Monday, January 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: September 30th 2014
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

Author Bio
Author of fun & flirty escapes about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. I grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with my grandmother, and staying up late sneak-reading my mama's romance novels. Today, I still stay up late reading romances, only now I do so openly.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, I firmly believe life's problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch countless hours of Food Network and reality television with my amazing husband. I write YA, NA, and Adult romance and LOVE talking with readers!
Follow her on these sites

Saturday, January 25, 2014

#AlltheFeelsPhilippines: Gayle Forman Signing Event in Manila Recap + Giveaway!


Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Jane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. Her famous YA books are If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One day and Just One Year.

Last Saturday, we had the awesome opportunity of meeting this wonderful lady whose works are some of all time favorites! Like every time when a YA author visits Manila, we were a bundle of excitement a few hours prior to the event. The experience was extraordinary and we had a great time with the other bloggers who attended the forum and signing event, which were hosted by National Book Store at NBS, Glorietta 1. Aside from having our books signed, we were also given the chance to ask Gayle some questions about her books. Here are some of the facts we've gathered during the Bloggers Forum.

~ She loves singing! (She sang Frozen's theme song numerous times... she's really amazing)

~ Her upcoming book is entitled I Was Here, which is scheduled to be released in 2015 (I know... that's a long wait).

~ Her husband's love for music had influenced her to have music play a huge role on Mia and Adam's life.

~ She didn't exactly say that she's not planning to write anything aside from the contemporary genre. However, she said that the beauty of our life already fascinates her and she likes to magnify the colors of what is happening around us. She also wanted to feel this world as it is, so writing contemporaries is what she love.

~ She didn't choose cello to be Mia's musical instrument nor did she decide for her to be a cellist. She said that Mia came into her mind fully fleshed out as a cellist.

Scroll down for some photos during the Gayle Forman Signing Event!

Dea asking her question during the Q&A session
photo courtesy of National Book Store
Gayle Forman doing her thing!

 From left to right: Dea, Mary Ann and Clarissa

 Oh and we gave cupcakes to Gayle! Hope she likes it :)

 The Teen Readers with Precious of Fragments of Life, Kai Agito of Amaterasu Reads ,and Michelle of The Escapist patiently waiting in line with the other bloggers.

The bloggers with Gayle Forman, and yes we are all laughing because instead of  "cheese" Gayle asked us to say "Let it gooo" hehe 

After the bloggers forum. We went to NBS, Glorietta 1 to attend the book signing event. Gayle was welcomed with a huge turnout and lots of screaming fans!

For more pictures during the signing event, visit NBS' Facebook page or check out this album by Dea.

Huge thanks to National Book Store for bringing yet one another of our favorite authors! These events are sure turning our bookish dreams into reality.
Thinking of the next one is almost too much to handle. Three awesomes in one place?! We can't wait!
Click on this link for more info about this upcoming event 

Aaand of course we don't want our readers to miss out on great books! For those of you who haven't read any of Gayle Forman books, we're giving away a book of your choice from these titles! We don't have another signed copy for you but this one will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository, which makes this contest open to ANYONE 13 years old and above.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 20, 2014

Release Day: Alabama Sons by E. A. Whitehead

Alabama Sons Cover
Alabama Sons by E. A. Whitehead
Paperback: 352 pages
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: January 19th 2014
Penny Wilmot leads a simple life. Together with her widowed father and best friend Boone they run a small U-Pick farm.
 She never asked for much, and certainly wasn't looking for him... Jackson Hawkes lives his life at one steady speed: fast. On a mission to find his father, he takes a road trip and ends up finding himself with a new band, a new job and a new dream. 
The two meet by accident and begin a romantic adventure in the summer heat of Alabama. But what happens when the pair find out that they have the one thing in common that took their whole worlds away from them? Death. 
It takes things away, but can it bring the two together? Join Penny and her sons of Alabama in a turbulent journey of love and loss..

Author Bio
E.A. Whitehead is the author of Alabama Sons, book one of The Sons Trilogy. She spends an unhealthy amount of time ‘pinning’ things and getting lost in a fantasy world where everything is DIY and she owns a 12-room house to decorate. She obsesses over hockey (go Bruins!), all things Harry Potter, and her cats Little Bear and Baby Girl. She also believes that Wanderlust will cure your soul, live your dreams passionately!
Follow her on these sites

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blog Tour: Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: January 14th 2014
If you could do it all over again, would you still choose him?
At age thirty-nine, Lucie Walker has no choice but to start her life over when she comes to, up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay, with no idea how she got there or who she is. Her memory loss is caused by an emotional trauma she knows nothing about, and only when handsome, quiet Grady Goodall arrives at the hospital does she learn she has a home, a career, and a wedding just two months away. What went wrong? Grady seems to care for her, but Lucie is no more sure of him than she is of anything. As she collects the clues of her past self, she unlocks the mystery of what happened to her. The painful secrets she uncovers could hold the key to her future—if she trusts her heart enough to guide her.


Excerpt from the novel Love Water Memory, by Jennie Shortridge

Chapter 1
SHE BECAME AWARE of a commotion behind her, yet it seemed important to continue looking out over the water toward low mountains, a skiff of clouds. A bridge in the distance, familiar. And something else, something that shimmered on the periphery of… what, the horizon? Her vision? No, her mind. Something she’d come to find. Voices called out; the people behind her. Seagulls shrieked from the pier on the right. Just past them, the masts of tall ships creaked slowly back and forth as though they’d been there forever, only she was just now seeing them.
            “Hello?” A distinct male voice, closer. She tried to turn to see him but her legs felt numb. No, they were cold. Ice cold. Dead legs. Was she dead? Where was she? What was this place?
            She looked down and saw dark water to her knees. She held high heels in one hand and shouldered a large purse that made her neck ache. Her skirt was wet at the hem.
            “Excuse me, are you okay?” Closer still.
            “I don’t know,” she said, turning her head. That she could do, at least.
The man waded toward her from the beach, wearing only a skimpy bathing suit and black swim cap on his head, strapped beneath his chin. She tried to move away from him—who was he? Why was he dressed like that? He was so exposed—his chest, his arms, his mid-section—freckled and sun-weathered, a thick white scar on his abdomen she didn’t want to see. Why was he so naked here with her? And then she noticed a crowd of people dressed similarly standing at the shore, men and women, some in wetsuits, others in swimsuits. All with those black caps. All looking at her.
“I can’t feel my legs,” she admitted.
 “I bet,” he said. “You’ve been in here nearly half an hour and the water’s only sixty degrees.” He stopped a few feet away. He seemed friendly, like someone’s brother, maybe. Laugh lines creased his face, but his smile was tentative. “Do you want to come out now?” He looked at her in a way that said she really should, so she nodded.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
She opened her mouth to tell him, but didn’t know what to say. He waded closer, slowly, carefully, like someone would approach a hurt dog or a crazy person.
“Do you live around here?” he asked. “Or did you come down from the cable car?”
Did he think she was crazy? She wished he would quit asking her questions. It hurt inside, trying to figure out how to answer. Her head throbbed now, or maybe it had all along.
She let him come right up to her and take her by the arm. His hand was warm, and his arm and body, and she realized she was freezing, even though the sun lit everything around them into a sharp, bright world she didn’t know.
“Want to try to walk back to the shore?” he asked, gently rotating her until they faced the crowd on the sand, a banner behind them that read “Alcatraz Open Water Invitational.” They were all going swimming, she guessed. All at once.
“Is she all right?” someone called.
            “I think we’d better call 911,” he answered.
            “Already did,” another replied.
            “It’s just my legs,” she said. “They’re so cold. I’ll just put my shoes back on.”
            “Okay,” he said, slowly walking her toward shore. “Let’s just keep moving.”
She slid her feet like blocks across sandpaper. They hurt now. Everything hurt now. Something was changing inside her, trying to speed up to catch the cog, but there were only broken gears grinding against each other. She wanted to turn back and stay looking across the water, to find what she came for, but the man kept guiding her toward the crowd. Behind them were too many buildings, and behind those, a hill of more buildings.
She looked up and saw letters against the sky. “Ghirardelli.” Oh, she would love some chocolate.
            A tall woman in a black swimsuit waded out and wrapped an arm around her shoulders as the man kept hold of her arm. They were so warm.
“You’re going to be okay,” the woman said, but she wasn’t sure. She heard a siren now, and shuddered.
            An ambulance screamed down the pier next to the beach. Red lights, blue lights. Such a horrible loud sound. It hurt almost as much as trying to answer questions. She hated sirens, maybe the most of everything.
            Others rushed forward with towels, swaddling her inside them, taking her shoes and bag away from her. People in uniforms pushed through the crowd, insisting she lie on the sand. Yes, that was good. She was exhausted.
            “What’s your name?” they kept asking while checking her heart, her pulse, putting an oxygen mask on her face. “Where’s your ID? What day is it? Do you know where you are? Who’s the president of the United States?”
“Obama,” she finally murmured into the mask. It was the only answer she had, and as good as it felt to know her president, it was nowhere near enough.

Author Bio
Jennie ShortridgeWhere it Began marks the YA debut of Ann Redisch Stampler. She is the author of several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.
Follow her on these sites

Friday, January 17, 2014

Interview with Ann Redisch Stampler, author of AFTERPARTY + Giveaway!

Q:  Describe Afterparty in one sentence.
A: In an effort to reinvent herself, Emma struggles with a questionable best friend who leads her toward a double life; her conflicted feelings for a cool, imperfect boy; her beloved father’s unbearably strict rules; and fear that if she lets herself go, she’ll turn out like her black sheep mother – all the while telling more and bigger lies to everyone including herself, until it’s almost too late.

Q:  What was your favorite part about writing it?
 With any writing, I love it when what’s happening on the page surprises me.  When a sentence flows out in a way that sounds better than it did in my head, or when a character says or does something I didn’t plan consciously, but which turns out to be just right.

Q:  What is your favorite scene in the book?
 This would have to be the Afterparty scene.  I love the physical setting of the party, the derelict Hollywood hotel with its Spanish tiles, turrets and garishly illuminated gardens, the lurching elevators’ tooled-bronze doors and the feral cats running down the upstairs corridors.  I love the way Emma’s focus careens between tiny details and the most devastating emotional revelations, when she is forced to look at things she’s kept as far from her consciousness as humanly possible. 

 Emma has been preparing for this party throughout much of the book, and it is life-changing – just not in the way she’d anticipated. 

Q:  How did writing Afterparty affect you?
 I try to crawl into my protagonist’s skin, see what she sees and feel her feelings.  So writing Afterparty was emotionally exhausting.  But ultimately, the overall experience was very rewarding in terms of Emma’s growth and the possibility of hope despite all the many truly terrible decisions she’d made from the moment she set foot in Los Angeles.

Q:  I've read in your bio that the first several books you've published are children's picture books. What inspired you to deviate from this category and write YA?
 Most of my picture books are retellings of folk tales.  Which I love.  But I had always wanted to write longer form fiction.  I keep notebooks full of bits of prose and pieces of narrative that could, conceivably, be part of something longer and more complex.  But I realized that in order to write longer books, I needed the luxury of uninterrupted time.  Or maybe that was my excuse not to get started sooner.  In any case, when my youngest child left for college, I had that time. I launched into my first young adult novel, Where It Began, literally the day he moved out.

Q:  Are you currently working on something? If yes, can you tell us a bit about it?
 I’m working on what is turning into the mash-up of a character-driven journey of self discovery (an acutal journey, involving a junker car and Greyhound buses) and a thriller.  With two voices, male and female.  Although there is a slight chance that I’ll lose the female voice, as I am so involved in working out the character of the boy, Jack, whom I adore.

Q:  Can you tell us some random facts about yourself? are there any quirks you're willing to share to our readers? :)
 1.) Pilot pens and spiral notebooks are my most indispensible possessions.
 2.) I am addicted to The Good Wife and Homeland and House of Cards and Foyle's War.  (What can I tell you?  I grew up eating grocery store chocolate cake on a TV tray in a finished basement while watching all things Disney.  You don’t get over that.)
 3.) I am the world’s cheapest drunk.  Half a beer and I’m gone.
 4.) I am a terrible small talker.  The cocktail party is my least favorite form of entertainment.
 5.) I might not like the cocktail party all that much, but I am wild for the little black dress. 

Q:  What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? the worst?
 I am not a big fan of meaning-of-life, this is the one true way, aaaaand the secret of the universe iiiiiiis [fill in the blank] type advice.  Maybe it’s my authority issues.  For me, very basic, reductionistic religious tenets work: Don’t do anything to anyone else you wouldn’t want them to do to you.  Be good to others but don’t stop sticking up for yourself.  Joy cometh in the morning.

 So I guess my advice is, don’t lose sight of what keeps civilization running and (we hope) progressing, and try not to screw it up.

 And for writing, I attribute my favorite advice to Jane Yolen. It is the basis of all finished books: Butt in chair.

 Thank you so much for visiting Teen Readers' Diary Ann!
 Thank you for having me!  I appreciate the opportunity to visit and chat with you!

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: December 31st 2013
Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle. 

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop... 

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.
You can purchase AfterParty at the following Retailers:

Author Bio
Where it Began marks the YA debut of Ann Redisch Stampler. She is the author of several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.
Follow her on these sites

3 Winners will receive a Copy of Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler.
1 Winner will receive a Complete Afterparty Swag pictured above!
1.) Emma’s Bob Marley tee shirt that her dad doesn’t approve of.
2.) Dylan’s Curt Cobain tee shirt that Emma’s dad would approve of even less if he knew where it ended up — and when…
3.) Siobhan’s gold nail polish — with a couple of other colors thrown in.
4.) Mara’s bakelite bracelets.
5.) Emma’s Roman Holiday movie poster
6.) The mother-of-pearl barrette that Siobhan takes out of Emma’s hair
7.) Emma’s Chicago snow globe
8.) Emma’s entire stash of Stila makeup
5 Winners will receive a Surprise ART Bookmark by James Vallesteros.
Must be 13+ to Enter
International Giveaway

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