Melissa Walker

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 Melissa Walker

I loved all your “Be ___” ideas for Just Be tees! The winner of Be Sweet is… Jessica! And the winner of Be Groovy is… Kayla! Lastly, the winner of Fireworks is… Heidi! Send your addresses and I’ll mail out your prizes. Yay!
61328.jpg This week, I’m giving away this cosmetics bag from Anne Taintor. It actually says “Not a shrinking violet” on it–how perfect is that?! This was in the gift bag for the Violet in Private book party, and I have an extra one to give away here. Be sure to explore their site–they have a fun feature called Meet the Models, which is kind of a “Where they are now” for the glamour pusses on their products. So cool!
To win, you have to visit me around the web. Each comment you leave on a few of the interviews I did last week counts as an extra entry in this contest. Then come back here and tell me how many comments you left–that’s your main entry!
1. A chat with Elite author Jennifer Banash (not sure why I can’t do an interview without mentioning Fiber One bars these days).
2. A visit with Death by Latte author Linda Gerber (who has the coolest holes in her covers!!).
3. Sharing stories about spring breaks with author Jennifer Echols (including 1999 snowy spring break photo of a doofy looking me!).
4. An interview with author Stacey DeKayser! (With chocolate questions)
Click around on all these authors’ blogs–you may find a new must-read because these are talented people!
Happy Wednesday!

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PM_OrangeGirl_sm.gif The Big Contest is now officially closed! Thanks to everyone who sent entries–they are amazing and making me so, so happy.
And here’s another peek into the Violet Book Party gift bag: Kailo Chic donated a fabulous pocket mirror like the one pictured above (though patterns vary, they’re all cool, and affordable!).
I’ll try to choose a winner by Friday (it’ll be hard!). In the meantime, visit me on author Sara Hantz’s blog where I did a guest vlog about a recent online shopping spree. (And read Sara’s cover story for The Second Virginity of Suzy Green here).
And as an end to my author-of-the-month stint at Harmony Book Reviews, I answered lots of fun questions and Skyanne posted a review of Violet in Private. Thanks for having me, Skyanne!
PS-One more day to answer Win-It Wednesday’s “What would you Be?” question from last week. The Just Be people are watching, so someone’s slogan might end up on a tee, who knows?
PPS-I have to say this: How good was Gossip Girl last night? (Despite the fact that everyone looked oddly tan or weirdly made up–was that just an HD thing?) Either way, I’m psyched for Chuck-and-Blair action. Chuck is amazing, as I have upheld since the first episodes. I loved Blair’s bathing suit! And did we notice the Vitamin Water sponsorship complimented by the mention of a Vitamin Water White Party? Smooth product placement. Also, coincidence that Chace Crawford’s ex, Carrie Underwood, is the Vitimin Water spokesperson? Probably.
Best line: “The lifeguard’s got a Camaro. And not in an ironic ‘I’ve got a Camaro’ way.”
Best guest star: Tinsley Mortimer! Real life socialite.
Best commericial: Preview for Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Cannot wait for that movie!
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Last day for the Big Contest! I’ll accept entries until tomorrow morning. Yay!
A myspace friend of mine, Kimmy, specifically requested the cover story behind Laura and Tom McNeal’s Crushed. I haven’t yet read the book, but her questions about the cover made me curious to hear the back story.
411sOGU-PLL._SS500_.jpg Laura writes: “We didn’t have an image in mind while writing the book because, for one thing, the titles tend to change. The working title of Crushed was Wicked, which as you may have noticed became the working title for another book before we went to press. Once we agreed on Crushed (after lots of discussion with our wonderful editor), it was hard to think of a cover that didn’t involve a crushed automobile, which is why we’re always so impressed with the art department at Random House. The art directors there have in every case produced an image that is subtly reflective of the story and interesting in its own right. The sideways portrait on the front of Crushed suggests both the ‘three little maids from school’ in the Gilbert & Sullivan musical that C.C., Lea, and Audrey once sang and the three misfitting maids that they are. Tom and I collect old postcards, and I’m a faithful car-Karaoke singer of Gilbert & Sullivan lyrics, so we were extremely surprised and happy to see the proposed cover art.”
So there you are! A little insight into the meaning of the cover, from the author’s perspective, and also some info about the original and working titles.
Plus, here’s School Library Journal‘s take on the book, which makes it sound intriguing to me (I’m into quiet sophistication):
“The characters in this novel have their secrets and make false assumptions about others, causing them all to be crushed in some way. Audrey’s mother died when the girl was young and her father is in financial trouble. Clyde’s mother is dying of cancer. Wickham, born of an affair 18 years earlier and new in town, is running from his own secret. The trouble begins when he romances Audrey, who is quickly taken with his seeming sophistication. He, on the other hand, is looking for someone to help him graduate and relies on her academic assistance. Painfully shy Clyde also has a crush on her and uses his father’s computer program to investigate Wickham’s past. When he tries to share what he discovers with Audrey, she rejects him. In the meantime, a slanderous paper is circulating secrets about students and teachers. When cornered by the school bully, Audrey tells him that Clyde is the author, even though she lacks evidence. This sets in motion the revelation of other secrets and the breaking of hearts. With the exception of Audrey’s friend Lea’s off-key change in personality, characters and situations ring true. Readers will sympathize with these individuals, some of whom mature, and some of whom do not. This quiet, sophisticated story will appeal to a small, mature audience.”
Has anyone read Crushed? I’d love to hear more about it!
PS-One of my past Cover Stories guests, Stephanie Kuehnert, hosted me for an interview on Saturday. Come visit me there!

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Just a reminder that you have until midnight on Monday (a.k.a. Tuesday morning) to turn in your entries for The Big Contest. Poems, videos, photos, playlists, anything relating to Violet will do!
Also, the lovely Amanda Ashby hosted me for a vlog where I review Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen, so come visit and watch me (again) in front of the camera? I promise I won’t be so narcissistic later–I just wanted to mix it up with a few vlogs because, well, I get tired of typing sometimes. Remember, you can find me on youtube here.
Happy Sunday!

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Just a reminder that you have until midnight on Monday (or Tuesday morning, really) to turn in your entries for The Big Contest. I love everything that’s come in so far!
And here’s a link to a vlog I did for The Ravenous Reader. Would love you guys to check it out. And if you like the vlogs, which are really just me rambling, thank you! You can find me on youtube here.
PS-I programmed this blog to post! I’m so in the country right now, maybe tubing, or reading on the porch swing… or listening to Taylor Swift.

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This is my last weekend at our rented country house. Sigh. Here are a few photo memories (outside shots of the barn and the bridge, s’mores, the house with with me and my friend Charles, the view from the porch swing–my favorite!, the vegetables looking fresh and pretty, me at the county fair). Click any to see them better, although who cares about my country weekends? I am just nostalgic so I had to post a tribute.
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And, there’s a guest blog I wrote for Harmony Book Reviews about the film American Teen. Comment there for a chance to win this “Team Jake” button–you’ll want it after you see the movie. Trust me.
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Oh… and I did an interview with mystery writer April Henry, where she asked me about my biggest fears. It got intense! Check it out.
PS-You have until September 1st (that’s Monday!) to enter the Big Contest. So far, no videos have been entered… just so you know. But there are some awesome entries. You can enter as many times as you want, so use your weekend wisely. But, you know, homework first. Haha.
PPS-The myspace readergirlz chat got cancelled last night because of kooky myspace behavior. It’ll be ON next Thursday, same time, 9pm Eastern. Hope to see you then. Sorry!

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551953556_06be6ab887_m.jpg There’s a new story that resonates with Ali Michael’s tale in the news this week. Gerren Taylor, now 17, is a former model who was discovered at age 12 on the streets of LA and thrust into fashion’s brightest spotlight on the runways for Betsey Johnson and Tommy Hilfiger and in a print campaign for Marc Jacobs (we even booked her for a solo well fashion shoot at ELLEgirl). By the time she was 14, her career was over. She’d grown a bit, and was deemed “too big to model.” Her mother even says she was called “obese” by the New York fashion world when she hit a size 4.
Size FOUR, people! And we’re talking about a 6-foot-tall teenager.
You can learn more about Gerren’s story in Darryl Roberts’ documentary, America the Beautiful, which I am definitely going to go see soon. And read the full story that inspired this blog post here, in the St. Louis Times.
I really do hope that stories like Gerren’s will help people realize how damaging our ideas of “perfection” and “beauty” can be for the young girls who sacrifice their own self-worth to create the images we like to look at. I’m guilty of admiring many things about the fashion world, but this thinness issue is its greatest shame.
Tonight at 9pm EST time (6pm Pacific), I’ll be chatting live with readers on the readergirlz forums. I’d love to discuss Gerren and Ali Michael and other issues–we’ve been having great “image” talks all month! So please join us if you can and say hi!

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The winner of last week’s super-warm-and-soft Muk Luks is… Kristy! Send me your address, K, and also your Muk Luk size (5-7 or 8-9). The company will send you a pair when I pass along your info.
sweet-shirt_tan.jpgfunky.jpg This week, I’m still giving away Violet Book Party SWAG. So remember, you have a chance to win a fully packed gift bag if you enter The Big Contest by Sept 1st. Rules here. One gift bag donor was a new line of t-shirts called JUST BE, and their graphic designs are totally cute (Be Fabulous, Be Beautiful, Be Muddy, Be Organic, etc). The photo is of the two t-shirts you can win in this contest–Be Sweet and Be Funky. I’ll choose two people to each win a shirt.
So here’s how you win: Comment below and tell me what you would “just be” if you were fully yourself. I think I would “Be Passionate” because I love it when people are really into things–photography, fashion, public service, chemistry, their love lives–whatever! I’m into enthusiasm. So tell me what you’d be.
51CukxFe%2BEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg As a third prize this week (same comment entry method), I’m giving away a copy of Fireworks, a collection of four summer stories by Niki Burnham, Erin Haft, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle. This book totally quenched my thirst for summer love tales, so I wanted to give it away while it’s still warm outside and you can read it in season. I bought this book as a direct result of a review on Read, Read, Read, so check that out to see what it’s all about.
Now, I’m also on a blog tour this week with the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit, so you’ll see me linking to a few interviews. Up now are the interviews below, and you can win extra entries by commenting there. I’ll be checking those and adding up your entries so visit these authors’ sites as well and click around–they are all cool women.
1. Saving Zoe author Alyson Noel asked totally hard (but fun) questions in her interview.
2. Megan Kelley Hall, who shared her fantastic Cover Story about Sisters of Misery with me last week, hosted an interview where I talked about my writing sisters (which include guys, but only a couple).
3. A chat with Dollar Daze author Karin Gillespie, who interviewed me about Violet in Private!
PS-Thanks to mybkclub.com for the reviews of Violet on the Runway and Violet by Design! (I don’t think you can comment this one.)
PPS-Just a reminder that at 9pm on Thursday night, I’ll be chatting live with readers on the readergirlz forums. Pencil it in if you can come!

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Just another peek inside the Violet in Private party gift bag. This time, coconut.jpg I’m showing you Pin Up Balms, these adorable slide-top retro tins filled with lip balm made from all-natural ingredients. There’s one in the gift bag, which you can win by entering The Big Contest (rules here), and I’ll also give a couple of these as secondary prizes because they were generous enough to give a few extras. I just think they’re adorable. I am a sucker for great packaging when it comes to lip balm (or anything, really).
And, through September 10th, you can leave a comment on Harmony Book Reviews and have a chance to win a signed copy of Violet in Private! Easy.
Also, thanks to Enchanting YA for the Violet in Private review! And check out their new logo, which is pretty dreamy.
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Happy Tuesday!

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This is the next leg of The Book Vault‘s birthday book riddle contest! For more information on the contest, go here.
Each correct answer counts as an entry into the drawing on August 29th!
Riddle:
This tree has been there for a special little boy all throughout his life–from his days as a young spirited boy until the day he was old, helping him and providing him with what he wanted most, until she has seemingly nothing left to give.
Which book is this?
Know the answer? Send Dominique an email at bookvault@yahoo.com with:
“BDAY CONTEST” in the subject line
and:
Name:
The Riddle: This tree has been there for a special little boy all throughout his life–from his days as a young spirited boy until the day he was old, helping him and providing him with what he wanted most, until she has seemingly nothing left to give.
Which book is this?
Answer: (full book title + author)
The name of the site where you found the riddle: Melissa Walker’s Blog!
Your site’s URL: (if you have one)
Please send a separate email for each riddle you answer!
Good luck!

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