Meet the Newbies: Danika Stone

Tuesday, 31 May 2016


All the Feels comes out in about a week, and I can't wait for it because I know it'll give me (get ready for the worst pun of the century) ALL THE FEELS.

For those of you who don't know what Meet the Newbies is, it's a fun way to introduce you all to authors debuting in 2016 and it's organized by the lovely Rachel from A Perfection Called Books. To see the full schedule, click here

Today I have the wonderful privilege of introducing to you all Danika Stone, author of All the Feels!!!

Author Most Likely To Be An Actual Dragon

Nickname: Khaleesi
First Day of School: June 7, 2016 
Homeroom: Macmillan
Grade: YA Contemporary
Extracurricular Activities: Painting, writing, hiking, and time-stealing. (No really, you just lost five minutes.)
Favourite Class: New Media – COMPUTERS FOREVERRRRRR! (It doesn't count as extracurricular because I never get OFF the internet.)
Favourite Quote/Motto: “Only One Man Calls Me Darlin’,” Captain Matt Spartan, Starveil. #SpartanSurvived

Onto the Interview!

What book, movie, or TV show are you a diehard fan of?

Right now, I’m obsessed with The 100, though that will probably change if you give me a month. I think my brain is HARDWIRED where fandom is concerned!

(Liran's Note: THE 100 YES!!! I WHOLEHEARTEDLY APPROVE!!!) 

What's your favourite convention you've ever visited? And if you haven't visited any, which conventions would you really like to go to?

Dragon Con, hands down, is my favorite convention. It’s fan-run, fan-focused, and the interaction you get with your favorite stars is something that you just don’t find at other, bigger cons. Want to talk to Sebastian Stan? He’s probably over at High Velocity right now, having drinks.

Having said all of that, I’d never turn down a pass to Comic Con if someone offered me one. It’s amazing, for completely different reasons. (And it’s definitely on my bucket list!)

(Liran's Note: I really want to go to Comic Con at some point too!!!!) 

What was your first fandom?

There are a few contenders, but my oldest fandom is probably The X-Files. More than a decade ago, I remember reading a Twin Peaks / X-Files crossover fic that answered so many questions I had about both universes. The recent resurgence of X-Files fandom has been AMAZING!

Can you sort your characters into their Hogwarts Houses?

#Fact: I sort EVERYONE into Hogwarts Houses. Not even kidding.

Liv Walden: Hufflepuff (and proud!) She’s hardworking, patient and loyal. A good friend.

Xander Hall: Gryffindor, for his nerve and overabundance of chivalry. (Both of which sometimes get him into trouble!)

Arden (Xander’s girlfriend): Ravenclaw for her wit and intelligence. Although Arden isn’t my favorite character in All the Feels, she sees and understands a lot of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Captain Matt Spartan (in character): Gryffindor for daring and bravery far beyond the call of duty in leading the Resistance.

Tom Grander (in person): Slytherin, for his ambition and cunning. He’s made a career out of it, and always has his eyes on the prize.

(Liran's Note: As a Slytherin myself, I am very happy that there is another one in All the Feels!!!!)

What inspired you to write All the Feels?

There’s always a lot of reasons for writing a book, but the main one that comes to mind is my RL friend, @CoulsonLives. She is very much the reason that Agents of Shield came to be. When Agent Coulson died at the end of The Avengers, she took it on herself to bring him back – inviting fans everywhere to provide proof of his survive. It worked!

Even more than this one experience are the people that make up fandom. @CoulsonLives is just one of the amazing people I’ve met through the years. In writing All the Feels, I wanted to celebrate the power of fandom and all it can be.

(Liran's Note: Awwwwww. Fandoms are great.)

Do you have any writing advice for aspiring authors?

Stop trying to find the “right time” and just do it. So much of publishing comes down to dumb luck – being in the right place at the right time – that you’ll miss the opportunities if you’re not in the game. Still waiting for the ‘right moment’? It’s here.

Start now.

About All the Feels:

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life...and her last tangible connection to her deceased father. Thus, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can't. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a call that ignites the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life, and her disapproving mother's new boyfriend. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to get away from it all... and figure out what (and who!) she really wants, in this geeky romance by Danika Stone.

Where To Purchase All the Feels:

Chapters/Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Amazon CA | Book Depository | Kobo

About Danika:

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series, Edge of Wild and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus, and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Where To Find Danika:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | YouTube | Tumblr

Giveaway:

One Pre-Order or Finished Copy of any one of the debut novels featured on Meet the Newbies. It's international so long as the Book Depository ships to you! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Danika! Be sure to go check out All the Feels which hits shelves June 7th!

Meet the Newbies: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Saturday, 21 May 2016

For those of you who don't know what Meet the Newbies is, it's a fun way to introduce you all to authors debuting in 2016 and it's organized by the lovely Rachel from A Perfection Called Books. To see the full schedule, click here.

Today I've got the wonderful Laurie E. Flynn on here! She's the author of Firsts (which I've heard *phenomenal* things about) that you should all go pick up ASAP!!!

Author Most Likely To Be On Her Tenth Cup Of Coffee Right Now

Nickname: Hurricane
First Day of School: January 5, 2016
Homeroom: Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin's Press
Grade: YA Contemporary
Extracurricular Activities: Painting, hiking, thrift store shopping, hot yoga, eating nachos
Favourite Class: English Literature (No surprise there!)
Favourite Quote/Motto: "Comparison is the thief of joy."


Onto the Interview!


1. Your book has been out for a few months now. How did it feel to see your book in a bookstore for the first time? Has that feeling gone away since?

It was pretty much the coolest feeling ever seeing my book on shelves! The first time I saw it in person was at Brookline Booksmith in Boston with my critique partner, Emily Martin, whose book was also on the shelf (two weeks early, which was a surprise!). Sharing that experience together after so many "firsts" along the way was awesome! The euphoria of seeing Firsts in the wild definitely hasn't gone away. Every time someone tweets or shares a photo of my book on the shelf at different bookstores, I'm giddy-- and slightly jealous that I'm not traveling as many cool places as my book!

2. Do you think Firsts would make for a better movie or TV show?

What a great question! I think it would be amazing to see it as either. There would be definite and uncontrollable flailing if that happened!

(Liran's Note: Due to the fact that Hollywood really struggles with keeping the movie faithful to the book more so than they do with TV shows, TV show all the way!!!)

3. Can you sort your characters into their Divergent Factions?

Confession: I haven't read the Divergent series yet! The books sound fantastic, though, and they're definitely on my TBR. I have heard great things!

(Liran's Note: I haven't read them either, but my mom did and she liked them!!!)

What's your favourite place you've ever visited?

That's a difficult question! I've been lucky enough to travel lots of places in my life so far. I fell in love with Paris when I lived there, but when my husband and I were camping in Botswana, I totally lost track of time-- it was so gorgeous and peaceful. We also went on a road trip last summer, where I was astounded by the beauty of the Yukon. 

(Liran's Note: PPPPPAAAARRRRIIIIISSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!)

What's the best part about being a debut author?

Being part of the kidlit community is such a wonderful, empowering feeling that I'm grateful for every day. Seeing my book on shelves aside authors I admire is still so surreal! But my very favorite part of being a debut author is receiving messages from readers who loved Firsts and resonated with something in the story. Those messages make my heart swell and those readers reaching out means the world to me.

Do you have any writing advice for aspiring authors?

Write the story in your heart-- the one only you can write-- even if it scares you. Especially if it scares you. That means it's worth it. And create habits, because the only way that story gets written is if you put in the work. Make writing a priority. And above all else, have fun with it!

About Firsts:

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.


Watch the Firsts book trailer here!

Where to Purchase Firsts:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indigo | iTunes | Kobo | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target

Add Firsts to your Goodreads bookshelf here!

About Laurie:

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, Firsts, is out now with Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press.

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.

Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles.

Laurie is represented by the amazing Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Giveaway:

1 Pre-Order or Finished Copy of Any Debut Novel Featured on Meet the Newbies. It's International (as long as The Book Depository ships to your country)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope you all enjoyed getting to know Laurie! Be sure to go get Firsts, available at your favourite book store now!

What Liran's Listening To #3

Friday, 20 May 2016

I haven't blogged in a while. Whoops.

Anyway, here's the playlist.



Songs I Recommend:

- Into You // Ariana Grande (I really like her new stuff. It's way more mature than her previous albums.)
- Sound of Silence // Dami Im (So I was a fan of Dami before Eurovision, so I was really happy when I found out she was going to represent Australia. Australia should have won. Just saying.)
- I also recommend the entire Wiped Out! album by The Neighbourhood because it's phenomenal. The songs on the list are just the ones I've been listening to a ton recently.

Mind-Numbing Bops:

- Work From Home // Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign (Catchy beat, generic lyrics, meh overall.)
- Close // Nick Jonas feat. Tove Lo (I love Tove Lo's stuff, but this song is strictly a generic, I've-heard-something-really-similar-before type of song. It doesn't help that I'm not a fan of Nick's.)

I think that's all. Enjoy the music and let me know what songs you're loving! :)

Review of The Crown

Friday, 6 May 2016
Instead of making this like a regular review, I'm going to just talk a little bit about ALL. OF. MY. EMOTIONS. and then add my playlist for The Crown. So enjoy. :)

Wow. It's over. And I'm not okay. (Yes, MCR "I'm Not Okay"-level I'm not okay.)

That's it.

BUT I MISS MAXON SO MUCH.

It was a satisfying conclusion to the series and while it didn't end the way I wanted it to, I'll live. I think it's worth reading for the sake of closure and the fact that Kiera has improved IMMENSELY over the years. It didn't drag, I could actually tolerate Eadlyn, and those Maxerica moments were so perfect. I cried.

Anyway, here's my playlist with no spoilery explanations. Enjoy!!! :)



Hope you all enjoy/enjoyed The Crown as much as I did!

Meet the Newbies: Emily Henry

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


For those of you who don't know what Meet the Newbies is, it's a fun way to introduce you all to authors debuting in 2016 and it's organized by the lovely Rachel from A Perfection Called Books. To see the full schedule, click here.

Today I've got the lovely Emily Henry, author of The Love That Split the World on here! Here's a little bit about her!

Nickname: Em
First Day of School: January 26, 2016
Homeroom: Razorbill/Penguin
Grade: Speculative YA Romance
Extracurricular Activities: Leaning angstily against lockers, hiding in the bathroom during pep rallies, trying so hard to smoke cigarettes but actually just having asthma attacks, Breakfast Club
Favourite Class: Care and Keeping of Magical Creatures
Favourite Quote/Motto: "And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.” ― Raymond Carver, Late Fragment

Now for the interview!

Lionsgate recently bought the movie rights to TLTSTW. Do you have a dream cast?

Ah, thank you so much! I honestly think if the movie gets made, it’s going to be its own separate entity from the book, so on the one hand I try not to speculate on anything, but on the other hand, OF COURSE I’VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT! I don’t necessarily think I have a *dream* cast, but I’ve (semi) joked about Beau being played by a southern’ed up Harry Styles, or a slew of actors who are now much too old (or dead) to play him (young Johnny Depp, young James Dean, etc.) or Scott Eastwood, who is pretty much young Clint Eastwood anyway. I also love the idea of the main cast being “unknowns.” But I think Devery Jacobs could also be an insanely cute Natalie. She’s got that sweet, girl-next-door look. Again, I’d love an unknown actor for Megan but I also think Elle Fanning is completely adorable and if she had the right chemistry with Nat, I’d be sold. Oh, and I think Zach Roerig, a few years ago, would’ve been an excellent Matt Kincaid. I actually have a Pinterest board for the dream-cast too: https://www.pinterest.com/eannehenry/tltstw-dreamcast/

(Liran's Note: Yyyyyyeeeeessssssssssss!!!!!! *insert all the heart-eye emojis*) 

Beau = Very, very, very swoon-worthy. Can you tell us about some of your favourite fictional males/boyfriends?

Yay for swoony fictional characters! Yay for your being appropriately ~swooned~ by Beau. I have so many favorites it’s ridiculous. A kind of funny one--I’m a diehard Fred & George Weasley girl. I love ridiculous trouble makers. I’m also pretty pro-Gansey at this point. I actually just finished The Raven Boys so I’m really excited I have more Gansey books (and also terrified, because, hello, eerie death-prophecy). I’m a little bit obsessed with Jamie Watson from A Study in Charlotte. He’s like, exactly who high school-Me would’ve been into. And speaking of Jamies, JAMIE FRASER, HELP.

(Liran's Note: JAMIE FRASER!!!!! OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Do you have a playlist for TLTSTW or any songs that you listened to while writing it?

I do, in fact! You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhvRobspn_-Qnb9ovTXBGiOyJD6AXW2xL. I also have a playlist specifically for Natalie (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhvRobspn_-QwGYFaxrYk8d7foC3W-JXE) and one for Beau (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhvRobspn_-RLGEymGlQxCL0O4U0RJtVj)! I unfortunately am too easily distracted to listen to much music while drafting (unless it’s ambient music I don’t already know) because I just start being too much attention to it. I did always have a few songs in my mind though while writing. One is “Helpless” by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. The other is “Threnody” by Goldmund. My friend, Jack, was visiting to help out with my launch party and he told me he imagined Beau’s song for Natalie sounding something like “Threnody,” and I think I screamed victoriously because that was exactly what I had in mind.

You love nail polish just as much as I do. What are your favourite nail polishes that you like to use to paint your nails with?

ANYTHING sparkly. I also like mustard yellow and gunmetal grey (both matte) a lotttttttt. But yes, sparkly is fun because as it chips, you just feel like a kid in the best, most magical way. I have one that’s called like, “Metallic Coin,” or something. It’s in between silver and gold, just sort of a dull brassy color but totally glittery, and I love that one a lot because it goes on so smoothly (and despite LOVING painting my nails, I’m actually pretty terrible at it, so it’s helpful when you get something with a really smooth consistency to it), plus that one dries pretty quickly. I have a habit of doing my nails and then being like, “WHOOPS, FORGOT I COMMITTED TO BAKING A PIE,” or basically anything else that requires use of my hands.

(Liran's Note: THAT ALWAYS HAPPENS TO ME TOO!!!! Also, for those who want their nails to look like TLTSTW's gorgeous cover, I did a how-to post.) 

You have gorgeous hair. How do you get your hair to look like that?

Ahhhhhhh, you are so nice, is especially because your own hair is so Fire Emoji. Also this is hilarious, because I’m pretty sure you’re referencing the fact that I tweeted about how this is one of the top three most common questions I get “about my writing” (LOL). Here’s the deal, wavy-headed babes, dudes, nonbinary pals, et. al: You gotta embrace the ridiculousness. I spent so many years frying the s**** out of my hair trying to pretend I had straight hair, and I don’t. I also spent years blow-drying my hair, which basically just makes my head look like a very frizzy pyramid. Finally I realized I’m born to look like a lion in a lightning storm; that’s my perfect aesthetic. So now here’s my routine: brush my hair BEFORE showering, shampoo the roots, condition the ends, do nothing after (otherwise you invite the frizz). Expect it to look bad on day 1. It will usually look pretty good on day 2, for like a handful of hours before the oil sets in. Then it’s time to bust out the dry shampoo and use it liberally on the roots. That gives it body and cleans it up but the ends have also had time to stop looking like freshly laundered hay, so like, all around, pretty good. Mostly my theory is: make friends with your hair instead of trying to master it. I feel like that’s a pretty good approach.

(Liran's Note: Thank you!!!!!! And I didn't actually see the tweet but lol!!!) 

You recently announced that your publisher, Razorbill bought A Million Junes. Can you tell us a little bit about AMJ? Was your writing process while writing AMJ similar to your writing process for TLTSTW?

A Million Junes is another genre-bending mystery/romance, this time set in a fictional lakeside town in Michigan. This new book really builds on all the concepts I was exploring with The Love That Split the World. Whereas that was largely about love and identity, I’d say this book is more about grief and purpose but it also explores time from a completely different vantage point than TLTSTW. It takes a bit more of a surreal turn, so I’m really hoping those who loved my first book will be willing to follow me into new territory. And also, it’s lighter on the science so hopefully those who got lost in that will feel a little more at ease within this book. It definitely feels to me like A Million Junes exists in the same world as TLTSTW. Magical and weird and impossible. I don’t want to say too much since it’s far off but there are “ghosts,” in some way or another, and weirdly magical animals, and I wanted this one to feel a bit like a summery Miyazaki movie.

(Liran's Note: You can add A Million Junes on Goodreads here.) 

Do you have any writing advice for aspiring writers?

Ugh, so much! I’m recycling this from a previous post I did but I think it’s still pretty much what I would say:

A) Learn to write everyday but don't force yourself to continue once you've proven you can, because everyone's process is different. A daily word-count might be what you need, but it also might not be.

B) Keep your eyes on your own paper and don't worry about what anyone else is doing. You see very little of the struggle and get an inflated version of the success, so tune out what you think you see on social media and let yourself love the "getting there."

C) Read and write as much as you can, but also make time for real life. Which leads into...

D) If there's one thing I wish I'd realized earlier it's this: don't write for any other reason than wanting to tell the story. If you put in the time and effort, you can get published, but selling a book won't make all your problems go away. It will bring you all kinds of new joys and new struggles. When it comes down to it, your books aren't going to love you back. They're your gift to the world, and you need people who pour back into you all that you pour out, or you're going to burn out. Make time for writing, absolutely, but also make time for the people who will love you as much if you're a NYT bestseller as if you never write again.

About The Love That Split the World:


Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. 

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.


Where To Purchase The Love That Split The World:

Amazon.ca | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Chapters/Indigo | Book Depository | iBooks | Amazon | Goodreads

About Emily:

Emily Henry is full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite.

Where To Find Emily

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Giveaway

One Pre-Order or Finished Copy of any one of the debut novels featured on Meet the Newbies. It's international so long as the Book Depository ships to you! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Emily! Be sure to go pick up The Love That Split the World available at your favourite bookstore now!