Saturday, November 18, 2017

NOT NOW, NOT EVER by Lily Anderson - Read an Excerpt



NOT NOW, NOT EVER: A Novel
By Lily Anderson
Published by Wednesday Books
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
320 pages

About the book:

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.




READ AN EXCERPT

When we perfect commercial time travel, everyone in the past is going to be pissed at us. It’s not only that their quiet, sepia-toned lives will be inundated with loud-mouthed giants. And it’s not even the issue that language is a living organism, so all communication will be way more problematic than anyone ever thinks about.
     It’s jet packs.
     At some point, someone is going to ask about jet packs, and no amount of bragging about clean water and vaccines and free Wi-Fi will be able to distract them. Even if you went back before the In- dustrial Revolution, someone is going to want to know if we’ve all made ourselves pairs of Icarus wings.
     Defrost Walt Disney and he’ll ask to be put back in the fridge until Tomorrowland is real. Go back to the eighties and everyone’s going to want to know about hoverboards.
     Hell, go back to yesterday, find your own best friend, and they’d still ask, “Tomorrow’s the day we get flying cars, right?”
     People want miracles. They want magic. They want to freak- ing fly.
     Unrelated: Did you know that crossing state lines on a train is pretty much the most boring and uncomfortable thing ever?
     Despite sounding vaguely poetic, the midnight train to Oregon wasn’t much for scenery. Unfortunately, running away tends to work best in the middle of the night, especially when one’s cousins have a curfew to make and can’t wait on the platform with you.
     Twelve hours, two protein bars, and one sunrise later, the view was rolling brown fields that turned into dilapidated houses with collapsing fences and sun-bleached Fisher Price play sets. Appar- ently, the whole “wrong side of the tracks” thing wasn’t a myth. Everything the train passed was a real bummer.
     One should always have something sensational to read on the train, whispered Oscar Wilde, sounding remarkably like my stepmom. With my headphones drowning out the screech of the tracks, I reached into my backpack, pushing past the heavy stack of books and ziplock bags of half-eaten snacks, to the bottom. Tucked be- tween the yellowed pages of my battered copy of Starship Troopers was a folded square of white printer paper. I tried to smooth it over my leg, but it snapped back into its heavy creases.

     Dear Ever,

     On behalf of Rayevich College and our sister school, the Messina Academy for the Gifted, it is my great pleasure to offer you a place at Camp Onward. At Onward, you will spend three weeks learning alongside forty-seven other accomplished high school students from all over the West Coast as you prepare for the annual Tarrasch Melee. The winners of the Melee will be granted a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Rayevich College . . .

     The page was starting to wear thin in the corners from my fin- gers digging into it whenever it stopped feeling real enough. The packing list that had once been stapled to it was even worse off, high- lighted and checkmarked and underlined. I’d had to put that one inside of an N. K. Jemisin hardcover so that the extra weight could smash it flat.
     I ran my thumb over the salutation again. Dear Ever.
     I shivered, remembering how my hands had trembled as I’d read those words for the first time, stamped to the front of an envelope with the Rayevich seal in the corner. It meant that everything had worked. It meant that freedom was as simple as a checked box on an Internet application.
     The train lurched to a stop. I shoved the note back inside of Star- ship Troopers and popped out my headphones just in time to hear the conductor’s garbled voice say, “Eugene station.”
     I staggered down to the platform, my laptop case and my back- pack weighing me down like uneven scales. I sucked in fresh air, not even caring that it tasted like cement and train exhaust. It was cooler here than it was back home. California asphalt held in heat and let it off in dry, tar-scented bursts.
     Oregon had a breeze. And pine trees. Towering evergreens that could have bullied a Christmas tree into giving up its lunch money. We didn’t get evergreens like that at home. My neighborhood was lined in decorative suburban foliage. By the time I got back, our oak tree would be starting to think about shedding its sticky leaves on the windshield of my car.
     As a new wave of passengers stomped onto the train, I retrieved the massive rolling suitcase that Beth had ordered off of the Inter- net for me. It was big enough to hold a small person, as my brother had discovered when he’d decided to use it to sled down the stairs.
     I’d miss that little bug.
     There were clusters of people scattered across the platform, some shouting to each other over the dull roar of the engine. I watched an old woman press two small children into her bosom and a hipster couple start groping each other’s cardigans.
     In the shade of the ticket building, a light-skinned black guy had his head bowed over his cell phone. His hair was shorn down to his scalp, leaving a dappling of curl seedlings perfectly edged around his warm brown temples. He was older than I was, definitely college age. He had that finished look, like he’d grown into his shoulders and gotten cozy with them. A yellow lanyard was swinging across the big green D emblazoned on his T-shirt.
     “Hey,” I called to him, rolling my suitcase behind me. My laptop case swayed across my stomach in tandem with my backpack scrap- ing over my spine, making it hard not to waddle. “Are you from Rayevich?”
     The guy looked up, startled, and shoved his phone into the pocket of his jeans. He swept forward, remembering to smile a minute too late. All of his white teeth gleamed in the sunshine.
     “Are you Ever?” His smile didn’t waver, but I could feel him processing my appearance. Big, natural hair, baggy Warriors T-shirt, cutoff shorts, clean Jordans. Taller than him by at least two inches.
     “Yeah,” I said. And then, to take some of the pressure off, “You were looking for a white girl, right?”
     His smile went dimply in the corners, too sincere to be pervy. “I’m happy to be wrong.”
     “Ever Lawrence,” I said, hoping that I’d practiced it enough that it didn’t clunk out of my mouth. It was strange having so few sylla- bles to get through. Elliot Gabaroche was always a lot to dump on another human being.
     “Cornell Aaron,” the college boy said, sticking his hand out. He had fingers like my father’s, tapered, with clean, round nails. I spent the firm two-pump handshake wondering if he also got no-polish manicures. “I’ll be one of your counselors at Onward. It’s a quick drive from here.”
     He took the handle of my suitcase without preamble and led the way toward the parking lot. I followed, my pulse leaping in the same two syllables that had wriggled between the folds of my brain and stamped out of my shoes and pumped through my veins for months.
     Bunbury.
     It was a stupid thing to drive you crazy, but here I was: running away from home in the name of Oscar Wilde.







About the author:
LILY ANDERSON is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New Release: A STEEL HEART by Amie Knight - Read an Excerpt

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A Steel Heart, an all-new sexy and emotional standalone from Amie Knight is available now.

A-Steel-Heart-PRINT-FOR-WEB

A Steel Heart by Amie Knight

Publication Date: November 9th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 
Five seconds.
A deafening blast. Pain. Silence.
That was all it took for an IED to end my life as I knew it. The man I was shattered in a hard wave of sound and debris that rained down on me like death itself.
And six months later, after waking up to an inescapable hell, I found myself wishing that death had found me.
Until her.
Miranda Jacobs swept into my life like a cool breeze on a smoldering day.
With her smart mouth and her ridiculous jokes, she brought me back to life one minute at a time.
Turned out time wasn’t on our side.
Five seconds.
Screams. Twisted metal. Silence.
And I’d lost it all again—only this time, I had no one to blame but myself.

Read an Excerpt:

“What are you doing today?” my friend Ainsley asked through the cell phone that was pressed to my ear with my shoulder. My hands were busy holding open a piece of the blinds so I could look out the front window.
           I gave her a distracted answer. “You know, the usual. Edits and whatnot.” I tilted my head to the side to get a better view out the window and almost dropped the phone. Holy hotness.
           “Why do you sound like that?”
           “Like what?”
           “Distracted.” Ainsley sucked in a breath. “Oh my God. It’s nine a.m. Are you neighbor stalking again?”
           I snapped the blinds closed and backed away from the window. “No. Of course not. Why would I do that?”
           “You told me you weren’t going to do that anymore.”
I thought we’d already established I was a liar.
           I stepped back toward the window because I couldn’t help myself, obviously a glutton for freaking punishment. But this was the only time of day I saw him besides when he left in his big, black truck at three in the afternoon on the dot, and I didn’t want to miss a thing. I cradled the phone with my shoulder again, pushed the blinds apart with my hands, and pressed my face to the windowpane like the creepy stalker I was. And there he was. Every gorgeous inch of him.
           He walked toward my building from across the busy downtown street like a tall glass of water on a hot day. All swagger and supreme male beauty. The kind of beauty that made a girl’s breath catch and heart pitter-patter. He pushed his dark hair off his tan forehead and the big muscles in his arms bunched.
Goosebumps broke out on my skin and I may have whispered, “Christ on a cracker.” I didn’t know his name, but I knew his schedule like the back of my hand. That wasn’t weird at all.
           “You’re a terrible liar.” She giggled. “What’s he wearing today?”
I barely heard Ainsley. Every morning when I watched this man walk down the street and toward our building, it was like just he and I existed. Slow motion. Our own sexy theme music. Nameless, ridiculously hot man and Miranda. He didn’t know it, but there was a world of our own and it was the absolute best part of my day.
           “Sunglasses. White, tight, sleeveless T-shirt. Black running pants with three white stripes down the sides. Black tennis shoes,” I said breathlessly into the phone. I left out all the good bits. Like the scowl he was wearing. It was perpetual. I’d never seen the man smile in the month he’d been living next door to me and for some reason that made me all the hotter for him. He owned that scowl. He freaking rocked it. His jaw was square and clean-shaven. His mouth flat. He was a giant of a man. Well over six feet. His chest was wide, his arms thick and imposing. Dog tags jangled from a silver necklace around his neck, letting me know he was military of some sort. I’d never seen his eyes, but I knew they were going to be stunning. Everything about him was. Not even the slight limp in his gait as he made his way across the street took away from his godlike beauty. I could’ve eaten him with a spoon.
 
ASteelHeart-AN

Read Today!!!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2yrxA7H

About Amie Knight:

Amie Knight has been a reader for as long as she could remember and a romance lover since she could get her hands on her momma's books. A dedicated wife and mother with a love of music and makeup, she won’t ever be seen leaving the house without her eyebrows and eyelashes done just right. When she isn't reading and writing, you can catch her jamming out in the car with her two kids to '90s R&B, country, and showtunes. Amie draws inspiration from her childhood in Columbia, South Carolina, and can't imagine living anywhere other than the South. 
  AmieKnight

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: SAVING IT by Monica Murphy






SAVING IT
by Monica Murphy
Publication Date: November 6, 2017
Published by Entangled Publishing
Pages: 276
Source: Publisher | Netgalley
Purchase Amazon | B&N






Synopsis

Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that…

Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing…with anyone but her.



My Thoughts

I read a lot of friends to more books. It is one of my favorite tropes. Check out my reading list if you don’t believe me. That’s why I wanted to read SAVING IT and it is one of the reasons that I liked it. I loved the friendship between Eden and Josh - their easiness, their familiarity with each other. Like their best friends and family, and practically anyone who was around them, I wondered when they were going to figure out.

I do have say that Josh’s reasoning for wanting to lose his virginity irritated me.
Why does Josh worry so much about having sex? Why does he worry what his friends think? Just because he can’t talk about his experiences with his friends, and he feels left out, he wants to have sex. I didn’t buy it. And the more we get to know about him, his words didn’t reflect his actions. He was the relationship kind of guy. He was about more than just the casual hook up. He just needed to figure that out.

Overall, I liked SAVING IT. I liked how the author portrayed the friendships, the relationships, and even the jealousy of friends how beginning to see what was right in front of them all along. I’m glad that Eden and Josh were able to finally figure it out. They might not have been each other’s first love, but they did experience some other firsts together - and it was sweet and authentic and awkward and real.



Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. 

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA. 

Connect with Monica:

We have NEW OUT OF LINE Books!!! Check out these covers!

GUYS! This is not a drill. I repeat, this is NOT a drill!!


Some of you might remember the OUT OF LINE series (rich girl goes to college, falls for "bad boy" surfer, finds out he's not what he seems). Some of you might not (and that's okay, too, because this book can be picked up without it). Those of us who remember it, get ready to squeal because despite Jen McLaughlin saying she was done writing books for Finn and Carrie...

THEY'RE BACK!

That's right, our Christmas present from Jen this year is here early, and it's a Christmas novella with Finn and Carrie, baby. Santa must've heard we've been good, because this novella is only $.99, and it's the perfect way to start our holiday season off jussssst right.

Check out this awesome cover and blurb:

ill be home

I'll be Home for Christmas: an Out of Line novella
Out November 21, 2017

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 Nothing could make me leave my family alone for Christmas—except maybe my father-in-law. I swore to Carrie I’d make it home in time, and I’m keeping that promise. One way or another… I’ll be home for Christmas.   Some promises can’t be kept, and sometimes things just don’t work out. Finn is my world, my life. But when my worst nightmares come true, I’m faced with the impossible truth. Without him… I'm lost.  


As if that's not enough to get us all excited, there's ANOTHER book out in a week, this one a full length novel with side characters--another standalone romance for us to enjoy for only $2.99! 

TWO Out of Line books in one week!

Check it out:

on the line


On the Line: an Out of Line novel
Out November 28, 2017

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 Coming home… I’ve hated Ben Rollins ever since he broke my heart in high school. I’ve never fully recovered from it…even though I ran away as far as I could. Now I’ve returned home, fleeing something worse than I could have ever imagined. When our Captain partners us up together, I’m forced to realize that what I feel for him isn’t hate at all. It’s far worse. Second chances… Sarah’s the one who got away. She never really explained her abrupt departure from my life, but to be honest, I no longer give a damn. What we’d once had was dead, and now I’m stuck with her at my side permanently, no matter how I feel about it. But when the truth comes out, and old secrets are unburied, being thrown together becomes so much more than a second chance…it becomes life or death. And we have no intention of losing.
***
 
Get those pre-order fingers clicking, and start your holidays off right...
With Finn Coram.

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

JenM

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

FIND HER HERE:

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

New Release: SAVING IT by Monica Murphy

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Saving It, an all-new YA romance from Monica Murphy is available NOW!

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Saving It by Monica Murphy

Release Date: November 6th, 2017

Genre: YA Romance


Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that…

Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing…with anyone but her.

Savingit-AN.jpg

Read Today!

Google Play➜ http://bit.ly/2yRjGjq
Add to GoodReads http://bit.ly/2ypv1Hk

6 every time.jpg

About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. 

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she's not writing, she's reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She's a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

THE THING WITH FEATHERS by McCall Hoyle - Author Q&A


THE THING WITH FEATHERS
by McCall Hoyle
Published by Blink YA Books
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

About THE THING WITH FEATHERS

Award-winning author McCall Hoyle tackles illness and YA romance with her captivating novel, The Thing with Feathers. As a high school teacher, Hoyle is acutely aware of the struggles young girls face, and her new book takes a candid look into this world of insecurity, young love, disability, and conquering fear.

Sixteen-year-old Emilie Day is not like the other girls from her town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Because of her epilepsy, she’s been homeschooled and would rather be reading classic literature than be the center of attention. Ever since her father’s death and her diagnosis, risk has not been in Emilie’s vocabulary. Unfortunately, all the safety she’s built for herself is about to be stripped away when, on her doctor’s recommendation, Emilie is sentenced to spend her junior year at North Ridge High School.

Emilie doesn’t plan to stay...or tell anyone about her epilepsy. But Emilie isn’t banking on meeting new friends or getting to know the handsome and charming Chatham York. And she definitely isn’t counting on falling for him. Chatham challenges Emilie to face her fears—but he doesn’t know what she dreads most is a public grand mal seizure.

The winds of change are shifting in Emilie’s life, and there’s nothing she can do to stop them. Emilie must decide whether she will find a way out from her new life or take a risk and accept high school’s classes, cliques, and crushes.


Purchase links:



A Q&A with McCall Hoyle, author of The Thing with Feathers

1. What inspired you to write The Thing with Feathers?

As a teacher and mom, I observe so many teenage girls hiding their true selves from their peers. So I wanted to write a hopeful story about a girl learning to a accept herself for who she was. I taught a student whose family was greatly impacted by her sister’s epilepsy and learned about the unique challenges of living with a covert disability that isn’t immediately visible to strangers and acquaintances.

I also love dogs. By chance, my family inherited a golden retriever who was bred to do service work. The dog was more human than many humans. I began working with this amazing dog training him for agility and obedience. I became fascinated by golden retrievers and assistant dogs and did a tremendous amount of research and reading about service dogs and the people they love. I was especially intrigued by seizure alert dogs as seizure alerting cannot truly be taught and is greatly affected by the bond between the owner and dog.

I knew I had to write a story about a girl with epilepsy learning to love herself unconditionally the way her golden retriever did.

2. What is behind the title?
The title is a line from a well-known Emily Dickinson poem. She writes: “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers; that perches in the soul; “ When the title came to me, I knew it was perfect. Everything about this book and about Emilie, the main character, is about learning to find hope even in the most difficult circumstances. And reading poetry and studying Emily Dickinson have a major impact on Emilie’s emotional arc in this story. Thankfully, my agent, editor, and publisher also agreed the title was perfect. I don’t personally think a title is going to make or break a book, but I love a nice title—especially one that’s somehow connected to the theme of the book and that readers have to uncover the meaning of for themselves. And I think this title does just that.

3. As a writer, was it difficult to combine romantic elements with the exploration of Emilie’s condition?
This is an excellent question. First, I wanted this to be Emilie’s story. I wanted it to be a story of strength and resilience and hope. I did not want the romance to overshadow Emilie’s emotional growth. But in my experience, relationships are a central part of who we are. We’re constantly starting, developing, and ending relationships. Emilie’s story is about opening up, taking risks, and learning to hope. Taking a risk on friendship and first love were a natural part of her growth as a human being. I feel like it worked. Epilepsy is a big part of Emilie’s life, but it’s not her entire life. She’s a perfectly average teenage girl. Yes, she has epilepsy, but she’s also dealing with all the things teenage girls deal with including boys.

4. Do you feel like your book depicts a pretty realistic view of what life is like for a teen with an illness or a disability?
I’ve taught middle school and high school for twelve years. I’ve raised a teenage daughter, and I was a teenage girl. On an average day, I spend more time with teenagers than with adults. Also, I experienced some of the greatest trials of my life during my teenage years. It’s actually frighteningly easy for me to put myself in the mindset of teenage girls. So I feel really confident about the teenage girl part.

As far as living with epilepsy is concerned, I interviewed several students who either have epilepsy or love someone with epilepsy. I also did lots and lots of research and had several parents of children with epilepsy read the book. Because there are so many types of epilepsy and types of seizures, almost everyone who has epilepsy has a unique story.

Emilie struggles with managing the challenges of her epilepsy and her seizures, but in my experience, most teenage girls are struggling. When I write, whether it’s about a girl with epilepsy, or a girl struggling with grief, or a girl struggling with body image issues, I try to tap into the emotions I’ve experienced in similar situations and write from those emotions. And above all, I aim for honesty. I want teenage girls to know that no matter how flawed they feel, there is a place for all of us. And there is always room to hope.

5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Emilie’s story?
Any interesting facts that you found out in your research? As I said, I’ve been fascinated with service dogs for years and have worked with students with epilepsy and their families for years. I also mentioned Emily Dickinson’s poetry plays a central role in the book and in my main character’s emotional development.

Emilie, the protagonist of The Thing with Feathers, must complete a research project on Emily Dickinson for her English class. I’m an American Literature teacher and thought I knew a lot of the basics about Dickinson as a reclusive poet, but I still needed to verify things like when she died, where she went to school, etc. In the process, I came across a biography published in 2011 that hypothesized based on several poetry references that she suffered from a disability of her own and went on to explain that the disability could very possibly have been epilepsy or some type of seizure disorder.

I don’t think anyone will ever be able to confirm this one way or another, but it certainly added to the already growing connection between Emily the poet and Emilie my main character.

6. How you do think this book will open dialogue among teens about mental health and disability awareness?
I hope that The Thing with Feathers will open dialogue concerning the invisible and covert nature of mental health issues and a wide variety of other illnesses. Mostly, I want teenagers to realize that growing up can be really painful but really beautiful as well. I want all of us to remember that just because someone doesn’t wear an illness, or disability, or emotional wound on the outside doesn’t mean she isn’t carrying one on the inside. Mostly, I wish we would all learn to be a little gentler and kinder with one another and with ourselves.

7. Is this your first book? If so, do you have advice for anyone trying to write their first?
This is my first book. My advice isn’t flashy or groundbreaking. It’s just good, old common sense. You have to commit to writing pretty much every day--butt in seat is what I tell myself. Even if I sit and stare at a blank white screen, I make myself sit there for a designated amount of time. Also, you have to be willing to revise, revise, revise, and revise again.

8. Do you have plans for more YA books? If so, can you share what you have coming up?

I love the Outer Banks setting of THE THING WITH FEATHERS and am working on another book that takes place on the ruggedly beautiful barrier islands of North Carolina. In this story, two teenagers with very different outlooks on life, and death, and love are trapped on the islands, cut off from the rest of the world in the face of an oncoming hurricane and have to learn to put their differences aside in order to survive.

About the Author
High school language arts teacher McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her novels. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

Find McCall Online
Author's Website: http://mccallhoyle.com/


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