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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Prizes!

Copies of Twenty Boy Summer, Frenemies, Swimming with the Sharks, Fringe Benefits, How to Ruin a Teenage Life, How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, Seven Tears into the Sea, and Local Girls and Rich Boys just came in! Check out how to win them here!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Breathing Trailer!

Check out this trailer for Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Guest Blog: Lisa Schroeder

Summer’s Been My Favorite for a Long, Long Time
by Lisa Schroeder

When I was in high school, I lived about thirty miles from Foster Lake, which was a popular hangout spot in the summer. I have a lot of great memories of me and my friends at the lake, but one definitely stands out in my mind, so I thought I’d share it with you guys to celebrate Summerland!

Summer was drawing to a close, and I was looking ahead to my freshman year at college, nervous, excited and a hundred other emotions I’m sure. Out of the blue, my friend Sally called me up on this glorious sunny Saturday and said her older brother (Scott, who was cute) and a friend of his (Danny, who was REALLY cute) were going up to the lake with Danny’s boat to water ski, and camp over night, and she wanted to know if I wanted to come along. It was all very last minute, and I was nervous because I had never been water skiing, but I said yes and before I knew it, we were on our way.

The funny thing is that until that day, I had swam in the lake, at the swimming hole, but I’d never been much further than that. I remember heading out on the boat and thinking, this lake is like, huge! Which, you know, of course - it was a lake!

I watched as the others took turns skiing, and eventually, it was my turn. I got in the water, and after a bit of struggle, got my skis on. Then, it was time to see if I could actually stand up on them. They had told me everything I needed to do - keep my skis pointing up and as the boat began to pull me, slowly make my way into a standing position. I actually got up on the first try, but didn’t stay up very long. It only took a few tries, though, before I was skiing all over that huge lake. And it was one of the most fun things I had ever experienced!

All day long we skied, we played music, we ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed (especially when I asked what water skiers do when they have to pee), and it wasn’t until the sun started to set and we decided we needed some real food that we headed for shore, our magical day of fun in the sun fading into the distance.

Do most people have a day that stands out as one of the best days ever? This is definitely one of mine.

A funny aside, however. The next morning, when I woke up in the tent I shared with Sally, my lips were practically the size of Texas and covered in sun blisters. It was horrible! All day long while we sat and skied in the sun, Sally and I had slathered Blistex on our lips, because it was all we had and our lips felt so dry and chapped. Sally woke up and when we looked at each other, we simultaneously shrieked. The same thing had happened to her! We were mortified. How could we possibly let Danny (the REALLY cute guy) see us like this? Of course we had to, and I think there were some laughs on our behalf. We ran into town, got some medicine, and tried to ignore our ugly lips the rest of the time we were there, which was sort of difficult and why I don’t remember that second day being nearly as fun as the first.

Lesson learned: If you ever go water skiing, take good sun block for your lips, NOT Blistex!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mega Summerland Contest!

While reading all these books and talking with all of these great authors is pretty cool, how about we make this blog a little sweeter and offer a couple of contests?

Thanks to the generosity of many bloggers and authors (you know who you are and we thank you!), we have put together two awesome prize packs for you all to win!

The first one, the Summerland Prize Pack, includes:

  • A hardcover copy of The Season by Sarah MacLean
  • An ARC of Fire by Kristin Cashore
  • A paperback copy of Night Runner by Max Turner
  • A hardcover copy of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
  • A paperback copy of Seven Tears Into the Sea by Terri Farley
  • A paperback copy of Local Girls by Jenny O'Connell
  • A paperback copy of Rich Boys by Jenny O'Connell
  • A hardcover copy of Willow by Julia Hoban
  • A hardcover copy of How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman
  • An ARC of Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
  • A signed paperback copy of Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
  • A signed paperback copy of She's So Money by Cherry Cheva
  • A signed ARC of The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
  • A signed paperback copy of Frenemies by Alexa Young (prequel to Faketastic!)
  • Give Up the Ghost Swag Pack from Megan Crewe
  • A $15 Amazon giftcard from Kimberly Derting and a signed bookmark
  • A Mortal Instruments poster
  • Assorted swag

.....and more prizes to come!

So, that's quite a lot of super awesome things! And all you have to do in order to enter to win this prize pack is purchase one or more of the Summerland books, The Summer I Turned Pretty, Sea Change, Breathing, or Faketastic between August 31st and September 30th! Just send a picture of your receipt or packing slip (make sure the date is visible) to! The more books you buy, the more entries you get!

And for all you amazing bloggers out there (yes, even the ones who donated stuff), we have a special contest for you! You are eligible to win the Blogger Prize Pack, which consists of:

  • A hardcover copy of Willow by Julia Hoban
  • An ARC of Night Runner by Max Turner
  • A paperback copy of Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway
  • A paperback set of the BFF trilogy by Carol Culver (Manderley Prep, Ruch Girl, and The Guy Next Door)
  • A hardcover copy of Mismatch by Lensey Namioka
  • A paperback copy of Swimming with the Sharks by Debbie Reed Fisher
  • A paperback cope of How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles
  • A paperback copy of How to Ruin a Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles
  • A paperback copy of Fringe Benefits by Valerie Frankel
  • An ARC of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
  • An ARC of The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison
  • An ARC of Ash by Malinda Lo
  • An ARC of Immortal by Gillian Shields
  • A Mortal Instruments poster
  • Assorted swag
...and more to come!

All you bloggers have to do to enter to win the Blogger Prize Pack is post a review of any Summerland book (once again, the more reviews you post, the more entries you get) on your blog and mention this blog between August 31st and September 30th for three entries, and blog or tweet about this contest for one! Then, send the link with your review(s) and posts and tweets to! You are also more than welcome to enter to win the Summerland Prize Pack.

And finally, 10 Summerland Prize Pack runner-ups will be chosen to win a Swag Pack, full of bookmarks, postcards, stickers, bracelets, pins, signed bookplates, and more!

Winners will be announced October 1st! Good luck all, and have fun!