I haven’t been here in awhile, I know. I started a new job and had to take a step back from the reviewing. Good news is I am still reading a ton of YA and I feel the need to pop by to let you guys know what I’ve enjoyed, so stay tuned…
Title: Secrets and Lies
Series: Truth or Dare #2
Author: Jacquelin Green
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Summary: Can you keep a secret?
Tenley Reed and Sydney Morgan have never seen eye to eye — until now. United by a common goal, they are determined to find out who was behind their friend’s murder. Joined by Emerson Cunningham, a gorgeous but troubled teen model, the girls start their own investigation. But in the isolated beach town of Echo Bay, it’s hard to know who’s a friend and who’s an enemy.
Secrets and Lies is the second book in the Truth or Dare series — and will keep readers in suspense from beginning to end.
I love that your covers have had a monochromatic theme. Did you have any input over the covers or colors?
I worked in book publishing before becoming a writer, and one of the things that most surprised me about the industry was how little say most writers have over the covers of their books. Yes, you can usually request a tweak here or there, but the true substance and design of the cover is almost always entirely in the hands of the publisher. Which, as you can imagine, is terrifying!
So when I first saw the cover for Truth or Dare, the first book in my trilogy, I felt like I’d been handed a winning lottery ticket. And Secrets and Lies didn’t disappoint either. Both covers have been stunning and eye-catching and such accurate representations of the books–and those colors! I totally agree that I love the theme. So no, I didn’t have much input on the covers, but in this case I’m glad–because I could never have down it better myself!
Did you always plan on writing a series or has it evolved from what you originally intended?
I always intended for this to be a series. I loved the idea of a trilogy working like a puzzle: more and more pieces revealed with each book, until finally, it all fits together at the end.
Do you have any weird writing quirks (listening to a particular kind of music, drinking something specific, etc)?
I wish I could say that I’m exceedingly normal and have no writing quirks at all…but that would be a lie. First, I have to start my writing day with a vanilla chai latte, the more sugary the better. I’ve been known to travel far and wide to accomplish this. (And yes: my coffee shop destinations are pretty much solely based on the quality of their chai.)
Okay, that was just a warm-up. Here’s the really weird one: I like I write on my phone while walking around. I use a great writing app: iA Writer. I literally just stroll around my neighborhood typing away on my phone, looking to any casual passerby like a crazy, obsessive texter. I think I should start wearing a sign: I’m writing a book; I swear!
Chick Loves Lit is thrilled to welcome back the amazing Emmy Laybourne, this time with a Q&A!
I’m so happy to be back here at Chick Loves Lit. Shanyn Day is one of my very favorite bloggers – she’s always willing to help writers out. And we need all the help we can get!
1. The covers for your MONUMENT 14 books are very intense. Did you have any input on them? Were you imagining anything in particular while you were writing?
When my editor Jean Feiwel took me out to lunch to celebrate our deal, I doodled for her the image of five kids watching the black storm cloud spill upwards into the sky. The brilliant Rich Deas took that sketch as a starting point for the cover of MONUMENT 14. You can imagine that that was a nice little ego-boost for me!
But I have to say that I think the covers for SKY ON FIRE and SAVAGE DRIFT are better. When I’m doing the type of book event where I’m sitting at a table with the books laid out in front of me, people pick up SKY ON FIRE every time! There’s something about that school buss that grabs them. (I haven’t done any events yet with SAVAGE DRIFT – it’ll be interesting to see which one people pick up when all three are there!)
Of the three, I think the cover for SAVAGE DRIFT is my favorite. The images are by Kathleen Breitenfeld. The background of the cover gives a sense of danger and ruin while the figure at the gate perfectly captures the cagey restlessness that runs through the book.
2. Did you always envision MONUMENT 14 as a trilogy, or did it evolve to that after you started writing?
Macmillan initially bought two books, but asked me to make it a trilogy when they saw how readers were connecting with the first book. I was relieved to make it into three books, because I hated the fact that Josie got left behind at the end of book two. I wanted to tell her story, and once Macmillan asked me to write the third book, Josie kind of broke free in my mind. I found out that she really, REALLY wanted to tell her story. And she was pissed.
3. You’ve done acting, been a playwright, and now are a young adult author. What did you actually want to be while you were growing up?
I’m not kidding. Despite the fact that I was allergic to rabbits, cats and most other mammals, I had a bone-deep love for animals that no quantity of Benadryl could diminish.
4. Can you tell us more about SWEET?
Yes, with delight!
I’m so excited about SWEET. Every day, when I sit down to write, it’s a big adventure. The characters keep doing this crazy stuff that I’m not entirely prepared for (like, um, kissing each other!). SWEET is a YA thriller about a celebrity-studded luxury cruise to promote a new diet sweetener that goes first comically, then tragically, then terrifyingly wrong. It will be out next year at this time!
That’s it for today. Thanks again, Shanyn, for having me over – and for these excellent questions!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – On my website: www.emmylaybourne.com,
Good old Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Monument14
Or on the Twitter @emmylaybourne.
There are a ton of giveaways all over the place during this blog tour, so if you like free books, get the full schedule at my website emmylaybourne.com and follow along!
Title: Savage Drift
Series: Monument 14 #3
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Summary: The stunningly fierce conclusion to Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14 trilogy.
The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.
But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.
Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.
Author Emmy Laybourne reaches new heights of tension and romance in this action-packed conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy.
Title: The Boyfriend Thief
Author: Shana Norris
Publisher: The Studio at Paper Lantern Lit
Publication Date: March 24, 2014
Summary: Avery James doesn’t believe in romance—she’s studied enough biology to know that love is nothing more than hormones and chemicals. Besides, she has more practical goals in mind, namely saving up for a summer humanitarian program in Costa Rica. But when her Diggity Dog House supervisor denies her a raise and Avery finds herself $500 dollars short for the trip of a lifetime, Avery has no choice but to accept an unexpected offer. The deal? She must steal her arch nemesis Hannah’s boyfriend before prom, giving Avery eleven days to seduce Zac Greeley.
Avery is sure the job will be easy. But a few midnight comedy shows and spontaneous dance parties (not to mention one particularly intimate carwash) later, Avery finds herself questioning everything she’s ever thought about love. Could Zac’s signature cherry-lime Slurpees be causing brain freeze, or is Avery actually starting to fall for him?
Will Avery be able to steal Zac away from Hannah before he steals Avery’s heart?
Author Bio: Most days, Shana Norris still feels like she’s stuck at sixteen, which is probably why she enjoys writing about teens. Thankfully, she’s never had to work as a giant hot dog, but she did work at a locksmith shop making keys for six months. She currently lives in a small town in eastern North Carolina with her husband and small zoo of pets, which currently includes two dogs, five cats, and a flock of chickens.
The Studio is a really awesome new digital imprint from Paper Lantern Lit. This year they plan on releasing four books, and THE BOYFRIEND THIEF is lucky number one!
I actually purchased a copy of THE BOYFRIEND THIEF a few years ago, when Norris originally published it herself. It was getting great reviews then, especially because my favorite genre is contemporary YA, so I am really happy that it is getting released again with a new cover!
The story is fun, and I think this is really evident from the book summary that you read above. It’s written in that clever style, and is a really solid contemporary YA book. You’ll find yourself really enjoying the characters, and feeling satisfied when you finish. If you’re looking for a cute contemporary, this is one you definitely should have on your list!
Make it Count by Megan Erickson
MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson kicks off the lighthearted, funny, and sexy Bowler University series! Readers will love the fresh new series filled with laughter and lots of fun in this debut novel!
Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new college math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?
Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends–both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.
Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…
But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To MAKE IT COUNT, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.
Avon Romance: http://avonromance.com/book/
Author website: http://meganerickson.