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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet Some SMALL TOWN SINNERS by GCC Member Melissa Walker

Don’t you just love it when you get a second chance to discover an awesome book? For those who didn’t get the opportunity to read it in hardback, Melissa Walker's fantastic YA novel, SMALL TOWN SINNERS, just came out in paperback. And it’s got an amazing review from The New York Times!

"Walker has written a credible and tender evocation of the moment when a young person’s beliefs begin to emerge and potentially diverge from the teachings of a family’s religion... Near the end, Lacey contemplates a verse from the prophet Isaiah: 'Come now and let us reason together.' It’s a good summation of what Walker asks of her characters and, by extension, of her readers." —The New York Times Book Review

Congrats, Melissa!

And as always, here’s a little bit about her book to get you hooked:

Does falling in love mean falling out of faith?

Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her.

Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.

Here’s what Melissa had to say:

Melissa: Before I write a book, I do little interviews with some characters. That information almost never makes it into the manuscript, but I like having it.

Here's a tiny bit from Dean, one of the best friends of her main character Lacey Anne:

What's your ideal college? 
Dean: I don’t like school. I do okay without trying though, so maybe I’ll get into a good college. I’ll worry about that next year.

Future career? 
Dean: No idea. Do I really have to think about that right now?

Who’s your best friend? 
Dean: Starla Joy and Lacey. Lacey is just good. She lives by the rules and they actually seem to work for her. I don’t know if that’s by sheer will or good genes or what, but it’s true. And it’s not just a “follow the crowd” impulse either—she likes me, doesn’t she? That’s not a popular thing to do. Starla Joy is sarcastic and funny. She makes me laugh all the time when she gets worked up about something. She knows who her friends are and she’ll defend us to the death. It’s a good quality to have in a BFF.

Thank you, Melissa! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Look FANGTABULOUS With GCC Member Lucienne Diver

What’s better than a supernatural vampire story set in Salem, Mass. with a murder mystery mixed in? I don’t know about you, but I’m sold. I can’t wait to read GCC member Lucienne Diver’s latest installment in her Vamped series, FANGTABULOUS, out this month through Flux.

As always, here’s a little bit about her books to get you hooked:

Gina Covello and her band of federal fugitives are on the run after taking down a secret (and sinister) government facility. Strapped without cash or credit cards—a fate worse than death for Gina—the rebels must find a place to lay low. They roll into Salem, Massachusetts, the most haunted town in America and the only place they have friends flying under the radar. But within a day, Gina and her gang are embroiled in a murder mystery of the supernatural kind.

Someone—or something—is strangling young women, and it's rumored to be the ghost of Sheriff Corwin, late of the Salem Witch trials. Is it the ghostly Sheriff or is someone on this side of the veil using the famous story as a cover up? Gina is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, and she needs to do it before a paranormal reporter on the scene exposes them for what they are...fanged federal fugitives.

Here’s what Lucienne had to say:

Q: In ADIOS TO ALL THE DRAMA, Mariana is a bridesmaid in her cousin's wedding. How many times have you been a bridesmaid and what's the worst dress you ever wore?
Lucienne: I’ve been a bridesmaid three times, and while none of the dresses was hideous, I’ve only reworn one of them—from my sister’s hippy wedding. You know it’s a hippy wedding when a) the band is the Deadbeats, a Grateful Dead cover group, b) people drink sangria out of great big Igloo coolers, c) guests run around barefoot, and d) have the best time ever!

Q: I've used some of my personal background in each of my novels. Did you take any snippets from your real life when writing your latest book? Base any characters on real people?

Lucienne: Whew, thank goodness the real-life people know that I took liberties with them, otherwise this question might get me into some trouble! I loosely model a lot of characters. For example, my hero Bobby reminds me a lot of my husband…mixed with a young Zac Efron! Another real-world character: Donato in Fangtabulous started with a friend of mine (Don “Vlad” Deich) who showed me around Salem and runs a gothic magic show there.

Q: Let's talk publishing. What was harder for you, finding an agent or an editor? Why?

Lucienne: I didn’t go looking for an editor, my agent did that for me, so in that sense finding an agent was harder.

Q: Where did the idea for you latest novel come from?
Lucienne: Fangtabulous is set in Salem, Massachusetts, which I think has to be the most haunted town in America. Certainly it’s the first place I’ve ever been to that almost had me believing in ghosts. (Okay, true confession: on the ghost tour I took, when we hit the house where Old Sheriff Corwin’s remains had been secreted away when his body was snatched, I was so creeped out by the sensation that something/someone was behind me that I had to put my back to a brick wall.) Anyway, I knew I wanted my fanged fugitives to hide out in Salem, where they might potentially blend in. When I visited the town to begin my research I didn’t have a clue yet as to actual plot. But digging deeper into the history and letting the sense of the place wash over me, a storyline began to form, one full of unsettled spirits and a few girls who weren’t so lucky, like I was, to escape with their lives.

Q: Where were you when you found out that your latest novel was going to be published? Tell us the story.
Lucienne: It was so far back that I don’t even remember, because Flux contracted me for books three and four in the Vamped series at the same time (and Fangtabulous is the fourth). Very likely it was in an airport. I seem to get all the good news for my work when I’m about to take off and there’s no time to share the good news with anyone except my seatmates, who tend to look at me funny when I squee suddenly.

Thank you, Lucienne! Now, everyone go out and buy books, lots and lots of books!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Starting the Year With Some Good Books!

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year and a great holiday season! My little one is a year-and-a-half now (can't believe it!), so while she still doesn’t really grasp the whole Santa-thing, she did catch on to the present-thing really quick. And of course, there were a lot of books under her tree.

Now, Juliet didn’t receive all of the books above. Some were gifts for friends (and there were even more books given that aren't pictured). But as you can see, books were a big hit in our house this year. And to prove it, here’s a picture of Juliet opening a Sesame Street book (one of those not pictured above). She was so happy, she even made Super Grover dance on it.

I predict another author in the family. 

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