Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hi from the Monticello Gardens!
It's been over two months since my last post. TWO MONTHS! And besides that I've only posted 18 times this year, and twice in the last 6 months. This is just sad. I even missed my Blogoversary in May and my birthday later in August! Things have been crazy and I just had to pop in for an update and to say hi! And also that 2015 is going to  be the year I get back into blogging (if only part-time)! But more on that in a minute. I figure I owe all of you a bit of a life update beyond any Tweets you may have seen.

I think I've mentioned back in January that school has been a priority and on the side I've just been enjoying life (back in January, sheesh!) That is still true! I started doing concurrent enrollment at the community college nearby in August and had a great semester. Partly because I was taking an Italian class, which is something I've wanted to learn for a long time, and it is just SO MUCH fun! I'm loving it, and had such an awesome teacher. Ciao!

So my fall has been filled with midterms, enjoying the World Series (yay Giants!), as well as trips to the East Coast(pictured above & to the left) and Disneyland! Recently in December I've been swamped with Christmas choir performances, finals, sickness and then Wisdom Teeth this week! But despite it all blogging has never been far from my mind. Especially when my favorite blog friends remind me how much they miss me. (Love you guys!!!) And that's why with 2015 and New Years Resolutions around the corner  I'm going to get my blogging back on track!

My goal at the moment is just to post once a week at minimum. I've been reading so much great stuff this past week over break and even the past few months that I want to tell you guys what I've been reading and discuss things with you guys! So you can expect one post each week! I don't know if posts will be limited to one day or anything like that yet, but we'll see where this goes. I'm just going to focus on posting what I want and reviewing what I love! No more tours or obligations for a while, just books! If there's anything you want to see from me(discussions, opinions, tags, etc) let me know guys! I'm down for fun discussions and topics as well as reviews and book love. Anything you've read that you want to recommend? I'd love to see those as well! 

With that quick note, I will see you all next week, if not later this week, with a review or something fun. I hope you have all had an AMAZING holiday season spent with family and friends! Let me know what you guys have been up to and reading lately! Let's talk it up on Twitter or down below!

Love you all!

Friday, October 3, 2014
Hey everyone! Long time no blog! I've been busy lately with school and life, so I haven't much time to blog! But I have been reading, and I'm back today to talk about one of those books in particular: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander, which is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary! How cool is that? (So cool!) I was lucky enough to get to be a part of this Blog Tour as a new fan and tell you all about it! 

A Note From The Publisher:
Puchase 50th edition at Barnes & Nobles

Henry Holt Books for Young Readers is proud to publish this 50th Anniversary Edition of Lloyd Alexander's classic The Book of Three, the first book in the Chronicles of Prydain, with a new introduction by Newbery Honor–winner Shannon Hale. This anniversary edition is filled with bonus materials, including an interview with Lloyd Alexander, a Prydain short story, the first chapter of the next Prydain book (The Black Cauldron, a Newbery Honor book)an author's note (Shannon Hale), and a pronunciation guide.
The Book of Three
by Lloyd Alexander
Published: August 1964
Source: Publisher (Thank you!)

Taran wanted to be a hero, and looking after a pig wasn't exactly heroic, even though Hen Wen was an oracular pig. But the day that Hen Wen vanished, Taran was led into an enchanting and perilous world. With his band of followers, he confronted the Horned King and his terrible Cauldron-Born. These were the forces of evil, and only Hen Wen knew the secret of keeping the kingdom of Prydain safe from them. But who would find her first?
It's been a long time since I've been so charmed by a book, as The Book of Three charmed me! There's a special magic to middle grade books that you can't find in YA literature, and I loved rediscovering that through this book. It brought back so many nostalgic feeling of all the fantasy books I devoured as a kid. Oddly enough though, The Book of Three was never one of them, so I'm so happy to finally have it in my repertoire!

Short and sweet, this book holds all the elements you could possibly want in a childrens book; everything from a king who wears antlers, to an enchanted pig! And who doesn't love the fact that the protagonist is the Assistant Pig-Keeper for the magical pig? That's a win right there.

From the get-go, Lloyd Alexander takes us on a well-narrated ride that flows as fast as the Great Avren itself as with our hero Taran we are thrust into a world of danger and adventure that doesn't seem to let up for one minute. We experience rivers, dungeons and battles oh my, mysterious and ridiculous creatures, dangerous enemies and plenty of laughs along the way. And while Taran may be a bumbling idiot that lost Hen Wen you can't help embrace him for his lovable and true heart. Speaking of Hen Wen, who knew pigs could be such a boss?

This book is a ride that will delight and captivate you as you experience the adventures of Taran, Gwydion, and yes, even Gurgi. Children, teens and adults will enjoy this all-around magical tale of one Assistant Pig-Keeper who had the journey of a lifetime. I am definitely glad I finally got around to reading this book, I haven't had so much pure fun reading in a while. Here's to 50 more years of Pyrdain!
Thanks for reading! Before you go enter the giveaway for your own 50th anniversary edition, check out the previous reviews on the tour! There are some awesome bloggers participating, both old and new fans of the book spreading the love!

Monday September 22 - YA Bibliophile 
Tuesday September 23 - Maria’s Melange 
Wednesday September 24 - The Book Wars 
Thursday September 25 - Bunbury in the Stacks 
Friday September 26 - Manga Maniac CafĂ©
Monday September 29 - Read Now Sleep Later
Tuesday September 30 - The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Wednesday October 1 - Word Spelunking
Thursday October 2 - Proud Book Nerd
Friday October 3 (Today!) - Book Haven Extraordinaire
It's now your turn to enter to win a beautiful 50th anniversary edition of this beloved classic! (pictured above). The contest will run until October 14th, and is open to US residents only. Thanks to Macmillan for sponsoring this giveaway!
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Thanks for visiting! Happy Friday! XOXO,
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Welcome to Day 2 of the Beat the Heat Read-a-thon hosted by my pals Jessi of Novel Heartbeat and Reanna from Phantasmic Reads! I hope the reading so getting going for you all! My Day 1 was super packed but I'm ready to read and I'm super excited to be hosting a super fun challenge for you guys to add to the fun of it all.

To kick things off we're going an Unscramble that Book Title challenge! *imagine flashing lights and a booming announcer voice*

How The Challenge Works:
-There are ten different book titles that have been scrambled.
-These books range from classic to YA to popular fiction so there really is no hint of genre I can give you.  They will be well known though, so stick to that knowledge.
-If there are multiple words, the letters will not be scrambled by word.
-To enter the challenge fill out the form with your answers and submit.

Other Details You May Want To Know:
-This challenge will run from August 12 - August 18th.
Participating in this challenge will give you an extra entry for the readathon giveaway hosted by Jessi and Reanna.
-I am not hosting my own giveaway for this challenge individually.
-I will post the complete list of answers on August 19th here on my blog, as well as some honorable mentions of those who did exceptionally well in the challenge.
-If you have any more questions, ask in the comments below.


1. oLre fR hdn tisog
2. mhe gGHern sueTa
3. oGli nGer
4. ammVier epyAcda
5. didrP nej aciuerPde
6. gDiretnev
7. G mara oh rfTeson
8. keh oToB hefiT
9. raryH rPetto
10. driCne

Now unscramble the titles and submit your answers in the form below! Good luck!!

Thanks for stopping by guys! Don't miss the schedule of other challenges that can be found on either Jessi or Reanna's blog! Good luck and happy reading! :D

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Treatment my Suzanne Young! The Program, was one of my favorites of last year and I'm so excited to share this sequel with you!

The Treatment
by Suzanne Young
Published: 4.29.14
Pages: 352

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”How do you stop an epidemic?Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

For information about book one, The Program, see here. 

About The Author
Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She currently resides in Tempe, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration.

Suzanne is the author of several books for teens, including THE PROGRAM, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, and A WANT SO WICKED. 

Now that we've got the info out of the way, it's time for something really fun! I got the awesome privilege of interviewing Suzanne about her and her Progam duology, and here's that she has to say! Enjoy!

The romance between James and Sloane is a huge part of the books. What is the first thing you do in building up a strong romance? 
Dialogue. The way a couple talks to each other and interacts says a lot about who they are and their relationship. I sometimes write pages of dialogue before anything else. The best part of Sloane and James’s relationship was their humor, their inside jokes. It helps that they have a long history together, so there was a built-in trust and mutual respect.

Where did the idea for The Program/Treatment come from? Or when, did it really start to take shape in your mind?
I’d been writing a contemporary novel about suicide, but it was hitting a little too close to home. I caught a commercial for an anti-depressant where suicide, especially in young adults, was a side effect. I started researching and learned about suicide clusters. From there, the idea of an epidemic formed. I then thought about a cure and found a treatment for PTSD that used memory manipulation. The Program was very much based on real life situations and solutions. 

What is your favorite thing about writing for a YA audience?
The emotions. As an adult, I’m jaded and cynical sometimes. I love the thrill of experiencing something for the first time, actually experiencing it without comparison. It’s fun and enlightening to write situations with that mindset.

Are you a daytime or nighttime writer?
I’m a morning writer. I’m basically useless after lunch.

What inspires you to keep writing when it gets tough? 
It’s always tough. I’m also a high school English teacher, and I consider myself lucky. When writing gets me down, I have another outlet for my creativity and an audience. I get to come to work every day and inspire teens—and really, it’s a pretty awesome feeling to get people to love reading.

Are you the kind of writer to snack while she writes/reads? If so, what's your ideal "writing snack?" 
I love Cheez-its or pretzels. I also eat candy corn. Rarely chocolate though. Sorry… 
That was so much fun! Thanks Suzanne! Glad to see we share a mutual love of Cheez-its! Hope you enjoyed that, and now it's time for the Giveaway! 

Open to US/CAN, one lucky winner will receive a set of the complete duology! Exciting right? Enter away! Good luck! May the force be with you! (what can I say, I just watched Star Wars)
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Thanks for visiting! Leave some comment love to Suzanne, and happy last day of April!! XOXO,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Hey everyone! Welcome to the hashtag 16 Things I Thought Were True tour! I get to blurb this book for you today and get you excited about it! So read on, whet your appetites and then enter the giveaway down below!

by Janet Gurtler
Published: 3.4.14
Pages: 283

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue
When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without.

Any Twitter-loving peeps out there? This might be the book for you! Lots of hashtag and twitter going on! Here's a little bit about the Janet, the mastermind behind the book.

About the Author
Janet lives near the Canadian Rockies with her husband and son and a little dog named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot. 
Janet only gives 5 stars to the books she reviews because she is an author herself and knows that no book can appeal to everyone, but like a child, it is very special to the creator.
I'M NOT HER was published by Sourcebooks Teen Fire in May 2011. 
IF I TELL released Oct 1, 2011 from Sourcebooks Teen Fire.
WHO I KISSED Sourcebooks Fire 2012.
Janet's work will also appear in the THE FIRST TIME anthology, DEAR TEEN ME anthology and WHO DONE IT anthology.

If you're feeling in a contemporary mood, Janet is for sure a go-to author with a variety of awesome books under her wing!! Summer's coming guys! Check them out!
Interest picquet yet? Enter to win this fun tour giveaway! And make sure to check out the book links above for info on where to get the book!
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Thanks to Book Nerd Tours for organizing this fun! Check out the full schedule of reviews and fun posts HERE! My review is still to come so keep your eyes peeled in the next couple weeks. Have a great day guys! XOXO,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
 You guys I am so pumped and honored to be on the Starling blog tour!!! Have been a big fan of this trilogy from the start and sadly missing the chance to get on the Venom and Belladonna tours I'm so excited to finally get the chance to "officially" spam you all with my love for this series, and possibly my favorite of the books! If you're a historical fiction lover and not on this bandwagon yet, now is a GREAT time to do so. Why? You'll find all the possible reasons down below! Enjoy!

by Fiona Paul
Publishing: 3.20.14
Pages: 336
Source: Thanks to FIONA for the copy! *hugs*

In the final book in the trilogy, Cass and Luca are back in Venice trying to find the Book of the Eternal Rose to clear Luca's name and keep them both out of prison. But the hunters become the hunted when the Order of the Eternal Rose figures out their plan. Filled with twists and turns, danger and torrid romances, this novel brings the Secrets of the Eternal Rose novels to a thrilling, heart-pounding, sexy conclusion.


Fiona Paul lives in the Midwest but travels a lot since she can’t breathe if she spends too much time away from the ocean. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in psychology and spent a year teaching English in Seoul, Korea while she was deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up. Answer: everything. In addition to being a teacher and writer, she’s also worked as a saute cook, sporting goods manager, veterinary assistant, and registered nurse. When she’s not working, you can usually find her kayaking, reading, or helping turtles cross the road. Her future goals include diving with great white sharks and writing more books, not necessarily in that order. Venom is her first novel.

Guys...when an author wants to dive with Great Whites...you know she's awesome! Make sure to check her out on social media! She's the bomb! (Also read her books, that's important too. =)
Before I begin I just want to say, that I am disappointed my vote didn't win and this book wasn't called Falco instead, but I think that we can all agree once reading this book that Starling was in actuality the perfect name for this book. And this book, this trilogy is not going to be one I forget for a long time. 

Venom set the stage with a bang, a chilling and dark mystery in a very real historical time period. Belladonna got better and continued the mystery with a smart and fast ride that hooked you in and left you gasping in shock with the revelations and the surprises loaded in the book. And Starling, the end has finally come and it could not have ended better. This book hit me in the feels, it hit me in the everywhere else as well.

It’s hard to know what I can say about this book without spoiling anything in the first two. So many feelings are present in this book, and from page one I was hooked in their grasp, racing along to the finish line with these characters that I had grown to love. I was so very curious, no I was DESPERATE to see how it ended for them all.

Espescially in regards to that quite distinct love triangle. Falco versus Luca. The dark and wild artist against the strong and steady friend. We’ve all seen if before in books, but this triangle is different. It’s set up in a way that by the end of Belladonna I was questioning the feels of my feels. I had no idea what to expect and I was just desperate for the end.  I’m not going to imply or suggest anything that would spoil the ending to such a wildly discussed and intricate romance. But I will say that what did happen was something so right for this book, and this story and these characters, that I wouldn’t have changed it.

That’s a good story.

What makes these books stand out from other historical fiction is the dark mystery aspects that are prevalent. They are not supernatural, but they are mysterious and quite often creepy. Half of the time I found myself immersed and confused at the same time. But it’s so interesting and well told that you just can’t stop, even if it makes no sense at parts. It’s a very unique aspect and in a way I really liked that dark element.

I literally have nothing else to say. With Starling, Fiona has delivered and spell-binding conclusion that will keep you glued to your chair until the last page when all you have left to do is cry and laugh and feel a LOT of feels. 

Thumbs up Fiona. You’ve done yourself proud. Cass, Falco and Luca have forever earned a spot in my heart, and I’ll probably never think of Italy in the same way again. So by all means, hop on this bandwagon (er, gondola) if you haven’t yet! There’s a steady current ready to take you downriver to Venice.

There are my feels everyone. I hope you find this book filled with as much awesome as I did! For more reviews and goodies on this beauteous book check out the full tour schedule here! Now onto the giveaway!
I love this book and I want you to have a chance to win a copy for yourself! Open till March 24th!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Spread some comment love for Fiona (& Falco) in the comments! XOXO,

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Welcome to the Nil blog tour! I'm so excited to have you! If you're looking for a YA Survivor style action packed book, Nil is gonna be the one for you! Read on for info about the book, my thoughts and a chance to win your own copy!

by Lynne Matson
Published: 3.4.14
Pages: 384
On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing Charley remembers is blacking out in an Atlanta parking lot, and when she wakes up, she’s naked in an empty rock field.Lost and alone, Charley hunts for a way out. She discovers desolate beaches and human remains, but no sign of civilization--until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with hidden dangers, their greatest threat is time. They can’t stop the clock. They can only hope to beat it. 

Sounds so awesome right?! Make sure to grab your copy today since this beautiful baby was released yesterday! Now here's a little info about the brain behind it all.

About The Author
Lynne Matson grew up in Georgia in a house full of books and a backyard full of gnarly pines. Back then, Lynne would stay up late, reading Nancy Drew books under the covers (with a flashlight . . . a weak attempt at ninja stealth). Now she still stays up late reading books and writing them. When she doesn't have a book in her hand, you'll find her listening to music, messing around with paint, or hanging out with her husband and their four boys . . . or all of the above. 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for review. No funds were exchanged in any form for either profit or privilege. 
Nil is the kind of book that will suck you in from the get-go and before you know it you've read a hundred pages. Set in a unique setting and told from alternating points of view, this book was quite the ride, let me tell you that. 

From the start one of the most vivid parts of this story is Nil itself. The island was the main antagonist, the villan of the story. And Nil had a voice. The disconcerting nature of Nil and her ways is something you begin to feel right away. In the way that the island behaves and the reactions of the teens on the island. The way she messed with them was so messed up. But oh I loved it. When the villain is done right, it makes the book so much better, and this villain, was fantastic. 

I never thought I'd say that about an island.

Sometimes dual POV doesn't work. Sometimes it does. This book was a working case. Charley, is the newcomer, Thad isn't. What made this case of dual scenario was the island and it's twisted nature that I already mentioned. Thad has been on the island for so long and the island has been getting to him and you can see the effect and the real evil of the island through his voice. Nil's voice in Thad's head made for a strong villain and character in Thad. He is a strong, fantastic character that you can't help but love, but at the same time he's got demons that mess with him in terribly awesome ways. 

(I'm a writer, I have joy in watching the suffering of characters. Because it makes them stronger of course...)

Charley's voice is the perfect contrast to that because she hasn't experienced the terrors and illusions of Nil as Thad has yet. And I really liked that. For her it's a process of coming to understand the island and it's ways. Matson's writing deftly explores her side of the story. Beyond her island perspective, her character as a whole was very fun. Charley isn't the brainiac but she has a brain and she is smart. She's still a teenager I could relate her. She's a good firm person who fit the arch needed for the story of Nil. 

And that's why the romance works. Two characters dealing with the same issue in contrasting ways. Aah. it's a brilliant While feeling a little bit insta-lovey at the get go, it slides into a nice nitch in the story adding a drizel of romance to sweeten the whole package. Yum! Nil is a fast paced novel filled with tension, romance, a vividly creepy setting. If you're looking for a quick adventurous read to suck you in, check out Nil! You won't regret it! 

 Like what you just read? Want to get your hands on Nil now? (Of course you do!) Here's your chance!
 As a part of the Nil tour you have a chance to enter for a Nil Prize Pack (lots of awesome swag + finished copy of Nil!) Open to US/CAN residents only. Ends on March 9th. Click here or use the form below to enter. Good luck!

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Thanks for stopping by! You've heard my thoughts, now tell me yours! Have you read Nil? What are you most excited for about this book? Leave your thoughts of it below in the comments! XOXO,

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Welcome to my stop on the Something Real tour! I'm really excited to be hosting Heather for a super fun interview! (this is the week of interviews my friends!) But I seriously have way too much fun with them so it's all good. So stick around for the interview and a super duper giveaway!

Something Real
by Heather Demetrios
Published: 2.4.14
Pages: 416
Add to Goodreads - Buy on Amazon 
There’s nothing real about reality TV.
Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

Sounds like fun right? Make sure to pick up your copy today! Now here's a bit about the author!

About Heather
Heather Demetrios, originally from Los Angeles, now lives in Brooklyn and various imaginary locales. She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award for her debut YA novel about reality TV stardom, SOMETHING REAL, and is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, also out in 2014. When she’s not hanging out with her characters, Heather is working on her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
What kind of research went into Something Real, with the reality TV show aspect of the book?
I watched several episodes of “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” since I’d never actually seen the show before and it was the inspiration for my Baker family. I also watched a great HBO film called “Cinema Verite,” which is about the first reality family TV, the Louds, and I read Pat Loud’s fascinating autobiography. To create my tabloid columnist who makes an appearance at the end of the book, I read some of Perez Hilton’s stuff—oh my god. I went down this really weird pop culture rabbit hole and was so glad when I came back out!

I love the puns you can find in the show's name; Bakers Dozen! Was that something you know from the beginning or did you have to come up with that later?
Yeah, the Baker’s Dozen thing came to me right away, but initially “Baker” wasn’t the family’s last name. That came later, based on a suggestion from an agent. When she said it I was like, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” It’s funny, the way things come together with a book. A suggestion from the most random places can inspire huge things. When you’re working on a book, you have to be so open to anything that triggers a response in your story.

What is your favorite thing about writing for a YA audience?
There are so many things I love. I have to tell you my top two things because they are of equal importance to me. The first is that a YA book can literally change the course of someone’s whole life—that is an amazing responsibility and a beautiful thing. Teens are still trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. They’re questioning and seeking and when you’re a YA writer, you’re in a position to influence and inspire your readers. That’s not to say that adult lives can’t be changed, but you get a lot more set in your ways as you get older, right? The second thing I love about being a YA writer is being a part of the YA community of readers, writers, book bloggers, book sellers…it’s so giving and positive. Everyone is excited about what’s coming out and is really passionate about the genre. I love the conversations that are being had about the work and its evolution and I feel so supported. My fellow adults who love YA are kindred spirits—it’s like we’ve all agreed to go to Neverland together.

Bonnie, your protagonist is the oldest of 13 kids! Being from a big family I can understand but it's still crazy! There are so many different personalities and character types to portray in that kind of a setting, so how did you go about that in planning/writing the novel?
That was definitely the hardest part of the book: how to give a picture of this whole family without overwhelming the reader and without any family members getting lost in the shuffle. The list you see at the beginning of the book is basically what I kept beside my laptop while I wrote the novel. I kept forgetting the ages of the kids or what country each kid was from. It helped to categorize the kids, such as the boys who are called the “wild things” because they’re so hyper and are always wrestling. So instead of throwing a bunch of names at the reader all the time, I knew it would be easier for them to remember groupings. I had a feeling this is what MetaReel would have done anyway and it helped me develop the family dynamic. My major focus, of course, was on Bonnie™ and the two siblings her age: Benny and Lex. Of course, the parents were huge too. Bonnie™’s mom is a really important secondary character and I had to think of ways that she would try to keep her family organized, too. It was chaos, but I’m really happy with the way it came off.

Are you a day or night writer?
Both! I write for most of the morning and afternoon, then again in the late evening. I write full-time, so I’m pretty much working on one or two books a day, whenever I’m not doing the businessey stuff of writing. The night is really great for getting in a special zone. Something about the hush and darkness brings out the poet in me, so I like to save scenes that are really emotional and intimate for nighttime. Appropriate, no? Daytime is revisions, doing the hard work of the first draft, that kind of thing.

What inspires you to keep writing when it gets tough? 
I have a board above my desk (pictured on the left). It’s full of reminders to myself (like, “Don’t write pussies!”—that was for when one of my bad boy male characters turned all lovesick and boring). There are inspirational quotes, my favorite of which is by Picasso: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” There are images that evoke certain feelings in me, encouraging notes from people…all sorts of stuff. The main thing that inspires me to keep writing when it gets tough is that it always works out. No matter the book, I have to remind myself that because there is always a point with every story that I think, oh my God, I’m not going to pull it off this time. But serendipity always kicks in. It’s a new puzzle, but every time you find the pieces that need to fit together. All those parts do become a whole.

Are you the kind of writer to snack while she writes/reads? If so, what's your ideal "writing snack?" 
Unfortunately, yes, I do like to snack while I write. My ideal snack is something that doesn’t make my hands dirty or greasy, so I can eat and write at the same time. But, really, coffee. And more coffee.

Savory or Sweet? Sweet!

Chocolate Malt balls or Sour Gummy Worms? Chocolate malt balls, all the way.

Thank you so much Heather for the fun interview! I loved chatting with you! Make sure to leave some comment love for Heather in the comments! And keep an eye out for my review of Something Real to come soon! Now onto the fun part...the giveaway!
Thanks to Macmillan, I have one finished copy to give away to a lucky reader! Make sure you live in the US and can accept this prize. Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends March 6th (that's two weeks!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know your thoughts below! XOXO!

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