As 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.)
When 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.
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
E. 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.
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, 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?
Last 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!!!
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 email@example.com with your t-shirt size and your mailing address.