Friday, December 7, 2012

Interview with Emmy Laybourne + Giveaway!

I'm so excited and honored to introduce to you Emmy Laybourne, author of the popular YA book Monument 14! Thanks for agreeing to answer some of my questions and for providing an audio copy of your book, Ms. Laybourne.

I'll be asking her a few things and at the end of this post - readers, you can enter to win an audio book of Monument 14 - how cool is that?!

Ok, let's get started. Did writing Monument 14 present any specific challenges for you?
Yes, Monument 14 is about fourteen kids who are trapped in a superstore while civilization collapses outside the gates. It was hard, frankly, to make such a nice cast of kids and then do such rotten things to them. As a mother, half the time I just wanted to tuck them in and have them get a good night of sleep! But of course, that's not the kind of story I was writing. Things were very scary and very serious for the kids in the store - and they continue to be that way in the rest of the series!
That would be difficult! What are your plans for the series, other than what you just mentioned? How many books can we expect?

Monument 14 Book 2 is called Sky On Fire. It will hit bookstores in June of 2013. I am currently outlining book 3. After I write the third Monument 14 book, I will be ready to start something new! I will be developing a fantasy series, which I'm very excited about!
Something to look forward to for all of us! How long have you been writing? Do you think you will continue doing so?

I've been writing fiction since elementary school! I wrote a creative thesis in college and even during my early twenties, when I was mostly working as an actor, I was still writing - creating my own material to perform. One of my favorite things that I've ever written is the comedy song that I performed with my brother, Sam, on Comedy Central. It's called, "We Can't Make Love Because We're Related!" You can see it at!
"This or That" Time!
Night owl or early bird?

Early bird all the way! I love to be up before the sun and hit my keyboard at just as the sun comes up over the horizon! I do all my best thinking before 10 am.
Past or future?

I am thankful to the past, but I pick the sweet, myseterious future!
Dag Hammarskjold, the former UN Secretary General, said it best: "For all that has been - Thank You. For all that is to come - Yes."
Loner or social butterfly?

Ach - I'm both! I love the solitude of writing, but I am outgoing as well. This is not as rare as some might think - I've met lots of writers and book lovers who share this strange simultaneous intro & extrovertedness.
Writer or reader?

Double ach - both again!!! I love to write and I love to read in equal measure, though of course, the experiences are very different. Reading is consuming - writing is creating. When I read, I get sucked right into the story. I devour novels for the story - sometimes I skim descriptions of setting and tone to get to the action and dialogue. If I really love a book, I will then re-read it, and get the full experience. Writing is a completely different action. When I am writing, I spend a lot of time walking, actually! I walk and walk until I understand the scene ahead of me and then I sit down and the story pours out of me. Sometimes it coms faster than I can type. I've heard writing (and all creative arts) called "touching the divine" and that is how it feels to me. For moments at a time, I feel like I somehow cease to exist, and I am connected to something bigger, and smarter and all-knowing. Those moments are what I love most about being a novelist.
Wonderful answers! I love throwing those hard questions at people (not really but its fun to hear their answers)! Thanks for your cooperation!!
Here is the book description and trailer:
"Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the author behind Monument 14, thank you for reading and be sure to enter below for a chance to win an audiobook!! May the odds be ever in your favor! A big thanks to Emmy for coming on the blog and for providing an audio book for you readers!
Rules and Conditions and Stuff You Need To Know:
This giveaway is for ONLY the U.S. and Canada
Winner will be picked randomly on New Years Eve (December 31, 2012)
Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen
Winner's email address will be forwarded to author for shipping purposes only - it will not be shared with anyone else and will be deleted after
To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below
** Monument 14 Audiobook GIVEAWAY **

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Review for Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic DetourAmy and Roger's Epic Detour
By Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books
Bought Paperback
368 pages

"Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. " - Goodreads
 Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was absolutely epic. The way the story was presented was perfect to showcase the character's development and the unforgettable journey both teenagers had. No doubt, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour would make a wonderful summer read.

Of course being the out-of-sync person that I am, I ended up reading it during winter. Still, this tale of two strangers was enough to warm me up! I admit, at first I didn't quite like Amy. I'm not sure why but I assure you, soon she became a great narrator. To say the least, she was relatible and I enjoyed seeing her reactions to sometimes awkward situations. Roger was utterly charming and just thinking about him makes me grin. At the beginning of the trip, they are strangers and I was so satisfied at how their relationship - first as friends - grew and developed. It was realistic and heartwarming. As soon as the detour begins, adventure sets in. The fact that they both had not seen much outside of California had great potential for memorable scenes. By the end of their trip together, they had both wrestled with what was holding them down and the reader can feel how they have grown as people. The friendships they fix and the people they meet along the way add to their dynamic. On a side note, I loved the part where Amy talks with her brother - wow, it was so heartwarming!

The places they go and the experiences they have made me want to pack up and take a road trip! The receipts, pictures, postcards, clippings, playlists, and doodles added so much to the experience of reading. It was like I was along for the ride. The scenery was brought out by the descriptive writing and the mystery in the background had me wondering. Yes, mystery. This may be a small thing but I noticed how the author kept off telling us what exactly happened. During the road trip, we see glimpses of what happened and so forth but not the whole story. It had me eagerly awaiting the part where we found out how the accident occured! That also brings me to mention the flashbacks; they really created a deeper story because of all the background information.

I'd highly recommend Amy and Roger's Epic Detour to those who enjoy roadtrips, cool music references, unhealthy snacks, and a brilliantly portrayed growing friendship! Trust me, you can read this any time of the year and have a completely epic time!

Yosemite Hike-u
Led by Ranger Carl

This is so stupid
Haikus are so very dumb.
Plus, getting blister.
- Amelia E. Curry
You were the one who
wanted to go on the hike 
Of Half Dome, 'member?
-Roger H. Sullivan
That was before I
Read the fine print, which was
very, very, very, very, very scary.
Amy, I don't think
Haiku are supposed to rhyme
Or repeat same words.
- R.H.S.
Is the plural of
Haiku really haiku, Rog?
I doubt it somehow.
Like mice, like moose, like
Aircraft, plural is the same.
And "Rog"? Stretching it, "Ame."
Book Trailer