#OneVoice Against Bullying

Entangled Teen, as part of the international #OneVoice Against Bullying campaign, asked me to write a Dear Teen Me letter on the subject of, well, you guessed it, bullying. If you are not familiar with Dear Teen Me, it’s a website / project where authors write letters to their teen selves, discussing some of the hardships they faced growing up, sharing with readers some of their painful life moments in hopes that they can help readers through their own difficult times.

This post was, by far, one of the most difficult things I ever had to write. I hope you take some meaning from it….

Dear Teen Tiffany,

The true horror of discovering the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you,” is a pile of crap designed by bullies who try to excuse their caveman-like behavior is pretty much the hardest of life’s many, many painful lessons. Words lead to war, peace, love, hate, so, of course, they have the power to hurt. They have the power to do a great many things. Duh.

You’ve already had it rough. You’ve always remembered the names of the two boys who made elementary and middle school hell, boys who tormented you because your teeth were just too big. You still get uneasy when you reflect back on the time when Eric from elementary school called you a bucked tooth beaver in line at the grocery store, jutting out his upper row of teeth and making his eyes go big, leering at you with his air of superiority (you wondering how someone so young could be filled with so much hate)…right in front of your mom. Your mother, who you can still count on one hand the number of times you’ve heard her raise her voice, berates the child and his mother (who stood by while her son belittled you, saying nothing). And you aren’t angry at the boy or your mother but yourself. All you can feel is like you embarrassed your mother. Somehow, it’s your fault. Or the time, the same boy and two girls, who were supposed to be your friends, invited you to a birthday party only to make you stand in the middle of the circle, calling you names. Having to call your parents to come pick you up. The shame returning.

You moved. You thought things were going to be different. And at first, they were. Until Brady the Bold starting in on you. The same jokes. The same leers…as if him and Eric went to the same finishing school for assholes. You try to build a shield (it’s not your first time fighting the battle), but his words injure you. You win Best Personality in the 5th grade Superlatives. Instead of enjoying the fact that your peers like you, love hanging around you, all you can think of is that old truth…well at least she has a good personality. He had to power to ruin that moment for you and he didn’t even have to say a word. Brady the Bold continues to bully you in 6th and 7th grade. He harasses you in the hallway. And you don’t tell anyone. Not your friends. Not your parents. Not your teachers. Because somehow, this is your fault. This is your shame. And you can’t bear to see it reflected on your mother’s face. Not even for a second.

High school’s been better for you. Brady has disappeared. Maybe he moved, or maybe he fell away when you took the honors and AP route. Somehow, there isn’t an AP course on being a complete dick, so he probably stuck to the remedial courses. And as you look back on those moments, it’s alright to feel angry. You don’t have to accept it under some guise that bullies are probably just insecure. You don’t have to forgive cause it’s the right thing to do. It’s not. It never will be. And you won’t ever stand for it again. You’re going to do great things, kid. You’re gonna be a kickass teacher. President of your Sorority. Travel the world. Write books..as in more than one. You’re going to fall in love and be loved…more than once. And you’re going to keep that anger. Because that anger drives you. It makes you. You won’t let anyone, ANYONE, treat you like that again. You don’t have to forgive and you, certainly, don’t have to forget. Because, Eric and Brady, probably have. They’re kind of dickheads like that.

Not you. You’ll be the voice for those who feel embarrassed to speak out. You’ll let them know, they’re not alone. They never have been.

I pledge to take a stand against bullying each and every day. #OneVoice

#YAREADERWEEK FIRST LOOK FRIDAY WITH KATE JARVIK BIRCH

Today’s the day…the last day of #YAReaderWeek. And I couldn’t be more thrilled than to save my last post for the crazy-talented Kate Jarvik Birch. Check out what she’s working on next, and don’t forget to enter the raffle to win a ton of cool prizes.

I’m guessing that, like most writers, I’ve got a few too many projects going on at once. Right now, I’m busily working on the sequel to my novel, PERFECTED. The second book in the series has been a really fun chance to expand the world that I built in book one. The readers are going to get a much broader look at the world of engineered human pets as well as a frightening glimpse into the black market, where used pets are bought and sold.

As if that didn’t keep me busy enough, I’m also in the middle of revising a MG novel that I co-wrote with a friend. It’s about two unlikely friends and the very human desire for magic to be real.

I’ve always got a million ideas simmering in the back of my head and I’m dying to try my hand at writing and illustrating a picture book. Also, this might just be the year that I attempt to write a screenplay.

KateJarvikBirchbiopicKate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Anns Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit www.katejarvikbirch.com

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Website | Facebook  |Twitter 

#YAReaderWeek Throwback Thursday with Shannon Lee Alexander

Today, I am thrilled to host Shannon Lee Alexander. I am so excited to read her book Love and Other Unknown Variables. It’s getting amazing buzz!! And don’t forget to enter the raffle for a chance to win a ton of free books!

 Throwback Thursday

Love and Other Unknown Variables is a heartbreaking story of first love. Reviewers repeatedly mention the need for tissues. While I didn’t set out to write a tearjerker, I guess it makes some sense, since my favorite books have always been the books that make me both laugh and cry.

For Throwback Thursday, I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at the top 10 books that have made me ugly cry over the years (listed in the order I read them).

Image

1. Bridge to Terabithia
2. Where the Red Fern Grows
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
4. The Color Purple
5. Harry Potter (I started crying in book three and never really stopped)
6. The Book Thief (Not pictured because my husband loaned it to someone and it never came back. What’s the saying? If you love something, set it free…Come back, Book! I love you!)
7. A Monster Calls
8. Me Before You
9. Eleanor & Park
10. Wonder

I’d love to see your top 10 picks for the Ugly Cry awards! Post them on Instagram, tag me at WandertheWords, and use the #LoveandOtherUnknownVariables hashtag. I’ll pick a winner at random to win an Ugly Cry care package (complete with $5 Amazon gift card to buy another heartbreaking book)!

Love and Other Unknown Variables releases from Entangled Publishing October 7, 2014.

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.new Love and Other Uknown Variables 1600x2400

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy pawing at her until she learns he’s a student at Brighton, where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. And in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns Charlotte is ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull on Charlie is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on, or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second).

To preorder Love and Other Unknown Variables, click here.

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

#YAReaderWeek Woman Crush Wednesday with D. R. Graham

Brampton Cover 4

Introducing : Derian Marie Lafleur

High School student. Plans to study architecture.
Born and raised in Brampton Beach. Lives and works in the historical Brampton Beach Inn that her grandfather owns.
Leo
She looks similar to the actress/singer Victoria Justice

deri

Excerpt from Book 1 of The Brampton Beach Series: PUT IT OUT THERE

“Do you want me to drive?”

Trevor laughed. “No. I want to make it home alive.”

“Ha ha. I’m not that bad of a driver.”

“I just need to warm up some more. Get in quick and close the door.” He rolled up the window.

I opened the back door, but I didn’t get in because I had an impulse to take a risk that might officially end my 365-day challenge. I took my coat off and threw it into the backseat. I stripped off my sweater, then my T-shirt, then my thermal underwear top. I took my boots off one foot at a time to shimmy out of my jeans then threw all the layers into the back before closing the door. I stood outside his door in just my underwear and boots. My turquoise push up bra actually matched the turquoise and white striped boy shorts that I was wearing. It wasn’t a super sexy look, but it wasn’t shabby either. He stared at me through the window and his expression looked as if he wasn’t sure what to think. I reached my arm forward and pulled the handle.

“What are you doing?” he asked as the door swung open.

“Saving your life.” I moved his arms to open the blanket and climbed into the truck to sit sideways on his lap. I crammed my legs in tightly until I could shut the door. He wrapped the blanket around my body to cover us both and he hugged me. I ran my hands across his chest and down his abs. “You feel like ice.”

“Mmm.” He blinked slowly. “Who taught you to strip down to save someone from freezing to death?”

“You did. Are you glad you did that?”

He bit his lip as if he was trying to prevent himself from answering. After a very sexy pause, he smiled and ran his hand over the curve of my waist. “Well, we wouldn’t want me to die of hypothermia, would we?”

“No, we wouldn’t want that.” I kept moving my hands over his skin and it got warmer inside our blanket tent. I moved to rest my cheek against his and I let my lips linger close to his neck so he would feel the warmth of my breath. I arched my back a little to press my chest snugly against his. He tensed his arms and pulled me even tighter. It made my heart alternate between racing and missing beats as if it was malfunctioning.

When I slipped the fingers of my right hand through his wet hair, he closed his eyes and his hand slid down my thigh towards my knee. His skin felt warmer as I ran my other hand up his arm, over his muscular bicep, and back across his chest. He opened his eyes and stared at me. His lips parted slightly and he leaned in as if he was going to kiss me.

“Are you guys going to kiss?” Kailyn asked abruptly from the passenger seat.

I smiled and waited. Our faces were literally centimetres apart.

He leaned his forehead against mine and inhaled slowly. “No, Kiki, we’re not going to kiss,” he finally said. “She’s just keeping me warm.”

Author: D.R. Graham

D.R. Graham is the author of Young Adult and New Adult novels. She worked as a social worker with at-risk youth for seven years before becoming a therapist in private practice. The clients she works with are children and teenagers. Her novels deal with issues relevant to young and new adults in love, transition, or crisis. She is also an award winning columnist for the Richmond News. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband.

www.drgrahambooks.com

Bonus Giveaway: Everyone who joins the Graham Crackers Street Team during the Young Adult Reader Appreciation Week September 22-26th, 2014 will be entered into a draw to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Graham Crackers
Click to Join the Graham Crackers Street Team

Check out the books that I will be giving away all this week on Twitter and in the raffle:

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pAbi-Saunderspgoing down in flames by Chris CannonpNeverenoughfinalppsiHTAYDpintheblood-sara hantz

#YAReaderWeek Transformation Tuesday with Sasha Hibbs

In celebration of all things YA, today is Transformation Tuesday. I am excited to be hosting a fellow Evernight Teen sister, Sasha Hibbs. Enjoy and don’t forget to enter the raffle:

Transformation Tuesday: My novels road to publication.

Thanks so much for having me! My first novel, Black Amaranth, was published August 16, 2013. I signed the contract in April 2013. It took 5 years to get my MS published. During the time leading up to publication, I had queried several agents. I had a handful of agents request fulls but ultimately I received the dreaded rejection letter from them all. After going through several agents, I decided to try a different route. I decided to query publishers instead of agents. At the time, I had no hope of obtaining an actual publisher thinking if my MS wasn’t up to par for the literary agents I queried, but after narrowing my list of publishers who would accept unsolicited queries down to a few, I sent my MS out and had offers from three different publishers within a month, and a fourth who actually made an offer an entire year after I queried them. In the end I was able to pick my publisher which was so exciting. My second novel, Black Abaddon, was published 6 months after the first and receiving the acceptance email was just as thrilling as the first J Now having 2 titles under my belt, my third, Black Atonement, is slated for release on the 26th of this month.

The road to publication is not an easy path and not for the faint-hearted. The road is full of twists, turns, ups, downs, pot-holes, trolls and pretty much everything that can make you want to tuck your tail and run for cover. But if you’re brave enough and persistent, there is light at the end of that road.

You need to have thick skin, the ability to take constructive criticism, and know that regardless of how many rejections you receive, it’s the “one” acceptance that matters…the only one that matters.

Here’s me receiving the news that my book was picked up by a publisher:a me

It’s scary, I know. So here I am trying to look a bit more professional

Final 1  (1)Looks aside (although picture A would’ve made a funny book bio author pic, the publisher’s did not share my vision), you must keep your chin up. And in the words of mighty Joe Dirt, “You gotta keep on keepin’ on.”

#YAReaderWeek Man Crush Monday with Lisa Brown Roberts

Today is day one of #YAReaderWeek, and I am so happy you decided to take part. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, simply click here for all the details. And don’t forget to click on the link after the guest post to enter to win a TON of awesome YA and NA books

Without further ado, here’s Lisa Brown Robert’s Man Crush Monday Post:

Introducing Lucas Martinez from HOW TO DROP A CLASS (AND FALL IN LOVE) by Lisa Brown Roberts, coming from Entangled Teen in February, 2015

Thanks for joining us for Man Crush Monday, Lucas Martinez.

What do you mean Man Crush Monday? I thought this was a job interview.

Surprise! We kind of tricked you; you’re such a busy guy, it was the only way to get you here. Have you ever done any modeling, Lucas? You sort of remind me of Johnny Depp.

What? (Frowns at interviewer). Depp is, like, old enough to be my dad. Look, if this isn’t an actual job interview, I need to go.

Just a couple of questions, Lucas. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies?

I don’t have much time for hobbies. I’m taking college classes, babysitting my little sister a lot when my dad’s at work, and I work at a thrift store. Which is where I should be right now…

That’s a lot of responsibility. How about music? Any favorite bands that help you get through the day?

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Snow Patrol.

Really? That’s surprising. They’re so…emo.

Maybe I’m an emo guy.

Interesting…So, rumor has it your nickname is Magic Hands. Care to expand on that?

Where’d you hear that?

Can you answer the question?

I think the nickname is because I’m pretty good at fixing stuff. Cars, broken gadgets, you know…stuff.

Do you fix broken hearts, too?

(Doesn’t answer; Stares hard at interviewer.)

Tell me about your tattoo, the one peeking out from under your t-shirt sleeve.

Next question.

Excuse me?

Sorry, but it’s not something I talk about with just anyone. It’s personal. Sort of like me asking to read a page from your journal.

I guess you really are emo. All right, next question. Anyone special in your life, Lucas? Someone who does know the meaning of your tattoo? Maybe that girl waiting for you in the lobby?

(Stands up to leave) You remind me of that reporter in Harry Potter. The one with the lying quill. I’m out of here.

Don’t storm off, Lucas; I have more questions. The girl waiting for you, she’s the one whose AWOL dad has been all over the news, isn’t she?

I’m not answering anything about Darcy. Why can’t you reporters leave her and her family alone? You’ve already done enough damage.

(Door slams)

Lucas…Lucas?

HOW TO DROP A CLASS (AND FALL IN LOVE) by Lisa Brown Roberts releases in February 2015 from Entangled Teen.

Darcy Covington is completely unprepared when her car is repossessed from her elite private school and her new nickname, Repo Girl, goes viral. Used to hiding in the shadows of her larger-than-life infomercial king dad and drama queen best friend, Darcy’s forced into the spotlight when her dad goes AWOL.

Can Darcy make a new life for herself and her family on the run-down side of town, decipher the cryptic clues to find her missing dad, and even fall in love along the way?

Pre-order Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly LBR-color-headshot-200x300-1tweezing off both of her eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write and read YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way. Catch up with Lisa at lisabrownroberts.com, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram.

In celebration of YA Reader Appreciation Week, from September 22-26, 2014, follow Lisa on Twitter and you might win free books and swag!

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YA READER APPRECIATION WEEK

YAReaderWeek

It probably goes without saying that authors adore readers. Not just because they drive our book sales (though we do enjoy that part as well), but we love them because they inspire us in so many ways. Whether it’s great book discussions on twitter or awe-inspiring, witty book reviews on blogs, readers let authors know that all those countless, caffeine fueled hours of staring at a blinking cursor were not in vain. They challenge us to make our work better with every retweet and facebook like.  Readers are truly an inspiration, and it’s about time we appreciate them.

That’s right next week is all about you. And while we are busy giving away tons of fantastic prizes both on twitter and our YA Reader Appreciation Blog Hop, we will be introducing you to some of our favorite characters and novels.

But let’s get to the good stuff first…the prizes.

What and How You Can Win:

There are two ways to win prizes during our YA Reader Appreciation Week. All week make sure to follow the YA Reader Appreciation authors on twitter because they will be giving away a ton of swag. Not only will you get exclusive content from their latest works, but simply by hitting follow on twitter, you could win a ton of free books and book-related awesomeness. Just look at the twitter loot below:

Twitter Prizes From Authors -

Tiffany Truitt (@tiffanytruitt) – ebook of The Language of Silence

Shannon Alexander (@shanlalexander) – 4 Teal Toes prize packs (teal polish & teal nail kit in a teal burlap bag) and 1 Ugly Cry Reader Survival kit (tissues & Amazon gift card)

Danielle Graham (@drgrahambooks) – 1 digital copy of Psi Another Day by D.R. Rosensteel, One digital copy of Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up by Sara Hantz, 1 Audio Copy of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden, 1 Digital copy of HIT THAT AND YOU’RE DEAD by D.R. Graham

Lisa Brown Roberts (@lbrownroberts) – 1 hard copy of ROCK ON by Denise Vega

But the fun won’t just be going on in the twitter universe. Each day of the blog hop, you can enter to win a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE prize pack of awesomeness. How? It’s pretty easy; follow the hop and enter the raffle.

Blog Hop Prizes:

Ebook of The Language of Silence by Tiffany Truitt

Ebooks of Colors Like Memory and The Chemistry of Fate by Meradeth Houston

Ebooks of Model Position and Private Internship by Catherine Stine writing as Kitsy Clare

Ebook of Love and Other Unknown Variables and a handmade math book magnet by Shannon Alexander

1 digital copy of Psi Another Day by D.R. Rosensteel,

One digital copy of Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up by Sara Hantz,

1 Audio Copy of NEVER ENOUGH by Denise Jaden,

1 Digital copy of HIT THAT AND YOU’RE DEAD by D.R. Graham

Ebooks of The Vulcan Legacies Series by Sasha Hibbs

Swag bag of “Talismans for the Journey” inspired by the novel HOW TO DROP A CLASS & FALL IN LOVE by Lisa Brown Roberts

1 hard copy of KISSING SHAKESPEARE by Pamela Mingle

Now…on to the hop. Each day the authors below will be talking all things YA. And having a little fun doing it too.

Monday (9/22) is Man Crush Monday where you can meet the leading males of some of YA’s hottest new novels.

 

Catherine Stine hosts Kate Jarvik Birch
Sasha Hibbs hosts Shannon Lee Alexander
Meradeth Snow hosts Sasha Hibbs
Lisa Brown Roberts hosts D.R. Graham
Kate Jarvik Birch hosts Tiffany Truitt
Shannon Lee Alexander hosts Catherine Stine
  1. R. Graham hosts Meradeth Snow
Tiffany Truitt hosts Lisa Brown Roberts

Tuesday (9/23) is Transformation Tuesday where you will find out how your favorite novels went from simply ideas to published works.

Catherine Stine hosts Meradeth Snow
Sasha Hibbs hosts Lisa Brown Roberts
Meradeth Snow hosts Kate Jarvik Birch
Lisa Brown Roberts Shannon Lee Alexander
Kate Jarvik Birch hosts Tiffany Truitt
Shannon Lee Alexander hosts D.R. Graham
  1. R. Graham hosts Catherine Stine
Tiffany Truitt hosts Sasha Hibbs

Wednesday (9/24) is Woman Crush Wednesday where you will meet the leading ladies of some of YA’s hottest new novels.

Catherine Stine hosts Tiffany Truitt
Sasha Hibbs hosts Catherine Stine
Meradeth Snow hosts Sasha Hibbs
Lisa Brown Roberts Meradeth Snow
Kate Jarvik Birch hosts Lisa Brown Roberts
Shannon Lee Alexander hosts Katie Jarvik Birch
  1. R. Graham hosts Shannon Lee Alexander
Tiffany Truitt hosts D.R. Graham

Thursday (9/25) is Transformation Thursday where you will find out more about the lives of some of your favorite YA authors.

 

Catherine Stine hosts Lisa Brown Roberts
Sasha Hibbs hosts D. R. Graham
Meradeth Snow hosts Tiffany Truitt
Lisa Brown Roberts Catherine Stine
Kate Jarvik Birch hosts Sasha Hibbs
Shannon Lee Alexander hosts Meradeth Snow
  1. R. Graham hosts Katie Jarvik Birch
Tiffany Truitt hosts Shannon Lee Alexander

Friday (9/26) is First Look Friday where you will qet a sneak peek and exclusive content from our YA authors.

Catherine Stine hosts Shannon Lee Alexander
Sasha Hibbs hosts Meradeth Snow
Meradeth Snow hosts D. R. Graham
Lisa Brown Roberts hosts Tiffany Truitt
Kate Jarvik Birch hosts Catherine Stine
Shannon Lee Alexander hosts Sasha Hibbs
  1. R. Graham hosts Lisa Brown Roberts
Tiffany Truitt hosts Katie Jarvik Birch

We hope you are just as excited as we are to celebrate some YA Readers! Help spread the word and check back on 9/22 for the start of the blog hop and tons of chances to win some great loot! But WAIT…you can start entering the giveaway today by following our YA authors and helping to spread the word. Click on the raffle link below to find out more!

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Meet the Character – Brett Jensen

Good Morning World,

Today I am stoked to introduce you to Brett Jensen, leading lady of my latest novel (a Contemporary YA / Mystery), The Language of Silence

I want to thank Shannon Alexander for tagging me to jump on board. Her novel, Love and Other Unknown Variables (Entangled Teen October 2014) is creating quite the buzz! Let’s learn a little bit more about her before we get started….

Love and Other Unknown Variables

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.new Love and Other Uknown Variables 1600x2400

 The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy pawing at her until she learns he’s a student at Brighton, where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. And in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

 By the time he learns Charlotte is ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull on Charlie is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on, or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second).

 Click here to read an excerpt from Love and Other Unknown Variables.

 Visit Entangled Publishing’s webpage for more information and to order Love and Other Unknown Variables.

To learn more, visit Shannon on her website at www.shannonleealexander.com.

 Sign up for Shannon’s newsletter for news, games, and special contests and giveaways.

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother to two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter. She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel. It comes out October 7, 2014 from Entangled Publishing. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Now…let’s meet Brett from The Language of Silence

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?

Brett Mallory Jensen, and she’s purely a work of fiction. Or who knows, readers and friends, maybe, just maybe, she’s a bit like you, a collection of characteristics that make each of you so darn interesting. Just a fancy way of saying, she’s a female character that I really enjoyed writing. Eccentric, witty, and damn smart; she’s the girl who’s just on the edge of becoming an exceptional woman. Beautifully flawed and naive, but within her is a strength that she can’t even begin to suspect exists….and I think that’s true for a lot of us.

When and where is the story set?TLOS-TEEN

The story is a contemporary romance / mystery set in the fictional town of Wendall, Georgia. The setting is extremely important in this story. A horrifying hodgepodge of Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hallow and Vampire Diaries’ Mystic Falls, Wendall is a town built on age-old seemingly hokey traditions with a dark tendency to keep secrets at all costs.

What should we know about Brett?

She’s a go-getter. In fact, she’s pretty much in every after school activity that she could sign up for (but that’s mostly because she is trying to run from her feelings for her brother’s best friend, the brooding, sarcastic Ed). She might, just might, be a klepto. And despite her innocent and virginal status, she’s not afraid of who she is or what she wants. Unlike so many other YA stories where the girl sits in the corner waiting for some hot-shot boy to ask her out, Brett chooses to be single because she knows what she wants, and she won’t waste her time on anything else.

What is screwing up Brett’s life (main conflict in writerly speak)?

At the start of the novel, Brett is grieving for her brother, Tristan, who died in what has been ruled a drunk-driving accident. But she knows her brother wasn’t drunk the night of his death, and she begins to suspect he was murdered. If that wasn’t enough, she is now left alone with Ed, the one boy who she knows would make her happier than any other, but also the same boy who she is sure will break her heart.

What is the title?

The Language of Silence. It’s about all the things we say to avoid speaking the truth.

When can we expect the book to be published?

It released on August 22, and you can read the first five chapters for FREE by clicking here.

Release Day – The Language of Silence

Today’s the day I release my first YA Contemporary novel, The Language of Silence. Right now, this minute, you can click here and download the ebook with the print version available in the next few weeks. And that’s not all! Starting on Monday, I will be taking part in a TLOS blog tour where you might just win a 25 dollar Amazon gift card! Make sure you follow me on twitter (@tiffanytruitt) to travel with me on the tour and enter to win!

The Language of Silence Tour Banner

And that’s still not all! I am excited to share with you a short excerpt from the novel:

 

“How’d your mom tell you?”

Brett offers a short, bitter laugh in response. I scratch my chin and shake my head. “That good, eh?”

“You would think she was auditioning for a Lifetime movie or something.”

For some reason, I laugh. Brett smiles. An actual smile. The kind of smile that transforms a face. If she was beautiful before, she’s luminescent now. These sorts of moments are so rare, so precious, I feel both a need to forever stay in this place and flee it as soon as possible.

I’ve always had a crush on Brett Jensen. I’ve just been smart enough to know that I’m too messed up to ever be with her. And now, with Tristan gone, I’m pretty sure I’m damn near done.Ruined. And maybe that’s what I deserve for not convincing him to stay with us.

“Maybe she thinks Julia Roberts will play her,” she continues, pulling at the grass growing up between the cement base of the bridge. “I mean, this has movie written all over it. All-American boy dies under mysterious conditions.”

Oh, Brett. There is no mystery about it. He left us.

“More likely some has-been from one of those medical shows,” I say instead.

Brett nods. Suddenly, her hand is on mine. I feel the tension she is holding within herself by the pressure she exerts onto my skin. My cheeks burn, and I am ashamed by my body’s quick reaction to this small movement.

“You can be whatever you want now, Ed,” she whispers.

I try to pull my hand from her grasp, but she merely holds on tighter. “What are you talking about?” I manage.

“You have a get out of jail free card thanks to Tristan. You could skip school for a week or flunk the whole year, and no one could say anything. You are…were the best friend of the dead kid. Who would give you grief? You could become anyone.”

She’s holding on so tightly to my hand that I begin to lose feeling. I let her words sink in. Settle. And the funny thing is—they make sense. Perfect sense. I know how I am going to deal with all of this.

 

Big Week with All the Feels

This is the week—the week I’ve been looking forward to all summer. I am choosing to overlook the whole returning back to work on Thursday thing (when I will start my ninth year of teaching middle school), and, instead, I will focus on all of the awesome bookish things happening this week.

For starters, Creators, the final book in my dystopian series is finally available in print. You can order it by clicking here. And if you haven’t started the series, check out the trailer for book one, Chosen Ones, below. All three books are available in both ebook and print.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, I am thrilled to reveal the cover for my first YA Contemporary novel, The Language of Silence. You can click here to pre-order the ebook, which comes out this Friday. The print version will be available shortly after.

TLOS-TEEN

Blurb: Brett is certain that someone is responsible for her brother’s death. He wouldn’t just leave her and his best friend, Ed, behind. Although Tristan’s death is ruled an accident, Brett and Ed know there is something more sinister happening. They are looking for the secret that no one in this small Georgia town of Wendall wants to acknowledge, the truth that may rock the town establishment and particularly one of its most upstanding families.

Together, Brett and Ed must discover the hidden truth behind Tristan’s death and deal with their feelings for each other, or they might just discover the darkest secrets are the ones they are keeping themselves.

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