photo courtesy of Pick a Poppy
I am very excited to be taking part in the celebration of author Jen Calonita's tour in support of her new book, BELLES. If you've visited this blog before, you might know that I am a huge fan of this book. BELLES was a true delight to read. You can find my review here. You can find tour information here. I am thrilled to be going to tonight's tour stop in Memphis!!!
Today, I have a Q&A with Jen, along with a giveaway, courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
But first, take a look at BELLES.
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever. ~From GoodReads
Now for a Q&A with Jen Calonita!
Andrea: How would you describe BELLES in 140 characters or less?
Jen: I'm stealing the tagline for this one because it says it all: "Belles is about two Southern girls with one life-changing secret."
Andrea: What was your inspiration for BELLES?
Jen: I liked the idea of pulling a girl out of her comfort zone. Throwing Izzie into a place like Emerald Cove was a great chance to see how she conquered a world completely different from her own and changed the lives of everyone she met.
Andrea: Is there a character from the story with whom you identify the most ?
Jen: I think I identify with Mira and Izzie in different ways. I love Izzie's ability to not let people get to her. She fights for what she believes in and I would hope I do the same in my own life. With Mira, I love how she strives to be a true belle. I don't think there's anything wrong with that! I know I feel best when I'm dressed up, wearing nice jewelry and have actually found the time to blow out my hair!
Andrea: A flat-iron is a must in the South.
Andrea: What is the one message you'd like readers to take from BELLES?
Jen: Not to sound cliche, but I would hope readers see that it's okay to be yourself. Izzie doesn't completely transform herself to fit in. If anything, she shows Mira that it's okay to be different. People shouldn't be cookie cutter replicas of each other. What makes you different, makes you stand out.
Andrea: That message is what makes BELLES a great read for teens.
Andrea: What are you reading right now?
Jen: I just finished Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult for the book club I'm in. Now I'm reading Elizabeth Eulberg's Take a Bow and getting ready to read Jackson Pearce's Purity. I wanted to read both before I headed out on tour with the girls next week (Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville, we're coming to see you!).
Andrea: I actually have PURITY sitting here beside me!
Andrea: Before you go, is there anything you can share with us about book two in the series, WINTER WHITE?
Jen: It's time for Emerald Cove's annual cotillion season! Izzie and Mira will have different reactions to that news, of course! But I think readers will really enjoy seeing how both girls tackle the tradition, and deal with the underground hazing that goes along with it, in different ways.
Andrea: Oooh, exciting. I can't wait for October!
I'd like to extend a thanks to Jen for stopping by my little blog!
- Entrants must be 13+ years of age.
- Must be a US Resident (per publisher).
- Must fill out the Rafflecopter form
- The only mandatory entry is name/email address, all other entries are optional.