This week's writerly news + @STbende's Book Birthday Bash

Hey, guys! (Like my new PIAO edit below?) It's the second to last week of school for my girls, which means chaos, so this'll be a quick post.

1) This month's Reader Interview was with @MattCrazy_ ... if you have a chance, head over HERE to his two-part interview, and leave some love on his posts!

2) Starting this evening, Pity Isn't An Option's e-book will be 99 cents and If I Speak True's e-book will be $1.99 on Amazon in celebration of summer break. (Click on the Amazon icon on my sidebar to go straight to them.) 

If you'd love to read e-books but don't have an e-reader, never fear... There are Kindle apps for pretty much every mobile device now (and even your PC) and they're free! Just click HERE!

**Side note: Both PIAO and IIST are also in the Kindle Matchbook program... meaning, if you purchase the paperback of either book, you receive the e-book of that same item, FREE! (Keep one, give one away! YAY!) Just scroll down a bit until you see the Kindle Matchbook option to learn more!

3) Tonight at 9:50 EST I will be celebrating my great pal ST's re-release of Elkser (think Thor, but of him as more romantical--it's a fun series) at an event she's throwing on Facebook and I'd love to see you guys over there! There will be lots of giveaways by lots of different authors (from YA to adult, I believe, so keep that in mind... not all time slots will be YA). Click HERE to see who else will be there, bookmark the event, or RSVP! I'm going to give away e-books, some book swag, and more! (My giveaway will be international.)

4) The month of July is very exciting for me, as By Sun and Candlelight will be out and Open Thy Heart (Flora, #2)'s cover will be revealed! Wahoo! PLUS, Hafsah is making some Flora bookmarks for me to give away soon! So stay tuned!

5) Last but not least, the #JLBgivesawayaDVD giveaway of Forever Strong ends tonight. Click here to enter. Here's next month's giveaway (starts Monday).


Waiting on Wednesday -- Like No Other

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Like No Other
Like No Other

Like No Other
by Una LaMarche
Publication date: July 24th, 2014

From Goodreads:

Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart?

Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing.

Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters).

They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did.

When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection.

Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up?

In the timeless tradition of West Side Story and Crossing Delancey, this thoroughly modern take on romance will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when and where you least expect it.

May's Reader Interview with Matt, Part Two

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Welcome to day two of Reader Interviews, a monthly feature here at Let Me Tell You a Story! Matt is an all-around great guy who loves to read, write and blog YA. (If you missed part one of Matt's Reader Interview, click HERE.)

Matt with Stephenie Meyer

Continuing where we left off... What is your favorite book cover of all time, and why? 

I KNEW THERE WOULD BE HARD QUESTIONS. As an artist, this one's a toughie. So I'm going to cheat and give more than one answer...
I'm gonna go with The Clockwork Princess, because it's BEAUTIFUL!!! It reflects the Victorian era in which the series takes place and it displays the mystic beauty of Tessa. And the cover is STROKABLE. Plus, if you open it up, there's a family tree of shadowhunters on the inside. Mind=blown. Just kidding, I had one answer after all. (But I'm also in love with the Grisha trilogy covers).

How about favorite title?

I hate picking favorites because I feel like I'm betraying my other precious lovelies. But ALL of Tom Clancy's books have epic titles! If you look them up, you'll feel satisfied just reading them all off.

I know you also love to write. If you could ask your favorite author one question regarding the writing process, what would it be?

WILL YOU WRITE A BOOK WITH ME??? And when I say 'with me' I really mean sit back and watch you work your magic while I stand in awe, contributing a few cool sounding words here and there.

Most recent book that made you laugh:

I actually read over something in my novel, and I laughed hysterically. Does that count??

Name one character you would never want to be stranded with on a desert island.

President Snow. Because he'd irritate me to the point of murdering him. Then I'd feel bad for killing an old man. (First thing that came to mind).

What merits a book making its way onto your personal favorites list?

If it's well-written, if I can relate to the characters, if the characters are believable and real, if the plot pulls me in, if it makes me feel satisfied at the end, if I get emotionally attached to characters, if it makes me want to advertise it to the world.

I like to say I "initiate" all of my books into the family by spilling coffee, chocolate on them, or both. Is there anything that you enjoy eating or drinking while you read? 

Chips and salsa. But I always get salt between the pages...

E-reader, paperback, or hardcover?

I prefer owning hardbacks, but paperbacks are more comfortable to read. I tolerate E-readers in desperate situations.

Have you read any books recently with low expectations that ended up rocking your socks?

The Fault in Our Stars!!! I thought it would be a cute love story but WOW!! So much depth. Also Across the Universe by Beth Revis! I started reading it before I went to bed (big mistake) and I literally stayed up ‘til 4:30am devouring every page. It was spectacular and I wanted more when I finished. (READ IT FOLKS.)

If someone borrowed your books, what would be the first thing they'd notice?

They're in perfect condition. Okay, that's a total lie. They have signs of love and lots of reading on them.

Have you ever read a character so entertaining, you actually wished you had a friend like that in real life?

URIAH (from Divergent). He is 100% me, and I've always wanted a friend like me. My twin brother is nothing like me.

A lot of readers save their favorite quotes (my middle daughter has tabs stuck throughout a lot of our books). Do you have one you'd like to share?

"We accept the love we think we deserve." -- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

It's profound. And it's a flaw we all possess.

Dystopian, sci-fi, or contemporary?

Dystopian. I own more dystopians than anything else. (Plus, I kind of wrote one).

Last, is there a book-to-movie adaptation not yet in the works that you would love to see happen? If so, why?

Across the Universe by Beth Revis. HANDS DOWN. But it would have to be EXACTLY LIKE THE BOOK. Because it's perfect the way it is. That is all.

Thanks so much for being here today, Matt, and letting us pick your brain! :D 

But wait... Matt isn't finished yet... he added HIS OWN question! ;D And here it is...

What is your favorite novel of all time and why?

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson. It has adventure and discovery, love and friendship, magic and imagination, brilliance and depth. I read it when I feel sad. I've practically memorized it. It's precious to me. Everyone should read it AT LEAST once.

Matt with Neal Shusterman
About Matt: Book Blogger, Reader, Friend, Aspiring Author! Jesus, Books, Sports, Friends, Food, Blogs, Awesome! 
Find Matt at 
That Crazy Fanboy or on Instagram: crazy_cato | Twitter: MattCrazy_

May's Reader Interview with Matt, Part One

Welcome to Reader Interviews, a monthly feature here at Let Me Tell You a Story.

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This month's reader is Matt from Texas. He's an avid reader, blogs at That Crazy Fanboy, and is an all-around great guy who loves YA!  

Matt meeting Veronica Roth

Welcome! Thanks for being our subject interviewee today! :) Tell us a little about yourself. 

Hi, I'm Matt! I am 16 years old and I've been reading since I learned how. I haven't even been blogging for a whole year yet, BUT I'm happy to be part of the community!

I know many of us are happy you are, too! 

What book/series got you into reading YA in the first place, and how did that happen?

I used to hate reading when I was younger. My mom would force me to read books, despite my obvious dislike for them all. But when she started reading Narnia out loud, I was hooked. I quickly finished that series on my own, then moved on to reading A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'engle and all its sequels. Then came The Lord of the Rings by the great J.R.R. Tolkien, which took me a month or two. But once I read Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan and The Hunger Games, I was hooked on books beyond return.

Being a "guy" who loves to read YA (let's be honest: this is not as common, sadly), has your enthusiasm over a book ever convinced another guy (who normally doesn't read YA) to try one out? 

Actually, I have influenced quite a few guys to read books they normally wouldn't pick up! To be honest, I'm a popular person in all my groups of friends, and younger kids and even teens look up to me. Because of that, I've been able to influence lots of boys to start reading, because it's super cool and totally awesome! 

Yay for book love! :)

The popularity of social media has made interacting with authors easier than ever for their readers/fans. What social platform do you prefer to use in that aspect the most?

Twitter, hands down, is the best way for a reader to communicate with authors and other readers! You can have conversations, be a part of Twitter parties, and ask your favorite authors pressing questions. It showed me that authors care about their audience in a personal way.

Speaking of authors, I'm just going to come right out and say it: You, Matt, have met a LOT of them. (I may or may not be jealous about this. Okay, okay... I am.) Share three of your favorite experiences with us so we can squee about it with you!

Oh wow, I've been incredibly blessed to have met so many amazing authors! My very first author was Stephenie Meyer. She didn't just sign my book and bid me farewell in the endless line. She looked into my eyes and talked to me. I told her how amazing all her books are and she told me that I was awesome for reading them, as a guy, despite how others hate Twilight. Then she gave me a big hug and we had our picture taken. (Then I kind of met Jake Abel and Max Irons a couple seconds later. Be jealous).

Matt with Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer was the most friendly and personal popular author I've met! She answered questions from the crowd, she told us about future plans, she took pictures with us, hugged us, talked to us, and signed as many books and other things that we brought. I've been a fan of hers since the week Cinder was released. I read it and LOVED IT, thinking it was going to be something I enjoyed by myself. Little did I know it would explode into something amazing!

Another great experience was meeting Veronica Roth! She's an amazing woman for conquering her fear of crowds and pictures to do the tour just for us! Although we only spoke for a moment, she was genuinely happy that we loved her books so much. (But she also have me a worried look because I was sort of on a Starbucks high and a social high and I was freaking out like little girl at a Hannah Montana concert). 

L to R: Nat Wolff, Ansel Elgort,
Shailene Woodley, and John Green
Two weeks ago, I had the unforgettable experience of meeting John Green, the one and only. (Along with Shailene Woodley , Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff.) John was by far the most inclusive author. He had amazing things to tell the crowd. He made us all feel like being a teenager was the best job ever. Because we're a powerful and passionate bunch! Hearing him speak so much encouragement and be involved in the humongous gathering of nerdfighters was quite possibly the best thing ever (since Jesus and bacon, that is.)

And, the last question for today: Are there any books not yet released that you're looking forward to reading this year?

There are always books I'm excited to read! The closest one right now is City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare! SO WORRIED ABOUT MY FAVS. Then The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings is released June 10th! The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore (Lorien Legacies book #5) comes out this October, I think. That series gets better and better every book! But I am most worried about The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I SWEAR TO ZEUS, IF UNCLE RICK KILLS OFF MY BABIES I MAY HAVE TO TAKE DRASTIC MEASURES.

Read part two to find out Matt's favorite  book cover of all time, favorite reading snack (which is, sadly, not chocolate), and more, HERE

About Matt: Book Blogger, Reader, Friend, Aspiring Author! Jesus, Books, Sports, Friends, Food, Blogs, Awesome!
Find Matt on
Instagram: crazy_cato | Twitter: MattCrazy_

Waiting on Wednesday -- Dead to Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Dead to Me
Dead To Me

Dead to Me
by Mary McCoy
Publication date: March 3, 2015

From Goodreads:

LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

"Don't believe anything they say."

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her--and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets--and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars--if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one looking. 

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

This week's writerly news + my reaction to Arrow's finale

So... you've probably noticed it's been a little quiet over here. That's because I'm working on edits for BY SUN AND CANDLELIGHT (in fact, I'm hoping to share a teaser from BSaC next Friday. We'll see.) and this time of year is always crazy. (I still can't believe in a few short weeks I'll officially have THREE daughters in high school. Goodness.) 

Before I get into the most recent news, a quick shout out to my fellow Arrow fans: How 'bout that season finale? I was missing all of the action, and a lot of things that had been left hanging were wrapped up (kinda), so that was nice. I know a lot of Olicity shippers were like this...

and then... something happened. The shippers at that point:


What I'm most excited about though, is Flash, coming this fall. (For those of you who do not watch Arrow, Grant Gustin was in a couple of episodes earlier this season, setting up the show.) Here's the trailer:

And now, for a quick update...


** IF I SPEAK TRUE is finally available on iBooks (link) and available for Nook (link), too. (I will have a one-click button added to the sidebar over there --> shortly.)

Speaking of Nook and iBooks, there are a few reviews on Goodreads and a couple on Amazon (this goes for PITY ISN'T AN OPTION, too), but if any of you have a moment and can share your review also on Barnes and Noble or iBooks (or add your Goodreads review to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iBooks), I would really appreciate it. (Like I've said before, I would love to send some book swag as a thank you, so please message me if you want some!) A lot of readers *not* internet savvy never go to Goodreads, so sharing the reviews on other places is beneficial to authors, especially indies. :)

** Apparently, I wasn't thinking straight and offered to upload a video of myself soon. (Must have been low on my chocolate intake or something.) So... yeah. I will try to do one next week. *cringes at the thought*

** Coming up at the end of the month, my pal ST Bende (who writes about Norse mythology--think Thor kind of stuff) is celebrating the re-release of her book, Elkser, with an Elkser bash on Facebook. A few of us are showing up for a few minutes and doing giveaways and stuff, so here's the deets on that.  (Quick note: Some of the authors write adult or new adult, so please be advised that some of the convos might not be YA appropriate, though my time slot and the following one--9:40 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time--definitely will be.)

If you'd like to check out Tur, ST's prequel novella to Elkser, the ebook is free everywhere (here's the link to it on Amazon).


In case you somehow missed it, I'm super-excited about this month's #JLBgivesawayaDVD, and totally think you should enter, because... Forever Strong. That's really all I have to say, because I love this movie. And Sean. Hee hee. (Giveaway link)

Around the interwebs

* This week I was at Operation Awesome talking about looking at our writing in a new light (link).

No new music to share, but I am back to making cold oatmeal again, since it's already triple-digit heat here, so I thought I'd share it. My favorite is the blueberry:

Blueberry Maple Refrigerator Oatmeal

Have a blessed weekend, everybody! 

Waiting on Wednesday -- Belzhar

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Belzhar


by Meg Wolitzer
Publication date: September 30th, 2014

From Goodreads:

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Even in Paradise

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Even in Paradise
Even in Paradise

Even in Paradise

by Chelsey Philpot
Publication date: October 14th, 2014

From Goodreads:

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now

May's #JLBgivesawayaDVD: Forever Strong

It's finally here! May's #JLBgivesawayaDVD is... drum roll, please... 

I am so, SO excited about this! :D I loveeeee this movie. And Sean Faris. (In case you missed it... he's sorta my inspiration for Rowan in If I Speak True!) It's actually based on a true story... and HELLO, it's about rugby! (Lots of dirt and sweat and drama!) I happened to come across this a couple of years ago on Netflix... and after watching it like three times, I had to get my own copy. (In fact, it's probably still on there... why not watch it? I'm pretty sure you'll love it, and then you'll REALLY want to enter the giveaway--the DVD for this isn't that cheap!) 

I could do a whole lot of gifs or photos like I usually do, but I'm just going to let the trailer speak for itself:

So... what are you waiting for? Enter below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway