Some outtakes from 20 Year Reunion.

Just a few behind the scenes things for Twenty Year Reunion

  • Walnut Grove is named after a restaurant in Dubai.
  • So is the character Zonia (or at least part of her name).
  • I didn’t originally write an epilogue, but all of my initial readers wanted one (including my editor).
  • Instead of Rebecca, I debated naming the main character, Kira.
  • I wrote this book instead of another book I’ve long had an idea for.
  • There is nothing autobiographical about this book (in case anyone was wondering about a certain Josh Beard, although the inclusion of Garfield is an homage to Josh’s cat).
  • I originally thought this book was going to be ‘full length,’ but the story felt complete at 50K words.
  • The UK doesn’t have The Bachelor like the US does.
  • I named a fictional director after a friend of mine who is actually a director.
  • There is a law firm named (nearly) after one of my nephews.
  • I debated writing lyrics to Ode to You and Me.
  • My favorite line in this book has ‘dick’ in it. #sorrynotsorry
  • No, I’ve never actually flown in a private jet.
  • I debated a few cover looks (check out the Pinterest board for other ideas that didn’t get used).

Book Club Questions for Twenty Year Reunion.

Although Twenty Year Reunion is lighthearted (and probably not super worthy of additional questions or a deeper read), as someone who enjoys a book club, and questions after reading a book, I thought I would include some here (and yes, some vague spoilers — so don’t read if you want to enjoy the book without any interruptions).

  • Do you have a celebrity crush?  Who is it?  Has it changed from when you were in high school?
  • What would happen if your high school sweetheart turned into a global celebrity?  How would you handle the situation?  Would you still be in touch?
  • Have you been to a class reunion?  How did it go?  As you expected, or differently?
  • Did you have a favorite quote or scene?
  • What do you think these characters would look like at the next reunion?
  • What do you think the immediate future looks like for the lead characters?
  • Who was your favorite character?
  • Does this book pass the Bechdel Test?
  • Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever been intimate with someone?
  • What do you think of the ending?

YA Scavenger Hunt: Spring 2020!

Welcome to the 2020 YA Scavenger Hunt!  This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! 

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt.  There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all!  I am a part of the BLUE TEAM — but there is also a GREEN, GOLD, PINK, & PURPLE team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the BLUE team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).  If you’re wondering what mine is, I’m a big fan of my birthday, March 17.

 

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

 

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

 

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

 

Today, I am super excited to be hosting the fabulously talented Stacie Ramey on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Stacie Ramey is the author of The Sister Pact, a contemporary realistic Young Adult novel which was named a YALSA 2016 Popular Paperback and a 2015 PSLA Top 40. Her sophomore novel, The Homecoming was awarded a Florida Book Award. Kirkus called her third book, The Secrets We Bury ” A sensitive, funny, and sometimes awkwardly romantic story of survival and self-awareness” and also named it to its list of 13 YA Books Both You and Your Teen Will Enjoy. It’s My Life is about a high school junior with cerebral palsy, who is on the verge of giving up on herself until she learns that her childhood crush has moved back to town. When Stacie’s not writing, she engages in Netflix wars with her children or beats her husband in Scrabble, all while watching the Florida Gators and Penn State Nittany Lions play (Go Gators).
Find out more information by checking out Stacie via her website.

 

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Today’s book, IT’S MY LIFE, sounds like an interesting one!

While facing disturbing revelations about the cause of her disability, a high school junior with cerebral palsy is on the verge of giving up on herself until she learns that her childhood crush has moved back into town.

 

From the author: This is a deleted scene from IT’S MY LIFE. It was one of those scenes I loved, because it showed Julian and Jenna as they kind of flirt with being more than friends before he moved away. We took out this entire thread, the one where they go looking for this woman everyone in their town says is a witch because it complicated the story too much. I admit that I still miss parts of it and may use it in another story in the future. So glad I got to show it to you here!

 

I picture how it would feel to touch his hand. Like we did that day in the woods. I want to feel the weight of his shoulder up against mine. His hand  was even on my back, warm. The other under my arm, as he helped me over the downed trees, skinny and gray. We weren’t supposed to go look for her. We’d sworn we wouldn’t anymore, but he’d shown up at my house all out of breath. “I think I know where she lives,” he’d said. “I was out walking, and I found a place…”

“Did she have animal skins hanging?”

“Yes,” he said. “I saw them, just like you thought.

 The twigs crunched and snapped under us as we made our way. The leaves were off the trees already, making a soft bed on the forest floor. Some had dried and they crackled when we stepped on them. We passed a nest in a tree. The day was gray and the woods were soft browns and green and the entire thing felt like it was made for us. Like time stopped and we were trudging forward, me limping, he, helping me, hoisting me when needed, his hands on my sides, over my shirt but under my jacket, felt so personal.

We sat against the tree trunks, our backs against a tree, watching for the witch to come out but she never did. All we could see was the smoke coming out of the chimney.

“You know about the dance?” He asked. “I mean it’s that night. You ever go to those?”

He knew I did. He’d seen me leave for the school dances. He’d be outside playing street hockey when Kate and Selene and I would pile into Mom’s car. All of a sudden it was hard to look at him. From the corner of my eye I could see it was hard for him also. “Yeah. I like the dances,” I said. “You?”

His eye met mine and then skirted back to his hand that was holding the water bottle we’d both drank out of. I didn’t have time to wonder if he was thinking about both of our lips having shared the same space, because he blurted. “You want to go with me then? To the dance, I mean.”

I looked straight in his hazel woodsy eyes. The ones that belonged in the forest or on the ice. I nodded. He smiled. Then he put his hand in mine and we watched some more. Only I wasn’t watching as much as feeling the shape of his hand in mine. The weight of it. The warmth.

It was getting dark and cold. My teeth started chattering. “You’re freezing.” Julian put his arm around me. “We better get back.”

CONTINUE THE HUNT
And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Stacie, and more! Just a reminder, to enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

 

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author!  Click this link to visit Amber Duell, also on the Blue Team.

 

Sunday Sentence.

“I am creating a social media post about a croissant that I am pretty sure will define me as a human.”

Grown Ups, Emma Jane Unsworth

After many a start and stop with novels this week, I’m getting into this novel, which has tons of funny quotes.  Hope you’ve got some good books to stay home with!

 

Sunday Sentence.

I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile, to read for two projects — Counterfactual and now, I’m realizing a bit for 20 Year Reunion.  While I don’t love love the slightly strange second person style, there are some good quotes, including this one.

Read anything good recently?