Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BELLES GIVEAWAY and Q&A with Author Jen Calonita

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.

BellesFifteen-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: Perfect!

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!

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is generously giving one winner a BELLES Prize Pack that contains a finished copy of the book, along with BELLES lipgloss. Pucker up, kids!

  • 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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Well she would have to have good morals, a touch of class, honest, and love animals.

  2. Manners,politeness, And most of all a sweet heart

  3. I think manners is a big one. I find so many people up here have sucky manners, and anytime I have been in the south people are really polite. Also Just the way people carry themselves. I don't know how to explain it, it's just very self assured, but not cocky.

  4. I think of Southern Belles, polite and well groomed. LOL

  5. Great interview I loved Belles and I just got Winter White I was super excited! And Purity was great I read it not too long ago! Very funny too which I didn't expect! Awesome post, Andrea!

  6. I think having grace under fire makes a Belle. Having to deal with all the stress of that kind of lifestyle you'd need a cool head and a gracious demeanor. I would definitely never be able to be a Belle.

  7. This sounds like a terrific book! Being from the south, and being a southern Belle myself, I feel I must read this book! :-) Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway and get to know the author! :-)
    Author of "Cicada"

  8. Lady like manners and politeness.

  9. Polite, well mannered, and can play some instrument.

  10. ME! LOL, just kidding, but I think it would be somebody who's nice, intelligent (street smart), and always tries to be the best they can be. :)

    THanks for the giveaway, I've read Jen's Secrets of My Hollywood Life and I really loved them, so I can't wait to see what else Jen dished up for us! :)

  11. A sweet, smart, polite, well dressed Southern girl :)

  12. Absolute manners. Whether they are empty or not. People have a hard time being impolite when you show them unwavering manners.

  13. Humor, humor, humor! my favorite people are always the reasonable funny ones! I love this interview! Wonderful question choices and thanks for the wonderful giveaway Andrea! :0
    if you haven't all ready, read Jen's secret's of my hollywood life series (its amazing!)

  14. Great interview! The book sounds awesome! It's definitely on my to-read list!

    To me, being a belle is synonymous with grace - in character, appearance and mentality.

    Thanks so much:)

  15. Flawless manners, proud posture, and a cute, snobby southern twang:)

  16. When I think of a Belle, I think of a hoity-toity, prim & proper woman with sophisticated manners who wouldn't be caught dead even holding a suitor's hand for fear of being condemned for such an action. My, how times have changed, huh? :)

  17. To me a belle should be an all around nice girl. She should be kind and accepting even if she has to deal with ignorant people.

  18. Belles to me are people with class: manners, kindness and respect for others at all times.

  19. generosity, sophistication and beauty

  20. Okay this is totally random but I'm gonna say: Sass. First thing that came to me.


  21. Acting like a lady: being kind, sophisticated, smart and polite.

  22. definately class and manners

  23. Lets first discuss the cover. I liked the cover, It's secretive, what with only showing the girls eyes but it's also classy with the font. Good job with the cover.


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