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! )

Bookiversary Contest

Send Me a Sign turns one today. I think this is a perfectly valid excuse for cake.

Fake cupcakes will have to do for now…

It’s also a perfectly valid excuse for a contest.

I’m giving away a copy of SEND ME A SIGN, an ARC of BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE, and assorted bookish swag.*

Good luck!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank YOU, dear readers, for making this past year amazing, emotional, and entirely unpredictable. *blows kisses*

*Contest is open to U.S. and Canada. Thanks for understanding that international postage gets pricey!

** You can also enter on Facebook here: http://bit.ly/15LVXb6

New Uses for Glowsticks — Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

So, the YAmazing Race ended on Monday, but my power decided to shut itself off before I could choose a winner.

Let me tell you, a few days without electricity and I’ve got a new appreciation for Tesla and Edison. Also, I’m apparently an Old Dog because I could NOT break myself of the habit of flipping on light switches– despite the fact that my other hand held a flashlight.

Though I may not be able to learn new tricks, I do give myself mad points for repurposing the glow sticks we’d bought for Halloween.

My top 3 uses for glowsticks:

 

1) Locating door handles.

2) Booklight

3) Schmidtlet tracking devices.

 

Anyway, now that you’ve admired my genius idea and my offspring, let me give you what you’re really here for: The Winner!!

A great big round of applause for…

*insert mental drumroll*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Congratulations, Tammy! Not a bad choice of candy, either!

ARC giveaway winners

Thank you to everyone who entered my ARC giveaway!

The two winners (picked by Random.org) are:

 

 Maria C. and Meagan R.  

 

Congrats, chickadees! I’ll get those books in the mail right away!

For the rest of you — you’ve still got until 9/1 to enter the giveaway that Walker-Bloomsbury is hosting on GoodReads — and they have FIVE copies. Go enter and GOOD LUCK!

Also –make sure to stop by again SOON! There are some BIG things planned in the upcoming weeks (um, starting TOMORROW!)

 

 

Contest, Author Copies, AND a New Website

So… that happened yesterday. That’s pretty much my real-time reaction to getting my author copies. (After I danced around the box and put The Schmidtlets down for an impromptu nap). In case you were wondering, YES, I DID give myself a papercut on the chin while snuggling the book.

And then I quickly put the book back in the box. Where it still sits, along with all my other untouched author copies, in the front hall of my house. It didn’t even occur to me to OPEN the book until St.Matt was paging through one when he got home from work.

Guys… they’re so pretty! I LOVE them! And I can’t wait until you can see them too.

It’s only FIVE WEEKS AND FIVE DAYS until SEND ME A SIGN hits bookstore shelves… and since FIVE is my main character, Mia’s, favorite number, that means it’s time for a giveaway.

I’m giving away TWO Send Me A Sign ARCS. (Yes, I DO know it’s odd to give away ARCS when I just got my author copies, but I had this giveaway planned out and the author copies were a Very Awesome Surprise).

To enter — just fill out the form below. I’ll pick winners on August 31st.

ALSO — did you notice anything NEW around here? *gestures excitedly*  Hello, new website! (This was how I’d planned to open this blog post before the Very Awesome Surprise). Go! Click around! Explore! This post will still be waiting when you come back. MANY, many hours of stress, tears, and tweaking went into this redesign. I hope you like it! I owe a HUGE hug-accompanying THANK YOU to Courtney Summers who talked me down from my My-Brain-Can’t-Handle-WordPress ledge many, many times. (Including a particularly tearful e-mail “I just don’t know WHY it’s not working! I’ve spent the past 90 minutes trying EVERYTHING” — her response, “Tiffany, clear your cache – it’s working fine.” I dutifully Googled “cache” and she was right.)

So, really, this whole post can be summed up as:

Welcome to the new site! I’m so glad you’re here!  Let me offer you prizes & please admire my pretty author copies!

 

(The form has been removed because the contest is close — thanks for entering!)

YA Fest – Winners!

Since Friday the 13ths are UNlucky, can we establish a new rule that Monday the 13ths are EXTRAlucky?

At least they are for Sarah & Maddie! Congrats to you two — beaucoup de books coming your way.

Didn’t win? I’m so sorry — maybe you’ll have better luck over at GoodReads– Walker-Bloomsbury is giving away a handful of copies of SEND ME A SIGN.

And if you’re local(ish) — come see me at PAYA in West Chester, PA on August 25th. I’ll have chapter samplers, swag, smiles & hugs!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway! — Vicariously Experience YA Fest

I spent Saturday in fabulous company – with 34 other authors, a squad of helpful “Volunteens”*, bucketfuls of wonderful readers, and the amazing staff at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Public Library.  
 It was YAFest and it was spectacular!
  
The Apocalypsies at YA Fest: Anne Greenwood Brown, Eve Marie Mont, K.M. Walton, Elisa Ludwig, Me, & Brigid Kemmerer
I cannot thank the lovely Cyn Balog and Jennifer Murgiaenough for all their work arranging this event. I was lucky  to be seated with Alecia Whitaker—and the two of us spent much of the day just admiring how well organized this event was and saying how happy we were to be a part of it.
See? This is my happy look!
I loved meeting readers and other authors – and since there’s still 8 weeks and 1 day until Send Me a Sign releases, I handed out Teaser Samplers with the first two chapters. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me when teens came back up to tell me they’d read it already and they wished October 2nd would hurry up and arrive **

Aren’t they pretty? The book is even PRETTIER!

And just when I thought the day couldn’t possibly get any better – I won THIS in the raffle.
It was so heavy, I needed help lifting it even AFTER I’d given away stacks.
It was almost TOO MUCH AWESOME – so I immediately began foisting books off on the other authors.  I came home with a few dozen less than were in that bin, but as soon as I walked in the door, St.Matt said, “MORE BOOKS? But we’re already DROWNING in them!
And he’s right.
So… since all of you couldn’t be at YA Fest, let me bring some YA Fest to you –
I’ve created two prize packs with the books I brought home — enter to win them using the Rafflecoptor below.
Prize Pack A includes:

  • A chapter sampler of SEND ME A SIGN
  • A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS by Michelle Zink
  • PURE by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • DIETY by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • LEGACY by Molly Cochran
  • A BREATH OF EYRE by Eve Marie Mont
  • INSIDE by Maria Snyder
  • MISFIT by Jon Skovron
  • WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley
  • TORN by Christine Hughes
  • SOLVING ZOE by Barbara Dee
  • INCONVENIENT by Margie Gelbwasser
  • SIRENZ by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman
  • SIRENZ: BACK IN FASHION by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman
  • CRACKED tote bag
  • An assortment of bookmarks and other bookish swag 
Prize Pack B includes:
  • A chapter sampler of SEND ME A SIGN
  • LIES BENEATH by Anne Greenwood Brown
  • ANGEL STAR by Jennifer Murgia
  • BLOODSPELL by Amalie Howard
  • A LONG WAY FROM YOU by Gwendolyn Heasley
  • TRAFFIC JAM by Melissa Groeling
  • SPIRITED: 13 HAUNTING TALES edited by Kat O’Shea
  • JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE by Barbara Dee
  • FALL FROM GRACE by Charles Benoit
  • THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN by Josh Berk
  • INCONVENIENT by Margie Gelbwasser
  • ELEMENTAL REALITY by Cesya Marae Cuono
  • COMMERCIAL BREAKS: FAMOUS FOR THIRTY SECONDS by P.G. Kain
  • LIES BENEATH T-shirt
  • An assortment of bookmarks and other bookish swag
Since these packages are going to be HEAVY and postage gets pricey, I’m going to restrict this contest to U.S.  entries.
Good luck!
*This is my new favorite word
**YOU AND ME BOTH, CHICKADEES. 
*** As usual, the talented Tiff Emerick was in charge of photos <3>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Schmidtlets have informed me I can’t give away the Tupperware bin & tinsel — or, as they like to call it — their Disco Bobsled.
Photo taken BEFORE the family room exploded into a tinsel wonderland…

YAmazing winner!

If the contest had been a spelling list, I’d now be required to use all your words in sentences or a story. That would be a horrendous homework assignment and a VERY LONG spelling list. And, there is less than zero percent chance that I would have gotten the spelling of hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis or floccinaucinihilipilification correct. But I guess when there’s 100+ words on the list (and awesomesauce is on there three times), it wouldn’t have hurt my score too badly to skip some of your zanier choices ;)

Thank you all for stopping by, entering the race, and sharing your favorite words with me. You are ALL YAmazing.

But there can only be one winner of the YAmazing Race SEND ME A SIGN bonus contest and that person is…

*mentally insert drumroll here*

– I guess “rediculous” is not only adorably adorable, it’s also lucky! Congrats, Desiree!
 
Also!!! Did you see my BIG NEWS from last week? Did you know BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE is already up on GoodReads? It think it would very much like to visit your To-Read shelf…

YAmazing Race

Hello! Thanks for making it to the Send Me a Sign pit-stop on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes! Since I’m not the first stop on the Exploding Flamingos, you probably know the drill by now — This is a blog hop featuring a zillionty debut authors. We’re giving away prize packs stuffed with ARCs, gift certificates, and all sorts of swag.

If you’ve stumbled on this post and are feeling a little lost — skedaddle over to the Apocalypsie website where you’ll find some helpful directions and links to the beginning.

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt 

Mia Moore has spent her entire life looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. A sign that the summer before senior year will be the best one ever.

But when Mia is diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, the only sign she wants to see is that she will survive cancer. That she will get through a summer of intensive chemo and be able to go back to being the girl she’s always been—top student, part of the A-list crowd, and dating Ryan, the hottest guy at school.

And until she’s better—meaning no throwing up, no hospital stays, and definitely no wig—Mia doesn’t want anyone to know she has cancer. She doesn’t want her friends’ pity. And she certainly doesn’t want to start feeling something more than friendship for the one person who does know what she’s going through, her best friend Gyver. But the sicker Mia gets, the more she realizes that not even the clearest signs offer perfect answers, and in order to find out what happens in her life, she will have to find the courage to live it.

Done?
I know your brain is packed full from all the YAmazing/MGnificent Exploding Flamingo bookstops you visited before mine — but I hope you paid attention, because you’ll need to know a factoid from the synopsis above to answer the quiz and enter to win the prize packs.

Wait!
Want more chances to win stuff? Since you’re here and everything, I might as well offer you an incentive to stay… or at least come back and visit.

Complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a pre-order of Send Me a Sign.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sayonara
 As much as I hate for you to leave *sniffle* there’s more YAmazingness in store for you. Click HERE to go visit Ellie Rollins on the next stop on the Exploding Flamingo tour.

ALSO — I just announced some book two news – go check it out!

Pre-Order Contest Winner

You may have noticed that I didn’t give my Best Book Ever on the contest page, but since I made you share yours, it would only be fair if I agonized over my own.

Since this is my blog, I’m not limiting myself to one. (I notice many of you didn’t limit yourselves to one either—I approve of this mini-rebellion!)

You may also notice that almost every single book that appears on my list was mentioned in the comments. That’s because my blog readers have excellent taste.

This isn’t a ranking—narrowing it down to ten was hard enough without ranking them. And if you asked me the same question tomorrow, I’d probably come up with a different list, but
AS OF THIS VERY MINUTE, my Best Books Ever are:

1) All of Austen. (My favorite changes daily. Usually it’s Emma. Or Pride & Prejudice)
2) The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
3) Hunger Games —Suzanne Collins
4) Little Women — Louisa May Alcott
5) Anna & The French Kiss — Stephanie Perkins
6) The Archived — Victoria Schwab *
7) Drums, Girls, Dangerous Pie —Jordan Sonnenblick
8) Matilda — Roald Dahl
9) Anne of Green Gables — Lucy Maud Montgomery
10) Dairy Queen — Catherine Gilbert Murdock

*Yes, I’m a big, teasing, meanie. You all can’t read this until 1/13. But it is FABULOUS.

But you didn’t come here for reading recommendations (though, it’s not a bad consolation prize if you didn’t win) – without further delay, the winner of the SEND ME A SIGN pre-order and bracelet is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Aurora!

And thank you to everyone who entered and shared their Best Book Ever! Thanks to you, I’ve got some new books added to my TBR.

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