Tuesday, August 14, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: MY PAPER HEART by Magan Vernon + Guest Post

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by Magan Vernon
Publication Date: August 6, 2012
Publisher: Calta Press
Pages/Format: 300; e-book
Genre: New Adult
Source: e-ARC from author

There are worse things in life than failing out of college- such as having your parents receive the letter that you’ve been kicked out.

Now to appease her parents self-proclaimed sorority princess Libby Gentry is packing up her Prada bag and heading to work for her great aunt’s antique store in tiny Elsbury, Louisiana. She’s pretty sure she can tackle the swamp and deal with her great aunt and tom boy of a little cousin, but what she doesn’t know is if she can handle the local town playboy, Blaine Crabtree.

As Libby's feelings for Blaine grow, so does her need for acceptance and all of the insecurities she has kept inside are coming out. She may have survived the Louisiana swamp, but she may not survive Blaine's reluctance to say the 'L' word. When Blaine finally commits to the three words Libby’s been waiting for, she only hopes they haven’t come too late.

**This book does contain some mild language and sexual content. It is meant for upper YA readers**
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords
Magan Vernon, author of the young adult My Alien Romance series, ventures into the burgeoning New Adult genre. Her sassy female lead, Libby, puts the 'fun' in funny and makes My Paper Heart an extremely entertaining read!

Libby's story will reach the hearts of young women in many walks of life. She's lost, vulnerable, and drowning in the woes of a negative self-image. Until she's sent to Louisiana, as punishment for failing out of her first year of college, Libby doesn't know what it's like to be comfortable in her own skin. This coming-of-age story will captivate readers between its strong romance, tear-jerking moments, and everyday teenage worries.

The content of the novel is meant for upper YA readers, yet Vernon stays true to the teenage voice. When it comes to talk of sexual conduct, the characters speak in a way so as to not stray from the novel's intended audience. The language and content isn't too graphic for readers who enjoy mature themes in young adult fiction. One wish for this story is that Vernon delved a little deeper into Libby's tendency to purge food after eating. It's referred to throughout the novel, but the possible consequences weren't explored, leaving the situation slightly overlooked.

Readers will beg for more of Libby's growing personality and eccentric, but lovable, family. My Paper Heart is highly recommended!

Add MY PAPER HEART to Goodreads

Guest Post
Character Chemistry 
by Magan Vernon

Character chemistry is about much more than a pair of beautiful blue eyes. (Though, a pair of beautiful blue eyes doesn’t hurt).

But how can a writer convey this? How can the reader FEEL the chemistry between the characters?

For me, it’s all about the emotional attachment. Both characters have to have something at stake, something that puts them together and tears them apart at the same time.

I’m better with examples, so let’s review my own characters:

In HOW TO DATE AN ALIEN, Alex is thrust into a situation in which she has to work alongside aliens in an alien operations center. The first moment she meets Ace is when he saves her life. If the gorgeous looks weren’t enough he has the whole knight andshining armor thing going for him. But what’s at stake for them? What makes them fall so head over heels for each other that they are willing to possibly start an intergalactic war?

Well, first, there is Alex’s emotional investment in Ace. He’s saved her life, he reads her blog, and he puts up with her when she asks him if he’s wearing guyliner. Then let’s throw in the fact that people don’t want them together, Alex literally is pulledaway from him time and time again, but there is something that keeps drawing her back. There’s that tug of the heart that shows how deeply rooted her emotional attachment is to Ace with how he is the only one that can make her feel comfortable whether she iswith humans or aliens.

Then we feel Ace’s attraction to her. It’s slow building with little hints of flirting, but then it builds up until there is a beautiful crescendo and he admits that after all the back and forth bantering that he is falling in love with a human girl.

What is it about this chemistry that keeps us reading? For me, what is at stake for the characters is what keeps me turning the pages. Whether we know the two characters love each other or whether we are holding our breath to see when they will actuallykiss, that back and forth feeling keeps us on the edge of our seats and creates a perfect wind of unpredictable chemistry.

Since this is the My Paper Heart blog tour, I GUESS I can give a little teaser of a scene in My Paper Heart with a little bit of character chemistry. Enjoy :)
     His hair was so spikey and tousled that it almost looked curly or windblown. I wondered what it would be like to run my fingers through it. If it would feel like straw from baking in the summer sun all day or if it would just slide like silk throughmy fingers.
      "And that really didn't give me any information about you. If you're going to man handle me, I should at least know your name. And if you plan on doing it again you should really get me a drink first."
     He laughed, exhaling a mouthful of smoke. His full lips almost made an O shape as he laughed, bringing out the dimples that curved around his lip line. "Alright, you got me there. I'm Blaine. Blaine who's lived here all his life. Blaine the grunt forthe parish highway department."
     "Well I didn't want your whole life story!" I squealed. I was flirting. I couldn't help it, and he really was cute in an old faded blue jeans sort of way.
      I didn't think that I would ever date a guy from Elsbury. He probably spent all day working and then going home to watch car racing. He probably drove a big red truck and blared Charlie Daniels. A guy like Blaine just didn't fit the description ofguys that I was normally attracted to, but with every lingering gaze I found myself wanting to know more about this southern boy.
     "Yeah, well that ain't the half of it." He stopped and finished his clove. I thought he was going to say something more, but then he looked all around us. "Hey, where did your cousin go?"
     "Hmm..?  Oh, Brittany?  I'm sure she is fine." I waved my hand in front of me before letting it fall flat.
     "You really are dense aren't you?" He flicked his clove off of the porch, narrowing his eyes at me before he walked back inside with long, quick strides.
I stormed after him, pushing past plaid shirted guys and tube top clad girls. "What the hell?  You're the one that dragged me outside remember?" I turned Blaine toward me as we got into the living room, trying to ignore how toned his biceps were. Ihad to resist the urge to trace my fingers down them.
     "You leave a fifteen-year-old girl alone at a party and expect everything is just going to be alright?" He raised his voice. I didn't like being told what I should be doing or being questioned by a guy I barely knew. Especially a guy that had draggedme outside when I was trying to chase after Britt in the first place.
     "I'm sure she's fine, I mean she's the one who invited me to this party!" I threw an arm out to the side. "And if it's so bad, then why are you here?" I crossed my arms and smirked, trying to make my point.
    "Because I am a nineteen-year-old man, not a fifteen-year-old girl whose cousin just used her like a stripper pole!" He screamed that last part, and headed off toward one of the bedrooms. Everyone was staring at us. I put my head down and tried notto let everyone see how red I’m sure my face was as I hurried to catch up with Blaine.
     I caught up to him standing in an open doorway, and staring as he leaned in on the door frame. A small crowd of people were positioned in the room lit by only black lights and cluttered with posters of psychedelic pink mushrooms and other brightly coloredplants. As the cloud of smoke lifted I saw my little cousin, curled up on the corner of an old wooden futon with a plastic cup in one hand and her mouth wrapped around a giant green bong that was being lit by some guy with a porn star mustache. I gasped, coveringmy own mouth in horror.
     "Real responsible aren't we?" Blaine whispered as he headed back out toward the party.
     "Hey cuz!" Brittany giggled, letting out a huge cloud of smoke. "Want a hit?" She held out the large green bong toward me. I had never smoked pot and never planned to, but I wasn't a stranger to it. It wasn't like a lot of Beau's fraternity brothersdidn't spend their time hitting the bong.
     I threw my arms down and stomped over to Brittany. "No I do not want a hit! We are leaving!" I pulled her up off the couch, it was like pulling dead weight, but I managed to get her up.
    "Come on girl! The party is just getting started, and I got a spot for you right here." I looked down to see a Hispanic boy in a cowboy hat wiping his mouth, suggesting that I should sit on it.
     "Ew..." I wrinkled my nose in disgust and pulled Brittany out of the room.
    "Oh come on cuz, we were just having some fun!" Brittany laughed as she chugged the contents of the cup down and then threw the empty cup on the ground. She then turned to me with a serious glint in her bloodshot eyes.
     "You were probably having fun with Blaine anyways!" She pointed at me, staggering back and forth.
     "Trust me Britt. There is NOTHING going on with me and Blaine. I don't think there is going to be any luck with guys for me in this entire parish." I gritted as I pulled her toward the door.

About Magan:
Self-proclaimed geek-to-glam poster child who channels her inner geek by writing science fiction for teens, even though she slept with a night light until she was in middle school for fear of alien attacks. She now lives with her husband, daughter, and dog in central Illinois where she still sleeps with a night light...just in case.

Connect with Magan: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



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