Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hello, I Love You Blog Tour: Fancast + GIVEAWAY!

First, let's have a little mood music: 



I had a ton of fun fancasting my characters! 

Some of them were casted very early on in my brain while I was writing - I actually had two singers in mind while I was writing the rough draft of the book!

I’d love to hear who you think Grace, Jason, Sophie, and everyone else looks like, so hit me up on Twitter or Tumblr with your picks!


Grace - Lily James

I’m a Lily James fan in general. (I mean, how can you not love her as Cinderella?!) Plus, I think she has the perfect hair for Grace. And girl’s got attitude, which totally fits my sassy, broken protagonist.


Jason - Jung Yonghwa

Yonghwa was actually the first character I casted in my head. I knew while I was still rough drafting that he was who Jason looked like. Actually, if you’ve ever seen the Korean drama Heartstrings, you may recognize some of the outfits I describe Jason wearing as ones he wore in that drama. I just loved those sweaters and colorful shoes so much!


Sophie - IU

Sophie is another character I knew early on who I would cast. IU has been one of my favorite KPOP singers since I saw her in the drama Dream High, and I think she perfectly embodies Sophie’s sweetness and charm.


Yoon Jae - Ok Taecyeon

I wanted Yoon Jae to be really striking, where you turn your head when he walks by. I also wanted him to have a little bit of a baby face. Really, there’s no one else I could choose for him besides Taecyeon, who’s both super hot and super cute. And really, he’s perfect for the character I would have chosen to date if I were Grace. ;-)


Tae Hwa - Seungri

Seungri is one of the hottest guys in KPOP, I think (despite his scandals). And I had to choose someone great for Sophie, who’s probably my favorite character in the whole book. Really, I maybe had too much fun looking for good pictures of him…


WIN HELLO, I LOVE YOU:




About The Book


Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who's topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother's breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start. 

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie's twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol. 

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind  the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.


About The Author


Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she's not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls' Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Brutal Youth Paperback Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway

NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!
 “If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you…Every bully who stalked you, every sadistic teacher who ever terrified you, every stupid prank, every hopeless crush and false friend: they’re all here….  By turns funny and terrifying, Brutal Youth is an unputdownable tour-de-force, a Rebel Without a Cause for the 21st century.”
Stephen King

“With Brutal Youth, Anthony Breznican has captured high school life in all its gruesome, wild, survival-of-the-fittest lunacy. His portrait of teenagers—and the theoretical grown-ups who tend to them—is, by turns, painfully funny and painfully painful, but always sharp as a well-carved stick.”
--Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

“crackling good entertainment: arresting from the first page to the last, full of plot twists, characters to root for (or against) and plenty of suspense…the stuff that page-turners are made of.”
USA Today


Inspired by author Anthony Breznican’s own adolescence growing up in Western Pennsylvania in the early '90s, his debut novel BRUTAL YOUTH follows the lives of three freshmen at St. Michael’s, a troubled Catholic school that is literally and figuratively collapsing.  It’s a haven for religious zealots fearful of public schools, as well as a dumping ground for violent delinquents who’ve been expelled from those same places of learning.  With a declining reputation and plunging enrollment, “St. Mike’s” has no money to repair its ancient, crumbling building. As the desperate student population unleashes their aggression on newcomers, parents and teachers are little help, wrapped up in their own regrets and scandals, often making them less trustworthy than the kids they’re supposed to watch over.

On his first day at St. Mikes, 14-year-old Peter Davidek comes face-to-face with a deranged upperclassman unleashing violence on his fellow students. While others flee, Davidek defies the cowering teachers and helps rescue a wounded student – a good deed that does not go unpunished.  

He doesn’t face his ruthless freshman year alone. Davidek befriends the volatile Noah Stein, a classmate with a mysterious scar across his face—evidence of his love for starting (and finishing) fights, and Lorelei Pascal, a beautiful but lonely girl who is determined to be loved at her new school—no matter how many people she has to alienate along the way. 

Beyond the threat of bullying, the three also face Ms. Bromine, a disturbed guidance counselor who longs for her glory days as a once-popular student, and loathes those who’ve taken her place; a parish priest, Father Mercedes, who steals from the church finances and plots to scapegoat students for the shortfall; and a well-meaning but weak-willed nun, Sister Maria, who finds that being principal may require more ferocity than she can muster.

A darkly comic coming of age tale, BRUTAL YOUTH is a story of good kids going bad, and best friends willing to do anything to protect each other.

EXCERPT

Prologue: 

The Boy on the Roof


The kid had taken a lot of punishment over the years, so he had much to give back.

A steel hatch on the roof of St. Michael the Archangel High School shuddered, then burst open, and the boy crawled out and collapsed against the gritty tarpaper surface, kicking the lid shut again with one sock-covered foot. He wore only his uniform gray slacks and a wide-open button-down shirt, streaked with blood that wasn't his. A black canvas book bag hung over one shoulder, swinging back and forth as he scrambled to his knees. He pressed his weight against the closed hatch to stifle the hollering and pandemonium rising from beneath it.

Next to the steel hatch was a bucket, steaming with hot tar. The janitor had been using it to seal sections of loose shingle that had been leaking water into the school during every springtime rainstorm. A grubby tar mop leaned against the bucket. The boy shifted his heavy bag and scooped up the mop, wedging it between the handles of the hatch, locking it shut. Then he fled back across the flat roof toward the ghostly concrete statues lining the edge.

The row of saints had stood watch over St. Michael's for as long as anyone alive could remember. Thomas, the doubter; Joseph, the foster father; Anthony, finder of lost things; Jude, devotee to the hopeless; Francis of Assisi, the lover of nature, who had a small concrete bird in his outstretched hand, and a real drip of birdshit on his concrete head. At the center archway of the ledge high above the school's main entrance stood an even larger statue of a warrior angel, St. Michael himself, wings spread and sword raised against the satanic serpent being squashed beneath his foot.

The boy on the roof was named Colin Vickler. Not that it mattered. This was the end. This was good-bye. There was nowhere else to hide.


ANTHONY BREZNICAN was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. He has worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and USA Today, and is currently a senior staff writer for Entertainment Weekly.

Giveaway:


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fat Girl Walking: Excerpt + Giveaway!

FAT GIRL WALKING: Sex, Food, Love and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It 
by Brittany Gibbons


In FAT GIRL WALKING, Brittany—acclaimed blogger and body image advocate—shares the often funny and often painful true stories of her life as an overweight girl growing up in the Midwest. From coping with mental illness and obesity in her family, to her struggles with dating (it’s hard—no matter your size!), dealing with anxiety issues that forced her to drop out of college, falling in love, getting married, having three children, battling with bulimia, launching a successful writing career, and to finally getting the confidence to say goodbye to diets and body hating for good, Brittany’s new memoir is a soul-baring account of her quest to learn to love her shape.

Brittany admits that for all of the hobbies she has picked up and put down over the years, body hating has been her most dedicated and consistent. But when her young daughter started holding her stomach in the mirror and imitating her mom, she realized something needed to change. Brittany had no idea what to do first, only that she knew she had been ignoring all of the amazing things she had achieved in her life despite her size. 

She began to change her perspective by making a pledge to tell herself three things she liked about her body every day, no matter how awkward it seemed. She bought clothes to actually fit her body shape—not the size on the label—and actively stopped glorifying women (in her head and in her writing) as “beautiful” only if they were also thin. That adjective became the last thing Brittany decided she would say to her daughter after brilliant, hilarious, curious, creative, and daring. Brittany also started to recognize that her “flabby parts aren’t problem areas; they’re parts of a scrapbook” a scrapbook that contains memories of places she’s been, meals she enjoyed with loved ones, and the amazing children she has had.

Soon, she took her new powerful outlook to Times Square and stripped down to her bathing suit for a national women’s body image campaign and then did it again during a TEDx Talk in 2011 on a journey to start changing the societal conversation about body image. 

“I saw this as a chance to become a point of reference and authority for plus-size women online…Plus-size people were often portrayed in society as villains. We affected your health-care costs with our diabetes and our heart attacks. We all wanted gastric bypass and lap-band surgery as an easy way out. We were eating all the fast food from the dollar menu. We were lazy, lacked self-control, and were unpleasant to look at. We were an epidemic.”

Today on her successful blog, www.brittanyherself.com, fat shaming is all too real amongst the anonymity of the Internet. Instead of being beaten down by it, she’s come to realize that people are allowed to say whatever they want about her weight but it’s entirely up to her how much power she lets those words have. In FAT GIRL WALKING, Brittany wants readers to learn that despite our background, upbringing and thoughts we have about ourselves, we are ultimately in charge of providing the narrative for how other people perceive us. “People treat me like a sexy and confident woman because I act like a sexy and confident woman; my behavior doesn’t give them any other options.”

FAT GIRL WALKING is not a diet book. It’s not one of those memoirs about how someone battled, and won, the fight against fat. Instead, it is a book that reminds us all that being chubby doesn’t mean you’ll end up alone, unhappy, or the subject of a cable medical show. Learning to love your shape is the important step of learning to live a life of the same joy, heartbreak, oddity, awkwardness and wonder as anyone else’s. Just with better snacks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

       
BRITTANY GIBBONS is a humorist, Internet personality, model and nationally recognized positive body image advocate. She began her blog www.BrittanyHerself.com in 2007, and later founded the magazine, CurvyGirlGuide.com, and she hosts “Last Call Brittany,” a weekly Google talk show. She lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband and three small children.

Excerpt:

NOW WHAT?

My fitness and body aspirations at thirty are different from my aspirations at twenty. At twenty, I just assumed I’d work out until I was so tiny, people became concerned for my health and I’d roll my eyes at them from my Victoria’s Secret bras and Abercrombie jeans. Now I just want to maintain my current weight so I don’t need to buy new clothes. When you look at weight loss, it’s often clothing driven. Weddings, vacations, and high school reunions, all things you are supposed to be thin for. But what if you have a gorgeous wedding dress in your current size, loads of flattering bathing suits, and a killer pair of jeans? Starving myself has suddenly become a moot point. I have options; I’m no longer a fashion pariah. So where does that leave my weight? Well, unless I’m sitting atop you, what I weigh is really none of your business.
I like to put good food in my mouth, and while I am aware of the calories I ingest, instead of cutting them I make them count. I have a full-on love affair with food, appreciating the different cultures and processes within it. In fact, I take entire vacations around eating. It’s how I remember where I’ve been; I’ve either eaten, thrown up, or started my period without the proper supplies there.
Beignets with my best friend in New Orleans. Too much rum on the beaches of Playa del Carmen on our second honeymoon. Orlando, Florida, the city of emergency men’s tube sock maxi-pads.
You see, these flabby parts aren’t problem areas; they’re parts of a scrapbook.

Win: