Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “young adult”

OBSESSIVE By Isobel Irons: Trailer, Excerpt, and Free Books!

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, of course. I’m obsessed. Get it?
by Kristen

Today we have a guest, and she wants to give you stuff. Isobel Irons is my favorite new discovery of 2014. She writes gritty contemporary young adult/new adult that is so real you feel like you’re talking to your sassy girlfriend or you’re neurotic brother. Her voice grabs you by the hair and makes you pay attention. You don’t have any other choice. The Issues series is refreshing, funny, entertaining, and you can get OBSESSIVE today for free on Amazon.

Free doesn’t convince you? Check out the trailer and the excerpt below, then go get OBSESSIVE!

PART II: FUNCTIONAL

 

In first grade, I was officially ‘tagged.’

When my parents asked the school counselor what that meant, she explained that the school district had recently been granted funding for special, extra-curricular programs for students who fell outside the boundaries of what they considered ‘average.’ According to my test results, she said, I was ‘academically gifted,’ which meant that I was one of those kids who just naturally took to learning, problem solving, and following directions.

Two years later, in what was either a stunning coincidence or a sick cosmic joke, my little sister was also ‘tagged.’ Only instead of ‘gifted,’ Gen was labeled as ‘special needs.’ They spent the next five years trying to figure out where she fell on the special needs ‘spectrum’; if she was severely ADD or mildly autistic. Either way, Gen didn’t learn things as quickly as other kids seemed to, and unlike me, she couldn’t handle studying for hours on end.

One thing we did have in common was that we both got pulled out of class twice a week, in front of all of our fellow students, and taken off to our own ‘special’ classrooms. But I got to do complex scientific experiments, and Gen got to practice reading from her textbooks through different colored panels of cellophane. Apparently, seeing the words in yellow or blue instead of plain black and white was supposed to make it easier for her to retain facts. That was around the same time I started highlighting my homework—in addition to taking copious, meticulous notes.

Fortunately for me, because I had the ‘gifted’ classification, my excessive note-taking was chalked up to being an exceptional student. That was another thing the counselor told my parents about me. I’m what psychologist types like to call ‘exceptionally socially intuitive.’

If you ask me, that’s just a P.C. way of saying that everything I do or say is an act. A lie, custom tailored to whoever might be watching, to make sure no one ever figures out the true motives behind my actions.

But like most things about me, even that label is a lie. The truth is, I’m exceptional in the same way chameleons seem exceptional to the average, uneducated observer. For chameleons, blending into their surroundings isn’t exceptional at all. It’s not a magic trick, meant to impress or delight. It’s not even about showing off or attracting a mate. It’s about survival.

I read this article once, about a drug addict who kept his habit a secret from everyone in his family for almost 30 years. One thing he said really stuck with me:

“I was the world’s greatest actor, in the world’s worst play.”

I never thought I’d have so much in common with a junkie. But that quote pretty much sums up every waking moment of my life, up to this point.

 

Also, fun fact about this trailer: My husband Eli wrote and performed the song. So…that’s some exclusive “behind the scenes” info.

 

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March Madness! Seasons in the Sun on Sale!

Today’s Brew: Hot Marshmallow Madness, or something like that? Basically peppermint hot cocoa with fluff. And probably diabetes.

by Kristen

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14 Click on the photo and make it yours!

Seasons in the Sun is on sale for less than one dollar for the month of March.

Ten Reasons for you to spend your hard earned dollar on my book:

  • It’s set in the summer. It’s been 20 degrees forever. Reading this book will make it warmer outside. I promise.
  • No one can actually afford to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, so you can pretend you’re vacationing with celebrities.
  • You get to see Callie in her awkward, home-schooled glory.
  • Human Tristan. Surfing.
  • Callie and Tristan work in a coffee shop. Tristan with a job. Somehow this will justify your coffee consumption.
  • Callie’s mother will make you feel like Mother Of The Year.
  • If you read Because the Night and didn’t quite understand what Callie saw in Tristan, you will get it now.
  • Night Moves comes out in three weeks, and Callie, Tristan, and Taryn all make appearances.  Oh, you don’t know who Taryn is? Read Seasons in the Sun and find out.
  • Callie follows her heart, meaning she does more dumb shit.
  • This is as close to a sweet romance as I’m ever going to write.

And the official blurbage:

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

A dollar! It’s floating around in your purse. You’d give it to one those homeless guys with the cardboard. A whole evening’s worth of entertainment for a dollar. You can’t beat that.

 

Writing YA: How Old Is Too Old?

Today’s Brew:  Is there really enough coffee in the universe to jump start this day?  I’m thinking no, but I’m going to have fun finding out.

by Kristen

I should probably start this post out with a disclaimer.  I write New Adult.  I’m an adult overdue for factory scheduled maintenance  at this stage in the game, but I identify with this age group a lot.  I spent a good portion of my life working at malls across America, with real live new adults making piss poor life choices.  It fascinated me.  Any time we start on a new path, we’re dealing with the issues that are central to what New Adult is: Finding our way.  And anyways, who the hell wants to get old?  Not this girl.

Choosing to write about this age group comes with concerns.  Nineteen year olds now like different things than I did when I was that age, speak differently, have different concerns from what I did then and certainly than I do now.  Sometimes it can be hard to keep up and not be considered creepy and weird.

Recently, I read a book called Wintertown.  Julie and I chose the book because it looked cool as hell.  Intertwined with the text is an accompanying comic strip, so it’s half graphic novel, half novel.  I was pumped about reading this book.  Until I started reading it.  Not only does the comic not have much plot to carry the book forward, the book was just plain awful.

Here is the big conflict:  One of the main characters comes home for Christmas with dyed hair and a nose ring.  Egads!

1wtmk

This is still an issue?  Really?  With thirteen year olds with belly button piercings and elementary schoolers with pink hair running rampant in the world?  Furthermore, the offending character is perceived as “bad” and “dangerous” because of her body modifications.  Come on.  As a semi successful business woman with a nose piercing and on and off purple streaks in her hair, this is not only ridiculous, it’s offensive.  If you’ve met me in person, I dare you to describe me as bad or dangerous.  Usually I get bubbly and sweet.

Maybe they didn’t notice my uber offensive nose ring. But I’ll tell you, they sure liked my purple hair.

How detached from teenagers did this author have to be to think this was an issue?  I’ve seen agents on Twitter lament that they receive queries for young adult manuscripts set in the mid 1990’s for no other reason than the author wants to avoid dealing with technology.  I don’t even know if I’d be able to write a book without the gifts technology has given us in the last 20 years.  If you have to avoid real teenage issues, you shouldn’t be writing YA. Could you imagine your hero having to go home and get her phone messages from her mother before making plans for world domination?  I can, because I did it.  And still managed small scale domination.  Armed with today’s technology as a teenager, I would have been unstoppable.  That’s the book I want to read.

If you’re writing YA just because it’s a hot category and you want to sell books, stop.  Some of these great ideas would better be served with adult characters. Unless you know teenagers inside and out, you’re going to make a fool out of yourself.  Writing teenagers as an adult presents a unique set of challenges.

Would you want to read a book about fifty year olds written by a teenager?  I am thinking no.  Why? Because not only would it not be a realistic portrayal, what interest would a teenager have in writing that?

Of course, if you are writing kick ass YA, by all means, CONTINUE.  Please and thank you.

I get it that we’re all looking for the fountain of youth.  To quote my Memere, it’s hell getting old. We all have that age we wish we could be forever.  But it doesn’t mean that we can realistically write about being that age forever.

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