Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guest Blog: Melanie from Melanie's Musings

Today we have a guest blog from Melanie about the summers you read about in books that never seem to happen! Don't forget to comment!
I’m still waiting for my summer. You know, the kind you read about in books. For years I’ve read about girls who’ve had summers that have been absolutely amazing. It’s a type of sweet torture for me. Although I revel in their experiences, I find myself yearning for a summer of my own. I know that I’ve spent more than one boring night wishing for it to come.

I can picture it in my mind. I’ll go somewhere I’ve never been before, make a bunch of new friends, and have the time of my life. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll meet that guy. He’d have to be pretty awesome, though. Most importantly, I’d spend the summer being happy. Even though the summer would eventually end, the memories would stay in my mind forever.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get it, but if it comes, I’ll be ready. Are you still waiting for yours?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Contest Extended!

Hey everyone,

Because this is so much fun and because it's really cold where I am and I want some more summer-y thoughts, we've decided to extend the Summerland contest! Now you have until October 7th to buy our four Summerland books, blog about them, tweet about them, review them...and each action gains you an entry into the contest where two people will win big!

Check out all of the details HERE!

Plus, we're adding some more books into the prize packs! SLEPT AWAY by Julie Kraut is being added to the Summerland prize pack, and an ARC of SOMETHING, MAYBE by Elizabeth Scott is being added to the blogger prize pack! So go forth and enter!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Guestblog: Alexa Young

Today's guest blog is quite special because not only is it written by an author, it's written by one of our featured author! Check it out and don't forget to comment!
Since I live in Los Angeles, where it’s summer pretty much year-round, finding things appropriate for warm weather is an absolute must. This year, I scored some amazing items that made my summer—and summer-like endeavors (e.g., going to the beach or pool) slightly more bearable. So here, I give you five of my favorite summer things:

1. Eyelashes! I’ve never had long, thick eyelashes. In fact, mine have always been fairly non-existent—which means I especially dread going swimming (waterproof mascara never seems to stay on, and it’s such a pain to take off!). That’s why I took the advice of my fellow YA author and beauty expert extraordinaire, Melissa Walker, and tried out her recommendation: Neulash. It wasn’t cheap ($150 for a tube!), but it was worth it—because it totally works! I think it’s probably comparable to Latisse, which is WAY more expensive, considering how much you have to buy before you see results. I still wear mascara, but my lashes are just about long enough to look good even when I don’t. It’s quite a miracle.

2. A food diary. My issues with my weight hit around adolescence—and although I’ve mostly come to terms with my fuller figure in the years since, a seriously unhealthy lifestyle in 2008 equaled curves on top of my curves. Determined to shed some poundage by the summer of ‘09, I signed up with The great thing is that it’s not just about losing weight—it’s about eating healthier, and that includes drinking enough water, watching your sodium and saturated fat, keeping track of how much you exercise, and maintaining a steady weight loss (no more than 1-2 pounds a week). I’ve lost 20 lbs. since January and am hoping to lose another 20 to get to my healthy weight. Check it out. At only $9/month, it’s the most affordable and effective, not to mention healthiest weight-loss tool I’ve ever found.

3. Beach pants. My new favorite catalog for summer clothes is, oddly enough, Victoria’s Secret. They have the most comfortable linen pants EVER. I like the cropped version but you can also find them in full-length and shorts. And now that the summer’s over, they’re even cheaper. So pick up a pair…or three (like me)!

4. Easy, breezy reading. I love the Summerland picks, of course (thanks to all who’ve purchased FAKETASTIC!), but my favorite book from last season was Melissa Walker’s LOVESTRUCK SUMMER. (Yes, I am a serious Melissa fan. I can’t help it. She’s the best!) It was such a fun story, full of cute boys, hot weather, cool music…and a great message about keeping an open mind.

5. The best black swimsuit. Once again, I bow to Victoria’s Secret. It might not look like it in their catalogs full of anorexic models, but a lot of their styles work for a variety of body types. This is the second summer I decided to go with their Calvin Klein pleated one-piece. Sure, it’s a bit on the conservative side but when I pretend I look like the VS model, I feel almost as hot as the weather. ;-)

So there you have it. Five of my summer must-haves that I’m happy to keep on hand year-round.


Alexa Young, author of
FRENEMIES (HarperTeen, 2008)
FAKETASTIC (HarperTeen, 2009)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheryl Renee Herbsman!

Summerland Guest Blog – Cheryl RenĂ©e Herbsman

To me, summer is about freedom and redefining who we are. It’s the time I look forward to all year long. As a kid, my favorite summertime adventures included spending time at the beach, riding the waves all day long; visiting my grandparents in their little cottage on a tiny lake, where I learned to row a boat; and playing make-believe. When I got a little older, I still loved the beach and the lake, but my most favorite event of the year was going to summer camp. It was there that I discovered the idea that who I was didn’t have to always stay the same. Even if I felt different from others at school, there were places in the world where I not only fit, but could bloom. In my later teen years, I stopped going to camp only so that I could travel overseas to visit my boyfriend, who I’d met at camp. Here again were opportunities for taking new risks, for adventure and freedom, for meeting parts of myself I hadn’t before known. Where the school year tended to feel stagnant and constrained, summer was completely the opposite. I usually only got as far as October before I was making a countdown calendar until the next summer.

Over the years, I learned to appreciate the other seasons for what they have to offer. I like fall because I have more time to write than in the summer. My thoughts turn inward and the writing flows. The cooler, wetter weather is perfect for hiding in the cave of my bedroom and writing. And winter is that time of germination, when the thoughts are coming together and the stories are melding and the quiet time begins to come to a close. And then there’s spring, when my energy increases and the sun calls to me and I’m ready to go out and play. But still, summer is my hero, with its excitement and travel and adventure and freedom. For me, that never changes. And I try to make sure my kids have time each summer for a little bit of everything – time to lie around and get bored, time to take new risks, time to explore. I try to balance weeks of camp for them with weeks of do-what-you-want with weeks of going somewhere new.

We live too far from where my husband and I went to camp to send our kids there. But we’ve found them a summer camp closer by that provides them with the same necessities: a place that is different, where reinventing oneself is possible in every moment, where friendships are real, true, and forever.

So what to do when you’re craving that summery feeling but there are long months between you and that possibility? I look to books. Because between the front cover and the back, I can leave behind the mundane parts of life, discover new worlds, try on different personalities and characteristics, and connect with people about whom I come to care deeply. And after all, what’s better than gloomy weather for curling up in a comfy spot and diving into a good book?... at least until summer comes around again J

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Reviews and an Interview!

Here's a new review of Sea Change, from Tales of Whimsy!

This nectarous engaging story is like a leisurely walk on the beach. It is a sweet soft slow moving tale of how Miranda unravels herself and her pain. Do not read it expecting giant revelations or tons of actions. Read it expecting... (Click here to read more.)

And here is a neat interview with Aimee Friedman!

Also, another review of Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman:

Breathing is a novel full of heart, humor, and plenty of romance. Cheryl Renee Herbsman writes in a unique and convincing style that... (Click here to read more.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Hi everyone,

How's your September going? Here in Michigan, it seems as if the weather has realized that it wasn't too kind to us during the summer months, and is looking to make up for it by bombarding us with 80 degree weather days! Which is all nice and fun after school (the deck and a good book, anyone?), but during school, it's miserable!

So my question on this beautiful and balmy day is, what's your favorite beach read? Is it any one of the ones featured? Or is it something else? Let us know, we're curious and nosy like that!

And don't forget to enter our BIG CONTEST! Two prize packs, with extra chances for bloggers to win!

Happy reading!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reader Reviews

Throughout the month we'll be posting reviews and interviews with the featured authors from around the internet on this blog. Make sure you follow the links and give the blogs (and books!) some love!

"THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY is an underrated book, and Jenny Han is an author who is all too often overlooked. But she has me convinced in her second book; I am now in awe of her character-writing abilities, and cannot wait to read more of her writing"...from Steph Su Reads.

"I think the entire plot of the novel (the fake fight) is absolutely brilliant"...from Mrs. Magoo Reads

"Breathing was a very cute, quick and fun read. Herbsman’s writing transported me to a different place! I felt like I just came back from a southern beach side getaway"...from The Story Siren.