Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Woot! I'm simply thrilled to be hosting a stop on this totally rad blog tour hosted by Shane @ Itching for Books you really don't want to miss this one! Find the complete Tour Schedule HERE.

~About The Book~
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

~Find The Book~ 

~About Rachel~
As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends. When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate. MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is her debut novel. She did have her own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn't televised.

~The Interview~
What inspired the idea for this story? Was is totally random or based on something? My first ever book was finished and in the query stage, and you know the saying that you should just keep writing, so I did. I’d just read a couple historicals and wanted to try my hand at it with the magical realism twist of a modern-day girl experiencing it, and shortly after getting the initial idea for the Renaissance and the title, I saw the video for Taylor Swift’s Love Story. That definitely added some inspiration.

If you had to rename your book what would you name it? Honestly, this has been the name of the book from the very beginning, even before I started actually drafting, and I think it fits so perfectly. It’s one of the things that got me so excited to tell this story =)

Idea of a perfect dinner? Anything my husband cooks so I don’t have to LOL. No, seriously, I actually like cooking, but there’s something about someone else doing it, or going out, that just makes it taste so much better. And actually, you’re catching me in the middle of a diet right now, so absolutely EVERYTHING sounds amazing. Chinese dumplings, chicken fajita nachos, shrimp po-boys, lasagna……Sigh, it all sounds so good.

M&M's Or Skittles? M&M’s!! Peanut, please =)

When did you know you wanted to write? Growing up, I always wrote short stories or on-going sagas that eventually ended around chapter thirty because I had no idea where it was going, but I always expected it to take the shape of writing voice-overs for television programs or possibly magazine writing. It wasn’t until two summers ago when I read Twilight and fell back in love with YA literature (to the point that it’s now an obsession lol), that I actually thought, hmm, maybe I can try this. That led to I must try this. And that quickly led to plotting and drafting four different stories so far and daily saying, ‘hey, that would make a great story!’

Was there an author that inspired you to write a fabulous book? Someone you look up to? Besides Stephanie Meyer getting me to want to write, my first book (now out on submission, fingers crossed) was really influenced and inspired by Lauren Barnholdt and Jennifer Echol’s writing. My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century was inspired by Sarah Maclean’s The Season and an adult title by Vicky Dreiling. And as for authors I look up to, I love Gayle Forman and Tammara Webber. Those women kill it!!!!

Who was the most supportive in your writing process? My husband is amazing. He comes up with a lot of my titles or at least helps, which he loves telling people lol. He also helps me in plotting a lot. He’s very understanding when I need to be on the computer and even gets me hotel rooms for a weekend when I just need to hammer words out. My daughters are my favorite publicists….don’t get me wrong, my Entangled publicists Heather and Tara ROCK soooo hard, but my daughters go up to everyone—and I mean everyone—to tell them about my book, when it’s coming out, and the title. And I wouldn’t be anywhere without my critique partners! For My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, Shannon Duffy, Trisha Wolfe, and Victoria Scott went above and beyond. They are so gifted themselves, that they make me stretch to keep up, and their constant faith in me makes me want to believe it, too. 

Is there a Theme Song for the book? Playlist? I make big playlists built around each plot point and where the characters are in their arc, but overall, the main theme song was Love Story by Taylor Swift because when I would listen to it, I’d picture the video which is the perfect setting, and it also represents a certain transition in my main character’s arc. I sometimes drop hints about my playlists into my story, and Cat’s ring tone started with Poker Face and ended with Love Story—that is a character arc if I ever saw one LOL. 

Chocolate or Vanilla? Ice cream? Vanilla, with chocolate chip cookie dough (again, I’m on a diet so this is killing me lol). But I love me some chocolate in anything else.

What's your Favorite Color? Purple. It’s my “signature color.”

What are your Favorite scenes to write? Kissing scenes!! I love the romantic stuff…OH and I also love the banter when the characters don’t really like each other yet, but you know they will. That’s fun.

How much is your MC like you? Hmm, well she is funny, which people now tell me I am, but I never thought I was. I didn’t know where her humor came from (ha!). She has a problem trusting people at first based on her past, where as I tend to go too far in the other direction, trusting too easily and too quickly. But even though we are different in many ways—not to mention our lifestyles (she’s rich)—underneath it all, Cat is a softie who wants to be liked for who she is, something I think all of us want. Yeah, she’s like me in lots of ways….and I wish I had her quick wit!

Favorite fictional crush? Oh again, there are so many good ones to pick from! I mean, hello, Mr. Darcy has to be at the top, but let’s stick with YA to help me limit it LOL. I love Adam from Gayle Foreman’s If I Stay series, and Avi from Simone Elkeles’s How to Ruin series…..and I’ll stop there before I keep staring at my bookshelf and get lost in memories. I love my book boys!

Best part so far about being published? The readers for sure….getting to talk to them, putting that smile on their face that so many authors have given me? Yeah, that is amazing. And also meeting other authors. Everyone I’ve met has blessed or inspired me in some way for sure. 
Any advice to Aspiring Authors? Read. Read as much as possible and as widely as possible. You want to write YA paranormal? Read that genre, and also read YA Contemporary and maybe adult mystery or paranormal. Want to write YA Contemporary? Read that, and YA Paranormal, but also adult romance. Pay attention as you read, make notes or dog ear pages or words that speak to you, jot them down for inspiration. Analyze your favorite books, too. Like break them down in whatever way helps you learn this novel writing thing. I did this a few times in the very beginning, making notes about how many chapters there were, the ratio of dialogue to narrative in each chapter, what the main goal of each chapter and scene were so I could see how they built the story…..it taught me more than any writing book could.

Has being a writer changed the way you read and perceive literature? Ha, good tie in from the question above! Yes, it has in some ways. The more you write and learn about the craft, the more you appreciate amazing writing when you see it, or maybe notice when you might’ve written something differently. We all have our own writing patterns and habits, ways of telling a story that we gravitate toward, and they all change the more we write and read. I can’t read my older stuff without flinching, wanting to rewrite it in some way. BUT what hasn’t changed has been my pull to a good core story or amazing characters—if a book has those things, it doesn’t matter if I would’ve gone a different way with the story or if I’m in so much awe of their writing that I’m grumbling the whole time because I’ll never be as good as them LOL. I appreciate the severe amount of work it takes to bring a story to completion, and each book is an amazing accomplishment in some way.

Favorite breakfast Food? When not on a diet? Honey butter chicken biscuit from Whataburger LOL. On a diet? A smoothie =)

Organization or Messes? Organized chaos lol. Hey, I know where things are…..

What made you want to write for YA? I love the teenage years—filled with so many changes and uncertainty, friendships being tested and a string of heartbreak. Everyone always says the college years are the best times of your life, and yeah, they were amazing….but I think I’ll forever be 17 in my heart. By writing YA, not only do I get to embrace that side of me, I get to create (hopefully) good stories that will inspire and entertain the next generation of girls. The girls going through the things that shaped who I am today, letting them know that they aren’t alone, that things do get better or that others have been there. And I hope I can lighten their week with humor or give them a smile with a swoony scene to take away the stress of a biology exam. Many YA stories are called Coming of Age and it’s because it’s during this time that we reach milestones and make huge changes and decisions. Capturing that in a book is not only powerful, but it’s fun.

Why time-travel? I love historicals, but when I’m reading it, I always view it through my own lens of a twenty-first century girl. I wanted to write a book that let me dive in and experience the past, but embracing that lens. Making it more accessible to readers. Cat’s voice is totally modern and she sees everything with the same eyes most of us do, probably voicing the same questions or doing the same things we would. It also allowed for a lot more humor than a traditional historical would have provided. Cat makes LOTS of mistakes LOL. 

How did you pick Renaissance Firenze as your historical era? I’d just read a ton of Regency books and I love them, but I wanted to challenge myself by picking another era so I could research like crazy. I’m an oddity in that I love research. I grew up loving the Renaissance but other than learning broad concepts, I never really explored all the ins and outs like fashion and food and class relations. So this let me do that….and come on? Italy? The chance to write about that setting for two months and pretend I live there myself was too good to pass up! The food, the architecture, the art, the accents, the history, the guys…..who doesn’t love Italy? =)

Any upcoming projects we should look for? A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES is the companion novel to MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and will be out in June 2013. Then in December 2013 will be REARVIEW MIRROR, which I’m working on right now. I have a few other projects I’m eagerly looking forward to starting next year, but that’s all for now!

That was so much fun! Thanks to Rachel for being willing to interview! You sound like someone I totally want to meet! Haha! We'd totally get along! Well, moving on, I got the fantastic opportunity to read an ARC of this book! So here is my review.  

~Inky's Blurbings~
For starters, I LOVE this book. Major swoony, hyper, awesome kind of love! It's so sassy, fun, romantic with lots of awesome historicalness + twenty-first century wrapped in one! I love all things historical Italy so this was just perfect for me! I absolutly loved Cat,. She was easy to connect with and full of 21st century fun. Her character change, which goes from being guarded to open was fantastic. She learns so much about life in fun ways and I loved the end result.One of the things I loved, was that when Cat first realized she had gone back int time was her thought process. One of the most logical realistic ones I've seen. Haha. She has great throught processes! She's funny and smart and overall just so loveable. Rachel really captured teen girls at their heart. 

Of course you can't have such a fun book like this without an Italian hottie can you? Lorenzo was super fun. Hot, artistic, with quite a sense of humor. It's hard not to love him in all his persistent, flirty glory.  The romance was so cute, but with the whole ending I sure hope it's the last we see of him! (NO SPOILERS-Don't Worry) So much fabulousness! 
As for other fabulous supporting characters, I loved them! (if you couldn't tell by now) Alessandra, Cipriano (I think?) and Reyna, the mysterious gypsy. I'm sure hoping we get to see more of her in the next book! She was really quite interesting and played her role well. I'm sure hoping for more! Alessandra was really sweet. Seeing her connect to Cat and react to all of her little surprises was joyful. And seeing her develop into who she was, was rad. It was all just so fun and flirty and well written that I just had a blast reading it all. One of those books to enjoy when you need a pick me up! I can't wait for A Tale of Two Centuries! I'd totally recommended this to fans of the incredible River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren.

Content: Very Mild (Light language once or twice, a couple kisses and moments of innuendo))
5 Stars
Note: All character buttons from Rachel Harris Blog. I do not own them.   

~The Giveaway~
As part of this fantastic blog tour, you could win a SIGNED copy of this Italian delight as well some fun swag! Don't miss this chance!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for stopping by my tour stop! Have a super sweet day! 

20 comments:

  1. Great interview! I love vanilla & cookie dough ice cream too, so yummy! Also, a big fan of purple, lol.

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  2. You did a great interview Inky! Taylor Swift's Love Song music video also inspired the author of Remembrance, Michelle Madow. It's a great video. I love to write kissing scenes too! I need to read this book soon!!

    Kathryn @ Clean Teen Fiction

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah I've heard! Really eager to read that one.

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  3. My fictional crush is also Mr. Darcy... he's the best... :D

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    1. I'd have to say Mr. Thornton from North and South but I LOVE Mr. Darcy!

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  4. Thank you so much for being a part of my tour!! This post just makes me smile so big...you had fun, fresh questions, and your review literally had me squealing (ask the kids, they found it humorous). Thank you for helping make this such a wonderful experience for me <3 <3 <3

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    1. You're so welcome! It was a blast having you! Sprinkles and Sunshine! Haha! That's great. Glad you liked it. Can't wait to help in your other literary endeavors. lol. :D

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  5. That was a great interview! I got to the m&m and skittle question and remembered I had a bag of m&m peanuts and went looking for it. Now I am happily eating it =]

    I also love scenes in books where the characters banter before liking each other! I love cheering them on!

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    1. Totally! Nice! Enjoy your M&M's. Guess I should hunt some down. Haha!

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  6. Amazing interview, I like having the authors responding this questions! I want to read the book, is pretty funny for what they`ve said!

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    1. Thanks so much! It is really fun to get inside their head a little to understand where the books come from!

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  7. You're first questions are direct to the point and it was fun reading it... And why chocolate or vanilla? Are those your favorite flavs? Thank you for this...

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    1. Aaw. Thank you Denice! No, it's just a fun contrast to see what they pick! You're very welcome!

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  8. I slightly fangirled when I saw you drew some inspiration from the Love Story music video, I love Taylor so much! Haha, cooking is definitely better when somebody else is doing it [so long as they do it wel... :P]. Organised chaos is perfect.(': <3

    Lovely questions [and thoughts on the book, at the end!], Hannah.(: And good luck to everyone entering the Giveaway! I wish I lived in the USA.):

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    1. Thanks Ria! Sorry you can't enter, but make sure you enter my Followers giveaway! It's INT!

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Heyo! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love to hear from my awesome-sauce blog readers. You just made my day! I try to reply to every comment I get so if you have a question check back later! Or just link me up to your blog (if you have one) and I'll visit you! Have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day! <333 Inky

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