INTERVIEW WITH: Huntley Fitzpatrick :-D

As part of this whole interviewing a series of AWESOME authors thing, we are continuing with the one and only HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK. (author of My Life Next Door)  I mean, are we lucky or what? Let’s get this thing goin!…

So, Huntley, let me ask, what was your inspiration for My Life Next Door? 
I’ve always been a people-watcher, and I guess always a story-teller too. My father and I used to play a game when we were waiting in the car for my mom outside various department stores (she loved to shop—a gene that missed me completely), imagining the life-stories or relationships of people we saw walking by or leaving the store.  Some images stick in your head, and one that stayed in mine was a couple I saw walking on Boston Common. She was blond and pretty, he kept ducking his head down to listen more closely to what she was saying. They looked happy to be together, like friends as well as boyfriend and girlfriend. When I started to write a book about a girl who watched and wondered about other lives than her own, I wanted to be sure she found a boy who “got” that, who watched and wondered back.  And I’ve always rewritten, if only in my head, stories that end sadly.  So there’s a little Romeo and Juliet in there, too.
Did the story turn out how you originally had it plotted inside your head?
I can’t think of any story I’ve ever written that’s turned out the way I originally thought it would.  It’s one of the most fun things about writing, taking an unexpected turn and thinking, ‘Wait, how’d I wind up here?’ and then realizing that was where you were always meant to be.
Jase.  He’s pure amazingness.  Who do you see him as in a movie version? What about Samantha? 

This is a tough one for me. I have this clear picture of both of them in my head,and they don’t look like anyone else. When I had to cast it a while back, I had Jared Padelecki and Amanda Seyfried (in her Mamma Mia phase). But now, I guess the closest I can get is Brenton Thwaites and Imogen Poots.

What kind of family did you grow up with?  More like the Reed’s or the Garret’s? 
Neither, and both. I had a very warm, talkative and close family growing up but it was more on the Samantha end of the scale ‘socially’, I guess.
How has it felt to get such glowing reviews of your debut novel?
You know how when you see the Oscars, actors always say “it’s an honor just to be nominated” and you wonder if they are telling the truth or if they will be really cranky and kick their dog if they don’t actually win an award? Now I know they’re telling the truth, because being published is like that for me. Unbelievable. Being published and knowing people are actually reading it?  Surreal. And far enough beyond my wildest dreams to be completely satisfying.
What are some things people don’t know about you? 
The essay that got me into the college of my choice described my outstanding talents as making an awesome tuna melt and giving a great massage. Am still wondering why that worked.  I once kissed a stranger on a train.  Other than that, like Jase in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, I’m pretty much a ‘what you see is what you get’ person, rather than a creature of vast and alluring mystery. (MY thought: Oh my God, too funny! And I love that what you see is what you get persona!)
Do you have any plans for your next book? (Oh please, please say yes!)
 I do. My next signed book, now called WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE,  is set in the same general area as MLND, but takes place in an Island summer community, where the heroine thinks she will be able to spend the summer forgetting about the boy who was her Biggest Mistake, only to find he’s working right on the Island as the local Yard Boy. And that he has no intention of being forgotten. (MY thought: Uh, sounds amazing!)
So, Massachusetts.  How does your hometown compare with the setting of My Life Next Door?
Well, I live in Massachusetts in a small, coastal town now, which is similar to the setting of the book. But I grew up on the Connecticut shore. Stony Bay, where My Life Next Door takes place, borrows a little from both, but is more like my old hometown, especially in the slightly touristy-preppie atmosphere.
Ever see yourself writing something crazily, insanely different, like .. zombies eat boy and girl in love while a mermaid watches and an angel hangs overhead deciding their fates? (Yes, this is how my brain works!) 
Whoa. What a great idea. I would love to bust out of my comfort zone like that…I’ve experimented around with writing a mystery, and a historical romance set in the time of Richard III and a New Adult romance…but YA, at least for now, fits me like Cinderella’s slipper. (MY thought:  I sure do agree!)
Connect with Huntley: Twitter | Web | Goodreads
View My Life Next Door on Goodreads HERE.
Purchase My Life Next Door: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Interview: TRISH DOLLER :)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you today, Trish Doller!  Trish is the author of Something Like Normal and she has generously agreed to answering all of my insane questions today!  Let’s give her a warm welcome, shall we!?
Trish: Thanks for having me. I’m honored!
Trish, may I ask where it is you got the idea for Something Like Normal?
Trish: Back in 2003, I was working as a reporter for my hometown newspaper and was assigned to interview a Marine home on leave after being deployed to Iraq. When I met him, it struck me how young he was and that he’d experienced a lot for a nineteen-year-old…sleeping in the desert with a rock for a pillow, wearing a special uniform to protect against chemical weapons (which also meant not showering for a month), and having to kill someone. I found that out because I plowed right ahead and asked. Only later did I learn that it’s not always something Marines want to talk about. In any case, he stuck with me for a long time and I remembered him when I started writing Travis.  

Did you need to do much research for this book? (because there were some CRAZY details in there!)
Trish: I did quite a bit of research. I read books on war, Afghanistan, the Marine Corps, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos–most of which were shot by the Marines themselves–of Marines in combat and goofing around, downloaded a ton of pictures that I used as reference, and printed up dozens of articles about the 3rd Battalion/6th Marines, who were in Afghanistan while I was writing. Also, I joined an online forum for Marines, where I was able to ask questions about the Marine Corps and Afghanistan. 
Pretend real quick we’re filming the MOVIE for Something Like Normal (swoooon!) who would play your ideal Travis and Harper?
Trish: There is a stuntman named Riley Harper who looks almost exactly like the Travis in my head. I don’t know if he acts, but he’d be my first choice. If not, I think Bobby Campo would be a great Travis. As for Harper, Brie Larson is the only actress I’ve ever pictured. 

So when you are not writing, what can we expect to find you doing?
Trish: Well, I have a day job, so you’d find me working in a Very Large Bookstore in the teen/kids department. I also spend a bit of time in the Florida Keys, and I’ll be taking diving lessons in August, so look for me underwater! 
What is your every day must have? (Mine is coffee, I’m an addict!)
Trish: I need a Coke (or Pepsi) in the morning to get me jumpstarted. And I have to spend some time on tumblr every day or I go through withdrawal.  

What do you enjoy reading, and who are some of your favorite authors?
Trish: I like reading YA best, and my favorites include Melina Marchetta, Kirsty Eagar, and Cath Crowley. I recently did a book swap with Kirsty and I totally fangirled out when I received a signed copy of her book, Raw Blue, which is probably my favorite YA novel. I also love Neil Gaiman, Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series, and Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series.  

What do you have in store for us next? We are WAITING on more! (And I for one, can’t wait!)
Trish: My next book is called ALL THAT WAS LOST and hopefully I will have something official to say about it soon. What I can tell you is that it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl named Callie, who returns to her home in Tarpon Springs, Florida, after being away for a long time. That’s very vague, but it includes Greek culture, sponge diving, and a very hot guy.  

You brought a very realistic feel to the life of a Marine, and what it is they experience; do you have personal experience with the Marines?
Trish: Aside from the Marine I interviewed back in 2003, I didn’t really know any Marines. But I’ve gotten to know quite a few via the forum I mentioned, including the Marine to whom the book is dedicated. He was a huge help in answering questions about Afghanistan–because he is a member of the 3/6 Marines–and his real life experience as a bomb dog handler directly inspired a part of Something Like Normal. 

Your writing is amazing, and having a male lead in YA is very rare! Was there ever a point when you were not going to write Something Like Normal from Travis’ perspective? (or even switch narrators)
Trish: Thank you! The book I originally started writing was going to be about a girl who was an outcast after having been branded a “slut” when she was younger. Travis was meant to be the boy who trashed her reputation, now grown up and kind of an outcast himself after being wounded in Afghanistan. Her story stalled out, so I attempted to write from both perspectives. When Travis took up residence in my head, he made it very clear it was his story, not hers, so I switched to his perspective and never looked back. And while some of her story carried over into Harper’s life, the original main character never made it into the final book.

You’re on an island, right.  You can only bring three things, what do you bring?
Trish: I suppose it would be cheating to bring a boat, right? So I’ll bring a fishing pole, a book (probably Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman), and my husband. (And I’ll hope he thinks to bring a boat.)

TRISH, thank you SO SO much for being here today! As a thank you to our readers, I am going to be giving away a copy of Something Like Normal!  I hope you will come back soon Trish, it was a pleasure having you!
Trish: The pleasure was mine. I’d love to visit again, and good luck to everyone who enters!

Connect With Trish: Facebook | Twitter | Web
Buy Something Like Normal! : Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Seriously, Something Like Normal made me cry, made me happy, and then it made me want to dive right in and help Travis! If you haven’t pick it up! Or enter to win a copy below!

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Katie McGarry Q&A & Pushing the Limits Giveaway

We are very lucky to have with us today, 
a Q&A with Katie McGarry!  
Katie is the author of the fabulous new novel, 
Pushing the Limits!
Pushing the Limits is out today! And in honor of the release, we are hosting Katie here today, and offering up a finished hardcover copy of Pushing the Limits (US ONLY)!

To brief you, here is a bit about Katie.

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and she remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings and reality television, and is a  secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Writing has given Katie an excuse to pursue her passions. Research for her books has provided her with the amazing opportunity to train with baseball players, ride along in a drag car at ninety-six miles per hour and experience boxing and mixed martial arts. Katie loves to visit schools and talk to teenagers about her research, writing and the truth that no dream is out of reach.

Connect with Katie twitter | facebook | web

Question and Answer with Katie

Q: What was your inspiration for writing Pushing the Limits?
A: I had two main inspirations: One, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a story in which my characters felt strong enough to leave their pasts behind and create new futures for themselves. The first scene I ever saw in my mind was Echo and Noah leaving town after graduation. Two, I wanted to write two characters who were facing over- whelming issues and who, through battling these issues, found hope at the end of their journey.
Q: How did you come up with Echo’s name?
A: Echo went through several name changes as I wrote the man- uscript. For a while, she had a very normal name, but it alwaysfelt off. It wasn’t until I looked at Echo from her mother’s point of view that I found her name. Echo’s mother loved Greek my- thology so it made perfect sense that she would name her chil- dren after the myths. I read several Greek myths and the mo- ment I found Echo’s, I fell in love. Echo, to me, was the girl who lost her voice. Thankfully, she finds it by the end.
Q: Which character is the most “like” you?
A: All of them. I gave each character a piece of me (though some have larger slices of me than others). Overall, I’d say I’m a strange combination of Echo, Lila and Beth. Echo has my need to please, Lila has my unfailing loyalty to my friends and Beth encompasses my insecurities.
Q: Did you experience friendships with Grace types when you were in high school?
A: Yes. And the more people have read this story, the more this question comes up. Grace has struck a stronger nerve in people than I ever would have imagined. It seems most of us have un- fortunately experienced a relationship where a person wants to “like” you and wants “be your friend,” but only if it serves their needs. In case anyone is wondering, that isn’t friendship.
Q: Are there any parts of the story you feel particularly close to?
A: Yes. The relationship between Noah, Isaiah and Beth. Beyond my parents and sister, my nearest family members were over fourteen hours away. My friends became my family. The peopleI grew up with were more than people I watched movies with or talked to occasionally on the phone. These were people with whom I shared life’s most devastating moments, but also my hardest laughs. These were people who I would have willing- ly died for and I know they would have done the same for me. They shared my triumphs with smiles on their faces and con- gratulatory hugs. They held me when I cried and offered to beat up whoever hurt my feelings. These were also the same people who were more than happy to get in my face if they thought I was making a wrong decision.
Q: Did anything that happens to Echo happen to you?
A: Sort of. I was bitten by a dog when I was in second grade and repressed the memory. It felt very strange to have no memory of an incident that other people knew about. It was even strang- er to have injuries and not have an inkling where they came from. In college, I finally remembered the incident when a dog lunged at me. I relived the horrible event and sort of “woke up” a few minutes later to find myself surrounded by people I loved. Even though I “remember” the incident, I still don’t remember the whole thing. I only see still frames in my mind and there is no blood in any of the memories. 
I would like to thank Katie herself (who is a doll!), Karen from MediaMasters, and HarlequinTeen for helping set up this Q&A session as well as sponsoring the giveaway!  Be sure to enter! Here is a bit about Pushing the Limits.  In case you didn’t know, this is one of my FAVORITE books of 2012 thus far.  It is emotionally gripping, and an absolute must read. 
Pick up your copy today: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that  horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. Echo and Noah couldn’t be more different, but they find themselves united by a common goal: to sneak into their court-ordered social worker’s case files in order to learn the truth about themselves and their families. What they didn’t count on is falling in love — and now Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Here is my review of Pushing the Limits 
From my own review…

United States Only! Sorry Guys!

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DISCUSSION: NEW ADULT in an Adult and Young Adult World

Let me start this off by saying, first I am going to do my best to inform you exactly what new adult is.  After that, I am going to ask you what your opinion is on it, if there’s room for it, if you’ve read any of it, etcetera. Let’s do this!

New Adult is a sub-genre.

 These books have characters which are done with high school, or above high school age.  This starts at around age 18-19.  Now upon researching popular New Adult titles so I can give some examples, I encountered a dilemma.  

You see, I thought New Adult was not only characters that were above 18, and into their early twenties, but I thought it was books in which had more cursing and a bit more sexual content.  It seems though, that a lot of the New Adult books listed simply have college-aged characters.  Lets show you what I mean.

Where She Went [Gayle Forman]
Something Like Normal [Trish Doller]
Slammed [Colleen Hoover]

These books do not have much “explicit” content, but do have the correct aged characters to qualify as young adult.  Since this then confused me, I continued researching… (like I’m doing a legit paper or something, here!) 
::AHEM, insert Wikipidea here:: 

Here’s what good ol’ Wiki has to say.  
     “New-adult Fiction or post-adolescent literature is a recent category of fiction for young adults first proposed by St. Martin’s Pressin 2011. [1] St. Martin’s Press editors wanted to address the coming-of-age that also happens in a young person’s twenties. They wanted to consider stories about young adults who were legally adults, but who were still finding their way in building a life and figuring out what it means to be an adult.” 

 So, I would really love to hear from some bloggers, as well as some New Adult authors on this.  I recently read Last Summer a New Adult Novel by Rebecca Rogers, and this novel had what I believed all New Adult was supposed to have.  Easy, by Tamara Webber is another example (strong sexual content) of what I thought New Adult would consist of. College-aged characters as well as more mature sexual content.  Perhaps I was wrong?  I mean, Wikipedia and Goodreads say I am.  

Regardless of the facts, I want to know, what do you guys think?  Is New Adult a necessary genre?  According to many, it is the “ultimate crossover genre” to go from Young Adult, to Adult.  Personally, I think it is wonderful as well as absolutely necessary to have New Adult.  Within the next few years I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a New Adult section on Amazon, B&N and in some bookstores.  Its not like this is not possible,I mean come on!  

Check out some New Adult Authors here:
Alyssa Rose Ivy
Tamarra Webber
Rebecca Rogers
Jamie McGuire

Books Pictured Above:
Easy – Tammara Webber
Last Summer – Rebecca Rogers
Flat Out Love – Jessica Park
Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire

Also Check Out:

Come See About Me – C.K. Kelly Martin

Now, sound off below! Let me know what you think New Adult really is, and if you think there’s room for it!


Who’s Excited? You should be excited!  Here we have today a very first look at the COVER for Michelle Leighton’s new novel, The Wild Ones.

Can we say, AMAZING?
This cover = sexy.  I just love it! Who’s with me!?

Here is the synopsis for The Wild Ones:
The Wild Ones
Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.
Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines.  She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses.  Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future. 
But that was before she met Patrick Henley.
“Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her.  He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her.  And Trick needs his job.  Desperately.  His family depends on him.
The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles.  At least the ones they know of.
When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome.  It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.

Don’t try to tell me you’re not all intrigued by this one!  
Michelle is awesome and you can find her all over the place! Start here:
Make sure to check out Michelle’s other great books, and add this one to your TBR pile, ASAP!

A special thank you to Michelle for letting me be a part of the cover reveal! It has been awesome!

AUTHOR Interview/Giveaway – Rebecca Rogers!

We are VERY fortunate to have Rebecca Rogers, author of the Silver Moon Series 
and Last Summer here with us today.

Hey Rebecca, it is wonderful to have you here with us today! 
Thank you so much for agreeing to an author interview!

Firstly, after looking around your website (which is awesome, by the way) I see that you went the self-publishing route. How has that been for you?
It’s been great! I was a little apprehensive at first because of the stigma self-publishing receives from the general public, but I think times are changing, and it’s becoming easier for writers to achieve their dreams, especially in the new digital era. I’m glad I took the plunge, because I’ll never have to ask myself, “What if?”

I also see that Last Summer was very different than anything else you have written. Where did you get the idea for this novel?
Originally, Last Summer was going to be a paranormal book in which a girl finds a ghost in an abandoned cottage. Creepy, right? Later, I decided I wanted to branch out from paranormal books and try contemporary. So, instead of finding a ghost, the main character finds a ghost of a boy. I added the drug addiction and homelessness, and voila! The idea for Last Summer was born. 🙂

Before I read Last Summer, you informed me it is not YA, it is New Adult. What made you want to try out the New Adult genre?
I wanted to see how far I could push the envelope with a book. All of my previously published novels had a minimal amount of language, sex, and violence, but with Last Summer, I didn’t want there to be any boundaries. I knew that if I wrote a book with drug addiction as a main theme, I wanted it to be raw and edgy. Also, considering the ages of the main characters, they were slightly too old for Young Adult, yet too young and less mature for Adult. Thank goodness someone dubbed a genre titled “New Adult”; otherwise, I might still be questioning what genre Last Summer fits into.

Did you have to research much to write about addiction as in depth as you did in Last Summer? That was some pretty heavy stuff!
I did, actually. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Intervention here and there, and I could see how tough it is for someone to give up their addiction. I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but at the same time, I couldn’t pack years worth of addiction into a novel; it would never end! So I lessened the length of time Logan (one of the main characters) actually used drugs, hoping he could hop off that wagon sooner than, say, drug addicts who have been using for years and years. I researched what the symptoms were for withdrawal, but really, it depends on the person, what drug they’re addicted to, and how long they’ve been using their drug of choice as to how severe their symptoms become once they stopped. It was very tricky finding a balance, and I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with the way I wrote it.

I love that on your website, you not only promote yourself, but others as well, but reviewing other books. What are some of your favorites?
Thank you! I love reading; it helps with writing, too. 😉
I’ve read so many great books, it’s tough to choose just a few. Some of the best YA books I’ve enjoyed so far this year are Red Heart Tattooby Lurlene McDaniel, Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. They’re definitely worth a read.

Continuing on that note, let’s hear it! Top three favorite authors, and top three writing inspirations:
Tolkien and Rowling are my top authors. I wish I had the ability to dive into their imaginations for one day, just to see what it’s like to be that gifted. They’re very inspiring, along with authors such as R.L. Stine, Annette Curtis Klause, and Lois Duncan, whose books I read growing up. I think they’re what inspired me to press forward with my writing.

What do you have coming up next? And what is your favorite TYPE of book to write?
I plan on finishing the Silver Moon series. I have the prequel lined up for release in late September, and I plan on releasing the final book the beginning of next year.
My favorite type of book to write would have to be paranormal. I just love dark and eerie books; there’s something otherworldly about them.

If you weren’t a writer, Rebecca, what would you be doing?
Probably sitting behind a desk somewhere. I was a legal secretary for six years before I quit to write full-time. It wasn’t a dream job, but it definitely paid the bills. 😉

Any plans you want to tell us about coming up in the next year or so?
I’ll be finishing up the Silver Moon series, and then I’ll start two new series to be released hopefully next year. I have one or two more standalones in mind, as well. 🙂

When you’re not writing, what do you love to do?
Read, read, read, or watch TV. I’m also shamelessly addicted to reality television. Don’t judge! 😛

Rebecca, thank you so much for being here today, and also for giving our readers a chance to win LAST SUMMER! You are super awesome and I can’t wait to dive into some more of your books! Last Summer was so different, and raw. I just fell in love with it. Despite the heavy subject matter, I thought it was a breath of fresh air from the typical contemporary. (Although those are nice sometimes as well!) I think the New Adult genre is going to begin to explode, I personally love it! Anyway, thank you again and I hope to have you back here soon!
Thank you so much for having me, Cass! 😀

Rebecca can be found a few places, find her:

Want to win Last Summer? 

Enter the Giveaway!

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