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Posts Categorized: Guest Post

Monday, October 10, 2016

Guest Post: Joshua Khan, Author of Shadow Magic on Inspiration

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Guest Post, Middle Grade0 Comments

Guest Post: Joshua Khan, Author of Shadow Magic on Inspiration

 

Title: Shadow Magic (Shadow Magic #1)

Author: Joshua Khan

Release Date: 6th October 2016

Genre: MG Fantasy

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Paperback

Thorn, an outlaw’s son, wasn’t supposed to be a slave. He’s been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they’re headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire.

Lilith Shadow wasn’t supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?

Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.

I’m very pleased to welcome Joshua Khan, author of SHADOW MAGIC, to Ticket to Anywhere as part of the UK blog for this fun and imaginative middle grade novel. SHADOW MAGIC is filled with friendship, mystery, zombies, magic and giant bats. Its an adventure story and sure to engage the mind of anyone who reads it. SHADOW MAGIC is currently available in the US, UK and Australia and if you haven’t picked it up yet then what are you waiting for? As Rick Riordan has blurred “I defy you not to love this story.”

Guest Post

Most Inspiring Things/Places

 

My bank statement is probably what inspires me most of all. Second comes the crack in the walls in the house. Third is the holes in my shoes…

I jest, sort of. Writing’s my job. It’s my career. It’s what earns me money and I’m very proud of that. Very. Getting paid to do something you love is damn awesome.

I’m not looking for inspiration, and definitely not waiting for it to strike. If I’m not typing, I’m sitting with my notepad open. Sometimes it’s just scribbling, sometimes its notes in teh margin on previous pages, sometimes it’s maps or pages and pages of download, random ideas that, when shifted through, make yield up a nugget of sometime shiny.

My inspirations the world going by. I love taking buses. Up on the top floor you’ve a great view, of people and places and the sky and I love that. Looking down onto people’s heads and wondering about what they’[re wondering about, trying see into their heads. Cafes, travelling, seeing sights, all these things inspire me, if not immediately, sometimes later. They’re a compost of ideas. What will grow out of it, who knows?

I start and abandon projects all the time. If I hit 20,000 words on an idea, then I’ll finish it, that’s my test on its sturdiness. I no longer plot in detail, certainly not on the 1st draft. I have a sense of the journey, the destination, but not on the actual road. I know where I want to end up, but happy to work on the route as it comes.

I think there is an irony to writing. It’s a lonely profession, but one that needs the writer to engage with the outside world more than any other job. It’s our concerns, our dreams and our frustrations with the world at large that feed our work. SHADOW MAGIC is all about the education and opportunities for girls, despite the zombies and giant bats my concerns are how my daughters, now in secondary school, will get on in the outside world, what with gender pay gaps and glass ceilings and stereotypes on careers suitable for women (one daughter’s very interested in the RAF, for instance, the other’s taken up martial arts). So, my biggest inspiration is my children. Always has been, always will be.

Joshua Khan was born in Britain. From very early on he filled himself with the stories of heroes, kings and queens until there was hardly any room for anything else. He can tell you where King Arthur was born* but not what he himself had for breakfast. So, with a head stuffed with tales of legendary knights, wizards and great and terrible monsters it was inevitable Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements.

*Tintagel, in case you were wondering.

Website: http://www.joshuakhan.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerjoshkhan

 

Tour Stops

Wednesday 5th October

Bart’s Bookshelf

Teens on Moon Lane

Thursday 6th October

Luna’s Little Library

Bazinga Booknerd

Friday 7th October

Bookish Outsider

Sister Spooky

Saturday 8th October

Northern Plunder

Chouett

Sunday 9th October

Tales of Yesterday

The Book Bandit

Monday 10th October

It Takes a Woman

Ticket to Anywhere

Tuesday 11th October

Big Book Little Book

Delightful Book Reviews

Wednesday 12th October

ArtsMum

The Reading Pile

Thursday 13th October

Kirstyes

Inspiring Imarah

Friday 14th October

YA Under my Skin

Bibliomaniac

Saturday 15th October

Fiction Fascination

Sweet Love Books

Sunday 16th October

Mugglenet

K Books

Monday 17th October

Snuggling on the Sofa

MG Strikes Back

Tuesday 18th October

YA Yeah Yeah

Nayu’s Reading Corner

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post: The Virgin and the Viscount by Charis Michaels

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt, Guest Post, Spotlight0 Comments

Blog Tour Guest Post: The Virgin and the Viscount by Charis Michaels

VirginandtheViscountCOVER

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About THE VIRGIN AND THE VISCOUNT

In the next sparkling romance in debut author Charis Michael’s Bachelor Lords of London series, a proper viscount meets his match in a beguiling virgin who can’t help but break all the rules.

The Virgin
Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At the innocent age of fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. After two days, a young lord discovers her and enacts a brave rescue to get her out. Now she’s a grown woman, working to save other girls from the horror she saw that night and never forgetting the young man who rescued her.

The Viscount
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh has overcome an abusive boyhood, neglectful parents, and a bankrupt title to be one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. He works tirelessly to be upright and forthright and proper to a fault. Now he requires only one thing: A proper, forthright, proper wife.

The Unraveling
When a charity event puts Lord Bryson and Lady Elisabeth face-to-face, Bryson has no memory of the wounded girl of long ago. All he can see is a perfect candidate to be his future wife. Elisabeth has never forgotten him, but she worries that the brave boy who saved her so long ago has become a rich man with an unfulfilled life.

As a whirlwind courtship reveals the truth, Bryson must accept that Elisabeth is actually a shadow from his dark past, while Elisabeth must show that love is the noblest virtue of all.

 

Guest Post

 

Crafting a Book Title with a Title:  How The Virgin and the Viscount Got Its Name

The Virgin and the Viscount was the very first romance manuscript I ever wrote, way back in 2004, twelve years before it would reach the hands of readers.

Back then, it had a working title of, A Proper Scandal.

Back then, it was not connected to another book like it is now.

Back then it was double the word count.

            After I finished the first draft, it languished with its old title and original length until I was able to revise it into my Bachelor Lords of London series.  To my delight, the revisions came easily, almost as if it belonged in the series from conception. Characters were combined.  Chapters were cut. My writing became more succinct.

What did not come as easily was giving the book a new title.

            When an author names a work of commercial fiction like romance, she has the challenge of making quite a lot of people happy.  Herself (obviously), her editor, the editors above her editor, the marketing and publicity teams, her readers, and simply the trending Zeitgeist.

But before I could please everyone, I had to think series, I had to think “Bachelor Lords,” I had to make this book fit with the book before it, The Earl Next Door.

Since Book I in the series contains the aristocratic title “Earl,” we felt second book should hit on the hero in general and mention his rank particular.

Ha! Easier said than done….Here, I share with you a very few of my many, many rejected false starts:

The Stone-Cold Viscount, The Viscount’s Vow, The Viscount’s Vice, The Viscount’s Only Vice, The Viscount Takes a Vice, Unraveling the Viscount or The Viscount Unraveled.

When these were all rejected and I was pulling my hair, I sent up:

Stand and Viscount-ed,  Down for the Viscount (personal favorite worst of the worst), Where the Viscount Ends, or Viscount on the Verge.

And finally (pathetically):  Don’t Viscount the Chickens Before They Hatch, which is what I felt I had done by writing this book into the series without deciding on a viable name at the onset.

Alas, we all know a title emerged and the book is called The Virgin and the Viscount.  To arrive at this, I finally caught on to what my publisher seemed to want, the perfect balance of little bit sexy + a little bit catchy.

I began to search words that began with “V” (for the catchy) that might also be provocative (for the sexy).  When I stumbled on “Virgin,” I thought, fingers crossed, I might I might have a winner—and I was right.  I got the thumbs-up from my publisher, my writing buddies, and I even felt like my characters would approve.

Now, ahem, if I can only convince my mother.

Excerpt

 

Prologue

 

On April 12, 1809, Franklin “Frankie” Courtland, 6th Viscount Rainsleigh, tripped on a root in the bottom of a riverbed and drowned.  He was drunk at the time, picnicking with friends on the banks of the River Wylye.  According an account later given to the magistrate, his lordship simply fell over, bumped into a fallen log, and sank.

It was there he remained—“enjoying the cool,” or so his friends believed—until he became too heavy, too slippery, and, alas, too dead to revive.  But they did dislodge him; and after that, they claimed he floated to the surface, bobbed several times, and then gently glided downstream.  He was later found just before sunset, face down and bloated (in life, as also in death), beached on a pebble shoal near Codford.

At the time the elder Courtland was sinking to the bottom of the river, his son and heir, Bryson was hunched over a desk in the offices of his fledgling shipping company, waiting for the very moment his father would die.  It had been an exceedingly long, progressively humiliating wait.  Years long—nay, decades.

Luckily for Bryson, for his ships and his future, he was capable of doing more things at once than wait, and while his father drank and debauched his way through all respectability and life, Bryson worked.

It was an unthinkable thing for a young heir and nobleman—to “work”—but Bryson was given little choice, considering the impoverished state of the Rainsleigh crest.  He was scarcely eleven years of age when he made first foray into labor, and not so many years after, into private enterprise.  His life in work had not ceased since.  On the rare occasion that he didn’t work, he studied.

With his meager earnings (he began by punting boats on the very river in which his father later drowned), he made meager investments.  These investments reaped small gains—first in shares in the punting station; later in property along the water; later still, in other industry up and down the river.

Bryon lived modestly, worked ceaselessly, and spared only enough to pay his way through Cambridge, bring up his brother, and see him educated him, as well.   Every guinea earned was reinvested.  He repeated the process again and again, a little less meagerly each time ‘round.

By the time the elder viscount’s self-destructive lifestyle wrought his river- and drink-soaked end, Bryson had managed to accrue a small fortune, launch a company that built and sailed ships, and construct an elaborate plan for what he would do when his father finally cocked up his toes and died.

When at last that day came, Bryson had but one complaint: it took fifty-two hours for the constable to find him.  He was a viscount for two days before anyone, including himself, even knew it.

But two days was a trifle compared to a lifetime of waiting.  And on the day he learned of his inheritance—nay, the very hour—he launched his long awaited plan.

By three o’clock on the fourth day, he’d razed the rotting, reeking east wing of the family estate in Wiltshire to the ground.

Within the week, he’d extracted his mother from the west wing and shipped her and a contingent of discreet caregivers to a villa in Spain.

Within the month, he’d sold every stick of furniture, every remaining fork and dish, every sweat-soaked toga and opium-tinged gown.  He burned the drapes, burned the rugs, burned the tapestries.  He delivered the half-starved horses and the fighting dogs to an agricultural college and pensioned off the remaining staff.

By the six-week mark, he’d unloaded the London townhome—sold at auction to the highest bidder—and with it, the broken-down carriage, his father’s dusty arsenal, what was left of the wine stores, and all the lurid art.

It was a whirlwind evacuation, a gutting, really, and no one among polite society had ever witnessed a son or heir take such absolute control and haul away so much family or property quite so fast.

But no one among polite society was acquainted with Bryson Anders Courtland, the new Viscount Rainsleigh.

And no one understood that it was not so much an ending as it was an entirely fresh start.  Once the tearing down ceased, the rebuilding could begin. New viscountsy, new money, new respect, new life.

It was an enterprise into which Bryson threw himself like no other. Unlike all others, however, he could only do so much, one man, alone. For this, he would require another.  A partner.   Someone with whom he could work together towards a common goal.  A collaborator who emulated his precise, immaculate manner. A matriarch, discreet and pure. A paragon of propriety.  A viscountess.  A proper, perfect wife.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About CHARIS MICHAELS

 Charis Michaels is thrilled to be making her debut with Avon Impulse. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A&M and managed PR for a trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained children as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties. She has lived in Texas, Florida, and London, England. She now makes her home in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.

 

Where to buy THE VIRGIN AND THE VISCOUNT

Avon

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Google Play

Tour Stops
Tour Date Blog Name Blog Link Type of Post
7/4 Manga Maniac Café Www.mangamaniaccafe.com Guest Post
7/4 Dana Square http://www.danasquare.blogspot.com Guest Post
7/4 Lush Book Reviews Http://Lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com Guest Post
7/4 Reading Romances http://facebook.com/readingromances Review
7/4 Sofia Loves Books http://sofia-loves-books.blogspot.gr/ Review
7/4 Zili in the Sky http://www.ziliinthesky.com Review
7/5 Fresh Fiction http://freshfiction.com/ Guest Post
7/5 A Fortress of Books http://www.afortressofbooks.com/ Guest Post
7/5 Born to Read Books http://borntoreadbooks.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
7/5 Words of Wisdom From the Scarf Princess http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com Q&A
7/5 I Love Romance http://lovestruck677.blogspot.com/ Review
7/5 Polished Bookworm http://polishedbookworm.com Review
7/5 Reese’s Reviews http://reesesreviews.blogspot.com/ Review
7/5 Bibliognost http://www.bibliognost.us/ Review
7/6 The Sassy Bookster https://thesassybookster.com/ Guest Post
7/6 The Bookworm Lodge www.thebookwormlodge.com Guest Post
7/6 Ticket to Anywhere http://www.tickettoanywhere.net Guest Post
7/6 Chaotic Reader http://chaoticreader.blogspot.com/ Q&A
7/6 Rusticating in the Tropics www.rusticatinginthetropics.com Review
7/6 Okie Dreams Book Reviews http://deannalynnrw.wordpress.com Review
7/6 Quinn’s Book Nook Quinn’s Book Nook Review
7/7 Book Munchies www.bookmunchies.com Guest Post
7/7 Diana’s Book Reviews http://dianasbookreviews.com/ Guest Post
7/7 Books N Pearls http://booksnpearls.com Guest Post
7/7 Romance Junkies www.romancejunkies.com Guest Post
7/7 Confessions From Romaholics http://www.confessionsfromromaholics.com/ Review
7/7 Library of a Book Witch http://www.libraryofabookwitch.com Review
7/8 Forever Book Lover Foreverbklover.blogspot.com Guest Post
7/8 Reading Between the Wines readingbetweenthewinesbookclub.com Guest Post
7/8 With Love For Books http://www.withloveforbooks.com Review
7/8 Katherina’s Books https://katherinasbooks.wordpress.com/ Review
7/8 Forget the Housework, I’m Reading… http://www.forgethousework.com/ Review
7/8 Two Girls with Books www.twogirlswithbooks.com Review
7/8 Happy Ever After Romance Book Reviews http://gwynplum.com/ Review
7/11 Lampshade Reader http://lampshadereader.com/ Guest Post
7/11 Becky on Books http://beckymmoe.com Guest Post
7/11 SOS Aloha Book Reviews and More http://sosaloha.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
7/11 Reviews by Crystal http://reviewsbycacb.blogspot.com/ Q&A
7/11 Read More Sleep Less http://readmore-sleepless.blogspot.com/ Review
7/11 Paper Cuts http://cuts-of-paper.blogspot.com Review
7/11 Undomesticated Reads http://www.undomesticatedreads.com/ Guest Post
7/12 Doing Some Reading https://doingsomereading.wordpress.com/ Guest Post
7/12 The Book Beacon https://thebookbeacon.com/ Guest Post
7/12 Romancing the Readers www.romancingthereaders.blogspot.com  Guest Post
7/12 Jennifer Vido http://www.jennifervido.com/ Q&A
7/12 Deal Sharing Aunt http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/ Q&A
7/12 Redheads Review It Better http://redheadsreviewitbetter.com/ Review
7/12 Jen’s Reading Obsession http://jensreadingobsession.blogspot.com Review
7/13 Those Crazy Book Chicks https://www.facebook.com/Thosecrazybookchicks/ Guest Post
7/13 Brooke Blogs http://www.brookeblogs.com Guest Post
7/13 Dena Garson…Real…Hot…Romance http://denagarson.net Q&A
7/13 Book Nerd http://booknerdloleotodo.blogspot.com/ Review
7/13 Deluged with Books Café http://delugedwithbooks-caffeineaddicts.blogspot.com/ Review
7/13 Will Read For Feels www.willreadforfeels.com Review
7/13 Wicked Reads http://www.wickedreads.org Review
7/13 A Taste of Sin http://atasteofsin.com Guest Post
7/14 A Bluestocking’s Place https://ov099.wordpress.com/ Guest Post
7/14 My Book Addiction and More http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.com/ Guest Post
7/14 Cocktails and Books http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com Guest Post
7/14 Good Books & Good Wine http://goodbooksandgoodwine.com Guest Post
7/14 The Book Disciple http://www.thebookdisciple.com Review
7/14 Once Upon a Page http://onceuponapagesites.com/ Review
7/14 The Book Review http://www.the-bookreview.com Review
7/14 Teatime and Books http://www.teatimeandbooks76.blogspot.com Review
7/15 Paulette’s Papers http://paulettespapers.com/ Guest Post
7/15 Smitten by Books http://smittenbybooks.com/ Guest Post
7/15 The Reading Wench http://thereadingwench.blogspot.com/ Guest Post
7/15 Ramblings From This Chick www.ramblingsfromthischick.com Guest Post
7/15 Margie’s Must Reads Http://margiesmustreads.com Review
7/15 BFD Book Blog http://bfdbookblog.net/ Review
7/15 I Heart YA Books http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/ Review
7/15 Wild Wordy Women http://wildwordywomen.com/ Review
Contest

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Blog Tour Guest Post: A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Guest Post0 Comments

A Week of Mondays_Cover Image

 A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

Ellie is having the worst Monday of her life. She messes up her school  speech for the class vice presidency position, she manages to take the world’s  worst school picture, she bombs softball tryouts, and the icing on top  of this awful cake: her perfect boyfriend who is in a high school rock band dumps her. At the end of  the day, Ellie wishes she could redo everything. When she wakes up the  next morning, she discovers that it’s Monday again! She has six more chances to redo the day in the hopes of having everything go exactly the way she wants. But in the process, she just may find out that what she really wants and what she actually needs are two very different things.

Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Guest Post

ELLISON “ELLIE” SPARKS: An idealistic, ambitious sixteen-year-old junior with alot on her plate.

Those were the first words I ever wrote about Ellie Sparks. They were written in a synopsis for my publisher when I was first trying to sell them on the idea for a book called A WEEK OF MONDAYS.

Of course, you can’t write an entire book about a one-sentence character. Just like you can’t live your entire life as a one-sentence person. But every character has to begin somewhere. And this is where Ellie began for me.

As an idealistic, ambitious sixteen-year-old junior with a lot on her plate.

In my mind, this is who she had to be. I thought, if you’re going to write about a girl who relives the same horrible Monday over and over again, trying to “get it right,” these are the adjectives that must describe her. She has to be idealisticenough to think she can fix everything in her life. Yet, she also has to beambitious enough to try it. And how else are you going to fill seven Mondays with interesting storylines if the main character doesn’t have a lot on her plate.

So there was Ellie. And there was me, ready to write her, thinking I understood her. Thinking I knew everything I needed to know about her.

This is the writing process for me. I start with an idea of who someone is. I draw a box around them, like an identity fence. I stuff them inside and I lock the gate. I tell them, “This is who you are. Don’t try to change that. Don’t try to be or do anything else. I don’t have time for detours. I’m on a deadline.”

I never learn.

A WEEK OF MONDAYS is my tenth published novel and I’m still trying to lock characters inside fences. Eventually, though, they always break free. They always get bigger than their boxes. And even though I try to adjust, I keep drawing bigger and bigger boxes around them, trying to contain them to the world I built, the world I envisioned, they never quite want to stay inside. Just like people. You can try to identify them, label them, build a fence around them that makes youfeel safe, and yet they’ll always surprise you. Because no character—no human being—fits inside a box.

One of my favorite reviews of A WEEK OF MONDAYS says, “Watching Ellie relive her horrible day is something like peeling an onion. Each Monday, a piece of her people-pleaser facade melts away, revealing more of her real self.”

I smiled when I read that because it wasn’t until then that I realized exactly what had happened in the writing of this book. I had done it again. I had tried to put yet another character in a box, and she had slowly, word by word, page by page, Monday by Monday broken free.

This book is ultimately a story of self-discovery.

Seven days. Seven chances to completely reinvent yourself. Wear different clothes, make different choices, explore different paths, say different things, be different people.

Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out who you really are. And when you finally do, you may find yourself thinking ‘Thank God It’s Monday’ after all.

For the next five Mondays, blogger friends across the internet will be sharing their best and worst Monday. Follow along with us online with #TGIM and #AWeekofMondays, because whether a Monday is memorable for good reasons or memorable for bad reasons, we stand to learn a lot about ourselves.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blog Tour: Zero Day

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Playlist5 Comments

Blog Tour: Zero Day

Zero Day

 

About Zero Day by Jan Gangsei 

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

Playlist

Songs that represent ZERO DAY

Thanks! I love music, and it’s thrill to share some of the songs that I think represent ZERO DAY. So, without further ado…

Runaway by Aurora – a beautiful, haunting song by a very talented young Norwegian songwriter that I think perfectly represents Addie’s conflicted feelings as she returns home and tries to adjust. Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

Like a River Runs by Bleachers – the soundtrack of Darrow’s life as he grew up in the shadow of Addie’s disappearance.

Fake You Out by twenty one pilots, and Web of Deception by Thievery Corporation – titles pretty much explain themselves… 🙂

When We Were Young by Adele – (had to get a song by Addie’s namesake in there)! To me, this one really sums up Addie’s feelings for Darrow, especially when he asks her to dance at prom

And finally,

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol – the unnamed song Darrow and Addie dance to at prom, (and her favorite song when she was a little kid – mainly because back then she thought it was about puppies chasing cars and she really wanted a dog 🙂. But as Darrow leads her across the dance floor—and she’s come to question everything she believes—the lyrics take on an entirely new meaning.

Thanks for having me today! Hope you enjoyed the selection (and seriously, if you haven’t heard Aurora, check her out—her voice is amazing, and I think she has an incredible career ahead of her—she wrote Runaway when she was only twelve!).

Tour Stops

Week 1:

1/11: Katie’s Book Blog – Review

1/12: Skye’s Scribbling’s – Top 10

1/13: Books In Her Head – Review

1/14: Ticket to Anywhere – Playlist

1/15: Resch Reads & Reviews – Review

 

Week 2

1/18: Swoony Boys Podcast – Character Interview

1/19: Live To Read – Review

1/20: Mundie Moms – Guest Post

1/21: Pretty Deadly Reviews – Review

1/22: Beauty and the Bookshelf – Q&A

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Science Geek Appreciation Week – Day 3

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Guest Post, Spotlight0 Comments

Well we’re mid week now–half way through Science Geek Appreciation Week–and it’s time to get up close and personal with the author of the Science Squad series, Kelly Oram.

If you missed any of the previous posts about The Avery Shaw Experiment or The Libby Garrett Intervention, be sure to stop by the Facebook event. Along with the posts, there’s all kinds of extra bonus material, games and giveaways going on. Lots of chances to win signed books and swag, talk to the author and just have fun with other science geek loving friends. There’s a new giveaway every day. CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE PARTY!

So, what should you know about Kelly Oram?

      

The Obvious:
I love to write.
&
I’m a ginger.

The Basics:
I wrote my first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about my favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which my family and friends still tease me. I’m obsessed with reading, talk way too much, and like to eat frosting by the spoonful. I live outside of Phoenix, Arizona with my husband, four children, and my cat, Mr. Darcy. And we named his litter box Pemberly because it’s where he makes ten thousand (poops) a year! 

Connect with Kelly:
Newsletter * Amazon * Facebook * Twitter   



The Fun Stuff:

1. I love to sing and went to college as a voice performance major.
2. I once competed in the Miss Michigan Teen USA pageant. (I did not win LOL.)
3. I’m a baseball fanatic. (Go D-backs!)
4. I broke my head as a kid and had to wear a hockey helmet to school as my cast.
5. I own my own 10-sided dice for role-playing that no one but me is allowed to role.
6. I’m left handed.
7. I am credited as associate producer for the independent film Amber Alert.
8. I live for road trips. Best vacation I ever took was a three-week coast-to-coast-and-back drive with my father.
9. The Backstreet Boys were my 1D in high school, and I was a total fangirl. I still have a whole collection of fan paraphernalia.
10. I took both golf and bowling classes in college to fulfill my PE credits. (I still suck at both.)
The Bookish Stuff:

How did you come up with the idea for The Avery Shaw Experiment?
I remember the day I came up with the idea, but not exactly how the concept popped into my head. I went for a run. (Okay, it was more of a walk-run during one of my on-again times where I was dedicated to working out. The off-again times are way more frequent.)
Anyway, I’d ton for a run and it was one of those precious moments where I was by myself, no distractions, no kids–just me and my thoughts. The concept for a girl getting over a broken heart using the seven stages of grief popped into my head, and before that half an hour (yes, that’s all I can run before I want to die) was over, I had most of the book plotted.
I was in the middle of another manuscript at the time, but I went home and wrote Avery’s prologue right away. Five weeks later I had a finished book. The Avery Shaw Experiment had been my easiest book to write so far. It just flowed so naturally, and honestly, I blame that on Avery and Grayson’s natural chemistry. (Hehe science pun totally intended!)
Are you a science geek yourself?
I am a geek of many colors. Music, fantasy, sic-fi, choir, books… But no, I was never a science geek. I was actually a very mediocre-to-horrible student. I never liked the academic stuff, and I struggled with a lot of it. (I spent too much time in my own
imagination!) But, that said, I can see the fun in doing science experiments, and I find the occasional documentary about science stuff interesting. Most of my science geek inspiration was drawn from my mother. (She is a HUGE science nerd!) The woman love bugs and dissection and all things dealing with the human body. She worked in a chemistry lab when I was younger and now works with a team of rocket scientists putting rockets in space and sending supplies to the space stations and things like that. It’s a dream come true for her every time she travels to Virginia to launch one of her rockets. She’s a hard-core nerd and I love her dearly for it, which is way I had to dedicate The Avery Shaw Experiment to her. (Love you Mom!)
How did you come up with the idea for The Libby Garrett Intervention?
Libby was a little different. The idea didn’t come as easy. It took a lot more planning. I loved Libby’s character and really wanted to write her a story, but it took me a long time to commit to it. As much as everyone asked for a Libby and Owen story, I really felt like Owen wasn’t the right one for her. The idea for the Libby Garrett Intervention sparked from me imagining what a relationship between Owen and Libby would be like based on there characters from The Avery Shaw Experiment. I just couldn’t imagine Owen ever being a Grayson, and falling for Libby the way she deserved. That’s where the idea of Libby’s “addiction” to Owen came in and it was a short leap from there to the Twelve Step program. I loved the idea of the steps because it fit perfectly with the stages of grief I used in the first book. It was the perfect companion story. And suddenly, volia! I had the next book.
Will there be more Science Squad books in the future?
There will be at least one more. I have a story already plotted out for one of the other science squad geeks, though my writing schedule is so packed that it will probably take me a couple years to get to it. After that, I don’t know. I’d love to end the series with Aiden’s story, but I’d have to actually come up with a story for him first. I’ve pit the idea in my head though, and am letting it simmer, so we’ll see what happens.
What’s your favorite part of the story, and your favorite quote from The Avery Shaw Experiment?
Oh, goodness, that’s award one. I know most people probably love the shower scene (it’s not what you think!) in the beginning, or the dancing scene, or basically all the more romantic scenes between Avery and Grayson, but my favorite scenes are actually the science/school. stuff. (Maybe I’m a bit of a science geek after all. My mother would be proud!) I love the scene where the science squad takes Grayson to the bowling alley for a lesson in applied physics and explain Newton’s laws. Like I said, I struggled a lot in high school, because, like Grayson, I have a different style of learning than most people. I need things to be interactive and fun, and I need things explained to me in ways that are applicable to my daily life. I had a lot of fun finding a way to make science fun and creative.
My other favorite scene is between Grayson and Mr. Walden at the end. As much as I loved Grayson and Avery, I had a special place in my heart for the relationship between Grayson and his Physics teacher. I’ve been where Grayson was, and I had a couple of cool teachers that, despite my grades and struggles, really understood me. Those were the teachers that made a difference in my education, and I really wish there were more great teachers out there. So, yeah, developing the relationship between those two was a lot of fun for me, and in the end when they’ve completed character arc, it still makes me smile every time I read that scene.
As for my favorite quotes? I have a million, but I’ll narrow it down to two for you. I already have them in convenient photo teasers for you to pass around the internet, should you feel so inclined. 😉


So, that’s me in a nutshell. Hopefully you’ve recognized my brilliance by now (and my sarcasm) and I’ve convinced you to check out the books. I think they’re a lot of fun and I’m so excited to share Libby with the world!
 
The Avery Shaw Experiment is on sale this week only for just $0.99. 
I promise, it’s worth the dollar! 
Amazon * iBooks * B&N * Kobo

And The Libby Garrett Intervention is now available for the special preorder price of $2.99. 
(Regular listing price $4.99 after it goes on sale, so order now and save yourself some money!)
Amazon * BN * Kobo

If you’d like to see more, there are more teasers, excerpts, character interviews, games and giveaways happening on the Science Geek Appreciation Week Facebook event. Make sure you stop by the party and enter to win some of the giveaways. Signed books and swag! FACEBOOK EVENT


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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sarah Reviews: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Adult, Guest Post, Review8 Comments

Sarah Reviews: Wallbanger by Alice ClaytonWallbanger by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail,
Published by Gallery on 13 August 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Friends to Lovers, Love & Romance
Pages: 365
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: San Francisco, CA

First Line(s): “Oh, God.”
Thump.
“Oh, God.”
Thump Thump.
What the…
“Oh God, that’s so good!”
I scrambled up out of sleep, confused as I looked around the strange room. Boxes on the floor. Pictures propped against the wall.

Hello Internet!!

Please welcome my first ever guest reviewer here on Ticket to Anywhere!! When my friend Sarah sent me a message saying that she just HAD to review a book she’d read I happily gave her some space on my blog to do so. Sarah can be found on Twitter at Palmys05 and on Goodreads (click here) if you want to talk about WALLBANGER or other books that she’s read!

Irish

A huge Thank you to Gail for handing over the reins for a hot second! She’s a great book recommender AND more importantly, a friend! After I read “Wallbanger” by Alice Clayton, I just knew I had to write a review for her.

 

Caroline is a career focused interior designer who just scored an awesome apartment in San Francisco. Her last boyfriend wanted her to stay at home and be a housewife. With a bad ONS to boot, she has sworn off men. Unfortunately, her new neighbor is keeping her awake with his “wallbanging.”

Simon’s not one to stay put for long. As a travel photographer, he’s constantly globetrotting, and doesn’t have the time for a serious girlfriend. Friends with benefits is more his style…with the THREE different women that make up his “harem.”

Wallbanger was a perfect mix of humor and romance. It was a slow build. (just how I like it) Simon and Caroline didn’t really like each other when they met. Frustrated from lack of sleep, Caroline pounded on Simon’s door mid-romp. Their annoyance turned to like, like turned to friendship, and friendship turned to love.

Simon had a lot of layers. As the story progressed, we learned there was a lot more to him than being a jetsetter with a harem. Caroline too, had her insecurities and needs. They both were fiercely independent and admittedly happy being single. After spending time together, they realized how much happier and more fulfilling their lives could be as a unit. Their romance was amped by the amount of humor and light moments in the book. Between the texts, scary movie viewing, and car trips, I was constantly chuckling.

Wallbanger Quote

Also, props to Clayton for Clive. I am NOT an animal person, but Caroline’s beloved kitty added the perfect amount of comic relief. It was great when he peed on Simon’s sweater in an effort to protect his mommy. SO cute.

I really enjoyed the side romances of Mimi/Ryan and Sophia/Neil. I loved their friendship with Simon/Caroline and how everyone plotted to get the others together. It was very cute. The other pairings weren’t overpowering and added to the dynamic of Simon and Caroline’s budding romance.

Can’t forget to mention the baking AND Caroline’s Ina Garten obsession. Who doesn’t love her?? I thought it was really sweet how Caroline would always bake goodies for Simon. You could tell it reminded him of his mom. They always say the way to a man’s heart this through his stomach.

 

 

Sarah

SR - Wallbanger

 

Add Rusty Nailed to Goodreads – I devoured Simon & Caroline’s sequel right after finishing Wallbanger!

Add Lead by Kylie Scott to Goodreads. (Click here to read Irish’s Review.) – Another amazing friends to lovers read….aka the best book Gail has had me read

five-stars
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Friday, June 12, 2015

Travel Log: Korea (Guest Post + Contest from Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout)

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log7 Comments

Hello, I Love You 

About The Book

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Amazon // B&N // Books-A-Million // IndieBound // iBooks

Guest Post

Why South Korea?

Ive always loved books with non-American settings. I love travel in generalexperiencing new things, tasting new foods, and seeing the world with fresh eyes. I love how books can transport you to places youve never been or bring back memories of those you have. I can pick up Stephanie Perkinss Anna & the French Kiss and go back to my own visit to Paris or Kirsten Hubbards Wanderlove and dream about going to Guatemala.

When I started writing Hello, I Love You, the question wasnt Why South Korea?It was Why not South Korea?

I was writing a book about Korean pop music. I had been inspired by Korean dramas. It made sense to set it in Korea.

Travel is different for different people. We all see the world in unique ways, because were unique people. And I think booksand book settingsare the same. I knew from the beginning that I didnt want to write about a Korean living in Korea. I wanted to write what I knew: a foreigner stepping into a new culture and being completely overwhelmed and ultimately learning to appreciate something unfamiliar.

Ive lived in three different countries, including one in Asia. It was one of the most difficultand also excitingtimes of my life, going through extreme culture shock, having my worldview completely blown open, and realizing that I can be incredibly judgmental.

And in my book, I wanted to explore that terrifying, exhilarating ex-pat lifestyle.

When I wrote Hello, I Love You, I had never visited South Korea. Research was tough. Ive never looked at so many Google maps or read so many blogs about street food. But I was actually lucky enough to get to make a trip to Seoul right when I received an offer of representation from my agent. (Like, literally, the same week.) It was so fun to visit the places Id written about and take part in a culture I had only experienced through research and my Korean friends.

The Korea in my book isnt an insiders viewof the country and culture. Its a view from the outside looking in, from the perspective of a girl who literally hates the world and everyone in ita girl who has to be broken before she can see the wonderful thing thats right in front of her face. And its my tribute to every ex-pat out there who has ever gotten frustrated by language barriers, cried from homesickness, and eventually learned to love their new home and culture.

Places Visited in Hello, I Love You

Ganghwa Island

Bupyeong Underground Shopping Mall, Incheon

N Seoul Tower, Seoul

Myeongdong shopping district, Seoul

Gwangjang Market, Seoul

Insadong neighborhood, Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Canal, Seoul

My Favorite Contemporary YA Novels with Non-American Settings

Wanderlove, by Kirsten Hubbard

Hostage Three, by Nick Lake

When You Were Here, by Daisy Whitney

Just One Day, by Gayle Forman

Lock & Mori, by Heather Petty

Wish You Were Italian, by Kristin Rae

About The Author

Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls’ Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.

Goodreads // Website // Twitter // Tumblr // Pinterest // Hello, I Love You Playlist 

 

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blog Tour + Contest: This Song Will Save Your Life

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post12 Comments

Blog Tour + Contest: This Song Will Save Your Life

Hello Internet!!

I’m very excited to be a part of the This Song Will Save Your Life paperback blog tour. I enjoyed this book by Leila Sales (my review) and I just love the new cover for the paperback release. This edition will be available in stores on 14 April 2015. As part of this tour, Leila is here to talk about one of the songs that saved her life and you can see her answer below.

This Song Paperback Cover

 

Elise Dembowski is not afraid of a little hard work. In fact, she embraces it. All her life, she’s taken on big, all-encompassing projects. When she’s fifteen, she embarks on the biggest, and most important, project of them all: becoming cool. Except she fails. Miserably. And everything falls to pieces.

Now, if possible, Elise’s social life is even worse than it was before. Until she stumbles into an underground dance club and opens the door to a world she never knew existed. An inside-out world where, seemingly overnight, a previously uncool high school sophomore can become the hottest new DJ sensation. Elise finally has what she’s always wanted: acceptance, friendship, maybe even love. Until the real world threatens to steal it all away.

 

Guest Post

 

 

“Rave On,” by Buddy Holly

The first time I remember ever having a favorite musical artist, it was Buddy Holly. I was four years old, and my favorite color was purple, and my favorite animal was a horse, and my favorite band was Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and that was that.

My love for Buddy Holly has waxed and waned since then, but it has never gone away. When I was in college, I wrote a YA novel about a girl who traveled back in time to 1958 and met Buddy Holly. This was my own personal fantasy, and fantasies are always a good place to find story ideas.

This manuscript never got published—which is for the best, since I think I’ve become a stronger writer since then—but it did win one of my college’s writing prizes. A cash prize, which was a very big deal since at the time all my other spending money came from occasional seven dollar-an-hour babysitting gigs.

It was one of the first times I thought, “Maybe I could actually make a living writing about things that I love.” And now that’s exactly what I do!

 

•             Learn more about This Song Will Save Your Life

•             Learn more about Tonight The Streets Are Ours

•             Tell Us About Songs That Saved Your Life on Social Media with #SongsThatSavedMe

•             Add Tonight the Streets Are Ours to your to-read list on Goodreads.

•             Visit Leila’s website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Tour Schedule

http://www.paperiot.com/                                                        April 2, 2015

http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/                                     April 3, 2015

http://www.rainydayramblings.com                                       April 4, 2015

http://lilisreflections.blogspot.com/                                       April 5, 2015

http://www.thecompulsivereader.com/                              April 6, 2015

http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/                                April 7, 2015

http://www.thebookcellarx.com/                                           April 8, 2015

http://www.greatimaginations.blogspot.com/                 April 9, 2015

http://thebevybibliotheque.net/                                             April 10, 2015

http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/                                 April 11, 2015

http://www.tickettoanywhere.net/                                       April 12, 2015

http://www.bookaddictsguide.com                                        April 13, 2015

http://macteenbooks.com                                                          April 14, 2015

http://www.perpetualpageturner.com                                 April 15, 2015

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blog Tour + Contest: The Wrong Side of Right – Campaign Stop

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post1 Comment

Blog Tour + Contest: The Wrong Side of Right – Campaign Stop

Greetings and Salutations Everyone!!

Welcome to the Massachusetts campaign stop for Senator Cooper. If you’ve read The Wrong Side of Right then you know that Senator Cooper is from the Bay State if you haven’t read the book then here is a little more about it then stay tuned for my Q&A with author Jenn Marie Thorne.

Wrong Side of Right

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

Wrong Side of Right Quote

1.      If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

This is such a great question. Ultimately, the answer is no—the book is exactly as I want it to be. But there are so many decisions that go into writing a novel, from the large (“Should the protagonist be male or female?”) to the tiny (“Use ‘decisions’ or ‘selections’ in this sentence?”) You can’t help but think about all the roads not taken. I’d love to write more of Andy, for example. Maybe I will one day. He’s a bit of a scene-stealer.

2.      Which of your characters is most likely to win the Hunger Games?

You know, my knee-jerk reaction was Elliott Webb, because he’s so calculating and cutthroat, made for the arena. But I actually think Cal Montgomery would win. He’d charm everyone into alliances, whereas Elliott would have a bull’s-eye on him from the first buzzer. And Cal’s a nice guy, but he’s a political creature, too, and a fierce individualist. He’d do whatever it took to win. Andy might have a shot. Kate wouldn’t make it past the cornucopia. (Sorry, Kate.)

3.      What is your favorite way to procrastinate?

Twitter! Come say hi!

4.      What do you think is the key to building such real characters?

I keep my eyes open for clichés and exterminate them on sight. And this seems really simple, but it’s key—I put myself in every character’s shoes. I ask myself how I would react under that character’s circumstances—emotionally, mentally, physically. And I allow room for characters to make mistakes, stumble over their words, fall back on bad habits, act out of fear or laziness or resentment, knowing all the while that their hearts (even the villains’) are in the right place. Basically, I try to have as much empathy as I can.

5.      How many months does it take you to finish a first draft? What about revision?

These days, with young kids at home, I can write a rough draft in about two months. It’s a “just get through it” type of draft. And then my first revision takes another two months, to get it to the point where I’d be willing to let anybody else read it. The process of back and forth with my editor can last a year or more. And that doesn’t even count copy edits. It takes a while!

6.      What book have you faked reading?

Confession time: SO MANY! Most of the 19th Century British canon, in fact. The problem is that there are so many great BBC adaptations that have left vivid impressions in my mind, so when people talk about, say, Bleak House, I jump right into that conversation as if I actually read the book. I have gone back and read some of them after seeing the miniseries. Not Bleak House, though. I might skip that one.

7.      If you could co-author a book with any literary figure, living or dead, who would it be?

It would have to be someone I feel I’d get along with, so rather than souring a relationship with an author from beyond the grave, I’ll say Stephanie Perkins. I already feel like I live in her book universe, and it would be fun to flirt and banter with her characters all day long.

8.      Which is harder to write, the first line or the last?

The last line is really, really tough. The first line is like the starting shot of a race. It sometimes changes in later drafts, but I usually have something ready to go as part of my planning process before I even sit down to draft. That last line, though—it carries a lot of weight. It’s got to tie the book up, but not so tightly that it suffocates everything that came before it. I should point out that these are very fun problems to have!

Contest

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Tour Schedule

3/17 – Candace’s Book Blog – WA

3/19 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Sacramento, CA

3/23 – The Reading Date – LA, CA

3/25 – Mostly YA Book Obsessed – AZ

3/27 – Gone With the Words – Houston, TX

3/30 – YA Bibliophile (WI)

4/1 – Coming at YA – SC

4/3 – The Reader Bee – TN

4/6 – Into The Hall of Books (NC)

4/8 – Ticket to Anywhere – MA

4/10 – Lost in Literature – CT

4/13 – Effortlessly Reading – NYC

4/15 – No BS Book Reviews – Annapolis, MD

4/17 – Book Revels – DC

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log13 Comments

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Hello Internet!!

Today I am so happy to host Maggie Hall here on Ticket to Anywhere and learn a little bit about why she chose the setting she did for her debut novel, The Conspiracy of Us (13 January 2015, Putnam Juvenile). When I first learned that this book was set in Paris I became so excited for it. I took my first trip to this amazing city in October 2014 and have every intention of returning to it one day. I also spent a little time in the Istanbul airport and while airports aren’t my jam I would one day like to spend time in this fascinating sounding city. The Conpiracy of Us sounds also sounds fascinating and after reading Maggie’s post below I want to read it even more!

irishdarkblue

 

Conspiracy of Us

 

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with.

 

Conspiracy of Us Guest Post

I knew from the beginning that CONSPIRACY would be set abroad. It makes sense for the story, of course, since the twelve families of the Circle are scattered around the globe, but setting a story in a city unfamiliar to the main character automatically makes it more of an adventure, too. Avery, my heroine, had never been out of the country before the start of this book, so I wanted settings that would be really exciting and striking for a first-time traveler.

eiffel-tower-photo

Source: http://images.mapsofworld.com/travel/eiffel-tower-photo.jpg

Of course, I immediately thought of Paris. Paris is the cliche “best place to travel” for a reason. You can walk down any random street in that city, look up, and you’re looking at a building older than the United States as a country. You’ll follow your nose to a crepe stand, and realize your life hasn’t been complete until you eat a thin sheet of pastry wrapped around a scoop of Nutella and cooked by the side of the road. You’ll almost be run over by a Vespa driven by the most chic older lady you’ve ever seen, and you’ll laugh it off. You’ll eat bread and cheese for dinner, sitting with hundreds of well-dressed French people on the banks of the Seine river, and never want to eat anything but bread and cheese again. And then you’ll look up and see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and wonder if you’re actually in a movie, because this place isn’t real, is it? That’s Paris. It’s magical.

Istanbul

Source: http://wallsev.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Istanbul-HD-Wallpaper.jpg

And then there’s Istanbul. It’s such an interesting city—it’s on the very edge of Europe, and in some ways, it’s very European. It’s as fashionable as the big European cities, and has a feel much like some of them in ways—but if you look even slightly under the surface, there’s a side to it that no European city has, because it’s also kind of in the Middle East, with the rich traditions, colors, food, and feeling of that culture that is so different to most Western travelers. There are kebab stands on every corner in some neighborhoods. There are ladies in all manner of lovely headscarves, and also ladies in miniskirts. There are breathtakingly beautiful mosques that sound the call to prayer all through the day, and also lovely churches. Istanbul is really a study in contrast, and it makes it such a lively and intriguing city.

To me, travel means seeing the world differently. Seeing how people in other countries and other cultures go about their lives, and realizing that the world is not as small as it sometimes seems to you. Of course, when I travel, I am not usually running for my life like Avery is! But even for someone in a situation like hers, having her story go on in a place that’s as foreign to her as the revelations she’s learning along the way adds an intensity—and a beauty, I think—to her journey.

Check out the other stops on the tour

Effortlessly Reading – 1/13

Two Chicks on Books – 1/14

Ticket to Anywhere – 1/15

Mostly YA Obsessed – 1/16

Reading is My Treasure – 1/17

A Dream Within a Dream – 1/18

The Midnight Garden – 1/19

Seeing Double In Neverland – 1/20

Jessabella Reads – 1/22

The Book Cellar – 1/25

The Books Buzz – 1/29

 

 

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