Monday, April 23, 2012

Marley Gibson talks about RADIATE!

We welcome YA author Marley Gibson back to YA Fresh today to talk about her newest release, RADIATE.  

Hi, Marley!  Tell us about your book in ten words or less.

Marley: RADIATE is a story of how cheerleading saved my life.
Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?

Marley: In RADIATE, I really love the relationship between Hayley and her mom, Nan. She’s a very strong woman who just wants to protect her child and she’s struggling because a disease that attacks you randomly isn’t something you can prepare for as a parent. I love the way she stands up to the doctors and is always telling Hayley to look at the bright side. I loved writing her because I’m the age now that my mother was when I went through my I’m writing a bit about my mom, but also about how I might handle it at this age now if one of my step-kids had to go through something like this.
Tell us something fun about RADIATE. It can be a character detail, something that inspired the story, or a behind the scenes story from the writing process.

Marley: Well, the whole book, RADIATE, was inspired by the cancer that I went through in 1983 as a teenage cheerleader. So many times you read YA books about cancer or other serious diseases and they’re so depressing. I wanted to show that even though Hayley had this tumor and had to go through hospitalization, surgery, chemo, and radiation, she was still herself. She still had her number one goal of putting on her cheerleading uniform and getting on that football field to cheer. There’s a scene in RADIATE where all of the football players shave their heads at the pep rally because they think it’s going to make them tough for the season. That actually happened at my school--although not at a pep rally. Just one day, all the football players came to school with boot camp haircuts. Funny thing is...when my hair fell out, most of the competing schools just thought that I had that much school spirit and shaved my head too. LOL! I hope that these scenes in the book are very vivid and emotional, putting the readers right there into the action of what it was like for Hayley to make the varsity cheerleading squad and keep her spot.  

What is a favorite comment you've ever received from a fan?

Marley: Wow…I’ve had so much amazing fan really humbles me and blows me away. I think any time a fan writes to say that reading one of my books inspired them to write, I’m like, "Wow, that’s pretty cool." I did have one fan, an older man in his 50's, write to tell me that he knew he wasn’t my target audience, but he read RADIATE. When he was in college, he dated a girl who came down with cancer and they lost touch. He said that reading my book helped him reconnect in his mind with what she might have been going through and how her life changed overnight with her diagnosis. It helped him reconnect with her eventually, which was really cool.  

That's terrific. What are you working on now?

Marley: I’m working on a bunch of stuff! Aren’t all writers? LOL! I’m working on a proposal right now that also incorporates cheerleading and a new take on it. I’ve also got another contemporary romance coming out soon called CAN’T FIGHT THIS. And, hopefully this summer, the sixth GHOST HUNTRESS book will hit Kindles and Nooks everywhere. Thanks so much for having me!! = )

Wonderful, Marley, and thank YOU for spending some time with us and telling us about RADIATE. The book sounds amazing and inspiring, and one I'm not going to be able to put down!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Earlier this year, we ran a blog post here, encouraging our readers to mention YA books they wanted to read. I named The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Jones, and I am here to report on it.

Here's the cover blurb:

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Okay, I wholeheartedly recommend this book! I read it in one day, cover-to-cover, pushing real-life obligations away because I simply couldn't put it down. The storyline is easy to follow, but it's the sharp, crisp writing and the characters-who-jump-off-the-page that breathe such life into it.

And not that I think the author intended this, but I kept seeing a younger version of Hugh Grant in Oliver's role, which really, really worked for me!

So how about anybody else? Read any really good YA books lately?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2012 RITA Nominees for Best Young Adult Romance

The Romance Writers of America have annnounced the finalists in their prestigous RITA contest. Here are the 2012 finalists in the Young Adult Romance category:

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Macmillan Feiwel & Freinds; Liz Szabla, editor)

Flawless by Lara Chapman (Bloomsbury Publishing; Caroline Abbey, editor)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Egmont USA; Regina Griffin, editor)

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler (Sourcebooks Fire; Leah Hultenschmidt, editor)

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep (Kensington Teen; Alicia Condon, editor)

Warped by Maurissa Guibord (Delacorte Press; Michelle Poploff, editor)

I have to admit that I have not read any of these books--yet--although one paperback sits on my shelf, and the rest are in first-chapter downloads on my Kindle, to peruse and possibly/probably buy.

How about you? Have you read any of the nominated books? Have any recommendations for us?

Congratulations to all the finalists, and I'll be excited to hear the results at the conference award ceremony in July!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Egg Decorating, Anyone?

Did you realize how many creative ways there are to decorate Easter eggs? MANY! Here are a few links to help give you some egg decorating ideas...


* Free Stuff 4 Kids

* Skip to my Lou

For those of our friends who celebrate Easter, wishing you a joyful weekend with family and friends! (And we hope you get to dye some eggs too. *wink*)

~ Kelly & Tina

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

RADIATE Releases Today!

I have been anxiously awaiting Marley Gibson's newest release, RADIATE, which is a fictionalized recounting of her real-life teen battle with cancer.

"This is a story," Marley tells us, "of how cheerleading saved my life."

Check out Marley's website for an online pep rally, with prizes and giveaways, from NOW until Friday, April 6th!