena Loves YA Blog Tour + Q&A with Ava Dellaria + Giveaway

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This year I was honored to be asked to participate in the Pasadena Loves YA Blog Tour and to host a Q&A with Ava Dellaria, author of Love Letters To The Dead. Be sure to check out the full interview with Ava by scrolling down.
Along with the Q&A there is also a giveaway of three books from any Pasadena Loves YA 2015 authors. For more information and to enter the giveaway just scroll down to the end of the post.

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For those who haven’t attended this event before here are some of the important details…
When: Friday May 23, 2015 at 12 noon-4pm
Where: Pasadena Public Library, Central Branch, 285 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101
What: Meet 20 YA authors / Panels & Book Signings / Giveaways and Refreshments / Free tote bags for the first 150 guests!

Cost: FREE

Authors: Keynote speaker Mary McCoy (author of Dead to Me) with Katie Alender, Victoria Aveyard, Alexis Bass, Julie Berry, Livia Blackburne, Virginia Boecker, Jessica Brody, Stephen Chbosky, Brandy Colbert, Ava Dellaira, Kody Keplinger, Liz Maccie, Morgan Matson, Lauren Miller, Alexandra Monir, Jennifer Niven, Romina Russell, Sarah Tomp, & Kiersten White

For more info, visit www.pasadenateenbookfestival.com

Please Note: Book sales by Vroman’s Bookstore will begin at 11am. Co-sponsored by Bridge to Books. No registration required, but we would appreciate it if you would post, share, tweet, and tell everyone you know about the upcoming event! Please use the hashtag #PLYA2015.

Q&A with Ava Dellaria

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Q: Tell us about your writing process?

For me, first drafts are a process of discovery. When I started out writing Love Letters, I began with the concept and a few key story points, and I thought of the early stages of writing as spending time with the characters and getting to know them, learning to listening to what they wanted to tell me.

After I had finished a draft of the book, I began the process of shaping the story. On my next draft I focused on structure and narrative arch. I drew on the feedback of friends and family and rewrote the book many times before I began working with my agent and my editor—what I presented as a first draft had actually been rewritten countless times!

Q: What writers would you say influenced your writing the most?

I feel like I’ve been influenced, in some way, by every book I’ve fallen in love with. I have a background in poetry and it’s had a big influence on my prose. (I often start out a day of writing by reading some poetry—it’s a great reminder, always, of the possibilities of language.)

Stephen Chbosky, who was a mentor to me, was a big influence on my writing. At the time I was writing my first draft of Love Letters, I was reading This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz and Welcome to the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. They are both marvelous masters with language, and helped to inspire me.

When I began working on Love Letters, I hadn’t setting out to write a YA book necessarily—to be honest I knew little about the genre at the time—but after I’d talked to my agent about it, he told me he thought the book should be published as YA, and I started educating myself in the genre. I read some of the classic titles likeSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Looking for Alaska by John Green. Those books were real inspirations for me, and helped me a lot in writing my second (and third and fourth and fifth!) drafts of the book.

Q: In your book Love Letters to the Dead the main character, Laurel, writes letters to famous dead people as an English assignment. How did you decide which people Laurel would write to?

I started out with some celebrities that I myself loved and began researching others who I thought might be a good fit. As I worked on the book and got to know Laurel, I found that her character and the choices of people to whom she would write mutually informed each other. For example, when Laurel began writing to River Phoenix, I saw the evening that she and her sister, May, had first watchedStand By Me together, and the way that his particular innocence spoke to them, as they felt the first danger of their own slipping away.

I had originally started out with a wider selection of letter recipients, but in subsequent drafts of the book those who were no longer relevant to the plot fell away. The book traces the evolving connections that Laurel makes between her own life and the lives of the people to whom she writes, so as Laurel’s character and journey became clarified, so did the decisions about the people to include in the book.

Q: If you had been given the same English assignment as Laurel when you were in high school who would you have written to?

I’ve been asked this question a lot, but never with the “in high school” caveat, which is a great addition! I’d likely have written to Kurt Cobain, like Laurel does. I could also see myself having written to Janis Joplin, or John Lennon, or a number of authors I loved, like Kate Chopin or F Scott Fitzgerald.

Q: Fox 2000 has optioned Love Letters to the Dead. What would be your dream casting?

Yes! I feel very lucky to have gotten the opportunity to write the screenplay. I have had a wonderful time working with Fox 2000 and the producers at Temple Hill, and it was a really great to get to spend new time with the characters and to figure out how to tell Laurel’s story in a different medium. As for casting, I have faith in my producers! I thought they did an amazing job with casting for Fault in Our Stars, Twilight, and Maze Runner, and I’m really excited to see who they’d chose forLove Letters.

The Giveaway

Enter to win any 3 books from the 2015 Pasadena Loves YA authors, US only, ends 5/20/2015.

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If I Stay Giveaway

In honor of the “If I Stay” movie release (based on the Gayle Forman novel) I will be doing my very first giveaway.

Here’s what you can win:

  1. Preview of “If I Stay”, “Where She Went”, and “I Was Here” by Gayle Forman
  2. “If I Stay” bookmark
  3. Autographed copy of the “If I Stay” movie tie-in. Signed by Gayle Forman and the film’s director R.J. Cutler
  4. “If I Stay” poster
Preview of “If I Stay”, “Where She Went” and ‘I Was Here” by Gayle Forman
“If I Stay” Bookmark
“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman movie tie-in
autograph of Gayle Forman and R.J. Cutler
detail of autographs
“If I Stay” movie poster
The Winner is Maggie Xiao
Here’s How To Enter:
  1. Like. Like Book You Very Much on Facebook here.
  2. Comment. Leave a comment below using the hashtag #IfIStayGiveaway.
  3. Wait! I will announce the winner on Monday August 1st.
Terms and Conditions:
  • you must LIKE Book You Very Much on Facebook to be eligible.
  • this giveaway is open to US residents only.
  • winners will be contacted via Facebook. if I do not hear from you within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • limit one comment per entry. multiple comment entries will not be considered.
  • this giveaway ends at midnight pst on Sunday, August 31st.
  • this is not a sponsored giveaway.