Mundie Moms

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just One Day Blog Tour: Tour Kick Off / Guest Post with Author Gayle Forman

Welcome to the JUST ONE DAY blog tour! We all know one of Gayle’s talents lies in writing the swooniest books possible, but she’s also a world traveler! Many of her experiences inspired scenes in JUST ONE DAY (and JUST ONE YEAR, out next fall!). Each day along the tour there will be a new photo from Gayle’s travels, along with the story behind the photo written by Gayle!

Countesthorpe, England

This picture was taken at Countesthorpe College, a secondary school in England when I was 16, about halfway through my junior year abroad. Playing guitar was one of the many new things I learned that year. I also sang in my first band, organized a benefit concert, edited a magazine, wrote the beginnings of my first novel, got drunk, and then learned how to hold my liquor, learned navigate cultural differences, as well as the London Tube. I overcame homesickness, figured out how to live with a family of strangers, learned how to seduce a guy, and how to cook a meal (the latter a necessity because it was also the year I became a vegetarian).

Had I stayed home, I might well have learned some of that stuff. I might have picked up a guitar or a cookbook. Or marched against apartheid. But nothing catalyzes change like travel. There’s something about being outside of your comfort zone that encourages you to plunge yourself into new experiences. It’s like, you’re already in a place where they call sandwiches butties and drive on the wrong side of the road and share bathtub water, so, why not try the guitar?

Had I stayed home, I probably would’ve finished up high school and gone straight to college. Instead, I came back from that year thirsting for something different. During my senior year of high school, I got a job, saved money, and while the rest of my friends were applying to college, I made my plans to head back to Europe.  “I’m attending The University of Life,” I told my very understanding parents. A week after graduation, I took off with a one-way ticket, an overstuffed backpack, and a vague determination to find that something different.

I never really stopped traveling, never really stopped looking. I’m pretty sure this is why I became a journalist and writer, because initially it allowed to keep traveling, and then when I had kids and no longer wanted to gallivant, it allowed me to take journeys in my imagination.

The latest journey is Just One Day, which draws very much on my early experiences traveling. Allyson, the heroine of Just One Day,  and I are fairly different people—with very different parents—but we have one thing in common: Travel changes us from the people we were on our way to becoming to the people we became.

Start reading JUST ONE DAY right now!

LIKE the JUST ONE DAY/JUST ONE YEAR Facebook page for all the latest news!

Want to see more of Gayle Forman’s amazing traveling? Penguin Teen is posting one picture a day on tumblr for a whole YEAR!

Visit Gayle on her website and follow her on Twitter.

Travel with Gayle along the JUST ONE DAY tour!

Mon, 1/7 Mundie Moms
Tues, 1/8 The Story Siren
Wed, 1/9 Alice Marvels 
Thurs, 1/10 Anna Reads
Fri, 1/11 Forever Young Adult  

About The Book:

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

Published by: Penguin Teen
To Be Released on: January 8th, 2012
Pre-Order from: Penguin | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Darkest Minds Blog Tour: Interview with Author Alexandra Bracken

I am excited about today's The Darkest Minds blog tour, hosted by Disney Hyperion! We have Alexandra Bracken on the blog today talking about her newest YA release. You'll be able to read my review for it later today here on the blog.

1) Hi Alexandra! Welcome to Mundie Moms. We're so excited to have you stop by today. Sophie and I are huge fans of your debut, Brightly Woven. As a writer, did you feel it was easier writing your second book, Darkest Minds or your debut?

Hi guys, thanks for having me!

This is an interesting question to me, because I think each book I write poses some new, unexpected challenge. On one hand, Brightly Woven was harder because I was more inexperienced as a writer and felt like I couldn’t push back on certain revisions that I ultimately ended up making. I think The Darkest Minds took a lot more out of me on an emotional level, if that makes sense. It’s hard to be in Ruby’s head while so much terrible stuff is happening to her and the people she cares about. This one also involved a lot more research about government policy, the history of rebel groups, terrorism, and science. On the flip side, developing The Darkest Minds felt a lot more organic to me—I knew the characters better from the very beginning, and the last third of the book barely changed from the first draft on.

2) I'm excited to talk with you about your most recent release, The Darkest Minds. How would you describe your book in ten words or less?

Telekinetic teenagers on the run from a dictatorial government.
Or: Telekinetic teenagers, minivans, classic rock, rebellion, love, and betrayal. J

3) Your main character Ruby has a lot going against her. Instead of just giving up, I love that she has this fierce determination to survive, and I'm trying to be vague so I don't give anything away. What's something that you came to admire the most about Ruby? 

Thank you! I really love Ruby and feel very protective of her because of everything she’s been through. I actually think the key to really “getting” the book is to understand Ruby and emphasize with her. I’ve noticed that a few readers don’t have any patience for her when she cycles back on her “I’m a monster,” mentality. I think—maybe because they’re all functioning and can bring themselves to occasionally smile—it’s easy to forget that all of the kids in the book are really traumatized by what they’ve been through, and they don’t really start to heal until they find one another. Ruby, especially. The temptation is always to write a character who’s kick-ass from the beginning, or who accepts and is empowered by her abilities quickly—but I really felt like it would be disingenuous to portray her that way, and in no way realistic. She’s lived in a harsh environment that’s done nothing but reinforce the hatred she has for herself and what she can do, and she has no real control over her abilities. I’m in the middle of editing book 2 right now, and it’s been amazing to see how far she’s come and how hard she still has to fight to overcome these doubts.

There’s a line from the movie The Seven Samurai that really resonated with me when I was first discovering who Ruby was: “By protecting others, you save yourself.” I think that’s definitely the case with her—once she meets Liam and the others, it suddenly becomes that much more imperative to survive so she can ensure they do, too. They give her hope and a purpose.

Ultimately, what I really admire about Ruby is her ability to sacrifice the things she wants despite how little life has given her. She is capable of making truly devastating decisions.

4) Do you see yourself in any of your characters? 

Liam definitely inherited my strange sense of humor and love of classic rock, but I actually relate a lot of Chubs. He and I are both a little high-strung and tend to take a pessimistic (“realistic” as we would say!) approach to making decisions. He’s also a voracious reader.

5) I'm thrilled this is the first book in a trilogy. Did you originally write Ruby's to span three books?

I didn’t even think about it until I reached the end of the first draft!  When I first start writing any story, it helps me to initially think of it as a standalone. I think it’s probably just to ensure that I’m writing a fully fleshed-out book rather than one long first chapter masquerading as a first book, which sometimes happens with series.  I knew from the beginning how this book was going to end, but I found myself dreading it the closer I got to it. When I finally finished, I was so anxious about the way things ended that I immediately started thinking about what was going to happen to the characters going forward.  (The ending of this book is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written—and if it hadn’t been a series, I would have been content to leave it on that note.)

6) What's been one of your most memorable moments as an author?

This answer is hard, because there have been so many of them! How about I tell you a funny one instead?

Right after Brightly Woven came out, I went to visit my book babies at the Union Square B&N here in New York City. You should know, first, that I’ve always had a hard time dealing with attention; even as a kid, I hated having birthday parties because I’d get so flustered with all of the focus on me. Super, super shy. I get the same sort of feeling when I see my book in a store—which is why I rarely ever ask to sign stock and why I sneak around like a freaking criminal and stare at my books from a distance. (I realize this is weird.)  Anyway, I really wanted to experience buying my book from a store (I realize this is also weird), so I plucked one off the shelf and brought it down to the register. I was three dollars short to pay in cash, so I ended up having to give the cashier my debit card. The following conversation occurred:

B&N Girl: Oh! That’s so funny.
Me: …?
B&N Girl: You have the same name as the author!
Me: Oh-HAHAHA-yeah-I-Um-That’s-I-Mean-That’swhyI’mbuyingitBYE! *snatches the bag, flees the store*

That basically sums up my super glam author life right there.

Okay, that is funny. I'm sure the girl was mortified after she learned that you were the author.  I'm pretty sure if we were in your shoes, we'd also be sneaking around the book store to look at our book from a distance too. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and chat with us today Alexandra! 

About The Darkest Minds

When Ruby awakened on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." Because Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby knows that she is one of the dangerous ones and, when the truth comes out, she barely escapes Thurmond with her life. On the run and desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her, Ruby joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what she did to her parents.

When they arrive at the safe haven, East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work too, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. And soon Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

The heart-pounding first book a near-future dystopian series, Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds will leave you begging for the next installment.

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.  She recently relocated to New York City, where she works in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books.  You can visit her online at or on Twitter (@alexbracken). 

The Mortal Instruments Movie Monday #12: City of Bones, One of 2013's Most Anticipated Movies

Welcome to this week's edition of The Mortal Instruments Movie Monday! I'm kicking off the new year with exciting news for our much anticipated movie, and when I say our, I mean the fandom. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is one of many exciting releases coming out this year, but it's one of a few movies that's repeatedly popped up on various lists for being one of the most anticipated movies for 2013! 

Now it finds itself on a new list, MTV Movie Brawl 2013! The difference between this list and all the others is the voting! That's right, fans vote through the movies they're most looking forward to see. First, let's check out what some of this year's competition looks like:

Get More: 

Movie Trailers, Movies Blog

There are over 40 movies slated to be released next year. What a crazy number. Along with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, I'm looking forward to seeing Beautiful Creatures, Warm Bodies, The Host, The Great Gatsby (are you seeing the book/movie theme yet?!),  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oz the Great and Powerful, Man of Steel, and Iron Man 3. Which movies are you looking forward to seeing? You can check out the list here

Check out what's coming out this year and then VOTE for your favorites! Voting for round one of MTV's Movie Brawl 2013 is now OPEN!!

 "But be warned: round one will knock out a huge chunk of the competition. Starting January 14, our original list of 40 will be whittled down to 16 movies based on your votes. That’s when our bracket launches and the 16 flicks will start going head-to-head, March Madness-style, in single-elimination contests — until only one movie reigns supreme." - per MTV

Voting will play out like this: 
1/7: round one voting
1/14: "sweet" 16
1/17: Elite 8
1/21: Final 4
1/25: Final 2
1/28: the Winner! (City of Bones) lol Sorry, had to throw that one in there.

Go get your VOTE on! 

Mundane Monday #169: One of Our Favorite City of Bones Moments

Happy Mundane Monday! Happy New Year!! We're kicking off 2013 with one of our favorite moments between Jace & Clary in City of Bones.

She looked up from closing it to find Jace watching her through hooded eyes. "And one last thing," he said. He reached over and pulled the sparkling pins out of her hair, so that it fell in warm and heavy curls down her neck. The sensation of hair tickling her bare skin was familiar and oddly pleasant. 

"Much better," he said, and she thought this time that maybe his voice was slightly uneven too.

-City of Bones, page 214, Jace & Clary