Beach Book Bonanza—Week 1!

BeachAs promised, this begins my two week Beach Book Bonanza. I love the summer and I especially love the beach, so this sounded like a great way to celebrate both. For the next two weeks, we’ll hear from fellow YA authors as they chat about the beach, books and other things…

I’ll be giving away one e-copy book from each of the featured authors of the week to a few lucky people who leave a comment. Then, at the end of the  month, I’ll give away a beach tote filled with signed books, swag and beach essentials to one person who comments on my blog. So, be sure to comment each week for more chances to win! (Sorry, but I have to limit this giveaway to U.S. residents. Remember, if you’re reading this on Goodreads, you have to go to my actual blog and comment to enter my giveaways.)

Abigail Johnson

9780373212408.inddWhen Abigail Johnson moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona at the age of twelve, she chronicled the entire move in her journal–and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and publishing her first novel, If I Fix You (10/25/16). In If I Fix You, sixteen-year-old Jill Whittaker’s mom walks out, and she’s the only one who knows why. Suddenly, the girl who fixes things-cars, relationships,people-is broken. With nothing making sense, Jill meets a new guy who’s cute and intense with scars-on the inside and out-that he thinks don’t show. Trying to help him, Jill realizes she can fix anyone else’s life till she fixes her own.


1. What do you look for in a great beach read?

Escapism. I want to get lost in a story and become completely absorbed in a character(s) life.  Light and fun or heavy and harrowing, it doesn’t matter. I want a book that’s impossible to put down.

IMG_6873-12. What’s the last great beach book you read?

On the light and fun side, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. I love everything Kasie writes, but her latest contemporary YA delivers another swoon filled romantic comedy–with real heart–that is perfect to read pool side.

3. What’s one ocean creature you’d hate to come face to face with?

Since we’re talking favorite beach reads, I’m thinking of the great white shark from Peter Benchley’s JAWS, and the prehistoric megalodon shark from Steve Alten’s MEG. I’ve never been able to look at the ocean the same way again.

E. Katherine Kottaras

BestPossibleAnswer_COMPS_02E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now lives in California where she teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true. In her second YA novel, The Best Possible Answer   (11/1/16), over-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe strives for perfection, but it all comes to a screeching halt when racy pictures of her are leaked by her boyfriend. Even worse, her parents might be divorcing. For the first time Viviana feels like a failure. But when she gets a job and makes new friends who know nothing of her past, she realizes she can be whoever she wants. even someone who’s not perfect.


1.What do you look for in a great beach read?

I’m lucky enough to live in L.A. where the beach is just over the
mountain, a short canyon drive away. On hot summer days (and wow, have
we been feeling some heat recently!), I can escape to the beach where
I can find refuge with a good book under the shade of an umbrella and
the cool ocean breeze. On those days, I love a book with heart and
humor but that also has enough intrigue and some good juicy secrets to
keep me turning pages. I like to feel the heat of good story while my
feet stay cool in the sand.

Kotteras2. What’s the last great beach book you read?

Ashley Herring Blake’s Suffer Love, which is a YA contemporary
re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, a story of two teens, Hadley and Sam,
whose parents have cheated with one another (Sam knows; Hadley does
not!) The passion between Hadley and Sam was HOT! while the barriers
that are set in place that could tear them apart were incredibly
intense. Blake’s writing is gorgeous, and it was a book that I
couldn’t put down, not even for a romp in the waves.

3. What’s the one thing, besides a book, that you never go to
the beach without?

A boogie board! We first tried catching waves with a boogie board when
we were in Kauai last year, and I was hooked. I had so much fun
throwing myself into the waves, giggling like a kid when I didn’t
catch one, letting myself be swept to shore when I did. There’s
nothing like playing in the ocean to make you feel alive!

Joy Preble

iwaltJoy Preble, a former high school teacher who now writes full time, was raised in Chicago, but now lives in Texas. Today, she speaks widely on writing and literature in schools, libraries and conferences. In her latest novel, It Wasn’t Always Like This, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time in 1916 after she and her family and her father’s partner’s family (the Ryans) sample an experimental polio vaccine and now they don’t age. But that’s fine with her since she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. But soon a group of religious fanatics take note. On the run, Emma and Charlie are separated. One hundred years later, Emma is a private investigator investigating a series of murders of girl who all look like her. As Emma’s danger grows, so does her hope of finding Charlie, the boy she loves.

1. What do you look for in a great beach read?

I’m not that fussy, but I’m looking — typically– for a page turner. This can be romance or mystery or thriller or fantasy or sci-fi,  it just needs to be fast-paced and engaging, and preferably available in paperback or on Kindle so I can keep a hand free for my tropical beverage.

Of course the story goes that Lin-Manuel Miranda read Ron Chernow’s bio of Hamilton– a thousand page, door-stopper thick tome– while on the beach and we all know how that turned out! So I say we shouldn’t knock historical biography as a very good beach read option!

2. What’s the last great beach book you read?

IMG_2740Last summer I was finishing up the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon, or what I call “Joy’s 8,000 page obsessive commitment.” Jamie and Claire are definitely beach read material. On the other hand, I read Cammie McGovern’s Say What You Will last October while on the beach in Florida and it’s a slower-pace contemporary YA. So really, I guess it depends on my mood!

3. If you could go to the beach with any hunky guy, who would you choose (and no, you can’t say your hubby)?

Robert Downey Jr. Beach or mountain or produce aisle at the grocery store or random meeting in the Food Court at the mall, he is my go to answer. Because Robert. Downey Jr. Enough said.

Beach Tote and Book Giveaways!!!

IMG_0488-2So remember, be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the weekly giveaways. You could win an e-copy of a book by one of the featured authors.

And don’t forget, if you leave a comment you are automatically entered into my Beach Tote Giveaway and could win this tote filled with signed books by the featured authors of the last two weeks, an Amazon gift card, swag, beach essentials and fun stuff!!!



Last week’s winner of a Born to Read t-shirt is April. Congratulations! April, please email me at with your t-shirt size and your mailing address.

38 thoughts on “Beach Book Bonanza—Week 1!

  1. congrats April… and thanks for all you do. still can’t wait for Miranda’s Book October seems so far away. lol and i agree with some of the other Shadow Falls Fans if you ever do another book. i would love to learn more about Perry. and what kind of trouble hannah gets into. because i think he dad will go crazy. 🙂

  2. Ahhhhhh! I love Joy Preble!!! I can’t wait for Miranda’s book!!! ( tho I’m sad that it’s the last book in the series:( ..)

  3. Ooh, I want to read ALL of these books! They’ve all been on my TBR for some time. I must agree with EKK — I recently read (devoured, inhaled) SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake too, and absolutely positively LOVED it. It was so amaazing. I sat down at breakfast thinking I’d read a few pages while I ate, and then I didn’t put the book down until I was DONE a few hours later it’s spectacular, and I encourage anyone who lover contemporary YA to read it!

  4. I think this is a great idea so that readers can have a chance to discover new authors and books! All of these books sound wonderful!

  5. Great idea for a give-a-way, Christie. Any book you’re reading is a good beach read. If it gets too hot and steamy you can always take a dip in the water to cool off.

  6. Sounds great. I’ll definitely be checking out these books. I’m always searching for more great books to read. I love a good book that allows me to disappear into it for a while. I can’t wait for October to read about Miranda. I know it will be worth the wait though. 😀

  7. Reading this blog post has made me realize that it’s been far too long since I’ve had a reading day at the beach. I’m going to grab some books at work tomorrow (I’m a librarian) and tell my husband that we’re taking a trip to Galveston on Sunday!

  8. Thanks Christie, I am not a beach person, however, the mountains have some terrific peaks, great trails, mountain lakes, wild flowers and wild berries–are perfectly cool–in all ways, and an excellent view when looking up from a book!

  9. All those books sound great. I’ve been wanting to try Joy Preble’s book but haven’t been able to get around to it. Even though I live near the beach, I don’t visit it too often. I’m not good out in the heat with the sun beating down on me for hours on end.
    Thanks for the chance at this wonderful giveaway! 🙂

  10. I have to admit I’m not much of a beach lover! I love reading outside though, usually under one of my huge trees. I burn way too easily with my fair Irish skin. Anyways, the book recommendations sound great, will have to check them out! Thanks for the chance at winning these awesome giveaways!

  11. I love reading, especially during the summer. These books sound awesome. It’s very exciting to find new authors to follow. 🙂

  12. I loved reading these authors answers and now I’m off to look up their books. Thanks for this post and the great giveaway.

  13. I love how you’re doing unknown authors! I’m always looking for a new favorite author for the season 😀 I’m particularly excited for the If I Fix You

  14. I’d be happy even winning a c.c. hunter shirt~but that tote looks amazing!!! Especially because her new book is right on top and i am addicted 😉 I NEED BEACH SWAGG!

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