Friday, July 8, 2016

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander @shanlalexander @chapterxchapter @EntangledTEEN

Book Title: Life After Juliet
Author: Shannon Lee Alexander
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Contemporary YA

Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people...                 

Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.

As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed.

The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.

Purchase Links:


I’m not sure how long I’ve been back in school. I don’t really do days anymore. Time is measured in pages. I’ve read 3,718 pages since Dad dropped me off on the first day. It’s been 108,023 pages since Charlotte died. I’ve read 150 pages since I stepped on the bus this morning. It’s been ten pages since I thought of Charlotte.
She’s not coming back, and I don’t know what else to do, so I keep turning the pages.
However long I’ve been back at Sandstone High, the advanced literature and composition teacher, Mrs. Jonah, informed me yesterday that I am no longer allowed to “sit like a bump on a log, reading books” in her class. I find this strange, but then, I don’t understand the real world. I’ve given up trying to make any kind of sense of it. Today in class, I am sitting like a bump on a log, staring out the window.
Sandstone is a typical high school, unlike the fancy math and science school on the other side of town that Charlie graduated from last spring. It’s the kind of building that’s been pieced together—add a wing here, convert a gym there, dump mobile units here—throughout the decades as the town’s population grew and it had to be quickly expanded. There’s no one defining style. It’s a mishmash. The kids who go here are also diverse, so it’s not hard for me to fade into the background.
Lit and Comp is a junior course. The guidance counselor signed me up for it at the end of last year. She described it as a lively class full of opportunities for personal and artistic growth. In other words, it’s my worst nightmare. I’ve decided growth is overrated.
Mrs. Jonah’s classroom is long and narrow, with a wall of windows down the side. She’s decorated the wide windowsill with spindly spider plants, stacks of books, empty vintage Coke bottles that catch the sunlight, and a bust of Sir Isaac Newton, which is strange since she’s not a science teacher.
Mrs. Jonah raps on her desk now to get our attention. She stands and brushes invisible lint off her black pencil skirt. Tall and unafraid of wearing high heels, she towers over everyone in the school, even the basketball coach. Her pixie haircut and makeup are always perfect. She’s the most with it human I’ve ever seen.
“Time’s up,” she says. “Please, pass your quizzes forward.”
I’ve been done with my quiz for what would have been about twenty pages, if reading were still allowed in Lit class. I pass my paper to the boy in front of me. He runs his hand through his choppy black hair and smiles. His lips are chapped, and the smiling pulls the raw skin too tight. It makes me wince. I instantly feel bad, because I remember this guy.
Max. He was in Mr. Bunting’s World History class with Charlotte and me last year. He was the only student at Sandstone who spoke directly to me after Charlotte died. He came right up to me in history, cleared his throat so I’d look up from my book and said, “Sorry for your loss.”
I remember I got up and left the room. It was either that or start crying.
He’s still looking at me now. I should say something, something nice, like “Thank you for your condolences.” Instead, I look out the window again.
Max sighs, soft like the riffle of book pages, as he turns around and passes our quizzes forward. I’m used to that sound. It’s the sound of my father when I refuse to put my book down and come join my mother and him. The sound of my mother when she realizes I’ve been listening to the book characters in my head instead of her. Lately, I’m really only safe lost in the pages of a book. Outside, in the real world, it’s like I’m walking around with no skin. Everything hurts.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write LIFE AFTER JULIET?

I hadn’t planned on writing a companion to LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES, until my editor asked, “What happens to Becca?” I knew I had to find out. So I began thinking about her life and what it would look like once Charlie left for college. I played around with a few ideas, thinking it’d be fun to get her involved in the theatre program at her school. I knew she’d make a great backstage crew member. What I didn’t expect was for her to accidentally audition and catch the eye of the director. And I never would have imagined when I started wondering about what happens next in Becca’s life for her to end up playing Juliet.

When or at what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always written for myself, but I decided to finish a novel and try to get it published when I was thirty. I had a good friend who taught me how to be brave. LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES is dedicated to her. And LIFE AFTER JULIET was greatly influenced by the impact she’d made in my life both before and after she passed away.

What is the earliest age you remember reading your first book?

It was before Kindergarten. I remember, vividly, waiting for my parents to wake up one morning so I could show off my superb reading skills by “reading” Dr. Seuss’s ABC book. Trouble was, I didn’t fully know how to read, but they’d read it to me enough that I had it memorized. When I got flustered because I couldn’t remember one part and started to cry, my dad helped me sound out the words.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I love contemporary fiction. But I’m also a sucker for fantasy and sci-fi. I mostly read YA fiction these days. Every once in a while my husband will convince me to read a “grown-up” book that he’s just finished.

What is your favorite book?

Nope. Too many to choose! But as a writer, I was influenced by Harper Lee, Alice Walker, the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, and even Shakespeare.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Again, I have too many to choose from! But my friends and family know that I’m a HUGE Rainbow Rowell fan. HUGE. I love everything she’s written (both YA and adult). I love the way she can make me laugh, think, and cry all in one page. Her dialogue is brilliant and her characters are the kind that stay with me long after I’ve finished reading.

If you could travel back in time here on earth to any place or time. Where would you go and why?

I actually don’t want to go anywhere. I like where I am now, which isn’t to say there are lots of things we need to improve on in the world right now, but I’m just not a big time traveler, I guess. Living in the past doesn’t sound like much fun to me (I’m spoiled by technology and comforts like indoor plumbing). And I’d be afraid I’d see something in the future that would totally depress me! So, I’ll stay right where I am and leave the time travel to the Doctor.

When writing a book do you find that writing comes easy for you or is it a difficult task?

Writing a first draft is easy because there is no filter. I just write and enjoy the exploration. My first drafts are always too long and very messy! Revising, now that’s hard work. And unfortunately, 99% of writing is revising!

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

I do! I have a yellow, terrier mutt named Harriet Potter that I adore. She’s a rescue from the animal shelter, but she definitely saved me. When we first moved to Indianapolis, I didn’t know anyone. Our previous furbaby, Boo Radley, had passed away just before we moved. I barely survived my first Midwestern winter (seven months of gray skies!!!) and told my husband I NEEDED a new furbaby immediately. We adopted her in March, 2012. She’s my writing buddy, hanging out with me wherever I’m writing, but also reminding me to take breaks.

What is your "to die for", favorite food/foods to eat?

Coffee. That’s not a food, but I live and die for coffee.

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?

Finish what you start. You can’t edit a story that isn’t written. Know that it’s okay to write that crappy story because you can always make it better. I’d also suggest joining a great critique group. Joining mine was the single most important thing I did to become a professional writer.

Author Bio:

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. She spent most of her time in high school hiding out in the theater with the drammies and techies. Math still makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends July 15, 2016

Open internationally, but prize packs ship only to US. International winners will receive Amazon gift cards (listed below).*

·        Grand prize: Hyperboles are the best EVER! tote bag, a 4oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Toe-meo and Juliet Shakespearean socks, Life after Juliet poison and dagger necklace, Velveteen Rabbit note card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*

·        1st Runner Up: Hyperboles are the best EVER! tote bag, a 4 oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Toe-meo and Juliet Shakespearean socks, Life after Juliet dagger earrings, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*

·        2nd Runner Up: 2oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Life after Juliet dagger earrings, Velveteen Rabbit note card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*

·        3rd Runner Up: 2oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Life after Juliet dagger earrings, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*

*All contests are open internationally, but international winners will receive the following:

·        Grand prize: $25 Amazon gift card, signed signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate

·        1st Runner Up: $20 Amazon gift card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate

·        2nd runner up: $15 Amazon gift card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate

·        3rd runner up: $10 Amazon gift card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate


Shannon Lee Alexander said...

Thanks for hosting me, today!

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