A blog about the amazing things teenagers do, about writing for teens, books for teens, and occasional forays into my world and the world of publishing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cover Reveal--IF I LIE

Quick note to explain why I haven't been active in the blogsphere lately...

I had eye surgery last Friday to raise up my genetically droopy lids and for some reason it has made my vision wonky. I'm typing this on the big screen of our home computer and still having a hard time reading what I write. (Please excuse any typos.) In the meantime, my daughter just got her tonsils out, so the irony is (as my husband put it) I can't see and she can only communicate by writing it down or through hand gestures. We make a great pair.

The weird thing is that I can read a regular book if I hold it up to my eyes just right, so yesterday I gave up trying to do anything else and finished two books from my "to be read" pile. My eyes hurt and my head was screaming afterward, but it was worth it.

With that note, here's something to ADD to your to be read pile for next year. With all the blurry-vision fanfare I can muster (thought it deserves much better) I present the newly debuted cover for Corrine Jackson's IF I LIE:

Don't you just love it? I love the gray and the red and the couple and just everything about this cover. It says so much with so little. Here's a little about the book:

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

Fantastic plot, fantastic cover. I can't wait to read this one. Hopefully my eyes will be better by the time it comes out, AUGUST 28th 2012.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Teens Doing Great Things: Tessa the 9th Grade Book Blogger

I'm always amazed when I meet kids who are able to go above and beyond the regular craziness of teen life. I have two teens so I know how busy their lives are. I ran across From the Bookshelf of T. B. when I was sending e-mails out to bloggers about signing up for the Class of 2k12 Newsletter. I was already impressed with the reviews on her blog, then I found out she's a 9th grader! As soon as I read that, I knew I had to feature Tessa on my blog.

It was fun to turn the tables on a book blogger and interview Tessa. I found out that besides school and blogging, Tessa runs cross-country track and she got to run in the Cross Country National Championships in Florida her first year of running. Here are some other things I found out about Tessa:

1. What made you decide to start a book review blog?

My grandpa was actually the one who got me started blogging. I was with him one day and we were talking about how I wanted to get more serious about my writing. He suggested, why not start a blog? I could blog about whatever interested me and it would be a way for me to get to write more. I thought it was a fantastic idea, but I wasn’t too sure if my parents would be okay with it. They loved the idea of starting a blog as well! So, From The Bookshelf of T.B. was born, all thanks to my grandpa and my parents.

2. What's been your favorite part of doing a book blog?
The little notes of thanks I get from people. Every now and then I get a comment from someone telling me how much my reviews and suggestions have helped them, and how much they love reading now. Little things like that have made running my blog worth it.

3. What's been the hardest part of doing a book blog as a teen?
The most difficult thing by far has been the issue of time. Being a teen, school takes up most of my day, and I have cross country practice right after school which can go until late as well. By the time I get home, I usually just want to eat and go to bed. Then I’ve got homework I have to finish and try to catch up with some blog stuff. Ever since starting high school the work load has increased and teachers expect more of you. My blog has definitely suffered because of it, but school has to come first.

4. Do authors take you seriously as a book blogger and a teen?
I think that overall they do. Most of the time people don’t realize that I’m only a ninth grader, and are shocked when they find out. A lot of times the authors enjoy hearing what someone in their target audience thought of their book. A few authors have been very supportive!

5. I have a 15 year old son and a 13 year old daughter and their lives are crazy, how do you find time between homework, school and other commitments to do a book blog? How much time does your blog take up?
It’s tough. I try to catch up on reviews and blog-related things on the weekends, but even that has been hard lately. Sometimes I have cross country meets on the weekends and there just isn’t time to fit in writing reviews. Also, I tend to write reviews that are more on the longer side of the review spectrum, so it’s hard for me to just knock them out real fast and post every day. I don’t know exactly how much time my blog takes up, but it’s definitely a lot.

6. What kind of books do you enjoy reviewing?
I enjoy reading anything and everything. Books are books, whether they’re new or old, fantasy or realistic fiction, traditionally published or self-published. Each has their own story to tell. I especially enjoy reading and reviewing books that haven’t been done before, and have some “x factor” that sets them apart.

7. Do you think YA books do a good job of portraying teens today? What critiques would you give young adult authors?
I think young adult authors are capturing the essence of being a teen very well. There are some books that I’ll read and it feels as if it was written by a teen, because I can relate to the main character so well. Then again, at times it’s hard to place myself into the same situation that the main character is in. They could be in an entirely different world, or have a special power, and I might never know what it feels like to live with that. I constantly wonder if I would have made the same choices as some of these characters do if I was in their shoes. One thing that unites me and the characters within a book is the fact that despite our very different lives, we are both still teenagers trying to survive.

8. What kind of books would you like to read?
I’ve been told I have a very eclectic taste in books, but one of my favorite genres is dystopian, and lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been enjoying a lot of young adult books that are a bit edgy and take on issues that not every author would venture to write about. I tend to shy away from romance a bit more as well.

9. Anything else you'd like to say?
I’ve learned so much from blogging and have gotten to meet so many amazing people that are really passionate about what they do. The book blogging community is more supportive and accepting than I could have ever imagined. Who knew that a love of reading could set all of this in motion?

10. What is your wildest dream?

To get to have a job that I truly enjoy and not drag myself to every morning. My dream job would be a news anchor on Good Morning America and a young adult author.

10. Just for fun, pick any "bests" you’d like to share.

Best Ice Cream Flavors (According To Tessa) - Ice cream is one of the staple food groups of my diet. I could eat it all day, if only my parents would let me. These are the best ice cream flavors (according to me):

-Cookies ‘n’ Cream

-Ben and Jerry’s Stephen Colbert Americone Dream: Vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. Delicious.

-Ben and Jerry’s Jimmy Fallon Late Night Snack: Vanilla bean ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and fudge covered potato chip clusters. Don’t judge it before you’ve tasted it.

-Rainbow Sherbet

-Any ice cream with brownies

Thanks so much Tessa! You can read Tessa's fabulous reviews at From the Bookshelf of T.B. Congratulations on having a successful blog and best of luck for a future full of great things and ice cream!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blog Contest Winner!!!

It's been a crazy day. I know you don't want to hear the details. Let's leave it at, four appointments with three different offices within a six hour period is completely insane, and apparently if you have any metal surgically implanted in your leg you have to be on antibiotics for twenty-four hours before you can have any dental work done. Information I could have used before I made three of the four appointments.

Also a fortune cookie that says you have a "penchant for perfection" isn't appreciated while eating Chinese food on the road between the first trip to the dentist and the second trip to my daughter's middle school. (Really, that's more of an observation than a fortune anyway right? I mean, it didn't say anything like "you will meet a tall, dark handsome stranger" or "your wildest dreams will come true." It's kind of a fortune without direction or expectation, although I may have gotten a future blog post out of it.)

However, in the midst of the craziness I did manage to chose the winner for my critique group contest. (YAY!) I used the most scientific and unbiased method at my disposal. The highly technical selection process involved a basket, a bunch of slips of paper with the entrants' names printed on them, and a seven-year-old boy who was eating Oreos and watching TV while doing his homework. (Did I mention it's been a crazy day?)

Anyway... without further ado my blog contest winner is:

Bonnie Harris!

Yay! Congratulations! *throws confetti*

I'll be in touch with you to set up your critique with my fabulous critique group for next month.


I'm so excited, this Friday I get to share my interview with Tessa, a ninth grade blogger who has a fabulous book blog, From the Bookshelf of T.B. Check out Tessa's actual teen reviews of actual Young Adult books and then come back here on Friday to find out about her secret life or how she manages to blog and handle high school.

Stay tuned...