May We Tell You Something About…Our AWESOME Contest Winners??

Reading Song of the Day: “Because I’m Awesome” by the Dollyrots


Throughout May (every now and then), we will be participating in the Blog Me MAYbe blogfest, which you can learn more about here 

Photo taken from:Gimme The Scoop

As promised, we’re here to announce the winners of the contest. First of all, thanks to those who took the time to enter and win one of TWO SIGNED copies of Jaime Reed’s Burning Emerald, the third book in the Cambion Chronicles. If you want to know more about Jaime check out last week’s contest post and an interview we did with her back in August here.


Okay, without further adieu, we are going to tell you about someone else! More precisely, TWO someone elses (yes we totally made that up). What are we going to tell you??? Well, here’e something….





JESS and MELANIE are now both winners of signed copies 

of

 Burning Emerald!


Photo Taken from VaBeachQuilter


Ladies, we will be in touch with more details soon!!! Congrats!


And for the rest of your lovelies, just to throw the question out there (and hopefully we’ll get a few responses) what kinds of contests do you all prefer?  A contest where you just comment, one that involves a form (with extra points for Twitter etc.), OR one with a creative writing assignment? Also, do you like to win free signed novels, writing utensils, candy/other edible goodies, etc? 


Thanks and your responses are greatly appreciated!

MAY We Tell You Something About…Jaime Reed (and a CONTEST!)!!

Reading Song of the Day: “People Are Strange” by The Doors

So we’ve been rather absent to our lovely blog. Instead of giving you a LONG boring list of excuses, we decided to treat you all with a CONTEST!

We’re giving away TWO copies of Jaime Reed’s Burning Emerald, Book Two of The Cambion Chronicles. If you haven’t checked out Living Violet (Book One)–umm, what are you waiting for?

Taken from dearteenme.com

As a special treat, Jaime wrote about a real life supernatural occurrence in her quaint town:

Strange Encounter by Jaime Reed




I can say that I’m a bit like the character, Sam in the respect that nothing much happens in my quiet town. With little to do, the imagination runs wild and we dream of cool stuff happening and if lucky, make a career of writing about it.


Williamsburg, VA is rich with history and everyone has at least one ghost story to share. Some of those stories have been passed down and have become a test of courage to explore on a dare. I personally don’t believe in ghosts, and I’ve never had any encounters of the paranormal except one.


When I was seventeen, a friend of mine whose father had died took me to the grave site to pay her respects. I agreed, under the assumption that this visitation would occur in the daytime, not at twelve o’clock at night. This made less sense at seventeen than it does now, but there I was, riding shotgun in her car, trekking through the more rural areas of Virginia with no streetlights or cell phone.


When we finally got to the cemetery, she kept the headlights on in the car so we could see our way through the maze of graves. She lit some candles and knelt in front of her father’s headstone. While I kept a look out for police and creepy groundskeepers, I noticed her talking to the grave. Not just a simple prayer or some fond farewell, but a full-on conversation, answering questions only she could hear and nodding her head in confirmation. Suffice to say I was thoroughly freaked out and was ready to leave. She lingered a few more minutes before we walked back to the car.


When I asked her who she was talking to, she just shrugged and said her dad. As she pulled out of the parking spot, the headlights hit the cemetery, outlining trees, grave stones and surrounding buildings. Then the lights fell on something black and almost flat against the scenery. This dark silhouette took the shape of a man and stood directly behind a headstone, the same one my friend was kneeling in front of moments ago. It didn’t move, but things that stand still can be just as frightening as things that don’t. The car turned and the headlights swept away from the grave toward the road leading out of the cemetery. Though I couldn’t see the shape any more or was even sure if what I saw had eyes, I knew beyond all logic that it was watching us leave.


I never told my friend what I saw nor did I ever return to the cemetery. It doesn’t take much to spook me, but that event was sufficient to where I now avoid cemeteries at all costs. And I sure as hell would never go there at night. Some people run toward the bazaar and crave the excitement that comes with the unexplained, but I’d rather write about it in the safety of my home…with the lights on.

 
Spooky stuff, Jaime!
 
On to the contest…all you have to do is leave your name and email address in the comments. That’s it. We’ll pick one winner at random.
 
BUT–
 
We’ll choose ANOTHER winner if you leave a comment with your own real life, spooky tale. The comment that creeps us out the most wins the other copy. Oh, yeah, AND BOTH COPIES WILL BE SIGNED!!! You have until Tuesday May 22nd at MIDNIGHT EST!
 
Again, TWO winners. Spooky comments. Let’s do this! 🙂 

MAY I Tell You Something About…Um, US?

Revealing Song of the Day: “Swagger Like Us” by M.I.A ft. Jay-z, Kanye West, and T.I.

Throughout May, we will be participating in the Blog Me MAYbe blogfest, which you can learn more about here

It’s Tuesday. And according to this blogfest that means today is all about us. Meaning, we have to talk about ourselves. If you know anything about us, we kinda don’t enjoy doing this. I don’t think most writers do. That’s why we create characters and new worlds, to escape from who we are. But, alas, we’ve joined the blogfest and we vow to follow the rules. Lucky for us, a new bloggy pal of ours tagged us awhile back. Rachel tagged us in a game of 11 questions. This is a good way to tell you something about us!




1. What are the top three books in your TBR pile?


2. Who is your top book boyfriend, dare I say husband?

Pam:  Hmm, tough one. I get book crushes like ALL the time. Right now, I’m leaning toward Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door. He’s so adorkable (wait…do people still say that?)!

Quita: Hands down Cole from Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger and Forever. Hmm, maybe not hands down b/c I loves me some Four from Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Can I have a tie?
3. If you could have written any YA book in history, which book would you choose and why?
Pam:  Goodness, another toughie. Right now, I’m leaning toward anything written by Courtney Summers, Steve Brezenoff, or Ellen Hopkins. They’re geniuses!

Quita: Omigod. So. Many. Of. Them! I can’t choose just one. There are FIVE that really stand out. I really wish I wrote Divergent, The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, Recovery Road by Blake Nelson, and What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (sorry if I cheated).

4. If you could live the life of any book heroine, who would you choose and why?

Pam:  I have a feeling that Quita’s going to agree with me, but any book written by Stephanie Perkins. She has a way of making her girls so relatable–and she brings setting to LIFE! I want to live in Paris for the first half of the year, and San Francisco for the second. 🙂

Quita: I don’t envy the lives of most of the heroines from the books that I read, and since I’m one of the last people on the planet to have read Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door, I’d have to say Anna from Anna and the French Kiss. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Paris for school and fall in love with a sexy, smart English boy?

5. Choose one: your book is a literary masterpiece with tons of critical acclaim but very, very lacklustre sales, or your book is a blockbuster of a novel with millions upon millions of copies sold but others question its quality and it is nearly universally bashed in the writing community, a la Twilight. There’s no in between choice (Nice try!)

Pam:  Yikes! No clue. On the one hand, I wouldn’t mind the money that books like Twilight would bring (being able to actually make a living from writing? Yes please!). But also, I would love for my colleagues to actually, you know, respect me. I choose John Green! His books are successful AND well loved by critics. Wait, is that cheating?

Quita: That’s just not fair! I don’t know, sometimes me and Pam both get a little over the bashing of novels like Twilight. Just because it’s not a literary masterpiece doesn’t mean it’s not a good book and that it didn’t do wonders for the YA community. So, yeah, I’d go for a book like Twilight because it changed so many people’s lives and it had a huge impact on our community.

6. If you could have a super power of any literary hero/heroine, which would you choose and why?

Pam:  Umm, next question please. (*is clueless*)

Quita: This is a hard one. I don’t really want super powers at all, but if I had to choose (from a book that I’ve read) I’d choose Briony’s power from Franny Billingsley’s Chime. Not sure why–could be because it was such an awesome book. I don’t want to explain too much, cause then I’d give away the book for those who haven’t read it.

 7. You’re stranded on a desert island with just one other person. For life. It’s a fellow author. Who is the author and why?

Pam:  I’d go with my cuz, Quita. She’s already familiar with my weird habits, and I hers. But hopefully we’d get rescued soon because we’d like…attack each other after the third or fourth day.

Quita: It would obviously be Pam. Not like I wouldn’t want to be with any of my other fellow writers, but of course I’d bring my cuz and other half b/c she might keep me sane for a day or two on the desert island. Then we’d probably kill each other…
8. You’re forced to re-live one day of your life over and over again for eternity. Which day would you choose and why?

Pam:  This is strange that this is one of the toughest questions. I’ve yet to experience the really “happy” moments–such as getting married or having a baby. It would probably be some moment with my family–or maybe when I found out that Sarah wanted to represent me. 🙂

Quita: Wow…this is a great question. I find it kind of sad to admit that I haven’t had many days that I’d like to re-live. If I had to choose one it would be the last time I was out with my dad (and the rest of the fam), having a good time dancing. 

9. If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do with your time?

Pam:  READ!! And WRITE!! Due to the day job, I have so little time for doing two of the things I love the most. And maybe peek in on some hunky celebs. Wait, is that weird…?

Quita: I would read and write all day with no interruptions. I’d also stalk the BLEEP out of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alex Pettyfer, Channing Tatum, and all the rest 😀

10. If you had to be reincarnated into an animal, which would you choose and why?

Pam:  Um, eww. Next question please…

Quita: Ugh. I hate animals–well except my dog, of course 🙂 I guess I would choose an ape or a monkey because at least they have opposable thumbs.

11. If you had to rename yourself, which name would you choose? And if you have a pen name, it doesn’t count! Pick again.

Pam:  It feels like I’ve answered this before…I think I said Nadine Hunt or Nadine Shelton. Nadine’s my middle name (which I despise, so I’m not sure why I’d use it), Hunt’s my mother’s maiden name, and Shelton’s my dad’s first name. Or maybe I’d just call myself John Green. 🙂

Quita: I would name myself Sherie (my middle name Sha-ree) Hunt. It’s a little easier than my “government” name and it will fit better on a book spine!

So, the way this is supposed to work is that we tag more of you to play along. However, we thought we’d cheat a lil’ bit (why stop now?) and open this up to ALL of you! Go ahead and play…if you dare. *insert maniacal laughter here*

Z is for…Zombies, Angels, Werewolves, And Other Things That Distract from Contemporary YA

Controversial Song of the Day: “Zombie” by The Cranberries

For the entire month of April, we’ll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 

Taken from bibliogrrrl.com

Zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, angels and demons…where does it all end?! Let’s get one thing straight, we LOVE our paranormal novels…Pam’s a big Cassandra Clare fan (like on stalker status almost) and I love the Shiver series and all, but we are contemporary lovers at heart. And sometimes, only sometimes, we feel like contemporary YA often takes a backseat to the paranormal and dystopian/apocalyptic novels out there. So, we’re ending the A-Z challenge with something that is not necessarily a controversial topic that you find in YA novels. BUT we do think that contemporary novels are often overlooked for several bigger and larger concept books.


We write contemporary novels with real teen voices about problems that teens go through now (not saying that some of the big concept books DON’T have real teens and real teen problems), and we want these books to make a come back! 


Here are a few contemporary novels that we think are shining examples of why contemp books are AMAZING!


* Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


* The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth


* Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Let us know if we’re wrong, PLEASE! Do you think contemporary novels are just as raved about and praised as the big concept paranormal or dystopian/apocalyptic novels? 

Y is for Yearbook Superlatives: Cliches in YA

Controversial Song of the Day:  “Paper Cliche” by Action Action

For the entire month of April, we’ll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from www.ryan-patrick.com
Imagine a world where the jocks and cheerleaders rule the school. Where quiet loners are shoved into lockers at every turn. Where the rank in popularity is apparent by the seating arrangements in the cafeteria.

 

You say this world doesn’t exist anymore? I say you’re right…kind of.
 
No, the cliches from the eighties don’t exist anymore, and I think that the new 21 Jumpstreet movie does a fantastic job of proving this. It isn’t so cool to be–well, cool. The students that go against the grain are in now–the ones that love the environment and want to do well in school.

 
But only in some areas.
 

I’ve worked in public schools for six years, and let me tell you, you can walk into a classroom and notice which students are popular and which are not. It’s not always apparent. The popular kids aren’t wearing letter jackets, and the outcasts aren’t in trench coats or eyeglasses. But that divide is there–it’s just more subtle.

 

Here are some YA novels that take a look at cliques:

How do you all feel about cliches and cliques in YA? Do you think they still exist in real life?

X is for…eXams, AP Classes, and Geeks, Oh My!

Controversial Song of the Day:  “Tested and True” by Secondhand Serenade

For the entire month of April, we’ll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.


Taken from elanorascorner.blogspot.com
First of all, yes–we totally copped out on the letter “X.”
 
With that said, let me tell you something about Quita and me. We both took honor and AP classes in high school; we were both in chorus in middle school; we’d almost cry when we got a “B” on an assignment; our ideas of fun was visiting the guidance office during lunch to look at the college brochures. Were we geeks?
 
Probably.
 

But so are PLENTY of other people in high school. They study for the SATs to get a near perfect score. They play the tuba in band like its running out of style. They run for office in the Student Council Association with the same fervor as a prom queen/king campaign.

 

So where are all the novels about these students? My Project J features a very unconventional leading man. Jonah plays the trumpet, constantly speaks of his love for Harvard University, and tutors his classmates to prepare for the SATs.
 

I have heard plenty a debate about the lack of honor classes mentioned in YA novels, so I scoured the Internet to show some geek pride:

I’ll be honest…it took me a while to conjure up this list. Did I leave any novels out? Also, what are your thoughts on including “smart” or “different” characters in your writing?

*BTW, we by no means think that being smart makes you a “geek.” We just love the word. 🙂

W is for…War

Controversial Song of the Day: “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars

For the entire month of April, we’ll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating. 

Taken from nas.sagepub.com

War is definitely a topic that teens should read about. Not only to know the history of their country, but also to understand what their peers go through if they are part of the military (several teens are enlisting in the military since they can sign up when they are 17 and due to incentives like the GI Bill) and they are involved in a war. 


Not only do teens need books about war and the military because of their peers, but also because they may be the child of someone who serves in the military and may be sent to war. Pam works with several teens who are in military families and they struggle to adjust to new environments and usually act out when a parent is deployed. Having a novel they can turn to can make them feel a little more comfortable with this part of their life.


A few novels that may help them deal with either being in a military, coping during times of war, or the aftermath of war are:


* Back Home by Julia Keller


* The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen


* Out of the Blue by S.L. Rottman


* Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick


* Soldier X by Don L. Wulffson

Do you think that teens need to read novels where war and the military are front and center? Have you written anything that revolves around wars and/or the military?