Monday, March 7, 2016

FFBC Tours: The Yearbook by Carol Masciola + Giveaway


The Yearbook
by Carol Masciola
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: October 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
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Synopsis:

Misfit teen Lola Lundy has every right to her anger and her misery. She’s failing in school, living in a group home, and social workers keep watching her like hawks, waiting for her to show signs of the horrible mental illness that cost Lola’s mother her life. Then, one night, she falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library, where she’s seen an old yearbook—from the days when the place was an upscale academy for young scholars instead of a dump. When Lola wakes, it’s to a scene that is nothing short of impossible.

Lola quickly determines that she’s gone back to the past—eighty years in the past, to be exact. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, because she’s seen his senior portrait in the yearbook. By night’s end, Lola thinks she sees hope for her disastrous present: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But is it real? Or has the major mental illness in Lola’s family background finally claimed her? Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into a romantic hallucination she created in her own mind, wishing on the ragged pages of a yearbook from a more graceful time long ago?


Carol Masciola got the idea for her novel The Yearbook (Merit Press, Nov. 2015), after inheriting a 1924 yearbook that had belonged to her grandmother. She is a former newspaper reporter and winner of the PEN/West Literary Award in journalism. Two of her screenplays, THE FIERY DEPTHS and THE UGLY STICK, are in development.
She is a graduate of Oberlin College.




MAIN INTERVIEW

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  Favorite Book?
 This is so hard. I know this isn’t a very original answer, but I periodically re-read The Great Gatsby because I just love it. It’s one book I can read over and over and never get tired of.


  Favorite TV show?
 All the Columbo episodes from the 1970’s, especially the ones with Jack Cassidy as the villain, wearing a leisure suit. I have strange attraction to 1970’s detective shows. Kojak. Mannix. Banacek. Especially the office furniture and the awful orange curtains.

      Favorite movie? 
Sunset Boulevard. (1950) A down-on-his-luck screenwriter becomes the boy-toy of an aging silent film star whose fall from fame has affected her sanity. If you haven’t seen it, you must!

   Your Favorite Song?
 I really don’t have a favorite song, although I am sort of musical. I play the piano.


   Favorite Food?
 I like most everything. Maybe I should tell you what I don’t like: sardines (too bony), lamb, gross organ meats like liver. I don’t like to encounter those even from a distance. Oh, and I hate chutney, although I’m rarely presented with it.


    Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 
I’d definitely like to attend one of the Great Gatsby’s roaring lawn parties. I’d like to go inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and lick the lickable wallpaper. And I’d like to go to Pippi Longstockings’s South Seas island and swing around in the coconut trees.


    Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend? 
I’ve always thought Captain Nemo was pretty hot. All that brooding nautical genius, and the dashing uniform. Although he is completely insane. And I don’t like his freaky organ playing. I might need more time to think about this question.


       Favorite Quote? 
“The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” It’s an old Arab proverb, particularly relevant now in this age of instant news and social media. Even the hottest news is instantly forgotten the day after it happens.

     What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?
 Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. I love the way she combines the ordinary with the highly disturbing. Although she’s dead, so I can’t actually stalk her or anything. I have thought of going to visit her grave, since it’s in Switzerland. (I’m living in Geneva at the moment.)


  If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? 
Maybe I’d like to meet Lord Byron, the British romantic poet and scandalous degenerate. His name is carved on old plaques all over Switzerland. He slept here, he slept there, he slept (apparently with everyone) everywhere. And next to all these plaques, modern life is now taking place, presenting a juxtaposition of past and present. I read somewhere that Lord Byron was very interested in science and technology, and it would be fun to bring him to 2016 and show him my iPhone, and maybe drive him around in my Peugeot station wagon. I can’t imagine what kinds of observations he’d make. He died in 1824.


Something to say to our Book Addicts? 
I’m just happy to be here and visit with you and I hope you’ll check out The Yearbook. And please put up a review on Amazon if you liked it! I also like to hear from readers. Don’t be shy about writing to me.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Hello Carol! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about The Yearbook? The Yearbook is about an unstable 16-year-old girl, Lola Lundy, who finds a 1923 yearbook in a storage room in her school library, and before she knows it, whoosh, she’s in 1923 at a dance. She decides she likes the 1923 version of herself better than the 2016, and, moreover, she’s met a very exciting senior guy from the class of 1923. She vows to stay and live in the past. But can she? The time portal is fickle and she can’t control it. There’s also the matter of her mental state. Her late mother had schizophrenia, so there’s the possibility that she’s hallucinating the whole thing.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing? 
I inherited my grandmother’s 1924 yearbook from Charleston High School (in Charleston, West Virginia) and looking at it gave me the idea of a girl who somehow enters the lost world of an old yearbook. A novel that somewhat inspired The Yearbook was the British classic, Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. It’s a time-travel story involving an adolescent boy. I highly recommend it.

Tell us your favorite quote from 
The Yearbook. In Chapter 11, Lola goes to a bonfire with some other teenagers in 1923. You really see the difference between teen life then and now. They play the ukulele and sing to make their own entertainment. Eating was very different, too. There were no convenience foods, (pizza was unknown) no paper napkins, no plastic silverware, no plastic at all, in fact. Prohibition was on, so they were always trying to figure out how and where to get beer. Here’s an excerpt:

Thumbtack and Hershel spread a picnic blanket smack in the middle of the action and unpacked the food: forty-eight chicken legs, four pies, an enormous meatloaf, a basket of buttermilk biscuits, a crock of butter, a bushel basket of apples and half a dozen thermoses. There were hand-painted tea cups and china plates, real silverware and linen napkins and little aluminum cups that popped up like telescopes out of little leather cases.
“Wow. Where’d you get all this food?” Lola marveled.
“Whaddaya mean where’d we get it?” Ruby said. “We cooked it of course.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  
Let me tell you what was the HARDEST—writing about the love relationship, and the romance, between the two main characters, Lola and Peter. It’s so easy to sound corny or ridiculous when you talk about love. I rewrote the love scenes over and over and over so they wouldn’t sound like Valentine’s Day cards. The thing is, romantic love is such heavily trodden ground. You can’t expect to find something new to say about it.

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters? (It can be anyone – famous or not)
For the part of Lola, how about Chloë Grace Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld or Shailene Woodley? And for Peter, Josh Hutcherson, Alex Pettyfer or Evan Peters.

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read The Yearbook (specific music, snacks…)? 
Snacks? Popcorn, because you know, popcorn is timeless and goes with everything. Music? Definitely “The Charleston.” Or any dance music from the 1920s.

What’s next for you?
I have a novel in the works about a scandal involving a classical music trio in their freshman year of college. We’ll see how it goes. I also have a number of screenplays I’m marketing right now. One of them is a teen fantasy called The Ugly Stick that I think is a lot of fun—a bit “Revenge of the Nerds” meets “Mean Girls”.


Thank you so much for everything, Carol! You’re so welcomed. Thank you right back.






YA Obsessed - Review
Life of a Female Bibliophile - Promotional Post




Ink of Blood - Review
soycazadoradesombrasylibros - Lola's Birthday Presents


Avid Reader - Review
A Dream Within A Dream - Promotional Post


Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps - Review + Favorite Quotes
When Curiosity Killed The Cat - Review + Favorite Quotes


Boricuan Bookworms - Review + Playlist

~GIVEAWAY~
Win (1) of (3) copies of The Yearbook
US/Canada Only
Ends March 15th
a Rafflecopter giveaway


FFBC TOURS - A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund + Giveaway


A Daring Sacrifice (An Uncertain Choice #2)
by Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings, Christian
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Synopsis:

In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she's grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she's come to despise.




Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances including books for adults and youth. She currently makes her home in central Michigan with her husband and their five busy children.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.





Hello Everyone! We are super excited to be hosting Jody Hedlund this week!  
Please read below to get to know more about Jody and her book, A Daring Sacrifice! And make sure to enter the giveaway below! 


Main Interview


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

1. Favorite Book? A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett


2. Favorite TV show? Survivor


3. Favorite movie? Cinderella (the 2015 release starring Lily James)


4. Your Favorite Song? Piano Guys “Rockebel’s Canon”


5. Favorite Food? Chocolate (Nachos is a close second)


6. Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. Narnia, the castle in Cinderella, and the time traveling capability of the Ruby Red series


7. Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend? Leopold from the movie Kate and Leopold


8. Favorite Quote? “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” ~Martin Luther


9. What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over? The release of the next book in the series of some of my favorite authors.


10. If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? Louisa May Alcott of Little Women


11. Something to say to our Book Addicts? I adore audio books (through Audible)! They are my comfort food. And good news! A Daring Sacrifice is available on Audible/ITunes/Amazon for anyone else who loves audio books!



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Hello Jody! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about A Daring Sacrifice?

The feisty heroine of the story is Lady Juliana Wessex who has been living in the forest in hiding from her tyrannical uncle who believes she was killed along with her father. Little does he know that the Cloaked Bandit who has been robbing him and other noblemen with a well-placed arrow is really Juliana, the rightful heir to Wessex.

The dashing hero of the story is Lord Collin Goodrich who is one of the three knights that vied for Lady Rosemarie’s hand in An Uncertain Choice. After returning home from his failed attempts to win Lady Rosemarie’s, he’s bored and lonely and ready for another adventure.

During a hunting expedition, adventure lands behind him on his horse in the form of a quick and daring thief. Compassionate at heart, Collin lets the thief and his accomplice escape and even aids them by giving them more than they ask for. Sensing all is not as it seems with the young thief, Collin tracks the duo and discovers Lady Juliana, the beautiful red-headed neighbor he’d once known in childhood.

Collin challenges Juliana to stay on his estate for a week in order to prove to her that the nobility are not all evil and hopefully convince her to give up her dangerous thieving ways. In return Juliana challenges him to come live among the poor peasants for a week. Accepting the challenges brings about more problems than either anticipated, especially as they learn they must sacrifice more than they’d ever imagined.


Could you describe the main character of A Daring Sacrifice in a tweet (140 characters)?

Robin Hood's got nothing on this girl! Read @jodyhedlund's A DARING SACRIFICE #amreading #YAlit #medievalromance

A spirited heroine and a charming warrior do battle in @JodyHedlund's A DARING SACRIFICE #YAlit #medievalromance

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?
I've always loved tales about underdogs rising up against injustice. The story of Robin Hood encompasses such an element, where the poor are unfairly cast from their homes, forced into hiding, and must rely upon their fearless leader to fight for their rights.
Instead of a nobleman leading and fighting for the needs of the underdogs, I decided to add a twist and have my heroine, a displaced noblewoman be the leader of a band of poor outcasts. As a skilled archer, she's gained a reputation as the "Cloaked Bandit" doing her best to protect and provide for the people she's grown to love.


Tell us your favorite quote from A Daring Sacrifice.






Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?
I had a lot of fun writing the sword-wielding, arrow-shooting, death-defying scenes, especially the last few chapters where the characters are in really desperate straits! In addition, I always have fun figuring out how my heroine can help save the day (because while I like having the knight come to the rescue, I also like being able to have the heroine do some rescuing too!).

Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters? (It can be anyone – famous or not)

Here are the two pictures I liked best and put on Pinterest on my A Daring Sacrifice Novel Board (make sure to check out the board for more pictures AND join my Reader’s Board to add your own pictures!) Here are Lord Collin and Lady Juliana as I envision them:





Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read A Daring Sacrifice (specific music, snacks…)?

Go hammocking! Hang a hammock in the woods (or a wooded area) and read the book there!

What would you say is the best thing about retelling stories?

I’ve always loved fairy tales, castles, knights, and damsels in distress. I love the chivalry, honor, and courage that are so often displayed during that time. And I really like how stark and different their way of living was. It’s such a contrast from how we live that I find it fascinating.

Additionally, I love that the Middle Ages was filled with so much danger not only from wars and battles among kings and lords, but also due to the elements, harsh living conditions, and diseases. It was a time of plagues, dungeons, torture, and all the stuff that makes for a good plot!


What’s next for you?

For Love and Honor is the third book in the series and gives the final knight his happily-ever-after. (It releases March 2017) However, as you know from the cliff-hanger at the end of A Daring Sacrifice, he has to work extremely hard to gain his true love as well as save his life and those of the people he loves.

I had a lot of fun writing the heroine of the third book. She’s a little quirky and not quite as beautiful (aka more normal!) as the ladies in the first two books. She’s also hiding a secret, a “blemish” on her skin that could brand her as a witch if anyone ever sees it. During the Middle Ages, the time of the Inquisition and extreme religious intolerance, even the slightest mole, birth defect, or blemish could easily lead to accusations of witchcraft.  The times were dangerous, and of course, I just love putting my characters right into the middle of the worst possible danger.


Thank you so much for everything, Jody!












Ink of Blood - Review




Addicted Readers - Promotional Post


Coffee Books & Art - Promotional Post




~ GIVEAWAY~

Win (1) Finished Copy of A Daring Sacrifice
US ONLY 
ENDS March 15th!