Yeah, so....welcome to the blog of Judith Tewes, young adult contemporary fiction author. Here be edgy stories with a side of snark.


Books I'm Grateful I Read Hop

With winter just around the corner, this is a perfect theme for a blog hop. What better way to spend the chilly evenings than with a few beloved books? There are many books I'm glad to have read, either for pure enjoyment or because they challenged me to see topics from different viewpoints. But these two titles are ones I'm GRATEFUL I READ because they've helped me to improve as a writer and expand from my fav paranormal genre into contemporary young adult fiction projects. And here's why...

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I still remember the day I randomly decided to buy this book after skimming the paranormal Young Adult fiction shelves at a Chapters store and being caught by the simple, yet effective cover. Zero blood, no fangs, and yet...something about it called to me. That the novel was a duo point of view tale written by two authors - also a draw. How would they pull something like this off? Would the story be choppy? Would one voice stand out more than the other? Nope. The freaking nailed it!

This was also the first Young Adult title I'd read that had a similar "voice" to any contemporary stuff I'd tried writing, but thought my style was too edgy. It was because of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist that I decided contemporary YA was my next genre to tackle. NOTE: I would encourage you to read the book, then see the movie. And if you've only seen the film - try the novel, you won't be disappointed.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I confess, I haven't read Forman's most talked about novel, If I Stay, as I'm not a fan of that sub-genre that has been called "sick lit" - and I almost didn't fork out the money for my copy of Just One Day, because I stressed that one of the characters might die at the end. And I wasn't in the mood for crying novel. Hey, don't judge. I've been on a paranormal fiction binge for about ten years now and one thing about them - immortality, hello! Main characters usually don't bite it. Well, they bite, but....

Anyway, I read Just One Day - um...in about one day. :) Forman does a wonderful job of immersing you in the magic and misadventures of young people traveling abroad. As someone who has accompanied her social studies teacher husband on a few school trips to Europe, I also found myself wondering what would happen if some of the students we were charged with supervising had slipped away from the tour group. The mind boggles! (Fingers crossed this NEVER happens.) While I stressed over that plot point, I did indeed fall in love with the characters and their tenuous romance. I'm GRATEFUL I READ Just One Day as it sent me on a mission to seek out other New Adult titles and this is another genre I'm tackling with my own writing.

So here's to these two great reads who have sent me down other literary paths! To celebrate I have this cool giveaway for a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card. Enter below....

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Check out other blogs participating in this hop.


New Release by Denise Jaden: Foreign Exchange


This one is at the top of my to-be-read pile...Denise Jaden's new young adult novel, FOREIGN EXCHANGE, is officially available to the world! It is an Editor's Pick and for a limited time, it is available on the Evernight Teen website for only $4.49!

Here's a little more about the book:

Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets.

As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer.  

And here's what people are saying about FOREIGN EXCHANGE:

"Denise Jaden's newest novel, FOREIGN EXCHANGE, is a must read for contemporary YA fans. The characters leap off the pages and readers will furiously turn pages to keep up with the fast pace and intriguing premise. Definitely add a copy of Foreign Exchange to the top of your reading list."
~ Janet Gurtler, Rita Finalist and Best Selling Author of I'm Not Her 

“I loved the well-drawn relationships in Foreign Exchange – the tension between Jamie and her mother, Jamie’s tenderness with disabled brother Eddy and especially the intense chemistry between Jamie and Sawyer. Their off-limits attraction and the increasingly dangerous hunt for his sister had me racing through the final chapters.
~ Jen Nadol, author of The Mark, The Vision, and This is How it Ends

"Foreign Exchange takes you on a thrilling ride through the exotic streets of Europe into the dark side of the fashion world. Our charming heroine will stop at nothing to save her best friend. A sweet dose of romance keeps it light."
~ Lee Strauss - author of The Minstrel Series

"Foreign Exchange is a fresh contemporary YA that will keep readers compulsively turning pages until the very end. Combining international intrigue with a steamy forbidden romance makes for a can’t miss read."
~ Eileen Cook, author of Year of Mistaken Discoveries.

"A pitch perfect voice and delicious chemistry between the characters kept me turning those pages!"
~ Tara Kelly, author of Amplified and Encore

"Foreign Exchange is heart pounding and suspenseful...the teenage dream of escaping the boredom of suburbia by travelling Europe and spending quality time with a hot guy shifts into a dangerous nightmare."

~ D.R. Graham, author of Rank and the Noir et Bleu MC series.

"Denise Jaden is a force to be reckoned with! I loved her new book so much. This one is a thrill ride with full realized, lovable characters, and a refreshingly unique premise."
~ Rachel Shane, author of the upcoming Alice in Wonderland High

Have you seen the trailer yet? It's here too!

Help Denise celebrate online today and spread the word about her new book baby! Follow Denise on Twitter: @denisejaden


Books to Movies Blog Hop GIVEAWAY

As a screenwriter and novelist, this blog hop is the ultimate! There are so many book adaptations out there (good, bad, and just ugly) and each year it seems more blockbuster films / film franchises originate from a novel.

Some say the film industry is drying up, lacking in originality, and has to mine the prose world. But, I can assure you, that's not the case. Screenwriters, directors, producers are dreaming up more ideas each day than could ever make it into print or to the big screen. Ideas are a dime a dozen...it's how they're executed and who gets to the idea first that's key.

Optioning a book for film comes with numerous benefits. You can have a ready-made, built in fan base to help drive the buzz or contrarily, you can save an unknown novel from obscurity and have little pressure because no one cares if you cut scenes or tweak character motives (except the original author, of course). Authors aren't limited to the harsh realities of production budgets, trying to please distributors, and the stark thought "How the hell are we going to DO that?"...and so the worlds they build, the heights to which they bring their characters are limitless. Novels go places without a single thought to the economics of the journey. Which is why they're such amazing fodder for film. An adaptation can be faithful to the novel and have an explosive budget for special effects / fab locations, or it can simply take the spirit of the source material and turn it into something quite original on an indie-film budget.
May the trend of transferring books we love into films we adore continue! To celebrate, I have a giveaway. One of my fav books, DERBY GIRL, written by author and screenwriter, Shauna Cross, with its quirky and heartwarming film, WHIP IT. I will send an ebook copy and digital film version to the winner via Amazon's "Give as a gift" feature. 

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Check out all the other wonderful blogs you can discover on this tour and their giveaways: <!-- end LinkyTools script –>