Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Books! Day 1: Courtney C. Stevens + Faking Normal

Day 1: Faking Normal

Happy New Year! I am so excited to kick off New Year, New Books today with one of the nicest, most inspiring authors I've ever had the pleasure of meeting:

Courtney C. Stevens!
-author of Faking Normal (February 25th, 2014)
*insert awkward Lady Gaga gif here*

Court is here today to play what I like to call, "extremes". So basically, I gave her a crazy scenario and she told me what she would do in that situation! Before you check out her awesome answers, read a little bit about Faking Normal!

Title: Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Shelves: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary from Goodreads:
An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.

Already determined as "one of the most anticipated YA releases of 2014", Court's debut is going to stun the world. Watch this YouTube video below to learn more! 

Special thanks to Jayne for including me in this wonderful blog and for coming up with great questions.

1) What would you do if Faking Normal was the last book left in the world?
Cry and then beg every author I know to get out their pens.

I’m thankful for my book, but seriously, the world needs books. Plural.I’d Book of Eli (verb?) my favorites, because I’d be devastated if no one ever read the scene where Harry walks into the forest in the Deathly Hallows, or when Katniss volunteers for The Hunger Games, or Eustice being de-dragoned in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, or if we didn’t know what a human life was worth (a pocket watch) from Between Shades of Gray, or that Death could narrate WWII in The Book Thief, or hear Ryan Dean West admit to being a loser in Winger, or … insert a million great scenes here.

2) What would you do if J.K. Rowling invited you to her house for dinner?

I know my innerfangirl would have me in knots, butI would try to avoid talking about Harry Potter. I’m guessing her real friends talk about mundane things rather than muggles and wizards. Perhaps we’d discuss a new item at the market, a recipe, what she’s giving her kiddos for Christmas, a quote I read on the internet, etc. I’ve read her books, I’d like to know her rather than pump her for information and if she invited me for dinner, maybe she’d like to know me, too. That said, I would be remiss without telling her she’s fabulous, and I’m thankful for her.

3) What would you do if you had one day left to live?
Throw a party and hope everyone I love could attend.

I would ask everyone for one purchasable thing they really wanted or needed. After almost everyone went home, I would buy everything online and have it shipped to my buddies. Assuming I’m not saddling my family with my funeral arrangements, I’d make sure my bank account was at zero, and I invested every penny in happiness, generosity, and making a lasting legacy.There are few people I’d ask to stay with me until it was over. We’d eat those gigantic chocolate dipped strawberries, drink great wine, and laugh until we cried telling stories.

Before the night was over, I’d say a prayer of thanks for grace, love, community, and reunion.

4) What would you do if you could go back to high school for one day?

I’d hope for a day with a basketball or softball game. I loved those days the most.

5) What would you do if you found out you could time travel, and what time period would you travel to?

(I’d wished I’d watched more seasons of Doctor Who.)

Assuming this is more Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure than a one-stop shop, I’d begin with these fivetime periods:

1. Dallas – November 22nd, 1963. I want to be at the picket fence and see if there is a second shooter.
2. Amsterdam - August 3rd, 1944. I’d do my best to interrupt the history of Anne Frank.
3. Egypt- 1446 B.C. – I’d like to be there to see some serious miracles.
4. Future – If there is a time where our everyday transportation is by air--flying cars--I’d love to see that.
5. Future – The days we discover an absolute cure for cancer and AIDS.

And because Court is such an amazing person, she offers up a GIVEAWAY with an amazing prize!
Look at me awkwardly taking a book selfie (IGNORE MY POINTER FINGER) with my ARC of Faking Normal. If you win, you'll be able to do the same! *throws confetti*

One lucky winner will receive an ARC of FAKING NORMAL!
Rules of entry:
2) No cheating with the entries, I always check!
3) The ARC will be sent out at the publisher's discretion.
4) Take the time to read this post with Courtney, not just enter the giveaway. All the authors featured in New Year, New Books are crazy busy, and deserve as much love and attention as any giveaway you enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
In addition to the individual giveaways each author is hosting, I am also going to have a grand prize giveaway that will run for the entire month. This is because some authors cannot contribute a giveaway, so I figured I'd give something of mine as well.

Grand Prize Giveaway:
2 Surprise 2014 ARCs + swag
Yep, these will be from my own shelf. Yep, this giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. Yep, it is a surprise and I am not telling you what the ARCs will be but here's an idea of what MIGHT be in it:

Any of these books are fair game! But in the end, the winner will only get 2. And I promise that the surprise ARCs will be good:)

Here are the rules of entry:
2) The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email. If not, I will have to pick a new winner. 
3) The prize will be sent out at my discretion, so I might take me a little longer than a week to get it to you.
4) In order to earn the maximum amount of entries, you can comment on EVERY SINGLE DAY of New Year, New Books!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love your blog and I'm glad we're blogging buddies! Best of luck for this feature, and for 2014.

  2. WOW this is amazing that you can do something like this!!! I'm so Excited!!! Thank you!! Can't wait to see more :)

  3. Great job, Jayne! I'm really looking forward to this awesome month of posts. It's going to start the year off great. :)

    I'm looking forward to reading Faking Normal. I have an e-arc of it, so I'll be reading it sometime before it releases. It looks like such a great book.

  4. Happy New Years!! :D Happy 2014! Honestly I can't believe we haven't talked sooner, you're awesome! So weird. But we can fix that now no problem! Thanks for this awesome feauture! :)

  5. What a great post to start the new year! I absolutely love Courtney's responses. I admire how you are focusing on the author's and try to take attention away from the giveaways, finally someone highlights that! I cannot wait to see what else you have left in store. CONGRATS!

  6. Love it! I'm so happy for you and your blog! Keep up the great work, girl! :)

  7. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

    Woohoo! I've seen you putting this together on twitter and I think it's so cool! Congrats on putting it all together :) I've been dying to read this book ever since I saw it on tea time!

  8. Happy New Year!
    This is such an awesome giveaway! I follow you on Twitter, and I've seen you get excited for this event, and I'm so happy for you!

  9. I am so excited to see you interview Court! She is the sweetest person and so uplifting to others. It was great to see more if her personality! I'm looking forward to reading Faking Normal.

  10. Happy New Year!!!! What an epic giveaway to start off 2014!!! Faking Normal sounds amazing!!!! Thanks for doing such a fun giveaway!

  11. YAY! Happy New Year! I'm so excited about this event! :D I've heard good things about Faking Normal so I'm excited! (: Thanks for having the giveaway!!!!

  12. So excited for this event!! It's going to be a blast. Thank you so much :)

    1. Also Happy New Year! I've heard excellent things about Faking Normal.

  13. Happy New Years! his event is going to be a blast! Faking Normal sounds like an amazing book, adding it to my TBR. =D

  14. I've heard so much about this book and I can't wait to read it! Happy New Year. :)

    Emma @ Spun With Words

  15. Heard such great things about Faking Normal! (I haven't EVER seen a single episode of Dr you are ahead of me!)

  16. Every since I heard Jayne was doing #NewYearNewBooks I was so pumped, excited, and proud of her for being such a new blogger, and able to pull all of this together. I am super excited for the rest of January along with being able to share 2014 with my #1 stalker (inside joke)

  17. Happy New Year, Jayne!

    I can't wait to read Faking Normal. I was fortunate enough to be able to help spread the word about the giveaway Courtney Stevens was hosting in honor of her book, and it was really great to be a part of it. She has been a really inspiring author and I love that the message of her book is to channel your brave.

  18. Happy New Year!

    I'm so excited for this event!!! And what a great way to start! I'm SO jealous that you got Faking Normal, and I have my fingers crossed that I win!

  19. Happy New Year!! So many awesome books coming out this year, I'm so excited, and this is a great way to kick it off! :D Ahhhhh!

  20. All these loverly Giveaways!!! lol Its a book readers dream eh? Faking normal looks so interesting!!! Love it!! :D

  21. Yay Courtney! This looks GREAT! Can't wait to read it! Happy for you! YAY!

  22. I cannot wait for this book. I originally heard about it by coming across Courtney's vlog on Facebook. I thought it sounded right up my alley. I was stoked to find out she's from Kentucky because I am too! Then I found out she was a former youth minister and I just knew she was a person I wanted to follow and know more about. I'm going to her book signing in Bowling Green in February so I can meet her and get a signed copy!

  23. Not normally the type of book that I read, but I am trying to broaden my horizons, and this one seems like a perfect way to start! I love the cover, and premise is definitely intriguing. And there is no way that I would go back to high school. No way!

  24. She seems so very real -- I really loved reading her interview. Plus I wrote down the books she mentioned that I haven't read yet.

  25. I loved her interview!! :)
    Congratulations to Robin !

  26. Faking Normal was one of the best contemporaries I've ever read!

  27. I have an ARC for this one and I'm so excited to read it! Courtney sounds like such an amazing author, and person in general! Loved the interview!