#Sweet Blog Tour: Author Q&A and Giveaway

We are SUPER excited to have Emmy Laybourn answering Qs about her latest book, SWEET. A story about a celebrity cruise to help promote the launch of a new weight loss product that goes terribly wrong. You can read Pixie's 4 "leaf" review HERE where she called it a "comedic horror story" that was "an edge of your seat, could not put down, up all night read"

What kind of research did you have to do for SWEET? Did you come across anything that was too crazy for you to use?
Ha! Too crazy? Never! One of the interesting things I got to read about was Hollywood Fauxmances - you know, the relationships between pop or movie stars that no one is ever quite certain are legit. When I started to research whether or not these occur, I felt like I was reading conspiracy theories! One site showed photos of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart looking sad while in each other’s company and from their body language decided the two weren’t really a couple. That strikes me as a bit far fetched, but I decided that, in the world of SWEET, anyway, these arranged romances are a real thing.

One of the lead characters in the book, Tom Fiorelli, who is a former child star and is now basically a young, hot Ryan Seacrest, is cornered by his publicist and his producer. They try to talk him into an arranged romance with Sabbi Ribiero, a Brazilian heiress and the star of a reality TV show about wealthy young Manhattanites called Teens of New York. (I really want someone to make that show, btw. And give me a producer credit, please.) Tom is conflicted. It would be good for his image - he’s suffering from a catastrophic break up with a teen pop star who leaked private voice-mails to TMZ. But on the other hand, Tom is really falling for a girl he’s met on the ship (That’s our heroine, Laurel!).

Do these arranged romances really happen? I feel like they do - and researching it was really fun.

You list the ingredients of the weight loss drug, what was the most addictive ingredient or was it the combination of things that caused the problem?
Here’s another place where google helped me out! Neither of the ingredients I list in SWEET, bitter candyfruit and bacopa (which I think I found by searching for something like: plants that are naturally sweet) are particularly addictive. It would have been the combination that makes Solu so addictive. Or perhaps there was an accident at the manufacturing plant. Who knows, another substance could have been added by accident…

If you won a spot on a promotional cruise, would you take it and what kind of cruise would it most likely be?
I would love to go on a cruise to Scandinavia to see the Viking hordes! My next project is set in 1880’s Dakota territories and involves Norwegian immigrants with ancient Viking superpowers, so I’d really love to get to see the relics of the ancient Norse in person. The book is tentatively titled, BERSERKER, and should be out… oh… around Fall, 2016!

The end of SWEET leaves it open for more crazy to come. Will we be getting a follow-up book?
Right now there are no plans for a sequel. In fact, the next books I’ll be writing are probably books two and three of the Berserker trilogy, but… I would like to see what happens when Tom and Laurel are flown to the White house to be de-briefed by the Director the National Security - only to be trapped there when Day 4 of Solu symptoms hits!

Spine Out is an awesome new program you've created. Can you give our readers a bit of info on this new way to experience our favorite authors?
Oh thank you! I’m really excited about Spine Out. It’s a new live literary event where novelists read personal essays.

Right now we’re having the shows four times a year. Our first one, in March, featured Leigh Bardugo, Matt de la Péna, David Levithan and RL Stine! It was truly one of the most fun evenings of my life. My partners in presenting the shows are Susanna Einstein, of Einstein Literary Management, and Dixon place, a non-profit arts institution on the Lower East Side of Manhattan - with a full bar!

Our next show is on Thursday, June 18 at 7:30 PM and features Gayle Forman, Daniel José Older, Margo Rabb, Abby Sher and Eliot Schrefer. I host the shows and also perform. Look, I’m not overselling, I promise- the shows are really special. If you can make it to NYC, come join us and see for yourself.


Note from Emmy:
Thanks again for having me here. I’d love to know what you think about SWEET! You can connect with me on twitter or instagram @EmmyLaybourne. Or sign up for my mailing list here and get all the news about the Monument 14 trilogy and SWEET - and have access to exclusive giveaways: emmylaybourne.fanbridge.com
You can also learn more about Emmy Laybourne and all of her books at emmylaybourne.com

Thanks to Macmillan, we have a copy of Sweet to giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. The giveaway is open to US and Canada only and all of our other standard rules apply.

Full Blog Tour Schedule
May 19-MacTeenBooks Blog
May 20-Fiktshun
May 21- Working for the Mandroid
May 22- The Young Folks
May 23-Adventures of a Book Junkie
May 24-The Irish Banana
May 24-Exlibris Kate
May 25-Love At First Page
May 26- Ray Kay Books
May 27-Page Turners Blog
May 28-Bibliophilia Please
May 29-Reading Nook Reviews
May 30-Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
May 31-Tales of the Ravenous Reader
June 1-Dark Faerie Tales
June 2- Swoony Boys Podcast
June 3- All the Write Notes


Off The Page Review

Title: Off The Page
Author: Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Release: May 2015 by Delacorte Press
From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and co-writer, Samantha van Leer, comes OFF THE PAGE, a tender and appealing romantic YA novel filled with humor, adventure, and magical relationships.

Sixteen-year-old Delilah is finally united with Oliver—a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale. There are, however, complications now that Oliver has been able to enter the real world. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to take Oliver’s role in Delilah’s favorite book. In this multilayered universe, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, but all must be resolved for the characters to live happily ever after. Includes twelve full-color illustrations, and black-and-white decorations throughout.

Full of humor and witty commentary about life, OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as a companion to the authors’ bestseller Between the Lines, and is perfect for readers looking for a fairytale ending. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot are sure to appreciate this novel about love, romance, and relationships.
Off The Page is a quirky follow up/companion to Between the Lines; you do not need to read Between the Lines to pick up Off the Page, it covers the first story perfectly and stands hilariously on its own.

Picking up shortly after the end of Between the Lines - Oliver(fictional prince) was pulled out of his story and replaced by Edgar. Oliver has been living in the real world for around 3 months now, learning to fit in as an American teenager from Delilah. No matter how much she coaches him - she knows, nothing can really prepare him for high school.  Oliver in high school, are some of the funniest scenes I have read in a long time.

Oliver was able to convince Edgar's mom (she thinks Oliver is her son) to move closer to the girl he loves - Delilah & Oliver are trying to live their "happily ever after"; but things do not go as planned. For one, Oliver is clueless when it comes to the opposite sex - he thinks he is being polite but Delilah does not see it that way. She is also having to compete for his attention - now that he is a "real boy" he is making friends and wants to hang out with them too. Their biggest issue is when Oliver gets a message from the book-COME HOME. Edgar may have agreed to rewrite the story and switch places with Oliver; but he didn't realize he would just be sitting here bored out of his mind. Since the switch no one has picked up the book, his story cannot be told. This isn't what he signed up for - he wanted adventures and freedom.

If you are a fan of Jodi's writing you are going to enjoy Off The Page  - it has her trademark "emotional pull" blended with a younger funnier vibe. Off The Page is a cute quirky read. Great for a sitting around the pool this summer.


Bone Gap Review

Title: Bone Gap
Author: Laura Ruby
Release: March 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.
Bone Gap is a magically wonderful confusing wild roller-coaster ride and I loved every minute of it and want to hop back on again. I listened to Bone Gap, and I am wanting to read an actual copy because I had trouble understanding a few areas and even when I would repeat them over and over it felt like I was missing something. The confusing areas did not take anything away from this amazing tale it actually enhanced the journey of finding/saving Rosa.

The City of Bone Gap - has these "areas/gaps" an alternate universe of sorts; this is one of the elements that make it a little confusing, the other is past and present pov's being juxtaposed. Finn is the main character of our story but Bone Gap is narrated by multiple points of view. Finn O' Sullivan is the towns socially inept kid - they call him "moon man, space face - among other things". Finn witnessed his friend Rosa being kidnapped, only he did not realize it was a kidnapping until it was too late. Finn cannot remember what Rosa's kidnapper looked like and since he can't identify the person responsible, no one believes Rosa was kidnapped - they think he helped her run away. Even his older brother Sean who is madly in love with Rosa doesn't believe Finn's story; this is really hard on Finn. Sean is his hero and he thinks Sean hates him now. He won't help Finn look for Rosa. Finn's life has pretty much flipped upside down, twisted in a tornado and ran over by a Mack truck since Rosa was kidnapped. All of these weird things start happening - their farm is dying, "magical" animals showing up and his relationship with the towns "ugly bee girl" is put under a microscope. Why is he with her, will he hurt her, is he ashamed of her? A lot of it is just small town gossip that gets Finn worked up and he has a hard time understanding what is going on around him, making logical decisions and coping. Finn has one mission, find Rosa.

Rosa's story is another main pov and the other povs are smaller glimpses of what is going on in Bone Gap. I tend to not like multiple points of view, but with this story it worked well, it helped you see the story as a whole and not just this little sliver of  Finn's story line. For instance (this is a little spoilery - something is obviously wrong with Finn, but he doesn't have a label for his problems. His girlfriend thinks she may know what is wrong with him, so as she is putting the pieces together, so are we; if it was just Finn's pov, we would get the part she confronts him but not how she figured it all out).

Bone Gap is definitely on my favorite reads this year, it has everything I love in good book; it's mysterious, intriguing, heartbreaking and at times laugh out loud funny.


Book of Life Paperback Giveaway #ad

The All Souls Trilogy has fast become one of my favorite all time series. It has an amazing world that I can never get enough of and I've loved every minute of time I've spent getting to know the characters. The final book in the trilogy, The Book of Life (full review) will be out in Paperback May 26th, and we're excited to bring you some extra goodies to celebrate.

I did all three books of the trilogy on audiobook. They are AMAZINGLY well done and the narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, is just perfect. Penguin loaded excerpts from all three audiobooks up on Soundcloud, enjoy checking them out, they are great for long time fans to live the story again, or to experience them for the first time.

And we have a few more goodies for you. Deborah Harkness, author of the All Souls Trilogy, created a Spotify playlist for The Book of Life. Penguin recently did a Q&A with Harkness.  Here are a few questions from the Q&A. 

In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research. What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book! 
There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some of those questions were answered alchemically. Today, they might be answered biochemically and genetically. In the future? Who knows. But Matthew is right in suggesting that there are really remarkably few scientific questions and we have been posing them for a very long time. Two of them are: who am I? why am I here?

Much of the conflict in the book seems to mirror issues of race and sexuality in our society, and there seems to be a definite moral conclusion to THE BOOK OF LIFE. Could you discuss this? Do you find that a strength of fantasy novels is their ability to not only to allow readers to escape, but to also challenge them to fact important moral issues? 
Human beings like to sort and categorize. We have done this since the beginnings of recorded history, and probably well back beyond that point. One of the most common ways to do that is to group things that are “alike” and things that are “different.” Often, we fear what is not like us. Many of the world’s ills have stemmed from someone (or a group of someones) deciding what is different is also dangerous. Witches, women, people of color, people of different faiths, people of different sexual orientations—all have been targets of this process of singling others out and labeling them different and therefore undesirable. Like my interest in exploring what a family is, the issue of difference and respect for difference (rather than fear) informed every page of the All Souls Trilogy. And yes, I do think that dealing with fantastic creatures like daemons, vampires, and witches rather than confronting issues of race or sexuality directly can enable readers to think through these issues in a useful way and perhaps come to different conclusions about members of their own families and communities. As I often say when people ask me why supernatural creatures are so popular these days: witches and vampires are monsters to think with.

A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and Shadow of Night debuted at #1. What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for the All Souls Trilogy? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story? 
It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who have a considerable number of quirks and challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in the world of the Bishops and de Clemonts. Sometimes when I meet readers they ask me how their friends are doing—meaning Diana, or Matthew, or Miriam. That’s an extraordinary experience for a writer.

Thanks to Penguin, we have a giveaway to go along with this celebration. One (1) winner will get a paperback copy of The Book of Life and some fun All Souls Trilogy Swag. The giveaway is being sent from Penguin, so the giveaway is open to US only and our other standard rules apply. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.


Maze Runner: First Trailer from The Scorch Trials

We received this press release from 20th Century Fox and OOOOOOMGOOOODNESS, we are so excited to see the next installment of "Maze Runner".
20th Century Fox is excited to debut the highly anticipated FIRST trailer for the upcoming film, MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS! In this next chapter of the epic "Maze Runner" saga, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Check out the trailer below and get ready for the action-packed adventure to hit theaters on September 18, 2015.

Click below and see the very first trailer from "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials":

#EveryLastWord Giveaway

Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: June 2015 from Disney Hyperion
If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.
About the Author:
Tamara Ireland Stone (TamaraIrelandStone.com) is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which Melissa Marr praised as a "beautifully written, unique love story," and has been published in over twenty countries. A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.

Learn more on Un-Required Reading
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We are excited to bring you a giveaway of Every Last Word sponsored by Disney-Hyperion. One (1) winner will get two (2) copies of Every Last Word, one for you and one for a friend, and a $25 gift card to celebrate your friendship. This giveaway is open to US only, use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter and all of our other standard rules apply.


#TheDUFF DVD & Bluray Release Information

The DUFF will be available on Digital HD on May 26 and on Blu-ray & DVD June 9th!

Bluray & DVD Special Features:
  • The Duff Hits The Red Carpet
  • Extended Gag Reel
  • Bringing The Book To Life
  • Teen Comedies and The Duff
  • I am The Duff
  • The Duff Files: Bianca, Wesley, Madison, Jess and Casey, & The Faculty of Malloy High
Visit duffmovie.com and The DUFF on Facebook for even more DUFF fun. 

Get The DUFF on Digital HD on May 26th so you can join The DUFF Viewing Party on May 30th! Use the #TheDUFF & #DuffParty hashtag on twitter from 6 - 9 pm PDT to join in the fun.