Contemporary Scavenger Hunt – Lauren Morrill

I’m thrilled to be part of the Contemporary Scavenger Hunt and more thrilled to be hosting fellow Apocalypsie and super-talented contemp writer (and new momma!) 

 

Check out her interview below, enter her fabulous contest, and if you haven’t done so already, READ her books!

(When you’re done here head on over to Chelsey Philpot for the next stop in the hunt! )

 

1) What are you working on now?

My next book is called The Trouble With Destiny, and it’ll be out Fall 2015. It’s about a band trip on a cruise ship, and the shenanigans (and romance!) that happen after the cruise ship breaks down. Right now, though, I’m in the process of writing my fourth book. It’s called My Unscripted Life (Fall 2016), and it’s about what happens when a movie comes to film in a small southern town, and one local girl who gets sucked into the production and a romance with the star. It’s inspired by my time working as an extra on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, and I’m really really excited about it!

 

2) If you didn’t write contemporary, what other genre would you write? 

That’s a hard one, because contemporary isn’t just what I write, it’s my favorite thing to read! But I’ve been toying with an idea for a teen girl superhero book for a while. It may never see the light of day, but it’s been fun flexing a different part of my brain as I imagine what super powers would do to one of my contemporary heroines!

 

3) What book do you shove into the hands of innocent bystanders in libraries and bookstores?

The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty, starting with Sloppy Firsts. For readers, it’s such a fun series to follow (and Marcus Flutie is my favorite YA guy), and for writers I think it’s an amazing example of narrative voice and how that voice grows with the main character. Even with the new middle grade prequel series, she’s managed to keep the essence of Jessica’s voice at every age.

 

4) What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for a book?

So many of my author friends have such great answers to this question! Mine isn’t so much strange as really fun, and that’s working as an extra for movies and TV shows for my newest book. Who else gets to stand next to Ian Somerhalder while researching their next book? And yes, he really is that handsome in real life (and so very nice, too!). I also got a close-up in a scene on The Originals, where I played a 1920s witch at a mystical bonfire. I stood next to a 10-ft yellow python!

 

5) Which of your characters would high school Lauren have been best friends with? 

My readers haven’t met her yet, but Hillary in The Trouble With Destiny would definitely have been my bestie in high school. She’s a free spirit tuba player in the marching band, and we would have had so much fun together on those band trips!

 

6) Which one of your characters would high school Lauren have crushed on?  

High school Lauren would have seriously crushed on Jason from Meant to Be. I always did love those class clowns. A good sense of humor is crazy attractive!

 

7) What do you snack on while writing? 

Anything gummy is my kryptonite. I love Swedish Fish, Haribo gummy bears, Starburst, Skittles (though I’m STILL mad at them for changing the lime ones to green apple … throws off the whole flavor profile!)

 

Clearly Lauren and I are writing kindred spirits, because I also love the Jessica Darling series (Marcus Flutie… swoon!) and have a gummy foods addiction — though, Lauren, you’re welcome to ALL my lime Skittles (you can get them in the Dark Side packs and I always toss them… yuck!)

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 About Meant to Be:

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

 

About Being Sloane Jacobs:

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

 

Author Bio:

Lauren Elizabeth Morrill is many things, including, but not limited to, a writer, an educator, a badass roller derby skater, a former band nerd, an aggressive driver, and a die-hard Mac person. She also watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of junk food, and drinks a lot of Coke. It’s a wonder her brain and teeth haven’t rotted out of her head.

 

(when you’re done here head on over to Chelsey Philpot for the next stop in the hunt! )

A new ~Adventure~

I’m a New England girl.

My favorite foods are clams and lobsters.
My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Patriots’ Day (Marathon Monday!).
My second puggle is named Bruschi.
My favorite sound is the ocean and my legs still sport faded scars from barnacle scrapes while tide-pooling.

I may not still live in Massachusetts, but my heart has never left.

Which makes me all the more excited to have been chosen to write the picture book for a New England icon:

 

In fact, my whole family is excited.

The puggles, however, did object when I suggested dying them black for this photo.

 

The Adventures of Black Dog will be publishing late summer – and, man, I can’t wait till you can see the jaw-dropping illustrations the uber-talented Betsy Bauer is creating.

So, find your flip-flops and your sand pails; plan your clam bakes and ready your four-legged friends~ because this New England girl hopes you’ll join the Black Dog, her ship, and her crew for the first of many adventures!

Hooray for Paperback Day

It seems like just yesterday I was writing this poem and preparing for my debut novel to release. In reality it was 15 months ago.

But look at my book baby! It’s all grown up and in paperback form now.

 

And inside it are a few surprises:

1) A bonus short story from GYVER’S point of view

2) The first couple of chapters of BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE

If you see a copy in the ‘wilds’ of a bookstore, snap a picture and share it with me, please. Or, snatch it up and take it home with you :)

ARC-itement & Blurb-blushes

Late last summer I came home from a Schmidtlet playdate at my friend Stacey’s house to find a box of these on my porch.

Today she and her daughter were over and these were delivered.

If I totally ignore the dozens of no-book-happens playdates we’ve had in between, I can say she’s good luck, right?*

Oh, these ARCs are so pretty! And the interiors? ALL THE FONTS. ALL of the lovely, lovely fonts that I can’t wait for you guys to see.

Will you indulge me just a little while I share two of my favorite parts of the ARC?

Eeeeee!

Do you know how honored I am to have the praise of these two uber-talentd authors on Bright Before Sunrise? On a scale of 1-10, my excitement is a 36! Thank you, thank you, Diana and Jen!

I promise I’ll do some ARC giveaways soon. But right now I’ve got to go snuggle some ARCs… or Schmidtlets.

Or both.

*Stacey, leave some dates open for playdates in early winter… I can’t wait to see my finished copies!

Here, there, everywhere…

It’s been a busy week.

Actually, it’s been a *full* week — there’s a difference.

This week saw the sharing/revealing/posting of:

 

I felt like *I* couldn’t keep up with it all — so I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you missed some of this.

So, I conveniently linked everything above :)

Have a fabulous weekend!

Something to Celebrate!

It’s my birthday– Hooray!

Here! Have some cake!

But, really… I have one of these every year.

 

Want to know what’s MUCH bigger news?

 

After all, I’ve had 32 birthdays, but this is my first book trailer.

Click above to head over to MundieMoms.blogspot.com and watch the trailer — don’t forget to come back and tell me what you think…

…or else I’ll make you wear The Schmidtlets’ birthday crowns.


Now that you’ve seen the trailer, you’re practically salivating to read the book, right?

Well, have you heard how YOUR pre-order means I’LL donate $2 to cancer charities?

Simply:

1) Pre-order SEND ME A SIGN from the bookselling venue of your choice
2) Email proof of your pre-order to SendMeASignBook@gmail.com
3) Do a happy dance & get yourself some cake.

Handy-Dandy Pre-Order Links

IndieBound * Doylestown Bookshop * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Pre-orders through Doylestown Bookshop will be signed and include bookmarks/surprise swag.
If pre-ordering through Doylestown Bookshop, please indicate whether you would like your book shipped or will be attending the release party on October 5th .

If you have any questions, please email me at SendMeASignBook@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winners! – Breathless Reads Contest

You’ve all left me breathless with your enthusiasm for this contest! YA fans are the BEST.
And you left fabulous answers, too! I so enjoyed reading them all! Some of them made me teary, others left me in *gigglefits* — and, of course, I loved seeing the names of so many YA guys on that list. Hopefully when SEND ME A SIGN comes out this October, my heroes leave some of you a little short of breath.
But you’re here for the winners—so let’s get to that.
This was supposed to be my project for while the Schmidtlets took their afternoon nap— but the amount of time required to type up 170! names and cut 170! slips of paper exceeded the amount of time the twins are willing to sleep.
So instead of peace and quiet, I got helpers. I put all those slips of names in The Wild Imp’s sunhat — and we had a little bit of a lesson on no, you can’t wear the hat while all that paper is in it.
The Wild Imp chose a name for Prize Pack 1:
Congratulations, Jana! You’ve won a Breathless Reads poster, and signed copies of Across The Universe and Legend.
After stirring all the names for awhile, I finally convinced The Pip Squeak to choose ONE for Prize Pack 2:
Congratulations, Annabelle H.! I’ll be sending a Breathless Reads poster and signed copies of Born Wicked and Nightshade your way.
Thank you to everyone who entered! Please check back  again soon—I’ve got some more prizes… and A COVER REVEAL (eeep!) in the works.

Falls and Marks

I fell during my run today. One stride I was rushing forward, chattering to St. Matt about an amazing book I’d read yesterday and admiring the foliage; then I was launched into sideways Superman dive, grating over leaves, roots and twigs. I’m sure it was very graceful.

I popped up, shook my limbs, shrugged at a suddenly pale St. Matt, and resumed my run and the conversation: And it was so consuming; I couldn’t turn pages–

He interrupted to point out that I’d given him yet another heart attack and to repeat: “Don’t look at your leg. No. Don’t. I said DON’T look at it.”

I have a weensy issue with blood. Okay, it’s a major issue. Bruises, however, inspire macabre fascination. My new hobby is watching my legs turn purple.

But it isn’t painful; it isn’t even unexpected. I fall A LOT, especially on a trail run – and trail runs in the autumn are their own brand of treachery: tree roots and holes stay hidden under a layer of leaves, just waiting for their opportunity to send me sprawling.

Yet, despite four (is it five?) sprained ankles, countless scrapes, and bruises from indigo to lilac, there’s no keeping me off the trails.

A straight out, straight back road run? One where I’ll know each step that takes me away and brings me back to the start? Boring.

I prefer runs just like how I prefer my books: full of the unexpected. They’ll have a start, they’ll have a conclusion, but the moments in between should be an adventure.

I want my heroine to dare to turn left at the fallen log, just to see if it is a real path. I want her to start running up a hill whose peak is hidden by trees – not knowing if she’ll have the stamina to reach the top, or even how far away it is. I want split second decisions: stay by the stream or turn toward the covered bridge. And challenges: fording puddles, striding through mud, sliding up a rain-slick hill. She should stop short to avoid spider webs that appear inches from her face, pause to pat the occasional dog sharing her path, and be willing to get her feet wet and her legs muddy. Scratches from that pricker-bush incident should be worn with pride.

It’s these books that stay with me; the ones where I can’t predict what the hero or heroine will do next. The ones whose characters take risks, do the unexpected, but never forget to notice the beauty along the way. They fall, get back up, continue their adventures.

These books fill my head with questions and what-if’s. They linger in my mind and are book-bullied into others’ hands. These are the books that leave marks on me long after The End.

But unlike trail runs… the marks don’t require band-aids.

Reading List Jan-April 2009

I always mean to update my Goodreads list, but I never do. I also have every intention of keeping a book journal or rating the books I read… but I don’t.

We have star stickers we use for recipes. Gold means I’d-eat-this-every-night, Silver means delicious, Red eqauls it’s okay… you get the idea. I could apply this same rating system to my books – all I’d need to do is put a little sticker inside the cover – but I haven’t.

This year I’m trying to remember to update my books list. I’m not very successful, but I’m trying. These are the books I remember reading so far this year. I know I’ve missed some, so I may need to come back and modify.

Read in 2009
1. Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr)
2. Calder’s Game (Blue Balliet)
3. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (John Boyne)
4. Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
5. Ink Exchange (Melissa Marr)
6. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Syrie Jones)
7. Patient Zero (Jonathan Maberry)
8. Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac (Gabrielle Zevin)
9. The Crushes (Pamela Wells)
10. Dragon Factory (Jonathan Maberry)
11. Elsewhere (Gabrielle Zevin)
12. Fade (Lisa McMann)
13. Ninth Grade Slays (Heather Brewer)
14. Austenland (Shannon Hale)
15. Peeled (Joan Bauer)
16. How to be Popular (Meg Cabot)
17. Forest of Hands & Teeth (Carrie Ryan)
18. 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Maureen Johnson)
19. Deadline (Chris Crutcher)
20. Ways to Live Forever (Sally Nicholls)
21. Evermore (Alyson Noel)
22. The Season (Sarah MacLean)
23. H.I.V.E. (Mark Walden)
24. An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)
25. Magyk (Angie Sage)
26. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)
27. City of Ashes (Cassandra Clare)
28. City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)
29. City of Glass (Cassandra Clare)
30. Dust of 100 Dogs (A.S. King)
31. Bliss (Lauren Myracle)
32. Beastly (Alex Flinn)
33. Cracked Up to Be (Courtney Summers)
34. Fragile Eternity (Melissa Marr)
35. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
36. Living Dead Girl (Elizabeth Scott)
37. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (E. Lockhart)

Based on what I’ve finished, what do you recommend I read next?

I didn’t link any of these but there’s a BuyIndie link in the sidebar; I encourage you to use it!

Dust of 100 Dogs & Heat of 1000 Blushes

I wanted to be a vet for a whole week when I was little. This career path followed right after my I’m-going-to-be-an-astronaut phase, which was curtailed after I tried to dress my infant brother in my Astronaut Cabbage Patch’s outfit: helmet and all.

The vet phase was also short lived. Lasting exactly as long as it took for me to discover that vets don’t just play with puppies all day: they also have to treat sick dogs, put dogs to sleep, and deal with blood. Also, my mother pointed out to me, vets don’t just treat dogs. They treat all sorts of animals. Including snakes.

I decided I wanted to be a Sea World trainer instead. It’s a good thing I changed my mind about this too, because that career path would ultimately not have worked out for me; as evidenced by the fact I hyperventilated at 19 while at Stingray City in the Caymen Islands.

I’ve outgrown my eight-year-old career indecision, but I haven’t outgrown my phobias about blood or snakes. I also haven’t outgrown my sensitivity to all-sad-dog-things. Twenty years later, Stonefox still makes me teary. Winning the race was NOT worth it!

So I was a big wimp – a bigger drama queen – and made a fuss about reading Dust of 100 Dogs. I bought it, I looked at it, I built all sorts of scary theories in my head….
And then I finally read it.

That’s when I realized: I’M AN IDIOT. The book is not about a pirate who kills 100 dogs. (Yes, that is one of the plotlines I invented).

A.S.King’s book is unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s a beautiful mix of historical, with current, with fantastic. I loved the structure of the book – the past, the present, the dog training facts – each facet worked together to tell a story that transcended the parts. (And I’ll freely admit that for each Dog Fact, I did a mental inventory of the puggles. They pass.)

Sidenote: the characters’ names are awesome too! Saffron and Emer have made their way onto the list of potential names for the distant-future-residents of the NTB.

Sure there were intense scenes – but I handled them. Part of me thinks I should get a merit badge for bravery, but a bigger part feels ridiculous for being such a wuss. Imagine what I’d have missed out on if I had talked myself out of reading this. It’s like brussels sprouts – how long did I resist those? Now I love them!

I was so inspired by my outstanding bravery and King’s equally outstanding prose, that today at the bookstore I picked up another book with a scary cover: Bliss by Lauren Myracle.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll start talking myself into reading it.

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