Friday, April 15, 2016

Interview and Giveaway: Erin Fletcher and PIECES OF YOU AND ME

Happy Friday everyone!

Have I mentioned it's good to be back? Because it really, really is. And I'm so excited to have the opportunity to celebrate the release of PIECES OF YOU AND ME with one of my super-talented friends (and YA author) Erin Fletcher.

Up for grabs today? A personalized, signed copy of PIECES OF YOU AND ME, a mini skateboard for those of you who (like me) will fall for Chase, a composition notebook like the one Rylee and Chase shared as kids, and an Orange Crush chapstick in place of their favorite soda, because shipping of the real thing can get sorry of messy. And shaken up. And no one likes exploding soda, Orange flavored or not.

Before I jump into the interview, here's a little more about Erin and her latest swoon-y release...

Goodreads Description:
Five years.

That’s how long I’ve been gone. Since I left my best friend—the girl I loved—behind.
Five seconds.

That's how long it takes to realize I am completely, utterly, screwed. Because now that I’m back, my childhood crush has turned into so much more.

Rylee has changed. We both have. And now I’m drawn to her in a completely different way. To her smile. Her touch. To reliving old memories and making new ones. To the happiness she’s always given me that I haven’t felt since I left.

But her friends are hell-bent on keeping us apart. My dad is one drink away from destroying both of our lives, and maybe I am, too. It’s only a matter of time before I have to leave again, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I never get a choice.

The one choice I can make? Stay away from Rylee. Because if I don’t, I’ll break her heart—and mine—all over again.

You can find PIECES OF YOU AND ME on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Erin is a young adult author from North Carolina. She is a morning person who does most of her writing before sunrise, while drinking excessive quantities of coffee. She believes flip-flops qualify as year-round footwear, and would spend every day at the beach if she could. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics, which is almost never useful when writing books.

You can find Erin on her book launch website, twitter, and blog.

The Interview:

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog to talk about PoYaM, Erin!

Erin's writing space
As a writer, I'm always curious where the writing "magic" happens for books. Can you tell us where most of PoYaM was written? Did you move around from place to place or have a set preferred writing routine?

Most of the "magic" happened at my writing desk. My favorite part about this space is that it overlooks the woods in my backyard. So peaceful! (Though I do occasionally get distracted by birds and squirrels and leaves blowing in the wind and... #natureproblems) The desk is also where I have my essential oil diffuser. I like to diffuse blends that inspire creativity, help with focus, and smell amazing!

So, Riley and Chase, your two main characters grew up sharing a love of Orange this something you share with them or is that strictly their thing? And if calories were no object, what would be your most favorite beverage?

The orange soda thing totally came from Rylee and Chase's past. They drank it a lot as kids, and now that they're back together, it brings back memories for them. I'm not a huge orange soda fan, but I did drink it while writing so I could describe the taste. Plus, it helped me get in the world of the book! My favorite beverage is a mocha coconut frappuccino. It's usually only available in the summer, but it. Is. Amazing!

*adds Mocha Coconut Frappuccino to list of things I need to try*

Do you have a song or playlist that reminds you of the book? Something that fits the "mood"?

"Hello" by Adele really reminds me of the book! First, because the song was playing on the radio a lot while I was writing the book, and second because so many lines remind me Chase and Rylee when they're separated, before they're reunited. (Annnnd now I have to go blast that song on repeat!)

This is so perfect for Chase and Rylee! Not to mention that I adore not just the song but the ENTIRE album. Heck, I have a girl crush on Adele. Who doesn't? She's pretty amazing. 

Ummm, how about we take a quick break and watch the video, yeah? Yeah.

That song certainly feels right for the book...Speaking of books, what was the last unputdownable, addictive book you read?

I'm going to cheat and go with my last unputdownable audiobook! I listened to READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline, which is narrated by Wil Wheaton. I got so incredibly wrapped up in the story and the OASIS and who would find Halliday's Easter egg that I could not. Stop. Listening. I listened while going for walks and took the longest paths I could find (I kicked butt in my FitBit challenges for a few weeks, haha). I had to drive a ton for my day job and did not care one bit. Seriously addictive.

Last question, and it's a hard one...cake or ice cream? 

Ice cream! Absolutely. Preferably chocolate chip cookie dough.

....and now I'm hungry. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by, Erin!

To win a signed, personalized copy of PoYaM, as well as the goodies pictured below,  all you need is an email address to enter (so I can notify you if you win)...all other items in the Rafflecopter giveaway are optional. The winner will be announced next Friday, April 22nd.

GOOD LUCK! And until next time...

Peace, love, and lots and lots of books!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Where I've been...sort of

So... *ahem*

It has been....a....while...

Before I get into the details of the curve ball that tossed my life a little (read: A LOT!) out of balance for a while, you should know going in that this one is going to be a bit personal. And sad. I'm going to be honest: writing this will still cause tears to pour down my face. So there's your warning: if you want to close out now and save yourself, now is your chance. RUN.

No? This is like one of those accidents on the highway, isn't it? You want to look away, but you can't. Because we all have that strange curiosity thing inside of us, don't we?

And I'm procrastinating. Because yeah. Baby steps.

Best to rip that band-aid off, I in October 2015, my fur baby got sick and sort of passed out/fell over on the living room carpet one night, so we went to the vet the next morning, thinking maybe he had diabetes or a dietary problem:

Vannie and hubs chilling at the vet

Spoiler Alert: this was not a good day. Not at all.

Our sweet Vannie was sick and not the "he'll get better soon kind" but the "you have a few hours" kind. And I still can't type that without bawling like a baby. We were told it would be fast, but my sweet guy managed to hang on for a few weeks for us...mostly I think to allow us the opportunity to really snuggle him, say our goodbyes properly, and cook him lots and lots of chicken and rice.

I spent two weeks sleeping on the downstairs couch because he no longer had the strength to go up the stairs. I'd sleep with one hand lying on his back, just in case he needed me, because you see,  I was his "person", and if you've ever had pets, you know what I mean. There was this "thing" we had that is hard to explain, but losing him really, really, REALLY crushed me.

For those who know me IRL, you'll likely find this hard to believe, but growing up I was an extreme introvert. (As in I didn't talk to anyone, not my teachers, not other people, no one except my immediate family. My poor mother had several parent/teachers conferences up through second grade about my unsocial behavior.)

So, as extroverted as I've become these days, when life sends me a bit off balance, I tend to go back to "hermitville" where it's safe. I go inward. I hang out with family, I get off social media, and I hit my "reset" button.
I've been around, doing my usual things, and slowly, life is returning to normal, which is both sad and also healthy. I don't miss my sweet baby any less, and YES, I do eventually plan on getting another dog, but my heart and family just aren't ready yet. We'll know when the time is right.

Much like this post I thought about writing many, many, many times over the past few months, as some of my poor writing friends can attest. It feels like time. It feels like a bit of therapy. But most of all, it feels like healing.

And I've missed you all, I truly have. It feels great to slowly come back to everything I've missed and to boot up my computer in the early morning hours to play with the imaginary friends inside of my head. Come to think of it, maybe I never really grew out of my introvert stage after all, maybe writing is my way of hanging on to the past while still living in the present. That seems about right.

Hope this post finds you all well...sending lots of warm thoughts and virtual hugs your way this morning. Thanks for taking a walk with me down memory lane and allowing me to ramble a bit about a part of my family who is dearly missed but never forgotten.
Until next time...