I am so excited to welcome Jennifer Murgia onto the blog today! As part of her Between These Lines blog tour she is here to talk about comfort zones.

Comfort Zones

As a Young Adult author, my comfort zone has been in the genre of
Fantasy. I write speculative fiction about Otherworlds and beings that
we don’t see except in stories, but somehow want to believe exist.
I stepped outside my comfy box and wrote BETWEEN THESE LINES which is my
first YA Contemporary novel. The story deals with a social agenda at a
prep school and the lives that are changed because of a particular class
assignment. It introduces characters that are seemingly worlds apart but
forced to find similarities in one another so that they can co-exist
(yes, I’m talking about that ridiculous social ladder that forces
students to choose between cliques or forever be outcast). This
assignment causes upset. It causes competition and heartache and
terrible, terrible things.
But it also allows a love to grow between two characters – Evie and
Chase – who are very different from one another surface-wise and
friend-wise. The assignment that pairs them together opens their eyes
allowing them to see that deep down they’re actually very much alike.
This budding romance and connection they share with one another propels
them out of their cliques and directly out of their comfort zones,
subjecting them to ridicule, whispering, and you know what? They don’t
care. They found each other and that’s comfort enough.
I was a little worried about stepping outside my own comfort zone. I
believe in branding oneself as a writer – have been told to really
consider the message I want to send my readers so they can identify with
me, can connect with me, and be able to expect something similar
genre-wise in the books I know I’ll continue to write. But you know
what? Stepping outside of the box is good. It sets you free and lets you
stretch and explore something you didn’t know you could do — like
write a contemporary novel. And maybe that comfort zone isn’t so boxed
in any more. Maybe it’s just grown larger? Expanded so I can move around
in it a little better.
Comfort zones are just that . . . something, anything, that makes you
feel pretty good and lets you venture into something you’d like to try.
I think the messages we find in all genres are fairly similar. A dark
angel can be a school bully. A shiny vampire can be a tender first love.
From truth come tales that are passed down and twisted so far out of
shape they certainly no longer sound true – and from myths come sound

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Birthday Bash All Contests

Hey guys! I thought it would be easier if I put all of the contests in one place! Now you don’t have to go searching through pages to find everything!

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Birthday Bash Kristin Tubb

Hey guys! I know I said I was going to get two posts up to you yesterday, but as birthdays get sometimes I was so busy! Here is the final birthday bash posts! Please welcome Kristin Tubb to the site today!

Birthdays. They play a huge role – both directly and implicitly – in THE 13TH SIGN. In the opening scene, it is main character Jalen Jones’s 13th birthday. She visits a New Orleans voodoo store, and (long story short) purchases a book about horoscopes that causes her to inadvertently awaken Ophiuchus, the 13th sign of the zodiac. Doing this changes the dates of the traditional 12-sign zodiac calendar, causing everyone on earth to have a personality shift.

The zodiac calendar is all about the birthday. These calendars date back over 2000 BC, back to the Babylonians, who were the first to come up with the idea that maybe – just maybe – when you are born is a major factor in who you become. Many people nowadays think this idea is just bunk, dismissing the theory that the time and date of one’s birth has little to do with one’s personality. But back then? Think about it – a child born in December (in the northern hemisphere) had to be a scrappy little nugget to battle the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables and exposure to the elements in the coming months. A baby born in the spring, however, could luxuriate in the available food and the warm temperatures. It’s easy to imagine, then, that a birthdate could have something to do with the person you ultimately became.

Whether or not this idea still applies, with our ample fast food and cozy HVAC systems, is hard to say. If you’re interested in your horoscope sign, take THE 13TH SIGN quiz here to find your 12-sign horoscope, your 13-sign horoscope, and which horoscope sign you act like!

Happy birthday, Hannah!

Thanks so much Kristin! I hope everyone enjoyed this weeks posts! Remember there are several giveaways going on at the moment so be sure to check them all out! Also a note on ALL of the giveaways: Be sure to check out the terms and conditions section! All giveaways are US only.

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Birthday Bash Day 7- Sharon Cameron

It’s the last day of the Birthday Bash! It’s been so much fun getting to see everyone’s posts! I’ve got TWO posts for you today! Here is a post from Sharon Cameron!

Thanks, Hannah, for letting me participate in your blog birthday bash! I asked Uncle Tully if he would like to share any birthday memories, but he doesn’t count his years (it takes much too long to get to the next one) and then Katharine’s last birthday was such a bummer (i.e. break-ups, poisonings, the death of innocent pets) that I decided to share one of my own personal favorite birthdays instead.

On my seventeenth birthday I was doing relief work in a small village in the Dominican Republic, for the first time discovering that so far I had lived a pampered life. No electricity, no running water, straw huts, and even some malnourished babies with distended bellies. The hut we slept in had bones hanging from the ceiling, you know, like, voodoo bones, and the morning of my birthday I watched a tarantula crawl out of my empty shoe. Not an auspicious start.

The construction work we were doing was hard, hot, and dirty. I was sitting out the hottest part of the day with two friends, dead tired, when a group of children surrounded us, all of them talking at once in Spanish. Seriously regretting my choice to study Latin in high school, I allowed myself be taken by the hand and we were all three pulled down the dirt lane of the village, no idea where we could be going. The children, a group of eight and nine year olds –some of them clothed, some of them mostly not– were giggling like mad. Then they started running. We were all running.

Past huts and trash heaps, out of the village, and through a dense field of sugar cane, and then we were on a jungle path, ducking branches and jumping over logs, sweating hard and running way too fast for the mosquitoes. The children called and laughed, the trees thinned, and the next thing I saw was a pool. The water was a shocking shade of turquoise, almost translucent, like a jewel, shaded by the deep green of palm trees and huge tropical plants. Beautiful. The little girl beside me looked up and grinned, squeezing my hand tight. We never stopped running; we never even broke our stride. We jumped in. All of us. At the same time. Screaming our heads off.

I spent an hour or so in that amazing blue water, playing games with children whose laughter was the only thing I could understand, getting dunked and splashed and chewing on stalks of raw sugar cane. The heat was gone, and for that little bit, it didn’t matter who was rich and who was poor. We were all just people, having fun, and everything was perfect.

Best. Birthday. Ever.


There is a giveaway for this one too! Like the others I have a special note. I will be seeing Sharon in a few weeks and getting this signed so if you win you will not be getting is straight away!

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