Friday, July 8, 2016

"Life After Juliet" by Shannon Lee Alexander

Life After Juliet
by Shannon Lee Alexander

Life after Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander has just been released. It's the companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables (read my blog post), which is ON SALE for only $0.99 to 10 July.

The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. You can also read my review. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

You're also invited to attend the Facebook event on 14 July to celebrate the release of Life after Juliet and for access to fun posts and exclusive content!

Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape - to other times, other places, other people ...
Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.
As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world ... and happy endings aren't always guaranteed.
The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.

Excerpt from Act 2, scene 19
I’m done with regret. My life. My terms. I flip to my contacts and listen to the ringing on the other side.
As soon as Max picks up I start talking. “I’m going to kiss you.”
“What? Becca? Are you okay?”
“It’s the only way. I think about it all the time—kissing you. And so if we just get it over with, then, you know, I’ll know.”
“Know what?”
“Whether or not you’re worth risking my life over.”
“Yes. Because if I fall for you, Max, and then something happens like—” I don’t explain. I don’t have to. “Well, I wouldn’t survive that—not again.”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Readers will fall in love with Becca, Max, Darby, and other characters as their soft, awkward moments of adolescence resonate throughout the prose. A successful story of a young woman's journey through grief." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"This book is more than a love story, and the love story is more than epic!" ~ Liza Tabita
"I absolutely loved this ... The story, the characters, the message ... Just perfection! And I dare anyone reading to try not to fall for Max!!" ~ Jamie Arkin, Fiction Fare
"Great read for a book lover ... Epic love at its best!!!" ~ Socially Awkward Book Nerd
"What a great read! I devoured it in a couple of hours, and I dare you not to do the same. Becca's voice is so real and easy to connect with, especially for those of us with introverted, nose-in-book tendencies. I haven't suffered a loss like Becca's, but I certainly fight every day to make myself put the book down and do some living of my own, and that is really what this story is about. She conquers fears, but in a way that is still true to herself in the end, and I adored her for it." ~ Nicole Bledsoe, Educator at Mena High School
"I hated putting this book down. It was a journey I thoroughly enjoyed taking, and I'm now looking forward to picking up Love and Other Unknown Variables. Contemporary might not be my usual 'thing', but I think I just found a new author I'm for sure going to be looking out for in the future." ~ Jacquie Atamanuk, Rattle the Stars


My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Becca is struggling to come to terms with the death of her best friend, Charlotte. One fateful day changes all of that: Mrs Jonah partners her with the dreadlocked Darby in English literature class; Becca has a run-in with cute Max Herrera; and a red flyer for Romeo and Juliet, Charlotte's favorite play, is the catalyst that brings them all together. Becca finds herself slowly working through a bucket list - though more by accident than by design. And, along the way, she might just find herself.
This is the story of a young girl struggling to cope with the grief of living without her best friend. There are poignant flashbacks of Becca's conversations with Charlotte, but there are also plenty of light-hearted moments. The book features a cast of memorable characters, including the absolutely adorable Becca and Max, Max's best friend Vincent, drama queen Darby, Romeo Thomas, and theater director Mr Owens. The story is told from the point-of-view of Becca the bookworm, who measures time by the number pages she reads. Her narrative is full of gorgeous similes and metaphors relating to reading and the pages of books. Becca even describes people by trying to find the words an author would use to describe them in a book. There are plenty of fun references to books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and Becca's favorite, The Velveteen Rabbit. Another nice touch is the chapters labeled as acts and scenes in a play. This is a treat for real book lovers like Becca.
Another winner by author Shannon Lee Alexander. She sure does have a way with words. Your heart will melt.

Guest Post by the Author
Connecting with Readers
Growing up, reading was always a solitary experience. I picked up a book. I read the book. I thought about what I’d read. And then, I’d start over again with a new book.
There wasn’t a teen book club. Other friends and I didn’t talk about what we were reading. We never even suggested books to each other. Reading was like going into outer space, trapped in a vacuum created by the book you were in.
And it was good. Don’t get me wrong. If we continue to use that space metaphor, I spent most of my down time hanging out in outer space as a teen. I was a teenage space cadet. I enjoyed my time reading.
But now, as I watch my own kids read and interact with the books they love, the fandoms, and even the authors themselves, I realize that reading is no longer like floating around in a solitary space capsule, but more like living in a colony on the moon.
The experience of reading has evolved for young people, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Through blogs like this one, social media, online fangroups, and the explosion of teen book events and conventions, readers young and old have been given amazing ways to connect not just to the stories they are reading, but to the authors who wrote them, and legions of other readers.
I think this ability to connect, to expand the world of the books and meet others who have also resided there, has not only made reading more fun, but has helped my kids develop as critical readers. They are engaging willingly in conversations about themes and character growth. They seek out others to debate the merits of plot twists and character motivations. They are constantly looking for ways to expand their thinking beyond I read this book and liked it.
As an author, I love being able to interact with readers of Love and Other Unknown Variables and Life After Juliet so easily. I don’t get to travel for book events as much as I’d like, but through social media and generous bloggers like Lynda, I still get to connect with other bookish folks who love good stories.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for book lovers. Perhaps we’ll venture even farther than the moon. Next stop, Mars!

About the Author
Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. She spent most of her time in high school hiding out in the theater with the drammies and techies. Math still makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family. Math makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

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